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Author Topic:   What would change your belief?
Jumped Up Chimpanzee
Member (Idle past 2896 days)
Posts: 572
From: UK
Joined: 10-22-2009


Message 1 of 35 (534654)
11-10-2009 5:28 AM


I’m very curious about religious people who dismiss stories such as Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, etc on the basis of scientific evidence, yet still believe in their God. They seem to be able to twist their religious story: “Oh, those bits were only ever meant to be allegories.”

Yeah…right!

So, it makes me wonder: How much more evidence that is contrary to your religious texts would be sufficient to completely undo your belief? Is there a tipping point? Or would you continue to twist and turn indefinitely? Or, indeed, have your texts and various interpretations of those texts actually been evolved to ensure that you have such a complex, self-contradictory and ultimately meaningless premise that there is nothing definable to be disproved?

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Note - This is not a "Creation/Evolution in the News" type topic. It should have been started via the "Proposed New Topics" forum. That said, I will move it to the "Faith and Belief" forum. - Adminnemooseus


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by iano, posted 11-10-2009 7:14 AM Jumped Up Chimpanzee has responded
 Message 4 by Larni, posted 11-10-2009 8:55 AM Jumped Up Chimpanzee has responded
 Message 16 by Dr Jack, posted 11-11-2009 4:46 PM Jumped Up Chimpanzee has not yet responded
 Message 17 by rstrats, posted 11-29-2009 8:13 AM Jumped Up Chimpanzee has not yet responded
 Message 18 by jaywill, posted 11-29-2009 8:48 PM Jumped Up Chimpanzee has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 1136 days)
Posts: 6164
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 2 of 35 (534667)
11-10-2009 7:14 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee
11-10-2009 5:28 AM


JUC writes:

I’m very curious about religious people who dismiss stories such as Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, etc on the basis of scientific evidence, yet still believe in their God. They seem to be able to twist their religious story: “Oh, those bits were only ever meant to be allegories.”

Yeah…right!

Three problems strike me straight away.

1) "Yeah.. right!" is a way of 'arguing from incredulity'. That you can't believe it, somehow lends your argument more weight.

Yeah right!

2) There is no problem with someone now considering something allegorical that they previously thought literal. So long as the overarching theology holds together then there is nothing to worry about. Scientific theory works that way all the time: modify your hypothesis according to new observations or scrap the hypothesis.

3) You seem to be suggesting that wasn't until Science that people wondered whether a talking snake could be allegorical or not.

-

I don't dismiss stories of Adam and Eve based on scientific evidence so I really can't comment from the position you target. Just pointing out a couple of problematic areas in the setup of the dilemma.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee, posted 11-10-2009 5:28 AM Jumped Up Chimpanzee has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee, posted 11-10-2009 7:37 AM iano has responded
 Message 8 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee, posted 11-10-2009 10:10 AM iano has not yet responded

  
Jumped Up Chimpanzee
Member (Idle past 2896 days)
Posts: 572
From: UK
Joined: 10-22-2009


Message 3 of 35 (534670)
11-10-2009 7:37 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by iano
11-10-2009 7:14 AM


Hi iano

1) "Yeah.. right!" is a way of 'arguing from incredulity'. That you can't believe it, somehow lends your argument more weight.

I was expressing my extreme incredulity. Nothing more, nothing less.

2) There is no problem with someone now considering something allegorical that they previously thought literal. So long as the overarching theology holds together then there is nothing to worry about. Scientific theory works that way all the time: modify your hypothesis according to new observations or scrap the hypothesis.

You are right in that there's nothing wrong with someone changing their mind. But, just to take the example of Adam and Eve, I disagree that everything still holds together. The theology of Christians is still that God created mankind. But if you discard the only explanation you have for that creation, how can your theology still "hold together"? Get rid of the Adam and Eve story, and where do you have any explanation for how God created Mankind.

3) You seem to be suggesting that wasn't until Science that people wondered whether a talking snake could be allegorical or not.

I don't know what your definition of "Science" is, or when you though Science started. But I would say that some people would certainly always have wondered whether a talking snake could be real or allegorical based on their observation that no snakes or indeed any other animals apart from humans had ever been observed to talk. I would make that a scientific analysis.

Appreciate your comments though.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by iano, posted 11-10-2009 7:14 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Blue Jay, posted 11-10-2009 9:50 AM Jumped Up Chimpanzee has responded
 Message 15 by iano, posted 11-11-2009 3:39 PM Jumped Up Chimpanzee has not yet responded

  
Larni
Member
Posts: 3964
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 4 of 35 (534675)
11-10-2009 8:55 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee
11-10-2009 5:28 AM


Confirmation bias
The thing is that once we reach a conclusion we tend to stop thinking about it any more. Even if we do we tend to stick to our original conlusions as we ignore negative information and attend more to positive information.

This coupled with our ability to hold two contradictory, even mutaully exclusive points in our head (ever loved and hated someone?) allows people to ignore that which does not fit in with our world view and attend to that which does all at once with limited cognitive dissonance.

Google the confirmation bias.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee, posted 11-10-2009 5:28 AM Jumped Up Chimpanzee has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee, posted 11-10-2009 9:30 AM Larni has responded

    
Jumped Up Chimpanzee
Member (Idle past 2896 days)
Posts: 572
From: UK
Joined: 10-22-2009


Message 5 of 35 (534683)
11-10-2009 9:30 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Larni
11-10-2009 8:55 AM


Re: Confirmation bias
The thing is that once we reach a conclusion we tend to stop thinking about it any more. Even if we do we tend to stick to our original conlusions as we ignore negative information and attend more to positive information.
This coupled with our ability to hold two contradictory, even mutaully exclusive points in our head (ever loved and hated someone?) allows people to ignore that which does not fit in with our world view and attend to that which does all at once with limited cognitive dissonance.

Interesting point and I'll try and read up on it. Just thinking about it off the top of my head, I think this contradictory thinking must be largely due to instinctive or emotional responses. As such, I wouldn't dispute that I often have instinctive or emotional ideas that are contradictory to my objective attitude. I can't see how you can maintain fundamentally contradictory views though if they are both purely objective. Maybe that's the simple answer: that many religious people will hold onto their beliefs in the face of contradictory scientific evidence (which they also accept) because their religious belief is based on emotion rather than objective analysis.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Larni, posted 11-10-2009 8:55 AM Larni has responded

Replies to this message:
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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 651 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 6 of 35 (534686)
11-10-2009 9:50 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee
11-10-2009 7:37 AM


Hi, Chimp.

Jumped Up Chimpanzee writes:

I was expressing my extreme incredulity. Nothing more, nothing less.

I'm pretty sure that any creationist saying, "yeah right" in a post on this forum would have gotten a good handful of comments identical to the one you got from Iano.

My personal take on this is that, since you've been leaning heavily on an "emotional vs rational" theme here, you should avoid the expression of anything non-rational, because it kind of makes you look two-faced when you're using non-rational expressions in an argument against non-rational arguments.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee, posted 11-10-2009 7:37 AM Jumped Up Chimpanzee has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee, posted 11-10-2009 10:08 AM Blue Jay has responded

  
Jumped Up Chimpanzee
Member (Idle past 2896 days)
Posts: 572
From: UK
Joined: 10-22-2009


Message 7 of 35 (534688)
11-10-2009 10:08 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Blue Jay
11-10-2009 9:50 AM


Hi Bluejay

On reflection, I shouldn't have said "Yeah...right!" in my OP.

I let my emotions get the better of me!

In fact, I think most of my last paragraph was written in an exasperated state. This wasn't really intended to be a rational/emotional argument; really just a rational one. I should have just kept my question to believers very simple, as follows:

"Is there any scientific evidence that could theoretically emerge that would undo your religious belief."

Consider my wrist duly slapped.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Blue Jay, posted 11-10-2009 9:50 AM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Huntard, posted 11-10-2009 10:27 AM Jumped Up Chimpanzee has responded
 Message 13 by Blue Jay, posted 11-11-2009 12:27 AM Jumped Up Chimpanzee has responded

  
Jumped Up Chimpanzee
Member (Idle past 2896 days)
Posts: 572
From: UK
Joined: 10-22-2009


Message 8 of 35 (534690)
11-10-2009 10:10 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by iano
11-10-2009 7:14 AM


Hi Iano

As discussed with Bluejay, I accept I shouldn't have used the phrase "Yeah...right!"

It wasn't clever and undermines my whole position of rationality!

Apologies.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by iano, posted 11-10-2009 7:14 AM iano has not yet responded

  
Huntard
Member (Idle past 249 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 9 of 35 (534694)
11-10-2009 10:27 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee
11-10-2009 10:08 AM


Also, another thing.
Also, to avoid these kind of things, please post topics like this in the "proposed new topics" forum. As it is now, your post is wrongly placed in the "evolution in the news" forum, which isn't a debate forum, but a "Hey look at this nice tidbit of info" forum.

When posting in the "proposed new topics" forum, moderators will read your post, and they might have caught that use of "yeah right" amd asked you to change it, or something.

So, keep that in mind, and things like this should be a thing of the past.


I hunt for the truth

I am the one Orgasmatron, the outstretched grasping hand
My image is of agony, my servants rape the land
Obsequious and arrogant, clandestine and vain
Two thousand years of misery, of torture in my name
Hypocrisy made paramount, paranoia the law
My name is called religion, sadistic, sacred whore.
-Lyrics by Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee, posted 11-10-2009 10:08 AM Jumped Up Chimpanzee has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee, posted 11-10-2009 10:37 AM Huntard has not yet responded

    
Jumped Up Chimpanzee
Member (Idle past 2896 days)
Posts: 572
From: UK
Joined: 10-22-2009


Message 10 of 35 (534699)
11-10-2009 10:37 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Huntard
11-10-2009 10:27 AM


Re: Also, another thing.
Thanks. I didn't even realise I'd done that. I thought all new topics were assessed and put in an appropriate forum.

May I suggest a new forum where we can propose "idiot of the month".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Huntard, posted 11-10-2009 10:27 AM Huntard has not yet responded

  
Larni
Member
Posts: 3964
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 11 of 35 (534710)
11-10-2009 11:42 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee
11-10-2009 9:30 AM


Re: Confirmation bias
Maybe that's the simple answer: that many religious people will hold onto their beliefs in the face of contradictory scientific evidence (which they also accept) because their religious belief is based on emotion rather than objective analysis.

That's exactly the cases. Funny things, people.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee, posted 11-10-2009 9:30 AM Jumped Up Chimpanzee has not yet responded

    
Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3869
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 12 of 35 (534730)
11-10-2009 1:30 PM


Thread Copied from Creation/Evolution In The News Forum
Thread copied here from the What would change your belief? thread in the Creation/Evolution In The News forum.

This topic was started in the "Creation/Evolution in the News" forum. Doing such is a dodge of the "Proposed New Topics" forum procedure.

Don't start topics in forums they don't belong in.

Adminnemooseus

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Added comments to topic move message.


New Members should start HERE to get an understanding of what makes great posts.

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It really helps moderators figure out if a topic is disintegrating because of general misbehavior versus someone in particular if the originally non-misbehaving members kept it that way. When everyone is prickly and argumentative and off-topic and personal then it's just too difficult to tell. We have neither infinite time to untie the Gordian knot, nor the wisdom of Solomon.

There used to be a comedian who presented his ideas for a better world, and one of them was to arm everyone on the highway with little rubber dart guns. Every time you see a driver doing something stupid, you fire a little dart at his car. When a state trooper sees someone driving down the highway with a bunch of darts all over his car he pulls him over for being an idiot.

Please make it easy to tell you apart from the idiots. Message 150


    
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 651 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 13 of 35 (534780)
11-11-2009 12:27 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee
11-10-2009 10:08 AM


Hi, Chimp.

Jumped Up Chimpanzee writes:

Is there any scientific evidence that could theoretically emerge that would undo your religious belief.

This is definitely a good question.

Most religious beliefs are far more ambiguous than those who hold them seem to be aware. A statement of beliefs is, by admission, fixed and unequivocal. It determines, a priori, what counts as "truth," and retroactively defines "reason" as that which leads to a conclusion consonent with what we determined was "truth."

So, religious folks generally don't even think in terms of evidence or logic or reason, because these things aren't really part of the process of determining truth for us.

For most religious folks, I would say that they would immediately and decisively answer, "no," simply because that is the kind of response that is venerated in Christian motivational stories.

For myself, my initial thought was to try to come up with what kind of evidence would destroy my religious beliefs. Unfortunately, I concluded that I simply don't hold a specific enough religious belief that it could be tested. I am chronically indecisive, so I prefer not to marry myself to some certain idea. That the fate of my eternal soul is riding on this decision doesn't make it any easier for me to be satisfied that I've made the right choice, so, unfortunately, I am unwilling to state my beliefs in a specific enough manner that they could be tested with scientific evidence.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee, posted 11-10-2009 10:08 AM Jumped Up Chimpanzee has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee, posted 11-11-2009 4:32 AM Blue Jay has not yet responded

  
Jumped Up Chimpanzee
Member (Idle past 2896 days)
Posts: 572
From: UK
Joined: 10-22-2009


Message 14 of 35 (534790)
11-11-2009 4:32 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Blue Jay
11-11-2009 12:27 AM


Hi Bluejay

Thank you very much for your considered response.

If it's not going off-topic (I don't want to get into even more trouble!), maybe in your case I could twist the question slightly and ask:

Is there any scientific evidence that might emerge that would make you less indecisive one way or the other about your beliefs? (Maybe that's being too hypothetical, I don't know.) Do you have any hopes for a scientific discovery that would settle your opinion on anything in particular?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Blue Jay, posted 11-11-2009 12:27 AM Blue Jay has not yet responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 1136 days)
Posts: 6164
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 15 of 35 (534889)
11-11-2009 3:39 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee
11-10-2009 7:37 AM


Chimp writes:

I was expressing my extreme incredulity. Nothing more, nothing less.

No worries. Incredulity is a natural thing to do. But in the rigorous sense of debate, nothing can be taken for granted unless your 'opponant' grants you it. Incredulity is just one of those things you can only introduce when you've reached understanding with those in the opposing camp.

-

You are right in that there's nothing wrong with someone changing their mind. But, just to take the example of Adam and Eve, I disagree that everything still holds together. The theology of Christians is still that God created mankind. But if you discard the only explanation you have for that creation, how can your theology still "hold together"? Get rid of the Adam and Eve story, and where do you have any explanation for how God created Mankind.

Look at it this way. I believe Adam and Eve were real people. There are other Christians (ie: people who satisfy the same criterion for God saving them as I satisfied in order that he saved me) who don't believe Adam and Eve were walking talking people. Our two theologies differ yet we are both Christian.

Now if I was to change my view from the current position to their position I would change theology but not my being a Christian. My being a Christian doesn't depend on my view on Adam and Eve, it depends on whether God saved me or not.

-

I don't know what your definition of "Science" is, or when you though Science started. But I would say that some people would certainly always have wondered whether a talking snake could be real or allegorical based on their observation that no snakes or indeed any other animals apart from humans had ever been observed to talk. I would make that a scientific analysis.

Fair enough. In which case we concur: folk 2000 years ago could be expected to have as much trouble with the notion of talking snakes as we could be expected to have now (if we aren't believers in God).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee, posted 11-10-2009 7:37 AM Jumped Up Chimpanzee has not yet responded

  
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