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Why people would choose a path of self-deception


Forum: Atheist and Agnostic Parenting

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  #1  
January 12th, 2007, 04:38 PM
Number_3's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Below is a clipping from an interview with writer Sam Harris that addresses the notion that some moderate believers believe because they want to have 'meaning'
You can read the interview in its entirety here: Sam Harris Interview

LS: What is your response to people who like science, who agree with it, but who say "It's not enough, it doesn't satisfy me, I need more?"



SH: With religious moderates, you have people talking about just wanting meaning in their lives, which I argue is a total non sequitur when it comes down to justifying your belief in God.



If I told you that I thought there was a diamond the size of a refrigerator buried in my backyard, and you asked me, why do you think that? I say, this belief gives my life meaning, or my family draws a lot of joy from this belief, and we dig for this diamond every Sunday and we have this gigantic pit in our lawn. I would start to sound like a lunatic to you. You can't believe there really is a diamond in your backyard because it gives your life meaning. If that's possible, that's self-deception that nobody wants.
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  #2  
February 4th, 2007, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
If I told you that I thought there was a diamond the size of a refrigerator buried in my backyard, and you asked me, why do you think that? I say, this belief gives my life meaning, or my family draws a lot of joy from this belief, and we dig for this diamond every Sunday and we have this gigantic pit in our lawn. I would start to sound like a lunatic to you. You can't believe there really is a diamond in your backyard because it gives your life meaning. If that's possible, that's self-deception that nobody wants.[/b]
Thank you!! That is exactly how I feel but have been unable to put it into words quite like that But i do feel that people have a *need* for a belief like that, and even if it is untrue, as long as they aren't trying to get me to believe it too, i think they are ok to be delusional as long as they are happy


Rachel
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  #3  
February 4th, 2007, 09:15 AM
Marieke's Avatar Mama to 3 angels
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Very interesting!

It's hard to believe that there's actually people that believe in something they've never seen... What gives meaning to my life is my children (when I have them). What else should have more meaning than your own flesh and blood??? I just don't understand
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