Re: virus: FAQ: question (c) - Believing

Sodom (
Fri, 18 Jun 1999 19:10:50 -0400

2 things: I do have the understanding that people believe and think it is the truth - that if they thought it was not the truth, they would not believe; However, they don't believe because they think it is the truth, but because they want to believe, and then make it the truth. Is this what you are saying, or close?

Dan, the idea " when you understand why you don't believe in all those other gods, you'll understand why I don't believe in yours." has been mentioned a few times here, by myself and others. I got it from Bertrand Russell in "Why I don't believe in God". Basically the argument was in dealing with atheism vs agnosticism. Bertrand said basically

Bertrand:      "do you believe in Zeus?"
opponent:      "of course not"
Bertrand:    "there is at least as much evidence to support Zeus as the
Christian God, so why don't you believe?"
opponent:     "Because the Greek Gods are obviously fiction, without evidence
to support them"
Bertrand: "exactly, that is why I do not believe in God"

It went something like that, at least in idea.

Bill Roh

Richard Brodie wrote:

> The effectiveness of such an argument assumes that people's primary reason
> for believing in God is that they think it's the Truth, which as I've
> pointed out many times is not the case, just a shallow misunderstanding of
> religion by atheists.
> Richard Brodie
> Author, "Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme"
> Free newsletter!
> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf
> Of Dan Plante
> Sent: Friday, June 18, 1999 5:08 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: virus: FAQ: question (c) - Believing
> At 02:23 PM 16/06/99 -0700 Tim Rhodes wrote:
> <<
> The Hermit wrote:
> (c) What's wrong with believing in God?
> -snip-
> It's interesting, your answer is very close to Richard's:
> -snip-
> Maybe this is the basis for a common ground on which to base our collective
> answer.
> >>
> I'm rather partial to the quote that was posted a while back (I don't
> remember who posted it); it went something like " when you understand
> why you don't believe in all those other gods, you'll understand why I
> don't believe in yours.", or words to that effect. The central argument in
> this quote is so loud and clear, and of such an insidious nature (it
> subverts and co-opts the reader's own understanding and feelings about
> their beliefs about other religions, and uses it as a mental mirror), that
> one simply _could not_ miss the point, and it does it with few words, and
> without explaining the point explicitly. This is a good "stealthy
> infiltration" meme because it's vector of infection is through the back
> door of the emotions rather through the front door of intellect (to a close
> approximation).
> Dan