I would like to start out apologizing for the delay in getting this episode out. I had some technical issues and had to patch this episode together from the unedited sections.
What determines belief? Belief in a claim means that you have come to accept it, or that you have a high level of confidence in that claim. Beliefs have no contingency on truth of the claims. One may believe in something false, or one may believe in something true. This belief can be justified with bad reasoning or good, but it has no bearing on if one truly believes.
Knowledge, by comparison, is based on evidence and valid experience. The two can be related. We can evaluate a belief, to find the proof for a claim, which will lead to increased knowledge. But do we equate belief with knowledge?
People can believe in the existence of gravity, for example. A person that does not believe in gravity can test this statement to discover if the claim is true. Alternately, someone who is unsure about their belief in gravity may learn through experience that gravity does exist. A pen falls off of a table, and the individual can see this action and take it as evidence to support the theory of gravity. Belief in gravity alone, does not prove the existence of it. Belief in an idea is more complex than simply thinking that something is likely to be true.
In philosophy, the definition of knowledge has changed. In 1963, Edmund Gettier released a paper defining knowledge as “justified true belief. This links knowledge and belief on an intimate level.5
There are many other philosophical definitions of knowledge. I would like to focus on the idea of justified true belief. This implies that you can’t have knowledge without belief. A fact can both be justified and true and still not be enough to alter belief.
The most clear example of this is with the young earth creationist crowd. The facts are not enough when the individual has strong personal reasons for holding on to a belief. Therefore, knowledge that interferes with beliefs that people are highly confident in, is discarded. Evolution is another example of a subject for which people dismiss the evidence.
Evolution is arguably the most extensively justified of all the scientific theories, as well as an old earth. It is both justified and true, but it is not believed by some. So would it not be considered knowledge if people still don’t believe. Is belief a key component in what is knowledge?
Even when faced with the facts and evidence that justify this, many still are unable to believe. They lack confidence in the evidence, and the facts run contrary to all they have been taught by their religious leaders.
People from the outside don’t understand how indoctrination Is affecting how they see the oppression of religion. Burkas vs hijab. What is indoctrination? Indoctrination is a process of forcing a belief upon someone who is particularly vulnerable. It is generally a process that is only used on children as they are developing their mental faculties. They are taught strict adherence to an idea. In other words they are taught what to think instead of how to think. The indoctrination involves teaching that authority should never be questioned. There is an element of fear, whereas there will be scary or often painful penalty for questioning what you are taught.
Indoctrination is an attempt to force a belief on someone, by shielding out
contradictory information. For the indoctrinated, especially young children, it
is a psychologically embedded belief. Often reinforced by fear. The
indoctrinated start out faking it until the cognitive behavioral associations
take over. Then the indoctrinated person starts to feel they must believe and
continues to filter out any conflicting information. They will look for anything
they can that proves their convictions. And yes atheists do this to.
Interestingly a study from the Religious Study Center from Brigham Young University. A latter day saints church ran school. They did a **Self report** study of 500 baptists and 500 Mormons and found a correlation greater than .60 of the religion of the children to that of their parents.
NyTimes headline: 2 Federal Judges Rule Against Trump’s Latest Travel Ban
Trump went on a tirade about it at his rally in Nashville. He even went on to admit that it is just a watered down version of the first bill that was ruled unconstitutional, and that he intends to fight it and bring back the first executive order that gave preferential treatment to Christians.
Now why would a Muslim ban matter to an atheist. In fact, I find myself in the Sam Harris camp. Where in regards to Islam it is a mother load of bad ideas, and in it’s current form has been allowed to much power in too much of the world.
With all that being said, atheism in of itself has not doctrines, dogmas, or dictates that would shape one’s opinion either way on the Muslim ban.
Atheism is just simply one answer to one question. Do you believe in god? And if that answer is anything other than yes than you are an atheist.
However, for secularism we need to oppose any laws that regulate what religious groups are allowed or not. This is because giving the government the power to dictate your religion could lead to more restrictions on atheists as well.
Secularism protects everyone from the mechanism of the state dictating your beliefs. So even if you think of Islam as particularly dangerous, you forget the way Christianity behaves when it has the power of the state behind it.
The ban should concern atheists, agnostics, and secular humanists just as much as it concerns any other non-christian.
The poverty level for a family of 3 in 2017 is $20,420