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Author Topic:   Choosing to believe
jar
Member (Idle past 446 days)
Posts: 34026
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 31 of 90 (397389)
04-25-2007 7:27 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Quetzal
04-25-2007 7:04 PM


Re: Too general
And I can see nothing to fault in your observation or reasoning.
The fact that unambiguous evidence hasn't materialized in all that time, with literally billions of humans assiduously seeking it, indicates to me that functionally it doesn't exist.
Not only that, but when it comes to the supernatural, evidence, even unambiguous evidence may well be worthless.
It is, as I pointed out above, much like reading Louis Carroll, a search for the logic in an illogical world. The important thing to note though is that often the logic really is there, or perhaps not.
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don't much care where...
The Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.
Alice: ...so long as I get somewhere.
The Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.
ps: you get my email?
pps: see Message 15.
Edited by jar, : add pps:

Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Quetzal, posted 04-25-2007 7:04 PM Quetzal has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by Quetzal, posted 04-27-2007 6:28 PM jar has replied

  
truthlover
Member (Idle past 4111 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 32 of 90 (397445)
04-25-2007 11:36 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by jar
04-03-2007 5:26 PM


Jar, I'm simply choosing your post to respond to, because it works. This is more of my general input to the thread, for whatever it's worth.
We see this all the time with Young Earth Creationists and Biblical Literalists. They simply refuse to acknowledge reality of either the world they live in or the book they claim to follow.
They choose to believe that they are right even though all of the evidence shows that they are wrong scientifically and theologically.
Kenneth Miller, whom I have a lot of respect for, met Ken Ham, who is defined by your quote here. Amazingly, Kenneth Miller walked away saying he understood how Ken Ham could believe what he believes. I spent days thinking about this.
Ken Ham surely fits your definition. It would seem that he "chooses to believe he is right even though all of the evidence shows that he is wrong scientifically and theologically."
I don't think it's that simple. "All of the evidence" may be subject to some wide interpretation. Whatever Ken Ham's reasons are for believing that the Bible is God's literal Word on science and everything else, he has reasons for believing that. You can reject that as evidence, but to him his reasons are real evidence. Perhaps it's experiences in his life or just the word of his parents.
My point is that he is not purposely believing what he knows to be false. He is choosing his evidence, as terrible as it might be, over all other evidence that he sees, choosing to believe that the opposing evidence is instigated by satan in some way he cannot understand.
I think he's a fool. However...
There is an arrogance (overconfidence may be a better word) among "intellectuals" that I feel all the time. I remember a discussion on here about whether a good God could exist in a world full of evil. One person had nailed the whole discussion down to three possibilities. When I suggested that there was a fourth possibility, which is that there's things we don't understand about evil and suffering, and we're missing something in our analysis, he couldn't even process the thought. I think that person is at least as great a fool as Ken Ham.
Personally, I think the reasoning of Ken Ham (and many others) goes something like this: "I was raised to believe that God saves people through Jesus Christ. As I grew up, I saw this belief work very often. I see belief in the Bible as a positive influence and even as a supernatural influence in the world. Therefore, what the Bible says on science is to be trusted, and scientists are not to be trusted. They're probably tricking me."
As I said, I find lots of problems with that reasoning. However, I don't believe it's in any way true that Ken Ham and those with him are simply choosing to believe falsehood.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by jar, posted 04-03-2007 5:26 PM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
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truthlover
Member (Idle past 4111 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 33 of 90 (397447)
04-25-2007 11:44 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Stile
04-04-2007 8:58 AM


I'm an atheist, and I think that anyone who professes to believe does actually believe in the existance of their God(s).
Here's the flip side of my response to jar. I've been a Christian for about 25 years now. I've been a radical most of that time, asked to leave or cold-shouldered out of several churches. Thus, I've been in lots of debates and conflict with Christians.
I have noticed that *many* Christians strongly profess belief in the Bible and God but act like they don't believe. For example, one Christian minister assured a teenage friend of mine that if he prayed for financial help with a need that had arisen that God would provide. He then gave my wife some money to give to the boy, in case the promised provision didn't show up. Most Christians really don't expect their prayers to be answered, and if there's opportunity, they'll try to help God out with the answer to their prayer (that may be subconscious).
I think many Christians don't really believe. They hope. And they fight for their hope that their faith is true much more strongly than if they really believed, because really believing would give them a confidence that would make much of their battling for their faith unnecessary.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Stile, posted 04-04-2007 8:58 AM Stile has replied

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jar
Member (Idle past 446 days)
Posts: 34026
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 34 of 90 (397448)
04-25-2007 11:49 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by truthlover
04-25-2007 11:36 PM


choosing to believe falsehoods.
As I said, I find lots of problems with that reasoning. However, I don't believe it's in any way true that Ken Ham and those with him are simply choosing to believe falsehood.
I do not believe it is simply choosing falsehoods, I fully believe (that word again) that they believe that what they believe is not false.
If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?

Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by truthlover, posted 04-25-2007 11:36 PM truthlover has not replied

  
jar
Member (Idle past 446 days)
Posts: 34026
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 35 of 90 (397450)
04-25-2007 11:52 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by truthlover
04-25-2007 11:44 PM


Amen Brother
I think many Christians don't really believe. They hope. And they fight for their hope that their faith is true much more strongly than if they really believed, because really believing would give them a confidence that would make much of their battling for their faith unnecessary.
Thank you. That is wonderfully said.

Aslan is not a Tame Lion

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ikabod
Member (Idle past 4544 days)
Posts: 365
From: UK
Joined: 03-13-2006


Message 36 of 90 (397472)
04-26-2007 8:02 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Woodsy
03-30-2007 1:57 PM


What we are also dealing with is the desire for the "false" to be true even if we know its not ,
a good examlpe is how sports fans belive in the ability of their teams to win way beyond an infomation provided by past results , or how many people choose to belive they have a good chance of winning the lottery .
if you go to your marsh , and have a life long desire to see a moose , you might "see" something and belive it to be a real moose , even if its just a tree branch and a clump of bushes ,
further each person also puts different weighting on any evidence , some will choose the belive their family above and beyond so scientist in a different country .
the way in which we choose to belive varies greatly between each of us . . . this is why advertizing is targeted by personality types .

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nator
Member (Idle past 2221 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 37 of 90 (397477)
04-26-2007 8:19 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by New Cat's Eye
04-03-2007 5:04 PM


quote:
The common atheist answer is that you can't distinuish between the supernatural and sufficiently advanced technology. So, you could just (choose to?) believe that it was not god and that it was aliens or something.
And, given no other additional distinguishing evidence, it would be the most reasonable, rational conclusion.
Occam's Razor and all.
Edited by nator, : No reason given.

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nator
Member (Idle past 2221 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 38 of 90 (397482)
04-26-2007 8:33 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by Phat
04-05-2007 9:59 AM


Re: Too general
quote:
I suppose that technically I could be wrong, but I look at it much the same as I look at my belief in you. I don't know for a fact that you are who you say you are.
Although I have talked to you and received answers, there is a small possibility that you never existed and that either an impostor or a sophisticated computer program really provided me with a dialogue. The chance is so small, however, that I don't consider it. Its the same way with God. How can I have a personal relationship with someone that I am unsure exists?
The difference is, Phat, that you can check all of those things about any of us here on the board, if you wanted to.
Can't do that with God, can you?
(And, BTW, if you have interactions with God that are similar to those you have with us on EvC, that is pretty cool. Can you get Him to post here?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Phat, posted 04-05-2007 9:59 AM Phat has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by Phat, posted 04-26-2007 9:37 AM nator has replied

  
nator
Member (Idle past 2221 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 39 of 90 (397484)
04-26-2007 8:48 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by ikabod
04-26-2007 8:02 AM


quote:
What we are also dealing with is the desire for the "false" to be true even if we know its not
Sure.
It was, as one time, fairly common for mothers to simply choose to not believe her children when they told her that her husband had been molesting them. Families can remain amazingly inobservant to the reality of mental and physical abuse, mental illness, and substance abuse within their own close circle.
Avoidance of emotional pain is a VERY strong incentive to lie to oneself and to others.
This is, I think, a big reason creationists like ICANT are so incredibly resistant and closed to learning. It is far too frightening, since their church has taught them that they must give up their faith if they change their understanding of the Bible.
To me, that is more Bible worship than God worship, but that is for another thread.

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Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 3649 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


Message 40 of 90 (397491)
04-26-2007 9:05 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by nator
04-26-2007 8:48 AM


nator:
It was, as one time, fairly common for mothers to simply choose to not believe her children when they told her that her husband had been molesting them. Families can remain amazingly inobservant to the reality of mental and physical abuse, mental illness, and substance abuse within their own close circle.
Avoidance of emotional pain is a VERY strong incentive to lie to oneself and to others.
Interesting example. It suggests a connection between denial and what ikabod calls 'the desire of the false to be true.' One first wishes the true to be false.
Would avoidance of pain be far more important as an incentive than desire to see the moose?
___
Edited by Archer Opterix, : html.

Archer
All species are transitional.

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Phat
Member
Posts: 18383
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003


Message 41 of 90 (397501)
04-26-2007 9:37 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by nator
04-26-2007 8:33 AM


Re: Too general
Nator, I would like to start a Faith/Belief based topic on some sort of discussion concerning these relational issues...be they real or imagined.
I am leaning towards starting a new topic on addictions. My Christian counselor and I agree that addictions cannot be dealt with on the classic disease model alone. What do you think? Should I start a topic on them?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by nator, posted 04-26-2007 8:33 AM nator has replied

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Stile
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 42 of 90 (397502)
04-26-2007 9:37 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by truthlover
04-25-2007 11:44 PM


God helps through people
truthlover writes:
I have noticed that *many* Christians strongly profess belief in the Bible and God but act like they don't believe. For example, one Christian minister assured a teenage friend of mine that if he prayed for financial help with a need that had arisen that God would provide. He then gave my wife some money to give to the boy, in case the promised provision didn't show up. Most Christians really don't expect their prayers to be answered, and if there's opportunity, they'll try to help God out with the answer to their prayer (that may be subconscious).
I'm not sure if this minister giving money to your wife for the boy is evidence of him not believing. I agree it's evidence in him not believing in "the power of prayer". But not against him believing that God exists, or even is there to help people.
One of my favourite modern-parables:
------------------------
There's a town built below a dam. The dam is getting old and about to collapse. The mayor sent out a town-wide warning and everyone moved out except for the pastor. The pastor believed God would save him so didn't leave his church. The damn broke and the pastor was forced onto the church roof. But he wasn't worried, he knew his God would save him. The townsfolk got a rescue helicoptor together and sent it out to retrieve the pastor. The pastor refused the helicoptor saying he had faith in God, and God would save him. After a few days, the waters were still high yet had calmed somewhat. The townsfolk put a rescue boat together, with some food and provisions and again went out to the pastor. The pastor refused the food, and refused to get on the rescue boat. He again professed his faith in God and that God would save him because he was faithful.
Well, the flooding continued and the pastor drowned. He then meets St. Peter in the afterlife.
"Why didn't God save me? I was faithful and prayed and was loyal to God. Was that not enough?"
St. Peter replies:
"God tried to save you, he sent the mayor's warning, he sent you a helicopter, he even sent you food and a boat if you needed it. You refused all of God's help. Your elevator going down is waiting...".
------------------------
My point is, this minister giving your wife money may very well believe that God works through people. And that the boy asking him for help, and the minister providing the money was God's way of providing the help the boy seeked.
To me, this is just people helping people. But I do think that certain people do believe that it is God working through these people and doing the providing. That is, the fact that they boy needed something, and the minister was even able to provide it, was God providing for the boy. To certain believers, at least, anyway.
I think many Christians don't really believe. They hope. And they fight for their hope that their faith is true much more strongly than if they really believed, because really believing would give them a confidence that would make much of their battling for their faith unnecessary.
I agree with this, yes.
Although I do still think there are those who actually do believe, even if they are just attributing mundane occurances to supernatural causes... I still think they actually believe God is behind it all, or "providing".

This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by truthlover, posted 04-25-2007 11:44 PM truthlover has not replied

  
nator
Member (Idle past 2221 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 43 of 90 (397504)
04-26-2007 9:46 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by Phat
04-26-2007 9:37 AM


Re: Too general
Go for it, I'll pop in.

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Stile
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 44 of 90 (397506)
04-26-2007 10:02 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by ikabod
04-26-2007 8:02 AM


Talking and walking.
ikabod writes:
What we are also dealing with is the desire for the "false" to be true even if we know its not
Yes, I think we can choose what we want to profess because of our desires.
further each person also puts different weighting on any evidence, some will choose the belive their family above and beyond so scientist in a different country.
I'm still not convinced that one can actually choose what they believe. I just think some do not understand how objective and repeatable evidence carries more weight in describing the truth of this existance rather then subjective anecdotal experiences. Without that understanding, subjective experiences can be seen as equal or even greater than objective evidence. Yet, I still don't see how this is a choice. More... just the way it is for certain people. Leaving their beliefs as unchosen and still "just the way they feel".
a good examlpe is how sports fans belive in the ability of their teams to win way beyond an infomation provided by past results
My NFL team is the Miami Dolphins. I know they havn't been too great for years now. I know they haven't made playoffs in years now. I choose to profess that they will win every game. I choose to profess that they are the greatest team in the NFL.
I even chose to profess that they actually won the Superbowl on their bye-week this year even though it was still months before the superbowl was even going to be played and, since it was their bye-week they weren't even playing a game.
Yet, I never did believe that they'ed actually win the superbowl. I never did believe they would have a perfect season this year. I never did believe they would not have a touch-down scored against them all year.
I would profess all those things. Adamantly. Even after they had happened. Yet I never did actually believe in them.
My beliefs were unchosen. I couldn't choose to actually believe that they were significantly better than they really were. I certainly chose to profess that they were, yet I couldn't believe in it.
Perhaps I am odd, and not reflective of anyone else. But I haven't seen anything that would convince me that I am not representative of rest of our population in this matter.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by ikabod, posted 04-26-2007 8:02 AM ikabod has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by ikabod, posted 04-26-2007 10:48 AM Stile has replied

  
ikabod
Member (Idle past 4544 days)
Posts: 365
From: UK
Joined: 03-13-2006


Message 45 of 90 (397518)
04-26-2007 10:48 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by Stile
04-26-2007 10:02 AM


Re: Talking and walking.
I just think some do not understand how objective and repeatable evidence carries more weight in describing the truth of this existance rather then subjective anecdotal experiences. Without that understanding, subjective experiences can be seen as equal or even greater than objective evidence. Yet, I still don't see how this is a choice.
you are spot on , and thats the issue the amount and type of evidence people need to belive in something varies greatly , and our desire will shape what evidence we reguard as valuable in the search for a truth to belive , further your past experience taints what value you put on both the evidence and the sorce of the evidence .....
some people seem to need to belive in something greater that "us" be it god , ghosts , ufo's , lucky clover , ley lines , astrology . . . . . .
these seem to treat evidence differently to the research scientist , evidence has to be personal , not second / third person ..
Edited by ikabod, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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