1. Joined
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    21 Mar '12 18:331 edit
    An interesting comment about the side-effects of "faith" was made by Bruce Bartlett in an interview with Bill Moyers that I saw recently.

    The following puts the comment in context. You can watch the interview in its entirety (approx. 25 mins.)
    Bill Moyers talks with conservative economist Bruce Bartlett, who wrote "the bible" for the Reagan Revolution, worked on domestic policy for the Reagan White House, and served as a top treasury official under the first President Bush. Now he's a heretic in the conservative circles where he once was a star. Bartlett argues that right-wing tax policies -- pushed in part by Grover Norquist and Tea Party activists -- are destroying the country's economic foundation.

    http://vimeo.com/36529531


    Following is the comment:
    BRUCE BARTLETT: Well, it's very much like religion. And I think that it's not a surprise that so many very, you know, devout Christians are a part of the Republican Party and accept a lot of this. Because the nature of deep religious belief is faith, which means you accept things for which there is no proof. And so, I think it's not that hard to shift that faith over to believe a lot other things that you've been told are true so many times that you just accept that on faith as well. That if you cut taxes, revenues will go up, you know, and things of this sort. That all tax cuts are good and all spending cuts are good, and all government is bad.


    Evidently Bartlett is of the opinion that a side-effect of religious faith is that it also affect non-religious beliefs, i.e,, those of religious faith readily shift an acceptance of things for which there is no proof to beliefs outside of religion. They believe something simply because they are repeatedly told it is true.

    Seems like another danger of such beliefs (both religious and non-religious) is that they are extremely resistent to reason since they are not formed by reason. What's even more alarming is that those who defend such beliefs often seem to view even the most irrational of arguments as being reasonable as evidenced by many discussions on this forum.

    Seems like those who hold such beliefs would be better off accepting that such beliefs are based purely on faith rather than deluding themselves into thinking that they are based in reason.

    Comments?
  2. Joined
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    21 Mar '12 18:44
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    An interesting comment about the side-effects of "faith" was made by Bruce Bartlett in an interview with Bill Moyers that I saw recently.

    The following puts the comment in context. You can watch the interview in its entirety (approx. 25 mins.)
    [quote]Bill Moyers talks with conservative economist Bruce Bartlett, who wrote "the bible" for the Reagan Rev ...[text shortened]... than deluding themselves into thinking that they are based in reason.

    Comments?
    Comment ?

    Is there any way a Christian can discuss this with you without you assuming he is an apologist for the GOP ?
  3. Joined
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    21 Mar '12 18:50
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    An interesting comment about the side-effects of "faith" was made by Bruce Bartlett in an interview with Bill Moyers that I saw recently.

    The following puts the comment in context. You can watch the interview in its entirety (approx. 25 mins.)
    [quote]Bill Moyers talks with conservative economist Bruce Bartlett, who wrote "the bible" for the Reagan Rev ...[text shortened]... than deluding themselves into thinking that they are based in reason.

    Comments?
    Evidently Bartlett is of the opinion that a side-effect of religious faith is that it also affect non-religious beliefs, i.e,, those of religious faith readily shift an acceptance of things for which there is no proof to beliefs outside of religion. They believe something simply because they are repeatedly told it is true.


    This opinion needs to be tested. 🙂
  4. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    21 Mar '12 19:16
    A very real side effect of faith is that once you can believe in one thing on faith alone it is far easier to believe in something else on faith alone. Thats why through the ages the upper classes have encouraged the masses to believe ... that way they can be encouraged to believe in a number of things (and controlled) without evidence, logic or argument.

    In this way religion has held back science and philosophy for thousands of years.

    We are lucky to be alive in these times; at the beginning of a new Age of Reason
  5. Joined
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    21 Mar '12 20:03
    Originally posted by jaywill
    Comment ?

    Is there any way a Christian can discuss this with you without you assuming he is an apologist for the GOP ?
    Can't see why not. The focus of the OP certainly isn't politics. In fact there's no reason one need reference it at all.
  6. Joined
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    21 Mar '12 20:12
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    A very real side effect of faith is that once you can believe in one thing on faith alone it is far easier to believe in something else on faith alone. Thats why through the ages the upper classes have encouraged the masses to believe ... that way they can be encouraged to believe in a number of things (and controlled) without evidence, logic or argument. ...[text shortened]... ds of years.

    We are lucky to be alive in these times; at the beginning of a new Age of Reason
    New Age of Reason? Have to say I see things trending away from that rather than towards it.
  7. Standard memberKellyJay
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    21 Mar '12 20:22
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    New Age of Reason? Have to say I see things trending away from that rather than towards it.
    I have to admit I agree with you on that point.
    Kelly
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    21 Mar '12 20:34
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Can't see why not. The focus of the OP certainly isn't politics. In fact there's no reason one need reference it at all.
    I have no idea why deciding to trust the words of Jesus about Himself and God is not reasonable.

    This whole matter of faith in the Bible's Christ not being of reason strikes me as very weird.

    It is good reasoning which includes the possibility, power, and Person of God. It is reasoning with God and including God in one's reasoning process.
  9. Standard memberKellyJay
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    21 Mar '12 20:44
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    An interesting comment about the side-effects of "faith" was made by Bruce Bartlett in an interview with Bill Moyers that I saw recently.

    The following puts the comment in context. You can watch the interview in its entirety (approx. 25 mins.)
    [quote]Bill Moyers talks with conservative economist Bruce Bartlett, who wrote "the bible" for the Reagan Rev ...[text shortened]... than deluding themselves into thinking that they are based in reason.

    Comments?
    No amount of tax cuts or new revenue streams for the government will cause the
    government to have a balanced budget if they always spend it faster than it comes in
    and that is not a matter of faith.
    Kelly
  10. Joined
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    21 Mar '12 21:03
    Originally posted by jaywill
    I have no idea why deciding to [b]trust the words of Jesus about Himself and God is not reasonable.

    This whole matter of faith in the Bible's Christ not being of reason strikes me as very weird.

    It is good reasoning which includes the possibility, power, and Person of God. It is reasoning with God and including God in one's reasoning process.[/b]
    But "trust" and "reasonable" are ambiguous words. Do you mean there is a rational proof of the existence of the Biblical God?
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    21 Mar '12 21:51
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    An interesting comment about the side-effects of "faith" was made by Bruce Bartlett in an interview with Bill Moyers that I saw recently.

    The following puts the comment in context. You can watch the interview in its entirety (approx. 25 mins.)
    [quote]Bill Moyers talks with conservative economist Bruce Bartlett, who wrote "the bible" for the Reagan Rev ...[text shortened]... than deluding themselves into thinking that they are based in reason.

    Comments?
    There seems to be a much simpler answer, one that doesn't involve any hasty generalizations about a Christian's capacity for rational thought or an unnecessary commitment to the idea that reason plays no part in Christian faith:

    Much more likely the major culprit for the widespread Republicanism among the faithful in America is due to the Republican party being increasingly identified with a pro-life agenda (other social issues probably have played a part). It hasn't helped that over the years Republican leadership has, oftentimes cynically, fanned the flames surrounding certain social issues in order to gain support from the Christian demographic (which is substantial). This has been documented by journalists like Thomas Frank in his book, What's the Matter with Kansas? Kathleen Sebelius' success in Kansas at dividing the GOP along economically moderate/conservative lines by avoiding hot-button social issues her Republican colleagues regularly exploit shows that the Christian base is less aligned with conservative economic policy than its social policy.

    Even so, it seems rather presumptuous for someone to say that conservatives (as distinct from Christians) have no reason to hold the positions they do (e.g., low taxes, small government, privatization, etc.). I know from experience from debate with conservatives that a case can be made for each of their various positions. Whether they are right is, of course, debatable, but I don't think anyone can say that economic conservativism, on its own, is something that only an irrational person could accept on blind faith. So it is a rather thin claim to say that a Christian who also happens to be economically conservative must have embraced that ideology due to a rejection of rationality.

    Because the nature of deep religious belief is faith, which means you accept things for which there is no proof. And so, I think it's not that hard to shift that faith over to believe a lot other things that you've been told are true so many times that you just accept that on faith as well.

    I have a hard time accepting this assertion, as it seems based on fallacious reasoning. Lack of proof does not entail lack of reason. There are many things which we accept as true without proof, for example, historical events. It is a mistake to assume that we must have proof, scientific proof, in order to rationally believe anything. So the analogy doesn't seem to hold. Just because an individual happens to be a person of faith (Hindu, Jew, Christian, etc.), doesn't make that person any more or less susceptible to irrational conclusions than the average person.

    Now, that said. I would agree that there is a certain anti-intellectualism among the Christian right wing, but I think it is the result of a class warfare instigated by Republican politicians having sought to paint Democrats as "liberal elites" rather than anything systemically wrong with faith itself. More likely it is a a cultural phenomenon.
  12. Standard memberKellyJay
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    21 Mar '12 22:39
    Originally posted by JS357
    But "trust" and "reasonable" are ambiguous words. Do you mean there is a rational proof of the existence of the Biblical God?
    I think the existence of everything is good evidence, I don't think you can get
    something from nothing so there needs to be some cause for everything that
    is not part of it.
    Kelly
  13. Joined
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    21 Mar '12 23:01
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    I think the existence of everything is good evidence, I don't think you can get
    something from nothing so there needs to be some cause for everything that
    is not part of it.
    Kelly
    I won't go further down this path here because I would be taking it off the subject of the OP, which is the alleged correlation between religious faith and political gullibility. (That's a strong way to put it but that's the word I found in searches on the subject.)

    Maybe the cosmological argument needs an airing on this forum, sometime.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_argument
  14. Joined
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    21 Mar '12 23:021 edit
    Originally posted by JS357
    But "trust" and "reasonable" are ambiguous words. Do you mean there is a rational proof of the existence of the Biblical God?
    But "trust" and "reasonable" are ambiguous words. Do you mean there is a rational proof of the existence of the Biblical God?


    I think I have adaquate evidence that I am on the right track to believe in and pursue the God of the Bible.

    I think the armchair philosopher demands total "proof". I think absolute proof of most things requires absolute omniscience which no human being has.
  15. Standard memberKellyJay
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    22 Mar '12 00:13
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    An interesting comment about the side-effects of "faith" was made by Bruce Bartlett in an interview with Bill Moyers that I saw recently.

    The following puts the comment in context. You can watch the interview in its entirety (approx. 25 mins.)
    [quote]Bill Moyers talks with conservative economist Bruce Bartlett, who wrote "the bible" for the Reagan Rev ...[text shortened]... than deluding themselves into thinking that they are based in reason.

    Comments?
    To the point of the post, everyone has faith; we put our trust in a lot of things
    that may or may not be true. We believe certain things are true, we believe
    people will act properly; we trust others when they say they are going to do
    things, we act in good faith on the word of many things. We buy into the
    notions that something will be good when we do X or Y and we argue the
    points others make that disagree.

    Let the process work itself out if it is a process issue, if we hear that someone
    says if we X then 123 will happen, if we go along and it doesn't happen, then
    do something else. That has nothing to do with religion, just political speech.

    I do dislike that more than a few people are trying to tie people's religions
    in with political views, everyone should be allowed to have both, and without
    a doubt if there is something we don't like we should have to right to express
    that no matter if our objections come from our personal taste, political views,
    or religious stands, in a free country we all get a say.
    Kelly
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