“Primitive reasoning”

Topher
Topher's picture
Posts: 513
Joined: 2006-09-10
User is offlineOffline
“Primitive reasoning”

I was talking with Strafio about the lack of questioning of religious claims.

He said this is because most people only have primitive reasoning skills, i.e. they lack the knowledge – philosophical/logic training – to analyse such claims.

Now this is in essence true, I hold it does not really matter. It does NOT require training to say: “What evidence do you have for this” and “What reasons do you based your belief on” etc. I demonstrated that we use such reasoning and critical thinking in all other area of life. Asking “what evidence you have” is fine for politics, science, philosophy, law and all other areas, yet with religion, its gets bypassed.

You can still be a rational, critical thinker even if you don’t know have great knowledge on something. For an example on this, almost everyone (even those with no knowledge on politics and law) has debated the war in Iraq with friends/family, talking about the justification, the evidence, the reasoning etc, being sceptical of such evidence/reasoning and governments etc... Doing this is applying rational and critical thinking skills. One does not need an in-depth understanding of logic and its fallacies to in-principle be rational.

Strafio said:

Quote:
The only way to properly establish that faith is 'irrational' is to give everyone philosophical training to distinguish it properly from other methods to belief.

I replied:

Quote:
People already distinguish such methods of believing!

I can demonstrate this here…

If I say to a random person that I think Elvis is still alive, or that last Saturday I was abducted by aliens, and that I believed this, simply because I believed it, on faith, they would rightly question my mental disposition. They would think I was nuts. They would ask me why I believe it, they would ask for my reasons.

Tell the same person I believe in God, and they would have no issues.

What I’m criticizing is that beliefs in Elvis being alive, beliefs in being abducted by aliens, and beliefs in God are all on the same level. It’s only because God beliefs are socially acceptable that people do not have problems with them.

I think this is a good issue to discuss.

How does the reasoning of ordinary people and those who have studied rational and critical thinking, logic/philosophy and religion etc differ? And do the differences mean ordinary people cannot think rationally and critically when it comes to religion? I think it’s obvious that people think very rationally and critically about any other claims, such as alien abductions and Poseidon beliefs, so I don’t see the reason they don’t with religion is because they cannot. I see it is because religion is socially acceptable and taboo to criticize.

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan


AntiFaith
AntiFaith's picture
Posts: 197
Joined: 2006-08-17
User is offlineOffline
[quote=Topher] [/quote]

Topher wrote:

How does the reasoning of ordinary people and those who have studied rational and critical thinking, logic/philosophy and religion etc differ?

In many culture every opinion is equal..pretty much, and its ok to make decision, even if it might effect others, "Its my belief" "My conscience" But beliefs can change when we do our best to think critically and look at everything...which we sometimes do not do. But it is my experience, the times I have tried to look at everything I have a little empathy for one who is different and has different values. If I actually try to think critically and try to see my own bias, or assumption. Is it ok to make a decision where it affects others based on just assumptiom, or logical fallacy that I have the truth? Tradition? Religion? Many make decisions based on these.

In my opinion Free Thought, and what little I get from logic, there seems to be a certain...um...spirit...or attitude to it. An attitude that people are not in the habit of when dealing with differences.

Maybe seeing a debate where people try to work together and that there are rules to it that are fair...logical, maybe it will inspire a certain attitude that gives some sense of security and open mindedness at times?

Topher wrote:
And do the differences mean ordinary people cannot think rationally and critically when it comes to religion?

I like my pastors idea of God and Christ, but I see no real logical method to it. In the past I have seen suffering from illogic, I just didn't realize it when I was a Christian. I think rationality really counts, and the fact that our pastor that we have now, teaches benevolence and tolerance, no prejudice, is irrelevant to the problem of illogical methods. The bible is incoherent and so it can not be a good book for living, so long as it is a book inspired by a God. "perfect being".

Topher wrote:
I think it’s obvious that people think very rationally and critically about any other claims, such as alien abductions and Poseidon beliefs,

Yes. Sometimes. Me..sometimes. Sometimes not. Depends. And sometimes I can catch myself. Sometimes not. I see the same for many others.
Topher wrote:
so I don’t see the reason they don’t with religion is because they cannot. I see it is because religion is socially acceptable and taboo to criticize.

Agree!


Voided
Posts: 1195
Joined: 2006-02-20
User is offlineOffline
Sadly most people hate to

Sadly most people hate to think... Or at least want to do something else perhaps they thing there are better things to do. I think that’s way most people don't question things. A lot of people even think critical thinking is useless. Most of these people could be tricked by fallacies and I think that is the big difference between the trained and untrained. Although if you gave them the same type of fallacy in a impersonal context some people would be able to spot them.

As for the taboo thing I keep trying to break that daily. For myspace my pic is this Pimp Jesus thing I made. I got the idea from MattShizzle I'm going to add "Stop being Jesus' HO!!!" later on.


AntiFaith
AntiFaith's picture
Posts: 197
Joined: 2006-08-17
User is offlineOffline
Voiderest wrote:

Voiderest wrote:

As for the taboo thing I keep trying to break that daily. For myspace my pic is this Pimp Jesus thing I made. I got the idea from MattShizzle I'm going to add "Stop being Jesus' HO!!!" later on.

LOL.

I have that pic too.


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 15747
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
I think religion is an ego

I think religion is an ego thing. The feeling of love and fellowship is strong in group thinking. Lack of understanding of biological and emotional reactions add to that. When people have an emotional reaction to something it can be intense and feel real.

God belief could be equated to Santa belief, or even mistaking sexual atraction for deep love. When the brain interprets something as being benificial, even if it is not reality, the person holding it can lack the objectivity to take a step back and ask, "Is this what is realy what is going on, or is it what I want to be real".

Religion is a tradition born out of fear of the unknown combined with humans lack of knowlege of the world around them. So early humans learned to associate events around them to the only atributes they could assign, their own. So bigger natural events, such as weather, animal migration and natural disasters such as volcanos or earthquakes simple to early humans became a bigger parent or a bigger version of them.

Over time the anthropromorphism became less about celestial and earthy and more humanistic. But all deitys, pagan and monotheistic are nothing but wishfull thinking of what a human wants their super hero to be.

I think the worst mistake humans make is reacting to the unknown weither it brings a positive or negitive result effecting them, to some bigger parent punishing them or rewarding them.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37