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People who believe in god are broken


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Oh, yes. Yes!

 

I tired to type out some kind of agreement. I tried to agree in words, but it's too much to agree with. You said exactly what I meant and quoted Bertrand Russel in the process, whom I absolutely love.

 

yes. YES!

 

stick around, please. I couldn't read enough of what you have to say.

 

Hah, don't flatter me! I will inflate like a balloon.

 

 

so why does not us secular set up a good reliable placebo for those that there are no real cure?

Why let the criminal get all the money on false hopes.

It's hard for me to understand you, but are you talking about mediums and TV preachers who profit off of lies?

 

 

How would you go about deciding to believe that I am a cabbage white butterfly?

Seriously, what would you do in order to be able to pass the lie detector test while asserting that I'm a butterfly (Pieris brassicae to my friends)?

For the moment, let's assume there is a lie detector that actually works.

If I am not misunderstanding this, you are saying that a belief in a personal God and the belief that a human is a white butterfly are similarly unbelievable. I think that there are a few important factors that distinguish the two:

 

1. Widespread belief in God is a social proof of the existence of God. If millions of people believe something silly, it is quite easy to do and requires no mental gymnastics as there is not too much cognitive dissonance. For the average believer, his beliefs are essentially unexamined. Oftentimes, the believer has many role models who also profess belief in religion. It is usually taught to a credulous child, and it is not in our nature to assume that our parents are teaching us lies. I live in the Bible belt, and it was inconceivable to me that someone might not believe in God. I was actually puzzled the first time I encountered an atheist. To me, the atheist was the guy who thought that someone was a butterfly. Someone who thinks that you are a butterfly will not find anyone who agrees with him, and so he will be made to consider whether he really is crazy. A religious person has millions of like minded people to fall back on for reassurance.

 

We can excuse the people who wholeheartedly believe from being insane by knowing that they do not understand how to think critically. To many of them, it is just obvious that God exists. This is not because they are insane, but because they are bad logicians. I think that the important distinction of the social proof for Christianity keeps them away from being on the same level as someone who thinks everyone in their family has been replaced by a replica. If someone was afraid of a witch today, it would be much stupider than if they were afraid of a witch in medieval Europe. The social proofs are trusted as fact by most people. The appeal to popularity is what makes Christianity go from crazy to plausible (again, to a bad logician). If an educated scientist still believed in positive evidence for Yahweh's divinity, he would either be lying to himself to preserve comfort (still not insane) or he would be hallucinating (actually insane).

 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_proof

 

2. More importantly, God is an abstract concept, whereas someone being a butterfly is easily debunked. Religion focuses around a "God of the gaps" and so it is plausible to many uncritical thinkers and even some bright people. The belief that you are a butterfly is obviously foolish, because a naive child can see that you are not one without having to exert any brain power. Since it is not obvious to a completely uneducated person that a Big Bang may have started the universe instead of God, it is not on the same level. Someone mistaking you for a butterfly would mean that they were hallucinating. The average belief in God is a story that people are told and then proceed to tell themselves, and it is an intentional act whereas the butterfly scenario would necessarily be unintentional. I think that we cannot compare the two because you can easily fool your thoughts but you can't so easily fool your senses. If our brains were cold logic machines then it would indeed be insanity to believe in God, but our brains are actually begging to be fooled. It is normal for a person to believe nonsense, but it is abnormal for a person to see things that are not there.

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Thanks for the link to social proof idea I think this one may have some importance too?

Normative social influence

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normative_Social_Influence

Experiments that Soloman Ash did on conformity

and experiments by Stanley Milgram and Zimbardo made and

all these and many others refer to factors that could be involved

in how religions works from a functional perspective

while atheists often concentrate on the lack of belief in claims

made by the religious tradition. Ontology and such. Does God exist.

 

My personal take is that one of the most important factor is feeling righteous

and religion seems to have that built in. With God on your side you sure are righteous

and the signalling theory display required makes religion as Us vs Them as they are.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signalling_theory#Religion_as_a_costly_signal

 

 

All religions may involve costly and elaborate rituals, performed publicly, to demonstrate loyalty to the religious group.

 

Almost all behavior within religion looks incredibly ridiculous to those that have a lack of such belief.

Believers are ridiculed as delusional and insane and if you are a "New Atheist" you are almost bound

to ridicule them or else seen as an accommodationist and that is even more ridiculous than being a believer.

 

Sure I can be wrong but the feeling of being righteous and accepting to display costly signals seems to be important.

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"Ok... I can only try to dissuade you from your belief that all church going folk are insane "

strawman.

 

Yeah. We're arguing as strawmen. Yep.

 

that's a very long way from all church goers are insane

 

Go ahead and show me where I said that. Go ahead and quote that. Strawman indeed.

 

What are you doing?

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Well, what you said was ". I can only try to dissuade you from your belief that all church going folk are insane "

And that's a strawman because I never said (or even thought) that "all church going folk are insane"

I never had the belief that you say you are trying to dissuade me from.

 

 

Second point "Go ahead and show me where I said that. Go ahead and quote that"

I never said that you had said that all church goers were insane.

 

It's another of your strawmen.

Do you understand that?

Good,

Now you can try answering my question (I think this is the third time of asking.)

 

How would you go about deciding to believe that I am a cabbage white butterfly?

Seriously, what would you do in order to be able to pass the lie detector test while asserting that I'm a butterfly (Pieris brassicae to my friends)?

For the moment, let's assume there is a lie detector that actually works.

Are you unable to answer it?

Is that because you were simply wrong when you said

"deciding to believe in something one knows is not true" isn't a sign of mental illness. It is a sign of humanity. "?

Are you going to admit that you were wrong or are you going to try to pretend that you never made the assertion (a bit like you said you hadn't strawmanned my argument when you plainly had)

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Well, what you said was ". I can only try to dissuade you from your belief that all church going folk are insane "

And that's a strawman because I never said (or even thought) that "all church going folk are insane"

I never had the belief that you say you are trying to dissuade me from.

 

 

Second point "Go ahead and show me where I said that. Go ahead and quote that"

I never said that you had said that all church goers were insane.

 

It's another of your strawmen.

Do you understand that?

Good,

Now you can try answering my question (I think this is the third time of asking.)

 

How would you go about deciding to believe that I am a cabbage white butterfly?

Seriously, what would you do in order to be able to pass the lie detector test while asserting that I'm a butterfly (Pieris brassicae to my friends)?

For the moment, let's assume there is a lie detector that actually works.

Are you unable to answer it?

Is that because you were simply wrong when you said

"deciding to believe in something one knows is not true" isn't a sign of mental illness. It is a sign of humanity. "?

Are you going to admit that you were wrong or are you going to try to pretend that you never made the assertion (a bit like you said you hadn't strawmanned my argument when you plainly had)

 

Ok, John. Clearly neither of us thinks that everybody who goes to church is mental. We're on the same page. I don't know why you're trying to argue with me.

 

Believing things when one knows otherwise is a sign of humanity. You are doing it right now.

 

And I don't know what cabbage white butterfly even means. You're trying to wrestle a strawman.

 

I'm going to step out of the way.

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" Clearly neither of us thinks that everybody who goes to church is mental. "

It is, indeed, clear.

Yet you said that I did think that.(strictly, what you said was " I can only try to dissuade you from your belief that all church going folk are insane "

But I never had that belief.

So it was a strawman attack.

That's what I was arguing about. You said I said something which I didn't actually say.

You lied about what I said.

That's not an unreasonable thing to argue against.

 

 

You said

"deciding to believe in something one knows is not true" isn't a sign of mental illness. It is a sign of humanity. "

OK you know that I'm not a butterfly- because butterflies don't have internet access and so on.

Now, if believing things that are not true is part of humanity then you, as a human, should be able to decide to believe something that's not true (like the idea that I'm an insect)

So,. how do you do that?

How do you choose to believe that?

 

BTW, re

"And I don't know what cabbage white butterfly even means."

FFS I even gave you the Latin name for it. Are you too lazy to Google it?

 

Anyway, if you can't believe that I'm an insect then how can you say that it's a human trait to believe things

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FFS I even gave you the Latin name for it. Are you too lazy to Google it?

The answer to that is yes. I'm exactly that lazy. I'm actually more lazy than that. I was too lazy to read the latin part of your post, so I did miss that.

It sounds interesting though. Let me look it up...

No... no, no.

It's a kind of butterfly. That's the latin name for a kind of butterfly. Wiki says it's a white butterfly.

Why are you talking about butterflies? Honestly, I'm at a complete loss here.

What are you doing?
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What I'm doing is asking you to demonstrate, or, at least, explain an unevinced assertion which you made earlier.

You said "deciding to believe in something one knows is not true" isn't a sign of mental illness. It is a sign of humanity. ".

 

OK, It's completely obvious that I am not a butterfly. (That's why I chose a butterfly as an example).

so it is " something one knows is not true"

and you say that "deciding to believe in something one knows is not true ... is a sign of humanity".

So, how do you go about deciding to believe that it is true?

If you can not do that, is it because you are not human or is it that you were wrong about humans?

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John Cuthber

I don't think you will like my naive example from my own life.

But it may be a rather close example of believing in something one know are not so.

 

I where very shy towards girl when me a teen. When I got 20 I was fed up with

being so lonely and decided to try to get together with a girl. None thought me

to be the most handsome or sexy guy so I got turned down again and again. So

the years went by and no good luck. so I decided to believe that I could make it

by pretending to be not shy and not sexy and not handsome and not likeable.

 

I pretended to be the opposite of what was true. I acted as if I where sexy

and likeable and at first it did not work at all. They saw through it and even told me

that it looked ridiculous when I pretended to be something that I obvisouly was not.

 

I did not give up. I tried every day to find somebody that accepted that I was sexy

and worthy to get to know. and after some 3 years of daily fruitless attempts it worked

it did not work each time and not even ten percent it worked only at some one in 300 attempts.

 

So after three fruitless years then for some two years I find at least a handful of girls

that did not mind me pretending. they accepted me as I where the great pretender.

 

Big surprise but they did not care that I pretended. I where still not sexy at all

and still shy inside me but tried my best to not show that outward. I pretended to have not shyness.

 

But after some 13 years of being together with two girls that I loved and lived with

one of their best friends told my latest love that she thought that I where not worthy

of being with my GF that I where just pretending and really a shy childish guy worth nothing.

 

And she believed in her new female friend and wanted us to part and not be together.

That almost killed me. Sure I had new all the time I where shy and worthless

but not that where that hopelessly worthless that she did not want me anymore.

 

So I where close to suicide and have struggled since then to survive and barely do survive.

So one can believe in something even if one know it are not so. One just have to act on it

and after some year the body get so used to pretending that it forget about it and one

only get conscious of it when it fail due to some accident of getting aware of it.

 

Cognitive dissonance may be a good explanation for it. Or personal confirmation bias.

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What I'm doing is asking you to demonstrate, or, at least, explain an unevinced assertion which you made earlier.

You said "deciding to believe in something one knows is not true" isn't a sign of mental illness. It is a sign of humanity. ".

Then I welcome you to a different Latin phrase. It goes 'res ipsa loquitor'. It means that the thing speaks for itself.

 

Asking for evidence that people fool themselves.

 

Jesus Christ!

 

Do you need a few billion affidavits?

 

edit:

 

thinking that you're a butterfly is a delusion. Believing in God is an illusion. Believing that the ground is occasionally static beneath your feet just makes you human. People keep two sets of books. We all do it. Nobody is so spock-like... so literal minded, that they don't.

 

You know this. It isn't something worth arguing.

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"Do you need a few billion affidavits?"

No, just an answer.

Since you think it's self evident how you can convince yourself that I'm a butterfly, surely you ought to be able to show it.

How do you do it?

 

People fool themselves a lot- but not generally deliberately.

How do you do that?

 

"People keep two sets of books."

Yes, but if they truly believed in the figures, they would only need one book.

 

"Believing that the ground is occasionally static beneath your feet just makes you human."

No, it means that it is static in my frame of reference to a good enough approximation for the job in hand.

 

So, once more.

How would you go about deciding to believe that I am a cabbage white butterfly?

Seriously, what would you do in order to be able to pass the lie detector test while asserting that I'm a butterfly (Pieris brassicae to my friends)?

For the moment, let's assume there is a lie detector that actually works.

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So, once more.

How would you go about deciding to believe that I am a cabbage white butterfly?

Saying that everybody believes things that they know is wrong doesn't imply that I believe you're a butterfly, now does it?

 

You're playing the fool, and I know very well that you aren't one.

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"Saying that everybody believes things that they know is wrong doesn't imply that I believe you're a butterfly, now does it?"

Nobody said it did.

 

But this (which is what you said earlier)

"deciding to believe in something one knows is not true isn't a sign of mental illness. It is a sign of humanity. "

implies that you could believe it if you chose to.

I'm asking how you would do that.

 

I'm not on about believing things that are not true.

I'm asking how you decide to believe in something which you know to be false.

 

For example, if you decided to believe that I'm a butterfly (perhaps because someone offered you a lot of money to believe it),

how would you do it?

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For example, if you decided to believe that I'm a butterfly (perhaps because someone offered you a lot of money to believe it),

how would you do it?

 

You aren't a butterfly and people fool themselves.

 

Ok?

 

ok..

 

I really am stepping out now.

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Nope, you can't do that until you can either defend or retract the controversial statement you made. (It's part of the rules here)

 

How do you decide to believe something which isn't true?

How do you, for example, decide to believe I'm a butterfly?

 

Or are you finally accepting that you were simply wrong when you said "deciding to believe in something one knows is not true isn't a sign of mental illness. It is a sign of humanity. "?

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Nope, you can't do that until you can either defend or retract the controversial statement you made. (It's part of the rules here)

 

How do you decide to believe something which isn't true?

How do you, for example, decide to believe I'm a butterfly?

 

Or are you finally accepting that you were simply wrong when you said "deciding to believe in something one knows is not true isn't a sign of mental illness. It is a sign of humanity. "?

k

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Throughout our history, religion has existed to provide purpose and a sense of accountability for our actions through the creation of a higher power above humanity. The idea that after we left this world, we entered a new one where we would be judged based upon what we did while we were alive, created order and culture in early civilizations, but as we have come to evolve, religion has come to be a huge rodeblock in terms of advancement and new problems that arose from religious beliefs. It is a sense of comfort for people who need to believe in a higher power when the unthinkable and unexplanable happens. It makes sense and assigns meaning, when nothing else does.

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The growing consensus is that accountability is nonexistent. The only thing that we can blame for anything is the origin of everything that does exist. The question is a question of freedom, and I, personally, don't think it exists because if you think it through, there really is no way that it can. I think that alot of people, very logical people, will agree with me on this.

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Astrology "assigns a meaning" to the position of the stars when you were born.

But that doesn't show that the "meaning" is true in any way or that astrology is valid.

The interpretation of dreams assigns a meaning, but it's a matter of luck if it gets the correct meaning - if such a thing exists.

 

Religion gives a meaning to things- but that meaning is superficial (Goddidit) and not proof of anything.

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"Believing that the ground is occasionally static beneath your feet just makes you human."

No, it means that it is static in my frame of reference to a good enough approximation for the job in hand.

By the way, I can play that game better than you.

 

The ground is static in your frame of reference? Yes?...???

 

In GR you can accept that the ground is static beneath you, but that is one of any number of coordinate systems, none of which you can say is true. If lemaitre coordinates are right, then you best accept that nothing like you is static.

 

I can relate to Popcorn Sutton. At least he knows that his beliefs lack some kind of validity.

 

But, what are you doing?

 

The schizophrenic has said "wait, are we sure?", and, you, the scientist has said, "we're quite sure".

 

Those two positions should be reversed.

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It's not a game, it's a choice of coordinates.

From my point of view the ground actually is static, to a good enough approximation for the job in hand.

Nothing you say will change that.

 

And of course this "then you best accept that nothing like you is static." is a meaningless strawman.

Here's what I actually said.

"No, it means that it is static in my frame of reference to a good enough approximation for the job in hand."

You see, I didn't say I was static, nor did I say that the ground was unconditionally static.

You just pretended that I had said I was static (which is a bit silly) and then attacked what you pretended I'd said.

In much the same way, the scientist didn't say " we're quite sure". he said "a good enough approximation for the job in hand."

 

 

Please stop with the strawmen. They are, among other things, a breach of the rules here.

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I can relate to Popcorn Sutton. At least he knows that his beliefs lack some kind of validity.

 

But, what are you doing?

 

The schizophrenic has said "wait, are we sure?", and, you, the scientist has said, "we're quite sure".

 

Those two positions should be reversed.

What exactly are you making reference to here? Are we talking about my diagnosis again? When will we get over the fact that my doctor called me schizophrenic?

You guys might like to know that my condition is now being classified as recurrent depression.

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What exactly are you making reference to here? Are we talking about my diagnosis again? When will we get over the fact that my doctor called me schizophrenic?

You guys might like to know that my condition is now being classified as recurrent depression.

 

Sorry, Mr. Sutton. We were on the subject of illusions and delusions, and there your name was, so it just flew out. The only thing I meant by it is that scientists, who should be innately skeptical, should approach the issue more like you have done.

 

That is... it should be easier to accept that beliefs in the human mind (in any human mind) often have very little to do with fact or knowledge. It doesn't make a person broken in and of itself.

 

 

It is usefulness that determines if a belief is broken or not. If a person believes that they can fly so they keep jumping off their roof, then that's broken. On the other hand, if you believe that the street is static, and you are moving as you walk down it (technically not true) that isn't a broken belief. It gets the job done. It gets a person down the street.

 

If religion enriches lives, constitutes culture, and benefits survival then it is not broken. If it destroys lives, culture, and survival then it is very broken. When talking about how broken a belief in god is or is not... that is the metric by which the thing has to be judged.

 

 

Just saying that God is factually wrong (and knowledgeably so) therefore belief in such a thing makes a person broken isn't a good argument... but one that has gone around. Everyone's knowledge contradicts their beliefs. It is human nature. I shouldn't have called you out specifically for that.

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It's fine, I'm not offended.

 

Like I said before, the belief in God is not in and of itself "broken". There's got to be a whole slew of beliefs involved that cause one to behave the way they do. My example was the belief in having a body. The point I was making is that if you guys want to make something like a periodic table (or a "paremetric hierarchy" as has been done recently by Mark Baker in "Atoms of Language", by and for the linguists), then you're going to have to specify the belief in question, and then add all of the other beliefs that would lead one to behave in an irrational way.

 

I think that this table could actually be very useful, and it's not absurd to conceive of one. It could lead to a quick diagnosis and help prevent certain occurrences, like murder.


I can provide a glimpse of what this may look like, I'll draw one up really quick.

 

Here it is

Edited by Popcorn Sutton
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