Imposing Our Views on God and Science

 photo Ross_zps2f2f4acb.jpg
Lee D. Ross, Stanford Psychology Dept.






Two studies seem to suggest that Christians project their own social values onto God. Nicholas Epley fins that:


People often reason egocentrically about others’ beliefs, using
their own beliefs as an inductive guide. Correlational, experimen-
tal, and neuroimaging evidence suggests that people may be even
more egocentric when reasoning about a religious agent’s beliefs
(e.g., God). In both nationally representative and more local sam-
ples, people’s own beliefs on important social and ethical issues
wereconsistentlycorrelatedmorestronglywithestimatesofGod’s
beliefs than with estimates of other people’s beliefs (Studies 1–4).
Manipulating people’s beliefs similarly influenced estimates of
God’s beliefs but did not as consistently influence estimates of
other people’s beliefs (Studies 5 and 6). A final neuroimaging study
demonstrated a clear convergence in neural activity when reason-
ing about one’s own beliefs and God’s beliefs, but clear diver-
gences when reasoning about another person’s beliefs (Study 7).
In particular, reasoning about God’s beliefs activated areas asso-
ciated with self-referential thinking more so than did reasoning
about another person’s beliefs. Believers commonly use inferences
about God’s beliefs as a moral compass, but that compass appears
especially dependent on one’s own existing beliefs.[1]
 The other is by Lee D. Ross


The present study explores the dramatic projection of one’s own views onto those of Jesus among conservative and liberal American Christians. In a large-scale survey, the relevant views that each group attributed to a contemporary Jesus differed almost as much as their own views. Despite such dissonance-reducing projection, however, conservatives acknowledged the relevant discrepancy with regard to “fellowship” issues (e.g., taxation to reduce economic inequality and treatment of immigrants) and liberals acknowledged the relevant discrepancy with regard to “morality” issues (e.g., abortion and gay marriage). However, conservatives also claimed that a contemporary Jesus would be even more conservative than themselves on the former issues whereas liberals claimed that Jesus would be even more liberal than themselves on the latter issues. Further reducing potential dissonance, liberal and conservative Christians differed markedly in the types of issues they claimed to be more central to their faith. A concluding discussion considers the relationship between individual motivational processes and more social processes that may underlie the present findings, as well as implications for contemporary social and political conflict. [2]

This has led some atheists on message boards to advance these studies as proof of the illogical nature of Christianity. It reinforces the atheist's idea that if God did exist it would be impossible to understand what he wants. "So why should atheists (or anyone, for that matter) take theists seriously when theists talk about what God is like, what God wants, what God commands, etc., if theist's are just unconsciously using God as a sound-board for their own positions?."[3]


These studies are put over as a disproof of the veracity of Christian thought, but in reality they are nothing of the kind. They are actually making good points (not that I have evaluated their validity of studies). These are not points that undo the validity of Christian, far from they are points I've thought about deeply since the Reagan era. I think these are things God wants us to think about. We should understand that we have a tendency to project our social projects and our prejudices and our cultural constructs on to God. We should ask "how can we know the difference?" The problem is the atheists make assumptions about the ultimate inability to know God, from a position of unbelief. Thus they blind to the prospect that we can know God. We can understand the distinction between our own ideas and what God wants. We can know God and we can Know what God wants. Before going into that I want to make another argument: it doesn't invalidate Christianity in any way becuase it's certainly not unique to Christianity. It's very much in line with the sort of thing that marks humans as human. In every walk of life, in all politics, atheist are exception, it's an occupational hazard of being human.

The second researcher sited above, Lee Ross,  has another study that was conviently over looked. That study says that Objectivity is not a human characteristic and we all project our things onto others no matter who we are or what our world view.


Important asymmetries between self-perception and social perception arise from the simple fact that other people’s actions, judgments, and priorities sometimes differ from one’s own. This leads people not only to make more dispositional inferences about others than about themselves (E. E. Jones & R. E. Nisbett, 1972) but also to see others as more susceptible to a host of cognitive and motivational biases. Although this blind spot regarding one’s own biases may serve familiar self-enhancement motives, it is also a
product of the phenomenological stance of naive realism.It is exacerbated, furthermore, by people’s tendency to attach greater credence to their own introspections about potential influences on judgment and behavior than they attach to similar introspections by others. The authors review evidence, new and old, of this asymmetry and its underlying causes and discuss its relation to other psychological phenomena and to interpersonal and intergroup conflict.[4]
The Ross article quotes, right after the abstract:
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye but
considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
—Matthew 7:3 (King James Version)
The atheist stock in trade is objectivity. They like to employ the fortress of facts idea that they have the big pile of facts and objective thinking and religion is just subjective nonsense with no facts behind it. In fact, humans research according to their biases and objectivity is an illusion. The same criticisms being made of Christianity can also be made of atheism or any other "ism" or any other view point. In fact while this is put over as the triumph of scinece over Christianity it's actually good example of atheists imposing their own views upon scinece. Those who evoke these first two studies without being aware of Ross's second study are merely employing the fortress of facts strategy. Rather than seeking to ask himself "are we doing this ourselves" they are content to assume it's only Christians and thus fall prey to the same idea.

The more insightful theological types are very aware of the metaphorical and analogical nature of all religious language. God is beyond our understanding. We can't discuss directly what we get from religious experience because we get it at a subliminal level. We can only relate to it and discuss it when we filter it through cultural constructs. That's what give each tradition it's won unique character.

It's not less true of secular philosophy or ethics. We are imposing culturally constructed values on scinece. The book Leviathan and the Air Pump by Shapin and Shaffer proved this is the case in the making of modern scinece. All the brave talk about "objectivity" is just so much crap. we are not objective. Look at how afraid the atheists have been to read my studies. not one study have their read. they refused to look at Hood's chapter (Put it up 147 times 2 people looked at it one of them admitted he didn't understand it and the other claimed she did but she didn't). Objectivity on the part of humans is a joke and a propaganda device. Shapin and Shaffer prove that science is based upon political space.

Ross writes:

This familiar biblical quotation describes an age-old double
standard in the way people perceive themselves versus their peers.
We suspect that people not only are subject to this double standard
but also are inclined to believe that their peers are more subject to
it than they are themselves. In the present article, we argue that
people readily detect or infer a wide variety of biases in others
while denying such biases in themselves. We place this argument
in the larger context of theory and research on the relationship
between self-perception and social perception. In particular, the
ideas we advance can be seen as an extension of Jones and
Nisbett’s (1972) conceptual analysis of divergent actor– observer
attributions, with the focus of our analysis shifting from judgments
about traits to judgments about biase. [5]
Of course we as Christians We should be not only self aware but also self critical. We should have the guts and honesty to be brutal enough with ourselves to say "is this really what god wants or is it just me?" How do we know what God wants? Of cousre there is no magic assurance that we get it right. That's the whole point of  Grace. We seek to please God in our hearts and whatever is in the gap or the short coming is covered by God's grace. There's no great mystery about how to know God's will.We have to learn the teachings of Jesus and keep to understand them in terms of general principles then apply those principles to our own context, heuristically, culturally, personally. Where that becomes hard is where it gets int the way of our personal expectations and biases. It's not prejudice that stands in the way of following God but our expectations, what we personally want the way we have it all "cracked up." That's where applying the principles becomes difficult. James 4:3 tells us: "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." As the quote above reveals we need to put ourselves in the other guys shoes more often.

The only real "cure" requires diligence and strength but it is to spend time in prayer. The time we spend with God, imbibing of the divine presence and learning to know what is really God from what we want is the difference between maturity and immaturity.



 Soruces

[1]Nicholas Epley, et al, "Believer's estimates of God's beliefs are more egocentric than estimates of other people's beliefs." PDF
http://www.uvm.edu/~pdodds/files/papers/others/everything/epley2009a.pdf
accessed 9/9/13
[2]Lee D. Ross, et al, "How Christians Reconcile thier Personal Political Views and Teachings of their faith: Projection as a means of dissonance of Reduction." PDF, Department of Pschology Standford University.
http://ylelkes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/PNAS-2012-Ross-3616-22.pdf
accessed 9/9/13
[3] A poster on a message board.
http://forums.carm.org/vbb/showthread.php?160243-Theists-Project-Onto-God accessed 9/9/13
[4] Lee D. Ross, Thomas Gilvoich. "Objetivity is in the Eye of the Beholder: Divergent Perceptions of Bias In Self Verus Others. " PDF http://psych.princeton.edu/psychology/research/pronin/pubs/Pronin%20Gilovich%20Ross.pdf  accessed 9/9/13.
Thomas Gilvoich is at Cornell University.
[5] Ibid.






Comments

im-skeptical said…
In fact, humans research according to their biases and objectivity is an illusion. The same criticisms being made of Christianity can also be made of atheism or any other "ism" or any other view point. In fact while this is put over as the triumph of scinece over Christianity it's actually good example of atheists imposing their own views upon scinece. Those who evoke these first two studies without being aware of Ross's second study are merely employing the fortress of facts strategy.

There you go again with your "fortress of facts myth". Cite your research, please.

You do raise some good points. Nobody is perfectly objective. We all have our biases, and "isms" stand between us and objectivity. But to say that there is no objectivity is patently false. Some people are far more objective than others in the way they examine and evaluate evidence. Religion is perhaps the biggest "ism" that inhibits objectivity. Atheism (as I have said many times) is not an ideology. Atheism is not something that people "believe in". If you could manage to shed your religious blindfold for even just a moment and take an objective look at reality, you might be able to see that.
Joe Hinman said…
There you go again with your "fortress of facts myth". Cite your research, please.

I did. I told you, I have then years worth of posts on atheist watch where I show atheists using that very concept, you yourself use it all the time.

You do raise some good points. Nobody is perfectly objective. We all have our biases, and "isms" stand between us and objectivity. But to say that there is no objectivity is patently false. Some people are far more objective than others in the way they examine and evaluate evidence.

they are less subjective, There's no minimal standard of objectivity. you can't say some are more objective than others.Although that may be a matter of semantics.

Religion is perhaps the biggest "ism" that inhibits objectivity.

Prove it where's your research? none of the three studies said that,


Atheism (as I have said many times) is not an ideology.


I've proven over and over that it is, go read atheist watch argue within mne imn that comment section.


Atheism is not something that people "believe in". If you could manage to shed your religious blindfold for even just a moment and take an objective look at reality, you might be able to see that.

Atheism doesn't have to be a belief to be an ideology. You can have an ideology about anything.
Joe Hinman said…


link to my ideology page on Atehistwatch.


Ideology

link to organization page for atheist movment

Organisation
Joe Hinman said…
my fortress of facts article part 1

part 1


part 2

im-skeptical said…
I did. I told you, I have then years worth of posts on atheist watch where I show atheists using that very concept, you yourself use it all the time.
- You can't point someone to a large collection of posts and just say "there's your answer". I asked you to provide some kind of citation of research that backs your assertion. If it can be found somewhere in that pile of posts, kindly point out which post. Because I don't think you have any such thing. It is your assertion. Furthermore, you say I subscribe to this concept? Prove it. Show where I have said something that agrees with your straw man.


they are less subjective, There's no minimal standard of objectivity. you can't say some are more objective than others.
- This is incoherent nonsense. How can you say that some people are LESS objective than others, and at the same time some people are NOT MORE objective than others? You don't agree with yourself from one sentence to the next. Do you even listen to your own words?


Prove it where's your research? none of the three studies said that
- You said it yourself: "In fact, humans research according to their biases and objectivity is an illusion. The same criticisms being made of Christianity can also be made of atheism or any other "ism" or any other view point." You are just trying to make atheists sound as bad as religionists. But the fact is that objectivity is a goal of scientific method.


I've proven over and over that it is, go read atheist watch argue within mne imn that comment section.
- You haven't proven anything. If you think you have, please show me.


Atheism doesn't have to be a belief to be an ideology. You can have an ideology about anything.
- An ideology is a system of ideas or ideals. If you subscribe to an ideology, it means you BELIEVE in those ideas. My non-belief in your ideology is not an ideology.


my fortress of facts article part 1
- My response to your STRAW MAN: The Fortress of Belief.
Joe Hinman said…
I did. I told you, I have then years worth of posts on atheist watch where I show atheists using that very concept, you yourself use it all the time.
- You can't point someone to a large collection of posts and just say "there's your answer". I asked you to provide some kind of citation of research that backs your assertion. If it can be found somewhere in that pile of posts, kindly point out which post. Because I don't think you have any such thing. It is your assertion. Furthermore, you say I subscribe to this concept? Prove it. Show where I have said something that agrees with your straw man.


I bet you didn't read the two I linked to. That's where I lay out the fortress of facts ting,Its not very complicated why do I need criteria? it's not a matter of research it;s just a matter of swerving the attitude being expressed by major atheist leaders,I have done that. That's like saying you have to conduct a study to prove it's raining you can't just go by water falling out of the sky.


they are less subjective, There's no minimal standard of objectivity. you can't say some are more objective than others.

- This is incoherent nonsense. How can you say that some people are LESS objective than others, and at the same time some people are NOT MORE objective than others? You don't agree with yourself from one sentence to the next. Do you even listen to your own words?

no, no one is objective, it;s an ideal we never reach, thus it;s all a matter of verying degrees of subjectivity.


Prove it where's your research? none of the three studies said that

- You said it yourself: "In fact, humans research according to their biases and objectivity is an illusion. The same criticisms being made of Christianity can also be made of atheism or any other "ism" or any other view point." You are just trying to make atheists sound as bad as religionists. But the fact is that objectivity is a goal of scientific method.

you said religion is the biggest such limitation objectivity,so you must show a study saying that. yes religion is one but prove its THE BIGGEST!


Joe Hinman said…
I've proven over and over that it is, go read atheist watch argue within mne imn that comment section.

- You haven't proven anything. If you think you have, please show me.


Atheism doesn't have to be a belief to be an ideology. You can have an ideology about anything.you are just regurgitating the party line, obviously it does, You also say it's not a movement I quote a bunch atheist leaders saying "I am worried about the movement."

- An ideology is a system of ideas or ideals. If you subscribe to an ideology, it means you BELIEVE in those ideas. My non-belief in your ideology is not an ideology.

There is a party line among atheists that's why they all say the same things, you don't notice because you are part of it,atheists sound like robots all programmed with the same responses. You don't have to have beliefs about metaphysical reality to have ideology, communists had ideology and their ideology was about materialistic concrete social reality


my fortress of facts article part 1


- My response to your STRAW MAN: The Fortress of Belief.

obviously an empty approach since no one says belief proves things. lot's of
Christian apologiests use evidential prooaches, so haredly analogous,
Joe Hinman said…
your fortes of belief thing is nonequivalent to a small child going "an not an not" You called me a fortress of something so I'm calling you a fortress of something, Very childish nh analysis no understanding.
Joe Hinman said…
Here is a statement Skep makes i his fortress of belief thing"


"I honestly don't know where he gets this notion. He fancies himself as being much more scientifically literate than the average atheist. He even thinks real scientists like Richard Dawkins and Victor Stinger [sic] are less scientifically literate than himself, apparently for no other reason than they are outspoken atheists. As a prime example of his thesis, Hinman cites Stenger's book God: The Failed Hypothesis, in which Stenger proposes testing the existence of the Judeo-Christian God as a scientific hypothesis."


It's always a contest with these guys who knows more about science. That;s because scinece is their sacred it's their holy it's their religion substitute so he who posses more of the scared is more holy and thus worthy to be heeded.

Time to put on the long paints and think like an adult Skepie. First I'm not talking about scientists I'm talking about the attitude of atheists. The major atheist leaders I pick out happen to be scientists but in making atheistic statements they don't think like scientists.

Secondly, I'm not giving a recitation of scientific facts, you are doing the fortress of facts as you try to answer the idea. I'm talking what amounts to sociology of scientists. That is the kind of thing most physical scientists are totally in the dark about social sciences. a long rendition of scientific fact i of no importance in this argument.

Joe Hinman said…
"Hinman cites Stenger's book God: The Failed Hypothesis, in which Stenger proposes testing the existence of the Judeo-Christian God as a scientific hypothesis."

prime example of the fortress of facts mentality all ideas conform to our paradigm, all the world is a test tube, all the men and women merely bits of data.
Joe Hinman said…
read this quote by Ross from his second study says it all

Important asymmetries between self-perception and social perception arise from the simple fact that other people’s actions, judgments, and priorities sometimes differ from one’s own. This leads people not only to make more dispositional inferences about others than about themselves (E. E. Jones & R. E. Nisbett, 1972) but also to see others as more susceptible to a host of cognitive and motivational biases. Although this blind spot regarding one’s own biases may serve familiar self-enhancement motives, it is also a
product of the phenomenological stance of naive realism.It is exacerbated, furthermore, by people’s tendency to attach greater credence to their own introspections about potential influences on judgment and behavior than they attach to similar introspections by others. The authors review evidence, new and old, of this asymmetry and its underlying causes and discuss its relation to other psychological phenomena and to interpersonal and intergroup conflict.[4]
Don McIntosh said…
Great post Joe. Given the insights above, I suspect we all (Christians and atheists, conservatives and liberals alike) slip into idolatry, via projecting our own biases and prejudices onto reality, far more often than we may think.
im-skeptical said…
OK, Joe.

So you can't cite anything to back up your ridiculous assertions. It is nothing but opinion. It is the opinion of the uninformed.

So you can't give any example of where I fit your straw man of the mythical "fortress of facts". I have specifically disagreed with the view that you present. Does that matter to you? No. Your view is a straw man.

You tell us that this "fortress of facts" applies to atheists, not scientists. Fine. But then every example you give is about scientists, not non-scientist atheists. I hope you understand that this refutes what you have said, and leads to confusion as to what you are talking about in the first place.

Joe, your message is confused, and your logic is non-existent, as is your supporting information. All I'm asking of you is to say something coherent and back it up with factual information. Instead, you make wild claims that are based on faith and pseudo-science. Take, for example, David Sharf and his neuro-quackology. You've got to be kidding. You honestly expect people to read this bullshit and come away thinking you've said something worthwhile?
Joe Hinman said…
So you can't cite anything to back up your ridiculous assertions. It is nothing but opinion. It is the opinion of the uninformed.

ahahaha Skep you are so funny, You dared me for one example of miracle I gave you 700 so you knit picked one and declared that I did not have a single example. Here you have done it again, the article I linked to was full of examples, all the guys like Dawkins and Stenger are examples, then I also pointed to an entire blog, you are too lazy to read any of it so you assert that it doesn't exist,



Joe Hinman said…
you are in luck slept I just happen to have an exampole from Secular outpost this very day


David Lally Joe Hinman • 10 hours ago
FFS, are you actually this stupid? I called out your bullshit and pointed out facts, and all you focus on is me pointing out what an idiot you clearly are? Christ, can you cry like a bitch any more? ALL you do is make claims and whine like a 5 year old girl. I point out facts, and you whine about anything except the points I made. Since, you know, you have NO EVIDENCE for ANY of your idiotic claims. You can cry and whinge as much as you like, the fact remains, you've got NOTHING. :)


see his references to facts? hisonly factgs btw way were argument from siliencemthecontext is Jesus mythism,
Don McIntosh said…
"Your view is a straw man."

LOL.

Skeptical, has anyone ever disagreed with you without their view being a "straw man"?
Joe Hinman said…
You tell us that this "fortress of facts" applies to atheists, not scientists. Fine. But then every example you give is about scientists, not non-scientist atheists. I hope you understand that this refutes what you have said, and leads to confusion as to what you are talking about in the first place.

I already covered that, science are not gods, they can be assholes and say stupid things, those who are atheists do. They are also part of the atheist gastolt so they brain washed too,

Joe, your message is confused, and your logic is non-existent, as is your supporting information. All I'm asking of you is to say something coherent and back it up with factual information.

ok the problem is you are not reading anything, If you would read my articles you might have some idea of what i'm saying, you don;t have faintest idea, take this piece, it says basically we are all biased and all we can do is the best we can. I quote studies that show that all people research in line with their biases so we can't really break out of our own instantiations.

Frankly I can;t understand why you find it so upsetting unless just the frankness makes you realize what utter bullshit your atheist claptrap is and you never realized it before,



Joe Hinman said…
Instead, you make wild claims that are based on faith and pseudo-science.

I quoted three studies from psychologists that have nothing to do with religion, they say we are all baised, what is wronwith you you idiot,


Take, for example, David Sharf and his neuro-quackology. You've got to be kidding. You honestly expect people to read this bullshit and come away thinking you've said something worthwhile?

I get it you really believe your bullshit, he lays bare the lies of your ideology youseeit
Joe Hinman said…
this is a real tribute to your readijg comprehension, here is the fn from article i quoted no sharf

[1]Nicholas Epley, et al, "Believer's estimates of God's beliefs are more egocentric than estimates of other people's beliefs." PDF
http://www.uvm.edu/~pdodds/files/papers/others/everything/epley2009a.pdf
accessed 9/9/13
[2]Lee D. Ross, et al, "How Christians Reconcile thier Personal Political Views and Teachings of their faith: Projection as a means of dissonance of Reduction." PDF, Department of Pschology Standford University.
http://ylelkes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/PNAS-2012-Ross-3616-22.pdf
accessed 9/9/13
[3] A poster on a message board.
http://forums.carm.org/vbb/showthread.php?160243-Theists-Project-Onto-God accessed 9/9/13
[4] Lee D. Ross, Thomas Gilvoich. "Objetivity is in the Eye of the Beholder: Divergent Perceptions of Bias In Self Verus Others. " PDF http://psych.princeton.edu/psychology/research/pronin/pubs/Pronin%20Gilovich%20Ross.pdf accessed 9/9/13.
Thomas Gilvoich is at Cornell University.
[5] Ibid.
im-skeptical said…
Joe,

I thought we established in the very first comment that we are all subject to cognitive biases that impede objectivity. You agreed that ideology is a major source of bias in our thinking. Then why do you keep coming back to this and try to make it sound as if I am arguing against that? You say: I quoted three studies from psychologists that have nothing to do with religion, they say we are all baised, what is wronwith you you idiot, I have to ask, what's wrong with you? Can't you read? Didn't you see what I said?

What I argued against is your "fortress of facts", which is a distorted and false view of the way atheists think. Here's what you say about it: Most scientifically inclined observers know that science is not merely the accumulation of a pile of facts. Science is not about proving facts or manufacturing a pile of facts so much as it is about testing hypothesis in a systematic fashion. Science is more about disproving than about proving. This may be a revelation for you, but it's something that most educated atheists are well aware of. And that includes Stenger, a real scientist, who you touted as an example of this fortress of facts, simply because he applied scientific method to the question of God's existence. But this contradicts your own statement of what the "fortress of facts" is.

I have come to the conclusion that you don't listen to yourself, much less what others tell you. What you really seem to mean by "fortress of facts" is any evidence-based pursuit of knowledge, as opposed to faith-based claims of knowledge. You are upset that people who take a scientific approach to understanding the world reject belief in God. So your first reaction is to accuse them of being unscientific, and living in this "fortress of facts". That's why you attack Stenger, even though he suggested noting that goes against popper's philosophy.

You can't face up to the fact that real science will never conclude that God is a reasonable thing to believe, because God doesn't exist. You cling to the fact that science doesn't provide absolute proof of anything, and rail against people who base their beliefs on evidence. You've stretched the definition you gave in the first place to include all of science under the umbrella of this "fortress of facts".

And this brings us back to the question of objectivity. To say that objectivity is just an illusion is a gross misinterpretation of the studies you cite. Nobody is perfectly objective. We all have our biases. But some of us are far more biased and far less objective than others. And ideologies are a major source of bias. Especially religious ideologies. Face it, Joe. You are so wrapped up in your religious belief that you have no objectivity at all on the subject of God belief.
Joe Hinman said…
Joe,

I thought we established in the very first comment that we are all subject to cognitive biases that impede objectivity. You agreed that ideology is a major source of bias in our thinking. Then why do you keep coming back to this and try to make it sound as if I am arguing against that? You say: I quoted three studies from psychologists that have nothing to do with religion, they say we are all baised, what is wronwith you you idiot, I have to ask, what's wrong with you? Can't you read? Didn't you see what I said?

I am sorry for the insults,I got carried away, I apologize. But if yiou arenot objecting to my article what are you objectin to? you say

"Instead, you make wild claims that are based on faith and pseudo-science.:"


and

"Take, for example, David Sharf and his neuro-quackology. You've got to be kidding. You honestly expect people to read this bullshit and come away thinking you've said something worthwhile?"

???





Joe Hinman said…
What I argued against is your "fortress of facts", which is a distorted and false view of the way atheists think.


that is total absolute dishonesty. There is not a Christian apologist anywhere who will not back me up. atheists always argue "we have a huge pile of facts supporting our view and no facts support belief." I quoted them saying it, you are liar, you know yiou think it yo know you say it. I just quoted atoll on SOP saying it, I;'ve post half a million opostsai've debated 156 000 athists,I know what tehy say, (ball park figure).

If not are you willing to admit there are tons of facts backing Christianity? are you> come on say it,say there are many facts backing Christianity,

it's constant,



Joe Hinman said…
Here's what you say about it: Most scientifically inclined observers know that science is not merely the accumulation of a pile of facts. Science is not about proving facts or manufacturing a pile of facts so much as it is about testing hypothesis in a systematic fashion. Science is more about disproving than about proving. This may be a revelation for you, but it's something that most educated atheists are well aware of. And that includes Stenger, a real scientist, who you touted as an example of this fortress of facts, simply because he applied scientific method to the question of God's existence. But this contradicts your own statement of what the "fortress of facts" is.

you don;t know that Stenger is aware of it, you are assuming it, let's see you quote him saying it,

I have come to the conclusion that you don't listen to yourself, much less what others tell you. What you really seem to mean by "fortress of facts" is any evidence-based pursuit of knowledge, as opposed to faith-based claims of knowledge. You are upset that people who take a scientific approach to understanding the world reject belief in God. So your first reaction is to accuse them of being unscientific, and living in this "fortress of facts". That's why you attack Stenger, even though he suggested noting that goes against popper's philosophy.

that's so obviously foolish, you don't, don't give a damn about evidence based anything, If you thought about it you would see I Obviously am concerned with evidence based knowledge because I spent seven years writing a book about 2000 studies. But you don't give a damn about those studies you want to pretend they don't exist. you don't know anything about them you are certain they are crap because they derisory your little protection against angry God.

You can't face up to the fact that real science will never conclude that God is a reasonable thing to believe, because God doesn't exist.

Obviously I already have because I've argued that myself, really use the brain God gave you.I argue that we can't prove anything, that religion is not in the domain of science that we need philosophy to deal with God and not science then why would I expect science to prove God? I wrote a book arguing that we can't prove God through scene so we have to settle for warrant, why would I then turn around and want science to prove it?


Joe Hinman said…
You cling to the fact that science doesn't provide absolute proof of anything, and rail against people who base their beliefs on evidence. You've stretched the definition you gave in the first place to include all of science under the umbrella of this "fortress of facts".

why do I have those 200 studies if my beliefs aren't based upon evidence? you don't use evidence to from your beliefs, you use evidence cherry picked to support what you wnat to believe,


And this brings us back to the question of objectivity. To say that objectivity is just an illusion is a gross misinterpretation of the studies you cite. Nobody is perfectly objective. We all have our biases. But some of us are far more biased and far less objective than others.

that is what I said,wee have varying degrees of subjectivity. You just admitted no one is perfectly objective,that means everyone is some degree of subjective. that's what I said there is no objectivity there is only degrees of subjectivity,



And ideologies are a major source of bias. Especially religious ideologies. Face it, Joe. You are so wrapped up in your religious belief that you have no objectivity at all on the subject of God belief.

yes of course they are, but you don't try to minimize yours,
im-skeptical said…
But if yiou arenot objecting to my article what are you objectin to?
- It's right in the next paragraph of my response.

atheists always argue "we have a huge pile of facts supporting our view and no facts support belief." I quoted them saying it, you are liar, you know yiou think it yo know you say it.
- Yes, atheists do have facts to back up what they believe. But that doesn't imply any lack of understanding of science. Science is still based on evidence. You said that atheists believe that science is merely "a pile of facts", and that's not what they think. You cited Stenger an an example of this, but Stenger never said anything like that. I bet you didn't eve read his book. Stenger was a real scientist, and here you are claiming you understand science better than he does. Bullshit.

you don;t know that Stenger is aware of it, you are assuming it, let's see you quote him saying it,
- You made the claim. Let's see you quote Stenger saying science is merely "a pile of facts."

If not are you willing to admit there are tons of facts backing Christianity? are you> come on say it,say there are many facts backing Christianity,
- Sure, Christians have some facts they can cling to - but not as many as they think. Jesus born of a virgin? Bullshit. Jesus resurrected from the dead? Bullshit. Jesus the son of God? Bullshit. These things are myths - not facts.

you don't, don't give a damn about evidence based anything, If you thought about it you would see I Obviously am concerned with evidence based knowledge because I spent seven years writing a book about 2000 studies.
- If anyone is an example of the "fortress of facts", it's you, Joe. You have your pile of studies, you draw a false (or unjustified) conclusion from them, and call that "science". Any real scientist would laugh you out of the room.

I argue that we can't prove anything, that religion is not in the domain of science that we need philosophy to deal with God and not science then why would I expect science to prove God? I wrote a book arguing that we can't prove God through scene so we have to settle for warrant, why would I then turn around and want science to prove it?
- You are a mass of contradictions. Everybody agrees science can't prove God. Every reasonable person thinks that evidence constitutes warrant for belief, and FACTS are evidence. And that's what science is all about. You cite 200 studies in an attempt to show by scientific means that belief in god is warranted. But that's not what the evidence shows. Your conclusions are not valid, based on the information in those studies. You are misusing science.

And that's your total lack of objectivity, based on you religionist ideology at work.
JBsptfn said…
IMS:Sure, Christians have some facts they can cling to - but not as many as they think. Jesus born of a virgin? Bullshit. Jesus resurrected from the dead? Bullshit. Jesus the son of God? Bullshit. These things are myths - not facts.

Christians believe these things because of the evidence. You are the one that doesn't have any evidence to back up what you are saying, and that's why you have gotten exposed by others in the past.

IMS: evidence constitutes warrant for belief, and FACTS are evidence. And that's what science is all about.

No, it isn't. It's about hypothesis testing, not fact finding. Your scientism shows again. That's what Joe is talking about when he is talking about the atheist fortress of facts.



Joe Hinman said…
Yes, atheists do have facts to back up what they believe. But that doesn't imply any lack of understanding of science. Science is still based on evidence. You said that atheists believe that science is merely "a pile of facts", and that's not what they think. You cited Stenger an an example of this, but Stenger never said anything like that. I bet you didn't eve read his book. Stenger was a real scientist, and here you are claiming you understand science better than he does. Bullshit.

He;s trying to hae it both ways.He actually the fortress of facts ploy while demanding that I prove he ds, So obviously he really thinks that way he just takes exception not to the fortress of facts idea per se but to the implication that he doesn't know science.

I guess it;not science he doesn't know but logic,
Anonymous said…

JBsptfn: Christians believe these things because of the evidence.

I would love to see Christians go through the evidence for the virgin birth. It is absent from Mark, which was conceivably written in Mary's lifetime, but is there in Luke and Matthew, generally dated to 80 AD at the earliest, when Mary would have been about 100 (assuming 16 at Jesus birth); we can be pretty sure she was dead and buried by that point.

If Matthew is any guide, the belief sprung up around a misunderstanding of Isaiah 7, which read properly is prophesising the fall of two nations that threatened Judah within a couple of years.

The evidence against a virgin birth is that Mark believed Jesus was adopted the son of God, and in Mark 3:21 we hear that Jesus own family thought he was mad - rather strange if he was born of a virgin, after visitations by angels, but understandable if his family had no forewarning.

Perhaps one of you guys would like to do a post here on the evidence for the virgin birth.

Pix
JBsptfn said…
Pix but is there in Luke and Matthew, generally dated to 80 AD at the earliest, when Mary would have been about 100 (assuming 16 at Jesus birth); we can be pretty sure she was dead and buried by that point.

Luke and Matthew aren't dated 80 A.D. at the earliest. The only gospel that is usually dated that late is John.

The evidence against a virgin birth is that Mark believed Jesus was adopted the son of God, and in Mark 3:21 we hear that Jesus own family thought he was mad - rather strange if he was born of a virgin, after visitations by angels, but understandable if his family had no forewarning.

It says in Mark 3:21 that his friends didn't believe it, not his family. And then, it goes on to say something (in Mark 3:22) how the Pharisees believed that Jesus had Beelzebub in him.


Anonymous said…
I should have said, most Biblical scholars date Luke and Matthew to 80 A.D. and later. I appreciate fundamentalist Christians claim a rather earlier date, however, this is a discussion about facts, so it seems reasonable to follow scholarship here (see here or here for example).

Mark 3:21 itself is a little vague, and says those who belonged to him thought him mad. But read the fuller context: Jesus went in a house, and a crowd gathered. These people, the ones who belonged to Jesus, came looking for him, thinking him mad. Jesus then talks of Satan, after which, in verse 31, the people arrive. At this point it is explicitly stated that they are his mother and brothers. Furthermore, Jesus then rejects his own family, stating that his followers are his real family. He rejects them because they think he is mad, and want to take him away.

Pix
im-skeptical said…
Christians believe these things because of the evidence. You are the one that doesn't have any evidence to back up what you are saying, and that's why you have gotten exposed by others in the past.
- This coming from the guy who denies evolution and the second law of thermodynamics. Sorry, dude. You have ZERO credibility.

No, it isn't. It's about hypothesis testing, not fact finding. Your scientism shows again. That's what Joe is talking about when he is talking about the atheist fortress of facts.
- Let me give you a little lesson in science. Without evidence (or fact finding, as you call it), there would be no science. Science is a process. Hypothesis testing is just one step in that process. First, you need a hypothesis. And what is a hypothesis? It is a proposed explanation for the things we observe. Any good hypothesis must take into account the relevant facts (or evidence). And not just a cherry-picked set of facts, but ALL facts that bear on the question you are trying to investigate. For example, if you see a variety of creatures, and you observe that they have complex functional parts, you might hypothesize that they were intentionally designed by some intelligent being. But that would be a bad hypothesis because it ignores piles of evidence (or facts) that clearly don't fit with the intelligent design hypothesis (such as the fossil record that clearly indicates gradual change these creatures over time - and that's just one of many relevant facts). If you ignore all these facts, then you have no claim to being engaged inn science. THAT's the reality of it.

Don't even think of lecturing me on what science is about, you ignorant fool.
im-skeptical said…
Stenger: We can treat God's existence as a scientific hypothesis and subject it to scientific analysis. This is what I do in my book.

Joe: Fortress of Facts! Fortress of Facts!

Me: How so?

Joe: We can treat God's existence as a scientific hypothesis and subject it to scientific analysis. This is what I do in my book, (with 200 studies to back me up).

Me: What a hypocrite!
JBsptfn said…
Skep This coming from the guy who denies evolution and the second law of thermodynamics. Sorry, dude. You have ZERO credibility.

I never said that I denied the Second Law of Thermodynamics. And, Stan and Pogge were denying Evolution more than me (even though I am not in love with it myself).

And, you shouldn't be lecturing anyone on science, either. All I usually see from you is scientism.

Pixie Jesus then talks of Satan, after which, in verse 31, the people arrive. At this point it is explicitly stated that they are his mother and brothers. Furthermore, Jesus then rejects his own family, stating that his followers are his real family. He rejects them because they think he is mad, and want to take him away.

Well, in another verse, Jesus tells his followers to love his family less than God, so that's not surprising.
im-skeptical said…
And, you shouldn't be lecturing anyone on science, either. All I usually see from you is scientism.
- All I see from you is ignorance. Of course, you are free to prove me wrong. Any time. Go ahead. I'm waiting.
JBsptfn said…
Now we have Skep with another "I'm rubber, you're glue" type of comment that he is famous for.
im-skeptical said…
I'll take that to mean you have no reasonable response.

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