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Belief Is Not A Choice.


R. S. Martin
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I pressured a christian friend, wife of a baptist minister, for evidence of the things she talks about. She knew I wouldn't settle for anything less than the most well-thought-out answer possible. So she asked her husband how to answer. He said one chooses one's authority.

 

So far as I am concerned, choosing an authority is the lazy man's way out. I cannot choose to believe the sky is purple at high noon because this does not mesh with everything I know about life and the world I live in. Neither can I choose to believe that Jesus' death caused a real change if no change can be detected before and after the death and resurrection of Jesus. In other words, it does not mesh with everything else I know.

 

The argument then goes on and claims that it's faith. If we know then it's not faith. That's crap! There's LOTS of room for faith re stuff I don't know even if I get that one fundamental question answered. Since no Christian yet, no matter how well educated, has even addressed the question--and remained christian, I conclude there is no answer.

 

If I choose to believe in the face of such overwhelming evidence against the reality of it being true, then I am an out and out liar. When I say I believe I mean it makes sense to me and is probably true but cannot be proven. Now if they could come up with a suggestion that adequately addresses the issue I might be okay with it. But belief is not a choice so far as I am concerned. The choice I can make is to lie or not lie about what I believe.

 

And this choice has to be founded on something more than a free-will choice. I have to be convinced in my deepest self that my choice is right. Why? Because otherwise, the Christians will overwhelm me with their judgment and threats.

 

Isn't there something awfully lazy and childish about people who will resort to this sort of thing to gain converts?

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Ruby,

 

I’m not certain I grasp all of that but allow me to rephrase and you can correct me.

 

To put the minister’s principal into an analogy, we are the judge of what we believe and there are thousands of people presenting evidence and testimony regarding god and spirituality. In that sense, we choose which ones we are to believe and which ones we disbelieve. By extention of him being Christian... he infers that we are to only believe Jesus. Kapiche?

 

My take on it...

 

Since the judge believes or disbelieves based on the judge’s experience and training, I’m not yet sure this analogy breaks down except in the part that I infer which he did not actually state.

 

Scientists give us testimony and evidence regarding other people’s statements on god. They show us things, they reason, argue and build their case. They will also tell us things that most of us are unable to test, prove or otherwise validate.

 

I do not understand fractals but I understand some basic principals behind them. I have also seen pictures drawn by fractals and a short blurb on TV. I believe in fractals because I believe in the scientists and the evidence. Black holes? I just saw a show on TV that described a huge black hole in the middle of the Milky Way and that stars were whipping at a million miles an hour around it. A star traveled that fast! Imagine the immense strength of gravity!

 

I was presented logic and and video clips that were an interpretation of the muddy/fuzzy signal received by the telescope. I do not doubt the existence of the phenomenon since as much as I have correctly understood the material, I believe the facts presented. Do I believe everything they said? Generally yes but those who study science make mistakes. There is doubt.

 

Is my confidence in scientists work “knowledge” or “faith”? I say it is knowledge not faith but remember… my answer includes a doubt component that will never disappear.

 

Now… as a judge turning my attention to the religious gurus and prophets who present their case for religion they too come with evidence and testimony. In this area I can examine diagrams of eyeballs and examine fossils. I can review the testimony presented in the bible, the Koran or other documents. I will listen to a myriad of people argue a host of propositions.

 

Today… as a judge I decide to not believe the evidence, testimony and arguments of those proposing a god based explanation.

 

Thirty years ago however… when I had only heard a small portion of the evidence I believed a Baptist minister’s wife when she told me that “Prayer changes things”. Was there doubt? Yes definitely. But there was enough belief in what she said for me to start reading the bible and begin praying. As time passed, my personality changed and I had humongous bouts of joy that lasted weeks coupled with intense ferver for praying and bible reading.

 

I believed because there was evidence that corroborated the argument.

 

As time passed, I continued to collect evidence in favour of the argument but I also accumulated evidence that denied the argument.

 

To me, the prime, if not only difference between me and many Christians that persist in the faith is that they choose not to look at all the evidence and arguments presented to them. Eventually, the evidence and arguments contrary to the god proposition became overwhelming and I abandoned it.

 

Is faith a belief in something or rather a behaviour system based on the principal of choosing to not examine evidence or arguments contrary to the desired outcome? I’m not sure… I have doubt but I’m examining the evidence and arguments.

 

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the minister wants you to think that his proposal is simpler than my courtroom proposal.

 

To him, there are only select gurus presenting arguments before us, the judge and we are obligated to determine which witness, either Jesus or Mohammed or Bhudda or Dawkins or ________ is the single most believeable and then having concluded who is most right, accept all of the testimony, all of the evidence and all of the arguments from that single witness, without doubt.

 

I see nothing sensible in that proposal. I don't think any competent judge would do that nor do I think a judge is absent of doubt.

 

My head hurts now. :ugh:

 

Mongo

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I pressured a christian friend, wife of a baptist minister, for evidence of the things she talks about. She knew I wouldn't settle for anything less than the most well-thought-out answer possible. So she asked her husband how to answer. He said one chooses one's authority.

 

So far as I am concerned, choosing an authority is the lazy man's way out. I cannot choose to believe the sky is purple at high noon because this does not mesh with everything I know about life and the world I live in. Neither can I choose to believe that Jesus' death caused a real change if no change can be detected before and after the death and resurrection of Jesus. In other words, it does not mesh with everything else I know.

 

The argument then goes on and claims that it's faith. If we know then it's not faith. That's crap! There's LOTS of room for faith re stuff I don't know even if I get that one fundamental question answered. Since no Christian yet, no matter how well educated, has even addressed the question--and remained christian, I conclude there is no answer.

 

If I choose to believe in the face of such overwhelming evidence against the reality of it being true, then I am an out and out liar. When I say I believe I mean it makes sense to me and is probably true but cannot be proven. Now if they could come up with a suggestion that adequately addresses the issue I might be okay with it. But belief is not a choice so far as I am concerned. The choice I can make is to lie or not lie about what I believe.

 

And this choice has to be founded on something more than a free-will choice. I have to be convinced in my deepest self that my choice is right. Why? Because otherwise, the Christians will overwhelm me with their judgment and threats.

 

Isn't there something awfully lazy and childish about people who will resort to this sort of thing to gain converts?

 

 

Edit.

 

Not in my right mind please forgive.

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Edit.

 

Not in my right mind please forgive.

 

You are forgiven. You are to be commended for knowing when to post and when to refrain from doing so. I look forward to your thoughts when you feel more confident about them.

 

Mongo, I read your post at least twice. I don't understand everything you are saying but some things are clicking, at least tentatively. [For those who don't want to read a long-winded story about theory and theology, feel free to stop reading at any point.]

 

I don't know what the minister meant for me to understand. (All of this took place via email. I have never met the people.) All I know is that for me belief is not a choice. It is very much like you described about scientists. I cannot begin to understand their technical lingo. But I do understand the basic scientific method. I also understand quite a bit about the human mind, emotions, and what I call spirit.

 

The scientific method (of cause and effect) in and of itself is fool proof and cannot go wrong. Throw in the variable of the human mind, emotions, and spirit, which are of necessity part of the equation, and the situation changes dramatically. Among other things, politics come into play big time!

 

I have come to the conclusion that reports from science must be taken with a grain of salt. I have faith that the scientists are following ethical and legal procedures and protocol. That is the measurable part of the equation. I have seen enough of academia to believe, trust--have faith--that this is the case even though I don't understand the jargon or procedures around the "findings"--even though I do not personally investigate the method and procedures. That seems to me to be faith in the true sense of the word.

 

New Birth

 

Mongo, what you shared about your feelings when you started reading the Bible and praying adds another piece to the puzzle for me. You don't say so but I suspect by now you believe there would be other explanations for the joy or ecstacy you felt.

 

Maybe that's not an important point for you but for me it's major. Why? Because it agrees with Christian doctrine of conversion, new birth, joy and peace of the Lord, etc. It is perhaps the ONLY tangible evidence we can hope to find of God's existence.

 

I had that experience, too. It was a burst of joy and peace and liberty I had never known even to pray or hope for. Did it prove God's existence? NO. Why not? Because it happened at the precise moment when I officially (in my mind) turned my back on God.

 

I did not leave Christianity at that point but I did leave the church into which I had been born and had expected to be a member for life. Somehow, the modern churches I attended after that don't seem like belonging to my Christian life. I was an apostate so far as I was concerned. They "softened the fall," so to speak.

 

In those churches I met a lot of people who had left the old church before me. They knew all about the struggles of reorienting oneself, the doubts, the change of lifestyle--the whole bit. A major part of the "bit" is the severe persecusion from those left behind.

 

These people introduced me to contemporary North American culture. I was invited to visit in their homes and to eat with them. Somehow, eating is one of the most delicate parts of human life, no matter what society. Every single society/culture has its own protocol around eating. Thus, these people softened the fall by providing a safe place for my initiation to mainstream North American society.

 

Because of this role played by these modern Mennonite churches, I believe my official apostacy--the moment I turned my back on God--occurred when I put plans in place to formally leave the old church. After hanging up the phone suddenly I was flooded with a peace and joy and liberty I had never known even to hope or pray for. This is what I mentioned above.

The Modern Mennonite Spin

 

The only way I knew to understand this outstanding experience was that it was the new birth. I became a different person. The feelings stayed with me for months. I have not ever wished to go back. The very thought of going back feels like death.

 

I shared this experience with some of the modern Mennonites. I wanted someone to find an explanation for how this could happen. I was very seriously confused. They tried convincing me that it was God, and that perhaps God does not exist only in one church. That all fitted in with what I had been taught all my life. But it did not sit right with me.

 

Their theology was very similar to what I had been raised with. For that I was so grateful. I was in no condition to learn and evaluate a new kind of theology. I needed all my energy simply to cope on a day to day basis. The seventh anniversary was this August. It was a heavy time for me. It was the most difficult anniversary so far. It seems I have finally worked through the issues to the extent that I can allow myself to grieve.

 

Seventh Anniversary

 

This August (2006) or early September is also the time when I feel my deconversion became complete. Based in part on what I see on this site I was able to let go of God and feel reasonably comfortable as an unbeliever. Obviously, I still struggle with some issues.

 

One of these is the exact definition of faith. Why Christians like that minister say things like he did. He is not the only Christian who has said that type of thing to me. My sister also made it look like it was a choice. She said something to the effect of: Well if you don't want to believe....

 

My "soul" or inner being/feelings screamed when she said that. I knew there was no point belabouring the point so I didn't. I knew then that she had given me up as an infidel, a lost unbeliever, beyond hope--at least until I acknowledged my sin and repented.

 

Birthday Card

 

Another thing happened just this week. I got a birthday card from my brother's family. He and I have seldom been on speaking terms ever. I am more than four years older than him and remember when he was born. I don't know why but he and I never ever got along. There are three sisters between him and me so it's not like it was sibling rivalry for parental love. Well, maybe it was. He was the first son and grandson on one side of the family. Maybe he usurped my place of being the only "first."

 

Whatever the case, he and I have never ever gotten along. I gave up trying. When I left the church I heard some very unkind things from him and his family. And now they send me a birthday card. I guess the excuse might be that it's my fiftieth. But if they wanted to celebrate my entering a new decade--there have been other opportunities. For example, when I turned forty they could have done it, too.

 

I believe the real motivation is that they are loving me as a sinner. Hate the sin but love the sinner. It's so outrageously ironic. I have not made any drastic changes in my beliefs for a very long time--I would say not ever. Yet the minute I find the courage to be open about my beliefs the entire family changes toward me, to the point where this brother and his family pretend to suddenly love me enough to acknowledge my birthday. Birthdays are not a big event in our family.

 

I'm not a sinner and I don't want to be loved as one either! I want to be loved for who I am. I feel like I am left to choose between the obligatory acceptance of friendship, and thereby making myself vulnerable as one naturally does in a friendship, or rejecting the gesture. Perhaps an in-between type of response would be to thank them in my next letter to the family. I think I will make a point of doing that. I might say something like: Thanks to everybody who remembered my fiftieth birthday whether with cards or thoughts.

 

That would be a culturally acceptable way to do it. They would know that I got the card and that I noted it. But it would not open myself to the vulnerabilities of a special friendship. I suspect this "special friendship" would last only until they realized that I was not going to change my beliefs for anyone no matter how much they honoured and "loved" me.

 

Conclusion

 

Mongo said:

 

Scientists give us testimony and evidence regarding other people’s statements on god. They show us things, they reason, argue and build their case. They will also tell us things that most of us are unable to test, prove or otherwise validate.

 

Yes, this part about "things that most of us are unable to test, prove, or otherwise validate" is where I see the strength of this analogy. Likewise, Christians "give us testimony and evidence" but this regards their personal beliefs and experiences. Like with scientific data, "most of us"--or everyone who is not the speaker--have no way to "test, prove or otherwise validate" what they say.

 

We have to "take it on faith" like we do what scientists tell us. The really quirky observation I have made since being on religious forums is that fundies reject any and all work of scientists that disagrees with their veiw of the Bible. The parts they do accept, they twist out of recognition to prove that even mainstream scientists prove the Bible to be correct. I have heard the hopeless complaints of some of these people whose work has been so badly twisted to serve a very different purpose from what they had intended.

 

The really, really strange thing about fundamentalist religion is that it is neither a literal interpretation of the Bible nor is it an acceptance of reality as normally experienced by human beings. It is an iron-clad determination to prove that they are right. They certainly don't all agree on the various issues and items i.e. what "right" is but they do agree on the fact that they are right. For them, that is the test of faith--the ability to prove that they are right and to stick to it come hell or high water--that is in and of itself faith as they understand it.

 

That is where I balk. I have lost confidence that anyone--Christian or otherwise--can explain the Plan of Salvation in a way that hangs together. I refuse to say I believe that it does hang together when it doesn't. I consider it unethical to gloss over the things that don't make sense and then call it faith.

 

I found a really good overview of the meaning of faith here. It includes religious and secular meanings. I will copy one set of definitions:

 

faith (fāth) pron.gif

n.

  1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
  2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See synonyms at belief, trust.
  3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
  4. often Faith Christianity. The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
  5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
  6. A set of principles or beliefs.

I think this set of definitions supports my conclusion that faith is accepting things without fully investigating the data. Like you said:

 

Mongo said:

 

To me, the prime, if not only difference between me and many Christians that persist in the faith is that they choose not to look at all the evidence and arguments presented to them.

 

PS.

 

Much as I hate to admit it, my esteemed professors (who are NOT fundamentalists) have demonstrated this very thing. Either they are unable or unwilling to investigate the issues I raised. I cross-questioned this one person fairly extensively and at a certain point he always and invariably said, "I don't know." He told me most days he believes most of the creed. I realize that as finite beings, we humans have limited intellectual powers. I respect people who confess the limits of their knowledge. All the same, no matter how much I would love to be part of a faith community, I personally would have to compromise my integrity to say the creed. Belief that comes from one's innermost self is NOT a choice. The point at which a person decides to take a stand and not investigate further is probably a choice. For me, however, this is not faith.

 

Faith kicks in when I make the decision in spite of the threat of hell and lack of evidence for the non-existence of God. I can only trust that God, if he exists, meets the ethical standards humans are normally held to. Such a god will not send anyone to a lake of fire, not even for a minute.

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I pressured a christian friend, wife of a baptist minister, for evidence of the things she talks about. She knew I wouldn't settle for anything less than the most well-thought-out answer possible. So she asked her husband how to answer. He said one chooses one's authority. <snip>

 

The argument then goes on and claims that it's faith. If we know then it's not faith. <snip>

 

Wow. Way for them not to answer your question at all. You ask for evidence, and they give you the "you gotta have faith" line... they've given you nothing.

 

Xianity is conveniently set up to be completely undemonstrable. The pastor and his wife can't give you any evidence for what they believe, because ultimately there isn't any. Conveniently, they have a loophole they can use to get out of this: the faith loophole. With faith, you can believe in things that have no evidence at all to support them - the Xians' holy book supports them wholeheartedly in this.

 

Perhaps what they're telling you with the "you choose your own authority" line is that they think you choose what and/or whom you're going to accept as knowing what's going on in the universe, and for them, their authority is the Bible. (Not reality.) They believe wholeheartedly that this is true, and they believe it's true for everybody.

 

They're wrong, of course, but in the face of this kind of denial, they're probably never going to know or understand that. They probably think they've given you a good enough answer, and if you refuse to accept it, their belief that it's all a "choice" leaves the responsibility for failure to believe on you, not them. Not them, or their deity, or their holy book, or anything else they've spent their lives believing and upholding, to the point where they actually make a living at it.

 

If any religion had any solid evidence that it was the one true way, the question would be settled by now. If this pastor and his wife had any to offer you, they would have. They've taken the easy way out that their religion provides them, though. It's a sad and shabby way of addressing a seeker, but it's probably the best they can do.

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Gwen, you're probably right. Thanks for taking the time to share your insights.

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We don't have free will, but I would say that belief is a choice and it isn't a choice.

 

There are a number of factors that result in someone having a belief and I think choice plays a big part in it. We can choose to ignore certain information that we don't like in order to justify our belief, we can choose to give in to our emotional state in order to justify a belief.

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Asimov wrote:

We don't have free will,

 

What? As an atheist, what else could you have but free will, within the limits of natural law of course?

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I agree with you, RubySera. Can an adult choose to believe in Santa when they know there is no evidence that Santa exists? I know that I could not simply bury my head in the sand and mindlessly assert that Santa exists, and that if I am good, I will get what I want for Christmas. The same goes for religion.

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Asimov wrote:

We don't have free will,

 

What? As an atheist, what else could you have but free will, within the limits of natural law of course?

 

Calculus allows us to approximate infinity to allow us to do some really funky things. When used correctly, it brings us to the right answer.

 

Terms like “free will” and “faith” are similarly not the same as reality.

 

Using those terms correctly will bring us close to the truth but accepting them “as” truth will lead to incredible error.

 

Any definition or term that does not compare favourably with what we see is or cannot be repeatedly demonstrated is only useful to deceive or amuse.

 

Free will as a concept that does not take into account natural cravings and fears is useless philosophical jargon unless of course your intent is to deceive or amuse.

 

Faith as a concept that does not take into account how people come to know and what they doubt is useless religious jargon unless of course your intent is to deceive or amuse.

 

I don’t believe faith, as presented to me by religious folk, exists anywhere in reality. To engage them on their semantic turf is the crux of our dilemma is it not?

 

Mongo

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Asimov wrote:

We don't have free will,

 

What? As an atheist, what else could you have but free will, within the limits of natural law of course?

 

Calculus allows us to approximate infinity to allow us to do some really funky things. When used correctly, it brings us to the right answer.

 

Terms like "free will" and "faith" are similarly not the same as reality.

 

Using those terms correctly will bring us close to the truth but accepting them "as" truth will lead to incredible error.

 

Any definition or term that does not compare favourably with what we see is or cannot be repeatedly demonstrated is only useful to deceive or amuse.

 

Free will as a concept that does not take into account natural cravings and fears is useless philosophical jargon unless of course your intent is to deceive or amuse.

 

Faith as a concept that does not take into account how people come to know and what they doubt is useless religious jargon unless of course your intent is to deceive or amuse.

 

I don't believe faith, as presented to me by religious folk, exists anywhere in reality. To engage them on their semantic turf is the crux of our dilemma is it not?

 

Mongo

 

I never understood philosophy but I've read discussions on free will or not free will. I just get lost and confused by those arguments. I am intimately familiar with finding ways to cope inside the parameters of reality as it exists in my understanding. Whether or not some philosophical or theological principle acknowledges that as using/acting with free will is simply moot when it comes to reality.

 

BIG ISSUE: To get what we need of Christians does mean to engage them where they are at because they will not come to where we are at. Unless, of course, it is to recruit us to their religion. This pastor and his wife were not out to do that. At least, not explicitly. I contacted her back in 1995 when I read a book she wrote that I like. Our friendship was based more on learning to understand myself. She's a counselor and for some reason took to me. At the time, I was in desperate need of a friend. This specific incident took place a couple years ago. But I was reminded of it because of what someone said in another thread about belief and choice.

 

I know from a few stray comments that they are the type of Christian who believes in "leading a person to the Lord." I don't know how much of that motivated her relationship with me. I think it went much deeper and that she cared for me as a person. Of course it is almost impossible to discern between unconditional love and the approach of people like rumplstiltskin (sp?) on this site. That person has taken the fundy position with me and also used the sympathetic approach to gain my trust. Because I was able to observe this person's interaction with others I knew what he/she is. Not so with this pastor and his wife. I know only what I see from their interaction with me. Mostly it's just chit-chat but the patience of some people is amazingly great if they think they may be making a convert for their lord and savior. I don't know exactly where I'm at with this pastor and his wife. Nor have I talked with her recently for this very reason.

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Asimov wrote:

We don't have free will,

 

What? As an atheist, what else could you have but free will, within the limits of natural law of course?

 

 

Free will is the ability to make choices free from external influences. I'm a determinist, so I don't have free will.

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Asimov wrote:

We don't have free will,

 

What? As an atheist, what else could you have but free will, within the limits of natural law of course?

 

Free will is the ability to make choices free from external influences. I'm a determinist, so I don't have free will.

 

Asimov,

 

As observed in human nature, does determinism stand the test of experience?

 

Mongo

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Asimov,

 

As observed in human nature, does determinism stand the test of experience?

 

Mongo

 

I would say yes.

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Asimov wrote:

Free will is the ability to make choices free from external influences. I'm a determinist, so I don't have free will.

 

Atheism is a reasonable belief. Determinism states that we are robotic computers. Do you have any reasonable basis for this belief at all? How is it possible that we can have programming that overrides other programming? Is will programmed? If so, is it really will? Can we use will to overcome our programming to do evil as with a pedophile who chooses not to be pedophile?

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If we are going with the computer analogy, then I would suppose that we are programmed but with different levels of programming. A top level program tries to manipulate the lower level programs. For example: You might have the desire to smoke, but you also have a desire to live. If your desire to live is stronger, you will battle it out trying to get rid of the lower level programming to smoke.

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I don't know if I completely understand what you mean by "Belief Is Not A Choice" so correct me if I'm off target.

 

 

 

If I choose to believe in the face of such overwhelming evidence against the reality of it being true, then I am an out and out liar.

 

 

Unless you choose to believe in something that has been proven wrong then all your really doing is following a path to see where it leads. Your not a liar until what you choose to believe has been proven false and you continue to believe in it anyway.

 

 

 

When I say I believe I mean it makes sense to me and is probably true but cannot be proven.

 

 

 

Exactly, nobody.. not even Atheists have been proven right about the existence or non-existence of God yet and so this is the answer we all fall back on. God, Gods or Godless nobody has the truth yet so we choose to believe what we feel works for us.

 

 

Now if they could come up with a suggestion that adequately addresses the issue I might be okay with it. But belief is not a choice so far as I am concerned. The choice I can make is to lie or not lie about what I believe.

 

 

You believe what you feel is right to you. Only if you have proof can you call what others believe a lie but if you feel it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt in your mind then that is what you choose to believe.

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Yes it does.

 

Show me one source explaining Determinism that says we are robotic computers. That doesn't even make any sense.

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Georgia Lass, I did not expect you to be a Christian but you talk like one. I guess you're serious in your signature where you say science needs religion. You twisted my stuff to mean things I never said. Sorry I encouraged you to talk.

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Georgia Lass, I did not expect you to be a Christian but you talk like one. I guess you're serious in your signature where you say science needs religion. You twisted my stuff to mean things I never said. Sorry I encouraged you to talk.

 

I'm sorry Ruby,

 

I read your post over and over trying to understand what it meant to you and I wrote at least 3 different drafts before I went with the one I did. I didn't mean to twist your words around, I guess I completely missed the meaning of the post. Again, I am sorry.

 

I'm not a bible Christian but yes, I am a Gnostic Christian.

 

I understand if you don't want me to talk to you anymore, I just wanted to say I'm sorry my post upset you, it was not my intention to do so.

 

Take care,

 

-Georgia

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Asimov,

 

As observed in human nature, does determinism stand the test of experience?

 

Mongo

 

I would say yes.

 

So we're all part of one big cosmic snowflake. I can't argue against that.

 

So do I correctly interpret that to mean that when Billy Graham says that he believes in god (assuming sincerity for argument sake) that you would say that BG does not have a choice in his faith and that he is just being what the great cosmic snowflake (natural universe) has made happen.

 

One non-fundie sister of mine says that belief in god is natural for her and that she was happiest as a child when she believed in god. This to her is her natural state. For me, attheism seems to me like a more natural state. Is this how you would see it?

 

If so, why would you try to convert or convince a fundie otherwise?

 

Mongo

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Now if they could come up with a suggestion that adequately addresses the issue I might be okay with it. But belief is not a choice so far as I am concerned. The choice I can make is to lie or not lie about what I believe.

 

 

You believe what you feel is right to you. Only if you have proof can you call what others believe a lie but if you feel it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt in your mind then that is what you choose to believe.

 

Georgia et al,

 

choose

 

This is the crux of the matter.

 

I could agree with this statement had "choose" been replaced with "are compelled".

Once my mind understands the evidence and arguments in a certain way, I am at that point compelled. I see no choosing here.

 

What I can choose is what arguments I examine and what evidence I regard.

 

My proposition which I'd like to examine is that the very act of purposefully ignoring facts and arguments that are contrary to a desired mental conclusion, is the state of mind called "faith" and does not actually produce a "real" belief that one would arrive at naturally. Faith is not belief but the state of mind where you ignore fact and argument to sustain a false conclusion.

 

Is there another name for this state of mind? Maybe somebody out there has proper psychological language to better describe that point.

 

Georgia, I understand if you don't want to persist in this conversation but I find the topic interesting.

 

Mongo

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Georgia, I understand if you don't want to persist in this conversation but I find the topic interesting.

 

Mongo

 

 

Hello Mongo,

 

I made a big mistake in the content of my post that I regret very much. I broke my own personal first rule of Ex-Christian.Net, "never push what I believe on anyone... Ever!" After taking a second look at my post I feel I may be guilty of that.

 

So, out of respect for the thread, Ruby and Dave's great house I will bow out of this conversation and rethink my actions and what I post in future threads.

 

Good Journey, :thanks:

 

-Georgia

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