1. Cape Town
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    30 Apr '15 17:43
    Several theists have in the past made the claim that those that do not believe as they do are deluded. So my question is how do they know they are not the ones deluded? I guess its even possible that we are all deluded and nobody sees the truth.
    Is there a reliable way to test your own beliefs and identify whether or not it is your and not the other guy that is deluded?

    My own test is as follows:
    1. Do I have good reasons for my own beliefs?
    2. Does the other guy appear to actually believe his claims?
    3. Does he have good reasons for his beliefs (supposing he passed 2.)?
    4. Double check his reasons, double check my reasons, and see if they stand up.

    So what are your tests?
  2. Standard memberRJHinds
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    30 Apr '15 19:28
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Several theists have in the past made the claim that those that do not believe as they do are deluded. So my question is how do they know they are not the ones deluded? I guess its even possible that we are all deluded and nobody sees the truth.
    Is there a reliable way to test your own beliefs and identify whether or not it is your and not the other guy ...[text shortened]... check his reasons, double check my reasons, and see if they stand up.

    So what are your tests?
    You should at least add:
    5. Check the Holy Bible to see if these things are so.

    The Near Genius 😏
  3. Standard memberlemon lime
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    30 Apr '15 20:251 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Several theists have in the past made the claim that those that do not believe as they do are deluded. So my question is how do they know they are not the ones deluded? I guess its even possible that we are all deluded and nobody sees the truth.
    Is there a reliable way to test your own beliefs and identify whether or not it is your and not the other guy ...[text shortened]... check his reasons, double check my reasons, and see if they stand up.

    So what are your tests?
    I starting out reading and posting at the science forum, and saw this claim being made all the time by those who think theists are delusional. Where have you seen theists making this claim about non-theists as consistently and often as non-theists have against theists?

    The first place I saw people claiming theists were delusional was at the science forum, and then I saw the same people making the same claim here at the spirituality forum... so I'm not sure what to make of your claim about theists. BTW, I'm not fishing for names for the purpose of finger pointing and complaining, or interested in seeing this happen here... 😞


    If wishes were horses beggars would ride
  4. Cape Town
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    30 Apr '15 20:41
    Originally posted by lemon lime
    The first place I saw people claiming theists were delusional was at the science forum... so I'm not sure what to make of your claim about theists.
    It is well known that some atheists have called theists delusional. There is even a very well known book called 'The God Delusion'. You may have heard of it.
    My point is that I think you are delusional. If you think I am delusional, then how do we resolve the issue? How can I know that it is you and not me that is delusional or vice versa?
    When starting the thread I had in mind a thread by sonship where he started off by saying atheists were blinded by Satan or something to that effect, and also the recent thread by RJ titled 'The God Delusion' where he quotes:
    And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.
    (2 Thessalonians 2:11 KJV)

    So my question is how does sonship know he is not the one blinded by Satan, and how does RJ know he is not the one believing a lie?

    I have explained how I do it, now I would like to know how other people do it, or whether they have even considered the possibility.

    I have talked to some theists who just don't care. They quite readily say something equivalent to: "If I am wrong then I don't want to be right" and just leave it at that.
  5. Standard memberlemon lime
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    30 Apr '15 21:09
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    It is well known that some atheists have called theists delusional. There is even a very well known book called 'The God Delusion'. You may have heard of it.
    My point is that I think you are delusional. If you think I am delusional, then how do we resolve the issue? How can I know that it is you and not me that is delusional or vice versa?
    When starting ...[text shortened]... omething equivalent to: "If I am wrong then I don't want to be right" and just leave it at that.
    My point is that I think you are delusional.

    And my point is that there is no point my trying to explaining something to someone who believes I'm delusional. Your perception of (my) delusion is too high a wall for me to scale.
  6. Standard memberfinnegan
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    30 Apr '15 21:451 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Several theists have in the past made the claim that those that do not believe as they do are deluded. So my question is how do they know they are not the ones deluded? I guess its even possible that we are all deluded and nobody sees the truth.
    Is there a reliable way to test your own beliefs and identify whether or not it is your and not the other guy ...[text shortened]... check his reasons, double check my reasons, and see if they stand up.

    So what are your tests?
    It seems risky to base any dispute between believers and non believers on the suggestion that one group is either more intelligent / stupid or more rational / irrational or better educated / less educated than the other.

    Let us imagine that you have arrived at your tests for a well founded belief by means of education or by use of reason. Why do you assume that believers lack education or lack the use of Reason, when there are centuries of reasoned thought behind modern religious thinking and Plato's Rationality was itself religious in its nature? Why do you not accept that there are ways to arrive at belief that make perfectly appropriate use of reasoning?

    The trouble with "Reason" is that it has to work with some premises, assumption, or first principles: one tends to Reason from one thing to another, not from nothing. So the conclusions you arrive at will have a lot to do with where you start from and with what constraints.

    RJH for example proposes that one should commence from the Bible as the first and solid foundation for whatever follows. Now we can demonstrate that when he claims to be doing this, he relies along the way on statements that we know for a fact and can demonstrate to be false even in their own terms, without having to propose a Scientific alternative. But can we demonstrate that other believers are lying in support of their faith? Maybe that is so for individuals and groups, but can it be generally the case or universally the case? That is harder to demonstrate and it takes some presumption to assert that there are no sincere believers in religious dogmas. And anyway, historically and today, many people profess religious faith and self identify as practising Christians who have made no attempt whatever to study the Bible, let alone critically interpret it. Indeed, Catholics have largely been discouraged from private Bible reading. So I suspect that most Christians have a pretty vague notion of what it is they are required by their religious affiliation to believe. Their beliefs might be summed up with the one word "whatever" and a shrug of the shoulders.

    I am just not convinced that you can separate religious thinking from "Scientific" thinking by relying on the use of Reason as a critical test. Too much of Rationalism is religious in its roots and history. It would not otherwise have reached us from the Greeks through Islam and Judaism (Maimonides in particular) and then Anselm and Aquinas. These guys were not seeking to topple any icons.

    By the way, a brief study of psychotherapy might persuade you that many deluded and very mad people have scrupulously rational grounds for their delusions.
  7. Standard memberlemon lime
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    30 Apr '15 22:381 edit
    Originally posted by finnegan
    It seems risky to base any dispute between believers and non believers on the suggestion that one group is either more intelligent / stupid or more rational / irrational or better educated / less educated than the other.

    Let us imagine that you have arrived at your tests for a well founded belief by means of education or by use of reason. Why do you as ...[text shortened]... ou that many deluded and very mad people have scrupulously rational grounds for their delusions.
    Devising a 'test' like this would necessarily need to begin with the test givers perception of reality... any test for detecting delusion would reflect the beliefs of the one devising the test.

    Before attempting to devise a test I would start by defining what delusion actually is. I think delusions and illusions are essentially the same thing. An illusion is something (image or action) outside of ourselves that is able to fool the senses into seeing something that isn't there... or not seeing something that is there.

    Delusion is able to do something similar in that the 'illusions' are self generated... it can filter out what we don't want to see and allow in what we want to see. The end result is we will perceive what we want to perceive and ignore or discount the rest.

    Delusion is in the mind of the beholder. It doesn't have the same physical power to deceive as illusion, but it can be just as effective in causing someone to see what is not there... or not see what is there.
  8. Standard memberlemon lime
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    30 Apr '15 22:591 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    It is well known that some atheists have called theists delusional. There is even a very well known book called 'The God Delusion'. You may have heard of it.
    My point is that I think you are delusional. If you think I am delusional, then how do we resolve the issue? How can I know that it is you and not me that is delusional or vice versa?
    When starting ...[text shortened]... omething equivalent to: "If I am wrong then I don't want to be right" and just leave it at that.
    I don't have a test for detecting delusions. But I might read 'The God Delusion' some day, because it would be interesting to see some examples of delusional thinking.
  9. Standard memberRJHinds
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    01 May '15 01:491 edit
    Why do some believe that those that use the Holy Bible as some type of measuring rod are deluded?
  10. Standard memberDasa
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    01 May '15 02:122 edits
    Ori)ginally posted by twhitehead
    Several theists have in the past made the claim that those that do not believe as they do are deluded. So my question is how do they know they are not the ones deluded? I guess its even possible that we are all deluded and nobody sees the truth.
    Is there a reliable way to test your own beliefs and identify whether or not it is your and not the other guy ...[text shortened]... check his reasons, double check my reasons, and see if they stand up.

    So what are your tests?
    To answer this question religion must not be mentioned because there are thousands of religions on earth and to answer the question using religion is to invite falsity.

    The question is this ..........................Is this world and cosmos (A.) a product of intelligent design or is it ( B.) a ransom accident.

    If the answer is A. then God exists and if its B God doesn't exist.

    Religion is just mans attempt to express his/her understanding of God and unfortunately 99.9% of the worlds religions are a product of mental speculation / thus giving the world thousands of false religions.

    The only religion that is free from speculation is the (Sanatan Dharma spirituality) found in the eternal Vedas and expressed in Sanskrit.(the worlds only spiritual language.

    So................those who get the question wrong are deluded.( its either A. or B.)
  11. Standard memberRJHinds
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    01 May '15 02:41
    Originally posted by Dasa
    To answer this question religion must not be mentioned because there are thousands of religions on earth and to answer the question using religion is to invite falsity.

    The question is this ..........................Is this world and cosmos (A.) a product of intelligent design or is it ( B.) a ransom accident.

    If the answer is A. then God exists and if ...[text shortened]... nguage.

    So................those who get the question wrong are deluded.( its either A. or B.)
    My answer is A, however, I believe the intelligent designer is the God described in the Holy Bible and not from Vedas from India.
  12. Cape Town
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    01 May '15 09:30
    Originally posted by lemon lime
    And my point is that there is no point my trying to explaining something to someone who believes I'm delusional. Your perception of (my) delusion is too high a wall for me to scale.
    OK. So for you, there is no resolution to the dilemma.
  13. Cape Town
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    01 May '15 09:381 edit
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Let us imagine that you have arrived at your tests for a well founded belief by means of education or by use of reason. Why do you assume that believers lack education or lack the use of Reason, when there are centuries of reasoned thought behind modern religious thinking and Plato's Rationality was itself religious in its nature? Why do you not accept that there are ways to arrive at belief that make perfectly appropriate use of reasoning?
    I make no such assumptions.

    The trouble with "Reason" is that it has to work with some premises, assumption, or first principles: one tends to Reason from one thing to another, not from nothing. So the conclusions you arrive at will have a lot to do with where you start from and with what constraints.
    I agree. But do you have a better solution than reason? And can reason also not question assumptions?

    That is harder to demonstrate and it takes some presumption to assert that there are no sincere believers in religious dogmas.
    I agree. And I have made no such assertion.

    Their beliefs might be summed up with the one word "whatever" and a shrug of the shoulders.
    So clearly many people do not use reason and do not bother nor care to check which of us is deluded.

    By the way, a brief study of psychotherapy might persuade you that many deluded and very mad people have scrupulously rational grounds for their delusions.
    I am fully aware of that.
    So what do you do? Do you resign yourself to being equally likely to be the deluded one, or do you as I do - investigate these peoples rational grounds and see if they stand up to scrutiny, or do you have some other method of resolving the dilemma?
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    01 May '15 10:48
    Occam's razor is a very important tool to try and distinguish possible truths from possible fantasies.
  15. Cape Town
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    01 May '15 11:35
    Originally posted by Great King Rat
    Occam's razor is a very important tool to try and distinguish possible truths from possible fantasies.
    Good point. It is possibly the only defence against Last Thursdayism.
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