Five Major Signs Your Brain is Made Stupid By Faith

This Is Your Brain on Drugs was a large-scale US anti-narcotics campaign by Partnership for a Drug-Free America (PDFA) launched in 1987, that used two televised public service announcements (PSAs) and a related poster campaign. Here's the original 30 second commercial:



I want people to consider the drug metaphor for faith, taking our cue from Karl Marx who described religious faith as the opiate of the people, as I argued previously. When you watch the commercial hear him say "This is your brain on faith." That's what I think. Here then are five major signs your brain is made stupid by faith:

1) When faith makes you denigrate or deny science.

2) When faith makes you think you don't need evidence to believe. (Just think Alvin Plantinga).

3) When faith makes you deny that thinking exclusively in terms of probabilities is probably justified.

4) When faith makes you deny the need for sufficient objective evidence in favor of private subjective experiences.

5) When faith makes you think it has an equal or better method at arriving at the truth than scientifically based reasoning.

Any questions?

Christian, before you mindlessly quote mine from the Bible or the theology based on it, consider the various academic disciplines of learning at any good university and compare it to your faith. Academic disciplines of learning are areas taught in the universities where knowledge is to be gained.

According to Wikipedia here they are:

1 Overview

2 Humanities

2.1 History
2.2 Linguistics
2.3 Literature
2.4 Performing arts
2.5 Philosophy
2.6 Religion
2.7 Visual arts

3 Social sciences

3.1 Anthropology
3.2 Archaeology
3.3 Area studies
3.4 Cultural and ethnic studies
3.5 Economics
3.6 Gender and sexuality studies
3.7 Geography
3.8 Political science
3.9 Psychology
3.10 Sociology

4 Natural sciences

4.1 Space sciences
4.2 Earth sciences
4.3 Life sciences
4.4 Chemistry
4.5 Physics

5 Formal sciences

5.1 Computer sciences
5.2 Logic
5.3 Mathematics
5.4 Statistics
5.5 Systems science

6 Professions and Applied sciences

6.1 Agriculture
6.2 Architecture and Design
6.3 Business
6.4 Divinity
6.5 Education
6.6 Engineering
6.7 Environmental studies and Forestry
6.8 Family and consumer science
6.9 Healthcare science
6.10 Human physical performance and recreation*
6.11 Journalism, media studies and communication
6.12 Law
6.13 Library and museum studies
6.14 Military sciences
6.15 Public administration
6.16 Social work
6.17 Transportation

In what other academic discipline of learning besides your faith (or theology, which is not considered one of them since theology is always sectarian) do you deny scientifically based reasoning? In what other discipline of learning besides your faith does the need for evidence not apply? In what other discipline of learning besides your faith do you deny that thinking exclusively in terms of probabilities is probably justified? In what other discipline of learning besides your faith do you deny the need for sufficient objective evidence in favor of some private subjective experiences? In what other discipline of learning besides your faith would you claim faith has an equal or better method at arriving at the truth than scientifically based reasoning?

Again, Christian, before you mindlessly quote mine from the Bible or the theology based on it, consider what you think of other brains on faith, like those of Scientologists, Mormons, Militant Muslims, Orthodox Jews, pantheists, and so on. Clearly you think their brains are on the opiate of faith just as I do. Watch some videos about these other faiths. Study them. Talk to practitioners of them. Try to argue with the best representatives of them and see if you can penetrate their brains with reason and science. Can't do it? Why? Why do you think their faith makes them impervious to reason and your faith does not make you impervious to reason?

When scientifically thinking people like myself make this kind of argument believers in different faiths will say we cannot justify our own reasoning capabilities, since we accept the fact of evolution. I think my evolved brain can make reliable (though not perfect) judgments based on the evidence of course, and that should be good enough. But ignoring this for the moment, what if these believers are correct? Then what? It gets them nowhere as in no-where. They still cannot settle their differences because they are left with no method to do so. They will argue for faith over reason which leaves them all back at the starting gate, with faith. They are special pleading and that's it, thinking if they can deny reason in favor of their particular faith that their particular faith is the correct one. No, if they deny reason in favor of faith the result is there is no way to settle these disputes between people of different faiths. My claim is that religions debunk themselves and because this is clearly the case, the only alternative to know the truth about the world we live in is through scientifically based reasoning.

The fact that I can say nothing to convince most of them of this is maddening. They are impervious to reason, most all of them. This is what faith does to their brains.

Look at that 30 second commercial again and hear the words, "This is your brain on faith." Put away that drug and learn to think soberly for perhaps the first time in your life.

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