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It's important to differentiate between beliefs and reasoning. The problem isn't that people mistakenly assume that they are the same, but rather that people can assume that having "good" or "right" beliefs as ends in themselves, regardless of the reasoning process that produce them. I won't dismiss the value of having good rather than harmful beliefs, but relying on unsound reasoning processes doesn't leave much room for improvement and learning.

Read Article: Beliefs & Reasoning - Differentiating Beliefs from Reasoning

January 22, 2010 at 10:03 am
(1) Todd says:

Cool video about reasoning/critical thinking:


January 22, 2010 at 11:32 pm
(2) Ron says:

Hi, Austin. Sounds like you might be talking about this man.

January 24, 2010 at 3:09 pm
(3) tracieh says:

Sam Harris writes quite a bit about the insulating effect of liberal faith for fundamentalism. It’s hard to denounce fundamentalism fully while a good number of liberal believers accept the same premises that drive fundamentalist thinking.

If a doctrine asserts belief in authority without question, that’s dangerous for people to swallow. Liberals don’t reject that idea, they simply assert the authority is benevolent. The fundamentalist sees the authority as more morally ambiguous–flooding the globe to kill nearly all life, asking for child sacrifice as a demonstration of devotion. And this portrayal of the god worshiped by both liberal and fundamentalist Christians is legitimate in scripture. So, you have a load of people focused on this same character from the same literature. Some assert the character is benevolent, some not so much. All assert it’s right to look to this character for moral guidance and authority.

Not a good idea; but what makes fundamentalist problematic isn’t just that it focuses on the negative aspects of god as described in the Bible, but that it asserts unwaivering and blind devotion to this character no matter what you dream it demands of you. And in this regard–they’re no different than their liberal brethren.

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