Poll

Is theism inherently dishonest?

It depends.  It's not so clear cut.  (please give an example)
18 (12.7%)
Yes; because it is based on supernaturalism.
35 (24.6%)
Yes; because it is based on wishful thinking.
43 (30.3%)
Yes; for some other reason. (please provide the reason)
15 (10.6%)
Yes, but only for those following the wrong god or religion.
2 (1.4%)
It depends.  It's not so clear cut.  (please give an example)
4 (2.8%)
No.
8 (5.6%)
No; because it is based on the one true god!
0 (0%)
No; because there is a basis for theism that those who lack it are blind to.
5 (3.5%)
No; for some other reason.  (please provide the reason)
11 (7.7%)
No, but only for those who actually attempt to follow the religion dogmatically!
1 (0.7%)

Total Members Voted: 90

Author Topic: The inherent dishonesty of theism: Must theists lie because they follow a lie?  (Read 15822 times)

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Offline I KILLED JEBUS

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Re: Is theism inherently dishonest?
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2009, 10:38:26 AM »
NO! Its obviously no, for a logical reason.

Those who preach their religion are honest to their religion, and are honest when they speak.

Theism isn't dishonest, its just sometimes wrong morally, and almost always wrong about how things work...
It can only be dishonest when the person does not in fact believe what they are telling you, therefore whatever diesm they speak from they are not being true to.

Doesn't matter who you are, preaching your diesm as true is being honest, but wrong.
SO ALL THOSE CATHOLIC PRIESTS WHO DIDDLE LITTLE BOYS ARE HONEST?
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Offline I KILLED JEBUS

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I also said yes because its based on supernaturalism

Without faith and belief and no verifiable proof they have to have doubt
Bow down my hairy children and behold the world I have laid out for you,walk away from your electronic devices and listen to the sounds of nature. Tear from you the ties that bind you to your pathetic existance,walk back into the woods with me and we shall feast on the bounty I have left
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Offline Dragnet

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In one sense yes because the first guy to come up with it used it for power, many after have done the same thing.

Paul in my mind is a good example.

No because many who believe are that way because of conditioning, meaning they approach it honestly.

Though, given enough education and understanding they then would have to be dishonest to maintain it.
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Offline velkyn

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just got to this.  My yes, other is that it allows them a "reason" to excuse their lies.  It's all okay if it's for God (not true, since the Bible says no, but how dare I expect a Christian to read their holy book, it seems!)

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Offline Hermes

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"Christian honesty"
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYNMhG0QN_o[/youtube]
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

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Offline Hermes

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Offline Hermes

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The behavior of user Truth is an example of this phenomenon;

The answer to the question why won't God Heal amputees?
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=5147
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

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Offline Omen

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Yes, there is no other possibility when you make claims outside the scope of any logical basis.

The dishonest behavior ( such as truths avoidance of posts and tbrights use of presuppositional apologetics and tautologies ) is the ONLY way to defend the claim being made and no attempt is ever actually made to justify the claim.

The god claim is essentially a word without meaning, it is nothing and therefore does not exist because it cannot exist as it is claimed.
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Offline Former Believer

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I started this thread today called "Hit and Run posting".  I think it is relevant.

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=5345.msg116867#top
Faith unsubstaniated by the facts equal foolishness

Offline rigabear5

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Re: Is theism inherently dishonest?
« Reply #38 on: March 27, 2009, 06:45:16 PM »
It can only be dishonest when the person does not in fact believe what they are telling you, therefore whatever diesm they speak from they are not being true to.
This; obviously.

I cannot believe this thread. Hermes you cannot honestly believe that most theists think that they are following a lie and continue to do so just to keep appearances up? Oh jesus...

And if you don't think that they realise it:
 So a theist is unintentionally wrong that makes him a liar? Have can you not see how illogical this is? And yes there are some hypocrites, but so what? Those...
THOSE CATHOLIC PRIESTS WHO DIDDLE LITTLE BOYS
... are not the majority. There are liars and hypocrites in every part of life.

Posting here because it made me laugh...

Note: If you push people enough, eventually they will cave and lie to try and get themselves out of a hole if you have portrayed yourself as such an arse that they could not bare to concede. Hence some of the 'lying' on this forum.

Offline Hermes

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Re: Is theism inherently dishonest?
« Reply #39 on: March 27, 2009, 08:35:15 PM »
I cannot believe this thread. Hermes you cannot honestly believe that most theists think that they are following a lie and continue to do so just to keep appearances up? Oh jesus...

I'm trying to understand where the lies and refusal to address reality comes from.

I may be entirely mistaken in identifying the source of those lies.  That's part of the reason why I started this thread; it is an inflammatory topic, yet it yields quite a bit of light and a comparatively small amount of heat.

If you have an explanation for the phenomenon that is more credible than what I proposed, I'm listening.

To me, it seems like belief in the supernatural seems to be the core.  In order to justify unsupported conjectures, instead of saying (honestly) "I do not know" often the answer is complex.  As an extreme example, just take a look at any of the threads where a Christian or a Muslim attempts to justify an actual world wide flood as described in Genesis.

If you look at those conversations, and can explain to me why someone would not admit their personal ignorance on the subject or (better) consider the story to be not literal, let me know.

As for pushing people to lie, I agree that people for the sake of ego, to save face, or in a misguided sense of loyalty, will lie in these forums.  Yet, that does not explain the people who offer up these lies without being pushed at all.  Neither does it explain why someone would not just stop and say "I don't know" as opposed to making up something from whole cloth.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2009, 08:42:01 PM by Hermes »
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Offline Crocoduck

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i dont think most members of the "flock" itself know they are lying. most that i speak with rattle off automated responses and really dont understand even what theyre saying. i think the problem lies with with those in power not wanting to lose their power.
atheism is not a religion... it is a personal relationship with reality.
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Offline rigabear5

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Re: Is theism inherently dishonest?
« Reply #41 on: March 28, 2009, 06:05:43 AM »
I'm trying to understand where the lies and refusal to address reality comes from.
What lies? They are not lying. There may well be a refusal to address reality but then no s**t; you are challenging the very fundamentals of their life. If you science was in fact a lie, you'd get the same from scientists etc.

I may be entirely mistaken in identifying the source of those lies.  That's part of the reason why I started this thread; it is an inflammatory topic, yet it yields quite a bit of light and a comparatively small amount of heat.
Again, there are no lies. You are seeing something that is not there.

If you have an explanation for the phenomenon that is more credible than what I proposed, I'm listening.
What phenomenon? All this perceived lying?  &)

To me, it seems like belief in the supernatural seems to be the core.  In order to justify unsupported conjectures, instead of saying (honestly) "I do not know" often the answer is complex.  As an extreme example, just take a look at any of the threads where a Christian or a Muslim attempts to justify an actual world wide flood as described in Genesis.
You ask a question that someone does not know then surely it seems reasonable that they will go and look for the answer? After some searching and adding 2+2 to make 5, they will find an answer that (chances are) they believe makes perfect sense and is correct. They are not lying. To lie you have to realise you are incorrect.

If you look at those conversations, and can explain to me why someone would not admit their personal ignorance on the subject or (better) consider the story to be not literal, let me know.
So you expect every theist to have thought about every single bible story in adequate depth to be able to defend it against the likes of you? Well obviously not. As I have stated while they may begin by not knowing the answer, they may well go and look for one and perhaps even find it (well, in their minds at any rate).

As for pushing people to lie, I agree that people for the sake of ego, to save face, or in a misguided sense of loyalty, will lie in these forums.  Yet, that does not explain the people who offer up these lies without being pushed at all.  Neither does it explain why someone would not just stop and say "I don't know" as opposed to making up something from whole cloth.
When I said "'lying'" I did not mean your type of lying (anything incorrect basically), I was referring to ACTUAL lying where the perpetrator is being consciously dishonest.

Basically, thesim while incorrect, is not dishonest.

General disclaimer: I feel like I've missed something... I must have...

(EDITS: Improving the grammar and 'readability')
« Last Edit: March 28, 2009, 08:13:28 AM by rigabear5 »

Offline Former Believer

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Re: Is theism inherently dishonest?
« Reply #42 on: March 28, 2009, 06:43:31 AM »
General disclaimer: I feel like I've missed something... I must have...

Hello, Rigabear.  You make some very good points.  As a former evangelical Christian, I would like to share my opinions about why I think some of the points you make are terrific.  As a member of this forum, its predecessor, and another similar forum, I would like to share my opinions as to why you might be "missing something".  BTW, I appreciated your disclaimer as it indicates a level of open mindedness.

First of all, the level of "dishonesty" a Christian displays depends on the personal experiences and intellectual capacity of the individual.  Some of the Christians that post on these forums are "kids".  You can tell by the way that they write.  They have most likely been spoon fed their beliefs by their parents and pastors and are like young animals venturing out in the world for the first time.  Like a young tiger attempting its first kill, they are attempting their first "conquest" in the name of Jesus.  They visit the forum hoping to share what they believe is clearly the truth to deluded atheists.  Like that young tiger, they bumble and stumble and really don't know what they are doing. They are extremely naive.  I cut them a tremendous amount of slack.

Then, there are Christians who simply haven't been exposed to enough arguments by nonbelievers to realize that there is a discrepancy between their beliefs and the facts.  I became a born-again Christian at age 13.  All the information I got about the Bible and theology was from churches, youth groups, other Christians, and the 700 Club.  I do remember being introduced to Josh McDowell in college and I readily accepted his apologetic arguments.  I only remember several instances where my beliefs in college were questioned by other students, but they weren't done with a great deal of precision or persistence.  I was so "on fire" for Jesus and convinced that I had the truth, that whatever wisdom they were trying to impart went right over my head. 

Now, let me tell you about Christians that I believe are displaying higher levels of dishonesty. 

On forums like these, and in other circumstances, I have seen Christians presented with challenging questions to which they have no good answers.  When pressed on such matters, they turn off their brains, cover their ears, and more or less say "I can't hear you, I can't hear you."  These people are being dishonest with themselves.  They are so afraid that their whole world will crumble, that they won't attempt to examine evidence which they are afraid might indict their beliefs.  Ignorance is bliss.  Not to say that I am not sympathetic at all to their situation; the consequences of examining the beliefs in a critical manner are profound.  Nonetheless, I do feel that they are not really being honest with themselves.

Now, for the Christians that reflect the "something" that you are "missing".  Certain Christians on these forums have been repeatedly exposed to quality arguments by atheists and agnostics.  They participate extensively in conversations and show a higher level of intellectual sophistication than other Christians.  When confronted with challenges, I have seen them play games.  They obfuscate, dodge, ignore posts, attempt to disqualify a question by claiming the person raising it did so in a disrespectful manner, change arguments in midstream in an attempt to find a rebuttal that works, etc, etc.  These are the folks that I think are the most culpable of dishonesty.
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Offline valbernados

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Re: The inherent dishonesty of theism: Must theists lie because they follow a lie?

A theist is not lying...

A theist (if the religion is false), I can say is deceived by the religious leader.
The false religious leader may not be lying as well but being deceived by Satan.

People(Religious teacher) with wrong interpretation of GOD (false relgion) can deceive people... But the follower of that religion is not actually lying... They are committed and devoted in their belief...

=)

Offline valbernados

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When a theist sin (do not follow their god), they are not also lying...

They are disobedient...


Offline Nam

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I was bored a few hours ago, I was going to watch a movie but decided to get on the 'net and do some trivia at funtrivia.com but I usually just take the "contest" quizzes and not actually take any of the other ones. You have to wait an hour to play another quiz so I was roaming google putting in Atheist forums, reading topics there with Atheists and Christians talking, and then I went to Christian forums and did the same. I noticed that at the Atheist forums Christians never admit to faults or question anything that's in the Bible or about their religion. They ardently stand by everything that is said, and what the totality of what their religion and Faith is. But at the Christian forums they were more open to questioning those aspects. I read where one Christian was stating, "Perhaps Earth is not 6,000 years old" and then he gave his reason as to why it may not be (this was on a Baptist Christian forum). I also read at another Baptist Christian forum about the question of whether Atheists have a "hole in their heart", and if they really are just living sad and meaningless lives and some Christians agreed that they were but others questioned those Christians and disagreed with them stating that, "Just because we have Jesus in our lives it doesn't mean that our lives are any different than an Atheists. We go through the same tribulations as anyone else." [paraphrased] "I've known some very nice Atheists. They are not all as bad as most people think." [paraphrased] etc., there was even a section devoted to "Are there Contradictions in the Bible?" and though they made excuses for what they even perceived as contradictions they still recognized that there were/are contradictions in the Bible. And the whole "Dinosaur" issue was quite prevalent on another Christian website (an entire section solely on it) where some believe that Dinosaurs existed before man, and others believing that they existed during modern man.

I found it all interesting that they are more free to discuss the positives and negatives on their own websites yet when they join an Atheist website they contradict those sentiments on their websites and hold true that what they may disagree with they actually agree with on the Atheist website.

You can look for yourself. All you have to do is put in "Christian Forum" into a search engine and read discussions on them, and put "Atheist Forum" in a search engine and read their comments to Atheists (or on this forum) and see how different they are. One they actually discuss intelligently the positives and negatives and on the other they just discuss the positives.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline rigabear5

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Re: Is theism inherently dishonest?
« Reply #46 on: March 28, 2009, 08:37:43 AM »
Now, let me tell you about Christians that I believe are displaying higher levels of dishonesty.
I'd argue that the removal of the italics would make that statement correct. However I'm just being pedantic.

On forums like these, and in other circumstances, I have seen Christians presented with challenging questions to which they have no good answers.  When pressed on such matters, they turn off their brains, cover their ears, and more or less say "I can't hear you, I can't hear you."  These people are being dishonest with themselves.  They are so afraid that their whole world will crumble, that they won't attempt to examine evidence which they are afraid might indict their beliefs.  Ignorance is bliss.  Not to say that I am not sympathetic at all to their situation; the consequences of examining the beliefs in a critical manner are profound.  Nonetheless, I do feel that they are not really being honest with themselves.
I agree wholeheartedly.

Now, for the Christians that reflect the "something" that you are "missing".  Certain Christians on these forums have been repeatedly exposed to quality arguments by atheists and agnostics.  They participate extensively in conversations and show a higher level of intellectual sophistication than other Christians.  When confronted with challenges, I have seen them play games.  They obfuscate, dodge, ignore posts, attempt to disqualify a question by claiming the person raising it did so in a disrespectful manner, change arguments in midstream in an attempt to find a rebuttal that works, etc, etc.  These are the folks that I think are the most culpable of dishonesty.
Hmm. Interesting. Let me ask you, do you think that these people have actually realised that their beliefs are incorrect?
My answer to that question is no. I'm under the impression that they are desperately holding on to what they believe. Because of this, I'd argue that they are being dishonest only in the manner in which they conduct themselves. And we readily forget that this trait is not exclusive to any group... they are characteristics of human nature (I'm no physiologist mind you, I'm just stating my opinion based on observations) that people; in all walks of life; employ as a defensive mechanism when forced into a intellectual corner. I agree 100% that those people are being dishonest, but that does not support Hermes' statement which was...
Quote
theism is inherently dishonest
... which I feel is utterly unsupported toss, which was what I was trying to explain.

To reiterate, you cannot take the actions of a those in a very particular situation and apply them to everyone.

And thank you, Former Believer for your thoughtful and intelligent response. More please ;)

Offline dmnemaine

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Rigabear5,

I have a question for you.

Do you equate theism with theists? 

Offline rigabear5

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You can look for yourself. All you have to do is put in "Christian Forum" into a search engine and read discussions on them, and put "Atheist Forum" in a search engine and read their comments to Atheists (or on this forum) and see how different they are. One they actually discuss intelligently the positives and negatives and on the other they just discuss the positives.

-Nam
Two reasons for this spring to mind, and I'm not sure whether you are asking for an explanation or not, I'm just putting this out there.

The first reason: I'd guess that this is so because, by and large, atheists in atheist forums are overly aggressive and far from respectful. Straight off the bat theists are put on the defensive, and as I was saying... if one acts like an egotistical know-it-all (as some people here are wont to do) then those who argue against are going to be reluctant to lose face or concede ground in a discussion.

Also, it takes a certain type of theist to go onto an atheist website and they are often the most militant and evangelical of them. Atheists and theists are not all that different in some ways; think why it is that atheists go onto theist forums and I'd wager that those theists who tread here have similar motivations.

Of course, this does not apply to everyone.

Rigabear5,
I have a question for you.
Do you equate theism with theists? 
Touche  ;D

And my answer is yes. But my argument stands; to accuse theism of being dishonest, it has to realise that it is false and be intentionally spreading lies. And the agents of theism are theists and while they are incorrect they do not recognized that. Therefore they are not dishonest and therefore theism as a whole; which I'd argue is the theists collective (as opposed to an independent agent); cannot be dishonest.

Does that make sense?

Offline dmnemaine

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Touche  ;D

And my answer is yes. But my argument stands; to accuse theism of being dishonest, it has to realise that it is false and be intentionally spreading lies. And the agents of theism are theists and while they are incorrect they do not recognized that. Therefore they are not dishonest and therefore theism as a whole; which I'd argue is the theists collective (as opposed to an independent agent); cannot be dishonest.

Does that make sense?


Actually the only requirement that theism be dishonest is that the original founders of the various theistic religions were dishonest and intentionally spread lies.  If it can be shown that this is true, then theism is inherently dishonest.

Offline rigabear5

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Actually the only requirement that theism be dishonest is that the original founders of the various theistic religions were dishonest and intentionally spread lies.  If it can be shown that this is true, then theism is inherently dishonest.
Actually, no. That makes theism a lie. Theism in it's current incarnation does not realise this therefore theism today is not dishonest for this reason...

Quote from: 'Wikipedia'
Dishonesty is a word which in common usage may be defined as the act or to act without honesty; a lack of probity, to cheat, lying or being deliberately deceptive...
The accusation of dishonesty is only valid if the entity in question acts as such. Those founders are dead, and theism today does not act dishonestly (at least, not in the sense we are talking about in this thread). Ergo it makes no difference if the founders were dishonest.

Offline tbright

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I can't answer this question as it's so broad by using the term theists.

Offline dmnemaine

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Actually, no. That makes theism a lie. Theism in it's current incarnation does not realise this therefore theism today is not dishonest for this reason...

Quote from: 'Wikipedia'
Dishonesty is a word which in common usage may be defined as the act or to act without honesty; a lack of probity, to cheat, lying or being deliberately deceptive...
The accusation of dishonesty is only valid if the entity in question acts as such. Those founders are dead, and theism today does not act dishonestly (at least, not in the sense we are talking about in this thread). Ergo it makes no difference if the founders were dishonest.

If theism is a lie, then it is inherently dishonest.  Just because some theists today don't know that what they've bought into is a lie doesn't make the lie honest.  It is still a lie and still inherently dishonest.  Ignorance and/or sincerity does not excuse the dishonesty.

Offline tbright

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Actually, no. That makes theism a lie. Theism in it's current incarnation does not realise this therefore theism today is not dishonest for this reason...
Quote from: 'Wikipedia'
Dishonesty is a word which in common usage may be defined as the act or to act without honesty; a lack of probity, to cheat, lying or being deliberately deceptive...
The accusation of dishonesty is only valid if the entity in question acts as such. Those founders are dead, and theism today does not act dishonestly (at least, not in the sense we are talking about in this thread). Ergo it makes no difference if the founders were dishonest.
If theism is a lie, then it is inherently dishonest.  Just because some theists today don't know that what they've bought into is a lie doesn't make the lie honest.  It is still a lie and still inherently dishonest.  Ignorance and/or sincerity does not excuse the dishonesty.

And remember this if atheism is a lie. You guys keep changing the term on me, so if you declare that there is no god, and there really is, you'd be lying.

Offline Former Believer

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Rigabear,  you make some very precise and astute arguments.  To a large extent, I agree with what you say.  I do believe that most theists are sincere believers.  I also agree that most of their dishonesty manifests itself on a tactical level (and I'm sure this is often largely subconscious), and I understand that nontheists can engage in similar behavior when backed into an "intellectual corner".  Having said that, I think there is merit to Hermes' OP.  Let me highlight what I think is a key phrase.  Perhaps we can work with that and come to some sort of a mutual understanding:

I'll state up front that I think that theism is inherently dishonest and forces people that follow religious beliefs seriously to lie even if they would not normally do so.

Instead of labeling theism as dishonest (although its creation may have resulted either in part or in its entirety from intentional fabrication--although I think primitive superstitious intepretation of events and phenomena and even possibly mental illness may also have played a role), perhaps it would be better to label it as "untrue".  As such, its adherents are forced to defend the indefensible.  When it comes to Christianity, this includes implausible stories like Noah's Ark, contradictions, historical, scientific, and factual errors, and immoral behavior committed by the God of the Bible and his followers at His behest.  

Because they are forced to defend the indefensible, they either bury their heads in the sand and decide that ignorance is bliss (which we both previously agreed was a form of not being honest with one's self, or they resort to methods of argumentation that they normally would not use.  I think it is important to note that Hermes did not say they were insincere in their beliefs, but that they needed to "lie" to defend those beliefs.  Maybe we can substitute "lie" with another term or phrase.  In addition, I do think several different terms or phrases might need to be used based on the level of conscious awareness that the theist has regarding the tactics he is using.  Applying such terms to particular situations is obviously not an easy task, as it is impossible to get inside someone's head and understand what they are thinking.

In short, I agree with most of what you have to say.  I'm not certain that Hermes would disagree with much of what you say either, but I will let him speak for himself as I failed the Miss Cleo course on psychic awareness for which I paid $795 in 2002.

Faith unsubstaniated by the facts equal foolishness

Offline Hermes

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Re: Is theism inherently dishonest?
« Reply #55 on: March 28, 2009, 11:02:27 AM »
Very good comments, btw.  Thanks.  I'm going to mull over some of them.  For now, I'll respond to a few things you mentioned where we disagree, how ever modestly.

First off, I am not saying that theists are by necessity dishonest all the time.  Though, they can and do learn to be dishonest through attempting to justify the incredible and implausible.

If you have both time and some stamina, take a look at the invisible apple analogy for more details on how this happens;

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=4456.msg93191#msg93191

If you look at those conversations, and can explain to me why someone would not admit their personal ignorance on the subject or (better) consider the story to be not literal, let me know.
So you expect every theist to have thought about every single bible story in adequate depth to be able to defend it against the likes of you? Well obviously not. As I have stated while they may begin by not knowing the answer, they may well go and look for one and perhaps even find it (well, in their minds at any rate).

What I was focusing on in my example (Noah / world wide flood), is that even when shown that what they thought can not possibly be true, instead of acknowledging reality, they instead become more fervent in clinging to the falsehood.  That's a lie, regardless of the motivation or the challenge to them.

This can be seen here daily from one or more theists.

Additionally, when someone tells you -- shows you -- something, and you ignore it, that is a lie by omission.  That they may have psychological barriers to understanding (based on fervent beliefs or even a casual understanding of how the world works in a specific instance, or an automatic response based on learned behaviors) can only account for some of that behavior.  The rest has to be considered intentional; it must be considered dishonest.

Basically, thesim while incorrect, is not dishonest.

Agreed, till it is examined.  Yet, unexamined, what a theist attributes to a deity (unexamined) is just normal human nature.  The wonders around us, life, and fascinations to be found in every little thing.  How often do you see phrases where that layer of paint compulsively gets added to what simply is?

In order to think that someone else can't be human in the way that they are human because of religion is bigoted at a minimum, forcing a lie to be propagated, even if it is not an overt lie intended to deceive.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Hermes

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I've posted this a few times, though this thread is probably the best place for it.



There is a difference between a lie without morals and a lie tied to morals.  For example, the tooth fairy vs. Yahweh.  Here's something that draws out this issue in quite a bit of detail;



How to control a human soul: The ABC's of totalitarianism - not to be used for evil!
http://www.freedomainradio.com/Traffic_Jams/how_to_control_a_human_soul.mp3

I'm not an avid supporter of philosophy (it is often abused and nonsense, and he goes too far in a few places), and I definitely do not support the speaker's political views (he's a bit out there).  That said, there are quite a few diamonds in the mud and sappy muck.  Bring your own fire hose, shovel, and waders if you listen to it.  I hope that you find it as interesting as I have.

Some notes with time indexes;

Quote
[ SKIP 0:00-3:15 ]
3:15 - Start  (a bit of blah blah blah and excess drama; wade through it as an intro to the meat)
6:30 - Start of meat
8:30 - Invisible apple analogy (good stuff)
10:00 - Disassociate reality using abstractions, in earnest
[ SKIP 15:30-21:00 ]
21:00 - Insane asylum (who is crazy?)
24:00 - Morality - different rules for different people
25:15 - Dealing with people who are moral and would speak up
26:00 - Only bad people can't see the invisible apple
27:00 - Emperor's new clothes
27:30 - The more good you are, the better the invisible apple tastes
28:30 - Corruption of the people who want to be good, and protects those who would be questioned
30:00 - Stakes are now high for a moral person -- abstractions replace/trump reality
32:00 - How parents (and others) become accomplices
33:30 - Life long quest to see an invisible apple (distraction)
34:45 - Compliant weenies vs. cynics
35:30 - Can't withdraw a lie that is moral in nature (Jesus) vs. not moral (Santa)
37:00 - Nihilists are also no threat
39:00 - No concern with facts; facts are a threat
40:00 - People make up stuff -- and get hostile
41:00 - Once you believe that something invisible is the center of the world, what use are facts?
[ SKIP 43:00-46:30 ]
46:30-48:00 - Give God your money vs. Give Bob your money
[ END ]
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Hermes

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I can't answer this question as it's so broad by using the term theists.

I fully admit that it's intentionally inflammatory.  The good thing is that it has yielded more light than flame.

If I run the poll again, I'll add in more middle of the road options.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer