Adrian Tymes wrote:
> Samantha Atkins wrote:
> > There are so-called religious "leaders" who will try to tell
> > everyon that they must think and act like the leader believes is
> > correct. But relatively few sects support such group think and
> > even in those that do (e.g. Roman Catholic church) many of the
> > adherents do not believe their religion requires them to refuse
> > to think for themselves.
> That has not been my experience. In theory, judging by written,
> formal policy, most religions arae this way. In practice, whenever
> people cite any religious reason for anything, it has usually boiled
> down to "I believe reality should be this way, facts be damned". Only
> demonstrations that reality is not that way - for instance, the old
> experiment with three jars of meat left outside (one sealed, one
> covered by cloth, one open) to demonstrate that decaying meat does not
> itself produce maggots - have proven sufficient to dislodge said
> thinking, and then only among those who do not insist that such
> disproofs must be some kind of unspecified trickery (whether or not
> they can figure out how such trickery could be accomplished) since it
> goes against their beliefs.
All of that doesn't have a lot to do with religion. It has more
to do with the persistent habit of human beings to think they
can just figure it out in their heads or to trust their
intuitions and random correlations too much. Religion doesn't
have a monopoly here. The actual going and devising an
experiment to test a supposition is a fairly recent innovation.
> Therefore, in practice (at least such as I have personally observed),
> religions can be safely categorized with, and dismissed along with,
> thinking along the lines of that which, for example, claims the moon
> landing was a hoax, or that the earth is flat, or that all living
> organisms must eventually die (see certain bacteria that have lived
> millions of years, or certain lines of human cancer cells that so far
> appear to show no signs of aging over multiple decades).
Such dismissal is never ever safe because it over-generalizes.
It is guilty of the same sort of sloppy thinking you just
castigated some religious people's thinking for. Life is seldom
so simple and religion is no exception.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:40:09 MDT