Can a person of faith have courage?

EXC
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Can a person of faith have courage?

I was having a debate with mannyofmanynames about what is a coward. He believes that athiests are cowards that believe that religious indoctrination is a form of child abuse but don't advocate removing children from the homes of every parents that send their children to Sunday school.

In some cases, I would advocate for this. For example, if the parents refused to allow their children to learn any science. But if this were advocated in all cases, we couldn't win this battle. Plus I think the government would have to invade everyone's privacy to enforce such a law. My goal is to win the war against religous indoctrination. At this point, the best strategy is to argue our point and educate people.

To me, the 'coward' tag is an adolecent attempt to manipulate people. It's social preasure to behave in irrational ways so as not to be seen as weak. It seems that a person that doesn't do what he believes is right for fear of being percieved as a 'coward' would fit the definition of one.

But this issue raises a major flaw with the concept of faith. How is it possible for a Theist/'person of faith' to have any courage? If you really believe that every action you take will eventually lead to God giving you a reward and that you will not die but live forever in paradise, how could you have any courage unless you also have doubt? It seems that 'courage' is only necessary when a person lacks faith. Yet the theists try to tell us the opposite, that their faith gives them courage.

To me, it would seem the level of one's faith and one's courage are inversely proportional. If a 'true believer' runs into a burning building to save someone, why does that take any courage? The worst that could happen is they die and are instantly transported to external paradice. The athiest on the other hand, know if he dies that's probably it.

So theists, how should we define courage and cowardice? What is flawed with my reasoning? Why shouldn't we consider faith as just a crutch for fearful people? If courage really exists, shouldn't only an atheist or a weak theist be considered as possessing it?

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Regardless of faith, people are still going to have the aversion to danger instinct and when they overcome it's a couragous act.

 

Kind of like y'all don't have free-will, huh? If someone jumps out of a 10 story building rather than taking the elevator, how is that courage and not stupidity?

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

That does not follow from anything I wrote. I give God my life after he has given me eternity, out of gratitude. I made it clear that I could "just as easily stay comfortable and do nothing." Nothing I could do on Earth is valuable enough to God that I could use it to buy my way into heaven (after all, anything I can do He can do better).

You have to believe here on earth to get into heaven, that what you got to do, right? God on values faith.

Since you believe you got eternity already, your immortal. Your like a teenager that drives a car at extreme speed cause you believe you'll never die. How is that courage? Faith and courage are mutually exclusive. The more you have of one the less you have of the other, right?

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Hambydammit wrote:"You

Hambydammit wrote:

"You didn't even comprehend that he was going out of his way to make sure you didn't equivocate terms, and you used that very passage to accuse me of your mistake."

Uhm no dude, I used the passage to say authoritarian personality types are not confined to believers (or right wing believers). My use of the passage was to claim that communist atheist could also fit just as easily into that personality type. 

But let's see if you could follow along, by examining your claims:

Quote:
"My understanding of theists' handling of cognitive dissonance is based largely on 40 years of comprehensive study of the authoritarian personality profile as detailed by the preeminent."

So let's see if you can defend yourself here. You claimed that you understand theists' handling of cognitive dissonance based on social scientist, Robert Altemeyer's work.

Now, let's watch the cognitive dissonance set in for you here. Altermeyers study deals with Authoritarianism not with theism. The same way if their was a study of the cognitive dissonance among communist, this doesn't magically jump into a study of cognitive dissonance among atheist. Is this to hard for you to follow?

You don't know nothing about most theists' handling of cognitive dissonance, if you actually comprehended Altermeyers works you would have understood RWAs handling of cognitive dissonance. 

I'll give you plenty of opportunity to redeem yourself. Here's another quote of yours: 

Quote:
"I think what's really going on is that most believers are simply highly tolerant of cognitive dissonance."

Now, let's see you work your magic, since you already claimed this belief of yours is based on Altemeyers work, show me how his work justifies your belief, that "most believers are highly tolerant of cognitive dissonance".  And remember "most" is not the same as "some".

Quote:
 I mean.. shit, dude.........He's saying what I just said.

Really? Altemeyer said "most theist are simply highly tolerant of cognitive dissonance"?

Now, heres the hard part for you.

To claim that most believers are highly tolerant of cognitive dissonance, based on Altemeyers work, means that most believers are of RWA personality type (note the difference between this and most RWA types in america are believers, i.e. just because most commies are atheist, it doesn't follow that most atheist are commies). Now, I want you to cite Altemeyer work, where he claims that "most "believers are of the RWA personality type. 

I'd wager you're not going to be able to do this, so let's test out your intellectual honesty. Are you now going to confess that you misinterpreted Altemeyers work? Or now that your busted, are you going to form some incoherent rebuttal to weasel your way out of such a confession?

Quote:
You should quit while you're behind.

Yea, dude I'm so behind. 

 


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 Quote:Uhm no dude, I used

 

Quote:
Uhm no dude, I used the passage to say authoritarian personality types are not confined to believers (or right wing believers).

I've never suggested otherwise.

Quote:
Now, heres the hard part for you.

 

To claim that most believers are highly tolerant of cognitive dissonance, based on Altemeyers work, means that most believers are of RWA personality type (note the difference between this and most RWA types in america are believers, i.e. just because most commies are atheist, it doesn't follow that most atheist are commies). Now, I want you to cite Altemeyer work, where he claims that "most "believers are of the RWA personality type. 

I'd wager you're not going to be able to do this, so let's test out your intellectual honesty. Are you now going to confess that you misinterpreted Altemeyers work? Or now that your busted, are you going to form some incoherent rebuttal to weasel your way out of such a confession?

Engage the brain, please.  Altemeyer most definitely does state that high RWA scores are correlated significantly with religious adherence and fervor.  Here are your citations:

Altemeyer wrote:
High RWAs generally have not determined for themselves what is true and false, to the extent that others have.  Instead they are more likely to absorb the teachings of the authorities in their lives.  They subsequently maintain their beliefs against challenges by limiting their experiences, and surrounding themselves with sources of information that will tell them they are right -- including like-minded people.  Compared with others, Highs rely a lot on consensual validation to maintain their views.  They develop a noticeable 'us-them' outlook on information sources that springs automatically from their general ethnocentrism. - pg 111 (hardback)

I encountered blatant self-contradiction in the thinking of High RWAs by accident in the fall of 1988 when I tried to develop a Social-Justice Attitude Scale...  Unfortunately for me, the responses to the set of items showed little interitem consistency, so the Social Justice Scale never had a chance.  When I picked throught the psychometric rubble, I found that the twelve items held together quite nicely among the Low RWAs... If you are one of the heroes who read the methodology chapter of this book  (I did... HD...) you know that we again have here the bane of the poor, honest test developers: High RWA's tendency to yea-say.  But yea-saying does not flow just from confusion or apathy.  It can also come from a tendency to "think out of both sides of our heads."  (Emphasis mine... HD)

Wondering if Highs would "think with a forked brain" on other issues, I asked 238 students in February 1990 to respond to ten pairs of statements adapted from Tomkin's (1965) Polarity Scale...  I repeated the experiment... and got nearly identical results.  Lows showed more consistent answering overall than Highs...  Highs proved significantly more likely than Lows to agree with both parts of a seemingly contradictory pair... The same thing happened among 235 parents tested the next month...

So Highs contradict themselves more often than Lows, and apparently do not notice it, even when the contradiction occurs within a minute or so.  They appear to examine ideas less than most people do.  you do not get the feeling they have considered many notions, and just "squeezed" them.  Instead they seem to be, like Sancho Panza, suckers for slogans and sayings." ... High RWAs do not realize how compartmentalized and contradictory their ideas are, for (compared to others) they tend to surround themselves more exclusively with people who agree with them."

-- Chapter 4 Cognitive Behavior

As mentioned in Chapter 1, RWA scores have correlated with acceptance of the home religion in [i]all faiths appreciably represented in my samples.  Among Christians, one finds strong relationships with endorsement of the traditional beliefs of the Nicene Creed, as measured by the Christian Orthodoxy Scale... I know from many item analyses that religious RWA statements predict many kinds of authoritarian aggression and other disturbing features of right-wing authoritarianism.

The continued acceptance of traditional religious beliefs appears to have more to do with having a personality righ in authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression, and conventionalism, than with beliefs ber se.  As was true of the U.S.-USSR comparisons, and as Rubinstein (1996) found among Jews and Palestinians in Isreal, the beliefs themselves can be anything.  Authoritarians just absorb whatever beliefs their authorities teach.

... authoritarian students... and parents... said they attended church more often than most, prayed more than most, and believed more fervently that God would judge each person after death... They also thought it was more important to believe in the "right religion"...  Leak and Randall (1995) replicated most of these relationships (all that were tested) and also found that High RWAs tended to say they were "deeply religious in the traditional (and spiritual) way."

So authoritarians tend to be religious.

-- Chapter 6 Authoritarianism and Religion

Now, let's revisit my statement.  I claim, based on Altemeyer, et al, that High RWA and religiosity are correlated.  There it is in print.  There's your citation.  The studies are available for your perusal.  They've been replicated by other researchers.

I also claim that religious people (who tend to be authoritarian) are more susceptible to group-think and acceptance of cognitive dissonance.  There it is in print.  All of his studies are cited in the book.  Look them up for yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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EXC wrote:Kind of like y'all

EXC wrote:

Kind of like y'all don't have free-will, huh? If someone jumps out of a 10 story building rather than taking the elevator, how is that courage and not stupidity?

 

 

What does that have to do with anything?

 

 

Hamby wrote:

Now, let's revisit my statement.  I claim, based on Altemeyer, et al, that High RWA and religiosity are correlated.  There it is in print.  There's your citation.  The studies are available for your perusal.  They've been replicated by other researchers.

I also claim that religious people (who tend to be authoritarian) are more susceptible to group-think and acceptance of cognitive dissonance.  There it is in print.  All of his studies are cited in the book.  Look them up for yourself.

 

I think you got it backwards. He's saying that people who are RWA are likely to be religious, not people who are religious are likely to be RWA.

 

 

 


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:o

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

EXC wrote:

Kind of like y'all don't have free-will, huh? If someone jumps out of a 10 story building rather than taking the elevator, how is that courage and not stupidity?

 

 

What does that have to do with anything?

 

 

Hamby wrote:

Now, let's revisit my statement.  I claim, based on Altemeyer, et al, that High RWA and religiosity are correlated.  There it is in print.  There's your citation.  The studies are available for your perusal.  They've been replicated by other researchers.

I also claim that religious people (who tend to be authoritarian) are more susceptible to group-think and acceptance of cognitive dissonance.  There it is in print.  All of his studies are cited in the book.  Look them up for yourself.

 

I think you got it backwards. He's saying that people who are RWA are likely to be religious, not people who are religious are likely to be RWA.

 

 

 

 

So there is a correlation but how do you determine which caused which?

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ClockCat wrote: So there is

ClockCat wrote:

 

So there is a correlation but how do you determine which caused which?

 

 

Quote:

The continued acceptance of traditional religious beliefs appears to have more to do with having a personality righ in authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression, and conventionalism, than with beliefs ber se.  As was true of the U.S.-USSR comparisons, and as Rubinstein (1996) found among Jews and Palestinians in Isreal, the beliefs themselves can be anything.  Authoritarians just absorb whatever beliefs their authorities teach.

 

 


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 Quote:So there is a

 

Quote:
So there is a correlation but how do you determine which caused which?

You don't necessarily.  However, in an earlier chapter, Altemeyer establishes pretty conclusively that RWA is a personality trait, not an acquired behavior.  It is tempered somewhat by good education and diverse experience, but it's basically true that if someone is born RWA, they will be RWA when they die.

That being the case, we can infer pretty easily that the pre-existing personality trait "causes" people to be more likely to be religious.  That isn't to say High RWA personality causes religion.  You have to be careful with your terms in discussions like this.  There are lots of things that "cause" any particular person to become religious.  Obviously, he has to be exposed to religion.  Being actively taught that it's true goes a long way.  Personality type is a big factor.  Peer pressure, cultural norms, personal experience, exposure to alternate points of view... all these things play a part in whether or not a particular person becomes religious.

What sociologists do is identify factors that play a significant role in this process.  Clearly, the RWA personality type plays a major role.

 

 

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:EXC

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

EXC wrote:

Kind of like y'all don't have free-will, huh? If someone jumps out of a 10 story building rather than taking the elevator, how is that courage and not stupidity?

 What does that have to do with anything?

 

I'm trying to understand what courage is. I'd like some Theist to explain how faith and courage are compatable. To defend Theism intellectually, because saying that faith and courage can co-exist seems highly irrational. So how is it defined?

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Hambydammit wrote:I also

Hambydammit wrote:

I also claim that religious people (who tend to be authoritarian) are more susceptible to group-think and acceptance of cognitive dissonance.  There it is in print.  All of his studies are cited in the book.  Look them up for yourself.

Smiling

It's surprising that others here seem to understand this, such as Cpt Pineapple, but you still don't. 

Let's see, do you see the problem with this sort of logic:

Most commies are atheist, therefore most atheist are commies. You see what's wrong here right?

Altemeyers findings point out that most RWAs surveyed are believers, you claim based on these findings: "most theist are simply highly tolerant of cognitive dissonance"?" 

You based your view on "most theist", based on Altemeyers finding for most RWAs. When it doesn't follow from most RWAs are theist, that most theist are RWAs. You see what's wrong here yet?

Secondly, the reason why the RWAs surveyed by Altemeyer are religious, is because the respective religions are part of their authoritarian teachs. If Altemeyer were to survey communist China, you'd find the RWA types there would be mostly atheist, and RWAs in India would be mostly Hindus.  You do understand this right? 

You may have read Altemeyers work, but you sure didn't seem to understand it. 


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manofmanynames

manofmanynames wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

I also claim that religious people (who tend to be authoritarian) are more susceptible to group-think and acceptance of cognitive dissonance.  There it is in print.  All of his studies are cited in the book.  Look them up for yourself.

Smiling

It's surprising that others here seem to understand this, such as Cpt Pineapple, but you still don't. 

Let's see, do you see the problem with this sort of logic:

Most commies are atheist, therefore most atheist are commies. You see what's wrong here right?

Altemeyers findings point out that most RWAs surveyed are believers, you claim based on these findings: "most theist are simply highly tolerant of cognitive dissonance"?" 

You based your view on "most theist", based on Altemeyers finding for most RWAs. When it doesn't follow from most RWAs are theist, that most theist are RWAs. You see what's wrong here yet?

Secondly, the reason why the RWAs surveyed by Altemeyer are religious, is because the respective religions are part of their authoritarian teachs. If Altemeyer were to survey communist China, you'd find the RWA types there would be mostly atheist, and RWAs in India would be mostly Hindus.  You do understand this right? 

You may have read Altemeyers work, but you sure didn't seem to understand it. 

In China you'd find most RWA types were good Communists. Not free thinkers and independent. Then if China were to change from Communist to Christian, they would change to.

If there is any upside to being atheist, I don't experience the uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously.

Seems like tolerance for cognitive dissonance is mostly a learned behavior. So I think there is a high acceptance of cognitive dissonance in religious groups and family. The children indoctrinated with the religion pick up on this behavior and mimic it. But, here may be a genetic component that could make people more susceptible. Cognitive dissonance results from not being taught to think critically and independently.

So I think religious belief and cognitive dissonance go together hand-in-hand rather than one causing the other.

 

 

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:In China you'd

EXC wrote:

In China you'd find most RWA types were good Communists. Not free thinkers and independent.

 

Which was kinda the point.

 

Quote:

If there is any upside to being atheist, I don't experience the uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously.

 

 

Ahhhh psycological defence mechanisms.

 

Nothing in atheism says that you can't hold two contratictory ideas

 

Quote:

Seems like tolerance for cognitive dissonance is mostly a learned behavior.

 

 

Seems like an ancedote

 


 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:EXC

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

EXC wrote:

In China you'd find most RWA types were good Communists. Not free thinkers and independent. 

Which was kinda the point. 

Manofmanynames said they were atheist not Communist.

Communism in China operates like a religion. It indoctrinates with dogma, censors and controls with guilt and fear. The state is the infallable all powerful entity one is required to give their life to. It is authoritarian and this is what RWA types are drawn to.

 

 

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Nothing in atheism says that you can't hold two contratictory ideas

This would not happen with a critical thinker. It's OK to say 'I don't know' and we don't have to 'make shit up'. So we wouldn't simultaneously believe contradictory ideas. We don't have to justify our beliefs.

 

 

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

 

Quote:

Seems like tolerance for cognitive dissonance is mostly a learned behavior.

 

 

Seems like an ancedote 

If you read up on Cognative Dissonance, you'll see it is often usually present in people with addictive behaviors. So people with addictions must by conditioned to be tolerant of CD.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:This would

EXC wrote:

This would not happen with a critical thinker. It's OK to say 'I don't know' and we don't have to 'make shit up'. So we wouldn't simultaneously believe contradictory ideas. We don't have to justify our beliefs.

I'm sorry to break it to you dude, but everybody and their mother considers themselves critical thinkers. If you remember, the sort of shit creationist were try to push in schools, was a sticker on bio books advising kids to think more critically about what they were being taught. 

And as an individual who spent a good deal of time among atheist, and theist, liberals and conservatives it quite difficult to label one group as any more dopier than the other. This forum is rampant with delusional atheist, such as the common ones you find arguing the Jesus Myth hypothesis, or those who believe religion is the source of all the evil in the world. I have difficult time labeling atheist as the epitome of critical thinking, if you can point to one person on this forum other than yourself you'd raise to that status you let me know. 

When Richard Dawkins can go around calling creationist stupid, for being ignorant of the sciences while making and supporting fringe claims about it, and yet in the same breath endorse Jesus myth hypothesis material, I have a hard time labeling him a critical thinker. 

Quote:
If you read up on Cognative Dissonance, you'll see it is often usually present in people with addictive behaviors. So people with addictions must by conditioned to be tolerant of CD.

We are prone to "cognitive dissonance" in matters of views, beliefs, and persons we are endeared to. We'd have a more difficult time evaluating the guilt of a loved one, than a stranger; of being critical of our own worldviews than another persons. If you have a passionate distaste for theism, you're liable not to evaluate it "critically". I lived in California for a number of years, and the typical liberals one encounters at school, were no less deluded about their ideals and worldviews, than the fundies I run in to now. 


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manofmanynames wrote:And as

manofmanynames wrote:

And as an individual who spent a good deal of time among atheist, and theist, liberals and conservatives it quite difficult to label one group as any more dopier than the other. This forum is rampant with delusional atheist, such as the common ones you find arguing the Jesus Myth hypothesis, or those who believe religion is the source of all the evil in the world. I have difficult time labeling atheist as the epitome of critical thinking, if you can point to one person on this forum other than yourself you'd raise to that status you let me know.

Well, I'll agree being an atheist does not make one a critical thinker. I've criticized other atheists that have delusional communist and socialist ideas without any evidence to support them. But no one can be perfect, we are limited by our biology. We are of course biased in our thinking by the environment we were exposed to. Becoming a critical thinker is more like an ongoing process.

But what is different about this forum is that ideas, beliefs and reasoning processes and be critiqued. If I were to go onto any Theist forum, I would be booted off. That is how authoritarian, tolerant of cognitive dissonance groups operate. The use censorship to ensure the followers can only think their way.

You can criticize our ideas and thinking. A critical thinker is always open to the concept that he may be wrong.

manofmanynames wrote:

When Richard Dawkins can go around calling creationist stupid, for being ignorant of the sciences while making and supporting fringe claims about it, and yet in the same breath endorse Jesus myth hypothesis material, I have a hard time labeling him a critical thinker.

Well, he is still human full of emotions, frustrations about creationist being able to claim they are scientific. This seems hypocritical of theists to criticize him for this. Theists say that atheism will lead to a world of cold hard logic without emotion and passion. Then when a theist shows some passion they say see he's not a critical thinker after all.

manofmanynames wrote:

We are prone to "cognitive dissonance" in matters of views, beliefs, and persons we are endeared to. We'd have a more difficult time evaluating the guilt of a loved one, than a stranger; of being critical of our own worldviews than another persons. If you have a passionate distaste for theism, you're liable not to evaluate it "critically".

My brand of atheism is to be an unabashed hedonist. The reason is this removes conflicts that could cause cognitive dissonance and other psychological problems. All shame, guilt and a lot of stress from the conflicts of life can be removed. I think this is the way all people should live so as to avoid all internal psychological conflicts.

My passionate distaste for theism comes from having evaluated it critically already.

manofmanynames wrote:

I lived in California for a number of years, and the typical liberals one encounters at school, were no less deluded about their ideals and worldviews, than the fundies I run in to now.

I agree, that is why we have the budget crisis now. But much of this liberal irrationality is a response to irrationality on the right. For every action there is an equal an opposite reaction, this is true in politics and religion as well.

The right wing fundies say it's their God given right to own land, keep others out, pay little tax on it, and do with it as they please. So as a reaction the leftist say it's a moral human right to have food, shelter, health care, education, pensions, etc... That's why California and the USA are broke with no hope of turning things around. No one has a moral right to anything. A rational process must be followed to make things work.

 

 

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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 Quote:Quote: If there is

 

Quote:
Quote:

 

If there is any upside to being atheist, I don't experience the uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously.

 

 

 

 

Ahhhh psycological defence mechanisms.

 

Nothing in atheism says that you can't hold two contratictory ideas

Go, Captain, Go!

Quote:
 Quote:

 

Seems like tolerance for cognitive dissonance is mostly a learned behavior.

 

 

 

 

Seems like an ancedote

And it also contradicts what the scientist who did the work said.

 

 

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

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