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People who believe in god are broken


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. Broken is good.

 

A freewill belief that a description of god is: One God, Everything from Nothing. Says it better than any other explanation.

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And Tar (Tar2?) is the perfect example. This is a person who calls himself an atheist yet professes and argues for a belief in god. A more perfect depth of a human fooling themselves couldn't be given.

 

It isn't an isolated incident. Knowing one thing and believing another is a very human thing to do.

I suspect that an abused woman who claims her husband is a good man, didn't mean it, did it because she provoked him, etc., is another example of choosing to believe something they know to be false.

 

Another example might be some of the climate change deniers, or maybe racists.

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I don't think that people who fool themselves are doing it deliberately.

I don't think you can choose to believe something which you know to be false and, for what it's worth, nobody has been able to tell me how they would do so.

in particular, nobody could tell me how that would choose to believe I am a butterfly.

Until you can tell me that you can't say that self deception is a deliberate act.

Doing it unconsciously is as common as muck, but that's not the point. The issue is one of choice.

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I remember reading about a study where people were offered a club membership at a set price, with the price ranging from very high to very low for the exact same membership. Consistently, the higher the price, the more the purchaser perceived value. The lower the price paid, the less value that was perceived.

 

I've seen people dumped by a girlfriend/boyfriend and explain how that person was basically a jerk and a waste of time. If they got back together all they could think of was how great they were.

 

To me these seem like deliberate acts of self deception in order for the person to justify their circumstances and decisions, and gain some peace of mind.

 

Just because I cannot choose to believe you are a butterfly does not mean I cannot convince myself of something else.

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Well I can only speculate, but let's look at someone who finds himself in a dire predicament such as being on death row, dealing with the death of a child, in abject poverty, or maybe with some god awful disability or disease. I suspect that just as in the above examples, people can get themselves to believe in something because of the peace of mind it brings with it. If you are searching for something to relieve that mental anguish and belief in god brings that relief, I imagine it is something that can be done. It is probably even self fulfilling. If you start believing and you find strength and peace, you will be more likely to believe even more.

 

I seem to remember a previous thread talking about the number of theists in prison. I'm curious how many 'found god' after they went to prison.

 

Since (if I remember correctly) a higher proportion of the poor population are theists, there seems to at least be a correlation.

 

And the anecdotal statement that 'there are no atheists in foxholes' was probably based on some kernel of truth.

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"And the anecdotal statement that 'there are no atheists in foxholes' was probably based on some kernel of truth."

http://militaryatheists.org/atheists-in-foxholes/

 

 

"I seem to remember a previous thread talking about the number of theists in prison. I'm curious how many 'found god' after they went to prison."

I'm curious about how many of them are lying.

 

"Well I can only speculate, but let's look at someone who finds himself in a dire predicament such as being on death row, dealing with the death of a child, in abject poverty, or maybe with some god awful disability or disease..."

OK, perhaps, but of course, most people don't find themselves in such a predicament so it's hard to use that to support the idea that it's a normal part of the human condition.

 

In particular, Iggy said "Believing things when one knows otherwise is a sign of humanity. You are doing it right now."

and

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

 

 

 

And, anyway, I'm pretty sure I'd be with the atheists in the foxhole, though there's an interesting counterpoint to that. All the people in foxholes are atheists- otherwise they would be trusting their God to make sure the bullets missed them.

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"Well I can only speculate, but let's look at someone who finds himself in a dire predicament such as being on death row, dealing with the death of a child, in abject poverty, or maybe with some god awful disability or disease..."

OK, perhaps, but of course, most people don't find themselves in such a predicament so it's hard to use that to support the idea that it's a normal part of the human condition.

Well, it may be uncommon, but that doesn't make it any less normal.

 

In particular, Iggy said "Believing things when one knows otherwise is a sign of humanity. You are doing it right now."

and

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

Yeah, I wasn't defending those statements, only the statement that deliberate self deception does happen. I'm not quite sure what he meant by 'a sign of humanity'. If he meant it was 'normal', I agree. If he meant it was 'found in a majority of the population', I have my doubts.
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"Well, it may be uncommon, but that doesn't make it any less normal."

Sure about that?

 

 

nor·mal

[nawr-muhl] Show IPA

adjective
1.
conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.

But it's beside the point.

In any event, it seems that many people don't face circumstances where they need to do so.

I have had the good fortune not to do so, though Iggy said I was doing.

And yet it's asserted to be a sign of humanity even though most of humanity doesn't seem to be called on to do it and there's considerable doubt that all of us could anyway.

 

And, since he also said "Do you need a few billion affidavits?" I think it's fair to assume he considers it (at least almost) universal.

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Yes, I'm sure. I was using normal as in:

adjective
1.
conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.

 

...and uncommon as in:

 

adjective. unusual - rare - extraordinary - exceptional - infrequent

 

Edited by zapatos
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Yeah, I wasn't defending those statements, only the statement that deliberate self deception does happen. I'm not quite sure what he meant by 'a sign of humanity'. If he meant it was 'normal', I agree. If he meant it was 'found in a majority of the population', I have my doubts.

 

I don't care if it is deliberate or not. I'm not sure how that got introduced into the conversation.

 

It isn't just a majority... it is everyone. Every non-mentally ill person on the planet fools themselves about something or another.

 

There is an irony here too. John is so wanting to consider religious people broken that he has convinced himself that people don't fool themselves. You see... he probably knows that people do, but he is willing to believe otherwise.

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Isn't there a difference between people "fooling themselves" and people active "choosing" to believe in something they know not to be true?

 

The former is just rationalization, which I agree happens all the time. The latter, however, is a massive case of dissonance and delusion and even reminiscent of some sort of multiple personality disorder. You seem to be referring to the former, while John is referring to the latter, and yet you both seem to be conflating the two.

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Isn't there a difference between people "fooling themselves" and people active "choosing" to believe in something they know not to be true?

Like I just said, I don't care if it is deliberate or not. This discussion didn't start on that caveat.

 

Also, there is absolutely no difference. "To fool" is an active verb.

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Like I just said, I don't care if it is deliberate or not.

That is perhaps part of the reason this unfortunate and rather tiresome exchange between you two seems like it may never end. That's a pretty relevant detail in the discussion taking place.
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That is perhaps part of the reason this unfortunate and rather tiresome exchange between you two seems like it may never end. That's a pretty relevant detail in the discussion taking place.

 

Because I'm willing to look past the distinction you just made and John isn't? Yes... it may never end.

 

I'm willing to dismiss and move past the pointless roadblock you mention. Is this a problem?

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I was suggesting it is not, in fact, pointless. That's sort of the whole reason I put forward the previous post.

 

The idea seems to be that people who know something is untrue yet actively choose to believe in it anyway can rather accurately be described as broken. You suggested roughly that these folks are not broken, despite suggestions to the contrary, and you further suggested that that actively believing in something they know to be untrue is simply a normal aspect of human behavior.

 

Through subsequent exchanges, you've begun to replace the discussion of "actively believing in something known to be untrue" with the similar but different topic of merely "fooling oneself" ... as if folks are describing some sort of common rationalization.

 

If we're talking about rationalization, then sure. It's not ideal, but probably not broken, either. If we're talking about choice, and actively choosing to believe in something known to be untrue, then clearly the label of broken seems to fit.

 

You appear to be trying to conflate the two concepts. I have to say, I find that to be a mistake. While similar, they are independent and different from one another. Rationalizing why you eat ice cream every day or fooling yourself into thinking your spouse is not cheating on you are not at all the same as actively believing that John is a rabbit or that Thor is the reason we have strong thunder and lightning storms.

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I was suggesting it is not, in fact, pointless. That's sort of the whole reason I put forward the previous post.

 

Ok. Let's you and I get on the same page.

 

This discussion started around post 1387 where someone asked the innocent question "can one decide to believe in something one knows is not true?" and you replied "yes, but it's usually a sign of mental illness when that happens".

 

Now... Inow... I appreciate the apostrophe you put in "it's" because that's spot on and kids today can't seem to manage that, but the rest of the words you strung together were exactly wrong.

 

I'm trying to say that people can, and do, *decide* (free will and all) to believe that which they know is not true.

 

Two things being mutually exclusive is never reason enough to keep ideas out of a person's head.

 

Now we've moved past this. I'm saying that all people do, in fact, decide to believe in crazy things like fate and destiny and god while they very practically dig their foxhole (which is their only real protection).

 

Ok.

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Are you suggesting I'm a kid? That would be a mistake, in many ways, no matter how much you appreciate my proper placement of apostrophes. Assuming that wasn't your intent, I could also challenge your assumption of free will above, especially given what we're seeing in neuroscience lately, but that would just take us even farther off-track.

 

On topic... People believe in silly things, and fool themselves frequently. We seem to agree there. I am not yet clear, however, on why you are suggesting that active belief in something known to be untrue is not a sign of mental illness, especially since I've already clarified that this position is different from mere "wishful thinking" or common forms of rationalization, like believing your daughter is the prettiest at the prom or that your horoscope conveys meaningful information or that numerology has any validity.

 

As for your point about keeping mutually exclusive ideas out of a persons head, you're going to have to help me with that one, too. I have no idea what you were attempting to communicate to me and others by typing that sentence.

Edited by iNow
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Are you suggesting I'm a kid?

no, I don't think so. I honestly don't know what that means.

 

That would be a mistake, in many ways, no matter how much you appreciate my proper placement of apostrophes.

 

No.. no, no... you misread that. I was honestly complimenting your use of that apostrophe.

 

I visit youtube and reddit, and you can spot the kids by their insistence on mistaking its for it's. You didn't do that. I really only meant to say that you didn't do that... a sign of respect.

 

I meant only to say that you clearly aren't a noob. I didn't mean what you took from that at all.

 

Assuming that wasn't your intent, I could also challenge your assumption of free will above, especially given what we're seeing in neuroscience lately, but that would just take us even farther off-track.

No, I think you can't and I welcome the challenge.

 

On topic... People believe in silly things, and fool themselves frequently.

 

Indeed they do. You just contradicted the post you made that started all this.

 

We seem to agree there.

 

We do.

 

I am not yet clear, however, on why you are suggesting that active belief in something known to be untrue is not a sign of mental illness

 

Because unknown things are unknown.

 

Catch up already!

 

, especially since I've already clarified that this position is different from mere "wishful thinking" or common forms of rationalization, like believing your daughter is the prettiest at the prom or that your horoscope conveys meaningful information or that numerology has any validity.

You can rationalize anything you like. The *fact* is that your daughter isn't the prettiest at the prom.

 

If you don't think my convincing myself that she is, is some kind of "wishful thinking" then... yikes...

 

I'm trying to be on the same page here...

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Iggy,

 

Well, you have judged me, and probably correctly, but only to a certain extent. What I think of as god in a figurative sense it not the same as considering an anthropomorphic king of the universe type of god that is alluded to in the Bible. I can disbelieve in the God other's talk about and call myself an Atheist based on that, but still retain an understanding that if there is but one "other" consciousness other than my own, that is enough to consider quite realistically that reality and consciousness are not limited to what is going on inside my own skin. Thus I am not the judge of things. And those who judge me have those that judge them, as well. It is not a broken logic that would seek a judge for even the smartest, and the most knowledgable, and most judicious person on the planet. There must be "something" that this person holds himself accountable to. Something to which he/she is obliged. Some basis upon which this person operates. And then there is the other problem, other than who is your judge, and that is, who or what got you here. So we know the king of the universe was not the guy...whatever the case, the happenings in the universe were sufficient to get the job done, and here we are. There is no brokeness involved in liking, and feeling a part of, and beholding to the place and capabilities that made you. If you mistake this "belief" of mine, for a belief in a non-existent thing, then you are not completely "on the money" in your judgement of me. And I don't think I am fooling myself, by noticing the immense and long-lived, intricate and capable reality that I am in and of.

 

I tend to judge people on their grasp of what I consider to be obvious fact. And in this, I give people the benefit of the doubt, and assume for the most part, that they are approximately as equipted with human judgement as I am. Often more so, and often less so, but on average, somewhere in my ball park. And the judging and the wondering, and the noticing of things has been going on in the human species for quite a while now, and some very many sound judgments of the situation have been made in the past and continue to be made in the present and no doubt will continue into the future, far past my death, and even presently, far outside my reach.

 

There is someone, somewhere, outside my knowledge, wondering what to tell their seven year old, who just asked where the dinosaurs are in the bible. Which parts of our beliefs are "stories" to put complex, unreachable things, within our grasp?

 

I think there is no one old enough, no one wise enough, no one smart enough, to feel untrumped, by the universe. And I am rather sure, that anyone who thinks they can contain it all, that their model of it, is superior to what already is the case, or that they have acheived a vantage point that is "outside", looking in, has gotten it exactly backward.

 

No preferred frame of reference? Bullshit...I mean male bovine poo poo.

 

Our own frame of reference is preferred. And its the only one that matters, and the only one we will ever have...outside of putting ourselves in another observers shoes. To take a godlike perspective as if it is your perspective, is false and imaginary in many many ways, and would require that you believe you can witness something from a time and place where you are not.

 

If belief in God, in the sense I just tried to voice, is broken, than there is no other way but broken available to any of us. You must either think you have a complete grasp of the situation and be wrong, or think you have nothing to do with the situation, and be wrong.

 

Or come up with some "middle way", or accept a middle way someone else has come up with, or recognize the reality of the case, that we are already in the middle of the thing.

 

Regards, TAR2

Edited by tar
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Iggy,

 

Well, you have judged me, and probably correctly, but only to a certain extent. What I think of as god in a figurative sense it not the same as considering an anthropomorphic king of the universe type of god that is alluded to in the Bible. I can disbelieve in the God...

I'm sorry, Tar.

 

I'm sure you have many interesting things to say, but I just can't read your posts. The few sentences above is all I got through.

 

You don't believe in God, but you do.

 

I understand.

 

It just isn't interesting.

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You just contradicted the post you made that started all this.

 

You said to me: This discussion started around post 1387 where someone asked the innocent question "can one decide to believe in something one knows is not true?" and you replied "yes, but it's usually a sign of mental illness when that happens".

 

After a few exchanges, while trying to clarify that there is an important difference between actively choosing to believe in something known to be untrue and rationalizing something or fooling oneself, I said the following in an attempt to reinforce where we seem to agree: People believe in silly things, and fool themselves frequently.

 

In what way do you believe these statements contradict one another? I am unclear on how you arrive at the conclusion, and would like to better understand your thinking process so we can move forward.

Later, I stated: I am not yet clear, however, on why you are suggesting that active belief in something known to be untrue is not a sign of mental illness.

 

To which you replied:

 

Because unknown things are unknown.

 

Catch up already!

This is also a response that requires elaboration from you regarding your intended point. It seems like you are confused, and for some reason angry about it.

 

Nobody was speaking of the unknown. As you can see clearly by reading what I wrote, I spoke of things known to be untrue. Not unknown. Known.

 

 

Perhaps I'm missing something simple, though. Why did you respond the way you did? In what way(s) do you think your reply is relevant to the words I shared?

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Iggy,

If you don't think the act of choosing is important, then you shouldn't have introduced it.

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

That bit about deciding is

1) what you said

and

2)

most of what we have been arguing about.

I have cited it many times.

If you didn't mean it, why did you keep defending it?

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Iggy,

If you don't think the act of choosing is important, then you shouldn't have introduced it.

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

 

That bit about deciding is what you said...

That's not accurate, John.

 

It was science4ever in post 1386 who said, "Can one decied <sic> to believe in something one know is not true?" Iggy suggested such things were not signs of mental illness, but were instead signs of humanity.

 

While potentially described as a poetic and clever reply in support of a position being derided, that is the point where he began conflating actively choosing to believe in things known to be untrue with the human tendency toward rationalization and wishful thinking, and where these last few pages of silliness began.

Edited by iNow
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