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Archive for July 15th, 2007

Questions on Religion, Faith & Believe Systems

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on July 15, 2007

Questions on Religion, Faith & Believe Systems

It has come to my attention that there are a number of news topics on religion in this group causing discord among members. While it is all okay for you to post whatever you want while exercising your freedom of speech and expression with little or no censorship, I have a question for everyone, immaterial of your religious background, faith or believe systems, on this topic which in this present time and age, is still regarded sensitive to many.

These questions are intended for all of us to discuss in order to form an understanding and to create awareness about others, yourself, your faith, your thoughts, your actions etc., in the hopes that tolerance can be reestablished.

This “questionnaire” is full of Logical Fallacies – and I can’t help but feel that this guy is a “victim” of that which he wishes to fight – assumptions and boxed thinking that makes a perfect nursery for a fundamentalist mind.

1. “ When you were lucky enough to be born as a human into this world this time around, you had not adopted a believe system of any kind. You were just like any other human. Equal. But later, someone downloaded a believe system into your mental processes. Who did this to you?

Assuming someone actually did this – and I am not so sure that is true. This question has an agenda. One of them is to put forward reincarnation as a factual part of human condition. The second one is the idea that belief systems are self-evidently put into to us without any basis in ourselves.

My Reply to this question: Society. I was areligious until I was 16, but the religious conditioning started already in first grade, with mandatory Grace before meals. Incidentally the only belief system available also became the one that I later turned to for answers to rather intricate existential question. Something that is absolutely normal for any teenager.

2. Each one of us, who are in different parts of the world, for some reason, perhaps out of innocence, mental suggestions, method of upbringing, respect towards our parents or some human figure etc., adopted and accepted a believe system introduced to us by someone who went through the same mental process claiming that a particular believe system is the one and only truth based on a book, a scripture, a scroll etc. Those words and the way it was presented to you touched your emotions to the point you decided that this got to be it. Do you think that this is sufficient enough to determine the truth of a particular faith?

This question is based in the premise that the the preceding statement is correct – without this having been established through evidence or argument.

It is another assumption – patterned on a preconceived idea about what leads someone to accept a certain belief system.

My Reply to this part: Not really – giving credence to that belief system became a matter of emotional and spiritual survival in an environment that demanded compliance and threatened ostracism if not complied with. My need for community overshadowed any logical analysis I might have engaged in otherwise.

“Do you think that this is sufficient enough to determine the truth of a particular faith?”

This also assumes that “the truth of a particular faith” actually needs to be determined, which has not been established. The idea is presented as self-evident.

My reply to this question: No I don’t. It’s not a matter of Truth, in my mind. Truth in terms of religious belief is subjective – after all, it is a BELIEF. The truth of a faith is all about whether it works for someone on a personal level. To try and derive objective truth from a belief system is as futile as trying to wring water out of a stone with your bare hands. Faith is not constructed to be based on objective sources – that’s why it’s called faith.

3. Why do you think that God didn’t choose all of us or at least a representative(s) from each country or continent to authenticate the one and the same visions, revelations, truth etc?”

This question is assuming that I think something I don’t think, and is set up to put forward an idea that has not been argued nor proven, thus asking the respondent to accept the questioner’s hidden premise. In this case the idea that G-d didn’t choose all of us.

I do think that G-d has done just that – but because we are human and are conditioned by culture, each revelation is colored by who received it and who sent it on.

4. Do you think that the things that are written in religious books can be so easily invented for reasons to control a particular society?

Again a fallacious question that assumes I think in a certain way. Do you want to be taken seriously or are you just joking around? Who said religious literature is EASY to come up with? Who claimed that the invention – if indeed they were invented – was done in order to control anything, much less a society?

My Reply: No, I don’t, and I don’t think they were invented to control a particular society, I think they were born out of people’s need to understand human conditions.

5. Do you think that the things in religious books originated from old myths modified to suit a particular society?

My Reply: No, I don’t. I think the same array of questions hit each human at one time or other – and I think that myths are mirrors of human conditions and human experience and the answer to real questions – the answers shaped by human culture, but originated in human lives and reality at one time or other.

6. Do you know for sure that your current believe system is of the truth, and nothing but the truth? If so, why?

My Reply: No, I don’t. It’s true for me, but that’s it.

7. Based on the above questions, each and every religion followers, believe that their own religion or believe system is the right one while regarding the rest as false, lost, misinterpreted etc., Do you not think that you are also one of them sharing the illusion?

Here we go again – asking a question that originate in presumptions, preconceived notions and assumptions about what people are going to answer to those questions. It’s quite insulting actually, because it takes it’s basis in the idea that the questioner already knows the answer, and thus is not really interested in the answers. He also chooses to accuse religious people of being delusional, which only adds to the insult.

8. Why do you think that most religion or believe systems give men superiority and/or more freedom?

Do they? Isn’t that a rather broad statement?

Again assuming that he is right in his preconceived notions, he chooses to put forward his idea in the form of a question that forces the respondent to accept his idea, which has not been either argued for nor proven.

9. What do you think is the best way to exercise religious tolerance? Do you think it can be done?

Where did they idea of a need to exercise religious tolerance come from? The need for such has not been established, so the question is based in a false premise.

My Reply: Study the inner workings of one’s belief system and apply them. Not sure.

10. How does it make you feel if the fact that all religion in the world was only human theories made into religion in order to control society of a particular nation? Does this make you feel empty and lost or can you still live a good life and as a good person without a religion to dictate your life?

It honestly would make no difference to me – I believe what I believe, because it works for me, not because I believe in it’s Divine Origin.

You know, Nick, this “questionnaire” is so full of holes and logical fallacies that it’s amusing. Your assumptions and agenda is getting the better of you, and it’s rather sad that you choose to insult people this way.

Asking questions that starts with “why do you…[insert action/thought that has not been established as a fact or even entered in the discussion]” is the #1 logical fallacy – didn’t you learn that in school?

Posted in Logical Fallacies, Religion | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

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