A Radical Will-to-Stupidity

A little while back, Dr. Barry Fagin, a columnist for my local newspaper, courageously attempted to restore a small, modest measure of sanity to America.  He wrote a column in which he reasonably asserted that belief in obvious nonsense is not a harmless indulgence.

Now, I don’t know how long Dr. Fagin has lived in the god-drunk town of Colorado Springs.  But if he’s a newcomer, then I could have told him he was spitting directly into the prevailing winds hereabouts.

And sure enough, no sooner was his opinion published than an outraged populace descended upon the comments section of his column to let him know just exactly where he could stuff his scandalous preferences for reality over nonsense.  Wrote one righteous soul: “The great thing about America is that we can go right on believing whatever we want, no matter how nonsensical and no matter how much it annoys the pseudo-intellectuals.”

Here in the Springs, you are smeared a “pseudo-intellectual” if you dare to write a column in which you make any favorable references to reality.  Of course, the Springs is like America in general these days.   Fairness, balance, and a sense of proportion are disappearing except as slogans.  Extremes are become fashionable.  The fantasy based community appears ascendant.  And the reality based community is, all too often, hunkered down.

To be sure, many people jumped in to defend Dr. Fagin.  Colorado Springs, like America itself, is not yet a monocrop of humanity: There are active dissenters here, albeit they are, in the community as a whole, both outnumbered and out gunned.  My friend Don and I used to attend the meetings of the local Freethinkers, which has an active membership of around 30 people,  until we could no longer stand the atmosphere of the meetings, which was one of group-depression.  Everyone there seemed to be a refugee.

Of course, the fantasy based community and the reality based community are battling all over the country — not just in the Springs.  For instance, Lillian Daniel, who lives a thousand miles east of here in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and who is both an author and a minister, is thoroughly convinced logic and evidence have no place — and ought to have no place — in deciding what she believes about her god and the bible:

I can’t prove to you that Jesus lived, died and was resurrected, nor that he healed people on the sabbath or that he forgave his tormentors. I can’t prove to you that one God can also be three in one, and that together that force has parted the waters, burned bushes and fed thousands on short rations. None of this can I prove. But I can tell you that I have faith in it.

In Daniel’s remarkable mind, the biblical passage that trumps logic and evidence is Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  And, because logic and evidence are trumped:

I can hope and believe in what is not before my eyes. I don’t have to be logical, and most of all, I don’t have to prove it. Not to you, not to anyone.

Now, that’s a pretty neat trick there — and so far as I know, she didn’t even need to use a pony.

Around 85% of Americans identify themselves as Christians.  And, millions of those Christians would sanely reject Lillian Daniel’s radical will-to-stupidity.

Yet, millions of other Christians in America would heartedly embrace Daniel’s radical will-to-stupidity.

To be sure, the fantasy based community in America is comprised of more than Christians.  It would be ridiculous to assume that Christianity and the fantasy based community are identical.  They are not.

I could go on, but I’ve been awake most of the night with insomnia.  At last, I am becoming tired.  So, I think I’ll grab a wee bit of sleep here in the early hours between night and day.

H/T: Mike the Infidel

42 thoughts on “A Radical Will-to-Stupidity

  1. Hi Daniel! Now please don’t come to my blog to BS me. I wasn’t born yesterday, and I will not tolerate irrational nonsense here.

    The people referred to on this blog as members of the fantasy based community have made it clear they have no respect whatsoever for establishing their beliefs by using sound logic and by accepting the weight of evidence. Such a policy is madness.

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  2. And yet, you advocate complete removal of religion without absolute knowledge of whether God is real or unreal. Call it fantasy, but don’t intrude upon other people’s right to believe in God. there are plenty of good reasons to believe in him. Take this video for example:

    When we take up faith, we do not leave reason behind.

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  3. Daniel, this is your second warning. You will not get a third. If you come to my blog to BS me, I will simply ban you. I am not your mother or father: I will not pretend like they would that your BS fails to stink.

    Now, you are BSing me when you claim that I advocate the “complete removal of religion”, aren’t you. You pulled that one out of thin air for no where have I said that.

    Second, you have linked to a video that deals with the ontological existence of god. There are a million blogs out there that deal with the ontological existence of god. The question is done to death elsewhere. Please be so good as to raise a more interesting issue on my blog.

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  4. From your post i glean the following: Belief in fantasy is harmful. If you deem it harmful, then you must advocate its removal.

    I’m following your logic here. If you want to call is BS, you’re only degrading yourself.

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  5. You are not “following my logic”, Daniel, you are instead rudely and callously wasting my time by coming to my blog to BS me. Where are your manners? You do not see me going to your blog to waste your time by BSing you, do you?

    The proposition that “belief in nonsense can be harmful” does not necessarily entail the assertion that “such nonsense must be removed”. For one thing, “such nonsense” might be analogous to an inoperable cancer that cannot be removed for one reason or another. Or there might be other mitigating reasons why it is undesirable to remove the nonsense. These points are obvious, Daniel.

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  6. It’s hard for me to think of reasons to keep religion around if it is harmful, unless there are benefits to believing such things. Certainly, if we all stopped believing in religious fantasy, if it was indeed fantasy, I can’t think of any thing lost that would would have been important to keep. My question is: If it is removed, would there be undesirable effects?

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  7. Gentlemen please, let’s not start a religion war here. Daniel does extrapolate from what you wrote Paul. However your logics are at the opposite of the spectrum. Daniel is in the absolute faith end of it and you are at the rational end ; as Pearl Buck wrote in “East, West”, “Never the twain shall meet”.
    Freedom of expression was dearly fought for by young people of our countries, on this Veteran’s Day let’s not forsake their legacy for the sake of opposing logic systems.

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  8. I suspect we are hardwired, Daniel, to be predisposed to a number of religious behaviors. That is, certain tendencies towards religion are in our genes, so to speak.

    Scott Atran makes a case for that in his book, In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion. Others make similar cases for an inherent human religiosity.

    If Atran and others are right, then we can no more abolish all religion than we can alter our genetic code, our DNA.

    However, if you study the World’s religions, it soon becomes evident that a few of them have done less harm than others. So, perhaps we can modify religions so that they do less harm to people.

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  9. “Blessed are the peacemakers, Paul.” Thank you for your effort to keep the peace. Still, I must reserve the right to ban trolls who are indifferent to manners and who merely waste my own and everyone’s time. But — in light of your concern — I will be very careful not to ban anyone merely for disagreeing with me. I will only ban for BSing me.

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  10. I think the core of all religion is “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” and once you allow yourself to loosen your grip on reality with a “Superior Faith,” anything can happen to your thinking. You look down on those without faith, relying on the deceiving veil of reality. You lose respect for those people. They are inferior and deluded. Just like we think they are. There is no middle ground

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  11. “I suspect we are hardwired, Daniel, to be predisposed to a number of religious behaviors.”

    You refer to a scientific observation of human nature. The observation is that much of the world seems to be religious because of genetics. The cause being “Genetics” at this point, and I think you would agree, is merely an assertion, an interpretation of the observed facts. In keeping with this view, however, one might go a logical step further and view this behavior as an imprint of God upon man. Man may naturally seek God because God may have given him that nature.

    Again, this is just an interpretation of the observable facts. It’s just that the facts don’t do us much good if we don’t extract principles, theories, or proper behaviors from them. I take it in one direction, you take it in another. Who is closer to reality is the question, and one I suspect that is still up to the individual to freely make even in the presence of science.

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  12. Hi Squirrel! It’s good to see you visit my blog again! I’ve missed you more than any decent and proper man should miss a squirrel! 😀

    Squirrel #15: “…the core of all religion…”

    This has always been a problem for me, Squirrel: I have never been able to figure out – to even come close to figuring out — what the core of all religions is. The problem I’ve encountered is that what holds true for some religions does not hold true for all religions. So I might say something that is true of Abrahamic religions, but not of Dharma religions. It’s actually quite frustrating to someone who has spent years pursuing comparative religion studies at both the university and informal levels. It gives me feelings of inadequacy.

    “I think the core of all religion is ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’…”.

    I think that is quite true of the Abrahamic faiths and perhaps some others.

    “once you allow yourself to loosen your grip on reality with a ‘Superior Faith,’ anything can happen to your thinking.”

    Yes! And the question then becomes, do we have any obligation or duty to ourselves or to others to be reasonable people who adopt only those beliefs they find supported by a weight of logic and/or evidence? I believe we do, Squirrel. Increasingly, I believe we do.

    The more I see how dangerous it is to ourselves and to others to hold nonsensical beliefs, the more I think we have a moral duty to be reasonable people.

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  13. This present discussion, re: “removal” of religion, begs the question. Even if we agree that most religious faith is not based upon reality, this is of no moment whatesoever, as long as we live in a culture that protects our right to believe as we choose and to “practise” (or not) our religion of choice, PROVIDING that it in no way impinges upon or restricts any other person’s right to do likewise or to disbelieve. The real issue is that the predominant religion of choice in this country tends to insist upon its right to “practise” in public venues (in which non-believers cannot avoid exposure to its doctrines), often at public expense, and, even worse, sees it as its duty to impose its “values” upon everyone else in our society. That being the case, whatever “harm” may accrue to believers is certainly within their rights, even though it may seem ridiculous to those of us who choose to observe and react only to reality, providing that in accepting this “harm” for themselves, they do not expect the rest of us to pick up the pieces for the unfortunate outcomes that may result. Nowhere in these recent posts have I seen any suggestion that believers must stop believing; only that they should leave the rest of us out of their fantasies.

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  14. It seems to me you’ve made a good point there, Daniel.

    Assuming we are indeed hardwired to be predisposed to a number of religious behaviors, then there arises the question of why we are hardwired? And I agree with you that, at this point in our knowledge, the question can be legitimately answered in more than one way.

    For instance, as you point out, we might legitimately answer the question by asserting “…this behavior [is the] imprint of God upon man. Man may naturally seek God because God may have given him that nature.”

    And if we do indeed assert that claim, then we are in a position to assert either that God gave man his nature by means of evolution, or that God gave man his nature by some other means.

    And so on….

    There are several ways of legitimately looking at this, Daniel. Ways which do not require us to reject logic and evidence.

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  15. Well, I’ll throw myself in the ring again. Obsessive Compulsive disorer is hard wired and gives very anxious people a chance to undo their anxiety through rituals that ofen have little direct relation with the content of the anxiety. Religion was developed at a time when people felt absolutely no control of their lives, and their religious rituals had the same effect as OCD rituals and were often even similar: reduce anxiety through ritual connection with a benevolent being involving a lot of repetition of words and actions. When I visit churches or synagogues, I see OCD everywhere. People with OCD are hardwired to rituals and magical thinking. All disorders have a spectrum. Could religious hardwiring fall on that spectrum?

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  16. Hi Harvey! Welcome to the blog!

    From post #18: “…whatever ‘harm’ may accrue to believers is certainly within their rights, even though it may seem ridiculous to those of us who choose to observe and react only to reality, providing that in accepting this ‘harm’ for themselves, they do not expect the rest of us to pick up the pieces for the unfortunate outcomes that may result.”[emphasis added]

    First, well said.

    Second, spot on!

    Third, we are in substantial agreement.

    Last, a minor quibble: I would not make the key word “expect” here, but rather make it “required”, as in “provided that the rest of us are not required to pick of the expenses of their harming themselves.”

    Brilliant comment, Harvey. Once again, welcome!

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  17. The use of the terms fantasy based and reality based for describing communities is the intellectual way of stating the entire rational for atheism in a single line. Lillian Daniel did much of the same thing. A short statement that discloses the entire argument and the fact that it is held as truth in spite of evidence.

    The atheist that discovers the missing link or other evidence of evolution wherein something evolved into something else may finally claim discovering reality that would ring true. I would then believe that my ‘fantasy God’ wanted me to consider it. I would not then reject God’s existence. Why? I have met “God” personally after six weeks in a coma when the respirator was removed with a DNR order. Science can’t explain my existence. I was not forced to return but was not told only a tiny part of me would return. It would not have changed the decision to return to Earth but would have been nice to know. ‘Fantasy God’ is a forgiving fantasy but carefully planned the Universe so that humans would face accepting ‘fantasy God’ based on faith even as they discovered “evidence” that creation was simply a natural process. My ‘fantasy God’ created fossils and everything that is called evidence by atheists. My ‘fantasy God’ did this for the same reason innocent animals were first killed to create clothes instead of simply admonishing humanity for disobedience.

    ‘Fantasy God’ created angels initially to love him and gave them free will. One angel rebelled and is now referred to as Satan. My ‘fantasy God’ realizes that free will and choice are required for true love. ‘Fantasy God’ set out to create another entity with free will that could decide to love or reject. Not having recognized that free will required allowing rejection as Lucifer had done, ‘fantasy God’ repeated the creation of a potentially defective entity.

    There is one thing that ‘fantasy God’ can’t do. ‘Fantasy God’ is not able to communicate well with creations that believe time is a fundamentally continuous event. ‘Fantasy God’ created evidence that would lead to belief in an alternate reality. Even with this evidence, the human rejection would still require faith and exactly the faith like an atheist displays rejecting. Atheists have faith that there exist links that are missing or faith in that what appears would be an answer if some predicted progression of events were to occur. Rather than reject the obvious lack of solid facts, and removing the need for faith in science, the intellectual humans reject the convictions ‘fantasy God’ leads them to feel. It takes exactly as much faith to be an atheist as it takes to believe that the sense of awe felt when looking at the sky is not ‘fantasy God’ reaching out to even the most solid atheist. Hope this helps both communities. I will comment only when ‘fantasy God leads me too or I am bored.

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  18. I think OCD can be a factor in religion. It can be comforting for some odd reason. However, I don’t think God is pleased with it. Think if a group of people said and did the same things to you over and over again. You’d be wondering who is an authentic follower. Who among them is real? And what real benefit does this repetition do? I would rather hear one harsh word spoken than 10,000 repetitions of the word love. After a while, it would get disingenuous. That’s just me.

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  19. Squirrel #21:

    I think your observations of OCD behavior have put you onto something, Squirrel. Are you familiar with B.F. Skinner’s findings about ritual behavior in pigeons?

    Skinner set up a system that rewarded required the pigeons to peck on a lever in order to get food. The catch was, they were not always rewarded with food for pecking on the lever. Instead, a computer program would randomly decide whether a peck was to be rewarded with food, or was to come up empty.

    Skinner then sat back and watched the birds over time. What he discovered was amazing.

    The birds developed rituals!

    Here’s how: If a bird happened to, say, look to the left before pecking on the lever, and if after pecking on the lever, the bird was rewarded with food, then next time around, the bird would behave as if it thought looking to the left had caused the lever to work — and each time afterwards it would “conscientiously” look to the left before pecking on the lever.

    Well, it didn’t stop there, Squirrel. This little behaviors started to add up, so to speak. The pigeon might first learn to look to the left. Then, over time, he might learn a new trick — say, looking to the right. And after that, he might learn to give it a little hop or two before pecking the lever.

    By the end of a month or so, Skinner was seeing some pretty elaborate rituals repeated with exacting precision in advance of pecking the lever.

    Rituals like, a look to the left, followed by a look to the right, followed by a hop and a head duck — then a peck at the lever. And these rituals were done exactly the same way over and again.

    Naturally, Skinner could not help but make the connection to human rituals. But whether that connection was appropriate is debatable. What do you think?

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  20. Curtis:
    “Even with this evidence, the human rejection would still require faith and exactly the faith like an atheist displays rejecting. Atheists have faith that there exist links that are missing or faith in that what appears would be an answer if some predicted progression of events were to occur. Rather than reject the obvious lack of solid facts, and removing the need for faith in science, the intellectual humans reject the convictions ‘fantasy God’ leads them to feel. It takes exactly as much faith to be an atheist as it takes to believe that the sense of awe felt when looking at the sky is not ‘fantasy God’ reaching out to even the most solid atheist.”

    This appears to make sense to you, but you are presupposing an attribute in those of us who do not believe in your fantasy God that does not exist in the vast majority of us. To wit: The so-called “yearning” for a deity, or the “convictions” (do you mean a moral sense?) that you believe your God has caused us to feel simply do not exist. Because you choose to feel them and because most believers simply cannot understand that (or, perhaps, do not wish to accept) that not everyone needs to believe that this reality is not all there is to existance. Many of us are at peace with the reality that at some time in the future we will return to whatever state of existance (or lack thereof)we may have had before the moment of our individual conceptions.
    If one has no fear of what may follow one’s eventual death, one has no “need” for a deity or any of the trappings and dogma that go with any organized religion. Under these circumstances, we non-believers are not so much “rejecting” your fantasy God and/or His “message”. We simply do not see the need for any of it. I, for one, do not have a “God shaped hole” in my psyche or intellect.

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  21. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that all religion is based on mythology. It’s fair to say I haven’t met a soul — and I’ve asked several — who has actually met God. Treating mythology as if it were reality is, and history bears this out, bad for the health. Because then mythology magically becomes a justification to discriminate, to deprive certain people of civil rights, to skewer the innards, to blow out brains, to enact ridiculous alcohol laws, and to force women to wear ugly underwear or burkhas under threat of shunning, stoning or other violence.

    All I’m saying is it’s cool for people who want to speculate about the existence, and more importantly, the rules imposed by an invisible Sky Daddy they’ve never had a tete-a-tete with. But shouldn’t he and I at least be introduced before he uses my tax dollars to send troops to Iraq looking for non-existent WMDs?

    That’s all.

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  22. I love the pigeon research. I’ve had my own run-ins with Skinner. But I think religion adds a level so as not to bore God or the supplicant: intention. This is invisible, and only God and the supplicant knows how sincere the repetitions are. But the repetitions in any relgion are like a mantra or a Sufi dance, inducing a trance of “higher consciousness” in those with pure intention because of their layer of meaning. This in itself can either lead to a sense of superiority over others or, particularly in the case of Buddhism, as a sense of empathy, a oneness, that is quite rational.

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  23. CD #29: “All I’m saying is it’s cool for people who want to speculate about the existence, and more importantly, the rules imposed by an invisible Sky Daddy they’ve never had a tete-a-tete with. But shouldn’t he and I at least be introduced before he uses my tax dollars to send troops to Iraq looking for non-existent WMDs?”

    I am completely fascinated with your point here, CD. I’ve been thinking about it half the afternoon. It’s packed with meaning for me.

    I don’t know if I can do your thoughts justice, but here goes (please catch me if I fall):

    First, the god you have in mind there is, I gather, the Abrahamic deity, the deity of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Now, as you point out, that deity is clearly fictional.

    Of course, we might need to write a four volume work on the subject to explain why and in precisely what way that deity is clearly and beyond any reasonable doubt fictional, CD. But what good luck! Joseph Campbell has written just exactly that — a four volume work that perhaps explains it better than anyone else has: The Masks of God. How lucky is that?

    I have just now decided not to go further with this at the moment, CD, for two reasons: (1) You’ve said it best, and (2) I would only be paraphrasing what you have already said. So I will leave it here. Thank you for such a clear and powerful comment.

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  24. Here’s Richard Dawkins on faith:

    I think there’s something very evil about faith, where faith means believing in something in the absence of evidence, and actually taking pride in believing in something in the absence of evidence. And the reason that’s dangerous is that it justifies essentially anything. If you’re taught in your holy book or by your priest that blasphemers should die or apostates should die — anybody who once believed in the religion and no longer does needs to be killed — that clearly is evil. And people don’t have to justify it because it’s their faith. They don’t have to say, “Well, here’s a very good reason for this.” All they need to say is, “That’s what my faith says.” And we’re all expected to back off and respect that. Whether or not we’re actually faithful ourselves, we’ve been brought up to respect faith and to regard it as something that should not be challenged. And that can have extremely evil consequences. The consequences it’s had historically — the Crusades, the Inquisition, right up to the present time where you have suicide bombers and people flying planes into skyscrapers in New York — all in the name of faith.

    In general, I agree with Dawkins here — except I would not say that faith is evil where faith means believing in something in the absence of evidence. Instead, I would say, believing in something in contradiction to logic and evidence.

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  25. Everyone acquires knowledge outside of themselves. This requires you to have faith in other people, trustworthy teachers, books, statistical findings, and information relayed through various mediums. And I say faith because you have no first hand knowledge of the “facts” or “evidence” presented to you. Everyone has faith. It’s not just a religious term. Without it there would be no schools, language, love, and many other things. Shared knowledge requires faith.

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  26. Thanks for your kind words, Paul. I do agree with Dawkns that faith — as he defines it — is an evil tool of manipulation and control. I have experienced that personally.

    As to Daniel’s comment (#35), I don’t necessarily disagree with his observation either. However, I think we’re talking apples and oranges. As Daniel implicitly defines “faith,” it is a pseudonym for “trust.” And like my trust, my faith has to be earned. Anything less is irresponsible. I believe that is Dawkin’s point at least in part.

    Simple example: I need someone to babysit my child. Let’s say I have two neighbors, one to the east, the other living to the west. Both tell me to have faith that they will care for my child well. East neighbor has children of her own, she and I are good friends, I have observed her behavior with her own children. She has earned my trust/faith that she will treat my child well.

    In contrast, west neighbor gives me a creepy vibe. I check my local registry and learn he is a registered sex offender. Not only has he not earned my faith/trust, I would be irresponsible to simply comply with his demand that I have faith in him. That evidence thing that Dawkin’s was talking about.

    Responsible faith requires some evidence to justify it. As Daniel noted, “trustworthy teachers,” etc. Trustworthy being the operative word. It is the demand for blind faith that is evil.

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  27. Daniel, on the question of “removing” this or that, you’re setting up a straw-man. Think of it this way: you see there are a billion Muslims in the world. (You do see that, right?) You think they are fundamentally wrong to demote Jesus to secondary/minor and elevate Muhammed to top-ranking spokesmodel to the ONE TRUE SUPERHERO beyond the clouds.

    What do you want those Muslims to do? I charitably assume you want them to re-think their views. I charitably assume you don’t want them “removed.” I charitably assume you don’t want their holy books censored or their monuments razed.

    I could be wrong, but I expect that’s all you want of them — to re-think matters from the ground up. Along the way, if the more radical of them calmed down a bit, and stopped expecting public policy to mirror their interpretations of their holy books, that would be great too. Yes?

    Atheists agree with you on that — we want them to step back and thoroughly re-examine the questions at hand.

    We take the exact same thing one god further, and one theocratic vision further.

    Incidentally, I think it’s really neat that you had a direct sick-bed encounter of some kind. I don’t claim to know what really happened, and that’s beside the point I’m making. I do ask you to consider how many such personal testimonies of the same general type you’ve read and ask yourself how many of those have struck you as compelling. (Of those you considered compelling, what percentage confirmed, or were compatible with, your prior beliefs? Is it 100%? I don’t know, but my guess puts it at 100%.) I can assure you there are thousands of such claims floating through the annals of written history. They’re all very, very neat.

    It’s astonishingly presumptuous of you to expect people to bend their entire world-view to fit a story from your personal, unshared, unwitnessed experience. You must have a very high opinion of yourself. Well, Daniel, I hate to break it to you, but the world doesn’t share it — not because you’re a bad guy, but because you have not earned it.

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  28. I think of trust as a necessary requirement before faith can happen, and faith describes your actions based on that trust. Preceding trust is the recognition of authority. What are the credentials of the person and what is the person’s character. You couldn’t recognize an authority that knew what he was talking about but had terrible character flaws. Character and a respectable body of knowledge is needed to complete authority.

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  29. Daniel, trust does not necessarily depend on authority. Trust can be the rational response to the demonstration of success over time. As in — you trust a wristwatch because it has kept good time for years, or you trust a magazine because it has consistently published thoughtful articles despite many changes in editorship and contributing writers. Trust can be decoupled from “authority” and indeed decoupled from anything to do with any person-like agency.

    In fact, I would say authority proceeds from trust rather than vice-versa. Which is only to say that legitimate authority is *earned.*

    It’s true you have to start somewhere, and education is exactly the process by which this starts. In the broadest terms, education is the means by which we learn where to place trust and how to think critically and fruitfully about the candidates (personal and impersonal) vying for our trust.

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  30. Those who get time from a wristwatch or read a magazine for pleasure are willing to accept a little error. Facts are not required to be exactly right in an amusing story, nor is time on a wristwatch expected to be exactly in tune with the time of the universe. But in the subjects that pertain to truth and reality, authority is necessary, trust is key, and faith is required if we are to receive the explanations they give and accept them to be any sort of accurate.

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  31. Trust that is responsible must be earned. It requires credible evidence. A chemistry teacher’s academic credentials and previous job experience are reasonable starting points for establishing some trust that she is qualified to teach. Trust increases or decreases based on the chemistry teacher’s performance in the classroom.

    Requiring such evidence is antithetical to religious faith — defined as a belief in things that are hoped for but not seen. It is by definition irresponsible because demanding credible evidence is considered sinful. Therefore the purported chemistry teacher is hired on the spot sans proof of qualifications and everyone simply prays and hopes she knows something about chemistry.

    There is no credible evidence to support any religion’s perception of truth and reality.

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