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Another Religious Freak

Entry 406, on 2006-10-11 at 14:19:50 (Rating 4, Comments)

I have recently been involved with a further debate with a religious person. I guess its inevitable that this will happen because I don't try to hide my distaste for people who take religion too seriously, and while I don't try to start a discussion on the subject, I do leap in with the slightest provocation. Most of the people I debate with aren't bad. They sometimes get a bit nasty when I point out how silly their beliefs are, but their major problem is close mindedness, and/or ignorance, and not anything more negative than that.

No matter what other errors of logic they might have made, and no matter how many gaps they have in their knowledge, the basic problem gets back to this: they decide what they want to believe then collect evidence to support it. That's what I mean by close-mindedness.

Some people accuse me of being close minded too, because I insist on using logic and science to investigate the truth. They say that if I extended my horizons and accepted faith and supernaturalism as legitimate methods to investigate spiritual topics, I would arrive at a different answer. No doubt this is true, but it won't be a more accurate or truthful answer. As soon as these techniques are used you can support any answer at all, and factuality becomes meaningless.

There are good reasons why tools such as logic and empiricism are used as the basis for the institutions in our society which exist to discover the truth - for example science, and the legal process. Imagine what would happen if we based out courts on faith? The defendant's lawyer would say "He told me he didn't commit this crime, and I have faith in him, so he's not guilty". Would that work? Or maybe scientists could announce a new discovery with a statement like "We have no physical evidence that this new species exists, but some people we spoke to said it would be nice if it did, so we are announcing it as true."

Why is it OK to use this sort of argument in religion, but nowhere else? I don't think it is OK, which is why I deprecate faith. Why believe something when the reason for that belief is based on something so demonstrably unsuitable for establishing the truth. So I don't apologise for being close minded by this definition. As the famous quote goes: be as open minded as possible, but not so open that your brain falls out!

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Comment 17 (455) by OJB on 2007-03-15 at 07:45:15: (view earlier comments)

Its up to the whole human race if an individual's life counts for something or not. The individual is gone but his contribution remains. But that is irrelevant because aren't we debating what *is* true, not what we would like to be true?

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Comment 18 (456) by godlovesme77 on 2007-03-16 at 04:26:01:

So are you saying that you would rather other people enjoy what you've done than yourself? That's very considerate of you, OJB, but I know a lot of people that would want their contributions to be remembered by other people and get rewarded for their own benefits.

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Comment 19 (460) by OJB on 2007-03-16 at 07:46:54:

Its not a matter of what I want, its a matter of what is true. Of course I would like eternal life in some sort of paradise - who wouldn't? But heaven is an obvious myth and just pretending its true isn't going to make it any more real. We should accept things for what they are and make the most of this life.

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Comment 20 (475) by godlovesme77 on 2007-03-17 at 04:35:36:

Yes, I understand your hesitancy to accept this, but like I have said many times, you don't have the "proof and evidence" until you've experienced it yourself. Why don't you just want to try it?

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Comment 21 (478) by OJB on 2007-03-17 at 07:27:31:

I can't force myself to believe something which has every appearance of a myth which is primarily designed to control people's minds and avoid them discovering the truth. I can only experience something if I genuinely believe it, and until there is evidence, I just can't, even if I wanted to!

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