Yuri wrote:Please make up your mind! Are you disagreeing with me or agreeing with me?
My assertion is that people choose their beliefs based on their feelings.
First of all, I have to apologize. I edited a post (after you had evidently uploaded it) and you are now quoting something that I deleted. I am very sorry this happened and I shall endeavor to not post until I am sure I have got it right. I removed the "please make up your mind!" line because it is emotional and inappropriate. Sorry.
mitchellmckain wrote:People choose their beliefs for all kinds of reasons. Some may indeed do so based on their feelings, but others do not. Therefore your assertion is incorrect.
You can't choose your knowledge, you can only choose your beliefs. Therefore I would argue that my assertion is correct.
Hypothesis: If I am wrong, then you will not be able to give me examples of knowledge you have which is not underpinned by logic, or beliefs you have which are not underpinned by feeling. Go ahead and prove me wrong. Remember that I am going to do everything I can to show that the knowledge examples you give are from logical deduction and ideas and the belief examples you give are from feeling and authority sources.
mitchellmckain wrote: Logical consistency is a matter of thinking not feeling. People choose their belief according to what they THINK fits into a logically consistent picture of reality as they have experienced it. Logical consistency is, in fact, the minimum condition for something to even be meaningful. Therefore it makes no sense whatsoever to choose a belief that is inconsistent with your world view. So if you think there is sufficient evidence for believing something that is not consistent with your world view then you are going to change your world view first.
Yes, agreed. That is the whole premise: you can't change a person's opinions, but you can try to change their perspective, which will then result in their opinions changing. In the case of theological debate, I assert that if we can make people realize that they have formed their religious faith from unsubstantiated authority sources, that they will recognize the fallacy, review the legitimacy of their faith, and it will evaporate all by itself.
mitchellmckain wrote:No I think you are talking about YOUR mind. That is after all the only one that you have first-hand knowledge of. Thus when you assert that "beliefs are based on feelings", the obvious truth of what you are saying is that YOUR beliefs are based on feelings. Thus despite your wish to pretend that yours is an example of a rational mind your assertions prove that this most certainly is not the case.
Let me be absolutely clear: It was Carl Gustav Jung who first pointed out the functions and attitudes of the brain, not me. Unfortunately. I am merely quoting him when I say that we make judgements by Feeling or by Thinking.
Yuri wrote: I am open to rational persuasion.
Not likely since you choose your beliefs based on feelings rather than thinking.
I did not mean I was open to changing my beliefs, I meant I was open to changing my knowledge (rational persuasion). In other words, no matter how harsh your words may get, they can't affect my feelings and change my beliefs, because I have no beliefs on this subject. I only have knowledge. If there is an aspect of this topic in which my knowledge is in error then you will hopefully explain it to me and I will then understand and change my knowledge.
Your style of discussion attacks my beliefs, which is rather pointless, because I don't have any. So I am like a logical observer, watching you hack at some imaginary opponent - a feeling-based me, in the realm of emotion. In your mind you are striking at me, but in my observation of the situation you are shouting at my shadow. I'm over here!!!!
mitchellmckain wrote:So if you were ever in a religion then your brain is damaged, right? So then people abandoning religious belief are not doing so with a fully functioning brain, but those who were never in a religion but decide to adopt a religious belief CAN be doing so with a healthy brain. This is not a very high recommendation for non-religious belief.
I must apologize again, I think I took out the bit about brain damage, it was an emotional attack, not a logical one. It has led to your somewhat emotional outburst caused by cognitive dissonance. What you have done here is an example of an irrational thought process known as Straw Man Fallacy. The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position. Dissonance requires soothing with a consonant cognition, and the consonant cognition is the resulting Straw Man fallacy. This sort of "reasoning" has the following pattern (I am person A, you are person B):
Person A has position X. (My position: religious devotees may have brain damage.)
Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X). (Your distortion: people abandoning belief are not doing so with a fully-functioning brain.)
Person B attacks position Y. (Your position: People abandoning belief have made a mistake, and people embracing faith with a healthy brain are making the right decision.)
Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed.
This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because attacking a distorted version of a position simply does not constitute an attack on the position itself. One might as well expect an attack on a poor drawing of a person to hurt the person.
mitchellmckain wrote:But, of course, this is all bull shit and nonsense that reveals the feelings behind your beliefs -- the desperate need to believe that people who think differently than you and disagree with your subjective undemonstrable opinions must have something wrong with them.
I have no such need or feeling. I do not measure the rationality of other people by their agreement with my beliefs. People can be rational whether they are Christian, atheist, Wicca, Hindu or whatever. Rationality has to do with the logical consistency of their beliefs and not their position on issues which are not objectively demonstrable. Likewise people can be irrational whether they are Christian, atheist, Wicca, Hindu or whatever. I see irrational declarations by people regardless of their position on objectively undecidable questions.
I know, it's amazing isn't it, that a man can be a devout believer on Sunday, genuinely believing that he is consuming the body and blood of Christ, and then on Monday go back to his day job and perform surgical procedures based on modern science or teach physics at university. The flexibility of the mind to simultaneously accept such contrary understandings of basic science is evidence to me that belief and knowledge are separated in the mind.
mitchellmckain wrote:To me I see both propositions, that God exists or that God does not exist, as matters of reason not feeling. But your inability see these both on a rational basis reveals that beneath your rational pretensions is a sea of emotion upon which you base your beliefs in this matter. So with regards to the workings of your mind and the beliefs which you embrace I think your model is a good fit indeed.
Perfect. Give me the rational thought process you have used that God exists, without any element of it coming from an assumption or authority source, and I shall know that God exists too!
mitchellmckain wrote:You see people don't just abandon religous beliefs they also adopt religious beliefs and they do both for a great variety of reasons.
Yes - my Dad is a born-again Christian. He had a very difficult period of his life during which he saw Luis Palau at Wembly Stadium and got hooked by emotion into belief. One of the reasons I am here is to figure out how to revive him from his religious coma.
Yuri wrote:Religious devotees who expose themselves to logic and secular knowledge must live lives under constant mental discomfort from cognitive dissonance.
LOL Incorrect. I studied mathematics (BS) and physics (MS). I am also an evangelical Trinitarian Christian. There is no cognitive dissonance or mental discomfort in my case, and I don't have to discount dissonant data by believing that people who disagree with me are somehow defective.
Excellent, please give me the explanation of the Resurrection of Christ and free will alongside an omniscient being, for example, from the point-of-view of physics in a deterministic universe. I can't wait to hear how you have done that without either ignoring certain religious "truths" or breaking the laws of physics.