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skeptical - debate about including religion in skepticism

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  • erickrieg@verizon.net
    concerning the following post attempt to the list: From: seneca4y2k Date: Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:48 am Subject: Question from a newbie
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 14, 2006
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      concerning the following post attempt to the list:

      From: "seneca4y2k" <seneca4y2k@...>
      Date: Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:48 am
      Subject: Question from a newbie seneca4y2k
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      All,

      Hope this question hasn't been beaten to death already. As a
      fledgling skeptic, I was wonder "what is the difference between psudo-
      science and religion? Why is it "ok" to publically question the
      existance of Bigfoot, but not God? It seems to me that people are very
      comfortable "rolling their eyes" at UFOs and astrology, but if a point
      is made about religious inconsistancies, then you become "the bad guy?"

      ============= Eric Krieg's response ==========
      Many skeptics see things exactly as you do - in fact, there is a fairly high overlap between skeptics and atheists. The main world wide skeptics organizations of CSICOP, Skeptics and Randi's take the position of "religion is just one more extraordinary claim to be skeptical of".
      The local skeptics group I am in, PhACT (like most small local groups) takes the position that it is perhaps politically more expedient ot focus on "here and now" claims like dowsing or astrology that can be directly tested than esoteric questions like the existence of God. The thinking is that our general message of critical thinking and questioning evidence would reach a far wider audience if we do not suffer knee jerk rejection from the religionist majority by being seen to "attack" such cherished beliefs. Maybe that is a cop out to avoid a hot topic, but I feel we have enough work to cover general pseudo-science and the long entrenched atheist movement can still separately cover the God question. That being said, our group tried to get involved when religionists were attacking science in our state with their creationist agenda. Likewise, a direct test of claims of supernatural healing is considered a fair target for inquiry.

      Eric Krieg
    • RRRR
      ... There is a distinction to be made between religion and belief in God. One can believe in God, but not as he is described in any religion. Some brilliant
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 14, 2006
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        Eric Krieg wrote:

        > The local skeptics group I am in, PhACT (like most
        > small local groups) takes the position that it is
        > perhaps politically more expedient ot focus
        > on "here and now" claims like dowsing or astrology
        > that can be directly tested than esoteric questions
        > like the existence of God.

        There is a distinction to be made between religion and
        belief in God. One can believe in God, but not as he
        is described in any religion. Some brilliant minds
        (such as Einstein and Beethoven) have had such
        beliefs. One should also take note that such
        believers generally acknowledge that it is a *belief*,
        which leaves open the possibility that the belief
        might be incorrect, unlike those who, lemming-like,
        adhere to religious dogma.

        Astrology and dowsing cannot stand the test of logic.
        Neither can religion.



        R.C. Barrows
        Composer-In-Residence
        Culver Chamber Music Series
        Hear my music: www.bigfoot.com/~RRRRComposer

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