Are you right?

Is your view of the universe correct (philosophically/religiously/metaphysicaly speaking)?

  • Yes
  • Probably
  • I hope so
  • I have no idea
  • I hope not
  • Probably not
0 voters

What if you aren’t correct in your beliefs? Have you seriously asked yourself this?

If you are a religious person, why did you choose the religion you subscribe to? Better why DIDN’T you choose any of the others? Are you sticking with your guns because you know they are the right ones? Or because it’s what’s most familiar to you?

I really want to hear from the Jews and the Muslims and the Mormons from on this one.

Boy are other people in for a surprise.


I think the question could be a little more nuanced. A lot of my beliefs are trivially true: I’m here now, this is a computer, I love my parents, etc. Those sorts of beliefs make up the majority of what people believe. The meta-structure of my beliefs, though, is probably off in a number of ways. I operate on imperfect knowledge, and since even some of my low level beliefs are wrong sometimes (“my co-worker is in her cubicle” when she’s actually at the fax machine), the odds of me pegging the exact right high level belief system are slim.

I don’t consider my beliefs to be mine alone. The Christian church has already determined a statement of beliefs that Christians all over the world adhere to.

So, your question becomes whether I consider the claims of the Christian church about Jesus to be true? And I do. Have I considered that they could be wrong? Yes. Does that thought keep me up at night? No.

Such rich ground here that could be explored. Let me open by saying that “My beliefs could be wrong” is a logically possibility that has to be abstracted from any particular belief. That is, while it’s true that any of my given beliefs could be wrong, that is not applicable as a defeater to any one of them.

Mm, maybe this will inspire me to write that paper I’ve had in mind.

That claim has interesting implications about general skepticism or nihilism. Those positions make the more general argument, and you seem to claim that while we can admit general uncertainty about beliefs, we can still be certain about specific beliefs. Or is that too strong a stance; do you mean that we can still believe in the face of the prospect that we might be wrong, but we must accept that the specific beliefs might be wrong?

I am placing all my marbles into what I believe and know. The best part of mine is that it changes as more knowledge comes to me. So. Hey as long as I keep learning I am bound to get something right. I may be stubborn but, not that stubborn. I can only hope that I am right. I did not get a manual, just guidlines.

What I’m saying is, we can accept

1.) “Anything we believe may be wrong”

as a general truism, and I have no problem with that. However, if we consider any particular belief, it’s truth has to be examined based on the particular evidences and arguments that may exist for or against it, and 1.) has no weight in that discussion. And yeah, I think acknowledgment of that has some implications for skepticism.

(Sorry to disappoint, just a plain ol’ Christian here touting the same old lines :stuck_out_tongue:. Nothing special, move along.)

Well, the nature of right really comes into question here doesn’t it? 3 problems arise with asking a question like this:
a) How do we determine what is right, ever? I have doubts it will be the skit with Rowan Atkinson in Hell telling everyone the Jews got it right. Without a solution the question becomes horribly clouded.
b) To quote Dogma, (one of the best movies ever made) “It doesn’t matter which religion you follow, none of them have gotten it right yet. What matters is that you have faith.” I like this. Very consistent with the Calvanist doctrine, our position on this planet is to have faith in God’s goodness and to live our lives in how we understand God has planned… the rest he will take care of. Given that Calvanism is a Christian belief system it gets dogged down in Christian beliefs, but the general idea I think has sway all over. So maybe the issue isn’t picking the right one, but in the fact that you pick one that you hit what is the right one.
c) I think there is something to be said for the post-structuralist view of truth: that of a subjective view of truth based on a destabalized meaning. Everyone brings different feelings, motivations, understandings and beliefs to the table, so when they experience a holy book/sermon/miracle/whatever every person has a different reaction to and understanding of it. So is truth within the teachings or the reception of them? I can say that I have sat through classes on Hegel and EVERY person has come away from it with a different understanding of what Hegel was saying (or trying to say). The individual reception to religion might be truth in and of itself, so then everyone with faith has found the right or true religion. (then again, maybe not)

As for why I chose me faith, I like to think of it more as a mutualistic thing. It was a lot to do with what was available (I live in a hick town in the great white north), but merely when I had come to the realization that there was more beyond what this world shows it was due to Christian writers. They opened my eyes to religion, so I kind of took their version of it however much I have adapted it to my own. But given that there is no way to know which faith is right and I have come to accept what I have learned then I will take it as truth until I meet Mr Bean in the afterlife.

One last note: it is interesting that a lot of the world’s religions share similarities. While many are fundamentally different there are some similarities that transcend the differences. It is also possible that the similarities are the truth, the differences are the oops.

For anyone who says that they “came to the realization that [such and such] is true” please I really want to hear more about how you did so. Not only how you came to realize that THAT particular thing was the true, but more importantly how you officially came to the conclusion that everyone else had the WRONG idea.

It would be silly to think that you are right and NOT think that everyone else is wrong. Both criteria must be met. If you know you have $20 in your pocket and then when someone says you are wrong when you tell them, you wouldn’t say “you might be right.”

Simply clapping your hands to your ears and yelling LA! LA! LA! LA! when someone comes up with a compelling argument that challenges what you claim to know or believe is not only childishly immature, but intellectually immature. People might not literally do such a thing, but sometimes they might as well. Like when Bill Oreilly “interviewed” Richard Dawkins.

Someone please tell us why everyone else’s religion is wrong. The battle seems to be limited to Christians telling atheists that they are idiotic. Why aren’t people of faith arguing with other people of faith? They used to do it all the time. Remember the Crusades? Or when “the Jews crucified Jesus”?

How does having faith grant someone a “get out of discussions free” card? And it’s already been discussed the difference between scientific and religious faith so save that topic for another thread.

Are you not getting confused with one and the other. For something to be true you do not have to be convinced that everything else is wrong, just that you are right. Nowhere does it state that something cannot be right whereas something else cannot be right as well. Tell me why Islam and Christianity cannot both be right. Please, because their foundations are both the same and many of their beliefs parallel eachother, just Islam has one more step. Most of their beliefs are similar, how does this lead to some radical difference? Anything semantic can be reconciled.

And there is plenty of debate between religions, if not on this board (because it really isn’t) but our there in the real world, remember it. Theology journals hotly debate the topic, but of course they must be full of crap because they don’t always state how they came to faith and why it is justified before they argue the particulars, eh?

And are you taking Bill O’Reilly as a spokespersoon for theists? Because your judgement must be flawed, I didn’t elect him to represent the standpoint of theists and I am not sure who did. But there aren’t many times when we throw our hands up in the air and say “screw it, I am right” and walk off, either physically or metaphorically. Yes, the burden of evidence isn’t particularily compelling for belief in God, but does that make it not true? I am not sure how “it seems more likely that X than Y” means that Y is suddenly untrue, regardless.

And when does faith grant someone a get out of discussion free card? I would like to know, wouldn’t mind it when people throw the same arguments out and get POd when I can’t ‘see beyond my BS God’.

And why is everyone else’s religion (and even atheism) wrong? The common sense answer would merely be “because I am right”. Am I advocating this point… maybe. :stuck_out_tongue:

My point of view is not “more likely X than Y”… Its more like “More likely nothing than A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z”

I guess I must be retarded if I can’t understand that given only Christianity or Islam that one of them is the right one and the other is wrong. If anything BOTH are wrong. How can both be right? Cherry picking the similarities doesn’t cut it. It’s insufficient in determining validity.

My comment about one statement being right and the opposing statement being wrong, makes perfect sense. Assuming you have statements are opposing.

  1. The sky is blue.
  2. The sky is red.

Both of these statements make positive assertions about the state of the sky. Given these statements there can only one of these three valid conclusions:

A) The sky is blue
B) The sky is red
C) The sky is neither red nor blue

This situation is easily resolved by defining what it means for the sky to “be a certain color” and then walking outside to see what color it is. For the God Hypothesis, over all it comes down to these:

  1. There is a God
  2. There is not a God

Either there is or there isn’t. Since this case is not definitively resolvable, one must look at the arguments, and then literally choose either 1 or 2.

But actually the God Hypothesis is not that simple. Not a single person has explained why the deny the existence of OTHER gods. Option 1 can be broken down into a myriad of sub-options, each one being a different god. Pascal’s wager would have you take #1 because on the surface its a 50/50 shot and you have nothing to loose by believing. But its NOT a 50/50 shot. The existence of a god is a 50/50 shot. but the existence of a PARTICULAR god is some very small portion of #1’s 50%. It looks like this:

  1. _____ exists.
    …1A) God 1
    …1B) God 2
    …1C) God 3
    …1D) God 4
    …1E) God 5
    …1F) God 6
    …1G) God 7
    …1H) God 8
    …1I) God 9
    …1J) God 10

  2. There is no god

In this illustration, God 1 has a 5% chance of existing. Unless you have some criteria for eliminating the shear possibility for Gods 2-10, then you have no logical reason for siding with God 1 over God 2 or 3 etc. And by no means would the list of god be limited to just 10. Theoretically it could be infinitely long, simply because any random person could say he believes in an unheard of god, and either you or he would be responsible for saying why it is valid or invalid.

The debate is not whether or not a particular religion is true. It’s about whether or not gods exist. If Yahweh and Allah were the same god this would be a different society. Either they’re the same, or they aren’t. Simple logic. This isnt about what people believe. It’s about what is ACTUALLY real.

There is logic to this argument, but I would say that very few people of faith ever arrived at faith by this means, especially the part about “look at the arguments and choose”. This may be a neat approach to buying your next car, but is rarely the process by which people choose which God to worship.

Thus, intentionally or unintentionally, you have mis-represented the process by which someone arrives at “faith”. If you are seeking to understand why someone believes then this logical process you have outlined wont help you. But if you are simply seeking to make faith in God sound illogical then you are doing a great job. But then who ever told you it was logical? It’s faith after all!

What is an ‘other’ god, anyway?

Take your pick.

This is exactly the problem. People should use this method but they do not. Usually its because siding with belief in a god is easier than learning about reality. Who can blame them though? Once you believe in god you don’t have to do anything else. Your ticket to heaven is secured. Hooray for faith!

I think you’re missing my point. What is an ‘other’ god for a monotheist?

It’s not a problem for me, and I disagree that people should use your chosen method. In the words of one modern philosopher, “I think it both sucks and blows”.

I totally disagree with you here. Since when is belief in God easy? Have you ever examined the words of Jesus about how Christians aught to behave?

Again I disagree. Once you believe in God (I can only speak for Christianity), your life becomes much, much harder in many respects. There is suddenly a moral imperative, not only to be a good person but to actually be perfect.

Matthew 5:48
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Not only that, but you’ll also find out that you have to start wearing uncool clothes, support president Bush, and watch endless reruns of the 700 club on TV! Tell me now, how easy would that be? :slight_smile:

I don’t understand your question, Uccisore.

uhhh… I’m tempted to say you are being slightly sarcastic here. Quoting Bart Simpson was a nice touch, though I wish you’d elaborate.

I never said being a Christian was easy. That is assuming you follow all the rules. I said “believing in god” was easy. There is a huge difference.