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  1. #91
    Senior Member Helios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ99 View Post
    Well i can understand him as i also find it a bit strange that NTs, particularly INTPs, are religious.

    Religions based upon belief and belief upon which there is no , or very very little not very good, evidence for. INTPs and other NTs are supposed to be truth seeking personalities so to accept religious beliefs seems more than a little strange to me.

    And yes i come from a very religious familly - Roman Catholic, my parents even met in church - and i see how much good it does to soome short term but as far as i'm concerned in the long term truth is better.
    Perhaps we find that our religious beliefs are very well supported.


  2. #92
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    This is partof a recent PM that basically explains where I'm coming from:

    I came from an agnostic background. My parents were ISTJ's who were fed up with the cultural Christianity they grew up in, and turned towards rationalism, basically. I caught a bit of the religion from their parents generation (grandmother, etc), and about 10, my father began sitting me down to watch all the nature shows on TV. There I encountered evolutionism, and it seemd to fit better the way the world worked. (Hence one clue I was a Ti user from childhood). It then figured that religion was just a "myth" believed in by these old, uneducated people.

    To make a long story short, I grow up dislillusioned by the world, and basically readopt religion, as one of those "Subtype 4 INTP's" (http://homepage.mac.com/bahlberg/ibl...953/index.html) around age 20. I was lured in by my grandmother's Plain Truth magazines, which were featuring articles on prophecy. It seemed to fit what was happening in the world (the European Economic community was going to be the final "Beast" power before the Second Coming, etc), and with my strong Ne, found religion palatable again, though there was never the absolute certainly people made it seemed like you were supposed to have. I always believed the the truth faith was just simple trust in Jesus to forgive our sins. I was always against the institutional church and its history and politics, which I could clearly see were the antithesis of Jesus' teaching. I at first did adopt the sabbatarianism of the Plain Truth but eventually settled into contemporary evangelicalism.

    However, this belief system did not solve all my personal problems (with people, including my family), and I had problems defending the faith intellectually to my father and others, and then I just encountered a bunch of apparently aloof Christians who gave simplistic pat answers to everything. ("just pray, and your problems won't matter, and you'll feel God's presence, and that's the proof"). So this kept a struggle going on.

    Then, I get married, and she moves closer to megachurch charismaticism, and reads all of these books, audio and TV shows by people like Joyce Meyers and other celebrity teachers who just reiterate a lot of that stuff that annoyed me. When a pastor tells us that I'm lukewarm and in danger of being spat out of Christ's mouth because I didn't pray and read the Bible "systematically" enough (typical STJ schedulism!), that was the beginning of the end. She then moved closer to them, but then I started moving away. More recently, another pastor gave us a "vision" where he, supposedly without information from anyone else, tells me my problem is using my intellect too much. I look it up in the Bible, and see no such split between the head and the heart. But of course, this was the tactic long used by more emotionally-grounded churches!

    All this time, I'm on Christian boards debating doctrine, and seeing how people (Te style) take the Bible like a jigsaw puzzle and make it say whatever they want (all the while denouncing others for "false doctrine"). This was disheartening, as one of the things my father and others claimed was that there was no absolute truth, and the fact that believers in the Bible couldn't agree on anything seemed to be the biggest proof of it.

    Then, I discover a system of prophecy called preterism, which says all the prophecy was fulfilled already, and Christ came back symbolically in AD70 when the Temple was destroyed. I fought against this for a few years, but then found another variation of it which claimed salvation was spread to all at that point. Comprehensive Grace - Tim King
    This seemed to explain A LOT, including why God seemed so distant. His plan is finished, so there is no need for Him to be appearing, performing miracles, giving us "feelings", or policing the world, or even the Church.

    So this doctrine seemd to fit in with the Biblical framework of the plan of salvation better. (And my Ti likes frameworks over emotion!) Jesus and the Apostles told them 'the end' would be in their lifetimes. We had stretched this to our lifetimes, 2000 years later, because it "had to" mean something to us. But we misunderstood what that "end" was, and what it would mean for us. It's in this system that everything seems to fit together best, and Ti judges by logical consistency. The other doctrinal systems would make such absolute statements, but anytime you question the holes in their theology, they throw up "oh, it's beyond our comprehension". Well then, you shouldn't make such absolute statements about it, then in the first place.

    I can't prove this either, but it does look like the universe was designed, and of all the religions, the Bible does seem like it has a genuineness that suggests it's more than just some text a bunch of ignorant ancient men wrote (to control others or try to explain phenomena they couldn't understand), and it seems to best address our problems (fallenness, evidenced by our not living up to even our own standards), and the solution (grace) so that's why I hold onto it.
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  3. #93
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    Short answer: I'm actively involved with three different churches. I'm drawn to the concepts, life lessons, allegories, comradery, and the chance to get together with others to make a difference in the community and abroad. I absolutely cannot force myself to believe in the stories literally, but I don't find that to be important in the grand scheme of things.

  4. #94
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Logic isn't accepted arbitrarily at all; it's accepted because it's intuitively obvious that it makes sense.
    I've concluded that this is mostly true for NTP's. Logic is not the most intuitive way to reason for most people. Recalling the first course where I was formally taught logic, I noticed that most of the other students were struggling with it much more than I was, and they would make comments about it almost every day after class. This, by the way, was fellow math majors who didn't make comments like this after any other math class I had with them.

    To assume that logic is the most intuitive way to reason fails to recognize how other people process information and make decisions.
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  5. #95
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I've concluded that this is mostly true for NTP's. Logic is not the most intuitive way to reason for most people. Recalling the first course where I was formally taught logic, I noticed that most of the other students were struggling with it much more than I was, and they would make comments about it almost every day after class. This, by the way, was fellow math majors who didn't make comments like this after any other math class I had with them.

    To assume that logic is the most intuitive way to reason fails to recognize how other people process information and make decisions.

    I didn't say that logic was the most intuitive way to reason; I said it's the only way to truly reason. There are other methods of decision-making (not reasoning) that should be taken into account when considering the views of others, but at the end of the day none of these are actually reasonable. Obviously some people find these other methods of decision-making to be easier to use, but people's inability to understand or use logic properly doesn't make these other decision-making methods any more valid in terms of rational argumentation.

    That doesn't mean they're totally useless (note that I began my first post on this thread by stating that religion has a use because it helps people sleep at night), but it does mean that if you intend to justify something reasonably you need to use a logical method of reasoning.

    Unless, of course, you intend to argue that rationality is no inherently better for abstract reasoning than any arbitrary decision-making system you can come up with...but that would seem to open the door to an awful lot of totally silly nonsense.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  6. #96
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Revelation is arbitrary, because all belief is arbitrary. I'm not just talking of religious belief, but all belief. Belief in logic. Belief in science. These ideas are based on arbitrary beliefs as well. These are accepted as true either because of socialization or an arbitrarily held value. In reality they are based on ideas which are arbitrarily taken to be true. In the same way religious beliefs are arbitrarily taken to be true. In each system you can check for some type of internal consistency, but beyond that it's essentially based on faith.

    There is only one type of criteria that is external from a system that one can use as "evidence", and that is the pragmatic one. For example a person can believe in science because it produces technology. It produces something useful that extends beyond the internal consistency of data and scientific method.

    Likewise the only external "evidence" one can use to judge faith, religion, etc... is a pragmatic one. Does it have a postitive impact upon one's life as it promises? In this criteria the outcomes are decidedly mixed. One does not have to look far to find people who have been positively impacted by their faith as well as people who have been negatively impacted. Often even under the umbrella of one religion, say Christianity, one can find a wide range of experience. Therefore we can conclude that there is something to it, but it is not readily clear to a given individual what that something is. Why do some yield tremendously positive results while other yield tremendously negative ones?

    This is the "brain in a vat" argument extended to an entirely excessive length. You're confusing belief and knowledge; you don't have to have absolute certainty in something to believe it. I believe that if I were to flip a coin 100 times I would get at least one heads, but clearly I don't know this for sure. Most of belief-based decision making is based on probability given the information currently available, not absolute knowledge for or against something, and it's a common misconception to think that all things being uncertain makes them all equally probable or equally worthy of belief.

    We don't know a damn thing for certain, but the evidence we have based on past experience and experimentation provides us with reasonable guesses for many things based on probability. It's technically *possible* that all the data we get from science is just fabricated by the powers that be, or all just coincidence. Hell, maybe gravity will stop working in the next 10 seconds...but I doubt it.

    Given the information we have at this moment, there seems a very low probability that any sort of conscious entity God in the specific forms described by modern popular religion exists. I've seen several comments here about atheism requiring "too much faith", which is nonsense based on a misunderstanding of the definition of atheism--simply means without theism; we don't claim some supernatural 100% understanding of the universe or any total certainty that there isn't any God (anyone who does is called a gnostic atheist/moron.) We simply believe that, based on the available evidence and critical thinking, the probability that such a precise conscious force form of God exists is very low.

    He may exist in some more abstract form; we don't really know and we see no scientifically reliable or reproducible evidence to indicate anything about this either way, so we leave it alone. Atheism is concerned only with literal conceptions of God as a being in the sky who manipulates events or hears prayers, or judges people's moral actions, and so on. "God", to you, might very well be some inner force that has no corporeal existence beyond your body--sure, why not? We don't have any real problem with spirituality, just with religion. You can find God anywhere if you look hard enough. Disbelief in various "vague inner spiritual force" theories of God is not required in order to be an atheist!

    Our estimate on this is neither definite nor unfalsifiable--if God appeared and openly contradicted the laws of nature for any extended period of time, we would be forced to admit that he exists. We aren't positive that this will never happen, but, well...we have our doubts.

    My belief system is not chosen arbitrarily; I simply don't believe in anything until I've seen some conditions to indicate that there's a high probability that it's true. You can throw more "brain in a vat" crap at me here but if we assume that "We don't know for sure"="We can't make any sort of educated guess at all", your life must be awfully difficult and confusing. You're absolutely right that I don't have 100% certainty that my body or the world around me even really exist, but the fact that I've acted as if they do with successful results nonstop for my entire life so far should indicate to you a high probability that my body and the world around me are, in fact, real. The real world operates in probability clouds, not absolutes--of course it won't make sense to you if you insist on an absolute, factual certainty about everything--there comes a point where practicality of application becomes a greater concern than total certainty.

    Quote Originally Posted by greed View Post
    Short answer: I'm actively involved with three different churches. I'm drawn to the concepts, life lessons, allegories, comradery, and the chance to get together with others to make a difference in the community and abroad. I absolutely cannot force myself to believe in the stories literally, but I don't find that to be important in the grand scheme of things.
    Cool, and that's totally fine by me. I never said that participating in religious ceremonies is inherently bad. There are lots of reasons to do that, but I think you've kind of avoided the issue here by not really offering any justification for religious belief, only for other reasons to participate in ritual.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  7. #97
    78% me Eruca's Avatar
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    I love SolitaryWalkers posts because not only are they well thought-out and written, I also learn a few big words to impress the plebians with. After reading the OP, my grasp of the English language before seems stultified!
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  8. #98
    / nonsequitur's Avatar
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    This wasn't the kind of thread that I thought it would be, or I would've participated earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    I think there are lots of reasonable philosophical positions pointing to some kind of power that is incomprehensible to the human mind.

    But I don't understand *at all* how anyone can choose any specific cultural conceptions of this power and claim that there's a better argument for any particular one over any particular other.

    I can see how faith in some kind of inner spiritual force could be reasoned, but how the hell does it ever connect directly to Jesus Christ? He is an Earth-specific cultural figure and I simply don't see how you could use pure reason to reach any conclusion about him being divine or supernaturally powerful.
    This is my problem with religion. I am spiritual and believe in (a) God, but I cannot reconcile it with a lack of faith in Jesus Christ as the son of God and the savior. On the other hand, I appreciate that Jesus has done a lot of good in people's lives and remains a huge spiritual leader, nearly two millenia after his death. I agree with a lot of what he says, philosophically, and spiritually. I guess it comes down to this quote by Gandhi, "I love your Christ, but I do not like your Christians".

    I take the same attitude towards Muslims, Allah, Buddhists/Buddhism, etc. Hence, spiritual but not religious.

    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    I've read some of Kierkegaard's arguments on this, for instance. He makes solid epistemological arguments for the existence of some kind of greater power, yet he still constantly calls it "Christianity" and never seems to make any attempt to explain how his spirituality can be reasonably translated into terms of Jesus Christ or any other specific cultural figures.

    Somebody please explain...
    I think this has to do with the historical context, and his split with the Danish church... He always considered himself a Christian, and felt that this was divorced from the "brand" of Christianity practiced by the corrupt church. Bearing in mind that this was the 1800s in Europe, faith in God was equated to belief in Jesus Christ as the savior. There was simply no reason to question that, or an identification of Christ as a "cultural" figure (which is a wholly modern perspective).

    As such, his outline of the "leap to faith" would've been the same as leaping into the arms of Jesus.

    (On to the personal section)

    Kierkegaard has had a great influence on my spiritual beliefs. I'm hesitant to call them "religious" beliefs because I don't identify with any religion. I do, however, believe in God.

    My values, as many people have told me, are very Christian. Love thy neighbour, succour the poor and the needy, do my best to be unselfish etc. It's just the faith in Jesus and belief that the church and the bible is the way to God part that I am a total failure at. Perhaps if I had been brought up a Christian (as opposed to an atheist), I would not have that problem.

    The conversion from agnostic to theist happened about 4 years ago on one night; I felt something quite unexplainable, that was completely illogical and yet unmistake-able. I've had several other experiences since which have only served to build on that faith. No one else in my family believes in God, and I don't talk about religion with anyone because of my fuzzily delineated faith. Suffice to say, I'm convinced about the existence of God, I believe that I've become a better person since, and this faith has since worked its way into every bit of my world.

    This, while working in science where supposed "reason" is paramount. No one has ever accused me of being illogical or lacking the ability to reason at work; it's only on the Internet that this happens (with people who don't even work in science). That was the reason for my reticence in participating here. It feels like I'm being attacked - "How can you be a reasoning person and believe in God?"

  9. #99
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Here is the reasoning I've heard from some religious NTs:

    1. You can't prove my religion wrong.
    2. Worst case scenario: It's wrong.
    3. Best case scenario: It's right, and I was right to believe, and now you're fucked for not believing.
    4. So it can't hurt.

  10. #100
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Here is the reasoning I've heard from some religious NTs:

    1. You can't prove my religion wrong.
    2. Worst case scenario: It's wrong.
    3. Best case scenario: It's right, and I was right to believe, and now you're fucked for not believing.
    4. So it can't hurt.
    I bet Pascal was a big fat ISFJ, that asshole.
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