So many Atheists and Agnostics refute faith/religion with living by logic and reason. But, to be really honest, it is totally impossible.
What do you say?
Mr. Spock did it...
No, one cannot live solely by logic and reason. Any more than one can live solely by desire and emotion. Either one is doomed to failure.
Somewhere, though is a reasonable mix of the two. Where that line is no one can define, but many cross it both ways.
Mr Spock is a fictitious character. But, I smile, because he was the first one I thought of.
Data comes to mind next!
It also helps if you throw in some spaghetti, or a cheeseburger and fries or something. Not much nutritional value in logic alone.
Yes I think it is possible. My hubby is agnositic and my son is an atheist... They apply a sense of logic to most things when it comes to religion. But I can also admit that they haven't had provocations to seek a higher spirtual level. Maybe that has something to do with why they apply logic to reason.
Truthfully, I have stopped trying to
understand why they are the way they are and rather am trying to concentrate my efforts of being a better type of Christian, in order to help them form a better opinion of people sharing my same religion.
Off subject here, but you have cause and effect reversed. Your son and hubby apply logic and reason to most things because they prefer that method of viewing the world around them.
The result of that logic and reason is a lack of spirituality, or at least a lack of desire for spirituality. That is composed of desire and emotion, the antithesis of logic and reason.
While I do not find either method to be innately superior (as long as both are in moderation - neither is healthy when taken to extremes) the difference is very often not understood. So many people simply can't understand the viewpoint, the method of facing life and discovering the world, of someone with the opposite methodology. It seems too foreign, too impossible that one could actually live that way.
Religion is for those that cannot get by in this world without a leader. If religion is considered logical or reasonable, I prefer to be illogical and unreasonable. I did the whole religion thing and all it did for me was remove me from my self and slowed my path to my enlightenment. It's kind of hard to look at my self with Joe preacher telling me I can't be critical.
Most people have emotions that play into how they live their lives as well as logic and reason. Are logic and emotions contradictory? I don't think it's that clear cut. If atheists and agnostics refute religion with logic and reason does that mean that supernatural belief is considered only emotional and not logic? Sounds like it. I don't know if it's possible to live in the extreme either way.
Atheists/agnostics don't argue that life can be lived purely on logic/reason, though many use it daily to refute faith/religion.
I am an atheist, but I still live a life filled with love, wonder, and awe. If I were making objective truth claims (fallacious or otherwise) about the origins of love, then logic/reason would be involved, naturally.
We are using logic/reason in this dialogue, as humans do whenever they use evidence to convince another of a conclusion.
Obviously this depends on what you mean by "logic and reason." But emotions have their place in life.
And emotions can be logical. The emotion of fear is very useful, and can serve a very logical purpose. There is a reason why it evolved in the first place.
The problem is when we are trying to answer questions about objective reality. What is the sun made out of? Well, to me, according to my "feelings" it is a giant ball of hot butter. Someone else "feels" that it is a huge yellow dinner plate.
Is that reliable? No? Well, if our feelings are not reliable for something as straightforward as the sun, then how can they be reliable for something as complex and mysterious as the origin of the universe, the development of life, etc... ?
To say anything is impossible is not really very wise is it? Just when you think a human flying is impossible they go and invent an airplane!
I would say that living by logic and reason are hard, very hard. I honestly don't think that the vast majority of people can handle the work. You cannot simply look at the surface of things. Superficial logic might say that a person with sickle cell anemia shouldn't be allowed to breed and spread their bad genetics. BUT, if you have only one of the bad genes (ie, one parent had the healthy gene, the other had the sickle cell gene) you will find yourself more resistant to malaria. According to some estimates, malaria has killed more humans then all our wars combined. Even if thats a bit of a over statement, it seems that a genetic flaw is a strength with malaria. Suddenly banning people with this bad gene is actually a worse idea then allowing nature to take her course.
Logic and reason seem to take a lot of patience as well as work in order to actually come to a point where you actually know and understand enough to draw conclusions. It's not that it's impossible, its simply that most people don't have the patience, self discipline and willingness to work hard to live by logic alone. I suppose emotion and intuition are like short cuts so you can get on with living your life maybe?
I would say that isn't honest at all. Why is it impossible?
Of course it is not possible. We need our emotional responses and often they are the best response.
But that doesn't mean that all emotional responses are useful. Religion is an example. I don't think it's a "bad" choice, but it is unnecessary.
We expect logic to be an universal and identifiable form of cause and effect, but logic and reason is very subjective. A religious person will tell you that there is no other logical answer to God, while an atheist will tell you that faith is illogical.
But we are all built with a yearning for God, we desire to fill an emptiness with something greater, which is why I find that those who rabidly defend evolution, do it with the zeal of a religious person, and in their mind they make all the logical connections that we cannot commit to. And from their point of view, it can make sense.
Everyone has a life philosophy, whether it is football, worldly spiritualism, art, personal achievement or just brotherly love.
We humans are very capable of seeking a replacement for our need for God, and as a result, you find no one who does not have some core belief in His place.
No, we aren't all built with a "yearning for God" nor do we all desire to fill an emptiness with something greater. Many have their own purpose in life and are not empty at all.
Why would anyone "rabidly defend evolution", that makes no sense. Evolution is a fact with mountains of evidence to support it, hence no reason to defend it.
Of course, that doesn't stop believers from making all kinds of ridiculous remarks and false statements about it.
Thanks for sharing your opinion - now tell me why instead of just saying it is NOT so, say WHY it is not so.
No, actually, you didn't. You merely disagreed and said the exact opposite.
You said this:
There is no reason there at all. In fact, it actually proves my point when you admit that "Many have their own purpose in life..." and I covered that in my initial statement about replacing that yearning with something else whether it is as mundane as sports or television, or the pursuit of philosophy or science.
You for example, it seems that your replacement for God is to take a special delight in just disagreeing with every Christian idea you find on the forums. And you do so by just saying the opposite without explaining why your opinion is more valid. I would respect your opinion if you were truly interested in debating. Your opinion is valid, but just because you have an opinion opposite of someone else, doesn't automatically make it right. Sorry, the last time I checked, you are not God.
As far as your question, why anyone would rabidly defend evolution, your attempt to make a point by denying a fact (something you pretend to know all about) doesn't make it less true. And we can simply return the question back to you - why do evolutionists rabidly defend their belief? If they had nothing to worry about, nothing to protect, they wouldn't be so adamant in rabidly defending their belief or aggressively attacking creationist ideas.
The flaw in your argument is you assume a yearning for God and having purposes in life are one and the same. They aren't.
Last time I checked, gods have never been shown to exist.
Don't flatter yourself, Christians aren't the only ones with irrational religious beliefs, hence it's not really possible to have a debate when the believer uses magic to defend their beliefs.
That's because they don't. Facts are placed in front of believers and they deny them if they believe those facts will shake the foundations of their beliefs.
It is the creationists who attack evolution, not the other way round.
Is this an example of that emotional thinking you were referring to?
That's the problem with his argument, he's denying the existence of evolutionists who fiercely protect their beliefs - and I'm not saying people of faith don't (which was my point - we all believe in something), but you can look all over the forums, here or anywhere else to see that it is true!
We don't. We attempt to educate those who deny it in favor of their religious fantasies. It's like if you believed you could flap your arms and fly and others were trying to educate you about gravity. Are they defending gravity?
We? Newton was a Christian. It ain't we I'm afraid.
I suppose it all depends on what is meant by logic and reason.
For some, logic is limited to the information accessible via our five physical senses, and reason to that which we can conceptualise logically via those senses. To see, hear, taste, smell and tactilely feel has become the only means by which these folk pursue life and understanding; limiting all hypothesis to that which can be tested empirically. Such philosophical empiricists are quicker to reject any knowledge not derived from one's sense-based experience and experimentation.
A differing view, rationalism, asserts that knowledge may be derived from reason independently of the senses. For example John Locke held that some knowledge (e.g. knowledge of God's existence) could be arrived at through intuition and reasoning alone.
The question is, are we only the sum of what we can empirically detect? Or is there more to man? An unseen dimension that is just as real but not to be found via the earthy senses.
They are well defined words, why would you anyone want to change the meanings?
That would follow within the meanings of logic and reason.
Perhaps, but logic and reason would make the assumption that if there were dimensions we couldn't see or detect, they wouldn't affect us in any way. To go out on a limb and assume that the gods whom believers worship and obey live in those other dimensions is certainly not logical or reasonable, but pure fantasy.
Religion is logical and reasonable, so yes. Add to that love, and you're ready to go.
Reason, the inner workings of the processor (the brain), is limited, quite 'clunky', rudimentary in many respects.
Sensationalism softened the boundaries, added 'flavor','color' to an otherwise dull function.
In short: What good is a quad core i7 processor with 156 MB RAM and 1TG of memory, if there is no quality pixel image, to view, on screen.
Here is a little test of logic and reason.
The feather of a bird is tinted blue
Now, simply apply that statement by logic and reason.
By application, we do not require knowing how the feather became blue, why it is blue, where it begins or ends in blue or what makes it blue.
We need only see you apply the feather of a bird is tinted blue.
No, he needs to eat, sleep, breathe, find suitable shelter, etc. Also reason is not the be all, end all humanists would have you believe. With so much in the universe that we don't know, i think there will always be room for mysticism, (sic) spirituality, etheral or esoteric knowledge, which does not necessarily make sense or adhere to the laws of reason.
Man can't live by logic and reason alone; but I think when it comes to what he chooses to conclude as "absolute fact" should only be based on logic and reason. That doesn't eliminate room for choosing to believe one thing or another, and knowing one chooses that belief (rather than absolutely accepts it as 100%-certain, even without meeting the test of logic and reason). There's a difference between "choosing to believe what isn't logical" and "concluding that something is absolute and certain fact when it doesn't meet that test of logic and reason".
There's also a difference with refusing to believe what doesn't what appear logical or reasonable to one person or another, because some people have quite a bit of polishing up to do when it comes to their logic and reasoning skills/ability.
With the exception of a couple of contrarians, all the answers are GREAT.
It's shaping up to be one of the best threads I have ever started.
Atheists and agnostics have spoken well!
I once heard Oliver Sacks on a radio interview talking about a patient who'd had a stroke that knocked out the emotional part of his brain, leaving him with just logic and reason. As a result, the patient was almost completely incapable of functioning as a human being - even in his professional life as an accountant. He'd spend hours deliberating over what brand of cereal to buy, or whether to sign paperwork with a blue or black pen.
We have to always have a bit of interplay between logic and emotion. Even the decisions we think are rational have an emotional component to them, and our emotional decisions have an element of logic. Our brains evolved to use both.
No one could live this way and that is why free will and balance is required. There are pluses and minuses to every equation and the end product is based on what you desire to achieve. A product that does not cost an enormous price or something that has longevity or improves the product over time. The product in this case is people and we are hardly investing in them today. Are logic is to cut the price of labour to generate higher profits at the top. I could use many example where logic and reason has been a failure to our lives.
Here's another question for all you rational reasoning people.
Which is reasonable and rational?
1. Forgiving the one who hurt you (in any way)?
2. Exacting revenge, getting even, or payback, to the same?
Forgiveness and revenge are both hypothetically rational responses, depending on the situation. However, forgiveness is almost always rational, whereas revenge seldom is.
Of course, some varieties of forgiveness and vengeance are outside the domain of rationality, but that is another question.
Something in the middle could be most reasonable to me. It doesn't have to be one over the other. I don't have to forgive someone and I also don't have to exact revenge.
To answer your question it depends on what they have done. One does not escape pain and if what you have done continues that pain and you do nothing to stop it you will pay for it eventually. God will hear their prayers and if you do not believe in God you will be afforded no protection. I can forgive you all I want but only you can ask God for forgiveness.
In order to make a decision logically you must have all the facts. Most people refuse or are decieved about the facts and the historicity of Christianity. Faith fills in the blanks because no one knows all the facts. Christains are never stepping out on blind faith. We are supported but a huge amout of documentd facts.
Those who claim logic and reason usually have never studied it.
Yes, the holy wars, atrocities and witch burnings are all well documented facts.
What about using an example of something from less than 400 years ago. 150 years ago even.
I like that "atrocities" doesn't need more explanation. It's a fun word to say though, isn't it.
What difference would that make?
Would you join the Nazi party now simply because they haven't been putting people in ovens for a while?
What difference does it make? America not even existing as a nation is how long ago you're talking. Mind you, the witch-burning Puritans did begin America as we know it on their principles, so I realise you have a different perspective.
Reality is the only perspective.
Reality? And whose reality should we choose? Yours, presumably.
Reality doesn't change for different people. Their experiences may differ depending on certain factors but the state of reality is what it is.
Just to be fair, when you speak of atrocities, I notice all that you care to remember were driven by over zealous and evil influenced people claiming a religious justification. Why no mention of the atheist driven atrocities, such as the communist revolution in Russia, the communist revolution, then later the Cultural Revolution in China, and the oppression of any faith of any kind by all atheist oriented governments. But I guess such atrocity and oppression is logical and rasoned when perpetrated by the AA's (atheist & agnostics)
(Why no mention of the atheist driven atrocities)
The reason is because there have been no "atheist driven" atrocities. There have been ideologically-driven atrocities commited by atheists, but there has never been a purge for no other reason than to turn people into atheists. Communism is a socio-economic form of government, not a religion. That millions died in Russia and China and elsewhere is not a condemnation of atheism but of totalinarianism brought about by ideological beliefs.
At the same time, it is hard to say the different Inquisitions were anything other than a forced conversion for the sake of enforcing Christianity.
You might be right, except you leave out some very important details (conveniently).
It is a well established fact that churches, and religious groups were specifically targeted by said communist regimes.
Add to that, political adversaries, and you have a HUGE group that were "atrociously" victimized.
I have said time and again, it's the wickedness of human beings that is the root of all atrocities.
That is justified by either religious zealotry or political ideology. Irrespective, put the blame where it belongs, at the foot of vicious, nasty, bloodthirsty individuals. (Atheist or religious).
(It is a well established fact that churches, and religious groups were specifically targeted by said communist regimes)
The reason was not to convert to atheism but to protect the political ideology from other bureaucratic organizations. Political dogma can be as nutty as religious dogma.
Don't you ever get tired of having to hold your neck in such a odd position to read all the spin into everything?
I could ask you the same thing.
You define and redefine just about everything to support your opinions.
Why not just admit, mankind has a propensity to do wickedness, expressed in all forms of violence, which is still evident in society to this very day? Religious and otherwise.
Heck, with an anti religious stance, you of all people would have to concede that humanity has "just evolved" this way, and call it what it is, basic animal instincts.
when it comes to considering why we are here and whether or not there's a god, no one has all the facts
"Most people refuse or are deceived about the facts and historicality of Christianity"
ALL people are. None of us were there. Every book you've ever read on the subject, the bible included, is not a first hand account. Everyone puts their own spin on it and many call those who don't agree with them deluded, deceived or misinformed.
We all share that condition. We all are misinformed.
The uncertainty is so pervasive it is apparent to me that it is a feature rather than a flaw of reality (or creation, depending on your belief).
Then there are those that twist it to suit their own ends.
If one has aspergers it is perfectly possible. But if one is truly alive it isn't.
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