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Old 02-23-2001, 12:30 AM   #1
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Post Emotional Standards vs. Rational Standards for Evaluating Religion/Religious Claims

I read an excellent essay—"The Question of Method as Affecting Religious Thought"—concerning the difference of decision-making standards between religionists and rationalists; this essay was attirbuted to "Anonymous" as printed by the British publisher Thomas Scott in 1873, as presented in A Second Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism by Dr. Gordon Stein, Ph.D. [Philosophy], Prometheus Books, 700 East Amherst Street, Buffalo, NY 14215, 1987.

The essence:

Religionists make decisions based upon emotional standards/emotional methods: If it feels good it must be true. Hence if religion feels good, it must be true. [Problem: Good feelings do not prove anything true/not false and bad feelings do not prove anything not true/false. Example: Feeling good about O.J. Simpson does not prove he is innocent of the Nicole S./Ron G. murders, though he might be.]

Rationalists make decisions based upon rational standards/critical methods, standards of reason, requirements of proof: (1) physical evidence—people/things/events who/which can be seen/heard/touched/smelled/tasted; (2) eyewitness reports from credible witnesses [contradictions/inconsistencies are problematic]; (3) logical arguments using verifiable/falsifiable/verified premises.

Where with emotional standards anything goes; with rational standards nothing goes that cannot be proven.

The Bible and hence the Xn religion do not stand up to rational standards because of contradictions and basic absurdities such as gods sending gods [as sons of gods] to be killed for the purpose of saving sinners, virgin births being required for sons of gods but raising the question of whether or not the sons of gods actually felt any pain during their sacrifices/acts of salvation, or the question of the necessity for the sacrifice, etc.

Discussion!!?!?

[This message has been edited by Bob K (edited February 27, 2001).]
 
Old 02-23-2001, 05:33 AM   #2
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Atheists are just as emotional. Look at any atheist comment on the OT where they will insist that as God does not appear to endorse their own brand of early twenty first century ethics then he must be evil.

Or the problem of evil itself (which is philisophically invalid as we don't even have a definition of evil) is nothing more than an emotional plea about how awful things are.

The fact of the matter is that we are human beings who take decisions on a variety of bases. Thank God we do or the nightmare of 1984 and other rationalist Utopias would already be upon us.

Yours

Bede

Bede's Library - faith and reason
 
Old 02-23-2001, 06:18 AM   #3
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Bob K...

I have a comment about the following statements:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Religionists make decisions based upon emotional standards/emotional methods: If it feels good it must be true. Hence if religion feels good, it must be true....

Rationalists make decisions based upon rational standards/critical methods, standards of reason, requirements of proof...

Where with emotional standards anything goes; with rational standards nothing goes that cannot be proven....</font>
I know you're paraphrasing an essay, but I'd be careful anytime I say "anything" and "nothing." That looks like oversimplification from the get-go.

I don't think that emotionally-driven people think "anything goes." I'm quite sure they're limited by the constraints of the culture into which they were born. You also make it sound as though rationalists are cold, calculating creatures and don't experience emotional pitfalls, rather like Mr. Spock.

I think these things fall on the bell curve, just like intelligence, shoe size, height.... There really are very few people who are completely driven by emotion and just as few who are untouched by it when making decisions. The vast majority fall into the grey area between, leaning more in one direction, but falling prey to the pitfalls of the other.

diana
 
Old 02-23-2001, 07:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bede:
Atheists are just as emotional. Look at any atheist comment on the OT where they will insist that as God does not appear to endorse their own brand of early twenty first century ethics then he must be evil.

Or the problem of evil itself (which is philisophically invalid as we don't even have a definition of evil) is nothing more than an emotional plea about how awful things are.

The fact of the matter is that we are human beings who take decisions on a variety of bases. Thank God we do or the nightmare of 1984 and other rationalist Utopias would already be upon us.

Yours

Bede

Bede's Library - faith and reason
</font>
I don't see 1984 is a rationalist utopia, or a religious one. Authority, whether secular or religious, always creates dystopias. One need only compare democracies to authoritarian states of any political/religions stripe. The whole point of 1984 is that there is no difference between the oriental religious totalitarianism and the principles of IngSoc.

In any case, Bede is right. Rational approaches to information gathering and evaluation are part of toolkits, not the whole kit itself. Most people who reject god(s) do so for a mix of emotional and rational reasons (though believers accept god(s) only for emotional reasons, no rational reason can support belief in a god).

Michael
 
Old 02-23-2001, 07:57 AM   #5
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Bede made the following comment:

“Or the problem of evil itself (which is philosophically (sic) invalid as we don't even have a definition of evil) is nothing more than an emotional plea about how awful things are.”

Webster defines evil as: morally reprehensible. So we do have a definition of evil. However the word evil is most often used and misused by Xians. It’s OK when they say someone is evil, but often they say someone is possessed by evil or possessed by an evil spirit. And as to “an emotional plea about how awful things are” that too is a Xian thing: The world is filled with evil, the atheists are taking over.

Bede’s other comment:

“Atheists are just as emotional. Look at any atheist comment on the OT where they will insist that as God does not appear to endorse their own brand of early twenty first century ethics then he must be evil.”

This is really a crock. Bede, try to use a little logic here. If we don’t believe in god, how can we be said to believe that god is evil? Do you believe that Santa Clause is good?
 
Old 02-23-2001, 09:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bede:
Atheists are just as emotional. Look at any atheist comment on the OT where they will insist that as God does not appear to endorse their own brand of early twenty first century ethics then he must be evil.

Or the problem of evil itself (which is philisophically invalid as we don't even have a definition of evil) is nothing more than an emotional plea about how awful things are.

The fact of the matter is that we are human beings who take decisions on a variety of bases. Thank God we do or the nightmare of 1984 and other rationalist Utopias would already be upon us.

Yours

Bede

Bede's Library - faith and reason
</font>
You are absolutely right Bede. Look at all the atheists that continue to insist, despite all reason and evidence to the contrary, that Jesus never existed. The only explanation is their reactionary impulse to deny ANYTHING a theist affirms.
 
Old 02-23-2001, 09:32 AM   #7
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
You are absolutely right Bede. Look at all the atheists that continue to insist, despite all reason and evidence to the contrary, that Jesus never existed. The only explanation is their reactionary impulse to deny ANYTHING a theist affirms. </font>
Thank you Layman, master of psychological profiling. Perhaps you should lay off the insulting analyses of the skeptics and actually respond to peoples' criticisms and arguments.

[This message has been edited by daemon23 (edited February 23, 2001).]
 
Old 02-23-2001, 09:54 AM   #8
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EVIDENCE!? What evidence? The bible? Stories that were written years after the alleged fact? Stories that bear many similarities to stories in earlier religions? Doesn’t it strike you as strange that a lot of “holy men” were all alleged to have been born on the same day, December 25th? Doesn’t it strike you as strange that no one thought to right about all of JC’s miracles at the time they occurred? Hearsay “evidence is defined as “evidence based not on a witness's personal knowledge but on another's statement not made under oath”. Hearsay evidence is not allowed in a court. Hearsay evidence is not acceptable in science. Show us some, any, “evidence”.
 
Old 02-23-2001, 10:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by ecco:
EVIDENCE!? What evidence? The bible? Stories that were written years after the alleged fact? Stories that bear many similarities to stories in earlier religions? Doesn’t it strike you as strange that a lot of “holy men” were all alleged to have been born on the same day, December 25th? Doesn’t it strike you as strange that no one thought to right about all of JC’s miracles at the time they occurred? Hearsay “evidence is defined as “evidence based not on a witness's personal knowledge but on another's statement not made under oath”. Hearsay evidence is not allowed in a court. Hearsay evidence is not acceptable in science. Show us some, any, “evidence”.</font>
Thank you for providing the perfect illustration for my point.

Whether or not Jesus existed is not a legal question for a court to resolve, nor is it a science question. It is a question of history. And history is unavoidably dependent on hearsay evidence, given the fact that none of the participants are alive to make "in court statements."

Also, please indicate to me where in the first century that the early Christians claimed that Jesus was born on December 25th?

 
Old 02-23-2001, 10:21 AM   #10
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"Thank you Layman, master of psychological profiling. Perhaps you should lay off the insulting analyses of the skeptics and actually respond to peoples' criticisms and arguments."

Hey, I'm not the one who started a thread that argued that the other side's analysis was purely "emotional." Of course, that didn't seem to bother you so long as it was targetted at theists.



[This message has been edited by Layman (edited February 23, 2001).]
 
 

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