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  1. #11
    Branded with Satan murkrow's Avatar
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    If your goal is to make those whose theology you're debunking happy then I would agree with you that a case by case assessment is necessary.

    The many different circumstances that people come to accept religion through along with the many different ways people integrate religious beliefs into their lives mean that the benefits of religious belief so far as happiness is concerned have more to do with the individual than the dogma.

    Personally I find the support and development of the consistent idea against the inconsistent popular idea to be more gratifying than a combination of pussyfooting and back rubbing in an attempt to keep a mass of perceived inferiors happy.

    And to keep information you hold as true away from others due to your belief that they would lack the ability to properly manage it is absolutely a stance of superiority.

    Would you rather treat others with respect or kindness?

  2. #12
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elaur View Post
    The problem with this idea is that you will be unable to "prove" something about religion, either for or against. I would imagine that the atheists that aren't for this "proof" just acknowledge that no one actually knows for sure.

    Being determined that you know the "truth" is not any better than anyone else who says the same thing - how are you any different?
    There is no conclusive proof about religions, however, some arguments on the subject are better than others. Those proposed by the scientists and the philosophers do not guarantee us the knowledge of the truth, though they give us much more clear indicators of what the truth is than those that are almost completely unfounded.

    In one sentence, no argument about religion or many popular myth has all the evidence on its side, yet some arguments have more evidence than others. A rational person will believe in the one that is more supported by evidence.


    Quote Originally Posted by Feops View Post
    I think that many people are more interested in living the truth most relevent to their interests, than the actual truth, for motivation and ethics.

    I've put this elsewhere but I'll resummarize here. Evolution is a good example of science butting heads with religion where the actual proofs and validity matters very little. Why? Because having confidence in evolution over creationism adds very little value to one's life, while maintaining ones faith holds a tremendous value in ways that science cannot replace. It takes little effort to turn a blind eye, make a little leap of logic, and maintain the comfortable positive points of ones religion. But there are other areas where science overwhelms with its practical application, the best examples being advancements in the medical field, and these tend to bend the truth of their faith. I find it very interesting how organic the thought process is.

    Back to the original point then, I'm not sure what the ultimate tradeoff is between the two. I'm heavily slanted towards the truth of science myself, but I don't entirely disregard the benefit of truth via faith given it addresses aspects that science does not or cannot, and I think that some people simply cannot function to their potential without that in their lives.
    It is true that religion offers insights by inspiring people to believe in things they have no reason to believe in, such as immortality of the soul. This is a deeply positive influence on many people. However, if philosophical and scientific arguments were clearly and thoroughly expounded upon, it would become clear that the reason why people believe in the immortality of the soul is just because they want to. In other words, there is simply no reason to believe in such things. This will make even the most ardent and self-disciplined of believers question their faith. As a result, they may lose the benefits of false beliefs espoused by religion. My question is, do we truly want it?

    Correct me if I am wrong, your position is that we do not want it. In some cases, like medicine for example, the scientific truth is useful as it has practical applications. In religion, such applications are much less pronounced, therefore they are less desirable.

    Quote Originally Posted by murkrow View Post
    If your goal is to make those whose theology you're debunking happy then I would agree with you that a case by case assessment is necessary.

    The many different circumstances that people come to accept religion through along with the many different ways people integrate religious beliefs into their lives mean that the benefits of religious belief so far as happiness is concerned have more to do with the individual than the dogma.

    Personally I find the support and development of the consistent idea against the inconsistent popular idea to be more gratifying than a combination of pussyfooting and back rubbing in an attempt to keep a mass of perceived inferiors happy.

    And to keep information you hold as true away from others due to your belief that they would lack the ability to properly manage it is absolutely a stance of superiority.

    Would you rather treat others with respect or kindness?
    I agree that keeping the truth away from a certain group is disrespectful because to do so means to implicitly regard yourself as superior to others. However, what if those people that you are disrespectful towards are so obtuse that they do not understand that they are being disrespected? More importantly, what if they are truly better off living a lie as opposed to knowing the truth? Would it not be the case that in this instance they would benefit from your attitude of disrespect towards them? Simply put, they would be better off knowing the truth rather than not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Nice point.

    Also, the more "rational" worldview can probably also accept more a existential framework of existence -- nothing has eternal meaning except what people choose to invest in it, since we have no way to know what is true, 100% -- and therefore why does it really matter whether someone has their eyes opened or not, except perhaps in how it leads them to complicate and/or damage the lives of people with whom they happen to disagree?



    I still think it worth engaging people, in a moderate way -- just to keep ideas out there so that people don't become entirely unaware -- but I don't usually see a point in tearing down someone's life and trying to force them to see something they don't want to see via argument, because it serves no real long-term positive purpose and because it usually doesn't work anyway.
    Your position is in favor of mitigated disclosure. Or only partially revealing the truth. This way people who are better off not knowing the truth still have a chance to avoid being significantly influenced by the truth. People who are not better off living a lie and do wish to know the truth are free to be influenced by it. All they have to do is simply ask you to explain your views more thoroughly. Let me know if I have correctly interpreted your position.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  3. #13
    Branded with Satan murkrow's Avatar
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    The positive effects of the religious experience come about in extreme inefficiency.

    Taking Christianity as the example, the goal of Christianity is service to God. In other words, Christianity most efficiently benefits God, and the benefits to it's followers are secondary.

    Since our goal seems to be the benefiting of human beings directly, taking the indirect approach of benefiting God would seem a waste.

    Of course Christianity has it's mechanisms to prevent this sort of rational, The service of God is put forth as the only true path to calm.

    This mechanism can be easily criticized by comparison to other forms of establishing calm, even allowing for the rare situation where true peace of mind is achievable through Christianity, there are some ever present disadvantages to the religious man over the holder of a self developed calm.

    The Christian must necessarily possess an inability to fully communicate with others the specifics of his enlightenment. He relies heavily on a subjective relationship he has with an idea he holds as objective, because of this he is only able to communicate his calm using the same terms as a trouble Christian would communicate their unrest.

    When a man is in full possession of the source of his calm, he is able to more effectively communicate its mechanics and more easily provide aid to those who seek a similar state. While the Christian can only point you to another when you envy his lot (namely God, the Bible or the Church), the secularist who finds himself in an enviable position is the absolute best source of knowledge relating to the acquisition of his position.

    The reason Christianity is able to survive is that it is designed to serve itself, to propagate the message of Christ. If the goal is to provide as much peace of mind to as many human beings as possible (future generations included) then Christianity is a mistaken cause.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    I agree that keeping the truth away from a certain group is disrespectful because to do so means to implicitly regard yourself as superior to others. However, what if those people that you are disrespectful towards are so obtuse that they do not understand that they are being disrespected? More importantly, what if they are truly better off living a lie as opposed to knowing the truth? Would it not be the case that in this instance they would benefit from your attitude of disrespect towards them? Simply put, they would be better off knowing the truth rather than not.
    Consider it a service to their children. More happiness will be provided to the extended humanity if a single obtuse man experiences a crisis of faith. Also I doubt the depth of anguish that such people are capable of experiencing.

  4. #14
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    ...Your position is in favor of mitigated disclosure. Or only partially revealing the truth. This way people who are better off not knowing the truth still have a chance to avoid being significantly influenced by the truth. People who are not better off living a lie and do wish to know the truth are free to be influenced by it. All they have to do is simply ask you to explain your views more thoroughly. Let me know if I have correctly interpreted your position.
    While I don't have enough vested interest to defend a position right now, the latter part of your paragraph seems to resonate with me...

    I'm entirely open to discussion and investing in people who will seem to benefit from deeper discussion of truth... and they show this readiness by engaging me on their own initiative regarding it, if I've put just enough of myself out there ("hanging out my spiritual/psychological shingle" I suppose) for them to know they can engage me.

    And that's actually how I have been pursuing engagement at this point in my life, I see now. I have no agenda to "change the world," I'm just out there and open so that others can engage me if interested. I make myself accessible.

    If I disagree with someone but they're stable and making their lives work without screwing up other people's, and I don't have some sort of vested interest in them, I'm content to let them find their own way. If I topple someone's world, it entrenches me in helping them pick up the pieces and that can take a long time.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #15
    Branded with Satan murkrow's Avatar
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    Guilt is really the master of our time.

  6. #16

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    Where does the assumption that truth = happiness come from? There are many truths that are shattering to people, and cause a decline in the quality of their lives. Surely there are people who fancy themselves rationals who hold the unearthing of the truth as the highest possible calling, but some would rather live with emotional and spiritual security even if some of their beliefs are unsubstantiated.

    I think that the exposing of an unsought truth can be at least as harmful as the belief in something that may be myth. In other words, reason can be quite unreasonable. Until it is recognized that reason is best leavened with humanity, I prefer to keep decisions such as these out of the hands of churches, either those of gods or those of reason.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

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  7. #17
    Branded with Satan murkrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    I think that the exposing of an unsought truth can be at least as harmful as the belief in something that may be myth. In other words, reason can be quite unreasonable. Until it is recognized that reason is best leavened with humanity, I prefer to keep decisions such as these out of the hands of churches, either those of gods or those of reason.
    Do you take an aggressive stance in breaking the influence of those churches?

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by murkrow View Post
    Do you take an aggressive stance in breaking the influence of those churches?
    If I thought they were poor influences, perhaps I would. I'm not a churchgoer, but I find the net impact of churches to be negligible. People are fond of asserting that "the church" as an entity is a negative or unwelcome influence, but those churches, at street level, are largely made up of caring people who are striving to improve the lot of those around them.

    Besides, influence is just another name for the popularity of a movement. It's a factor of the number of people who subscribe. There's a democracy of ideas, and if my candidate loses 80% to 20%, who am I to tell that 80% that they've made the wrong choice for themselves?
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

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  9. #19
    Branded with Satan murkrow's Avatar
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    If their choices are truly justified, then they shouldn't be bothered by a challenge to them.

    A democracy of ideas? Well that democracy has room for politicians.

    Also that 80% certainly doesn't hold back from trying to indoctrinate people susceptible to their influence.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by murkrow View Post
    A democracy of ideas? Well that democracy has room for politicians.
    Excellent point.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

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