Self-aware, recognizing your own biases and influences;
Inquisitive and curious, wanting to learn more about issues before passing judgment;
Objective, basing your judgments on evidence and avoiding twisting evidence to fit your opinion;
Open-minded, having the ability to say, "I don't know" or "I was wrong";
Sensitive to language, avoiding slanted language, recognizing ambiguous, vague, emotionally laden language, defining key terms;
Imaginative, approaching topics and problems from various angles;
Fair and intellectually honest, avoiding misrepresenting the ideas of others or misinterpreting data and research to fit your own purposes.
Ask yourself why it's not taught as a required course in most colleges? I've already given you my opinion why it will never be taught before that. It would seem a natural development.
Have all the anger you wish, but it's a powerful emotion which interferes with your stated goal of using critical thinking and reason. You can't live without emotion, nor would I wish to, but you must bring it to heel or it blurs your clarity and increases the chances that you will let your decisions be colored by it. The best way of atheists changing Christians is to demonstrate that atheist's share many commonalities to them. You can argue with a Christian until your face turns blue. He doesn't trust you, he see's you as lacking character, as untrustworthy, as dangerous to him. He won't listen. I don't know how many times that I have stood nose to nose with Christians and argued the very things that you argue today, and not once did that dialog change anything. And my definition of stupid is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I choose to force him to feel cognitive dissonance by confronting him with the reality of me versus his internal image. We live in a society controlled by polling , voting and money. We're outgunned and outnumbered. Give me a strategy that doesn't depend on incremental steps, teeny tiny incremental steps.
DSenette wrote:religion is a structure that is unique. it uses the specter of eternal damnation and the promise of eternal salvation to drive it's agenda, this is UNIQUE to religion. trying to excuse that by saying "well it's all part of human nature because religion is something humans made up" is disingenuous. especially when you're trying to state that religion did good things. by your stance those words should never come out of your mouth. you should have said "people did good things". you can't argue from both sides.
Why is Religion powerful? It reflects it's followers. They want what it teaches. Emphasis on WANT. You can't describe it without putting people in the description. Religion has done good things because people do good things, Religion has done evil, because people do evil. There are no sides, there is only us. Walt Kelly speaking through the comic book character Pogo summed it up pretty well.
We have met the enemy and he is us.
Damnation and Redemption are only powerful because humans want both. Ignore that at your peril.
DSenette wrote:If the items aren't inherent or exclusive to religion, then religion didn't "do them", religious privilege and funding assisted, but religion itself.....the bit about god, and some rules and shit, had no hand in the advancements you keep hoping will redeem religion.
I'm not trying to redeem Religion, I care because Christians are my neighbors, my employers, and my friends. Religion has benefited it's adherents quite well, and considering that the Religious make up a large majority of society overall then it's no stretch to say that Religion has benefited society. Religion in it's totality is not only about God. It's about looking to your left and saying, he's like me.
RoberII, the problem with using a word like deceit or the phrase con man is that it assumes data you don't have, you can't know with any certainty the motivations of the involved parties. The concept of God overall is not testable so you can't say with authority with evidence that God doesn't exist. There is no evidence to support his existence, but then again there is no evidence to deny it. Logic and reason lead you to conclude that lacking evidence that God exists, then Religion has a weak claim, but it can't rule out that evidence could exist which would confirm the existence. This is why science generally doesn't deal with the question, it's not falsifiable.