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road_runner321's Profile

road_runner321's Avatar Joined over 3 years ago
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Latest Discussions Started by road_runner321

The "Absence of Evidence..." Dodge - last commented 12 April 2012 09:54 AM

SETI Allen Array not quite dead! It's getting better! - last commented 25 July 2011 08:31 PM

"...That's why it's called faith" responses - last commented 20 January 2012 01:24 PM

Darts and Religion - last commented 21 November 2010 11:16 AM

Told my parents I am an atheist... - last commented 25 October 2010 05:44 AM

More Discussions by road_runner321

Latest Comments by road_runner321

Go to: Religious conversation and the Socratic method

road_runner321's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by road_runner321

I prefer questions to outright statements, but try to phrase the questions as a means to gather information rather than sounding like you doubt the person's point of view, even though you may. Be amiable, but don't let the conversation be sidetracked.

Questions provide them with an outlet for voicing their faith to an attentive listener, while allowing you to learn new things by which you can gauge the limits of their understanding, and bringing them up short on inconsistencies. I believe this is called "Socratic irony", using questions, asked perhaps from feigned ignorance, to cause another person to realize something or to insinuate a point. It also involves a degree of self-deprecation or mild flattery to cause the other person to drop his guard somewhat. If you get good enough you can use the questions to steer the conversation into any topic of contention you desire.

If you want videos, I would suggest old Columbo episodes where he is questioning suspects. Perhaps you'll want to scale it back a bit for regular conversations.

Wed, 06 Jun 2012 03:13:15 UTC | #945797

Go to: So what's the goal with theism?

road_runner321's Avatar Jump to comment 208 by road_runner321

The amount of information in the world is growing exponentially. Also growing is the ability of everyone to access that information. I think more knowledge is inherently threatening to religion, so one could view the world as an environemnt becoming increasingly more hazardous to theism. As long as the belief is based on denial of empirical knowledge, it will occupy a steadily smaller corner of an ever increasing universe.

A cloistered mind becomes harder to maintain in a world where information is so readily available. We need only go about our business, learning and discovering, and listen for the swan song of theism, if we have not already heard it.

Sat, 02 Jun 2012 19:20:22 UTC | #945218

Go to: So what's the goal with theism?

road_runner321's Avatar Jump to comment 116 by road_runner321

This is very general. I guess you could call this my own categorical imperative concerning theism.

I want the fact that I have lived to mean that forces based on fear and irrational thought have less power, followers, and influence than if I hadn't lived.

Tue, 22 May 2012 12:31:07 UTC | #942807

Go to: We asked "Do you really believe ___" and they said yes. Now what?

road_runner321's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by road_runner321

This kind of response is so staggering that my brain seems to seize up in response and I hear my inner monologue say, "It's very dark in here...and we may die."

How about this.

You: "You really believe a snake talked?

Them: "Yes."

(take a moment to collect your jaw)

You: "If you were to hear a snake talk now, would you think it more likely that it was possessed by Lucifer, or that you were actually just hallucinating? If somebody else told you they heard a talking snake, would you think they were lying, mistaken, crazy, or would you believe them?

Replace the talking snake with any other biblical happening as the situation merits. If they say supernatural forces are more likely than dishonesty or misfiring brains, it tells you how likely they are to regard rational thought very highly. Besides this I can think of nothing to say in response. Take it as a strong sign that you are not about to win the irrational brinksmanship game that this person is playing. It's a nice barometer on how much of a chance you have of actually having an intelligent conversation, or just giving this person the opportunity to rehearse their faith script. If you want to continue just for the masochistic thrill, then, by all means, do. Otherwise, get out quick.

Wed, 04 Apr 2012 01:39:13 UTC | #932232

Go to: How, realistically, do we get rid of faith schools?

road_runner321's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by road_runner321

Comment 2 by Viveca

I initially thought you were saying that the "business" in question was education. I now see that you're saying no such thing.You seem to think that in this business model the parents actively want their children religiously indoctrinated, and as religious belief declines this will naturally remove the rationale for faith schools.

No, I really do mean that faith schools are selling education, and an education built upon precepts and traditions of religious thinking. Not indoctrinating, but imbued with the putative values and discipline of faith. This is the product they want to remain in high demand. As faith decreases, there will be less of a rationale for having schools financially and ideologically backed by religions. Religious people will still see them as essential, but their numbers will decline. The state backs faith schools because there are still sufficient numbers who see them as beneficial in principal, or, at least, not their problem. The decline of faith will turn public opinion away from faith schools, especially those which do not provide an above-standard education in return for their privileged status. People will question what a faith school can offer that cannot be had elsewhere. The questioning of faith will necessarily bring into question faith schools, not just on a personal level but on a public level.

Abolition of faith schools may then be possible with sufficient public support, but with so many of their potential customers against the idea, one wonders why they would bother.

Mon, 02 Apr 2012 14:10:38 UTC | #931908

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