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Jean Paul JAE Gravell on Science and Faith
Posted: 16 July 2006 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Jim, I’m not sure I agree with your conclusion about the best approach. I think the most effective change will come from efforts to persuade the leaders, not the followers. If people feel they are being made fun of, they will get defensive and become further entrenched.

I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school for 6 years, youth group retreats, catechism, sang in the choir, alter boy to a Cardinal . . . the works - the rest of my family remains staunchly Catholic. But I’ve never rejected evolution (I have never met a Catholic that does), my parish generally encouraged my questioning and searching, and it was this liberal attitude in my church and from my parents that led me to where I am today. In fact, if there were people on the outside pressuring me, I would probably have been more resistant to the natural process of losing my faith through application of reason. If someone had attacked my church or had tried to mke my pastor look foolish, I would have defended my church and my pastor - even if I thought my pastor was wrong in his thinking, I would have defended him because i like him as a person. Pressuring a more entrenched follower would create an even worse result I think than had someone pressured me, and that person would more likely shut such input out all together.

Being available, passively, not actively I think is the best approach to draw off followers. But actively trying to ‘convert’ is offensive too.

An entrenched follower of a religion has I think for the most part abjecated thinking about difficult issues to their leadership, and do not engage in any true inquiry on such matters that their church has decided upon as a matter of doctrine. So arguing with them will forever be a fruitless endevor. But if, like was true in my case, the leadership of a church were to accept a more rational -fact based- approach in their culture, then the followers will too. Some may leave the church as a result, others may not. Either way the cause of rational thought is improved.

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Posted: 16 July 2006 08:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Riley, you are right about non thinking. I agree that the membership simply goes and enjoys the worship services. Most of them are social activities that are enjoyable.

I am not very optimistic about this but I think that the only time we have any chance to inform the other side is in discussions of religion. Not discussions of science, or of atheism and so on.

Church members might listen to a reasonable discussion of the nature of the deity, or of how a man can be a deity and so forth. I don’t mean making fun, that comment was a reference to something in the movie the root of all evil that always must be defended when I show it to others.

I think we can present our case reasonably if we discuss religion. I can’t think of any other way to get through to the large body of church members who have never been asked to think about their religion.

What are the bill moyers TV show doing? Is that anything that might be helpful?

J

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Jimmie Keyes
Tavernier, FL
http://secularhumanism.meetup.com/1/
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. (MLK Jr.)

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Posted: 16 July 2006 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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jim, I agree wholeheartedly,

And I’m a huge fan of Bill Moyers, but i have not yet seen any of his new programs.

Given his message, he should be the perfect brdge between two worlds.

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Posted: 16 July 2006 01:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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"Faith and Reason"

I’ve been watching Bill Moyers’ “Faith and Reason”. I think it’s an excellent series. He does try to “bridge the two worlds”. Try at least to see the first episode with Salman Rushdie. I have watched it three times since I was fortunate enough to be able to tape it. Rushdie was a Muslim, became an apostate and is now an atheist. He is an extremely intelligent man and I’m sure has done much to advance the causes of rational thought and humanism.
I highly recommend the series. Do try to watch it.
Bob

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Posted: 16 July 2006 09:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Interesting. I have been out of the country so unaware of this show. On your recommendations I will try to find it on the dial when I return.

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Doug

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