Quote from tewdles
Oh, i completely agree!
What you say makes "sense" to me.
I don't have any questions.
Faith in God is not evidence of ignorance or lack of interest in empirical evidence.
People of faith question elements of their faith all the time, some more than others, but it is certainly not unusual, nor is it discouraged.
Some very, very intelligent and well educated people have faith in a god...that fact in no way diminishes their education or their intelligence.
Faith is not required to participate in life.
A very intelligent person CAN indeed believe in the gods, and a very intelligent person can indeed believe in the cosmic jewish dead man story, too, or any of the other various religions stories. You stated one can use critical thinking skills, and still end up believing in the bible, but, i disagree THAT is actually using critical thinking skills. Yet, i readily and completely agree with you, that these could be very intelligent people.
Never once do i suggest they are not, that's
not my point.
I think there is a difference, like you suggest, in how in-depth one does investigate or question their religion. Most don't. Being able to believe, even with no evidence,
is usually seen as a "quality",
which is why i think more people should consider mulling over, if faith-----being able to accept things with zero evidence----------really IS a 'quality' one should strive for.
Most eveyrone thinks it is. Most are shocked by even the suggestion that faith is not necessarily 'good'. I say it's worth mulling over, if 'faith' really IS a quality to strive for---an idea that no doubt causes heads to explode
at the mere suggestion. (not you, tewdles, but, maybe someone else reading along)
It is one thing to briefly state one is having doubts, or doesn't think this or that part of their religion makes sense, that is usually met with tons of old standby lines from other religious people, and often squashed down in the questioner's mind, within mere minutes,
it's another thing to actually objectively evaluate the evidence they are using to believe what they do.
Most of the religion, if not taught and absorbed before the age of reason, would be hard to accept, if one had never ever heard the stories til they reached adulthood. But, hearing the stories while still a child, being surrounded by others who all also believe the stories, helps one come to view the stories as unquestionably "true". Most religious people inherit the gods they worship, from their parents and their culture, and most of these religious people really never regurgitate it all out, evaluate it, and re-accept it all over again, based on critical thinking skills.
The reasons they accept the stories, are not based on logic. It's some other reason
they accept the stories, not rational thinking. These stories don't hold up well to rational thinking.
Very intelligent people are capable of being able to suspend their otherwise sharp critical thinking skills (that they use on all other decisions) to be able to accept their town's religious story of the cosmic jewish dead person who can make you live forever. (zero empirical evidence of afterlife, either, yet, they all buy that incredible claim that this here one species, never dies)
but, they DO suspend their critical thinking skills, to determine these stories are "true" since there is zero objective evidence at all to support the claims.
You say questioning is not discouraged.
It is one thing for a religious person to want to provoke questions to arm the other with all the usual standby answers he might encounter from others. Parents do this often while raising religious children.
The very idea 'faith' is a good thing, is SOooo ingrained in us, that even questioning the notion, is usually met with utter shock.
Even my link which was apparently too harsh of a critique of the value of 'faith' was taken down in an earlier post.
It's hard to go a day in USA without tripping across some remark about how great faith is
, how important faith is, how superior of a life one who has faith will have vs one who doesn't indulge in faith, how much kudos and pride someone saying they have faith is met with,
even self pride in being able to believe in things wiht no evidence, is veyr evident,
how those who DON'T buy into faith, WILL be eternally punished and tortured,
on and on,
and this IS a defacto form of something bordering on cultural hypnosis to encourage 'faith' and to discourage questioning, imo. It is amazing you have not witnessed or experienced the mass promotion of faith nor witnessed anyone being discouraged from asking skeptical questions about their religion, wow!! But yeah, it happens, it really does, tewdles.
I don't mean questioning like in bible study
, where they bat about the exact meaning of some verse amongst themselves, not THAT kind
of questioning,-------------- i mean the kind where the questioner asks hard to answer questions, or shows skepticism, etc. Trust me,
skepticism is not not not met with warmth, at all, no matter how politely it is done.
A mentality of "If you want to fit in here, with us, you gotta think like we do" actually does go on--questioning IS discouraged, in a myriad of small and big ways. The questioner will often be called 'rude'
or 'disrespectful' or oddly, accused of being 'angry'(?), even when the questioner is very pleasant and calm, very polite, very considerate, they will usually end up being called names, for real.
I am also not referring to what is done, when a religious person senses a fellow religious person is losing faith, either, that whole conversion thing, not eggzactly what i am discussing, either. I am talking about the reaction given to those, no matter how politely it is done, who try to apply logic or critical thinking skills to a religious story. It usually ends up with the religious person becoming heated, actually, IF it goes on long enough.
Things without evidence do require faith, because
it is not knowledge,(knowledge IS often based upon rational thinking)
like the link i posted earlier, which is now disabled,
as it was apparently too critical of 'faith',
which read, in part //"If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, you are conceding it can't be taken on it's own merits"//
I think you are right, i think religious people probably do question now and then, I know some experience doubt now and then, too,
but, i don't think that
always equates to using critical thinking skills to evaluate the lack of actual evidence, when you had said they do use critical thinking skills, but, i disagree on that
yet, they can be very intelligent people. NOt quite the same thing, imo, being intelligent, and using one's critical thinking skills to decide to believe his species never dies.