Author Topic: Theist liars  (Read 1991 times)

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Offline Agga

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Theist liars
« on: November 03, 2010, 11:46:23 AM »
Is it just my perception, or do the majority of theists who come here lie through their teeth, not only about their religion, but also about how we're treating them, how the mods are biased, how atheists are always trying to suppress the truth that they speak, and use just about every dishonest debate tactic known to man?

Just looking through tbright's ER thread and I see lie after lie.  Blatant ones, too.  I've seen so much of it in the ER over the last year, but I rarely see atheists pulling the same stunts on this forum.  It does happen, but rarely.

So what gives, has religion conditioned these people to spout lie after lie?  Is it my imagination or are most of the lying weasels at this forum a theist of some kind?

 :shrug
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Offline OnePerson

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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2010, 11:51:12 AM »
Probably has something to do with the how most Christians who would come to a forum like this are probably the more devoted serious kind.

Offline Emily

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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2010, 11:55:38 AM »
One of my opinions is that they don't expect their point of view to be challenged the way it does. Many Christians here are comfortable talking to their christian friends about their religion and their christian friends are going to agree with almost (if not) all of what they say. I often wonder how many theists that come to this forum actually discuss/debate their position with atheists. Having their views challenged the way it gets challenged here might be new territory for them, and that will result in them lying through their teeth.

My other opinion is that they've never really questioned their belief themselves and are just running on what christian websites and their pastor's tell them.

Some probably want to feel martyred. They're probably finding a lot of high ground in this bible verse.

John 15:18 (King James Version)

18If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2010, 12:01:11 PM »
When one's reality is shaped by a huge hunk of untruth that is nonetheless believed, they've got nothing. Even for them, thats hard to work with.

The sad part is that they believe about half the lies. The other half they can apparently justify because they're being irresponsible for Jesus.
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Offline Alzael

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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2010, 12:18:27 PM »
They also lie about their qualifications. Like Phelix claiming to be a biblical authority, names like "SuperlativeCritic" and other such examples. I'm guessing that at least part of it comes from insecurity. It tends to be the ones with the greatest insecurities that are the loudest. When it comes to religion the more that you know about it the more obviously insane it is. So you have one of two options, either look at it logically and realize that it's all ridiculous. Or lie to yourself until the feeling of cognitive dissonance goes away. Then you have to keep lying in order to maintain your self-imposed delusion until it becomes natural and you don't even realize that you're doing it anymore.
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Offline William

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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2010, 12:23:08 PM »
Being a Christian is all about being seen to be Christian.  Other people are (may be) watching so they have to go through with it - loosing ground in an argument with an atheist is not a good look - they'd rather go down as a persecuted martyr sprouting stuff in Jesus name amen ... that makes them more Christian to the other Christians watching.  
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2010, 12:24:38 PM »
Is it just my perception, or do the majority of theists who come here lie through their teeth, not only about their religion, but also about how we're treating them, how the mods are biased, how atheists are always trying to suppress the truth that they speak, and use just about every dishonest debate tactic known to man?

I do not think many if any are actually, consciously, intentionally lying.  I think many have been lied to, particularly about science.  I think most of them honestly believe the stupid things they say.  I think their perspective is skewed, as anyone's is, though theirs seems to me to be more heavily skewed.  That is my completely objective observation.

We have also had plenty of atheists use dishonest tactics.  koberulz is the latest example.  Take a look at the political discussion threads.  You will notice that the guys on the opposite side of your opinion are all dogmatic idiots who mischaracterize your position, make strawman arguments and are generally in denial.

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Offline frofrodajimmyboy

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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2010, 01:07:13 PM »
I don't believe it's totally intentional.  There's more at stake for a theist in a religious debate, so there's much more inclination to lie, not only to others, but to yourself.  Remember; these beliefs often define their lives.  I have no doubt that many of the "liers" you and I see here and elsewhere honestly believe their BS.  Eventually those people get so worked up and the lies get so out of hand that they'll also start making things up about really weird, unrelated matters (like that recent ER user who "had his post edited").  I think these people get to a point where they feel admitting they're wrong in any matter, religious or not, is a threat to their beliefs.  But that's just my guess; who knows what's really going on in their heads? :shrug

Offline jetson

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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2010, 01:21:00 PM »
You really can't be a truly honest theist, can you?

Offline velkyn

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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2010, 01:36:45 PM »
I think it's just that beleiving in the ridiculous, you think others will too and that includes lies created to support that one big lie. It often reminds me of a bad commedy of errors that one lie begets another and another and another.

Consideringn how much God rails against liars in the bible, what are these Christians thinking?  That it's okay to lie *for* God?  Uh-uh, Romans 3 is all about that. Big no-no.  If a God knows you are a liar and that you do nothing to stop yourself from doing it again and again, does it have much reason to forgive you?  Is it so desperate for *anyone* to believe in it, that it doesn't care?
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Offline Aaron123

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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2010, 02:15:53 PM »
Part of the reason, it seems, is that they surround themselves with bad logic, thinking, and misconceptions; and when they go out of their circles, they're unpreparded to see people thinking differently and challenging their ideas.  I mean, some of them surround themselves with ideas like the banana arguement and the peanut butter arguement.  Perhaps it's no wonder they get antsy when the holes and flaws in the ideas are laid bare for all to see.

Also, I'd say that it strike a nerve whenever we point out that many of us have read the bible cover-to-cover, and that they apparently haven't.  I once confronted[1] my parents on why they haven't read the bible, and they just got upset when asked about this.  Theists just don't expect the godless, void-in-their-heart atheists to actually be familar with the bible, and give it a sound rejection after careful consideration.
 1. well, "confronted" seems too strong a word, but "asked" seems too soft.  Not sure what a good in-between word is  :shrug
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Offline jetson

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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2010, 02:28:12 PM »
Also, I'd say that it strike a nerve whenever we point out that many of us have read the bible cover-to-cover, and that they apparently haven't.  I once confronted[1] my parents on why they haven't read the bible, and they just got upset when asked about this.  Theists just don't expect the godless, void-in-their-heart atheists to actually be familar with the bible, and give it a sound rejection after careful consideration.
 1. well, "confronted" seems too strong a word, but "asked" seems too soft.  Not sure what a good in-between word is  :shrug

I'd go with "askfronted"...but don't say it too fast...  ;D

Offline rev45

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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2010, 02:58:43 PM »
One of my opinions is that they don't expect their point of view to be challenged the way it does. Many Christians here are comfortable talking to their christian friends about their religion and their christian friends are going to agree with almost (if not) all of what they say. I often wonder how many theists that come to this forum actually discuss/debate their position with atheists. Having their views challenged the way it gets challenged here might be new territory for them, and that will result in them lying through their teeth.
Maybe if every religious forum didn't automatically ban atheists or anyone who doesn't agree with their religion, they might get an idea of the arguments against them.  :shrug
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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2010, 03:49:06 PM »
They are in denial.  Their truth lies within what the bible says.
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Offline Omen

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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2010, 04:23:42 PM »
Probably has something to do with the how most Christians who would come to a forum like this are probably the more devoted serious kind.

I think this has more to do with it than simply them being theist.  It can also be noted that the majority of fundies that visit us, especially those who engage in egregiously dishonest behavior, are often very emotionally involved in the discussion.  They carry very polemical and derisive beliefs about those that don't believe their superstitious claims, that often have to be projected initially before any kind of back and forth can occur.  We are always wrong by some attribute of our character or position that is often so bizarre in itself as a claim as to be considered an outright strawman, yet for them to engage us they HAVE to impose that belief beforehand.  I think in a lot of ways its the onset of dehumanizing tactics, meant to devalue those who do not share their beliefs at the start so that they need not take others seriously and its perfectly acceptable to lie to a person who is viewed as 'beneath' them.
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Offline wright

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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2010, 06:06:23 PM »
Part of the reason, it seems, is that they surround themselves with bad logic, thinking, and misconceptions; and when they go out of their circles, they're unpreparded to see people thinking differently and challenging their ideas.  I mean, some of them surround themselves with ideas like the banana arguement and the peanut butter arguement.  Perhaps it's no wonder they get antsy when the holes and flaws in the ideas are laid bare for all to see.

Maybe if every religious forum didn't automatically ban atheists or anyone who doesn't agree with their religion, they might get an idea of the arguments against them.  :shrug

I think that pretty well sums it up. Most theist posters here seem to be Hothouse Flowers For Jesus: their social and intellectual (in the sense of encountering ideas different from their own) worlds are very narrow and controlled. Having rarely stepped outside those boundaries, when they encounter a forum like this it's a real shock. I think that's why, for example, almost all of them flourish Pascal's Wager at us atheists like a trump card- and can't understand why it doesn't immediately make us fold.

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Offline Noman Peopled

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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2010, 04:09:35 AM »
I don't think lying is the right word for most. "Rationalizing" would be better. I think people are well aware of the inconsistencies, but assume they can be reconciled in some way. They have, for instance, two "facts" that are clashing (say, god answers prayers yet no amputee gets healed) but both quite obviously right. An attempt at reconciliation must end up in falsehood.
Lying, however, would include the intention to spread falsehoods. I don't think that's the case in most situations.



Some, however, will intentionally lie. Just take all those anti-science one-person freak shows who make a living misrepresenting science. You say there are no transitional fossils? Fine, maybe you got it wrong. You do it for years, time and time again being called on it and don't bother enough to even attempt a retort? You're an asshole and a liar.
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Offline Agga

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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2010, 12:46:23 PM »
Thanks for all your replies ladies and gents.  I'm not really in disagreement with the overall thinking about delusion-based thought processes, and most of them not realising that they're spreading misinformation and the like

When I wrote the OP, I was really thinking about specific lies, rather than why they claim things about their religions that can be proven false.  In hindsight I could have made that clearer.

I was thinking more of that guy tothesea, who was bullshitting everyone about his OP that he edited.  And tbright, who in his ER thread was lying about how he got to the ER, and that we hadn't explained to him why he was there, when several of us had.    Then there was fool, who just talked shite all day long.  Then RobertHill, who PM's people to say he's been banned, when clearly he hasn't.

A look through the old ER threads shows so many non-religiously focused lies.
And why is it that it's mostly thiests who use sock-accounts?


Is it just me imagining it?
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2010, 12:51:55 PM »
I don't think so.  It seems to me that it is based on desperation and fear, both of which can cause people to do things they might normally not.  It may be unconscious, but as soon as someone points it out, then that excuse is gone. 

socks are an odd thing.  It's not hard at all to find them and I can only think of two reasons why people would use them.  To get back on where you've been banned or to make it seem like there are more of "you" than there are.  I never was quite sure what they thought either accomplishes.
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Offline Operator_011

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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2010, 01:33:41 PM »
libman's completely off-topic post has been split-off to its own thread.
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Offline kcrady

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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2010, 09:24:37 PM »
They also lie about their qualifications. Like Phelix claiming to be a biblical authority, names like "SuperlativeCritic" and other such examples. I'm guessing that at least part of it comes from insecurity. It tends to be the ones with the greatest insecurities that are the loudest. When it comes to religion the more that you know about it the more obviously insane it is. So you have one of two options, either look at it logically and realize that it's all ridiculous. Or lie to yourself until the feeling of cognitive dissonance goes away. Then you have to keep lying in order to maintain your self-imposed delusion until it becomes natural and you don't even realize that you're doing it anymore.

One word: Majesty.  ;D

I think we should be careful to remember that the Christians who come here, especially the ones that end up in the Emergency Room, are a self-selected sample, and not a legitimate basis for generalization about Christians or theists in general ("theist liars").  We would not, for example, likely see someone like Fred Clark coming to a Forum like this, and him ending up in the ER?  Inconceivable.

I think a key explanatory factor is that there are multiple levels or senses of "belief."  In particular, there's the belief that something is real ("I believe in evolution") and the belief that something is right, good, proper, valuable, etc. ("I believe in single payer health care").  Theists (especially fundamentalist types) tend to talk as if their belief is of the former type, when it is actually of the second type, or what Dan Dennett calls "belief in belief."

The first level is the level of expectation or anticipation of what reality is like.  Few believers actually expect reality to behave as if they have a Personal Relationshiptm with an omnimax superbeing.  They do not expect angels to actually appear and get their car out of a rut in the mud, even if they're on their way to preach the most important sermon of their lives.  They don't forgo insurance policies, college funds and retirement plans because they're confident that Yahweh is watching out for them.  They already know, in advance, that reality will behave as if it were abiding by naturalistic principles and that the dice of probability are not rigged in their favor. 

We can know this because all the theological justifications for anything reality might do are already in place.[1]  "God works in mysterious ways."  "Two boats and a helicopter"  Person improbably survives a disaster: "Halleluiah!  It's a miracle!"[2]  Person dies in the disaster: "God wanted to take them home."  "Yes, No, and Wait."  For the most part, or at least with regard to anything that actually matters, their beliefs are hermetically sealed from any kind of reality-test.  When the belief is "My real Daddy is an omnimax superbeing who loves me soooo much he created a hundred billion galaxies just so I could be here!," creating an effective quarantine that keeps it from being contradicted by a godless Universe--or to be precise, the believer's own generally-accurate mental model of a godless Universe which lets them anticipate the behavior of reality well enough to get around--takes some serious doing.

The second, "belief in belief" level of theistic belief is about believing in the virtue and/or usefulness of having the belief itself.  For many (probably most, but I don't have survey data) Christians, belief in Yahweh is not an issue of reality-anticipation ("truth"), but an issue of morality.  Belief in Yahweh is either the beginning and the end of all moral goodness[3] or at least the passkey that makes genuine moral goodness possible.  This is the underlying premise of the belief that only Christians can go to Heaven.  Belief in something else (or lack of belief) is not merely mistaken, it is morally wrong, so wrong as to be deserving of the ultimate punishment.  Once you take something like that on board, then pretty much anything one might do is better than questioning, much less rejecting belief.  If you lie to some atheists on an internet forum, you can limp away to the nearest altar-call and plead for Jesus' forgiveness.  If you start to lose your faith (or lose an argument in the attempt to promote your faith) while still believing that having faith=morality then not only is your moral goodness in peril, so is the possibility that Jesus will offer you forgiveness and a clean slate again.

Then there's all the real, practical things the believer stands to lose if their faith falls.  Their believing friends, their church community and all the advantages it offers, their spouse and children, their membership in the respectable norm (if they're Americans), all the time and money (sunk costs) they've already invested in their faith, and sometimes their livelihood or their dreams.  The cost of giving up belief, or even acknowledging that giving up belief is a thinkable option, is high.

"Why Won't God Heal Amputees" is basically another way of saying, "Why Can't You Anticipate That Reality Will Behave As If It Contains an Omnimax God?"  So, any believer considering joining this Forum knows going in that battering rams and shaped-charges and gigawatt-class lasers will be brought to bear against the hermetic containment structure that quarantines their precious beliefs from reality.  The very existence of the structure and the meticulousness with which it is constructed and and must be defended in everyday life[4] is a testament to its importance for the believer.  So, what kind of believer is most likely to be willing, even eager to put that structure at risk by charging into a place like this?  It says right there on the label that faith will be held to the standard of a reality-test as concrete as a regrown limb.  This is a test that faith simply cannot meet, otherwise the containment structure would not exist.

Apart from a tiny handful of exceptions that prove the rule (Old Church Guy, UnkleE, Think and Answer[5]), the more intelligent, rational, and honest Christians aren't going to come here.  "WWGHA?  That's a silly question, because faith isn't about anticipating the behavior of reality, that's what science is for.  Faith is about things like meaning and community and moral values and finding inspiration and strength to get through life, or maybe even do something great, like Martin Luther King."  Then they move on.  This is "more intelligent, rational, and honest" because such believers at least understand that they've constructed Non-Overlapping Magisteria for science and faith.  When they set up their hermetic containment structure, they are self-aware and honest enough to accept that they're doing it.

It seems to me that the type of believer most likely to come here, or end up in the Failbag (when that was working), are the ones who respond to the "WWGHA?" challenge from their lizard brain.  It's not so much a question about truth/reality as it is an insult to their ego, which is wrapped up in their belief-in-belief.  *Thumps chest*  "My faith is so strong, so sure, than I'm gonna come in there and take alla ya on, singly or in groups!  Bring it on, pimp juice!"  Then, having charged recklessly in and finding themselves hopelessly outclassed (not just by the sharp thinkers here, but by the fact that reality is heavily biased in our favor), this type of believer is forced into a spin control/ego-defense mode.  And since consistency with reality was not something they valued in the first place,[6] it's not too hard to throw under the bus.
 1. Except for a small segment of the psychologically delusional who do things like bet their child's life on their religion's promises of miraculous healing or otherwise actually expect reality to behave as portrayed in the Bible or some other holy book.
 2. But pointedly without any "special effects" like heavenly glows, angel sightings or any actual violations of the principles of physics, so that it looks the way normal reality always looks.
 3. For the extreme saved-by-faith types who blithely ignore all of Jesus' teachings on ethics and "works," since we are "saved by faith," i.e. believing in a checklist of True Biblical Doctrines.
 4.  :'("Mommy, why can't God bring Fluffy back?" :'(  "Well, honey..."
 5. The only ones I can think of at the moment.
 6. With regard to their faith, that is.  When it comes to picking a used car or testing somebody else's faith, they'll be vigilant and apply whatever critical thinking skills they have.
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Offline Alzael

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Re: Theist liars
« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2010, 10:16:53 PM »
^^^^ Very well said. The one thing that I would point out though is that I think the less fundamentalist ones likely do come here as often as well. However they're the 'guests' the ones that don't sign up and participate but just watch and read the posts.
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