Considering yourself a "truly rational" individual is a delusion in itself

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Considering yourself a "truly rational" individual is a delusion in itself

 None, of us are truly rational individuals, when we try to portray ourselves as such we are only denying the qualities of being human, we're in self-denial. Our understanding of life is affected by our subjective experience of it. Our biases and our passions have the potential to create, for all of us, elements of cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias. In my experiences with believers and unbelievers this quality doesn't care about one's religious beliefs. In fact a denial of our biases is delusion in itself. The God Delusion attempts to promote a "rational" scientific worldview, that we should look at the world as scientist supposedly engage the world, as impartial observers, impartial to where the truth may lie, just that we pursue it. And he concludes that disbelief can lead us down this path. What Dawkins fails to realize is that, in being humans we have an emotional engagement with the world as well, in that we can never be impartial in our worldview. We have a desire for certain for outcomes, and have a desire for the truth to lie, were we desire it to lie. Dawkins own worldview, in analyzing religion is far from impartial, his misanthropy and passionate distaste for it prevent him from being an impartial observer. In fact Dawkins analysis of religion is far from anything that we would remotely call science. He resorts to anecdotal evidence, and confirmation bias lead him to believe unsupported claims. One such example of this in the God Delusion is Dawkin's deceptive use of study in the journal Nature:

Quote:
"A study in the leading journal Nature by Larson and Witham in 1998 showed that of those American scientist considered eminent enough by their peers to have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (equivalent to being a Fellow at the Royal Society in Britain) only about 7% believe in a personal God. The overwhelming preponderance of atheists is almost exactly the opposite of the profile of the American population at large. "
Notice the study claims that the majority of these Scientist do not believe in a personal God, not that they are atheist. The last I checked atheism is a disbelief in all God, not only a personal one. There are number of believers in God, that don't believe that he is a personal one, such as Spinoza, Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov, the multitude of deist, and etc.., that are far from atheist. Dawkins use of this study to support a "preponderance of atheists" is just plane false. Dawkins doesn't even realize the naivety in this assumption. So claiming that most scientist are atheist, by this particularly study is irrational as it comes. I don't believe that Dawkins intentionally desired to deceive his readers, but that his desire for one outcome to be true, created a delusion, a self-deception in how he read this study, to allow him to create that leap in logic from a disbelief in a personal god, to a disbelief in all Gods all together (atheism). Many unbelievers have quite passionate dislike towards "religion", and to claim that you are truly rational, and are capable of being impartial in your analysis of religion, is a delusion in itself, because you deny you emotional desire for a particular outcome to be true. You deny your personal bias. Our emotional engagement with religion, doesn't allow us to be impartial. Another example of this sort of delusion in the Atheist community, is among Jesus mythicist. In a discussion I've been having over at the with the self proclaimed Ancient text expert and Historian, Rook Hawkins. He claims that "every critical scholar admits" that "Mark used Homer as model" (http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/14930#comment-186759). He didn't even say some critical scholars, but all. I have asked him to provide evidence in support of this extravagant claim, but he hasn't done so yet. Hawkins claims that "Jesus is Odysseus", a conclusion that he came to from reading Dennis R. MacDonald's book The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark. He suggested that I pay the $20 bucks to go buy the book, rather than providing me actual claims from it. But I did find a website for MacDonald's ideas: http://sol.sci.uop.edu/~jfalward/Odysseus_and_Jesus_Visit_Hades.html You want to hear one remarkable similarity, that lead to supposedly "all critical scholars" to the conclusion that Jesus is Odysseus? Here's one: “Hero and men eat supper, including wine”. The point of reference in the two narratives: from the Odyssey’s: "[W]e feasted our fill on meat and wine", and from Mark 14: “[T]hey were ...eating [also drinking "the fruit of the vine"]”. You mean to tell me, both Jesus and Odysseus ate food? Oh poop that means, those French dudes who drink wine with their Lamb Chops are Odysseus as well! And to top it all off in Mark 14, the verses used in this comparison, says it’s the day of the Jewish Passover. Every Jew in living in first century Jerusalem is eating a supper that includes wine, and meat.

(you can find me going over more of these supposed similarities in this thread: (http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/14997#comment-187747) I mean what hooey? But yet you find such a passionate support for these sort of erroneous conclusions. As I pointed out with Dawkins, I don't believe that this was intentional deception by Hawkins, but that his own passionate engagement with the subject, doesn't allow him to be impartial, but deludes him, with confirmation bias, and cognitive dissonance. He had an emphatic support for MacDonald, but an impartial anaylsis of MacDonald clearly reveals the hooey of his thesis, that's not even hard to notice, as the above example shows. These sort of "delusions" are rampant among believers, and unbelievers. We are not impartial observers of the world, but since we are part of the world we live in, we are passionate observers of it as well. Our dislikes, especially our passionate opposition, creates biases and delusions. If we are liberal such delusions emerge when we are examining the conservative viewpoint, and vice versa, particularly when have passionate distaste for the other side. In the same vein the religious mind has difficulty comprehending the non-religious mind, as the non-religious have in examining the religious mind, especially when we have a passionate distaste towards belief, or non-belief. Our passions create a dilemma for us, in that they desire a particular outcome to be true, so that we are not impartial to where the truth may lie. From here cognitive dissonance sets in, and we fawn over anything that supports where we desire the truth to lie, and become overtly skeptical, and many times in denial of that which is contrary to what we desire to be true. There is no such thing as a truly rational individual, as humans our engagement with the world is passionate, and we can never be as impartial as we desire to be. Let's not delude ourselves into thinking otherwise. We all have our biases, and a grounding for potential self-deceptions.


 

"I'm really an idiot! I have my own head way the fuck up my ass! Watch me dig myself into a hole over and over again!" ~Rook Hawkins (just citing sources)


theidiot
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(the above didn't space

(the above didn't space properly, and I don't seem to have the edit function to re-edit the post, so I'm just going to post it again here, in a more readable spaced fashion. Hopefully a mod can delete the above post, and make this the OP)

None, of us are truly rational individuals, when we try to portray ourselves as such we are only denying the qualities of being human, we're in self-denial. Our understanding of life is affected by our subjective experience of it. Our biases and our passions have the potential to create, for all of us, elements of cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias. 

In my experiences with believers and unbelievers this quality doesn't care about one's religious beliefs. In fact a denial of our biases is delusion in itself.

The God Delusion attempts to promote a "rational" scientific worldview, that we should look at the world as scientist supposedly engage the world, as impartial observers, impartial to where the truth may lie, just that we pursue it. 

And he concludes that disbelief can lead us down this path. What Dawkins fails to realize is that, in being humans we have an emotional engagement with the world as well, in that we can never be impartial in our worldview. We have a desire for certain for outcomes, and have a desire for the truth to lie, were we desire it to lie. 

Dawkins own worldview, in analyzing religion is far from impartial, his misanthropy and passionate distaste for it prevent him from being an impartial observer. In fact Dawkins analysis of religion is far from anything that we would remotely call science. He resorts to  anecdotal evidence, and confirmation bias lead him to believe unsupported claims.

One such example of this in the God Delusion is Dawkin's deceptive use of study in the journal Nature:

Quote:
"A study in the leading journal Nature by Larson and Witham in 1998 showed that of those American scientist considered eminent enough by their peers to have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (equivalent to being a Fellow at the Royal Society in Britain) only about 7% believe in a personal God. The overwhelming preponderance of atheists is almost exactly the opposite of the profile of the American population at large. "

Notice the study claims that the majority of these Scientist do not believe in a personal God, not that they are atheist. The last I checked atheism is a disbelief in all God, not only a personal one.  There are number of believers in God, that don't believe that he is a personal one, such as Spinoza, Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov, the multitude of deist, and etc.., that are far from atheist. Dawkins use of this study to support a "preponderance of atheists" is just plane false. Dawkins doesn't even realize the naivety in this assumption. 

So claiming that most scientist are atheist, by this particularly study is irrational as it comes. 

I don't believe that Dawkins intentionally desired to deceive his readers, but that his desire for one outcome to be true, created a delusion, a self-deception in how he read this study, to allow him to create that leap in logic from a disbelief in a personal god, to a disbelief in all Gods all together (atheism).

Many unbelievers have quite passionate dislike towards "religion", and to claim that you are truly rational, and are capable of being impartial in your analysis of religion, is a delusion in itself, because you deny you emotional desire for a particular outcome to be true. You deny your personal bias. Our emotional engagement with religion, doesn't allow us to be impartial.

Another example of this sort of delusion in the Atheist community, is among Jesus mythicist. In a discussion I've been having over at the with the self proclaimed Ancient text expert and Historian, Rook Hawkins. He claims that "every critical scholar admits"  that "Mark used Homer as model" (http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/14930#comment-186759). 


He didn't even say some critical scholars, but all. I have asked him to provide evidence in support of this extravagant claim, but he hasn't done so yet.


Hawkins claims that "Jesus is Odysseus", a conclusion that he came to from reading Dennis R. MacDonald's book The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark.

He suggested that I pay the $20 bucks to go buy the book, rather than providing me actual claims from it. But I did find a website for MacDonald's ideas: http://sol.sci.uop.edu/~jfalward/Odysseus_and_Jesus_Visit_Hades.html

You want to hear one remarkable similarity, that lead to supposedly "all critical scholars" to the conclusion that Jesus is Odysseus? Here's one:

“Hero and men eat supper, including wine”. The point of reference in the two narratives: from the Odyssey’s: "[W]e feasted our fill on meat and wine", and from Mark 14: “[T]hey were ...eating [also drinking "the fruit of the vine"]”. You mean to tell me, both Jesus and Odysseus ate food? Oh poop that means, those French dudes who drink wine with their Lamb Chops are Odysseus as well! 

And to top it all off in Mark 14, the verses used in this comparison, says it’s the day of the Jewish Passover. Every Jew in living in first century Jerusalem is eating a supper that includes wine, and meat. 

(you can find me going over more of these supposed similarities in this thread: (http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/14997#comment-187747)

I mean what hooey?

But yet you find such a passionate support for these sort of erroneous conclusions. As I pointed out with Dawkins, I don't believe that this was intentional deception by Hawkins, but that his own passionate engagement with the subject, doesn't allow him to be impartial, but deludes him, with confirmation bias, and cognitive dissonance. He had an emphatic support for MacDonald, but an impartial anaylsis of MacDonald clearly reveals the hooey of his thesis, that's not even hard to notice, as the above example shows.

These sort of "delusions" are rampant among believers, and unbelievers. We are not impartial observers of the world, but since we are part of the world we live in, we are passionate observers of it as well. Our dislikes, especially our passionate opposition, creates biases and delusions. If we are liberal such delusions emerge when we are examining the conservative viewpoint, and vice versa, particularly when have  passionate distaste for the other side. 

In the same vein the religious mind has difficulty comprehending the non-religious mind, as the non-religious have in examining the religious mind, especially when we have a passionate distaste towards belief, or non-belief. 

Our passions create a dilemma for us, in that they desire a particular outcome to be true, so that we are not impartial to where the truth may lie. From here cognitive dissonance sets in, and we fawn over anything that supports where we desire the truth to lie, and become overtly skeptical, and many times in denial of that which is contrary to what we desire to be true.

There is no such thing as a truly rational individual, as humans our engagement with the world is passionate, and we can never be as impartial as we desire to be. 

Let's not delude ourselves into thinking otherwise. We all have our biases, and a grounding for potential self-deceptions. 

 

"I'm really an idiot! I have my own head way the fuck up my ass! Watch me dig myself into a hole over and over again!" ~Rook Hawkins (just citing sources)


jcgadfly
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I think you have

I think you have impartiality confused with rationality.

That being said:

The fact that none of us are truly rational leads me makes me want to be as rational as I can be and work toward that goal.

What makes your idea of latching onto an irrational concept and stopping the search for rationality in its tracks a better idea?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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 I think the OP has

 I think the OP has confused 'truly rational' with 'fully(or solely) rational'

 

A person can be truly rational and still have room to be emotional.

If I have gained anything by damning myself, it is that I no longer have anything to fear. - JP Sartre


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jcgadfly wrote:What makes

jcgadfly wrote:
What makes your idea of latching onto an irrational concept and stopping the search for rationality in its tracks a better idea?

I don't ever recall claiming that "latching onto an irrational concept and stopping the search for rationality" is a better idea? 

Pointing to the irrationalities of being human, is not justification of what is natural to us as an ideal. What I was pointing out is, that unbelievers are just as irrational when it comes to their own passionate beliefs, as believers are. And a denial of our irrationality to that which we are passionate about is a self-deception.

But if we are to be "more rational", than we must accept that we are havens for self-deception as well, and that our passionately held beliefs, be it in religion, a faith in science, liberalism, humanism, even a faith in rationality, and for many even their atheism, all create self-deception as well.

Before we start picking on the sawdust in the eyes of other, we must remove the lumber yard in our own. 

 

 

"I'm really an idiot! I have my own head way the fuck up my ass! Watch me dig myself into a hole over and over again!" ~Rook Hawkins (just citing sources)


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Balrogoz wrote: I think the

Balrogoz wrote:

 I think the OP has confused 'truly rational' with 'fully(or solely) rational'

 

A person can be truly rational and still have room to be emotional.

I was about to say the same exact thing.  I'm unaware of anyone that is "ALWAYS Rational."  I'm certainly not.  The O.P. seems to have fallen in one of my traps.  We may have inferred that we were always rational but we never said it (not to my knowledge at least), we let you make that conclusion (irrationally).

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 Quote: I think the OP has

 

Quote:
 I think the OP has confused 'truly rational' with 'fully(or solely) rational'

 

A person can be truly rational and still have room to be emotional.

i didn't mean to imply that we are not truly rational because we are emotional creatures, but our emotions especially when they are passionate creates self-deception, and biases; these are the elements opposed to rationality. I used Rook Hawkins, and Richard Dawkins as examples of these sort of delusions that our emotions create. it's not us being emotional in itself that leads us to be irrational, but when our passionate emotions create elements of self-deception. 

If I have an emotional reason to believe something is true, this can lead to self-deception in examining where the truth may lie

 

 

 

 

"I'm really an idiot! I have my own head way the fuck up my ass! Watch me dig myself into a hole over and over again!" ~Rook Hawkins (just citing sources)


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theidiot wrote:I used Rook

theidiot wrote:

I used Rook Hawkins, and Richard Dawkins as examples of these sort of delusions that our emotions create.

Use me instead, I know those two guys well.  They're both much more book smart than I am, and I'm more rational than both of them.  Eye-wink

 

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theidiot wrote:Let's not

theidiot wrote:
Let's not delude ourselves into thinking otherwise. We all have our biases, and a grounding for potential self-deceptions.
All I can think to say to this is: Thank you, captain obvious.

I'm pretty certain we all know that our human nature means we have our biases. Your essay demonstrates both that you recognize other's biases, and it also demonstrates your biases.

Now, unless you really are an idiot, you had a reason for pointing out this obvious thing (especially in such detail.) Why not come right out and say it?

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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Um... yeah... well...

Um... yeah... well... ummm...

 

Hmm...

 

 

Do you ever find that an argument is so odd and disjointed that you don't even know how to start addressing it?  Anyway, this is really, really simple.  Logic and empirical probability are the measures of rationality.  If an argument is logically valid, and the premises are most likely true based on empirical testing, then the conclusion that follows is rational.

If a person most often makes rational decisions, or alternatively, makes rational decisions on most of the things that are generally agreed upon as really damn important, we say they're a rational person.

If a person frequently makes irrational decisions, or screws up really big decisions, we say they are irrational.

A given conclusion can be examined without the bias of the individual simply by reducing it to either symbolic logic or syllogism.

Duh.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Quote:A given conclusion can

Quote:
A given conclusion can be examined without the bias of the individual simply by reducing it to either symbolic logic or syllogism.

Ah, if only it was so easy to remove ourselves from our biases.

Do you believe your analysis of religion is impartial and objective. Do you accept that your view on it is drenched in your passionate distaste for all things religious, there by creating biases and self-deceptions in your view on it? Or would you say that when you express your thoughts on religion, you examine it without your biases intact?

Would you say that your understanding of religion is informed by a scientific analysis of it? Is your belief in what religion can and cannot do based on this? Do you believe that an impartial observers of religion would agree with your view, or if your views are more less to be taken by faith? 

I thought about doing this for Sapient since he requested that it be done for him, rather than me using Hawkins, and Dawkins as an example of atheist self-deception, but I prefer to use you, particularly when you have an interesting blog post, that address one of the most common forms of self-deception among crusading atheist: http://hambydammit.livejournal.com/15158.html#cutid1.

I hope you don't take this an attack on you in me targeting your blog post, and that's why I'm kindly asking for you permission in doing so before i proceed. So what say you? 

 

 

"I'm really an idiot! I have my own head way the fuck up my ass! Watch me dig myself into a hole over and over again!" ~Rook Hawkins (just citing sources)


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theidiot wrote:Quote:A given

theidiot wrote:

Quote:
A given conclusion can be examined without the bias of the individual simply by reducing it to either symbolic logic or syllogism.

Ah, if only it was so easy to remove ourselves from our biases.

Do you believe your analysis of religion is impartial and objective. Do you accept that your view on it is drenched in your passionate distaste for all things religious, there by creating biases and self-deceptions in your view on it? Or would you say that when you express your thoughts on religion, you examine it without your biases intact?

Would you say that your understanding of religion is informed by a scientific analysis of it? Is your belief in what religion can and cannot do based on this? Do you believe that an impartial observers of religion would agree with your view, or if your views are more less to be taken by faith? 

I thought about doing this for Sapient since he requested that it be done for him, rather than me using Hawkins, and Dawkins as an example of atheist self-deception, but I prefer to use you, particularly when you have an interesting blog post, that address one of the most common forms of self-deception among crusading atheist: http://hambydammit.livejournal.com/15158.html#cutid1.

I hope you don't take this an attack on you in me targeting your blog post, and that's why I'm kindly asking for you permission in doing so before i proceed. So what say you? 

 

 

What's so biased about the statement, "I see no evidence for your God"?

 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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  Quote: What's so biased

  

Quote:
 What's so biased about the statement, "I see no evidence for your God"?

There is nothing bias about that statement of disbelief in itself. I think it's quite reasonable for individuals to not believe in God. In fact I was an unbeliever for much of my adult life. But than again, I was never dogmatic about it either, or passionate about my disbelief. I was never compelled to crusade my disbelief. I never saw atheism as the savior of humanity, nor did i believe in the magical fairy dust of disbelief. I was never compelled to believe that disbelief, would lead me magically to care for humanity more by perceiving life as short, particularly since I've lived my life around individuals for whom the brevity of life became a reason for indifference. I didn't treat my atheism as a sort of religion, a cure for the woes of humanity. 

Biases and self-deception forms from our passion. When we are passionate about our disbelief, self-deception and bias is likely to be there as well. 


 

"I'm really an idiot! I have my own head way the fuck up my ass! Watch me dig myself into a hole over and over again!" ~Rook Hawkins (just citing sources)


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theidiot wrote:There is

theidiot wrote:
There is nothing bias about that statement of disbelief in itself. I think it's quite reasonable for individuals to not believe in God. In fact I was an unbeliever for much of my adult life. But than again, I was never dogmatic about it either, or passionate about my disbelief. I was never compelled to crusade my disbelief. I never saw atheism as the savior humanity, as the magical fairy dust of disbelief. I was never compelled to believe that disbelief, would lead me magically to care for humanity more by perceiving life as short, particularly I've lived my life around individuals for whom the brevity of life became reason for indifference. I didn't treat my atheist as sort of religion, a cure for the woes of humanity.
Who does? I can't even conceive of being passionate about... nothing, which is what atheism really is, like not stamp collecting.

theidiot wrote:
Biases and self-deception forms from our passion. When we are passionate about our disbelief, self-deception and bias is likely to be there as well. 
I really get the idea you're wandering about some real point.

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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 Quote:I can't even

 

Quote:
I can't even conceive of being passionate about... nothing, which is what atheism really is, like not stamp collecting.

Atheism is being passionate about nothing??? I don't follow.

 

"I'm really an idiot! I have my own head way the fuck up my ass! Watch me dig myself into a hole over and over again!" ~Rook Hawkins (just citing sources)


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theidiot wrote: Quote:I

theidiot wrote:

 

Quote:
I can't even conceive of being passionate about... nothing, which is what atheism really is, like not stamp collecting.

Atheism is being passionate about nothing??? I don't follow.

 

How can one have a passionate belief in unbelief?

I can be freaky passionate in my desire for evidence but I can't passionately disbelieve.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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jcgadfly wrote:theidiot

jcgadfly wrote:

theidiot wrote:

 

Quote:
I can't even conceive of being passionate about... nothing, which is what atheism really is, like not stamp collecting.

Atheism is being passionate about nothing??? I don't follow.

How can one have a passionate belief in unbelief?

I can be freaky passionate in my desire for evidence but I can't passionately disbelieve.

That's exactly what I mean.

Atheism means one thing: Not believing in a god or gods. How can one be passionate about DISbelief?

 

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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Quote:Do you believe your

Quote:
Do you believe your analysis of religion is impartial and objective.

My analysis of religion holds up to impartial and objective analysis.

Quote:
Do you accept that your view on it is drenched in your passionate distaste for all things religious, there by creating biases and self-deceptions in your view on it?

No.  I accept that I have an emotional bias against religion.  I do not see any reason to accept the accusation of self-deception since, as I mentioned, my assessment holds up to impartial and objective analysis, regardless of my emotional investment.

Quote:
Or would you say that when you express your thoughts on religion, you examine it without your biases intact?

When I was religious, I was extremely emotionally invested in staying religious.  I didn't decide to become an atheist.  I couldn't avoid it.  I became one when my emotional investment simply didn't have enough weight to overcome the overwhelming objective and unbiased logic that makes religion untenable to a critical thinker.

Now, having recognized how much my emotions prevented me from seeing the situation rationally, I go to extra trouble to use the language of logic and reason when examining religion, thereby giving myself a measure of removal from the question.  I try very hard not to ever write anything while I'm feeling particularly emotional about it.

Quote:
Would you say that your understanding of religion is informed by a scientific analysis of it?

Yes.

Quote:
Is your belief in what religion can and cannot do based on this?

Yes.

Quote:
Do you believe that an impartial observers of religion would agree with your view, or if your views are more less to be taken by faith?

Well, history and science are different, and history is most often written by the winners, who have most often been religious, so there's a real problem here.  History books are not bound by the same standards of controls and empirical accuracy, so it is less trustworthy than science.  I don't particularly care what historians agree with or not.  All the evidence necessary to invalidate religion is contained in current scientific knowledge combined with strict observance of the rules of logical validity.

But, to answer your question directly, I believe that if you could find impartial observers of religion who also happened to be skilled in the use of reason, they would agree with me.

Quote:
I prefer to use you, particularly when you have an interesting blog post, that address one of the most common forms of self-deception among crusading atheist: http://hambydammit.livejournal.com/15158.html#cutid1.

I'm flattered.   You can find that same essay here:  Religious Moderation  I think it's exactly the same, but it might be from a slightly different revision.  That essay is one of my oldest published essays, and has been through several revisions for clarity of meaning.  I've also done my best to remove remnants of emotional attachment that became apparent after letting the first draft sit for a while.  I think these essays are much better when they deal with just the facts, don't you?

Quote:
I hope you don't take this an attack on you in me targeting your blog post, and that's why I'm kindly asking for you permission in doing so before i proceed. So what say you?

Knock yourself out.  Before you do, however, please read through the responses on this site and also in my livejournal, as I've already addressed many of the objections people are likely to make.  I'm not going to type it all out again just for your benefit, so if you think my rebuttals are insufficient, you need to pick up from there, not from the original.  In other words, be nice.  Don't make me go to the trouble of giving you a personal version of things I've already written for others.  Thanks in advance.

 {EDIT:  Actually... try this link for livejournal  http://community.livejournal.com/challenging_god/755662.html#cutid1 and this one http://community.livejournal.com/faith_vs_reason/42547.html#cutid1 where I had comments.}

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit
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JillSwift wrote:That's

JillSwift wrote:
That's exactly what I mean.

Atheism means one thing: Not believing in a god or gods. How can one be passionate about DISbelief?

Well, if it is in opposition to belief, it's easy enough to be passionate about disbelief.  For instance,  if anyone tried to pass a bill in Congress mandating daily molar sacrifices to the Tooth Fairy,  not believing in the Tooth Fairy would be very important to everyone wishing to keep their teeth.  I'd say passionately opposing belief would be a good thing.

It's probably just a semantic game to say whether it's actually passionate disbelief or passionate opposition to belief.  But anyway, there's plenty of good reasons for atheists to be passionate about the cosmos being godless.  After all, "Godless" is a quality, when surrounded by a universe of discourse, and is actually a positive statement.  Consider:  If two people are having drinks, and things are going real well, and one says to the other, "I don't have any STDs," and the other says, "Awesome!  I don't have any STDs either," then the nonexistence of something is quite a good thing.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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I AM GOD AS YOU
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Knee jerking to theidiot.

Knee jerking to theidiot.

Show me the idol and I will show you un-rational. Science is the study of the unknown, expanding on the little we can know. The unknown does not prove a god as in the religious sense of needing to create an idol and dogmatic doctrines. Scientifically and rationally as I can be, I say, I am god, as all is god, and I have no need to ask why. I am what I fucking am. Me and the dirt are ONE ..... I instead ask HOW.

People say "god", and I say WTF else could you and I be?, so fuck all idols, all religion, all dogma, all self doubt .... GO SCIENCE ..... because yeah, we don't know jack shit much .... Glad we do known what we do .... WOW the earth isn't flat, and the flu fever isn't a punishment ..... No priest , no religion needed ..... WE are all the CHRIST ....

   LOL theidiot, thanks for posting.

 


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accuracy

 

   Dear Mr.Theidiot you have proven beyond any doubt in my mind that you have named yourself with the utmost accuracy.

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?


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 It´s really interesting

 It´s really interesting to read all these posts, still none have yet mentioned people like Derrida, Antonio Damasio and so forth, who search to link up rationality with emotions, and show that one cannot live without the other. The idea that rationality itself is a cold, hard, lifeless mechanistic worldview is something which bothers a lot of people. 

 That´s another thing: We all seem to talk about rationality in here, still none have yet defined it as they see it. In order for a premise to be valid, its kinda important that we all share the same view upon what it means, right? If the rationality of one differs from the rationality of another - does then some sort of universal rationality exist? Let´s take sports, or musicians ie.

 Now, most people would say that there is a certain rational way of, let´s say playing the guitar. Still the guitarists that are most famous to us, such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Steve Vai and so forth, all have extremely flawed techniques. But as they´ve developed these techniques within their own realm, it´s what has worked best for them. Does, then, a rational guitar technique exist? It certainly seems like it does, but at the same time it seems as if its perfectly possible to live without it. The same goes for sports, where the winner in technical events, such as Soccer or hockey often is the one following  a non-predetermined pattern of conduct, as opposed to what the coach said.

 The point here is that there is much support for the "irrationality of rationality", such as with mr. Damasio (whom, by the way, is a neuro-surgeon. Just read his piece on Phineas Gage). Other European philosophers, such as Jaques Derrida, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and so on, also have favorable arguments in support of "our" system beliefs, but with a different approach.

 

 Would it not be rational to see what other people had to say about an issue before one set out to solve the matter by his/her own hands?

 

Henrik

ake the life-lie away from the average man and straight away you take away his happiness.

- Henrik Ibsen


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DudefromNorway wrote:That´s

DudefromNorway wrote:

That´s another thing: We all seem to talk about rationality in here, still none have yet defined it as they see it. In order for a premise to be valid, its kinda important that we all share the same view upon what it means, right? If the rationality of one differs from the rationality of another - does then some sort of universal rationality exist?

Excellent points.

For me, rationality is the practice of framing my thoughts and ideas in context of that which we know about the universe. "That which we know of the universe" is the ontology generated by the practice of the scientific method. That restricts our rational worldview in two ways:

1) We are limited to that which is accessible to the scientific method.

You cannot rationally approach anything which cannot be observed and quantified. Also, all new knowledge must build upon the old. Without a framework, all you have is dry measurements. As an example, take a look at quantum mechanics. We have very little framework with which to build on QM, and so the underlying principles of QM still escape us. We have descriptions of behavior, but no explanation for much of that behavior. We are having a grand old time trying to fit it into the framework of our old ontology, to make everything from gravity to relativity to QM fit together in a neat package.

2) Our understanding of the universe is incomplete, and so may change at any time, given new data and new theories based on the new data.

This is really just a corrollary to #1. If we admit we don't know everything about the universe, we have to admit that our understanding may (and probably will) change as we learn more. In the QM example, once we figure out how gravity, relativity, and QM play together, our understanding of the universe may change dramatically.

This doesn't negate Newton or Einstein or any of our current knowledge. It's more like purchasing a big house, and you put all your furniture in the living room and bedrooms, and you live for a while. then you open up the big doors (which you thought were just wood panels until you noticed the doorknobs) at the back of the house, and you discover that what you thought was the living room was really just the foyer, and your bedrooms were really broom closets. The discovery of the new rooms doesn't change the facts of the foyer, or what you considered your bedrooms; but it does change how you view them.

 

With all that, rationalism is the use of the knowledge you currently hold. As different people hold different subsets of our shared ontology, their ability to talk rationally on a subject varies with their own expertise. Also, some parts of the ontology may have multiple interpretations, such as our current knowledge of QM. In those cases, our ability to discuss QM rationally depends on our ability to recognize our ignorance, by saying that string theory may be a potential explanation.

This approach to rationality is orthogonal to the feelings you experience.

Leo Kottke is a better guitar player than Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix was the better artist, though. He could induce feelings with his music in ways that Kottke can never hope to duplicate. This has nothing to do with rationality. Art is about the expression and communication of complex emotions through sensory stimuli (is that redundant?).

You can separate the rational from the non-rational. We as humans cannot disable the non-rational part of us (the emotional part), though that part is suppressed to varying degrees in some people. Nor would I wish to shut down my emotions -- I enjoy feeling good about life, and even sometimes feeling sad or angry.

The trick to rationality is to recognize when you are truly being rational (basing your thoughts on that which we know) rather than basing it on which you wish to be true. We sometimes think we know something without really knowing it. This is especially true in things like politics and economy, where good objective knowledge is hard to come by, and the motive for clouding the truth with misinformation leads to a lot of false knowledge.

Is there an objective rationality? I believe so. It's predicated on my belief that the universe holds an objective reality.

Anyway, that's my view of what rationality is all about. Others may have different views or approaches.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


Hambydammit
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Quote: That´s another

Quote:
That´s another thing: We all seem to talk about rationality in here, still none have yet defined it as they see it.

A puzzling (and irrational) thing to say, given the direct empirical evidence in this very thread that the conclusion is false:

hambydammit wrote:

Do you ever find that an argument is so odd and disjointed that you don't even know how to start addressing it?  Anyway, this is really, really simple.  Logic and empirical probability are the measures of rationality.  If an argument is logically valid, and the premises are most likely true based on empirical testing, then the conclusion that follows is rational.

If a person most often makes rational decisions, or alternatively, makes rational decisions on most of the things that are generally agreed upon as really damn important, we say they're a rational person.

If a person frequently makes irrational decisions, or screws up really big decisions, we say they are irrational.

A given conclusion can be examined without the bias of the individual simply by reducing it to either symbolic logic or syllogism.

I would add to this that we can also say that a person is generally rational but an individual conclusion is irrational.  For instance, you have made very valid points in your thread, and appear to be a generally rational person.  However, it is irrational for you to say that nobody has given a definition in this thread IF you believe that to be true in spite of directly contradictory evidence -- in this case, a definition of rationality sitting there looking at you from the thread.

So, we can break this down and figure out what happened:

Either:

1) You saw my definition and posted the statement that nobody had defined it.  IRRATIONAL and False.

2) You did not read my particular post, or read it without comprehension, and believed that nobody had defined it in this thread.  RATIONAL but False.

I can use the evidence in your post to draw a reasonably certain conclusion that you do not believe your statement in spite of contrary evidence.  With any luck, at this very moment, your belief is different than it was before you read this post, and you now believe that someone has defined rationality in this thread.   That would be a rational decision on your part.

[/SNARK OFF]

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Self-deceptions

 

Theidiot,

  You have hit the nail on the head.  Atheists do fail to see their own bias and prejudices when dealing with religion.  One delusion that atheist believe is that higher education will get rid of religion.  This belief is false.  One day atheist will realize that religion is here to stay.   You have done well thank you for this post.