Belief is God

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Aposteriori unum's picture
Belief is God

There is a dubious fixation on "belief" within the bible, amongst early Christians/jesus loving Jews, Jews and even modern Christians. The number of times it is stressed in the bible, I think, is telling. Why is it so important that someone believes in god? Why, if what they are saying is so true and righteous, do they feel the need to include such a thing? In science we don't say:"it's important that you 'believe.'"

It's almost a tacit admission that they have no way of knowing or demonstrating the truth of their claims that they realize, on some level, that it's different than all the other claims to knowledge in daily experience. "If you believe hard enough it will be so." This, to me, raises flags already... Without even examining the nature of the claims. There is an inherent cognitive dissonance in religious belief.

Why do apologists exist? Their very existence... The fact that they need defenders of the faith should, to a rational mind, raise some questions. Why the battle for the minds of children? Why is it so important that children be taught the belief system? Do they fear that if they are not taught that they will not draw the same conclusion? All the science denial and political battles over classrooms and what they teach; certain groups explicitly against higher education.... If the truth was so obvious... Well, you know, the truth has nothing to fear from scrutiny and being challenged. If they knew that what they believe was absolutely true we would expect them to have incredible confidence. If they, themselves had doubts and realized that their claims were absurd and contrary to all human experience we would expect them to do everything in their power to undermine education and divert inquiry. And this is exactly what we see.

"For those who believe all things are possible." What a vacuous proposition.

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Tin-Man's picture
To: Apost "Why the battle for

To: Apost "Why the battle for the minds of children?"

No doubt you already knew the answer to that yourself even before you asked it, but for the benefit of others who might wonder...

It is said Hitler was once quoted as saying, "Give me a child when he is seven, and I will give you a Nazi for life..." Now, it is possible that particular statement could have been a misquote. However, another quote of Hitler was, "He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future." The religious battle for the youth because the innocent mind of a child is at its most malleable, vulnerable, and influential point in the growing/learning process. I realize this is pretty much common sense to most of the folks on this site, but there are possibly a few out there who are not aware of that fact.

Sky Pilot's picture


The Nazis got a lot of their ideas from Americans. We had better propaganda than they did, which is why they came out looking bad although they did the same things we did.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Aristotle — 'Give me a child

Aristotle — 'Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.'

Also a similar quote attributed to Ignatious Loyola founder of the Jesuits...who probably stole it. The Jesuits were certainly adept at practising the art. Almost as good as the Brits who based their entire class system upon it.

Sheldon's picture
I am often reminded of this

I am often reminded of this whenever the Hitler youth are mentioned, and the indoctrination of the young. Note the old man slumped over his beer midway through, the look of resigned disgust on his face. It's no accident that religions target the young, anymore than it's a coincidence the Nazis made membership of the Hitler youth compulsory by law, and children were encouraged to denounce all political dissent, even from immediate family members.

I believe the quote however is more likely derived from the Catholic Jesuit order. Did you know Stalin often gushed his admiration for the Jesuit order, even claiming his secret police were constructed on the same principles.

bigbill's picture
The, reason why belief is

The, reason why belief is emphasized so many times in the word of god the Bible is because it all comes down to faith, faith was important then as it is today. Without faith the bible says one cannot please GOD. jesus said to one to one group that if you have faith as a mustard seed it will grow if you water it to a big brush .meaning strengthen your faith in God. And how does one go about doing this; well you begin by reading gods word and praying and getting and practicing the fruits of the spirit .which is mentioned in Galatians chapter 5.Also you live a good and moral life Trying to cut down the amount of sin that your committing on a daily basics. to have virtue build up in one`s life. As for apologist, they are needed 1st peter chpt 3 verse 15 states this; There are involved in a battle in the heavenly places going on for peoples souls what there offering is an explanation of the faith and to teach people of all ages the Christian faith. As far as undermining education and diverting inquiry can you go into specifics please.

Aposteriori unum's picture
Faith is the excuse people

Faith is the excuse people give when then don't have good reason to believe something. It is emphasized so much because there are no good reasons. Faith is the only way to believe in the Christian god. Christians know this. You have not refuted any point I made.

Specific examples? Creationism being taught in schools in certain states... Louisiana and Texas for example. Or the "teach the controversy" nonsense. The scopes trial. Teachers who are believers refusing to teach evolution... Which they are allowed in Kentucky and various other states. Text books including stuff like "the ten commandments inspired the bill of rights" or "Moses is the inspiration for the constitution " it's rampant in the USA. Look it up.

Flamenca's picture
@Devout: Without faith the

@Devout: Without faith the bible says one cannot please GOD. Sure! Every holy book asks for blind faith to the specific divine entity its advocating for...

The big question of the OP is if the Bible is the word of a god, which is the absolute truth and that god is almighty, why would this god need intermission; why would He write divine laws in such collection of books full of contradictions, able to be interpreted (remember that supposedly using the same texts, there are thousands of different religions, and around the NT, thousands of different versions of Christianity); why would we need to indoctrinate our children, if the Truth was so obvious?

On the contrary, if you want to spread a big lie, and create a multibillionaire business, one that ensures wealth and power for almost two thousand years, you need every tool you can afford: you need indoctrination of children; you need apologists; you need political power...

@Devout: As far as undermining education and diverting inquiry can you go into specifics please

I can't think of a better example on how education is undermining than the example he already gave: Creationism in the classroom is outraging. Why is it okay to teach sth so stupid and unfounded like that, when the International Scientific Community, as a whole, agrees on Evolution being a fact? If your kids were taught that Colombus created America instead of coming into America's coasts from Europe, because it's a possibility, although the teacher has no proof to support it, you would be outraged too.

Sky Pilot's picture


Just a minor point but Columbus never did set foot on the mainland. He always landed on the islands.

algebe's picture
Diotephes: "Columbus never

Diotephes: "Columbus never did set foot on the mainland."

And he was really trying to find Japan, wasn't he?

Flamenca's picture
@Diotrephes: "Columbus never

@Diotrephes: "Columbus never did set foot on the mainland." Righteous, it's not like I said he did, but it really was not the best example I could have chosen; but you see, I was just trying to illustrate that some parents who demand proper education on the rest of the subjects their kids are being taught are lax with facts in Natural Science class because of their beliefs (and a belief is not necessarily that of a fact).

@Algebe: And he was really trying to find Japan, wasn't he? He probably was aware of Darius' empire (which included part of India) and I do remember my school teacher telling us that he knew about Marco Polo's adventure, so Colombus was trying to get to Asia, I don't know if it was especifically Japan.

Jared Alesi's picture
I was always taught that he

I was always taught that he was looking for a way to get to India by sea to avoid the travel taxes and highwaymen in the Middle East.

algebe's picture

He wanted to get to Japan. Most of what Europeans knew about East Asia came from Marco Polo. Based on exaggerated rumors he heard in China, Polo had described Japan as having so much gold that they built temples and paved roads with it.

mykcob4's picture
The story was that Columbus

The story was that Columbus was trying to find a shorter cheaper route to Asia and the story was also that a small group of people believed that the world was round in the 1490s.
The truth is that Columbus wanted to lay claim to virgin land that was discovered by the Vikings and probably others. Hence he had a hard time getting financing. No one wanted to speculate on uncharted land. Many had lost their ass in African expeditions.
Also, most of the world knew that the world was round and they knew the approximate size. They didn't believe there would be a shorter route to Asia by going west.
So Columbus actually intended to claim new territory and only Queen Isabella would back the venture. None of the rich Italians, French or any other Royal court wanted to speculate on uncharted land.
Interestingly it was the Pope that persuaded Isabella to finance the venture. She had just won favor with the church by murdering most of the Moors in Spain. The Pope was keen on exploiting new lands even if it meant genocide. Rodrigo de Borgia was Pope Alexander VI. Other than Africa there were no new people or lands to exploit for the church (the Borgia family). Also, the Borgia family lent a great deal of money to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. So they wanted the King and Queen to fail and cede all of their lands to the church.
The story of Columbus trying to find a shorter route to Asia is bullshit. Even if he had, he would still have to deal with markets already sewn up by other European companies.
Japan and Indonesia-Dutch
China-Italian varied principalities
Every market was locked up, to begin with.
Columbus needed to find new markets, new traders, new land and new people to exploit to be profitable.

algebe's picture
@Mykcob: "Japan and Indonesia

@Mykcob: "Japan and Indonesia-Dutch"

The Dutch got to Japan much later. In the early 17th century they were given permission to set up trading posts on an island in Nagasaki called Dejma. They were allowed in because they were the only Christians willing to stomp on a religious icon. They were also very useful to the Japanese as a conduit for Western technology, especially firearms and medicine. Medicine is still sometimes called the Dutch science in Japan.

The first Europeans in Japan were the Portuguese in 1543, around 50 years after Columbus' voyage. They are mostly remembered for for Tempura.

Flamenca's picture
Lol, 'thank y'all for the

Lol, 'thank y'all for the amazing master class on History. Way off topic, but interesting anyways.

Sheldon's picture
"The, reason why belief is

"The, reason why belief is emphasized so many times in the word of god the Bible is because it all comes down to faith, faith was important then as it is today. Without faith the bible says one cannot please GOD. "

All religions use faith, and since there is literally nothing you can't believe with faith then what use is it for deriving the truth or falsity of a claim.

MCDennis's picture
Thanks. Interesting

Thanks. Interesting

ZeffD's picture

The common trope which we are all familiar with is that everyone in Columbus’s day thought that the earth was flat and Columbus would simply fall off of the edge if he tried to sail around it, but he thought that the earth was round and you could sail from one side to the other. That story is, however, nothing more than a wonderful fairly tale. No one in Columbus’s day thought that the earth was flat. The idea that the earth is round dates all the way back to the Greek philosophers, and it was nearly universally accepted well before Columbus set sail. So the debate in Columbus’s day was over the size of the earth, not its shape. You see, the most widely accepted estimate of earth’s circumference in Columbus’s time was 40,250 to 45,900 kilometers (25,000 to 28,500 miles), but Columbus thought that it was much smaller, only about 30,200 kilometers (18765 miles). So the debate was not about whether or not Columbus would fall off the edge of the earth. Rather, the debate was about whether or not he could survive such a long voyage.

ZeffD's picture
It is one of those things

It is one of those things everyone should know but people often don't, such as the Moon takes a month to orbit the Earth;
the solar system extends a light year or more beyond Neptune;
Catalans are not supposed to refer to their language as 'Catalan';
and that the last people executed by guillotine in France was in September, 1977;
(and so on! :-)

Tin-Man's picture
@Zeff Re: One of thise things

@Zeff Re: One of those things

Dang-it. Why weren't we taught stuff like that in school? Would have made class a helluva lot more interesting.

Jared Alesi's picture
Pablo Picasso died the same

Pablo Picasso died the same year that Pink Floyd released Dark Side of the Moon.
Cleopatra existed closer to now than the building of the first pyramids.
Stegosaurus were extinct for about 87 million years before the Tyrranosaurus Rex came into existence.
Adolf Hitler, Otto Frank (Anne Frank's dad) and J.R.R. Tolkien were all present at the battle of the Somme in WWI.
Adolf Hitler and Coca Cola were born the same year.
Mario's first appearance was in Donkey Kong as Jump Man.
Curious George never had a tail.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Since this conversation seems

Since this conversation seems to have evolved into little know facts:

Kilograms (and pounds) aren't units of weight (force), they are units of mass. You don't weight say 75 kilograms, you weigh 75 * 9.8 = 735 Newtons.

algebe's picture
Another little known but very

Another little known but very big fact:

Jupiter doesn't orbit the Sun.

Jared Alesi's picture
Please explain

Please explain

algebe's picture
The center of mass of the Sun

The center of mass of the Sun-Jupiter system is just outside of the Sun. The Sun and Jupiter both orbit around that point.

Jared Alesi's picture
Huh. Well I'll be damned.

Huh. Well I'll be damned. Neat.

CyberLN's picture
Daddy longlegs are not

Daddy longlegs are not spiders.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
They are in Australia and

They are in Australia and will eat are pretty popular.

Jared Alesi's picture
No, like they literally do

No, like they literally do not fit the scientific classification of spider. They don't make webs, they don't have a segmented head and thorax, they don't paralyze and preserve food to eat later, they can't reproduce with any kind of spider, they don't have the same type of internal heating mechanism as spiders, they don't have the same kinds of pheromones or methods of secretion of said pheromones, and they don't have the same mouth structure as spiders do. A Daddy Long Legs is not in any way a spider.

Aposteriori unum's picture
Actually, that depends what

Actually, that depends what creature you are referring to as daddy long legs. If it's a Crane fly then no, it's not a spider; if it's a harvestmen then no, it's not a spider (but it is an arachnid), but if it's a cellar spider; pholcidae, then it is in fact a spider.


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