Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:23 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
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".

i don't think you HAVE to make that extension. you totally could make that extension. but i don't think it's a matter of "if you believe X then you are automatically Y, if X is described as Y".

in Роберт's example, you could reasonably come to understand the why's and how's of the people's beliefs, and understand that it's not SPECIFICALLY that they're crazy, but that they haven't been exposed to any other possible belief. but that doesn't change the lunacy quotient of the belief itself.

if all "wacky" beliefs can just be excused by someone not being exposed to the proper level of reality, then there's no such thing as a wacky belief. and there's no point in doing science to remove the causes of these beliefs.

Izawwlgood wrote:
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 Genesis, as a historical document, has tons of inaccurate crap in it.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.
if by no one you mean "no one in this thread" sure, that's fine. if you mean "no one" as in, not a single person. then no, that' is completely incorrect. people attempt to use the someone verifiable claims in MANY portions of the bible to prove that the parts that aren't verifiable (or flat out false) are true (well, see, this part of the bible talks about a place called babel so that story about how language was created is true)
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:26 pm UTC

@Hippo: SCIENCE!
I dunno really. Holding onto matters of faith as fact is, in my opinion, an indication that one's faith isn't very deep to begin with. I'll never convince my father that God doesn't exist, but I can easily convince him that the world wasn't created in 6 days.

DSenette wrote:if by no one you mean "no one in this thread" sure, that's fine. if you mean "no one" as in, not a single person. then no, that' is completely incorrect.

Yes, a point you've brought up twice now, and twice I've mentioned that we aren't talking about 'anyone in the world', but that I am specifically referring to your statement which I have also quoted twice now, and which you have since modified.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:28 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:@Hippo: SCIENCE!
I dunno really. Holding onto matters of faith as fact is, in my opinion, an indication that one's faith isn't very deep to begin with. I'll never convince my father that God doesn't exist, but I can easily convince him that the world wasn't created in 6 days.
Science can only address the falsifiable, though. Also, does this mean anyone who buys a lottery ticket and thinks it's reasonable that they might win is a crazy person? What if they don't know a lot about statistics? If I show them statistics, but they still believe they reasonably might win, are they now crazy?

(I don't think the word 'crazy' is very helpful, anyway--it's a loaded term)
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:34 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:@Hippo: SCIENCE!
I dunno really. Holding onto matters of faith as fact is, in my opinion, an indication that one's faith isn't very deep to begin with. I'll never convince my father that God doesn't exist, but I can easily convince him that the world wasn't created in 6 days.

DSenette wrote:if by no one you mean "no one in this thread" sure, that's fine. if you mean "no one" as in, not a single person. then no, that' is completely incorrect.

Yes, a point you've brought up twice now, and twice I've mentioned that we aren't talking about 'anyone in the world', but that I am specifically referring to your statement which I have also quoted twice now, and which you have since modified.

i haven't modified my statement. i clarified what i meant.

what do you mean we're not talking about "anyone in the world"? that's exactly what this entire thread is about. assigning attributes to other people's beliefs.

my original statement, if read with the clarification of what i meant by "historical document" (i.e. a document that accurately describes history. not a document that is part of history because it exists) was "anyone that believes that genesis is, on the whole, a historically accurate document is a bit wacky"
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:37 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:@Hippo: SCIENCE!
I dunno really. Holding onto matters of faith as fact is, in my opinion, an indication that one's faith isn't very deep to begin with. I'll never convince my father that God doesn't exist, but I can easily convince him that the world wasn't created in 6 days.
Science can only address the falsifiable, though. Also, does this mean anyone who buys a lottery ticket and thinks it's reasonable that they might win is a crazy person? What if they don't know a lot about statistics? If I show them statistics, but they still believe they reasonably might win, are they now crazy?

(I don't think the word 'crazy' is very helpful, anyway--it's a loaded term)

Crazy is, as you mentioned, the wrong word to use here; such a person, who educated on the statistical likelihood of their winning the lottery, continuing to play the lottery with the intention of winning (not, say, the intent of enjoying the thrill or rush of a gamble), would be... illogical. Since the human condition and all our interactions aren't simply the product of choices made by impeccable Life Calculus, such a person would be failing to make the best of the data available to them, which wouldn't make them CRAZY, just 'not optimizing their life output given the known inputs'.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Роберт » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:02 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:in Роберт's example, you could reasonably come to understand the why's and how's of the people's beliefs, and understand that it's not SPECIFICALLY that they're crazy, but that they haven't been exposed to any other possible belief. but that doesn't change the lunacy quotient of the belief itself.

if all "wacky" beliefs can just be excused by someone not being exposed to the proper level of reality, then there's no such thing as a wacky belief. and there's no point in doing science to remove the causes of these beliefs.

I don't think you're exactly getting what I'm trying to communicate. Crazier beliefs can be seen as wacky, like "earth is flat" stuff or 9/11 conspiracy stuff, assuming it wasn't a belief set they were born into.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Griffin » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:04 pm UTC

I know its been a bit since the FSM conversation came up, but...
I'd like to bring up the fact that while FSM may have started as a parody, there are other religions that did so as well and ended up with some pretty serious adherents that take that shit super-serious-like. (Though generally not a solemn sort of serious)

For a more traditional example: Discordians. Very clearly a joke religion, but I met quite a few teenagers who were seriously into it and wrapped their world view around it. With a bit of luck, I could see that parody religion becoming a bona fide one.

And the Church of the SubGenius folks - while they certainly don't "believe" the way a Christian does, there's certainly dedicated devotees.

I think the main argument against the FSM isn't that is a "lol religion" or a parody, so much that it is an incredibly transparent one, that has no real doctrine of its own to give it any sort of institutional momentum at any point in the future.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:30 pm UTC

Griffin wrote:d like to bring up the fact that while FSM may have started as a parody, there are other religions that did so as well and ended up with some pretty serious adherents that take that shit super-serious-like. (Though generally not a solemn sort of serious)

Uh, such as?
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:31 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:
DSenette wrote:in Роберт's example, you could reasonably come to understand the why's and how's of the people's beliefs, and understand that it's not SPECIFICALLY that they're crazy, but that they haven't been exposed to any other possible belief. but that doesn't change the lunacy quotient of the belief itself.

if all "wacky" beliefs can just be excused by someone not being exposed to the proper level of reality, then there's no such thing as a wacky belief. and there's no point in doing science to remove the causes of these beliefs.

I don't think you're exactly getting what I'm trying to communicate. Crazier beliefs can be seen as wacky, like "earth is flat" stuff or 9/11 conspiracy stuff, assuming it wasn't a belief set they were born into.

so the act of being born into a belief makes the belief valid? because i don't see a reality where "the earth is flat" isn't a belief worthy of derision.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Griffin » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:41 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Griffin wrote:d like to bring up the fact that while FSM may have started as a parody, there are other religions that did so as well and ended up with some pretty serious adherents that take that shit super-serious-like. (Though generally not a solemn sort of serious)

Uh, such as?


I believe I listed two examples right after I made the statement?

Yes, there are serious Discordian believers, and serious adherents (believers isn't really the proper term) to the Church of the SubGenius.

The first is probably a much better example than the second, because I know of those in the first category who were clearly sincere, and the second group, well... just stick with saying the first is a better example.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Tomlidich » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:02 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:@Hippo: SCIENCE!
I dunno really. Holding onto matters of faith as fact is, in my opinion, an indication that one's faith isn't very deep to begin with. I'll never convince my father that God doesn't exist, but I can easily convince him that the world wasn't created in 6 days.




that claim that the world was created in 6 days assumes a linear, unbreakable view of time.

to a superhuman being, time may be inapplicable, or even alterable.

this is the point where we get into the physics we understand less as humans.

so i would call it plausible, by some measurement of an observer, (it is not clear who observed this event either) that it could LOOK like it took 6 days.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Griffin » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:08 pm UTC

@Hippo: SCIENCE!
I dunno really. Holding onto matters of faith as fact is, in my opinion, an indication that one's faith isn't very deep to begin with. I'll never convince my father that God doesn't exist, but I can easily convince him that the world wasn't created in 6 days.


I don't know - with decent algorithms and a nice abstraction layer, I could see solar system generation not taking much longer than that before falling back down to real-time levels. And really, once you've got the solar system down, it's just a matter of refinement from there on out to get the rest of the galaxy going - in fact, for most of the 6000 years of human history run in detailed mode, you could probably leave the rest of the universe to generate at a pretty high abstraction level. If you can convince him of it, it might have more to do with your being convincing than his being wrong.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby setzer777 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:27 pm UTC

Hm, maybe we need to revisit #3 - do we all agree that there are beliefs (this can be in any subject) that are worthy of derision and/or dismissal? Even in casual conversations, if I'm talking to some people about (say) black holes and somebody starts talking about their sincere belief that black holes are portals to hell and that poking around too much will release a swarm of demons on the universe, I feel comfortable calling that explanation crazy and excluding it from the conversation.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Tomlidich » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:31 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:Hm, maybe we need to revisit #3 - do we all agree that there are beliefs (this can be in any subject) that are worthy of derision and/or dismissal? Even in casual conversations, if I'm talking to some people about (say) black holes and somebody starts talking about their sincere belief that black holes are portals to hell and that poking around too much will release a swarm of demons on the universe, I feel comfortable calling that explanation crazy and excluding it from the conversation.



i am more than comfortable in this.

especially when discussing my recent knee injury with people, back when i was still (mostly) immobile, a few when asked for help said they would "pray for me"

me, being a usually cynical man with now a reason to be even more cynical and pissed off would usually dismiss all this junk.

modern science and medicine helped my knee, not your supposed super powerful being who you asked for help.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:38 pm UTC

Well, in addition to the possibility of altered time scales, we can quite accurately prove the order in which the bible posits the creation took place as incorrect. So sure, you can suggest that a 'day for a supreme being is really many days, and look, the bible actually exactly pinpoints the age of the known universe if I crunch this bible code this way', but the fact is, the world and 'various critters' were not created before the stars in the sky, woman was not created from the rib of man, and birds were not created before 'livestock and crawling things', etc. So yes, pointing this out to someone, like my father, is something that is readily acknowledged as 'metaphor and fanciful stories for explaining the world to desert dwellers'. I view this as a good thing; being able to recognize the difference between what is in the bible as a historical account of mythologies of ancient people, and 'things to be taken literally' is the mark of someone whose faith is deeper than blindly accepting the words between the pages of a book.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Griffin » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:49 pm UTC

Well, in addition to the possibility of altered time scales, we can quite accurately prove the order in which the bible posits the creation took place as incorrect. So sure, you can suggest that a 'day for a supreme being is really many days, and look, the bible actually exactly pinpoints the age of the known universe if I crunch this bible code this way', but the fact is, the world and 'various critters' were not created before the stars in the sky, woman was not created from the rib of man, and birds were not created before 'livestock and crawling things', et


ACTUALLY, look at it like this:
Abstractions. We start with the earth first, because it's what we're most interested in - we can always fill in the celestial bodies later in a way that makes sense.
And of course birds were created before crawling things - microfauna is much easier to abstract, and then you just fill in the details later once you get a world generally in line with what you were looking for. If you start with all those little critters being emulated right off the bat, you end up having to wait until the end of the six days to see if the world gets rejected, and then you have to start over! Plus, god probably played favorites - algorithm could have been geared to produce birds first to insure they were produced at all. You can always get bugs to fill in the gaps afterwards, but who wants a world filled with bats? Not god, that's for sure!
As for women being created from the rib of a man... Okay, I got nothing on that one.

The two different versions of Genesis though - one is clearly the actual, mechanical process, while the other is "emergent" version that occurs once you slot everything into its proper chronological order. Like a move production, you don't neccessarily film the shots in the same order they get played in the theater.

Regardless, my point is that it isn't beliefs, specifically, that are "crazy" - it's contradictory beliefs, beliefs with poor, artificial justifications, that are crazy.

Izawwlgood
Any further comments on the parody-religion becoming genuine-spirituality thing?
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:12 pm UTC

Griffin wrote:Regardless, my point is that it isn't beliefs, specifically, that are "crazy" - it's contradictory beliefs, beliefs with poor, artificial justifications, that are crazy.

Yeah, I concur, beliefs which require you to cherry pick reality or ignore science are, in my opinion, 'crazy'. That said, belief in a higher power is, in my opinion, not crazy, if that belief isn't predicated on biblical texts being literal.
Griffin wrote:Any further comments on the parody-religion becoming genuine-spirituality thing?

The two examples you provided I've never heard of. Do you know what the population of their followers are? I would tentatively place those examples as 'fringe'.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Griffin » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:20 pm UTC

Oh, yes, they are definitely fringe, in more ways than one. I'm surprised you haven't heard of either of them, though - they are significantly more widely known than the Flying Spaghetti Monster thing.

As far as numbers go, I've honestly got no idea - it's difficult to separate the sincere from the jokers, especially since everything about the religions blurs the lines between the two, and none of the remotely centralized organizations based around it are willing to keep numbers and figures, and if they did I wouldn't trust them.

I didn't say they were common, I didn't say they were mainstream - I simply said they existed, and they arose from what was very much a parody of religion that sort of took on a life of its own as it entered the popular alternative consciousness, especially amongst the psychedelic community.

So, while I don't think the FSM would ever become mainstream, there is historical precedent for parody religions developing into deep spiritualities with dedicated adherents.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby induction » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:26 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:Hm, maybe we need to revisit #3 - do we all agree that there are beliefs (this can be in any subject) that are worthy of derision and/or dismissal? Even in casual conversations, if I'm talking to some people about (say) black holes and somebody starts talking about their sincere belief that black holes are portals to hell and that poking around too much will release a swarm of demons on the universe, I feel comfortable calling that explanation crazy and excluding it from the conversation.


I think this is fairly context dependent. At a party, this might be the most interesting person to talk to. At an astrophysics colloquium, maybe not so much. This seems like more of an etiquette question, and the appropriate response depends on your goals less than on philosophy: Do you only like to talk to people who agree with you? Are you really trying to learn about black holes? Do you feel obliged to correct every incorrect statement that you hear someone say? Is this person really irritating and you just want them to go away? Do you feel bad deriding someone's ideas even if they're wrong?

Tomlidich wrote:especially when discussing my recent knee injury with people, back when i was still (mostly) immobile, a few when asked for help said they would "pray for me" ... modern science and medicine helped my knee, not your supposed super powerful being who you asked for help.


Did you actually say this to them? Without more information on what help you asked for etc. it's hard to decide what to make of it. Throwing someone's good wishes back in their face would make me feel like an asshole. (them: "Merry Christmas." me: "Fuck you, I'm Jewish.") On the other hand, if you asked them to hand you the remote and they offered to pray for you instead, I can understand getting a little pissed.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:01 pm UTC

Griffin wrote:So, while I don't think the FSM would ever become mainstream, there is historical precedent for parody religions developing into deep spiritualities with dedicated adherents.

The point I was making is that those groups are fringe; just like saying 'not all cults are evil and lead to drinking poisoned Koolaid', pointing to a few that did does not invalidate the statement.

But yeah, I've never heard of either group. How many followers? And how do you think they would react to being told that their faith was created as a parody?
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Griffin » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:30 pm UTC

The point you were making, originally, was that genuine faiths, fringe or not, do not rise from parody religions.

And how do you think they would react to being told that their faith was created as a parody?

They would probably laugh and say of course it was, but that doesn't make it any less true. Perhaps philosophize about how strange origins can be. Maybe tell you its just the most recent incarnation of a long line of truths that take various shapes, and that the form of a parody was really the obvious next step considering the state of human society.

I don't think I've met any who mind, at least.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:01 am UTC

That wasn't the point I was making. The presence of actual followers (you have yet to answer the question of how many worshippers there are) of parody faiths if anything, supports my point, because my point wasn't 'no actual faith arises from parody', but that the difference between most world religions and FSM worship is that the FSM is a parody, while those faiths aren't.

I would call those worshippers 'crazy', just like I would call worshippers of the FSM to be crazy.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Tomo » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:28 am UTC

DSenette wrote:
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


For the record, that was my point - the belief in magic IS crazy. But, if you accept that single belief given the upbringing and surroundings of an individual in an environment where little to no contrasting evidence was ever offered, and with multiple instances of supporting evidence in the forms of gospel churches, preachers and whatnot, it certainly seems possible that they could be in a position to accept such a "crazy" belief while being an otherwise well-rounded, mentally stable individual. Sure, they haven't taken the steps to critically examine their belief, but under those circumstances they would have little reason to. And therefore, just throwing out a fact like "Well you couldn't fit that many animals on a boat" really isn't useful, as it's something that follows logically from their core axiom.

Again, none of this applies to the guy who thinks black holes are demons or whatever, so I guess I would say the difference between a religion and a whacky cult is purely defined in terms of the entrenchment of said belief into the social structure of a society. Having said that, I think that for the most part, all such beliefs are similarly logically inconsistent - but not all people who hold such beliefs are similarly crazy.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:33 pm UTC

Tomo wrote:
DSenette wrote:
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


For the record, that was my point - the belief in magic IS crazy. But, if you accept that single belief given the upbringing and surroundings of an individual in an environment where little to no contrasting evidence was ever offered, and with multiple instances of supporting evidence in the forms of gospel churches, preachers and whatnot, it certainly seems possible that they could be in a position to accept such a "crazy" belief while being an otherwise well-rounded, mentally stable individual. Sure, they haven't taken the steps to critically examine their belief, but under those circumstances they would have little reason to. And therefore, just throwing out a fact like "Well you couldn't fit that many animals on a boat" really isn't useful, as it's something that follows logically from their core axiom.

Again, none of this applies to the guy who thinks black holes are demons or whatever, so I guess I would say the difference between a religion and a whacky cult is purely defined in terms of the entrenchment of said belief into the social structure of a society. Having said that, I think that for the most part, all such beliefs are similarly logically inconsistent - but not all people who hold such beliefs are similarly crazy.

but why is the guy who believes that black holes are demons crazy and the guy who believes that a bearded dude made a magic boat that could fit a whole bunch of yaks on it not?

the general consensus seems to be that the only criteria for "is it crazy, or is there something there" is how many people agree, no matter why/how they agree, just that they all agree.


so what's the magic number of agreeable people?
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby curtis95112 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:03 pm UTC

I'd say that 'crazy' isn't a term you should apply to the actual beliefs. Beliefs can be true or false. Crazy, if it's going to mean anything specific, needs context. Context that beliefs don't inherently possess.

Of course, people holding the beliefs can be called crazy. The degree to which they are crazy shouldn't depend on the truth of their beliefs, but rather on how they got to those beliefs. I'm not going to think highly of someone claiming to have found the truth of Fermat's Last Theorem through timecube. I much prefer Lord Kelvin even though he believed in a (relatively) young Earth.
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Роберт wrote:Sure, but at least they hit the intended target that time.

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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Tomo » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:30 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:so what's the magic number of agreeable people?


As should be fairly obvious from my post, the "magic number" is all, or a large proportion of your immediate childhood influences, including but not limited to family, close family friends, teachers, social leaders and entertainment personalities. It doesn't necessarily matter how many people believe in a crazy idea (although this situation is obviously more likely to occur as the idea becomes more widespread!), but rather my point was that it's understandable that an individual can hold a crazy idea while being an otherwise sensible, well rounded and logic individual - given the right conditions.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby curtis95112 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:31 pm UTC

Craziness isn't binary. There is no magic number, just degrees of reasonableness
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Роберт wrote:Sure, but at least they hit the intended target that time.

Well, if you shoot enough people, you're bound to get the right one eventually.

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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:35 pm UTC

but how does that quantity actually effect the idea?

take into account the cult that followed David Koresh. how many of that group could be considered crazy cultists? i mean, are some of them getting a pass on being "crazy cultists" simply because they were born into the cult? or does that make them not part of the cult? or is it ok for us as not being in the cult to be like "whoa, thems is some crazy cultists"?

you know, the whole point of this thread is how "we" as totally obviously not members of wacky cults can identify those wacky cultists so as to be able to legitimately dismiss their beliefs.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:41 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:but why is the guy who believes that black holes are demons crazy and the guy who believes that a bearded dude made a magic boat that could fit a whole bunch of yaks on it not?

I would suggest the first dude is crazy because we have fairly accurate way of describing the cause and characteristics of black holes. The second guy is crazy for believing in the literal truth of Noah, but not crazy for believing in God, because science has not, nor is it interested in, disproving the existence of God.
The point is that cherry picking reality is crazy. Believing in God doesn't require cherry picking reality.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Tomo » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:45 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:you know, the whole point of this thread is how "we" as totally obviously not members of wacky cults can identify those wacky cultists so as to be able to legitimately dismiss their beliefs.


Oh, I was approaching it from a position that I dismiss all of their beliefs. I just don't necessarily judge them negatively because of it.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Griffin » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:48 pm UTC

That wasn't the point I was making. The presence of actual followers (you have yet to answer the question of how many worshippers there are) of parody faiths if anything, supports my point, because my point wasn't 'no actual faith arises from parody', but that the difference between most world religions and FSM worship is that the FSM is a parody, while those faiths aren't.

I would call those worshippers 'crazy', just like I would call worshippers of the FSM to be crazy.

I have answered your question to the number of follows as best I could - by telling you I don't know. There's no particular group that recognizes them or counts them, to my knowledge, and they aren't one of the officially recognized religions on the census. Of the various organizations built up around them, there's no easy way to differentiate between those who are members for parody purposes and those who are sincere.

But really, my point was that I honestly don't see any religion as being particularly more crazy simply because its rooted in parody.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:49 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:but why is the guy who believes that black holes are demons crazy and the guy who believes that a bearded dude made a magic boat that could fit a whole bunch of yaks on it not?

I would suggest the first dude is crazy because we have fairly accurate way of describing the cause and characteristics of black holes. The second guy is crazy for believing in the literal truth of Noah, but not crazy for believing in God, because science has not, nor is it interested in, disproving the existence of God.
The point is that cherry picking reality is crazy. Believing in God doesn't require cherry picking reality.

buh? you can have a fairly accurate way of describing what cause and characterize black holes without being able to say that it's not demons.

just like we have a fairly accurate way of describing how the universe probably started, but can't say that it's not god or unicorns or space elves. yet, we as a society would come down pretty hard on someone who claimed that the universe was created by space elves.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:57 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:but why is the guy who believes that black holes are demons crazy and the guy who believes that a bearded dude made a magic boat that could fit a whole bunch of yaks on it not?

I would suggest the first dude is crazy because we have fairly accurate way of describing the cause and characteristics of black holes. The second guy is crazy for believing in the literal truth of Noah, but not crazy for believing in God, because science has not, nor is it interested in, disproving the existence of God.
The point is that cherry picking reality is crazy. Believing in God doesn't require cherry picking reality.

buh? you can have a fairly accurate way of describing what cause and characterize black holes without being able to say that it's not demons.

just like we have a fairly accurate way of describing how the universe probably started, but can't say that it's not god or unicorns or space elves. yet, we as a society would come down pretty hard on someone who claimed that the universe was created by space elves.

I... Yes. That was my point. In fact, that's exactly why I said:
"The point is that cherry picking reality is crazy. Believing in God doesn't require cherry picking reality."
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:03 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:but why is the guy who believes that black holes are demons crazy and the guy who believes that a bearded dude made a magic boat that could fit a whole bunch of yaks on it not?

I would suggest the first dude is crazy because we have fairly accurate way of describing the cause and characteristics of black holes. The second guy is crazy for believing in the literal truth of Noah, but not crazy for believing in God, because science has not, nor is it interested in, disproving the existence of God.
The point is that cherry picking reality is crazy. Believing in God doesn't require cherry picking reality.

buh? you can have a fairly accurate way of describing what cause and characterize black holes without being able to say that it's not demons.

just like we have a fairly accurate way of describing how the universe probably started, but can't say that it's not god or unicorns or space elves. yet, we as a society would come down pretty hard on someone who claimed that the universe was created by space elves.

I... Yes. That was my point. In fact, that's exactly why I said:
"The point is that cherry picking reality is crazy. Believing in God doesn't require cherry picking reality."

believing in any god that has any effect on reality does require cherry picking reality.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:12 pm UTC

As I've said already, I feel if your faith requires literal interpretation of Biblical texts, then your faith wasn't very deep to begin with. There's plenty of faith that isn't centered on creation myths or after life promises.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:19 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:As I've said already, I feel if your faith requires literal interpretation of Biblical texts, then your faith wasn't very deep to begin with. There's plenty of faith that isn't centered on creation myths or after life promises.

there are. but are you stating that it's ok to call the ones that DO place their faith in creation myths and after life promises (as in, MOST currently viable organized religions) are wacky or not legitimate?
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:28 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:As I've said already, I feel if your faith requires literal interpretation of Biblical texts, then your faith wasn't very deep to begin with. There's plenty of faith that isn't centered on creation myths or after life promises.

there are. but are you stating that it's ok to call the ones that DO place their faith in creation myths and after life promises (as in, MOST currently viable organized religions) are wacky or not legitimate?

Not entirely; I'm stating that believing in the creation myths or after life promises is crazy, but not all religion/religious peoples faith is predicated upon those beliefs.

I think you're incorrectly conflating, say, CHRISTIANITY, with ALL CHRISTIANS. Yes, Christianity includes a creation myth and afterlife promise, but no, not all Christians believe in God via literal acceptance of those myths and promises. If someone holds that God allows entry to heaven (which is a magical kingdom in the sky) due to acceptance of Christ and all the miracles in the Bible, I think they're crazy. If someone believes that the way to living a good life and feeling spiritually connected to God is done via living like Jesus (compassionate, charitable, considerate, etc.) then I don't begrudge them that belief at all, in fact, kind of respect them for it.
EDIT: To be fair, that's not a great example. A better example would be a Young Earth Creationist vs someone who thinks living like Jesus is the way to God.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby setzer777 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:51 pm UTC

That is still classifying a pretty huge number of people as "crazy". Here are some stats on literal belief in the afterlife (among other things) in America: http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_poll3.htm
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:05 pm UTC

Yeah, like I said, science has made no attempts to explain what happens to your 'soul' or consciousness, so 'belief in heaven or an afterlife' is a bad example to use. Believing in heaven or such doesn't depend on cherry picking reality.
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Re: Legitimate Faith vs Wacky Cult

Postby DSenette » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:08 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
DSenette wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:As I've said already, I feel if your faith requires literal interpretation of Biblical texts, then your faith wasn't very deep to begin with. There's plenty of faith that isn't centered on creation myths or after life promises.

there are. but are you stating that it's ok to call the ones that DO place their faith in creation myths and after life promises (as in, MOST currently viable organized religions) are wacky or not legitimate?

Not entirely; I'm stating that believing in the creation myths or after life promises is crazy, but not all religion/religious peoples faith is predicated upon those beliefs.

I think you're incorrectly conflating, say, CHRISTIANITY, with ALL CHRISTIANS. Yes, Christianity includes a creation myth and afterlife promise, but no, not all Christians believe in God via literal acceptance of those myths and promises. If someone holds that God allows entry to heaven (which is a magical kingdom in the sky) due to acceptance of Christ and all the miracles in the Bible, I think they're crazy. If someone believes that the way to living a good life and feeling spiritually connected to God is done via living like Jesus (compassionate, charitable, considerate, etc.) then I don't begrudge them that belief at all, in fact, kind of respect them for it.
EDIT: To be fair, that's not a great example. A better example would be a Young Earth Creationist vs someone who thinks living like Jesus is the way to God.

as setzer stated, your criteria still has a MASSIVE swath of people inside of it.

and no, i'm not conflating anything. there are some PRETTY major inclusions in the base dogma of MOST of christianity, and those tend to predicate on the concepts that god created all of existence (how long it took him/her/it and how he/she/it did it are up for debate, but that's a pretttttty big deal for all christians), and when you die, if you were a good christian (whatever that means) you get to go to heaven.

so, almost all of christianity believes in SOME form of creation myth, and damn near all of christianity believes in some kind of afterlife.

and that's just christianity. islam has a creation myth, and an afterlife. judaism does, buddhism has forms of both. etc... etc... etc..

you don't have to be a strict literalist for this stuff to apply.
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