Trying to hard to believe

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by jayleew, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Most people just call that an imagination.
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  3. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Maybe there is more to ''just imagination'' than meets the eye.
    But, is it ''just imagination''?

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  5. Balerion Banned Banned

    Probably not.

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  7. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    There's probably some psychology involved too. But unless you have some reason to think otherwise...
  8. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    I think you'll find ''psychology in all human activity, so you really haven't answered the question.
    Also passing the buck to me supports the likely conclusion that you've bitten off more than you can chew in your attempt to address the points I made to jaylew.

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  9. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    This is just one attempt at a meta-description / meta-analysis of what goes on.

    I think operating with concepts such as "accepting a knowledge" or "rejecting a knowledge" is a sure way to tie oneself into a double bind.
    Given that this dichotomy of acceptance and rejection ties one into a double bind, as is evidenced by the suffering that people often experience as they try to decide whether to "accept or reject (belief in) God", I question how adequate this dichotomy is to begin with.
    It is frequently used, but that doesn't automatically mean it is justified or wholesome.

    Like I said in the other thread, there are things about God that are not within a human's competence to decide about.

    I think there is a lot of egotism and social struggle for control involved in declarations of belief in God.
    While these things are impossible to measure or pin down exactly, one can have a very clear gut feeling that someone is making a point of calling themselves a "theist" or that they "believe in God" or making other nominally religious declarations, because doing so ensures them some kind of leverage over other people.
  10. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    It's not common knowledge, it just seems that way to you and others who think like you (perhaps the result of indoctrination). You made the claim and I'm asking you to back it up, not just for me, but for anyone else who may be interested in this subject.
    If you continue to reject my questions it will come across that you cannot back up what you're saying.
    Are you okay with that?

    You're trying to make out that billvon is a rare find. I know loads of Christians like billvon. Maybe you're just out of touch with reality.

    Are you really that petty that you're going to make an issue out of every little typo or slip that I make?
    ''Demented''? Because I put a 'P' instead of a 'G'?

    SP (short for spider) said:

    ''It's conditioning. That's why "family values" as so important to Christians, it's very important to them that their children never think for themselves. They must internalize the cosmic policeman.''

    he went on to say:

    ''I think it's a valid criticism. Many of them don't even want to send their kids to a secular school, for fear that science will contradict their precious mythology. Or maybe that they don't pray (brainwash) the kids enough.''

    There is nothing to indicate, in the first post, that he was being selective. Plus, in my reply to him, I accused him of generalising which prompted him to make the second quote, to which he seemed to accept. In the second quote he made the distinction, but it was clearly an addition to his first quote.

    Why would he need to state ''all Christians...'' if he actually meant all?
    And why would he make the distinction in the second quote?

    There you go again with the insults.

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    I obviously have the capacity to understand subtlety, everyone does. It's part of our humanity. Why would you want to de-humanise me like that? Do you hate me? Would the world be a better place with people like me?

    But getting back on track: How exactly can you assure me that his words do not implicate all Christians, when there is nothing in what he said to suggest that?

    Well, obviously he cannot be speaking about ''all Christians'' as he has been proven wrong in, this thread alone. But what gives him the right to make the assumption that ''Christians in general'' don't want their children to think for themselves? You say this is ''common knowledge'' but you cannot come up with a single shred of evidence to back up this claim. Or can you?

    I think i'll understand when you cite the (common knowledge) evidence.

    We both know that he didn't say ''all Christians'', but we both know that he meant Christians in general, and you backed it up with indoctrination being the CORNERSTONE of not only Christianity, but most monotheistic religions.

    Now once again. Can you back that claim? It's a very simple request. Don't be afraid.

    Wow! Another insult. How surprising.

    Don't you know Balerion? You seem to have me all figured out.

    Obviously you haven't answered the question, or you think you've answered the question within what you've said, or some other combination. But my question to you is genuine, so I'll leave it up to you.

    I said you're delusional because you're accusing me of an attitude in my responses that doesn't actually exist. And the very same writing is questioning something which does include that attitude but you can't see it.

    What's your reason for calling me delusional?

    My understanding is that most Christians want both to be taught, but atheist like yourself don't, which is why I asked for evidence of your claim that Christians want it thrown out of schools and replaced by creationism.

    And that wasn't the only thing I asked for evidence of. Do you remember?
    Why haven't you responded to the other questions?

    I'll tell you what would clear this whole thing up. Use that big old superior, elite brain of yours to simply answer my simple questions.
    How's about it big fella?

  11. jayleew Who Cares Valued Senior Member

    It's not that they don't want their children to think for themselves, it's that children can't think for themselves because they are not given the opportunity. As a child in catechism, I assumed there was a God. I remember not questioning it. The mere thought of questioning God's existence wasn't in my mind as to being worth consideration. In my little mind I thought everyone believed in God. Perhaps if I was told as a child, "You know, Johnny, some folks don't believe in God" then I would have had the opportunity to question. So, why was I not told that? There are many reasons parents could have.

    For one thing, why would parents want to confuse their children like that? They want their children to grow up strong in their faith. Parents have a huge stake in the matter and that is what we're talking about when "Christians in general don't want their children to think for themselves." It's not quite accurate as SP said it, but the gist of it is that Children are selectively given information by teachers and parents about the world around them. If they are not given both sides, then they cannot even make an informed question (much less a decision) one way or another. That is what we're talking about here.

    By the time I was about 9-12 I remember learning about there were people who did not go to church and did not believe what I did. It was at that time I felt more pressure from my parents the importance of church going and praying, reading, fasting, etc.

    Let me switch gears because I'm thinking you are representing a theist who does not believe in religion, Jan. Are you not? Perhaps to someone who views the world like this, then I offer an apology: we really have not had a chance to really consider the question apart from what religion expresses: Is there a God? I don't think we atheists can even cross the bridge with religion in the way, Jan. Because religion exists, we cannot take any notion of god seriously....or even question things like: what is spirituality, in the sense of a god. Even if we were able to look passed it all it wouldn't change things, but at the very least could we all speak the same terms?
  12. Balerion Banned Banned

    Wrong thread, genius.
  13. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    What do you mean by '' not given the opportunity''?

    You were very fortunate, a great position to be in (i'm guessing you don't see it like that).

    Why would your parents want to remove you from such a nice position?
    Did your parents inform you of drug abuse, peodophilia, the atrocities of war...?
    These things, like anything else, you would learn about in the due course of time.
    Your parents so far, seem cool.

    They want their children to be happy, to not have to deal with things they deemed terrible. They want success for their children (i'm talking about loving parents). Look at the intention, not the outcome.

    Children can't really think independently for themselves, just like lions cubs cannot independently survive by themselves.
    If that is what was really meant by that statement there would have been no need include the word ''Christians''. It is a de-rogartory statement pure and simple.

    Why don't you just admit that what he said was shite? Why are you trying to smooth it over?

    This ''both sides'' idea is irrelevant. We don't go school to learn about God, spirituality, and self-realisation.
    I did religious education at school but it did nothing toward realising anything about anything to do with it.
    You cannot learn about experience, in school, school itself, is the experience. Ultimately all decisions are made by you, according to your experience and intelligence.

    So your problem is with your parents (I say problem because that is how you see it).
    How do your parents act towards you now?

    I believe in religion that teaches one how to communicate with God.

    Then don't take God seriously, just live your life. But I bet the minute you attempt that, God will enter into your mind again. IOW, you cannot forget God. You should consider that a blessing.

    What makes belief in God belief, is not necessarily agreeing with God, or even liking God. It can be anger, hatred towards God. You can call yourself what you like, but what you are is the reality, and right now, you or anyone else who continually post here cannot get God out of their minds. At this point ''theism'' and ''atheism'' is nothing more than fashionable terminologies. If I wear a firefighter uniform, does it make me a firefighter? I thinks not.

  14. jayleew Who Cares Valued Senior Member


    Jan, as usual I try to clarify later in the post what I say. To be an effective communicator here follow these steps:

    1. Read the entire argument. More often than not, the meaning is in the entire paragraph. Taking one sentence out of context of the paragraph will really alter the meaning. This really seems like a malicious attempt to twist what people say.
    2. If after reading the entire argument you identify what the problem is, then pull it out of context, but not before. So many times meaning is clarified in a following sentence. Your posts could then focus in on what is really important, not semantics or communication barriers.

    The result of your method is a bunch of smoke and mirrors of semantics, split hairs, and all other fallacious material because the meanings are lost. It is not a conducive way to communicate. Do you understand what I am saying? We could and do end up debating things that have nothing to do with the intention of the original post creating an endless snowball of tangents. When I reply to one of your posts, I tend to skip all of the questions you have because you've taken sentences out of context, and try to focus in on what I was trying to say. This might leave some of your questions unanswered, because they have nothing to do with the main topic, nor the meaning of the original reply.

    This question you have here is just an example of the problem. What do I mean by "not given the opprotunity"? Read on. If you still don't understand then ask. Instead, you are asking questions and reading later. It is not effective, unless your intent is to drop a semantics bomb on people's arguments.
  15. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    Jaylew, I'm just being straight-forward.
    I don't see ''thinking for oneself'' as an opportunity given to us by our parents, which is why I asked to clarify it.

    You said..''The mere thought of questioning God's existence wasn't in my mind as to being worth consideration.'' That does not imply you weren't given the opportunity to think for yourself.

    You say because your parents didn't tell you that other people don't go to church or believe in God, you feel they confused you. But how do you come to the conclusion that you weren't given the opportunity to think for yourself? I gave you other examples of things your parents probably didn't inform you of, but have since come to understand.

    So while I have read what you've written, I'm not sure what it is you mean by ''not given the opportunity to think for yourself''.

    Is that any clearer.

  16. jayleew Who Cares Valued Senior Member

    There are two unique perspectives that are equally valid: One is that the parents are being protective saving the tough questions for the child's future. Two is that the parents are holding back important information that affects the future of the child.

    Some of the worst things imaginable come from the best intentions. Intentions are a large part of judging right and wrong.

    Because you are playing at semantics, or just don't understand and can't get passed the fallacy of the argument SP made and get at what is important. He did make a fallacious argument. But, there is truth in what he is saying that you are not willing to accept or don't understand.

    The whole point of all these posts is to help people, such as yourself, to break free from superstition and fantasy. The reason is to grab life by the reigns and not be blinded by faith. This goes back to ethics: Some of the worst decisions are made with the best intentions. It is this knowledge of good and evil that will make this world a better place or a worse place. It all depends on people having an unadulterated view of life. Notions of gods just make peace unachievable.
  17. jayleew Who Cares Valued Senior Member

    I am saying that although I had the capacity to think for myself, I was not fully informed, nor even knew I was not fully informed, to make a crucial decision about my beliefs. I was denied the chance to take my experiences and knowledge (what little they were) and decide if I would believe. Would I have believed any different? Probably not, I probably would have followed the beliefs of my parents anyway. I'll never know, because I was not given the chance to weigh the decision until later in life.

    If children are given the chance, then SP's argument is invalid entirely and we cannot call it brainwashing or indoctrination. I'm not talking about the ability to think for oneself. That cannot be denied, but I am talking about the opportunity to make a well-informed decision.

    However, it is a catch 22. Rhetorically: why would parents teach what they themselves do not believe? Or, should they teach both sides? The point is moot because they are children, but I think you misunderstood SP because his argument was charged. I know that for us to get anywhere with this game, we have to give some slack. We could spend an eternity talking about the most miniscule things just because of fallacious arguments.

    I digress: just trying to help you understand. If this really is that important a point to you, then by all means continue.
  18. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    I'll assume you associate the second perspective with your parents attitude regarding God.

    Is this your idea, or is it something they have admitted to you?
    If the former: How did you arrive at that conclusion.

    Like I said, look at the intention, because we cannot control outcomes.
    You seem to be blaming your parents for your outcome.

    I'm not playing at semantics, i'm being straight forward. What he said was de-rogatory to people who are Christians. That was my point.

    A ''truth'' you tried to explain, but ended up not doing a very good job, then taking it out on me because I decided to take what you say literally. If you cannot give straight forward answers to straight forward questions, but still want to maintain that what you are saying is correct, then you're not being honest.
    This is what I regard as not thinking for oneself, and it has nothing to do with titles.

    You laid into me with your last post accusing me of not listening or reading carefully to what you said, and here you are doing what it is you accused me of.

    I don't understand what this means. Can you elaborate.

    Well thank you for that. I'm sure you have good intentions, but it has nothing to do with what I'm talking about.

    Now let me give you some advice.

    Stop worrying, live your life, don't try and work God out, and see what happens.

  19. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    And the same thing happens to all other children, whether they are born in the families of liberals, or Nazis, or whomever.

    Besides, "thinking for oneself" is overrated, and doesn't even remotely guarantee that one will make wise choices, much less does it guarantee happiness or wellbeing.
  20. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Lol. What are you now, a New Ager?

    It is sometimes said that there are four basic ills of human life: disease, old age, death, and New Age.
  21. Balerion Banned Banned

    Surely you don't believe that liberals or conservatives indoctrinate their children in the same way religious parents do?

  22. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Parents indoctrinate their children.
    There is no other way.
  23. Balerion Banned Banned

    Nonsense. Parents don't always dump their ideologies on their children. Maybe yours did, but that certainly doesn't mean that everyone's does.

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