Monday, August 11, 2014

Deity Shmeity Quickies

Faith, as unsubstantiated belief to the degree of perceived certainty, is the most anti-intellectual concept ever created. When applied to religion, it's effectively ignorance worship.

Last month's PewResearch data that shows how atheists are viewed relative to religious groups. (Spoiler: not great)

I find that theists tend to project their beliefs onto reality. Concepts--like right and wrong, the mind, love, truth to some extent--are all more than abstractions, they are considered real in some way beyond the use of the people that conceive them. The support for this is always along the lines of "I feel it's true" or, my favorite, "we all know it, even those who put on a show of denying it." You can believe something, you can even really believe something, but you can't believe something into existence.

You Are Not So Smart is becoming one of my favorite podcasts. Each episode goes over a topic related to the human experience with a focus on thinking and biases. This episode is particularly relevant to those who spend probably too much time arguing on the Internet (or anywhere.)

Religious apologists have a problem with infinite regress, but considering they believe in a being who has always existed, I don't understand why. If we ask when an everlasting being existed before any given moment, the answer would be the moment before, ad infinitum. If we ask what caused any given effect in an infinite causal series, the answer is the cause before it, ad infinitum. So far, no one has showed what the essential difference is between the two claims or why infinite regress is logically inferior. If you know, let me know.

3 comments:

  1. The answer historically given by theologians has been that God's existence doesn't consist of a series of events. See 2. and 3. in http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/eternity/

    You might want to consider the possibility that Christian Science probably wasn't the best milieu in which to gain a basic understanding of philosophical theology, to put it mildly.

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  2. You were into Christian Science? Dear me. I think the other anonymous girl (or guy) is right. That'll mess you up good. No wonder you're an atheist. And you probably judge all religious people through the distorted lens of Christian Science. That is one whacked out religion.

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  3. Why do you guys think Christian Science is more whacked out than other Christian denominations?

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