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Author Topic:   What is an "Ex Believer", anyway?
mikehager
Member (Idle past 4120 days)
Posts: 534
Joined: 09-02-2004


Message 46 of 123 (194273)
03-24-2005 11:47 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by mikehager
03-23-2005 6:16 PM


Re: OK..you don't have to believe me. Now what?
Perhaps you missed it, PB, so I refer you to my message #33 in this topic and await your answer.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by mikehager, posted 03-23-2005 6:16 PM mikehager has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by mikehager, posted 03-25-2005 5:01 PM mikehager has not yet responded

    
mikehager
Member (Idle past 4120 days)
Posts: 534
Joined: 09-02-2004


Message 47 of 123 (194486)
03-25-2005 5:01 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by mikehager
03-24-2005 11:47 PM


Still waiting...
see above.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by mikehager, posted 03-24-2005 11:47 PM mikehager has not yet responded

    
Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 48 of 123 (195124)
03-29-2005 4:11 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by Phat
03-23-2005 5:55 PM


Re: OK..you don't have to believe me. Now what?
As with Mike, I'd like to know why my position does not disprove yours:

Did you have an emotional and lifestyle transformation?

Yes. To some extent at least; but then the other Christians I knew exhibited as little or less change than me.

Did you have multiple times in prayer where you strongly felt that there was a presence apart from the norm?

Yes.

Was it a good feeling?

Yes.

I feel confidant that God is with me every moment. This is subjective, to be sure but did you ever have such confidence away from the church?

Every single moment? No. But confidence away from the church? Sure. In fact I had more faith away from the church than within it.

If the above are yes, why in the world are you so intent on sticking with facts and not stepping out in faith?

Because I have no wish to delude myself. Because ultimately living in the real world is more rewarding, more fulfilling and more functional.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Phat, posted 03-23-2005 5:55 PM Phat has not yet responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 10437
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 49 of 123 (195163)
03-29-2005 10:13 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by mikehager
03-23-2005 6:16 PM


The definition of meeting God
Mike and Mr. Jack: Good morning! :) I just got up here in Denver and again had yet another nudge of enthusiasm from God (inasmuch as I could deny Him) through a well said sermon by a trusted radio Pastor.

You ask me how my definitions are any different or more valid than yours? I have no doubt...absolutely, unequivacably 0% doubt that I have at a point in my life actually met God. I am not scientifically trying to prove or disprove it. The emotional change and resulting satisfaction could be a big part of the reason why.

I actually changed almost totally when I met Him. It was not something that I consciously planned. You may point out similarities between my epiphany and brainwashed cultists, rabid fundamentalist terrorists, or evan swooning Elvis devotees.

I won't deny the similarities. We all are influenced by something and impressed somehow, finally, with what we choose to believe in.

Perhaps I can rephrase the term, ex-believer. You were, in my opinion, never an ex believer because you have always believed and believe even more strongly now in the logic and sanity of your own mind.

Am I suggesting that many Christians can be and are gullible? Yes.
Too few think for themselves. They are indeed sheep in the biblical allegorical sense, but they become sheep of human shepherds who fleece them, use them, and at best commune with them in the churchian
lifestyle which often excludes the rest of the world which we need to be helping.

In this regard, atheists ARE often more socially active and aware than are Christians. It is a sad yet true paradox.

To put it in the blunt words of some critics who have refuted Christian validity, "An atheist is not sitting around waiting for some sky daddy to tell them which foot to put in front of the other."

We all get our wisdom from each other, then? Tell me what specific sources of wisdom you have gleaned off of in the last month.
We can further talk about original sources after that.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by mikehager, posted 03-23-2005 6:16 PM mikehager has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by mikehager, posted 03-29-2005 3:15 PM Phat has responded

  
mikehager
Member (Idle past 4120 days)
Posts: 534
Joined: 09-02-2004


Message 50 of 123 (195231)
03-29-2005 3:15 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by Phat
03-29-2005 10:13 AM


Re: The definition of meeting God
While all that is interesting, I don't completely understand what you mean, except that you are trying to give an ad hoc, very idiosyncratic definition to the term "Ex-believer". You say...

Perhaps I can rephrase the term, ex-believer. You were, in my opinion, never an ex believer because you have always believed and believe even more strongly now in the logic and sanity of your own mind.

That is certainly an atypical definition of "ex-believer, especially given the context in which it is being used. Are we to infer that as long as a person believes in something, they do not fit your definition? If so, it is impossibly broad. No one is an "ex-believer".

The question Mr. Jack and I are asking is stated in my post #33 of this thread and in the previous posting, by Mr. Jack. Both he and I once believed strongly in Christianity, but no longer do. This refutes your position from the first post. You still have not replied to that point, instead redefining terms. So, I ask yet again:

1. Do you still hold the position you put forth in the opening post?
2. If so, how do you respond to the fact that Mr. Jack and I contradict it?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Phat, posted 03-29-2005 10:13 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by Phat, posted 03-29-2005 5:05 PM mikehager has responded

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 10437
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 51 of 123 (195260)
03-29-2005 5:05 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by mikehager
03-29-2005 3:15 PM


Re: The definition of meeting God
1. Do you still hold the position you put forth in the opening post?
within my definition, yes.

2. If so, how do you respond to the fact that Mr. Jack and I contradict it?
I think that there is no way that you could possibly know God as I know Him. For if you did, you would be actively grieving the Holy Spirit by denying knowing Him now. You say, on the other hand, that you were merely "further enlightened" to empirical practical knowledge and so have "gotten over" that whole entire "God thing." In summation you and I will not esily resolve this debate as we each have entirely different perspectives. I am attempting to frame your previous perspective for you while you are attempting to get me to re examine my current perspective so as to be as you are. in all probability, neither will happen.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by mikehager, posted 03-29-2005 3:15 PM mikehager has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by mikehager, posted 03-29-2005 6:17 PM Phat has responded

  
mikehager
Member (Idle past 4120 days)
Posts: 534
Joined: 09-02-2004


Message 52 of 123 (195291)
03-29-2005 6:17 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Phat
03-29-2005 5:05 PM


Re: The definition of meeting God
I have typed and deleted three responses. This is the attitude that makes me insane in dealing with theists. Read this quote and take a moment to marvel at the stunning arrogance:

I think that there is no way that you could possibly know God as I know Him.

Really, Phatboy? How do you know that?

You know the content of my mind, do you? Let's test it. What am I thinking right now? I'll write it down and we'll check your results later.

Is that a ridiculous example? Yes. Is it equally ridiculous for you to presume to tell me what I believed? Yes.

Before we go any further, and I do have more to say, lets establish this right now. Can Phat know the content of my mind? We can deal with your unusably broad "definition" of "ex-believer" next.

Oh, in closing,

while you are attempting to get me to re examine my current perspective so as to be as you are.

No. You made a spurious assertion and I am addressing it. You can believe what you like, but why don't we examine why you think you can tell me what I believe or believed.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Phat, posted 03-29-2005 5:05 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by Phat, posted 03-30-2005 7:00 AM mikehager has responded

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 10437
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 53 of 123 (195378)
03-30-2005 7:00 AM
Reply to: Message 52 by mikehager
03-29-2005 6:17 PM


Re: The definition of meeting God
So mike hagar, it does not feel good to have others tell you what you have experienced or what the validity of your beliefs are, does it? People will tell me that Jesus, whom I know better than I know you in an intrinsic way, is a product of my imagination. How dare they attempt to use their knowledge of human behavior and assumptions based on a clearly inconclusive number of scholars to determine the validity of MY beliefs?

I did judge you based upon my defintions of belief. I do not just believe in "christianity" as you have heard that some did. I believe in the person of Christ...not as a historical figure, not based on how He appears or appeared to others, but based solely on how He currently relates to me.

It was in this context that I judged your belief. My point is that Christ is a living Spirit that is as real to me as meeting any flesh and blood person would be. On this definition, and in this context, I am saying that once you have met someone, you surely cannot deny the fact.

My assumption, arrogant though it may sound, is that you are treating the "meeting" as a mistake on your part. You must remember that there are different world views. My world view is that God exists. Period. Call it ad hoc. Call it apriori. Call it any of those clever little terms that the intellectual atheists at positiveatheism.org have drummed up in THEIR arrogance!

My belief suggests that my mind is not the penultimate decision making facility to verify my belief. My belief was veried for me by an external source who now is internally within me.

Based on MY belief, and definition thereof, you could not have had the same belief without allowing for your mind to reject and redefine the very definition of belief.

Now that I've cleared that up, perhaps you can tell us your current definition of belief and correct my bumbling presumptions. If you have changed MY definition of belief, you can then be classified as an ex believer. My definition is not defined penultimately by human wisdom.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by mikehager, posted 03-29-2005 6:17 PM mikehager has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by jar, posted 03-30-2005 7:10 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply
 Message 55 by contracycle, posted 04-04-2005 6:59 AM Phat has not yet responded
 Message 56 by PaulK, posted 04-04-2005 8:32 AM Phat has not yet responded
 Message 59 by mikehager, posted 04-06-2005 2:22 PM Phat has not yet responded
 Message 60 by nator, posted 04-11-2005 11:19 AM Phat has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 29918
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.5


(1)
Message 54 of 123 (195380)
03-30-2005 7:10 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Phat
03-30-2005 7:00 AM


Re: The definition of meeting God
I think what others are saying to you is slightly different. Mike and others say they have met Jesus. But that later they decided he was not who he claimed to be. They agree they met the individual in question. They no longer believe he is GOD.

I may be putting words in their mouths and if so, I apologize, but it appears the bunch of you are saying similar things but not defining what it is you really mean.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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contracycle
Inactive Member


Message 55 of 123 (196627)
04-04-2005 6:59 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Phat
03-30-2005 7:00 AM


Re: The definition of meeting God
quote:
Now that I've cleared that up, perhaps you can tell us your current definition of belief and correct my bumbling presumptions. If you have changed MY definition of belief, you can then be classified as an ex believer. My definition is not defined penultimately by human wisdom.

Thats because your argument is now purely sophistry constructed to deny any contradictions.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Phat, posted 03-30-2005 7:00 AM Phat has not yet responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 13428
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 56 of 123 (196634)
04-04-2005 8:32 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Phat
03-30-2005 7:00 AM


Re: The definition of meeting God
In the hope of clearing up any misunderstanding:

1) You are claiming that Mr Jack and Mike Hagar's subjective experiences were different and inferior to the subjective experience that you call "meeting God".

2) Nobody else is suggesting that you did not have the subjective experience that you say you did or that it was not as impressive to you as you say. Where they disagree is on the nature of the objective nature of the reality behind it.

These are different things.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Phat, posted 03-30-2005 7:00 AM Phat has not yet responded

    
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1110 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 57 of 123 (196649)
04-04-2005 9:59 AM
Reply to: Message 54 by jar
03-30-2005 7:10 AM


Re: The definition of meeting God
quote:
Mike and others say they have met Jesus. But that later they decided he was not who he claimed to be. They agree they met the individual in question. They no longer believe he is GOD.
The same goes for God himself.

I also knew God and Jesus, prayed to them and received wisdom and guidance.

Phatboy is essentially telling us that our experiences were false since we are now able to not believe in God or Jesus.

Unfortunately he is unable to describe his experience in the actual meeting of God so that I or others can see if our experiences were truly false or not.

Phatboy writes:

The emotional change and resulting satisfaction could be a big part of the reason why.

He states an emotional change as possible proof that he met God. I can also claim an emotional change and feeling of satisfaction during my Christianity. If I now disbelieve, was that a false response?

Because Christians claim that "knowing" God or Jesus is an internal personal experience, they are unable to give a description of meeting God that is discernable from any other emotional experience.

As long as we believed in God/Jesus we knew we had met God, just as Phatboy does.

For Phatboy to assert

quote:
I maintain that those who used to believe in God never actually experienced meeting Him. If they had, they would know it!
he needs to show that his "meeting" with God was different than ours. He hasn't been able to do that yet.


"The average man does not know what to do with this life, yet wants another one which lasts forever." --Anatole France
This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by jar, posted 03-30-2005 7:10 AM jar has not yet responded

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1110 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 58 of 123 (197218)
04-06-2005 10:16 AM


Bump for Details
I would still like Phatboy to be more specific in how to recognize a actual meeting with God as opposed to one that is just an emotional response to a situation or being duped by Satan.


"The average man does not know what to do with this life, yet wants another one which lasts forever." --Anatole France
  
mikehager
Member (Idle past 4120 days)
Posts: 534
Joined: 09-02-2004


Message 59 of 123 (197272)
04-06-2005 2:22 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Phat
03-30-2005 7:00 AM


Re: The definition of meeting God
Been away from home for a while but now I'm back. So, to respond...

So mike hagar, it does not feel good to have others tell you what you have experienced or what the validity of your beliefs are, does it?

It doesn't, so you should stop. I certainly never did it to you. I never said that you don't think or feel what you do. I said that I thought and felt the same things based on your description. That refers back to your original statement, since you claimed that I could not have done that and later changed my mind.

Do you see the difference? You are telling me that I could not have felt or thought in a certain way, when I know that I did.

The rest of your post is mere ranting, so I will ignore it as it deserves.

The fact is that I used to believe exactly as you describe and then became an Atheist. You are apparently incapable of believing that. Fine. You are also incapable of admitting that the one statement I took issue with was in error, as proven by the above fact.

But, I am done. You have moved the goalposts far enough back, after the fact, that your position is (at least in your mind) unassailable. Welcome to it.

The list of theists on this forum who I respect has shortened by one. I am done.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Phat, posted 03-30-2005 7:00 AM Phat has not yet responded

    
nator
Member (Idle past 2295 days)
Posts: 12961
Joined: 12-09-2001


(1)
Message 60 of 123 (198268)
04-11-2005 11:19 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Phat
03-30-2005 7:00 AM


Re: The definition of meeting God
I still think my example is very simple and very apt.

I can give you a perfect case of what ex-belief is like.

Remember when you were a child and used to believe in Danta Claus with all of your heart?

I do. I even remember trying really hard to stay awake to listen for the reindeer hoofs stomping on the roof.

Now that you are an adult, you don't believe in Santa anymore.

That's what it's like to be an ex-believer.

Now, would you now say that you never really "actually, truly" believed in Santa?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Phat, posted 03-30-2005 7:00 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 61 by jar, posted 04-11-2005 11:52 AM nator has not yet responded
 Message 62 by Phat, posted 04-11-2005 11:54 AM nator has responded

    
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