Re: virus: Have a Coke and a Smile!
Thu, 4 Mar 1999 16:21:41 EST

In a message dated 3/4/99 3:36:12 AM Central Standard Time, writes:

<< Jake wrote:

>Rationally scrutinizing my justifications is not
>something that I have to force myself to
>do. In fact to me, faith is a deliberate effort
>to stop people from doing something which they
>would naturally want to do without it - that is
>rationally scrutinize their justifications. People
>generally have to be *taught* aversion to this.

Do you have anything to back up those last two sentences? (And no, I'm not just being a smart-ass here.) I want to know: Do you have any actual data, data that has been rationally scrutized by wide body of experts, to support this assertion that "people naturally want to scrutinize their justifications"?

This is in stark contrast to all my life experience with other human beings, so I would like to be pointed to the data that you have on the subject.>>

Perhaps you aren't looking at it in the same way. My experience is that when things don't make sense, people generally want to know why. Children are especially curious about these things. Cynicism and faith are generally conditioned over time. Its usually adults that I find less inclined to ask questions.

Is there something wrong with me talking off the cuff about my general impressions?

>>And, (now just to be a smart-ass) I would also ask you, Jake: Do you *really* want to rationally scrutinize your assumption that faith is bad? I mean, _really?!?_<<

If a there is a compelling argument, or conflict that I haven't already considered, sure I would want to consider it. Are you suggesting that you have one? But don't misrepresent my position, I don't think that faith is necessarily a bad thing. I just don't see it as a virtue, or a good thing. When people hold out their faith as a virtue, as many do, I simply cannot agree. For many folks it may be a harmless thing. Some may point to their good qualities and attribute them to their faith, but I question such attributions.

But anyways, if you have some points to make about it, I would be interested to hear them. But I am not going to invent some on my own from scratch. The only ones I could think of are probably ones that I have already considered, so that's no fun and conclusion is already forgone on those.

>>Bill was able to scrutinize his assumption that "faith must be based in fear" and as a result he netted a better and more complete understanding of religion and how it fits into the puzzle that is human nature. Do you understand what it would really entail for you (and what it would show to all of us), if at this point in the conversation you were actually serious about scrutinizing your own working assumptions--the ones that brought you into conflict with Reed--and truly did so right here right now, before us?<<

It doesn't really matter to me what faith is based on - it matters to me what it is. Faith is exempting in principle some representation(s) from rational criticism. This isn't the same as "trust" or "hope" or "commitment", though many faith evangelists may try to confound these issues (consciously or not) for the "benefit" of the unconverted. I have no use for faith. It is my assumption which has survived a significant amount of rational criticism, that beyond myself faith is probably at best a useless thing, and at worst intellectually crippling and thus leading to many more evils.

But anyhow, as I said above, if I were to rationally criticize this assumption on my own, it would be just going through motions that I already have before. On my own, the returns on such an effort are not worth the energy, since the conclusions are forgone. So if you want to make this genuine, I would need input from somebody else.

Give me an example of what the representation is, and why it would be good to not hold it open *even*in*principle* to rational criticism.