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Jerry Coyne gets an atheism opinion piece into US Today’s Monday Topics on Religion…
Posted: 13 October 2010 02:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Well said.

-RC

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Posted: 13 October 2010 02:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Gnostikosis - 13 October 2010 01:02 PM

Many people don’t know enough about the science behind, say something like AGW or evolution to trust it.

However they don’t know really enough about the theology behind their religion, yet they trust the Preacher, Pastor, Church leaders and apologists.

I think it would be fascinating to understand the psychology behind that.

I was listening to The Atheist Experience last week when they had a caller who asked the hosts if they were scientists. He went on to claim that since they were not scientist, all they could do was parrot what was told to them by scientists. They in turn asked him if he was a theologian. He said ‘no’, but the irony of his response completely escaped him, even as he was defending his position that god existed because his pastor told him so. LOL

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Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

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Posted: 14 October 2010 08:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Gnostikosis - 13 October 2010 01:02 PM

Many people don’t know enough about the science behind, say something like AGW or evolution to trust it.

However they don’t know really enough about the theology behind their religion, yet they trust the Preacher, Pastor, Church leaders and apologists.

I think it would be fascinating to understand the psychology behind that.

One of the books I am currently reading is The Faith Instinct How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures by Nicholas Wade.  His central thesis is the we have an evolutionary program for religion.  I am not sure I would agree with that although it may help explain ecstatic religious expeiences that often are the founding core of many religions.  However, I am finding his discussions of how religions develop useful.

I don’t know if it will answer your question completely.  IMO at least part of the answer is that the Preacher is part of the community and performs an often useful role in organizing the community to address specific problems.  Not that this influence can’t be misused or misguided.

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Gary the Human

All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 15 October 2010 02:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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For completeness—here are the letters to the editor on Jerry’s column published the following Wednesday
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/letters/2010-10-14-letters14_ST_N.htm

lame compared to on-line discussion (1,172 comments attached to the original article
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-10-11-column11_ST_N.htm
Although you have to separate the sheep from the goats!

Jackson

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Posted: 15 October 2010 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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domokato - 13 October 2010 02:30 PM

It’s not about knowing/not knowing. Religion has turned faith (in God) into a virtue. That’s about all there is to it

This is a good segue into faith.

Faith is a trust you place in something that you really have no knowledge about or rational reason to do so.

When you first step on an airplane and you’ve never flown before and have no understanding of the physical laws that allow flight, that’s faith. When you trust a politician to fulfill his campaign promises that is faith. When you trust what someone else claims about something you have no experience with, that is faith.

Sometimes you have to risk a “leap of faith” in trusting what someone claims to be willing to act/perform an activity in order to gain knowledge about something.

Faith is necessary for the novice as a starting condition to gain knowledge. You have to have faith in your teachers because of your ignorance. However faith has to be replace with experience, knowledge and understanding. Otherwise the teacher is abusing and misusing the faith of the student.

Also the teacher has to have knowledge and expertise in order to teach. If a teacher/preacher themselves is still relying on faith, then that is nobody you want to learn anything from because they really have nothing to teach.

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