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Why did my mom tell me that feelings are enough to have religion?
#1
Why did my mom tell me that feelings are enough to have religion?
As said in the title, she told me that "the positive energy" given by religion is enough to justify belief. When I told her that my history teacher stated Jesus's existence has not been proven, she responded: "I don't understand his affirmation. Does he mean that the body of Jesus was never found? It's because Jesus ascended". She told me directly and with no hesitation that feelings are enough. Why does she even try to make other points?
"By simple common sense I don't believe in God, in none"

Charlie Chaplin
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#2
RE: Why did my mom tell me that feelings are enough to have religion?
(March 28, 2019 at 5:15 pm)Der/die AtheistIn Wrote: As said in the title, she told me that "the positive energy" given by religion is enough to justify belief. When I told her that my history teacher stated Jesus's existence has not been proven, she responded: "I don't understand his affirmation. Does he mean that the body of Jesus was never found? It's because Jesus ascended". She told me directly and with no hesitation that feelings are enough. Why does she even try to make other points?

I can't be sure what your mother meant. 

I do think that we tend to narrow the meaning of the word "belief" these days.

We use it to mean only "assent to the truth of a proposition." Whereas I suspect most people in history saw it as more like moral commitment, or ritual enactment, or emotional attachment. "Is it historically true, in the way history or journalism is supposed to be true?" is not a primary question for such people, probably.
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#3
RE: Why did my mom tell me that feelings are enough to have religion?
That's an incredibly revisionist notion of historical belief.
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
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#4
RE: Why did my mom tell me that feelings are enough to have religion?
(March 28, 2019 at 10:31 pm)Gae Bolga Wrote: That's an incredibly revisionist notion of historical belief.

What I don't get is why she used this tactic if emotions are enough for her and she openly admitted it.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in God, in none"

Charlie Chaplin
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#5
RE: Why did my mom tell me that feelings are enough to have religion?
(March 28, 2019 at 5:15 pm)Der/die AtheistIn Wrote: As said in the title, she told me that "the positive energy" given by religion is enough to justify belief. When I told her that my history teacher stated Jesus's existence has not been proven, she responded: "I don't understand his affirmation. Does he mean that the body of Jesus was never found? It's because Jesus ascended". She told me directly and with no hesitation that feelings are enough. Why does she even try to make other points?

She told you that because that's what she was taught. Something tells me that moms is not much of a free thinker.
I don't have an anger problem, I have an idiot problem




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#6
RE: Why did my mom tell me that feelings are enough to have religion?
(March 28, 2019 at 5:15 pm)Der/die AtheistIn Wrote: As said in the title, she told me that "the positive energy" given by religion is enough to justify belief. When I told her that my history teacher stated Jesus's existence has not been proven, she responded: "I don't understand his affirmation. Does he mean that the body of Jesus was never found? It's because Jesus ascended". She told me directly and with no hesitation that feelings are enough. Why does she even try to make other points?

No it is not.

There is however a very natural scientific explanation why humans feel good when thinking about religion. Just like one has good feelings as a kid thinking about Santa. It does have the real effect of triggering positive chemicals in the brain. It is the same effect when being around a loved pet like a kitten or puppy, but with religion that "positive" energy is really a false perception causing real chemical reactions in your brain.

The ancient Egyptians were successful in forming groups and creating their dynasties for 3,000 years. And those very false beliefs gave those societies very positive chemical reactions in their brains too. Kids have very positive emotions after seen say a Disney Cartoon movie too. Religion is simply "pretend" for adults.

Even on a personal level, I once truly thought I was in love with a cheerleader, and every time I thought of her or saw her I had very positive emotions. But that world was shattered when I finally asked her out and she rejected me. The truth was I built a false perception of what would happen if, in my head. It felt good at the time, but it was not reality. It was merely my own hormones and wishful thinking.
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#7
RE: Why did my mom tell me that feelings are enough to have religion?
How many watt hours of positive energy is it??
The meek shall inherit the Earth, the rest of us will fly to the stars.

Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups

Arguing with an engineer is like wrestling with a pig in mud ..... after a while you realise that the pig likes it!

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#8
RE: Why did my mom tell me that feelings are enough to have religion?
(March 29, 2019 at 8:28 am)Der/die AtheistIn Wrote:
(March 28, 2019 at 10:31 pm)Gae Bolga Wrote: That's an incredibly revisionist notion of historical belief.

What I don't get is why she used this tactic if emotions are enough for her and she openly admitted it.

Brain researchers tell us that because of the way our brain is constructed, emotion always trumps logic. Every thought that we have goes through an emotional filter. Unlike the fictional Vulcans of Star Trek, our physiology makes it impossible for us to parse any thought purely with logic. There WILL be emotional bias. Short of genetic re-engineering of the human species, there is nothing we can do to change this.

Sucks, huh?

It's not all bad news, though. The scientific method was designed with human limitations in mind. Peer review largely corrects for emotional bias. It works because one person's emotional bias is not the same as another's. The scientific method allows us to collectively police ourselves of emotional bias. It's worked well and allowed us to go on to great achievements.

Religious belief is probably the greatest consequence of our hard-wired emotional bias. I wish we as a community (atheists) did a better job of recognizing and communicating this. It's certainly nothing new. This phenomena was recognized on the alt.atheism internet newsgroup prior to the rise of the web in the early 1990s. You can pummel a religious believer with absolutely unassailable logic against their position and it will have no effect. It's like the scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where King Arthur battles the Black Knight.

Arthur: "You are indeed brave, sir knight but the fight is mine."

Black Knight: "Oh, had enough heh?"

Arthur: "Look, you stupid bastard! You've got no arms left!

Black Knight: "Yes, I have!"

Arthur: "LOOK!" Arthur points to the locations on the ground where the Black Knight's severed arms lay.

Black Knight: "It's just a flesh wound!"

This is emotional bias at work. The scene makes for great comedy but the real-life version of it is just as absurd. Emotional bias blinds religious believers into believing absolutely ridiculous things.

Don't start feeling smug, though. You and I are human too and are subject to the same flaws. On this subject (religion), our own emotional biases happen to align with logic and the scientific method. We almost certainly have our own beliefs which don't square with reality.
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

Albert Einstein
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#9
RE: Why did my mom tell me that feelings are enough to have religion?
(March 29, 2019 at 5:10 pm)AFTT47 Wrote:
(March 29, 2019 at 8:28 am)Der/die AtheistIn Wrote: What I don't get is why she used this tactic if emotions are enough for her and she openly admitted it.

Brain researchers tell us that because of the way our brain is constructed, emotion always trumps logic. Every thought that we have goes through an emotional filter. Unlike the fictional Vulcans of Star Trek, our physiology makes it impossible for us to parse any thought purely with logic. There WILL be emotional bias. Short of genetic re-engineering of the human species, there is nothing we can do to change this.

Sucks, huh?

It's not all bad news, though. The scientific method was designed with human limitations in mind. Peer review largely corrects for emotional bias. It works because one person's emotional bias is not the same as another's. The scientific method allows us to collectively police ourselves of emotional bias. It's worked well and allowed us to go on to great achievements.

Religious belief is probably the greatest consequence of our hard-wired emotional bias. I wish we as a community (atheists) did a better job of recognizing and communicating this. It's certainly nothing new. This phenomena was recognized on the alt.atheism internet newsgroup prior to the rise of the web in the early 1990s. You can pummel a religious believer with absolutely unassailable logic against their position and it will have no effect. It's like the scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where King Arthur battles the Black Knight.

Arthur: "You are indeed brave, sir knight but the fight is mine."

Black Knight: "Oh, had enough heh?"

Arthur: "Look, you stupid bastard! You've got no arms left!

Black Knight: "Yes, I have!"

Arthur: "LOOK!" Arthur points to the locations on the ground where the Black Knight's severed arms lay.

Black Knight: "It's just a flesh wound!"

This is emotional bias at work. The scene makes for great comedy but the real-life version of it is just as absurd. Emotional bias blinds religious believers into believing absolutely ridiculous things.

Don't start feeling smug, though. You and I are human too and are subject to the same flaws. On this subject (religion), our own emotional biases happen to align with logic and the scientific method. We almost certainly have our own beliefs which don't square with reality.

I wouldn't put it like that. Humans can when they want to keep their emotions in check. But no, we don't always keep our emotions in check. We certainly can value logic when we want to, it is why we have modern medicine, computers and air flight.

It is more along the lines that humans are born with a disadvantage in not having adult critical thinking skills at birth. We build neurological pathways that hold our perceptions of what we think is true, and in that context our perceptions of reality can be flawed. But in terms of other life, not just humans, we can observe other animals also having false perceptions. Like a dog barking at' it's own reflection in a door or mirror mistaking it for another dog.

So basically humans perceptions are notoriously flawed. The old moth to the candle flame analogy. Dawkins, in his book the God Delusion gives us the evolutionary reason we evolved with this flaw. One of his examples went something like this; "The antelope on the African plains doesn't always have time to decide if the swaying tall grass is mere wind, or a lion stalking it, so it more often than not has to make a split second decision to avoid harm."

Our false perceptions as a species can be also why we walk into a glass door we falsely perceive as open because it is squeaky clean. So it isn't always emotions that override our logic. The "emotional" part is more a part of the social norms we get sold from birth, and what we are doing in that case is protecting that which we have grown accustom to.
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#10
RE: Why did my mom tell me that feelings are enough to have religion?
(March 28, 2019 at 5:15 pm)Der/die AtheistIn Wrote: As said in the title, she told me that "the positive energy" given by religion is enough to justify belief. When I told her that my history teacher stated Jesus's existence has not been proven, she responded: "I don't understand his affirmation. Does he mean that the body of Jesus was never found? It's because Jesus ascended". She told me directly and with no hesitation that feelings are enough. Why does she even try to make other points?

Because fr her it is enough but for her slower son/daughter who does not understand and pushes the topic further she tries to placate the slower child till he or she is old enough to understand what is meant when she says what she feels is enough.
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