28th July 2010

“When it comes to choosing one particular religion over another, it seems to be largely a matter of indoctrination; the best predictor of a person's religious beliefs is the beliefs held by his or her parents.”

James Richmond

29 Responses to “28th July 2010”

  1. solomon Says:

    I don’t agree. The real religion always come out the best. Thats why there are converts.

  2. holysmokes Says:

    This quote is completely accurate. Just look at the religious demographics for each region around the planet. For example: How often does a middle Eastern family produce a christian?

  3. robb Says:

    sol…………get real, will you ?

    you are whatever religion you are because somebody TOLD you that’s what you are……………….and this is really quite sad for small children
    because their reality is so limited, and they have such a tiny frame of reference. in their world, if the big people tell them that something is true, then they’ll believe it………at least when they are young. they are dependant upon the big people for everything………and they have no reason to doubt that what is told to them is true, and in their best interest.
    later in life , as their intelligence an intellect expand, they may possibly
    develop questions and doubts concerning the veracity of the statements of their elders. and DOUBT is every bit as powerful and influential as
    “FAITH.” ironically, doubt is often the cause deepening and strengthening
    faith……………….but not always.
    i will bet you have NEVER explored the writings of RICHARD DAWKINS.
    you ought to give it a try…………………..also you might take a look at the book, “EINSTEIN’S GOD” by krista tibbets…………..some very thought provoking material.
    or, you can stay mired in your simple-minded (WEAK) belief that YOU
    and others like you are RIGHT….and everyone else is wrong.
    remember sol, EVERYTHING ……………..IN EVERY RELIGION IS MAN-CREATED………………….HEAVEN is a silly fairy tale, and HELL is an even sillier fairy tale.
    NO religion can explain the universe, or this world , or human life. it’s
    just collections of religious myths and stories.
    AND remember, the ultimate question is “WHY.”

    we have learned a little……….but the eternal mysteries, for now, are beyond us.

    try using your head , sol, as something besides a hat-rack.

    have a bad day.

  4. Braathwaat Says:

    Sol, “real religion” has little to do with converting people. The vast majority of converts to Christianity & Islam throughout history have converted at the end of a sword. Convert or die has proved to be a very compelling message.

  5. EdgarWing Says:

    Truth is (or seems to me right now to be), even agnostics and atheists are products of such indoctrination. It’s possible that our dear friend solomon is 100% right. The trick, though, is in deciding amongst the various competing theories. Logic, and its cousin, Science, might actually be cognitive traps our minds can’t get out of as they are. The question comes down mainly, it seems, to epistemology. But not just that. It seems to me that, as much as I hate to admit it, the human idea of truth might ultimately be subjective (even while there may be an actual objective “truth”) insomuchas each epistemology refers ultimately to a particular goal. Nor can its validity be judged outside of a given goal. For instance, it seems to me that Logic and Science have a goal along the lines of precise prediction of the future. And those who share or at least value this goal tend to see the value in Logic and Science, at least in the spheres of their lives where they most value this goal (e.g., in practical matters). Others–and I would argue, nearly all humans–value things in addition to precise prediction of the future. For instance, most people value certain emotional and cognitive states (e.g., happiness, joy, love, interest, certainty, sense of control, sense of security, sense of belongingness, etc.). While these things surely can be studied and furthered by Logic and Science, there are many, many other methods for bringing about or encouraging these states. For instance, simply believing a bunch of good sounding shit might bring about such states, while having no basis in reality whatsoever. Since the goal of that belief system is achieved, it can be said to have a certain validity, I think. Who knows?

  6. Margaret Says:

    Truth is not the primary concern for religion. Take the doctrine of the Trinity, for example. Believers will say there is the Father, the Son, and the holy Spirit, but there is only One God. Not 3, even though there are 3 different identities to this god, he is still only one. Precepts that make no logical sense pack more magical woo, so the believers can then say they are spiritual or mystical, in a realm far above ordinary reality, part of an elite membership that also has the woo. They do not care if it makes sense to outsiders or not. That is what makes them insiders, and being an insider makes them feel special, which is comforting. That is the point. It does not matter if the story is true or not.

  7. robb Says:

    to edgarwing………..

    i like that “goal” idea. and , i think you’re right about science having goals as sort of “sign-posts” in expanding knowledge.

    after all, if you pose an outcome, then run an experiment to see if you
    achieve that outcome, and if you DO achieve it, then run subsequent
    experiments to attempt to replicate the outcome (and DO), then , really
    you’ve given yourself a “goal”…….and either attained it, or not.

    also, i agree with you about belief systems having validity FOR THEIR
    BELIEVERS………….but what screws things up is guys like sol spouting
    their beliefs as TRUE…….shucking for converts……….and finger-shaking
    at the non-believers accompanied by predictions of an inevitable eternity
    in the fires of hell !!!!!
    when he ( and the MANY, MANY others like him) go into their act, i have to do a little finger-shaking myself…………and you know which finger i
    mean !!!!

    anyway, thanks for all your thoughts !!! SEND MORE !!!

  8. robb Says:

    TO MARGARET…………..

    nicely put !!!!!! love your use of “WOO.”………………perfect !!!

  9. meryt Says:

    I thought that the following, taken from a Wikipedia article on indoctrination might be relevant to the discussion of today’s quote.

    “Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology (see doctrine).[1] It is often distinguished from education by the fact that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned.[2] As such it is used pejoratively, often in the context of political opinions, theology or religious dogma. Instruction in the basic principles of science, in particular, can not properly be called indoctrination, in the sense that the fundamental principles of science call for critical self-evaluation and skeptical scrutiny of one’s own ideas, a stance outside any doctrine.[3] In practice, however, a certain level of non-rational indoctrination, usually seen as miseducative, is invariably present.[4] The term is closely linked to socialization; in common discourse, indoctrination is often associated with negative connotations, while socialization refers to cultural or educational learning.”

  10. solomon Says:


    ‘Believers will say there is the Father, the Son, and the holy Spirit, but there is only One God.’ Youre absolutely right, there is only one God that is told by the Qoran, that is Allah almighty. So the Qoran really make sense and is true.

  11. captainzero1969 Says:

    “Truth is (or seems to me right now to be), even agnostics and atheists are products of such indoctrination. ”

    I’m not so sure I agree. I was indoctrinated as a catholic to believe “woo” and have since, through questioning and research come to believe there is no foundation for my previous faith or for any other I’ve ever heard of. In what sense have I been indoctrinated into unbelief?

    Now, my child is another matter. I’m keenly aware of how my freedom from religious belief can impress upon her an undesirable mental straight jacket. When the subject comes up I try not to denigrate religious beliefs but I do point out that the evidence I’ve seen isn’t compelling to me but that each person weighs it for themselves. But you ought to really consider the evidence – testimony simply isn’t enough. Best I can do, I’m afraid.

  12. solomon Says:

    Points to ponder.
    There is initially no sun, no moon, no stars whatsoever. Then it began to develop one by one or at the same time, every each one, starting from a central force that pulls all scattered matters or particles in space(after the big bang) to its center. Thats why all of the heavenly bodies are sphere in shape, the effect of a central force which creates a symmetry at all direction.
    Can’t you see, this is all planned and created. From nothing to something.
    Do you think Nature could planned all that?

  13. meryt Says:

    I cannot agree with the statement that the athiest or agnostic position is an indoctrinated one as indoctrination implies that the recipient is handicapped in his/her ability to examine their beliefs critically. I think it is reasonable to concede that skepticism is a component of the athiest position and therefore indoctrination and athiesm are antithetic.
    Please be reassured that your approach to your daughter’s rearing has (imho) has given her many benefits ( freedom from irrational guilts and fears, permission for inquiry, no gawd sanctioned hatred for those who are different for starters ) that shows your love for your daughter and your respect for her as a fellow human being. What a world this could be if……

  14. meryt Says:

    oops apologies for typos “atheism”

  15. PEB Says:

    Sol is preaching woo science. Why would Allah need a big bang you idiot. He is a god apparently. One blink of his almighty god eyeball and ‘poof’ – a universe is created.
    In fact why would god create a universe at all? Why would he create our sun with a limited life span?
    Go away.

  16. captainzero1969 Says:

    Celestial spheres are spheres only if their mass is sufficient to pull them into that shape. There are many bodies that are not completely spherical that have been considered as planets which itself is a more or less arbitrary distinction. But so what? The big bang may have been a statistical certainty or may have required a god to get started. The maths have not required a supernatural cause so one of these two positions is far simpler than the other and by Occam’s Razor, preferable. If you say that the initial conditions required a god to get started, you have a great deal left to explain. Starting with some evidence would be nice. Books written by (or for) primitives are only evidence that people once thought that way, not that the beliefs themselves are true.

  17. robb Says:

    sol……….you are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO lame.

    look up HUBBLE TELESCOPE PICTURES on you little computer…….and you will see that there are many (millions) of shapes in this universe that are

    i wonder what medications you’re on.

    have a bad day.

  18. Braathwaat Says:

    If there was a God that was perfect, the question remains why would he create a world in which there was so much suffering.

  19. captainzero1969 Says:

    Braathwaat – suffering comes only from ‘sin’. So we’ve been told.

  20. Braathwaat Says:

    Sin cannot explain the cruelty to animals.

  21. margaret Says:

    We are not supposed to worry about this world and its suffering. We are supposed to give all our worldly possessions to the clergy and prepare to be happy after we are dead. [sarcasm]

    With this being the teaching passed from generation to generation, it is amazing that we are not still living in tents. Come to think of it, religion has consistently opposed any advancement in science that relieves human suffering.

  22. Atheist MC Says:

    Islam does gain converts and so does Catholicism. However it only happens in any numbers in countries with poor education and command economies. It is telling that fundamental Islam is scared of education, especially of women who will have the main influence on children. Religion cannot survive the superior epistemology of science and reason.

  23. robb Says:

    to AtheistMC……………way to go !!!!! PERFECT !!!!

  24. solomon Says:

    I’am just asking…can nature planned all that?
    Yes or No?

  25. solomon Says:

    Continuing my points.

    Each heavenly bodies posses different central force magnitude or strength. The strongest one pulls the weaker ones into its cluster or orbits. This brings about the formation of our solar system & the galaxies. Our moon could be like other planets too, orbiting round the sun alone. But this does not happen. It chooses to orbit round the earth first then went along with the earths orbit round the sun. Why?Even the sun has a stronger pull than the earth, it could not pull the moon away from the earth because the moon is nearer to the earth.As two objects becomes distant, the force of attraction becomes weaker.Can nature account for this? Anyway what is Nature? Something that have brains?

  26. solomon Says:

    I did’nt say everything in this universe is spheroid you scum. I said all the heavenly bodiesare spherical in shape.

    And it not also be a perfectly sphere like the ball bearing. Well there are defects here and there like slightly flatenned at some area. But the distinct spherical shape is there.

    The big bang is just a process of his creation you triple idiot. God create the universe so that we can witness that there is a super mighty being that runs this kingdom, so that you and your lots should think twice to do whatever your lusts tells you. Not only the sun, everything have a limited lifespan coz it was planned the world will come to an end & another place which have no end will be replaced.

    God did’nt create a world in which there was so much suffering. God create a peaceful tranquil world. Its the humans like your lots that accounts for the sufferings.

  27. Godkilla Says:

    solomon, in answer to your stupid question about how there could be a universe with no creator;

    If God does exist then he must be very complex and that means he must have resulted from an evolutionary process or indeed been created himself by some higher being. God could not have just come into being by accident, so the creationist case is actually injured by the use of this argument from improbability.

    quote unquote.

    Get it?

  28. solomon Says:

    God does’nt work like what you think or want it to be. Gods existence is beyond imagination or thought. God is not created. He exists on his own. His different from other creations, which needs a creator.I’ve said it before & again.God is comparable to nothing.

  29. Godkilla Says:

    How convenient.