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  1. #71
    Senior Member Journey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    The problem is not that they will cease believing, but that they will experience confusion and inner conflict. Many religious communities are deeply distressed by secular authors, especially those who sound authoritative, such as the scientists and the philosophers. I do not want this for them.

    The bottom line is that although the writings in question may not cause a loss of faith for many believers, they certainly will trouble them. That is problematic enough.
    The true Christian does not mind experiencing confusion and inner conflict because he knows that it is a method God uses for sanctification. He will ultimately perservere and grow from the experience.

    Rom 5:3-5
    3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
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  2. #72
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journey View Post
    The true Christian does not mind experiencing confusion and inner conflict because he knows that it is a method God uses for sanctification. He will ultimately persevere and grow from the experience.
    There's a difference between memorizing a Bible verse and actually applying it in a complex situation where one is experiencing a lot of cognitive dissonance. I hesitate to label the bulk of Christian brothers and sisters as "false" because they're confused and conflicted in complex situations where the rubber is meeting the road.

    There's also a need for personal discernment in knowing when to stick to one's convictions and when to be open to the possibility that one's convictions are simply ill-founded or mistaken and need to be corrected.

    I'm watching a lot of people I love, who I see as honest authentic "God believers" (and who are probably more aligned with your beliefs and faith expressions than mine at this point) going through crap because their convictions are being heavily challenged. They even hold it in their head that it's a "growing experience," they know their Bible just as well as you do; but the forge is hot enough that they're floundering. Ultimately it's in their best interest to finish the course, but I'm tired of trite cookie-cutter theology that diminishes the conflict and pain experienced in the growing process. I'm not going to debase them by trivializing the conflict they are experiencing... and I think that is part of the topic inherent in this thread.
    "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

  3. #73
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    The question is do we treat the people in question as children or as responsible, self-sufficient adults. Your suggestion seems to be that the latter is more appropriate than former. My question to you is why? They cannot take care of themselves. Their lives are complicated by even the most basic of tasks that require independent thought and decision making, such as for example how we should respond to Dennett's book.
    Was Einstein an intellectual or emotional child because he could not accept that "God plays dice"? Religious people seem to be able to take care of themselves just fine; many evolutionary theorists even speculate that the capacity to believe in the supernatural has proven to be a something of a natural advantage among humans thus far. As for independent thought and decision-making, every human operates through various "rules of thumb" (socialized into us since birth and derived through generations of trail-and-error) the vast majority of time; we simply lack the necessary information and mental capacity to base most of our thoughts and actions on reason and empiricism. The would-be philospher-kings are no different; they would just be limiting the amounts of trail-and-error taking place, to the detriment of all future generations.

    Its all moot, of course; the implementation of such a broad and extensive form of censorship is unsustainable in the long-term , and in the short-term would produce a tyranny that violates the supposed utilitarian basis of such a system, anyway.

  4. #74
    . Blank's Avatar
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    Einstein was a deist--He believed in something supernatural, although I'm curious. In what way is my belief in my imaginary friend, Frank, beneficial?
    Ti = 19 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
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    Fe = 0

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    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
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    Man got to tell himself he understand

  5. #75
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blank View Post
    Einstein was a deist--He believed in something supernatural, although I'm curious. In what way is my belief in my imaginary friend, Frank, beneficial?
    I'm sure it makes Frank feel better about his imaginary existence.
    "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

  6. #76
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blank View Post
    In what way is my belief in my imaginary friend, Frank, beneficial?
    Does Frank have fantastical magical powers that (you believe) provide your "self" with free will and eternal consciousness (or anything else that could only be provided through supernatural auspices), thereby keeping back the despair that is the rational response to the proportionally overwhelming tedium and misery, and absurd brevity, of human existence? If he doesn't, then Frank is holding out on you, and you (or another of your imaginary friends) should kill him.

  7. #77
    Senior Member Journey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    There's a difference between memorizing a Bible verse and actually applying it in a complex situation where one is experiencing a lot of cognitive dissonance. I hesitate to label the bulk of Christian brothers and sisters as "false" because they're confused and conflicted in complex situations where the rubber is meeting the road.
    Of course there is a difference between knowing the truth and applying it. Talk is cheap, after all. Satan after all promotes confusion, that is one of his wiles. I doubt that any Christian escapes it fully.

    I label the bulk of people who call themselves Christians as "false" because they do not follow Christ. Before you ask which Christ I will answer the Christ who is the true Christ, the One who was resurrected from the dead and lives at the right hand of the Father, in the flesh. The One who walked the earth and lived with twelve disciples and after one betrayed Him, the One who replaced that one with the Apostle Paul after His resurrection was called to bear witness of Him to that generation and all the rest. The Christ of whom Paul of the Bible tells us as well as all of the Bible points to...

    There's also a need for personal discernment in knowing when to stick to one's convictions and when to be open to the possibility that one's convictions are simply ill-founded or mistaken and need to be corrected.
    Obviously.

    I'm watching a lot of people I love, who I see as honest authentic "God believers" (and who are probably more aligned with your beliefs and faith expressions than mine at this point) going through crap because their convictions are being heavily challenged. They even hold it in their head that it's a "growing experience," they know their Bible just as well as you do; but the forge is hot enough that they're floundering. Ultimately it's in their best interest to finish the course, but I'm tired of trite cookie-cutter theology that diminishes the conflict and pain experienced in the growing process. I'm not going to debase them by trivializing the conflict they are experiencing... and I think that is part of the topic inherent in this thread.
    I agree that it is not useful to counsel people in pain that they are just going through a growth experience or sanctification while they are in the midst of agony. (For one thing it may not be true. There may be some other primary purpose we know nothing about.) More compassion is called for. But it may nevertheless be the truth. At some point this information might be useful to the Christian and helpful as well. I do not find it debasing or trivializing the conflict to speak the truth about it. After all, regeneration, justification and sanctification end with glorification and there is nothing more wonderful than that. Forgive my cookie cutter theology. I believe it.

    I think that the topic inherent in this thread does not apply to true Christians. They are more than able to face up to the conflicts that come from the World. This does not mean that I am callous to their plight. I have floundered myself, but with the promise that I will never fall. I trust God that they won't either.

    SW
    As a librarian, I find the kind of censorship proposed abhorent in the extreme. It is like the worst nightmare that could have been described in my graduate school environment. I am truly appalled as I believe most professional librarians would be.
    "My Journey is my Destination."

    "Today Counts Forever." R.C. Sproul

  8. #78
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    What I meant is that meaning goes beyond the act of mere concept formation. Concepts are neither true nor false, whereas judgments have the potential to be either true or false. Judgments are meaningful, and judgments aren't identical to concepts; therefore, the act of making a judgment is also an act that generates meaning.

    Judgments would then be 'conceptual notions' and therefore meaningful according to the definition below. Perhaps I should stop splitting hairs?



    correct.



    It seems we're close to being on the same page--if we're not on the same page.

    I never meant to imply that a person with a merely false belief lacks meaning. That belief must be clearly false in order for the person believing it to lack meaning. It's not the proposition that lacks meaning: it's the person.

    Is this a problem? Depends. Do you want to lead a meaningless life?



    Frege's system was meaningless because it was incoherent. The individual concepts and judgments that compose his theory may be meaningful when considered alone, but when considered simultaneously they're as meaningful as a square-circle.



    As I said, a person may be more or less conscious of, and consistent in, his beliefs. Frege's beliefs about set theory were inconsistent, but he wasn't conscious of this. When Russell pointed out this inconsistency, this meaningless (set of) belief(s) of Frege's, Frege repented--so to speak--and his knowledge of sets, his acquaintance with the meaning of set theory, was deepened.

    As for abandoning religious belief and whether this leads to more or less meaning: it depends on what replaces the belief. It's possible to drop one set of meaningless beliefs only to adopt another meaningless set of beliefs.
    Frege's views in reality amounted to something very similar to A and not A proposition, or fddshfdhfdhfdsfds. Simply put, his views were incoherent.

    Yes, they are meaningless. Is this a problem? This goes back to your question, do you want to have a meaningless life? Has Frege's life been bettered as a result of him discovering the meaninglessness of his life? He has not published anything after that point. Perhaps eventually he has become a wiser and more confident as he has gotten more knowledgeable. Simply put, he has recovered from the upset. This person was very disciplined and resilient.

    Yet, most people who believe in absurdities are not. They would simply be destroyed. What is the point of avoiding living a meaninglessness life if a meaningless life generates more happiness than a meaningful? The following is a fitting analogy, do you want to have a broken body that is useless? You perhaps would not care if you were anasthezied and did not know it was broken. In fact at the time you might be in your sleeping believing that your body is strong and together which lets you enjoy life to the fullest. Why take this away from you if you can comfortably continue living an illusion?

    That is indeed true for many simple people, especially the religious folk. This gives us a reason to believe that they truly are better off living a meaningless life.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  9. #79
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    Firstly, Einstein was an atheist, in the sense that he lacked belief in supernatural forces. The man did have an appreciation of the sublime, it was just directed to the natural world.

    On to the issue at hand:
    the basic question here, "if you find a Religion to be false, do you inform its followers?" is one with a simple answer. No, you don't. Or more specifically, if they aren't hurting anyone, why bother?
    For some, Faith is a shield from the chaos and suffering that is so common in this world. It gives them hope, meaning, and a sense of community. Who am I to take that away?
    Last edited by Son of the Damned; 06-14-2009 at 07:18 PM. Reason: spelling

  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaptorWizard View Post
    RaptorWizard's responce to SolitaryWalker's I am an atheist but... thread:

    Do we really wish to destroy the popular myths of society in order to enlighten and awaken people? Although I believe the truth should be accessible to everyone, some may be disturbed by new discoveries, and their emotions may override their rationality. Perhaps one such belief that may be dangerous to dispel is the anthropomorphized view of God. If one were however to sufficiently handle the truth, it could result in inner peace and less mistakes, since we would have proper knowledge and beliefs by which we can direct ourselves, since if we take the right actions, then good consequences should follow. As such, false beliefs could lead in the wrong direction. As of now, man obeys the laws of nature (perhaps the progressive development of man could change that). If then we wish to control the laws of nature, every man must receive universal enlightenment.

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