Critical thinking – under which heading also comes skepticism and a desire for empirical proof of any assertion or hypothesis – is at the core of what I would call rational atheism, atheism which results from a sound, objective view of the facts (or lack thereof).
As an engineer and particularly as a troubleshooter, critical thinking had to be an integral part of my business as well as the process by which I found out what was ailing my customer's device and after that, correcting said ailment. No amount of hand-waving or word salad will sufficiently substitute under these circumstances, yet that is precisely what we get entirely too often from those who would be apologists for their faith. Such practices solve NOTHING, and as such, I have no use for them. In other words:
If you've got the truth, you can demonstrate it. Talking doesn't prove it. Show people.
-- Robert A. Heinlein
My father threw carpenter tools, chairs, tables, and sometimes people when he encountered a problem. He could have stopped, breathed, thought, identified the cause of his anger, explored options, tried an option, if it worked, great, if not, try option 2, 3, 4, 5.
My ex- husband was a dentist and his assistants told me that when he ran into an obstacle he threw dental tools, tables, chairs, cussed at assistants. One assistant would call me and say, Doc is "froggie" today, and I would know to walk on egg shells. He could have stopped, breathed, thought, identified the cause of his anger, explored options, tried an option, if it worked, great, if not, try option 2, 3, 4, 5.
STOP, BREATHE, THINK, ACT, EVALUATE, TRY AGAIN.
Great reply, Loren.
Critical thinking is a skill but it's not really hard to learn. You have to start with being honest with yourself and therefore admit that nobody has all the answers. Only religions hold that distinction. You do not need to study classical philosophers or scholars, but could do so if you want to. For example, what Socrates thought about gods or religion doesn't concern me one bit. I do not attend "critical thinking" classes.
I am aware that a winged horse never carried a man to a place called heaven at any time. That;s because there are no winged horses.
I am aware that Noah's Flood is totally preposterous with enough against the story to fill many chapters, and yet people fight to continue believing it is real.
I'm also aware that the Tower of Babel is very confusing indeed and impossible also because the structures of that era would not hold much higher than 7 stories. Therefore, god was afraid men might build a tower to heaven once he saw a 7 story design. (Apologists come in and twist this one all around.)
I'm also aware that the bible has 10 different times that people were raised from the dead, and some of these were before Jesus. Yet, this book claims Jesus to be the "firstfruits of the dead." Apologists will do a number on you also with that one, but the simple fact is we have no proof of anybody being raised from the dead. Nobody, ever. That speaks pretty loud to me.
I'm also aware that we have no evidence of the many gods in the world being real in any material sense, but many have been said to be real depending on the various times people lived in. We have no more proof of Jesus, Vishnu, or Thor than we do of Belzebub. In many cases believers say they can "feel it" and this is their proof. In other cases they cite a passage in their book that says a particular god is real.
I used to believe it all and once studied to be a Pentecostal preacher but I find no evidence of god beings of any type. There is no evidence that a god ever did anything. The evidence for Woody Woodpecker and Casper the Friendly Ghost is about on the same level as Jehovah the biblical god.
I'm replying to long here, but I would recommend Jerry DeWitt videos on You Tube. I've never met Jerry but he has some videos that started to open my eyes big time. Before long I realized that I was atheist.
You have to start with being honest with yourself ...
Today that seems too hard for many people. Moreover, US politics appears to depend upon it being too hard.
Don't like it.
I find it to be an impediment to people trying to get to know my son. Not that he's "all that" or anything, but he did the whole dying on the cross thing, so I like to keep him in the loop and make him feel like he's pitching in.
"Critical Thinking" is a fad, like the Hula Hoop or the Enlightenment. Fads come and go, Sheri, don't be the one person "critical thinking" while everyone else is laughing at you.
But...just so there's no misunderstanding, I did create critical thinking. Not proud of it, might have been, in retrospect, a lack of judgement on my part. (I also created zebras. Zebras I like) Anyway, keep it at arm's length.
Let me know if I can help with anything else.
Sure, god thinks he created critical thinking. Like so many other imaginary beings, it amuses him to believe that he is the originator of things that he has no idea about.
The problem of course is that things that don't exist can't create anything. All they do is confuse the issue and confuse those who cannot be bothered to know better.
Please tell me this is an attempt at parody and humor? If not, it's the same type of mindless homily that christians always use that is totally devoid of any meaning. Odd how they think such tripe proves something isn't it?
That is a very good quote there by Lovecraft. Along the same lines, how often do we hear from Christians "Of course every now and then I have my doubts, just like anyone else." That always strikes me as weird, if this thing is TRUE it will shine with an undeniable glare. Smells more like wishful thinking, and of course societal conditioning.
Thank you for the introduction to H. P. Lovecraft.....I looked him up on the WWW and he has some other good quotes.
" Bunch together a group of people deliberately chosen for strong religious feelings, and you have a practical guarantee of dark morbidities expressed in crime, perversion, and insanity."
H. P. Lovecraft