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Re: "IF"

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  • Bruce Allen
    Mr. Pessimistic wrote:
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 23, 2005
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      Mr. Pessimistic wrote:
      <"The questions we should ask is how do we promote atheism and
      freethought...and how do we EDUCATE the otherwise sheepish members of
      our society?">

      Instead of promoting 'atheism' or 'freethought', perhaps we ought to
      use the tactics that the religious use and seem to understand better.
      That is to constantly point out the flaws in their thinking or
      reasoning by asking them to explain it in terms that everyone can
      understand, even those without a religious background.

      We don't need to present them with other possibilities. We want to get
      them to question for themselves what they accept as truth. We can do
      this by asking them to continue to explain until they realize they
      can't because they don't understand. When they come down to its just
      faith" or some such, ask them to explain what faith is and how it
      works, or how is it different than simply refusing to question, or
      even to explain why refusing to question is preferable to seeking
      knowledge. They will have to stop you from questioning, but if you
      stop when they know you are still questioning, they will begin to
      question themselves. Never try to get them to change their beliefs,
      but only to know that you are curious.

      The Socratic method of teaching is extremely effective no matter what
      the subject. Get the student to answer questions without giving them
      any new information. Instead of giving them an answer which they may
      immediatly object to, simply leave them questioning their own
      statements or declarations (beliefs). People really don't like
      unanswered questions and they will try to find answers. When they
      realize they can't get the answers they start looking elsewhere.
      Giving them the proper questions is the key.

      We should avoid using the standard language of belief or faith, let
      them discover for themselves what these things are and how they
      compare when dealing with the world in which they live.

      Religions are cultural. That is, every religion is unique to its
      locale. Simply asking a religious person to explain why people of one
      area believe one way and they believe another is enough to begin them
      questioning themselves IF you don't get them started defending their
      own beliefs. People must cling to their knowledge of the world (world
      view) otherwise everything they know might be wrong and that would
      cause extreme anxiety.

      They can be inspired to question themselves, a bit at a time, but they
      can not be 'forced' to look at their entire belief structure.

      Just my morning ramblings . . . . .
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