[FoRK] Poll: I would rather my daughter married a Muslim than an Atheist

Lion Kimbro <lionkimbro at gmail.com> on Fri Jun 22 00:19:25 PDT 2007

On 6/22/07, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 21, 2007 at 04:41:35PM -0700, Lion Kimbro wrote:
>
> > >Hence in practice, rational advocacy is a waste of everybody's time.
> >
> >  I wouldn't go so far;
> >  A lot of times, I've been convinced of something, by an argument
>
> I've never seen people lose or gain a religious belief system as the
> result of a rational argument. Never. It is always as rational as
> as congenital disease, or catching TB.

  Of course not;

  When people change their mind over something deeply personal,
  it's almost always in the privacy of the bedroom.

  Here's how most of my major life changes have happened:

  * I'm by myself.
  * I'm sitting, and thinking about something important to me.
  * I hear the voices of different arguments I've been in with people,
    in the back of my mind.
  * I replay the different ones, and fit it together.
  * Some things click, some things don't.  I see how some things
    undermine still other things.
  * (And so on, and so forth.)

  At some point, something becomes clear, and my mind changes.

  It would never have happened if I hadn't had all those conversations
  with people, and heard their reasons for things.


  Given that most meaningful changes in my own thinking have happened
  in the privacy of my own mind, when I knew that I was not being influenced
  by the "heat of the moment" with others presence,

  Given that I have observed others change, between individual meetings
  with them,

  But Given Also that I have not seen them change, on the spot, in direct
  response to my giving them an argument,

  Given that people have told me, "You know, I was thinking about what
  you said a few days ago, .... It really stuck with me, and, ..."

  ...it seems reasonable to me that people change their minds,
  in response to rational arguments, but that it's something that takes
  time, and processing, and privacy.


  I mean, I think we all acknowledge that, at some level, we can be
  persuaded, in the heat of the moment, to think something that we
  fundamentally, given enough time, would disagree with.  So I think
  we have mental safeguards in place.  And so I think that when we're
  making "major changes," it almost always happens in private.

  But what others say can still provoke it.  Just not on the spot.


> >  that I heard **years** ago.  Or a number of arguments coalesce in
> >  my mind at the right time, and then, BAM, I'm convinced.
>
> Almost never happens with religious belief systems.

  What, religious conversion doesn't happen?

  People don't really leave their religions?

  Sinuhe The Egyption just doesn't happen?


> >  So I think there's some value and merit in the process.
> >  But it's rarely instantaneous.
>
> It is almost never effective.

  I just disagree.

  Introspecting over my own life, noting my own changes in thinking;
  I just disagree.

  It just takes time.

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