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Old 08-31-2015, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
13,647 posts, read 7,561,162 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizio View Post
If one's religion is based on something other than the truth of the religion, why bother?
It is somewhat a question of who arbitrates what is and isn't truth. I have come to know liberal believers who see a wealth of truth in their religion even while believing the Bible is not to be taken literally, or even in some cases not seeing the bible as true / infallible even when NOT taken literally.

Not that I don't understand your question or where it comes from. That is in fact why I left the faith initially. What is the point if it's not all true? Well ... "it" can be all true, for some given value of "it". It's not my thing, really, but I understand it better than I used to, how people can gain meaning, purpose and comfort from a liberal approach to Christianity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizio View Post
That's really neither here nor there. The age of the earth doesn't really make me believe or not believe in God.
No ... especially not in a generic creator deity. And you could theoretically reject YEC and Ussher's chronology as overdetermined or just plain wrong, and still believe the Biblical account of creation / the flood / etc is literally true, and maybe just much further in the past than these other widely held sources would have it, thus partially harmonizing with science. The Bible doesn't specifically give a date for the flood, much less for creation so you technically can't say it's "wrong" about some actual claim that the earth is not billions of years old. In this aspect it is usefully vague.

But my point is not so much about this specific issue as it is about the possible responses to any conflict between the Bible and some understood aspect of reality and experience.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizio View Post
I don't, to be honest.
Didn't think so ;-)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizio View Post
For the purposes of this discussion though, we're talking about people that either grew up having never been challenged in their faith, versus those that have been and have chosen to walk away. It makes sense that the ones that have looked at the issues and walked away probably know more about them -- because they have actually spent time looking at them.
I agree, but am not sure you really want to pursue this line of reasoning. Because if you had a tenable position that your faith can withstand challenges then there should be a majority of informed and knowledgeable thinkers who would STAY with it. You are in effect saying that anyone who spends time looking at the issues is more likely to leave the faith than to stay.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizio View Post
Of course, the study says nothing about those that are simply non-religious and don't care one way or the other.
True enough.
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Old 08-31-2015, 03:19 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 27,247,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perry335654 View Post
Vizio, you it right on the head
So using big words is OK...as long as the person using them is a Bible-following Christian?

You went into the weeds with the 'trying to impress' remark. I know a lot of really smart people. Most have zero interest in trying to impress people. (Though some try to impress each other which can lead to hilarity when the PhDs have one too many adult beverages during a rousing game of "Top That!") Few people who use poly-syllabic words and read a lot are arrogant about their intelligence. They get called arrogant by fundamentalists who are allergic to higher education. Or who feel threatened by people of superior intellect....or who know where the library is.

Last edited by DewDropInn; 08-31-2015 at 03:56 PM..
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Old 08-31-2015, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Dallas,Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluecheese View Post
I agree.
Agreed!
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
4,772 posts, read 4,866,762 times
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My impression of guys like Dilahunty and that set is that they have a healthy sense of cognitive dissonance that other believers simply don't share.

When the various aspects of the bible and their chosen faith don't square with themselves or reality, then they are confronted with this dissonance. These are things that other believers manage to rationalize without difficulty and their rationalizations make perfect sense to them.
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Dallas,Texas
1,300 posts, read 1,282,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie gein View Post
My impression of guys like Dilahunty and that set is that they have a healthy sense of cognitive dissonance that other believers simply don't share.

When the various aspects of the bible and their chosen faith don't square with themselves or reality, then they are confronted with this dissonance. These are things that other believers manage to rationalize without difficulty and their rationalizations make perfect sense to them.
Rationalization and compartmentalization is what I call it. The same process by which Christians manage to call Bible God something other than a psychopath which is exactly what Bible God is.
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Old 09-01-2015, 04:57 AM
 
Location: Florida
16,224 posts, read 16,598,220 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizio View Post
I think he was actually referring to people that have too much head knowledge of the Bible but they never let it actually affect their life. .

Whatever good things can be found in the Bible can be found without it without having to accept all the extraneous claptrap surrounding it.
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
13,647 posts, read 7,561,162 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizio View Post
I think he was actually referring to people that have too much head knowledge of the Bible but they never let it actually affect their life. I roomed with a guy that told me he wasn't a Christian, but he could quote chapter and verse as well as anyone. He KNEW the Bible -- but he never let it sink in.
Or maybe he decided that what he knew did not justify changing what he believed.

This meme about head knowledge vs heart knowledge was pretty popular when I was young, but when you actually think about what it's saying, it's essentially that you must be affected emotionally / subjectively, which is rather like insisting that someone should be delighted with your holiday fruitcake. Our subjective and/or emotional responses to things are what they are and can't be produced on demand. Also, such responses don't make something more real or true than it already is. Crucially, it might make a thing SEEM, subjectively, more real or true ... but it doesn't impact its actual veracity. At all.

It also isn't true that 100% of those who hear the gospel will have the hairs stand up on the back of their necks in a certain way unless they are stubbornly resisting the inevitable response everyone will always have to the message.

A thing is true or it isn't true, regardless of our subjective response to it, or lack thereof. What governs truth is available facts and valid argument along with one's intellectual and perceptual equipment. Not physiological responses, not desire, not emotion, not pious hope.

In fairness to you, emotional response and subjective perception CAN be trained over time and with practice. A person who trains their rational mind is flexing that "muscle" at the expense of other things, most likely at the expense of the sensing / feeling / intuitive parts of one's being that, if cultivated sufficiently, will tend to produce a subjective response to transcendent concepts like "the things of god". In this limited sense, an unbeliever tends not to be receptive to the message and a believer or "wannabe" believer tends to be receptive -- all things being equal. However, this is still irrelevant to actual facts in evidence and actual bias toward or away from truth.

Some would argue for "balance" between the left and right brain, intellectual vs subjective aspects of personality, although what constitutes "balance" is itself arbitrary and in the eye of the beholder. The irony is that the church tradition of origin for me tended to be biased toward the objective / intellectual; indeed that was a good portion of our justification for the primacy / inerrancy of scripture. We felt that one could determine the mind / will of god from the book, which we saw as an objective source of data. We regarded "emotionalism" (such as exhibited by pentecostals / charismatics) with deep suspicion.

It was this very distrust of subjective personal experience as a source of truth that led me OUT of Christianity.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Dallas,Texas
1,300 posts, read 1,282,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Contentious thread. Matt Dillahunty hit the nail on the head - as he does repeatedly - when he said that he didn't get smarter when he became an atheist - he just got better informed.

I suggest that those who identify as atheist came to realize they were because they studied the Bible more - and pretty frequently (so I read in conversions stories) in order to believe better and refute disbelievers more effectively and found that the book made no sense.

They ended up as atheists because they now knew more about the Bible than they did before.
Agreed!!
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Dallas,Texas
1,300 posts, read 1,282,226 times
Reputation: 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Or maybe he decided that what he knew did not justify changing what he believed.

This meme about head knowledge vs heart knowledge was pretty popular when I was young, but when you actually think about what it's saying, it's essentially that you must be affected emotionally / subjectively, which is rather like insisting that someone should be delighted with your holiday fruitcake. Our subjective and/or emotional responses to things are what they are and can't be produced on demand. Also, such responses don't make something more real or true than it already is. Crucially, it might make a thing SEEM, subjectively, more real or true ... but it doesn't impact its actual veracity. At all.

It also isn't true that 100% of those who hear the gospel will have the hairs stand up on the back of their necks in a certain way unless they are stubbornly resisting the inevitable response everyone will always have to the message.

A thing is true or it isn't true, regardless of our subjective response to it, or lack thereof. What governs truth is available facts and valid argument along with one's intellectual and perceptual equipment. Not physiological responses, not desire, not emotion, not pious hope.

In fairness to you, emotional response and subjective perception CAN be trained over time and with practice. A person who trains their rational mind is flexing that "muscle" at the expense of other things, most likely at the expense of the sensing / feeling / intuitive parts of one's being that, if cultivated sufficiently, will tend to produce a subjective response to transcendent concepts like "the things of god". In this limited sense, an unbeliever tends not to be receptive to the message and a believer or "wannabe" believer tends to be receptive -- all things being equal. However, this is still irrelevant to actual facts in evidence and actual bias toward or away from truth.

Some would argue for "balance" between the left and right brain, intellectual vs subjective aspects of personality, although what constitutes "balance" is itself arbitrary and in the eye of the beholder. The irony is that the church tradition of origin for me tended to be biased toward the objective / intellectual; indeed that was a good portion of our justification for the primacy / inerrancy of scripture. We felt that one could determine the mind / will of god from the book, which we saw as an objective source of data. We regarded "emotionalism" (such as exhibited by pentecostals / charismatics) with deep suspicion.

It was this very distrust of subjective personal experience as a source of truth that led me OUT of Christianity.
I thought about the Bible quite extensively while sitting in Catholic Mass as a teen boy. With each passing year I realized how it was mostly BS. By my late teens I was well on my way to atheism.
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:26 AM
 
3,488 posts, read 2,929,141 times
Reputation: 736
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodrow LI View Post
I am not an Atheist
I got the same score as you. I am too ashamed to admit to what question I got wrong heh heh!

But overall, if this is the quiz in question, it did not seem all that difficult as a "religious knowledge test"- and I am trying to see the quiz's contents outside of my own realm of knowledge. I think some of the questions were not religious in nature, but political, while others had more to do with the history of religion than of religion itself, and a few concerned famous religious practitioners.

I have mixed feelings on this quiz and what it can tell us about the average person's knowledge of "religion".
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