Thursday, July 20, 2017

You are only a Christian because of your birthplace!

Gee, where have we heard that before? Saints and skeptics answer here. 

11 comments:

Stardusty Psyche said...

" You are only a Christian because of your birthplace!
Gee, where have we heard that before? "
--No I haven't heard that, but I have heard that one's culture of birth is strongly correlated with the particular religion one ascribes to.

That should be obvious.

How many people born in Mecca grow up Jewish?

How many people born in Chattanooga grow up Hindu?

Mortal said...

But the unasked question (by those who bring this up) is "So what?" My father was born in Pennsylvania rather than Bavaria. So he fought with the Allies in WWII and not with the Axis. A fortunate accident resulted in his being one of the Good Guys, but his birthplace did not make the Allies anything other than the Good Guys in that conflict.

Likewise, being lucky enough to be born in a culture that holds to the True Faith does not make that faith any less true.

The whole issue is an irrelevancy.

Victor Reppert said...

Did your culture of birth influence the fact that you now subscribe to the atheist religion? Atheism has a status in the Western world that it does not have in Saudi Arabia. It has a privileged status in, for example, many secular philosophy departments. I remember when our philosophy department at the University of Illinois was considering hiring a big-name philosopher, Saul Kripke, who is known to be a devout Jew. One professor there, himself an atheist, said that Kripke would be good for the department, since the department was "mindlessly atheistic."

Stardusty Psyche said...

Victor Reppert said...

" Did your culture of birth influence the fact that you now subscribe to the atheist religion? "
--Atheism is not a religion.

I considered myself a Christian for the first 10 or 11 years of my life that I was old enough to consider much of anything, and that was an accident of birth owing to parents who sent me to Sunday school.

If I had been born to a Muslim family that indoctrinated me into Islam I would have followed along with that instead.

Most people state with the religion they were brought up in and the religion you are brought up in is an accident of birth.

But yes, culture is related to how I rejected Christianity, because I was also brought up in a culture that highly valued reason, math, science, logic, and personal independent thought. Those values, for me, overcame the indoctrination of Sunday school.

"Atheism has a status in the Western world that it does not have in Saudi Arabia. It has a privileged status in, for example, many secular philosophy departments. I remember when our philosophy department at the University of Illinois was considering hiring a big-name philosopher, Saul Kripke, who is known to be a devout Jew. One professor there, himself an atheist, said that Kripke would be good for the department, since the department was "mindlessly atheistic.""
--That is an interesting anecdote but is does not support either the assertion of an "atheist religion" or "atheism...privileged status".

One professor in your department made a general characterization of that department with respect to a particular potential hire. Ok, fine, but that does not constitute an argument for your assertions.


July 21, 2017 11:47 AM

Legion of Logic said...

Stardusty: "Those values, for me, overcame the indoctrination of Sunday school."

While I of course don't know the particulars of your Sunday school experiences, if I substitute "Christianity" for "Sunday school" to make it a more generalized statement, then there is no inherent incompatibility between the cultural values you listed and being a Christian.

It is an assertion, and not a demonstrated phenomenon, that the outcome of those values properly applied will result in atheism. I have reason to suspect the opposite is true, in fact - otherwise I'd be an atheist.

Victor Reppert said...

My church taught me that there was no incompatibility between evolution and Christianity, and the minister, who opposed a petition to get evolution out of the public schools, was put on the Huntley-Brinkley report (NBC News back then), saying that evolution and Christianity were compatible and that there was no need to oppose science education.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Legion of Logic said...

Stardusty: "Those values, for me, overcame the indoctrination of Sunday school."

" While I of course don't know the particulars of your Sunday school experiences, if I substitute "Christianity" for "Sunday school" to make it a more generalized statement, then there is no inherent incompatibility between the cultural values you listed and being a Christian."
--Christians like to think so, but that assertion breaks down on closer examination.

" It is an assertion, and not a demonstrated phenomenon, that the outcome of those values properly applied will result in atheism. I have reason to suspect the opposite is true, in fact - otherwise I'd be an atheist."
--You have shared publicly enough of your own personal journey for me to know you have come a long way from previously held unscientific and irrational views.

The values I mentioned "properly" applied do indeed lead one to be an atheist, as evidenced by the high proportion of atheists among scientists, especially cosmologists.

Perhaps one day you will complete your journey away from the irrationality of theism altogether.


July 21, 2017 8:17 PM

Legion of Logic said...

Stardusty: "Christians like to think so, but that assertion breaks down on closer examination."

If we cherry pick the samples, yes.


Stardusty: "You have shared publicly enough of your own personal journey for me to know you have come a long way from previously held unscientific and irrational views."

Indeed. I went from having never actually questioned my own beliefs, to questioning my own beliefs, and discarding those that failed to hold up to scrutiny. At no point did atheism become a rational alternative in this exercise, nor have I been given reason to suspect I am still missing something crucial that would tip the scales.


Stardusty: "The values I mentioned "properly" applied do indeed lead one to be an atheist, as evidenced by the high proportion of atheists among scientists, especially cosmologists."

Roughly half of scientists do not believe in a higher power, according to the latest surveys I've seen. That means roughly half do, a ratio unchanged for the last century. A large percentage of the "fathers of science" were also theists. And finally, based on the information I can find, only a small percentage of unbelieving scientists became atheists due to what they learned from their discipline. A much more likely explanation is that they were already unbelievers and went into the sciences, because the sciences hold special appeal to their worldview as compared to the average theist.

Why are cosmologists better at your values than chemists, mathematicians, or medical doctors? What secrets do they know that the rest of us don't? I suspect you can't name any that we haven't already heard about.


Stardusty Psyche said...

Legion of Logic said...

" Roughly half of scientists do not believe in a higher power, "
--Far higher than the general population, hence the strong positive correlation between science education and atheism.

" A large percentage of the "fathers of science" were also theists. "
--Irrelevant to the 21st century.

" Why are cosmologists better at your values than chemists, mathematicians, or medical doctors? "
--Medical doctors tend to be a rather egotistical self centered lot, most of whom went into the profession as a means to make a lot of money with no great desire to learn or practice science.

"What secrets do they know that the rest of us don't? I suspect you can't name any that we haven't already heard about."
--Why (Almost All) Cosmologists are Atheists
Sean M. Carroll, California Institute of Technology
https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/writings/nd-paper/

BTW, I am polishing up a piece I wrote on the invalidity of the First Way as an argument for an ontological first mover on the modern science of motion and conservation of matter/energy.

Coming soon to a blog near you!

Legion of Logic said...

Stardusty: "Far higher than the general population, hence the strong positive correlation between science education and atheism."

There is no reason to assume such a correlation is due to any inherent conflict between theism and the values listed.


Stardusty: "Irrelevant to the 21st century."

Sure, if they were a different species whose minds worked differently than ours.


Stardusty: "Medical doctors tend to be a rather egotistical self centered lot, most of whom went into the profession as a means to make a lot of money with no great desire to learn or practice science."

You must have had some great doctors in your life.

Sean Carroll is a standard atheist giving standard atheist talking points that don't hold up to scrutiny, but I'll read the article.

bmiller said...

Coming soon to a blog near you!

But already answered here.

No need to go to the movie, the critics have already panned it 😇