Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

The biggest thing I've changed my mind about because of R&S. Do you agree/disagree? Please challenge this?

(A bit long for me but here goes)

I used to believe that the "solution" to dogmatism was education. With education there will eventually no longer be religion. I no longer think this because I don't think people turn to religion due to intellectual reasons. They turn to religion due to emotional reasons.

My new way of seeing things, and a big reason why Atheists and Believers aren't speaking the same language, is because we infer that "the other" believes/disbelieves for the same reasons we do. Believers believe because of emotional reasons. Atheists disbelieve because of intellectual reasons.

Is this wrong in your experience?

29 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    My decision for being a non-believer started emotionally and became both emotional and intellectual. So, I can't totally agree with you.

    As much as I'd like to simplify this matter for the sake of understanding between the binary oppositions of believers and nonbelievers, I just don't think it can be done quite yet. I love the way you phrased it: they aren't "speaking the same language." So, you are definitely on to something. But no matter how hard we try, we can't boil it down.

    There's one major element that is missing that I think transcends intellectualism and emotional responses: faith. Faith is neither yet it features both. I have faith in human kind not to randomly kill each other on a daily basis. Yes, it happens, but consider there are millions of cars on the interstate system at any given time, and 99% of those people aren't intentionally running other cars off the roads, my faith in human kind is intellectually based. But there is always an exception, and I have no idea if some day everyone could go completely insane and begin doing this. So, I have faith that it won't happen.

    Now, after intense discussions with my Lutheran-raised significant other, I've learned a thing or two about Christian faith. Between him, the other Christians I've known, the Christians here, and the pithy sayings on church signs around the city, I cannot help but feel a certain anti-intellectualism amongst the religious. Because I was raised to value education, because I have three degrees, because I am an educator, and because my meaning of life revolves around learning, I cannot help but feel . . . frustrated and angry toward anti-intellectualism. That tends to translate into a very negative attitude toward religion. And that tends to keep me from communicating with Christians and coming to an understanding. I simply cannot understand why anyone would criticize education for the sake of learning. It is beyond me why anyone needs to write a book called, "How to Stay Christian in College." To me, if you were meant for your beliefs and your beliefs were meant for you, they wouldn't change no matter what education you receive. But I find that no one wants to hear that message.

    So, I argue with Christians and believers.

    Obviously, I'm not anti-Christian. I get why they have faith. But I simply can't believe in what they believe because my emotional experiences with Christians turned me off and because my studies tell me that Christ was probably a good guy, but not a god.

    Again, while I wish I could make it work in a basic way, I can't. Trust me. I wish it was so easy (not that I'm calling you simplistic. I admire your reflection and consideration on this.)

    Sorry so long. I don't expect anyone to read this. Mostly just sounding it out for myself.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It seems like some Atheists become atheists for emotional reasons. Many here complain about bad experiences at home with religion as a child. So it seems like turning to Atheism can also be an emotional issue.

    There is no intellegent issues that are valid. Just today in a LIVESCIENCE Chart I saw Science validating the HOBBIT. Now, you telling me that's an intellegent viewpoint!

    How can there be true education when ALL sides are not given an equal opportunity to speak.

    There are at least 6-12 different views on Evolution and the Time Line.

    There is a Scientific conflict over IF or IF NOT Neaderthal and Sapiens existed in tandem.

    Now, which of these views are taught in school.

    On school of thinking says they met and mated. Another school of thinking said Neaderthal was DEFINATELY extinct by the time Sapiens roamed the Earth.

    Which is the correct point of view. What were YOU taught!

    I was taught Pluto was a planet. It's in all my grade school, high school and college text books.

    Speculation is taught as fact. That is a severe problem.

    You cannot have a VALID education system where SPECULATION is passed off as FACT.

    If you do, then start teaching about Area 57 and UFOs, for that, too, is speculation.

    What it boils down to is YOUR acceptable speculation, which amounts to nothing more than brainwashing.

    The Red Country is our friend, the Green Country is our Enemy.

    And there ARE WMD in Iraq!

    Oooops. Sorry. Pluto is NOT a planet, the Red Country is our enemy, the Green Country is our friend and there are no WMD in Iraq.

    That is what education boils down to.

  • 1 decade ago

    So much to your question: First in some ways your right about education for when man has gained all knowledge he will be as God is and then have no need for religion. Please don't get me wrong this cannot be done in this life, we do not have the capability to acquire that much knowledge. Second is also true the whole plan of God is that we have faith as it is one of the biggest parts of his plan for us so it is emotional. However some atheists have convinced them selves science does prove there is not a God. However I have seen the writing of scientists who have come to the conclusion that this could never be by chance but has to be engineered by a much higher power. Some atheists know full well there is a God and choose to fight the Lord in his plan to save every one. Intellectual reasons will never prove or dis prove one way or another as long as people live upon this earth with out direct guidance from Jesus himself.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No, because there are people who are Christians that can logically think things through. There are Christian scientists, philosophers, appologetics, etc whom are deep thinkers. Some are even former athetists.

    Paul in the bible was a thinker and there are a number of them that were. (He was known as Saul the Christian Killer before he became Paul.) Then there is David who had mostly a heart through the way he had expressed himself. You can also see that in the bible that they had different personalities.

    In part I would agree with you. Some of us have think more with our hearts then our heads. Opposites do attract.

    If God made us all the same then we would have been clones wouldn't we? In some cases the church can be like that but not always. I think God sees us as individuals and if we were all the same then we would be in trouble.

    Some times the person who has more of a heart can cause a person who is more a thinker to consider people's feelings where as the thinker can cause the person who has a heart to think about things more.

    I am thankful that we are all different. I like you avatar even if you would think otherwise about God unless of course I am mistaken? :-)

    It's pretty bold of you to take on an avatar of Christ yet you don't believe in him or maybe you did at one time? I also think it takes guts to stand out in front of crowd and preach the "Gospel of Christ" and take a beating (abuses and threats) for it. Isn't it that way always when we stand up for truth we believe in?

    People who stand up for social injustice will take a stand for that and others will tell them to shut up. Is it really that much different then what Jesus tried to do when he defended those whom would have been considered weak in bibical times? He had logic and he also had a heart.

    That's the "Real Jesus" I believe in.

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  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I think there's something to this argument. Certainly it's almost useless to appeal to reason when rationality isn't much involved in the choice to believe. Atheists need to find ways to communicate the emotional rewards of atheism (they are many, and profound).

    And don't give up on the effects of education. Some polls suggest that the younger, more educated generations are both less religious and less hostile to nonbelief than older generations. It was never a thing that was likely to change overnight, you know....

    Source(s): Moderately educated, fully contented atheist :)
  • Jim L
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Absolutely. As far as I can tell, the people who claim to have "experienced God" have simply had powerful emotional experiences that they chose to interpret. But the fact is that many people of different religions & cultures also have powerful emotional experiences that they also see as proof but of a different god or belief system.

    Another way I look at this is that our world views are to some degree deeply wired based upon the stories we were raised with as young children, before our brains advanced enough to do our own critical thinking. Those beliefs are so deep that we can't easily examine them objectively, and instead are just sensed emotionally.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I wouldn't say your theory is wrong... I would say you might be partly right.

    In my experience, knowledge is what brought me to the Lord. There is a certain amount of emotion and sentiment that surrounds tradition and beliefs. I have emotion regarding my faith - I have knowledge that the Lord speaks to me and works in my life.

    If Atheists disbelieve for intellectual reasons, would it follow that they would have no emotion for say - a particular holiday or memory that they enjoy - but instead approach everything from an intellectual point of view?

    The bible challenges us to ask questions, to seek the Lord, to discuss our faith. If we follow blindly - that would be (IMHO) an emotional blindness. If we do as the Lord encourages us to do and ask the hard questions (for example, do many Christians challenge the Lord with 'WHY do we believe?') then, and again in my opinion, we've jumped in with "eyes wide open".

    I'm not greatly educated insofar as theology is concerned, but I ask the hard questions. He hasn't failed me yet. I'm sure you would agree in your own experience as you've obviously asked the hard questions as well. :)

    IMHO - I am not an emotional believer - I am an informed believer with the grace to experience the emotions of God...

    blessings :) - ((hugs)) and great question!

  • 1 decade ago

    I agree with you completely. People who turn to religion and are fervently into it do it because of emotional not intellectual reasons. They put their heart into it and believe this is the way they're going to be happy. Why do you think the charismatic movement has gained so much popularity and strenght? It appeals to the emotions of the people and the belief that showing your weaknesses and crying are somehow going to save you. Is not about being smart or stupid, is about wanting comfort and not finding it in your family or friends. So you find it in a church.

  • 4 years ago

    I’m with PIN on this one as well; my marketing research for my particular business has sparked interest in different economic models both on a micro and macro scale. Since the markets are in such a flux, I’ve come to believe I will live long enough to witness if not become part of a global economic revolution. For those of you who might be wondering what I’m talking about, I suggest you look up and read, listen and hear what Michael Parenti, Michale Albert, and Robin Hahnel have to say on the subject. Anyone running their own businesses these days cannot afford to be uninformed on these subjects.

  • 1 decade ago

    I do not subscribe to the emotional argument for belief.

    I am a Christian rationalist of the order of Augustine and Calvin. My rational system does not exalt the human mind as autonomous; instead, it affirms Biblical revelation as axiomatic. Divine revelation of Holy Scripture is a rational revelation. This revelation is internally self-consistent, non-contradictory, and non-paradoxical. A rational Christian reasons from revelation, not to revelation or apart from revelation. Unlike non-belief, my Christian faith is intellectually and logically defensible.

    While all of my questions will never be definitively answered, I find that rationally my belief is on solid ground. There are many things in the world I do not fully understand or experience with my five senses, yet we have no problems in believing them. For example, solar physics is not fully known, yet we all objectively accept, using our presuppositions and scientific discourse, the "fact" that the sun will rise tomorrow.

    Persons that seek absolute proof of something are inconsistently applying logic and rationality, for they do not seek this absoluteness in all things. Hence, their epistemologies are not fully formed; they speak without proper understanding of the nature of knowledge.

    Why is it we can believe in many things using rational analysis, even when what we believe is only partially known, yet when it comes to matters like a supreme being, we suddenly want the "show me beyond a shadow of doubt" proof? As Aristotle once stated, "It is the mark of an instructed mind to rest satisfied with the degree of precision which the nature of the subject admits, and not to seek exactness when only an approximation of the truth is possible."

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