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. 

What are your thoughts with this? Why does intelligence, reason, intelligent thoughts more often than not, lost out to religion? I would love to hear from of our friends of faith on here as well.

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@Heather Spoonheim and William Walker.

Watching RussiaToday's documentary "Standing Army" now. It will also air later today. You may watch it for free now or wait ~24 hours before it's added to their YouTube channel.

Hopefully you will enjoy the realization that you are politically aligned with Vladimir Putin. ;)

-----------

Docudescription:

"Over the course of the last century, the US has silently encircled the world with a web of military bases unlike any other in history. No continent is spared. They have shaped the lives of millions, yet remain a mystery to most.

Today there are more than 766 US bases scattered around the globe, spanning across more than 100 countries and hosting more than 250.000 soldiers, in addition to the one million-plus soldiers stationed in the US. Almost every single war waged by the US in the course of the 20th century has left behind a trail of new military bases, not only within the borders of the defeated countries. This ever-evolving history is the starting point for this documentary, which will attempt to reveal the mechanisms, purposes and hidden strategies of the bases, as well as the risks they pose for the countries that host them. A journey across six countries and three continents: Asia, America and Europe."

Sounds great.

Because we let them?

Because we do nothing to prevent the spread of this disease?

 

I vote we bring back lobotomy and electroshock as a treatment for this particular form of mental illness.

 

Kinda hard to spread the infection of faith without the ability to speak let alone move or write.

 

"Oh? You wanna believe in imaginary creatures? You want to talk to things that are not here? You wanna be like Pastor Bob over there?"

 

*points over to the fool in the corner drooling on himself with only a third of his brain left*

 

"Yeah.. I didn't think so.."

 

Could launch a series of afterschool infomercials..

 

Some eggs.. a blender...

 

"This is your brain.. This is your brain after we treat you for a religious infection.. Any questions?"

I think you're second question, "Is because it is what is expected in our society and to be otherwise is too difficult?" hits the nail on the head. For SOME reason, religion and faith has become more important that intelligence...that is, being accepted is more important. People of faith pride themselves on blind faith. Look at the story of Job in the bible. I cant really explain why, but being a former brainwashed christian helps me to understand this a little better. It is in some ways because dealing with life is too hard, but i think it has more to do with just the self righteous teachings that are passed down through generations, that faith is more important then critical thinking.

I dont see how it's irrelevant...I answered the question, faith trumps intelligence because people are tought that it's more righteous to have faith then not.

I think Nelson perhaps replied to the wrong comment. Several replies above yours were talking about war and getting way off topic in addition to ad hominem-y.

You know, if you abstract 'faith' by removing the specification of religion, it actually plays a huge role in our scientific accomplishments.  For the longest time, science had 'faith' that there was a luminescent aether and that we could detect it by measuring the speed of light in different directions.  As no evidence was found, efforts were doubled rather than discarded, only to fail perpetually.  Finally Einstein looked at the problem and said, "What if the speed of light was constant?"  The only possible way of explaining this was to imagine that time wasn't constant - another strongly held faith at the time.  Any notion that time wasn't constant seemed unfalsifiable - until it was falsified, and it took faith in luminescent aether to accomplish this:  conflicting dogma.

 

This is why epistemology is so important - we all need to realize that all of our beliefs are based on some underlying assumptions.  If I woke up tomorrow and found that the world did not acknowledge 2+2=4, I would go to no end to prove that the world was wrong.  I would be driven to do this because such a huge amount of my 'knowledge' is based on this seemingly self-evident assumption - but is anything truly self-evident?

 

For the theistically faithful, dropping the assumption of god means re-evaluating their entire knowledge base and no one wants to go back to square one.  For most, it is simply easier to keep the assumption and apply rationalizations, sort of like Windows and security patches.  The more of your life you have based on that faith, the more costly it can be to let it go - and swallowing loss is one of the most difficult things anyone can do.  I wonder if the scientists who had spent so much of their lives searching for the luminescent aether actually accepted relativity, or if they just died off and new scientists grew up without that old idea.

Hello Nelson,

I ATTEMPTED to reply to the warning you sent me ONLY as the LINK you sent and my Old WebTV are not compatible, I had to send it in the "Feedback" form. So you can find it there.

TO ALL

I am sorry for my temper and I shall diligently try to behave myself in the future as I've found there are at least a few here who actually use their heads for something other than a place to grow hair.

And I would like to stick around until I kick the bucket in a few days or months or hopefully, years.


I thank you for your time.

Please, Take Care!

Neil

"A 76 year old Pro Iraq War Agnostic Atheist Activist, a former member of management in some of America's Top 500 corporations, 101st Airborne Vet, Deep Sea Diver and an Iconoclastic, Philosophizing, Beach VolleyBall Playing, Crime Stopping, Grumpy Old Son Of A Beach!"

As a 64 year old Anti-war atheist, former owner/president of my own title company (i.e. had to meet many, many payrolls) with no military experience (proudly, I might add), I think you'd be a fun character to meet...and, I'd 'spot' you 10 points at VolleyBall as well.

Robert

I'm not sure if "no military experience" is necessarily something to be proud of. Maybe some accomplishments? I am currently in the US Navy on a humanitarian mission to multiple third world countries. We are providing medical and dental assistance (including immunizations), construction, maintenance/repair, painting schools, providing supplies and playing soccer with the kids. So I can tell you first hand that the new Navy commercials calling it "A Global Force For Good" are not propaganda. We are actually making a difference.

Here is a link if you want to check it out:

http://www.cpf.navy.mil/PP11/

We've got veterinarians from WorldVets as well checking up on treatment of livestock.

I'm pretty old fashioned.  I believe the purpose of the military is to break things and kill the enemy...not to construct residences, streets, sewers, schools, etc.  Private donations yes...American tax dollars NO!

It's more about projecting a positive image of America and helping people.  We mostly have volunteers who had to pay to come and a lot (if not all) of the supplies we brought were paid for by the Mormons and other charities.  It's better than what we usually do, which is do circles in the Persian Gulf, wasting a lot more fuel while trying to train countries to patrol their own waters. 

Hearts and minds win more wars (or prevent them) than blood and carnage.

I'd be more worried about the billions of tax dollars that go to foreign aid for countries like Pakistan each year.

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