August 28, 2020 at 5:06 pm #333604
@michaelmckinny1951 The idea of a deity is a creation of the human mind, from Mriana
Every idea is a creation of the human mind in that without our mind no consideration of any idea on any subject is possible. The question is whether the thing we call deity exists prior to the human mind and is independent of it. My opinion is that it does in the same sense that mathematics or gravity existed long before the human mind formally described their reality.
This comment is not directed at any who participates in this forum but a common error is repeated when people see the question of God’s existence through the filter of their own experience with church, the bible, and all the stifling orthodoxy that blunts and suppresses curiosity and intuition. It’s too reflexive and facile to adopt a position of non-belief solely based on rejecting the backward, uninformed beliefs and customs of traditional religion. Is it any wonder why so many are turning away from this tired collection of outworn fairy tales of hell and damnation? Religion is a backward-looking enterprise and has no evolutionary future. Its language is archaic, its intention is to instill fear and mindless conformity. It has nothing to do with genuine belief in God.August 28, 2020 at 5:26 pm #333606@widdershinsParticipant
The idea of indoctrination being “damaging to free thinking” is an interesting one given that free thinking is particularly damaging to indoctrination. Indoctrination simply can’t take, or can’t stay much past puberty at least, if critical thinking skills are taught and applied to every aspect of one’s thought processes. So indoctrination itself doesn’t have to necessarily be particularly damaging. It’s only indoctrination without critical thinking skills which is damaging. Or when the indoctrinated fails to apply those skills to the particular doctrine.
For example, I have a friend who is a physicist (well, acquaintance who likes long talks about physics, anyway). Very smart guy, but also very religious and very Republican. He has critical thinking skills which he simply doesn’t apply when he does something stupid like defend Trump’s idea of injecting cleaning chemicals to cure Coronavirus as “He was only joking.” No, he’s an idiot and a liar. You have a PhD. Don’t tell me you don’t know an idiot when you see one. But he was so heavily indoctrinated into hard-right wing Catholicism that he chooses not to apply the critical thinking skills he obviously has to his political doctrine. That’s likely because the doctrine came first from a very early age and the critical thinking skills came much later.August 28, 2020 at 5:39 pm #333608
in response to drhansenj
Yes, a very engaging topic, and I thank you for raising the subject.
How many times have you or anyone else heard the truculent, and immovable beliefs of those who call themselves fundamentalist Christians claiming absolute faith in things like the “Garden of Eden” or “Noahs Ark” or any of the other absurd stories found in the bible? They believe this nonsense because they’ve surrendered their sense of critical judgment and replaced it with the barrel-headed torpor of passive religious doctrine. What do churches and pastors tell their congregations? It’s repeated constantly; All you have to do is blindly accept what’s written in the bible and all your questions will be answered, no need for curiosity or critical judgment, no need for probing question of our human origins, all that’s needed is to turn our brains off and swallow it all without chewing and millions do exactly that. These automatons expose their children to the same mind-numbing barrage that they unquestioningly accept. The next time your in church look at the children and see if they look comfortable, then watch as they leave after the service is over. It’s like they were just freed from prison. So, yes I’m completely convinced that children are psychologically harmed by religious indoctrination. Aren’t you?August 28, 2020 at 5:54 pm #333610@sreeParticipant
That’s likely because the doctrine came first from a very early age and the critical thinking skills came much later.
How old is your Ph.D. acquaintance? The Trump Doctrine did not exist prior to 2016. Are you saying that while your friend could apply his critical thinking skills on the job, he can’t do it talking politics to his wife or friends?August 28, 2020 at 6:33 pm #333616@timbParticipant
The “Trump Doctrine”? Do you mean the doctrine of supporting whatever whims or stray thoughts that occur to the t rump at any given moment, that can contribute to the main thing that he wants above all else (i.e., remaining in power)?
That seems to be the full jist of a supposed t rump doctrine.August 28, 2020 at 6:55 pm #333621@drhansenjrParticipant
So, yes I’m completely convinced that children are psychologically harmed by religious indoctrination. Aren’t you?
Whether my hypothesis that this is true, as strongly I may feel it is true, and whether my hypotheses that (1) the embrace of faith as a child may have some unhealthy cognitive effects on that child in adulthood (which I, tentatively, call “crossover effects,”) or (2) that the the embrace of faith as a child may, given it dependence on the suppression or suspension of one’s critical faculties that is at the heart of faith may result in something I call (and please forgive the neologisms, I simply have no other terms that might describe them) “cognitive partitioning” — the neurological separation (whether physical or logical) of processing of faith-related ideas from other ideas.
Am I “convinced” children are harmed by religious indoctrination, or that “crossover effects” or “cognitive partitioning” exist. I cannot be. I cannot allow myself to be. It makes no difference how convinced you or I may be. There can be no certainty without evidence, and, as yet, we have no evidence — in the scientific sense.
What do churches and pastors tell their congregations? It’s repeated constantly; All you have to do is blindly accept what’s written in the bible and all your questions will be answered, no need for curiosity or critical judgment, no need for probing question of our human origins, all that’s needed is to turn our brains off and swallow it all without chewing and millions do exactly that. These automatons expose their children to the same mind-numbing barrage that they unquestioningly accept.
That was me. I was a committed young born-again Evangelical, but the pablum I heard in Sunday School and Church put me to sleep. But I had to understand. So I read and studied several chapters of The Book every night, probably making it through cover to cover a half a dozen times. But, maybe 5 years later, on my last reading, it was like the lights went on. It was, “Nope. Not my god. Not part of my life. Bye-eeeee!”August 28, 2020 at 7:52 pm #333626
Our personal and particular experience with a phenomenon is often something separate and different from the intrinsic reality of that phenomenon. The boundary between what we describe as subjective reality and the observable world is sometimes blurred by our preferences and expectations. This is especially true in matters of religious belief. It’s enough to honestly grapple with these unanswerable questions. You mention “certainty” but certainty is not possible in any area of investigation, scientific or otherwise. All we can say is “a very high rate of probability” exists in predicting how something behaves or whether it exists at all. Is it possible that there are things we simply can’t know? I think so. Shakespeare said as much when he advises us to “thrive in our own mystery” which is a tacit admission that we should always be capable of wonder and even astonishment.
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