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Author Topic: Are YOU a believer in miracles?  (Read 6493 times)

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Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #75 on: April 26, 2010, 04:15:22 AM »
“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.” – Jude

That seems to be a quote stating that religion keeps people from critically thinking and teaches them some rather negative qualities.  This statement is indeed offensive and is meant to be derogatory toward the institutions of religion.  This states that religion willfully prevents people from thinking and encourages them to become mindless.  My experience with religion is completely different, yet I am confronted with the generalization regardless.  My beliefs have become a con perpetrated by someone else to brainwash me into coming back to their congregation and giving them money.

As for quoting the material, might you quote me your worker’s policy manual?  Perhaps you could quote me something from the owner’s manual of your car or mayhap another document.  Please go scan for some bit of information in a text that is, I’ll say over 500 pages, so that this can be dismissed.  If a person has no faith in the Bible, then quoting them something from the Bible is a waste of air and time.  To have my intellect, presentation and information reduced to a Bible quote is indeed insulting.  I think I have presented a fair case that religion can and does encourage thinking, but instead I am told to quote the Bible. 

The institutions I have listed are investments by the Church of their money, efforts and manpower.  That shows a commitment by the Catholic Church in the venues of education.  My listing of medicine and law school is meant to display that the education offered is not simply religious rhetoric, but of scientific and critical thinking.  If an organization makes that kind of investment on that large a scale that their efforts extend into nearly all continents, then their efforts deserve to at least be taken seriously.  Once more this is reduced to…quote me the Bible. 

As for Googling and using search engines, this highlights a problem for debate.  People type a word, find something that looks important and plaster it onto the message board.  They do not look at the credentials of the article, do not consider the sources and don’t look at the knowledge.

Offline Kate

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #76 on: April 26, 2010, 04:16:09 AM »
I thoroughly and utterly agree with Pumpkin seeds on her current stances. This thread does ring similar to the existence of god thread. I think the reason why her reasoning seems very coherent is that she has seemingly stayed aware that the topic of the thread being

"are YOU a believer in miracles?"
Not
"Should OTHERS beleive in miracles?"
*

This next part of my reply will directly address some of the stances (not points not facts - STANCES) Jude has adopted, mainly because his sentences do have a ring of "Im an authority of interpretation and truth and meaning" coupled with an implied expectation this is an objective truth all non-delusional people agree with.

To prove a point I will assume the same condescending tone in critique ~once~

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

Quote
"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?
- Jude

Quote
"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."
- jude

Pumpkin did rise to the challenge and gave you examples for you. Not because she felt it was suitable to support her own stance to other readers but to honor your request for one. To respect your words. After you have one What that means is not related to her point, its related to sedating a cause for request, nothing more.

But this brings me to a more interesting point - Jude, at one time you were in a mood where a ~single~ example of something would mean "something" to that that mood you were in.

Miracle it happened !

One ~single~ example -not repeatable- one instance of something.. unlikely to the perspective that mood was in. Others have these moods, they are moods that are valid, their experience of "one instance" which is not repeatable enough for them to change something within them.

Does the relevance of that mood persist all-ways throughout their perspective ? No. Unless I am mistaken this thread inst debating this.

Quote
  "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."
- Jude

If religion teaches people to cling to their beliefs, no religions would teach anything as the peoples current beliefs (whatever they were) would already perfectly suit the "religion" in question.

Even assuming that Belief in Miracles = Faith = Religion = Fundamentalist Christianity ...
none of the equal signs I believe in personally btw for spiritual as well as logical reasons)

It would be difficult for Christs following to be so strong if Christ was just charismatic, biblical it was his PREDICTIONS which cam true and ~repeated~ miracles he performed with intention that were reported which converted many. Not "blind faith in him", but note of his words implying a testable outcome of them from their perspective.

If true, (as much as any document with sweeping declarations on what is is "true") a crude scientific method of deduction was adopted for the would be followers to think "hmm maybe he is on to something and not just a madman". This MAY be how followings occurred for those following while Christ was alive (if he was). Remember being under a roman rule, not many would be inclined to trust anything that claims authority, they just heave learned to deal with what role they find themselves in. This populous was used to ranting madmen claiming the gods will of this and that ... every day all the time.

Quote
"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."
- Jude

During the ~dark ages~ the monks did ~not~ have power over the masses, it was anarchy and warlords more or less reined, fortified monasteries existed - as when people were starving or their warlords want to these places were assaulted. Being assaulted by the masses isn't having control over them, reasons - most monks group objective unlikely included being attacked.

Monks in the dark ages didn't typically seek power over others they were solitary. Medieval times onwards for papal orders - different story. The ~monasteries~ and ~nunneries~ were the only places one could become literate. Times were tough, being part of the order guaranteed a more likelihood of getting food and having an education. Many who joined would have been simply academically inclined and accepted the monastery's conditions as the price to pay to have such an option during "dark times"... and have any chance of living beyond 20 or so.

Quote
"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)."

Unlikely Jude. Typically People punish people, Individuals and groups subjective "causes for a religion" have been used as justifications of punishments. But Religions do not on their own. Books containing a new religion which is not read or known to people seldom manifest powers that punish people in statistically repeatable manner which someone like your self subscribes to needing for it to exist in feasibility. Treating your sentences literally implies religion even without books (perhaps a perspective one has) have supernatural powers of punishing people on their own without any other contributing natural forces - and this force is one that you beleive and others should do.

You may beleive this is possible, I have all the "sacred" books of the Jewish, christian and Muslim faiths in my library and I have not YET experienced them flying out to hit me on the head when I said something sacrilegious.. but it may happen perhaps saying if I say "Moses was insane lame deluded fuckwit" a few more times ...

if you beleive religions directly punish people for thinking - "especially when their conclusions come into opposition of dogma." This would be an example of supernatural powers of the text of the dogma itself - or even of the dogma without the text itself.

The literal interpretation of your sentences imply you DO beleive in "divine supernatural intervention (from what is "divine" is as detailed in the "dogma" (not the people that follow) which punishes people.

Jude I know you do not beleive in what I am implying of your sentences, but I only went down this path to raise it as a point to please give up on the no more "those of faith" must / should / do / will beleive in this and this book passage's or persons statement's LITERAL interpretation.

I know I am talking down condescendingly like a child to your statements Jude, making assumptions on your perspective and beliefs while implying Im the authority of what you mean and its implications. But this is more to bring your attention to the hard condescending tone you take towards others. (Which frankly I think Pumpkin is more deserving to adopt than yourself - credit for her not doing so)

Jude - if you don't like people attributing your perspective to immature fantastic premises like I have above, please give others (especially Pumpkin) the same courtesy.

And for the sweet love of "God" (my God, not the christian god) Jude, those who have faith in miracles happening are not necessarily fundamental Christians ! Nor necessarily religious AT ALL 

I would know, I am one.

But enough of what I don't agree with - Pumpkin your posts are a pleasure to read.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 04:22:35 AM by Kate »

Offline Silk

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #77 on: April 26, 2010, 04:26:07 AM »
http://www.thekeyboard.org.uk/The%20Big%20Bang%20Theory.htm
http://www.umich.edu/~gs265/bigbang.htm
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/astronomy/bigbang.html

There is actually ALOT going for the big bang theory, its hardly something scientists have pulled out of their backsides, (And this is just the first few links from google, can't be looking to hard to find it.

And there is a possible corrolation to why men are smarter than women, whites smarter than blacks etc, ON AVERAGE

Both of the latter groups have not been in a range of education as long as the former, as well as the nature of the way each works. E.g. Many women do not have to be educated to a high degree due to having a supporting male, however its a much rarer occurence to have a uneducated male being supported by a female. And black people "tend" to live in poorer areas of housing and educational access, against white people.

 Or you can even say if you wanted, blacks and women tend to be more religious and less likely to be athiests, compared to white males who are a significant bulk of the athistic community and work via the scientific method in their lives. Yes it does have a strong effect on intelligence. Its not racist or sexist to understand causes and effects to what people might have affecting their IQs and certainly less racist/sexist than saying their just naturally dumber without pointing out plausable reasons as to why there might be a effect

http://videosift.com/video/Average-IQ-by-Blue-vs-Red-State-Religious-vs-Atheist
(Taken from wikipedia)
Race Distribution

Overall, U.S. Americans who profess no religion or self-identify as Atheist or Agnostic are more likely to be white non-Hispanic or Asian and less likely to be African American, as compared to the general adult population in U.S.[56]
[edit] Gender Distribution

Both Agnostics and Atheists are predominantly male. In the U.S. population as a whole, 48 percent of adults are males. By comparison, males account for 56 percent of the no-religion group, 79 percent of Atheists, and 75 percent of Agnostics. Those may reflect men's greater tendency to disbelieve and reject authority.[56]

And since atheism and the scienitific method do not have a blind indoctrination that god will make it all better, are more likely to rely on themselves, and their critical thinking alot more to get by in life, which will result in a high rated IQ

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #78 on: April 26, 2010, 05:36:32 AM »
"Just to make it perfectly clear up front - the "data" that the IQ stuff is based on has been thoroughly discredited as far as I can tell." - Obsidian Storm

That was posted under the rather obviously biased video you linked to the community.  Do I need to restate the dangers of using Google again?

Offline Silk

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #79 on: April 26, 2010, 05:47:16 AM »
You've made the claim, but where is the evidence to back your statement up?

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #80 on: April 26, 2010, 05:47:46 AM »
Which statement?

Offline Kate

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #81 on: April 26, 2010, 06:36:03 AM »
Silk - please keep in mind one thing, this thread isn't about science vs religion.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #82 on: April 26, 2010, 07:55:22 AM »
Pumpkin, you haven't presented any evidence at all to back up this idea that religion promotes critical thinking, you've merely stated it.  I've presented you with statistics that show the religious are not as good of critical thinkers as the non-religious, but I'll freely admit that what I've said doesn't conclusively prove anything (your argument against IQ is well-taken, but you didn't say anything to address the prominence of non-religiousness among scientists).  I asked you for passages because, if religion does promote critical thinking, then it must be in the dogma somewhere.

Religion presents its followers with what it claims is absolute truth and any the only questioning they tolerate and encourage is of outsiders, other beliefs, and anything that threatens the religion.  Want examples of the church silencing people, discouraging free-thought, and critical thinking to back up my thesis?  Here goes:

Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
-- I Corinthians 14:34-35 (NIV)

If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father and mother, and will not listen to them when they discipline him, they shall seize him and bring him before the elders. Then they shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is immoral and a drunkard.” Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be AFRAID.
— Deuteronomy 21:18-21

... all who are under the yoke of slavery ... who have believing masters ... must serve all the better since those who benefit by their service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these duties. If any one teaches otherwise ... he is puffed up with conceit, he knows nothing; he has a morbid craving for controversy..., which produce envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, and wrangling among men who are depraved in mind...
-- I Timothy 6:1-5 (RSV)

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived, it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.
— 1 Timothy 2:11-14

“If you refuse to obey all the terms of this law that are written in this book, and if you do not fear the glorious and awesome name of the LORD your God, then the LORD will overwhelm both you and your children with indescribable plagues. These plagues will be intense and without relief, making you miserable and unbearably sick. He will bring against you all the diseases of Egypt that you feared so much, and they will claim you. The LORD will bring against you every sickness and plague there is, even those not mentioned in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed. Though you are as numerous as the stars in the sky, few of you will be left because you would not listen to the LORD your God. "Just as the LORD has found great pleasure in helping you to prosper and multiply, the LORD will find pleasure in destroying you, until you disappear from the land you are about to enter and occupy. For the LORD will scatter you among all the nations from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship foreign gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods made of wood and stone! There among those nations you will find no place of security and rest. And the LORD will cause your heart to tremble, your eyesight to fail, and your soul to despair. Your lives will hang in doubt. You will live night and day in fear, with no reason to believe that you will see the morning light. In the morning you will say, 'If only it were night!' And in the evening you will say, 'If only it were morning!' You will say this because of your terror at the awesome horrors you see around you. Then the LORD will send you back to Egypt in ships, a journey I promised you would never again make. There you will offer to sell yourselves to your enemies as slaves, but no one will want to buy you.”---- Deuteronomy 28:58-68 NLT

The entire bible is a book of dos and don'ts, constantly warning that the punishment for intellectual disobedience is an eternity in hell.  That certainly doesn't encourage you to consider "what if I'm wrong?"  It commands you to believe, stacks the odds against you if you don't, and otherwise tells you how to live your life in accordance with its message.

To be fair, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are amongst the worst religions when it comes to that.  Buddhism, in its almost-philosophical form, doesn't really speak ill of critical thought (though there are denominations that do).  Dogma, by its very nature, encourages thoughtlessness and blind obedience to supposed holy texts.

I'd like to repeat once more.  Correlation is not causation, you've shown no evidence whatsoever that the bible encourages critical thought (and I'd argue that you haven't really established correlation either, you've given examples, not statistics).  If you want to claim that religion promotes critical thinking, you need to actually back up that claim.

As Noelle stated, I'm not saying all religious people are incapable of critical thought, merely that religion does not encourage critical thought.  This doesn't mean that religious people can't think critically.

***

Also, Kate, different kinds of proof are required for different claims.  If someone claims, "religious people cannot think critically" all you have to do is show them one instance of a religious person claiming critically, and your proposition has been disproven.  If you're going to claim that religion promotes critical thought, from that you can derive a testable implication that therefore on average religious people utilize critical thought more often than the non-religious (because its promoted by their religion, which the non-religious do not have).  She hasn't shown a shred of evidence to back that up.  She's only given a few examples of people who do think critically that are religious, that's not proof that religion promotes critical thought.  I can give you a few examples of clowns that happen to be male, that doesn't mean that every clown is male.

Quote from: Kate
During the ~dark ages~ the monks did ~not~ have power over the masses, it was anarchy and warlords more or less reined, fortified monasteries existed - as when people were starving or their warlords want to these places were assaulted. Being assaulted by the masses isn't having control over them, reasons - most monks group objective unlikely included being attacked.

Monks in the dark ages didn't typically seek power over others they were solitary. Medieval times onwards for papal orders - different story. The ~monasteries~ and ~nunneries~ were the only places one could become literate. Times were tough, being part of the order guaranteed a more likelihood of getting food and having an education. Many who joined would have been simply academically inclined and accepted the monastery's conditions as the price to pay to have such an option during "dark times"... and have any chance of living beyond 20 or so.
There's a reason that the dark ages are also referred to as Christendom.  Religion held great power over the masses during that period of time.  But you'll notice that I did not claim anywhere that the monks were the wielders of power.

Quote from: Kate
If religion teaches people to cling to their beliefs, no religions would teach anything as the peoples current beliefs (whatever they were) would already perfectly suit the "religion" in question.
You have a point, I misspoke.  In the case of people who have already accepted their dogma, they teach people to cling to it.  In the case of people who haven't, they teach people to convert to it.  But in most cases the former is what they spend most of their time doing because in most religions parents are encouraged to teach their children about the religion and instruct them in it before the child's higher reasoning develops, so that they accept it uncritically.

Quote from: Kate
Unlikely Jude. Typically People punish people, Individuals and groups subjective "causes for a religion" have been used as justifications of punishments. But Religions do not on their own. Books containing a new religion which is not read or known to people seldom manifest powers that punish people in statistically repeatable manner which someone like your self subscribes to needing for it to exist in feasibility. Treating your sentences literally implies religion even without books (perhaps a perspective one has) have supernatural powers of punishing people on their own without any other contributing natural forces - and this force is one that you beleive and others should do.
You clearly know I wasn't claiming that the religion itself, the very concept of that belief, is punishing people.  I was arguing that the institutions of the religion punish people, namely the Vatican in the example I gave, for questioning.  But your point is well taken.  It is a good idea to separate the institutions from the texts themselves, but in making such an argument you have also nullified all of Pumpkin's examples, because she's named institutions and people, not the religion.

Quote from: Pumpkin Seeds
As for Googling and using search engines, this highlights a problem for debate.  People type a word, find something that looks important and plaster it onto the message board.  They do not look at the credentials of the article, do not consider the sources and don’t look at the knowledge.
Before selecting the specific source to cite I read several articles on IQ and atheism, a few of which I tossed out because I recall reading the study at the time (such as the atheism/male/liberalism study which was linked to in On Topic a few months back) and thinking that they were flawed or not particularly strong/conclusive.  Not everyone throws up an article at random without verifying it.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 08:08:38 AM by Jude »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #83 on: April 26, 2010, 09:51:32 AM »
The problem with your statement is that you reached further than you are now claiming.  Indeed religious people were not excluded from the ability to critically think, but you then stated that religion discourages critical thought.  Hence my examples of religious educational institutions where by their existence critical thought must be taught and encouraged.  Continually you make this sound as if these educational institutions are only a small group, despite their existence in Asia, Europe, North America and South America along with ones in Africa.  Once more I state that if an institution discourages critical thinking, then they would not put such immense focus and energy into education.  According to your view of religion, education would be the enemy.

The scientist quote I left unaddressed due to an inability to follow the link given.  As this apparently distressed you, I will tend to that now.  I assume the document you are using is from Dr. Ecklund, who studied the religiosity of people in the academic fields.  Indeed there were a higher number of atheists in the scientific community than in the general populous.  The main contributing factor though to predicting the scientist’s religion was the person’s family at home.  Also the numbers are misleading when grouped together, because according to Ecklund’s report nearly 50% were religious and substantial portions were what she called “creative entrepreneurs.”  This meant they were attempting to work their faith into their scientific background.  A small minority were actually hostile to religion.

Since there is this unsated appetite for numbers now and my listing of actions taken by the Church to promote education and thought are not enough, I will attempt to satisfy.  According to a William H. Jeynes from the University of California in Long Beach, there is a positive correlation between urban children with high religious commitment and improved academic performance over those without religious commitment.  Also a study at Brigham Young University indicated that students with high internal religious conviction performed better academically with higher GPAs. 

As of yet Jude you have failed to prove your claim that religion deters critical thought and also that being non-religious makes one more prone to critical thinking. 

References
1.   http://eus.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/36/1/44
2.   http://intuition.byu.edu/Assets/07religiosity.pdf
3.   http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2010/04/13/are-top-scientists-really-so-atheistic-look-at-the-data/

Offline Noelle

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #84 on: April 26, 2010, 11:49:39 AM »
As for quoting the material, might you quote me your worker’s policy manual?  Perhaps you could quote me something from the owner’s manual of your car or mayhap another document.  Please go scan for some bit of information in a text that is, I’ll say over 500 pages, so that this can be dismissed.  If a person has no faith in the Bible, then quoting them something from the Bible is a waste of air and time.  To have my intellect, presentation and information reduced to a Bible quote is indeed insulting.  I think I have presented a fair case that religion can and does encourage thinking, but instead I am told to quote the Bible.

What...does this have to do with anything. There's a reason you're being asked to quote the Bible, and that's because it's RELEVANT. It doesn't matter if I'm Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or a Pastafarian, if you're going to make claims for your religion, then I think it should be obvious that you should be finding where your religion supports it. Your case has hardly been fair -- it's been a claim and nothing more. I can claim the earth rotates around a bald man's head and that it's so bright from the reflection of the stars, but who is going to put any stock into what I said until I do the research? You can claim and claim, but your words are worthless without anything credible to support it. I could more fully understand where your point is coming from if I A) know your background (and I do, you are a Christian, therefore I can assume you have some amount of faith in the Bible) and B) know where you're making your claims from.


Quote
The institutions I have listed are investments by the Church of their money, efforts and manpower.  That shows a commitment by the Catholic Church in the venues of education.  My listing of medicine and law school is meant to display that the education offered is not simply religious rhetoric, but of scientific and critical thinking.  If an organization makes that kind of investment on that large a scale that their efforts extend into nearly all continents, then their efforts deserve to at least be taken seriously.  Once more this is reduced to…quote me the Bible. 

I repeat myself: Religion DID NOT teach these people medicine. Science did. Yes, their efforts may have been religiously motivated, but the Church and God did not teach them how to treat patients or represent cases in a court of law, and religion did not teach them to critically think about religion. I have never, ever heard of any Christian institution imploring its followers to consider the fact that god may not exist for the sake of critically thinking about it. Who wants to take the chance of possibly accidentally disproving their own faith in God and then getting sent to hell later?

Quote
As for Googling and using search engines, this highlights a problem for debate.  People type a word, find something that looks important and plaster it onto the message board.  They do not look at the credentials of the article, do not consider the sources and don’t look at the knowledge.

Yes, because I asked you to uncritically scan Google for the first thing that convenienced you and to quote it. Crazy that I didn't catch that part where I said that oh wait I didn't.


Since there is this unsated appetite for numbers now and my listing of actions taken by the Church to promote education and thought are not enough, I will attempt to satisfy.  According to a William H. Jeynes from the University of California in Long Beach, there is a positive correlation between urban children with high religious commitment and improved academic performance over those without religious commitment.  Also a study at Brigham Young University indicated that students with high internal religious conviction performed better academically with higher GPAs. 

Quote
Non-LDS or Convert Status and BYU Religion GPA
Because of an inadequate sample size it was determined
an analysis would not produce reliable results;
therefore these questions must be addressed in the
future.

The problem with the BYU study is that the whole school is basically forced to convert, so it's next to impossible to retrieve data for comparison for the non-religious or people of other faith when it basically doesn't exist.

The first link you posted doesn't have the full text available, so I can't see the methods they used/the exact statistics.

In terms of the third link, I found this particular part to be interesting:
Quote
Ecklund reveals how scientists–believers and skeptics alike–are struggling to engage the increasing number of religious students in their classrooms.

I'm curious to know what was on the survey, what statistics came of that, and if the statistics might've changed if they interviewed everyone, or a different portion. It's still pretty vague in the article, though. Actually, in any of these surveys, I'm curious to know if including agnosticism/other faiths than Christianity would change the results any, either, especially since we're speaking strictly in terms of Christianity and if it promotes critical thought.


Alright, my turn.
http://www.scientificblogging.com/news_articles/atheists_and_liberals_more_intelligent_says_atheist_liberal_psychologist

Quote
Similarly, religion is a byproduct of humans' tendency to perceive agency and intention as causes of events, to see "the hands of God" at work behind otherwise natural phenomena. "Humans are evolutionarily designed to be paranoid, and they believe in God because they are paranoid," says Kanazawa. This innate bias toward paranoia served humans well when self-preservation and protection of their families and clans depended on extreme vigilance to all potential dangers. "So, more intelligent children are more likely to grow up to go against their natural evolutionary tendency to believe in God, and they become atheists."

Young adults who identify themselves as "not at all religious" have an average IQ of 103 during adolescence, while those who identify themselves as "very religious" have an average IQ of 97 during adolescence.

[...]

One intriguing but theoretically predicted finding of the study is that more intelligent people are no more or no less likely to value such evolutionarily familiar entities as marriage, family, children, and friends.

A similar study to one you found, with opposite results:
http://religions-of-the-world.tressugar.com/Why-so-Many-Scientists-Atheists-6259603
Quote
A recent survey (June 2009) of over 2,500 U.S. scientists shows that the scientific community has a very different view of God from society as a whole.  Only 33% of scientists believe in "God" while another 18% believe in a "universal spirit" or "higher power". (See source 1.  )  The study concluded that scientists are less likely to believe in a "God" or "Higher Power" as the general public.
 
It can be broken down even further by the different areas of study:
 
Biological/Medical Field:  32% believe in "God", another 19% don't believe in "God" but believe in a "Higher Power", and 41% do not believe in either.
 
Chemistry:  41% believe in "God", another 14% don't believe in "God" but believe in a "Higher Power", and 39% do not believe in either.
 
Geoscience:  30% believe in "God", another 20% don't believe in "God" but believe in a "Higher Power", and 47% do not believe in either.
 
Physics/Astronomy:  29% believe in "God", another 14% don't believe in "God" but believe in a "Higher Power", and 46% do not believe in either.
 
By contrast, 95% of Americans believe in "God" or a "Higher Power" with approx. 83% having a religious affiliation according to a 2006 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #85 on: April 26, 2010, 12:05:38 PM »
Since we are quoting things left and right, I just wanted to leave this here.

From The Age of Reason (Part I), published by Thomas Paine in 1794:
Quote
The setters up, therefore, and the advocates of the Christian system of faith, could not but foresee that the continually progressive knowledge that man would gain by the aid of science, of the power and wisdom of God, manifested in the structure of the universe, and in all the works of creation, would militate against, and call into question, the truth of their system of faith; and therefore it became necessary to their purpose to cut learning down to a size less dangerous to their project, and this they effected by restricting the idea of learning to the dead study of dead languages.

They not only rejected the study of science out of the Christian schools, but they persecuted it; and it is only within about the last two centuries that the study has been revived. So late as 1610, Galileo, a Florentine, discovered and introduced the use of telescopes, and by applying them to observe the motions and appearances of the heavenly bodies, afforded additional means for ascertaining the true structure of the universe. Instead of being esteemed for these discoveries, he was sentenced to renounce them, or the opinions resulting from them, as a damnable heresy. And prior to that time Virgilius was condemned to be burned for asserting the antipodes, or in other words, that the earth was a globe, and habitable in every part where there was land; yet the truth of this is now too well known even to be told.

If the belief of errors not morally bad did no mischief, it would make no part of the moral duty of man to oppose and remove them. There was no moral ill in believing the earth was flat like a trencher, any more than there was moral virtue in believing it was round like a globe; neither was there any moral ill in believing that the Creator made no other world than this, any more than there was moral virtue in believing that he made millions, and that the infinity of space is filled with worlds. But when a system of religion is made to grow out of a supposed system of creation that is not true, and to unite itself therewith in a manner almost inseparable therefrom, the case assumes an entirely different ground. It is then that errors, not morally bad, become fraught with the same mischiefs as if they were. It is then that the truth, though otherwise indifferent itself, becomes an essential, by becoming the criterion that either confirms by corresponding evidence, or denies by contradictory evidence, the reality of the religion itself. In this view of the case it is the moral duty of man to obtain every possible evidence that the structure of the heavens, or any other part of creation affords, with respect to systems of religion. But this, the supporters or partisans of the Christian system, as if dreading the result, incessantly opposed, and not only rejected the sciences, but persecuted the professors. Had Newton or Descartes lived three or four hundred years ago, and pursued their studies as they did, it is most probable they would not have lived to finish them; and had Franklin drawn lightning from the clouds at the same time, it would have been at the hazard of expiring for it in flames.

Later times have laid all the blame upon the Goths and Vandals, but, however unwilling the partisans of the Christian system may be to believe or to acknowledge it, it is nevertheless true, that the age of ignorance commenced with the Christian system. There was more knowledge in the world before that period, than for many centuries afterwards; and as to religious knowledge, the Christian system, as already said, was only another species of mythology; and the mythology to which it succeeded, was a corruption of an ancient system of theism.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #86 on: April 26, 2010, 12:45:21 PM »
1)  What you're describing there Pumpkin is the behavior of institutions with a religious origin, not the behavior encouraged by the religion.  The religion asks its followers to take care of the sick and poor (a noble tenet, I might add), but people take that in completely different directions based on their own practical methods of doing so.  You've got Christian Scientists who believe hands on healing and use that as their method and then you have people who start hospitals and practice medical science to fulfill their religious obligations.  Religion does not stress one method over the other (though at least hands on healing is actually in the bible).

If your argument is that religious people use critical thinking to accomplish religious goals, therefore religion encourages critical thinking, then religion also encourages violence because violence has been used to accomplish religious goals.  Obviously the latter is not fair, so the former doesn't stand up to the test of logic either.

2)  I can readily accept that I haven't proven that religion discourages critical thinking.  I'm not sure I can, because I haven't been able to find the sort of study I wanted (and I don't intend to go out and do such a study just to prove a point--although I am curious about what I will find).  It may not be true.  I've noticed many instances of religious people failing to employ basic critical thinking in my life, and almost certainly that the more fundamental a person is in their beliefs, the more idiotic their logical processes have seemed (for most, anyway).  But my observations are meaningless because I am a flawed observer.  Confirmation bias comes into play and I didn't take a representative sample or use rigid definitions.  The bottom line is, although I do believe that religious people tend to be worse off than non-religious when it comes to critical thinking, I do not know this.

However, don't take that as a concession of your point.  The evidence was have seen, I think, slants in the direction of my point of view, but even if you think it breaks even or leans in your direction, your claim is shaky too.

I've asked for bible passages because I haven't see any promoting the use of reason, thought, and analysis.  The flavor of the bible passages I have shown is anything but rationalism and open-mindedness.

I challenge you to show us some bible passages which do promote this, so that we see where you're getting this from.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 12:48:35 PM by Jude »

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #87 on: April 26, 2010, 01:10:08 PM »
Alright folks, time to calm down a little.

Let's bear in mind that for those with religious beliefs, they tend to be reasonably important. They also have as much right to those beliefs as those who choose not to believe. Politics and religion are always going to be touchy subjects, and it's easy to read tone in words that was not intended, or to misunderstand the intent of a statement. Add that to a touchy subject, and things can blow up in a hurry.

Now, looking over the last couple of pages I think the tone of this thread could use a little more consideration for our rule 2: Be polite, be civil, be respectful. You don't agree with someone else's opinion? That's fine. But if you want to challenge that opinion, bear in mind the manner you chose to do so.

Or I may be tempted to introduce you to a little something from my own beliefs.




Offline Silk

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #88 on: April 26, 2010, 01:31:39 PM »

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Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #89 on: April 26, 2010, 01:40:07 PM »
Much as I'd like to admit to that, I refer only to my being Asatruar  :D

Offline Soran

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #90 on: April 26, 2010, 03:35:19 PM »
I would like to say how impressed I am with the level of passion in this thread. It is a simply fascinating argument, one that cannot be resolved in this thread. We all have our own beliefs, whether it is in God (or divine being) or science.

I'm not a religious person because of the simplest fact in the universe. Every holy book on this planet have been written by humans with their perceptions and interpretations which does not make it the word of God.

Do I believe in God? Actually I do.

Do I believe in miracles? hhmmm tricky, but actually yes, I do. Oh not some religious stuff written down, I see miracles every day in everything I see around me, regardless how it has come to be here, by God, evolution or humans.

Although, I will also like to point out, you can debate my take on this, I just won't be participating (after this post).  :P

Offline Silk

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #91 on: April 26, 2010, 06:46:30 PM »
I would like to say how impressed I am with the level of passion in this thread. It is a simply fascinating argument, one that cannot be resolved in this thread. We all have our own beliefs, whether it is in God (or divine being) or science.

I'm not a religious person because of the simplest fact in the universe. Every holy book on this planet have been written by humans with their perceptions and interpretations which does not make it the word of God.

Do I believe in God? Actually I do.

Do I believe in miracles? hhmmm tricky, but actually yes, I do. Oh not some religious stuff written down, I see miracles every day in everything I see around me, regardless how it has come to be here, by God, evolution or humans.

Although, I will also like to point out, you can debate my take on this, I just won't be participating (after this post).  :P

Nothing wrong with either agnostism or pantheism Soran, its a respectable middle ground stance to take.

Offline Chelemar

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #92 on: April 27, 2010, 02:47:14 AM »
 
Just a few examples of where the bible encourages critical thinking
 
A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps. (Pr 14:15)
It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. (Pr 19:2)
 
If you need more, check out Paul.
 
Personally, any time, ANY TIME, I have had doubt, a question, an issue a crisis of faith, and approached a cleric (Priest, Minister, Pastor, hell even a friend who was Wiccan) to speak about what was going on, that person encouraged me to THINK, to explore, to pray.  But to always search for my answers.  Many people of faith do ask questions, critical questions on the whys, whos, whats, etc of their beliefs.  To have faith is challenging and difficult.  It's not easy. Faith is not  blind, you must see your way there.  It is not idiotic, but it can be simple. Faith is a state of existence.   To those of you who feel you have been scorned for not believing, those of us who believe have as well.  It is not a one way street. 
 
And to carry on in the Personal note, the title of the subject line is "Are YOU a believer in miracles."  It seems to have segued into an argument on proving that miracles exist, or that they don't.  By their very nature, their very definition in that they are a divine intervention that can not be repeated, they will never be proved... I doubt to everyone satisfaction...ever.  And, for me that's OK.  I don't care if anyone believes in the miracles that I personally had happen. I believe that miracles are for those in which they were intended.  The ones who need to believe in them do.  I don't mind that there are those who don't believe in miracles.  It is their right, though I must admit it makes me feel a bit sad. 
 
A skeptic friend of mine told me that I had to prove that my miracle really happened.  That friend became angry when I denied that. He failed to understand that I felt no need to prove anything.  Again he claimed that it was my burden of proof or the miracle was invalid.  I had to laugh.  That just seemed a silly thing to say.  Someone was going to invalidate a miracle... one that happened over 20 years ago?  But, I soon relented and just simply explained, "It was for me.  It wasn't for you. You didn't give it; you can't take it away.  You can scoff, choose not to believe, feel whatever you like.  None of that changes that it happened."   
 
No, I can't prove God to you, but every day I talk to Him, and He answers.  I can't show you an angel's wing, but I heard the voice of one many years ago.   
 
I hope for each of you, a miracle of your very own.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Offline Kate

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #93 on: April 27, 2010, 09:54:40 AM »
Cool Its good to see everyone taking a step back and a breather a little.

There is no agreement within the church of what the bible means or what weighting to give different passages, popes got reputedly assassinated within their own order for promoting one virtue over the other, the bible also has changed by popes wanting versions re-written that changed or replaced passages such that it suited their own morale or political objectives.  Institutionalized religions that impose a particular interpretation above the individuals is something that disapoints me as to me its the opposite of developing spirituality.

Three things I would like to point out...

A) I don't think Pumpkin Seeds is attempting to prove anything beyond DISPUTE :)

B) Even without explicit passages the "bible" (christian) is book of books - each book is a different take, different angle, there are condtractions within the bible itself - so having a cohesive understanding if you trust each sentence with the same level of reverance would cause at least - confusion.

To resolve this even the most fundamental fanatic convert would have to adopt some measure of critical thinking to prioritize which mean more to them or feel more appropriate for their perspective.

C) Like there are different schools of thought in the christian community (within churches and between them - ie protestants vs Catholics vs baptist .. of the same general faith (Christianity) ) There is no agreement within the scientific community. The "standard model" has many splinter subgroups that beleive certain things over others, like certain things about the currently agreed to model and otherwise. Scientists are ones that most critically doubt their own peers interpretation and beliefs ... same within churches.

Both evolve from this dis-unity.

Perhaps the rate of general critical thinking development from scientific cultural evolution is greater than the rate critical thinking development from religious evolutions due to the nature of its focus

Perhaps the rate of general emotional / ethical / spiritual (ie everything is connected) development from religious evolution is greater than the rate of emotional / ethical / spiritual development from scientific evolutions due to the nature of its focus

Both are optimised to give models of different landscapes. Their are instances where an individual deems an experience feels more relating to one than another - perhaps they are not by nature destined to own the other's focus - nor want to - but can both be useful - as tools which we can pick up and put down as we deem fit.

Some can choose to use one of these tools for one thing, then put it down and pick up the other when attempting a different task, or try using both, or neither. - "Using religion" as in "applied religion" would in my view by an individuals subjective choice about what part of their beleifs could aid decisions in a context they feel the "tool" could help them with (if they feel the decision doesn't warrent need of the tool they don't have to pick it up). (entire books they don't feel helps them such as genesis - they may never really "pick up" and use )

In just the same way a scientist would not use chemistry therums to solve simple biology issues (unless they wanted to for the hell of it to see what happened when they tried ) .. but biology ... chemistry they would use when a chemistry issue occurs that they want to be involved in.

Both religion and science present models. Both are tools.

Attempting to convince others our own landscape of "where one tool is more appropriate" should be ones that adopted by others or shared
(scientific or religion) has been attempted in many places throughout history....

Succeeding doing so (regardless of how good your motives are) removes a grand choice of freedom of individuals ,
such lessening of variation i beleive is an inhumane objective.

Offline Tachi

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #94 on: April 27, 2010, 01:59:37 PM »
I don't want to enter into a religious debate but I believe that miraculous events can occur (for a lack of a better word), but those events are brought upon by a certain set of conditions which allows for a possibility of a 'miracle'. I don't believe there is some all powerful source behind it or that such a source created the miracle or the conditions which brought about the possibility. The conditions were right, brought about by coincidence and happenstance, and so it occurred. It's nothing more and nothing less than a wonder of the natural world--not a religious commodity.

Offline Noelle

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #95 on: April 27, 2010, 05:32:12 PM »
To resolve this even the most fundamental fanatic convert would have to adopt some measure of critical thinking to prioritize which mean more to them or feel more appropriate for their perspective.

Isn't this more of a consideration of convenience rather than a consideration of truth, then? In the Great Book of Science, it's kind of hard to ignore laws and theorems that have been solidly proven. There's not a whole lot of picking and choosing, as far as I can think of? There are different branches of science, but it's not as if you generally choose to accept chemistry but not biology. If the whole Bible is the word of god, then what if you're not following the correct set? What makes some of "god's words" more important than others? I think it's the inexactitude of this picking and choosing that makes religion so dubious -- that you can simply choose to ignore some things and not others based on your own feelings instead of hard evidence. If the Bible evolves to shape to modern times, such as no longer finding slavery or selling off your daughters an acceptable practice, then wouldn't that eventually make the Bible completely irrelevant? Just curious to your thoughts on that.

Quote
C) Like there are different schools of thought in the christian community (within churches and between them - ie protestants vs Catholics vs baptist .. of the same general faith (Christianity) ) There is no agreement within the scientific community. The "standard model" has many splinter subgroups that beleive certain things over others, like certain things about the currently agreed to model and otherwise. Scientists are ones that most critically doubt their own peers interpretation and beliefs ... same within churches.

I feel like there's one huge difference in the two groups. Scientists doubt science, and therefore test it regularly -- even 'givens' like the laws of gravity are still being studied for inconsistencies. Religion, Christianity specifically, may disagree on what portions of the Bible they want to use and which they want to ignore, but there is no real self-testing, it seems. It takes an uproar or a disaster before they really consider the way they run things -- you'll notice now that homosexual rights is becoming a more prominent movement, suddenly various denominations are suddenly changing their policies. I doubt there would've been any real dialogue about the acceptance of gays into the clergy otherwise...just doesn't seem to me like churches like to test their beliefs and policies regularly for the sake of its own advancement. Churches err towards tradition.

Quote
Perhaps the rate of general critical thinking development from scientific cultural evolution is greater than the rate critical thinking development from religious evolutions due to the nature of its focus

Perhaps the rate of general emotional / ethical / spiritual (ie everything is connected) development from religious evolution is greater than the rate of emotional / ethical / spiritual development from scientific evolutions due to the nature of its focus

Both are optimised to give models of different landscapes. Their are instances where an individual deems an experience feels more relating to one than another - perhaps they are not by nature destined to own the other's focus - nor want to - but can both be useful - as tools which we can pick up and put down as we deem fit.

Some can choose to use one of these tools for one thing, then put it down and pick up the other when attempting a different task, or try using both, or neither. - "Using religion" as in "applied religion" would in my view by an individuals subjective choice about what part of their beleifs could aid decisions in a context they feel the "tool" could help them with (if they feel the decision doesn't warrent need of the tool they don't have to pick it up). (entire books they don't feel helps them such as genesis - they may never really "pick up" and use )

In just the same way a scientist would not use chemistry therums to solve simple biology issues (unless they wanted to for the hell of it to see what happened when they tried ) .. but biology ... chemistry they would use when a chemistry issue occurs that they want to be involved in.

You have an interesting comparison, and I would agree that science and religion do address different realms -- but your last comparison is not entirely apt. Chemistry has a specific, defined, factually-based use. It's usually pretty easy to tell when you use one house of science over the other, but religion is not so cut and dry. The real question is just how useful of a tool religion even is to begin with, especially when a sizable chunk of your population is getting along fine without it, as well-adjusted, civil members of society. Morality does not stem inherently from religion -- if that were the case, the non-religious would be a bunch of uncouth bastards. The distrust of science is a problem in of itself -- people take for granted that they know that gravity keeps them latched to earth or that our world is round, but when you explain evolution, they become offended, abhor it, even try and outright silence it. It feels like more picking and choosing out of convenience rather than a rational, well thought-out choice. It seems so obvious now of those basic facts, but in their day, they were also heavily contested by religion.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #96 on: April 27, 2010, 09:55:47 PM »
Quote from: Pumpkin Seeds
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?

I am not sure that is an entirely accurate analogy.  Science changes its stance when new evidence is offered.  So, no, I do not believe in outdated models or theories.  Hell, I do not even necessarily believe in currently held theories.  I remain skeptical of the Big Bang and Dark Matter.

The point I was badly trying to make, was that, to me, it seems the argument for miracles is no one can 'prove' they did not happen, therefore, we should believe in them.

To me, and this is just my uneducated opinion, when all things are equal and you can not prove or disprove something, I assume the negative.  In my experience, this seems the standard as we do not believe in Santa Claus or Gremlins.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #97 on: April 27, 2010, 09:59:58 PM »
At first I was surprised to see passages encouraging critical thought in the bible.  Naturally I dug up the chapter and verse and started reading, then... well, my enthusiasm was kinda dampened by the context...
Quote from: TheMFin'BibleYall
14 The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways,
       and the good man rewarded for his.

 15 A simple man believes anything,
       but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.

 16 A wise man fears the LORD and shuns evil,
       but a fool is hotheaded and reckless.
Be rational, but FEAR BELIEVE OR ELSE!
Quote from: THEGOODESTOFBOOKS
1 Better a poor man whose walk is blameless
       than a fool whose lips are perverse.

 2 It is not good to have zeal without knowledge,
       nor to be hasty and miss the way.

 3 A man's own folly ruins his life,
       yet his heart rages against the LORD.
Yeaaaaah...
Personally, any time, ANY TIME, I have had doubt, a question, an issue a crisis of faith, and approached a cleric (Priest, Minister, Pastor, hell even a friend who was Wiccan) to speak about what was going on, that person encouraged me to THINK, to explore, to pray.  But to always search for my answers.  Many people of faith do ask questions, critical questions on the whys, whos, whats, etc of their beliefs.  To have faith is challenging and difficult.  It's not easy. Faith is not  blind, you must see your way there.  It is not idiotic, but it can be simple. Faith is a state of existence.   To those of you who feel you have been scorned for not believing, those of us who believe have as well.  It is not a one way street.
A state of existence?  What does that even mean?  And just because they encourage you to find your answers doesn't mean they encourage you to question the religion itself.  Whenever someone is having a crisis of faith, they don't attempt to dismantle that faith as a false truth, they encourage you back into the fold with half-hearted BS.  "Well, you're right about... evil does exist in the world despite god being allpowerful and good... You did just lose your son in a horrific car accident... OH WELL, GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS!"

And to carry on in the Personal note, the title of the subject line is "Are YOU a believer in miracles."  It seems to have segued into an argument on proving that miracles exist, or that they don't.  By their very nature, their very definition in that they are a divine intervention that can not be repeated, they will never be proved... I doubt to everyone satisfaction...ever.  And, for me that's OK.  I don't care if anyone believes in the miracles that I personally had happen. I believe that miracles are for those in which they were intended.  The ones who need to believe in them do.  I don't mind that there are those who don't believe in miracles.  It is their right, though I must admit it makes me feel a bit sad.
If... you only read the topic, then you could take it that way.  The video link provided kinda... well, makes it obviously what light miracles are being viewed in by the topic creator (me).

Basically you said that miracles cannot be falsified because they are circular logic.  They can't be disproven.  It doesn't... bother you to think that you believe in something that you literally cannot unconvince yourself of?  Isn't that the definition of zealotry?
A skeptic friend of mine told me that I had to prove that my miracle really happened.  That friend became angry when I denied that. He failed to understand that I felt no need to prove anything.  Again he claimed that it was my burden of proof or the miracle was invalid.  I had to laugh.  That just seemed a silly thing to say.  Someone was going to invalidate a miracle... one that happened over 20 years ago?  But, I soon relented and just simply explained, "It was for me.  It wasn't for you. You didn't give it; you can't take it away.  You can scoff, choose not to believe, feel whatever you like.  None of that changes that it happened."
Doesn't it bother you that people attest to miracles which are in defiance of your own experiences?  You can't both be right.  Miracles are practically a religious staple.  Not all of your experiences can be valid.  It's easy to explain false miracles by confirmation bias, sensory fallibility, etc.  What always confused me is how someone can insist so strongly that their miracle was fact, when there are other people insisting just as passionately that theirs was.  If it's possible that they are wrong, it's supposed that you're wrong too--likely in fact.
No, I can't prove God to you, but every day I talk to Him, and He answers.  I can't show you an angel's wing, but I heard the voice of one many years ago.   
 
I hope for each of you, a miracle of your very own.
Does he answer, or are you just seeing occurrences in your life that you interpret that way?  Expectation and belief are powerful things.  When we look in our environment with expectant eyes, it doesn't take much luck to find anything.  That's the brilliance of science, it does its best to remove the bias of the observer in order to find the truth of a situation.

However, you're welcome to believe whatever you like, I certainly wouldn't begrudge you that.  I'm simultaneously glad that you've found something that's such a hope of inspiration and joy for you and horrified at how concluded you seem to be.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #98 on: April 27, 2010, 10:15:46 PM »
A) I don't think Pumpkin Seeds is attempting to prove anything beyond DISPUTE :)
Pumpkin Seeds was the first person to claim that religion promotes critical thought and intellectual flourishing.  She then tried to establish evidence for it and believed she did--I don't know where you're getting this idea that she didn't make a claim from.  It's simply untrue.
B) Even without explicit passages the "bible" (christian) is book of books - each book is a different take, different angle, there are condtractions within the bible itself - so having a cohesive understanding if you trust each sentence with the same level of reverance would cause at least - confusion.
Pointing out internal contradictions within the scripture and the fact that belief is still respected and mandated in spite of these really just highlights the lack of respect for reason that organized religion has.  You're not wrong though, there are factual discrepancies in the gospels, yet somehow people still manage to take the bible seriously.
To resolve this even the most fundamental fanatic convert would have to adopt some measure of critical thinking to prioritize which mean more to them or feel more appropriate for their perspective.
Not... exactly.  Critical thinking isn't what people employ when they decide what they want to pick and choose in the bible.  It's emotion-based.  You don't need serious, rigorous thought to make decisions when your biases and personal predispositions will do.  Example:  gay Christians do exist, and they ignore the anti-homosexual writing in the bible.  And homophobic Christians love to do the exact opposite.
C) Like there are different schools of thought in the christian community (within churches and between them - ie protestants vs Catholics vs baptist .. of the same general faith (Christianity) ) There is no agreement within the scientific community. The "standard model" has many splinter subgroups that beleive certain things over others, like certain things about the currently agreed to model and otherwise. Scientists are ones that most critically doubt their own peers interpretation and beliefs ... same within churches.
That's... fundamentally not right.  Are there few points of agreement when it comes to factual claims?  Yes.  But when it comes to process, there are most definitely standards.  The philosophy of science does vary somewhat in its basis, scientists disagree on what makes it authoritative, but they all recognize the effects of placebo, confirmation bias, and the need for double-blinding.
Both evolve from this dis-unity.

Perhaps the rate of general critical thinking development from scientific cultural evolution is greater than the rate critical thinking development from religious evolutions due to the nature of its focus
Perhaps... but perhaps doesn't prove anything.  That's a nice idea, but perhaps religion decries critical thought because its a threat to its existence and science bolsters it because it's the foundation of rationality.
Perhaps the rate of general emotional / ethical / spiritual (ie everything is connected) development from religious evolution is greater than the rate of emotional / ethical / spiritual development from scientific evolutions due to the nature of its focus
Funny how we can induce those feelings with drugs and physical traumatic experiences.  Just like "near death experiences" which astronauts regularly experience when endurance training with g-force simulation.
Both are optimised to give models of different landscapes. Their are instances where an individual deems an experience feels more relating to one than another - perhaps they are not by nature destined to own the other's focus - nor want to - but can both be useful - as tools which we can pick up and put down as we deem fit.
They found a location in the brain that seems to control sympathy for other human beings.  Apparently it allows you to internalize the notion of other human beings as separate entities with similar structure and value to yourself (i.e. recognizing the sentience of others).  This phenomenon relates directly to moral development, and in time science could develop techniques for increasing the activity in this moral center of the brain to bring about that feeling of connectedness you discovered.  What... purpose will religion serve then?
Some can choose to use one of these tools for one thing, then put it down and pick up the other when attempting a different task, or try using both, or neither. - "Using religion" as in "applied religion" would in my view by an individuals subjective choice about what part of their beleifs could aid decisions in a context they feel the "tool" could help them with (if they feel the decision doesn't warrent need of the tool they don't have to pick it up). (entire books they don't feel helps them such as genesis - they may never really "pick up" and use )
Exactly, so if someone needs a reason to hate gays, they can pick up Leviticus while still having premarital sex with their girlfriend on the weekend.  Congratulations, you've just explained religious hypocrisy and cynicism.
In just the same way a scientist would not use chemistry therums to solve simple biology issues (unless they wanted to for the hell of it to see what happened when they tried ) .. but biology ... chemistry they would use when a chemistry issue occurs that they want to be involved in.

Both religion and science present models. Both are tools.
And one has increased the lifespan of the average human by nearly threefold while the other... what has it done in the past 2,000 years?
Attempting to convince others our own landscape of "where one tool is more appropriate" should be ones that adopted by others or shared
(scientific or religion) has been attempted in many places throughout history....

Succeeding doing so (regardless of how good your motives are) removes a grand choice of freedom of individuals ,
such lessening of variation i beleive is an inhumane objective.
Not exactly.  Attempting to convince people is fine, they still have the freedom to accept or deny your ideas.  Coercion is a different story altogether.

I think you've accurately described religious behavior Kate, but what you've described is anything but flattering.  You've depicted a mindset which abhors the very notion of universalizable truth by choosing to believe whatever is most convenient or useful.  Aka, Sophistry.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 10:21:08 PM by Jude »

Offline Chelemar

Re: Are YOU a believer in miracles?
« Reply #99 on: April 28, 2010, 03:07:33 AM »
Quote
I'm simultaneously glad that you've found something that's such a hope of inspiration and joy for you and horrified at how concluded you seem to be.

LAUGHS
 
I am 43.  At this age I have come to conclusions about many things.  My faith is only one of them.  Please, spare me your horror.  I would be more horrified had I not found a comfort in my faith, faith not religion.