Author Topic: Re: Your conversion to atheism (Derail about faith)  (Read 3834 times)

DeterminedJuliet

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Re: Your conversion to atheism (Derail about faith)
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2012, 10:17:43 PM »
Okay, thanks for answering my question.
"We’ve thought of life by analogy with a journey, with pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end, and the THING was to get to that end; success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along; It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.

AnimatedDirt

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Re: Your conversion to atheism
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2012, 10:51:52 PM »
And that's as honest as I can be.

I'm on my way out...I'm not dismissing your post.  Tomorrow.  :)

Asherah

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Re: Your conversion to atheism
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2012, 10:55:04 PM »

You've concluded this, I agree.  However there is just as much evidence for as there is against.  In today's world, it's all at your finger tips.  Don't blame God for no evidence.  It's not His way to overwhelm you with evidence and leave you with no choice.  Has not, for the most part, the Atheist at least on HAF mentioned more than once that "Even if God were to prove his existence to me, I would not follow the God of the bible..."?  That in itself proves choice/freewill.


Wow, bold claim. I'm really interested to hear your top five evidences for god. Then, I'll tell you what I think of them.

As for everything else in your previous post to me, I realize that it's futile talking with you on those topics. And, the evidence for god will probably be futile as well. But, hey, let's have some fun! I'm really interested. And, remember, it needs to be CONCLUSIVE evidence, lacking in ambiguity.
As a scientist, I am hostile to fundamentalist religion because it actively debauches the scientific enterprise. It teaches us not to change our minds, and not to want to know exciting things that are available to be known. It subverts science and saps the intellect. - Dawkins

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Re: Your conversion to atheism
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2012, 07:50:42 AM »
What you claim an assumption is actually a question, hence the "Is it...?"

Which struck me as imperative too.  Just like this next bit strikes me as back-pedalling:

Quote
One can get faith just from the asking.  The question remains;  With your knowledge today, are *you still longing for that faith or is this faith now a matter that you're glad you never had/got?  From the evidence on HAF, it would seem the latter is more true.

I've never understood what you mean by putting an asterisk in front of "you".  It's interesting that altho you later claim not to know anyone's heart, here you're freely assuming ex-Xtians who asked god to bolster or return their faith were never real believers at all.  Frankly, I think it's very unlikely that anybody who "never had/got" faith would have a reason to ask for it's return. 

Quote
Quote from: BooksCatsEtc
I don't doubt God can give a person faith...but the question rather is, would He?  I don't think so as that would imply being forced to have faith. 

Faith is being forced when the person is literally asking for it?

I don't claim to know your heart.  Only the person asking knows.  However, I would equate it with the common parent-child instance that one child is asked to say their sorry to their sibling for something or the other.  The child then regurgitates the words.  The parent then says, "You didn't mean that..."

Quote from: BooksCatsEtc
One can claim they asked for faith non-stop.  If *you are this person that asked and asked for faith, in hindsight, did you really want it having the knowledge you have now?

So god denies faith to people who would not, in the future, have a use for what they learned to live without, having been denied it?  Then god wants some people to be atheists so he can eventually send them to Hell for the sin of adapting rather than continuing to live in emotional and spiritual misery all their lives?  Hey, as long as you believe it's the will of something you call a god . . .

If God is...and therefore knows the heart, you are angry at this God for allowing you to make your own decison?

I'm not angry with any claimed divine being, I'm the one who agrees she never had any faith to begin with.  And you evaded the question of your god condemning people for adapting to a situation it forced on them after they, by their own decision, asked for faith. 

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However there is just as much evidence for as there is against.  In today's world, it's all at your finger tips.  Don't blame God for no evidence.

I blame you for the lack of evidence.  You keep claiming it exists, but you never present any.  If you've got evidence of a god's existence at your fingertips, let's see it so we put it thru the wringer as one does with evidence.  Otherwise all you've got is cheap talk.

Quote
Has not, for the most part, the Atheist at least on HAF mentioned more than once that "Even if God were to prove his existence to me, I would not follow the God of the bible..."?  That in itself proves choice/freewill.

You're confusing accepting a god exists with worshipping it.  These are two separate issues and the first does not automatically involve the second.
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Re: Your conversion to atheism
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2012, 12:06:53 PM »
Quote
Has not, for the most part, the Atheist at least on HAF mentioned more than once that "Even if God were to prove his existence to me, I would not follow the God of the bible..."?  That in itself proves choice/freewill.

You're confusing accepting a god exists with worshipping it.  These are two separate issues and the first does not automatically involve the second.
Wether Yahwee exists or not, and wheter he is worthy of praise and worship are two seperate questions.


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Amicale

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Re: Your conversion to atheism
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2012, 02:20:09 PM »
Quote
Has not, for the most part, the Atheist at least on HAF mentioned more than once that "Even if God were to prove his existence to me, I would not follow the God of the bible..."?  That in itself proves choice/freewill.

You're confusing accepting a god exists with worshipping it.  These are two separate issues and the first does not automatically involve the second.
Wether Yahwee exists or not, and wheter he is worthy of praise and worship are two seperate questions.

What you both said is true, yes.

It's one thing to hope or possibly speculate that somewhere out there, there's a chance (however slim) that some sort of god or deity existed.

It's quite another to say definitively that a) that god is the God Yahweh of the Old Testament; b) that god is worthy of praise or worship.

As it follows, I do not personally happen to think that the concept of God as described particularly in the OT is one worth worshipping at all. In fact, I wouldn't and couldn't. The last half dozen times I tried over the course of a few years, it never went well.  ;)

I have maintained that if we had evidence an intrinsically good, kind creator who helped and took care of its people existed, I'd be interested in learning more about it. Heck, I'd be interested in learning more if we had evidence for a creator far more of the deistic sort, simply because even if it never helped us, it would be an interesting aspect of science, the beginnings of the universe, etc.

But while I could maybe be persuaded to accept that the deity existed in either case, I might come to appreciate it or be glad it was there... but worship, no. Not for me, sorry. I'm not the 'fawning over' type. The best I could maybe muster would be an appreciation.  I don't worship my friends, or my family, although I love and appreciate them.


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Re: Your conversion to atheism
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2012, 04:10:34 PM »
But while I could maybe be persuaded to accept that the deity existed in either case, I might come to appreciate it or be glad it was there... but worship, no. Not for me, sorry. I'm not the 'fawning over' type. The best I could maybe muster would be an appreciation.  I don't worship my friends, or my family, although I love and appreciate them.

That sums it up for me as well.  If there were proof -- real proof, not that "know it in your heart" crap -- that some kind of god exists, that would be fascinating, the biggest scientific break through ever.  I'd be all agog and excited about that discovery.  Even if it was proved to be the Xtian god specifically, I could spare an "as improbable as it seemed, He actually exists.  How about that."

But worship?  That's way out of my emotional range and I'm not even interested in trying to go there.  There's something intrinsically wrong with extreme emotions, at least as far as I'm concerned. 

Now following It, that could be another story depending on what rules and philosophy It, and not some tap-dancing human minion, was offering up.  If I thought the guidelines for living It proposed were good and sensible, and based on something worthwhile, then I might well follow It just as I can be said to generally follow Seneca or the Buddha.  But my own sense of right and wrong, just and unjust, would remain in play to judge how far I followed since I would assume that having been given an independent intelligence, I was meant to use it.
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Re: Your conversion to atheism (Derail about faith)
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2012, 04:18:19 PM »
 ^great posts Amicale and BCE^

why would any deity, if it existed, want people to worship it, or even care if people believed in its existence? That sounds like a very insecure, smallminded (and all too human) god.

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Re: Your conversion to atheism
« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2012, 04:30:49 PM »
AD, I was a Christian for several years. I started to lose my faith, despite feeling a need for God. Of course I felt one. With all my heart, I wanted to believe. In so many ways, it would have made life a lot more comforting, if not easier. So unfortunately, you can't just say that first, one must feel a need of God, then faith comes in. I wish it were that simple. How can you answer the question of someone wanting God, wanting to know God, and at the same time losing their faith without being able to get it back? How can you answer the question of someone having more questions than answers, even if they wished with all their heart that the damned questions would just go away? I use 'you' generally, not you, AD, although you're welcome to answer them only if you'd care to. As it so happened, I asked for faith non-stop. I felt myself losing faith, and I tried hard to keep hold of it. I prayed constantly. Nothing. Read my bible. No reassurance there -- if anything, I was reminded that God spits lukewarm people like I was out of his mouth. I attended different churches, talked to tons of different Christians, just kept praying and hoping and trying again and again to 'come back to God', begged him for all the 'second chances' I possibly could.... and finally, after years of that, I realized I was on the outside looking in, and it certainly wasn't through lack of trying or caring.

It certainly sounds like you really wanted to be a Christian and believe.  I'm wondering how long of a time this took...to lose your faith?  What was it about God you wanted so deeply?  What questions did you need answers to that caused this deep want to disapear?  I ask because its interesting that some can have the same questions, needing answers, but are content to not know the answer.  Some things are going to remain in the unanswered questions column throughout life.  Within your framework of belief as a secular humanist, are all your questions answered or are there some that you are able to leave unanswered for a later date or even never answered in your lifetime?  Have any of these caused you to lose your secular humanist view, or causing doubt?

Quote from: Amicale
As for your question, considering the knowledge and understanding I have now (a secular, humanistic worldview, personally), did I really want faith back then? The answer is yes. Absolutely. And I'll put myself out there because as unpopular as me saying this might be to fellow nonbelievers.... if I'm absolutely honest, I'd love to be able to have faith in some kind of loving creator who I knew would take care of everyone, comfort the hurting, heal the broken, make the wrongs right again. If we had evidence that kind of creator existed, if we begged for faith and received it, begged for healing and comfort (for not just ourselves but others) and received it, asked that God to help those so desperately in need... and all that actually happened.... now, that would be something. If we could actually know that there was some tangible proof for the very comforting stories, I suspect more of us might be inclined to give those very comforting stories another shot.

I'm not sure what you were taught as a Christian.  I don't really know your background.  What I can tell you is what I've been taught since being a child.  That this life is not fair.  That I may be put to death for my belief(s).  That a full and happy/wealthy life is not guaranteed, but much of our wealth and happiness depends on us alone.  That we do no posess all the answers to our many questions.  That while God can do many things, He probably will not do everything we desire be done.  That we see only what we can see, we may not see everything.  That this God does love us, that He came and died the death of a sinner (we all die, I don't think we disagree), but was innocent of any sin, that to die in this life is of no real consequence considering the better life.   That He will return to find some who have remained faithful despite unanswered questions. 

Quote from: Amicale
For some people here on this board, they may not believe in God because they see no need for a God, wouldn't want to know a God, wouldn't be interested in following a God even if that God were actually kind and loving. Then for others of us who USED to believe.... we (generally speaking) probably no longer do believe because we've seen something very, very broken in the system and as much as we'd like to, going back just isn't something we could probably do. Instead, for myself, I've forged ahead the best I know how. I've learned morality for its own sake, not for God's. I've learned a lot about the world around me. I'm still learning, and I've come to deeply appreciate life as I see it, not as I think and wish it ought to be. And that's as honest as I can be.

I appreciate the honesty.  I will say that you lost faith in God for unanswered questions to move to another position of different unanswered questions.  You've put faith in yourself to forge ahead as best you know, yet without all the answers.  you trust Man will come to the answers, but don't know when.  You've learned the morality of this life which you must agree, changes from society to society and will continue to change from generation to generation.  What you've learned today may be irrelevant tomorrow.  You've learned a lot about the world around you.  To what end?  Is it not widely accepted that we, man, will probably be the undoing of this earth? That what took the universe billions of years to build, Man may be able to kill off in a few hundred years?  That you're still learning...you still have questions and many unanswered.  You appreciate this life.  You deny God exists and appreciate THIS life?  This life is short and unfair and you accept this.  You've traded one belief for another "better" belief, and yet are in the same position as before...worse to some degree as beyond this, there is no KNOWN hope, but in yet unanswered questions.  A trade has been made.  One set of unanswered questions for another set of unanswered questions.  That's as honest as I can be.

(I hope my words are not in an unkind tone)     

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Re: Re: Your conversion to atheism (Derail about faith)
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2012, 04:40:00 PM »
That I may be put to death for my belief(s). 

Huh? How many people do you know in your part of the world have been put to death for their beliefs?

??? 
Give no mercy to your fear.



DeterminedJuliet

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Re: Your conversion to atheism
« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2012, 04:56:14 PM »
I've never understood what you mean by putting an asterisk in front of "you".  It's interesting that altho you later claim not to know anyone's heart, here you're freely assuming ex-Xtians who asked god to bolster or return their faith were never real believers at all.  Frankly, I think it's very unlikely that anybody who "never had/got" faith would have a reason to ask for it's return. 

And this bothers me because it belittles *our whole experience. One thing I do care very deeply about is knowing myself; knowing my motivations and intentions and what drives me to make decisions. I have always spent a lot of time reflecting and analysing why I do what I do and care about what I care about.

I was born Christian, raised Christian and was an involved and earnest Christian in every way imaginable (including "in my heart") for a very long time. I literally did and felt everything I was supposed to because I thought I should and because I wanted to(everything you talk about AD, I did that).  When people dismiss all of that because I'm an atheist now, it irks me. It implies that I was just an "in the closet" atheist the entire time I was a Christian, but I don't have the wherewithal to acknowledge it now.  

I'm sure some atheists felt like they were "in the closet" or not being entirely honest with themselves (which is fine, we all do that sometimes), but they usually admit this after the fact. Which, again, is fine. But I resent having any label put on me that I feel is misleading or inaccurate, just because it makes the other party more comfortable with their worldview. And even if someone says "I don't know what's in your heart", but then lists "Oh God must not have responded because A,Y,Z" - when I DID A,Y,Z, it's frustrating.  

It's like trying to tell someone after they break up with a person, "Oh, you never really loved them." Maybe that was true and you didn't want to admit it at the time, or maybe you really did love someone and, for whatever reason, it didn't work out (they broke up with you, they moved, they turned out to be an imaginary-fairytale-daddy-figure). To tell someone that the love never existed, if it did, is belittling and inaccurate. It's untrue.

You can genuinely, honestly love a person/idea/God and then stop (again, actually stop. Not becomes a "pretend-atheist-who-will-'turn-back-to-god'-in-a-matter-of-time) without it meaning that the love never existed.  
"We’ve thought of life by analogy with a journey, with pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end, and the THING was to get to that end; success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along; It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.

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Re: Re: Your conversion to atheism (Derail about faith)
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2012, 05:04:25 PM »
That I may be put to death for my belief(s). 

Huh? How many people do you know in your part of the world have been put to death for their beliefs?

Oh...it has to be in my part of the world?  I do some work for a ministry that does a bit of globe trekking into places that are not so inclined to allow my freedom of religion/beliefs to the extent I'm used to here in comfy So. Cal.  However, there are many that face persecution because of their faith.  Again...it's all at your fingertips.  I'm not going to point it all out to you when it's only a simple search away.

As far as my comfy So. Cal., it's only a matter of time.  Maybe not in my lifetime though.

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Re: Your conversion to atheism (Derail about faith)
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2012, 05:04:53 PM »
Quote from: AD
It certainly sounds like you really wanted to be a Christian and believe.

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No true Scotsman is an informal logical fallacy, an ad hoc attempt to retain an unreasoned assertion. When faced with a counterexample to a universal claim, rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original universal claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule.

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DeterminedJuliet

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Re: Your conversion to atheism (Derail about faith)
« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2012, 05:08:24 PM »
Quote from: AD
It certainly sounds like you really wanted to be a Christian and believe.

No True Scotsman

Quote
No true Scotsman is an informal logical fallacy, an ad hoc attempt to retain an unreasoned assertion. When faced with a counterexample to a universal claim, rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original universal claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule.



Yeah, that pretty much sums up my little rant.
"We’ve thought of life by analogy with a journey, with pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end, and the THING was to get to that end; success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along; It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.

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Re: Re: Your conversion to atheism (Derail about faith)
« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2012, 05:25:33 PM »
That I may be put to death for my belief(s). 

Huh? How many people do you know in your part of the world have been put to death for their beliefs?

Oh...it has to be in my part of the world?  I do some work for a ministry that does a bit of globe trekking into places that are not so inclined to allow my freedom of religion/beliefs to the extent I'm used to here in comfy So. Cal.  However, there are many that face persecution because of their faith.  Again...it's all at your fingertips.  I'm not going to point it all out to you when it's only a simple search away.

As far as my comfy So. Cal., it's only a matter of time.  Maybe not in my lifetime though.

There are minorities that are way more persecuted than Christians, who are not a minority group and are way more comfortable persecuting others, other theists and atheists included. There's the whole established and rather ancient by now status quo that has to be maintained, you see.

I find it baffling how some claim to be persecuted because of their beliefs in a society such as that of the US. As for other parts of the world, being victims of persecution is not exclusively Christian, as if they have something inherently special that others will hate them for. ::)

The same places that persecute Christians are also oppressing many other groups: atheists, homosexuals, other ethnicities etc. 

And btw, ridicule is not persecution. Beliefs such as creationism are very deserving of ridicule just as someone claiming that the world was flat these days would be ridiculed. They could pull the persecution card, but that would only make them look more ridiculous.
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