85 of 92 people found the following review helpful
Short book with a powerful message,
This review is from: Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith (Perfect Paperback)
I've long wondered why intelligent people can have such irrational religious beliefs, and after reading this book I now have a better understanding. Thomson and Aukofer offer insightful analogies from different fields to explain why it was inevitable that humans would create gods. I was fascinated to see arguments and examples about why "belief" can be more compelling than "truth," and why some people have trouble distinguishing one from the other. This book will give religious believers and atheists alike something new to think about, and they will better understand not only what they believe, but why they believe as they do.
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Showing 1-10 of 25 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Jun 2011 10:47:32 BDT
Posted on 2 Jun 2011 14:20:42 BDT
Mr. T. S. Dickin says:
With all due respect, supremo is wrong. God almost certainly doesn't exist and faith is irrational. Free will is likely an illusion:
P1: No action is free if it must occur.
P2: For any event X there are antecedent causes that ensure the occurrence of X in accordance with impersonal, mechanical causal laws.
C: No action is free.
Although, obviously, there is an illusion of free will, I accept that.
Altruism and love can be explained in terms of science and evolution.
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jun 2011 10:50:28 BDT
The Scuba Monkey says:
"is not irrational if you have experience of a relationship with God who exists". just curious-which one?
Posted on 5 Jun 2011 01:04:38 BDT
"is not irrational if you have experience of a relationship with God who exists" - Supremo.
The title of this book is 'Why people believe in gods.' Supremo...this whole book is addressing the reasons behind why you believe that statement to be true.
In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2011 18:58:28 BDT
So, exactly what do you mean by an 'experience of a relationship with God who exists' - I'm intrigued!
In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2011 10:17:07 BDT
Supremo, tradition is the only defence against your comment being laughed off the page, along with people who think Elvis is alive. Keep your comment safe for a few generations and one day it will look as silly to you as it does to the rest of us.
In reply to an earlier post on 28 Oct 2011 17:34:16 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Oct 2011 17:35:36 BDT
Thomas Shipp says:
To Mr T S Dickin (02/06/2011):
Please justfy premise P2 of your argument.
Posted on 28 Oct 2011 17:54:07 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Oct 2011 17:56:56 BDT
Thomas Shipp says:
If you've "wondered why intelligent people can have such irrational religious beliefs", why don't you just ask them, or read their own explanations? Negative assessments by hostile outsiders (such contained in books of this type) usually do not adequately address or appreciate the reasons believers hold or give for their own beliefs, even if those beliefs are demonstrably wrong. The best way to understand a belief or idea is to see what it's mainstream proponents say about it (and also to note how they respond to rational criticism).
In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jan 2012 21:40:14 GMT
P. Wooding says:
I have asked people how they know that God exists - and the best I can get is "I know because I know". Not exactly answering the "how", but that's the extent of the reasoning.
Someone else said they knew because he was shining down on her, making her life happy (conveniently forgetting the time when she was devastated at the death of her newborn baby). When asked why he blighted the lives of disabled children, she said they were paying for the sins of their parents. You can't get much more inrrational than that. Children paying for the sins of completely separate people. EH???
In reply to an earlier post on 12 May 2012 22:51:12 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 May 2012 22:57:30 BDT
Part of the problem is that books like this have a tendency to critique a "religious view" (often lumping together religions which are very different and even contradictory) which bears little or no resemblance to what many (or even most) "religious believers" actually believe. So they usually make a nice job of dismissing the proverbial straw man. It all reads very nicely to the atheist audience, who will knowingly nod their heads in agreement, while those of us who are apparently supposed to believe what the author discusses sit there thinking, "Well, if Go was really like the entity you are discussing here, I wouldn't believe in him either...".
I prefer to find out what atheists believe by actually talking to my atheist friends, or reading what well known atheists say, as Thomas Shipp suggests. And my atheist friends find out what an Evangelical Christian actually believes (OK, yes, there are variations within evangelicalism), and often, they are surprised to find out that their picture of an Evangelical Christian, gained from the media, was largely fiction.
Likewise, I talk to Muslim friends and colleagues rather than getting my view of Islam from the newspapers.