Monday, May 28, 2012

Great Loftus' Ghost!

Just when we thought it was safe to have religious beliefs, a disciple of John Loftus shows up to remind us how irrational we're being! Over at Shadow to Light Carl Degrasse Dawtchins wrote in a comment:

"If you weren’t brainwashed into your beliefs, how did you come by them? It seems you’re not one of the millions (if not billions) of people around the world who are raised from birth already within a particular religious belief system. Clearly you didn’t have one particular religion that shaped your life for many of your early, impressionable years. As a child you must have been different than so many other children. You must not have been swayed by religious beliefs impressed upon you before you learned how to assess those beliefs critically. I’ve got to say I’m impressed. How do you do it? Given that so many people are reared within a particular religion from birth…given that children don’t develop the essential critical thinking skills before having their parents’ religion a constant presence in their life (similar to Santa, though a bit more significant)…you must have some secret. Tell us, how do you avoid believing the same stuff as your parents, thus avoiding the brainwashing effect (perhaps indoctrination would work better for you)?

P.S. since you weren’t brainwashed/indoctrinated into a religious belief system, did you take the time as you grew to examine the various world religions to determine which one worked best for you? What criteria did you use to determine which religion was truthful and which ones were not? Am I correct in thinking that you chose a belief system with a more progressive mentality? I mean no one in their right mind would pick a belief system that advocates stoning teenagers, chopping off the hand of a woman, blaming people for the actions of their ancestors, casting off ones family to follow a prophet, killing homosexuals, owning slaves, raping women, or committing worldwide genocide by way of a flood. Those who are part of such a system must obviously have been brainwashed from a young age. They were force fed a particular belief before they were able to think about it critically. Sadly, unlike Santa Claus, these children are never informed that said belief system was made up a long time ago by some mysterious men in a faraway land.

I think Carl (and his mentor, John Loftus) deserve some sort of response from me. I'll try to offer one soon.

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