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Solomon Schimmel - The Tenacity of Unreasonable Beliefs
Posted: 17 December 2008 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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I enjoyed the second interview, “Fundamentalism and the Fear of Truth,” but the same thing came up again in this interview as it did in the other, which again bothered me, and that was the attempt to justify peoples “appeal to consequences.” While it can be said that an “appeal to consequences” is probably the biggest contributor to why some intelligent people believe in some qustionable things, it cannot and should not be valued over or a replacement to pursuing truth. This hedonistic perspective on life keeps coming up, and is continually being offered as a alternative to pursuing truth, though I have yet to see it properly justified.

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Posted: 17 December 2008 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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morgantj - 17 December 2008 10:22 AM

I enjoyed the second interview, “Fundamentalism and the Fear of Truth,” but the same thing came up again in this interview as it did in the other, which again bothered me, and that was the attempt to justify peoples “appeal to consequences.” While it can be said that an “appeal to consequences” is probably the biggest contributor to why some intelligent people believe in some qustionable things, it cannot and should not be valued over or a replacement to pursuing truth. This hedonistic perspective on life keeps coming up, and is continually being offered as a alternative to pursuing truth, though I have yet to see it properly justified.

I believe you only pursue the truth when you believe it will make you happier than if you did not.

The truth might be that there is a God and he is an all powerful sadist and we will live forever being eternily tortured. 

Nobody checks to see because the truth would be too unbearable, it would be better not to know!

If you prioritise truth highly, then I think you have a sense that the truth is somehow a good thing and that knowledge of it puts you in the best position to be happy.

Stephen

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Posted: 17 December 2008 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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StephenLawrence - 17 December 2008 11:05 AM

I believe you only pursue the truth when you believe it will make you happier than if you did not.

The truth might be that there is a God and he is an all powerful sadist and we will live forever being eternily tortured. 

Nobody checks to see because the truth would be too unbearable, it would be better not to know!

If you prioritise truth highly, then I think you have a sense that the truth is somehow a good thing and that knowledge of it puts you in the best position to be happy.

Stephen

I disagree (no surprise there I disagree with a lot of people here grin )
Now I like to say “do not sacrifice truth on the altar of comfort” by this I mean pursue for truth for truth’s sake not because the answer will be comforting or make you happy. That is the path to not discovering the truth. My issue with religious type thinking is that it uses comfortable fictions to trump uncomfortable truths (if they are actually uncomfortable which is more often than not, is not the case)  which also often requires doing violence to any reasonable conception of “truth” (we don’t have debate which philosophical model of truth is correct) through the dubious use of “higher truths” and their ilk.

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Posted: 18 December 2008 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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StephenLawrence - 17 December 2008 11:05 AM
morgantj - 17 December 2008 10:22 AM

I enjoyed the second interview, “Fundamentalism and the Fear of Truth,” but the same thing came up again in this interview as it did in the other, which again bothered me, and that was the attempt to justify peoples “appeal to consequences.” While it can be said that an “appeal to consequences” is probably the biggest contributor to why some intelligent people believe in some qustionable things, it cannot and should not be valued over or a replacement to pursuing truth. This hedonistic perspective on life keeps coming up, and is continually being offered as a alternative to pursuing truth, though I have yet to see it properly justified.

I believe you only pursue the truth when you believe it will make you happier than if you did not.

The truth might be that there is a God and he is an all powerful sadist and we will live forever being eternily tortured. 

Nobody checks to see because the truth would be too unbearable, it would be better not to know!

If you prioritise truth highly, then I think you have a sense that the truth is somehow a good thing and that knowledge of it puts you in the best position to be happy.

Stephen

Why must the pursuit of happiness be mans ultimate goal? Mustn’t we exist before we can even feel happy, and therefore must first pursue simply surviving, staying alive? And to what can we attribute our instinct for survival to? How can we justify even staying alive? To replicate for the purpose of the survival of the species? In which more people will attempt to justify staying alive, for what? to replicate again? But why? Why the need? If life were to cease, then so what. this may sound fatalist, but all the justifications for these things are subjective, and really valueless. The value is only placed if we exist, if we don’t exist, then again, so what. Some will say, just enjoy the ride. But why must I? Because I have no other choice other then to suffer or die? And if I choose to suffer and/or die, How are you justifying that happiness is better or above these two options?

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Vi veri veniversum vivus vici

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Posted: 19 December 2008 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Reminder: if anyone wants a free copy of Kugel’s book, e-mail me for it.  (Postage gratis.)

I’ve snail-mailed one copy already, and I may have gotten a request from someone else but that message vanished after the forum server maintenance.  I have two copies left.

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Posted: 19 December 2008 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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It’s one I’ve wanted to read, but I’ll wait to see if someone else wants one first ... thanks for the offer!

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Doug

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Posted: 01 February 2010 08:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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No God? No Problem: A Non-Believer’s Quest To Pray

By Elana Estrin
Published January 13, 2010, issue of January 22, 2010.
http://www.forward.com/articles/123336/

When Tzemah Yoreh opens his prayer book, he recites the following passage: “I will pour out my heart. But to whom? Why, oh why, do you not exist, my God?”

You can’t find those words in any synagogue’s siddur - at least not yet. Yoreh prays from “Liturgical Experiments: A Siddur for the Skeptical,” the tentatively titled atheist-feminist siddur he composed.

“I don’t think belief in God is a necessary component of being Jewish,” said Yoreh, 31, an assistant professor of Bible at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. . . .

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