In a detailed hubPages essay titled : "Comfort theories of religion" , the author Thomas Swan flatly stated that belief in God (as are religious beliefs) is counterintuitive.
In a rather telling paragraph, he derailed this counterintuitive label when he wrote: " for example, the experiments described earlier found that belief in God increased when people were exposed to 'death primes'. This suggests that people are able to INTUITIVELY tie together the notions of death and God by assuming that belief in God means belief in an afterlife. Thus, in this case, the comforting belief in an afterlife encouraged a related belief in God in order to retain cognitive consistency."
I may be misconstruing or misinterpreting the meaning of counterintuitive, so I checked Webster's definition and it states: "contrary to what would intuitively be expected."
So now I'm m confused. Are you?
--makes sense to me. What is the confusing part?
Is he saying belief in God is counterintuitive or not.
People only believe in god because they want something out of it. Death scares them. They will believe anything to avoid oblivion. Well many will anyway. They petition god with prayer. Were they not to think god was going to give them something they wouldn't bother. What would be the point?
The second part of the meme is the fear of punishment for wrong thinking. People fear god. Good god fearing people and all that. So they brown nose it like a dog with its tail between its legs, hoping master won't hurt them.
In other words, religion is highly selfish, even for all the groveling people have to do.
Counter-intuitive? I don't think so. The brains prime function is to keep the cells/ the body alive at all costs and see to its needs. Ours has turned the tables and like a bad government, has decided it is the most important thing.
Thus it invents souls and gods and heaven to cheat death.
The thing about intuition is, its very often wrong.
@slarty: You are conflating belief in God and religion.
Spousing or spouting religious belief does not always mean that those beliefs are theistic. In the same way that theism does not always mean adherence to any religious precepts or principles.
Be that as it may, your interpretation seem to be grounded on the idea that people develop theistic beliefs because of fear or mordantly because of need. Fear and need are just too far in between in the spectrum of possible reasons for them to be considered in experiencing "cognitive consistency".
That's truly funny. So you tell me what is to be considered then.
What is truly funny, in a perverse kind of way, is you painting such a broad brush, people with theistic/religious inclination, labeling them cowering fools and idiots for even thinking that a Deity exist, and then becoming dependent on that deity for their emotional sustenance, and fearing that this Deity would punish them for sins and various infractions. Come to think of it, you rally missed the train on that one.
If you must know, theists have unmistakably non-perplexing and fully intuitive reasons why they believe what they believe. In a greater sense it is they who will come to the none-too-obtuse conclusion, that whoever denies the existence of such a Deity, are going to be in the end , the ones holding an empty bag.
Now that is counterintuitive.
A, counterintuitive is just counterproductive. except intuition has to do with the mind and production has to do with doing something physical. Understand ?
My question was more rhetorical than anything, but since you posted, what do you believe. Do you think belief in God is counterintuitive or as you implied in the physical realm, counterproductive?
Well, to base most of your life on God I think is impractical. Mainly because nobody knows He exists. You can hope, but it won't change the fact that you still don't know. You need clear-cut evidence to firmly believe in something and God isn't that. Most things are explained scientifically. Obviously, science doesn't have all the answers, but it has provided a generous amount whereas spiritual evidence has not. There is a possibility that God exists, I won't count it out that He doesn't but right now, I believe it might be counter-intuitive, unfortunately.
What exactly did you mean by clear cut evidence. If you are refering to empirical proofs, then good luck with that. In what way s is theistic belief counterintuitive?
Theistic belief is counterintuitive because there is absolutely nothing in our experience or history to support a belief in an all-powerful creator god. As intuition relies on past experience to extrapolate to another similar event, a belief in something that has never been experienced cannot be intuitive at all.
Theistic belief is not counterintuitive; on the other hand, there is nothing more counterintuitive then atheism.
Logical reasoning by itself cannot decide for or against the existence of God. Since we can not decide for sure( perhaps even after considering the more than adequate and reasonable arguments for God's existence) , but the question is of such importance, we must decide somehow. ... The decision being based on a bet, akin to but a lot more life changing than playing table craps or blackjack in the casino.
So a bet it is, but the question is, where are you gonna place your bet. If you bet that God exist, then you lose nothing, even if it turns out that God does not exist. BUT, if you place it against God's existence, and God does exist, you lose everything ie God's grace, eternity, heaven.....all potential infinite gain. Stated more succinctly, if you win, you win everything; if you lose, you lose nothing.
You wiin all because of your intuition that God exist. Nothing counterintuitive about that.
Isn't that just Pascals Wager?
There are lots of Gods to place your bet on. What if it turns out to be one of the Aztec Gods,and you are past due on your sacrifices?
Then for heaven' s sake don't bet on that kind of a god who requires or demands human sacrifice. For if you do bet on him.... That is the most counterintuitive counterproductive act you could do.
Why? A god must have wanted something from it's pets, whether it be food, entertainment or other. Why not a combination of entertainment and food, all wrapped into a sacrifice?
Isn't it best to just place your bets on no God at all? Be the most moral you can, live by your morals,and hope for the best.
That's the thing, janesix...How does anyone know how "moral" they can be?
Furthermore, why hope when you can study and understand what's the best ?!
I know I have an innate sence of right and wrong. I assume everyone else has it.
Of course, I could be wrong.
Morals are to be determined. Not felt. Of course everyone has their own feelings of ethics. That's subjective, though. What Hitler thought was right would 'feel' wrong for others (the majority probably). It all comes through and experience and understanding, which also known as KNOWLEDGE. I don't mean to capitalize the letters for you, janesix, but for A. Villarasa.
Knowing is not the end all and be all of existence...... In so far as knowledge becomes purposive and instructive only when it enters the realm of belief. As they say, knowing does not always mean believing. Believing, on the other hand, always leads to instructive purpose. Emperic evidence may not always be part of its structural integrity, but it's in the believing, not in the knowing, that we move towards a goal.
Knowing is the end and be all of existence, actually. If it weren't for knowledge, humans would be too afraid to discover, to create, to think. Fear is the absence of knowledge !
You must believe anything you know. The logic says it all. It's impossible to not believe in something you know of. You're right, A, empiricist evidence is flawed.
In order to believe, something must stem through to get to believe in something. That 'something' is knowledge.
When you became a Ph.D you had belief. However, you had something intrinsically motivating you to push forward and obtain your Ph.D. There was (and still is) an unconscious knowledge that you, and the rest of us all possess. Belief NEVER comes from thin air.
But even belief is unnecessary. No belief is required when you have knowledge. Belief in facts is redundant. Once known to be fact it only requires acceptance.
What is not fact is speculation, and belief in the speculative is folly at best and dangerous at worst. Speculation deserves no more than: wait and see if more evidence arises.
Belief is useless and limiting.
Something to be said about the cliche" I believe I can do it....I know I can do it." thus belief comes before the knowing.
On must first have this inate/intrinsic desire (belief) that comes (generally) from intuition, before one can be absolutely sure (knowing) that one can move (acting) towards a goal. Believing--->knowing--->acting.
what does belief have to do with desire? If I desire something I know I want it. If it is reasonable, not a Bentley, then I work toward it. There is usually a way to get what you want. But belief is irrelevant. Believing you can't when you can is obviously limiting. Belief that you can when you can't can be devastating.
Opinion is not belief . Opinion can be a model based on facts. Models can be modified with new evidence.
Belief is prone to faith. In fact the vast majority of belief has a degree of faith involved in common usage. To me, faith has no place in rational thought, and particularly no place in the search for knowledge and understanding.
@ slarty: IMO, there is no disconnect between desire and faith, because both involve aspirational modalities. If there ever are differences, they are minor ones, mostly in the area of linearity/ circularity or literality/metaphoricality.
The way you are using the word faith is: You have faith that you can fulfill a desire, so you work toward it. But they are two different things. You don't need faith to pursue a desire. The desire is the motivation to do. If you deliberate logically you will find a method of gaining your desire or see that it's folly and move on. No need for faith at all, just desire, rational deliberation and work are needed.
They are not synonymous by any definition that I can tell.
Faith is just the feeling of certainty without the actual ability to be certain. Knowing makes faith obsolete. Hence why faith in god is required: there is no way of knowing a god exists or if its just in your head. Faith unjustifiably removes rational doubt.
Besides the obvious -- such as it takes 365 days for planet Earth to revolve around the Sun -- provide me with at least one FACT.
If I turn on my tap today and get water, then when I turn on my tap tomorrow i will get water with 100 percent certainty as long as nothing in the system has changed. That's a fact. There are millions more. It's also a formula for truth.
Truth relies on the conditions that make it true. If conditions change, the facts of the matter and truth of the matter changes. But as long as the conditions remain the same, the truth of the matter is absolute.
You can't create a square circle. A classic example of unchangeable conditions.
Water boils at 100 c right? Well not always. It depends on the purity of the water as well as the altitude you are boiling your water at. But, no matter what the actual boiling point you get, if you do everything exactly the same every time, your water will always boil at that temp..
I'll leave it there for now.
Each of the examples you gave is a probable, not a fact (e.g. if you turn on the tap, you will probably get water from the faucet; if the flame under the water reaches 100 c., it will probably come to a boil).
The kind of FACT I'm talking about is an absolute.
What is absolutely a FACT? What is something that always occurs, or that does not ever change, no matter what?
You need to read again. I showed facts, provable facts, and threw in square circles. As long as nothing has changed I will get water. Not probably.
First, there are squares and there are circles. There is never a requirement to change a square into a circle -- because the only thing that ever has to be done is replace the square with a circle.
For example, if an opening at the base of a mountain is square-shaped, and a circle-shaped opening is needed, a crew goes in with power equipment and changes the square-shaped opening to a round one.
Are you catching on to the ridiculousness of the argument that you and I are having?
The point is, there are NO absolutes in this realm, with the exception of mathematics.
So, if you want to give me something that is an "absolute fact," tell me that 2+2 always equals 4, whether or not weather conditions and/or something else changes.
I just answered your post. That’s an unalterable fact. There are millions of them. All of history is unalterable fact, though finding out what happened can be difficult.
Again, an unalterable fact is that truth is a set of conditions. The earth rotating around the sun in a specific time is a set of conditions. 2+2=4 is a set of conditions. 2 apples plus two apples is 4 apples, but 2 sets of apples plus 2 sets of apples could add up to any number of apples, if you’re looking for number of apples, not number of sets.
Truth is relative to the conditions that make it true. That truth is absolute as long as the conditions that make it true persist.
Some conditions can’t be altered, like past events. Those events are facts even if we don’t know anything about them. If you alter a circle you change it’s geometric shape and it is no longer a circle. A Circle is a set of conditions. You can make a square or circle but you can’t make a square circle. There are no conditions under which to do it.
Wow, man, I'm waving a white flag. I give up.
Discussing a topic with you is futile, because you keep moving the goal posts. I'm beginning to feel like I'm shooting at those little moving ducks in a carnival booth.
In philosophy there are over a dozen schools of thought on absolute truth. One is that absolute truth is truth without conditions and regardless of conditions. That's the one you seem to be espousing.
My point is that truth can't be condition-less because truth is always a set of conditions. Absolute truth does exist and can be found by finding and understanding the conditions under which something remains absolutely true.
So again, the formula is: truth is a set of conditions. The truth which those conditions create remains absolute as long as those exact conditions persist.
And again, some truths remain absolute because their conditions can't change.
@Slarty, I meant belief as in being aware that something exists and thus accepting it.
being aware that something exists in what context?
I agree you don't need to believe in something that is a fact, but all I'm saying is that in order to know a fact, you must logically believe in it first.
In a general context; nothing specific. I mean "something exists" to refer to facts.
Of course having a belief is subjective. But believing in a fact because you understand it is a fact is objective.
"believing in a fact because you understand it is a fact is objective."
Yes, but redundant. A fact is a fact or not whether you believe it is a fact or not. Once you know it is a fact knowledge wipes out belief, or at least all faith aspects of it. You accept it as fact because you know it is.
You know it is because the evidence is clear and self evident. Before that point believing it is a fact is pure faith and not required, not to mention potentially problematic. You might have an opinion based on evidence and probability, but opinion based on that doesn't require any faith, and in fact should be fully alterable with new evidence.
So at no time is belief actually necessary. Hence, why employ it?
Belief in God helps the individual, in that belief in God aligns his thinking with wonderful thinking as opposed to stinking thinking or neutral thinking. But, ordinarily, neutral thinking goes either toward positive thinking or negative thinking and rarely stays neutral for long. So, to intuitively align oneself with true God which is in Heaven and in Spirt, is to align oneself with love, positivity, and wisdom.
...which is of course, is productive.
Right...unless of course if you believe that the universe/earth/humans emanated from a random event that neither evoked sentience nor purpose, then LOVE has no place in the trajectory of existence.
But if you believe that we were created sentiently and purposely, then you have to believe that LOVE has an overpowering presence in our existence.
GOD IS LOVE. He is patient and kind. He is neither envious nor boastful or proud. He does not dishonor. He is not self-seeking, and he is not easily angered. He does not delight in evil; he rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always persevere.
In short there is nothing counterintuitive about LOVE.
That's a pretty far leap. The idea of love to me is golden. I think the notion of purpose is quite ego driven. But I think once you find something you're passionate about (or someone) go for it.
I could list so many things in the bible (if that's your basis for God) that are completely opposite of most of the adjectives listed in this paragraph.
Substituting the word God for Love was not a leap. It was a transition. And transitions are always mitigated by fecundity and felicity. No great effort involved.....easy, smooth and exact.
Those things/words in the Bible that you are referring to that you implied also applies to God that are not necessarily love- related, are IMO just human attempts at embodying God metaphorically. We know of course that the human mind thinks in embodied metaphors(most of the time), and whatever interaction God may have had with humans in all those Biblical narratives, probably went through the prism of that mind that thinks in embodied metaphors.
So to say that the Bible ie the Old Testament is the literal words of God, is IMO, stretching belief to its snapping point. On the other hand if we look at those narratives that involved Divine-human interaction, through the prism of a human mind that thinks in metaphors, then those Biblical stories assume a more nuanced interpretation ie not literally.
So... situations where God is painted as anything other than love is erroneous because of human perception? Well that's certainly convenient.
I don't even need the Bible to tell you why God isn't love, though.
love is a given
in each of us
because, after all...
we are bubbles
in the ocean of Spirit.
I don't think belief in God is necessarily counterintuitive. Things appear to have purpose and design. So a designer isn't counterintuitive to plenty of people. It is also not counterintuitive to think the Earth is flat. It certainly appears to be flat.
"As intuition relies on past experience…"
"Intuition: the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning."
"1 instinct, intuitiveness; sixth sense, clairvoyance, second sight.
2 hunch, feeling (in one's bones), inkling, (sneaking) suspicion, idea, sense, notion; premonition, presentiment; gut feeling, gut instinct." Thesaurus
"Intuition, a phenomenon of the mind, describes the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason. The word "intuition" comes from Latin verb intueri translated as consider or from late middle English word intuit, "to contemplate". Intuition is often interpreted with varied meaning from intuition being glimpses of greater knowledge to only a function of mind; however, processes by which and why they happen typically remain mostly unknown to the thinker, as opposed to the view of rational thinking."
Contrary to intuition or to common-sense expectation (but often nevertheless true).
We instinctively belive that things are real. So much so that we invent them.
We are not talking about beliefs based on hallucinations. Inventing without a thorough examination of what we are inventing is to say the least counter-productive.
In theism, the process of intuiting, not inventing, the existence of a non- material, non- physical entity is based on well thought out arguments.... not empirical armaments.
Experiential, practical, heuristic, firsthand, hands-on; observed, evidence-based, seen, demonstrable. Thesaurus
Military weapons and equipment.
What do you mean, A.Villarasa ?
"A counterintuitive proposition is one that does not seem likely to be true when assessed using intuition, common sense, or gut feelings.
Scientifically discovered, objective truths are often called counterintuitive when intuition, emotions, and other cognitive processes outside of deductive rationality interpret them to be wrong. However, the subjective nature of intuition limits the objectivity of what to call counterintuitive because what is intuitive for one is counter-intuitive for another. This might occur in instances where intuition changes with knowledge. For instance, many aspects of quantum mechanics or general relativity may sound counterintuitive to a layman, while they may be intuitive to a particle physicist. Nevertheless counter-intuitive concepts are psychologically more preferred than intuitive concepts like in Von Restorff effect."
I would say:
"For a child, belief in God is due to intuition AND common sense.
For an adult, belief in God can be counter-intuitive because it seems to go against common sense(s.)
For adults who have intuited God, their belief in God returns with their direct intuition/perception of God within/internally, rather than without/externally through the senses…( although, God also exists externally…)"
A intuitive person would keep a open mind when it comes to god ideas.my intuition is that there are many.its a gut feeling.of mine
I would disagree. I believe there is only one Source. This one source of power and energy is the force behind all that exists. Furthermore, (and therefore,) one can INTUIT this power within one's own being. (And without.)
The Way I See It.
"You need clear-cut evidence to firmly believe in something and God isn't that." Phil P.
I would agree, with a small edit:
"You need clear-cut evidence to firmly believe in something..." and God IS that…---> through meditation.
So what exactly have you found through meditation?
Direct responses to questions and sheer joy.
I am not sure what counter-intuitive means.
God is a myth that there is a common ground to everything that exists, we are all part of it and we cannot get out of it. I believe this myth is very useful and intuitive.
The truth is we are gods of the God… so we have the same nature. We are peace, love and wisdom. When we meditate we become what our souls actually are. We stop bombarding our true natures with desires, cravings, aversions, angers, judgments, criticisms, doubts etc etc.. We become the pure sunshine of a spotless mind, rather like that beautiful sun flower up there.
Humans are great creators.its only natural that we think of a creator bigger than us .a tree is real.the word tree is made up out of thin air.we do stuff like that..
Belief in God is something based on logic. Lets suppose i show you a device that you have never seen before and tell you to use it. You would probably ask how to work it or look for an instruction manual. How in the world is it possible that such a complex being like human is sent on earth without an instruction manual. This is how our life on this world is, we have so much in life to worry about, work, friends and family that sometimes we don't even have time to sit down and think.
To the author of this post, what is your question? You are unclear. Why are you just quoting Thomas Swan's work? By the way next time you share a link add your source to your quotation. This website is for sharing writing and freedom to post about what you know not what you want to learn. There is a better way to learn than just asking a question about one definition. Your writing is worst than a high school student. I say that it's your fault but I would be lying, It's actually the education system you were apart of they didn't teach you how to ask questions to put you in a position to succeed. Ask a question that puts you in a position to better understand the quote you are posting about. If you really want to know more about the post then look up the root word intuitive. What is your confusion? Edit your question and I will get back to you.
Slarty O'Brian you are giving him the answer without showing the proper steps to get there. In philosophy class I also learned that fluff is excess waste that needs to be cut out of writing. If your trying to fill up a page use evidence and step by step on how you got your answer which is truth. Think about a test and this same question comes up on an essay question. If you are going to just repeat the same concept over and over the professor will probably fail you for not elaborating. I know because I did the same and received a D on my three question short response on the theories of Aristotle.
The Jesuits who educated me in high school and the Dominicans who educated me all through medical school must be blamed for my bad use of the English language. Hmm.. for whatever reason I think , they are not going to take the kind of crap from anyone, least of all someone who git a D in his philosophy class.
"This website is for sharing writing and freedom to post about what you know
not what you want to learn."
Then, I am guilty, Luis Mendoza.
I post to find answers all the time!
by Richard VanIngram 11 years ago
The short answer is, "Yes."Should he or she, though?My answer , after my own search, long, difficult, very individualistic is again, "Yes." Can I understand why some or many rational individuals would have difficulty with the very notion of believing in any God? Again,...
by Mark 10 years ago
Without using the bible, nature or any of the other "normal rants" seen around HP.Please explain what it is that allows your personal belief in God or what is it that you use as your proof.I am not picking or looking for arguments...I am curious as to why you believe the way you do and...
by davidkaluge 8 years ago
I want to know what is important to all those that belief in God that is Christians, Muslim and other religious groups. Is their interest for people to do the right things or they want people to follow them. That is, is the interest of each group for instance Christians and Muslim that...
by Peeples 7 years ago
What makes someone who wants to believe in a God incapable?No matter how much I want to be part of the majority my brain just doesn't allow for the belief in a God. What is different about the brains of non believers (or maybe it's just me) that makes me/us incapable of belief even when their is a...
by Thomas M D Hemsley 3 years ago
This forum is for anyone here who wishes to debate on the subject of religion and religious beliefs. Outline your position, whether it be theist or atheist, explain why you hold that position, and then people can debate against you. This forum is not meant to polarize or antagonize people, simply...
by Alexander A. Villarasa 10 years ago
Secularism, in tandem with other belief systems i.e. atheism/agnosticism, objectivism, reductionism, aim to , ultimately eliminate religion/sprituality/, mysticism/transcendentalism and , metaphysics from human affairs, and replace it with the purely materialist view of reality,...
Copyright © 2021 Maven Media Brands, LLC and respective content providers on this website. HubPages® is a registered trademark of Maven Coalition, Inc. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. Maven Media Brands, LLC and respective content providers to this website may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.
|HubPages Device ID||This is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.|
|Login||This is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.|
|HubPages Traffic Pixel||This is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.|
|Remarketing Pixels||We may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.|
|Conversion Tracking Pixels||We may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.|