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Old 02-24-2001, 02:56 AM   #21
Bede
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I'm not entirely sure what Michael and Layman are arguing about. Denying the existance of the Historical Jesus is an emotional and not rational decision. Michael, if you are denying his existence(and I'm not quite sure if you do absolutely) you are, as far as I'm concerned, guilty of this.

Any statement such as Bobk's that claims emotion rather than reason motivates theists will provoke theists and must lead to calling the kettle black kind of rebuttals. And that in itself will cause us all to get emotional. The argument will go nowhere and should end. And Layman is not being a troll - he and I have argued in detail agianst the Jesus Myth. Just please don't make me do it again.

Yours

Bede

Bede's Library - faith and reason
 
Old 02-24-2001, 05:49 AM   #22
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Bede:
I'm not entirely sure what Michael and Layman are arguing about. Denying the existance of the Historical Jesus is an emotional and not rational decision. Michael, if you are denying his existence(and I'm not quite sure if you do absolutely) you are, as far as I'm concerned, guilty of this.

Layman and I are not arguing, we are having a conversation. There's a difference.

As for the rationality of denying the mere existence of Jesus, which I am not sure that I do either, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Michael
 
Old 02-24-2001, 12:15 PM   #23
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Bob K

Are you there?

I have asked some specific questions directed to the points in your original message.

I am looking forward to your replies.

Blessings and Peace

Hilarius
 
Old 02-24-2001, 04:48 PM   #24
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Since when was I the quiet voice of reason?

I must be getting old.
 
Old 02-24-2001, 05:13 PM   #25
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Bob K:

"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.]"

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

Would it be fair to say emotions and blind faith go hand in hand?
Seems that Hebrews 11:1-3 is a definition of blind faith. Blind
faith is belief in something without questioning it as to its
truth or falsity. Upon questioning the belief evidence would be
looked for to support the truth or falsity of the belief. An
emotional belief skips over the questioning because the belief
produces a good feeling that the person doesn't want to give up.
 
Old 02-24-2001, 05:31 PM   #26
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It is a common straw man of those who get their cognitive psychology from Star Trek that emotions are incompatible with logic or rationality.

The existence of emotions is self-evident -- I can directly detect when I am feeling an emotion such as anger, happiness, etc. Indeed, it is possible to detect when other people are feeling emotions by examining their behavior.

It is irrational to deny the existence of emotions. But it is also irrational to use one's emotional reaction as evidence of the objective existence of a non-emotional proposition. It is true (for some) to say, "the idea of Jesus makes me feel good/bad." It is a fallacy to then come to a conclusion about Jesus' actual objective existence from that feeling alone.

It is also a strawman refutation that rationality denies intuition. Intuition plays a very important part in science and other rational investigation -- by using the amazing pattern-matching facility of our brains, we can make come to some amazing conclusions that would be impossible by pure deduction. We then use skeptical, rational and logical investigation to determine if our intuition has yielded a valuable insight, or if we just fooled ourselves. Most of the time, even for professional scientists, our intuition merely fools us, however, it does sometimes yield new information. That is why a good scientist or rational investigator couples intuition with skepticism.

Irrational and pseudoscientific investigators never seem to quite get the value of skepticism. They don't understand that powerful intuitive insights are simply wrong 90% of the time, and you absolutely cannot tell from your internal examination.

A real science must ruthlessly examine his intuition against reality; He wants it to be himself that finds the flaw; it would be embarassing for his collegue to find it. He creates testable propositions, and ultra-simple experiments. He uses his emotions and intuition, but he realizes they are just emotions and intuition, nothing more, nothing less.

A pseudoscientist never examines his intuition with the idea of debunking himself. Rather, he looks for techniques and experiments that will validate his ideas, never noticing when he constructs a roccocco edifice of metaphysics and "experiments" bizarrely complicated enough to slip in any theory. He becomes a slave to his emotions and intuition, mistaking what he believes for what he sees.
 
Old 02-24-2001, 07:59 PM   #27
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SD
It is a common straw man of those who get their cognitive psychology from Star Trek that emotions are incompatible with logic or rationality.

Hilarius
I can't speak for all Star Trek viewers but your conclusion seems totally reasonable if by emotions you mean sentiments that over-ride findings that are both more considered and more accurate. But does that make all emotion valueless?

SD
The existence of emotions is self-evident -- I can directly detect when I am feeling an emotion such as anger, happiness, etc. Indeed, it is possible to detect when other people are feeling emotions by examining their behavior.

It is irrational to deny the existence of emotions. But it is also irrational to use one's emotional reaction as evidence of the objective existence of a non-emotional proposition.

Hilarius
I agree.

SD
It is true (for some) to say, "the idea of Jesus makes me feel good/bad." It is a fallacy to then come to a conclusion about Jesus' actual objective existence from that feeling alone.

Hilarius
I agree - in all cases where rational perceptions are available - but children who lack mature rationality are often able to perceive truths. Indeed many children are highly astute at perceiving the hyopcrisy of adults ... they are frequently more observing of rational flaws that we realise, even though they have never studied formal logic.

SD
It is also a strawman refutation that rationality denies intuition.

Hilarius
I agree.

SD
Intuition plays a very important part in science and other rational investigation -- by using the amazing pattern-matching facility of our brains, we can make come to some amazing conclusions that would be impossible by pure deduction.

Hilarius
Would it not be more correct that intuition provides insights into hypotheses and possible solutions which then require rational verification?

But what if in a blinding flash of intuition some truth is perceived but no means of physical verification is to hand? Should intuition never be trusted in such cases?

SD
We then use skeptical, rational and logical investigation to determine if our intuition has yielded a valuable insight, or if we just fooled ourselves. Most of the time, even for professional scientists, our intuition merely fools us, however, it does sometimes yield new information.

Hilarius
It only has to provide new information just once, and if the result is valuable, then we have a role for intuition that can not be replicated easily. Do you agree?

The problem is how to know when the reliable event has occurred, and not unreliable ones.

SD
That is why a good scientist or rational investigator couples intuition with skepticism.

Hilarius
I agree.

SD
Irrational and pseudoscientific investigators never seem to quite get the value of skepticism.

Hilarius
I agree.

SD
They don't understand that powerful intuitive insights are simply wrong 90% of the time, and you absolutely cannot tell from your internal examination.

Hilarius
I am not sure how you determine a precise percentage, but broadly I agree.

Do you think some people have greater intuitive powers that generate more accurate results than other people, or do you consider all people equally inept when they perceive matters intuitively?

SD
A real science must ruthlessly examine his intuition against reality; He wants it to be himself that finds the flaw; it would be embarassing for his collegue to find it.

Hilarius
A good scientist would not mind who found the flaw if his interest is solely in truth and not in personal ego. He should never have gone beyond hypothesis and so his ego should not be at stake, regardless of who finds the flaw in a hypothesis.

SD
He creates testable propositions, and ultra-simple experiments.

Hilarius
Why ultra-simple? If you mean experiments which measure the influence of specific variables, then I agree.

SD
He uses his emotions and intuition, but he realizes they are just emotions and intuition, nothing more, nothing less.

Hilarius
I agree.

SD
A pseudoscientist never examines his intuition with the idea of debunking himself.

Hilarius
Never? Well hardly ever!

SD
Rather, he looks for techniques and experiments that will validate his ideas, never noticing when he constructs a roccocco edifice of metaphysics and "experiments" bizarrely complicated enough to slip in any theory. He becomes a slave to his emotions and intuition, mistaking what he believes for what he sees.

Hilarius
I agree. Thank goodness rational Christians like myself are not like that!

Blessings and Peace

Hilarius

 
Old 02-24-2001, 09:12 PM   #28
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Hilarius: I agree.</font>
Egad! Where's the pod?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Indeed many children are highly astute at perceiving the hyopcrisy of adults ... they are frequently more observing of rational flaws that we realise, even though they have never studied formal logic.</font>
I don't know that it's so much that children are so good at logic; rather most adult hypocrisy is ludicrously transparent.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">But what if in a blinding flash of intuition some truth is perceived but no means of physical verification is to hand? Should intuition never be trusted in such cases?</font>
What happens, I think, is that in a blinding flash of intuition, we perceive a pattern in events, usually a pattern that's similar to one we already understand. We don't perceive "truth"; we perceive a pattern.

Should we trust such an intuition? Knowing how often intuition is dead wrong, I would say no.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The problem is how to know when the reliable event has occurred, and not unreliable ones.</font>
Agreed. That's why we need skeptical, rational, self-critical inquiry.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">A good scientist would not mind who found the flaw if his interest is solely in truth and not in personal ego.</font>
Don't underestimate the power of emotion in motiviation. That's kind of what we're talking about here.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Why ultra-simple? </font>
Ultra simple experiments show flaws more easily -- There is little room for self-delusion.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I agree. Thank goodness rational Christians like myself are not like that!</font>
I didn't bring it up, but since you did...

What skeptical, rational, self-critical tests have you subjected your religious beliefs to?
 
Old 02-26-2001, 03:01 AM   #29
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You ask what rational tests I have applied to my beliefs?

I have both adhered to and departed from the teachings of Christ.

I have observed consistent deterioration in my relations with others and in the quality of my life when I knowingly err.

Equally I have never known a practical situation in which the teachings of Christ, when followed, fail to produce a good response ... even if it was hard to perceive at the time.

Throwing every possible doubt at the Bible I have never found Christ's ideas to fail.

Have you?

Blessings and Peace

Hilarius

 
Old 02-26-2001, 08:58 PM   #30
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I have both adhered to and departed from the teachings of Christ.

I have observed consistent deterioration in my relations with others and in the quality of my life when I knowingly err.</font>
So you have proven rationally that adherence to christian teachings improves your relationships.

That is rational evidence of the emotional value to you of belief in a set of ideas.

It is classic fallacious emotional reasoning to infer an objective fact from the emotional value of a belief in that fact.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Equally I have never known a practical situation in which the teachings of Christ, when followed, fail to produce a good response ... even if it was hard to perceive at the time.</font>
Or perhaps you're rationalizing. Also, do you follow each and every teaching literally? If not, then you are exactly the same as me: I live according to the teachings of jesus that I agree with, and ignore or reinterpret the ones I don't agree with.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Throwing every possible doubt at the Bible I have never found Christ's ideas to fail.</font>
I threw a few simple doubts and the JC Bible folded faster that Mike Tyson's last opponent.

Perhaps you should precisely specify your so-called skeptical, rational, self-critical tests that claim you've subjected your religious beliefs to.
 
 

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