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Author Topic:   Deconversion experiences
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 392 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 20 of 299 (593461)
11-27-2010 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by RAZD
11-26-2010 8:41 PM


Re: On the other hand ...
Curiously, many of these atheists are past believers in a strong christian theism, and they should be able to relate their experiences in deconversion rather than take this thread off topic.
It seems to me that part of the human psychological behavior pattern is to swing hard to the other extreme rather than rest in between. It seems (to me anyway) that the most ardent anti-smokers are ones who have recently quit, the most ardent anti-drinkers are ones who have recently quit, the most ardent anti-theists are ones who have recently quit, so I hope you can find some balance.
It seemed to me when I was a Christian that the only excuse for Christianity was that it was true. If it isn't, then its only redeeming features would be a few pieces of good architecture (which could just as well have been constructed for a useful purpose instead) and a few pieces of good music (which could have been used as a setting for words which weren't nonsense). This is not much to put into the balance against all the burning of heretics, the witch-hunts, the holy wars, and so forth. But its truth would of course tip the scale --- indeed, it would be measured in a different scale, since the Argument From Consequences is not a way of determining the truth-value of propositions, though it may determine the utility of false ones.
I retained that attitude when I became an atheist: that is, I continued to believe that if it was a lie, it was a wicked and pernicious lie. What changed was that I came to believe that it was a lie.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 392 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 35 of 299 (593527)
11-27-2010 4:24 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by RAZD
11-27-2010 3:25 PM


Re: On the other hand ...
All you are doing is using the "absence of evidence is evidence of absence logical fallacy" to say that your opinion is valid.
Whether or not this is a fallacy depends on whether or not presence of X would imply evidence of X.
The presence of an elephant in the room would imply the presence of evidence of an elephant in the room. The absence of such evidence does in fact imply the absence of an elephant.
By most definitions of God, God would be the universe-sized elephant in the universe.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 392 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 47 of 299 (593544)
11-27-2010 6:15 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by RAZD
11-27-2010 5:03 PM


Re: therefore we don't know
Until you tell me what you mean by "god(s)" I will have to remain non-committal.
And this is the agnostic position - that until there is sufficient information on which to base a decision, the logical conclusion is that we don't know.
Well, if it turns out that "God" means my left leg, then there is a God and it's attached to my groin.
But it can't turn out that words don't mean what we mean them to mean. We can imagine discovering a breeding colony of unicorns; we can't imagine discovering that "dog" really means cat. Nor can we discover that God means my left leg.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 392 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 63 of 299 (593584)
11-27-2010 8:33 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by ICdesign
11-27-2010 8:09 PM


Re: Great Debate Proposal
"God isn't going to appear before you and slap you in the face Meldinoor. Your relationship will always be based on faith. Even the most obvious "God" experiences retains the element of faith.
"Was that God or was that coincidence?" Its always a choice you will have to make."
Why should "the most obvious God experiences" be indistinguishable from coincidence?
The same cannot be said of most real entities. The evidence for tigers or mustard or bicycles cannot so be dismissed; yet you seem to take it for granted that the supreme author and ruler of the universe should at best never be distinguishable from a meaningless fortuitous concurrence of events.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 392 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 77 of 299 (593653)
11-28-2010 10:57 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by ICdesign
11-28-2010 10:16 AM


Re: Catch 22
The world is full of hard evidence that God exists. Even the heavens declare his existence.
In what way?
We may note that the heavens could declare God's existence if there was a God and if he wanted them to. He could use his magical powers to move stars in such a way that they spelled out: "I EXIST, OK. AND JESUS IS MY SON. GOT THAT?" But either he doesn't exist or for some reason he has chosen not to do so.
Instead the heavens just sit there not declaring God's existence in any obvious way.
Its a choice Meldinoor. No matter what you choose to believe, its going to be by faith.
As has been pointed out, people can't choose their beliefs. I can't believe in the tooth fairy by an effort of will.
Can you really have a design without a designer? Which choice takes the greater faith?
Ah, that would be where you believe without evidence that there is design.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 392 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 79 of 299 (593656)
11-28-2010 11:02 AM
Reply to: Message 78 by ICdesign
11-28-2010 10:59 AM


Re: More of the same BS
There are hundreds of books outlining the prophecies that Jesus Christ filled. If you are to lazy to do the footwork I'm sure Buzsaw will be covering many of them when he has his Great Debate with Meldinoor.
What does this have to do with your claim that: "Even the heavens declare his existence", which is what you were being called on?
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 392 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 126 of 299 (593837)
11-29-2010 8:51 PM
Reply to: Message 124 by jar
11-29-2010 8:38 PM


Re: Pascal's remants
He was pointing out two things, that decision trees and probability work and also that living and making life decisions as though you might be judged really has no downside.
Living as though you might be judged for
(a) not being a Muslim
(b) not being a Protestant
(c) not being a Catholic
(d) not being a Mormon
(e) not being a Jehovah's Witness
would in fact have its downside.
Half the people think I'll be damned for worshiping Jesus as God and half of them think I'll be damned for not doing so. It's either the ultimate blasphemy or the one route to salvation.
Pascal dealt with this by being a Catholic exclusivist who believed that anyone not R.C. would go to Hell, but I can't see the basis on which he "scratched" all the other religions.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 392 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 145 of 299 (593874)
11-30-2010 12:16 AM
Reply to: Message 129 by jar
11-29-2010 9:13 PM


Re: Pascal's remants
But none of those are related to what I posted.
If you live life, examine each act as though you will be judged based on that act, you will try to act right.
If I live life and try to act as though one of the things I will be judged on is my choice of religion, what then?
And pretty much everyone agrees that this is one of the main things that I'll be judged on. Ask almost any monotheist, and half of them say that I'll burn if I think Jesus is God, and half of them say I'll burn if I don't.
And yes, this is related to what you posted because you were talking about Pascal's Wager, and that's what it's all about. Pascal's argument is not an argument for a sort of generalized virtue such as an atheist might practice anyway, it's an argument for a specific faith.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 392 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 152 of 299 (593892)
11-30-2010 9:42 AM
Reply to: Message 150 by jar
11-30-2010 9:06 AM


Re: Pascal's remants
But we actually make more choices than just that one.
Sure. But we do make that one.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 392 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 155 of 299 (593910)
11-30-2010 11:36 AM
Reply to: Message 153 by jar
11-30-2010 9:58 AM


Re: Pascal's remants
And it is still unrelated to my point.
It is related, because joining or not joining a religion is an act, and so is subsumed under the category of "every act".
If you make decision on every act as though you will be judged for that act, you are more likely to choose to do right than wrong.
That depends on who I think is judging me and by what criteria. If I decide that my future judge wants heretics to be burned, then I will do what you presumably think is wrong.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 392 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 213 of 299 (595167)
12-07-2010 2:47 AM
Reply to: Message 208 by Dawn Bertot
12-06-2010 10:54 PM


Excuses, Excuses
But of course the same feeble excuses you put forward for why it looks like your God doesn't exist and why it looks like your holy book is rubbish would do just as well for any dumb narrative with some sort of wizard or god or pixie involved in it in some way.
Shouldn't the One True Religion look truer than the proposition that, for example, there are magical winged pigs flying round my head right now but I can't see them because they're using their magical powers to make themselves invisible?
But since your religion looks no truer than that, there is no justification for believing it to be more or less true than the idea about the invisible flying pigs.
---
When one looks at the excuses made for one's pet preferred god, one realizes that there is nothing in this respect that makes one's pet god special; and that the special thing about gods in general, the thing that distinguishes them from mustard or bicycles or income tax, is that they need excuses.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 392 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 222 of 299 (595295)
12-07-2010 8:34 PM
Reply to: Message 220 by Dawn Bertot
12-07-2010 8:19 PM


Re: ANOTHER powerful testimony from Dawn Bertot?
To stay on topic here, I assure you I read and understood each article, now simply point to the agrument/s in these articles that would shake my beliefs in the Bible or a personal God
He did not in fact claim nor imply that your views would ever be altered in the slightest by the exercise of rational thought.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 392 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 273 of 299 (596625)
12-15-2010 11:14 PM
Reply to: Message 272 by Apothecus
12-15-2010 8:44 PM


I can see why you like it. (except for Lewis's trilemma; is there such thing as a false trichotomy?)
There is, but arguably Lewis didn't commit it. He wrote:
I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying that really foolish thing that people often say about Him, 'I am ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who is merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said wouldn't be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic, on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg, or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice.
Now as he formulated it, the argument is directed against someone who at least thinks that the Gospels are an accurate account of the teachings of some non-mythical person called Jesus.
In which case Lewis has a point. Jesus as portrayed in the Gospels was not just some moral philosopher who went around talking about love and forgiveness. He also made specific grandiose claims about his own cosmic significance such as: "No man shall come to my Father except through me". Anyone who wants to proclaim themselves a fan of the teachings of Jesus as portrayed in the Gospels has to swallow that one too.
It's not Lewis's fault that a zillion halfwitted fundies have skipped this step and gone straight on to the trilemma.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
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