Durango Skeptics and Atheists

A Community for Critical Thinkers in the Four Corners Region




The topic of faith among those who are religious has always been an interesting subject to me- one that I would welcome further exploration and discussion of but for now, I just had to share the words of a good friend who so accurately identified the myriad of problems with faith.

Thanks to Tony D. for these thoughts on the matter:

It is not that I dislike faith (I do, but that is irrelevant), it is just that in years of discussions I have never heard even a half-serious defense of faith as a valid epistemological method; only emotional appeals, and stories of personal experience are offered when the question arises. 

There simply is no reason to believe anything uncritically, none, under any circumstances. This is obvious to a normal person; or to a faithful person in any normal realm of life, like buying a house, signing a contract etc; but when it comes to religion, the weirdest things are presented as “reasonable”, and your complete, uncritical and wholehearted belief is turned into a virtue. It is not; uncritical belief is gullibility, and it renders a reasonable discussion of human rights impossible because faith and dogmas are discussion dead ends; there is no appeal. This is so because, in these matters, the source of these “absolute rules” is always portrayed as a mysterious and invisible entity that can never be checked or expected to answer; only the priests are always ready to tell you the Truth. I find it ironic that absolutes, moral or otherwise, are so appealing to so many in one of the countries that most bravely fought absolutist kings and inflexible rulers.

Discrimination and violence against homosexuals is but one of the many terrible consequences of the faith virus. Some good comes from it too, there are generous charities, truth be told; but we can have the charities without the fear mongering, the child indoctrination, the lies, distortions, living for death, constant and absurd guilt, the delusion that the Universe was created for our use only, that nature is at our service and has no other purpose … and all the other negative consequences of inflexible world views that are sanctioned by god as unquestionable.



Belief, Non-Belief and Common Ground



1 Comment

  1. Yes of course, no thinking person wants to believe things “blindly”.
    But things are not always so simple.
    Never mind that there isn’t always a whole lot of thinking going on,
    If we’re going to navigate the “real world” (the one that persists whether you believe in it or not) we need to make some assumptions. We trust that the universe is not actively out to fool us (its all an illusion, like the “matrix”), that our memories are reliable (we are who we think we are, we are not mistaken about our names, origins and major points of our own biographies). As we learn more about the world, we learn that some of our assumptins are not quite so rock solid as they might have first appeared.
    Then too, one can’t make oneself believe just any old thing, at least not directly. We trust our perceptions, at least to the point that we located “here” (wherever that happens to be) and not in the Taj Mahal, and that if we’re eating franks and beans, its not caviar and truffles.
    Presumably, the more one knows about “how things work” and “what the world is like”, one will be less likely to “believe” in disembodied spirits, or that the world is run by a sort of playwright who either intervenes from time to time in history to keep the play on track (despite the fact of being non material….god trick) or who has set up the initial conditions such that “natural laws” keep the train of history on the pre determined tracks, despite essentially unpredictable “noisy” events in the world (another good trick).

    That time “slows down” when you’re moving at an appreciable fraction of the speed of light seems most unlikely, but it theoretical considerations and actual experiment both point that way., reasonable people would give their assent, despite the initial unreasonableness of the proposition.

    Can theists point to any experimental validation for some of their more “way out” propositins?

    If not, I suppose they are victims of weak epistemological methodology.

    Its sad, really.

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