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Religion, God, and Theology Discussion of God, religion, faith, theology, and spirituality.

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Old 03-16-2017, 06:21 PM   #1
d2_e4
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Religion and logic

So, I got a little ban from politics (specifically the "Trump" thread) for not staying on topic and spamming my views about religion. I was told that this was the right forum.

I do not believe that those who believe in a literal god are capable of rational thought, and I believe that it is pointless trying to debate with them on an intellectual level - whether it be on religion or on other topics - because dogma, loyalty and narrative (i.e faith) are more important to them than logic.

Those who believe in a figurative god - these are the ones that claim to be "spiritual" - are well-meaning but still deluded. Reasoning with them also presents its own challenges, albeit more nuanced than with the former group. However, in my experience, for the most part, logic still eludes their grasp.

There are probably highly intelligent people in this world who have sufficient capacity for analysis and introspection that they can separate their religious beliefs from their "other" thinking. However, these people are few and far between, if they exist at all. To suggest that Joe Blow can do the same is facile.

With that said, and with everything that is going on in the US right now (I'm being somewhat oblique as if I am expelled from this forum back to politics, I will have nowhere to go!), I would like to pose the following question: are religious people capable of logical thought processes and rational discussion?

Last edited by d2_e4; 03-16-2017 at 06:36 PM. Reason: changed "undoubtedly" to "probably" before I get called on self-referential inconsistency by DSklansky
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Old 03-16-2017, 06:56 PM   #2
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Re: Religion and logic

Of course they are. A lot of the formal knowledge regarding logic was even made by highly religious individuals and theologians. Some of the greatest philosophers in history were religious. The man who proposed the Big Bang theory was a catholic priest - and of course millions and millions of other positive contributors to society have been and are religious.

Your viewpoint is quite insulting and provocative. I agree that there are aspects of religion I don't like, and I think to let religion steer politics is a very slippery slope - but to accuse 90% of the world's populace to lack the ability for logic and reason is just nonsense.
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:05 PM   #3
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Re: Religion and logic

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Of course they are. A lot of the formal knowledge regarding logic was even made by highly religious individuals and theologians.
Cite, please.

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Some of the greatest philosophers in history were religious.
Cite, please.

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The man who proposed the Big Bang theory was a catholic priest [...]
Cite, please.
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:10 PM   #4
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Re: Religion and logic

1. William of Ockham - Friar and one of the greatest logicians of all time

2. Immanuel Kant - Theologian and devout Christian, perhaps the greatest philosopher of all time

3. Georges Lemaître - Physicist and catholic priest who proposed the big bang theory

I'm sure you can google the names for yourself.
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:21 PM   #5
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Re: Religion and logic

For the first two - "some" and "a lot" now mean "one"? I'll look them up later, I could probably find some angle to attack this view, but I really don't want to.

Anyway, sorry, I don't want to sound like I'm trying to tie you up in semantics - that is not my goal at all. I guess the question I am asking is this: how can someone simultaneously believe in something so unfathomably improbable like "god" (as most people believe in Him), and yet have the capacity to apply logic and reason to the rest of his/her life? It beggars belief.

If I said to you: "I think there are fairies in my garden. This is true because I read it in a book that my grandad wrote, and he had fairies in the bottom of his garden too. Now - these fairies, they don't like killing people, OK? So we'll just tell girls that they can't get abortions." Would you think I was being reasonable?
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:29 PM   #6
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Re: Religion and logic

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If I said to you: "I think there are fairies in my garden. This is true because I read it in a book that my grandad wrote, and he had fairies in the bottom of his garden too. Now - these fairies, they don't like killing people, OK? So we'll just tell girls that they can't get abortions." Would you think I was being reasonable?
Nope. But the unreasonableness in the picture presented has nothing to do with the reality of the situation of people who believe things differently than you.

If you approach the question of why people believe what they believe by starting from a position of abject ignorance (or worse, willful misrepresentation), the chances of you understanding anything drop significantly.
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:33 PM   #7
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Re: Religion and logic

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Nope. But the unreasonableness in the picture presented has nothing to do with the reality of the situation of people who believe things differently than you.

If you approach the question of why people believe what they believe by starting from a position of abject ignorance (or worse, willful misrepresentation), the chances of you understanding anything drop significantly.
Please explain how I am misrepresenting religion (without conflating it with morality).
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:37 PM   #8
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Please explain how I am misrepresenting religion (without conflating it with morality).
The mechanism through which you believe what you do about religious people is not that different from the mechanism that religious people use themselves.
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:39 PM   #9
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Re: Religion and logic

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The mechanism through which you believe what you do about religious people is not that different from the mechanism that religious people use themselves.
No - actually, that quote sounds very much the equivalent of "evolution is a theory, creationism is a theory, they are all theories". You'll forgive me if I don't bite.
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:41 PM   #10
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Re: Religion and logic

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No - actually, that quote sounds very much the equivalent of "evolution is a theory, creationism is a theory, they are all theories". You'll forgive me if I don't bite.
I don't think there's anything to forgive. You believe what you believe, and I don't think there's any evidence that can convince you of something different.

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The mechanism through which you believe what you do about religious people is not that different from the mechanism that religious people use themselves.
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:58 PM   #11
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Re: Religion and logic

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I don't think there's anything to forgive. You believe what you believe, and I don't think there's any evidence that can convince you of something different.
So, instead of talking in riddles, why don't you explain what you mean?
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:11 PM   #12
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Re: Religion and logic

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For the first two - "some" and "a lot" now mean "one"? I'll look them up later, I could probably find some angle to attack this view, but I really don't want to.

Anyway, sorry, I don't want to sound like I'm trying to tie you up in semantics - that is not my goal at all. I guess the question I am asking is this: how can someone simultaneously believe in something so unfathomably improbable like "god" (as most people believe in Him), and yet have the capacity to apply logic and reason to the rest of his/her life? It beggars belief.

If I said to you: "I think there are fairies in my garden. This is true because I read it in a book that my grandad wrote, and he had fairies in the bottom of his garden too. Now - these fairies, they don't like killing people, OK? So we'll just tell girls that they can't get abortions." Would you think I was being reasonable?
These men where not alone, and by looking them up you should learn of many others. Regardless, they are single examples of exceptional individuals who were deeply religious - which alone is enough to counter what you are claiming.

Comparisons to faeries and simple myths like that is not without merit, but it only applies to a select portions of religious belief.

You also fall prey to your own logic here. You have yourself made a fantastic claim in this thread (that religious people are incapable of reason and logic), and demand that others prove you wrong. That is not a good way to make fantastic claims. A person holding that this is a good way to choose his beliefs would validate the most outrageous religious beliefs.
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:20 PM   #13
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Re: Religion and logic

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These men where not alone, and by looking them up you should learn of many others. Regardless, they are single examples of exceptional individuals who were deeply religious - which alone is enough to counter what you are claiming.

Comparisons to faeries and simple myths like that is not without merit, but it only applies to a select portions of religious belief.

You also fall prey to your own logic here. You have yourself made a fantastic claim in this thread (that religious people are incapable of reason and logic), and demand that others prove you wrong. That is not a good way to make fantastic claims. A person holding that this is a good way to choose his beliefs would validate the most outrageous religious beliefs.
One of those people you quoted made an adage I live by. Occam's Razor, as it is now known, and it is a perfect example of logic vs. religion.

You have to remember, back in those days, being anti-church (whether that meant atheist, anti-religious, round-earther, heliocentrist, w.e) was a certain exile/death sentence. Galileo took it on the chin and went out with his head held high. William of Ockham is known for a theory that basically says "religion is bull****" - he just put it in euphemistic enough terms so that he could avoid getting his head cut off.

Next you'll be telling me that every one of your Congressmen and Senators is actually religious. Yet, since it is literally impossible for an atheist to get elected to anything in the US, I bet the public record says that 100% of them are religious.
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:22 PM   #14
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Re: Religion and logic

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So, instead of talking in riddles, why don't you explain what you mean?
It's not a riddle. I'm telling you that you're doing exactly what religious people do (and specifically the religious people you're trying to understand).

You're simply being unreasonable in your beliefs.
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:25 PM   #15
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Re: Religion and logic

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You have to remember, back in those days, being anti-church (whether that meant atheist, anti-religious, round-earther, heliocentrist, w.e) was a certain exile/death sentence. Galileo took it on the chin and went out with his head held high.
You should take a closer look at history. It's not as simple as you believe it to be.

https://www.academia.org/was-galileo-guilty/

Or you can continue believing whatever and ignoring the evidence.
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:28 PM   #16
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Re: Religion and logic

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One of those people you quoted made an adage I live by. Occam's Razor, as it is now known, and it is a perfect example of logic vs. religion.
Which is more parsimonious?

1) Religious people have an entirely different way of believing things than other people.

2) Both religious and irreligious people use similar mechanisms through which they come to beliefs.
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:28 PM   #17
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Re: Religion and logic

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You should take a closer look at history. It's not as simple as you believe it to be.

https://www.academia.org/was-galileo-guilty/

Or you can continue believing whatever and ignoring the evidence.
I skimmed this article. So, your point is that if Galileo was wrong in his scientific views, then he deserved to be exiled?

You're a Trumpkin, aren't you? Be honest now.
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:29 PM   #18
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Re: Religion and logic

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Which is more parsimonious?

1) Religious people have an entirely different way of believing things than other people.

2) Both religious and irreligious people use similar mechanisms through which they come to beliefs.
False dichotomy.
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:30 PM   #19
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Re: Religion and logic

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I skimmed this article.
Why am I not surprised that you were unwilling to engage intellectually on the matter? Maybe it's because...

Quote:
The mechanism through which you believe what you do about religious people is not that different from the mechanism that religious people use themselves.
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:31 PM   #20
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Re: Religion and logic

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False dichotomy.
What's your third horn?
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:32 PM   #21
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Re: Religion and logic

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Why am I not surprised that you were unwilling to engage intellectually on the matter? Maybe it's because...
I think if I keep responding to you it is going to get to the point of trolling, and I am not sure who is trolling whom.

Instead of linking me to a massively long article, summarize it in your own words and explain what it is that you want me to understand. Then quote the article as supporting material.
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:44 PM   #22
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Re: Religion and logic

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What's your third horn?
Wtf does this mean? Do you even logic? You seem to be proving my OP.

Last edited by d2_e4; 03-16-2017 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:15 AM   #23
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Re: Religion and logic

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I think if I keep responding to you it is going to get to the point of trolling, and I am not sure who is trolling whom.
If you can't tell...

Quote:
Instead of linking me to a massively long article, summarize it in your own words and explain what it is that you want me to understand. Then quote the article as supporting material.
Or you could make the intellectual effort to read it. At least the first several paragraphs.

But let's think about this for a moment. Do you think I posted the article because I expected it to support or reject your characterization of the history of Galileo? Even without reading a word of it, you should know where I'm trying to take you.
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:18 AM   #24
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Re: Religion and logic

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Wtf does this mean? Do you even logic?
It's clear that you don't.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipe...s_of_a_dilemma

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You seem to be proving my OP.
Uhhhhhh... sure.
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Old 03-17-2017, 04:49 AM   #25
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Re: Religion and logic

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One of those people you quoted made an adage I live by. Occam's Razor, as it is now known, and it is a perfect example of logic vs. religion.

You have to remember, back in those days, being anti-church (whether that meant atheist, anti-religious, round-earther, heliocentrist, w.e) was a certain exile/death sentence. Galileo took it on the chin and went out with his head held high. William of Ockham is known for a theory that basically says "religion is bull****" - he just put it in euphemistic enough terms so that he could avoid getting his head cut off.
First, I'll remind you that actually most theologians of Ockham's time accepted a spherical earth. Second, your understanding of William of Ockham here is anachronistic. Ockham's Razor comes out of Ockham's nominalism about universals and abstract entities, not from a rejection of god or religion. Ockham in fact was an important, though controversial, Catholic theologian.
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