Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Electrons and faith

We walk by faith and not by sight. 

Not seeing is different from not having reasons. I have never once seen an electron. I believe they exist. By faith?


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Ilíon said...

some liar: "... and thereby claim for himself that his judgments of others are an extension of Christ's."

... asserts the hypocritical fellow (with the psyche of a junior high school girl).

Papalinton said...

Bob, I understand and appreciate you are a rusted-on believer in supernaturalism, and that is your prerogative. I have no truck against that. However research has genuinely found that the drivers and reasons for supernatural belief are very different from those you imagine are true and correct. I know it is difficult to square the evidence from research findings in psychology, sociology, psychiatry, anthropology and corresponding fields of study [all expressing a common and consistent narrative despite coming from very different fields of study and analysis] against the presuppositions of theology and its concomitant apologetics. This is made all the more disconfirming when one's education and experiences have been singularly predisposed to a particular religious frame of reference. Reading the research evidence of why it is we possess this strong predilection towards belief in a supernatural otherworld does have an unsettling effect no matter how much one wishes to deny or rail against it, or attempt to rationalize it, as you do.

You probably did not bother to read the site on recent research into the drivers of religious belief but I would encourage you to do so. Like you I too once had strong convictions that the religious perspective was the only one that had a semblance of meaning and reason, and believed it was based on actuality. But it is and remains only a semblance, although there are many positives for religious belief, just as we know conclusively of the efficacy of the placebo effect. One of the more interesting insights in that report notes:

"Of course, while religion brings some people together, it continues to cause deep divisions, says Atran, who has worked as a negotiator in several hotspots around the world, including Israel. “The problem is, the more you look inward toward your religious group and its claims of virtue, the less you look outward and the more distrustful you are of others,” he says.
That distrust causes much of the world’s strife and violence and is one of the reasons the “new atheists,” including British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, PhD, and neuroscientist Sam Harris, PhD, want to see religion disappear. But that will be difficult if not impossible if religion is a byproduct of the way our brains work, as much of the recent research suggests, says Atran. What could work, says Norenzayan, is to replace religion with secular communities built on a common moral foundation. He suggests that Denmark’s society is successfully doing this with its large welfare state, its national ethic of hard work and its strong attachment to political freedom and individualism. But such societies will still need many of the components of religion, including a belief that we’re all part of the same moral community and, therefore, should make sacrifices that benefit the greater good.
To get there, researchers need to continue to fine-tune their understanding of religion, says Barrett. “As the research matures and we bring in other areas of psychology, I think we’ll have a better window into the nature of religion and where it might be going.”"

I know on occasion you resort to branding me a troll, at those times when you reflect a degree of anxiety and ambivalence [and quite some pique despite your protestations to the contrary], when information on religiosity that clearly demonstrates a very naturalistic explanation for such belief rather than the misguided attribution to some external supernatural origin, as theology would have us want to believe, solely as a matter of faith.

B. Prokop said...

" at those times when you reflect a degree of anxiety and ambivalence"

No, Linton. It's when your normal obtuseness rises to a degree when it becomes simply breathtaking. No ambivalence - no anxiety, just sadness overall that potential gone to waste.

And it's such a shame, because I think you really could be intelligent, if only you were to be freed from the self-made mental prison that you yourself have constructed and locked yourself into.

And I'm perpetually amazed that you can't even see it. Why, your very sentence structure gives it away. You've tied your mind up into a pretzel, and it comes out in syntactically distorted phraseology and entirely unnecessary verbiage. Your defensiveness is palpable in such postings - even when on the surface you appear to be on the attack. You pile word upon word like French revolutionaries building barricades in the streets of Paris. You weave a dense screen of mutually subordinate clauses about your thought processes so as to shield your mind from the threat of any outside thought getting in. A shame, really.

B. Prokop said...

That should read "over all" in the first paragraph.

Unknown said...

F is a bit extreme and H & I are just silly. A doesn't explain everything so I'd replace it with 'the women saw the wrong tomb and somebody played on them and apostles so the person they thought was Jesus wasn't really Jesus'. B to G seem pretty reasonable yeah.

B. Prokop said...

Thanks for that response, Hyper. It will help me know where you're coming from in any future conversations, and prevent potential misunderstandings.

Papalinton said...

Bob, you should concentrate on the arguments and the findings, rather than on my writing style.

So the substance of the research in psychology, sociology, psychiatry, anthropology is all simply bumpf when it comes to explaining religious belief, right? It is all just opinion, right, with no basis in fact? Because psychologists and anthropologists and sociologists are not experts in Catholic theology and praxis they have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to understanding the supernatural origins of religion, right?

I think your sadness for me is deeply misplaced and woefully misguided. Do you pray for me as well?

B. Prokop said...

"Do you pray for me as well?"

Actually, I do - in Latin, no less.

As to your first sentence, are you unaware that for the vast majority of your postings, (bad) style is all there is? There aren't any "arguments and findings" to concentrate on. And listing off a bunch of scientific disciplines without context does not an argument make, nor does a blind faith punting to an imaginary future in which everyone will think like you equal a finding. As Gertrude Stein once said of Oakland, California, "There's no there there."

Ilíon said...

none-too-bright: "I'm not exactly sure what Ilion means by this syntactically-tortured sentence ..."

See Bo(o)b. See Bo(o)b read. Read, Bo(o)b, read. Read. Read.

Bo(o)b can read. Bo(o)b can read words. Bo(o)b can read sentences. But not big sentences. And maybe not the word 'sentence'.

Bo(o)b likes little sentences. Bo(o)b likes tiny sentences. And words. Bo(o)b doesn't like big sentences. Bo(o)b doesn't like complex sentences. Bo(o)b thinks most sentences are complex. Bo(o)b thinks that last sentence is complex. Can you say 'complex'? Can you say 'Bo(o)b'?

And what was that "syntactically-tortured sentence", again? What was its context?

Bo(o)b: "Many people on this website have noted the bizarre similarities between literalist, fundamentalist Evangelical Christians and the New Atheists."

Torturer_of_Sentences: "Uh, no.

Certain Rah-Rah-Catholic fools have "projected" some of their own behaviors related to shielding some of their more odd beliefs from rational evaluation onto "fundies".

Asserting that “fundies” and Gnus reason (or “reason”) alike doesn’t make it so, and doesn’t make it a “noting”.

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