people discriminate based on what they believe and what others don’t. and why do most christians think everyone else is wrong about god and their right.
I think that in reality it is the other way around.
My cat’s breath smells like. . . doh! Scratch that, I don’t have cat.
I see no problem in that belief, the problem is that a powerful minority of them is trying to impose those beliefs on others.
I’m wondering JustWondering, are your posts only going to be thread starters?
Are you suggesting that it’s wrong to believe that you’re right, and that contradictory views are wrong? Is that the view that you hold?
To answer your question, such is the nature of belief. Belief, by necessity, entails (ahem) believing that you’re correct and that contradictory views are in error. This is true whether you’re a Jew, a Moslem, a Christian or an atheist.
So why do Christians believe that they’re correct, and that others are wrong? Because only a fool would believe that his view is wrong, and that others are more correct. Rational people naturally adopt viewpoints that they believe to be correct, even if they allow for the possibility of error on their part.
Another option is to accepting that you don’t know, even in spite of a strong belief. Many folks will refuse to accept the possibility that they may be wrong. Atheists and christians alike. I can’t help feel like there is something a little foolish about assuming you absolutely must be correct.
Sorry, Christians. I really will try. While I’m at it, drop the “to”
It’ll probably save a lot of future grief if we believe that we are right, and others are…different. Let’s change the definition of belief!!
Perhaps you missed the part where I said “Rational people naturally adopt viewpoints that they believe to be correct, even if they allow for the possibility of error on their part” (emphasis mine).
Are you absolutely certain of that viewpoint? (This is a serious question, mind you.)
Mind you, I do believe that it’s reasonable to accept the possibility of error in one’s religious thinking, and several professional apologists that I know say the same thing. However, that should not preclude having solid confidence in one’s beliefs. It’s rather like a physicist having solid confidence in the law of conservation of mass and energy, even though such laws are ultimately unprovable.
At any rate, it is clearly foolish to criticize others for believing themselves to be right. Such a viewpoint is, in fact, self-refuting. After all, is it right to believe that it’s wrong to believe oneself to be right?
So a belief that is non-right is not wrong either? It’s just “different”?
Well then, what of my belief that incorrect tenets are wrong? Does this differ from your belief? If so, is it wrong, or is it merely “different”?
This is why I don’t use the word believe. People automatically assume a devout religious type of definintion. While it seems to me that my statements are true, I accept the possibility that I may be wrong. So no, absolute certanity does not exist for me. No, I do not believe my statements to be true in the way you are using the word because the way you use the word leaves no room for errancy. As I have said time and again: I could be a brain in a vat. None of this could be real. Do I think this is true? No. Can I accept the possibility: Yes. As well as millions of other possibilities (one of which is the Christian thing). So do you see where I differ from a believer who insists they are correct and that there is no chance they could be wrong. You say you do accept your fallibility. Good. Not everyone does.
I certainly don’t think that my interpretation of the universe is the only one that is correct. I think I probably have some of it right, and some of it wrong, and there is probably alot of it that I haven’t even come close to guessing. Many religious folks will insist that no other view is even potentially right. Foolish and ignorant behaivior IMO. Humans are too good at making mistakes. Hope and pray that you get it right if you like, but whether you like it or not, you could be wrong. All of us. Of course, some of us accept that there is simply not enough conclusive evidence to make an informed decision on the origin of everything either way. There someday may be, but no one has a rock solid case yet. Just heresay and unproven theories in my book.
Well, at the risk of feeding a troll, I’d answer the topic of this thread (if not necessarily the content of the OP) by suggesting that you look at some representative work by Emile Durkheim, E.E. Evans-Pritchard, or (a touch more recently) Clifford Geertz. I’m no sociologist or anthropologist, so I’m not really sure if any of these three have any sort of influence on modern religious anthropology, but it should give you some food for thought.
Yes. I don’t believe there are any absolutes. Since we’re talking about faith/belief, it seems to me that the definition of faith is the act of having certainty in your tenets without factual, irrefutable proof. If your tenets differ from mine, I have accepted other sets of facts as true. So I’m just different.
You can cetrainly believe you are right, but that does not mean that others are wrong, they just see the world differently.
If you think that tenets that don’t match yours are wrong, go right ahead and believe that. They are wrong…for you . Just don’t discriminate based upon your beliefs. Be tolerant
Is that absolutely so? There are absolutely no absolutes? Is there statement “There are no absolutes” absolutely true?
In which case, you believe them to be true, even if you accept the possibility of error. Belief simply means belief. It does not preclude the possibility of error.
Or do you believe that it does?
No. I think everything’s relative.
Including the truth of your statement that everything’s relative? If nothing is absolute, then the truth of that statement is not absolute either, no?
—Mind you, I do believe that it’s reasonable to accept the possibility of error in one’s religious thinking, and several professional apologists that I know say the same thing. However, that should not preclude having solid confidence in one’s beliefs. It’s rather like a physicist having solid confidence in the law of conservation of mass and energy, even though such laws are ultimately unprovable.—
But a physicist’s “solid confidence” comes from an entirely different methodology than belief. The conservation of mass and energy is an inference based on repeated and ongoing examination, and if grounded upon axioms that are themselves up for challenge. No sensible physicist believes that “I am absolute right.” Rather, they are willing to make tenative conclusions based upon a certain body of evidence that are always open to challenge in the future.
Religious faith has no such epistemology, at least none that anyone has ever explained.
—At any rate, it is clearly foolish to criticize others for believing themselves to be right. Such a viewpoint is, in fact, self-refuting. After all, is it right to believe that it’s wrong to believe oneself to be right?—
Actually, this is not a problem if you hold it as a meta-statement: a description of something about human knowledge itself. i.e., we admit the possibility that we could be wrong about anything: even our basic assumptions. Without any way to be absolutely sure of any conclusion, then some degree of humility seems in order.
Be that as it may, it is still a belief, and one that is arrived at without absolute proof.
There is no doubt that religion and science use different methodologies. That’s not the issue under debate. Rather, the question is whether “belief” necessarily entails “absolute certainty.” The example of science shows that it does not.
Ah, but it is still a belief – something that you hold to be true.
Besides… It seems to me that you’re criticizing my viewpoint that we can hold other people’s viewpoints to be false. In other words, you clearly consider your own viewpoint to be correct and reasonable, and you consider mine to be in error. Is that so? If not, why are you attempting to refute my statements?
Some people say I THINK I am right. Some say I MUST be right. I feel the latter is foolish. Perhaps I am wrong.
—Be that as it may, it is still a belief, and one that is arrived at without absolute proof.—
But the whole point is that a) it doesn’t claim to be absolutely true and b) is thus not a “belief” in the sense you are using (which appears to be rather equivocative)
—There is no doubt that religion and science use different methodologies. That’s not the issue under debate. Rather, the question is whether “belief” necessarily entails “absolute certainty.” The example of science shows that it does not.—
Not in the example of science. But you are arguing for the validity of beliefs which are absolute judgements. Science uses a language which is very careful to be clear about exactly what it is saying, and in what context its claims are true. Beliefs attempt to be without context: to be absolutely true.
That’s a HUGE difference.
—Ah, but it is still a belief – something that you hold to be true.—
Actually, no: it is my failure TO believe that absolute truth can be known. Absolute truth is the positive that requries the strong proof to establish.
—Besides… It seems to me that you’re criticizing my viewpoint that we can hold other people’s viewpoints to be false.—
I’m doing so on the basis of logic, which is different from empirical truths/falsities. If you don’t agree with the basic axioms that undergird rational discussion, then I suppose I can’t communicate with you, but that’s not really my concern.
—In other words, you clearly consider your own viewpoint to be correct and reasonable, and you consider mine to be in error. Is that so?—
Indeed. Because we are discussing our logical meta-principles, not the empirical knowledge that they are supposed to enable. These meta-principles can be certain, even if their conclusion is that absolute certainty of knowledge is not. Your problem (and perhaps the problem of the person who first stated this) is that you are taking “absolute certainty is imposible” to be an absolute statement: that is, a global one. On the contrary: it makes perfect sense as long as it is a contextual statement (i.e. talking about knowledge, not about the axioms that undergird knowledge)