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Have you ever questioned other peoples beliefs?

 
 
Reply Wed 7 Aug, 2013 09:02 am
As the title reads "Have you ever questioned other peoples beliefs?

If you have questioned others beliefs what methodology did you use?

What do you think about John Loftus's idea?

"The outsider test for faith"

You must test your own religion's claims by the same standards that you apply to other religions

If your religion's claims and text fair no better, then your religion is just as false as theirs.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 8 • Views: 14,212 • Replies: 360
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Aug, 2013 09:49 am
@reasoning logic,
That sounds like a perfectly reasonable methodology, which is why nobody will do it. Smile
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Aug, 2013 09:55 am
@rosborne979,
Quote:
That sounds like a perfectly reasonable methodology, which is why nobody will do it.


I think it should be used for all ideologies and not just religion.
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Aug, 2013 01:23 pm
@reasoning logic,
reasoning logic wrote:
I think it should be used for all ideologies and not just religion.

I don't see why it wouldn't apply as well for just about any ideology. But what other ideologies besides religion did you have in mind?
0 Replies
 
timur
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Aug, 2013 01:34 pm
@reasoning logic,
I don't know if the methodology and text fare well but it certainly is not fair..
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Aug, 2013 01:52 pm
@timur,
Quote:
I don't know if the methodology and text fare well but it certainly is not fair..


What do you find unfair about it?
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  0  
Reply Wed 7 Aug, 2013 03:17 pm
@reasoning logic,
First test:
(John 13:35) . . .By this all will know that YOU are my disciples, if YOU have love among yourselves.. . .
In itself, not epistemological certainty, but necessary.
Many belief systems fail.
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Aug, 2013 04:44 pm
@neologist,
Quote:
Many belief systems fail.


But not all?

How do you know this is the word of God? Have you tested it against other beliefs?

What is it about other beliefs that make them not the word of God?
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Aug, 2013 07:29 pm
@reasoning logic,
I've investigated a few, perhaps many belief systems
according to the litmus I posted above.
All have failed save the one with whom I remain.

Its a necessity. There are others. But I did not to cofuse you as
I see I already have.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Aug, 2013 07:36 pm
@neologist,
neologist wrote:

First test:
(John 13:35) . . .By this all will know that YOU are my disciples, if YOU have love among yourselves.. . .

So the standard you use to test other belief systems is to see if they have that particular sentence in them and if they don't then they fail?

And your original belief system passes simply because it contains that sentence?
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Aug, 2013 08:20 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:
neologist wrote:
First test:
(John 13:35) . . . By this all will know that YOU are my disciples, if YOU have love among yourselves.. . .
So the standard you use to test other belief systems is to see if they have that particular sentence in them and if they don't then they fail?

And your original belief system passes simply because it contains that sentence?
Apparently you have no idea what I am talking about.
I know of no other group where members apply that sentence as well as Jehovah's Witnesses, though I am open to the idea there may be others. Also, I am quite aware that people in general are possessed of the good qualities I find among my associates. But no group I know of can make that claim.
reasoning logic
 
  0  
Reply Wed 7 Aug, 2013 08:24 pm
@neologist,
Quote:

And your original belief system passes simply because it contains that sentence?


Can you answer the question with a yes or no?
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Aug, 2013 10:32 pm
@reasoning logic,
reasoning logic wrote:
Quote:
And your original belief system passes simply because it contains that sentence?
Can you answer the question with a yes or no?
You need to read carefully. My belief system passes this first test because my fellow believers practice the behavior described in the sentence.

So, of course, the answer to the question is no.
0 Replies
 
vikorr
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Aug, 2013 11:18 pm
@reasoning logic,
Quote:
"The outsider test for faith"

You must test your own religion's claims by the same standards that you apply to other religions

If your religion's claims and text fair no better, then your religion is just as false as theirs.
By this test, every belief system would fail, because everyone applies different tests.

Possessing some belief systems are necessary.

----------------------------------------------------------
If you didn't believe that a car was relatively safe (eg if you believed that you were sure to die if you got into a car even just once) you wouldn't get into a car.

How about the more complex series of beliefs that exists in marriage, relationships, and friendships? Would you test them against a recently divorced person whose best friend had an affair with their spouse?

What about the finance system? They say money's only value is the belief that people have in it (it is after all, just paper and digital data - useless unless enough people believe in the system)...would it stand up to a barter society's tests?
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Aug, 2013 05:18 am
@reasoning logic,
reasoning logic wrote:

"The outsider test for faith"

You must test your own religion's claims by the same standards that you apply to other religions

If your religion's claims and text fair no better, then your religion is just as false as theirs.

I believe Neo has nicely demonstrated why this test won't work. The "standard" Neo has chosen is picked specifically from his own belief system, so naturally his system will work automatically and most others will fail. Each believer would probably choose different elements of their own belief system as the "standard" so it doesn't matter which one Neo happens to have picked, the outcome would always be the same.

The secular "standard" is to first determine the realistic [natural world] veracity of the belief system itself, and by that standard all belief systems fail, but it's clear that believers start from a different base point.

Based on this, I think we can declare "The outsider test for faith" to be non-functional (because it will always support the original belief system).
igm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Aug, 2013 06:20 am
@neologist,
neologist wrote:
First test:
(John 13:35) . . . By this all will know that YOU are my disciples, if YOU have love among yourselves.. . .

I know of no other group where members apply that sentence as well as Jehovah's Witnesses, though I am open to the idea there may be others. Also, I am quite aware that people in general are possessed of the good qualities I find among my associates. But no group I know of can make that claim.


If a member of your Jehovah's Witness congregation required a life saving blood transfusion they would commit a serious sin if they accepted it and be shunned or even experience disfellowshipping (excommunication). This cannot be a form of love unless you only count those who have avoided such congregational discipline. How do you defend what seems a lack of love for your congregation?

Other sins are reported to be:

Jehovah's Witnesses consider many actions to be "serious sins", for which baptized Witnesses are subject to disfellowshipping or formal reproof. Actions for which a member can be disfellowshipped include: blood transfusion, "brazen conduct" or "loose conduct", homosexual activity, idolatry, interfaith activity, lying, slander, spiritism, theft, and use of tobacco.
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Aug, 2013 07:02 am
@rosborne979,
Quote:
Based on this, I think we can declare "The outsider test for faith" to be non-functional (because it will always support the original belief system).


Just for the fun of it let's play this out a little longer. Let's say that I have faith and belief in Ra, How is my faith and belief less correct than Neo's faith and belief in Jehovah? Could I be believing in the wrong scriptures that say Ra is God? How can we be certain?
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Aug, 2013 07:50 am
@reasoning logic,
reasoning logic wrote:
Let's say that I have faith and belief in Ra, How is my faith and belief less correct than Neo's faith and belief in Jehovah?

It's not. Following the precepts of your "Outsider Test" you're going to pick some aspect of Ra which you will make your "standard", and all the other beliefs are going to fail and yours is going to succeed automatically.

You can play this out with Neo if you like, but I think he could run you in circles with much duller tools that the one you've given him here.

Have fun Smile
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Aug, 2013 08:03 am
@rosborne979,
Quote:
you're going to pick some aspect of Ra which you will make your "standard", and all the other beliefs are going to fail and yours is going to succeed automatically.


If I were to do that what would constitute my belief as being correct?
I could believe that neo was an alien who eats people but just because I believe it to be true, "does it make it factual?

There has to be some way that we can determine what is factual from the things that are just simply delusional beliefs.
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Aug, 2013 09:55 am
@reasoning logic,
reasoning logic wrote:
If I were to do that what would constitute my belief as being correct? I could believe that neo was an alien who eats people but just because I believe it to be true, "does it make it factual?

The "outsider test" which you started this thread with isn't designed to determine correctness from a scientific (evidentiary) based system, it's only designed to compare a consistent "standard" against internal beliefs as well as external beliefs. But that "standard" is left up to the believer to choose.

reasoning logic wrote:
There has to be some way that we can determine what is factual from the things that are just simply delusional beliefs.

There is. It's called the scientific methodology. But remember that science is based on the belief that nature is understandable and rational (a philosophical viewpoint called methodological naturalism). If someone doesn't start from that foundation and instead starts from a belief in the supernatural, or from a philosophical perspective in which human thought itself is considered unreliable, then empirical examination will not work.
 

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