Questionable Motives

November 3, 2012

Why is it your civic duty to address faith-based beliefs in the public domain with public scorn and public ridicule?

Because reason doesn’t work.

How so?

Let me explain this way:

Question 13 (coincidence?) of the latest Public Policy Polling asks, Do you think it’s possible for people to become possessed by demons, or not?

What do you think the percentage of those Americans asked this question might be? Would you predict the percentage of Republicans would be higher or lower than average?

I’ll answer these in a moment, but first, I want you to consider the percentage of Americans who think global warming is a clear and present danger and then consider the percentage of Republicans who agree. Would that percentage be higher or lower than the average?

Well, the PEW Research Center provides us plenty of data about the increasing percentage of Americans who agree that global warming is on the rise, caused by human activity, and exacerbating climate change and altered weather patterns and more extreme weather. So let’s look at the numbers.

Regarding climate change, about two thirds of Americans accept that global warming is real, it’s here, and its human causes need to be addressed. That’s great. Better late than never. Among Republicans, about 43% agree that global warming is real but only about 16% think it’s due to human activity. And this is in the face of global scientific consensus.

Regarding demons, about 57% of Americans think they are real. The percentage of Republicans is about 68%. And this is in the face of no compelling scientific evidence.

Can you see where I’m going with this?

Let’s compare, shall we?

More Republicans believe in demons than they do anthropogenic global warming at a ration over 4:1, not because of any rational or compelling scientific reasons but because of the strength of confidence they place only in their faith-based beliefs.

So out of about 55 million registered Republican voters,  about 37.5 million of them believe in demons but only about 9 million believe in anthropogenic global warming. Public policy aimed at addressing climate change has very little support among this cohort and only slightly above a majority on average. Why? Because far too many people are willing to elevate their faith-based beliefs not equivalent (because the stats would show these as Undecided) but SUPERIOR to scientific consensus.

The cost of this lunacy, this elevation of ignorance to be considered superior to knowledge, is going to be high and all of us get to pay for it with unnecessary and imposed costs, pain, and suffering. So next time someone suggests that faith-based beliefs should be respected in the public domain because of some charity work motivated and organized by some well-intentioned but misguided religious activists, please remind these not-so- quaint fools that this respect is the very stupidity that sets the stage for the next Sandy, the next extended drought, the next flash flood, the next inundated slide. And that little bit of weather, as they say Down East, costs real lives and causes real damage in the tens of billions of dollars so that we can continue to pretend that faith-based beliefs in the public domain are not a net harm, are not a direct threat to our collective well-being, are not a danger to our lives (How much soup could you make and distribute, I wonder, for 50 billion dollars these days?).

We need to stop deluding ourselves that faith-based beliefs are in any way, shape, or fashion respectable when they are equivalent to malicious ignorance , and hold those who seem powerless to exercise reasonable critical thinking (when it comes to public policy contrary to their beliefs) to public scorn and public ridicule for their willingness to allow their superstitious nonsense to put all of us at real risk in the service of maintaining a faux-respect for their ridiculous faith-based beliefs.

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30 Comments »

  1. Your job, my job, is to try to make the impossible possible, to spend our efforts creating the political means now to make the changes that must be taken to avoid catastrophe. Dave Roberts explains why.

    (h/t to Climate Denial Crock of the Week)

    Comment by tildeb — November 3, 2012 @ 11:36 pm | Reply

  2. So next time someone suggests that faith-based beliefs should be respected in the public domain because of some charity work motivated and organized by some well-intentioned but misguided religious activists, please remind these not-so- quaint fools that this respect is the very stupidity that sets the stage for the next Sandy, the next extended drought, the next flash flood, the next inundated slide.
    (applause)

    Magical thinking is inherently dangerous. It’s never harmless or silly or benign or ignorable.
    It creates an insidious culture where that kind of mentality is somehow acceptable and nothing to be ashamed of. If you can believe in a magical, invisible sky daddy then you can believe he has little helpers with wings who are also conveniently invisible-except when they are not! If you can believe that, then you can believe in demons too. (Hey, it worked for Jesus). If you can believe in demons then you can believe in demonic possession. If you can believe in demonic possession, then you can believe in the power of prayer. If you can believe in the power of prayer then you can believe in faith healing. If you can believe in faith healing then you can believe in weather control via magical incantaions etc. If you can believe in weather control by magical forces then you can gainsay any physics or chemisty with wish forfillment.
    Which give you people like Bill O’Rielly.

    Bill O’Reilly “God controls the climate”

    Comment by Cedric Katesby — November 4, 2012 @ 12:12 am | Reply

  3. We could blame “magical and deluded thinking” if ONLY caused bad things. Once again I must remind you of those of us who believe in the stewardship of creation (a cause trumpeted by mainliners since the 70s and now growing in evangelical circles) due to our misguided and magical thinking.

    And could there be a scientific explanation as to WHY these conservatives think they way they do outside from blaming religion? Well not on this site as you’re only interested in cheap shots. Andrew Zolli stated at Chautauqua this past year: “Though climate change has a greater effect on people, many focus more on terrorism, because humans have evolved to respond to threats from other humans. As a result, he said, they are blinded to slower-moving risks.”

    We can blame religion just as we can blame the evolutionary process in this case. As well as stubbornness. And big oil pouring lots of money to talk trash (buying scientists and what not, running campaigns with “clean” in front of “coal” and acting like the problem is solved) about green energy. False Correlation with the demon stuff. More about association with faith, evolution, and the big business bent.

    Comment by zero1ghost — November 6, 2012 @ 12:51 pm | Reply

    • You have once again brilliantly missed the point of the post, Z1G: it’s a pretty clear sign of trouble when more people raise faith-based beliefs to be SUPERIOR to knowledge than if they would just stoop low enough to be honest and say “I don’t know” to answer questions they do not know. But believers DON’T say this about their faith-based beliefs… and the reason why people like you will never, ever, admit as much, is because their method is inherently dishonest… with themselves first (believing they have an answer that cannot be false – which is why such believers cannot describe what it would take to falsify the faith-based beliefs)) and with the rest of us second. They actually presume that what they believe is not just equivalent to knowledge but superior to it, exempt from any legitimate criticism. Any criticism, is therefore illegitimate, you see. That’s called educated thinking in religious circles. I see it as equivalent in all ways to delusional thinking: all y9u have to do to make something true is to believe something is true, and Presto! the assertion is now an educated one, and one that deserves to be respected. But what it is in reality is delusional thinking writ large. For its exercise in public policy, all these believers ask (demand, actually) is that we respect them for their dishonesty and treat their answers as if they were equivalently true to knowledge.

      The nerve.

      Now Z1G will talk forever about believers who do good things and attribute the cause of these actions to their trust in the truth of the the now justified faith-based beliefs (because the action was good, you see)… completely and utterly disinterested in equivalent evidence that shows this trust to be equally misplaced; he simply doesn’t care about the equivalent weight of contrary evidence because it doesn’t support his faith-based beliefs. And he doesn’t care because he can dismiss these not-so-good actions to be caused – get this, not by the faith-based beliefs that he has already determined to be justified because it produces good actions but – by anything and anyone that stands critical of that assumption!

      In his method of thinking, Z1G can flip the religious coin and always, always, always call it correctly: heads, god wins, tails god wins. Reality be damned; faith-based beliefs like his (not so much those others) cause good (other than a passing lip service to the standard ones like the Holy Land crusades and the Spanish inquisition but never, of course, to all the other regularly scheduled religiously promoted pogroms and genocidal support and massacres and bigotry and misogyny and civil rights abuses still occurring to this day); belief based on faith is always a winner under such a method because, well, because good is always caused by what he assumes is the root of his kind of religious belief… oblivious to the problem that is exhibited by these numbers my post shows, that more people believe in demons than evolution, that more Republicans believe in demons at more than a 4:1 ratio over human caused climate change.

      This disconnect with reality and the knowledge we have about it is an inevitable result of going along with respecting faith-based belief untethered to reality in the public domain.

      To such mental midgets as the Z1Gs of this world suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect, this obvious disconnect is not a problem, and so the root cause of such a disconnect with the reality we share has no common language to help us bridge the difference between delusion and reality… right up until the world gives all us a big smack across the head and screams, “WAKE UP, YOU FOOL!” Only when reality tears down the curtain of delusion that believers erect solely with their faith and think themselves ‘educated’ – versus exercising critical thinking of the truly educated mind, revealed for example by appreciating the irony Z1G exhibits wondering aloud how MLK’s womanizing could possibly be related to his christianity (as if that were ridiculous and in need of more evidence) while assuming his civil rights support he added had to be caused by it (as if that association were obvious but the most obtuse) – will they even get the first glimmer of the scope and extent of their apologetic delusion and the harm they have helped to cause by their blissful yet willful ignorance and disrespect of what’s true in reality.

      Comment by tildeb — November 6, 2012 @ 2:23 pm | Reply

      • Love the tense change on your mini-sermon.

        “You have once again brilliantly missed the point of the post, Z1G: it’s a pretty clear sign of trouble when more people raise faith-based beliefs to be SUPERIOR to knowledge…”
        -Please re-read, I totally got that. Seems like you can’t quite comprehend what I’m saying when I post, just waiting to emotional spew once again about religion and how putrid and awful it is.

        So let’s recap what exactly I’m saying:

        1.) Once again you have nothing to say to those believers who aren’t fundamentalists and who have a high view of science and religion and have blended the two and who also, like you, can’t figure out how people can deny global warming.

        2.) There’s more supporting the thought patterns of the believers you and I rage against (albeit you try your damnest to lump me in there with them) than just the circular logic of “I believe it’s true therefore it’s true.”
        -There’s evolution.
        -There’s business interest.
        -There’s business that buys science and manipulates media.

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 6, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

      • Oh and the tense change where you go from talking to me to past me is indicative of your poor reading comprehension. Cedric wants proof for my claims, there’s yet another.

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 6, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

      • That’s not a tense change, Z1G because it’s all in the present tense. What I should have done is started a new paragraph. Poor editing on my part.

        But you continue to miss the point of the post: the root cause of the majority of Americans believing in demons is not a fundamentalist position (unless you are suggesting the majority of Americans ARE fundamentalist, which doesn’t change my criticism one iota). Yet, clearly, this widespread belief in demons is a position based not on what is true or what is knowable but on assuming that faith-based religious belief is somehow (magically?) superior to knowledge. You are trying your best to pretend this isn’t so, but – if it is – that the fault somehow lies with those who point it out… because we don’t understand.

        Yeah, Z1G, we do. And what we criticize is the assumption you continue to promote that faith-based belief is (or at least should be if properly exercised) good. All you’re doing with this approach is attempting to divert attention away from the point of the post. I’m not going to let you do that because this information has got you and your misinformed assumptions by the short and curlies.

        Comment by tildeb — November 6, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

  4. “the root cause of the majority of Americans believing in demons is not a fundamentalist position…”
    -Evidence? Cause the majority of the mainliners don’t believe in this medieval metaphysic. Can’t think of one person in my church of 600 that believes this. Nor is this belief related to disbelieving in global warming as there are other factors. Thus a False Correlation. Quit changing the subject. I know you want to because you can’t stand to face the fact you’re wrong and your reasoning isn’t logical, it’s based on your emotive hatred of all things religious.

    Comment by zero1ghost — November 6, 2012 @ 5:30 pm | Reply

    • …(unless you are suggesting the majority of Americans ARE fundamentalist, which doesn’t change my criticism one iota).

      You seem to have missed comprehending this portion of the quote in your hast to divert.

      Let me point out the portion fo the post you seemed to have missed: “Regarding demons, about 57% of Americans think they are real. The percentage of Republicans is about 68%. And this is in the face of no compelling scientific evidence.”

      So you tell me the majority of religious mainliners don’t believe in this particular bit of “medieval metaphysics.” You’re trying to tell me that catholics aren’t a part of the ‘mainliners’? Yet we see graduates of the Vatican’s seminary bestowed with degrees in exorcism!

      But keep diverting, Z1G. Eventually we’ll whittle down the true believers – these ‘mainliners’ who apparently form a minority of Americans – to just you. And then we’ll still be left with millions of people who do form the majority who really do hold faith-based beliefs to be superior to knowledge. Maybe then you’ll stop diverting and face reality, that your beliefs do not constitute a shield against legitimate criticism of the role faith-based beliefs play in causing public harm to public policy. But I won;t hold my breath because you already reject evidence from reality in favour of supporting your faith-based beliefs to be a superior source.

      Comment by tildeb — November 6, 2012 @ 6:00 pm | Reply

      • “You’re trying to tell me that catholics aren’t a part of the ‘mainliners’? Yet we see graduates of the Vatican’s seminary bestowed with degrees in exorcism!”

        *Facepalm.

        Yeah, tildeb, catholics aren’t mainliners. Mainline refers to Protestants only and not the evangelical kind (see this wiki entry). In that same article you can read how we used to run things over here but are now in decline. It’s a link to a Pew Forum Report.

        This confirms everything I’ve ever said about you: you simply do not know enough about religion to talk about it properly. Egads.

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 6, 2012 @ 8:03 pm

      • No, you’re cherry picking again, assuming that the term ‘mainline’ automatically means protestant because it suits your argument. The link you provide is a link to a description of these protestant denominations. But there are also many references to ‘mainline’ christian denomination that most certainly do include catholicism. For example, the nine largest mainline U.S. denominations (as described for public policy publication here) include: “the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., the Catholic Church, the Christian Church, the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church, the Reformed Church in America, the United Church of Christ, and the United Methodist Church.”

        So stop trying to divert the point made in the post about the lunacy revealed by polling numbers about belief in demons by a majority of Americans compared to those who accept the knowledge we have painstakingly built about evolution and climate change. What you believe I may or may not know about religion doesn’t matter; these facts about the widespread use of belief to be superior to knowledge speaks loudly about the pernicious effect of respecting faith-based belief in the public domain. All your arguments in this thread are nothing but noise trying to cover up the sound of rational people crying at this very sad state of affairs that you assume is good It’s not; it’s ignorance in action and you’re part of the problem.

        Comment by tildeb — November 6, 2012 @ 11:17 pm

      • “…assuming that the term ‘mainline’ automatically means protestant because it suits your argument.”
        -nope. that’s what it means.

        You’re talking to a mainline protestant, that’s what mainline means: American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., the Christian Church, the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church, the Reformed Church in America, the United Church of Christ, and the United Methodist Church all of whom affirm on a denominational level the fact of climate change and the importance of environmental stewardship.

        “What you believe I may or may not know about religion doesn’t matter;”
        -But it does.

        The evidence is that you do not know what you’re talking about. It’s not belief anymore, it’s proven with the mainline comment and your subsequent attempt to cover it up.

        When one speaks on a subject, they best back up their stuff and demonstrate that they know what they are talking about. You have failed time and time again to provide a shred of evidence that you know what you’re talking about past stereotypes and shallow understanding of Christian history, denominational differences and church history.

        “revealed by polling numbers about belief in demons by a majority of Americans ”
        -You state that the Vatican believes in demons and does exorcism stuff. Yes, they unfortunately do. Yet they also believe in global warming as well and have for quite some time. That renders your initial argument a false correlation.

        The Vatican Pontifical Academy of Sciences released in May 2011 a very strongly worded document on climate change which is just the most recent in a LONG HISTORY of writing on the issue of climate change..

        Once again, your argument is a False Correlation. More factors involved. Please see above for my counter argument and deal with those factors.

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 7, 2012 @ 9:27 am

      • You tell us that the majority of mainliners (meaning mainline protestant denominations only) do not believe in demons as if this is a telling criticism against the fact that a majority of Americans do. When we look at the breakdown of numbers for religious affiliations in the States, we find that people who identify with these mainline protestant denominations account for 18.1%. Your point is that because a majority of this roughly 18% do not believe in demons, that respect for faith-based belief cannot be the cause of the belief, that I have misidentified the cause because I simply do not know enough about religion to talk about about it properly, that my understanding of religion and its effects is lacking in both sophistication as well as depth, and so on.

        Now, I wrote specifically about polling numbers that reveal a majority of Americans believe in demons. Let’s remember this: we’re talking about belief in demons.

        When a belief is held that has no compelling reasons based on evidence from reality to be considered true but is held to be true regardless, I call this kind of belief one based on faith. Belief in demons is, therefore, strictly and wholly a faith-based belief.

        The problem of respecting this method of knowing – respecting faith-based belief – is that we confuse its product to be at least equivalent to that which we deduce and apply from what has been compiled from evidence in reality.

        Is this claim true and how can we know?

        Well, the product we gather from evidence based on reality informs stuff that works, stuff like applications, technologies, and therapies that applies equally to everyone everywhere all the time. That’s why this kind of product is so valuable… so valuable, in fact, that we have a term for it. This term is called knowledge and it is tested all the time to see if it still works. The method that is used with this kind of product we call knowledge is, in fact, reliable.

        Let’s compare and contrast to see if claims using faith-based belief is an equivalent method that works to produce knowledge, shall we?

        Let’s look at all the faith-based applications that work to produce knowledge for everyone everywhere all the time:

        None.

        Let’s look at all the faith-based technologies that work to produce knowledge for everyone everywhere all the time:

        None.

        Let’s look at all the faith-based therapies that work to produce knowledge for everyone everywhere all the time:

        None.

        Unlike you, Z1G, I detect through my haze of ignorance a discernible pattern that I think you seem determined to miss:

        Faith-based beliefs do not produce equivalent work or equivalent knowledge.

        Why is this?

        Well, I think it is obvious that the methods are not equivalent. One is based on respecting evidence from reality – a reality based belief – while the other is based on respecting what is believed to be true immune from reality’s role to arbitrate it – a faith-based belief.

        My conclusion is that in any fair comparison, the two methods are not deserving of equivalent respect because one clearly works and one clearly does not.

        Let’s return now to the faith-based belief in demons held to be true by a majority of Americans. How can this be?

        It can be only because a majority of Americans assume that faith-based beliefs have some respectable place in one’s opinions about reality… not because faith-based beliefs have produces reliable knowledge or have a history of accurately reflecting the reality we share but in spite of these known shortcomings.

        What could cause this, I wonder? What widespread social meme, what large scale social institution, could present faith-based beliefs to be worthy of equivalent respect to reality in spite of a stellar reputation for producing no reliable knowledge paired up with nothing that works?

        You assure me that religion can play no such central role because a majority of those in mainline protestant denominations do not believe in demons. So what does play that role, Z1G? Outside of religion – a widespread social meme, a large scale social institution that promotes faith-based belief to be worthy of respect including a majority of those in mainline protestant denominations who do not believe in demons – what root cause could there be for a majority of Americans to believe in demons and think such a belief isn’t absolutely batshit crazy?

        Comment by tildeb — November 7, 2012 @ 10:46 am

      • But I agree with you on the method. And so do mainline protestants. Method is not the issue.

        “…what root cause could there be for a majority of Americans to believe in demons and think such a belief isn’t absolutely batshit crazy?”
        -No idea.
        It’s not the issue at hand.
        The issue at hand is climate change.
        You link, falsely, belief in demons to NOT believing in global warming. False correlation because the Vatican believes in demons AND global warming. So there’s more going on here than just making shit up and believing in it.. there’s a method to their madness.

        And it has little to nothing to do with belief in demons.
        Which you’re right, is stupid.
        So what madness is behind their method?
        -There’s evolution.
        -There’s business interest.
        -There’s business that buys science and manipulates media.

        To add a little more nuance; the above three things are justified and fed by their religious belief, but the belief is a cover up to what is really going on.
        Get at the root.
        Get below the surface.

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 7, 2012 @ 11:10 am

      • “…what root cause could there be for a majority of Americans to believe in demons and think such a belief isn’t absolutely batshit crazy?”
        -No idea.
        It’s not the issue at hand.

        That is EXACTLY the issue at hand, EXACTLY the identical cause to NOT believing in climate change caused by human activity, NOT believing in evolution, NOT believing that the scientific method is worthy of our highest respect, our species’ most profound achievement.

        That you refuse to see this reveals the lack of education, the lack of critical thinking skills, necessary to allow batshit crazy to continue unabated while imagining that the problem is elsewhere, the problem is evolution, the problem is business interests, the problem is money ‘buying’ science and business manipulating media.

        What crap.

        You say to get below the surface. I have. I have correctly identified the root cause that would quickly and easily empower the individual to see what’s obvious: faith-based belief as a method of informing opinions is batshit crazy no matter how it comes dressed up because it doesn’t work – ever – to describe the reality we share. The conclusions from this method, no matter in what subject it is allowed to speak its ignorance masquerading as ‘another way of knowing’, are not EVER reasonable, are not EVER informed, are not EVER worthy of any respect. Only by delusion of those determined to maintain belief in faith-based belief can any conclusions ever reached by such a broken methodology be considered an ‘equivalent’ way to know anything about anything compared to the scientific method. Blaming business (and evolution) for the methodological error that produces batshit crazy is an intellectual cop out, a capitulation of intellectual integrity, because it does not identify what’s going on below the surface that connect them, and never will produce this connection because it refuse to look for it. This kind of drive-by blaming merely diverts us from the real problem at hand: recognizing that the conclusions of faith-based belief are neither equivalent to the conclusions reached by the method of science about evolution and climate change nor capable of being superior to them. Respecting these faith-based conclusions (because they are faith-based) is a sure path to being unable to tell the difference between what’s true in reality and what is batshit crazy.

        And this is EXACTLY the point.

        Comment by tildeb — November 7, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

      • Once again, I agree on the methodology. That’s not the issue and your denial doesn’t serve your argument, only reinforces the logical fallacy that you can’t and won’t address.

        “are not EVER reasonable, are not EVER informed, are not EVER worthy of any respect.”
        -Sounds pretty bigoted and prejudicial in thinking. Esp. since you’re relying on uninformed stereotypes what with not even knowing about mainline protestants. Nor have you done your reading on any links I have provided in the past to support by claim. You ask for evidence and then ignore when it arrives.

        Blinders, blinders, blinders.

        “the problem is evolution, the problem is business interests, the problem is money ‘buying’ science and business manipulating media.”
        -Cheap reading of my argument.
        How is the problem in our evolution? how we’re evolved to respond to threats?
        Is business and buying science a problem with this particular issue: climate change?

        Pearls before swine.

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 7, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

      • You say you agree the problem is the methodology for faith-based beliefs, and then ignore what this means to the justification of your own faith-based beliefs, which is why you continue to misunderstand that you think I’m attacking your mainline protestantism unfairly. I’m not. I’m criticizing the respect ALL religious believers pay to to what they presume is a virtue for them, namely, faith. I’m an equal opportunity critic.

        There is no means to differentiate the truth value between conclusions based on faith – whether christian or hindu or muslim or scientology or jainism, or buddhism or mormonism or jewish or any of the tens of thousands of religions that have surfaced in the minds of people the world over or, egads!, even your own – and those derived from batshit crazy. And there is no means because the methodology of respecting faith-based beliefs doesn’t work to accurately reflect the reality we share.

        Faith is not a virtue. Ever. It is a guaranteed method of reaching a conclusion that is divorced from reality. It may be true. It may not be true. But what we do know is that there is no means within this method to check. I don’t need to have degrees of expertise in all the religions I criticize to show that the common problem that connects them all is identical: respecting faith-based beliefs. I don’t need to be widely read on the metaphysical musings untethered from reality by the significant authors of each religion that believers think best reflect their particular brand of faith. I’m don’t need to respect the demand from those convinced that faith is a virtue to improve my level of education first before justifiably charging them with the Courtier’s Reply, which, it just so happens, is exactly what you do here repeatedly in regards to your own denomination as if it were exempt. But it’s not because it, like all the others, considers faith to be virtue. This is its fatal flaw.

        Whatever good comes from the actions of believers is not attributable to the method of faith because is just as likely to produce batshit crazy as comfort, nor a reason to respect it because the method directly undermines respect for knowledge gained by honest inquiry. That’s why maintaining respect for faith and respect for knowledge are incompatible. You, of course, wish to respect both – as do all apologists whether believer or non believer – and dream of a magical alliance where we all get to have our cake and eat it, too. But this is just more delusional thinking, exactly the kind that presumes belief in demons in no way can be associated with refusing to respect the scientific consensus about evolution or climate change. Reality, however, disagrees with this presumption, and this is why we see the correlation between the level of dysfunction in societies with an increase in religiosity; faith really is a problem that keeps on giving and not a solution as so many would have us believe.

        Comment by tildeb — November 7, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

      • ” which is why you continue to misunderstand that you think I’m attacking your mainline protestantism unfairly.”
        -you haven’t touched us. You only deal with fundamentalists.

        Still haven’t linked belief in demons with not believing in global warming, Vatican believes in both. False correlation, just because one number is high doesn’t mean it causes or has anything to do with the other. Obesity is up in America too, does that mean it’s causing global warming because of a belief in demons? False Correlation.

        You’re emotional based intolerance and prejudice against belief clouds logic once again.

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 7, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

      • Good grief, Z1G, how many words does it take?

        The causation is the false belief that conclusions based on faith are equivalent. They’re not. Conclusions based on faith are built on a broken methodology. Conclusions based of the scientific method are built on knowledge from reality. People like you present your faith as if it is not equivalent to batshit crazy, and this false respect causes real harm to real people in real life.

        Comment by tildeb — November 7, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

    • “How many words will it take?”
      -Same question to you, how many will it take to show you that your post is bullshit and doesn’t prove what you now say is your point on bit.

      What’s you’re new point: “The causation is the false belief that conclusions based on faith are equivalent.”
      -Changing the subject much?

      You: “So stop trying to divert the point made in the post about the lunacy revealed by polling numbers about belief in demons by a majority of Americans compared to those who accept the knowledge we have painstakingly built about evolution and climate change.”

      Me: Vatican believes in both. False correlation, just because one number is high doesn’t mean it causes or has anything to do with the other. Obesity is up in America too, does that mean it’s causing global warming because of a belief in demons?

      False Correlation: Correlation does not imply causation: belief in demons doesn’t cause a disbelief in global warming. Nor does it link thinking batshit crazy faith beliefs to NOT believing in empirical evidence. The Vatican does both quite often.

      You didn’t do your work. On top of that, you can’t touch those who have BOTH faith-based beliefs informed by science. You only react to the right-wing stereotype, and even then; it’s a bad strawman operating on a false correlation.

      Example: All the catholic charities and mainline protestant mission homes in urban centers which are all about fighting poverty and helping those in impoverished communities. Part of this fight is a faith-based belief: care for the least of these found in Matt 25 and all over Luke. We use the social sciences in our method as well as the other part of our cause. We’re only as strong as our weakest member in the community; work on the weakest makes the group stronger. So we believe both on faith and empirically.

      The example also blows out your empirically driven dualistic view of science vs. religion. It’s both quite often. Even in the sect that believes in demons and other oogity boogities. Not cut and dry, not as easy as you think it is. Feedback loops, not black-and-white categories.

      The prosecution rests, you may have the last word as always.

      Comment by zero1ghost — November 8, 2012 @ 2:36 pm | Reply

      • You’re not the prosecution and it’s not up to you who gets the last word.

        Your charge of a false correlation is a thinking error you continue to make. You just don’t (or won’t) admit it. The Vatican believes in covering up child rapes. The Vatican believes in promoting child welfare. Because the Vatican believes in both does not make it ‘evidence’ that both child raping and child welfare are mutually compatible. You commit exactly this thinking error by asserting that the Vatican believes in evolution (it doesn’t by the way; it believes in theistic evolution, which is creationism) and the Vatican believes in demons, offering us ‘evidence’ for a false correlation. Behind each of these positions, in fact, is a common thread, a necessary central plank, that faith determines reality, but when it comes to covering up child raping, the Vatican will not admit it’s a criminal organization because it also promotes child welfare. It’s all horseshit; it’s job is to promote its brand name theology and gain political power and influence using whatever methods work. Access to child is a very important part of this undertaking, just as it is with all religious organizations.

        Don’t tell me I don’t do the work necessary to understand the pernicious effects of faith – a failed methodology equivalent to delusion. I am quite aware of its ongoing insidious nature to harm the ability of people to think clearly and undermine the justification to act responsibly. You just don’t see how your trust in faith acts against your intention to respect the method we use to obtain knowledge. You are willfully blind and deaf as you continue to endeavor to apply more lipstick to your pig.

        Comment by tildeb — November 9, 2012 @ 6:01 pm

      • ” You commit exactly this thinking error by asserting that the Vatican believes in evolution (it doesn’t by the way; it believes in theistic evolution, which is creationism)”
        -Claim: theistic evolution is creationism. How so? False Equivalence. Vatican Science is not creation science by a long shot. The Catholic scientists use the same methodology as secular scientists and work side-by-side with them. Creationists are in barns and in a museum in Kentucky making stuff up.

        False Equivalence BTW is a logical fallacy that goes something like this: “They’re both soft, cuddly pets.There’s no difference between a cat and a dog.” Your “logic” asserts “Both believe in God, there’s no difference between a creationist and a Jesuit Scientist.”

        You trying to bring in the Vatican covering up child abuse only illustrates your illogical thinking. This is a red herring. I do agree that the Vatican must answer for these crimes. But we’re not talking about that are we? No. We’re talking about belief in demons correlating with a disbelief in global warming. I have demonstrated that this is a false correlation. You fail to prove otherwise and thus must resort to red herrings and ad hominems.

        “failed methodology..”
        -Faith isn’t a methodology. It is in the same circles you and I rage against: fundamentalists creationist bigot circles. Catholic and Mainline Protestants do not view faith and science as the same thing able to speak to the same events nor using the same or even equivalent methodologies.

        If you really knew what you were talking about, you would know how “batshit crazy” this line of thinking is. Since you don’t, your ignorance trumps any attempt at logic or education on this subject.

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 12, 2012 @ 9:29 am

      • Yes, I claim that theistic evolution is creationism. You ask: How so? but, of course, don’t want to hear any answer because you are thoroughly satisfied in your own mind that the claim must be a False Equivalence.

        Theistic evolution is creationism for the same reason creationism is creationism: at some historical point, a creative and intentional agency of Oogity Boogity went POOF! and intervened! Evolution is a natural, unguided process of change over time. Belief in theistic evolution stands contrary to this and relies not on the scientific method to inform the belief but relies on faith alone. Meet the New Pig, same as the Old Pig. That’s a false equivalence, Z1G, but an accurate one.

        I introduced the Vatican as a criminal organization to show that its members can hold contrary and conflicting values at the same time, that MLK could be against legal discrimination against Blacks but for womanizing and that it’s a thinking error to assume the good bits are derived from his religious faith but the bad are not. You seem determined to ignore why this criticism is valid.

        I have argued that conclusions about the world we share drawn from an a priori confidence that something is true because we assume it is – faith – is a failed methodology for all such claims. In comparison, conclusions drawn from reality and supported by what works when tested against it is a methodology that creates knowledge with a very high degree of confidence that it is true. Faith in this comparative sense is very much a methodology, and this method is what you use to falsely present your ‘deductions’ for your faith-based belief in a creative, interventionist agency and put on a show of having confidence in it… thoroughly satisfied in its veracity that exists only in your mind and not from collected evidence from reality. So, yes, claims made about the world based on faith rely on a failed methodology. This is why such a method of making claims based on faith doesn’t work, doesn’t produce what you pretend it produces: knowledge. There is compelling evidence that the use of faith to inform claims made about the world are fully and wholly assertions, assumptions, and empty claims equivalent in all ways to delusions. This is why you have deluded yourself into maintaining confidence in your belief, in spite of compelling evidence to the contrary from reality, that it is my thinking that is flawed, that I am the one promoting ignorance, that I am the one in need of further education (of the faith-based kind, of course) to improve my connection with the reality we share.

        Comment by tildeb — November 12, 2012 @ 10:15 am

      • Nice job tildeb, when in doubt, change the subject! Way to divert to completely non-related issues nor issues that really apply to what I’m saying both now and in the past.

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 12, 2012 @ 11:50 am

      • I’m not changing the subject, Z1G; you never understood the point.

        Comment by tildeb — November 12, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

      • I can’t when it keeps changing.

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 13, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

  5. Maybe this is a good time to revisit what Orwell said,

    We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield.

    There is a cost to respecting faith-based beliefs. Although I think religion is the central engine for promoting the faith-is-a-virtue meme that is clearly wrong, clearly untrue, we find this mole-like meme active in all kinds of areas where available knowledge is held to be one side of a balanced equation with woo. We see this same meme inform the foundation of alternative and complimentary and naturopathic and chiropractic ‘medicine’. We see it inform the sick political process in the States where the right wing lives as if in a fact-impervious bubble. We see it in the war on equal rights for women and LBGT. We see it power the conspiracy theories. We see it presented by media as if the belief in woo was an equivalent balance to knowledgeable expertise. We see the effects caused by those willing to empower faith-based beliefs in the public domain played out at real cost in real life on real people.

    Reality offers us challenges enough to understand and build reliable knowledge. We don’t need to complicate this undertaking with respecting that beliefs in hidden magical agencies and supernatural interventions are also reasonable. They’re not. They are woo. When we allow woo to cause effect in this pursuit of gaining knowledge about reality, we are empowering it, we are granting faith-based beliefs efficacy, we are preparing the next battlefield. But too many of us continue to forget that reality always wins, always will win, and doesn’t care in the slightest about the cost we are forced to absorb while we tilt at faith-based windmills. But we should care at this unnecessary burden and unnecessary suffering people who continue to think that faith is a virtue impose on the rest of us because we can do better. We don’t have to be diverted from our quest for knowledge, our struggle to respond appropriately and with wisdom to the problems we face in achieving our well-being in harmony with sustainable practices. We don’t need to respect any idea that assumes reality is too biased to trust to fairly arbitrate claims made about it. In fact, we need to do a much better job criticizing with scorn and contempt those advocates of faith-based beliefs who try to deny reality its proper role as the only concern in the public domain.

    Comment by tildeb — November 8, 2012 @ 9:53 am | Reply

  6. Across all four Gallup measures of views on global warming, the majority of Americans lean toward believing in it. Independents’ views are similar to the national averages, while much larger percentages of Democrats are supportive. Republicans, on the other hand, are largely skeptical.

    Comment by Idebenone — November 21, 2012 @ 7:52 am | Reply

  7. Hey just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few
    of the images aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I
    think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.

    Comment by http://chatcristianoevangelico.net — August 4, 2013 @ 3:39 pm | Reply

    • Thanks for the heads-up. I’ve checked and all the images are loading properly from this end. In case you have trouble with the videos in the comment section, the link in the first comment is here and the video link for the second comment is here.

      Comment by tildeb — August 4, 2013 @ 4:15 pm | Reply


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