By the time I found this site, I had basically already made my choice and did not have to struggle with the question of whether there is or is not a God.
I'm an atheist, although I was brought up as a Congregationalist. But I do use critical thinking every day in the decisions I make. I salute you for the support you are giving others. I have used the lessons of critical thinking in so many aspects of my life, not exclusively when it comes to religion or the lack there of. Making thoughtful decisions requires critical thinking. I sent my client to the website of a Philadelphia furniture store that is an authorized dealer of the most respected Italian furniture designers and manufacturers.
The store, room service , offers the most complete, most comprehensive and most exclusive collections of contemporary furniture available on the market today. I always have clients peruse the site and select furniture that they think they might like.
For instance, I had my clients first view Italian modern dining tables at this store's online site. I then send them mock ups of their dining room showing the pieces they selected and a few other choices that I made. I get their feedback. My job then is to sort through all the information I have gleaned from the clients through numerous conversations, look at the pieces they have selected, sift through my own extensive design experience data base, and then with the use of critical thinking offer my suggestions.
Nine times out of ten I am able to narrow down the furniture choices to two or three. A final decision is then made and the purchase is completed.
The only thing they agreed on was that you needed Jesus to avoid spending an eternity of agonizing torment. Being a squeamish sort of fellow I decided at a young age that molten sulfur and a resurrected body that could not be destroyed but could feel pain forever was not a very appealing option. As what was taught in one church was often contradicted in another church the next week, this was a tricky thing indeed.
Speaking in tongues in the Pentecostal church was evidence that I was filled with the Holy Spirit whereas speaking in tongues in any of the Fundamentalist churches was evidence that I was possessed by demons.
With the stakes of my eternal destiny being so high, I spent a l! Now that I am free of all that nonsense, I firmly believe that although most churches are sincere in what they believe their brainwashing of young minds is a severe form of child abuse.
My journey back to sanity was a long one. In the Christian worldview spiritual forces are everywhere. Bad things are due to either God allowing them to happen for your ultimate good, God is angry with you or Satan has got a hold on your life. There are exceptions to this such as sometimes good things happen to you because Satan is blessing you in order to deceive you. When Christians pray and good things happen, then God is answering prayer.
When Buddhists pray and good things happen then it was really Satan who answered their prayers. You get the idea. It took many years of study and careful consideration to clear my head of all that nonsense. My first step back to sanity came through a group of people that, for lack of a better name, are Christian Universalists. They teach that God loves all and will ultimately save all mankind.
Although now I just believe they are a slightly less misguided and more loving sect of Christianity, I do thank them for one important thing; their more loving image of God helped allay the ridiculous fear that had been controlling my life long enough to allow me to seriously study and contemplate what reality is. Without this intermediate step I likely would not have been able to recover my senses. I came to the following conclusions that have helped me immensely to enjoy life. There is no magic, good or bad.
There are only scientific laws that we understand and some that we do not yet understand fully. There are no benevolent nor malevolent forces interfering in my life. Everything has an explanation. If something appears to defy the laws of nature, it ONLY appears to. In spite of the thousands of books written about the souls and spirit of mankind, there is no evidence to support even the existence of anything outside of the physical realm.
Before I was born, I did not exist. I had no consciousness. After I die, I will not exist nor will I experience any consciousness. It would be ludicrous to be angry at something that there is no evidence for its existence.
Good things happen to good people. Bad things happen to bad people. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. The laws of randomness are not fair. Get over it! The Bible is a mish-mash of stories and myths. It contains approximately errors, contradictions and inconsistencies. There are well over a dozen extremely similar christ myths that predated the rise of Christianity.
It is not a unique religion in any way, shape or form. Get over it. The earth is not years old. Evolution is a certainty. There was not a flood that covered the entire earth. This is an impossibility; a myth.
New age religion is not from the devil. Astral projection and horoscopes are not evil. There are however just as worthless as guardian angels. The reason I think this is important is because, as Christians, we find ourselves as a part of two worlds.
We are a part of the Kingdom of God and must, therefore, pursue that Kingdom, but we are also a part of our culture. We are inextricably linked to the people and the media around us. This is, I think, a proper place for Christians to be.
I have heard of some embarrassing things sung in church. Just one for the road. Send comments to the Observer or clintchis yahoo. Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. Can that be said about critical and analytical thinkers? I subscribe to The Scientist online. My point is this: Religious and nonreligious people all fall short of the glory of God. They all have the same problems of living.
They all have the ability of doing great things, good and bad. Many analytical thinkers write off those who disagree with their basic beliefs. You probably thought that science was supposed to be skeptical and that it was supposed to be open to questioning. However, there are certain doctrines that they cherish for which they will not allow any questioning or challenging of what they teach.
If you do question them, you are incompetent. One of those precious doctrines is evolution. Christians will often refer to evolution as a theory or that evolutionists acknowledge that it is a theory. However, that is not correct. What they will tell is this: That evolution happened is a fact. How it happened is a theory. If you do question basic beliefs, or if you claim that we did not arrive by evolution, but by special creation, then it is because you are not a critical thinker.
You do not know how to do analytic thinking. A religious person can hold beliefs and knowledge while remaining flexible, just as a mathematician holds firm beliefs and knowledge but is willing to accept more and consider alternatives in the light of additional information. In other words, being in possession of facts that a person is unwilling to relinquish does not mean that he or she is unwilling to accept additional facts. Oaks spoke about the idea of differing conclusions when addressing religious educators.
As a result, we reach different conclusions on many important subjects that others judge only in terms of their opinions about mortal life. While both are employing critical-thinking skills, they may be doing so with different facts and differing amounts of facts.
All of the facts in consideration may be true, but because of the way those facts are understood, different conclusions are reached. Still, the thinking taking place can be correctly defined as critical. Of course, it is possible to contest a belief, debate, and even disagree while still maintaining trust and respect, but such a teaching atmosphere is what Mohan considers cosmopolitan and, as such, it would require no re-understanding to accomplish it.
Elizabeth Ellsworth described her experience when attempting to employ the type of approach Mohan suggests in her own classroom. The aim is to inspire the individual to think about, feel about, and then do something about living gospel principles. This change does not solely consist of stopping some behavior but also includes starting new behaviors.
Elder Neal A.
I stopped going to church eventually, because I found the longing to be too painful and decided to try to ignore it. They teach that God loves all and will ultimately save all mankind.
We are divorced now as well. It wearied you because it takes more than intuition and feelings. The next time you sit down to watch your favorite show or movie, take a minute to ask a couple questions of it: What assumptions does it make?
By the time I found this site, I had basically already made my choice and did not have to struggle with the question of whether there is or is not a God. For instance, I had my clients first view Italian modern dining tables at this store's online site.
You are a terrific writer, and I think we need to get the message out. As what was taught in one church was often contradicted in another church the next week, this was a tricky thing indeed. But even in such quarters folk know that this is not true.
It's where you can expect to find my ramblings and musings on Critical Thinking or a lack thereof, probably as it pertains to current events. Since the early s, while serving at Phillippo Baptist Church in Spanish Town, I began experimenting with what I called then 'afterglow'. This is, I think, a proper place for Christians to be. Can Critical Thinking actually prove God doesn't exist?
I would suggest that one uses violence to critique war and the use of violence, where the other uses violence in order to entertain — very different messages indeed!
The only verifiable, testable truth was accessible through science.
Kick-ass, I like it.
This isn't a religious story of how critical thinking helped me examine evidence of God's existence and then come to a conclusion. They have churches set up with leaders who just have to tell everyone to write letters to your senator, or the FCC, or whoever you want to threaten with a boycott or simply express your outrage, and the congregation does what they're told. He has not yet revealed all truth. Did I do enough good works, anticipate the consequences of my action well enough? Can that be said about critical and analytical thinkers?
I was convinced that if that was God's doing I wanted nothing to do with it. The microphone already amplifies your natural voice.