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 Post subject: Disbelief
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 3:28 am 
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for those of you who have not seen "the root of all evil" take a look at the below.... an interesting view.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... kins&hl=en

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:21 am 
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Although I haven't been able to get into the above webpage, I do remember seeing the documentary some time back, 'The Root of All Evil?' by Richard Dawkins.
Personally I found his portrayal of religion very one-sided. He also chose some of the worst characters (deliberately?) to portray his rather narrow view of religion. One was a rather scary Evangelist from the US and another a Muslim cleric with a rather negative view of Western women.
In fact I heard that the programme producers changed the programme title slightly from 'The Root of All Evil,' to 'The Root of All Evil?' with a question mark at the end; something which Professor Dawkins may not have intended originally. Perhaps they did this to soften the title a little bit and make it seem less like anti-religious propaganda.
But whatever the case, Dawkin's programme told me more about Dawkins himself in the end than about the supposed 'evils' of religion.
I did not find it convincing. To make matters worse, Dawkins has recently been attacking individuals for their religious beliefs in this country. One was a respected comedian and the other an unknown lady who recently won a case against British Airways for refusing to let her wear a small crucifix.
Personally I don't think he has any business laying into the religious beliefs of anyone but there again, I think he is on his own particular crusade, it seems.
I respect Professor Dawkins for being a clever and respected scientiist - a real expert in his chosen field of biology, and I would happily sit and listen to him all day about that.
But I think he is increasingly making a 'Charlie' of himself by straying into areas where he has no particularl expertise, i.e religious belief and experience.
He should keep well away.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:04 am 
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susan wrote:
Although I haven't been able to get into the above webpage, I do remember seeing the documentary some time back, 'The Root of All Evil?' by Richard Dawkins.
Personally I found his portrayal of religion very one-sided. He also chose some of the worst characters (deliberately?) to portray his rather narrow view of religion. One was a rather scary Evangelist from the US and another a Muslim cleric with a rather negative view of Western women.
In fact I heard that the programme producers changed the programme title slightly from 'The Root of All Evil,' to 'The Root of All Evil?' with a question mark at the end; something which Professor Dawkins may not have intended originally. Perhaps they did this to soften the title a little bit and make it seem less like anti-religious propaganda.
But whatever the case, Dawkin's programme told me more about Dawkins himself in the end than about the supposed 'evils' of religion.
I did not find it convincing. To make matters worse, Dawkins has recently been attacking individuals for their religious beliefs in this country. One was a respected comedian and the other an unknown lady who recently won a case against British Airways for refusing to let her wear a small crucifix.
Personally I don't think he has any business laying into the religious beliefs of anyone but there again, I think he is on his own particular crusade, it seems.
I respect Professor Dawkins for being a clever and respected scientiist - a real expert in his chosen field of biology, and I would happily sit and listen to him all day about that.
But I think he is increasingly making a 'Charlie' of himself by straying into areas where he has no particularl expertise, i.e religious belief and experience.
He should keep well away.


Hi Susan,

Well the video i posted is the first part of the "root of all evil." , The God Delusion and Episode 2: The Virus of Faith. I have only examined the first video and i would have to agree with some of your points that it is a rather narrow view and focuses totally on negative aspects of faith. However he does raise a number of issues perhaps in a 'not so elegant' fashion that are associated with religious belief. As you say the Evangelical Christian Minister and the Muslims cleric in this documentary are pretty scary characters, perhaps even scarier is the fact that they are REAL and REALLY BELIEVE that what they are doing is 'good'. What is worse is that some of these people are in a position of power and influence.

I also listened to a talk back radio interview between Prof Dawkins and Catholic Minister (forget his name) and it was quite heated. From this interview (and the movie) Prof Dawkins does seem to be on a personal crusade.

I read the blind watchmaker and i thought that was a most excellent and rich explanation of evolutionary theory... some really good stuff there.

However while looking at the nature of athiesm i stumbled upon a VERY interested series : Jonathan Miller's: A Brief History of Disbelief

"A Brief History of Disbelief" is a 2005 documentary series conducted by Jonathan Miller for the BBC tracing the history of Atheism.

I found this to be much more objective. Millers approach to disbelief is incredibly practical (in my view) and does not attack religion outright.... it simply presents the facts in a neutral light. If you get a chance take a look... some really good stuff here

For the three part series, follow the below links

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... lief&hl=en
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... ef+2&hl=en
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... lief&hl=en

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:11 am 
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Hello, Enigma,
I'm still having some problems accessing the above links - the problem is actually on our end - not yours, but I'll note them down and try to get into them from outside this site.
I did see one of the programmes of that series by Jonathan Miller, who I think is himself an atheist. Pity I did not view the rest. However, I noted how cool and objective he seemed to be, not on an aggressive crusade like Dawkins, and he didn't appear to be dogmatic.
I have met quite a few atheists in my time and they all appear to have slightly different views about it. I have a friend who regards herself as 'Christian' but she does not believe in any sort of 'survivial' after we die. In fact there are some devout Churchgoers who adhere to the values of Christianity without believeing in the 'supernatural' element or in a 'God.'
And there are some atheists who seem open minded about the possibility of survivial although they do not believe in God.
I have a very good book by an atheist vicar, Anthony Freeman, who wrote on behalf of atheist Christians. It is titled, 'God in Us, A Case for Christian Humanism.' (1993) SCM Press Ltd, 26-30 Tottenham Road, London. N1 4BZ. I don't know if they have a website.
However, it was a good read and not too long. Freeman paid the price for 'coming out' though. He was defrocked by his Bishop and now lives as a layperson. I suspect there are many more like that in the Church who do not dare to speak up about how they feel.
If you are interested you might be able to find the book on Amazon, provided it is still in print.
Anyway, thanks for the above links.

Sue.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:37 am 
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I actually have Dawkins book here on my desk at work. Just started reading it. I have read Sam Harris's "End of Faith" and "Letters to a Christian Nation". I do agree with Mr. Harris's viewpoint. I find that it would be hard to argue against his logic, although I am an Athiest so I certainly have a slanted viewpoint. :smt003

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:54 pm 
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I am actually an agnostic myself - bordering on the atheist nowadays. To my mind the idea of a God seems increasingly unlikely.
God has been very conspicuous in my life - conspicuous by his absence in my view, it seems. :smt001


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:36 pm 
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susan wrote:
Hello, Enigma,
I'm still having some problems accessing the above links - the problem is actually on our end - not yours, but I'll note them down and try to get into them from outside this site.
I did see one of the programmes of that series by Jonathan Miller, who I think is himself an atheist. Pity I did not view the rest. However, I noted how cool and objective he seemed to be, not on an aggressive crusade like Dawkins, and he didn't appear to be dogmatic.

Hi Susan,

Yes..... to me this was a significant difference between Dawkins and Miller. I do see what Dawkins is saying and his approach is similar to some other books that i have read on the subject. However Dawkins presents it in such an ugly way (even though it may be true) that i think people 'switch off' and it therefore has little or no impact on the people that should really be listening.

susan wrote:
I have met quite a few atheists in my time and they all appear to have slightly different views about it. I have a friend who regards herself as 'Christian' but she does not believe in any sort of 'survivial' after we die. In fact there are some devout Churchgoers who adhere to the values of Christianity without believeing in the 'supernatural' element or in a 'God.'
And there are some atheists who seem open minded about the possibility of survivial although they do not believe in God.
I have a very good book by an atheist vicar, Anthony Freeman, who wrote on behalf of atheist Christians. It is titled, 'God in Us, A Case for Christian Humanism.' (1993) SCM Press Ltd, 26-30 Tottenham Road, London. N1 4BZ. I don't know if they have a website.


Well i must say that i have not met these 'species' of Christians and atheists... i seem to only meet the ones at each extreme end of the spectrum (belief/disbelief) LOL :-)

susan wrote:
However, it was a good read and not too long. Freeman paid the price for 'coming out' though. He was defrocked by his Bishop and now lives as a layperson. I suspect there are many more like that in the Church who do not dare to speak up about how they feel.
If you are interested you might be able to find the book on Amazon, provided it is still in print.
Anyway, thanks for the above links.

Sue.


I had not heard of Freeman, but will take a look and see if i can find his book. It may even be online.... (thanks). I can understand the position of the church though... an atheist vicar hahahah not good (for the church). However i would have to agree with your point that there are probably quite a number of atheist vicars amongst the woodwork (living in secret).

If you can get the "Miller links" that i posted to work and you have time... take a look. I am sure you will see atheism in a different light with millers approach. He has really presented the argument in a very convincing way and explains how science and religion have co-existed for many centuries however highlights some of the 'dangers' of organised religion.

I am seriously considering writing to Prof Dawkins and explain that although i agree with his points, i don't agree with his methods and provide a logical argument as to why.... IMO he is starting to do more damage than good.

Enigma.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:33 am 
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susan wrote:
I am actually an agnostic myself - bordering on the atheist nowadays.


Yes... same same.

susan wrote:
To my mind the idea of a God seems increasingly unlikely.
God has been very conspicuous in my life - conspicuous by his absence in my view, it seems. :smt001


I guess i don't look at it from the absence of god in my life... more as to the absence of an 'active god' on this world/universe. It is more like the rules of the universe were established (the laws of physics and nature) and then it (the universe) was left to its devices to see what would happen.

Strange things do happen, but i don't think that god and miracles etc is a really good answer to these events.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:37 am 
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Brian wrote:
I actually have Dawkins book here on my desk at work. Just started reading it. I have read Sam Harris's "End of Faith" and "Letters to a Christian Nation". I do agree with Mr. Harris's viewpoint. I find that it would be hard to argue against his logic, although I am an Athiest so I certainly have a slanted viewpoint. :smt003


Hi Brian,

Yeah.. i read end of faith and i did like the book and agree on many of the points raised. However IMO this approach to presenting 'the problem of religion and religious belief' doesn't really help open peoples eyes.

These days i like to think in terms of how can the case be presented that may sway the people that are sitting on the fence or having 'problems with their faith'. Again, i think millers approach is great.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:08 am 
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Hi Enigma, I tried to get to those Miller vides but was un-successful. Can you try re-posting the URL? I would very much like to check it out. Your probably right about approach. People are funny that way when it comes to their religion. lol
I very good friend of mine who I work with actually started his adult life as a seminary student. He was very religious growing up but it wasn't until Seminary school that slowly converted him over to atheism. It wasn't any bad experiences but just reading and asking questions of the church establishment that convinced him. I am sure that wasn't there intent but when they couldn't answer the tough questions they would always fall back on the tried and true answer...."Faith". Religions magic bullet.. lol :smt003

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:07 am 
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Brian wrote:
Hi Enigma, I tried to get to those Miller vides but was un-successful. Can you try re-posting the URL? I would very much like to check it out. Your probably right about approach. People are funny that way when it comes to their religion. lol
I very good friend of mine who I work with actually started his adult life as a seminary student. He was very religious growing up but it wasn't until Seminary school that slowly converted him over to atheism. It wasn't any bad experiences but just reading and asking questions of the church establishment that convinced him. I am sure that wasn't there intent but when they couldn't answer the tough questions they would always fall back on the tried and true answer...."Faith". Religions magic bullet.. lol :smt003


Hi Brian,

Yeah... the old 'magic bullet' of faith.....i guess not everyone is willing to swallow it so to speak, hopefully less and less in times to come.

I always find it interesting to ask Atheists how they arrived at their belief....

Here are the links again. You can also go to google video and search on the below titles...

A Brief History of Disbelief - Part 1
http://video.google.com/url?docid=-7100 ... oogle.com/
videoplay%3Fdocid%3D-7100434305066027154%26q%3Da%2Bbrief%2Bhistory%2Bof%2Bdisbelief&usg=AL29H23eRW7yHXrcl_ubMqfnI6ZCE2CelQ

A Brief History of Disbelief - Part 2
http://video.google.com/url?docid=-1328 ... oogle.com/
videoplay%3Fdocid%3D-1328550084560254937%26q%3Da%2Bbrief%2Bhistory%2Bof%2Bdisbelief&usg=AL29H232FxoLvietdcvoKaAkeaRL6aD1pA

A Brief History of Disbelief - Part 3
http://video.google.com/url?docid=-6491 ... oogle.com/
videoplay%3Fdocid%3D-6491394409348890507%26q%3Da%2Bbrief%2Bhistory%2Bof%2Bdisbelief&usg=AL29H226zp5ZuRe-b6heaDRy85FQiqb_OA

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Last edited by Enigma on Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:20 am 
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Hey, that works... :smt023 I'll watch it over the next few days. Thanks! :smt003

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:14 pm 
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Frankly, I don't believe in disbelief.
In fact, like Chuck, I have absolutely no assumptions or beliefs.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:41 am 
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I always find it interesting to ask Atheists how they arrived at their belief....

For me, it was being raised a Catholic.. LOL

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:36 pm 
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Brian wrote:
I always find it interesting to ask Atheists how they arrived at their belief....

For me, it was being raised a Catholic.. LOL


But, but, but ... don't you understand? It's not belief!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:47 pm 
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OK, your right. Its not a belief. :smt023

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:59 pm 
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Atheists are those super special humans capable of eschewing all assumption and belief. They have an excellent understanding of science and mathematics. (NOT!)

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:55 am 
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Enigma,
You said you were seriously considering writing to Dawkins because you think he is doing more harm than good. Actually I have my own little theory about why Professor Dawkins seems to be so aggressive in his approach.
I have a hunch that he is actually trying to prove desperately - to HIMSELF - that God does not exist. He really doesn't want God to exist. I think Dawkins is frankly terrified of the idea of a God.
I can tell you why I think this way. He let something very important slip in one interview he gave for a programme. He stated, when asked about the subject of life after death, that ''the idea of living forever horrifies me.''
Those words say it all for me. He's on a personal crusade to prove to himself that God isn't there, as well as to try and convince other people.

As to why atheists only seem to be on two opposite ends of the spectrum, I think it is because many 'middling' atheists who might believe in survival won't say anything because some of the most vocal ones are often the ones who are very militant about it. In fact to my mind these militant atheists appear to be guilty of the very thing they have always accused religions of...i.e. intolerance of others views or beliefs.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 11:11 am 
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My question is....why does one have to believe in God to believe in some kind of afterlife??

I don't necessarily have to believe in God to believe in reincarnation....

Not stating a view here. Just an opinion/question.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:49 am 
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In answer to your question, Knightmare, I think religion has had the monopoly on the 'afterlife' for far too long. Such a thing, if it exists at all, should, in my view, lie within the domain of scientific investigation alone.
I don't think you need to believe in God to believe in anything else.
I don't think Buddha actually taught the doctrine of reincarnation, but I do believe it is accepted by many Buddhists - and they do not have a God in their faith.
However, I am not saying that you are a Buddhist or have to be one to believe in rebirth.
Reincarnation has been accepted by a wide variety of different people and cultures down the centuries, from ancient and modern Pagans to Africans and so on. In fact is has been a very widely held belief.
I personally like the idea of reincarnation as it negates the old beliefs inherent in Christianity and Islam of an eternal heaven or hell; doctrines that I find abhorrent.
It also helps to make some sense of the injustices and/or inequalities of life. So it is, in a way, a more humane philosophy. The trouble is, no one can prove that it really exists, but I think children's testimones often provide some 'evidence' for its possible existence.


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susan wrote:
I don't think Buddha actually taught the doctrine of reincarnation, but I do believe it is accepted by many Buddhists - and they do not have a God in their faith.


The difficulty with holding these types of discussions on these message boards (even multiple ones we each visit) is that we re-visit some of the same ideas because at least one post has been missed.

In my senior year of undergraduate studies, I took a history class, covering India, Southeast Asia, China, Japan, etc. ... . Working on the assumptions that the information provided me was correct and that I am remembering it correctly now, then it must be pointed out that that Siddharta Gautama (the first Buddha) came from the Hindu tradition. Buddhism is a response to Hinduism. The goal, by the following the however-many-fold path to righteousness, is to escape the Samsaric cycle of reincarnation. To reach a zero balance of karmic residue in order to do so. Positive balance would mean reincarnation into a better life/form; negative balance, reincarnation into a worse life/form. Included among these forms were gods and goddesses at various levels of heavens. I am aware of no refutation by Buddhism, in its original or current forms, of heavens, gods or goddesses. Instead, they simply wish to end the cycle and attain a final freedom, because all life, in whatever form, brings with it too much sorrow. In this final freedom (moksha? nirvana?), there would be no more re-birth and no more awareness. Period.

susan wrote:
I personally like the idea of reincarnation as it negates the old beliefs inherent in Christianity and Islam of an eternal heaven or hell; doctrines that I find abhorrent.
It also helps to make some sense of the injustices and/or inequalities of life. So it is, in a way, a more humane philosophy.


Personally, I have no sense of being reincarnated. People who do believe in it suggest I have a young soul. Having seen some of the things I have seen in this one life time, I find that to be an incredibly ill-founded statement.
If reincarnation exists, and the Indian tradition about karmic residue is on the right track, I find it to be a cruel joke. It is quite easy in one life time to miss various points. How much harder it must be to learn lessons across life-times in order to finally figure out how to better one's own situation! Worse yet, even that is not a solution if all form of life knows too much sorrow and burden.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:11 am 
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susan wrote:
Enigma,
You said you were seriously considering writing to Dawkins because you think he is doing more harm than good. Actually I have my own little theory about why Professor Dawkins seems to be so aggressive in his approach.
I have a hunch that he is actually trying to prove desperately - to HIMSELF - that God does not exist. He really doesn't want God to exist. I think Dawkins is frankly terrified of the idea of a God.
I can tell you why I think this way. He let something very important slip in one interview he gave for a programme. He stated, when asked about the subject of life after death, that ''the idea of living forever horrifies me.''
Those words say it all for me. He's on a personal crusade to prove to himself that God isn't there, as well as to try and convince other people.


This may well be the case. However i would think that would be more of a personal affair, and it would be rather irrational to put a personal crusade on such a public display

I think he is fully aware that it can probably NEVER be proven or disproven (the existence of god) categorically as this is the nature of the problem. However the evidence suggests.....

susan wrote:
As to why atheists only seem to be on two opposite ends of the spectrum, I think it is because many 'middling' atheists who might believe in survival won't say anything because some of the most vocal ones are often the ones who are very militant about it. In fact to my mind these militant atheists appear to be guilty of the very thing they have always accused religions of...i.e. intolerance of others views or beliefs.


I think that survival is not be linked to belief in god/gods (well IMO) in fact these could be mutually exclusive.

However i would agree that the militant types (atheists or theists) cause people to 'keep quiet'. This is the whole point of my original post... and that is that the militant types don't cause a 'change of view' (IMO) if people are marginally leaning one way or the other (belief/disbelief) in fact i would go so far as to say that they actually make people move in the opposite direction to their diatribe (listen to an extreme theist or atheist and see how they make you feel about their view).

Again, when i listened to Millers approach (which is very neutral IMO) i thought that he presented a very compelling, non emotional argument why people no longer believe in GOD (and rightly so).

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:23 am 
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Brian wrote:
I always find it interesting to ask Atheists how they arrived at their belief....

For me, it was being raised a Catholic.. LOL


That would do it (for some). Would you say there is a direct relationship between parental beliefs and their children's? (proportional or inversely)

or

If children are taught by their parents to question information, rather than accept it blindly that they would likely become atheists or agnostics etc?

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Enigma wrote:
If children are taught by their parents to question information, rather than accept it blindly that they would likely become atheists or agnostics etc?


No. Atheist parents can produce atheist children who are atheist simply due to their parents' belief, rather than due to any ciritical thinking on their own part.

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Sarge_II wrote:
Enigma wrote:
If children are taught by their parents to question information, rather than accept it blindly that they would likely become atheists or agnostics etc?


No. Atheist parents can produce atheist children who are atheist simply due to their parents' belief, rather than due to any ciritical thinking on their own part.


And Christian ( Buddhist, Catholic, etc. ) parents can produce Christian, etc. children simply due to their parents' beliefs. It works either way.

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Knightmare wrote:
Sarge_II wrote:
Enigma wrote:
If children are taught by their parents to question information, rather than accept it blindly that they would likely become atheists or agnostics etc?


No. Atheist parents can produce atheist children who are atheist simply due to their parents' belief, rather than due to any ciritical thinking on their own part.


And Christian ( Buddhist, Catholic, etc. ) parents can produce Christian, etc. children simply due to their parents' beliefs. It works either way.


But what are people more likely to assume happens?
I was providing the balance, not missing the point.

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People are likely to assume that it works both ways.

I was raised Lutheran. For a long time, I held those beliefs. Now I don't. It really wasn't due to any " critical " thinking that I can see. My problem was never with the idea of God. It was mostly a problem with " organized " religion.

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Knightmare wrote:
People are likely to assume that it works both ways.

I was raised Lutheran. For a long time, I held those beliefs. Now I don't. It really wasn't due to any " critical " thinking that I can see. My problem was never with the idea of God. It was mostly a problem with " organized " religion.


I believe people are more likely to associate un-critical thinking with those people that are people of some faith.

I was also raised Lutheran. I do have a problem with certain religious institutions/organizations or, more specifically, certain congregations.

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Sarge_II wrote:
Knightmare wrote:
People are likely to assume that it works both ways.

I was raised Lutheran. For a long time, I held those beliefs. Now I don't. It really wasn't due to any " critical " thinking that I can see. My problem was never with the idea of God. It was mostly a problem with " organized " religion.


I believe people are more likely to associate un-critical thinking with those people that are people of some faith.

I was also raised Lutheran. I do have a problem with certain religious institutions/organizations or, more specifically, certain congregations.


That would actually depend on if the people doing the assuming are people of any kind of faith.

Unless the person doing the assuming is an Atheist, then the thought process of the person of faith doesn't seem to be an issue.

Isn't it strange how Atheists ( most of them anyway ) seem to think that just because someone has faith, that they aren't able to think clearly?

It's like a whole bunch of people ( and you have seen this attitude from a certain poster on the Seti forums, Sarge ) sitting there going " I don't believe in God so that makes me smarter than you. "

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:13 am 
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Knightmare wrote:
Sarge_II wrote:
Knightmare wrote:
People are likely to assume that it works both ways.

I was raised Lutheran. For a long time, I held those beliefs. Now I don't. It really wasn't due to any " critical " thinking that I can see. My problem was never with the idea of God. It was mostly a problem with " organized " religion.


I believe people are more likely to associate un-critical thinking with those people that are people of some faith.

I was also raised Lutheran. I do have a problem with certain religious institutions/organizations or, more specifically, certain congregations.


That would actually depend on if the people doing the assuming are people of any kind of faith.

Unless the person doing the assuming is an Atheist, then the thought process of the person of faith doesn't seem to be an issue.

Isn't it strange how Atheists ( most of them anyway ) seem to think that just because someone has faith, that they aren't able to think clearly?

It's like a whole bunch of people ( and you have seen this attitude from a certain poster on the Seti forums, Sarge ) sitting there going " I don't believe in God so that makes me smarter than you. "


Too true....

I didn't mean to imply this though... and my question was more along the lines of being taught critical thinking (independent of your parents belief system in god) may allow children to come to their own conclusions and belief system.

A big ask i guess...LOL... and perhaps totally unrealistic :-)

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Hmm....

I understand your idea, Enigma.

The problem, as I see it, is that everyone has had their thinking steered in one way or another.

The public schools here ( at least the ones that I went to ) were big on making a kid show the work that they did to solve a problem. If that work wasn't done in exactly the way they were told that it should be done, the kid got the problem wrong. I had that happen hundreds of times when I was in school. I would come up with the correct answer, but the way I came up with it wasn't the " correct " way. When it was marked as wrong, I would fight it by asking them why. When they said that I didn't do it the right way, I simply told them that if I didn't do it the right way, I wouldn't have gotten the correct answer. lol

The same kind of thing applies to children of parents of faith. The parents may not flat out tell the child that they HAVE to believe in God, but they do try to steer the way the child thinks about such things. Parents want to do what they feel is right for their child. In most cases, they feel that what is right for them, is right for the child as well.

I am having a bit of trouble clarifying what I am trying to say, so if it seems a bit muddled, please forgive me...lol

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Knightmare wrote:
Hmm....

I understand your idea, Enigma.

The problem, as I see it, is that everyone has had their thinking steered in one way or another.

The public schools here ( at least the ones that I went to ) were big on making a kid show the work that they did to solve a problem. If that work wasn't done in exactly the way they were told that it should be done, the kid got the problem wrong. I had that happen hundreds of times when I was in school. I would come up with the correct answer, but the way I came up with it wasn't the " correct " way. When it was marked as wrong, I would fight it by asking them why. When they said that I didn't do it the right way, I simply told them that if I didn't do it the right way, I wouldn't have gotten the correct answer. lol

The same kind of thing applies to children of parents of faith. The parents may not flat out tell the child that they HAVE to believe in God, but they do try to steer the way the child thinks about such things. Parents want to do what they feel is right for their child. In most cases, they feel that what is right for them, is right for the child as well.

I am having a bit of trouble clarifying what I am trying to say, so if it seems a bit muddled, please forgive me...lol



I agree with you totally that everyone has had their thinking steered in one way or another. Many adults who take up a religion 'voluntarily' think they have done it of their own free will. I am not so sure just how much free will we possess. As we tend to be products of our culture we can take on, quite subconsciously, many aspects of our native culture.
'Force' or 'coercion,' therefore, on someone's beliefs or outlook can be achieved very indirectly.
Say for example, that a certain society bans Christianity but allows Islam to flourish, or censors certain reading materials. They may not be forcing anyone to adhere to Islam but they simply take any alternative options away. Therefore, if someone in that society does decide take up a religion, it would very likely be Islam since that might be the only option open to them. This is coercion by stealth, surely. People might think they have free will, but in fact their actions and beliefs are being manipulated without their realising it.

As to your problem at school, I can see now why Einstein dropped out. They probably would have taken away his ability to think.


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The main problem that I see when it comes to the school problem is that when they are asked why they marked something wrong when it was the correct answer...they really can't give a good reason. They just say the work wasn't done properly.

The public school system in the U.S. is similar to religion in the fact that they don't encourage free thinking.

There are times that I kinda wish I had gotten better grades in school so that I could have gone to college and gotten a degree so that I could be a teacher. I definitely would have encouraged the kids to think creatively, rather than within the strict parameters that are forced on them these days.

The U.S. wonders why it's kids are falling behind other nations, and I think a big part of it is the lack of encouragement to think around the corners of a problem.

Sorry...didn't mean to hijack the thread. :-)

* edited for spelling * Just one more reason I am not a teacher...lol

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Knightmare wrote:
The main problem that I see when it comes to the school problem is that when they are asked why they marked something wrong when it was the correct answer...they really can't give a good reason. They just say the work wasn't done properly.

The public school system in the U.S. is similar to religion in the fact that they don't encourage free thinking.

There are times that I kinda wish I had gotten better grades in school so that I could have gone to college and gotten a degree so that I could be a teacher. I definitely would have encouraged the kids to think creatively, rather than within the strict parameters that are forced on them these days.

The U.S. wonders why it's kids are falling behind other nations, and I think a big part of it is the lack of encouragement to think around the corners of a problem.

Sorry...didn't mean to hijack the thread. :-)

* edited for spelling * Just one more reason I am not a teacher...lol


Stifling creativity IS one factor.
Another is they just do not know how to make sense of other correct approaches.
And I suppose from time to time you did do it wrong and got lucky in coming up with the wrong answer. (I am willing to bet I have done that as well.)

You could perhaps still go to college.
Shall we engage in a frank discussion about it?
Maybe another thread?
And I do not mean just you and me, but anyone on the site.
I would also encourage you speak with others, like at a college's or university's admissions office.

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My grades were not even close to what it would take. I have spoken to an admissions person at a couple of the JUCOs and there is just WAY too much stuff that I would have to make up.

I will make another thread. Any suggestions as to what section to put it under??? lol

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