Don't do Anti-Thinking, part 2

A continuation of the new Don't do Anti-Thinking series.

Religious people sometimes complain that atheists unfairly criticize their ilk for irrationally believing in a faith. There are quite a few that think that they have come to a conclusion via some rationally defensible justification. And then there are the types that boldly proclaim to know things about external reality based off of an emotional response.

The videos that I'm pulling claim that people can gain reliable knowledge through faith. They are promoting belief in an internal warm-fuzzy-feeling truth detector.

mormon.org: How can I know this is true?

You can discover for yourself that what you’ve been learning is true by:

  • Sincerely praying to your Heavenly Father and asking Him if what you are learning is true.
  • Continuing to study and give thoughtful consideration to what you are learning.
  • Listening with your heart for the Holy Ghost to whisper the truth to you.

Yes. Gaining knowledge is a three step process. In the end, the Holy Ghost will whisper the truth to you.

It gets worse. The videos are astounding examples of proud anti-thinking. Let's look at another video:

The man claims to have conversations with God. To have dialogue with God. And lest he be unclear, to ask God things and God answers him.

I always ask: What kinds of knowledge can this warm-fuzzy feeling truth detector give you?

This truth detector only appears to works on questions that cannot be verified. Instead of a new way of gaining knowledge, it appears these people have hit upon a new way of fooling themselves.

Now, I'm open to the possibility that I'm wrong, and that their feelings based truth-detector could reliably give the right answer. But I'd have to see some evidence for it reliably giving answers in reality before I'd trust the truth-detector on matters outside of reality.

Consider the kinds of knowledge this warm-fuzzy feeling has given Mormons on such topics as evolution.

Check out where Mormons rank on the following PEW result:

Perhaps the Holy Ghost whispers to the hearts of the faithful to outlaw gay marriage by voting "yes" on Prop 8?

The Mormon church sure seems to think so.

The Organized Superstitions of the world are causing very real harm. Their warm-fuzzy-feeling truth detector gives them unverifiable answers to questions that cannot be checked, and never gives reliable answers to questions that can be checked.

Note: the video is hosted locally so that it loads faster. It is left unedited and with a link back to the original. I consider this to be a "fair use" of the footage. Please email me if you have any concerns.

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