DEAR BELIEVER

Why Do You Believe?

 

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29 thoughts on “DEAR BELIEVER

  1. Good morning Nan,

    “Do you ever wonder why…” and similar questions to Dear Believer” are nicely formulated but I doubt they will be answered as we aethists/agnostics would love to hear. I have asked most of those questions to my Catholic wife since 57 years, my (grand)children, relatives, friends, neighbours, strangers (during casual conversations on the street, in the train, at some meeting, wherever), and the answers have almost invariably been: .
    Believers believe firmly, precisely because they blindly believe their parents, and because any question is out of the question (pun intended).
    The very few different reactions I have noticed, were limited to something like “Well, I don’t know, let me think about it”, probably more out of politeness than of willingness to really think about it.

    If you cannot send me the written text of the video, could you perhaps suggest me how to get it? Thank you in advance, best wishes,

    Federico

    Liked by 3 people

      • No biggie! There may be visitors who would enjoy reading the transcript. In fact, I’m not a big video-watcher, so I personally wish more transcripts were available. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hi koppieop,

      I have read in detail your “conversations” with Nan. Thank you for taking the time and care to communicate with our host, Nan. You have obviously put in a great deal of thoughts on “Do you ever wonder why…” and similar questions to “Dear Believer”.

      ++++++++++++++++++++

      Hi Nan,

      Hello! How do you do? SoundEagle hopes that you would not mind long comments, and would like to congratulate you on creating a blog to get past the religion debacle, to contribute to the bringing of humans into the world of reality and truth through devoting certain blog posts and comments to some subject matters regarding religion, philosophy, atheism, racism, spirituality, and whatever else that tickles your fancy.

      Regardless of whether there is right or wrong in matters of belief, how one should adjudicate them, and whether one comes to realize that many people, rightly or wrongly, often believe that they have the truth, let us beware of rampant moral relativism.

      SoundEagle can demonstrate with the story of three blind persons probing the elephant: one probing the leg insists that the elephant is like a pole; the other probing the tail insists that the elephant is like a string; and the one probing the ear insists that the elephant is like a fan. Only the person who has probed the most or who is sighted can be regarded as the most informed, enlightened and correct about the elephant, which symbolises the reality or truth. And only this person is in the (best) position to judge, discern, decide, choose and understand.

      In addition, there are evolutionary bases in people’s sense of morality and in their behaviours. You will find a great deal of new understandings in multidisciplinary fields such as sociobiology, evolutionary psychology and behavioural sciences, epigenetics, brain and cognitive sciences, gene-culture coevolution, and many more. . . . .

      It is very unfortunate that too often even those who claim to believe in and adopt the scientific method still cherrypick the data and refuse to examine contrary evidences. They fail to understand and address many valid points, perspectives, domains and dimensions, and hence it is impossible for them to evaluate and change their standpoints, approaches and behaviours. You might have heard of this quote:

      For those who do believe, no proof is necessary.
      For those who don’t, no proof is possible.

      All in all, it is important for, and also courageous and admirable of, us to confront these sensitive and polarising issues amidst social prejudice, ignorance and bigotry, to have lived an examined life, and to be inquisitive and open-minded, such that “On this blog: All forms of commentary are welcomed and published.” Perhaps some of us could take comfort in the fact that in recent years, the Catholic Church has had to accept evolution, though on a theistic basis.

      For one of the most recent takes on atheism, visit http://www.thesixwaysofatheism.com.

      As for the pitfalls and fallacies of the design argument, visit the following:
      http://www.iep.utm.edu/design/
      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/intelligent-design-trial.html

      It will be nearly or altogether impossible to claim or prove that (the theory of) evolution is wrong or invalid, for it has been estimated that if evolution (both macro and micro) were wrong then more than 99% of all scientific disciplines would be wrong too due to the high degree of cross-collaborations and confluences of data. That is not (just) my claim; and it is from some scientists who have made the interconnections and stocktaking of disciplines and knowledges. When creationists try to debunk certain parts and/or the whole of the findings of evolutionists or evolutionary scientists, they have cited certain problems with some scientific claims and/or techniques which rely on or are founded on mathematics, measurements, instruments, various disciplines and so on in very interconnected ways, and have been reliably used for a long time. For example, many instruments rely on the veracity and reliability of quantum mechanics, electronics and electrical engineering, which in turn rely on other disciplines such as physics, mechanical engineering, optics and so on . . . . It is a very highly interconnected web.

      By “cross-collaborations” (whether by design or by accident, whether independently or co-dependently, and whether concurrently or not), I meant the cumulative results, benefits and synergies from the convergence of evidence from diverse disciplines and researchers who may or may not be collaborating and/or aware of each other’s findings and activities in the first place; and I also meant that research(ers) on/in evolution and evolutionary sciences have relied and benefited, both directly and indirectly, fertilizations, findings, paradigms and techniques from diverse disciplines. Let me quote Michael Shermer from his essay entitled “A skeptic’s journey for truth in science” as further examples:

      To be fair, not all claims are subject to laboratory experiments and statistical tests. Many historical and inferential sciences require nuanced analyses of data and a convergence of evidence from multiple lines of inquiry that point to an unmistakable conclusion. Just as detectives employ the convergence of evidence technique to deduce who most likely committed a crime, scientists employ the method to determine the likeliest explanation for a particular phenomenon. Cosmologists reconstruct the history of the universe by integrating data from cosmology, astronomy, astrophysics, spectroscopy, general relativity and quantum mechanics. Geologists reconstruct the history of Earth through a convergence of evidence from geology, geophysics and geochemistry. Archaeologists piece together the history of a civilization from pollen grains, kitchen middens, potshards, tools, works of art, written sources and other site-specific artifacts. Climate scientists prove anthropogenic global warming from the environmental sciences, planetary geology, geophysics, glaciology, meteorology, chemistry, biology, ecology, among other disciplines. Evolutionary biologists uncover the history of life on Earth from geology, paleontology, botany, zoology, biogeography, comparative anatomy and physiology, genetics, and so on.

      Like

  2. Good morning to you as well, Frederico!

    I agree. Few are willing to answer the questions posed in this video. It would mean being honest with themselves and well, it’s just easier to … believe.

    Sorry, no, I don’t have the written text. You might want to follow the link to the YouTube version and perhaps contact the original poster (Brandon Fibbs). It appears he has a Twitter account and there’s also a link to send him a message.

    Thanks for stopping by again.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for the tip, Nan. Will follow the link later on, as I cannot wait to react to your comment.

    My people explain me that it is NOT easy to believe, one must really WANT to do so. They say this with a surprising, candid, honesty, and then many of them go on, pitying my lack of belief – equal to being a lack of willingness. If they realized how I pity them for the apparent simplicity of their primitive views!
    Nonsense of course and, if it were not such a serious matter, I would laugh them in their face. My “conclusion” is that it characterizes the mindsets of all believers, that is entirely and almost watertightly moulded by their educators.

    Appreciate your prompt reply, greetings,

    Federico

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Yes! I totally agree that the mindsets of believers are molded by their educators. As the video indicates, where you are born, how you are raised, and what you are taught are the determining factors in a person’s outlook on religion.

    And even more to the point, each believer claims their religion is the correct one and all others are false.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Hiya Nan –
    This post and the video caught my attention. I have “pinged” this page in a post on Church Set Free: http://churchsetfree.wordpress.com/2015/12/03/secret-santa-worship-blog-day-appetiser
    You ask great questions.
    I am curious as to the responses of those who – like me – “believe”. I would love to see a loving conversation. I would love to see love connect as only love can – hence the pingback.
    Thank you!!
    🙂
    Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Paul. Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

      I looked at your post and saw only one comment (from someone I’m familiar with). Hopefully others will offer their thoughts. I’ll try to remember to “check-in” over the next few days to see if anyone else has something to say.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Nan – I was hoping for some more thoughts as well. If the comments boxes remain (almost) comment free, it will be “interesting”. And I wanted to leave a blank page at this point for that reason. An update (fresh post) is scheduled for Saturday morning with mine.

        And thank you for your warm welcome here!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s amazing how people can view this, nod sagely in full agreement, smiling the whole while at the antics of the naive folks of other beliefs … yet get quite indignant when told it’s starring them, actually …

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Mmmmm…yes. Very good video Nan! Thank you. ❤ I am going to share this too.

    Yes… consider for a moment… Imagine…

    Imagine a planet like that. Wow! Imagine several Earth species working together, caring for each other, sharing, being selfless 80%…90% of the time being a Superorganism. Oh wait!

    There are already 19 species on Earth that do that and have been for millions of years! Ants and bees are two.

    Humans only started ATTEMPTING to do it these last 40,000 years or so? And are FAR from perfecting it, especially as long as divisive elistist ideologies are allowed to thrive. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  8. A very well made video, truly I wish I had similar editing skills. Nonetheless, the video presents an objection I must answer.

    Why do I believe?

    The video raises a number of issues peripheral to its main point — the 45,000 denominations fo Christianity, the geography of being raised in a faith (which equally applies to those raised as non-believers), etc, etc, etc. All of these details can be set aside in light of the elephant in room. I believe because I have good reasons to believe that Jesus is who He claimed to be. The evidence for this is astounding. The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is astounding. Consider the four following historical facts that need an explanation;

    1) Jesus was buried
    2) Jesus’ tomb was soon found empty after the burial
    3) The followers of Jesus soon came to the belief that they actually had an experience with Jesus after His crucifixion
    4) The followers of Jesus came to the belief that Jesus is risen, despite their every predisposition not to

    History is not what possibly happened, history is what probably happened. The hypothesis that best explains these four facts is the most probable historical explanation for what happened in the past. Indeed, there is no hypothesis better than explaining these four facts than the Resurrection itself. I outlined this argument in slightly more length here;

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/channel-globalreligions/turns_out_jesus_really_did_rise_from_the_dead/

    Better yet, watch this fantastic present for the historical evidence for the resurrection.

    Like

    • Sorry, SC. What is presented in this video is TRUTH — whether you want to admit it or not. People believe what they are taught … and what they are taught is what is accepted in their culture. Besides, many of the “faiths” presented in the video have been around many, many years before Yahweh and Yeshua were invented.

      Plus, any claims that it is “edited” can be applied to ANY video — even the ones you offer as evidence for your side of the issue. Personally, I see no reason why a person would need to edit this video since it’s not promoting any one perspective.

      Liked by 4 people

      • “Sorry, SC. What is presented in this video is TRUTH — whether you want to admit it or not.”

        That sounds like something my Muslim friend would write on his wall.

        “People believe what they are taught … and what they are taught is what is accepted in their culture.”

        You amazingly forget that this equally applies to the non-religious as well. Anyhoo, Christianity does not exist because it was “taught”, it exists because it conquered the Roman Empire through mass conversion despite suffering from mass persecution. Everybody wanted in.

        You go on to say that this video does not promote any one perspective — that’s false, since it amazingly obviously promotes non-religion.

        Like

  9. That’s Brandon Fibbs’ video. He pieced it together and is the narrator. I knew him at CFNI Dallas. I didn’t know him that well though. The most we ever said to each other was during an interview for a yearbook article. He was on staff and asked me questions about the student ministry I led at the time, moral issues ministry (I know, gross!).

    It’s a great video, Nan. Thank you so much for sharing it. I agree with Scottie. I think he was the one who addressed the simple, yet, incredibly profound questions it presents. I’m sure these were things we all asked ourselves as Christians. Personally, as they came up I shoved them down with more cheap verses, worship songs, fasting and prayer, yet again. Isn’t that stupid? We teach our children that there are no stupid questions. However, we allowed ourselves to squash all sincere doubts for years as believers.

    Thanks again for such a beautiful video share.

    Liked by 1 person

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