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Posted by Mario Dovalina on September 17, 2002 17:07:03 UTC

Hi, Aurino.

I think we've had this same conversation about fifteen times before, so forgive me if my reply isn't as long as yours, but I need to get to the heart of the matter fast before we go off track. :)

I know that most religious people aren't fundamentalists, however that does not mean that those non-fundies don't make religious statements intended to objectively describe the universe. The vast majority do, and I view that as fallacious. But, let's explore both possibilities:

A) Person X's religious beliefs about God and the universe comfort him, and he genuinely believes that his beliefs are true outside of himself. He thinks that God exists in the way he thinks of him. (In my opinion, most religious people)

B) Person Y takes a great deal of comfort from his religious beliefs as well, although he thinks it to be a psychological phenomenon and nothing more (his beliefs help him, though he doesn't think of them as objectively true)

In my opinion, the first guy is mistaken because he is making absolute statements about the nature of reality without sufficient evidence to do so, and hence his beliefs are unverifiable and unteneble. In addition, his beliefs are perfectly disprovable by science, since it falls smack dab into science's ballpark. (observational reality)

The second guy's beliefs may avoid science, but I don't think that beliefs that are entirely internal and subjective should be classified as religion, nor should they provide comfort or solace. Why should a belief that is admittedly purely psychological and internal make you happier about the outside world?

You can't be a religious person and not fall into one of the two categories. Either you think your beliefs are universally true or you don't.

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