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Author Topic: Are YOU a believer in miracles?  (Read 6498 times)

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Offline Kate

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #50 on: April 25, 2010, 08:01:49 AM »
The willfully ignorant? I'm sorry, but if the explanation is available to you, but you prefer to marvel at it in disbelief, there is no other word for it. And even if you don't understand, that does not make it divine, or magical, or in any way supernatural.

Willfully ignorant ? Marveling in disbelief ? Don't understand ?

For one who sees the divine in nature, what are they ignorant of ? what are they disbelieving of  ?
Don't understand from a science perspective therefore they don't understand it ?

One can choose to know experience from a spiritual perspective.

Most don't understand love from a science perspective nor care to for they come to "know" it an emotions landscape, which has a different causation landscape to what science is refined to describe.

The implication of an "invalid" perspectives is interesting. They are perspectives. They exist. "Wrong" and "right" or "invalid" are subjective and usually describe what the perspective is - in many ways circular and self-supporting.... based on some premise that is neither right nor wrong just unique and chosen. To me Like how fractals are... a seed which when compounded on itself becomes ... more - self describing.

- By the way - do others wish me to withdraw from this dialogue ? Any who have kept tabs on my thoughts on the existance of god would notice similar themes reappearing they may not wish to revisit.


Offline Hemingway

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #51 on: April 25, 2010, 08:34:44 AM »
How can right and wrong - as in true or false, correct or incorrect - be subjective? What I'm saying is this; for everything we see in nature, there's an explanation. If a person doesn't know or doesn't care to know that explanation, that's entirely up to them. But belief that it was created by some supernatural force, that it's too beautiful to be a coincidence, does not make it so.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #52 on: April 25, 2010, 10:01:33 AM »
Not going to keep up with everything that's been discussed, but someone compared statistics to a sacred text at some point?  That's absolute nonsense.  Sacred texts are writings that are taken to be absolutely true and revered for their holiness.  Scientists regularly analyze how statistics were gathered, argue that they should be thrown out if there's a biasing factor, and propose alternate, better methods for gathering statistics which are more objective than previous techniques.

The real difference between science and religion I haven't seen a single person argue away is how science accepts nothing uncritically, searches for the truth instead of presupposes it, and can actually admit that it's wrong within the same century that a mistake is made (here's looking at you Heliocentric Solar System Model).

Try living without the benefits of religion for a week, then try living without the benefits of science, then tell me which is more useful and valid.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 10:03:42 AM by Jude »

Offline Lilias

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #53 on: April 25, 2010, 11:17:32 AM »
Belief and proof are mutually exclusive. Once something is proven, it becomes a fact, and then belief (and, more importantly, disbelief) in it becomes irrelevant.

That said, yes, I believe in miracles. Next!

Offline Will

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #54 on: April 25, 2010, 01:26:42 PM »
Yes, but the same is being done by saying "it's science, we just don't know how."  Someone is simply claiming that it has to be scientific reason with no more basis than the person claiming there is a supernatural explanation.

That's not really the same, actually.  Saying "it was a miracle" is giving an explanation outright (that lack of an explanation is, indeed, proof of an explanation).  Science, on the other hand, is not an explanation in and of itself.  It's saying "There is a reason for this that follows the laws of nature, even if we can't puzzle it out right now."  Those are two totally different reactions.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 01:28:17 PM by Will »

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #55 on: April 25, 2010, 04:47:16 PM »
Question to everyone who claims science is a religion.  If this is true, why does religion have regions of the brain associated with it that have been located by Neurotheologists, whereas science utilizes the area of the brain for higher reasoning.  They're two completely different thought processes, how can you claim they're at all similar?

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #56 on: April 25, 2010, 05:01:36 PM »
First I will thank Kate for her lovely compliment.  I always cherish the words of praise from one that would challenge me just as easily.  I mean that whole heartedly.  There are quite a few here that I respect for debate and you are among them.  Jude is another who I must say has only gotten better and better with every meeting.  Now, onto the matter at hand.

I will attempt to address the “God of the gaps” statement which Doomsday was quip enough to put on the boards.  I am not saying by any stretch that God is explained where science is not.  Truth is I would make the argument, as many have in classical science and philosophy, that God is best explained through science.  The statement I make is that science cannot refuse one explanation with lack of another.  As Will addressed, science indeed continues to look at things but also refuse the explanation of the divine simply because it does not fit into their paradigm.  Out of hand all explanations are dismissed that do not fit into their preconceptions and designs.  Science at its most rudimentary and pure does not weigh in on the debate of miracles, God or any other subject.  Hemmingway accurately pointed out that science is a tool of mankind to adapt and use the natural world around them.

That is where the statement science as a religion comes into play.  Hemmingway is wrong that the faithful use this argument, because it stems entirely from those that do not have belief in the supernatural.  In place of God they hold up science with the belief that all things are explained through these institutions.  Priests are replaced with doctorates in all manner of subjects, sacred texts and writings are replaced with scientific journals and ritual has fallen to method.  Do I make the statement that science is religion, no more than I say that faith is religion.  Yet the institutions that grew around science act a great deal as the religious ones that address with such contempt.  These institutions believe their word untouchable because of the education its members have received and the publications they have released.  A wedge is driven between science and religion here, because those without belief in the supernatural need science to explain what is supernatural and to give them that structure.   Where faith in religion or in the supernatural gave people hope, others look to science to give them that hope.  This is not the purpose of science.

I have seen people continually say that science does not accept the uncritiqued or the unsubstantiated without pause.  Science as a tool does not, but the institutions do because it serves their purpose.(Note: I am not attempting to open debate on these topics.)  The start of life is one topic where science has used their power and people’s faith to have far reaching consequences.  Science feels comfortable making a statement of when life begins, but does not actually believe it knows what indicates this start.  The beginning of life by science is arbitrarily dictated with some criteria that mean almost nothing under scrutiny.  This is one reason why feminists have often abandoned the argument of when life begins, because under a closer look the argument loses water.  Global warming is a current favorite among the scientific community, but a lot of its postulations are not coming to pass.  Many within the community are voicing opposition and then, according to their statements, being silenced and refused publication.  My personal experience is regarding hurricanes which the Global warming paradigm continues to predict will grow worse and worse until my home is removed from the face of the world.  Yet by accepting the global warming paradigm, the other models which worked just as well if not better are rejected. 

Jude once brought up the belief of Therapeutic Touch which was advocated by a nursing researcher decades ago.  Therapeutic Touch has two contexts, one which is accepted and another that is not by the nursing community.  The accepted one is that by touching a person, by giving physical contact that a deeper bond of caregiver to patient can be formed and trust earned.  This is for communication purposes and to help alleviate anxiety by connecting with a “real” human being as opposed to the medical machine.  The other is in regards to energy fields and using the hands to heal.  There are many that believe in the unaccepted version of Therapeutic Touch, but one medical journal did print an article refuting Therapeutic Touch by a girl in elementary school.  That article was then torn apart because the girl did not use the scientific method with all the rigors required and did not adhere to the model of an experiment well enough to make this anything more than a science project.  The journal was then criticized for failing to publish experiments where the hypothesis of Therapeutic Touch were proven and the scientific methods and research models were used.  The editor of the journal used his position to attack another theory. 

These institutions are the ones who publish articles, who open debate and who allow peer review to be expanded into a global event.  Policy makers take these articles and ideas to forge rules of society around them, people read these articles or gain what is filtered through the media and twist them into their own beliefs and even the morality is shifted to fit into these paradigms.  People replace their own beliefs with what science proposes and often times these ideas are presented because they fit.  Another article I remember was an experiment done regarding Life After Death experiences.  The experiment was conducted by qualified individuals, did not reach into the supernatural and fit the research model.  They were denied publication.  The conclusion they drew did not explicitly point to an afterlife, but gave credence to Life After Death as a valid experience to be researched. 

Do I bring these instances up to knock down science, not in the least.  I bring them up so that the statement science as religion might be better understood.  The institutions of the scientific community are presenting popular theory without the criticisms.  Popular science is affecting policy change while being unproven and untested by peers.  Experiments are being done once with people running through the streets making wild claims from them.  This is the rampant nature that science has taken and it is slowly being eroded by more supernatural explanations and homespun remedies.  Science was never meant to be a belief system, but a tool.  That is the warning of science as religion.

Offline Will

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #57 on: April 25, 2010, 05:12:27 PM »
As Will addressed, science indeed continues to look at things but also refuse the explanation of the divine simply because it does not fit into their paradigm.  Out of hand all explanations are dismissed that do not fit into their preconceptions and designs. 

If you changed "preconceptions and designs" to "established evidence and laws," then you would be correct.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #58 on: April 25, 2010, 05:17:19 PM »
Laws of science and established evidence are myths.  True science takes no truth for granted.

Offline Will

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #59 on: April 25, 2010, 05:27:37 PM »
That doesn't mean that all empirically gained knowledge is worthless.  Evidence is treated as factual until something comes along to prove it otherwise.  Knowledge builds on knowledge.  Systems are built.  If something comes along to prove them wrong, then those systems are readily questioned.

But, proving them wrong is easier said than done.  Random incidents that cannot be explained are not enough; repeatability is the key.  Find some phenomenon that disproves a system, then try to make it happen again.  If you can, then obviously something in the system is flawed and must be reevaluated.  If it cannot be repeated, then the original recording of the event must have been flawed.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #60 on: April 25, 2010, 05:38:28 PM »
Miracles do not threaten scientific designs of empirically gained knowledge in anyway.  Part of a miracle is that the incident does not typically occur, is a cheat on the natural system.  Were it to be a constant and repeatable, then it would be a natural phenomenon that can be consistently repeated and known.  I do not contend that all knowledge about the heart must be rewritten because someone “miraculously” got better.  If the event was miraculous then God cheated and so the rules were just bent as was seen fit.  If the event is natural, then there is simply an aspect of the heart not understood at the time which may or may not adjust what is already known.  That does not meant we have delete all knowledge.

Also, to discount something under the assumption of a flawed observer is bad science.  The suggestion is that there is a variable unaccounted for by the original experimenter or observer.  Not that they are flawed in what occurred.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #61 on: April 25, 2010, 06:20:15 PM »
Pumpkin Seeds, what specific scientific institutions act as religious ones, and in what way?

As for claiming science is a religion not being a tactic employed by the religious, that's just a blatant lie. It's very common among fundamentalists - creationists and religious scientists ( the ones who try to find evidence for their beliefs, rather than gather evidence and see where it leads ), and clearly is their way of trying to delegetimize science. When the argument is made, you're implying that religion and science are somehow equal sides of the same debate, rather than completely different approaches to some similar problems.

Your final comment seems to sum this up very nicely, and reflects the way I think a lot of people think; if it can't be explained, it's a miracle. If it can be explained, it's not a miracle. It's just moving the goalpost.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #62 on: April 25, 2010, 06:51:45 PM »
Imagine you are observing a colony of ants in a tank digging their way through sand and dirt.  One day you wake up, walk to the tank, and you notice a new branch that the ants have dug resembling the letter "f."  There are a variety of conclusions you can come to based on this:  it could be a coincidence, the ants could have purposely made the f, and lastly someone could have tampered with the ant colony to create the f.  In the case of the ant colony, the last assumption is a perfectly valid possibility because it's established that people exist outside of that ant colony capable of doing such.  The possibility of external influence and out-of-the-normal occurrences is established, but lets say that this ant colony is sealed tightly within a vault, where the only glimpse inside of a camera positioned on the wall.  The last option is thereby canceled, leaving behind coincidence and the possibility that the ants are capable of displaying behavior that is out of the norm which you've observed.

For thousands of years mankind has been observing odd occurrences and assigning them to one of these categories, yet there hasn't been a single event observed in a rigorous fashion which wasn't eventually been moved into the first two categories.  Quite often things were described as miraculous and strange in the past, thought to be irreproducible, and with due time were understood and reduced to something decipherable.

I still haven't heard a convincing argument as to why we should believe miracles exist at all, given that (as I have described above) the miracle-claimers are so often wrong.  There's no reason to believe that something exists external to our reality which influences it; the supernatural is an ad hoc hypothesis that has continually had things misattributed to it.

Could it exist?  Yes.  Is it likely?  No.  History has shown us that it's far more likely that we don't understand strange happenings, not that they're not understandable.

***

As far as the science as a religion thing goes, everything you cite there Pumpkin is an example of people stepping off the rails of science, not science.  I agree that unthinking acceptance of supposed scientifically established fact is a dangerous thing, but to do so is not scientific.

Science promotes skepticism and critical thinking thinking, the exact opposites of religion, which promotes blind adherence to supposed static truth.

EDIT:  As an afterthought, using the ant colony metaphor it's pretty obvious as to why the question of "do you believe in miracles" so easily becomes "do you believe in god?"  After all, if in the ant colony situation you lived with a practical joker, you'd assume readily he was responsible for the f too.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 07:00:03 PM by Jude »

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #63 on: April 25, 2010, 07:11:41 PM »
If you believe in the supernatural, do you have to believe in all supernatural events/beings/whathaveyou?  If not, why not?  Am I understanding correctly that the supernatural, by definition, can not be proven or disproven?

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #64 on: April 25, 2010, 07:48:58 PM »
I will encourage people not to refer to others as liars or to call their statements a blatant lie.  Misinformed, wrong or a variety of other adjectives that remove maliciousness from a statement are more accurate and wise to use.  This particular instance is more troubling because not only did you refer to my statement as a lie, you then set about failing to prove that I was trying to mislead others with my lie.  Therefore you have accused me of something with no evidence to support your claim.  Even if you were to replace the word lie with wrong, you still failed to support your claim.

I have given you specific instances from which to look at the “infallible” work that comes from scientific journals and the community.  Flaws have been shown in specific instances from the institutions that surround science.  Continuing to call for more specific examples while plaguing the thread with statements such as “I think this is how people think,” is a bit hypocritical.

What you describe Hemmingway is people using religion as science, which is of course wrong as well.  Faith cannot be touched by science, but likewise science cannot be touched by faith.  Attempting to cross that boundary leads to any number of false statements and erroneous conclusions.  Science and religion are not opposite sides of a coin nor are they combatants for a single goal.  They are two people blind folded and touching opposite ends of an elephant. 

As for believing in one supernatural event leading into another.  If you believe in the Big Bang Theory do you also have to believe that women suffer from hysteria which can only be relieved by a vibrator at the doctor’s office?

Also, I do not propose to have any reason someone should believe in a miracle.  Belief in a miracle is the personal choice of that person.  Do I believe that things have happened to me in the past that I cannot explain?  Certainly.  Do I believe that every time I see something unusual that God or some other entity has intervened?  Absolutely not. 

My statements are indeed examples of people stepping from the rails.  Most of the statements use against religious institutions and their acts are examples of such a thing as well.  Science, as I have said many times, was not meant to be as those examples indicated.  Those are the institutions though and people put faith in their words and writings as if given religious doctrine. Adherence to blind faith as I have seen written here a few times is what people ascribe to religion.  Science is commanding that same reverence.

Religion, at one time, did call for people to think.  Keep in mind that many of the scientific principles and philosophical lines of thought we possess today were from people of religious backgrounds.  Everything from genetics to economics to mathematics can be drawn back toward monks and priests.  At one time it was a widely held belief that through understanding God’s creation, God would better be known.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #65 on: April 25, 2010, 09:36:01 PM »
That's not really accurate Pumpkin.  Monks did little more than preserve ancient writings on philosophy, mathematics, and science by the Greeks throughout the middle-ages with very few advancements (in fact I can't think of any prominent intellectual advancements).  The only notable scholars of the dark ages were built around Christian thought and analysis of Christian documents.  It wasn't until the dark ages ended and religion's influence over the masses started to wane that intellectual progress picked up again.

During periods of religious dominance the human race becomes stagnant intellectually, and unsurprisingly so, because religion claims to have all of the answers to the problems that ail us.  Why toil hard in life to make this world a better place if it's but a brief blink of an eye before the eternity of heaven?  Religions have directly punished people for thinking, especially when the conclusions they come to are in opposition to religious dogma.  There are many examples of religion as the enemy of free thought (Galileo, Darwin, etc).

The Renaissance and the Enlightenment were inspired by humanism, with an emphasis on the secular and improving the now, certainly not by religion.

The view you refer to is often called "God as a Masterclockmaker" and that's really more of a justification and bandage to help mend the divide between science and religion that was cropping up even in the early days of formal thought.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #66 on: April 25, 2010, 09:59:36 PM »
The monk I was thinking of in particular was the creator of Mendalian genetics.  He is credited with introducing the concepts and ideas that we now use to understand genetics.  Philosophers that stem from religious backgrounds are Descartes, Thomas Aquinas, and Hegel.  Medicine was once a purview of the religious institutions.  Theories on nurse care stem greatly from the Sisters of Charity, medical institutions that were run by religious orders conducted a multitude of experiments including the one to determine the benefits of handwashing.  The Jesuit Order was one of the first to develop dialogue with eastern cultures and help expand trade into those areas.  Those are only the contributions of a small portion of the faithful.  Look at the amount of universities and scholarly institutes established and run by religious organizations. 

To say that religion, or at the least faith, does not promote critical thought is the inaccurate statement.

Offline Will

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #67 on: April 25, 2010, 11:14:29 PM »
I would be inclined to say that the majority of those are exceptions, rather than the rule.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #68 on: April 25, 2010, 11:17:47 PM »
Your point seems to be that there have been people who contributed to science, philosophy, and mathematics that were members of religious institutions therefore religion promotes such.  There's lots of fuzzy logic going on here.  For one particular examples wouldn't mean as much as percentages, and back in the day nearly everyone was religious.  Of course scientist, philosophers, and mathematicians are going to be religious in such a social landscape.

How exactly do you account for the fact that atheists score higher on IQ tests than the religious and according to this study 52% of scientists in prestigious research institutions are non-religious, as opposed to 12% of the general population.

Show me a single passage in the bible that speaks well of critical thinking?  Show me where the bible encourages doubt and skepticism instead of blind, irrational faith?  Show me speeches religious figures have given that encourage analytical probing into people's own beliefs?

Religion does the exact opposite of what you claim.  Religion teaches people to pridefully cling to their beliefs, to shelter their opinions, to cling to intellectual comforts, and avoid crossing the line into the dangerous territory of presupposing that you could actually be wrong.  Religion praises zealotry, certitude, and obedience where critical thinking is characterized by a willingness to consider any ideas, especially those that go against your preconceived notions.

Offline Will

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #69 on: April 25, 2010, 11:26:58 PM »
Well, off the top of my head, Jesus does urge people to be doubtful/critical about people who claim to speak for God - "Beware of false prophets," "Be careful that no one deceives you (claiming to be Christ returned)," etc. 

Still kind of a stretch to say that encourages critical thinking in general, though.  And it doesn't seem like most institutions interpret it that way.

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Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #70 on: April 26, 2010, 12:21:12 AM »
It was something I remembered from my Theoretical science classes a few years ago. Unfortunatly I didnt keep the book but then who keeps college books these days?

*waves*

Also found this in one of them:



And just remember - as long as they teach Algebra, there will continue to be prayer in schools ;D

I'm here till Thursday - try the pot roast.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #71 on: April 26, 2010, 12:45:51 AM »
I give you a monk that contributed to our understanding of genetics; exception.

Give you three philosophers that contributed to classical thought and have influenced modern thought; exception.

An entire order of priests known as the Jesuits and an order of nuns known as the Sisters of Charity; exception…!?

Institutions founded by the Catholic Church across the world that make up some of the most prestigious universities and schools in the world; …..exception!?.....

Am I misunderstanding the definition of exception?

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #72 on: April 26, 2010, 12:55:31 AM »
Causation is not correlation, Pumpkin.  Just because they happened to be religious and happened to do things that involve critical thought, does not mean that one led to the other.  An examination of religion reveals it to be dogmatic and absolutist, certainly not skeptical or analytical.

And yes, you gave a few examples from when the world was even more dominantly religious than it is now.  If you wanted to prove that religion promotes critical thought, you'd have to show that the religious tend to think critically more than the non-religious.  Even that link would be vague at best, but it's irrelevant because that just isn't the case.

If religion actually promotes critical thought, you should have passages to link to.  Even the stuff Will managed to pull together isn't preaching critical thought, merely to be suspicious when accepting religious testimony from other people.  That has more to do with the protection and purity of the church than it does a rigorous process for examining statements to determine the soundness of their logic before accepting them as truth.

Even religions that promote altered states of consciousness and inner reflection don't promote deep analysis, recognition of logical fallacies, or venerate reason.

The only exception I can think of to that statement is Discordianism, which proudly proclaims in its dogma after listing its major tenets, "A Discordian is prohibited from believing what they read."
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 01:01:49 AM by Jude »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #73 on: April 26, 2010, 01:12:51 AM »
Please note that in the Wikipedia article linked there is criticism of what the IQ score actually means.  Also note that according to the book, The Bell Curve, these same tests are used to state that men are smarter than women, whites smarter than blacks, rich people smarter than poor people and all manner of erroneous conclusions drawn from IQ scores.  One of the things my sociology professor loved to do was read the amount of questions submitted by the research group using IQ and how falsely they judged natural intelligence.  While the survey this researcher used might have been representative of the population, the IQ test that survey was using is tested on children from the Midwest as their representative population.

Those points you present at the end Jude are quite a bit of generalization.  Continually you make nothing but generalizations about religion and the people that partake in religion.  Out of hand you dismiss the notion that people of a religious bend are critical thinkers, stating yourself that there cannot be any scientific evidence for that.  Readily dismissing something with no evidence because of your own bias. 

Also the Jesuit Order still works actively across the world to establish connections with communities of different cultures and establish centers of education.  The Sisters of Charity work to this day to save people’s lives with medicine and conduct research to better help the medical community.  Last time I looked Xavier University, one of the top schools for pharmacology, still stands and is run by the Catholic Church along with Loyola University not far down the road which has an exemplary law school. 

Why should I name passages Jude?  Is that what this debate has come down to, a debate on religious text?  Quote me a passage or you are false?  That sounds more like a practitioner of religious dogma than anything I have said so far.  I have not memorized the Bible or the Koran or any other religious text.  I do not walk about quoting them from the top of my head so that I might defend my faith.  An oddity that typically people in your position ridicule those that quote the Bible, yet now you demand it be done.  I give you modern day institutions of the Catholic Church which promote knowledge in all its forms and you call them exceptions or say they are not proof.  You give me broad, insulting generalizations and then demand to be quoted the Bible.

If this is what the debate has come to, then I think its conclusion is a bit evident.

Offline Noelle

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #74 on: April 26, 2010, 03:31:26 AM »
Out of hand you dismiss the notion that people of a religious bend are critical thinkers, stating yourself that there cannot be any scientific evidence for that.  Readily dismissing something with no evidence because of your own bias.

I disagree. Nowhere does he state that no religious people can be critical thinkers. That would be absurd -- plenty of thoughtful, critical people have been religious. You're missing the difference, it seems. Religion does not inherently make critical thinkers. One does not necessarily lead to the other. This doesn't mean a religious person is damned to be an unthinking idiot, it just means that, like non-religious people or people of other faiths, their critical thinking is likely developed from another cause. I feel like you're pulling the offense out of something that isn't really offensive at all.

Why don't most religions outwardly promote critical thinking? It's easy. It's in their interest to keep their congregation coming back, isn't it? Be it for their own noble want to save non-believers or something far more dubious, religion's very foundation is faith in what they assume to be a given -- the existence of God. It's a little like putting the cart before the horse. Before they've given you any substantive evidence, they give you the conditions under which you should believe them and THEN fill in the details. If you start evaluating religion and putting it through rigorous and critical scientific testing, it's no secret that it doesn't hold up. And then you're left with a group of followers who have to reconcile which they'd rather believe, and it's not much of a stretch to say that religion doesn't always win out. Most people question the existence of god easily enough on their own without a prod further in that direction.

Quote
Also the Jesuit Order still works actively across the world to establish connections with communities of different cultures and establish centers of education.  The Sisters of Charity work to this day to save people’s lives with medicine and conduct research to better help the medical community.  Last time I looked Xavier University, one of the top schools for pharmacology, still stands and is run by the Catholic Church along with Loyola University not far down the road which has an exemplary law school. 

Their base motivation to do what they do may have rooted in the desire to help others via the Bible's teachings, but religion didn't teach these people how to become doctors or researchers or lawyers.
I might also mention that they don't promote critical thinking WITHIN the church. When was the last time you heard of a church going "Go on, guys! Question us! You think this water into wine stuff is bullshit? Let's talk about it!"

Quote
Why should I name passages Jude?
Because if you make claims that an organization does something (ie: religion promotes critical thinking), you should be able to provide examples to support yourself? Isn't that...the basis for a debate? You don't just throw claims out there and expect people to believe you just because you think it sounds right. Religion does that enough as it is. (Sorry, couldn't help myself. It's just a joke.) I doubt he even expects you to have memorized the Bible -- that's not the point. I sure as hell don't have every single scientific theory and law and the like memorized, but you can ALWAYS do research. There's basically no excuse not to when the internet and Google have made it laughably simple to do so. This is the result of exactly five seconds of searching.

Quote
An oddity that typically people in your position ridicule those that quote the Bible, yet now you demand it be done.  I give you modern day institutions of the Catholic Church which promote knowledge in all its forms and you call them exceptions or say they are not proof.  You give me broad, insulting generalizations and then demand to be quoted the Bible.

Like I said. I think you're coloring things a little with your perceived offense. I have seen nothing outwardly hostile in his statements, merely your reactions to them. Maybe I'm missing something.