Why Aren’t More Intellectuals Believers?

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Why Aren’t More Intellectuals Believers?

Postby ccgr » Sat Nov 14, 2015 5:08 pm

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/chu ... -believers

Insightful article that's worth reading

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Re: Why Aren’t More Intellectuals Believers?

Postby sdaf » Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:23 pm

Dear ccgr,

why, the answer should be quite obvious. I think Wikipedia has a nice definition of "intellectual" which may help shed some light on it.

"An intellectual is a person who engages in critical study, thought, and reflection about the reality of society, and proposes solutions for the normative problems of that society, and, by such discourse in the public sphere, he or she gains authority within the public opinion."

How can you be a believer and also engage in critical study/thought or reflect about reality? Isn't being a believer the exact opposite of this? The reality of society is unfortunately, that religion is NOT exactly a trait of the intelligent.

If you are going to bash my language, please consider that I am not a native speaker ;)

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Re: Why Aren’t More Intellectuals Believers?

Postby ccgr » Sun Nov 15, 2015 6:14 pm

The article is telling Christians to change the way the talk to intellectual non-believers. They need to provide them with better rebuttals than "Because God said so" It's not saying that Christians are stupid for believing but we need to step up our game if we want to be taken seriously.

Your English is fine BTW, welcome!

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Re: Why Aren’t More Intellectuals Believers?

Postby sdaf » Sun Nov 15, 2015 7:41 pm

There's no right way to talk to an "intellectual non-believer" (not ridiculing, just citing you with the quotes). If someone chooses to believe in science (which leaves no rational space for religion), nothing a believer says or does will change his/her opinion. Critically reflecting does in my humble opinions always include a good knowledge of the subject matter. Which will ultimately lead to a more holistic and rational view of the world and its workings.

Maybe humanity has arrived at a turning point. We know that much more than the individuals or groups that invented religion. Maybe there's a time to radically change your believes. Which solves the problem to talking to non-believers, as you will be one among us :)

To cut to the chase and to answer the question "But is this intellectual approach to Christianity a faith killer?"

Yes, it is. You cannot believe in quantum mechanics, the theory of relativity, evolution and the big bang AND religion. It is either/or :)

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Re: Why Aren’t More Intellectuals Believers?

Postby ccgr » Sun Nov 15, 2015 8:25 pm

Every person is unique and receptive in different ways and at different times in their lives. Having three kids I have to modify how I teach and discipline each one. The key is to be personal and adapt to know when to talk about religion and when not to. My closest friends are not overly religious if at all. I know not to thump them with my Bible but I have to be ready to answer any spiritual questions that come my way. Another key is to know your audience and not to be unprepared.

Granted, I do believe that a majority of scientists are non-believers, but not all of them are.

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Re: Why Aren’t More Intellectuals Believers?

Postby Sstavix » Sun Nov 15, 2015 10:25 pm

Yes, it is. You cannot believe in quantum mechanics, the theory of relativity, evolution and the big bang AND religion. It is either/or :)
I vehemently disagree with this. It is possible (as ccgr indicated) to be a scientist and believe in these other elements you mentioned. If anything, the rationalization "God did it" can be followed up with "but how?" That's where science comes in. After all, maybe God "invented" quantum mechanics to do some of these things in the first place....

Remember, God is all-knowing, and that includes having an intimate knowledge of how the universe is put together. Probably because HE put it together Himself. The role of science is to figure out how He did it, and possibly how to use this knowledge ourselves. In some approaches, we could eventually become like God if we manage to gain the same amount of knowledge. However, by taking God out of the situation, and not tempering our discoveries with wisdom and morality, we can do terrible things for the flimsiest of excuses. (For example, justifying abortion by dismissing fetuses as "an unintelligent lump of cells.")

Science can answer the question of "can we do this?" Religion answers the question "should we do this?" I'm firmly of the mindset where we, as a society, need to use both in order to do good.

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Re: Why Aren’t More Intellectuals Believers?

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:24 am

Yes, it is. You cannot believe in quantum mechanics, the theory of relativity, evolution and the big bang AND religion. It is either/or :)
What's your scientific basis for making such an absurd claim as this?

Science is your only source of truth, right? So then you should be able to use it to prove this comment. I'm waiting :)

Or... maybe there's another way to look at it. Maybe science, awesome as it is, is only one tool among many that we use to understand life, the universe we live in, and our place in it. Maybe... just MAYBE... The foolish idea that it must be science OR religion is a false dichotomy.

I agree with the article. There is IMMENSE pressure in academia to "prove" one's enlightenment by discarding religion, all the while forgetting that some of the greatest scientists of all time were men of religion. Einstein, Newton and Copernicus are just a couple of examples.
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Re: Why Aren’t More Intellectuals Believers?

Postby Wintercross » Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:36 am

Science is the collective understanding of the physical world.
Faith in God has to do with spiritual things.

As such the two are not incompatible, since they are two entirely different subjects.

Besides, science hypothesises that the big bang created everything in the universe in an instant, massive explosion of light and matter.
Sounds a lot like how God started creation with 'Let there be light'

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Re: Why Aren’t More Intellectuals Believers?

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:09 am

Besides, science hypothesises that the big bang created everything in the universe in an instant, massive explosion of light and matter.
Sounds a lot like how God started creation with 'Let there be light'
Indeed, people have found a variety of ways to reconcile things like that over the years, and it's all fine. That's why it's so stupid to act as if we can't have both religion and science.
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Re: Why Aren’t More Intellectuals Believers?

Postby RoosterOnAStick » Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:44 am

There's no right way to talk to an "intellectual non-believer" (not ridiculing, just citing you with the quotes). If someone chooses to believe in science (which leaves no rational space for religion), nothing a believer says or does will change his/her opinion. Critically reflecting does in my humble opinions always include a good knowledge of the subject matter. Which will ultimately lead to a more holistic and rational view of the world and its workings.

Maybe humanity has arrived at a turning point. We know that much more than the individuals or groups that invented religion. Maybe there's a time to radically change your believes. Which solves the problem to talking to non-believers, as you will be one among us :)

To cut to the chase and to answer the question "But is this intellectual approach to Christianity a faith killer?"

Yes, it is. You cannot believe in quantum mechanics, the theory of relativity, evolution and the big bang AND religion. It is either/or :)
Hello sdaf,

Well, I think in this statement of your worldview here I would say you have stated what your beliefs are. This is fine as long as it is acknowledged as such.

Ill get right to the point. The reason I say this is because when you think about it this is not a matter of one using faith and the other using reason you see. It is more of a matter of putting our faith in different worldviews, as some of these latter statements do not necessarily flow from the earlier ones. From a more rationalist perspective i could see how this would make perfect sense, but from a non rationalist one not necessarily. It's all about what worldviews and philosophies people bring to the table when discussing science, faith, history, politics, etc.

Now I do have a question before I continue. That is, do you believe there is any value of any sort of knowledge or wisdom in addition to science? I am not just talking about religious revelation here either but also about other fields of human knowledge such as history, sociology, psychology, or the arts. Now I'm not exactly a liberal arts person myself per se (was computer science major with only a minor in history), I still believe that other fields of knowledge have equal merit to that of science as well. Do you agree with this?

The reason I am asking is so that I understand what your philosophy is concerning science in more detail.
“If the history of the 20th Century proved anything, it proved that however bad things were, human ingenuity could usually find a way to make them worse.” - Theodore Dalrymple

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Re: Why Aren’t More Intellectuals Believers?

Postby sdaf » Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:09 am

That is, do you believe there is any value of any sort of knowledge or wisdom in addition to science?
From my point of view there is tremendous value in all the fields that you have mentioned. I am also a strong advocate of arts, liberal or not. So yes, I absolutely agree. I do also recognize the value of religion, which is from a scientist's perspective known to e.g. reduce angst, depression, etc. Or is a good tool to teach your children values (at least if you do it the right way).

The fields history, sociology, psychology are sciences, are they not?

Let me quote from Wikipedia (I know, I should not quote Wikipedia, but this one is good):

Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.

So basically anything that is a)systematic b) built on knowledge c)provable is a science imho. Which also leads me to state that religion is not a science, as it may be systematic, but is not built on "hard" knowledge.

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Re: Why Aren’t More Intellectuals Believers?

Postby sdaf » Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:14 am

What's your scientific basis for making such an absurd claim as this?
This may sound absurd to you, but please bear in mind, that I never stated this as scientific / provable.

I cannot prove your god is non-existent. You cannot prove your god is existent. It's always very easy to just hand out credit for everything to a benevolent master being. So all was part of God's intelligent design. And science is his way of showing us how the universe works.

Believe it. That's ok for me :) (But you are still believing, not knowing)

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Re: Why Aren’t More Intellectuals Believers?

Postby sdaf » Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:18 am

Indeed, people have found a variety of ways to reconcile things like that over the years, and it's all fine.
Yes, people are very good at reconciling non-reconcilable realities. People also believe, that products are a lot cheaper, if they cost a cent less. Basic psychology. It is always very fascinating, what people can believe and state, without being aware, that it's not logically sound at all.
That's why it's so stupid to act as if we can't have both religion and science.
Please do not join the discussion if it's on this level, ok? I am not telling you that you act stupid, because you are a christian.

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Re: Why Aren’t More Intellectuals Believers?

Postby ArcticFox » Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:47 pm

What's your scientific basis for making such an absurd claim as this?
This may sound absurd to you, but please bear in mind, that I never stated this as scientific / provable.

I cannot prove your god is non-existent. You cannot prove your god is existent. It's always very easy to just hand out credit for everything to a benevolent master being. So all was part of God's intelligent design. And science is his way of showing us how the universe works.

Believe it. That's ok for me :) (But you are still believing, not knowing)
So you admit that you can't prove it, and yet you present it as fact. Isn't that the very same behavior you're criticizing religious people for?

[quote="sdaf"
Yes, people are very good at reconciling non-reconcilable realities.[/quote]

I think you'll find plenty of people find the two perfectly reconcilable. What about my religion prohibits me from believing theories regarding Quantum Mechanics?
That's why it's so stupid to act as if we can't have both religion and science.
Please do not join the discussion if it's on this level, ok? I am not telling you that you act stupid, because you are a christian.
Actually, you did.
The reality of society is unfortunately, that religion is NOT exactly a trait of the intelligent.
So don't open a door like that if you aren't prepared to be examined under the same level of scrutiny. You've asserted that intelligence and religion is incompatible. Your statement is demonstrably false. Albert Einstein, one of the most intelligent people that ever lived, was a man of religion. Copernicus was a Catholic as well as a mathematician and astronomer. These men are probably smarter than wither you or I, and they believed. How do you explain that, from your philosophy?

So if you can't understand how someone can be intelligent and understand God, then that's your own fault, not ours.
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
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Re: Why Aren’t More Intellectuals Believers?

Postby ChickenSoup » Sat Nov 21, 2015 6:06 pm

Please do not join the discussion if it's on this level, ok? I am not telling you that you act stupid, because you are a christian.
"You can't be religious and intelligent, lol

btw don't call my reasoning dumb, it's immature for you to do that ok"
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