Tag Archives: Religion

The Illuminator Comic: Bob the believer!

I created this character called Bob the Believer (Believer Bob),  the quintessential religious, Bible thumping, fundamentalist  whack job.
Believer Bob tries unsuccessfully to stump Triangle Head every time.  You’ll notice that Bob totally rejects every scientific theory and favors Creationism at every turn. Cognitive Dissonance!
Enjoy! 🙂

Also on Instagram @the_illuminator_comic
http://www.theilluminatorcomic.com

What is The Illuminator Comic?
“The Illuminator”, is a character driven comic strip by Chris Pinto, that turns Religion, Politics and Conspiracy theory on it’s head.
The Protagonist, Triangle-head is an evil dude, with a soft heart. He is a member of the Illuminati. Join him on a quest to keep things real, while raising his three year old son Baltar, to someday lead the New World Order.
~ by Chris Pinto

The Illuminator Comic: A few decision trees.

Here are a couple of decision tree strips I did.

 

Also on Instagram @the_illuminator_comic
http://www.theilluminatorcomic.com

What is The Illuminator Comic?
“The Illuminator”, is a character driven comic strip by Chris Pinto, that turns Religion, Politics and Conspiracy theory on it’s head.
The Protagonist, Triangle-head is an evil dude, with a soft heart. He is a member of the Illuminati. Join him on a quest to keep things real, while raising his three year old son Baltar, to someday lead the New World Order.
~ by Chris Pinto

The Spectrum of Knowledge and Belief

The Spectrum of Knowledge and Belief

I have at times accepted the Agnostic Atheist label I did so in part as an assertion of the scientific principle of uncertainty (I was never indoctrinated and haven’t experienced the doubts I have heard from those who struggled from the grasp of such). So it was definitely not being doubtful, just trying to be scientific. Sounds good? nods,  but I also felt uncomfortable with the agnostic angle because as generally used  it implied doubt which I didn’t in any way feel. Now I  have come to think I was fundamentally missing the point and confusing the issue. The core problem comes from the definition of knowledge and belief.

So let’s look at a philosophical definition of knowledge as quite honestly when we are doing with this labelling game. We are dancing with philosophy. (Pragmatic types just left the room)

Defining Knowledge

Plato defined knowledge as a “Justified True Belief” 

This might be modelled thusly

circle_diagram3
Platonic Model of Knowledge

This brings us to the bit…

Knowledge and Belief
are not purely distinct things

In fact knowledge is just a specialized case where a claim meets standards of evidence sufficiently to match our acceptance as knowledge threshold. (we do not have any handle on plato’s truth not really so lets ignore that for now sigh)

Presenting them as different axis like they are  often done might be seen as rather deceptive.

No distinction

Perhaps we could argue they are different markers along a path of differing degrees of justification.

<insert image reflecting this model>

Justification aka Evidence.

We could define this as a range of evidence quality with markers showing where we decide that belief becomes knowledge  (and aside from errors generally there should have strong correlation with plato’s truth).

Standards of Evidence

What amount of evidence or lack there of (where evidence would reasonably be expected ) do you require to consider a belief to be knowledge?

This question is the core of that scale.  But it gets tricky  do you have different standards for different things well yes of course you do but are they appropriately  contextual like how the scientific axiom of  “Extreme assertions requiring extreme evidence”  as popularised by Carl Sagan  calls it. Or are those standards influenced by something else (like fear tactics embedded in the religious doctrines themselves or a desire to get along and not be in conflict with dominant religions).

There is also of course differences in evidence quality like subjective vs objective experience . (let’s just avoid Descartes anti-pragmatic it is all subjective hole for now).

Beyond that we come down to the nature of the claim…

Multitudes of Definitions
– Changing/Moving Goal Posts

One of the reasons we see where people assert they do not believe but they do not know (ie agnostic atheism) may be occurring because of the lack of precision in “the god claim” , but I think it is not just that there are a variety of claims ( for this reason I have a fondness for Ignosticism ).

As even focusing on what is supposedly a broadly speaking singular modern claim. you see serious changing definitions over time and those changes have a pattern that should itself be a clue about the nature of the claims.

It seems very apparent that the religious salesmen and apologists have been intentionally redefining their magic sky daddy premise and moving goal posts to remove expectation of evidence.  He was in the sky and liked the smell of burning flesh till humans were able to fly beyond the world, now he is some interdimensional out of time being. They aren’t gaining new knowledge they are refining a manipulative scam a con game. The con-men want you to give them freedom to sell their crap.

I personally won’t be buffaloed in to not calling it crap because of some extreme vague white washed deist possibility that simply put does not correspond at all to what the religions are actually selling.

La religiosidad, consecuencia evolutiva.

La religiosidad, consecuencia evolutiva.

 

Los humanos somos criaturas capaces de encontrar patrones en el ambiente que nos rodea, pues nuestros cerebros han evolucionado de esta manera, siendo aquellos que encontraban significado a lo que estaba al alcance de sus sentidos los que tenían mayor posibilidad de sobrevivir; en el supuesto que dos cazadores estuvieran al acecho de una presa y a lo lejos escucharan que el pasto se movía, el que decidía huir, pensando en la posibilidad de que fuera un depredador ocultándose entre los pastizales lo que había causado el ruido, tenía una mayor posibilidad de seguir con vida y reproducirse que aquel que decidió quedarse a investigar si el ruido había sido causado por el viento o en verdad se trataba de un depredador, por lo que la Selección Natural habría favorecido a aquellos animales que en primera instancia asumieran que el patrón que reconocieron era real.

El primer caso pudo tratarse de un error estadístico de tipo I, un falso-positivo, error en el que una persona asume que algo es verdad, debido a un error, como cuando una prueba médica falla e indica que un paciente tiene una enfermedad o virus que realmente no padece, al igual que cuando una prueba de embarazo da un resultado positivo a pesar de no estar preñada la mujer.

Mientras que el segundo caso podría ser un error estadístico de tipo II, un falso-negativo, un error en el que se asume que lo percibido no es indicación de lo que se esperaba en un inicio, siguiendo con el ejemplo de la prueba médica, si la misma falla en un paciente que sí padecía de la enfermedad, arrojando un resultado negativo, el paciente no recibirá el tratamiento adecuado, pudiéndole causar la muerte. (Para más información sobre los errores estadísticos, da click aquí)

Tras años de adaptación los primeros humanos habían desarrollado su capacidad para darle significado a cualquier patrón que observaban, aun de entre ‘ruido’ sin sentido; esto es a lo que el psicólogo Michael Shermer denominó Patternicity, que puede ser traducido como “Patronicidad”.

Además de causar errores estadísticos que podían incrementar la posibilidad de supervivencia, ¿tiene la patronicidad una función práctica?

Sí, encontrar patrones en la naturaleza ayudó a los primeros humanos agricultores a identificar las estaciones, temporadas de migración de diferentes animales de presa, cambios climáticos, etc.

Sin embargo, es esto mismo lo que, sumado a un sesgo cognitivo de confirmación, da lugar a los avistamientos de fenómenos

A chunk of wood that people think is the Virgin Mary
Un tronco que la gente ve como si fuera la Virgen María

paranormales donde no los hay, de la misma manera que la gente ve a figuras de su propia religión en diferentes lugares, como sus alimentos

 

o hasta al presidente que recientemente había muerto, tal fue el caso del presidente venezolano Nicolás Maduro. Estos son casos de pareidolia, el encontrar patrones que el cerebro reconozca como rostros humanos, parte específica de la patronicidad.

pareidoliaWTC
Supuestas caras presentes en el humo de las Torres Gemelas

Algunos otros ejemplos muy conocidos son los mensajes ocultos en canciones reproducidas en reversa, la cara en Marte, astrología y demás métodos de adivinación, numerología, etc.

¿Por qué pasa esto?

Nuestro cerebro se adaptó al reconocimiento de patrones no solamente para incrementar la posibilidad de poder sobrevivir para pasar sus genes, sino también para ahorrar recursos al pensar y utilizar casos previamente aprendidos en situaciones similares.

La manera más común de la patronicidad, es cuando se encuentran patrones en sucesos y circunstancias inconexas que describen un caso aislado, dando forma a las teorías de conspiración, donde se tiene la tendencia a creer que el mundo es controlado por agentes ‘invisibles’ intencionados, no aleatorios. A esto Michael Shermer denominó Agenticity, que en español puede ser interpretado como “Agenticidad”, siendo el más conocido y que más gente considera verdad, el creador o diseñador inteligente que dio forma al mundo, dejando patrones fácilmente reconocibles para aquellos que los buscan, donde las personas encuentran belleza.

La suma de Patronicidad y Agenticidad generan el sesgo cognitivo que da forma a las religiones y el apego a las mismas, la religiosidad, explicaciones primigenias al mundo que nuestros antepasados no podían comprender y cuyas interpretaciones se basan en una visión básica del mundo donde se le dotaba de personalidad e intención a las fuerzas de la naturaleza, dándole una consciencia al universo o creando una figura que representara a la voluntad de ese universo, formando a un/os dios/es que fueran la máxima respuesta a los patrones que no comprendían, volviéndolos humanos, empatizables y relacionables a uno mismo.

Fuentes:

Agenticidad y Patronicidad: 1, 2.

Reconocimiento de patrones, supervivencia, aplicación y extrapolación de casos: 3 (PDF descargable).

Material adicional:

Pareidolia: A, B.

Apofenia: C.

 

A possible link between the ultra religious and low IQ’s

A possible link between the ultra religious and low IQ’s

ultra religious

A study from 2013

A study from Gallup Polling found religiousness across the U.S. in 2013 remained similar to previous years. With 61% of its residents classified as very religious, Mississippi held on to its position as the most religious state.

% of Population With Bachelor’s Degrees or Higher: 20.4%

Median Household Income (2013): $37,963 (51st)

Average SAT Score (2013): 1673

Average IQ and Ranking: 94.2 (50th)

Mississippi is the state of a bygone era. Prior to the Civil War, Mississippi’s agricultural economy — and reliance on slave labor — made it the fifth wealthiest state in the country. However currently it is near the bottom in most economic and educational measures. Mississippi residents received $2.02 in federal spending for every dollar they paid in taxes. The state has the highest poverty rate in the country at 20.1%.

Sources:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/167267/mississippi-religious-vermont-least-religious-state.aspx

http://www.thestreet.com/story/12712489/19/the-10-dumbest-states-in-america.html

http://www.businessinsider.com/poll-how-americans-feel-about-the-states-2013-8

Religion’s abuse of the mentally ill

abuse of the mentally ill

 

Religion’s abuse of the mentally ill

There has always been a stigma attached to mental illness and conditions such as epilepsy, which cause alarming seizures in otherwise healthy individuals. When society did not understand the cause of conditions that science has learned to identify and treat, people turned to religion to cope, and the results were at best scarring for the individual and at worst, deadly.

A young German woman that had suffered seizures all of her life was killed after ten months of exorcisms because her family believed that she was possessed by demons. Denied food and water, subjected to violent rituals, the 23 year old died horribly and needlessly at the hands of people blinded by their own ignorance.   Continue reading Religion’s abuse of the mentally ill

The Closet Atheist

Closet Atheist

The Closet Atheist

Going to work and doing the normal routine comes simple for some people. They socialize, enjoy time with friends and try to live out their normal routine. For other people, life is a little more complex, and for some, live in the shadow of fear.
In the religious world people are free to flaunt their idealism, regardless of how eccentric or unfounded their beliefs are. There is a widely held view of acceptance to those who delve into the realm of beliefs in a higher power. At first glance, it is very soothing to think there is something beyond yourself and that there is more to life then can be explained.   Continue reading The Closet Atheist