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Old 20th May 2018, 10:59 AM   #881
dann
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But that is the weird doublethink of (in this case the Christian version of) religion: I sure as Hell wouldn't risk eternal damnation if I thought that stuff were true! Do you know how long eternal damnation lasts?! Why risk it if you actually believe "it's true"?!
On the one hand, they don't!
But then again, on the other hand, it sure would be nice if ...
It's the same thing when people cry at funerals while telling each other that he/she 'has gone to a better place.' It's a comforting belief, but hardly anybody thinks "it's true."
What are firm believers? They're people trying very hard to convince themselves that what they believe is more than a fantasy. And the only reason why they have to try so hard is that they don't really believe that "it's true", but would very much like to think so.
I don't have to convince myself that 2 + 2 makes 4. I know it does. It's true! End of story. No crisis of faith. No regular need to convince myself that it's true.
(It also doesn't make me happy to know, it doesn't comfort me, but quite often it may come in handy.)

I mentioned earlier that it's a pretty hard job to maintain the cognitive dissonance of faith versus reality, but people of faith find it worthwhile. For ye of little faith, however, the doublethink, the cognitive dissonance, is what results in the "feeling of relief" (Thor 2) when you give it up, but that usually doesn't happen until the need to believe has diminished to the extent where the believers feel that they can do quite alright without the belief. Having arrived at that point, the effort no longer seems worthwhile.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 20th May 2018, 01:20 PM   #882
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I agree with the rest of what you say, but re. the highlighted portion, while what you suggest is doubtless often true, there are also instances when people "sin" even while fully believing they'r sinning, and that the wages of sin is death. They sin, and then they try to make up for it by confessing. I suppose like someone not being able to give up cancer sticks despite knowing they're poison.
The fact that people will sin even knowing that they are sinning is a core part of the whole Christian redemption narrative.
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Old 20th May 2018, 01:38 PM   #883
dann
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Children also don't really think that it's true that stepping on a crack breaks their mother's back ...
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 20th May 2018, 02:06 PM   #884
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I don't think that you actually do have the science and facts sorted.

Humour is not your strong point perhaps?


Quote:
If you had the science and the facts of religion sorted out, you would be neither confounded nor confused, obviously. Your confusion is the point where you should ask yourself what it is that you haven't understood, what is wrong with your so-called science of religion: There is nothing confounding about tragedies reinforcing people's faith if you actually know what religious faith is! But if you need to believe in a delusion about what constitutes religion, you have to make up your mind: This obvious cognitive dissonance of yours is trying to tell you something! You can either solve the problem by coming to terms with what religion actually is, or you can insist on your delusion and go on being confounded, i.e. you can console yourself with your cognitive dissonance and learn to live with it.
The red pill or the blue pill?!

This is getting extremely tiresome. The topic of conversation here is reasoning people out of, and perhaps into religion, not about how dann is so astute in detecting the lack of astuteness of myself, in understanding all kinds stuff he can put on the table.

Your post #871 is so full of obfuscation I can't begin to unravel it.
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Old 20th May 2018, 11:41 PM   #885
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There are many things you can't begin to unravel. Obfuscation has nothing to do with it.
That you are confused by catastrophes making people want and need to believe just goes to show that you are not at all interested in understanding what religion is.
(Peddlers of religion, on the other hand, actually see catastrophes as an opportunity!)
Most people aren't Voltaires or Rousseaus. (But Voltaire and Rousseau also weren't smack in the middle of it.)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 21st May 2018, 12:28 AM   #886
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Being Reasoned Out Of Religion.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, you're right, they don't! That's what I said!
But you are missing a nuance: Why donít they expect Allah to do it for them?

Quote:
"whatever" is right! That is the one thing they actually do know: that they can't depend on Allah, the omnipotent, to do stuff like that (or any stuff).
See there? You are missing the nuance. They donít depend on Allah to do it for them because thatís not the way their religion works. They were commanded by Allah to kill the infidels. They have to do it themselves and thus, there is no expectation or dependence on Allah to do anything except reward them in the afterlife. They believe that Allah is real and the rewards are real; otherwise, why would they kill infidels?

In order to reason them out of their beliefs, you have to convince them that Allah as their religion describes them is not real. Not easy to do.



Quote:
You confuse two things. That you aren't going to reason them out of flying planes into buildings for Allah has nothing whatsoever to do with thinking "it's true." That's the difference between religious faith and 'thinking it's true.'

The jihadists obviously don't think it's true. Otherwise they wouldn't do what they do:
You have that backwards. The jihadists obviously do think itís real; otherwise, they wouldnít fly planes into buildings. That they also engage in sinful behavior just makes them human. They probably believe their sins in this life will be washed away by the sacrifice they are making for Allah.



Quote:
And in your fantasy these guys actually believed that it was true that 72 virgins were waiting for them in Heaven.

That is very far from the behaviour that I (or any other) would exhibit if I thought that the idea of Allah, the omniscient, was true!
Not if you think that God is also a forgiving God, that certain actions you take will absolve you of sin.

Quote:
(And this is one of the things that A Handmaidís Tale gets right: series 1, episode 8 & 9)



No, it obviously isn't! (Or to be more specific: Religion is reality, but the religious don't actually think that "it's true." Religious faith is very different from thinking (= knowing) that something is true!)
Faith is knowing something is true despite not having evidence for it. Faith is NOT -knowing itís all made up but persisting anyway. Religion is not like the Santa Claus myth that everyone carries on with despite knowing its a lie.



Quote:
Yes, they believe it's wrong to skip mass, but you don't seem to "grok" that this does not mean that they think "it's real." Skipping mass shows that they know it's not real, and yet, in spite of this, they don't give up their faith because it comforts them - so they go when they need that. And they need it so much that they're even willing to fly planes into buildings if that's what it takes to keep faith!
People go to mass for a lot of reasons and comfort is one of them. I used to get a lot of comfort out of attending mass and going through all the rituals. Once I figured it out that the God the Catholic Church talked about probably wasnít real, I couldnít get that comfort anymore. But even when I believed, I missed mass. Not because I didnít think it was real but because I knew god would forgive me.


I know this: I am not flying a plane into a building for something I know is not real!


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Old 21st May 2018, 02:03 AM   #887
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Just this, for now:

Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
The jihadists obviously do think itís real; otherwise, they wouldnít fly planes into buildings. That they also engage in sinful behavior just makes them human.

So when the jihadists commit their suicide-(mass) murders it's because they think that the omniscient, omnipotent Allah and the 72 virgins are real, but when they **** prostitutes before the ultimate sacrifice, it's just human nature ... Yeah, right!
'I'll sacrifice everything for you, oh, My Lord, but before I do, I'll have a quickie!'
(And we all know that omniscient gods can't unscramble digital porn anyway ...)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 21st May 2018, 06:37 AM   #888
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For religions that are all about being allowed to sin and then forgiven, claiming that doing the first part means they don't believe it's real equals claiming that the second part doesn't count somehow. That's pretty absurd.
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Old 21st May 2018, 08:15 AM   #889
xjx388
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Just this, for now:

So when the jihadists commit their suicide-(mass) murders it's because they think that the omniscient, omnipotent Allah and the 72 virgins are real, but when they **** prostitutes before the ultimate sacrifice, it's just human nature ... Yeah, right!
You are advocating the absurd position that jihadists don't think their God is real. You bizarrely argue that they murder/suicide for the same kinds of reasons that Catholics attend Mass - to get the comfort that they need to keep faith. That makes no sense.

You are skipping over the simple explanation for their dichotomous behavior: They murder/suicide because they believe Allah is real and that by making this supreme sacrifice in carrying out Allah's commands, Allah will forgive their earthly sins. Good ole rationalization/justification in action.


Quote:
'I'll sacrifice everything for you, oh, My Lord, but before I do, I'll have a quickie!'
(And we all know that omniscient gods can't unscramble digital porn anyway ...)
Yes, and their martyrdom guarantees their entrance to Paradise. If they didn't believe that Allah and Paradise were real -if their worship of Allah was akin to the Santa Claus pantomime- then you can't explain their willingness to suicide away with "comfort."
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Old 21st May 2018, 03:50 PM   #890
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
You are advocating the absurd position that jihadists don't think their God is real. You bizarrely argue that they murder/suicide for the same kinds of reasons that Catholics attend Mass - to get the comfort that they need to keep faith. That makes no sense.

You are skipping over the simple explanation for their dichotomous behavior: They murder/suicide because they believe Allah is real and that by making this supreme sacrifice in carrying out Allah's commands, Allah will forgive their earthly sins. Good ole rationalization/justification in action.


Yes, and their martyrdom guarantees their entrance to Paradise. If they didn't believe that Allah and Paradise were real -if their worship of Allah was akin to the Santa Claus pantomime- then you can't explain their willingness to suicide away with "comfort."

Well said xjx

To argue that these fanatics would die for something they didn't really believe is preposterous. Also those that seem to think Islam is not really responsible and the fanatics are motivated by passions other than religious have their heads in the sand.

Found an interesting web site:

http://www.humanreligions.info/violence_and_crime.html

Quote:
Militant Islam is rife in the modern world. Islamic terrorism is a constant threat to worldwide international stability, and a string of historical (and ongoing) movements have resulted in uncountable deaths, mostly of innocent victims.*Religious persecution is very much worse in Muslim-majority countries; sixty-two percent of Muslim-majority countries have moderate to high levels of persecution and*of the 14 worst countries for religious persecution and violence, 13 are predominantly Muslim. The cause of this is not ethnic or wealth-related; it stems from Muslim teachings and internal movements towards stricter Islam. Right from the start, "the traditional sources of the Islamic faith - the Koran, the Sunna, the hadiths - provide crystal-clear justification for the entire program of militancy". Of the first four successors to Muhammad, three were assassinated. A 2014 study found 41% of the people in*Pakistan*supported acts of deadly violence in defense of Islam as did 39% in*Lebanon, 15%*Indonesia, 13% in*Morocco, and 57% in*Jordan*- "even in*Turkey, a member of*NATO, 14 percent see some good in terrorism when carried out in the name of*Islam".
Just think of that! "A 2014 study found 41% of the people in*Pakistan*supported acts of deadly violence in defense of Islam ..."
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Old 23rd May 2018, 10:06 PM   #891
dann
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
For religions that are all about being allowed to sin and then forgiven, claiming that doing the first part means they don't believe it's real equals claiming that the second part doesn't count somehow. That's pretty absurd.

Are you saying that the 9-11 hijackers were Catholics?! And they had time to go to confession before they got on the plane?
It would be pretty absurd to not only sin, but to intentionally commit one of the major sins of Islam: Al-Kabirah like ĒZina (adultery)Ē if they had actually believed that it was true that they were going to meet Allah the next day.
They behaved more like soldiers going on a suicide mission: 'I risk dying so I may as well have a quickie before I go.' Except that they didn't just risk dying, they knew that on this suicide mission they were definitely going to die.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 23rd May 2018, 10:49 PM   #892
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
You are advocating the absurd position that jihadists don't think their God is real. You bizarrely argue that they murder/suicide for the same kinds of reasons that Catholics attend Mass - to get the comfort that they need to keep faith. That makes no sense.

Of course, it would make sense. For those jihadists who believed most firmly, it was not unlike what the Heaven's Gaters did: They would rather give up their lives than face the consequence that there was no UFO coming from Sirius to rescue them. That was the one thing they couldn't face: unequivocally facing reality without the comforting veil of religion. It would also be a pretty hard fall, considering what they'd already sacrificed for this belief: in the case of some of the men, even their balls. They would rather give up their lives than give up the comforting fantasy that enabled them to go on living their pretty miserable lives. That's the power of religion! (And even the bereaved were heard comforting themselves with the idea that their dearly departed had died for something they believed in.)
The 9-11 perpetrators mostly died for revenge. Their murder/suicide was more like that of school shooters. Islam offered them the chance to become famous as heroes in the eyes of believers. (But they would still have looked much better in this respect without the prostitutes.)

Quote:
You are skipping over the simple explanation for their dichotomous behavior: They murder/suicide because they believe Allah is real and that by making this supreme sacrifice in carrying out Allah's commands, Allah will forgive their earthly sins. Good ole rationalization/justification in action.

You are skipping the simple objection that if I think it's true that I'm actually going to meet Allah, I'll want to look my best, and this guy is omniscient - unlike his congregation. I won't go see a call girl five minutes before I meet him. Faith, religion, is very different from knowing that "it's true". Approximately the same way that drugs are different from happiness ...

Quote:
Yes, and their martyrdom guarantees their entrance to Paradise. If they didn't believe that Allah and Paradise were real -if their worship of Allah was akin to the Santa Claus pantomime- then you can't explain their willingness to suicide away with "comfort."

Yes, you can. And until a certain age, children think that Santa actually exists, in reality. Grown ups and gods are very different. Children don't have to go through the struggles of religious believers to keep faith. Santa also doesn't require worship. They just think that there's a Santa, they know it's true until they no longer do. It's much harder to be a believer, and it's much harder to lose faith, and you fear losing faith because you know that (and therefore fear) that it isn't true.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 23rd May 2018, 10:55 PM   #893
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Just think of that! "A 2014 study found 41% of the people in*Pakistan*supported acts of deadly violence in defense of Islam ..."

Yes, of course they do. They need to believe so they support those who appear to help them believe, and they hate the ones that seem to threaten this belief.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 24th May 2018, 01:26 PM   #894
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Yes, of course they do. They need to believe so they support those who appear to help them believe, and they hate the ones that seem to threaten this belief.

Yes well that really clarifies the issue doesn't it.
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Old 26th May 2018, 02:43 AM   #895
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Yes, it does. It clarifies the psychological difference between religion and knowledge, i.e. between faith and actually knowing that something is true. The need to believe in a god in spite of there being no empirical evidence whatsoever has much more in common with the current belief in Trump, for instance. The need to believe that he's the man is almost never rocked by evidence to the contrary. He can even pass a tax bill that benefits only the billionaires that he pretended to be running against, and the believers still prefer to believe.
That is also the logic of his continued rallies: When reality obviously contradicts your beliefs, you need the support of the whole congregation in order to stay firm in your faith. When you know that 2 + 2 makes 4, you don't really need that kind of support because there is no cognitive dissonance. That's also why it feels so good to proselytize. You confirm your own belief with every conversion. You don't need that if what you believe (= know) is true.
The ones who think that 2 + 2 makes 5 don't become the enemy. There's nothing akin to "We renounce the devil and all his doings and all his beings". Instead, we just tend to say: "OK, let me explain that to you again."
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 26th May 2018, 02:12 PM   #896
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You seem to be trying very hard to make an obscure point here, and shoe horning Trump into the explanation,(yet again ), doesn't help.
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Old 27th May 2018, 02:50 AM   #897
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And you're trying to make it much too easy - as always. No wonder you're "(yet again )."
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 27th May 2018, 02:56 PM   #898
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Centring more on the question at hand with another slant on it.

Many mass murderers take there own lives at the end but some do not. The recent school shooting in Texas was one of the later, where the young gunman claimed he did not have the courage to take his own life at the end. He, the gunman, was not religiously driven and I wonder of those that are, how many balk at the end.

I also wonder about the success rate of those that talk would be suicide candidates out of taking the final step. Does religious motivation make the task harder? If the certainty of reward is vague, as dann seems to suggest, one would think the negotiator would stand a better chance.
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Old 28th May 2018, 04:29 AM   #899
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Most of them don't seem to get to the point where they're talking with a negotiator, but in general Christians appear to be more afraid of dying than the non-religious:

Quote:
In one of the interview parts of the book, Phil Zuckerman is talking with a Dane working at a hospice. He has already mentioned that "in order to attempt to understand people's beliefs and worldview - which would ideally offer a glimpse into the culture and society from which they spring - you have to conversationally engage various people in open-ended interviews. in this chapter, I share excerpts from three such interviews." (p. 35)

Do the people who are in your hospice, are they needing religion a lot or do many of them die without it?
Many die without.
Without religion?
Yes. We have some of the old people, they are very Christian.
Okay.
And I see it's very difficult for them to die. They are afraid of dying. They are afraid that God doesn't take them to heaven, and they are thinking of their life and have they done something wrong ...
Feeling guilty?
Feeling guilty, yes.
And do people that aren't very Christian or aren't very religious ...?
No, it's the Christians who have problems.
It's so interesting, Anne. And when you said you didn't believe in God, would you describe yourself as an atheist? Do you know that word?
Yes, yes. I don't know, perhaps.
And would you say you are a Christian or not sure or ...?
I'm not sure ... because I don't believe in God.
But you said earlier that you live a Christian way. What does that mean?
I'm following the rules - not to steal, be kind to all people and so on.
And do you believe in heaven and hell or ...?
No,no. (p. 46)
Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 28th May 2018, 10:01 AM   #900
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Of course, it would make sense. For those jihadists who believed most firmly, it was not unlike what the Heaven's Gaters did: They would rather give up their lives than face the consequence that there was no UFO coming from Sirius to rescue them. That was the one thing they couldn't face: unequivocally facing reality without the comforting veil of religion.
OR: They really believed that dying would give them union with the aliens hiding behind the Hale-Bopp comet. That's a much simpler explanation than the convoluted thinking you suggest.
Quote:
It would also be a pretty hard fall, considering what they'd already sacrificed for this belief: in the case of some of the men, even their balls. They would rather give up their lives than give up the comforting fantasy that enabled them to go on living their pretty miserable lives. That's the power of religion! (And even the bereaved were heard comforting themselves with the idea that their dearly departed had died for something they believed in.)
What is important is that they have demonstrated that they believed their myths were actually true. They cut off their balls, for Pete's sake! Why would they do that if they didn't believe doing so would help them achieve their goals? By what kind of convoluted thinking is cutting off your balls part of a "comforting fantasy?"
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The 9-11 perpetrators mostly died for revenge. Their murder/suicide was more like that of school shooters. Islam offered them the chance to become famous as heroes in the eyes of believers. (But they would still have looked much better in this respect without the prostitutes.)
I don't deny there are elements of this. But the overarching point is that none of that would make any sense unless they all believed that the glories of martyrdom were true. That they are also flawed, selfish humans changes none of that.
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You are skipping the simple objection that if I think it's true that I'm actually going to meet Allah, I'll want to look my best, and this guy is omniscient - unlike his congregation. I won't go see a call girl five minutes before I meet him. Faith, religion, is very different from knowing that "it's true". Approximately the same way that drugs are different from happiness ...
If you (the average radical Muslim, anyway) think that your martyrdom will absolve you of your earthly sins, you might just partake of the carnal desires you have been denying yourself. You are only human after all. You might even rationalize it as religiously acceptable because the prostitute is kafir. Your Allah knows this and sees your sacrifice as the ultimate expression of your faith. He will reward you . . . if you don't truly believe that, then why in the world would you do any of it?

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Yes, you can. And until a certain age, children think that Santa actually exists, in reality. Grown ups and gods are very different. Children don't have to go through the struggles of religious believers to keep faith. Santa also doesn't require worship. They just think that there's a Santa, they know it's true until they no longer do. It's much harder to be a believer, and it's much harder to lose faith, and you fear losing faith because you know that (and therefore fear) that it isn't true.
The Santa myth is probably one of the biggest tools we have for reasoning people out of religion. Kids believe in Santa because parents, the people kids trust the most in the world, lie to their kids. Santa is a convenient entity that parents can use to bribe kids into behaving. Kids go to sleep on Christmas Eve and wake up with tangible proof of Santa's existence -presents! Kids believe with all their hearts because they don't know any better. But one day, parents tell their kids the truth, there is no Santa -it was the parents all along. Or maybe they hear rumors from other kids who already know the truth and their parents finally confirm those rumors. At some point, the kids get too old to believe in made up fairy tales and it's time to grow up.

Religion is just the Santa myth on a bigger and more complex scale played out over the whole of human existence. Many of us have come to understand that it's a lie told by authority figures who were trusted many, many centuries ago as means to bribe/scare us into conforming to their ideas of good behavior. The problem is that no one ever explicitly told us that it was a lie and it was time to "grow up." The original lie became truth over the span of time. Therefore, many people are still like those kids, believing with all their heart that those ancient stories are true. Thus, you have people like Islamic plane crashers, abortion clinic bombers, Branch Davidians and even less extreme displays of religious faith like those who believe it's their mission to spread the gospel to places like Africa, the Middle East, Asia, etc. You simply can't credibly explain all that behavior with, "it's comforting."
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Old 28th May 2018, 02:23 PM   #901
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Most of them don't seem to get to the point where they're talking with a negotiator, but in general Christians appear to be more afraid of dying than the non-religious:

There may be a grain of truth in this but I would be reluctant to make such a sweeping statement about it. Perhaps that is the difference between you and I.
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Old 28th May 2018, 10:38 PM   #902
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Yes, that probably is the difference between you and me, Thor 2. (between is a preposition!) I read and find out what other people have observed and learn from that. You pride yourself on having made the amazing discovery that God doesn't actually exist and hold yourself tremendously superior to everybody who hasn't because that appears to be the only discovery you've ever accomplished.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 28th May 2018, 10:56 PM   #903
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
OR: They really believed that dying would give them union with the aliens hiding behind the Hale-Bopp comet. That's a much simpler explanation than the convoluted thinking you suggest.

Yes, much too simple, because religion actually is "convoluted thinking".

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What is important is that they have demonstrated that they believed their myths were actually true. They cut off their balls, for Pete's sake! Why would they do that if they didn't believe doing so would help them achieve their goals? By what kind of convoluted thinking is cutting off your balls part of a "comforting fantasy?"

By this kind! In ordinary thinking, you don't have to make sacrifices. When you know the difference between red and green lights in traffic, for instance, you just have to wait when it's red and walk/drive when it's green. No need for any rituals or incantations. It's as simple as that. In religion/superstition, it isn't.

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I don't deny there are elements of this. But the overarching point is that none of that would make any sense unless they all believed that the glories of martyrdom were true. That they are also flawed, selfish humans changes none of that.

And there's nothing "convoluted" at all about being willing to make the supreme unselfish sacrifice of your life (and those of thousands of others) but not being willing to give up on a little nookie hours before you (allegedly) meet your Maker (and 72 virgins), is there?! (By the way, you actually share the idea of what constitutes human flaws and selfishness with religious nuts.)

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If you (the average radical Muslim, anyway) think that your martyrdom will absolve you of your earthly sins, you might just partake of the carnal desires you have been denying yourself. You are only human after all. You might even rationalize it as religiously acceptable because the prostitute is kafir. Your Allah knows this and sees your sacrifice as the ultimate expression of your faith. He will reward you . . . if you don't truly believe that, then why in the world would you do any of it?

Because that's how people reward themselves: 'I'm going on a suicide mission so before I go I might as well ...' There's nothing religious about that idea (by the way, there's nothing inherently religious about suicide missions either). There's a much simpler explanation, but in this case you're the one who insists on making it convoluted.

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The Santa myth is probably one of the biggest tools we have for reasoning people out of religion. Kids believe in Santa because parents, the people kids trust the most in the world, lie to their kids. Santa is a convenient entity that parents can use to bribe kids into behaving. Kids go to sleep on Christmas Eve and wake up with tangible proof of Santa's existence -presents! Kids believe with all their hearts because they don't know any better. But one day, parents tell their kids the truth, there is no Santa -it was the parents all along. Or maybe they hear rumors from other kids who already know the truth and their parents finally confirm those rumors. At some point, the kids get too old to believe in made up fairy tales and it's time to grow up.

Oh, the poor kids! Come on, xjx388, leave Santa alone! I don't know why, but maybe it's your religious upbringing that makes you treat the fairly innocent Santa story as an atrocious betrayal of children's trust. In my country, even the name of Santa is pagan: "julemanden", the yule man! I stopped believing in him when I was three or four and noticed that his beard was obviously fake. I said so out loud, which was a little embarrassing to the poor guy who'd been paid to play Santa, but I hope that he got over it. And that was it! I was in no way disappointed because I knew that it was just a trick my family had played on me like so many others. (Did the bad guys ever tell you that they got your nose?! I hope that there was a kid around to tell you that they didn't, actually!)
The story about julemanden wasn't meant to harm me, and it didn't. So it was in no way the traumatic experience that you make it out to be with your "believe with all their hearts because they don't know any better."
Come on, you are obviously the one who needs to grow up!

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Religion is just the Santa myth on a bigger and more complex scale played out over the whole of human existence. Many of us have come to understand that it's a lie told by authority figures who were trusted many, many centuries ago as means to bribe/scare us into conforming to their ideas of good behavior. The problem is that no one ever explicitly told us that it was a lie and it was time to "grow up."

Really?! There wasn't this naughty kid in your neighborhood to tell you that God was just a fairy tale made up by grown ups to make kids behave? Like with Santa? "maybe they hear rumors from other kids who already know the truth." Not at all?! I pity you if the bold kids you grew up with would only tell you about Santa but not about God! (What about where babies come from? No kid revealed that truth to you either? Nobody told you that it wasn't the stork?)

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The original lie became truth over the span of time. Therefore, many people are still like those kids, believing with all their heart that those ancient stories are true. Thus, you have people like Islamic plane crashers, abortion clinic bombers, Branch Davidians and even less extreme displays of religious faith like those who believe it's their mission to spread the gospel to places like Africa, the Middle East, Asia, etc. You simply can't credibly explain all that behavior with, "it's comforting."

Yes, the "original lie" blah, blah, blah! If grown ups still believe "with all their heart that those ancient stories are true," it's because they want to and probably need to believe. Even more so if you're not a child but an actual adult who goes and joins a cult.
You still don't get it that people either make up their own beliefs or actively seek out a belief system of their own accord, even though cases like the Heaven's Gaters ought to convince you that your story of the poor innocent victims of religion ("with all their heart") is the lie that you have chosen to believe in!
Not a single one of the Heaven's Gate congregation had been told as children about "The Evolutionary Level Above Human" and the extra-terrestrials and the UFO from Sirius! They were told as adults and chose to believe it.

You really need to grow out of your fairytale about what constitutes religion, xjx388!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 29th May 2018, 08:09 AM   #904
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Yes, much too simple, because religion actually is "convoluted thinking".




By this kind! In ordinary thinking, you don't have to make sacrifices. When you know the difference between red and green lights in traffic, for instance, you just have to wait when it's red and walk/drive when it's green. No need for any rituals or incantations. It's as simple as that. In religion/superstition, it isn't.
Can you come up with a definition of non-convoluted, ordinary thinking that doesn't break down to, "thinks about things in the same way I do?" This is a very egocentric series of statements you've made here. I understand that you don't see the world through a religious prism. I don't either. But that does not mean that anyone who does is not thinking straight. That is just arrogance.
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And there's nothing "convoluted" at all about being willing to make the supreme unselfish sacrifice of your life (and those of thousands of others) but not being willing to give up on a little nookie hours before you (allegedly) meet your Maker (and 72 virgins), is there?! (By the way, you actually share the idea of what constitutes human flaws and selfishness with religious nuts.)
Again, this is your egocentrism talking. You only see the world through your own eyes and you cannot fathom how anyone else can think and act differently from the way you imagine you might act. Those people are psychopaths or convoluted thinkers.

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Because that's how people reward themselves: 'I'm going on a suicide mission so before I go I might as well ...' There's nothing religious about that idea (by the way, there's nothing inherently religious about suicide missions either). There's a much simpler explanation, but in this case you're the one who insists on making it convoluted.
You are missing something after the ellipsis, "...because Allah will forgive me anyway." That's the simplest explanation. They wouldn't be rewarding themselves if they thought there was a chance it would taint their sacrifice -otherwise, why make the sacrifice at all?


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Oh, the poor kids! Come on, xjx388, leave Santa alone! I don't know why, but maybe it's your religious upbringing that makes you treat the fairly innocent Santa story as an atrocious betrayal of children's trust.
Well, I never said it was "an atrocious betrayal of children's trust." It is fairly innocent; parents don't have bad intentions -I certainly didn't. It was fun. But the point of the Santa story was that religious belief is very much like that except no one ever told us it was a lie.
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In my country, even the name of Santa is pagan: "julemanden", the yule man! I stopped believing in him when I was three or four and noticed that his beard was obviously fake. I said so out loud, which was a little embarrassing to the poor guy who'd been paid to play Santa, but I hope that he got over it. And that was it! I was in no way disappointed because I knew that it was just a trick my family had played on me like so many others.
And thus, your experience must reflect the experience of every other child?
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(Did the bad guys ever tell you that they got your nose?! I hope that there was a kid around to tell you that they didn't, actually!)
Citing wiki for, "got your nose," seems excessive, even for this forum! My favorite people to do magic for are kids. They believe because they don't know any better. So, yeah, in a time I don't remember anymore, my grandpa probably fooled me with that trick like I fool my granddaughter now. Which, really, is the other point I was trying to make with Santa -the religious engage in the same sort of magical thinking that powers the Santa myth. It's just been so engrained in their families, culture and society that many of them never question it.
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The story about julemanden wasn't meant to harm me, and it didn't. So it was in no way the traumatic experience that you make it out to be with your "believe with all their hearts because they don't know any better."
Come on, you are obviously the one who needs to grow up!
LOL, I don't think exactly like you so I need to grow up . . . egocentrism.

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Really?! There wasn't this naughty kid in your neighborhood to tell you that God was just a fairy tale made up by grown ups to make kids behave? Like with Santa? "maybe they hear rumors from other kids who already know the truth." Not at all?! I pity you if the bold kids you grew up with would only tell you about Santa but not about God! (What about where babies come from? No kid revealed that truth to you either? Nobody told you that it wasn't the stork?)
You probably don't realize it but you are reinforcing my point.

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Yes, the "original lie" blah, blah, blah! If grown ups still believe "with all their heart that those ancient stories are true," it's because they want to and probably need to believe. Even more so if you're not a child but an actual adult who goes and joins a cult.
You still don't get it that people either make up their own beliefs or actively seek out a belief system of their own accord, even though cases like the Heaven's Gaters ought to convince you that your story of the poor innocent victims of religion ("with all their heart") is the lie that you have chosen to believe in!
Not a single one of the Heaven's Gate congregation had been told as children about "The Evolutionary Level Above Human" and the extra-terrestrials and the UFO from Sirius! They were told as adults and chose to believe it.

You really need to grow out of your fairytale about what constitutes religion, xjx388!
No . . .you need to understand that not everyone has the same thoughts as you do and that this doesn't make them self-deluding nitwits as you paint them out to be.


ETA: To bring this back to the OP -part of reasoning people out of religion is seeing them as rational people capable of listening to reason. Approaching them with this kind of arrogance as the base of your arguments isn't likely to win any believers over. You must see them as equals, just with a different perspective and then you can approach them on a level playing field and not from a mountain-top silently mocking them for their irrationality.
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Old 29th May 2018, 02:06 PM   #905
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So dann thinks you need to grow up xjx388, and I hold myself tremendously superior to everybody who hasn't discovered the non existence of God, and that appears to be the only discovery I've ever accomplished.


Don't know how dann managed to "discover" the latter - must have spies all over the place.
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