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Author Topic:   The Marketing Of Christianity
dwise1
Member
Posts: 3133
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 587 of 591 (829962)
03-18-2018 6:01 PM
Reply to: Message 582 by Rrhain
03-18-2018 1:19 AM


Re: Food For Thought
But they have had this conversation. For example, Christian creationists have mentioned those specific things many times:

If evolution is true, if the universe is ancient, then that means the Bible (as they understand it) is false.

Why is that not sufficient for you? They have their reasons for believing in god (defined as the being referred to in the Bible) and thus to have that book be disproven means this god they believe in might not exist.

But we haven't had the conversation yet. All that creationists have given us are conclusions, little more than bare assertions. How were those bare-assertion conclusions arrived at? I have little reason to doubt that for most believers, those conclusions are simply taken as being axiomatic, the starting points from which to build the rest of their theology. So it is important to see how those conclusions were arrived at.

Similarly, creationists are basing those conclusions and more on a great many assumptions without ever examining those assumptions, let alone present them for discussion. They assume that creation and evolution are mutually exclusive and opposed to each other, so if evolution is true then that proves creation and God wrong. Why? In exactly what ways are they in conflict? In exactly what ways would evolution being true negate creation? I cannot see why that is a necessary conclusion and believe that there is no inherent conflict between a supernatural creation and the physical and biological processes that were created, including evolution. The only way that there could be any conflict would be if one (ie, creationists) were to create that conflict by mis-defining either creation or evolution or both, thus leading to false conclusions. Those conclusions that creationists assume to be givens are not givens, but were arrived at based on many unspoken assumptions. Those assumptions need to be spoken and examined and evaluated.

Another problem that those unspoken assumptions cause is that the two parties trying to discuss any aspect of creation/evolution cannot understand each other because the one party (ie, the creationists) have redefined all terms. We use the same words, but the creationists apply different meanings so that they cannot understand our explanations and we cannot understand their rejection of reality. Part of an honest conversation would be to address those unspoken assumptions in order to arrive at common terminology that would make communication possible. My logic professor told us that the first order of business in any debate is to agree on the definitions of the terminology that will used, but my experience with creationists, especially the ones active in debating and proselytizing, is that they depend on the confusion generated by not having common definitions.

The other part of an honest conversation which is still lacking is for creationists to explain just exactly what they think the consequences of their being wrong about something would be. They seem to believe that each and every bit of their theology is true and that every single bit is intertwined such that if even one bit turns out to be wrong, then the entire theology is wrong and they must lose their faith. Since all theologies are Man-made, they are all imperfect and they do all contain errors, so requiring loss of faith should even one error be found is just a self-imposed booby trap a hair-trigger away from going off. You should be able to detect and correct or eliminate errors in your theology without a loss of faith; many ex-creationists who remained Christian were able to do that. The trick would be to be able to identify what your faith truly depends on and what is extraneous.

In Message 576, I gave an obvious example of holding an extraneous belief and making your faith dependent on it, one that even Faith would agree about. A young Christian believed that all the books in the Bible were written in the order in which they appear. That belief was important to her, so when she discovered that it wasn't true, she blamed her religion for having lied to her and lost her faith -- I read that in her testimonial of how she became an atheist. It was a stupid extraneous belief, though it still proved to be an effective booby trap. Maybe if she had talked to somebody about it, they might have been able to have that little talk with her that I'm talking about and she might have realized that her faith did not actually depend on that stupid extraneous belief. But sadly when that stupid extraneous belief is also held by the rest of the congregants (eg, YEC), talking it out with a fellow congregant would probably fail.

I'm not trying to change a believer's mind. Rather it's kind of like non-directive counselling as we were taught as Navy supervisors. Before enlisting, I was often sought out for advice in religious matters by Christian classmates even though they knew I was an atheist. I just naturally used non-directive counselling by listening to them, asking questions at different points, offering a different perspective, all with the goal of helping them find their own solution to their problem.

Of course, in this case creationists have so many booby traps embedded in them that almost anything could set one off. It's painful to see people living that way, in constant fear of encountering any of a huge number of inconvenient facts that could set off one of their embedded booby traps.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 582 by Rrhain, posted 03-18-2018 1:19 AM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 588 by Faith, posted 03-18-2018 6:53 PM dwise1 has not yet responded
 Message 591 by Rrhain, posted 03-19-2018 8:42 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 27603
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 588 of 591 (829963)
03-18-2018 6:53 PM
Reply to: Message 587 by dwise1
03-18-2018 6:01 PM


Re: Food For Thought
Of course, in this case creationists have so many booby traps embedded in them that almost anything could set one off. It's painful to see people living that way, in constant fear of encountering any of a huge number of inconvenient facts that could set off one of their embedded booby traps.

The only thing I'm in fear of around here is the constant threat of being bored or harassed to death by know-it-alls who have the arrogance to define people's views without understanding one thing about them.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 587 by dwise1, posted 03-18-2018 6:01 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

    
Astrophile
Member
Posts: 78
From: United Kingdom
Joined: 02-10-2014


Message 589 of 591 (829991)
03-19-2018 8:18 PM
Reply to: Message 576 by dwise1
03-14-2018 3:59 PM


Re: Food For Thought
dwise1 writes:

In the case of "creation science", the evidence shows that what it claims and teaches is wrong. Believers can maintain their faith in "creation science" by ignoring the evidence, even denying that the evidence even exists -- Faith's persistent arguments about geology are a prime example of this. On a certain level, they cannot help but know that their beliefs are false, because otherwise they wouldn't know to engage their selective blindness to the evidence -- I have also witnessed "selective stupidity" in which an obviously intelligent creationist would suddenly be unable to understand a very simple English statement.

If creationists really believed that 'creation science' was true they would rush to do research into biology, geology, palaeontology, astronomy, cosmology, etc. because they would expect to find evidence for separately created species, for flood geology, and for a young Earth and a young universe. The fact that they don't try to do research in these sciences shows that they know that they will not find this evidence; it also shows that, as you say, on a certain level they can't help but know that their beliefs are false.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 576 by dwise1, posted 03-14-2018 3:59 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 590 by Faith, posted 03-19-2018 8:31 PM Astrophile has not yet responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 27603
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 590 of 591 (829993)
03-19-2018 8:31 PM
Reply to: Message 589 by Astrophile
03-19-2018 8:18 PM


Re: Food For Thought
As I understand it there is lots of research being done by creationists. The British Creationist Society has been doing research in the Grand Canyon, and Steve Austin years ago did research in the Grand Canyon, which to my mind proved the mass sudden death of the nautiloids which doesn't fit the standard interpretation but does fit the Flood. I haven't kept up beyond that.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 589 by Astrophile, posted 03-19-2018 8:18 PM Astrophile has not yet responded

    
Rrhain
Member
Posts: 6306
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 591 of 591 (829994)
03-19-2018 8:42 PM
Reply to: Message 587 by dwise1
03-18-2018 6:01 PM


Re: Food For Thought
dwise1 responds to me:

quote:
But we haven't had the conversation yet.

Why do you think this? On the contrary, I would say that this conversation has been had a long time ago. As mentioned: They have an understanding of how the world is supposed to be that is hung upon the framework of their religion. If it turns out that the world doesn't actually exist that way, then it means their religion is in error. Since they are emotionally invested, they aren't going to give that up easily.

quote:
All that creationists have given us are conclusions, little more than bare assertions. How were those bare-assertion conclusions arrived at?

I think you're referring to a different conversation. I was referring to why and you seem to be referring to how.

quote:
They assume that creation and evolution are mutually exclusive and opposed to each other, so if evolution is true then that proves creation and God wrong. Why? In exactly what ways are they in conflict?

This has long since been answered: God specifically, consciously, deliberately, and purposefully created life in general, species more specifically, and humans most specifically of all. Thus, the current life that we see could not have evolved, especially not humans. The official Catholic statement regarding evolution recognizes this. Pius XII and John Paul II state that humans did evolve...except for their intellect which was a special creation of god. Humans need to be specially created in the image of god or it means the story told in the Bible isn't true and if it isn't true, then the rest of it is suspect and if the rest of it is suspect, perhaps all of it is and if all of it is, then you're believing a lie. This is exactly what you were talking about.

Why isn't that sufficient for you? What more to this "conversation" do you need? Despite your claims that you are "not trying to change a believer's mind," I think you are. You may not necessarily have a specific final goal for them, but you do think that they're wrong and wish to convince them that they are wrong. They have a specific idea (life, particularly human life, was created by an act of god and not evolved) that you wish to change (life, including human life, was evolved). You may have it open-ended ("Who said god couldn't have used evolution to create humanity?") but that doesn't alter the fact that you do seek to change their minds.

They are emotionally invested in their beliefs. As one possible example of such investment, they are worried about going to hell. Doubt is seen as a path to hell and thus, they won't give up their faith easily as the consequence for it is eternal damnation.

This goes back to my non-conversation with Tangle regarding a disproof of "god." You have to define what it is that you mean by "god." If your definition of "god" includes a specific act and that act turns out not to be true, then it necessarily means that said "god" does not exist. You think they can then engage in an ad hoc adjustment of the definition of "god" to not include that act, but they may not be able to consider that. After all, if that definition of "god" turned out to be not true and if they have already discounted all other definitions of "god" (else why fixate on the definition of "god" they already had), then that means god as a concept does not exist: They had the last possible definition and if it falls, there is no way to salvage the concept.

It isn't about you, though. It's about them. This is why I ask why that is not sufficient for you: They have explained themselves. What more do you need unless you are actually seeking to change them despite your protests to the contrary?


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 587 by dwise1, posted 03-18-2018 6:01 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

    
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