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Do most humans need to believe in God


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On 3/28/2019 at 5:55 PM, jajrussel said:

Worshipping God's seems irrational. So why have people worshipped God's for thousands of years? With all the evidence that shows that human beings have done just that, and the evidence is there. Is it rational to ignore a need that humans seem to be hardwired with just because the proof is lacking?

On 3/28/2019 at 5:59 PM, iNow said:

Your mistake is assuming that rationality is involved.

I think that we are hardwired for religion, and even that it is rational to believe in God(s). But latter is not rational enough.

'Rational' means for me that one bases one's opinion on arguments: these arguments can be bad, or not relevant, but everytime somebody honestly defends his position, he is rational. If one would reduce rationality to 'modelled-after-hard-science-only', whole discussions would become irrational: like in politics, ethics or art. It would lead to scientism, the view that only scientific based facts are worth something.

Having said that, there is an important aspect that religious and scientific thinking share: looking for causes. I think that the capability of humans to look for causes, and to share what they found by means of language, was the evolutionary factor that gave humans the decisive advantage in evolution. But 'causal rationality' can go haywire when positing causes, without checking if these causes really exist.

So natural science and religion in my eyes are based on the same human trait: the inclination to find explanations for what happens to us and in the universe.

 

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Maybe you should ask some churches about that, eh? Gosh, good to know I have an irrational belief because I don't like the finality of death and I somehow need to explain the beauty and awe of na

Faith is perhaps one of the single worst reasons to accept something as true.

2 hours ago, Eise said:

the view that only scientific based facts are worth something

But are they?

There have been graphic pictures and warnings on cigarette packets in the UK; telling us about the dangers of smoking; yet many people choose to ignore these facts. I would suggest there is far more evidence about the dangers of smoking; than there is for how the universe came into existence.

I would suggest that we can find many rational arguments for creation. The most rational argument would be based on the truth, whatever that is.

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Eric H said:

But are they?

No. But where facts are important, there science is, as the best method to find facts. But life is more than facts.

34 minutes ago, Eric H said:

There have been graphic pictures and warnings on cigarette packets in the UK; telling us about the dangers of smoking; yet many people choose to ignore these facts.

I don't think most people deny that smoking is bad, so they are also facts for them. But of course, one can ignore the facts. 

A better example (I think) is climate change denial. Most denialists really deny the facts (and come with 'alternative facts'), not just ignoring them. Others might not deny the facts, but think it is OK to them to continue like we do: from egoistic motives (I will be dead when it really becomes a problem); or assume that science will find a solution for the problem (another form of scientism).

40 minutes ago, Eric H said:

I would suggest that we can find many rational arguments for creation.

Hmm. This is a bit antfucking, but giving arguments is being rational. However, most of these arguments are bad. As an example: "a good designed system must be designed by an intelligent designer". The argument, better described is "I cannot imagine how such seemingly well designed systems can arise without somebody who designed it". Darwin more or less did away with this argument: natural selection is the designer, and on its own is no intellect at all.

But not wanting to hear good arguments is just as irrational as not giving arguments...

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3 hours ago, Eise said:

I think that we are hardwired for religion, and even that it is rational to believe in God(s). But latter is not rational enough.

'Rational' means for me that one bases one's opinion on arguments: these arguments can be bad, or not relevant, but everytime somebody honestly defends his position, he is rational.

That's fair, though I'm not convinced of your premise that religious opinions are based on arguments. The belief tends to come first, often through obvious indoctrination (just having been born to theistic parents), and it's only after that we rationalize those beliefs.

I do stipulate also that we appear to be predisposed toward accepting this type of belief and that indoctrination (while common) is not necessary.

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1 hour ago, Eric H said:

But are they?

There have been graphic pictures and warnings on cigarette packets in the UK; telling us about the dangers of smoking; yet many people choose to ignore these facts. I would suggest there is far more evidence about the dangers of smoking; than there is for how the universe came into existence.

I would suggest that we can find many rational arguments for creation. The most rational argument would be based on the truth, whatever that is.

 

 

1

The happiest people accept who they are; whatever that is. ;)

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On 3/30/2019 at 11:54 AM, jajrussel said:

Thousands of years is a long time for the belief of God's to just simply be passed from family to child through imitation over such a wide diverse area as Earth. 

Hatred between ethnic groups has existed for thousands of years as well. I think you conflating how long something has existed within human culturals with value/purpose. Go back 10k yrs and people have been dancing, painting, wearing jewelry, played games, tattooing their bodies, and etc too. Many things have existed within human cultural for a very long time. You are looking at religion in isolation and asking why be the same is true for many things. 

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iNow,

I see your point, and maybe in the most cases you are right. 

1 hour ago, iNow said:

That's fair, though I'm not convinced of your premise that religious opinions are based on arguments.

Yep, given that religions exist, you are completely right. But there is also a reason why religions came into existence. And there I think the kind of rationality I referred to (finding causes), did play a role. In the end, one of the questions in the OP was:

On 3/28/2019 at 5:55 PM, jajrussel said:

So why have people worshipped God's for thousands of years?

 

1 hour ago, iNow said:

The belief tends to come first, often through obvious indoctrination (just having been born to theistic parents), and it's only after that we rationalize those beliefs.

I think that the first step of rationalising is find reasons that satisfy me. But then, when I e.g. defend my belief in a discussion, i.e. use my reasons as arguments in the discussion, the discussion becomes rational. But of course, when my religious feelings are stronger than my arguments, I will not give up my belief, and search for other arguments, eventually very, very bad ones ("God is not knowable", "it is called 'belief' not 'knowledge'", "The bible says so"). OTOH, there are enough people who leave religion behind, because they thought they had good reasons, but discover that they were not as good as they thought (maybe they just discover that they were indoctrinated).

 

Edited by Eise
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13 minutes ago, Eise said:

But there is also a reason why religions came into existence. And there I think the kind of rationality I referred to (finding causes), did play a role

How the universe came into being is history, and we can't change history. Mankind has always had a need to know the truth of where we came from. How do we separate 'truth' from clever arguments?

58 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

The happiest people accept who they are; whatever that is. ;)

This seems to be true.

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16 minutes ago, Eric H said:

How do we separate 'truth' from clever arguments?

do we need to?

16 minutes ago, Eric H said:

This seems to be true.

only for us; we can't force others... :ph34r:

Edited by dimreepr
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4 hours ago, Eric H said:

The most rational argument would be based on the truth, whatever that is.

The last half of that sentence shows why the first half is false. Truth is too subjective, even though it's supposed to be the ultimate in objectivity. Forget truth. Science is looking for the best supported current explanations, and is constantly being challenged. Truths tend to be treated as sacred, and aren't questioned much.

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4 hours ago, Eric H said:

The most rational argument would be based on the truth, whatever that is.

The most rational argument would, by definition, be based on logic.

This cannot tell you if something is true, only that it would be true if the initial premises were true.

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2 hours ago, Strange said:

The most rational argument would, by definition, be based on logic.

This cannot tell you if something is true, only that it would be true if the initial premises were true.

Right. If my wife texts me at 1pm that she is heading home for the day and I know her commute is only 15 minutes it would be logical for me to assume come 2pm she is home. However it wouldn't make it true. 

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2 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

Right. If my wife texts me at 1pm that she is heading home for the day and I know her commute is only 15 minutes it would be logical for me to assume come 2pm she is home. However it wouldn't make it true. 

I know what you mean. I think my record for the 30 minute train journey home was about 5 hours.

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@Eise - What is ‘antfucking’? Impossible? Not worth it? Just asking cos I never heard the term before.

1 hour ago, Strange said:

I know what you mean. I think my record for the 30 minute train journey home was about 5 hours.

That sounds like Hell on Earth!!

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34 minutes ago, nevim said:

@Eise - What is ‘antfucking’? Impossible? Not worth it? Just asking cos I never heard the term before.

I assumed it was the literal translation of a term that means something like "worrying about irrelevant details"

36 minutes ago, nevim said:

That sounds like Hell on Earth!!

I think I gave up using the train after that!

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6 hours ago, Phi for All said:

Truth is too subjective, even though it's supposed to be the ultimate in objectivity. Forget truth

How can it be rational to say, forget truth? The universe came into being somehow; when we find out how it happened, it will no longer be subjective.

 

6 hours ago, Phi for All said:

Science is looking for the best supported current explanations, and is constantly being challenged

When science talks about the dangers of smoking, we accept there is sufficient evidence to back this up and most people accept it; even the smokers I know don't seem to argue against the evidence. I think science is constantly being challenged when it seems to fall short of truth. Just my 2c.

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2 minutes ago, Eric H said:

The universe came into being somehow

How do you know that?

2 minutes ago, Eric H said:

How can it be rational to say, forget truth? 

Because truth is unknowable (in general). Science doesn't really reveal "truth"; it just gives us good descriptions of how things work.

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9 minutes ago, Eric H said:

When science talks about the dangers of smoking, we accept there is sufficient evidence to back this up and most people accept it; even the smokers I know don't seem to argue against the evidence.

This whitewashed version of history convenient ignores the decades that came before; decades where this same evidence you now laud was consistently ignored and intentionionally distorted

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12 minutes ago, Eric H said:

How can it be rational to say, forget truth? 

For the same reason a Humanist might prefer to focus on humanity rather than invest in religious guesswork. Since nobody has ever successfully uncovered "the Truth" (as well as too many conflicting Truths everywhere), it might be more rational to focus on facts instead, and rely on the constant advancement of theory as the best currently available explanations for various phenomena.

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8 hours ago, nevim said:

@Eise - What is ‘antfucking’? Impossible? Not worth it? Just asking cos I never heard the term before.

Hacking in on very small details. Political correctness forces me not to explain more... The less loaden word might be 'nitpicking'.

12 hours ago, Strange said:

The most rational argument would, by definition, be based on logic.

I do not quite disagree, but my 'antfucking' has an important presupposition: that rationality is broader than logic. 'Rationality' is the underpinning of one's position with arguments. Good arguments are 'true' (accepted by the community in which the discussion takes place), and 'relevant', i.e. they support the position. ('The earth is a sphere' is true, but not very relevant for a discussion about which software a company will use.)

Logic is kind of the extreme of 'relevance'. It shows (literally this time) mathematically rigidly how (categories of) statements support or deny others. As you self say, logic delivers no truths in itself (to add: except tautologies), but shows how the truth of propositions depends formally on the truth of others. So take some terrible alternative facts, and you can derive logically all kind of other 'facts' from them. And that is not rational, in my eyes. Again, good arguments are true and relevant. So in a good rational discussion, we try to base them on the 'best quality' propositions about the world around us. And ideally, that is science.

Many discussion however cannot be simply based on facts: implicit are values, norms, personal preferences etc. To call such discussions not rational because they are not just based on facts is definitely wrong.

8 hours ago, Strange said:

I think I gave up using the train after that!

So what do (did) you do when you get into a five hour's traffic jam?

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3 hours ago, Eise said:

Hacking in on very small details. Political correctness forces me not to explain more... The less loaden word might be 'nitpicking'.

Ok, thank you. 

11 hours ago, Strange said:

I assumed it was the literal translation of a term that means something like "worrying about irrelevant details”.

Well done!

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8 hours ago, Eise said:

I do not quite disagree, but my 'antfucking' has an important presupposition: that rationality is broader than logic. 'Rationality' is the underpinning of one's position with arguments. Good arguments are 'true' (accepted by the community in which the discussion takes place), and 'relevant', i.e. they support the position. ('The earth is a sphere' is true, but not very relevant for a discussion about which software a company will use.)

A position being rational and a position being true are not equal. A position being agreed upon or accepted by a community doesn't make it true either. A position being accepted simply makes it accepted. History is full of communities of people rationally (relative to their knowledge) believing things which were not true. 

8 hours ago, Eise said:

Again, good arguments are true and relevant.

Good arguments are still limited by the knowledge contained among those making the argument. 

9 hours ago, Eise said:

Many discussion however cannot be simply based on facts: implicit are values, norms, personal preferences etc. To call such discussions not rational because they are not just based on facts is definitely wrong.

Isn't right and wrong relative to ones values, norms, personal preferences etc?

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36 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

Isn't right and wrong relative to ones values, norms, personal preferences etc?

36 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

definitely wrong.

Isn't.

 

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