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Why Fundamentalism is Fundamentally Wrong
Then why, percentage wise, are there higher rates of atheism, and Collectivist adherence within cities Patrick? Stars are distant, and the Grand Canyon is up close and personal. Not everyone has an expansive imagination.

That's true,but, it isn't a serious proposition to outlaw large cities either. You're probably right in the reason for this phenomenon. Whereas I attribute to God any talent man has, I guess an atheist thinks we're high and mighty seeing those nice buildings until he gets deathly ill.

There's a late preacher from Europe, a Jewish Christian named Richard Wurmbrand. He saw some dedicated atheists convert late in life. He suffered at their hands a lot.

He says there is some evidence indicating Lenin and Brezhnev were near death converts.
History shows that no philosophy endures past trauma. It is the natural behavioral mechanism built in to all beings. What we believe is easily corrupted by a traumatic event that wipes away deeply-held beliefs to be replaced by whatever ideas are presented and reinforced with a systematic schedule. It is possible to be aware of the process and overcome it, but most people just "go with the flow" and end up brainwashed without realizing it. Many near-death experiences in hospitals end up with devout Catholics turning into Jews, or Jews turning into Protestants, or Atheists finding God.

I think John has the right of it. Seeing nature in its grandeur is different than seeing it mixed up with temples, skyscrapers, or works of man. Juxtaposing what man-made things you see with a small section of starry sky tends to make a person think them equivalent. Thinking a city is everything is only possible when the walls around you block out the grandeur that is everywhere.

That's why the 1st century church expanded like wildfire, cause trauma makes one change one's faith. Thanks for that great piece of wisdom.

Also, furthering your logic, can you detail how many people of faith converted to atheism right before death? I bet it's lots of people. "Heck, I'm about to die, I'll now confess faith in Darwin, Nietzsche and Marx"!
Wait a minute: converting to atheism right before death? What's to be gained if wrong? Nothing

And, converting to Christianity right before death? What's to be lost if wrong? Everything

I was being silly there. William's view is partially accurate, I was making a facetious example of why it wouldn't always be so.

As well, my brother and I faced faith challenges and Mike gave up the ghost and is a bitter old man. I held onto mine, was forced to study facts as best as I could find them in ancient history and held onto my faith.

Trauma can cause loss of faith or change of faith, it also can do the opposite as we saw with the early church. It actually thrived in murderous conditions.
(11-29-2013, 08:13 PM)Palladin Wrote: ...I was making a facetious example of why it wouldn't always be so....

But it always has been so. It was Pavlov who documented the psychological mechanism, which exists in all mammals. The mechanism existed prior to Jonathon Edwards, but purposefully using it was never documented scientifically in bygone times.

I first learned about the principle of Religious Conversion (This is a laboratory appellation and does not have anti-church motives), through my University of Michigan Philosophy of Persuasion Professor John V. McConnell, who was interviewed by Walter Cronkite and others for his expertise in the field. (He was the professor who taught flatworms to turn to the right for a reward when a yellow light was switched on. He then ground up the trained flatworms, fed them to untrained flatworms who picked up the behavior chemically. he proved knowledge can be transferred chemically.}

He explained the psychological mechanism was documented by the famous Russian behavioralist Pavlov after witnessing the behavior of hundreds of animals in his compound who were saved from drowning by laboratory assistants in rowboats during the great flood of Leningrad. Some of these animals had been swimming for hours in their cages with less than an inch of air at the tops of their enclosures. These dogs were some of the most observed and documented animals on earth. Pavlov knew what training was required to teach them tricks and he knew what tricks were too difficult for them to learn. After the flood, he observed that the highly trained animals had completely lost their training, yet in the immediate plastic period after the trauma were able to learn new tricks, harder tricks then they had the capacity to learn before, and at a faster rate than before. After the plastic period was over, these animals had replaced their old collections of well-learned training with these new behaviors - at a much deeper and more retained level. For the rest of their lives, during moments of stress, these animals would start performing the training learned duriing the flood.

Pavlov was able to document this was a pyschological mechanism which occurred to all mammals - including man. The concept of "conversion" in Christianity and some other religions is like a brainwashing process. This is the reason why so many patients in hospitals awaiting dangerous surgery undergo religious conversion (Hence the proper name of the effect.) Jews awaiting bypass surgery become Catholics. Catholics become Born- again Christians, Christians become Buddhists, Buddhists become Muslim, Muslims, become Hindu, and Hindu become Jews. The trauma of their situation brings on the plastic period, and if even simple persuasion is present with a modicum of reinforcement, can convert them to the proffered behavior.

Religious conversion in the process of revival meetings was invented in 1735 by Jonathan Edwards of Massachusetts. McConnell told us about Appalachian mountain illiterates who learned they could wait outside Revival metings and then take almost any pretty young girls after they left the tents and easily seduce them regardless of their upbringing and moral scruples. (The day he taught "Seduction" we had to move to the largest assembly hall in the University for the huge numbers of drop-ins who were auditing that class.)

Quote:{The source of this quote is no longer available online, so is included in its entirety.) The history of Edwards is extremely interesting. During a religious crusade in Massachusetts in the 1730s, the theologian Jonathan Edwards discovered that he could make his 'sinners' break down and submit completely to his will. He achieved this by threatening them with Hell and thereby inducing acute fear, apprehension and guilt. Edwards, like many other preachers before and after him, whipped up the emotions of his congregation to a fever-pitch of anger, fear, excitement and nervous tension, before exposing them to the new ideas and beliefs he wanted them to absorb. To this day, live rattlesnakes are passed around some congregations in the southern parts of the USA; the fear and anxiety they induce can impair judgement and make the candidates for conversion more suggestible. Once this state of mental plasticity has been created, the preacher starts to replace their existing patterns of thought. There is quite a controversy surrounding Jonathon Edwards, because some vilify him for bringing so many attendees of his revival meetings to a point where they committed suicide because of their perceived past transgressions. He often didn't try to "Save" them until after they were already dead.

I stress this is a normally occurring mammalian psychological mechanism which is verifiable. You can easily understand the repercussions it has in religion, and why "Born-again" Christians and other converts are as zealous as they are. It has been demonstrated that it is possible with the right persuasive regimen and the proper schedules of reinforcement that a person can be utterly convinced that a chair is God - or some other equally illogical belief system. Our government did extensive testing of this mechanism in Project MK-Ultra, reintroduced to us in the Mel Gibson Movie, Conspiracy Theory.
It has long been known by evangelists and students of evangelism that people are more ready to re-examine their basic paradigms during times of stress. Certainly brain-washing techniques can be used then to make some people think a chair is god; but a scrupulous evangelist will simply present facts based on a demonstrably sound interpretation of Scripture. All it does is allow the subject to have a free choice whether to revise his world view or not, more freely than during times without stress when he is comfortable with his life and previous beliefs. But similar conversions can occur without any human intervention to attempt to take advantage of the time of stress. The Holy Spirit can affect the individual as well. This is a supernatural reality that psychologists cannot reckon with, because it does not fit into their personal paradigms.
(11-30-2013, 10:39 PM)Ron Lambert Wrote: ...This is a supernatural reality that psychologists cannot reckon with, because it does not fit into their personal paradigms.
Untrue. The paradigm has nothing to do with content. Since someone who has been converted through the Pavlovian psychological mechanism holds that new belief more deeply than logic can affect, it does not matter whether the belief, itself, stands up to logical review. Right or wrong, the converted believes - and will then lend impetus to others to adopt that same belief.

Anyone can claim truth where there is none, if they believe it utterly. Perhaps truth and belief can coincide - but there is no scientific, theological, or logical basis that demands them to. The proven point is that a person can believe something, completely and totally, and no logical argument can dissuade them from that belief.

Of all the myriads of beliefs throughout the world, many of them contradictory, there are adherents of each who will only see their own beliefs as valid. It's the way we are built.

To my way of thinking, each person should believe whatever they want - as long as they come to it logically. Since we were made that way, then that's the way we should be, and accept others who may believe differently.
"There is no truth".

Yea, there is William. You'll figure it out yourself someday.
Who said there is no truth? I just say that your truth may seem unchallengeable to you, but someone else may disagree just as wholeheartedly. Explain to me why you are right and the true-believer is wrong.

One thing for sure, things like Kwanzaa, which was invented by a charlatan con man, Ron Karenga, a stooge of the FBI in the radical 60's, may have a following - but it is not something that logically comes from holy writings or scripture, or even from Black culture or any African legacy. This is a good example of how conviction works. Do you want to go into a Black church that celebrates Kwanzaa and explain where their object of devotion comes from? As the drive for reparations dwindles, Kwanzaa becomes less followed as an established Black holiday, but it still has adherents who proclaim divine origins.
The Holy Spirit is real, and He does enter into people's consciousness through their conscience, and convincts them of things they might otherwise overlook, especially concerning their own moral shortcomings.

To say that the only way anyone can ever be "converted" is to be brainwashed during a crisis, is absurd, and betrays an utter lack of paying proper attention to human behavior. Making up theories about why people repent and become converted is not scientific, unless they are properly tested.

Some people actually are persuaded by logical argument and the weight of evidence, presented from authorities that have been properly validated.

I wouldn't claim that my faith in Jesus' resurrection is beyond challenge, it has been for 2000 years now.

Where we disagree is your initial assertion : "Perhaps truth and belief can coincide - but there is no scientific, theological, or logical basis that demands them to".

IF Jesus of Nazareth is alive, then you're wrong. There would be a logical, theological and even scientific basis demanding that faith is the only valid faith. The question always has been, is He?

Not arguing here and faith always has to be involved, but, there are and have been thousands of researchers into the Jesus story. X % have always been unbelievers( I never have understood why, but, it's a fact).

Of all the thousands over the last 3 centuries, from my reading, all but 1 respected researcher does not agree with the following:

1) Jesus is a historic person, lived when the NT posits.

2) He was executed when Trajan ran Rome at the order of Pilate

3) His eyewitness followers believed they saw Him alive after His death

4) Many suffered for their proclamations

That's not proof positive and yes, faith has it's place, but, if you know what ANE Jews and Gentiles understood and wanted, the gospel accounts are almost exactly the opposite of what one would make up in the 1st century AD. So, those 4 points are pretty compelling.

When we add in James and Paul who were not believers until they claimed to see Jesus alive again, factoring in these issues in toto( for example, Josephus tells us James was martyred), we have a stronger case for Jesus' resurrection, IMO, than you do for the assertion you made.
Your view is as dogmatic as my view and based on lesser objective analysis.
Good points, Palladin. The evidence involving Christ and Judeo-Christianity in general is the type of evidence that pertains to a courtroom, where eyewitness testimony is taken and evaluated. As many have pointed out, the claims made by the Apostles and other early Christians when their lives were on the line for making them, have to be taken seriously by any rational person. Jurisprudence thus is an entirely different area of getting at the truth than "scientific" inquiry, based strictly upon the scientific method. Saying we will only go by the latter is ridiculous, since most of what we know about the world comes from the testimony of others, vetted and evaluated.
Thing is, it still does take faith.

Having said that, this is a fairly convincing set of historic data. The assertion that William made has less evidence to support it, IMO.

Many people come to faith via intellectual consideration and reason. I didn't, I came to it as a kid scared out of my wits of the concept of hell( which I now believe to be nonsense).

As I became an adult, I was forced to use research and reason to remain a man of faith though, so even with folks like myself, into adulthood the concept of the "mindless faith" idea is short lived in this culture anyway. You will be challenged here.

I was around 22 years old and it took me years to recover.
I never said brain-washing is the "only" way to undergo religious conversion; however - it is a measurable psychological mechanism that ends up with the person believing something far beyond what logic or experience allows. The fact that two well-meaning and educated people can end up with contradictory beliefs is normal.
I don't disagree with that assertion, I don't disagree that brainwashing also creates atheists and/or agnostics. The communist world spent billions on atheist evangelism as do many of today's aggressive atheists all over the west.

Go read "the atheists handbook", published by the USSR I think in 1959. They spent tons on classes trying to convince their citizens this way and skeptics were not welcomed. For rebuttal, read "Answer to the atheists's handbook"" written by a man who knows, he was a student and persecuted man.

So, what's your point except to denigrate we people of faith as robotic, brainless idiots juxtaposed with the well rounded intellectual secularist giant William who has found the reality , nothing about the creator should be properly asserted?

The resurrection of Jesus has more historic validity to it than some accepted secular history does and it is way more likely to be fact based as opposed to "the universe just happened" or "there is a creator God, but, He really could care less". That doesn't make sense if it's Zeus. That is anti intellectual at it's core.

Might we believers be wrong about Jesus? Sure, when humans are involved, anything can be wrong.

The "brainwashing" idea is limited in effect and not restricted to the question of faith. It involves unbelievers as well. Might you be a victim moreso than I?

Imagine having such faith in Stalin you were murdered while praising his name? Think brainwashing was involved?

Everyone in some form or fashion can be hoodwinked with all sorts of ideas, the resurrection of Jesus is a historic event that stands pretty strong against all assaults though. There is a 3 century old cottage industry trying to accomplish that goal and prove ideas like yours are valid, there's no lack of intellectual opposition to Christ for we who side with Him to navigate.
Seems like Obama and William both share the common moral core of our era, if there is a god, he just isn't overly concerned with much. Anything will do or not! Be happy, party on dude!
This is interesting: One-third of Americans reject evolution, poll shows. The percentages have not been growing.

[Image: evolution2013-1.png]

The problem is that the 33% are silent and unwilling to fight, while the 60% of religious nutcases are loud and obnoxious.
Sodomia delenda est


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