left biblioblography: SEEKING ALLIES IN A HOSTILE WORLD

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

SEEKING ALLIES IN A HOSTILE WORLD

This article caught my eye: title is GOD’S COUNTRY

It discusses much of the standard folderol put forth by the Talibangelists in this country, but it throws a mean curve ball, thus:

(Snip)
” One problem with this view is that a large number of evangelical Christians don't live in the Bible Belt. Another is that many of them aren't white. Some years ago, the Chilean-born photographer Camilo José Vergara began taking pictures of places like La Sinagoga, a Latino church located in a run-down neighborhood of junkyards and metal shops in Brooklyn, and Emmanuel Baptist Rescue Mission, which is situated on a corner of Skid Row, Los Angeles, where drug dealers ply their trade. The photographs in Vergara's richly documented, visually arresting book, How the Other Half Worships, illustrate how indelibly religious most poor minority communities in America are, not least because in many blighted urban neighborhoods churches are the only viable institutions around. Trekking through the back streets and barrios of twenty-one different cities, Vergara spots churches tucked away in former warehouses, nightclubs, five-and-dime stores, movie theaters, car dealerships, hotels and slaughterhouses. Some are sandwiched between crumbling buildings on desolate blocks. Others lack steeples, crosses, choir platforms, even bathrooms, yet nevertheless bring residents together in lively, often frenzied services where worshipers shake, dance, speak in tongues, sing, weep, wail, fall to their knees, and pray for deliverance and God's grace.
(Snip)
“Before rushing to assume such people are Bush supporters, it's worth noting that there is no evidence the more pious members of minority groups have been drifting into the ranks of the GOP. In fact, the opposite may be true. As sociologists Andrew Greeley and Michael Hout point out in their new book, The Truth About Conservative Christians, the most devout African-Americans--those who read the Bible daily and view it as the "word of God"--were also those most likely to support Democrats in the 1992-2000 presidential elections. The same religious zeal that pushes some whites to the right, in other words, leads blacks in the opposite direction, and not only at the polling booth. A generation ago, it was churchgoing black people who spearheaded the civil rights movement, a faith-based struggle that historians like David Chappell have likened to a religious revival.”
(Snip)
“How, Greeley and Hout ask, do pundits routinely equate biblical Christianity with right-wing politics when African-Americans, "who are in nearly every respect as religiously conservative as whites," nevertheless "vote overwhelmingly for Democrats?" By, it appears, mistakenly assuming all Bible-believing Christians are reactionary white Southerners who write monthly checks to the likes of Jerry Falwell. As a survey by Religion & Ethics Newsweekly found, a majority of evangelicals actually hold an unfavorable view of Falwell. A large number appear to care more about jobs and the economy than issues like gay marriage and abortion.”
(Snip)
“Then as now, Neuhaus wrote as if he were speaking for a silent majority against the unaccountable elites, a claim so pervasive these days that Americans who are prochoice, support stem-cell research and don't actually believe the judiciary should be abolished might well assume they're vastly outnumbered. But they're not. The Neuhauses of the world are right that the United States is a lot more religious than the media and many intellectuals think. But they're wrong that most Americans see eye to eye with them. In fact, on many issues, most churchgoing Americans don't, which is perhaps why, as Linker shows, Neuhaus and other theocons have been quite content to see the will of the majority thwarted by elites when it has served their minority agenda.”

And finally, to top off the tank:

”To acknowledge this hardly requires us to sympathize with the Christian right's social agenda, any more than attempting to understand why people join groups like Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood demands that one accepts their views on the status of women or gays. Nor does a less dismissive attitude toward religion mean secular progressives should cede ground to right-wing ministers who insist an absence of faith renders people incapable of distinguishing right from wrong or acting compassionately. It does mean the secular left should think twice before seeing religious people as their foes, not least since such an attitude risks alienating many potential allies and confining ourselves to a small sect of like-minded believers. This, after all, is what fundamentalism is about.”
(End Snip)

I plead just as guilty to the last paragraph as any of us.

I think the point is well illustrated, but allow me to extrapolate: we need allies. A political rapport, if you will. There are moderate xtians who support the separation of church and state, who do support a woman’s right to choose, who are foursquare against the theocracizing of our country, our world.

I have said this before, and to remind myself, as well as others:

Not every Christian is my enemy, and not every atheist is my friend.

A lunatic is a lunatic, no matter the garb they wear. Beware those who wear the cloak of many colors. Sometimes the mantle beneath is black.

Till the next post, then.

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16 comments:

beepbeepitsme said...

RE Ka

I don't consider religious people in a general sense to be my enemy, though I am sure that some of them consider me to be theirs. I think that the way they "think" or the way they "don't think" is a potential problem.

My major concern is that the willingness to believe, rather than the willingness to reason, has a neurological stranglehold on those of faith.

This isn't exhibited in every aspect of their daily lives, as people use reason to cross the road, invest in stocks and shares and still manage to believe in supernatural creator-type entities who, by all accounts, do some pretty insane and unreasonable things.

So, for some believers, there is a kind of disconnect. They can act quite reasonably in nearly every aspect of their daily lives and then after work go onto a blog and begin to suggest that "we are not sure if anything exists - therefore god is the answer."

It should be obvious to them that they exist. They avoid walking in front of cars. They avoid jumping from tall buildings without a parachute, and yet they demonstrate this overwhelming existential angst whenever it is required for them to think reasonably and logically about their god belief.

This reliance on belief, not just religious belief, but their political beliefs, cultural beliefs, economic beliefs which they rarely question, become the focal point for all their decision making activities.

Hence they are more conducive to propaganda, rhetoric, jingoism and all sorts of psychological and emotional persuasions.

It results in them making decisions which are not based in reason, but based in faith or the willingness to believe.

"Faith based WMD" are easy to believe in if you already use faith as your standard test for veracity.

That is, "I believe it, therefore it is true."

Krystalline Apostate said...

BBIM:
This isn't exhibited in every aspect of their daily lives, as people use reason to cross the road, invest in stocks and shares and still manage to believe in supernatural creator-type entities who, by all accounts, do some pretty insane and unreasonable things.
As I understand it, a lot of people have to keep their secular & religious lives separate.
This reliance on belief, not just religious belief, but their political beliefs, cultural beliefs, economic beliefs which they rarely question, become the focal point for all their decision making activities.
True enough: but the article points out that there seems to be a racial divide even in that. I was talking to a new friend at work (he's black), & I mentioned the point of this article. He said, & I quote: "Gay marriage? Abortion? Who gives a f--k? This has been going on forever."
Jobs & economy are by far more hot-button issues. Wrangling over the micro-managing behavioral legislation is just ridiculous. People need to eat. They need to work.
The priorities of the white conservative RR are just so way outta whack.

karen said...

I think I am falling in love with BeepBeep.

"Gay marriage? Abortion? Who gives a f--k? This has been going on forever."
Jobs & economy are by far more hot-button issues. Wrangling over the micro-managing behavioral legislation is just ridiculous. People need to eat. They need to work.


This is true. The silent majority remains silent. Only about 30% of the people even bother to vote. But I'd wager closer to 100% are concerned about jobs and the economy.
The problem is, how do we get them to speak up; how do we get them to care about issues that may not directly impact them?
The disconnect to me, is that these folk are supposed to be xian believers, which I take to mean that they care about their fellow man. Or maybe they are of the ilk that just has to believe that Jesus is lord and they will be saved. Otherwise they can go through life being in it for just them and theirs.

I have to admit, when I think of extremist xians, I think white, white, white. All classes, all economic strata. But white.
I'm in an area where the population is about evenly divided between black and white, with a growing hispanic population and a few asians. The door-knockers are usually black, but also usually polite. Blacks invoke god in their everyday conversation; it was something I had to get used to when i was teaching every day. But whites did it too, and were the ones who organized student prayer groups and such.
I suppose I perceived most blacks as being generally less pushy with religion.
Plus, I had negative experiences with white churches in the area. That biased me.
I will go to the corner for not thinking rationally, and try to improve.

beepbeepitsme said...

RE KA

I guess what disturbs me the most is the reliance on belief as the standard test for truth.

When people become unwilling to examine their beliefs in the light of reason, or conflicting evidence, there is an intellectual decay.

Any concept or information which then conflicts with a preconceived belief is then automatically judged as wrong. Rather than examining why and how the inconsistencies exist, believers have the tendency to preserve their belief, even when the evidence or information presented is startlingly obviously contradictory.

The scientific method actually examines inconsistencies and contradictions in order to gain more information about the method or processes being used. The scientific process has an inbuilt learning curve.

A belief system, any belief system, merely exists to preserve the belief. There is a very limited learning curve, as the beliefs are considered absolutely true under all imagined circumstances.

So, it becomes a game of "this doesn't contradict, therefore it is true" and "this does contradict, therefore it is false."

Any society which bases its search for knowledge on such a model is doomed to intellectual statsis where new information, ideas, concepts will suffer automatic rejection.

The Intolerant One said...

Very interesting post KA,

I would like to address a few items here by "beep, beep!" (cute moniker) hopefully as what MAY be considered the Christian voice of reason. Then I am off for the weekend so I will not be "dissing" any response I just will not be around to read it.

"though I am sure that some of them consider me to be theirs."

"Some" being the key word. Also depending on the religious faction they belong too. For example, I would personally take any Christian to task who hated their fellow man over a disagreement in values. When the scriptures tell us to "hate the world" the reference is clearly indicating a value system that is contrary to Godly values. It also tells us to "love our enemy's and bless them" even in the face of persecution. Our enemy's would be those who hate us.

Sadly there are those who like to take snippets out of the Bible and make it in to their own agenda. There are also those who like to remove things all together. If people just left it alone it truly is the book of life.

"I think that the way they "think" or the way they "don't think" is a potential problem."

Wow! There is a humble statement. So would it not be fair of me to throw the same statement back at you? When a person of religion or faith makes such a claim they are often of accused of "imposing their morality". Do you see the contradiction in your statement? Amazing how at times the atheist and the theist can exude similar traits.

"My major concern is that the willingness to believe, rather than the willingness to reason, has a neurological stranglehold on those of faith."

Are you saying that you do not believe in your own personal ideologies? Or by your own set of personal standards deem yours to be the only reasonable one? In which case your statement is one of utter arrogance. There are many who believe in God who are quite reasonable people. What they are unwilling to do is compromise their core values and faith. Much like yourself. You still have a systemic belief in a core set of values. You may believe in pro-choice, anti-war (no matter what), PETA, etc. I may disagree with you on some but reason says that I recognize your right to believe what you want. By your own words no one is considered reasonable unless they accept what you believe to be true. You sound a lot like the "religious" factions you speak against.

"This isn't exhibited in every aspect of their daily lives, as people use reason to cross the road, invest in stocks and shares and still manage to believe in supernatural creator-type entities who, by all accounts, do some pretty insane and unreasonable things."

Do you follow them around? For the few who make complete hypocrites of themselves (they seem to be the only ones who get the media exposure) there are millions who live out their faith daily very sincerely trying to make the world a better place. Motives, I am sure, are the same as yours.

Theists in general are anti-war/genocide yet are often huge supporters of abortion. I would deem that insane and unreasonable. Is my view now considered dismissive because of my faith in God? "Beep beep" you are more religious then you think you are. Religion does not necessarily require the attachment of a deity.

"It should be obvious to them that they exist. They avoid walking in front of cars. They avoid jumping from tall buildings without a parachute, and yet they demonstrate this overwhelming existential angst whenever it is required for them to think reasonably and logically about their god belief."

Atheists also avoid these same things. It is called common sense and logic. How is this for suggestive thought?

Atheists avoid these as well for an inner fear they will not attribute to any deity but low down have the whole "What if there is an after life?" thought process going on in matter of milliseconds. You make a very mute point here.

"This reliance on belief, not just religious belief, but their political beliefs, cultural beliefs, economic beliefs which they rarely question, become the focal point for all their decision making activities."

Whoa! Slow down on the overkill of humility here. I can't take so much at once. I keep forgetting that we should all think like you then we (the human race) will finally have it altogether. What "beliefs" (don't say you do not have them) drive your opinions, values, and ideologies. You obviously believe they will make the world a better place. Otherwise you would not "blindly" support them.

"Hence they are more conducive to propaganda, rhetoric, jingoism and all sorts of psychological and emotional persuasions."

ROFLMAO. I can't take no more. I am glad to see your side of the spectrum NEVER gives way to these despicable acts of callousness.

"It results in them making decisions which are not based in reason, but based in faith or the willingness to believe."

You need to run for President. You also need to get something thru that arrogant head of yours.

EVERYBODY brings their own ideas/beliefs to the table. Atheist or theist. ALL are influenced by someone, something, or an ideological doctrine. That includes you and you are a liar if you claim otherwise. propaganda, rhetoric, jingoism and all sorts of psychological and emotional persuasions are all just as prevalent in the atheist as well as the theist.

How often doe the atheist make a decision on something untested? Is that not also a decision based on "faith"? Just how reasonable is that? Basing decisions on what one "might" think would be a better decision? Or does it not count because you do not believe in God?

Atheists would drive themselves insane if they could not allow themselves to make decisions that are going to require a level of faith in waters untested.

""Faith based WMD" are easy to believe in if you already use faith as your standard test for veracity."

Were you not around in 1990? I saw them flying all over Kuwait coming from...who was that guy again? Must have been my imagination....ooops my faith.

"That is, "I believe it, therefore it is true.""

After reading thru your line of comments that statement is definitely applicable in your case.

"When people become unwilling to examine their beliefs in the light of reason, or conflicting evidence, there is an intellectual decay."

Like "Safe sex" and abortion, right? Do you smoke BTW? Drink? Do drugs? Yet another statement of your "intellectual superiority". I notice moral decay is left out of the matter.

"Any concept or information which then conflicts with a preconceived belief is then automatically judged as wrong."

You can say that again. As a God fearing, bible believing, Jesus freak I can't say anything that might conflict with your own personally conceived notions that would challenge your intellect. (especially the one where you "believe" that there is no God. you just have not been able to prove it)

"Rather than examining why and how the inconsistencies exist, believers have the tendency to preserve their belief, even when the evidence or information presented is startlingly obviously contradictory."

Are you referring to evolutionists? (I know KA let's not go there)

"The scientific method actually examines inconsistencies and contradictions in order to gain more information about the method or processes being used."

Take notes here evolutionists. (Dang! Did it again)

"A belief system, any belief system, merely exists to preserve the belief."

That's why we call them theories. Unless they there is no deity invovlved in which case they must be true even if the claim is unfounded.

Beep, beep you have been a blast. You are by far one of the most religious individuals I have come across in a long time.

remy said...

I an apifunny this morning. It had to do with This is Spinal Tap.

One can repeat and repeat an argument and be completely unable to penetrate faith's carapace. In the scene with Rob Reiner talking about the speaker volume, after repeated attempts to explain how volume works, he is met with a response equivalent to most theists': yea, but this goes to eleven.

mxracer652 said...

osama christ on a fucking stick, another creationist.

IO: You state:
For example, I would personally take any Christian to task who hated their fellow man over a disagreement in values. Then state:If people just left it alone it truly is the book of life.But that book does tell you to hate your fellow man for their disagreement in your subjective interpretation of values. Fred Phelps claims gays should be executed, b/c he's following the word of gawd. His justification has equal weight, according to you. You're into contradiction territory.

When a person of religion or faith makes such a claim they are often of accused of "imposing their morality". Do you see the contradiction in your statement? Amazing how at times the atheist and the theist can exude similar traits.Typically what comes from a theist is dogma, and/or bullshit not based on evidence. This is "imposing morality". When you claim ensoulment at conception, everyone is right to criticize that claim, as there is zero evidence to support it.

It is called common sense and logic.Which you do not apply to the religious aspect of your life. xianity is internally inconsistent.

Atheists avoid these as well for an inner fear they will not attribute to any deity but low down have the whole "What if there is an after life?" thought process going on in matter of milliseconds. You make a very mute point here.Nice strawman, ass. No, atheists don't do that, unless they want to kill themselves. This is the only life we have, after all. BTW, it's "moot".

How often doe the atheist make a decision on something untested?It's a grand leap to take something trivial as "gee, I'll try this soap since it's on sale" to "jesus died for my sins and was resurrected" as being equal "faiths". You obviously don't view your religion like that, it's a bad argument.

Like "Safe sex" and abortion, right? Do you smoke BTW? Drink? Do drugs? Yet another statement of your "intellectual superiority". I notice moral decay is left out of the matter Another strawman argument, where did beepbeep even state such things, and even more importantly, where is the evidence for your assertions?

Please, IO, tell me what level of education you have attained and what your day job is. I find your lack of logic & understanding of the science method appalling, to the point of embarassment. You do yourself a disservice to xians everywhere.

karen said...

Well, I agree with TIO on one thing.
Beepbeep should run for president.
Pity that she's am Aussie, and therefore ineligible.
"President Beepbeep"
Has a nice sound to it.
;-)

Anonymous said...

MX,

Based on KA’s post, you fall into the category or a “fundamentalist” (an atheist fundamentalist). Your response is riddled with theophobic rhetoric and a complete lack of tolerance (beginning with your first sentence). I hope that you would re-consider your tone, or how you come across.

You stated:

“But that book does tell you to hate your fellow man for their disagreement in your subjective interpretation of values. Fred Phelps claims gays should be executed, b/c he's following the word of gawd. His justification has equal weight, according to you. You're into contradiction territory.”

(i) You conveniently failed to quote TIO entirely. He stated “Sadly there are those who like to take snippets out of the Bible and make it in to their own agenda.” This includes Phelps and his hateful attitude toward homosexuals.

(ii) TIO is not in contradictory territory, but you are. In fact, TIO has already taken Phelps to task here, just as he said he “would personally take any Christian to task who hated their fellow man over a disagreement in values”

You stated:

Typically what comes from a theist is dogma, and/or bullshit not based on evidence. This is "imposing morality". When you claim ensoulment at conception, everyone is right to criticize that claim, as there is zero evidence to support it.

(i) First, this is a strawman argument. Your are attacking an argument TIO has not offered. Rhetoric such as above can cut both ways as well. It is just as easy for me to attribute your statement to yourself when it lacks specific substance

(ii) As TIO pointed out, when someone complains that X person is “imposing their morality,” they are making a moral claim. Specifically, that *it is immoral to impose morality.* Thus, in doing so, they impose their morality of not imposing morality and it becomes self refuting. The fact is, someone’s morality always gets imposed—regardless.

(iii) In so far as your statement about ‘ensoulment at conception,’ this is not an argument that TIO or myself have made here. In fact, you can search the archives here at KA’s blog and see my own interaction regarding this topic. What you will notice, is that my arguments were not theistic, but philosophical. In fact, every time someone tried to drag the dialogue onto a theological discussion, I pointed out that I had not made that case.

(iv) I don’t think anyone has brought in the contention that claims cannot be criticized. Any claim is subject to scrutiny, even your own. Perhaps you misunderstood TIO as to mean that no one can impose morality; otherwise, you statement is another strawman argument (or assertion minus the argument).

You stated:

It's a grand leap to take something trivial as "gee, I'll try this soap since it's on sale" to "jesus died for my sins and was resurrected" as being equal "faiths". You obviously don't view your religion like that, it's a bad argument.

It a grand lead to assume that TIO was making a case for the resurrection based on his statement “how often doe the atheist make a decision on something untested?” The point being is that during our everyday lives, we base many decisions on assumptions that we have not personally tested or validated. In fact, we rely heavily on authority and testimony for knowledge. In other words, we have knowledge outside the scientific method and make decisions based on them.

Please, IO, tell me what level of education you have attained and what your day job is. I find your lack of logic & understanding of the science method appalling, to the point of embarassment. You do yourself a disservice to xians everywhere.

What is the relevance of someone’s education level and occupation? Someone need not be educated (formally) or hold some high level occupation position to be intelligent or hold a respectable dialogue (take KA for example). All you doing is launching an ad hominem attack.

KA said in his post that not every Christian is his enemy; I’m not sure why you’re trying to make an enemy here. Perhaps you should read the last section KA quoted again:

It does mean the secular left should think twice before seeing religious people as their foes, not least since such an attitude risks alienating many potential allies and confining ourselves to a small sect of like-minded believers. This, after all, is what fundamentalism is about.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Mxracer:
Please, IO, tell me what level of education you have attained and what your day job is. I find your lack of logic & understanding of the science method appalling, to the point of embarassment. You do yourself a disservice to xians everywhere.
Well, honestly, as BF pointed out, I don’t have a very good job, & I’ve never been to college. I consider TIO a friend, BTW, so even though I find his lack of scientific acumen to be…abysmal, he’s a good guy, & I don’t like a lot of name calling on this blog. These guys aren’t trolls.
TIO:
Atheists avoid these as well for an inner fear they will not attribute to any deity but low down have the whole "What if there is an after life?" thought process going on in matter of milliseconds. You make a very mute point here.
Wait: what? That’s a helluva an accusation to make. An anecdotal moment coming on.
Not long ago, a car ran thru a stoplight (I heard the brakes screeching, tapped my own: good thing too). Car went barreling by, & into an opposite lane no less. No thoughts of the afterlife entered my head. I've had 3 guns pointed at me (2 of them by police) in the last decade. Nary a breath of the supernatural passed between my ears. I might add, I didn't wet myself either.
I think about it occasionally, to be honest. Not very hard: who wants to live forever? Not me.
Were you not around in 1990? I saw them flying all over Kuwait coming from...who was that guy again? Must have been my imagination....ooops my faith.
So you saw nuclear arms when you were in Kuwait? The portable nuclear labs? What? Way I heard it, the Iraqis surrendered in droves.
Theists in general are anti-war/genocide yet are often huge supporters of abortion. I would deem that insane and unreasonable.
You meant atheists, right? Yet theists are pro-war, & anti-abortion as a rule. Do you want to go there? We can, but it’ll be an impasse.
I am glad to see your side of the spectrum NEVER gives way to these despicable acts of callousness.
A reference, please?
How often doe the atheist make a decision on something untested? Is that not also a decision based on "faith"? Just how reasonable is that? Basing decisions on what one "might" think would be a better decision? Or does it not count because you do not believe in God?
I think mxracer pointed it out very well; there is a vast difference between the resurrection & the purchase of a soap item.
I notice moral decay is left out of the matter
“There are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end: Bribery and corruption are common. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book. “
-- from Assyrian tablet, 2800 B.C.E.
If people just left it alone it truly is the book of life.
It's a book of death, telling people how to live in accordance w/death, & the ultimate goal is, in fact, to die. End of existence as a goalpost
BF:
As TIO pointed out, when someone complains that X person is “imposing their morality,” they are making a moral claim. Specifically, that *it is immoral to impose morality.* Thus, in doing so, they impose their morality of not imposing morality and it becomes self refuting. The fact is, someone’s morality always gets imposed—regardless.
Interesting moebius strip: if you won’t allow someone else to impose their morality on someone, then in effect you’re imposing your morality by intervening? I dunno – sounds dicey as hell.
The point being is that during our everyday lives, we base many decisions on assumptions that we have not personally tested or validated. In fact, we rely heavily on authority and testimony for knowledge. In other words, we have knowledge outside the scientific method and make decisions based on them.
& more often than not, it falls apart at the seams.
Case in point: just watched ‘BULLSH*T’, Penn & Teller. They thoroughly debunked the 2nd hand smoke myth that’s saturating the airwaves lately. It’s loosely based on 2 studies, 1 by the EPA that got thrown outta court, & another that (if read to its conclusion) actually shows there’s no correlation whatsoever.
It’s 1 thing altogether to base an assumption on a weather report (hey, those guys are wrong too often anyways), as opposed to believing in ghosts.
I don’t ‘believe’ in ‘faith’, rather, I have confidence in the materialistic POV. Problem is, whenever science tried to use the supernatural as a presupposition, it has failed.
Every time.

beepbeepitsme said...

RE: intolerant

RE: ""though I am sure that some of them consider me to be theirs."

Certainly this is why I used to word, "some". I do not assume that all people of religious beliefs consider atheists to be their enemy except perhaps in a philosophical sense.


RE: "I think that the way they "think" or the way they "don't think" is a potential problem."

I am going to qualify this simply for the reason that it is not well defined.

Of course believers think. (And by believers I mean those people who have a belief in either politics, economics, religion, or culture.)

But, I think that believers "think" within their belief, no matter which belief this is. They rarely question their beliefs whether they are religious or political etc.

Afterall, belief serves to preserve belief, so the "thinking" which occurs has a predetermined goal, which involves retaining the belief.

RE: "Are you saying that you do not believe in your own personal ideologies? Or by your own set of personal standards deem yours to be the only reasonable one? In which case your statement is one of utter arrogance."

I am not big on personal ideologies based in belief. Not belief in the sense that religious belief consider belief at any rate.

If I have any beliefs, they are hopefully justified. I don't just have beliefs based in my emotional or psychological need to believe something is true.

Whereas, I do think that for the majority of people who call themselves believers, their belief is based in the personal validation they get from believing something, no matter how unlikely the belief is.

RE: "There are many who believe in God who are quite reasonable people."

You obviously have an entirely different idea of what constitutes reason.

RE: "Do you follow them around? For the few who make complete hypocrites of themselves (they seem to be the only ones who get the media exposure) there are millions who live out their faith daily very sincerely trying to make the world a better place. Motives, I am sure, are the same as yours."

No, I don't follow them around. But I do converse with many of them. And it is my opinion that they suffer some sort of intellectual disconnect when it comes to the preservation of their beliefs.

They act reasonably under most circumtances, except when it comes to the ability to question their religious beliefs. So, for many of them, they are capable of being skeptical, of analysing information critically, and of using reason in every part of their lives. Except when it comes to analysing their beliefs in the light of reason. Then they disconnect and go into "fuzzy, emotional, mumbo jumbo land."

RE: "Atheists also avoid these same things. It is called common sense and logic. How is this for suggestive thought?"

Actually, I don't find common sesne to be all that common, nor all that sensible.

For example: Many people believe that we live in a world which is fraught with spirits, ghosts, angels and demons. In other words, a supernatural world which is watching our every move.

I don't see how this relates at all to "common sense." It might be common, though I don't see anything sensible about it.

RE: ""This reliance on belief, not just religious belief, but their political beliefs, cultural beliefs, economic beliefs which they rarely question, become the focal point for all their decision making activities."

This of course, refers to anyone and everyone who does not question their beliefs in the light of new information. It could also refer to myself, though, I am less likely to have a strict ideology from which I am hesitant to waver.

RE: "That's why we call them theories. Unless they there is no deity invovlved in which case they must be true even if the claim is unfounded."

No. We don't call every belief a theory. Certainly science doesn't refer to a theory in the same way that a lay-person does.

"A theory" to a lay-preson seems to mean - "Whatever I pull out of my arse, regardless of the lack of credible supporting information, I will call a theory."

A theory from a scientific point of view is this:- (primary definition)

"A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena."
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/theory

RE: "Beep, beep you have been a blast. You are by far one of the most religious individuals I have come across in a long time."

Methinks thou projests too much.

(Why do religious people want to accuse everyone else of being religious? It is as if they know their beliefs are stupid, and they want to share the idiocy around.)

Krystalline Apostate said...

BBIM:
(Why do religious people want to accuse everyone else of being religious? It is as if they know their beliefs are stupid, and they want to share the idiocy around.)
It IS rather tiresome, is it not?
I'm put in mind of that episode of 'Friends', where Ross & Rachel go on a 'break', Ross diddles the copy girl, & he runs around frantically trying to prevent Rachel from finding out. At 1 point, he convinces the copy girl's male roommate not to share the info w/any1 else.
So this goofball stoner (whose hair looks like it exploded) agrees, claiming, "You & me are the same, dude." Ross keeps insisting they're not. Finally, goofy stoner admits: "no we're not. But we ARE, dude!"

It is a fairly common phenomenon among everybody. We project ourselves on others & other things in order to try to understand them. Sometimes it's a good technique: more often, it's not.

The Intolerant One said...

KA,

Oooops. stirred the pot a little did I? (snicker) Well it got people talking and that is always cool.

"I consider TIO a friend, BTW, so even though I find his lack of scientific acumen to be…abysmal, he’s a good guy, "

Thanks KA. I truly appreciate the plug. And ditto regarding your science (LOL)

"Wait: what? That’s a helluva an accusation to make."

So you have never thought about then?

"So you saw nuclear arms when you were in Kuwait? "

Who said anything about nuclear? The phrase WMD cover's a lot of destructive weaponry including chemical warfare. It was confirmed that Maddass Hussein had these in his arsenal. He used them on his own people. These are some of the WMD's that have managed to elude Bush so far, BUT Iraq did possess them at one time (They're all in Syria now!) LOL Anyways this is yet another one of our extended bunny trails. I'll admit I need to stay a little more on course with these discussions.

"You meant atheists, right?"

Yikes! That was embarrassing. Thanks for the catch.

"Do you want to go there?"

Yes I do. But not on this thread. I am trying to watch my bunny trails. I will let it go for another day and another post.

"A reference, please?"

Are you suggesting Dumbocrats never do this? Propaganda? Rhetoric? As far as the rest is concerned regarding jingoism and all sorts of psychological and emotional persuasions we can look no further then one of the greatest atheist tyrants of our time, Stalin.

"It's a book of death, telling people how to live in accordance w/death, & the ultimate goal is, in fact, to die. End of existence as a goalpost"

Did you read it backwards? It is a message of hope on how one can have life abundant. Death is reserved for the those who do not want to partake in the life after. But it won't be a state of non existence

Krystalline Apostate said...

TIO:
Oooops. stirred the pot a little did I? (snicker) Well it got people talking and that is always cool.
I’m a fairly gregarious fella (you may have noticed).
Thanks KA. I truly appreciate the plug. And ditto regarding your science (LOL)
Sure, Bukezi, as the Chinese say.
Anytime you’d like to compare notes on science, I’m up for it.
So you have never thought about then?
Of course I have. Didn’t I admit as much? Yes I did. You forget: not only am I fairly well versed in Western religion, but Eastern mysticism as well (albeit I’m an autodidact).
“Somebody asked Confucious about another world, and his reply was: ‘How would I know anything about another world when I know so little of this?’” - Ingersoll
Who said anything about nuclear? The phrase WMD cover's a lot of destructive weaponry including chemical warfare.
Hmmm…it could also cover automatic weaponry, depending on how you define ‘mass’.
It was confirmed that Maddass Hussein had these in his arsenal. He used them on his own people.
You’re referring to Hubuljra? I thought it had been established that the Kurds were gassed by the Iranians during the Iraq-Iran war, as they’d been killed by sarin (a blood agent), when all Iraq had was mustard gas?
These are some of the WMD's that have managed to elude Bush so far, BUT Iraq did possess them at one time (They're all in Syria now!) LOL Anyways this is yet another one of our extended bunny trails. I'll admit I need to stay a little more on course with these discussions.
As I understand it, Iran has hated Iraq for decades.
Are you suggesting Dumbocrats never do this? Propaganda? Rhetoric? As far as the rest is concerned regarding jingoism and all sorts of psychological and emotional persuasions we can look no further then one of the greatest atheist tyrants of our time, Stalin.
I wasn’t suggesting any such thing. I was asking for a reference point. As to Stalin, well, the horrendous abuses were more the result of a political agenda/ideology rather than a lack of religion.
Did you read it backwards? It is a message of hope on how one can have life abundant. Death is reserved for those who do not want to partake in the life after. But it won't be a state of non existence
All promises & guesswork. No, it’s a manual that prepares the user for their eventual death. Too many people use it as a means to rush thru their lives: too many use it to justify their agendas. Too many people use it as an excuse to live their lives in quiet desperation, draining the beauty of this life, dunning this life for the phantasmagorical otherworld.
The universe cares not 1 wit for us: ergo, we must care for 1 another.

The Intolerant One said...

BBIM,

First off, apologies. I had written a reply to you after I posted my response to KA when blogger decided to crap out on me. Good thing I type my responses out on Word perfect or all would be lost.

"But, I think that believers "think" within their belief, no matter which belief this is. They rarely question their beliefs whether they are religious or political etc."

I would agree with this regarding their spirituality and Biblical beliefs. But to say that it influences their political beliefs is a far cry from reality. A classic example is within my own crowd. Some Christian brother's of mine vote Liberal. I admit to them I think their idiot's for supporting a party that conflicts with God's moral law BUT I still respect their democratic right to choose the party of their choice. And they do have their reasons. Yet some of my non Christian friends will vote Conservative.

If you investigate deeper you will find Christians voting for all kinds of parties across the board. Liberals are viewed as pro gay/ pro choice yet a Christian may vote for them against Conservatives because the Conservatives may have a more aggressive approach regarding foreign policy. As I have been trying to point out to you, claiming the "religious" right as unreasonable is a generalized and judgmental statement that is unfounded.

"Afterall, belief serves to preserve belief, so the "thinking" which occurs has a predetermined goal, which involves retaining the belief."

If you "believe" in a woman's right to choose will you not always support the party that votes in favor of preserving and retaining your belief? You contradict yourself when you pin this action solely on a select group of people. That being those who are believer's in God.

"If I have any beliefs, they are hopefully justified."

Justified by what then? Or by whom? Your own standards? That would include your own personally held beliefs. If I can't justify them and you do not have belief in God then how can they even be "hopefully" justified? That means only you can justify to them to your self. Which demonstrates the arrogance of your position. You have no moral compass to gauge your belief in so you make yourself the judge and jury.

"Whereas, I do think that for the majority of people who call themselves believers, their belief is based in the personal validation they get from believing something, no matter how unlikely the belief is."

That is one stretch of a statement. Again it is based on what you think.

"You obviously have an entirely different idea of what constitutes reason."

You think? We can look it up and go from there. Because if I do have different idea then chances are the Liberals re-defined that word (They like to redefine words every time the English language traps them in their folly) only they did not tell me about. What does the word mean today?

"And it is my opinion that they suffer some sort of intellectual disconnect when it comes to the preservation of their beliefs."

Oh Puhleeeeeze get off your arrogant train already. Alright let us do the typical spineless conservative maneuver here and give in. Alright Beep, you are intellectually superior to all of us who do not subscribe to your Belief in unbelief" There you are better then rest of mentally challenged, unstable, and inept human beings on the planet.

"They act reasonably under most circumtances,"

It would appear under your definition of what constitutes reasonable circumstances.

"Except when it comes to analysing their beliefs in the light of reason."

Did you ever think that your reason does not sound all that reasonable?

"Actually, I don't find common sesne to be all that common, nor all that sensible."

Agreed. Only I would see it from a different perspective. Terminating life in the womb because of inconvenience is also not common sense. Handing kids condoms at a young age because they are apparently mature enough to engage in sex but they are not mature enough to be held accountable for shooting someone also lacks common sense. Yet many from the "left" side of the spectrum hold to these beliefs that this is the way to go.

"This of course, refers to anyone and everyone who does not question their beliefs in the light of new information."

Oh can I relate to that. Try approaching the evolutionist with new science that pokes more holes on their theory and watch how fast they attempt to destroy the credibility of the qualified.

"No. We don't call every belief a theory. Certainly science doesn't refer to a theory in the same way that a lay-person does."

If it is unproven it still requires a level of belief. Otherwise you would stop trying to achieve the goal of proving or bringing the theory into a factual reality.


"A theory from a scientific point of view is this"

I am quite familiar with the definition thanks. It would be nice if science would keep in mind "one that has been repeatedly tested " every time they try to establish the validity of evolution considering nobody was there to test it or witness the process over time.

" It is as if they know their beliefs are stupid"

I cannot get over humble intellectual superiority. Thanks for guiding and giving direction to all of us stupid people.

Krystalline Apostate said...

TIO:
A few things:
Because if I do have different idea then chances are the Liberals re-defined that word (They like to redefine words every time the English language traps them in their folly) only they did not tell me about.
I get a little tired of this sophistry. Unless you can prove that 'liberals' are re-defining words right & left, I might advise you drop this. I know, at least in MY country, it's the conservatives who do this regularly.
Try approaching the evolutionist with new science that pokes more holes on their theory and watch how fast they attempt to destroy the credibility of the qualified.
New science? I don't think you've ever brought 'new science' into a discussion, outside of that constant repetition of Britten's retrofitting of his DNA synopsis. Unless you refer to that pseudoscience you call ID.
I am quite familiar with the definition thanks. It would be nice if science would keep in mind "one that has been repeatedly tested " every time they try to establish the validity of evolution considering nobody was there to test it or witness the process over time.
WTF? W/that logic, we can release anyone convicted of killing someone if there're no witnesses. You bear that 'broken science' in mind next time you purchase food, or use modern medicine. Or the cops track down someone who's murdered a person via DNA - yep, EVOLUTION did that for you.
I thought you were listening. I guess listening <> understanding.
Oh, also gravity is a 'theory' (w/no witnesses!). Also, the earth orbiting the sun is a 'theory' as well.
I've shot down your 'theory' comment so many times, it's got built-in AC.
& new species are appearing all the time.
'Whether 'tis nobler to suffer the slings & arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of sorrows, & thus be drown'd by it.' - Hamlet