If you intresting in sport Buy trenbolone and Buy testosterone enanthate you find place where you can find information about steroids
  • Resources

  • Book of the Month

  • Shopping on Amazon? Use this search box and support Dangerous Talk at the same time.
  • Blog Directories

    blog search directory Religion Top Blogs
  • AdSense

How Can They Believe This Stuff?

Last week, I was having a conversation with another atheist who isn’t as vocal as I am. She asked how Christians can believe this stuff and commented that they must be stupid. I found myself in the odd position of defending Christians.

It is not that Christians are stupid, but rather that the system that has been created over the past 2000 years exploits people’s weaknesses. Most people are indoctrinated in religion and even if they never really buy into it, the indoctrination hides in their subconscious waiting for the moment of weakness to reassert itself like a virus.

When people are overly emotional, the logic center of their brain gets over-ridden and all that indoctrination and the pervading religiosity of society helps to give people the “born again” experience. Since there are moments in life in which even the most rational of us can get overly emotional, religion could really infect ant one of us. The only protecting against this virus is knowledge. Intelligence has very little to do with it.

So even though the Christian religion has more plot holes than a Michael Bay film, even very smart and intelligent people can be suckered in. Once they are in, it is very hard to get them out. At this point, knowledge alone isn’t enough. At this point they need critical thinking skills and the willingness to use those skills on their religion.

It’s easy for atheists to look at religious people as look at the ridiculous beliefs that they have and conclude that they must be stupid, but then we should realize that most atheists were once believers. Some may have even been strong fundamentalist believers.

Bookmark and Share

Enhanced by Zemanta
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • Asmodeus Azarak

    When confronted with questions and concepts that are too big for our brains to fully comprehend and process, we are naturally programmed to seek simple easy answers. The alternative is quite simply madness. If you didn’t do this at all you would be locked up. Everyone has a different level of how much they can question and look for more “correct” answers, but everything we all think we know about the universe is still pretty much a gross oversimplification.

    It is easy to look down on people who grossly oversimplify things we process more, but we all do the same thing in different areas in different degrees.

    Even when they lash out and try to force their beliefs on others, as distasteful as that is, it is good to remind ourselves that these people are desperately clinging to their comfortable delusions in fear of the unknown, and to some degree we are all guilty of that.

  • http://hotforjesusformerfundie.blogspot.com Xtine

    Thank you for defending Christians as an atheist. I find myself doing this all the time. For me, it is in part because I wholly empathize with what it means to be a full-time believer. The spin-cycle is incredible and the last thing any believer entering dialogue with a non-believer needs is to hear that they are stupid. I was not “stupid” nor are the people I love who still believe. All very intelligent people. Atheists have different ways of responding to the argument you make, but I, for one, cannot call believers stupid – because I cannot hate my former self. I would hope the same for other former fundagelicals turned atheists.

  • http://www.lousycanuck.ca Jason Thibeault

    If you don’t mind a self-pimp Staks, I wrote a post a while back on exactly this: Religion as Mental Parasite. It makes the case that religion exploits “bugs” (of the computer kind) in people’s brains to supplant reason and defend its infected against other infections of the same class (e.g. other religions).

    (If you do mind the self-pimp, I’ll bow and duck out gracefully. :) )

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    As long as it is on topic and supports another person of reason, I’m cool with self-pimping.

  • http://www.lousycanuck.ca Jason Thibeault

    By all means feel free to do likewise, should you ever wander over to my place. Thanks!

  • Joe Rhea

    I don’t Christians are stupid either. As an atheist I am continually frustrated by Christians at their lack of investigational skills. I never take grand claims on face value, I always need to do my own research before I will accept what has been claimed. So I get angered when I ask my fellow Christains to read an Atheist book, and they respond with, “I don’t need to read any of that, nothing is ever going to change my mind.” Talk about dogmatic and closed-minded.

  • Brian

    At this point they need critical thinking skills and the willingness to use those skills on their religion.

    The fact that Christians aren’t stupid and they can be religious even when they are rational about everything else in their life is precisely why it can be good to “be a dick” and use ridicule to de-convert people.

    Their default position is skepticism, except a mind virus has twisted their thinking on one topic. They already have critical thinking skills. Religion has latched onto them by exploiting vulnerabilities, errors in judgment, social manipulation, etc. As social manipulation has caused this problem, in some cases it can have a large role in helping to end it.

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    I agree.

  • Caleb

    You say that knowledge and critical thinking skills are needed to, I guess you would say, get out or be freed from Christianity. I agree with you on one side that many Christians do not use these skills. However, you must realize that Atheists need to apply these skills to their religion much more than Christians do. For example, have you ever used your critical thinking skills to think about where exactly knowledge comes from? What about logic? Logic requires the absolute rules. A can not be both A and B. Truth can not be both truth and untruth. My point is that the Atheist does not have a source for things like logic. A finite man can not create an absolute truth like the law of non-contradiction. We can name it. We can explain it. But we can’t create it. There must be a source. There must be a God.

    The problem with your thinking is that you believe when a Christian applies critical thinking to his religion he will realize that it is a lie. Unfortunately for you, this is not the case.

    The atheist can’t find God for the same reason that a thief can’t find a policeman.

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    Caleb, there are quite a few things wrong with your comment. First, atheism is a lack of belief, not a belief in and of itself. While many atheists are Humanists which could be loosely considered a religion, atheism alone is not a religion (except sometimes in the legal sense, but that is complicated and I’ll save that for another day).

    Then you start to get into Presupposition Theology a bit which I have addressed in my Atheism 101 article HERE.

    I also want to address your comment, “There must be a source. There must be a God.” For starters, I am not sure there must be a source, even if that were true, there is no reason why that source must be a deity let alone your deity. Even more, even if there must be a source, it would be a perfectly reasonable position to take the scientific approach and state that we don’t yet know what that source is. As it stands now, Stephen Hawking’s new book, “The Grand Design” addresses this question and according to his M-Theory, the source of logic and such is a form of natural selection on a cosmic scale.

    You also claim that atheists are not looking for god/God. But perhaps you don’t realize that most atheists were once religion and many were once fundamentally religious. I can tell you that while I was never extremely religious, I did once believe in God. I also went through a phase in college where I seriously searched for answers. I took the religious test of genuinely asking God for a sign of his existence multiple times and have always walked away unsatisfied.

    These experiences have helped me a great deal in my thinking though. Next month, I will be releasing my Ontological Proof that God does not exist. But you will have to wait for that one.

  • Caleb

    First, atheism is not a lack of belief. You believe there is no God. Moreover, you put your faith in yourself. Everyone puts their faith in something. Everyone believes something. Don’t try to separate yourself from the crowd. Atheism is just as much of a religion as agnosticism, Hinduism, and Islam. You may say that you’re different because you don’t worship anything. However, you do, in fact, worship not only yourself but what you love. Atheism isn’t taking God out of the picture. It’s replacing God with man. He is still there. You have just chosen to place yourself and your reasoning above Him.

    Moving on..

    I read your Atheism 101 article and, no offense, but it really didn’t say a whole lot of anything. You basically made some claims and brought no evidence to the table to support it. At the end you basically say that reason really isn’t that necessary. If it failed us we would move on. Really? That’s the best you have? Unfortunately, you live your life on the assumption that reason is constant and that it won’t ever fail you. Also, what your saying is comparable to saying that if gravity suddenly failed us we would just move on. No we wouldn’t just move on. We would all be dead. Likewise, if reason suddenly failed us the entire world would turn to chaos because when a person cannot even trust their own mind they go insane.

    I realize that when you reject God you also reject the fact that our world was in fact intelligently designed. The ID vs. ME debate is a whole other deal. Let us for a moment pretend our world did start with a large explosion and that, for some weird reason for the first and last time in world history, the result of a explosion was something orderly and intelligent. Even then your placing the creation of reason and logic in the hands of something finite. Absolutes cannot be created by someone or something that is not infinite.

    Your next to last paragraph shows precisely why you didn’t “find” God. You, like many others, figure that because your pretty cool and can use big words and stuff that God should immediately reply when you cry out “God if you exist let me pass this test!”, “God if you exist show me a sign!”, and “God if you exist talk to me!” There are many problems with these so called religious tests. The main one is that you expect the all-knowing, all-powerful, creator of the universe to meet you on your terms. You think you’re special enough that He needs you on his team. This is not the case. God is perfect. He is doing perfect without you and He does not need to answer to your petty call for proof of existence. However, out of love, He has communicated to you. If you had perhaps studied the Bible instead of testing God you might have found what you were looking for.

    I can’t wait to read your book/essay.

    One simple argument to leave you with. If you’re right, we die and nothing happens. But, if you’re wrong, I spend eternity with God while you spend eternity separated from him in hell.

    I hope you do not take anything I say as a personal attack at you. It’s hard to always sound nice when I strongly dislike what you believe.

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    Wow Caleb, you said a mouthful. You certainly put a lot on the table. I actually wrote a blog about that style of theist attack. But there are a few issues here that I would like to comment on.
    1. What is atheism? I wrote an Atheism 101 article on that too. While I will say that I believe that God (any god) does not exist, that is not what atheism is. But I will stress that I believe this with reasonable certainty rather than absolute certainty.
    2. I am not “replacing” god with man, I am a man. I have reasonable expectations in science because science works. You want to use science when it is convenient for you to use it, but you don’t respect the process of science and have replaced that process with “God did it” for any part of science you don’t like. Science is a process Caleb. We know what we know because we use that process and that process has amazing predictive abilities. If that process suddenly did not yield results, then we would attempt to find some other process that would. If suddenly all was chaos and we couldn’t find any process to make sense of the world, then we would all die. But when you are using the fruits of science (like the computer you are typing on) it is hard for you to claim that anyone has faith in science.
    3. Science and reason are descriptive not prescriptive (as I said in the article). Science describes the world we see around us and makes predictions about what we ought to expect in the the future. I’m sorry you don’t understand that.
    4. Caleb, I have studied the Bible quite a bit and even read it cover-to-cover (which I bet you haven’t). I have written before about my Messianic Jewish friend who was very knowledgeable about both Jewish and Christian writings and how he convinced me to seriously call out to God for answers. I have done this several times and never received any answers. I was absolutely genuine in those moments and genuinely wanted to believe.
    5. Finally, when you were almost out of arguments in your arsenal, you were left with one last one, the old Pascal’s Wager. Really? That is your ace in the hole? Well, I address this ridiculous argument here.
    6. I know you mean well, but let me ask you about how you came to believe all this. How old are you know and at what age did you realize the “Truth” of the Gospel? What lead you to that “Truth”? I understand that “witnessing” and telling your story is encouraged by many religious people as a way of winning souls. So please share? I’m open to listening.

  • Caleb

    Don’t worry. I haven’t run away yet =]

    Just busy with Christmas and family.

  • Pingback: Dangerous Talk » More Plot Holes than a Michael Bay Movie