Leap of Faith (Discussion moved from SOMEWHAT OF A POLL: How many athiests are educated?)

Susan
Susan's picture
Posts: 3561
Joined: 2006-02-12
User is offlineOffline
Leap of Faith (Discussion moved from SOMEWHAT OF A POLL: How many athiests are educated?)

Discussion has been moved to this forum.


Great Dane
Posts: 8
Joined: 2007-02-26
User is offlineOffline
To avoid putting another

To avoid putting another monster post in this thread, I've had to do some cutting here and there, but it still ends up huge. Perhaps the discussion should be moved?

cslewisster wrote:

Great Dane wrote:

[...]People loose their religion by applying critical thinking to it. This can be done by anyone, but is more likely to be done by an educated person.[...]

Now I might be stretching here a bit but, isn’t it possible that when someone "converts" to Christianity the same claim can be made about their choice.

If you're asking an infidel like me (and you are), no. I don't believe, that the two are comparable. Stay with me - this isn't christian-bashing, just my opinion.

The leap of faith for Theists (not just Christians) is one of believing something for which there is no evidence. Strong popular support, surely. Comfort, yes (provided you think that yourself and everyone you care for end up on the good side of the whole heaven/hell deal). A social network of like-minded people, absolutely. But no empirical, observable, measureable evidence. Not a shred.

cslewisster wrote:

Though they may take the proverbial leap of faith (which I'd say even Atheists have to make though it does not deal with faith but is simply leaping), once they've made their choice it is most likely that they will educate themselves and find more out about what they now choose to believe

Well, yes, they probably will concentrate on learning more about their chosen faith. But the leap has already been made. Any attempt thereafter to align their now chosen faith with the realities of the world is bound to be upside-down thinking, meaning they know what they want to end up with ("God did it" or "God exists" etc.) and they then move backwards from there, ignoring evidence that doesn't fit, rather than saying "I wonder where the evidence will take me?" and move forward from there.

cslewisster wrote:

Great Dane wrote:

The truth is that North Korea is 100% Theistic. [...]

If you have any links or references to these claims I'd be very interested in exploring this further.

Heheh, the Kims are madder than Madman McMad, winner of last years mr Mad competition (To quote the Black Adder).

Btw, I made a typo. The wondrous birth was Kim Jung-il, not daddy. But you can start with young Kim's wiki-page (under birth) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Jung-il#Birth and google on from there. A swallow foretold his birth, a new star was born (pure plagiarism, that), a double rainbow, an ice-covered lake broke apart. It would be funny, if it wasn't so sad (23 mio. people living under the rule of such a psycho is not funny).

cslewisster wrote:

I never made the claim that the countries in question were highly atheistic, friend Smiling [...] My point was to only make the claim that (contrary to popular belief) all atheists are not the brilliant Renaissance Men of old. In fact I’d say [...] that if there were a proper poll take we would see that the Bell still applies.

Well, no, we are not all brilliant (nice comparison btw "Men of Old", heheh) and being arrogant towards Theists isn't going to help us make them see our point of view, so we completely agree there.

I will, however, stick with my statement - that the bell will be (ever so slightly) skewed, because of the contribution from the (slightly more educated than average) "deconverts". Notice, that it doesn't matter how small the last group is. It can consist of 2 people (it doesn't, but you get the point), the bell will still move. But let's not argue about that, because I think we will just have to wait for the poll that you mention. In the meantime, let's just agree to disagree.

cslewisster wrote:

One last thing, I would also like to point out that you seem to equate superstition with belief in God. [...] I don’t believe you can equate the two.

Ehhh... Well... the problem is that I do equate the two. I think every atheist does (some just think it is rude to say so - I think it is rude to be dishonest about it).

Superstition is defined as believing something for which there is no evidence or believing something out of ignorance and/or fear. All religions fit the first one (no evidence of a god or gods) and Christianity and Islam certainly fit the last (fear of hell).

It isn't meant as an insult.

cslewisster wrote:

Great Dane wrote:

Looking forward to a fruitful exchange of opinions.

Me too, it feels good to just talk and not have to feel like you’re going to belittle me for my belief in God.

Blessings,

Matt

Arghs, now I have to go and wash myself with non-holy water.

Nah, seriously, many of my friends are believers and, as mentioned, we don't have that much of a fight going on here. So no belittling from me. I also noticed, that there was no promise of eternal hellfire from you, either...Eye-wink

 

Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed. Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and understanding, and whatever it sees must be put out of sight and ... know nothing but the word of God.

-Martin Luther


Great Dane
Posts: 8
Joined: 2007-02-26
User is offlineOffline
Susan wrote: Discussion has

Susan wrote:
Discussion has been moved to this forum.

Thank you, Susan. 


Sir Valiant for...
Theist
Sir Valiant for Truth's picture
Posts: 156
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
cslewisster wrote:

cslewisster wrote:

One last thing, I would also like to point out that you seem to equate superstition with belief in God. [...] I don’t believe you can equate the two.

Quote:
Ehhh... Well... the problem is that I do equate the two. I think every atheist does (some just think it is rude to say so - I think it is rude to be dishonest about it).

Definitions from dictionary.com

Supserstition: A fearful or abject state of mind resulting from such ignorance or irrationality.

Theism: The belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe, without rejection of revelation

I would like to ask if you have ever read 1 Peter 3:15 " But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,"

Christianity isn't fear based, it is both hope and reason based, so if a theistic system doesn't have to be superstitious, Theism is not superstition, as per definition. Now you can define superstition differently than the dictionary,but that's called inventing words or "term baiting."

Also, the other half of superstiton's definition is irrational or ignorance based. I assume that this means that you have never been through a systematic theology course because it is clearly not either.

Theism =/= Superstition, especially in light of it being possible to be superstitious without being theistic, think of the Romans and all their gods and goddesses and the emporer himself being a god (Polythiesm does not fall under the definition of theism.) Anyone who thinks this way should take logic.

If some snorks are speeps, it does not follow that all speeps are snorks.

On a similar note, if some superstitious people are theists, it does not follow that all theists are superstitious. Such a statement cannot be proven without re-defining either theism or superstition.

 Equivocating the two itself is a superstitious statement, at least in regards to being irrational. 

"Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few." George Berkeley
"Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction." Lord Byron

Fixing the world, one dumb idea at a time.


Great Dane
Posts: 8
Joined: 2007-02-26
User is offlineOffline
Sir Valiant for Truth

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:

Definitions from dictionary.com

Supserstition: A fearful or abject state of mind resulting from such ignorance or irrationality.

I got suspicious of that "such", since it must refer to something. So I looked at dictionary.com as well.

You picked option 2b of one definition. Certainly you must have read all the others?

Quote:

Theism: The belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe, without rejection of revelation

I would like to ask if you have ever read 1 Peter 3:15 " But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,"

Yes, I have. You are, however, not following that last advice, hence I answer in the same fashion.

Quote:

Christianity isn't fear based, it is both hope and reason based,

Christianity is certainly hope based. But try and think what it is that you hope for.

Now if you really believe in a heaven and a hell (both horrible ideas, but let's let that slide), at least part of your hope is to not go to hell when you die.

Fear of hell is an integrated part of christianity. I'd be foolish to claim that it is all there is to it, but neither can it be ignored. So, you believe, at least partially, out of fear.

Quote:

[...]so if a theistic system doesn't have to be superstitious, Theism is not superstition, as per definition.

But it has to, so it is.

Quote:

Now you can define superstition differently than the dictionary,but that's called inventing words or "term baiting."

And you can choose a (sub-)definition that fits (albeit poorly) your first argument. It's called "cherry picking".

My definition in my original post was:

"Superstition is defined as believing something for which there is no evidence or believing something out of ignorance and/or fear."

I basically boiled down the various parts of the definition (you see, I looked it up too before posting) with that sentence. And you are still nowhere near explaining why theism doesn't fit it.

Quote:

Also, the other half of superstiton's definition is irrational or ignorance based.

...as I mentioned...

Quote:

I assume that this means that you have never been through a systematic theology course because it is clearly not either.

I'll let Richard Dawkins answer that:

"Theology is a respectable discipline when it studies such subjects as moral philosophy, the psychology of religious belief and, above all, biblical history and literature. [...] But insofar as theology studies the nature of the divine, it will earn the right to be taken seriously when it provides the slightest, smallest smidgen of a reason for believing in the existence of the divine."

Quote:

Theism =/= Superstition,

You haven't explained why yet.

Quote:

[...] especially in light of it being possible to be superstitious without being theistic, think of the Romans and all their gods and goddesses and the emporer himself being a god (Polythiesm does not fall under the definition of theism.)

Yes, it does. You are a monotheist. Learn greek.

Quote:

[...] Anyone who thinks this way should take logic.

If some snorks are speeps, it does not follow that all speeps are snorks.

I'm aware of the rules of logic. The problem here is, that you have failed to explain why you are not a snork.

Quote:

On a similar note, if some superstitious people are theists, it does not follow that all theists are superstitious. Such a statement cannot be proven without re-defining either theism or superstition.

Theism in itself is superstition, as I have explained and as you have failed to disprove. If all speeps are speeps, then all speeps are speeps.

Quote:

Equivocating the two itself is a superstitious statement, at least in regards to being irrational.

I would look up Equivocate in dictionary.com if I were you.

I regret if I have bruised any egos, but I felt spoken down to and responded in kind.

Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed. Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and understanding, and whatever it sees must be put out of sight and ... know nothing but the word of God.

-Martin Luther