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Is reason a good enough basis for belief/non-belief?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by sandandfoam, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. sandandfoam

    sandandfoam Veteran Member

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    Given that human reasoning is demonstrably irrational is reason a good enough basis for belief/non-belief in God?
     
  2. BucephalusBB

    BucephalusBB ABACABB

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    Appareantly..
     
  3. whereismynotecard

    whereismynotecard Treasure Hunter

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    What else would you base believing on? Why would you think something is real if it doesn't make sense to you? I think your belief, whatever it is, should make sense according to your own reasoning. And if you are wrong, who gives a damn? You're just a tiny little human. What's it going to hurt?
     
  4. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    I missed your demonstration.
     
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  5. sandandfoam

    sandandfoam Veteran Member

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    Good question

    Does reality have to make sense?

    For myself - I don't agree.
    My reasoning has led me to believe that human reasoning to be biased and irrational. (Of course I could be wrong :D) What feels right is my measure of choice. That said I don't believe it to be measurably better that my reasoning - it just feel right to me. I think my beliefs are rooted in unconscious processes over which I have little control so I can hold beliefs which appear to conflict with my reason without experiencing discomfort.




    There's that. Of course while being right may not be important, from my perspective, feeling right is.
     
  6. BucephalusBB

    BucephalusBB ABACABB

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    I guess not, but how else could we work with it?
     
  7. sandandfoam

    sandandfoam Veteran Member

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    Not mine. :)
    E.g. Mandel, D.R. (2005) Are risk assessments of terrorist attack coherent? Journal of Experimental Psychology.
    If you are interested I will look them up and post as many sources as you wish.
    Do you want me to?
     
  8. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    We have other tools. Intuition, creativity, desire, these are also available to us. Why not use them all? I think our current culture puts too much emphasis on what it calls "reason", alone.
     
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  9. sandandfoam

    sandandfoam Veteran Member

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    I think we do our best with the tools we have
     
  10. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Well-Known Member

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    "human reasoning"

    Can be irrational because a lack of accordance with reason. But reason, itself, cannot be irrational because it can't be what it is not. Right?


    "is reason a good enough basis for belief/non-belief in God?"

    Sure, why not? Is it even rational to be rational?
     
    #10 Jeremiah, Jun 16, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
  11. sandandfoam

    sandandfoam Veteran Member

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    Good point. Reason cannot be irrational.
    Like you - said human reasoning can.


    What do you think?
     
  12. BucephalusBB

    BucephalusBB ABACABB

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    I do not wish to eliminate these tools of yours. But reason is the only one wich is universal. Well, should be at least. That's why this one is easiest to use in large groups. Groups like "human kind".
     
  13. CarlinKnew

    CarlinKnew Well-Known Member

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    No, let's throw logic out the window and follow the whims of our primitive emotions. Let's see how far that gets us.

    Oh, and human reasoning is rational by definition. You cannot demonstrate "irrational reason," you can only demonstrate lack of reason.
     
  14. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    I would need some elaboration on how and why human reasoning is irrational.

    Leaving that aside, and assuming clear enough definitions of Belief and of God (not a minor obstacle), then sure, it is indeed possible to establish a fair rational basis for disbelief, and even for belief.

    Although, I must say, belief is over-rated; IMNSHO the best religious practice arises not from having it, but rather from learning not to need it.
     
  15. sandandfoam

    sandandfoam Veteran Member

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    ok, ok, I know you didn't ask for it.
    This isn't my demonstration but I would like to present you with the findings of others.
    Irrational human reasoning:-

    Cascells, Schoenberger and Grayboys (1978) gave this problem to faculty and advanced students in Harvard Medical School:-
    If a test to detect a disease whose prevalence is 1/1000 has a false positive rate of 5%, what is the chance that a person found to have a positive result has the disease, assuming that you know nothing about the persons symptoms or signs?

    18% of participants came close to the right answer. 45% of the highly educated sample gave the grossly incorrect answer of 95%.
    Base rate neglect - An answer of 95% is in stark contrast to the base rate and I believe can be considered evidence of 'the fallibility of human reason'

    Sutherland (1992) reported that 95% of doctors in a US survey thought that because the probability of testing positive if a woman has breast cancer was 0.92 then the probability of having breast cancer if the test result was positive was also 0.92

    Also

    Reasoning on the basis of heuristics- "It is better to be wrong than eaten" - Sutherland 1992.
    Heuristics provide fast answers but often the wrong one.
    The representative heuristic - Representativeness heuristic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The availability heuristic Availability heuristic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Base rate neglect Base rate fallacy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  16. sandandfoam

    sandandfoam Veteran Member

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    What would you call reason that departs from rationality?
     
  17. sandandfoam

    sandandfoam Veteran Member

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    Is that good enough in your view?
     
  18. CarlinKnew

    CarlinKnew Well-Known Member

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    Reason cannot depart from rationality. If a thought departs from rationality, it's not reason. It is unreason, the lack of reason.
     
  19. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Then have the good manners to present relevant findings, or do you claim that unreasoned positions held by some validates blanket drivel such as:
    "Given that human reasoning is demonstrably irrational ..."?​
    Did it ever occur to you that the capacity to recognize such unreasoned positions in fact serves to confirm the value of human reasoning?
     
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  20. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    The failure to employ [human] reasoning is not a demonstration of the irrationality of human reasoning.
     
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