Red Herrings & Confirmation Bias

Aug 19, 2013

unburdened wrote:

you sound like a very unhappy person , that is sad, because the proof you ask for is the HOLY SPIRIT and I know when it happened to me I was in autopilot , i was raised in several different churches as a child and I wrote off alot of what i heard off because i didnt want to hear it, then one day during one of the worst times in my life, I felt I could not go on anymore, and I was ready to give up and I fell down on the floor and cried out to Jesus, time seemed to stand still, and i was lifted up by hands that were unseen and I literally felt my heart just pounded away but I felt such Peace like never before, I knew my heart had been changed from a self centered brat to someone who could get through any tough times. Since then I had a horse fall over backwards on me at a show and I came out without even a mark on me, I was in the middle of a bad wreck where my car had the front end smashed in about 5 months ago didnt even need to be checked out when the ambulance arrived. That is my proof, until you have that you will have a life of doubt and anger. God BLess you !

Once again we see another example of a favorite Christian Red herring, which is a logical fallacy that misleads or detracts from the actual issue. The scenario works like so, the Christian is confronted by a statement that he/she cannot refute and instead of admitting that they dodge and redirect by accusing the person confronting them with the statement of being angry, sad, or an otherwise unhappy person. This usually works when engaging with a novice but after you debate enough Christians you soon find that this tactic is VERY common, well I’m not falling for it unburdened.

My emotional state is irrelevant to the discussion. I’m not any of those things you say I sound like but even if someone in my position were, it would not effect the argument that your belief is founded in nothing but ancient myths and hearsay.

You’re anecdotal personal testimony is not evidence that anything in your religion is factual. It is merely evidence that you were in a desperate emotional state and in that state you decided to surrender your ability to think and deal with your situation. You took the lazy way out and surrendered your reasoning to a blind belief that a magic man, which just coincidentally happens to be the central figure of the religion in which you were raised, would somehow come to your rescue, like an invisible Superman.

Your alleged evidence that anything happened is first a subjective feeling that time stood still, something that others not only have experienced with different religions but that is documented to occur when the brain is under stress from a myriad of things. Second, a feeling that you were lifted up by hands that were unseen, something called the Ideomotor phenomenon. Mystics, and religions, attribute these effects to paranormal or supernatural forces and due to confirmation bias you assumed that your actions were originating from god.
You say you "felt such Peace like never before" which can also be attributed to endorphins being released in the brain as a response to intense emotional pain. Everything you describe can be explained through purely physical phenomenon and require no appeals to supernatural intervention.

Your other alleged evidence is also subject to your own confirmation bias. So you had a horse fall over backwards on you at a show and you came out without a mark, are you the only one to have ever survived something like that? I doubt it. You were in the middle of a bad wreck where your car had the front end smashed in about 5 months ago didn’t even need to be checked out when the ambulance arrived, which means the vehicle did exactly as it was designed and absorbed the impact energy before it effected you. You should think the car engineers for saving your life, not some invisible silent magic man.

unburdened wrote:

I have my beliefs you have yours

This is a meaningless tautology. It’s way of appearing to say something without saying anything at all. Of course we have have differing beliefs, why else are we have this discussion. What you really mean to convey, I think, is that you have your reasons for assuming what you believe, reasons which I just showed be fallacious, and that you don’t care that they are fallacious. You believe things not because they are objectively true but for no other reason than they make you feel good about believing them. You enjoy having your beliefs, like a child enjoys having a favorite toy, and would rather ignore the hard truth of reality in favor of a reassuring fable; we all know children are not fond of giving up their favorite toy.

unburdened wrote:

I am not wasting my time bantering with you any further , I am here to share with other Christians and not argue , enjoy this world it will be all you get.

I’m sorry that you actually think scrutinizing extraordinary claims is a waste of time. I’m sorry you do not value truth, and I’m not talking about the pseudo-"truth" asserted by religious adherents, I’m talking about objective, verifiable truth founded on good reason and evidence.

You seemed not to think you were wasting your time sharing your so-called miraculous brushes with death. I know it must have burst your magical bubble to have it explained why those things were not so miraculous. Now you’ve seemingly run out of magical anecdotes and personal testimony of spooky experiences and want to run from the discussion. I understand.

The thing is if you want to share things with other Christians there is a place for that, it’s called church. In church you can control who talks and legitimately silence dissenting views and bothersome questions. On the other hand this is Topix and though you may wish to engage in self righteous back-patting and mutual confirmation of your fables, you can’t control who responds to those claims. If you’re claims had any merit to them whatsoever you should welcome criticism. If your claims had any basis in reality then they should be able to withstand any amount of criticism thrown their way. Can not truth defend itself from error?

As your claims cannot stand up to even the innocent questions of children, they stand no chance at all against the questions of rational adults with the instant fact checking offered by the Internet.

But thanks, I will enjoy this world and the actual marvels that reality has to offer, marvels that put to shame things like silly stories of burning bushes. I choose to be thankful that I have a life, and will forsake any vain and presumptuous desire for a second one. I hope you eventually open your eyes to reality. It would be a waste to spend your entire life chasing empty promises of pie in the sky.

by | Categories: John Tremblay, Musing |

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