Fall for anything

This one might be a little long, sorry.

I often speak of my friend on this site. This is because we have very deep, insightful discussions dealing with religion. While having a discussion on Atheism and Skepticism he uttered the famous quote;

“A a skeptic you believe anything can happen”

very interesting considering this is the definition of a skeptic; http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/skeptic

Pretty clear huh?

I don’t believe anything can happen, not at all. Basically I just want evidence when any claim is made. If someone says that they were flying close to the sun with homemade wings, I would not automatically believe that it can happen. I would doubt it could happen and then demand evidence of the claim. If given evidence that can be demonstrated and independently verifiable then I will believe it.

This is my problem with the Church. They don’t encourage skepticism in any way. In fact, people growing up in the church are taught a strict set of beliefs and actively discouraged from investigating these claims outside of the church or the bible. Basically it teaches people to believe things without evidence. This presents a lifelong problem. If people are taught from a young age to accept claims without evidence and not do research then they grow up and tend to believe things without doing the proper research or questioning of claims.

How do I know this? Experience.

People here at my work are devout Christians. And to make matters worse, they pretty much only make decisions based on what their pastor says. Here is a list of things that people here have purported to be true, and this is just lately;

1: All the women at a particular restaurant are prostitutes.
I asked how they knew this to be true and this was the response: “Because my friend told me so.” This person never ate at the restaurant in question, and doesn’t know anybody who works there.

2: Email forwards

-These are my favorite, they all start out along the same lines as this “This explains things better than all the baloney you hear on TV.” And go on to explain how men hide in the backseat of your car, cut your Achilles tendon while hiding under your car, how you need to check your hotel beds for HIV infected needles, and any number of insane warnings that are not validated with facts. When I ask them about how they know them to be true, I usually get an answer like this; “My friend got it from a friend who is a (insert profession here, cop, marine, lawyer, etc…)”. Right.

3. Resistance to Art

-It could be anything, music, movies, TV shows etc.. Example; I was speaking about how my son loves Spongebob Squarepants. The girl I was talking about the show with freaked out! “I cant believe you let him watch that! Its a bad show!” I asked her why it is a bad show and she said that “She heard it was”. She didn’t want to actually find out if it was a “bad show”, she just wanted to tell people it was. She was operating on a claim that was made without finding any evidence to prove or disprove it. I explained to her that she needs to watch the show before she makes a statement of fact like that. She said she didnt need to. OK.

See the pattern? When people are raised to accept claims without evidence, and are discouraged to find independent answers they are likely to grow up and believe other things without evidence.

So, how do skeptics still “… believe anything can happen”?

I wonder if he was serious when he said that.



10 responses to “Fall for anything

  1. Hey I would like to say that I agree with you that anyone who says “believe me, blindly” is not to be trusted. And you should always investigate. I am a christian and I believe what I believe very strongly. As soon as a religious leader says do not investigate, I leave. Jesus even taught, to question everything, he said to be on your guard against bad teaching. His words were test everything. A good method for testing is watching what type of fruit it produces. Anyway sorry this was so long.

  2. sorry about the grammar, I am in school, it’s just not helping.

  3. Thank you for the comment. I really respect your stance and I truly believe we need more people in the world willing to investigate any claim.

    Thank you

  4. hmmm… i got your point! yeah, that’s right. Jesus even taught, to question everything, he said to be on your guard against bad teaching. it sounds familiar! We have this youth pastor who leads us. And as a new christian, i ask everything that bothers me! Why to do this, why to do that…

    and so far, i enjoy reading your site!

  5. Thank you very much.

    Please keep questioning.

  6. i do wonder why you don’t believe in God?
    Is there something bad experience happened to you?
    Did you once believe in God?

  7. Nothing bad has happened to me. I have a wonderful life. I do not believe in god simply because there is no proof, good reason, or observable reason he exists. I also do not believe in god because of historical facts, and trends. This of course is a much larger topic, so you know what? I will write a blog entry detailing as best I can. But I wonder, do you mean the christian god or god in general?


  8. https://gratheist.wordpress.com/2007/03/05/the-bible-did-change-my-life/

    there is my first entry for this blog. It should explain it a little.

  9. .i am a christian for 4 yrs. for me i believe in God because of my faith…and i believe that the link between man and god is faith!

    there are too many religions but i am talking about the relationship with God. it’s not being good or bad. it’s how you accept God as your Saviour.

  10. Your point is just the point that I can agree with. Many “church people ” don’t think for themselves Why? The same reason we have Government leaders who don’t lead ETC… Let someone else lead or in your view “think for me ” For shame America that you have given up your right to think for yourself.! Sorry, as a teacher I get carried away at times!

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