Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Belief and Rationalization, Manipulation

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We have some interesting comments that came in on past postings. In reaction to my statement on Notes on Realization of God's Reality, someone named "Atheist" says:



Atheist
said...

Metarock: Belief Is, therefore, a realization about the nature of reality, not a technology.

Atheist: Belief Is, therefore, a realization about the nature of fantasy, not a technology. Belief has nothing to do with reality or truth. In fact belief and truth are mutually exclusive.


The problem with this is that it privileges doubt to the extent of re-writing the point of bleief. Belief becomes a dirty word tot he professional doubter. The fact of belief is that one does not believe something one thinks is false. Belief is obviously about truth. Of cousre this is not a guarantee that the particulars of one's beliefs are true, yet no one sets out to believe falsehood. Dawkamenatlists. like the fundies that they are, are literalistic and rigid slave thinkers who dread having to think for themselves, thus any hint that a held opinion is not a "fact" and is not guaranteed by the atheist fortress of facts (ala atheist ideology) but is merely "belief," must be held as falsehood and ridiculed to the text the very word "belief" is taken ass a dirty word and held to mean "rationalization." Belief is what one hold to be true, it' s synonymous with "conviction," that's a term atheists are not familiar with.

I am thinking that this person is reacting to the idea that I stated, that proving things is a technology. Somehow this person sees this as an insult he/she has to insult belief back and though belief is some alien process that atheists don't involve themselves in. Unless one is illiterate it must be obvious to all that even atheists have beliefs. Strangely enough an atheist on CARM, who humbly calls himself "big thinker," who martians that he has no beliefs. Belief is such a dirty word to the Dawkies that he can't bring himself to admit that he has beliefs. He refused to answer my question "so you believe you have no beliefs?" That would entail the admission that what you think is true is a belief. Thus there are no people without beliefs. How is it possible that one thinks for oneself without believing things? This person obviously believes that belief is is about unreality, this person believes that atheism is about being realistic about reality these are beliefs. I wonder if most atheists even know the word reality. What they really mean is "what I want to be the case." If it could be proved that God is reality what would they do? They would then begin asserting that reality stinks and fantasy is true.

Webster's Online:



be·lief

noun \bə-ˈlēf\

Definition of BELIEF

1
: a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing
2
: something believed; especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a group
3
: conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence

Examples of BELIEF

  1. There is growing belief that these policies will not succeed.
  2. He gets angry if anyone challenges his religious beliefs.
  3. We challenged his beliefs about religion.

Origin of BELIEF

Middle English beleave, probably alteration of Old English gelēafa, from ge-, associative prefix + lēafa; akin to Old English lȳfan — more at believe
First Known Use: 12th century

Synonym Discussion of BELIEF

belief, faith, credence, credit mean assent to the truth of something offered for acceptance. belief may or may not imply certitude in the believer belief that I had caught all the errors>. faith almost always implies certitude even where there is no evidence or proof faith in God>. credence suggests intellectual assent without implying anything about grounds for assent credence by scientists>. credit may imply assent on grounds other than direct proof credit to the statement of a reputable witness>.
Belief is placing confidence in a proposition." conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence " Belief is about the way one views reality not manipulating reality.

Proving things is a from of manipulation. Why? Because it requries the re-organizing of bits of sense data in order to change the situation form appearance to demonstration. I didn't originally call it manipulation I called it "technology." Then I defined technology as manipulation. This commenter took this as an assault upon truth. It's actually just phenomenological awareness about our relationship to sense data in the formation of truth claims. Belief is a conviction of truth as the definition says it is not a pretense or a fantasy. Getting at truth requires re arranging the appearance of reality and thus its manipulation. This doesn't mean that stacking the manipulation to coincide with our desires is truth finding.

Webster defines Technology:


tech·nol·o·gy
noun \tek-ˈnä-lə-jē\
plural tech·nol·o·gies
Definition of TECHNOLOGY
1
a : the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area : engineering 2 b : a capability given by the practical application of knowledge
2
: a manner of accomplishing a task especially using technical processes, methods, or knowledge
3
: the specialized aspects of a particular field of endeavor
— tech·nol·o·gist \-jist\ noun
See technology defined for English-language learners »
Examples of TECHNOLOGY

This doesn't tell us the use of the term in such elite venue as intellectual history in postmodern circles such as the writing of Michele Foucault. The word is used apart from gadgets. We can employ a technology in the way we think about things without any new inventions or scientific apparatus. That's the way I was using the term, not as an insult or an attack but with persimmon making known the fact that the way we think about "reality" in relation to what can be demonstrated as true is a technology and an application of knowledge in a varied way.

In other words, belief is actually conviction that honestly understands truth or reality to be a certain way, while proof and demonstration are actually manipulating reality by arranging the way it is perceived, in order to produce a particular outcome.

The same poster left another interesting comment, this was addressed to the post about atheists moving away from the big bang.

Atheist said...

I am an atheist. I do not depend on science for my atheism. In fact I disagree with science often when it looks too much like theism. Multi-universes, quantum mechanics and the Big Bang are a some examples.

My atheism is based on truth and facts not science.


"I disagree with science when it looks like theism." I assume then that he/she agrees with it when it looks like opinions he/she already holds. So at that rate science is not a teaching device that tells this person truth but is in fact the "big fortress of facts" that proves atheism and backs up her opinion. In other words in the Orwellian "atheist speak" truth is a lie and one's own desire to escape God is paramount and outweighs truth, scirnce is a propaganda tool that can only be useful when it backs the template of atheist ideology. Look at the two quotes back to back it's pretty obvious that's what being said. If science was as atheists cling to it and portray it in clash with Genesis or creationism it's supposed to be a tool that lays bear what is real and enables us to know the truth of the physical world. To allege that would be a belief. Belief is a dirty word, belief is fantasy. Yet it's also apparent that truth finding goes hand in hand with fantasy and in place of truth this atheist wants propaganda. Hence I only believe science when it tells me what I want to hear.

"I don't believe scinece when it looks like theism."


Is there a way to reason with such people? If the facts and the uncovering of reality to the extent that the umpire of reality says "this be true" is not good enough, but must be rejected when ever it strays from the ideology that enthralls this salve thinker then what could possible point to truth in discussion or argument or evidence? Can't we see this is the total betrayal of "free thought" that it obviously is? How long can people be suckered?

We have to fear truth seeking and make conviction a dirty word becasue reality might be other than we wish?

12 comments:

Atheist said...

You are a typical theist who uses a lot of words to dance around the simple and undeniable facts. Using a lot of words as a smoke screen is really all the theist has to work with in his little arsenal of deceptions. Of course I simply ignore the atheist bashing that is so typical of militant theists. The ad homs just make you look angry. I might be a bit angry too if I didn’t have anything to support my beliefs.

metacrock: “Of cousre this is not a guarantee that the particulars of one's beliefs are true, yet no one sets out to believe falsehood.”

But it does, in fact, show that they do not know the truth. If you knew the truth you would have no need for the belief/faith.

Since you went through all the trouble, I will use some of your post to clarify my position. I will use the three example of belief from Webster Dictionary.

1: There is growing belief that these policies will not succeed.
(There would be evidence that the policies will not succeed, perhaps they have failed in the past)

2: He gets angry if anyone challenges his religious beliefs.
(He likely displayed previous anger when someone challenged his beliefs)

3: We challenged his beliefs about religion.
(His beliefs were of an unbelievable nature so we challenged them)

See that is how belief works. There has to be some evidence to support it.

e.g. I believe my brakes will stop my car because they have stopped me in the past. I believe there is life on other planets because there is life on earth. I believe it will be cold out tomorrow because that is what the weatherman is predicting and he has successfully predicted the weather accurately many times in the past..

See how all of these have a "because" in them? Now lets try it with a god.

I believe Zeus exists because _______
I believe Allah exists because _______
I believe God exists because _______

See, there is nothing tangible to put in the blanks of these statements that is valid. To believe for the sake of belief is invalid. Go ahead, you try to fill in the blanks and see what you come up with.

Miles said...

Really, mutually exclusive? Umm no, just. . .just no. My goodness, did someone actually write that.

Metacrock said...

Really, mutually exclusive? Umm no, just. . .just no. My goodness, did someone actually write that.

what's with that? That's the way college debaters talk.

Metacrock said...

nts:

Atheist said...

You are a typical theist who uses a lot of words to dance around the simple and undeniable facts.

you are a typically ignorant atheist who doesn't have a background in the world of letters, and an Orwellinan sense of "fact."



Using a lot of words as a smoke screen is really all the theist has to work with in his little arsenal of deceptions.

Translation: a fact thta don't help my ideology is not a fact.

Rest latter.

Kristen said...

Atheist, I will take up the challenge.

I believe in God because I have experienced a presence in prayer that has given me guidance and comfort, centered me, and altered my perspective to make me better able to handle difficulties. This could be my imagination-- but my experience lines up with the experience of millions of others who have reported the same or similar experiences.

I believe in God because sometimes my prayers have been answered in ways that are very difficult to chalk up to imagination, confirmation bias, or any other cause.

I believe in God because I have found it impossible to live my life consistently as if I believed atheism to be true.

I believe in God because coming to a belief in God changed my life for the better.

I could go on filling in that blank for a long time. The fact that you don't want to accept my answers is beside the point.

Metacrock said...

thanks Kristen. Good post. you could also fill in 42 blanks with my arguments.

Atheist said...

Kristen said...
Atheist, I will take up the challenge.

Atheist: I understand that you may have feelings that you want to associate with your god. That is what imaginary friends are for. Nice thing about imaginary friends is they can do anything, even comfort you in a time of need and they are always with you. Question is, what makes you think your feelings are coming from your god and not Zeus, Ra, Allah or some other man made god?

It comes as no surprise that you would associate them with the god that you were raised to believe in. I used to do the same thing when I was a believer. Same goes for millions of others. The pool of gods to choose from is deep and wide. Man has been in the god making business for a very long time. I believe they were creating gods long before recorded history. Why some of these gods become more popular than others I couldn't say. Better marketing is my guess. I don't see anything about the Christian god that makes it any different from the rest of the gods. In fact I see many similarities where people make up their gods using prior gods as a template. e.g Zeus was the creator of the universe and had a son from a human female. More than one son actually but Hercules is the most popular. In fact, Hercules is almost as popular as Jesus. Maybe even more so.

I "assume" you were raised in a christian family and are referring to the Christian god. Now if you were raised in the middle east your feelings would be associated with Allah or if you were raised as a Jehovah Witness your feelings would be associated with Yahweh. So you can see that personal feelings or emotions don't really mean very much. In fact they only divide your gods up into a massive pool of "personal gods". Each personal god is slightly different than the next one. That is what makes it personal. That is also what creates the thousands of different sects of religion. Get enough people together with the same basic feelings about their god and you have yourself a new faith-based religious cult.

So as you can see your feeling may mean something to you but in no way support the existence of your god, no matter what god you have been conditioned to believe in. As an atheist I also realize that those feeling you experience could be hormones or simply last nights pizza. Why anyone would give credit for their own personal achievements to some invisible unsupported entity is irrational unless you were conditioned to do so by a religious cult.

Metacrock said...

you are only arguing from incredulity. you have this nasty tone that reaks of the attempt ot privilege your position then you act sore and pissy becuase people who have a life in God don't agree with your obfuscation or your snubiness.

You are still basically arguing from incredulity. Since you are not making any attempt to answer the arguments I linked to I must assume you know you can't answer them. So your appeal is entirely one of incredulity.

Atheist said...

Hey, Metacrock. You must be under some misguided illusion that I wanted some futher discussion with you. Sorry, you are too full of yourself for me.

I will try it one more time and see if it works this time. BYE.

Kristen said...

Atheist, if there is a God-- one foundational Source of all being-- then it doesn't really matter what I think about that God or what I call that God. Except that I won't call God "imaginary friend," because it would be rude and arrogant.

I already told you I didn't care that you wouldn't want to accept my answers. Your opinion means nothing to me, and an opinion is all you've got, much as you'd like to imagine otherwise.

As a matter of fact, you may be imaginary-- and you certainly aren't my friend. (grin)

Atheist said...

Kristen: Atheist, if there is a God--

atheist: You sound unsure. I am not unsure. I know there is not.

Kristen: one foundational Source of all being--

atheist: Whatever that means. Sounds like something you might learn in church, a religious school or a philosophy class. That phrase has no real meaning to me.

Kristen: then it doesn't really matter what I think about that God or what I call that God.

atheist: If there really was such a creature, I am sure, it would tell us all what it was called and there would be no doubt. We certainly wouldn't need a bunch of men dressed in silly looking robes to convince us of it's existence.

Kristen: Except that I won't call God "imaginary friend," because it would be rude and arrogant.

atheist: Calling something imaginary when the only place it exists is in your mind is not rude or arrogant. It was your feelings, your emotions, your thoughts. The only place they exist is in your brain. If the only place something exists is in your brain it is, in fact, imaginary unless you have some external evidence to justify it.

Kristen: I already told you I didn't care that you wouldn't want to accept my answers.

atheist: What answers? You gave me your thoughts and opinions, not answers.

Here were your answers:

Kristen: I believe in God because I have experienced a presence in prayer that has given me guidance and comfort, centered me, and altered my perspective to make me better able to handle difficulties. This could be my imagination--

atheist: It was your own thoughts that gave you these things. Why give credit to some outside source for your own achievements?

Kristen: but my experience lines up with the experience of millions of others who have reported the same or similar experiences.

atheist: Yup, we all have little chats with ourselves to help us figure things out sometimes. Most of us just don't give the credit to an invisible man.

Kristen: I believe in God because sometimes my prayers have been answered in ways that are very difficult to chalk up to imagination, confirmation bias, or any other cause.

atheist: Again you are not giving yourself credit for your own actions. That is one of the evil things about religion. They convinces you that you are are flawed and not capable of things with out their help. This help comes in the form of an invisible man, living in the sky.

Kristen: I believe in God because I have found it impossible to live my life consistently as if I believed atheism to be true.

atheist: You have no idea what it is to be an atheist, you have never been one. Religions go to great lengths to make us look like their imaginary devil. The one only they believe in. Atheist don't believe in devils any more than they believe in gods or anything else supernatural.

Kristen: I believe in God because coming to a belief in God changed my life for the better.

atheist: Better than what? Now tell me which one of your answers couldn't be used to support Zeus or Allah or any of the other man made gods? Where are the answers that separates your god from the rest of the imaginary pack?

Kristen said...

Good grief.

Kristen: one foundational Source of all being--

atheist: Whatever that means. Sounds like something you might learn in church, a religious school or a philosophy class. That phrase has no real meaning to me. . .

Yup, we all have little chats with ourselves to help us figure things out sometimes. Most of us just don't give the credit to an invisible man.


Wow. I don't believe in an invisible man. I made that very clear. You say my words have no meaning to you and insist I believe in an invisible man. Why should I continue to talk to someone who doesn't even try to hear what I'm saying?

You have no idea what it is to be an atheist, you have never been one.

Again, wow. I'm simply astonished that you know so much about me. Maybe it's supernatural that you could figure out someone you have never met, like this?

Unfortunately I must correct you. You are wrong. I have been an atheist. It didn't work for me.

Now, since you have refused to hear me, dismissed everything I said, and concluded by dismissing me, how about if I reciprocate? Run along and play now. Come back when you are ready to actually listen to someone who doesn't think like you do.