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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2008-01-28 07:25
Subject: [religion] A bit more, promoted from the comment thread
Security: Public
Location:PDX, Concourse C concession area
Mood:busy
Music:airport racket
Tags:religion
Both daveraines and ellameena are challenging me on definitions, both of my own thinking and my perception of Christian thinking. Promoted from comments, here's a bit more from me:
The universe, however, runs itself, and fundamentally I am nothing more than a highly organized island of negative entropy, to misquote Ilya Prigogine. I am responsible for myself.

I applaud that God exists for you, for daveraines, or anyone else. He provides His followers with comfort, structure, and a myriad other blessings. I fully support this, and your right to believe in and act on those blessings.

My management chain has an empirical existence, which I can respond to either by cooperating or by exiting the organization. God does not. As I said to daveraines over on his thread, I have no burden of disproof with respect to the existence of God, any more than I have a burden of disproof with respect to the existence of Marduk or the existence of leprechauns who live in cereal boxes.

My personal quarrel with faith is precisely that: personal. I'm not trying to convince you or anyone else that your faith isn't valid for you.

My public quarrel with faith is that it far too often leads its followers to confuse empirical and mythic truth. Often deliberately, it seems to me.

This is why I see, for example, a direct relationship between Islamic terrorism and Intelligent Design — both are based on deliberately counterfactual thinking and an inability (or unwillingness) to distinguish between the empirical and the mythic. Believers in a mythic truth take an action to correct what they see as errors in the empirical world. Wahabbist Muslims and ID advocates are committing the same error, differentiated only by degree.
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User: dirkcjelli
Date: 2008-01-28 15:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This is why I see, for example, a direct relationship between Islamic terrorism and Intelligent Design — both are based on deliberately counterfactual thinking and an inability (or unwillingness) to distinguish between the empirical and the mythic. Believers in a mythic truth take an action to correct what they see as errors in the empirical world. Wahabbist Muslims and ID advocates are committing the same error, differentiated only by degree.

... and moderates defend the right to believe on only faith, enabling and protecting these elements.
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User: ex_chrisbil
Date: 2008-01-28 15:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Sly
Definitely the same. There is a very fine balance between respecting one's right to believe and, well, respecting... damn - how do you even phrase it? I struggle (having been brought up in a religious environment) to aceept my close friends' beliefs more than I do general people I meet day to day. It's because I know so much about their livse, and have to grin and bear it as I watch them damage themselves, others around them, and relationships with people around them all the time. It sucks.

I've lost the point here. But that's never shut me up before... maybe more later!
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J.K.Richárd: ONOZ!
User: neutronjockey
Date: 2008-01-28 16:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:ONOZ!
I vote for leprechauns living in cereal boxes.
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2008-01-28 17:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Is it the faith that leads its followers to confuse empirical and mythic truth, or is it the follower's own desire to be lead and a seeking of someone else to do the thinking for them?

As a person of faith, I believe that if God had wanted mindless worshipers and followers, that's what we would be. Instead, we have minds, and brains, and the ability to reason logically. Ergo, we're supposed to use that mind and brain in a reasonable and logical fashion.

We are creatures of mind; we are creatures of choice. It behooves us to use that mind and that choice wisely.

As for what's empirical, and what's mythic--I spent too much time at the Protestant college studying theology to mindlessly claim that the Bible is literally true. A careful reading of Genesis in Hebrew ends up disabusing the reader of that assumption. I also find the literalist point of view to be far too limiting--and tied down with fear.
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daveraines
User: daveraines
Date: 2008-01-28 21:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I hope I haven't asked you to "disprove God." Does the suggestion that, while there is no proof of God, there is also no disproof, but only weight of evidence, amount to the same thing for you?

Sometimes I read into some posts - not yours - an exasperation: "but don't you SEE how ridiculous you are being?" So I appreciate being treated as a rational individual, which you do, so thank you.

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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-01-29 03:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Of course. Bear in mind that faith is fundamentally irrational by definition. Which is not to say "irrational" in the pop-psych sense of the term that has so much currency, but in the literal sense of the term — if it were rational, it wouldn't be faith.

My distinction between mythic truth and empirical truth is what helps me not characterize people of faith as ridiculous, or irrational in the pop psych sense. To call faith ridiculous is lazy thinking on my part, something I have in fact indulged in far more than I care to admit.

(There's an odd responsibility that comes with making my statements in a public forum, which is to consider them carefully before I shoot off my fat mouth.)
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daveraines
User: daveraines
Date: 2008-01-29 03:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
statements in a public forum

Yes, it's an interesting learning process. In pumping out these responses I said stuff that I had no idea was offensive (but looking back, could have known).

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Patrick, The Space Lord
User: robot_scandal
Date: 2008-01-29 02:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have proof Marduk lives in my cereal box.
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daveraines
User: daveraines
Date: 2008-01-29 03:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Okay, went back to re-read your post of 01:46 pm, where there's more about the "burden of disproof." Don't have an answer right now, but the question's in the hopper. Ignore my previous post!
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-01-29 03:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yah, I was responding to something I thought you said.
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