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Author Topic:   Can a valid, supportable reason be offered for deconversion
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2805 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


(2)
Message 17 of 566 (595456)
12-08-2010 5:02 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dawn Bertot
12-08-2010 3:15 AM


Hi, Dawn.
What would count as a "valid" reason?
For instance, my religious leaders generally disapprove of leaving church because of a personal issue with some prominent member of the local congregation. I would argue that this is an invalid reason, because it's unrelated to religion, and decisions about religion should based on reasons related to religion.
A valid reason would be something like, "I no longer believe what they teach"; or "I have never had a 'witness' from the Holy Ghost"; or something like that. These reasons are all valid, because they are direct counterpoints to the typical religious reasons why one would remain affiliated with a religion.
What about "supportable"? Can we support the valid reasons I cited above?
"I no longer believe what they teach." Well, if I genuinely no longer believe what they teach, then I think this reason is supported. Of course, no one else will ever really know whether you're being honest about your belief, but that's not a valid reason to hold you up, so it shouldn't come in to this discussion.
"I have never had a 'witness' from the Holy Ghost." If true, then it is supported. Well, I suppose it's possible to be given a 'witness' and not recognize what it was, or to later doubt its authenticity. But, if you've had a witness, and were still not convinced, either God didn't provide a good enough of witness for you---which shouldn't have been a problem for Him if He actually knew you the way the scriptures claim---or the witness wasn't real.
I argue that both of these constitute support for a decision to deconvert.
If you disagree that these are good reasons for abandoning God, I guess I can't demonstrate that you're wrong. But, belief is always personal. I argue that the explanations for why these aren't good reasons are obscure and subjective, and thus, none of my business unless they're my explanations to myself.
Edited by Bluejay, : space between "an" and "invalid"

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-08-2010 3:15 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-12-2010 7:41 PM Blue Jay has replied

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2805 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 38 of 566 (595559)
12-09-2010 10:41 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by arachnophilia
12-08-2010 9:04 PM


Re: another scriptural perspective
Hi, arachnophilia.
You and I haven't associated much on this forum, but you may be interested to know that I grew up a Mormon. I'm actually still a Mormon as far as decorum goes, but I consider myself agnostic philosophically.
Incidentally, I also like spiders (I'm an arachnologist).
arachnophilia writes:
but [the mormons] always seem to disappear when i quote this verse to them, and tell them that their book has failed the test for me.
As far as tests go, it's not too bad for a religious test; and Mormons stand behind it vigorously. Unfortunately, it's not actually as reliable as we like to think it is. I've never been very clear on what the sensation of "the truth being manifested by the power of the Holy Ghost" is supposed to be like, but the people around me didn't seem to have problems with it.
One of the major problems I had was that, while the Holy Ghost is supposed to manifest truth, I seem fully capable of experiencing the same kinds of sensations when watching fictional "tearjerker" movies. The responses I get when I discuss this with my Mormon family and friends are things like (1) "The Spirit is confirming a principle to you"; or (2) "Are you sure it's the Spirit, and not just your personal emotions?"
I generally just tell my Mormon friends that my spiritual sense doesn't work. Some of my friends tell me that, for those of us with broken spiritual senses, the Lord provides ways to reason out the truth, but I've so far failed at that too (I kind of avoid talking about this part with them, though).
I've chosen not to officially deconvert (mainly for familial reasons), but I would accept any of these as valid and supportable reasons for someone to deconvert or to not convert in the first place. Just don't tell my mother or my bishop that I said that.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by arachnophilia, posted 12-08-2010 9:04 PM arachnophilia has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by arachnophilia, posted 12-09-2010 11:21 AM Blue Jay has replied

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2805 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 47 of 566 (595630)
12-09-2010 2:06 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by arachnophilia
12-09-2010 11:21 AM


Re: another scriptural perspective
Hi, arach.
arachnophilia writes:
out of morbid curiosity, were you slightly mormon, or very mormon?
Very Mormon. I'm not from Utah, but I'm a fourth- or fifth-generation Mormon, no matter which line you trace my ancestry through. We went to church every Sunday, read from the Book of Mormon every night, and were always supposed to be doing everything in our power to live up to the standards of the Church.
I don't have the stamina for it anymore, but my parents still do. I still don't drink alcohol or coffee or tea, because I'm completely uninterested in starting now.
-----
arachnophilia writes:
well, i consider the lack of confirmation (a non-working spiritual sense) a pretty clear failure of the test.
Naturally, I counter with a "Lord's timeframe" argument and you're supposed to melt away under my masterful logic. And then, if you question the validity of the test or the falsifiability of God, I'm supposed to act like I don't know what falsifiability means and/or just feel sorrow for the fact that your skepticism is preventing you from enjoying the Celestial Kingdom.
I then thank you for your time and go knock on the next door. Oh, but not before telling you with lots of conviction that I know the Book of Mormon to be true, because testimonies can be a very powerful way to bring the Spirit.
When I was a missionary, we had to role-play scenarios like this all the time. But, being able to "bring the Spirit" into a fictional role-play made it hard for me to believe it was genuine.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by arachnophilia, posted 12-09-2010 11:21 AM arachnophilia has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by Stile, posted 12-09-2010 2:42 PM Blue Jay has not replied
 Message 49 by arachnophilia, posted 12-09-2010 6:42 PM Blue Jay has replied

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2805 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 56 of 566 (595769)
12-10-2010 10:46 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by arachnophilia
12-09-2010 6:42 PM


Re: another scriptural perspective
Hi, arachnophilia.
See Message 226.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by arachnophilia, posted 12-09-2010 6:42 PM arachnophilia has not replied

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2805 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 306 of 566 (597208)
12-20-2010 11:51 AM
Reply to: Message 59 by Dawn Bertot
12-12-2010 7:41 PM


Hi, Dawn Bertot.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Bluejay writes:
"I have never had a 'witness' from the Holy Ghost."
This is simply a denominational misunderstanding of how the Holy Spirit operates and what the scriptures teach about his influence in our affairs...
So, you don't believe that the Holy Ghost plays a role in converting people to Christianity? I'm rather confident that nearly all Christians aside from you do. If you just don't like how I've worded it, then please suggest an alternative wording.
If no such "witness" (or whatever you want to call it) exists, then there is no valid reason to have converted in the first place, which is very strong support indeed for the decision to deconvert.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-12-2010 7:41 PM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 311 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-20-2010 8:03 PM Blue Jay has replied

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2805 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 327 of 566 (597416)
12-21-2010 12:57 PM
Reply to: Message 311 by Dawn Bertot
12-20-2010 8:03 PM


Hi, Dawn.
Dawn Bertot writes:
The herkie Jerkies and the other claimed feelings are not mentioned as a part of the conversion experience.
I didn't mention "herkie jerkies" or feelings of any kind in my post, Dawn. In fact, I intentionally left out all mention of those things.
The only description I gave was "witness from the Holy Ghost."
Do you agree that a witness from the Holy Ghost is an integral part of conversion?
-----
Dawn Bertot writes:
Nowhere does the NT imply or state that you will feel something other than the knowledge and assurance, given his word, that you are now free from the bondage of sin.
Does this not count as a "witness from the Holy Ghost"?
Is this not part of the conversion experience?
Should I convert if I haven't felt this knowledge and assurance?
-----
Dawn Bertot writes:
Wrong. Thats like saying I shouldnt believe in God because I dont feel it (something other than normal sensation) against the clear evidence of his exsistence
IOW, the evidence of God and the evidence that the scriptures is the Word of God, that which supports it, gives me assurance that my life now has purpose above and beyond the grave
Then you do believe that the Holy Ghost has no role in conversion at all.
If that is the case, then it is also a valid reason to deconvert from any sect that believes the Holy Ghost does play a role in conversion.
Also, the validity of a decision to convert/deconvert is entirely based on an assessment of the empirical evidence for the truth of the religion in question. I argue that, regardless of which religion we're talking about, the evidence is wholly lacking, and that deconversion is thus perfectly valid.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 311 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-20-2010 8:03 PM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 357 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-22-2010 11:18 AM Blue Jay has replied

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2805 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


(1)
Message 388 of 566 (598041)
12-27-2010 11:42 AM
Reply to: Message 357 by Dawn Bertot
12-22-2010 11:18 AM


Hi, Dawn.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Bluejay writes:
Do you agree that a witness from the Holy Ghost is an integral part of conversion?
Yes, of course, but perhaps we should explore what you mean by witness and what I believe.
The only witness that is recognizable is that of God;s Word. It is sufficient enough for belief to conversion
Perhaps all we need to discuss is how to recognize this witness, and what to do if one does not feel that they have had such a witness. The exact nature of the witness hardly matters unless it's your intention to try to deal with my specific concerns about religion.
If someone is not convinced that they have had such a witness, then the witness either didn't happen or was not "sufficient enough for belief to conversion," and I cannot find a reason to call this an invalid reason to deconvert.
-----
Dawn Bertot writes:
Bluejay writes:
I argue that, regardless of which religion we're talking about, the evidence is wholly lacking, and that deconversion is thus perfectly valid.
Lacking, how, where and why?
Lacking, as in non-existent. I have not yet encountered any piece of evidence that convincingly indicates the existence of any sort of deity or higher power.
Further, my experience tells me that people who have encountered such "convincing" evidence have artificially lowered their thresholds of "convincing-ness" for this, and only this, subject matter, while requiring a much higher threshold to be breached by the evidence before being convinced of anything else.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 357 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-22-2010 11:18 AM Dawn Bertot has not replied

  
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