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  1. #1
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    Default Theists: do you think its possible...

    Is it possible for a person to believe in God but not be aware of this conciously? that is, the person essentialyl has unconcious faith the concious mind is not aware of, and as such their verbal behavior will be that like an atheists? "I don't believe.... Jesus sucks" etc?

    I think it is possible for a variety of reasons but I ask because I think this poses a HUGE moral problem for believers - Accurate Discrimination of faith vs non faith. Many actions done for the betterment of persons is largely based upon superficial measurements of Faith. (the other flip side of this is people whose verbal behavior is indicative of faith, but they don't really have any...however I don't wanna get into that just here...)

    Think of it from my perspective - a neuropsychologist trying to comprehend the effects of termerament and also trying to "dig through" and see through verbal behaviors (verbal behaviors/beleifs will not always align so well with action). An arbitrary brain is given the stimulus of something religious along the lines of "do you believe in God?". The biological diversity of nature, already having act the brain, has a certain "mode" we call temperament.... it kicks in, and takes over as the speaker for this question - NT, NF , SJ , whatever, a particular set of neural pathways is activated(lets just pretend for now this is always temperament related, ok?). That pathway ilicits the motor response areas to give a response of something atheistic and just all around negative, like "There is no God, its totally retarded". Question: How do you know that brain(person) does not have some other pathway that when properly activated (however that may be... again, this is probably a type variable) would yield the response of a Believer?

    A stimulus of "do you believe in God", however interpreted by the person, does not necessarily yield the "always true" answer. It's not that the person is lying about, they just don't see HOW they can believe in God.

  2. #2
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    I think it's a conscious descision to be a believer, believing requires that, if you're not consciously aware, you do not believe. That is what believing is all about. It's impossible to unconsciously believe. If a person does not consciously believe, he simply does not believe.


    I do believe it is possible a person holds their beliefs in preservation within their subconscious, trying to shield them off but unable to fully cut themselves off from the beliefs. In the unlikely scenario they are proven wrong. Just in case, you know, they meet Petrus at the gates and are like, let out a hipocritical "Omg. I knew it!"

    But then, they still don't really believe in anything.



    By the way, if you say "Jesus sucks" you have to believe in his existance. :P
    Personally, I'm not a believer in any religion, neither consciously nor subconsciously. If I am ever proven wrong, my first reaction will undoubtfully be me trying to bitch-slap whomever is in charge.

  3. #3
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    ^ so, someone saying they believe in Jesus automatically equates to belief in Jesus?

    That's completely absurd..... what about the people who were threatened with death to believe or die during the Inquiston? You actually think in that split second decision a person can conciously CHOOSE to BELIEVE? ....... seriously?

    And speaking of the Inquisiton, what about torture? Is someone who was coerced by pain to "believe", as you call it, an actual believer? Utter nonsense

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    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    ^ so, someone saying they believe in Jesus automatically equates to belief in Jesus?
    If they mean what they say, yes. But one could say they belief jesus did live, but wasn't special in any way which would mean they still don't believe in the religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    That's completely absurd..... what about the people who were threatened with death to believe or die during the Inquiston? You actually think in that split second decision a person can conciously CHOOSE to BELIEVE? ....... seriously?
    Ehh, forced into saying you believe, isn't believing itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    And speaking of the Inquisiton, what about torture? Is someone who was coerced by pain to "believe", as you call it, an actual believer? Utter nonsense
    No, I don't. Dude, I believe you don't quite know what believing means.


    Believing is a conscious thought. Doesn't matter what people say they believe in, they could just as well lie about what they believe in, but instead believing in something entirely different, that is still within their CONSCIOUS mind, but they just don't let you in on it.

    Saying someone has unconscious believes however, that IS absurd because everything that 'belief' means, would seriously make that totally and utterly impossible. You can't believe in anything without knowing you believe in it. That is absurd. :P

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    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    well then I guess i just don't understand beliefs then :P damn my epistemology!

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    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    To believe in something is simply a result of what we think is true based on our cognitive functions. It's a direct result of conscious behaviour.

    Epistemology is about how we come to believe what we do, and why. So why do people believe? Differs from person to person I'd say. For some it's a means to answer questions, for others a means to live in a certain direction, to a certain purpose. That is epistemology.

    Unconsciousness is a big part of epistemology, but belief only exist in the conscious mind. Such is my opinion. :P

  7. #7
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    A person's behavior is the best indication of what they believe. For example there is a certain intersection where I always stop even though I don't have a stop sign and the street crossing mine does. I don't consciously decide to stop, rather I just stop without thinking about it. Other people drive on through without slowing and likewise without consciously thinking about what they are doing. This demonstrates that they have faith in the stop sign to stop traffic, and I don't.

    So I wouldn't say that the conscious mind demonstrates faith. Nor would I say that it's always easy to interpret the behaviour of other people. But I will say that what people do is a much better indicator of faith than what people say. Do people act in a way that is consistent with what they say or do they act contrary to their stated beliefs? That is the best indication of what people really believe.
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  8. #8
    it's a nuclear device antireconciler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    Is it possible for a person to believe in God but not be aware of this conciously? that is, the person essentialyl has unconcious faith the concious mind is not aware of, and as such their verbal behavior will be that like an atheists? "I don't believe.... Jesus sucks" etc?

    I think it is possible for a variety of reasons but I ask because I think this poses a HUGE moral problem for believers - Accurate Discrimination of faith vs non faith. Many actions done for the betterment of persons is largely based upon superficial measurements of Faith. (the other flip side of this is people whose verbal behavior is indicative of faith, but they don't really have any...however I don't wanna get into that just here...)
    This is a great post! I totally agree, and that it works in both directions, and I'd even say that only an integration of both the best of atheism and theism leads to something of lasting value.

    The problem of accurate discrimination is not a problem unless one insists that that discrimination is necessary. Modus tollens, baby. Jesus wasn't particularly discriminatory himself, and saw/taught disciples to see faith in men of faithlessness (eg. Saul?) and faithlessness in men of faith (eg. Peter?) ... It's a good lesson, but it's not like people have to be "converted" like Saul. It's just as well to suggest everyone already has a basic kind of religion or philosophy which is not denied by truth, but is included in it.
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