Why do you think Christians/Muslims cherrypick?

Cpt_pineapple
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Why do you think Christians/Muslims cherrypick?

I've been thinking about my stance on the psychology of religion and came across the fact that Christians will follow some parts of the Bible, but not other, Muslims will follow some of the Koran, but not all.

 

So I ask:

 

WHY do you think they do this? What prevents them from accepting others will wildly following others?

 

 

I have my own views of course, but I want others.

 

 

 

 

 


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A conflict exists between

A conflict exists between the multi-faceted human need for god/gods and the  ever growing absurdity that accompanies a literal interpretation of holy scripture.

Cherry Picking seems the easiest way to resolve this conflict.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
George Orwell


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I've

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I've been thinking about my stance on the psychology of religion and came across the fact that Christians will follow some parts of the Bible, but not other, Muslims will follow some of the Koran, but not all.

 

So I ask:

 

WHY do you think they do this? What prevents them from accepting others will wildly following others?

 

 

I have my own views of course, but I want others.

 

 

 

 

 

People are products of our environment which is largely controlled by the public opinion-molding machine in our environment. Religions take on different natures based upon who is in control of the public opinion-molding machine in their environment and what is in the interests of those in control. Before modern technology, views were molded by clergy who guided people's thoughts towards whatever aspects of the holy texts they found most interesting to them, which would naturally most often be the things that best serve their interests..like tithing would be a thing everyone one would know about for instance. And because the King could do what the King could do, his interests get involved in it no matter what.  As these cults progress along and situations change in the world, the leaders would find all kinds of holy text to highlight to get the common people to serve their interests for any particular occasion. And fast forward to now, and the same thing is still happening. Those with elevated status in society are in control of what holy text gets highlighted and accepted as normal via them having control of the public opinion-molding machine.


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 It seems to me that

 It seems to me that cherry-picking is most simply explained as the convergence of a person's tolerance for cognitive dissonance and their environment.

As anyone who's read the bible or the koran knows, you literally have to cherry pick it unless you're bat-shit crazy.  The cognitive dissonance in both books is so startling and obvious that any sane person must pick and choose, even if he says he doesn't.  It seems to me that there's a second-level cognitive dissonance at work with the group mentality of religion:

"I must pick and choose because this book is contradictory, but all of my peers say that it is inerrant, so it is inerrant."

So first, there's the inherent draw of religion -- believe this, and your life will be better... except that it doesn't make sense.  That's enough for most people.  They overcome the CD and believe.  Then, you add the herd instinct, and they reinforce the CD they've already accepted.

 

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

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Hamby, one of the things

Hamby, one of the things that causes CD has to go against another thing.

 

You mentioned one thing [The chosen verses in the bible], but not what it goes against.

 

That is what causes the CD with respect to verse Y in the Bible but not to verse X?

 

 

 

 


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 Well, yeah.  X and Y, in

 Well, yeah.  X and Y, in this case, are contradictory statements in the Bible, or in the presentation of the religion by the pastor, or whatever.

 

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

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Hambydammit wrote: Well,

Hambydammit wrote:

 Well, yeah.  X and Y, in this case, are contradictory statements in the Bible, or in the presentation of the religion by the pastor, or whatever.

 

 

I'm talking about CD independent of the the other verses.

 

 

For example, X, Y condratict each other, so they must choose one and only one.  So what makes them choose X over Y? If I get what you're saying Y causes too much CD so they pick X.

 

But what is causing the CD for Y? It can't be X seeing as they haven't choosing it yet, and they could have as easily choosen Y.

 

 

 

 


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Honestly, most Christians

Honestly, most Christians don't have to cherry-pick because they've barely read the Bible.

Edit:

Cpt_Pineapple wrote:
So what makes them choose X over Y?

Maybe they like X more than Y? Maybe X was what their family and pastor told them. Maybe they read X, but not Y.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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 Quote:I'm talking about CD

 

Quote:
I'm talking about CD independent of the the other verses.

Then I'm totally lost.  The Bible and Koran are internally contradictory.  If someone has read them and believes them to be accurate, they are reconciling CD.

Quote:
For example, X, Y condratict each other, so they must choose one and only one.  So what makes them choose X over Y? If I get what you're saying Y causes too much CD so they pick X.

 

But what is causing the CD for Y? It can't be X seeing as they haven't choosing it yet, and they could have as easily choosen Y.

I can't answer this without knowing what kinds of things you're talking about.  Can you give me an anecdotal example?

 

 

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

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butterbattle wrote:Honestly,

butterbattle wrote:

Honestly, most Christians don't have to cherry-pick because they've barely read the Bible.

Edit:

Cpt_Pineapple wrote:
So what makes them choose X over Y?

Maybe they like X more than Y? Maybe X was what their family and pastor told them. Maybe they read X, but not Y.

 

 

I don't seem to be communicating well.

 

I'll just outright say it:

 

I propose that personality is a better predictor of behavour than religion.

 

That is people simply follow the verses that fit their personality and reject the ones that don't.

 

 

 


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My opinion is that religious

My opinion is that religious types cherry-pick from their idiotic books because they are too chickenshit to just opt out completely.

How can not believing in something that is backed up with no empirical evidence be less scientific than believing in something that not only has no empirical evidence but actually goes against the laws of the universe and in many cases actually contradicts itself? - Ricky Gervais


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You maybe a cherry picker if:

"No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means."

George Bernard Shaw

 

You maybe a cherry picker if: you do not believe X and Y contradict each other.

You maybe a cherry picker if: you believe X and Y contradict each other

You maybe a cherry picker if :your beliefs follow the teaching of someone other than yourself - aka,a blind picker grabbing someone elses cherries.

You maybe a cherry picker if:your beliefs are drawn from your personal interpretations. aka- crazy picker

You maybe a cherry picker if: you believe a person is a cherry picker and you are not!

Cherry picking is only done by the person who got it wrong.

 


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 Quote:I propose that

 

Quote:
I propose that personality is a better predictor of behavour than religion.

I don't have a problem with that.

Quote:
That is people simply follow the verses that fit their personality and reject the ones that don't.

I also agree with that.

This is not to say that religion is not a factor in predicting behavior, but as I'm sure you're well aware, if you give a hundred people a RWA assessment, the 20 highest scores are also extremely likely to be the 20 most fervently religious people.  In other words, an authoritarian personality is a good predictor of religious acceptance, which correlates highly to acceptance of CD.

Put another way, if you have someone who is a double high RWA but was raised in a totally atheist environment, they're still going to display signs of RWA and expect blind devotion and acceptance of cognitive dissonance from their followers.  (Cough... cough... Stalin... Stalin...)

I'm so scared you're going to try to use this to say religion doesn't alter people's behavior, though... I have to point you to the article by Greta Christina from which I got my current signature.  The difference between religion and pretty much anything else is that there's no reality check with religion, so it, more than any other model, allows the runaway train effect.

Whatever it is that a person cherry picks out of a religion -- which fits their personality, and which we probably could have predicted if given the chance -- doesn't have a reality check on it.  It is contrary to science, and revealed through some unfalsifiable means.  Those who choose to cherry pick moderate beliefs don't go too far because the beliefs are moderate.  Those who pick nasty things can go very, very, very far down bad roads, and nothing anybody can say or do will ever serve as a reality check.

Any other system -- including communism -- has been held accountable to reality, since it exists within the realm of reality.  Communism doesn't work.  China and Russia are the two primary examples of how fucked up life gets for the proletariat under communism.  Communists claim that communism does X, Y, and Z.  History shows them to be wrong.  Therefore, communism is out of favor in most of the world, and holding on by a few bare threads where it's still in control.  The world stood up and said NO to communism because of a reality check.

That's why religion is dangerous.  It claims exemption from reality checks.  That's why it's different, and why even though you're exactly right, it's still not a get out of jail free card for religion.

If you need a real life example, look at the number of cases of parents depriving their children of medical care or other necessary services (including proper education) in America.  Pretty much the only cases that make it to court are those where the parents claim religious exemption.  Why, if religion doesn't exacerbate irrationality, are there not strict and comprehensive prohibitions on such behavior across the board?  Why do they only go to court over religion?

 

 

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

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The problem with that Hamby,

The problem with that Hamby, is that is assumes that people are rational.

 

 

Compare creationists with 9/11 truthers

 

 

The Creationist most likely grew up in a Creationist household, was exposed to Creationism from relatives and friends etc... 

The 9/11 "truther" , however, was most likely not. It is highly unlikely they attended weekly meetings of 9/11 being an inside job. It is unlikely that they were raised as a "truther" [since most of them probably were adults when 9/11 happened]. Most probably just came to their beliefs without a lot of coehersive pressure from friends/relatives.

 

 

It is also unlikely that the 9/11 truther will have reality checks.

 

If we did reality checks there wouldn't be 9/11 truthers, NWO conspirators, Communism etc....

 

I think that is the major flaw with that view point:

 

It assumes humans are rational by nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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 Quote:Compare creationists

 

Quote:
Compare creationists with 9/11 truthers

I do, and I find them to be identical.  Remember that for my purposes, a religion is a set of beliefs that is in opposition to science and claims exemption from scientific scrutiny.  I know it's too broad a definition, but I get tired of writing out "religion, or any belief system which has all the same hallmarks of religion, most notably a set of beliefs that is in opposition to science and claims exemption from scientific scrutiny."

It's just easier to say "religion."

Quote:
The 9/11 "truther" , however, was most likely not. It is highly unlikely they attended weekly meetings of 9/11 being an inside job.

It is likely, however, that the 9/11 truther has read all the conspiracy books, seen all the movies, and spent a few hundred late nights with Art Bell on Coast to Coast AM.

They've probably also sent off for their own mystical power bracelet at some point or another.

Quote:
 It is unlikely that they were raised as a "truther" [since most of them probably were adults when 9/11 happened]. Most probably just came to their beliefs without a lot of coehersive pressure from friends/relatives.

Most likely, they were not raised in an environment where science, logic, and critical thinking were taught objectively.  Most of the 9/11 truthers I've known (and alien abductees, and Illuminati conspirists, etc...) have been people who either did too much acid in the 70s or grew up with hippies.

Quote:
It is also unlikely that the 9/11 truther will have reality checks.

I agree.

Quote:
If we did reality checks there wouldn't be 9/11 truthers, NWO conspirators, Communism etc....

Not quite.  If 9/11 truthers, NWO conspirators, Communists, etc... did reality checks, there wouldn't be 9/11 truthers, etc.  I've done the reality checks, which is why I reject all of them.  I was a Christian, but lucky for me, I had several really good teachers in college, and several good friends who were able to help me learn how to think.  I did the reality check.

Quote:
 I think that is the major flaw with that view point:

 

It assumes humans are rational by nature.

I assume no such thing.  In fact, if you reflect on most of my writing, you'll see that I think rationality must be taught, practiced, and adhered to despite human nature.  It's an artificial and learned thought pattern.

 

 

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I propose that personality is a better predictor of behavour than religion.

That is people simply follow the verses that fit their personality and reject the ones that don't.

I don't have any problems with this either. I agree.

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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With regards to morality,

With regards to morality, the cherry-picking of religious texts by religious followers is evidence that they do not in fact base their morality on their bible, but instead have a rational or biological ethical code which they live by, and then they simply pick the verses that suit this ethical code.

The same is true of other cherry-picking. Moderate Christians tend to ignore facets of the bible which contradict facts or opinions they already hold to be true. For instance, moderate Christians may ignore the creation myth, calling it "allegorical," because it doesn't fit their scientific understanding of the world. They may ignore the commands of God in the old testament because they were "too brutal" and "intended for a people of an earlier time," while cherry-picking some bubble-gum philosophy from the new testament, simply because it fits their modern, enlightened view of morality.

 

The only difference between fundamentalist Christians and moderate Christians is that fundamentalist Christians are willing to circumvent beliefs they hold, or facts they know to be true, and assert that the Bible is a higher truth than those things.

 

Now, nobody is stupid enough to take the Bible completely literally. Afterall, it is a piece of literature rich in metaphor. Nobody believes that peter is really a rock, or that Jesus really was a lamb--they understand these to be metaphorical. Moderates are just willing to assert that things which were obviously intended to be factual are actually allegorical. The creation story is written in a manner as to allude to fact, or at least to a description of litearary events, and geneologies. Much of the old testament is written in the form of a historical record. If these were intended to be metaphorical, then the author had to have been either the best or worst wordsmith in the world, I cannot quite decide.

 

I assert that when given the choice between two contradictory statements in the Bible, christians will choose the one which best fits their worldview, and that if given the choice between a Biblical statement and facts they know to be true, they will only choose the Bible if they are very serious about their religion.

 


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Obviously, it's because they

Obviously, it's because they know the one truth.

 

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Hambydammit wrote:I assume

Hambydammit wrote:

I assume no such thing.  In fact, if you reflect on most of my writing, you'll see that I think rationality must be taught, practiced, and adhered to despite human nature.  It's an artificial and learned thought pattern


 Our biology puts limits of what we can do/learn.

 

As I've said before, you might as well try to turn a homosexual into a heterosexual.

 

Nobody is 100% rational, my faith in humanity is in steady decline, andwe think "That will never happen to me!" only because of the psychological defence mechanism of attribute the negative of the outgroup to intrinsic factors and the negative of the ingroup to the extrinsic ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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 Quote:Our biology puts

 

Quote:
Our biology puts limits of what we can do/learn.

As I've always said.  Hell... this is a central support of my whole view of humanity.

Quote:
As I've said before, you might as well try to turn a homosexual into a heterosexual.

I'm not sure I like this analogy, but it might work.  (I'm thinking this through as I type.)  As you're probably aware, sexual preference is not an either-or switch.  It's more of a continuum, and most people fall somewhere other than the two extremes.  This part, I think, is possibly analogous to rationality, as it does appear that some people are inherently more "rational" than others.  If you're still on the thread about RWAs, that's as much proof as we need.  RWAs are less likely to notice or care about contradiction than low RWAs, and RWA is a personality type... so there you go.  Since a big part of rationality is recognizing and not explaining away contradiction, we can say that some people are more rational than others by their nature.

The thing is, rationality can be taught.  Critical thinking is not necessarily intuitive.  As the RWA studies prove, even the highest of RWAs become less authoritarian when they've had lots of higher education.  Clearly, the "biological limit on rationality" is not a single, unalterable point.  It's a range.  The question is how big the range is, and whether it can be modified by any environmental factors.

This is where I'm not sure the homosexuality analogy works.  Then again, I don't have studies to prove this, but I really think environmental factors play a big part in people's willingness to engage in experimental behaviors with the sex they don't primarily prefer.  In other words, if your in-group is open, accepting, and non-judgmental about homosexuality, you're more likely to experiment if you ever have the urge, and you're more likely to be ok with your own experimentation.

So... if your ingroup is all about rationality and critical thinking, will it become more important to you to think critically?  Could authoritarian followers be "tricked" into being less authoritarian by their preferred authority figure telling them they ought to do so?

I dunno.

Quote:
 Nobody is 100% rational, my faith in humanity is in steady decline, andwe think "That will never happen to me!" only because of the psychological defence mechanism of attribute the negative of the outgroup to intrinsic factors and the negative of the ingroup to the extrinsic one.

I can't really argue with you.  Everybody has blind spots to their own irrationality.  I've never had much faith in humanity.  I believe we're going to destroy the environment, and ourselves in the process.  I think all we can ever really hope to do is lessen the negative effects of religious (see my broad definition) thinking to some degree.  

Then again, I might be irrationally pessimistic, so I have to keep trying, just in case.

 

 

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

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Cpt_pineapple wrote: WHY do

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

 

WHY do you think they do this? What prevents them from accepting others will wildly following others?

It's simple the way our nervous systems work. There is a priority in our decision making process that humans always follow:

1. Self Preservation. That why when you touch something hot, you automaticaly pull away. It's obvious you don't have free will to do anything else.

2. Comfort and Convinience. We pursue maximum pleasure with minimum pain.

3. Social acceptance. That's why religion and morals is usually decided by family and social groups.

4. Adherence to a moral code and religious belief.

 

Religionists like to think they can put 4 ahead of the others. They can't(no free will), so they just adjust their code and beliefs to be able to put their hedonistic priorities first. How convienient.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I've

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I've been thinking about my stance on the psychology of religion and came across the fact that Christians will follow some parts of the Bible, but not other, Muslims will follow some of the Koran, but not all.

 

So I ask:

 

WHY do you think they do this? What prevents them from accepting others will wildly following others?

 

 

I have my own views of course, but I want others.

 

 

 

 

 


It's simple. Everyone does it. When looking to prove a point, one is searching, not learning. You'll skim through text instead of absorbing it. It is something you can train yourself not to do, and a lot of people pick it up so early as to not remember aquiring the skill. Others have picked it up later, usually the hard way by losing a debate, failing a test, etc. But more people want a quick response, not a thought out one. Cherry picking is intellectual laziness embodied.

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Vastet, I don't think that's

Vastet, I don't think that's the kind of cherry picking the Captain is asking about.  I think she means why do they choose certain bits of the bible to follow and not others.  Like, they don't stone their children, even though it's right there in Leviticus (?), but they believe whole hearedtly in turning the other cheek.

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It's still skimming though,

It's still skimming though, the context merely changes. I've spoken to a number of theists who were very surprised when directed to read a passage they had unconsciously skimmed over or skipped entirely. I don't refer to apologetics or evangelists here, but the casual theist.

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