Saturday, November 28, 2009

Share Your Story of Faith's Hubris

It's become something of a mantra with me that faith is the ultimate form of hubris: A person of faith is someone who believes the universe is how he dictates it to be, and that the gods are mere playthings of his denotational whims.

In short, the faithful believe that they define reality, and thus any contrary evidence is an illusion or deception.

Anyone got personal experiences where that attitude became more explicit in someone you were arguing with?

13 comments:

David said...

Kicking in the heads of atheists one at a time...

http://nostradamus-america.atspace.com/

PZ, I thought the Morris Police Department was going to save you from the wrath of God...

Bronze Dog said...

So, copy-paste spam by David Mabus, again.

Do you ever try to have a discussion, or do you just blindly spam without thinking?

David said...

the only person suffering from HUBRIS here is you...

Bronze Dog said...

Do tell, ye who probably knows nothing about me.

David said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubris

read it

Bronze Dog said...

Hubris (/hjuːbrɪs/) (ancient Greek ὕβρις) is a term used in modern English to indicate overweening pride, haughtiness, or arrogance...

Pretty much describes the nature of faith: Using your pride and arrogance instead of evidence.

Science does more or less the opposite: Enforced humility. You can't publish a paper without risking a bruised ego from the peer reviews. That's why you have to double-check everything, just in case you made a mistake.

Not so with religion. You can just say whatever you want and use your ego (faith) to support it.

MWchase said...

Ooh... Can we try to point Dave and Gabe in each others' general direction? I think it would be funnier than what's been happening lately.

Sadly, I can't contribute much to this discussion, since most of my arguments relevant to this happened during my larval stage, and I've thus repressed them so I don't have to deal with my own unpleasant past personality.

Tom Foss said...

I just looked up "irony" in the dictionary, and it said "1. Clinically insane gnat of a spammer continuing to make threats and imagine that he's ever had any effect on atheists' beliefs or existence through repeated nonsensical references to his favorite doomsaying fraud and poetic hack. 2. Claiming that you have won/ended James Randi's Million Dollar Challenge when in fact you are a delusional nutter whose only claim to fame is as a hilarious annoyance to the blogosphere and an indictment of Canada's mental health coverage. See also: Dennis Markuze."

Weird, isn't it?

Yakaru said...

What I've never understood (really, not just rhetorically) is why creationists always seem to claim that faith doesn't need evidence, yet then go blue in the face opposing the mountains of evidence for evolution.

Even Ken Miller does that. Why do they then take it on themselves to try to "explain" what they themselves believe is by definition unexplainable, and by conviction without need of explanation?

If the Discovery Institute ever produced the evidence that would force people to accept god's existence, faith would become impossible and worthless. That they are trying just proves their intolerance of other viewpoints and their desire to control.

Dweller in Darkness said...

And it's all in the name of accepting everything in the Bible as being absolutely literal when a simple, sensible reading of the text makes that impossible. I mean, there's a passage where it's said that a man had seven sons, and then we get a list of six of them. The seventh remains completely and utterly unnamed. And that's just the tip of it.

Dunc said...

I've been arguing for a while that Biblical Literalism is principally the result of poor literacy... Anyone with a decent level of literacy must realise that reading is an inherently interpretative act.

MWchase said...

There's also an epistemological argument about viewing the Bible as ultimate authority (I think I saw on the site for the very-inactive webcomic, Occam's Razor). In short: there is no way to know the Bible without relying on our senses. If we trust our senses to show us the contents of the Bible, then we should also trust them to reveal the truths of the world, when we investigate it. There is no reason to elevate the Bible that we see above the things that we see, as an authority on reality.

Dweller in Darkness said...

Maimonides came to much the same conclusion several hundred years ago - part of the reason that even Orthodox Judaism is more flexible when it comes to evolutionary science, and seeing Scripture as highly open to interpretation, than the fundamentalist Christians.