Critiquing Faith—Understanding the Blowback

How atheism insults religious imagination—an affront on hope.

Three very important things to remember when scrutinizing faith.

First of all it confronts the validity of hope which triggers an adrenergic response. It can certainly be startling when faced with the fact no god is coming to the rescue. “Wait, I’m on my own here?” No worries mate, you’ve been living life on your own the whole time (with a little help from your friends) Nothing is going to change only you don’t have to wait around talking to yourself to see if a prayer was answered. You’ve done ok so far, but holding that much power can be frightening at first. But, you’ll get used to controlling you own path.

Second, criticizing a belief is a trigger warning to resist temptations to even consider alternatives—for god (friends and family) is measuring your devotion at that very moment. Considering better-than-belief alternatives you might fall into sin, or regress to your old self and return to your own vomit (Proverbs 26:11) All those things “god” did for you won’t come undone. Relax. No need for knee-jerking. Its called moving on—maturing through faith.

Thirdly, you directly insult imagination. Humans have terrific imaginations—religion is a great way to kill time when your brainpower exceeds opportunity, activity, or motivation. But don’t be fooled—just a nudge in the right direction and bang! You can express this runaway imagination through achievement.

Our imaginations make up a huge portion of who we are, or think we can become. A personal affront to imagination is a direct insult worthy of stoning and death. It even has a name—blasphemy.

Blasphemy—a: the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God 

b: the act of claiming the attributes of a deity for man to imagine that he was divine could only be viewed as blasphemy.
“Suggesting you have the ability to chart your own path puts those in power in an awkward position to justify their own arrogance”. This is a most heinous sin. It’s treason, really.
And fourth but not least, reducing self-deprecation as a worthless sinner isn’t putting you in dangerous territory, but it may release how good you can really be without having to put your own foot on your own neck in the name of belief.

A good thing to remember—arguing with faith is debating reason against physiology. Through repetition the neurons are hardwired and the inability to connect the dots and to embrace contradiction is now a physical phenomenon.

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

48 thoughts on “Critiquing Faith—Understanding the Blowback”

  1. When I walked away from religion I found myself saying, “Who am I NOW that I don’t have God?..” then I realized exactly what you said…I’ve been the same person all along. “Debating reason against physiology.”– perfectly said. 😀 Hope you’re having an awesome week Jim!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I am so glad you stopped in. It’s funny, and you can’t imagine it til it happens to you, but nothing I ever said or even thought was my own. This entire blog series is my own observations with no expert opinions. I realize I know very little, but what we see of the world can be in our own words if you don’t have the experts breathing down your neck telling you what it all means. Observe, compare and report. No excuses. If I’m wrong I get a good argument and adjust my thoughts til it’s sensible.

      Like

      1. Exactly. It makes sense to believe a certain way, but when you find that a different way holds more truth as well as answers, well it’s only responsible that we adjust our thinking to what makes most sense. For some reason that was one of the reasons it was easy for me to break away from it all, because I realized someone was actually creating my own beliefs for me. It was never what I truly believed to begin with. All I had to do was say, “not anymore” and the rest came easily. Maybe I should say the truth came easily.😱 Haha

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, and I’ll just pick one point here, studies show beyond all reasonable doubt that when belief, not fact, is confronted that norepinephrine is released in the brain to stimulate fight or flight. Not bulverism at all. You can see this displayed when beliefs are thoroughly dismantled by reason, yet the person defends himself against obvious facts.

      Like

      1. I’m always interested in studies if you want to offer a link.

        Sincere suggestion: Why not include the studies in your blogs? If you already linked them in a prior blog link it again if you are going to post again about a view you think they support. Your blogs would then be informative and not pure bulverism.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Wow! That was one of the most interesting articles I skimmed through this month. It talks about many very interesting studies that I would like to look into further. Great find and thanks for sharing!

            Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks that is an interesting but unsurprising study. Positive religious experiences correlates with certain brain activity.

            And it seems reasonable to conclude that this positive brain activity that religious people are after so they irrationally pursue it right? I agree that makes sense.

            Do you think negative religious experience will correlate with certain brain activity? And do you think atheists just hope to avoid that? I mean the whole “your just an atheist because you want to justify you sinful ways bit” might be a version of that. If you saw a study that showed negative religious experience correlated with brain activity would you start to doubt your atheism? I mean you are just an atheist to avoid that negative religious experience your sin causes and it is not due to rationality.

            Both arguments are forms of bulverism IMO. Of course, there likely is some factual truth in both claims but it seems better to focus on the rational reasons to believe and not believe don’t you think?

            Of course there could be an argument that pursuing these good feeling or avoiding these bad feelings is rational. What do you think? I’m not sure myself.

            Like

            1. Here’s the deal and if you’d like I can show you more studies that tie it together. Take away those regions of the brain and there is no spirituality. Also, artificially stimulating those regions produces the spiritual experience as well. Mild impulses of artificial stimulation causes people to think they see god, or even have outer body experiences right in the lab. It is essentially produced in our own minds.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Well sure take away those regions of the brain and lots of experiences will vanish. They are talking about several regions of the brain.

              Do you think religious people are committed to the view that there would be no correlations in our brain with these experiences or that our brains do not play a critical role in allowing these experiences?

              Its true that religious people think there is something more than our brain in who we are. That is sort of assumed in the article on beliefs saying we can change our beliefs. Well who is the “we” that can choose to change our beliefs? Our brains? If it is just our brains changing is there really a we that is choosing? I think most people tend to understand who we are as somewhat seperate from but clearly linked with our physical bodies. Or at least we think there is something more than our physical body when we think of who we are.

              I mean maybe that our brain is all there is. I agree such an explanation is not impossible. But I also am not convinced it has been proven with certainty. But to be fair I am not really sure how such a thing could be proven to me. It would seem I would just have to start thinking of myself as a brain and nothing more. And if that happened then it happened. Is that how you see yourself – just a brain?

              Liked by 1 person

            3. Since this topic is essentially morality Joe, the interesting thing is the moral compass disappears and reappears with neurological insult. Tumors cause people to be porn addict pedophiles. Take away the tumor and they go back to normal behavior. The tumor grows back, and the behavior returns. This is just one of many examples. The Texas clock tower shooter became a cold blooded sniper and also lovingly killed his parents over a tumor. Remover the tumor and the morality returns. These are just a couple of the examples that show morality is a neuro function and not some mystical implant from above. It’s simply in the neurons.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. Jim

              I don’t think most people view morality as a neuro function. Morality is about how we should behave. Neurology effects how we behave but it is not the same thing as morality.

              It is certainly not all brain function or malfunction. What we are raised to believe also effects how we behave. But ultimately we also have a will that can choose things. And according to that article you linked we can even choose our beliefs.

              I think there is a level of choice in our beliefs but I think that is tricky. I want to look more closely into that article.

              Liked by 1 person

            5. Most people don’t view morality as a neuro-function, but that is changing with our ability to record brain function. It’s no wonder the money preachers use professional staging, timing, lighting and sound to generate emotion on cue. They call it the spirit but it is nothing more than manipulating hormones.

              Like

  2. It must be late. Belief, faith, imagination, blasphemy … I got lost, hopelessly so after reading comments. And did I just see the word autonomy … oh, gawd, now my brain hurts.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll finish this wine and go to bed. I wrote mine for Friday today (on belief), maybe that is my problem. Tired. Do you ever sleep? Well, I do. Good night, Jim.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This very morning, I heard that very allegorical canard on the radio, including the bit about that sow, always returning to her mire. While on the animal allusions, the mole appears only to get whacked back down for it. You’re not truly thinking independently until you let god do your thinking for you, thine will not mine, the ever-returning prodigal son to his ever-welcoming father…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It all pretty much boils down to one thing, a believer must change himself, while a weak non-believer can be changed by others, or by fear. “What if I’m wrong, and there really is a heaven. I better have a Plan B, but I have to make it look like Plan A .”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is so dead on for the majority of those I’ve rubbed elbows with. Then when you ask them why they would worship a God that (yes, I deliberately use “that” and not “who”) can be so easily conned… there is no answer or some condescending BS like ‘you don’t believe so how can you understand?’.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh heavenly WordPress… you corrected my typo even before I did… therefore my typo correction comment becomes quite meaningless. I did post my comment with “rubber” instead of “rubbed” but never mind, life goes on. Maybe it’s one of those miracles that God can do, no cost involved, not too demanding… Still I don’t want to go to heaven just for spell checks and auto corrects.

        Like

      2. The stock answer, we cannot understand. As soon as they say anything like that, the discussion is as good as ended. You can lead them to water, but they expect to be able to walk on it.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Hah, hah, hah… guffaw!!! Have I ever said here that there was a time in my life when in the process of “switching allegiances” so to speak, I gave God a challenge? I said, in a deeply felt prayer, “look, enough is enough. Show yourself, then give me, yes me personally, all those powers Jesus promised to his followers. I’ve been following since I suckled my mother and what has it gotten me? Nothing. So, here’s your big moment: make it happen. I want to heal anybody I choose to heal. I want to change water into wine – and yes, I like wine but so did Jesus. I want to be able to speak to anyone in any language and be fully able to understand what s/he is saying. I want to raise the dead and I want to be able to walk on water. Why? Because I am promised that I would do such things and even greater things. Because IT IS WRITTEN. Either that or I walk.” And I walked, and it wasn’t on water but it may have been in water – we get a lot of rain here on the “Wet Coast” of BC, Canada. In plain words I gave up on God because God lied to me. If God lies about earthly happenings how much more is he lying about heavenly rewards? How stupid or brain dead does one have to be to continue to believe in such a chimera? So I didn’t drop dead and I found something better than faith and religion to dedicate my life to. Something God never wanted me to discover for myself.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. And you can now celebrate your true strengths instead of hiding them. That is where the beauty lay that Christianity stifles. Making people like you suppress your natural abilities.

              Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello Jim. About the last paragraph, are you suggesting something like electroshock therapy? Are there other suggestions on how to change the brain’s hard wiring? I can think of a few die hard religious barnyard muck yard people who could use some shocks, I recommend high voltage and long time intervals. It might help them see the “light”. Hugs 🤣😂😀😁😃😜😜😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m stating that through repetition and submission the neurons become hardwired. Like anything routine the neuro pathways become a physiological connection. We’re arguing reason against physiology. Numerous studies bear this out when someone willfully gives away their autonomy.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s