markfiend wrote:FourTael wrote:Keep in mind that many believers do not study it seriously either. Knowing a bit more than a person that's done no research into a subject tends to mean very little. I know more about poker than most people that play poker, but that hardly makes me an expert. In fact, that presents an interesting trap: You know more than the people you deal with on a regular basis, and that leads to arrogance.
Surely a believer should be expected to know something about the religion in which she claims to believe? Especially when being challenged to defend her belief.
The fact that (as I pointed out) 45% of Catholics surveyed in the poll apparently did not know one of the core beliefs of their own religion simply beggars belief.
Belief as a whole should not be discarded because of such people, though. From my experience, those that have studied religion in-depth do tend to be religious (not necessarily from any particular bias, such as a Catholic studying Catholicism). The best example I can come up with (because he's probably the best example there is) is Huston Smith. He is one of, if not the, foremost expert on religion as a whole, and he is rather religious (though not belonging to any particular religion - most would call it more along the lines of spiritual).
By the way, Garrett Lisi is a physicist working on a grand unified theory (just Google him if you don't know about him). His religious beliefs are a little harder to find, but he's an atheist because he says that it doesn't make any sense for a being of infinite power and complexity to create something as simple as his unified theory. Putting aside the love of many people in academia of "elegance in simplicity" (such as his theory), there's also the issue that not all religions follow a creation idea, nor do all of the ones that do insist that whatever created us is infinitely complex (in fact, a number insist on the exact opposite, infnite simplicity).
markfiend wrote:FourTael wrote:Again I'd like to point out the argument involving the first five chapters of Genesis. If you don't know what I'm talking about, that's kind of my point.
Oh, I'm not trying to demolish the whole of religion based on an analysis of Genesis. It wasn't me who brought up Genesis in the first place, it was yedidyak. All I was trying to point out was that trying to prop up any creation mythology with modern science is a futile exercise. The mythology might kind-of fit if you're generous (or want it to fit) but on the whole you have to force the text to fit the science (yedidyak's approach) or force the science to fit the mythology (the approach of the literal 6-day creation mob).
All I'm saying is that when (among other things) Genesis chapter 1 says that plants were created before the Sun, we can safely say that it can be dismissed as any kind of literal account. I'm not discounting its value as (for instance) poetry.
Well, that's why I didn't quote you in my first post. My argument was against DarthDavid's argument. I just felt the need to respond when you talked about my first argument. The rest was mostly just stuff to add on to the rest of my argument as a whole.
markfiend wrote:What makes you think I haven't studied enough about religion? This is an arrogant assumption. The only reason I don't believe is that I don't understand?
markfiend wrote:Explain it then. What is a god? How does a god create a universe? Why does a universe need to be created but a god doesn't?