Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Роберт » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:22 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Роберт wrote:I added bold tags to a word to assist your reading comprehension.

Yes, and my point still stands. Why, for example, do you think that Islam is 'wrong', while anything else isn't? Or is?

I said I might think they were wrong. And I have know idea where you think Islam is the only religion that I think is wrong. All the major religions contradict, and all the major sects within those religions contract. At MINIMUM, all of the sects but one are wrong. :|
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Tomlidich » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:33 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:1. Spirituality and faith are not universally bad things. In general we should respect people's beliefs (when they do not attempt to impose them on other people).

2. When it comes to spiritual beliefs, there's no solid basis for saying that any one of them is more likely to be true than any other (except when they blatantly contradict observable facts).

3. However, there are some beliefs so patently absurd that we want to dismiss them out of hand and show them no respect (for example, suppose a genuine believer in the flying spaghetti monster).

My problem is coming up with a standard for determining when 3 is appropriate. The standard used in most societies seems to be popularity and cultural acceptance (i.e. Hinduism and Christianity are widespread and ancient, while Scientology is young and fringe).

Is there any other standard we can use to say that "X beliefs should be respected, but Y beliefs are wacky and cultish?" I do think faith can play a very positive role in some people's lives and I want to respect that. At the same time I don't want to feel compelled (by the principal of fairness) to respect every possible combination of non-empirical claims.




being a man who generally does not follow the herd of organized religion, but still remains somewhat spiritual, here is my interpretiation:

1: sprituality and faith are generally associated, but i believe them to be seperate. it is ok to be spiritual. it opens the mind to new things, and gives one a sense of power, and clarity of mind. it keeps a person focused on what is really important. blind faith on the other hand, is a bad thing. i believe that any higher being would want his (or her) creations to think for themselves, and come up with new ways of seeing. blindly believing in something because someone told you it was right or just because you want to believe in something is reckless.

2: this has been a rather large flame war over the years, and i do not want any flack coming my way for it.

i will say this: with the new research into the way quantum physics, relativity, and other things work, just about anything COULD be possible. not everything is, but a lack of evidence is not proof that something does not exist. however, if it blatantly defies a known fact, it is safe to say it is false.

this brings me to number three:

3: dismissing someones beliefs can be harsh. but, sometimes it is applicable. if someone is blindly believing something with no basis in reality, as in, it goes against confirmable, known research/facts, such as, the earth revolves around the sun and is circular is shape.

so my rule at least would be: if it can be easily disproven, it can be easily dismissed.


with the example of the flying spaghetti monster, we have yet to disprove that life cannot be made of starch based compounds. in fact, grain and the like is a plant, starch based, and alive. so there is no reason to assume that fsm cannot exist. so, i will not dismiss someone's belief in him.

as for traditionalist christians: fitting several thousand species of mammals on one boat. kinda goes against most laws of physics. so i mostly dismiss that one.

parting the red sea: one man, with supposed magic powers, parts an entire body of water, and crosses it. it shuts just in time for their pursuers to be drowned. no wheather phenomena has been observed to cause an effect like this, and no device exists to perform this action. it is highly unlikely that a omnipotent being would favor one group of humans over another and perform such a feat just to save them. it is also unclear what part of physics would allow such an action to occur all by itself. i won't dismiss it yet, but it is looking implausible.


thats just my two cents.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Роберт » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:40 pm UTC

Tomlidich wrote:with the example of the flying spaghetti monster... i will not dismiss someone's belief in him.

as for traditionalist christians: fitting several thousand species of mammals on one boat. kinda goes against most laws of physics. so i mostly dismiss that one.
But modern physics is derived from data that the FSM has altered with His Noodly Appendage.

Seriously, I'm guessing you have no idea what the flying spaghetti monster is? May your brain be touched by His Noodly Appendage and blessed.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Tomo » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:12 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:The difference between a cult and a religion is the deviation of the group's beliefs from society's norm.


That's similar to the point I was making, but with the condition that you accept all relgious beliefs as equally absurd from a logical standpoint - but the reasons for believing them vary from respectable to insane depending on the societal norm.

Also,

As for traditionalist christians: fitting several thousand species of mammals on one boat. kinda goes against most laws of physics. so i mostly dismiss that one.


This opinion is stupid, no offence. If there's an omnipotent God capable of creating the entire known universe, he can sure as shit fit as many animal as he wants on a boat. There's no inconsistency there.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Tomlidich » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:36 pm UTC

Tomo wrote:
As for traditionalist christians: fitting several thousand species of mammals on one boat. kinda goes against most laws of physics. so i mostly dismiss that one.

This opinion is stupid, no offence. If there's an omnipotent God capable of creating the entire known universe, he can sure as shit fit as many animal as he wants on a boat. There's no inconsistency there.

the bible mentions no interference by god. moses himself supposedly stacked all these mammals onto a large boat, supposedly built large enough to contain all of them. even with a modern steel ship, you cannot fit all of them on one boat. good luck getting it to float.

also, the inconsistency lies in the fact that it breaks normal, observable facts for no reason.

they could have obeyed physics and this god could have told moses and his animals to inhabit higher ground. i am sure there are mountain ranges in temperate climates that can support all the mammals in the world, and still stay above the (now risen) sea level. but no, they have to go for the big, impossible feat. so i call bs.

you must also think of motives. why would an all powerful being create a universe in whch the laws of physics are unbreakable, firm, boundaries, and then go breaking them willy nilly just to interfere with the matters of mere mortals? thats about like screwing with the source code of an OS just to close a window, not only is it a stupid workaround, it is a bad idea that can destroy everything.

also, if he supposedly is all powerful and all that, why not just tell them to inhabit a section of flat land, and make that the only place that is not flooded? why build the boat at all?

it is full of logical and physical inconsistencies.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Роберт » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:01 pm UTC

Tomlidich wrote:the bible mentions no interference by god. moses himself supposedly stacked all these mammals onto a large boat, supposedly built large enough to contain all of them. even with a modern steel ship, you cannot fit all of them on one boat. good luck getting it to float.

also, the inconsistency lies in the fact that it breaks normal, observable facts for no reason.

Tomlidich wrote:moses himself supposedly stacked all these mammals onto a large boat, supposedly built large enough to contain all of them.

Tomlidich wrote:moses


Somehow I doubt your biblical expertise.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Azrael » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:58 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:
Azrael wrote:The difference between a cult and a religion is the deviation of the group's beliefs from society's norm.

That's it. It just so happens that society's norm for a large part of the world are the Abrahamic religions, so Mormons and Scientologists seem a bit off.
Mormonism is just a branch of Christianity, is I don't get how it's not Abrahamic.

More specifically, it wasn't part of Christianity for the preceding 1500 years* since Christianity exited it's own seen-as-a-crazy-cult phase. And their beliefs? They're still considered to have some pretty major deviations from the norm.

* At the very least, if not more; John Smith in the 1820ish vs Constantine in 313.

Tomo wrote:That's similar to the point I was making, but with the condition that you accept all relgious beliefs as equally absurd from a logical standpoint - but the reasons for believing them vary from respectable to insane depending on the societal norm.
I did stipulate that -- mostly because you have to assume equal logical standing. Otherwise you end up trapped in the loop of "My religion is correct, so all the others are wacky cults".
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Tomo » Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:02 am UTC

Wow, where to begin...
Spoiler:
Tomlidich wrote:
Tomo wrote:
As for traditionalist christians: fitting several thousand species of mammals on one boat. kinda goes against most laws of physics. so i mostly dismiss that one.

This opinion is stupid, no offence. If there's an omnipotent God capable of creating the entire known universe, he can sure as shit fit as many animal as he wants on a boat. There's no inconsistency there.

the bible mentions no interference by god. moses himself supposedly stacked all these mammals onto a large boat, supposedly built large enough to contain all of them. even with a modern steel ship, you cannot fit all of them on one boat. good luck getting it to float.


"Moses" aka Noah, was cleary assigned his task by God, and there's nothing to suggest the power of God didn't aid him in it. Similar to hmm i don't know, how about HALF OF THE BIBLE. From people walking on water, to breaking fish to feed thousands, to seeing burning bushes, to almost anything else you might imagine - If you believe in God, his power will help you in your task.

Tomlidich wrote:also, the inconsistency lies in the fact that it breaks normal, observable facts for no reason.
you turned water into wine lately? Cause god can.

Tomlidich wrote:they could have obeyed physics and this god could have told moses and his animals to inhabit higher ground. i am sure there are mountain ranges in temperate climates that can support all the mammals in the world, and still stay above the (now risen) sea level. but no, they have to go for the big, impossible feat. so i call bs.


First argument - he's God. Second argument - it's allegorical. Third argument - exactly what you said happend but it was recorded incorrectly because historians at the time misunderstood. There is just so much wrong with everything you're saying. Read up on the subject and think through this.

Tomlidich wrote:you must also think of motives. why would an all powerful being create a universe in whch the laws of physics are unbreakable, firm, boundaries, and then go breaking them willy nilly just to interfere with the matters of mere mortals?


Well you've just never played Gary's mod.

Tomlidich wrote:also, if he supposedly is all powerful and all that, why not just tell them to inhabit a section of flat land, and make that the only place that is not flooded? why build the boat at all?


Well, idk, maybe it was a test of faith? As clearly stated numerous times?

Tomlidich wrote:it is full of logical and physical inconsistencies.


No, you are. Fuck, I'm agnostic and you're making me Christian.

Azrael wrote:I did stipulate that -- mostly because you have to assume equal logical standing. Otherwise you end up trapped in the loop of "My religion is correct, so all the others are wacky cults".


Oh, I was agreeing, I just thought it was worth expanding the point. I personally think my viewpoint as espoused earlier covers all the main points, while allowing you to have a mature and reasoned view of religon - I'm certainly open to other people's beliefs anyway - just as long as they have good reasons for beliving in them!

EDIT - While Relgion sounds like a pretty cool transformer/pokemon, I'm pretty sure he has no part in this discussion.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby TranquilFury » Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:37 am UTC

It's group mentality instinct, you get a more firmly established identity within your group, whatever that might be, for alienating and dehumanizing outsiders. It works the same for cults, religions, political parties, nations, ethnicities, etc. smaller groups tend to be more tightly bonded and restricted, and are marginalized by more people on account of that exclusivity.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby induction » Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:32 am UTC

setzer777 wrote:I know there are plenty of religious threads already, but I'd like to focus on something very specific here (I ask that we try not to rehash the general religious debate in other threads). I'm assuming that a lot of people here accept the following premises:

1. Spirituality and faith are not universally bad things. In general we should respect people's beliefs (when they do not attempt to impose them on other people).

2. When it comes to spiritual beliefs, there's no solid basis for saying that any one of them is more likely to be true than any other (except when they blatantly contradict observable facts).

3. However, there are some beliefs so patently absurd that we want to dismiss them out of hand and show them no respect (for example, suppose a genuine believer in the flying spaghetti monster).

My problem is coming up with a standard for determining when 3 is appropriate. The standard used in most societies seems to be popularity and cultural acceptance (i.e. Hinduism and Christianity are widespread and ancient, while Scientology is young and fringe).

Is there any other standard we can use to say that "X beliefs should be respected, but Y beliefs are wacky and cultish?" I do think faith can play a very positive role in some people's lives and I want to respect that. At the same time I don't want to feel compelled (by the principal of fairness) to respect every possible combination of non-empirical claims.


A lot of people seem to be responding to the descriptive question: 'How does society/the average person determine when to respect spiritual beliefs?' But it seems to me that you asked the normative question: 'How should we determine...' So here goes.

I think the answer to this depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Specifically, I wonder what you mean by 'respect'. It's possible to respect people and/or treat them with respect, without agreeing with their beliefs. By and large, when I respect people it's because of their behavior, not their beliefs (although I try to treat people respectfully even if I don't actually respect them). Likewise, whether someone's faith plays a positive or negative role in their lives probably has much less to do with whether their supernatural beliefs are actually true, than with how their faith affects their behavior.

It's standard operating procedure for human beings to believe things for all kinds of reasons (including utility, wishful thinking, denial, family cohesion, lack of subjecting said beliefs to rigorous logical inspection, etc.) that have nothing to do with whether these beliefs are true. It's also fairly standard human behavior to simultaneously hold inconsistent beliefs, especially when the substance of those beliefs is difficult or impossible to verify, or immaterial to our daily activities (try teaching physics to non-science undergrads, if you want a first-hand demonstration). In other words, most people (including me and probably you) hold false, irrational, or unverifiable beliefs more often than we care to admit. If we were to dismiss everyone who did so, there'd be no one left to respect. Indeed, expecting people not to do so, would itself be irrational, as it flies in the face of our experience. This should not be taken as a denial of the existence of crazy people or violent religious fanatics. But our means of determining who is crazy and our reasons for doing so usually center around their behavior more than their beliefs.

On the other hand, maybe you're talking about respecting the beliefs themselves, not the people who hold them. Often when someone says 'we should respects X's beliefs', they mean 'we should not treat X badly just because their beliefs are different from ours,' not 'we should believe as they do.' So this falls under the umbrella of the preceding two paragraphs. So what's left seems to be either, 'should I dismiss everything this person says because they hold beliefs that I disagree with or find outrageous?', or 'should I seriously consider that they might be right?'. To the former question, I say: Human psychology seems to be especially hackable as far as religious beliefs go, so I tend to give people a pass on that subject since, in my experience, religious belief does not necessarily preclude rational thinking in other subjects (YMMV). To the latter question: well, I'm still an atheist so...
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby liveboy21 » Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:58 pm UTC

The title says 'Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult' and I'm trying to figure out what is meant by legitimate and wacky.

I'd like to first point out that I don't think that there's a difference between a religion and a cult. The word 'cult' sometimes has a negative connotation but for people within the cult, the practices and rituals are no stranger than the practices and rituals of a religion.

In terms of legitimacy, I think that there are at least two standards that could be used here. For a devout believer of a religion, their faith is legitimate because it is similar to the faith that the church (or other religious body) wishes for them to have. With this, the legitimate one would be the one who follows the word of the church while the wacky one would be one who has twisted the words of the church and has formed different practices. This approach may be flawed because not all practices come from one religion, so it just becomes "whoever isn't doing what I'm doing is wacky".

For a non-believer of religion, the faith would be legitimate if it follows the rules of society. (eg. You're not allowed to kill babies). A religion that breaks a rule of society will then be deemed a 'wacky cult'. This approach may be flawed because it isn't always easy to tell if a religious practice is influenced by society or if society is influenced by the want of the religious practice.

Of course, you could try and say that a cult is 'wacky' if they are based on assertions that are 'wrong'. Unfortunately, under that approach, you may find that all faith is wacky. You'll then have to decide if that is because all faith really is wacky or because your methodology was too strict.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:38 pm UTC

While not exactly free of irony, aren't there legal definitions for cults? I would say that there is a clear and present difference between, say, heavens gate and any of the Abrahamic faiths, snarky quipping at it aside.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby podbaydoor » Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:30 pm UTC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gr ... ted_States

At least in the US, it seems that the criteria for defining a cult is primarily criminal/violent activity or impending threat of criminal activity. So this wouldn't rule out extremist sects of otherwise mainstream religions.

On a personal note, I think the difference between a cult and a faith is whether you're in the cult or outside it. Everyone thinks they are the legitimate article. Nobody thinks to themselves "haha I'm so wacky!" (assuming genuine belief, not satire or cynical exploitation).

Setzer, I think you're approaching it the wrong way. Consider the individual person and their personal actions - not the actual content of their beliefs - when you're trying to decide whether to respect them. Since what's considered legitimate and mainstream is completely subject to location, history, and the given culture, any distinction based on content will be arbitrary. I've met peaceful pagans who believe in crystals and Isis and plenty of wackiness, but go about volunteering at soup kitchens and helping their friends out, contrasted with fervent Christians who fit perfectly fine into their megachurches but disown their children and bully non-Christians.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby thc » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:58 pm UTC

just about anything COULD be possible. not everything is, but a lack of evidence is not proof that something does not exist. however, if it blatantly defies a known fact, it is safe to say it is false.


It may not seem like it at first, but this is a tautology. What people believe to be "known facts" are nothing but strong beliefs. With that definition, rewriting what you've just said: "if a belief defies a strong belief then it is false." It follows that if someone holds the idea that earth is 6000 years old as a "known fact", that person is not going to believe in evolution. So this idea of beliefs violating "known facts" does not actually help determine what is legitimate and what is cult.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby lucrezaborgia » Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:42 am UTC

I'm not sure how to define faith, but cults seem to operate suspiciously like MLM scams.

I don't limit cults to belief in the spiritual either. There are health and nutrition cults and sports cults and etc.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:28 pm UTC

Tomo wrote:Wow, where to begin...
Spoiler:
Tomlidich wrote:
Tomo wrote:
As for traditionalist christians: fitting several thousand species of mammals on one boat. kinda goes against most laws of physics. so i mostly dismiss that one.

This opinion is stupid, no offence. If there's an omnipotent God capable of creating the entire known universe, he can sure as shit fit as many animal as he wants on a boat. There's no inconsistency there.

the bible mentions no interference by god. moses himself supposedly stacked all these mammals onto a large boat, supposedly built large enough to contain all of them. even with a modern steel ship, you cannot fit all of them on one boat. good luck getting it to float.


"Moses" aka Noah, was cleary assigned his task by God, and there's nothing to suggest the power of God didn't aid him in it. Similar to hmm i don't know, how about HALF OF THE BIBLE. From people walking on water, to breaking fish to feed thousands, to seeing burning bushes, to almost anything else you might imagine - If you believe in God, his power will help you in your task.

Tomlidich wrote:also, the inconsistency lies in the fact that it breaks normal, observable facts for no reason.
you turned water into wine lately? Cause god can.

Tomlidich wrote:they could have obeyed physics and this god could have told moses and his animals to inhabit higher ground. i am sure there are mountain ranges in temperate climates that can support all the mammals in the world, and still stay above the (now risen) sea level. but no, they have to go for the big, impossible feat. so i call bs.


First argument - he's God. Second argument - it's allegorical. Third argument - exactly what you said happend but it was recorded incorrectly because historians at the time misunderstood. There is just so much wrong with everything you're saying. Read up on the subject and think through this.

Tomlidich wrote:you must also think of motives. why would an all powerful being create a universe in whch the laws of physics are unbreakable, firm, boundaries, and then go breaking them willy nilly just to interfere with the matters of mere mortals?


Well you've just never played Gary's mod.

Tomlidich wrote:also, if he supposedly is all powerful and all that, why not just tell them to inhabit a section of flat land, and make that the only place that is not flooded? why build the boat at all?


Well, idk, maybe it was a test of faith? As clearly stated numerous times?

Tomlidich wrote:it is full of logical and physical inconsistencies.


No, you are. Fuck, I'm agnostic and you're making me Christian.

Azrael wrote:I did stipulate that -- mostly because you have to assume equal logical standing. Otherwise you end up trapped in the loop of "My religion is correct, so all the others are wacky cults".


Oh, I was agreeing, I just thought it was worth expanding the point. I personally think my viewpoint as espoused earlier covers all the main points, while allowing you to have a mature and reasoned view of religon - I'm certainly open to other people's beliefs anyway - just as long as they have good reasons for beliving in them!

EDIT - While Relgion sounds like a pretty cool transformer/pokemon, I'm pretty sure he has no part in this discussion.

when one is arguing as to what is/isn't something that could/couldn't be considered a "wacky cult", one should probably not invoke "magic" to make the argument stick.

the massive list of assumptions you have to make in order for the "flood" mythology to ACTUALLY stick (regardless of how many animals you can fit on a boat) is enough for anyone with even a slight grasp on how reality has ALWAYS been shown to work (as in EVERY single time anyone has ever looked at reality) to be dubious of the sanity of the first person to hear it and say "yeah....that could have happened".

so yeah, anyone who believes in the book of genesis as a work of history is "wacky" at best.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:38 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:so yeah, anyone who believes in the book of genesis as a work of history is "wacky" at best.

The book of Genesis includes tribal warfare. It is quite likely that while exaggerated or pomped up, significant portions of the Book of Genesis are the historical accounts of tribal warfare.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:47 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:so yeah, anyone who believes in the book of genesis as a work of history is "wacky" at best.

The book of Genesis includes tribal warfare. It is quite likely that while exaggerated or pomped up, significant portions of the Book of Genesis are the historical accounts of tribal warfare.

right, like the historical accounts of tribes that didn't exist at the time that the book suggested they did.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:51 pm UTC

It's actually a bit more complicated than that; old documents--particularly ones that predate 'modern' mass printing methods--are already suspicious historical accounts for a variety of reasons. If we were analyzing the 'historicity' of the Genesis account, there'd be a lot more involved than just going 'is this an accurate historical account: y/n'. We'd treat it just like any other historical document, and like any other historical document, there'd be a shitload of flak to address. Not to mention questions like 'which account of Genesis do we analyze? The King James version? Do we go to the oldest variant we have? Or...'

Basically what I am saying here is that you are oversimplifying a very complex question.

EDIT: Although some people might be prone to say 'it's a historical document that we can trust implicitly as an actual, factual relation of events'. Those people would be wrong. Also, bad historians. That was probably your point.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:05 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:It's actually a bit more complicated than that; old documents--particularly ones that predate 'modern' mass printing methods--are already suspicious historical accounts for a variety of reasons. If we were analyzing the 'historicity' of the Genesis account, there'd be a lot more involved than just going 'is this an accurate historical account: y/n'. We'd treat it just like any other historical document, and like any other historical document, there'd be a shitload of flak to address. Not to mention questions like 'which account of Genesis do we analyze? The King James version? Do we go to the oldest variant we have? Or...'

Basically what I am saying here is that you are oversimplifying a very complex question.

i'm not trying to overly simplify anything.

in fact, i don't really think that I (as in me personally) need to do ANY of the legwork required for analyzing the 'historicity' of genesis. a lot of people have already done that, and the verdict is typically (from all sources i've ever read) pretty grim for people who believe that Genesis is a historically reliable document (regardless of translation).

to that end, the few instances of things that do seem to match up to possible reality (which BTW, are relegated to the ABSOLUTELY mundane lists of "begattery" and tax collections) don't serve to lend any historical credence to the mystical claims in the same book, you know, the ones that can be reasonably observed as having never probably occurred (like a big boat with a bunch of animals on it).

so again, would it not be a reasonable thing to state that someone who believes that genisis is 100% fact and 100% historically accurate (i.e. young earth creationist) is wacky as shit?
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:09 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:i'm not trying to overly simplify anything.

DSenette wrote:so again, would it not be a reasonable thing to state that someone who believes that genisis is 100% fact and 100% historically accurate (i.e. young earth creationist) is wacky as shit?

Perhaps you should pay attention to your use of... language.
The first quoted statement is false when you consider what you said in the second statement. At least, insofar, as no one is claiming that Genesis is a 100% factually, historically accurate document.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:11 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:in fact, i don't really think that I (as in me personally) need to do ANY of the legwork required for analyzing the 'historicity' of genesis. a lot of people have already done that, and the verdict is typically (from all sources i've ever read) pretty grim for people who believe that Genesis is a historically reliable document (regardless of translation).
Historically reliable in comparison to what exactly? That's the problem.
DSenette wrote:so again, would it not be a reasonable thing to state that someone who believes that genisis is 100% fact and 100% historically accurate (i.e. young earth creationist) is wacky as shit?
It would be reasonable to state that anyone who believes that a document written over a 1000 or more years ago is in any way accurate without at least requiring corroborating evidence is not approaching the question scientifically. I don't know about 'wacky as shit'.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby lucrezaborgia » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:15 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
DSenette wrote:in fact, i don't really think that I (as in me personally) need to do ANY of the legwork required for analyzing the 'historicity' of genesis. a lot of people have already done that, and the verdict is typically (from all sources i've ever read) pretty grim for people who believe that Genesis is a historically reliable document (regardless of translation).
Historically reliable in comparison to what exactly? That's the problem.


Oh I can go on for days on this. Some people think that because the bible managed to be copied in somewhat reliable incantations that it's somehow historically significant. Not saying that anyone here thinks this specifically.


The Great Hippo wrote:
DSenette wrote:so again, would it not be a reasonable thing to state that someone who believes that genisis is 100% fact and 100% historically accurate (i.e. young earth creationist) is wacky as shit?
It would be reasonable to state that anyone who believes that a document written over a 1000 or more years ago is in any way accurate without at least requiring corroborating evidence is not approaching the question scientifically. I don't know about 'wacky as shit'.


I also wouldn't call them 'wacky as shit' because then you turn off their brains and they go into defend mode and you rarely can get any good dialogue in that mode.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby setzer777 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:20 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:i'm not trying to overly simplify anything.

DSenette wrote:so again, would it not be a reasonable thing to state that someone who believes that genisis is 100% fact and 100% historically accurate (i.e. young earth creationist) is wacky as shit?

Perhaps you should pay attention to your use of... language.
The first quoted statement is false when you consider what you said in the second statement. At least, insofar, as no one is claiming that Genesis is a 100% factually, historically accurate document.


Well, nobody here. A significant number of Americans would say that. Since we're talking about judging people in general based on belief, it seems like a relevant question.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:21 pm UTC

lucrezaborgia wrote:Oh I can go on for days on this. Some people think that because the bible managed to be copied in somewhat reliable incantations that it's somehow historically significant. Not saying that anyone here thinks this specifically.
But it is historically significant. And it is a record of history. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that any historian not interested in the historicity of the Bible probably isn't a good historian.

I mean, sure, it might not be an accurate portrayal of what happened, but it's an artifact of history; it's something that emerged from history--it's a record of history, imperfect as it might be. Understanding the forces and pressures that gave it shape is part of better understanding its place in the context of history, but that's true of any historical document. You never read a historical document with the idea that everything that follows is 100% accurate, not if you're interested in actual history.

I think this is probably a side-discussion, though, and may not be relevant. DSnette's point seems to be that religious people believe non-scientific things. I agree with that, though I disagree with the notion that this means they're 'wacky as shit'.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:23 pm UTC

This line of discussion popped up when DSenette wrote:
DSenette wrote:so yeah, anyone who believes in the book of genesis as a work of history is "wacky" at best.

It *IS* a work of history; it includes, despite being likely full of inaccuracies, accounts of tribal activity during the time it was written. I would say the OPPOSITE of DSenettes statement is wacky, that is, discounting the entirity of the book of Genesis simply because it's in the bible is wacky. Taking any written document as 100% accurate fact is stupid; thankfully, no one here ever suggested anything of the sort.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby lucrezaborgia » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:23 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:In fact, I'd go so far as to say that any historian not interested in the historicity of the Bible probably isn't a good historian.


Historicity and accuracy of the bible are two different things that many fundamentalist Christians constantly intertwine. I guess this is somewhat of a side-convo... sorry. :oops:

As a history major I should have been more clear but I need a few more gallons of coffee yet to wake up...
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby setzer777 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:29 pm UTC

So, the general consensus is that you can't judge by content because it's all equally non-rational. Can we expand this beyond gods and spirits? What about people who believe that they are supernatural vampires, or the lost children of royalty? By what criteria can we actually call something a delusion? Does it just have to be sufficiently non-mainstream?
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:30 pm UTC

Oh, yeah, and I totally agree; I've seen Christian fundamentalists argue for the Bible as being the most credible source of history ever, or over-emphasizing its importance in the historical record. I just get my feathers ruffled when someone denies that the Bible is a work of history, or isn't important at all. It's a historical document! Of course it's important.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:31 pm UTC

i think we're doing a language dance again.

i'm not talking about looking at the bible ITSELF (any part of it) being historically significant. as in "that book existing is a part of history"

i'm talking about the accounts held within it actually representing history, as history occurred.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:34 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:i'm talking about the accounts held within it actually representing history, as history occurred.

I'm not sure why you're still arguing this; again, while there are certainly examples of outright fabrication in the bible (this thread makes me angry that I even had to state this to get on the same page), claiming that there are NO accurate representations of history, as history occurred, is probably a very unwise position to take.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:40 pm UTC

Wait, okay--I think I understand the distinction. When you go to school, you get a history book that explains history; it's a researched explanation that tells you what we think happened. When you go to college, you get 'first hand historical documents'--something like a letter written by Abraham Lincoln--these are works of history, though their credibility is suspect (if Lincoln talks about fighting off legions of vampires, we can probably assume that this is evidence of Lincoln having some mental issues--not evidence of the existence of vampires). Whether or not the document is a verifiable account isn't important to its status as a historical document.

The Bible is a historical document, but it's not a history book. Is that the distinction you mean?
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:41 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:i'm talking about the accounts held within it actually representing history, as history occurred.

I'm not sure why you're still arguing this; again, while there are certainly examples of outright fabrication in the bible (this thread makes me angry that I even had to state this to get on the same page), claiming that there are NO accurate representations of history, as history occurred, is probably a very unwise position to take.

i don't think i've once claimed that there are NO accurate representations of history in the bible. in fact, a few posts ago i did say the opposite.

HOWEVER, the FEW items of historically accurate information contained in GENESIS (SPECIFICALLY) are SO few, and so inconsequential that they DO NOT SERVER as any form of corroboration for the outlandish claims that are also contained in that same said book.

ergo, it SHOULD be a reasonable conclusion that anyone who does believe the outlandish claims contained in genesis, is possibly a bit disconnected from reality as it is observed. you know.....wacky.


which, if you recall, was the point of the response to the spoilered response here:

DSenette wrote:
Tomo wrote:Wow, where to begin...
Spoiler:
Tomlidich wrote:
Tomo wrote:
As for traditionalist christians: fitting several thousand species of mammals on one boat. kinda goes against most laws of physics. so i mostly dismiss that one.

This opinion is stupid, no offence. If there's an omnipotent God capable of creating the entire known universe, he can sure as shit fit as many animal as he wants on a boat. There's no inconsistency there.

the bible mentions no interference by god. moses himself supposedly stacked all these mammals onto a large boat, supposedly built large enough to contain all of them. even with a modern steel ship, you cannot fit all of them on one boat. good luck getting it to float.


"Moses" aka Noah, was cleary assigned his task by God, and there's nothing to suggest the power of God didn't aid him in it. Similar to hmm i don't know, how about HALF OF THE BIBLE. From people walking on water, to breaking fish to feed thousands, to seeing burning bushes, to almost anything else you might imagine - If you believe in God, his power will help you in your task.

Tomlidich wrote:also, the inconsistency lies in the fact that it breaks normal, observable facts for no reason.
you turned water into wine lately? Cause god can.

Tomlidich wrote:they could have obeyed physics and this god could have told moses and his animals to inhabit higher ground. i am sure there are mountain ranges in temperate climates that can support all the mammals in the world, and still stay above the (now risen) sea level. but no, they have to go for the big, impossible feat. so i call bs.


First argument - he's God. Second argument - it's allegorical. Third argument - exactly what you said happend but it was recorded incorrectly because historians at the time misunderstood. There is just so much wrong with everything you're saying. Read up on the subject and think through this.

Tomlidich wrote:you must also think of motives. why would an all powerful being create a universe in whch the laws of physics are unbreakable, firm, boundaries, and then go breaking them willy nilly just to interfere with the matters of mere mortals?


Well you've just never played Gary's mod.

Tomlidich wrote:also, if he supposedly is all powerful and all that, why not just tell them to inhabit a section of flat land, and make that the only place that is not flooded? why build the boat at all?


Well, idk, maybe it was a test of faith? As clearly stated numerous times?

Tomlidich wrote:it is full of logical and physical inconsistencies.


No, you are. Fuck, I'm agnostic and you're making me Christian.

Azrael wrote:I did stipulate that -- mostly because you have to assume equal logical standing. Otherwise you end up trapped in the loop of "My religion is correct, so all the others are wacky cults".


Oh, I was agreeing, I just thought it was worth expanding the point. I personally think my viewpoint as espoused earlier covers all the main points, while allowing you to have a mature and reasoned view of religon - I'm certainly open to other people's beliefs anyway - just as long as they have good reasons for beliving in them!

EDIT - While Relgion sounds like a pretty cool transformer/pokemon, I'm pretty sure he has no part in this discussion.

when one is arguing as to what is/isn't something that could/couldn't be considered a "wacky cult", one should probably not invoke "magic" to make the argument stick.

the massive list of assumptions you have to make in order for the "flood" mythology to ACTUALLY stick (regardless of how many animals you can fit on a boat) is enough for anyone with even a slight grasp on how reality has ALWAYS been shown to work (as in EVERY single time anyone has ever looked at reality) to be dubious of the sanity of the first person to hear it and say "yeah....that could have happened".

so yeah, anyone who believes in the book of genesis as a work of history is "wacky" at best.


the defense posed by Tomo, to Tomlidich was basically "look, if you believe in magic (which we have no evidence for, except for the evidence contained in this ONE BOOK, which also happens to be the same book that i'm wanting you to believe in magic to justify my claims about this book) then of course the ark story is 100% possible."... which, is a wacky statement from my point of view



The Great Hippo wrote:Wait, okay--I think I understand the distinction. When you go to school, you get a history book that explains history; it's a researched explanation that tells you what we think happened. When you go to college, you get 'first hand historical documents'--something like a letter written by Abraham Lincoln--these are works of history, though their credibility is suspect (if Lincoln talks about fighting off legions of vampires, we can probably assume that this is evidence of Lincoln having some mental issues--not evidence of the existence of vampires). Whether or not the document is a verifiable account isn't important to its status as a historical document.

The Bible is a historical document, but it's not a history book. Is that the distinction you mean?
if you're talking to me? then yes. the bible itself (as in the text) is a historical document because it was written sometime during history. the contents is not specifically an accurate account of history as it actually happened
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Роберт » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:49 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:So, the general consensus is that you can't judge by content because it's all equally non-rational. Can we expand this beyond gods and spirits? What about people who believe that they are supernatural vampires, or the lost children of royalty? By what criteria can we actually call something a delusion? Does it just have to be sufficiently non-mainstream?

Basically, yes. If it's a belief someone grew up with and all their family and most of their friends believed one way, it's not shocking if they believe the same way. Their mental health is probably fine. They grew up in a town where 90% of the people, including their entire extended family, believed 9/11 was in inside job? I'm not going to think they're crazy for believing it.

When you get into things that are not easily contradicted conclusively, with very basic, easy to understand, demonstrable evidence, people can easily believe whatever it is the people around them believe, without being crazy.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:54 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:
setzer777 wrote:So, the general consensus is that you can't judge by content because it's all equally non-rational. Can we expand this beyond gods and spirits? What about people who believe that they are supernatural vampires, or the lost children of royalty? By what criteria can we actually call something a delusion? Does it just have to be sufficiently non-mainstream?

Basically, yes. If it's a belief someone grew up with and all their family and most of their friends believed one way, it's not shocking if they believe the same way. Their mental health is probably fine. They grew up in a town where 90% of the people, including their entire extended family, believed 9/11 was in inside job? I'm not going to think they're crazy for believing it.

When you get into things that are not easily contradicted conclusively, with very basic, easy to understand, demonstrable evidence, people can easily believe whatever it is the people around them believe, without being crazy.

i would think you'd still be able to attribute "crazy" to the thing they're believe though
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Zamfir » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:04 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:i would think you'd still be able to attribute "crazy" to the thing they're believe though

But "crazy beliefs" is just short for "beliefs only crazy people would hold". Otherwise, you're better off using a word like "wrong".
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Роберт » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:16 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:i would think you'd still be able to attribute "crazy" to the thing they're believe though
If you want too, sure. I could call any beliefs that you have that I think are wrong "crazy". I could say your typing is "crazy" if I wanted.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby setzer777 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:19 pm UTC

So, let's take it from the other side: what is a belief that we can say that only a crazy person would hold?
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:20 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:HOWEVER, the FEW items of historically accurate information contained in GENESIS (SPECIFICALLY) are SO few, and so inconsequential that they DO NOT SERVER as any form of corroboration for the outlandish claims that are also contained in that same said book.

ergo, it SHOULD be a reasonable conclusion that anyone who does believe the outlandish claims contained in genesis, is possibly a bit disconnected from reality as it is observed. you know.....wacky.

Yes, that's fine, that is a nuanced and clarified perspective on the matter, one I concur with. Genesis, as a historical document, has tons of inaccurate crap in it. That does not mean that some of the accounts in Genesis are invalid, because they represent accounts of the activities of people at the time. This is not to say that the world was created in 6 days, but it is to say that the Shebalishes may have been massacred by the Lochranim in the valley of Chutzpah. 'May', of course, being the operative word here. Which is not the same as:
DSenette wrote:so yeah, anyone who believes in the book of genesis as a work of history is "wacky" at best.

Which yes, it is a work of history. All of it is a work of history. All of it is not accurate, however.
Furthermore, your claim in the above bolded is a subjective one. Given that you're arguing for accuracy or fact, it seems like you need to support this claim. Because, again, no one is claiming that the outlandish claims in the Book of Genesis, like the creation myth for example, are corroborated by the fact that some dudes did actually kill some other dudes, and it's been recorded.

setzer777 wrote:So, let's take it from the other side: what is a belief that we can say that only a crazy person would hold?

I would say any belief that is maintained in the face of valid counter evidence.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:21 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
setzer777 wrote:So, let's take it from the other side: what is a belief that we can say that only a crazy person would hold?
I would say any belief that is maintained in the face of valid counter evidence.
Who defines what constitutes valid counter-evidence?
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