Religion vs. Non Religion: The Trilogy: The Rise of the Explanation

Before invoking jmliny’s right to employ inductive reasoning or the fact that s/he mentions transreligious notions (i.e. supernatural, soul immortality), I would suggest that the OP author may be a US citizen describing a typical US experience.

If my post above misunderstood what you meant, then I don’t know how else to interpret what you’re saying. Can you give an example of what you mean by “never give up” aspect of reasoning?
That said, I think you’re going to continue to have issues with your threads because you’re using a lot of words in ways that other people don’t understand without explaining them. For example, you had two other threads before this using “destructible vs. indestrucible” with an assumption that we understood how you were using them and everyone had different ideas of what you meant. Now you’re talking about different aspects of reason, but it’s not clear what you mean by “different aspects of reason” either.

So, you want to talk about aspects of reason, it’s not helpful to talk about snakes, because they have nothing to do with reasoning. Maybe actually walk us through a process of reasoning that you think exemplifies this different type of thinking. Give us your premises, walk through the logic, and give us a conclusion.

Why would that matter in the slightest?

That neither excuses nor explains the broad overgeneralizations, which aren’t even true for “typical” US experiences.

What broad overgeneralization? :confused:

The indestructibility of the soul being a generally religious vs specifically Christian concept, for one. It’s not a generally religious concept but a specifically religious one, i.e. one that only holds for certain religions.

For another, the concept that non-religious people are devoted to science as religion and rational thinking.

Neither is true generally for religious people or non-religious people, even in the US.

Now, the stereotype that all religious people share generally Christian values or that non-religious people are devoted to science is certainly true in the US. But one quality of stereotypes is that they’re not particularly accurate. Why should we reason based on stereotypes instead of facts?

Why would this be regarded as broad overgeneralization, and not inductive reasoning?

Soul immortality is a transreligious notion. Religions are believed to have evolved from an animist doctrine of souls. Wikipedia: “The soul, in many religious, philosophical, psychological, and mythological traditions, is the incorporeal and, in many conceptions, immortal essence of a person, living thing, or object.” Encyclopedia Britannica: “Since the “great” religions of the world have all evolved in historic times, it may be assumed that animistic emphases dominated the globe in the prehistoric era.”

Because the OP has been repeatedly given examples it is not true.

Inductive reasoning is fine - up to a point. But when you get additional data, you need to adjust your reasoning. The OP has not done so, despite this 3rd attempt at exactly the same thread.

Besides, even in your quote, the soul exists and in many conceptions it is immortal. Not ALL, but MANY. Even inductively, the OPs presumption of a specific sort of indestructible soul fails, unless beginning with a specifically Christian (again, possibly Muslim), rather than a generally religious, assumption.

Like I’ve already said. The OP author simply seems to start from a typical US experience of a believer. Most believers in the US belong to a Christian cult. The experience s/he describes, although subjective, is a believable one.

Most believers in the world are either Muslim or Christian. Inductive reasoning in the matter the OP discusses is not far-fatched.

The notion of soul immortality is a central one in most religions, especially because it is this notion that seems to have preceded the birth of coherent religious systems. A quasi universal notion, I would say, which specialists in the history of religion point out.

The OP is right to regard this notion as the fundamental pylon of faith, and one that is really hard to counter.

The OP presents things from the perspective of a religious person. It describes the belief and reaction of the author and in doing so it does generalize, without overgeneralizing though. But it would be misleading and irrelevant to discuss the extent to which all religions include the idea of soul mortality as long the OP discusses something else. The issue under debate is not religion, but religious people and their belief in soul mortality.

“All religious people have in common is being religious.” It’s not all, but let’s focus on the phrase “being religious” and its meaning.

The OP doesn’t discuss religion as an institution, or a system; instead, it describes a state of affair from the perspective of a religious person, whose position is generalized. A person’s religiosity doesn’t coincide with religion as an institution or a system. Indeed, there may be such systems (e.g. Confucianism) for which soul immortality is not an issue and which can still function institutionally and be embraced socially. Yet, this does not rule out the believers’ sentiment that there is more to life than this earthly experience. In fact, quite the contrary: cultural anthropologists and experts in the religious phenomenon attest pre-historic religiosity depending on the material manifestations of the belief in the idea of soul immortality.

Being religious involves believing in soul immortality, regardless of time, space, cultural environment, denomination, and so on. It is a central belief, on which a person’s entire religiosity can ground and flourish, and once rooted in her/his heart, it will be virtually impossible to unroot.

I’m religious but don’t believe in soul immortality. Please tell me more about myself.

IIRC, didn’t the Jews in the Old Testament era not believe in an afterlife?

Hence why, as a Jew in this era, I likewise don’t bother with said belief.

And yet, more and more people self identify as non-religious and atheism is growing around the world.

And as I and other posters have noted, “So f***ing what?”

I can believe uneducated, ill-bred yokels believe the world is flat. That absolutely does NOT mean I have to reason based on the premise the world is flat. That makes no sense whatsoever.

The OP was given facts contrary to this position (*and to other premises in other threads, I might add). Repeatedly. So have you in this very thread.

It is unreasonable to expect anybody else to play along with false premises. It IS reasonable to expect the OP to incorporate and synthesize new facts, especially those that contradict bad assumptions.

Is it reasonable the OP believes as he does? Sure. I don’t argue that. Lots of people hold poor premises for a variety of understandable (though regrettable) reasons.

Is it reasonable the OP continues to argue based on false premises? Absolutely not. And I have no idea why you contend it is reasonable that other people play along. There is no legitimate purposes served, nor do I or most other posters have any interest in doing so.

Basically you’re arguing, and if I’m wrong please let me know, the following:
(1) making use of falsehood is unacceptable, and
(2) holding falsehood is stupid.

From government or businesses to ordinary people, everybody lies, misrepresents and misleads on a daily basis. Utilitarians even claim falsehood is acceptable if it achieves good outcomes. William James maintains truth is depending on practical, personal interests.

holding falsehood in regard to the physical reality may be stupid, but holding falsehood in regard to the metaphysical one is not. And it would be stupid to approach metaphysical matters with the same tools we approach the physical one.

Debating on false premises is the problem here -

a) its a position no one really holds (strawman)
b) its a waste of time

If you’re doing hypothetical - its different - but arguing that “X is true, therefore” when X is demonstrably false - is a futile waste of time.

I also like how you snuck in the term ‘cult’ - as in “Christian cult” - a nice, yet not so subtle slam - even if the language is technically true. I say this as an atheist tht agrees with the term - but its a way to immediately poison the well.

Have a pleasant day.


My point is that once you have been made aware of new knowledge or facts, there is no longer a point in using your old premises, nor is there is there any obligation on anybody’s part to accept or use those premises.

In mathematics, we often use proof by contradiction. It’s a technique of supposing a false statement is true and getting at the truth from there. It’s a useful technique. But only for determining the truth or falsity of the premise itself - not to make direct conclusions.

But so what? That’s irrelevant to this thread. The premises of the OP are directly proven false.

So what?

I’m not making value judgments. I’m approaching this from a practical standpoint. I don’t care if sometimes a false premise is a good thing. That makes absolutely no difference to THIS PARTICULAR THREAD.

In the context of this thread, the OP wants to get at the truth about one aspect of humanity. And you aren’t going to get there by starting from something that isn’t true about humanity.

So what?

The OP wants to make definitely true statements about physically real people. Not pretend stereotype people.

If you want to play little sandlot games with stereotypes, go right ahead. I’ve no problem with that. But if you want to get at true, factual things about people, those stereotypes are useless.

Well, that’s the reason I’ve been pointing out the fact that the OP author may be a US citizen describing a typical US situation. If s/he is a believer who has been mocked every time s/he has posted her/his position on a board like this, s/he is entitled to apply inductive reasoning and conclude that non-believers are arrogant or intolerant. Of course it can be argued that there are a lot of tolerant and benevolent non-religious people as well, but isn’t it curious that no such US tolerant or benevolent atheist ever shows up to friendly explain the OP author where and why s/he is wrong?

Please let me know what “stereotype people” in the OP you are talking about.
Best regards.

  1. Again, so what?

There’s been no mockery of the poster’s beliefs so far. There’s been some (justified, in my opinion) light jabs at the opaque and nearly incomprehensible posts he’s made.

  1. “Typical” is in the eye of the beholder.

If you review the posters who have been responding, it’s not all been non-believers who have been doing so. In the last few posts in this thread alone, I and TOWP are among the religious members of the board, and we say not only that he’s wrong but that he hasn’t been paying much attention.

There’s a difference between believing and accepting, at face value, all ridiculous things other people of belief spout.

What stereotypes? Seriously? That atheists are primarily focused on reason and science, for one. And that of the religious as being aligned with belief over science, for another.

One you yourself exhibit here is the stereotype of atheists as mocking those of belief. Yes, that’s true for some. It’s also true some people of faith mock others of faith. Logical reasoning isn’t the sole province of atheists and should be upheld by people of faith, no matter what you or the OP believe.

I appreciate your confession, but please refrain yourself from discussing my person. I accept your criticism as long as it refers to my posts or my ideas.

Your post claims I exhibit the stereotype of atheists as mocking those of belief but shows no evidence for it. I know I’ve said the following:

There is no stereotype here.

I don’t enjoy discussing with people who judge before they know.