Rationality

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Jared Alesi's picture
Rationality

I've been doing a good bit of thinking recently (scary, I know), and I've realized that rationality is entirely removed from traditional values or ideals when religion is involved. Perfectly reasonable people who value thoughtfulness, logic, and rationality will completely abandon those values if it means their religion is at stake. Faith is unacceptable in all other facets of life besides arguments over the existence of a deity. Credulity is prevalent but still mocked. Most everyone is out to disprove internet hoaxes, fact check opposing political demagogues, and point out falsehoods in any other area, but as soon as you bring up religion it all disappears.

Why is it that a society of information loving people like ours can become so hostile to logic and science the minute it touches their sweet Jesus? Why do half of Americans deny the fact of evolution by natural selection while simultaneously owning designer breed dogs? Why is the Big Bang suddenly bogus but pretty much all the rest of astrophysics is just fine? Why is radiometric dating viewed as hokum when it was discovered using the same scientific method used to discover everything else?

I think I might know why, but I'm sure those more versed in sociology could put it more eloquently than I can. Or more correctly.

For some reason, there comes a great deal of strife with being incorrect in our society. Proving someone wrong is the intellectual equivalent of beating them at arm wrestling. Being wrong is almost shameful. Admitting you're wrong is difficult, because correctness is so strongly linked to the ego. We live in a world where it is easier to persist in delusion than to face reality because of the fear of being perceived as inferior upon admitting defeat.

For this reason, people who know their arguments are illogical or simply incorrect will cling even more tightly to them. The religious know there is no justification for their religiosity perfectly well, but refuse to give it up. After all, it would not just be one person who was wrong, but centuries of people before them. So they persist, endlessly trying to justify their ridiculous beliefs while ignoring the blatantly obvious fact that no justification exists for religion. Every tenet and motif of every religion in history has been demonstrated to be incorrect, unsubstantiated, unnecessary, illogical, ill-conceived, and unbelievable, yet they believe.

Only one thing really stands as a bastion for the ridiculous concepts of any given religion, and that is faith. Faith is irrationality given form. It's completely unjustifiable, it stands against all logic, and it's the bane of rational thought. Faith naturally becomes the closest ally of the religious. Why think when you can believe in spite of thought? Faith perfectly fits the needs of this dilemma because it allows those with any cognitive dissonance to leave it at the door. Rationality and the concept of correctness fade away when faith is involved, because it destroys them both. Faith preserves the ego that would be tarnished by admitting defeat, and every religious founder (read as con artist) knew this perfectly well. Why do you think they all demanded faith from their followers?

Tl;dr: religion only exists because of faith, and faith is the cheat code for intellectual dick measuring contests.

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arakish's picture
As I read this, an

As I read this, an interesting Fuzzy jumped into my head about William Lane Craig and how he was taught in college.

See attached image and I'll let you guess which is WLC...

rmfr

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Mr. Squid's picture
A while I was watching Craig

A while I was watching Craig's debate with Harris, and the comment section cried out that Harris somehow didn't address to Craig's point(s).

But all Craig did was repeatedly spewing out objective morality bullshit like a robot. If Harris were to address his point(s), the debate would end in 3 minutes.

arakish's picture
Oh, and good treatise. I ain

Oh, and good treatise. I ain't never been big on sociology. Found it interesting but never took any courses, except the 101 course for my first degree.

rmfr

David Killens's picture
Such scientific disciplines

Such scientific disciplines such as evolution, radiometric dating, and the rapid expansion event (AKA Big Bang) all prove many sections of the bible, and many of it's core beliefs as wrong. Not by a small amount, but instead a total negation.

For those who have religion as their security blanket, accepting such disciplines is an abandonment of those warm and fuzzy feelings. And for many, it is scary and/or confusing.

Cognostic's picture
@ I've realized that

@ I've realized that rationality is entirely removed from traditional values or ideals when religion is involved.

Yes! Religion is following dictates from the Religion that professes to get them from magical beings. NO rationality at all - "Faith and Belief." Total obedience to the God or the religion.

@ Proving someone wrong is the intellectual equivalent of beating them at arm wrestling.
You are almost there but not quite. You are missing "self identification." Human beings have this bizarre ability to have imagined selves. "I am a Christian," NO. You are a human being who believes they are a Christian. Really, you are no different than the rest of us. Because of this ability to be what we do, when you comment on the belief system or the idea, it is interpreted as an attack on the person. Take any of your most cherished beliefs and examine them closely, they are never what they seem. "My wife love me," for example. Well, facts be told, sometimes she does and sometimes she hates your frigging guts and wonders how in the hell she ever ended up in this relationship. It is not "love" that keeps people together but the willingness to be committed and the fear of change. It is brushing aside the issues that could break apart the relationship and imagining things will be better. It is enjoying the good times and not paying so much attention to the bad times. It is identifying one's self as a good husband or wife because that is what I am. And you want to see a fight? Call someone a bad parent. "For this reason, people who know their arguments are illogical or simply incorrect will cling even more tightly to them." It is easier to exist in delusion than to risk the unknown and change.

Your life can be different--- RIGHT NOW. Quit your job, leave your family, move to another part of the world and start over. Give up who you are and begin again. Now think of all the reasons you do not do this, and that is who you think you are. Those are your most cherished beliefs. None of them are real. None of them are part of the human being. They are just layers of perceptions you have stacked on yourself as you imagine "This is who I am." To comment on any of these beliefs results in unreasonable resistance and irrationality.

LogicForTW's picture
Well said.

Well said.

Humans have a tendency to pick up a side, and then defend and try to rationalize it way way beyond any semblance of solid reasoning of the facts.

In some ways, the beauty of going atheist and observing the theist, is you can observe this behavior we humans do and try to be on the lookout for it. Just because billions of people alive today believe in various sky fairy ideas, does not mean it is true.

Question everything, especially: your own beliefs and habits and ways of thinking. Even easier the answers are out there if you are willing to hear them.

An example: when I was younger, in my teens I used to be tired a lot and not sleep well. I would sleep in until noon or later on the weekends in efforts to catch up on sleep from the weekdays. It would take me forever to fall asleep at night, and waking up in the morning was one of the biggest struggles I would have all day. I was constantly tired, along with irritable and my overall performance lagged.

People told me what I needed to do, stop sleeping in, go to bed sooner. But I needed to catch up on sleep I rationalized, I cant fall asleep before 1 am anyways I will just toss and turn.

As I got a little older and wiser and realize I do not know everything, I tried it, stop sleeping in, try to go to bed at a reasonable hour every night. At first it sucked, I slept less then before, I wanted to quit, etc.

After the first week it go easier, after week 2 getting up and falling asleep got easier. After a few months I stopped using my alarm clock almost entirely, A year later, I have my go to to sleep routine, where I usually fall asleep within 2 minutes of my head hitting the pillow and I wake up at around the same time every day, with no alarm, rested. Even if I stay up late one night partying, I still wake up the next morning at around the normal time of ~8am feeling rested. I sleep better now than I ever have. All I had to do, is almost paradoxically to me, not sleep in on the weekends for a few weeks. I stopped ignoring the answers and rationalizing my previously held position.

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