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Can a Smart Person Believe in God?

Discussion in 'Religion and Lighthearted Discussion' started by Lifer, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. Lifer

    Lifer Banned

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  2. reflexblue

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  3. Terry Glenn is a cowgirl

    Terry Glenn is a cowgirl Banned

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    I'm smart... and I believe.

    There is your answer...
  4. Lifer

    Lifer Banned

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    Exactly.

    Its pretty sad when non-believers, who cant stand it that there are people who believe, resort to pushing the theory that basically says people who believe in God are stupid.

    Its beyond childish.
  5. DeathValleyDevil

    DeathValleyDevil Rookie

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    i mean. yeah.. plenty of them do
  6. Wildo7

    Wildo7 Totally Full of It

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    Smart? Yes. Honest and introspective? No. At least as far as monotheism is concerned.

    And Stephen Hawkins is an atheist Reflex.
  7. Lifer

    Lifer Banned

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    ?? So anyone who believes in God in dishonest?

    please explain.
  8. Wotan_the_Wanderer

    Wotan_the_Wanderer Rookie

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    To post another question....

    Can an imbecile believe in evolution?
  9. Lifer

    Lifer Banned

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    Whats an "Athiest Reflex"?

    sorry, its late, i couldnt help myself..;)
  10. Wildo7

    Wildo7 Totally Full of It

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    It's an automatic reaction honest and introspective people have towards religion:D
  11. Lifer

    Lifer Banned

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    you didnt answer my other question. Why is believing in God dishonest? Or not introspective?
    If a person says he believes in God when he really doesnt, I guess THAT would not be honest. But if a person does believe, please explain the use of the word.
  12. Wildo7

    Wildo7 Totally Full of It

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    Not being honest with themselves. If you can't ask yourself difficult questions and strip away the walls that you've been indoctrinated with since you were 6 years old then you will probably continue to rely on the comfort of religion and easy answers.

    questions like, "if I came here tomorrow not knowing anything about any religions, which religion has the largest body of evidence to convince me with? Which book do I pick? which thousand year old fables to I choose to believe in." Unfortunately for you, the honest answer to these questions is "none of them."
  13. Lifer

    Lifer Banned

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    How do you know who is and who isnt being "honest" with themselves?

    The answer "none of them", is an answer. It has nothing to do with "honesty"
    Its just your opinion, which you are entitled to, but it is nothing more than that.
  14. godef

    godef Rookie

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    Nope. The concept of evolution is a lot more complicated. It's easier just to believe in God. :eek:
  15. PatsFanInVa

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    Having the question under consideration (and therefore not, theoretically, closed), it's rude as hell to use the colored language and reliance on literalist religious strawmen to make your point.

    Now, once your point is made, if you are in fact able to make one, and having established the utter uselessness and fallacy of all religion, you can feel free to follow up with the colored language.

    As in the case of the religious enthusiast, your discourse here smacks of the "easy answers" one finds by association with -- or long familiarity in print with -- viewpoints that echo one's own far too often. This familiarity can appear to the outsider as disrespect, as I have said many a time to the proselytizers hereabouts.

    PFnV
  16. Wildo7

    Wildo7 Totally Full of It

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    Thanks for the advice oh longwinded one:rolleyes:
  17. Lifer

    Lifer Banned

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    I knew we could find common ground. ;)
  18. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yeah actually attempting to think through points and counterpoints is, naturally, an exercise of futility.

    Sorry it's not all black and white.

    Enjoy :)
  19. Wildo7

    Wildo7 Totally Full of It

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    Ah yes, the old, "I'm too smart for the room" approach. We will enjoy, while you continue to enjoy yourself. Something tells me the former isn't the futile act.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  20. PatsFanInVa

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    Ooo how positively snarky!

    Like I said, enjoy. Might involve skipping the better stuff, but you're doing that anyway :)

    Ah yes, the old "I'm too smart to read" ploy. Or is it "card"?
  21. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

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    I'm an idiot and I'm an athiest, so....yes, that proves that a smart person can be religious...I think.:confused::eat1:
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2008
  22. Canada's #1 Pats Fan

    Canada's #1 Pats Fan Rookie

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    To be smart, does one have to be open minded? Are we talking academic smarts or 'life' smarts? Can you be smart and closed minded?
  23. PatsFanInVa

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    Wow. I mean, seriously, that's a profound question.

    Now it's going to get very deep in here, and we may need the hip waders soon :)

    I think it's possible to have really good processing skills in one or another discipline if one is closed-minded. Let's say your job is writing. You may actually be very good at it, and regarded as very smart, simply by internalizing a lot of rules, and having a natural affinity for language.

    Or let's say your job is astrophysics. You have learned all the right rules and can apply them all flawlessly, and have the natural affinities necessary to excel at that job.

    So you go and do those jobs... somebody feeds the data to you, and you perform a function well. But you're completely closed-minded. You add no value beyond perhaps holding many variables in mind at once, or processing the data particularly quickly.

    I think people would, in fact, call those people smart.

    It's hard to demand the inquisitive questioning of the established order that produced an Einstein or a Hawking, or the quest for the new that produced many great literary works, from everybody we call "smart."

    So I guess the question is how we define intelligence. We could "teach to the test," or an autodidact can train himself for a test, and get a standardized "smart" measure for that person, and it could be very high. Let's also stipulate that the person just has a good solid brain to start with.... but has no inquisitiveness or skepticism.

    That "smart person" might bound his inquiry at exactly the point where his field of expertise stops. For example, he may say "Although every instrument tells me that the world is about 4 billion years old, it still makes sense to believe that the bible is literally true in every way except the generational dating of the earth engaged in by Bishop Berekeley and his successors. The actual age of creation and the timing of it must be allegorical in some way."

    Whereas an inquisitive man with the same skill set might say, "Okay. This turns out to be BS, if taken literally. Since it must be understood allegorically, or in the context of other creation stories, or in some other non-literal way, perhaps other aspects of the bible also are best understood as capturing a religious spirit, but in a very time-bounded way." That individual may find himself called to interpret the "inviolable literal truths of the bible" the same way that he found himself forced to interpret the first "inviolable literal truth" mentioned above.

    So both would be forced to apply the narrow confines of what they know through their area of expertise, or engage in a sort of double-think about the origins of the planet.

    But the inquisitive man, the one who asks questions, would ask whether there are other implications. What if a smart man in another field, for example, tells me a certain book has three different writing styles in it? What if that man is an expert in ancient languages, and has actually fought this conclusion for years, but comes to it anyway? And what if most of his peers agree?

    Well, the questioning man would ask questions. He'd try to establish as best he could the pros and cons of the argument. The closed minded man would say, "nope, I know two things: The bible is absolutely literally true, except for one case which brushes against my knowledge; and of course, my own knowledge which I can not get around."

    So, I dunno. I think I have to say for me, a closed minded man is, at least, not as smart as he could be.

    PFnV
  24. PatsFanInVa

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    PS, can't speak to "life smarts," because I learn everything the hard way.
  25. FloridaHerb

    FloridaHerb Rookie

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    I wasn't going to offer my opinion to this question but it got my mind thinking in such a way that I felt if I didn't give my opinion I'd be thinking about how I'd answer it for the next day so to the 3 or 4 people who may actually read this here goes.

    I've always believed in G_d, I've been told by teachers, associates and superiors that I am fairly smart but my belief in a supreme being came from an experience I had as a child.

    I won't go into details as to just what gave me my personal faith as I'm sure it wouldn't translate well and as many times as I have tried to explain it to others it has never exactly instilled a sense of awe or wonderment in others, as it probably wasn't meant to but it DID provide me with faith in what I like to think of as simply "more than what I see".

    Could a smart person believe? I suppose that depends on what the belief was...my Mom is Catholic, my Dad was Jewish and I was left to make my own personal choices and in doing so I chose to personally not follow any established religion, rather to follow my heart concerning this matter.

    Religion was created by man, man profits by preaching the words he has devised to explain the mystery of G_d and naturally a skeptical person would question this and rightfully so! This skepticism from what I have observed is what has created more athiests in the world than anything else, I have heard the question and wars have been fought over the question "Which religion is right?" but seldom is it asked "Can G_d exist yet no religion be correct?" only someone deeply entrenched in one particular religion would reply "Of course not!"

    Think of it this way....you wake up one day trapped in a house with no technical knowledge of how a house is built, it's just "there", you could naturally assume that it has always been there but our knowledge of carpenters, plumbers and electricians would prove this to be a rather ignorant assumption.

    You could research as a smart person would and pick apart a bit of the house and find the materials that created the house, nails, screws, wiring, pipes but STILL be ignorant as to the creation of said materials. Would a smart person stop there?

    The inquisitive mind in this scenario may never find out the truth but rather would constantly be asking more questions "Where did the screws come from?" "What is supplying the electricity to the house?" "How do pipes work?" and in some cases might be correct in their theories, in others they may be laughingly wrong.

    To summarize, can a smart person believe in G_d? Only a fool would profess to know all the answers from a limited vantage point.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  26. Char2na

    Char2na Rookie

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    This post raises an interesting question. If you were born into a world with no other people on it to tell you anything about where it all came from would you decide on a god of some sort? What clues would point you in that direction?
  27. Lifer

    Lifer Banned

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    That was a very interesting and good question. I started to think of an answer when I realized there is none. For me, there is no answer to that because that is not the reality of the world that was made.

    There are other people, and much of who we were made to be involves involvment with other people, the way I believe God wants to be involved with us.
  28. PatsFanInVa

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    I think that, like Lifer, I believe that much we think of as religious and spiritual occurs in relation to others. In Orthodox Judaism there is even a tradition that you need a minyan, or a quarum of 10 men, to constitute a congregation for prayer and study. Of course you can have free-lance prayers to God and converse with Him to your heart's content, but you really need 10 guys to crank up the synagogue.

    But back to the question: I can't parse whether there are no other people at all, or no other prople who can tell you about religion. I think that in either case you would come up with religion. The question is whether you would spread it LOL...

    Very early on, across cultures, people come up with religious explanations which we refer to as superstitions and idolatry when they are not our own. The religions which survived are called religions.

    This does not negate their value, this is simply the case. There is a difference in kind between monotheism and, for instance, animism (or for that matter polytheism, meaning the purer forms that do not claim the Hindu or Christian explanations of multiple manifestation of a single force.) You could make a cogent argument that there is a progression to monotheism from earlier forms of belief, although I am not certain you could prove that point any more than you could prove that the natural progression is toward atheism.

    On said alien world, I think you would likely come up with beliefs in a panoply of forces in control of various aspects of nature... unless of course you were tutored by someone with a specific belief in a purely hylic universe.

    PFnV

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