I notice that MANY irrational beliefs including religion can be fought using similar arguments. For example...:

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed with out evidence.""Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.""An absence of evidence is evidence of absence."

All of these atheist argument devices can be used against a great many irrational beliefs... God, Souls, Psychics, Astrology even conspiracy theories like the moon landing hoax, Chemtrails,... other conspiracy theories. Now I don't want to debate what is an irrational belief and what isn't here. Those are just a few things I myself find to be irrational.

I feel like there is a way of thinking that could rid us of many of these irrational ideas in one swoop if we could just prove it. I'm not sure what exactly that is.

I'd like to explore the possibility that there is a way of thinking that could be taught to limit irrational thinking altogether. Could we teach critical thinking and the importance of evidence in schools or at home? Well.. we also want people to have unlimited creative thought.

The reason these things bother me is because I find that when someone leaves their religion. They often turn to a new irrational belief...such as spirituality... or even another religion. And that new irrational belief often supports a moderate stance towards the religion that was left.

I can't help but feel there must be better ways for us to get around this and that is one reason I try and argue against "the soul" as opposed to arguing against any particular religion. I feel that arguing solely against religion isn't getting to the core... its just scratching the surface.

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I think you have to be a bit of a skeptic to incorporate critical thinking naturally into your ideas and what you learn. Otherwise it has to be taught. I was always a bit of a skeptic, but I had to be taught critical thinking. It was all incorporated in my philosophy course in university. If we could somehow include critical thinking in early school like late primary or high school, but even then it most likely wouldn't work because in order to use critical thinking correctly people must be able to recognize a valid argument which means being able to recognize an invalid one. Minds that young probably wouldn't be able to fully comprehend all of it, or it would take too long for them to learn.

It's also not an easy lesson to learn. Being able to critique yourself and your own thoughts and beliefs is difficult as we see ourselves and our thoughts as 'flawless', especially when we are young or 'unenlightened'. Learning that this is actually not the case can be a tough lesson.

I completely understand your reasoning behind this thought. Maybe teaching a specific way of thinking to try and contradict all of our irrational thoughts or lessons could be the solution. However, lessons these days are exactly the opposite. They teach that questioning the validity of the lessons is wrong (both inside and outside of school), do not 'back chat', take in what is being taught to you, and most importantly think like everyone else thinks. What is needed is the exact opposite, but perhaps it is impractical with the mass number of children being pushed through the system. The entire system itself should be changed in my opinion. It does no good for the individual or his/her personal way of thinking.

It's also not an easy lesson to learn. Being able to critique yourself and your own thoughts and beliefs is difficult as we see ourselves and our thoughts as 'flawless', especially when we are young or 'unenlightened'. Learning that this is actually not the case can be a tough lesson.

Maybe that's a start... a class that teaches young people through experience to question their own and others thinking. Show them a series of experiments which they would likely think to go one way.

Maybe teaching a specific way of thinking to try and contradict all of our irrational thoughts or lessons could be the solution. However, lessons these days are exactly the opposite. They teach that questioning the validity of the lessons is wrong (both inside and outside of school), do not 'back chat', take in what is being taught to you, and most importantly think like everyone else thinks. What is needed is the exact opposite,

Well said... really good points. I suppose the more students the harder it is. I think one day the "classroom" will have more of a "guide" than a teacher.. and each student will have a teaching assistant program... that learns how they learn, learns their attention span, learns fundamental things about them and then teaches each student accordingly. A setting like this would also allow for individual questions, critical thinking.. As religion diminishes this will help as we will no longer be "forced" to be moderate or PC in public social settings... we will less and less need to tip toe around subjects.

I think this is the main problem with apologists for religious moderates... they're supporting the idea that its OK to think irrationally. And you're opening the possibility of irrational thinking up to everyone else around in silencing yourself in the presence of irrationality.

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