cinepro's excellent adventure

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_beastie
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cinepro's excellent adventure

Post by _beastie »

At least, let's hope it evolves into an excellent adventure rather than an ignored thread, since it's one of the most thought-provoking questions I've seen on MAD:

http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index. ... opic=22569

In a recent post, Pahoran made this accusation against Richard Dawkins:

QUOTE
I'm sure he does. Those who, like Dawkins, are afflicted with the real "God delusion"--the delusion that the "superior" intelligence of unbelievers makes them the nearest thing to godlike beings that can actually exist--are incapable of understanding the difference between real faith and silly superstitions.

The Cult Of John Frum




Upon reading Pahoran's observation, I was suddenly filled with dread that I, too, may not know how to distinguish between "real faith" and "silly superstitions". So I would like to open this thread for anyone on this board who can reliably and consistently tell the difference between the two to share their methodology.

To keep this from getting too personal on my account, please present your methodology as if you were addressing a group of people on the subject. This group consists of the following:

- 3 atheists
- 2 agnostics
- 6 Jehovah's Witnesses
- 2 Scientologists
- 5 contemporary LDS
- 2 LDS circa 1836, via time travel
- 3 Followers of John Frum (as referenced in the above thread)
- 4 Catholics
- 2 Moonies
- 2 Krishnas
- 3 followers of Jim Jones, circa 1973 (via time travel)
- 2 followers of David Koresh, circa 1990 (via time travel)
- 3 followers of Marshall Applewhite/ Heaven's Gate circa 1996 (via time travel)

These 39 people sit before you. You have as much time as you need, but they are not allowed to ask questions or make comments. They have only come to learn how to tell the difference between "real faith" and "silly superstitions". You don't know who is who, except for those who are dressed unusually, but even then, you are not allowed to make comments to individuals or groups. Your methodology should have universal application.

Can it be done?


So far, one believer has declared it impossible due to not being able to ask questions:

No, especially if no one is allowed to ask questions...the speaker or the group members. It would be like teaching someone who is visual how to do something over the phone. If they can't see it, they probably won't understand. You might be able to teach members of the different groups the same thing, but I think most of the teaching would depend on the persons learning style and experience.


Whereon cinepro responded:

Why is that? If I posed the same situation, but you needed to explain the difference between "communism" and "capitalism", would the same restriction apply? Of course not. You could just explain the principles of communism and capitalism, and then compare the two. Within 5 minutes, everyone would have a basic understanding of the two systems and be able to identify them. And it could be done without invoking value judgments about the worth of either system (although you could editorialize if needed, I suppose).

Based on Pahoran's comment, it should certainly be possible to explain the difference between "real faith" and "silly superstition", especially if we are going to accuse others of not being able to see those differences.


To set the stage, cinepro is referring to this thread:

http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index. ... 1208135274

Although cinepro didn't mention it, I think this thread can also help set the stage:

http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index. ... opic=22459

Note bluebell's subject line for this thread: "crazy".

So clearly believers feel able to distinguish between "silly superstitions" and "crazy" beliefs. (I only wish I could easily find the old bookmarked Z thread wherein believers made fun of the 'hopeofzion" belief in the restoration of additional scripture, they laughed and hooted at it, if I find a link I'll come back and put it in) It will be fascinating to see if any believers really try to answer cinepro's question.
We hate to seem like we donÂ’t trust every nut with a story, but thereÂ’s evidence we can point to, and dance while shouting taunting phrases.

Penn & Teller

http://www.mormonmesoamerica.com
_The Dude
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Post by _The Dude »

Nice to see cinepro picking up on that earlier thread, where Pahoran claimed to know the difference between "silly superstision" and "real faith". Only when I pressed Pahoran to share his secret, the moderators closed the thread. Oh well, at least they didn't suspend me for "goading" Pahoran. LOL

I predict that nobody will produce a method for telling the difference, or, if someone does, it will come from a chapel Mormon and probably a newbie to the board. Hardened internet mormons reach a position where there is no explainable difference between "silly superstition" and "real faith" to the point where total relativism is the only answer -- where even atheists' non-belief takes on an appearence of real/silly faith/superstition.
_Who Knows
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Post by _Who Knows »

Maybe it's something like the following:

My beliefs = real faith
Your beliefs = silly superstition

(a spin-off of The Dude's sigline at MAD - courtesy of Dr. Shades)
WK: "Joseph Smith asserted that the Book of Mormon peoples were the original inhabitants of the americas"
Will Schryver: "No, he didnÂ’t." 3/19/08
Still waiting for Will to back this up...
_beastie
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Post by _beastie »

Yes, so far the answers have been predictable. Nehor did say, basically, that the way to tell real faith from silly superstition is to work really really hard at it, and others have been embracing relativity.
We hate to seem like we donÂ’t trust every nut with a story, but thereÂ’s evidence we can point to, and dance while shouting taunting phrases.

Penn & Teller

http://www.mormonmesoamerica.com
_beastie
_Emeritus
Posts: 14216
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:26 am

Post by _beastie »

Oh, one thing that I found interesting about the thread is that Pahoran is slipping - he usually insists that all "positive" religious beliefs must be treated with respect, yet on this thread he clearly regards the cargo cult as "silly superstition".
We hate to seem like we donÂ’t trust every nut with a story, but thereÂ’s evidence we can point to, and dance while shouting taunting phrases.

Penn & Teller

http://www.mormonmesoamerica.com
_wenglund
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Post by _wenglund »

beastie wrote:Yes, so far the answers have been predictable. Nehor did say, basically, that the way to tell real faith from silly superstition is to work really really hard at it, and others have been embracing relativity.


Predictably, you are incorrect. I gave a response that could not accurately or reasonably be considered as "relativity". I spoke not to the relative verity of other beliefs, but of respect for other beliefs.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-
_beastie
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Post by _beastie »

Predictably, you are incorrect. I gave a response that could not accurately or reasonably be considered as "relativity". I spoke not to the relative verity of other beliefs, but of respect for other beliefs.


Well, then, can you directly answer cinepro's question? Your response, however you want to define it, dodged the actual question.
We hate to seem like we donÂ’t trust every nut with a story, but thereÂ’s evidence we can point to, and dance while shouting taunting phrases.

Penn & Teller

http://www.mormonmesoamerica.com
_wenglund
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Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 7:25 pm

Post by _wenglund »

beastie wrote:
Predictably, you are incorrect. I gave a response that could not accurately or reasonably be considered as "relativity". I spoke not to the relative verity of other beliefs, but of respect for other beliefs.


Well, then, can you directly answer cinepro's question? Your response, however you want to define it, dodged the actual question.


While I didn't explicitly answer "no", I think a careful and thoughtful reading of my post would show it as strongly and unmistakably implied--which is cry from "dodging" the question as you mistakenly suggest.

And, I just reread the other responses, and besides Nehor's post, I can't see where "relativity" could be reasonably construed in what the others said, and even Nehor's post would be a stretch in that regard.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-
_beastie
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Posts: 14216
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:26 am

Post by _beastie »

While I didn't explicitly answer "no", I think a careful and thoughtful reading of my post would show it as strongly and unmistakably implied--which is cry from "dodging" the question as you mistakenly suggest.

And, I just reread the other responses, and besides Nehor's post, I can't see where "relativity" could be reasonably construed in what the others said, and even Nehor's post would be a stretch in that regard.


I didn't say Nehor's post was relativist.

I admit I don't quite know how to classify Tsu statement:

The chaos magician takes the opposite tact: 'Nothing is true, everything is permitted.' From this perspective, neither group of fundamentalists is right, nor is the relativist in the middle correct. Everyone is equally wrong (including the chaos magician). From this perspective it doesn't matter if equally false statements contradict; they were wrong to begin with. Nor does it make sense to attempt some sort of rectification. Any attempt to steer a middle ground will eventually just end up in either ditch.


So am I to guess that your answer to cinepro's question is no, one cannot explain how to tell the difference between silly superstition and real faith?
Last edited by Tator on Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
We hate to seem like we donÂ’t trust every nut with a story, but thereÂ’s evidence we can point to, and dance while shouting taunting phrases.

Penn & Teller

http://www.mormonmesoamerica.com
_The Dude
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Post by _The Dude »

Dang, if one can't tell the difference between silly superstition and real faith, that would be a problem, wouldn't it?

In comparison, we can often use scientific methods to tell the difference between silly superstition and real cause-effect relationships.
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