One of my favorite people of all time is Cornel West. Two of his most well known books are Race Matters and Democracy Matters where his views on society are for the most part, incredibly on the mark. I've heard him live a couple of times and he is wonderful to listen to. He is also a frequent quest on Real Time with Bill Maher where he rails against the right yet at the same time has been known to call out Obama. Anyway as I was listening to him the other day, I started to think, how could a man of such intelligence, hold onto something as unintelligent as religion? He is a man of deep faith. Expanding on this idea, why is it that many people of incredible intelligence are people of religion? What is it about what they get from religion that allows them all to suspend reason on one day a week and give themselves to the land of the make-believe? One of the main doctors who is treating Hitchens is a man of faith. This is a guy who has studied science in depth and has seen cells divide. He knows there is no scientific basis for his beliefs. Yet he believes. Is it because all these people need to religion to deal with death? Is because it is what is expected in our society and to be otherwise is too difficult? I just don't understand.
I am willing to admit that a God is not a theoretically impossibility if you are willing to admit a God is so unlikely we should not factor it in when measuring anything on Earth.
Furthermore, do you believe in JC or God?
(we need a voting system for comments)
@Jared - What does Jesus sound like? Could you compare his voice to anyone famous that I might know so I could get an idea of what you experience when you hear him talk? When you talk to him, does he make a lot of eye contact or does he seem to stare off to the side as he contemplates your words? Does he ever call you up out of the blue, just to talk about stuff that's going on? Does he still have the caucasion style beard we see in so many pictures, or is it more of an Arab style long beard like the guys from ZZ TOP? Does he wear a white robe like an Arab or has he updated his fashion at all?
I only ask all of these things because you say you have a 'relationship' with him. A relationship requires two way communication and some actual face time. I'm thinking your use of the word 'relationship' is completely misleading and you don't actually get any face time with the J-man.
The term relationship would obviously appear to be misleading because we both start with two different beliefs. You believe there is no god to communicate and I do. I can't offer you the natural or empirical evidence that you are asking for because if anything I try to describe goes beyond the five senses you will discredit it immediately. So, I can't convince of anything nor would I expect to just giving Robert my response to his orgiinal question. How did the people in the church in acts or Paul "hear" the holy spirtit speak or direct their lives? There's not a natural explanation, nor will i try to give one. Also, any way I try to describe the communication in those terms you would only call it riciculous which is fine but what i'm saying there is no point for me to really go back and forth with you on it. ps he wears nikes now duh lol
You believe there is no god to communicate and I do. I can't offer you the natural or empirical evidence that you are asking for because if anything I try to describe goes beyond the five senses you will discredit it immediately.
@ Jared - What you wrote above, is the whole crux of the issue of "why does faith trump intelligence?" Many atheists believe that this "knowing feeling" and this "feeling God's presence" sensation that many Christians experience, can be explained by chemical reactions in the brain that have nothing to do with reality. I guess that kind of does fall outside the five senses, but nonetheless, it is still just as valid in terms of human behavior.
You can compare it to when a child blocks out a very traumatic experience. The mind blocks the memory on its own accord, without the conscious knowledge of the child. It does this as a protective mechanism.
I think the mind works in a similar fashion, to differing degrees, depending on many variables, in regards to religious belief. The person who has blocked out a traumatic experience, as a child, can be told of this experience, and the person may deny it, because he believes he would have remembered it. Just because the person does not believe the event ever happened, does not make it so.
One can receive the sensation that a loving God is sending them a direct message of positive assurance or whatever, through chemical reactions in one's brain, and this is probably closely linked to evolved survival strategies that our species developed.
The reaason why so many people fall into this kind of "defense mechanism" is because it is linked to the emotion of strong parental protection and bonding or some say " a type of strong love" and this emotion is one of the most powerful common emotions that our species share. But, IF, you examine it closely, it is only rational and reasonable to admit that just because you believe something is so, does not mean it is true.
I will give to you that there may not be proof that faith stems from only "chemical reactions in the brain" but I was just trying to make a point. Maybe I did not do such a good job but I try anyway. I do speak from personal experience of being a Christian that "felt and sincerely believed 2000% in God's love for me" but no longer.
Faith is a defense mechanism and it trumps intelligence, in many instances, because it needs to in order for many people to cope.