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allengreen's avatar

Does faith create a fertile enviroment for ignorance?

Asked by allengreen (1618points) September 7th, 2008

In relation to presidential politics, are the faithful more likely to believe in a candidate, as opposed to reality based folks who are more likely to research and form their own opinions.

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34 Answers

muddyh2o's avatar

faith doesn’t create nor disrupt an environment of ignorance.

fundamentalist views, strict interpretation of ancient texts in other languages and blind faith in organized religion is like pouring gasoline on the flame of ignorance.

susanc's avatar

Faith and investigative thinking aren’t mutually exclusive, and when they
exist in one person, that’s a powerful mind. Blind faith is different from
deep critical faith.
@ag, this was not really a question, was it? But you probably have a
question you’d like to learn from – as opposed to a statement. What would
that be? I’d take it very seriously.

allengreen's avatar

susan—I am trying to understand how and why religious folks line up behind Republican, when Republican’s are against helping the poor, for war, for the rich, and against social programs. If one has faith, the does the intellect click off, and if not how can these folks line up behind Republicans again?

You say this is not a question? what then is your definintion of a question?

Do you have your own definition of what a question is and is not, mind sharing?

XrayGirl's avatar

yes, and so does ANY topic, I suppose. Ignorance is everywhere….all the time, and will never go away.

allengreen's avatar

True, but is willful ignorance more prevalent in people of faith?

Faith: belief that is not based on proof: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith
Believing something in absence of evidence without proof—

The definition of Ignorance is: A willful neglect or refusal to acquire knowledge which one may acquire

So therefore, is there an equivalency between faith and ignorance? Why not?

XrayGirl's avatar

yes, I think maybe there is. I am very much at ease in my faith to know that there are things that do not require my attention, because God knows all and knows how to handle. I tried to run my own life and it was a disaster. Now that I have turned my life over to God, I am healthy, sound, peaceful, happy, productive, stable, and strong. I admit, that I am willfully ignorant, because God takes care of me and mine, and it allows me to enjoy my life more than when I had to make all the decisions that were 99% wrong and destructive anyway. I guess I’m ignorant and blissful. This is a great question, btw and I gave you a plug. Thanks for provoking me to think this through from such a differenct perspective!!! ;)

Bri_L's avatar

By the way:

Welcome to the fluther XrayGirl!

allengreen's avatar

I respect you views, and gave you a plug too. Thx

So it is McCain all the way for you? Does the church tell you or suggest to you who (sic) to vote for, since it does not require your attention?

syz's avatar

I think it goes the other way…...people who are unable or unwilling to formulate their own ideas and beliefs latch onto groups (religious, socioeconomic, political, whatever) that feed them prepackaged answers. Why risk thinking for yourself when you can get a neatly bundled group of automatic responses from your peers? That way you can be as lazy and conformist as you want to be.

That’s not to say than anyone who believes in religion is incapable if independent thought. But in my own opinion, I find that the masses are blind followers. As K from MIB said, “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. ”

allengreen's avatar

syz—but what if confoming leads to one being happy? Like xray girl—a nice lady, happy to say she is willfully ignorant (her words not mine)

Can a democracy survive this? Like Jerry Springer willful ignorance, I am dumb and proud, I know nothing about politics, but am fervent against Obama and for McCain, I mean Palin? and I don;‘t know why?

Are we doomed as a nation? Are we following the path of Germany in the 1930’s?

syz's avatar

Ah, but that’s the very question that keeps horror movies in business. How many plots are based on unknowing herds of human sheep that don’t see the danger all around them? We just have to hope that those who do think, and those who do care about what’s right, continue to prevail.

(From a perfectly egocentric [or egomaniacal] standpoint, I’d be happy to be responsible for deciding who does not get to breed. If only I had a secret ray gun that I could keep in my pocket. When I interact with some stupendously stupid person [which happens depressingly often], I just zap them and know that they will not reproduce.)

marinelife's avatar

I want to first stress that I do not think one can generalize about all faiths or about all people of faith. That said, I think it can be the case that someone can “park” their questioning, because of their faith.

I think there is a great comfort, expressed eloquently by XrayGirl, in checking fear, doubt, anxiety and responsibility at the door. Unequivocal faith can lead to adopting a paradigm for viewing the world that includes following the dictates of one’s faith and its leaders. That level of acceptance means taking what people say at face value. It means assuming that you are on the side of right.

Zealotry of all types, not just religious zealotry, can be dangerous.

I don’t think that we are in danger in this country, because I do not think most people fall into this category.

allengreen's avatar

Thoughtful Marnia, and PS, sorry for attacking you yesterday

cyndyh's avatar

I like the way you phrased the question. Yes, faith does create a fertile environment for ignorance. That doesn’t mean the faithful will always be ignorant, but it sure helps ignorance to flourish.

aidje's avatar

Since you seem to really be asking about the wide Christian support of the Republican Party, I’ll answer that:

I know plenty of Christians who are Democrats. I also know a few Christians who think that a person cannot be both a Christian and a Democrat. This assumption has its foundation in another set of assumptions: (1) that morality is the most important thing there is, (2) that there is one objective black-and-white morality on which everyone should agree, and (3) that this morality can and should be legislated. The Republican Party gets a lot of votes by playing into that. Consider all the single-issue voters out there. A great deal of them will vote soley on the issue of abortion. They cannot under any circumstances support what they see as flat-out murder. Hence, they cannot vote Democrat.

So it’s not that they’re total idiots. Their perspective is simply different from yours. They have different concerns, and different ideas about what the government’s job is.

There are, however, a lot of Republican idiots out there. There are also a lot of Democratic idiots. Given the percentage of idiots in the world, whichever side has the most idiots will probably win.

allengreen's avatar

great answer aidje

XrayGirl's avatar

previously from allengreen: I respect you views, and gave you a plug too. Thx

So it is McCain all the way for you? Does the church tell you or suggest to you who (sic) to vote for, since it does not require your attention?

*******************************************************************************************
My reply:

My church and my brothers and sisters in Christ might suggest who I vote for, but GOD is who I am subject to…..not one single human being or institution dictates my mind, or my behavior. Yes, my church is for McCain, but I don’t like either candidate, but I will vote for McCain, rather than not vote at all, because I dislike him LESS than I dislike O-vomit, I mean Obama. God is my boss, no one else.

Bri_L's avatar

@ XrayGirl – Heheh While I am for Obama, Kudos on the nickname. I had not heard that one.

XrayGirl's avatar

yeah, I love to say stuff “wrong” tongue in cheek….thanks for the kudos.

allengreen's avatar

Too bad your boss doesn’t give us better candidates….

susanc's avatar

Well ag I thought you were on a bit of a soapbox. But I see that other people
are really enjoying thinking about this so I think I might have just been feeling irritable.

What I mean by a question is fairly narrow. I think it’s a request for information. And
I felt (but cannot prove) that your question was more of a proposal. Shall we continue?

XrayGirl's avatar

allengreen: ”“Too bad your boss doesn’t give us better candidates….”””

Well, He gives us what we ask for, which is why we stress prayer, we (Christians as a whole) obviously aren’t praying as much as we should OR for the right things. Too many Christians treat God like Santa Clause and rattle off a selfish list of things THEY want, and forget about the rest of the world. While He likes to give us great things, what He wants more is to see us love and take care of each other…that is where His majesty plays it’s most important role: love. God could give us perfect candidates, but why He hasn’t yet, in the history of man is a mystery to me.

Bri_L's avatar

I mean not to be little anyone’s beliefs with this but I found this to be funny at the time I heard it ( in reference to “we (Christians as a whole) obviously aren’t praying as much as we should OR for the right things.”)

Emo Phillips said:

“When I was young I prayed and prayed for a bike and I realized that the lord, in his wisdom, did not work that way. So I stole a bike and prayed for forgiveness.”

aidje's avatar

@XrayGirl
Not to belittle prayer, but I don’t think we’ll ever have a savior on Capitol Hill.

susanc's avatar

I think ag’s original question is really profound. I think it was rephrased best in one of the later bits in the thread: I am trying to understand how and why religious folks line up behind Republican, when Republican’s are against helping the poor, for war, for the rich, and against social programs. If one has faith, then does the intellect click off, and if not how can these folks line up behind Republicans again?
This is the old voting-against-your-own-best-interests question. In America, we’re all taught that everyone has the freedom to be very successful. In theory this is quite true; the Constitution allows everyone to rise through hard work. In practical fact, we have a very rigid class system which will work against that. For all of us to “rise”, we need a system of protections, a social safety net to keep the poor in the system along with the entrepreneurial geniuses.
But because we have a rhetoric of equality, many voters believe it’s in their best interests to vote for the people who protect the rich. Many voters actually believe they will personally be rich pretty soon, even though it hasn’t happened yet. They think this is a promise America has made to each and every citizen.
I do believe this is very ignorant. But it’s not based on religion.
Is there a way to put these two thoughts together?
1. Religion fosters acceptance of authority rather than examination of facts (my rewording of ag’s original point). Xraygirl has made a case for this being
a sensible way to live.
2. Hope trumps observation, and in our delusionwe vote to keep ourselves impoverished.
Comments?

allengreen's avatar

susanc—spoken like a rhetorical champion of truth freedom and the American way——you articulated this perfectly…..dam, this is what I dig about you susan! xoxoxoxo

susanc's avatar

O allengreen, I have won you over?!!! No one has ever xo’d me before. I am
flattered and will be your champion in perpetuity; but remember,
we must both observe good manners from now on. (Both of us, including me.) Yes?

allengreen's avatar

Susan, I’m trying to be true to self and polite—it is not easy though.

thanks, you’ve got a deal :)

susanc's avatar

Did everybody register this agreement?
Excellent.

XrayGirl's avatar

@XrayGirl
Not to belittle prayer, but I don’t think we’ll ever have a savior on Capitol Hill.
***********************************************************

I don’t either….I hope I did not insinuate that idea. ;)

Poser's avatar

“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of God.”—Pope John Paul II

allengreen's avatar

Susan, I still have a tough time being nice to right wingers, I need some more meds before I can be nice to the lunatic right wingers—they don’t understand nice, or logic, they only understand, “in your face” tacticts.

susanc's avatar

Well that’s lunatics, though. Our job is to avoid behaving like lunatics when clearly we’re
reasonable people with passionate ideas….

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