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People who believe in god are broken


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I'm not sure why you think that's at all a useful argument in this discussion.

 

Just because someone is successful in one domain like science, but simultaneously holds religious belief... or belief in some deity... doesn't mean their belief in that deity represents non-broken mental processes. What it implies is that they are willing to compartmentalize their approach to the universe, and that they separate reality based beliefs and faith based beliefs as distinct in their mind, yet treat both as equally true. What it means is that they are inconsistent with their logic, their rigor, and their approach to accepting things as true or valid. What it means is that they are hypocritical, showing a double standard, and likely exemplifying some degree of cognitive dissonance. It seems plain that this is a broken approach to anyone who values consistency, accuracy, and integrity.

 

If you truly think that the existence of religious scientists negates the points I (and others) have put forth in this thread, then I suspect you really haven't grasped or completely comprehended those points. I am glad to continue trying to clarify them, though.

 

Let me put it this way:

Do you have statistical evidence to support that religious people have inherently "worse" or more damaged brain cells than non-religious people?

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That's completely beside the point, the fact that there are very intelligent and successful people who completely acknowledge science but are also religious should dispel that rumor.

No, it's not beside the point to say that just because someone understands one thing does not mean they will understand another.

 

It's well enough recognised to have been known in Roman times

Quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus

 

Just because you don't like it doesn't stop it being true.

 

And, WRT Villain's question: ask a five year old. "Bad" in this case doesn't need any complicated definition. If the cat stays near the fire it's because it thinks that cold is "bad".

and WRT "Let me put it this way:

Do you have statistical evidence to support the fact that religious people have inherently "worse" or damaged brain cells than non-religious people? "

 

Yes, specifically the evidence is that they believe stuff that is a fairy tale, unsupported by evidence.

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I apologize if this has already been done, but I couldn't find where anyone defined the term "broken" to everyone's satisfaction. It seems to imply different things to different people. Are broken people really mental defectives?

 

Those that think they can claim knowledge based simply on beliefs, particularly blind faith based beliefs have a mental defect in their ability to reason rationally.

To consider people that believe in God broken, you would have to consider yourself fixed. There is probably delusion enough to go around.

I don't have to go to such an extreme and call him broken

Do you have statistical evidence to support that religious people have inherently "worse" or more damaged brain cells than non-religious people?

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1. That's fair... In which case, those who claim to know god exists are (by definition) broken, since the BEST they can do (by your own admission) is to put forth that they don't know. They are making a conclusion that they cannot possibly make. They are justifying that conclusion in the absence of any evidence whatsoever. They are basing their entire position on the non-explanation of faith. If faith could be equally used to justify belief in something ludicrous like Mothra or Poseidon, then it brings zero value and fails in any meaningful way whatsoever to justify the belief in some other god like allah or yahweh or zeus.

 

 

Is this not self-evident? Must one have already realized and accepted the folly of faith to appreciate the simple truth of this point?

 

 

 

2. I don't disagree with you that the "concept of" god(s) exists. That was never a point of contention. The issue here is how so many people go far beyond that... They make the positive assertion that an ACTUAL god exists. Well... Okay, then prove it. That's on you. That's your onus.

 

As I've already clarified more than once in this very thread, and multiple times in others... I do NOT make the claim that god(s) do/does not exist. My position is that there is zero compelling reasons to assume one does. There is zero agreed upon consensus of definition. There is zero evidence of this deity. There are zero arguments in support of it that are not quickly shown to be false, full of logical fallacies, or based on faith alone.

 

For the same reason I do not think the tooth fairy is real, I do not think god(s) are/is real. I'm not here telling you, "There is no tooth fairy." I'm here telling you that there's no good reason... no compelling evidence... no logical, rational, reasonable support to assume one does. Same with god(s).

 

 

3. No. There are also plenty of texts that suggest Vishnu exists, yet you're not arguing for belief in THAT god. Why the hypocrisy? Why the double standard? You may as well be arguing that Harry Potter exists as more than a fictional character... After all, by your own logic and by your own argument, there are "plenty of texts that suggest Harry Potter exists." Since when has a book of fiction served as adequate evidence of the existence of a being... let alone a being as extraordinary as the god you claim? The evidence is not extraordinary, and does not scale with the claim.

 

 

4. First, I'd ask you how this point is relevant to the central thesis. From where I'm standing, it's not. It's merely a distraction from the cnoversation.

 

Second, how about (once you've clearly articulated how these comments are at all relevant) you support them and explain more precisely (using quotes preferably) how you think I've been doing any such thing.

 

Third, I see you're here now (yet again) claiming to know the motivations of some other person. You really really really need to try to break that habit. As it stands, my motivations are not relevant to my argument. Also, you have zero way of knowing them. At best, you can speculate about them, and it's better left out of the discussion.

 

Fourth, how about instead of directing your comments at me you instead focus on the content of the discussion... the merit of the points... and the consistency of the logic?

 

 

 

5. From this point in your post forward you've been quoting someone elses words. This was not immediately clear since you didn't attribute the quotes. Either way, I'll let them answer for themselves.

 

1. In terms of science your conclusion is correct. But to the religious their god is not described in science, they have chosen to believe in the texts that were written by witnesses or as you might refer to them as 'witnesses'. There is evidence just not scientific evidence but then historical written evidence of singular events wouldn't be considered scientific either. The individual would have to assign credibility to the evidence and question whether belief in such evidence was warranted. In your example, your belief in the evidence of Poseidon or Mothra is nil.

 

I think that giving faith the same value for all concepts that don't have conclusive evidence is rather silly, but you seem to do so when you compare the tooth fairy and someone's belief in a god. If I cannot infer motivation how can you infer that you know what others believe?

 

2. If a god cannot exist, then you will never find a god. You have to allow your mind to understand that a god might exist, then ask how a god might present themselves and then ask what motivations a god might have and then read texts and actively try to understand them as if it was a god talking through them, but you will never get this far if you want science to present you with evidence first. If you don't want to find god don't expect them to present themselves. Religion is not something that you can stumble into half-heartedly and expect to be spoon-fed. Thinking that a god should have to convince you is rather arrogant. If you know for sure that there is no god then don't bother but we have already dismissed this.

 

3. Harry Potter is irrelevant to me, he never claimed to create the universe or myself and therefore there is little reason to think that he might be god. Your over simplification is rather insulting towards your intellect.

 

4. The comment was toward the video you posted in #183. Motivation is the only logical reason that I think of as to why 'People who believe in god are broken' is still being discussed when you have already admitted that there is no evidence to suggest that god doesn't exist. How can someone be broken to believe that something might exist if it might exist?

 

5. Sorry, edited post to avoid confusion.

 

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How is a reasonable argument for disagreeing with a point of view is an act of double standards

Please pay closer attention. I'm not saying they are showing double standards for disagreeing with a point of view. The point is that they won't accept faith as a valid reason to believe something else in their life, but will for this one concept of god.

 

When you think about it, for 99.99% of every other claim that people accept as part of their worldview, people require good evidence, verifiable and falsifiable, precise and persuasive before they consider it valid or true. They don't accept that leprechauns exist based on faith. They acknowledge that would be ridiculous. They don't accept that santa claus exists based on faith. They acknowledge that, too, would be ridiculous. They don't even accept that the gods of other cultures exist based on faith... They reject the countless other gods people worship on this planet for the exact same reason I reject theirs.

 

They require evidence and reason and logic to justify their thinking in ALL other aspects of their life. However, when it comes to belief in their personal version of god(s)... their special flavor of deity... they suspend that requirement for good evidence... they suspend their skepticism... they ignore their demands for verifiable persuasive proof and clear definition of the object... and for specious reasons allow faith alone to be good enough to move forward in life as if the extraordinary claim that some extraordinary god(s) exist is valid. That's hypocritical. That exemplifies a double standard. That shows broken logic, fallacious reasoning, and inconsistency in approach. It's not about disagreeing with a point of view. It's about being consistent. I hope this clarifies the matter for you.

 

I've put forth similar arguments in the past with respect to this double standard. Here's just one:

 

When I say you cannot be an intellectually honest theist, it's because it requires you to approach the world with a double standard. When you get to the root of theistic belief, believers have nothing but their personal faith to support it. They may rationalize, and pick and choose facts or historical evidence to prop up those beliefs, but it's really just faith and nothing else when you strip away the distractions.

 

However, this is wildly inconsistent when you think about it for even a brief moment. Somehow faith is all that it takes to believe what they personally want to believe, yet they simultaneously reject the differing beliefs of others that are themselves also based on faith alone. It's not faith they prize, it's the ability to continue holding their personal beliefs despite the lack of (and often contradictory) evidence or ability to falsify them. More so, they don't use faith to accept things in the material realm... They rely on (and generally mandate) evidence for everything. They approach the entire rest of the world in the exact same way I'm proposing they approach their beliefs. Yet... they suspend this requirement for evidence or falsifiability when it comes to their personal beliefs... they carve out an exception for their belief, even though they don't do this anywhere else in their lives, and even though they... exactly like me... reject the faith of someone else as a good enough reason to accept those differing beliefs.

 

This is a hypocritical double standard, and this is why I say you cannot be an intellectually honest theist. You can be an intelligent theist. You can be a thoughtful theist. You can be a well-read, mostly logical, reasonable theist in the vast majority of your life... but you cannot be an intellectually honest theist by definition when you continue to hold your extraordinary beliefs without (not even extraordinary evidence, but without) even a single shred of evidence whatsoever.

 

 

religious scientists don't assert that God exists, they just think that its more likely that he exists...

That's one of the biggest untruths we've seen yet in this thread. You're now arguing that people who believe in god equally aren't asserting that god(s) actually exist, just that they think it's likely? That's laughable, at best. Ignorant and disingenuous, at worst.

 


 

Let me put it this way:

Do you have statistical evidence to support that religious people have inherently "worse" or more damaged brain cells than non-religious people?

Who here is talking about damaged brain cells? Certainly not me.

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religious scientists don't assert that God exists, they just think that its more likely that he exists...

That's one of the biggest untruths we've seen yet in this thread. You're now arguing that people who believe in god equally aren't asserting that god(s) actually exist, just that they think it's likely? That's laughable, at best. Ignorant and disingenuous, at worst.

Isn't immortal's statement basically the definition of the agnostic theist?

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1. In terms of science your conclusion is correct. But to the religious their god is not described in science

And since science is a method for accurately describing the universe in which we exist and for rejecting failed ideas, this seems to speak in favor of the central premise that those who ignore it in favor of what they WISH were true or what they WANT to believe are somehow broken.

 

2. If a god cannot exist

Nobody here has claimed this. I truly believe you must have issues with reading comprehension, as I've explained my "there's just no compelling reason to accept god(s)" position numerous times already and yet you haven't seemed to incorporate that into your replies.

 

Let me say this clearly so you don't miss it. I'm not saying the existence of god(s) is impossible. I would equally say the existence of leprechauns and the easter bunny is not impossible. Please do what you can to update your thinking to include this clarification moving forward.

 

Thinking that a god should have to convince you is rather arrogant.

But that's not the point I'm making at all. Since I don't accept that god exists, it seems rather silly that you would assert I'm asking that nonexistent entity to prove itself.

 

More correctly my request is made to the believers in that god. The point is that those who accept god as true and claim existence may be challenged on those beliefs when they share them openly, and in response to those challenges they need to use valid arguments. When people openly share their beliefs with others, they might be challenged. Asking for credible responses to those challenges is hardly "arrogant," especially on a science forum.

 

Credible responses to support the belief always revert back to the idea of faith, and faith alone. As I have laid out, faith is perhaps the worst possible reason to accept a proposition as true and valid, and even theists themselves acknowledge this when it comes to everything else they believe in (other than their personal god).

 

3. Harry Potter is irrelevant to me, he never claimed to create the universe or myself and therefore there is little reason to think that he might be god. Your over simplification is rather insulting towards your intellect.

Sigh. Talk about missing the point. Harry Potter was not the relevant factor in the example. If you makes you feel any better, here's an entire list of actual creation myths that DO claim creation of the universe and all in it.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_creation_myths

 

Take your pick. The issue is the same. In these, too, there are plenty of texts that suggest these gods exist, yet you're not arguing for belief in THOSE gods merely because there are fictional stories available out there supporting them. It seems the fictional stories are only good enough when it comes to your personally preferred deity. Why the hypocrisy? Why the double standard? After all, by your own logic and by your own argument, there are "plenty of texts that suggest these gods exist."

 

Better now? Is this less simplified and less insulting as a position from someone of my intellect? :rolleyes:

 

Motivation is the only logical reason that I think of as to why 'People who believe in god are broken' is still being discussed...

Your argument from incredulity ignored for a moment, it's also an interesting topic that fascinates and impacts many of us.

 

 

How can someone be broken to believe that something might exist if it might exist?

That's not the claim, though. You, too, are being disingenuous here. People don't claim that god "might" exist. Hell... even I claim that god(s) MIGHT exist, and I'm an atheist. No... Theists claim that god DOES exist, even though they may concede a degree of uncertainty. That's the group that we describe as "theists." That's the group that is the subject of this thread.

 


 

Isn't immortal's statement basically the definition of the agnostic theist?

IMO, no. They believe god exists. They may concede a degree of uncertainty in that position, but that is their belief... that god DOES exist. They are not approaching the world as if "maybe god exists." They are approaching the world as if it does, and then offering a small degree of uncertainty after the fact. That's not believing that maybe god exists, IMO.

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IMO, no. They believe god exists. They may concede a degree of uncertainty in that position, but that is their belief... that god DOES exist. They are not approaching the world as if "maybe god exists." They are approaching the world as if it does, and then offering a small degree of uncertainty after the fact. That's not believing that maybe god exists, IMO.

Can you expound on this a bit? While I am loathe to again get into definitions of theist, atheist, and agnostic, I consider myself an agnostic atheist. And I would have described it as believing that God does not exist, but not being sure that he does not exist. In other words, I think it more likely that God does not exist.

 

I think maybe there is a sublety in your comment that I might be missing.

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A theist is someone who believes that one or more gods exist.

Their level of certainty in that position is irrelevant. They affirmatively believe god(s) exists.

This discussion is about them.

It's not a discussion about people who think "maybe" god(s) exist. After all, if it were, even atheists such as myself would be included in that set. The certainty surrounding the belief is not relevant. The belief itself is.

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Just because someone is successful in one domain like science, but simultaneously holds religious belief... or belief in some deity... doesn't mean their belief in that deity represents non-broken mental processes. What it implies is that they are willing to compartmentalize their approach to the universe, and that they separate reality based beliefs and faith based beliefs as distinct in their mind, yet treat both as equally true. What it means is that they are inconsistent with their logic, their rigor, and their approach to accepting things as true or valid. What it means is that they are hypocritical, showing a double standard, and likely exemplifying some degree of cognitive dissonance. It seems plain that this is a broken approach to anyone who values consistency, accuracy, and integrity.

 

 

 

Having a religion doesn't make your logic inconsistent because science has nothing to do with religion, so scientists having a religion would not have to be logically inconnsistent and there is nothing confining belief to only that of an inconsistent Christian god.

 

Who here is talking about damaged brain cells? Certainly not me.

 

I don't see much of another way to interpret the word "broken" or the notion that having a religion impairs your mental ability.

 

It's a lot more complicated than someone merely being broken, it is more likely a cycle of growing up in a certain environment and having a connection with religion to an important event in one's past.

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How can someone be broken to believe that something might exist if it might exist?

Wow, there are more than 200 posts in this thread and you still don't understand the OP, "People who believe in god are broken". It's not about people that think something might exist, it's about those that 'believe', without doubt, that it does. It's about people that believe the existence of god is a fact, not just a possibility. In fact, most of the people this thread is about do not believe in the possibility that god doesn't exist. They are set in their belief even though there is zero evidence to support their conclusion.

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I'm glad that you have realised why the fact that Einstein (who was noted as a scientist) was religious has no bearing on whether or not religion is actually true.

 

Actually, I could have swore that had been brought up already, but it may have been some other thread, but even with that, having religious scientists itself should show that religion doesn't impair your capacity for logic, religion is often involved in a logical process anyway: Noah fit every animal on a boat -> but that there's not enough room or resources -> but god can do anything, therefore he can make room and resources -> so the in the event god existed (which a monotheist would assume is true) the animals could have fit on the boat by god making room in ways unknown to us because god can do anything, and since all the animals survived, we can assume for now that he wanted there to be room.

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OK, so you knew that Einstein's belief in God was no more important than, for example, my granny's belief, just because Einstein was a scientist.

After all, science hasn't a lot to do with religion.

So why did you raise something which you knew wasn't true?

 

Incidentally, re "I don't see much of another way to interpret the word "broken" or the notion that having a religion impairs your mental ability."

My assertion would be that it was probably the other way round.

People with impaired brains sometimes get all kind of odd ideas- like thinking they are Napoleon. We call this sort of thing psychotic.

 

For some reason if their odd idea is that they have an invisible friend who made the world and could, but generally doesn't, do all sorts of supernatural things, we let it go as "religion".

Why the difference?

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A theist is someone who believes that one or more gods exist.

Their level of certainty in that position is irrelevant. They affirmatively believe god(s) exists.

This discussion is about them.

It's not a discussion about people who think "maybe" god(s) exist. After all, if it were, even atheists such as myself would be included in that set. The certainty surrounding the belief is not relevant. The belief itself is.

 

Furthermore, a philosopher such as Søren Kierkegaard believed that knowledge of God is actually impossible, and because of that people who want to be theists must believe: "If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe."

 

God is beyond rationalism and empiricism, to know about God its inevitable that you need to believe in God, such a belief doesn't necessarily have to be an affirmative belief, its a position which one takes to actively participate in the possible ways to know God, it doesn't mean by default that they accept the existence of God as a fact.

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A theist is someone who believes that one or more gods exist.

Their level of certainty in that position is irrelevant. They affirmatively believe god(s) exists.

This discussion is about them.

It's not a discussion about people who think "maybe" god(s) exist. After all, if it were, even atheists such as myself would be included in that set. The certainty surrounding the belief is not relevant. The belief itself is.

 

 

Wow, there are more than 200 posts in this thread and you still don't understand the OP, "People who believe in god are broken". It's not about people that think something might exist, it's about those that 'believe', without doubt, that it does. It's about people that believe the existence of god is a fact, not just a possibility. In fact, most of the people this thread is about do not believe in the possibility that god doesn't exist. They are set in their belief even though there is zero evidence to support their conclusion.

Unless I'm misinterpreting, it seems to me that doG and iNow are at odds regarding the OP. To me the difference between these two statements is key.

 

To know without doubt while possessing insufficient evidence can be considered 'broken' in my opinion.

To know with doubt while possessing insufficient evidence would not be considered 'broken' in my opinion.

 

An example of the first being a theist (but not agnostic).

An example of the second being an agnostic theist.

 

Another example of the first would include someone who believes in the Big Bang without doubt.

Another example of the second would include someone who believes in the Big Bang but realizes that they could be wrong.

Edited by zapatos
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How can anyone in this day and age argue that they are absolutely sure of anything? No way! I constantly stay at odds with people on the forum who are head and shoulder above my shallow intellegence. Can I, or do I ever get a point across? It's doughtfully. But when questions such as Dark Matter, Dark Energy or Anti-Matter or even Gravity arise, I put my two bits in. Not that I don't believe science is the law of truth (Hopefully), it's only that we are only beginning to take baby steps of this path. String Theory itself is impossible for me to understand. But what If by chance we eventually find a GOD to blame for all of our inperfections and questions, what then? Just say to him, I'm sorry?

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Unless I'm misinterpreting, it seems to me that doG and iNow are at odds regarding the OP. To me the difference between these two statements is key.

I suspect you would more easily find a person who believes in the existence of leprechauns at the age of 40 to be broken somehow, even if they express some uncertainty in that belief. Why the different approach for religious belief? Why the special deference and the double standard toward a belief in god(s)?

 

The subject is people who believe. The fact that a subset of them believe it absolutely and without doubt only magnifies the premise, it does not negate it.

 

Also, cosmic expansion (the big bang) is clearly defined and there is a metric assload of evidence in its favor. The comparison between acceptance of that and belief in god is quite poor.

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Unless I'm misinterpreting, it seems to me that doG and iNow are at odds regarding the OP. To me the difference between these two statements is key.

 

To know without doubt while possessing insufficient evidence can be considered 'broken' in my opinion.

To know with doubt while possessing insufficient evidence would not be considered 'broken' in my opinion.

 

An example of the first being a theist (but not agnostic).

An example of the second being an agnostic theist.

 

Another example of the first would include someone who believes in the Big Bang without doubt.

Another example of the second would include someone who believes in the Big Bang but realizes that they could be wrong.

Yes, I think you're confused. There is a BIG difference between claiming to 'believe' something and claiming to 'know' something. Please reread the title of the thread. iNow and myself have been pretty consistent on the topic when you read it correctly.

 

Yes, people that claim to know without doubt while possessing insufficient evidence can be considered broken. Their mental ability to reason rationally is flawed.

 

You cannot 'know' with doubt but you can believe with doubt.

 

IMO, both gnostic and agnostic theists are broken. Both believe in the existence in one or more deities as theists. The only difference between them is that one claims that we can know that existence to be true and the other believes we can never know the truth but still claims to have belief that there is in fact one or more deities.

 

I've never met anyone that claimed the big bang was a fact but I can imagine that there are some broken scientist want-to-bees out there that are not open to other possibilities. It's really comparing apples to oranges though since there is a lot of supporting evidence for the Big Bang and ZERO evidence for deities.

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I suspect you would more easily find a person who believes in the existence of leprechauns at the age of 40 to be broken somehow, even if they express some uncertainty in that belief. Why the different approach for religious belief? Why the special deference and the double standard toward a belief in god(s)?

 

iNow,

I bet that nobody answers this one. It would require a distinction between one imaginary thing (God) and another imaginary thing (leprechauns) . The two are logically equivalent- no proof or even decent evidence exists for either.

The only difference is that one odd belief is very popular- and we all know that a million lemmings can't be wrong.

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I suspect you would more easily find a person who believes in the existence of leprechauns at the age of 40 to be broken somehow, even if they express some uncertainty in that belief. Why the different approach for religious belief? Why the special deference and the double standard toward a belief in god(s)?

 

iNow,

I bet that nobody answers this one. It would require a distinction between one imaginary thing (God) and another imaginary thing (leprechauns) . The two are logically equivalent- no proof or even decent evidence exists for either.

The only difference is that one odd belief is very popular- and we all know that a million lemmings can't be wrong.

I suspect you're probably right.

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The point is that they won't accept faith as a valid reason to believe something else in their life, but will for this one concept of god.

 

When you think about it, for 99.99% of every other claim that people accept as part of their worldview, people require good evidence, verifiable and falsifiable, precise and persuasive before they consider it valid or true. They don't accept that leprechauns exist based on faith. They acknowledge that would be ridiculous. They don't accept that santa claus exists based on faith. They acknowledge that, too, would be ridiculous. They don't even accept that the gods of other cultures exist based on faith... They reject the countless other gods people worship on this planet for the exact same reason I reject theirs.

 

They require evidence and reason and logic to justify their thinking in ALL other aspects of their life. However, when it comes to belief in their personal version of god(s)... their special flavor of deity... they suspend that requirement for good evidence... they suspend their skepticism... they ignore their demands for verifiable persuasive proof and clear definition of the object... and for specious reasons allow faith alone to be good enough to move forward in life as if the extraordinary claim that some extraordinary god(s) exist is valid. That's hypocritical. That exemplifies a double standard. That shows broken logic, fallacious reasoning, and inconsistency in approach. It's not about disagreeing with a point of view. It's about being consistent. I hope this clarifies the matter for you.

 

I've put forth similar arguments in the past with respect to this double standard. Here's just one:

When I say you cannot be an intellectually honest theist, it's because it requires you to approach the world with a double standard. When you get to the root of theistic belief, believers have nothing but their personal faith to support it. They may rationalize, and pick and choose facts or historical evidence to prop up those beliefs, but it's really just faith and nothing else when you strip away the distractions.

 

However, this is wildly inconsistent when you think about it for even a brief moment. Somehow faith is all that it takes to believe what they personally want to believe, yet they simultaneously reject the differing beliefs of others that are themselves also based on faith alone. It's not faith they prize, it's the ability to continue holding their personal beliefs despite the lack of (and often contradictory) evidence or ability to falsify them. More so, they don't use faith to accept things in the material realm... They rely on (and generally mandate) evidence for everything. They approach the entire rest of the world in the exact same way I'm proposing they approach their beliefs. Yet... they suspend this requirement for evidence or falsifiability when it comes to their personal beliefs... they carve out an exception for their belief, even though they don't do this anywhere else in their lives, and even though they... exactly like me... reject the faith of someone else as a good enough reason to accept those differing beliefs.

 

This is a hypocritical double standard, and this is why I say you cannot be an intellectually honest theist. You can be an intelligent theist. You can be a thoughtful theist. You can be a well-read, mostly logical, reasonable theist in the vast majority of your life... but you cannot be an intellectually honest theist by definition when you continue to hold your extraordinary beliefs without (not even extraordinary evidence, but without) even a single shred of evidence whatsoever.

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I suspect you would more easily find a person who believes in the existence of leprechauns at the age of 40 to be broken somehow, even if they express some uncertainty in that belief. Why the different approach for religious belief? Why the special deference and the double standard toward a belief in god(s)?

 

The subject is people who believe. The fact that a subset of them believe it absolutely and without doubt only magnifies the premise, it does not negate it.

 

Also, cosmic expansion (the big bang) is clearly defined and there is a metric assload of evidence in its favor. The comparison between acceptance of that and belief in god is quite poor.

We've already had this exact same conversation in this thread so I guess we do not have to do it again.

 

I am curious though whether you and doG feel you are at odds with each other.

 

I was also obliquely pointing out that while a short time ago I agreed with a statement doG had made, I was not agreeing with you and your OP.

 

I still feel that given less than absolute proof, that absoute belief with no reservations versus belief with reservations is the difference between broken and not broken.

 

I also believe it is not possible to draw an absolute line that says 'this level of evidence is sufficient for belief, while this level is not'. Therefore I also believe that it is right and reasonable for each individual to look at the available data, decide if that data rises to the level of evidence, and then decide if the evidence is sufficient to support their position. It doesn't matter if their position is regarding God or the Big Bang.

 

IMO you are not broken for coming to the conclusion that either God or the Big Bang are not supported by the evidence. You are also not broken for coming to the conclusion that God or the Big Bang are supported by the evidence, as long as you recognize that insufficient evidence means you have to accept that you could be wrong.

 

I suspect you would more easily find a person who believes in the existence of leprechauns at the age of 40 to be broken somehow, even if they express some uncertainty in that belief. Why the different approach for religious belief? Why the special deference and the double standard toward a belief in god(s)?

Ok, just to be contrary I'll answer this one.

 

The difference is that there is no evidence of leprechauns I find acceptable but there is evidence of God I find acceptable.

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We've already had this exact same conversation in this thread so I guess we do not have to do it again.

Thank you.

 

I am curious though whether you and doG feel you are at odds with each other.

No.

 

I also believe it is not possible to draw an absolute line that says 'this level of evidence is sufficient for belief, while this level is not'.

I tend to agree. The nature of the evidence must scale with the claim.

 

If you make a mundane claim, then relatively mundane evidence will generally suffice, and sometimes even no evidence at all will be required in some instances (if I say my dog just walked into the other room, you probably wouldn't ask me to prove it and would generally accept my word that it happened as sufficient). However, if I said my dog just turned into a 90 foot purple dragon with dvds as scales and native american arrowheads as teeth... and started spraying the Schrodinger equation all over my walls using a combination of macaroni and cheese and liquified coal sludge, that claim is a bit more extraordinary and you'd likely ask for more extraordinary evidence.

 

So, if you make an extraordinary claim, you need extraordinary evidence to support it. The evidence must scale with the claim.

 

I'm of the camp that the claim of gods existence is a rather extraordinary one, and that a fictional book filled with internal contradictions from two thousand years ago or personal faith and wish thinking alone hardly satisfies the extraordinary burden of proof that accompanies such a claim.

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