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Author Topic:   Religious Conversions
Wollysaurus
Member (Idle past 1016 days)
Posts: 52
From: US
Joined: 08-25-2011


Message 31 of 97 (633686)
09-15-2011 1:41 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Rahvin
09-15-2011 1:13 PM


Re: Pew Forum
Rahvin,

Excellent points.

However, I think the data does point to a general trend of attrition. Many within the church recognize that as children move out of the home, they are more likely to lose the religion of their upbringing. Here's some commentary on that:

http://townhall.com/...ts_need_to_keep_their_faith/page/full

Religious decline and revival has long been a basic fact of history

Very true. Can't argue that.

However, if someone makes the claim that Christians stay Christian because they *know* the truth, a declining trend may be used as a counter argument. Unless, of course, you throw in a caveat like "well, no *true* Christians leave the faith".

Working in the Middle East for some three years, I got to know quite a few Muslims very well, and became friends with more than I expected. Some of the best meals I ever ate were picked off of platters with my own hands, and the best hosts I have ever had were there, period. One asked me if I had read the Quran yet. I did, and so he essentially asked me when I would be converting (in a very friendly way). I replied politely that I wouldn't be. He nodded seriously. "Ah yes, you have not yet read the Quran in Arabic!" Conditions, conditions!

I suppose the point is, to a Muslim, no *true* Muslim could convert to Christianity, just as to a hardline evangelical, no *true* Christian could ever leave the faith (whether for some vague Deism or another organized religion). Using growth rates, retention rates, conversions, whatever, as "evidence" of the truth of a particular religion is absurd.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Rahvin, posted 09-15-2011 1:13 PM Rahvin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by Rahvin, posted 09-15-2011 1:55 PM Wollysaurus has not yet responded

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


(1)
Message 32 of 97 (633687)
09-15-2011 1:42 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Theodoric
09-15-2011 1:30 PM


Re: Pew Forum
It depends. Fundamentalist Protestants often don't. But I think even Chuck would agree that the difference between Catholicism and Protestantism is much smaller than the difference between either of those and Islam, which is again much smaller than the difference between any of those and Atheism.

If I asked a Catholic if they were Christian, they'd say "yes." Self-identification is my general rule. Prevents my from falling for a "no true Scotsman" so easily.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by Theodoric, posted 09-15-2011 1:30 PM Theodoric has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by Dr Adequate, posted 09-16-2011 3:14 PM Rahvin has responded

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 33 of 97 (633691)
09-15-2011 1:55 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Wollysaurus
09-15-2011 1:41 PM


Re: Pew Forum
Rahvin,

Excellent points.

However, I think the data does point to a general trend of attrition. Many within the church recognize that as children move out of the home, they are more likely to lose the religion of their upbringing.

Of course. But you have to remember farther back in the past. We've seen such a Christian decline in the past, many times. Inevitably, it's been followed up by a period of religious revival. The line isn't straight, basically, and I don't have sufficient confidence to suggest that Christianity is likely to become a minority religion in the US any time in the reasonable future.

However, if someone makes the claim that Christians stay Christian because they *know* the truth, a declining trend may be used as a counter argument. Unless, of course, you throw in a caveat like "well, no *true* Christians leave the faith".

Nothing more than after-the-fact rationalization for their No-True-Scotsman fallacious reasoning, as we all well know. One would have to wonder, then, how one determines a "true" Christian. A decade ago I would have immediately identified myself as a "true" Christian, and likely anyone who knew me would as well; I felt a certainty in my beliefs at the time and was devoted to my faith. If one cannot tell "true" Christians from "false" Christians except in the event of a conversion away from the faith, the distinction is entirely moot - such retroactive reasoning is nothing more than circular reasoning: "they converted because they weren't "true" Christians; we know they weren't "true" Christians because they converted."

Working in the Middle East for some three years, I got to know quite a few Muslims very well, and became friends with more than I expected. Some of the best meals I ever ate were picked off of platters with my own hands, and the best hosts I have ever had were there, period. One asked me if I had read the Quran yet. I did, and so he essentially asked me when I would be converting (in a very friendly way). I replied politely that I wouldn't be. He nodded seriously. "Ah yes, you have not yet read the Quran in Arabic!" Conditions, conditions!

Post-hoc rationalization, as always. If evidence leads to the possibility that your cherished beliefs are false, shift the goalposts slightly so that you can internally dismiss the discomforting information.

Also, yes, middle-eastern food can be quite good. A bit farther off, but have you ever had Ethiopian food? Delicious - there's actually a very good place here in Sacramento, and you reminded me of it because they also eat with their hands, using a scrumptious flatbread that's rather like a cross between sourdough and a pancake in place of implements. Good stuff.

I suppose the point is, to a Muslim, no *true* Muslim could convert to Christianity, just as to a hardline evangelical, no *true* Christian could ever leave the faith (whether for some vague Deism or another organized religion). Using growth rates, retention rates, conversions, whatever, as "evidence" of the truth of a particular religion is absurd.

Appeal to popularity - the prevalence of a certain belief is irrelevant to the veracity of the belief. Else, the widespread acceptance of the geocentric model or the flat-Earth model a thousand years ago should have been evidence that the Earth was the flat center of the Universe.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by Wollysaurus, posted 09-15-2011 1:41 PM Wollysaurus has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 9988
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 34 of 97 (633802)
09-16-2011 1:48 PM


Christ Converts To Islam
In a development that will shake Christianity to it's core Christ has become a a Moslem!!!!!

Christ Converts to Islam


Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by Wollysaurus, posted 09-16-2011 1:58 PM Straggler has responded

  
Wollysaurus
Member (Idle past 1016 days)
Posts: 52
From: US
Joined: 08-25-2011


Message 35 of 97 (633803)
09-16-2011 1:58 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Straggler
09-16-2011 1:48 PM


Re: Christ Converts To Islam
Gotta love the Onion!

But of course, a Muslim would shrug and say it is old news. After all, Jesus (Isa) is going to come back, simply to herald the Mahdi.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Straggler, posted 09-16-2011 1:48 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by Straggler, posted 09-16-2011 2:09 PM Wollysaurus has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 9988
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 36 of 97 (633806)
09-16-2011 2:09 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by Wollysaurus
09-16-2011 1:58 PM


Re: Christ Converts To Islam
Wolly writes:

But of course, a Muslim would shrug and say it is old news.

Yep those Islamists are a wise old bunch. As evidenced by their status as the most converted to religion....


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by Wollysaurus, posted 09-16-2011 1:58 PM Wollysaurus has not yet responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 13104
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 37 of 97 (633813)
09-16-2011 3:14 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by Rahvin
09-15-2011 1:42 PM


Re: Pew Forum
Well, in message #11 Chuck writes:

Chuck77 writes:

Is the sheer number of non-Christians evidence that Christianity is not true? There are religions with bigger numbers obviously.

So he must be using a very narrow (re)definition of Christianity, otherwise he would count it as the biggest religion, which it is.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Rahvin, posted 09-15-2011 1:42 PM Rahvin has responded

Replies to this message:
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Rahvin
Member
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


(1)
Message 38 of 97 (633815)
09-16-2011 3:30 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Dr Adequate
09-16-2011 3:14 PM


Re: Pew Forum
Of course. As I said, Chuck is certainly one of those Protestants who doesn't include half of the Christian population as Christians, and therefore gets to feel like a persecuted minority.

I just go by self-identification. Mormons self-identify as Christians. Catholics self-identify as Christians. Protestants self-identify as Christians. They're all subdivisions of the broader religion that believes Jesus of Nazareth to be the Son of the Hebrew God who died on a cross in absolution of the world's sins, and rose from the dead some three days later. Excluding a group who believes all that just because they also have a leader with a funny hat, or because they think the story doesn't end there, is like saying dogs aren't vertebrates because they're mammals.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Dr Adequate, posted 09-16-2011 3:14 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
Chuck77
Inactive Member


Message 39 of 97 (633892)
09-17-2011 1:14 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by Rahvin
09-15-2011 1:00 PM


Re: Religious Conversions
Hi Rahvin. It's ironic you posted here. Just the other night I came across one of your POTM and was reading it. Message 392

It's a good one and deserved the nomination. Im not in any way trying to act or think im smarter than you here, so please don't take offense to me trying to make a few points like others here do.

And thanks for your response here. It's nice to actually read a response that is not condescending. Maybe the one you wrote a little further down is (the persecution comment but i'll take the good with the bad.

Can I address two points you made in your POTM before I comment on your response here?

Rahvin writes:

Science takes exactly one thing on faith: that what we observe is actually what is happening

Exactly. And my Bible tells me that things produce after their own kind, which incidently, we obseve happening every day.

Rahvin writes:

We take on faith that, when we look at the moon at night, we're actually looking at the moon and not trapped inside of the Matrix.

Rahvin, Can you relay this message to Straggler by any chance?

------------------------

Rahvin writes:

Chuck, all anyone is asking is the most basic of questions: "What do you think you know, and why do you think you know it?"

Rahvin, I know what I know based on things I see and read. Just like you about our universe. Tho, I assume when it comes from me (a Christian-I know im being persecuted people just dismiss it, but Straggler cites the guiness book of world records and the debate is well, over.

Im actually born-again. I've been a believer for the last twenty years. I know of no Born-again christian converting to islam. Of course some are! Tho I say more muslims are converting over to christianity.

Im not at ALL saying all Catholics are not Christians. Some are and SOME aren't. Some recieve Christ as their personal Savior some just go thru the motions. My point is the PRACTICING Christians/Catholics who follow the whole Bible are NOT converting over to Islam. Why would they? Once you know the truth why leave?

You've made the claim that there are more occurrences of one thing ("many more," I believe) than another. How do you know that?

Well, for starters I posted my sources a bunch of times. No one as of yet has posted contrary. Where are all the links/sources saying more Christians are converting over to Islam as opposed to what im claiming?

That's all im saying and Straggler makes a thread about it instead of researching it for himself.

He cited that Islam is the worlds fastest grwing religion. So what. How many times have we heard someone repeat what Richard Dawkins says about where we are born is what we believe? Now tho, that argument is swept under the rug in favor of making a point that is not relevant to the discussion.

The best way to obtain knowledge on the relative quantities of anything is simply by counting - count everything up, and compare the numbers. In this case, the numbers are going to be difficult to get ahold of, wouldn't you think? Typically religious demographic information is obtained by census information and the like - but while these numbers can and do show the relative growth or shrinking numbers of specific faiths, they do not specifically show conversions from religion x to religion y.

Yeah, it's hard to do. The actually numbers can't be known. We do know some tho, and it favors Christianity way more. Im talking conversion and not growth.

Since Christianity in its many flavors tends to demographically dominate the US,

Geez really Rahvin? Next time you go to work do a poll of Born-Agains in your workplace, ok?

Im NOT taking what everyone says like you are. Some people just call themselves christians, it doesn't make it so, sorry. Im talking about Bible believing Christians who know the truth. Im talking #1's on the Dawkins scale. Not some feel good legalistic sunday Chistain who calls themselves a Christian. or just happen to grow up in a Christian home.

What makes you believe that there are more Islam > Christian conversions than Christian > Islam conversions?

My own experiences in the last twenty years. The links/sources I provided. Why am I the one doing all the work? Because I claimed it right? Ok, fine, well you can't disporve claims by saying it's not true like everyone here is doing. without actually reading and researching what I posted.

After all, without data upon which to base them, all conclusions are naught but speculation.

Ok, so you need exact data. How about all the testimoneis from all the Muslims on various sites online, books, videos? Do a simple search and you'll see them all.

If we were debating the TOE would you not recommend I visit a few sites for myself as I do not see apes transitioning into humans today? I'll need some data where I can see it happening. Oh, you say but we are in just a small frame of time in millions of years, ok then. It that the theory? The best possible explanation we have? Great. But you have a hard time believing that more muslims are converting to christianity than the other way around?

My preferences, as my bank account so often reminds me, have little influence on reality.

But, but, you also said this in your POTM:

If this thread has shown us one thing, it's that scientific principles are extremely difficult, and maybe even impossible to learn if an individual insists on maintaining a pre-existing belief or tries while learning to prove that science is based on something just as flimsy as their own faith. The strength of science, the very reason if continues to give us ever more accurate models of the Universe and produce real-world applications like computers, medicine, and everything else we use every day is that sciencits are not tied to a specific belief, and they are not personally invested in any particular model.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Rahvin, posted 09-15-2011 1:00 PM Rahvin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by Theodoric, posted 09-17-2011 1:26 AM Chuck77 has not yet responded
 Message 41 by dwise1, posted 09-17-2011 1:31 AM Chuck77 has responded
 Message 45 by Granny Magda, posted 09-17-2011 5:10 AM Chuck77 has responded
 Message 51 by Rahvin, posted 09-19-2011 1:49 PM Chuck77 has not yet responded

  
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 4731
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 2.3


(1)
Message 40 of 97 (633895)
09-17-2011 1:26 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by Chuck77
09-17-2011 1:14 AM


Re: Religious Conversions
Im not at ALL saying all Catholics are not Christians.

Some people just call themselves christians, it doesn't make it so, sorry. Im talking about Bible believing Christians who know the truth. Im talking #1's on the Dawkins scale. Not some feel good legalistic sunday Chistain who calls themselves a Christian. or just happen to grow up in a Christian home.

Maybe you should read about the No True Scotsman Fallacy

Ok, fine, well you can't disporve claims by saying it's not true like everyone here is doing. without actually reading and researching what I posted.

We read them. All you posted were anecdotes. No evidence. There is nothing to research.

Even if it is true, how does that make Christianity any more "true" than other religions?


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Chuck77, posted 09-17-2011 1:14 AM Chuck77 has not yet responded

    
dwise1
Member
Posts: 2229
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 41 of 97 (633897)
09-17-2011 1:31 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by Chuck77
09-17-2011 1:14 AM


Re: Religious Conversions
Exactly. And my Bible tells me that things produce after their own kind, which incidently, we obseve happening every day.

OK, so just how exactly is that supposed to contradict evolution?

Oh do please be very specific.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Chuck77, posted 09-17-2011 1:14 AM Chuck77 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by Chuck77, posted 09-17-2011 2:07 AM dwise1 has responded

    
Chuck77
Inactive Member


Message 42 of 97 (633899)
09-17-2011 2:07 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by dwise1
09-17-2011 1:31 AM


Re: Religious Conversions
OK, so just how exactly is that supposed to contradict evolution?

It doesn't. Did I say it did? Im simply saying we observe what the bible teaches. It was just a side note to Rahvin.

Edited by Chuck77, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by dwise1, posted 09-17-2011 1:31 AM dwise1 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by dwise1, posted 09-17-2011 2:38 AM Chuck77 has responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 2229
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 43 of 97 (633902)
09-17-2011 2:38 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by Chuck77
09-17-2011 2:07 AM


Re: Religious Conversions
So then why bring it up?

For that matter, just exactly why do you say that it doesn't?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Chuck77, posted 09-17-2011 2:07 AM Chuck77 has responded

Replies to this message:
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Chuck77
Inactive Member


Message 44 of 97 (633903)
09-17-2011 2:53 AM
Reply to: Message 43 by dwise1
09-17-2011 2:38 AM


Re: Religious Conversions
dwiseSo then why bring it up?

I was bringing it up to Rahvin, incidently.

For that matter, just exactly why do you say that it doesn't

Because he Rahvin said this:

Science takes exactly one thing on faith: that what we observe is actually what is happening

I am aslo pointing out that Christianity says the same thing about what WE believe. Okay?

Why is this a problem for you? Here's a tip, try to wait out what Rahvin might say to my post. If he doesn't bring up your brilliant questions then feel free to ask some more, kk?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by dwise1, posted 09-17-2011 2:38 AM dwise1 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by Straggler, posted 09-19-2011 2:43 PM Chuck77 has not yet responded

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 91 days)
Posts: 2284
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


(4)
Message 45 of 97 (633923)
09-17-2011 5:10 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by Chuck77
09-17-2011 1:14 AM


Re: Religious Conversions
Hi Chuck,

I sense that you are getting somewhat frustrated here by the reaction to what you have posted. Please try to understand that when people react this way it is not simply because they are making knee-reactions, it's not personal. It's not because of some anti-Christian bias; it's because people think that you are making a flawed argument on the basis of a tiny amount of invalid evidence.

Well, for starters I posted my sources a bunch of times.

What you have posted so far on this thread;

Message 4 A personal testimony from a single Muslim-to-Christian convert.

This is only one man's testimony, thus it is invalid as evidence in favour of your claim that Muslim-to-Christian conversion is more widespread than the reverse.

Message 11 *You offer to visit Straggler with a Muslim-to-Christian convert. Even if you did this of course, it would be invlaid as evidence that Muslim-to-Christian conversion is more widespread than the reverse, since again, it's only one person. It does nothing to demonstrate the wider trend.

*You quote Joel Rosenburg. Now this article might be worth considering but for two unfortunate facts. Firstly, it offers no evidence. All it gives us is Rosenburg's contention that more Muslims convert to Christianity than vice-versa. It is unaccompanied by actual evidence. You cannot expect us to believe something just because someone says it is true. We didn't accept it just because you said it, so there's no reason to accept it just because someone else says it. Secondly, the article makes a number of false claims, as Dr Adequate has pointed out. That undermines its trustworthiness and makes it valueless as evidence for anything.

*You offer us a link - http://www.salemvoice.org/news117.html - when I click that link, I get an empty blog page. No content. When I try to search the blog for the articles you cite, I get no results.

Message 16 You link to two wiki pages, but neither seems to support your contention.

Er... that's it. That's everything you've posted as evidence.

Can you not see why people are unsatisfied with this? You haven't given us a shred of valid and believable evidence to back up your claim, only opinion and anecdote.

No one as of yet has posted contrary.

This is probably for two reasons;

1) The other participants in this thread do not have any fixed opinion on how many Muslims convert to Christianity or vice-versa, since the evidence that might back up such a belief does not appear to be available.

2) The other participants are not interested in arguing that more Christians covert to Islam than the reverse, because they understand that at its heart, your argument is merely an Appeal to Popularity, which, as has been mentioned many times, is a logical fallacy.

Here is the only really relevant part of your post;

Chuck77 writes:

The actually numbers can't be known.

Right! You don't have the numbers, so you should not be making the claim.

There is nothing else to say.

Mutate and Survive

Edited by Granny Magda, : No reason given.

Edited by Granny Magda, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Chuck77, posted 09-17-2011 1:14 AM Chuck77 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 46 by Chuck77, posted 09-17-2011 5:46 AM Granny Magda has responded

    
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