Feed on Posts or Comments 24 July 2014

Monthly ArchiveApril 2012



Christianity &Islam &Judaism &Rationals Thomas on 30 Apr 2012

New Study Shows that Thinking Helps Eliminate Religion

A New Study Shows that Thinking Helps Eliminate Religion. Here is a description of the study:

Religion and Reason – Analytic thinking decreases religious belief.

Your answer to the following riddle can predict whether you are a believer in religion or a disbeliever:

Q: If a baseball and bat cost $110, and the bat costs $100 more than the ball, how much does the ball cost?

A: If you answered $10 you are inclined to believe in religion. If you answered $5 you are inclined to disbelieve.

Why? Because, according to new research reported in tomorrow’s issue of the journal Science, the $10 answer indicates that you are an intuitive thinker, and the $5 answer indicates that you solve problems analytically, rather than following your gut instinct.

Why?

Cognitive theory of decision making supports the hypothesis that there are two independent processes involved in decision making. The first process is based on gut instinct, and this process is shared by other animals. The second cognitive process is an evolutionarily recent development, exclusive to humans, which utilizes logical reasoning to make decisions. Their study of 179 Canadian undergraduate students showed that people who tend to solve problems more analytically also tended to be religious disbelievers. This was demonstrated by giving the students a series of questions like the one above and then scoring them on the basis of whether they used intuition or analytic logic to reach the answers. Afterward, the researchers surveyed the students on whether or not they held religious beliefs. The results showed that the intuitive thinkers were much more likely to believe in religion.

So how do we help to eliminate religion? We get more people to think more analytically. The last sentence in this paragraph is key:

Three other interventions to boost analytic thinking had the same effect on increasing religious disbelief. This included asking subjects to arrange a collection of words into a meaningful sequence. If the words used for the subconscious prime related to analytic thinking, such as “think, reason, analyze, ponder, rational,” rather than control words “hammer, shoes, jump, retrace, brown,” subjects scored higher on tests of analytic thinking given immediately afterward, and they were also much more likely to be disbelievers in religion. This demonstrates that increasing critical thinking also increases religious disbelief.

When a religious person increases his or her critical thinking skills, it would help in many other parts of life.

Christianity Thomas on 24 Apr 2012

Where is the Christian Moral Code?

This article makes a statement about Christian morals:

Without God there can be no good

The statement:

In their attempt to argue that effective and binding codes can be developed without a deity, atheists often mistake inferior codes – “common decency” – for absolute moral systems.

The Golden Rule, or doing as you would be done by, is such a code. But the fact that men can arrive at the Golden Rule without religion does not mean that man can arrive at the Christian moral code without religion.

Christianity requires much more, and above all does not expect to see charity returned. To love thy neighbour as thyself is a far greater and more complicated obligation, requiring a positive effort to seek the good of others, often in secret, sometimes at great cost and always without reward. Its most powerful expression is summed up in the words, “Great love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Two questions must be asked:

  1. Where in the Bible, or anywhere, is there a succinct, complete description of the Christian Moral Code?
  2. Do all Christians abide by it? Do even half? One tenth? Less?

Christians, care to answer?

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 21 Apr 2012

This level of delusion seems impossible

Reading this post, the level of delusion seems impossible:

My neighbor gave my 8-year-old toy dinosaurs…

I am a little shocked. She says she is a Christian, but the Bible doesn’t say anything about dinosaurs. Should I let him keep them, as long as he understands that dinosaurs aren’t real? Even the PBS shows that he watches talk about dinosaurs and evolution, and how the scientists found these “bones” but the Bible doesn’t say that God ever created them, and the earth is only 6,000 years old, not old enough to have “bones” that they say are MILLIONS of years old! I know that Satan tries to trick us in many ways, and this is one way that he tries to fool man into believing that there isn’t a God who created the universe. How can they be bones when they are made out of ROCKS? I told my son that dinosaurs are one of Satan’s many ways of tricking man, and he must talk to God before he plays with them. Am I handling this right? My first 3 were all girls, and I adopted boys, and lots of mothers tell me that boys are often attracted to these dinosaurs. So I don’t know what to do. Is this just harmless fantasy play for him, or should I be worried that he may go on to believe in things like evolution?

How can an adult living in a modern nation like the United States be this delusional? The post must be a prank. Then you learn about this:

The Creation Museum

The state-of-the-art 70,000 square foot museum brings the pages of the Bible to life, casting its characters and animals in dynamic form and placing them in familiar settings. Adam and Eve live in the Garden of Eden. Children play and dinosaurs roam near Eden’s Rivers. The serpent coils cunningly in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Majestic murals, great masterpieces brimming with pulsating colors and details, provide a backdrop for many of the settings.

The museum is an attempt to disprove the theory of evolution:

Christianity &Islam &Judaism &Rationals Thomas on 19 Apr 2012

What does the intolerance toward atheists in the United States look like?

What does the intolerance toward atheists in the United States look like? Two examples:

For what it’s worth, I “won.”

lost a dear friend today r/atheism. Intolerance is a bitch…

Pretty appalling, no?

Christianity &Islam &Judaism &Rationals &Science Thomas on 16 Apr 2012

The Truth about Evolution

The Truth about Evolution can be seen in this short, simple article:

I don’t believe in evolution

Here is the best part:

There is not a single observation or experiment that invalidates evolution. No fossil rabbits in Precambrian strata. No human footprints next to dinosaur footprints. No genetic data showing the synchronized bottleneck of Noah’s ark in all of the animal species. No radioactive dating results or anything else disproving the Cambrian explosion.

There simply is nothing. Or, like Richard Dawkins put it, “Today the theory of evolution is about as much open to doubt as the theory that the earth goes round the sun”.

The only people who don’t accept evolution are Theists. They are willing to ignore all of the evidence in order to cling to their imaginary god.

Why?

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 14 Apr 2012

The definition of delusion – theists are delusional

Looking at the definition of delusion, it is easy to see that all theists are delusional:

So, we were learning about delusions in my Psychopathology class… and I accidentally made my professor very uncomfortable.

We were learning about psychotic disorders and how they are diagnosed, and we were learning the different types of delusions. Two of the types were “delusions of reference”, which are delusions where you believe you are receiving special messages, and “delusions of grandeur”, meaning you believe that you are special, or above everyone else.

I asked my professor, “say someone believes they are special because they believe they are receiving special messages from a source that they think is God. Would they have a delusion of grandeur or reference?” (it was an honest question, I wasn’t trying to be insensitive to the more religious members of the class).

My professor turned red, stammered a bit, and said (after doing the whole “nobody get offended” thing) “questions regarding religion and delusions are very, very tricky to answer… Our culture has made it acceptable to believe in some things that, to outsiders, would seem very strange. The definition of a delusion is ‘a firmly held belief that someone believes despite lack of evidence, and despite contradicting evidence.’ Given that definition, it’s very hard to distinguish between the things religion tells us, and what makes someone delusional. So in diagnosing, it’s important to take the culture into perspective, so you’re not diagnosing devout religious belief as shizophrenia.”

My professor even went on to say “I believe in God. I’m Jewish, although I’m not a ‘good’ Jew. I have no evidence for God, yet I continue to hold onto my belief. Am I delusional? Maybe. But society has deemed that type of thinking to be rational, even though it could very easily be objectively classified as a delusion.”

I just found that interesting, that even though religion basically fits the criteria for “delusional thinking”, psychiatrists basically can’t use it in a diagnosis because it’s a type of “delusion” that’s been deemed socially acceptable. I also found it interesting that some people know that type of thinking is possibly delusional… yet they continue to hold onto it.

Related:

“The president of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive.” – Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation

How do we know that Christians are delusional?

Christianity Thomas on 11 Apr 2012

Bachmann, Cain, Perry and Santorum prove God is imaginary

One picture says it all:

God’s chosen candidates

Proof: God is imaginary.

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 09 Apr 2012

The insanity of Creationism (aka Intelligent Design) and how to deal with it

A good response:

How to respond to requests to debate creationists

Academic debate on controversial topics is fine, but those topics need to have a basis in reality. I would not invite a creationist to a debate on campus for the same reason that I would not invite an alchemist, a flat-earther, an astrologer, a psychic, or a Holocaust revisionist. These ideas have no scientific support, and that is why they have all been discarded by credible scholars. Creationism is in the same category.

Instead of spending time on public debates, why aren’t members of your institute publishing their ideas in prominent peer-reviewed journals such as Science, Nature, or the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences? If you want to be taken seriously by scientists and scholars, this is where you need to publish. Academic publishing is an intellectual free market, where ideas that have credible empirical support are carefully and thoroughly explored. Nothing could possibly be more exciting and electrifying to biology than scientific disproof of evolutionary theory or scientific proof of the existence of a god. That would be Nobel Prize winning work, and it would be eagerly published by any of the prominent mainstream journals.

“Conspiracy” is the predictable response by Ben Stein and the frustrated creationists. But conspiracy theories are a joke, because science places a high premium on intellectual honesty and on new empirical studies that overturn previously established principles. Creationism doesn’t live up to these standards, so its proponents are relegated to the sidelines, publishing in books, blogs, websites, and obscure journals that don’t maintain scientific standards.

It is for these reasons that no intelligent person gives Creationism (aka Intelligent Design) any credence.

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 07 Apr 2012

Where did the universe come from?

This video helps to understand where the universe comes from, via Carl Sagan:

Another perspective:

Also helpful:

Science compared to religion

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 01 Apr 2012

The fundamental insanity of religion

The fundamental insanity of religion is summarized in this image:

Santorum Twitter

This insanity is seen in the actions of Christians and Muslims, the thinking of religious politicians, the belief in prayer, etc. The insanity centers on the ability to talk about love when it is convenient or useful, and then to be hateful, racist, bigoted, misogynistic, homophobic, utterly selfish, etc. the rest of the time. No one with any intelligence could read the Bible and believe that “God” has anything to do with “love” – His actions in the Bible are, by and large, abominable. God’s followers tend to act in just the same way. No one could listen to Rick Santorum and not understand the hateful core that permeates his thinking.

It leads one to believe that religion is nothing more than a convenient cover for hate.