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  1. #41
    Senior Member Bella's Avatar
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    For realz?
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  2. #42
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    The reality is that the New Atheist campaign, by discouraging religion, won't create a new group of intelligent, skeptical, enlightened beings. Far from it: It might actually encourage new levels of mass superstition. And that's not a conclusion to take on faith -- it's what the empirical data tell us.
    Thats when you have people that lack a belief in God while also lacking an understanding of Science and the Scientific Method. Its pretty simple to teach the scientific method, and therefore easy to discourage superstition.

    "What Americans Really Believe," a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology.
    Lol, yes, of course, it all makes sense now! Instead of believing in palm readers and astrology, they believe that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

    It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians.....
    Yes, because the Evangelical Christians don't even believe in Real Science. The wording here is deceitful, "the irreligious... tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians". Couldn't that be phrased as "Evangelical Christians are less likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than the irreligious". My phrasing makes much more sense, because they already have their belief system, they can't believe in the paranormal, while Irreligous people can, and Irreligious does not equal Atheist, at all.

    Irreligious: not religious; not practicing a religion and feeling no religious impulses or emotions.

    Atheism: disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings

    These two things are not necessarily related. Not believing in a specific religion does not mean that the irreligious do not believe in higher/supernatural powers of a sort, how would voodoo dolls work if there wasn't something supernatural?

    ....Surprisingly, while increased church attendance and membership in a conservative denomination has a powerful negative effect on paranormal beliefs, higher education doesn't.
    Bush went to Yale and we all know that he's a real winner. It also depends on what kind of Education, a higher education in a scientific field will logically lead to less superstitiousness, I don't know how anyone could try to argue that a Physicist is more likely to believe voodoo dolls work than a Christian, both wouldn't believe it.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Bella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dissonance View Post
    Yeah it makes sense.

    You also pretty much admitted I'm right.

    Listen, I tried to make myself believe in God. I really did. It just doesn't make any sense to me... It would be nice, though.
    Oh well, for what it's worth, God didn't make great claims of making sense, something about the Cross being foolishness to the world.

    I'll let it go now...
    yesiknowimamiserablegrouchnowgoawayovmeleor

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  4. #44
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    *successfully resists the horrible urge to bring logic to bear upon religious debate* LOL, whew!

  5. #45
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    From the article:
    "What Americans Really Believe," a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University
    From Baylor University:
    Baylor University in Waco, Texas, is a private Baptist university


    Name That Logical Fallacy in the Wall Street Journal

  6. #46
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocial one View Post
    No, real atheists/rationalists are not superstitious at all.
    It seems that they are. For some values of superstition, heh.

    Of course, the whole thing is relatively silly. All the studies show the same thing - that humans are pre-wired to use superstition in various quantities as a method of dealing with different (ie: unknown, unfair, coping) situations.

    A codified "live your life by" superstition is normally called a delusion, and if one wants to play semantics, that's what it should be called. Of course, most people are simply taught religion and have no particular reason to believe it, so neither word works perfectly. In any case, both fill the need of the mind in way of these mechanisms, hence why one replaces the other. Not surprisingly, many other things can also fill in various gaps, including sub-cultures with set rules of actions and behaviors. And they can come in rigid form or a fractured form. A person depending on astrology for guidance makes as much sense as a person deriving what a being in the sky wants them to do; both can be codified (and have been in many different ways) and even become socially normal. The difference is very small.

    The main difference comes from why something is accepted - superstition tends to be used in cases where it comes out mostly from our needs, while religion tends to be taught in advance. Doesn't really make one better than the other - religion only remains because of the need for 'superstition'.

    But the point is that this is a shared trait among humans. And in the end, we all end up expressing it in various ways.

    The best example I can think of is karma. Who really doesn't believe in karma...? Almost all of us have a defensive mechanism towards things we view as unjust. Be it burning in hell, cast into the void, or some wishy-washy version of karma, even the most rational people have it triggered. Some may 'really' believe in it, while others don't, but almost everyone ends up with some mechanism to deal with unfairness (otherwise the tendency is to take it upon ourself to deliver it!)

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    If you count their belief in Christianity to be a superstition, they are much more superstitious.
    yes, that's what I was thinking barely half way through reading the article...

    It's very flawed in its pretence to objectivity, by nakedly assuming the beliefs of traditional conservative Christianity to actually be as scientifically substantiated as it derides the other superstitions for not being.

    Objectively, one could say that believing that millions of people should live lives of either extreme repression and/or loneliness based on the idea that a long-dead guy apparently once listed (but we don't know, we've lost the originals) male temple prostitutes amongst a catalogue of typical evil-doers of his time, and that his authority on this matter is unimpeachable due to his having been blinded by an angel in the road whilst on a donkey... is pretty superstitious, my RC friend

    It's ridiculous, the list can go on all day of the ridiculously superstitious things that traditional Christianity encourages as beliefs whilst contrasting them with other things no less substantiated.

    Here's a thought though: Jesus himself didn't seem to be too much against superstition, generally... take the incident of the chap by the pool at Bethsaida. There's a local superstition that the waters of this pool heals cripples. The dude complains to Jesus that he can't get to the pool because he can't walk. Does Jesus tell him off for his superstitious belief or set him straight? Nope. Just tells him to pick up his mat and walk there. I always thought that was rather interesting...
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  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    It seems that they are. For some values of superstition, heh.

    Of course, the whole thing is relatively silly. All the studies show the same thing - that humans are pre-wired to use superstition in various quantities as a method of dealing with different (ie: unknown, unfair, coping) situations.

    A codified "live your life by" superstition is normally called a delusion, and if one wants to play semantics, that's what it should be called. Of course, most people are simply taught religion and have no particular reason to believe it, so neither word works perfectly. In any case, both fill the need of the mind in way of these mechanisms, hence why one replaces the other. Not surprisingly, many other things can also fill in various gaps, including sub-cultures with set rules of actions and behaviors. And they can come in rigid form or a fractured form. A person depending on astrology for guidance makes as much sense as a person deriving what a being in the sky wants them to do; both can be codified (and have been in many different ways) and even become socially normal. The difference is very small.

    The main difference comes from why something is accepted - superstition tends to be used in cases where it comes out mostly from our needs, while religion tends to be taught in advance. Doesn't really make one better than the other - religion only remains because of the need for 'superstition'.

    But the point is that this is a shared trait among humans. And in the end, we all end up expressing it in various ways.

    The best example I can think of is karma. Who really doesn't believe in karma...? Almost all of us have a defensive mechanism towards things we view as unjust. Be it burning in hell, cast into the void, or some wishy-washy version of karma, even the most rational people have it triggered. Some may 'really' believe in it, while others don't, but almost everyone ends up with some mechanism to deal with unfairness (otherwise the tendency is to take it upon ourself to deliver it!)
    In the case that I understand your post I will say that I think you are wrong.


    What you have managed to prove is that real atheists/rationalists are very rare.
    Personaly I think that you can't be part of the group unless you have sociopathic tendencys.

    For example; I have shocked some NTs with my approach to destroy/ignore every aspect of spirituality. (Karma included).

  9. #49
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocial one View Post
    If I understand your post I will say that I think you are wrong.

    What you have managed to prove is that real atheists/rationalists are very rare.
    Personaly I think that you can't be part of the group unless you have sociopathic tendencys.

    For example I have shocked some NTs with my approach to destroy/ignore every aspect of spirituality. (Karma included).
    I should of put the 'normal' qualifiers before 'being human', it would appear.

    I should also of added that atheist <> rational, especially in terms of beliefs. People can be atheists for all sorts of bad reasons, when the "rational" reason is simply to use the best information possible to make your decision, therefore excluding superstition (religion) when it is not. In that sense, agnostics probably would end up being more rational, since atheists tend to take the approach of absolutism, while agnostics should assign probability, even extremely low probabilities, to such things. (Those low probabilities make it 'rational' to exclude superstition from daily events in the same way strong atheists would.)

  10. #50
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    I will argue that. atheism is not the belief there is/are no god(s). It is the lack of belief. Agnosticism is something else, such as "I want to believe in God."

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