Discussion 12/22: Religious Questions & Statements

“If I Were God…” I Choose to Believe in a God of Love. It Doesn’t Matter What You Believe, as Long as You’re Sincere – If you’re not actively seeking to determine whether or not your beliefs are valid, you can’t really claim to be sincere, can you? ~Peanuts. Religious Ideas are Untestable. Things Aren’t That Simple. It’s So Hard Being A —-. I Can’t Buy — Because They’re Such Hypocrites.

Discussion 12/22: Religious Questions & Statements

“If I Were God…”

“Pascal’s wager”:if you believed in God, and God did not exist,you lost nothing, whereas if you failed to believe, but God didexist, the consequences could be disastrous.Â

Guess what? You’re not God, nor are you likely to be for theforeseeable future. So who cares what you would do if you wereGod?Â

I Choose to Believe in a God of Love

Maybe there is a God, maybe not. If there is a God, then God hascertain attributes and not others. What possible difference can itmake what you choose to believe?Â

It Doesn’t Matter What You Believe, as Long as You’reSincere

If you’re not actively seeking to determine whether or not yourbeliefs are valid, you can’t really claim to be sincere, can you?~Peanuts

Wrong ideas don’t improve simply because someone believes themsincerely. Â Sincerity is inadequate to overcomereality.

Sincerity is generally a good thing. It is generally associatedwith personal integrity, and we often admire people who livesincerely according to their beliefs. But, to be accurate, we onlydo this when we consider their belief to be true. We find faultwith leaders in history that committed atrocities against humanitybecause of ‘sincere beliefs’. Hitler sincerely believed that theworld would be a better place if he killed the entire Jewish race(and he lived extremely consistently with this sincere belief) butfew today would abstain from passionate denunciation of his’belief’ and actions. So, practically speaking, we all seem to knowthat sincerity is not enough–the belief must also be true andethically good. Â

Religious Ideas are Untestable

Something will happen when we die. We may cease to exist, enterinto an afterlife, or be reincarnated, but the inability tocommunicate across the event horizon does not affect the fact thatsome outcome will happen and others will not.Â

Things Aren’t That Simple

Who ever said theology would be simple? Ask a traditionaltheologian whether killing is wrong or whether it is just thatsomeone should be poor, and his first response will be “what arethe circumstances?” It’s the modern thinker who makes blanketsimplistic statements like “killing is wrong” or “poverty iswrong.”Â

It’s So Hard Being A —————-

You can hear this from both atheists and religious fanatics. Theatheist thinks he’s a courageous lone rationalist in a world fullof superstitious savages. The religious fanatic thinks he’s thelone standard bearer of truth in a world full of unbelievers. Or hethinks of himself grimly trudging though life carrying his assignedyoke and resenting all the slackers around him who have it soeasy.Â

So what do you want, a medal? If you’re going to take a stancethat runs counter to the rest of society, at least have the commonsense to figure out you will encounter opposition, and have thecourage and integrity to accept it.Â

Of course, if your beliefs really impose a crushing burden, youmight even examine the possibility they could be wrong?Naahh.Â

I Can’t Buy ———– Because They’re Such Hypocrites

Hypocrisy, self-deception, and intellectual dishonesty are allpretty much invisible to those infected with it. So there’s a verygood chance we all have some form of it that’s as glaringly obviousto others as theirs is to us. So don’t be so quick to assume yourown record is so clean.Â

Ideas are true or false because of how they correspond toreality, not how their believers do. If you rate ideas because ofthe actions of believers, that indicates you’re looking for a quickand dirty solution rather than taking the time to evaluate evidencecritically. Either you are lazy or you may be looking for an excuseto dismiss the belief system, which makes you intellectuallydishonest and cowardly.Â


The Dumbest Statements About Religion


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Jason Lund

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