I'm sure you have heard this statement from one source or another. I'm debating with a theist who feels that 'knowing in my heart' gives him an accurate view of the universe. I was trying to think of a question that could not be answered that way. I'm trying to avoid complex mathematical equations or very deep scientific problems. Something simple but which could only be answered by evidence, a guess would get it wrong.
It's not just his heart that matters. What he feels in his heart cannot be shared, yet because he feels it, he thinks that everyone else can. Once again, we run headlong into the difference between objective and subjective ... and your theist friend is in for one hell of a disappointment.
I don't think there are any, but there are certainly questions were it is obviously ridiculous to use faith as a reasoning tool. Such as: "when its safe to cross the road?", "Is that wall really an obstacle to forward movement?" or perhaps, "despite the hype, maybe bleach is a tasty drink afterall?". You can't believe your way through a wall or out of the path of a speeding mondeo, why on earth should it be different for other questions about our universe?
You could explain that "knowing in your heart" is really just simply what is known as a "hunch". Hunches very often turn out false, but that gut feeling is the same, imo, as those that refuse to really think into the whole religion thing. It is no more that a hunch imo.
I would think that a person actually concerned, and in belief, would at least research their belief. Delusion, and fear, stop many religious people in their tracks. You would think that if you "actually" believed in some sort of religious dogma, that it would be your lifes mission to find out all the facts?
You know, to most Atheists this is a common sense, simple fact of life, but you would be amazed at how many "true believers" have not even bothered to even read their bible (or koran, whatever). I have a very intelegent, successful brother in law that goes to baptist church. Over beers on night I asked him how he could believe such as this. His honest reply was "I just don't want to think about it, to be honest, I don't question it. My parents, and my grand parents, everyone I am related to has always had faith, and to be honest?.. That's good enough for me."
An amazingly blind statement from a someone with a PHD. I find it absurd. IF you buy into religion, then you must somewhere in your mind realize that it does imply a longer reality then this life,(eternity) thus making it by default, the most paramount, most important concern in your existence.
Some people, like him, don't want to make waves in their life, or even in their own mind. It is far easier, and they always have the "what do I have to loose" by believing, carefree attitude.
Religion is in fact delusion, imo, and harmful overall. But a lot of religious folks simply do not see that, not because they are stupid, but because the delusion itself is so strong, inherited, that the pain of deviating from it, and the alienation, is simply not worth it. Even if it is only subconscious, it does seem to prevent intelligent people from looking at the obvious.
It may be useful just to ask what they mean by the phrase, just to gain some insight into what they're thinking. Ask them what this 'feeling' really is, and how they distinguish it from regular feelings and intuitions. How do they determine if they should trust it?
Ask him if he believes that people who "know in their hearts" that they are Napoleon are really Napoleon, or who know in their hearts that we didn't land on the moon are right, or iwho know in their hearts that the earth is flat are right, or who know in their hearts that vaccines don't work are right. If he pooh poohs these, then ask him why his knowing in this heart about god is any different.
Thanks for the tip on Zooey Deschanel, never heard of her before.
I guess you heard that old joke about the boy who goes to confession and tells the priest he had illicit relations with a girl.
The priest asks for the girl's name but the boy refuses. The priest begins to ask if it was Judy Smith, the boy says no, he asks if it was Sherry Johnson, again no, then finally the priest asks if the girl was Helen Miller, a final no from the boy. The priest tells him to say 10 hail marys as penance.
When the boy leaves his best friend asks him what he got. The boy answers "10 hail marys and 3 more girls to see".
Yeah Zooey is a little hottie! For the longest time I thought she was Katy Perry lol!
You know that Aristotle also thought that the universe can be understood simply by contemplation. Aristotle can be excused for this because he did not possibly know what all universe. No one today can have the benifit of this ignorance. Secondly, we today know that we do not 'know' in our heart, the thinking and knowing is all in the head.
If he thinks that he can get a view of universe, then let him describe it and then show him what all the universe is about.