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Author Topic:   The Marketing Of Christianity
ringo
Member
Posts: 13968
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 527 of 536 (824851)
12-04-2017 11:18 AM
Reply to: Message 526 by Phat
12-04-2017 11:12 AM


Re: The Reality Of The Lords Prayers
Phat writes:

Perhaps I dont trust that His Will is for me to have to struggle.


Need moar communion.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 526 by Phat, posted 12-04-2017 11:12 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3044
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


(1)
Message 528 of 536 (824919)
12-05-2017 10:43 AM
Reply to: Message 515 by Phat
12-03-2017 11:52 AM


Believe vs. Non-Belief
Phat writes:

Believers tend to be made up of people who need and/or want and prefer to have a Father figure...a protector...a rich uncle....whereas non-believers couldn't wait to grow up and leave the nest. They are more adult thinking.

Who wants a Stile ramble? Here it comes!

I have a few things to say about such a statement.

First, I don't think things are so streamlined. I think there's a plethora of reasons why people believe, and why they don't... ranging from 'just human nature' to 'in-depth reflection.'

Because of that, I think it's a disservice to lump everything together as "Believers are ..." or "Non-believers are ..."

There are just too many different people who are believers or non-believers for too many different reasons to think they are all like you, or me, or anyone specific.

So, I will take your statement more to say:

quote:
Believers as Phat categorizes them tend to be made up of people who need and/or want and prefer to have a Father figure...a protector...a rich uncle....whereas non-believers as Phat labels them couldn't wait to grow up and leave the nest. They are more adult thinking.

Reasons such as this:
-I was brought up this way
-All my friends are like this
-People I respect are this way, so I'm this way too
-I think others will accept me more if I act like this
-I had a personal experience, so therefore I lean more in this direction

All those reasons (and more, I'm sure) can be a reason why someone is a believer or a non-believer.
And these are the reasons for many people.
And there are many people who don't have such reasons.. they have other reasons entirely.

What I think you're getting at is the "in depth reflection" area of reasons.

But I wouldn't use the same wording you used.

I'd describe it more like this:

Believers preferring a Father Figure or Protector or Rich Uncle
-I think this can come off a bit degrading
-I would word it more that believers seem to hold onto a certain, unwavering ideal or answer, and refuse to accept the world is any way other than the way that holds this Answer as a priority

The Answer they hold onto could be many different things (and possibly multiple things)
-An answer for life after death?
-An answer for ultimate justice?
-An answer for good always triumphing over evil?
-An answer for absolute security of what you care for most?

Non-Believers preferring to grow up and leave the nest
-I think this can be a bit misleading

Perhaps this is true for some non-believers.
But, again, there are some non-believers that don't care about growing up and leaving the nest. And they would even prefer to have a Father Figure or Ultimate Justice or Absolute Security over relying on themselves or other equally-mundane people.

-I would word it more that non-believers seem to be okay not having all the answers, and accepting the world however it may be.

Non-believers may want many things, but they are willing to accept that things just aren't that way.
-might dearly want an answer for life after death, and hope that there is one... but can accept that, maybe, there is nothing there
-might dearly want an answer for ultimate justice, and hope that there is one... but can accept that, maybe, intelligent people are all there is
-might dearly want an answer for good always triumphing, and hope that there is one... but can accept that, maybe, we can't always get what we want
--might dearly want an answer for absolute security, and hope that there is one... but can accept that, maybe, sometimes shit happens and there's nothing you can do about it

Now, which one is Right and which is Wrong?

In the sense of morality... I don't think it matters.
Holding an unwavering ideal of Ultimate Justice can be an extremely moral thing to do, regardless of the reasons for it.
Morality (as I see it) is more about hurting or helping others. And you can choose to do either of those things while under either of the above positions.

What about the sense of The Way Things Are, though? What about truth and reality and accurate descriptions of the universe?

Well, you can see this sort of thing in action in some Christian vs. Atheist debates:

The Christian will fight dearly that something MUST be a certain way (God exists, Flood occurred, Biblical Creation, Resurrection, Apostles are real, Jesus exists...)
But the Atheist doesn't say things MUST be different...
...they generally say that things appear to be different. The things we've uncovered and learned seem to point in another direction.
The Christian generally takes this to mean that the Atheist MUST be defending another, specific concept.
But that's not true.

The Atheist isn't defending another, specific concept... they're defending "whatever answer happens to seem more plausible with what we're able to see."

That is, the Atheist would AGREE with the Christian, if everything we saw, felt, touched... led in the direction of what the Christian described.

But there doesn't seem to ever be a way the Christian would agree with the Atheist. It MUST be the Christian's way... for one reason or another.

But, of course, people are people. And some Atheists will cling to an idea themselves... and say things MUST be their way for reasons other than the evidence leaning in that direction.

But there's always some Atheists willing to accept that the Christian is right if things would only show that the Christian was, indeed, right.
And they'll change their mind, and follow wherever reality seems to lead.

Are their Christians willing to do this?
What Christian is willing to give up Christ, God, and everything about their religion in order to follow where reality seems to lead?

I think that's the difference you're talking about.

Some Atheists are willing to denounce atheism and fight for anything else at all as long as reality supports the position. Maybe it means they're not an Atheist... they don't really care.
But... if a Christian is willing to denounce Christianity and fight for anything else at all as long as reality supports the position... are they really a "Christian" in the first place? Can you "not really care" if you're a Christian or not and still call yourself a Christian?

The issue is... it's not about Believers vs. Non-Believers.

It's about Believers vs. Reality-Followers.

It just so happens that, right now, the evidence seems to imply that Reality-Followers should be Non-Believers.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 515 by Phat, posted 12-03-2017 11:52 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 529 by Phat, posted 12-05-2017 12:43 PM Stile has responded

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 10230
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 529 of 536 (824937)
12-05-2017 12:43 PM
Reply to: Message 528 by Stile
12-05-2017 10:43 AM


Re: Believe vs. Non-Belief
Now, which one is Right and which is Wrong?

And of course, you and I know that in our "Stile-framed" dialogues there is no absolute.
Morality (as I see it) is more about hurting or helping others. And you can choose to do either of those things while under either of the above positions.
Of course.

Stile writes:

What about truth and reality and accurate descriptions of the universe?(...)

The Atheist isn't defending another, specific concept... they're defending "whatever answer happens to seem more plausible with what we're able to see."

It seems that one side values evidence above belief whereas the other side would count belief as equal to or a replacement of...evidence.

That is, the Atheist would AGREE with the Christian, if everything we saw, felt, touched... led in the direction of what the Christian described.

But there doesn't seem to ever be a way the Christian would agree with the Atheist. It MUST be the Christian's way... for one reason or another.

Because for me, the reality of the belief is everything. God simply must be true. No other answer will satisfy. For others, the quest for further evidence and further answers is the answer.

But there's always some Atheists willing to accept that the Christian is right if things would only show that the Christian was, indeed, right.
And they'll change their mind, and follow wherever reality seems to lead.

Are their Christians willing to do this?
What Christian is willing to give up Christ, God, and everything about their religion in order to follow where reality seems to lead?

I think that's the difference you're talking about.

Good call. In general, Christians are less likely to give up their preferred answer than Atheists are to give up theirs.

Some Atheists are willing to denounce atheism and fight for anything else at all as long as reality supports the position. Maybe it means they're not an Atheist... they don't really care.
But... if a Christian is willing to denounce Christianity and fight for anything else at all as long as reality supports the position... are they really a "Christian" in the first place? Can you "not really care" if you're a Christian or not and still call yourself a Christian?
Again...speaking for myself, the particular answer that I defend...is the issue. For others, any answer will do if it is evidenced.

It's about Believers vs. Reality-Followers.
And many believers would defend their belief as reality despite lack of evidence.

It just so happens that, right now, the evidence seems to imply that Reality-Followers should be Non-Believers.
Correct.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 528 by Stile, posted 12-05-2017 10:43 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 530 by Stile, posted 12-05-2017 2:01 PM Phat has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3044
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 530 of 536 (824942)
12-05-2017 2:01 PM
Reply to: Message 529 by Phat
12-05-2017 12:43 PM


Re: Believe vs. Non-Belief
Phat writes:

Stile writes:

It's about Believers vs. Reality-Followers.


And many believers would defend their belief as reality despite lack of evidence.

I think I may have overstepped things here for the sake of some dramatics.
Perhaps I shouldn't call it Believers vs. Reality-Followers so much as calling it Believers vs. Evidence-Followers.

One could (rightfully) argue that both are attempting to "follow reality." The measure of which is doing it better/right is up to the individual.

Phat writes:

Because for me, the reality of the belief is everything. God simply must be true. No other answer will satisfy. For others, the quest for further evidence and further answers is the answer.

I would say it's not so much the quest for further evidence and answers is the answer for others... but simply the quest to find out what ever actually is the truth.

Maybe they'll end up in the same place, maybe not.

One side puts the belief above all else, even though there's a possibility the belief could be wrong (simply because we, as humans, don't know everything).

The other side puts being "part of reality" above all else, even though there's a possibility we will never get to actually know.

And, really, there are pros can cons to both sides.
And you don't have to use the same side for every single issue.

That is, most believers put some religious belief above all else (God exists? Ultimate Justice? ...) when talking about the fabric of reality.
But, for example, perhaps they do not put a belief-in-their-own-safety above looking both ways before crossing the street.

On the other hand, most evidence-followers put some evidentially-supported-proposition forward when talking about the fabric of reality.
But, for example, perhaps they believe that their favorite sports team will win each and every upcoming game with fervent stubbornness.

Just for fun, here's an off-the-top-of-my-head go at pros and cons for each "side" (even though we all use both "sides" for different things...):

Believers - Holding a certain Idea or Answer above all else
Pros
-can make quick progress along the line of this single idea or answer
-no need to question anything that goes against the idea, the idea is always right
-easily understandable - don't have to explain a "why" as the "why" is "just because."

Cons
-could possibly be wrong (humans don't know everything)
-if wrong, will always be wrong (if you don't change the idea the whole belief is based on)

Evidence-Followers - Taking whatever idea that the evidence points towards
Pros
-could possibly be wrong (humans don't know everything)
-if wrong, however, further evidence will eventually show it to be wrong... and then you can change to the right (or, at least 'more right') idea

Cons
-progress is slower as you have to give time to go over the data in order to see what it's saying
-on larger, more complex data sets... can be difficult to understand and describe to someone else who is not as familiar with the data

I think it's helpful to understand the differences.. the pros and the cons.
And also understand that this isn't a thing that defines a person... it only defines how a person approaches a specific subject. We all have subjects we approach one way, and others the other way.
Once you understand the pros/cons... and see how each can be applied to different subjects at the same time... you can grow to use the pros when they best suit you, and avoid the cons wherever possible.

Edited by Stile, : Added some bolding to make it easier to read


This message is a reply to:
 Message 529 by Phat, posted 12-05-2017 12:43 PM Phat has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 531 by Faith, posted 12-05-2017 2:28 PM Stile has responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 26711
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 531 of 536 (824944)
12-05-2017 2:28 PM
Reply to: Message 530 by Stile
12-05-2017 2:01 PM


Re: Believe vs. Non-Belief
Hm. I believe the evidence led me to my Christian beliefs. There is always more to learn, always, for all eternity for that matter, but the basics were answered for me when I became a Christian. There's no further evidence that could change that. What, I learned that Christ is God who became a man to pay for my sins -- how could that change with further evidence? There is no possibility this belief could be wrong, I know how I got to it and now I'm there. All else is to be subsumed under it because there is no way to doubt it. There are plenty of other things I believe as part of the basics, such as the reality of the miracles reported in the Bible, which are themselves evidence for the whole Plan of Redemption spelled out in god's word. YOU may be able to doubt any of it, but the evidence is quite sufficient for me, and it took me from one way of being into a completely new way of being and I can never go back.

Some people may think they can believe without evidence but I can only assume they just aren't good at recognizing the evidence because nobody can believe ANYTHING without evidence. And of course I don't find any conflict with true science. True science is a wonderful gift of God. Some science is built on false interpretations, however.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 530 by Stile, posted 12-05-2017 2:01 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 532 by Stile, posted 12-05-2017 2:45 PM Faith has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3044
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 532 of 536 (824946)
12-05-2017 2:45 PM
Reply to: Message 531 by Faith
12-05-2017 2:28 PM


Re: Believe vs. Non-Belief
Faith writes:

I believe the evidence led me to my Christian beliefs.

There are also many who believe the evidence led them to their Flat-Earth beliefs.

Perhaps 'the evidence' led you to your Christian beliefs.
But your Christian beliefs are not based on evidence.

There's no further evidence that could change that.

Exactly. If your beliefs were based on the evidence... then you wouldn't be able to say such a thing.
Since further evidence is the only way to change any idea that's actually based on evidence.

Therefore, the evidence you saw led you to your Christian beliefs, but your Christian beliefs are actually based on something else.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 531 by Faith, posted 12-05-2017 2:28 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 533 by Faith, posted 12-05-2017 3:37 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply
 Message 534 by kbertsche, posted 12-05-2017 5:55 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 26711
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 533 of 536 (824951)
12-05-2017 3:37 PM
Reply to: Message 532 by Stile
12-05-2017 2:45 PM


Re: Believe vs. Non-Belief
And there are those who also wrongly believe the evidence led them ot the Old Earth and Evolution. So what? My point is only that I make use of evidence and don't think it's possible to believe anything without evidence. And no, the nature of the conclusions to be drawn from the kind of evidence available means there can be no other conclusions drawn.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 532 by Stile, posted 12-05-2017 2:45 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 536 by PaulK, posted 12-05-2017 11:55 PM Faith has not yet responded

    
kbertsche
Member
Posts: 1424
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 534 of 536 (824971)
12-05-2017 5:55 PM
Reply to: Message 532 by Stile
12-05-2017 2:45 PM


Re: Believe vs. Non-Belief
Stile writes:

There are also many who believe the evidence led them to their Flat-Earth beliefs.


Really? Many people who believed in a round earth, but claim to have switched to a belief in a flat earth on the basis of evidence? Can you present some examples?

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." – Albert Einstein

“I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously.” – Erwin Schroedinger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 532 by Stile, posted 12-05-2017 2:45 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 535 by NoNukes, posted 12-05-2017 6:25 PM kbertsche has not yet responded

    
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 10119
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 535 of 536 (824974)
12-05-2017 6:25 PM
Reply to: Message 534 by kbertsche
12-05-2017 5:55 PM


Re: Believe vs. Non-Belief
Really? Many people who believed in a round earth, but claim to have switched to a belief in a flat earth on the basis of evidence?

That is not quite what he claimed. He never said that they switched beliefs, but rather than the evidence suggested to some folks that the earth was flat. Quite frankly, I think that such a claim is very easy to believe. If your experiments don't cover much distance, ordinary tooling around with Euclidean geometry suggests a flat earth.

In a previous discussion, we talked about early attempts to conduct the Bedford Level experiment that appeared to give results consistent with a flat earth and not a spherical one. The errors in those experiments have since been identified. However, someone at the time might well have taken those experiments as evidence for a flat earth.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I was thinking as long as I have my hands up … they’re not going to shoot me. This is what I’m thinking — they’re not going to shoot me. Wow, was I wrong. -- Charles Kinsey

We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. Neil Young, Rockin' in the Free World.

Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith


This message is a reply to:
 Message 534 by kbertsche, posted 12-05-2017 5:55 PM kbertsche has not yet responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 13368
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 536 of 536 (824981)
12-05-2017 11:55 PM
Reply to: Message 533 by Faith
12-05-2017 3:37 PM


Re: Believe vs. Non-Belief
quote:

And there are those who also wrongly believe the evidence led them ot the Old Earth and Evolution. So what?

The evidence supports both those things and you know it.

quote:

My point is only that I make use of evidence and don't think it's possible to believe anything without evidence.

As you have just reminded us you frequently make excuses to deny the evidence. You frequently believe things on - at best - very weak evidence, and in ignorance of evidence that is quite easily found.

quote:

And no, the nature of the conclusions to be drawn from the kind of evidence available means there can be no other conclusions drawn.

That would be pretty amazing if it were true. But it isn’t. In the “Tension of Faith” thread you were promoting the Gospel of John as good evidence, despite the fact that it is clearly not - and it is certainly not evidence from which “no other conclusions can be drawn”. You were even reduced to pulling in the false dogma of Biblical inerrancy in an attempt to support its value as evidence (and there is another belief you cling to despite clear and strong evidence to the contrary).

That makes it very clear that you don’t have evidence which matches the description I quoted above. You don’t even have good evidence.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 533 by Faith, posted 12-05-2017 3:37 PM Faith has not yet responded

    
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