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Author Topic:   Deconversion experiences
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1511 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 7 of 299 (593404)
11-26-2010 8:41 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Meldinoor
11-26-2010 1:19 AM


On the other hand ...
Hi Meldinoor, I hope my response does not lead to others dragging this thread off topic by responding to my position.
It's hard to point to a single reason for why I lost my faith. The Creation-Evolution debate certainly had nothing to do with it, as I never saw any conflict between a belief in a higher power and an acceptance of the natural processes that produced mankind. Rather, I think I just became less averse to being critical of myself and my religion. At some point the scales just fell from my eyes and I realized that I had no real reason to maintain my belief in God. There was only blind faith, and what good is faith when it could just as well be used to form the basis for any quack religion?
I've always disliked organized religion, as it seemed to have little to do with living by the precepts. Perhaps this is why I have preferred the Buddhist faiths, especially zen and an emphasis on individual personal development. For me, faith is a personal journey, rather than a follow-the-leader behavior, and there are many paths to the top of the mountain.
...I've reevaluated many of the personal beliefs that I've espoused on this forum, most notably my religious beliefs. I now consider myself something of an agnostic, though I don't make a meaningful distinction between agnosticism and atheism, and labels aren't important anyway.
Curiously, I've gone the other way, from strong atheist to agnostic deist. There are several reasons, but the largest was that I could no longer support the atheist position. The logic was too flawed, and the only "evidence" was the apparent absence of evidence for god/s, arguments that begged the question, and other logical fallacies. More and more it seemed that the strong atheist position was just as flawed and self-referential as the strong theist position, and just as willing to ignore the shortcomings. Both strong theists and strong atheists strike me as being smug in their self-delusions.
It became evident to me that the only rational position, based on logic and the perceptible testable objective empirical evidence, was pure agnosticism - that the theist side was not supported by evidence, and the atheist side was not supported by evidence, that the answer was not known, could not be discerned from our current knowledge, and that either position could be true.
Thus I became an open minded skeptic - a better description than agnostic imho - open to the possibilities, but skeptical of any one position\belief being more valid than any other position\belief.
From there, it seems (to me, anyway) that the Buddhist\Zen\Deist position is the most logical belief on the theist side, although I remain skeptical.
I'm curious whether anyone else here who has gone through a deconversion recognizes any of this. Is it usually this difficult? How long did it take you to go from a fairly deep religious conviction to non-belief in God?
It was not hard for me, as it was more like opening ones eyes during learning new things.
I expect the rabid hordes of hard atheists will now descend and try to shred my position, so I will note that this is not the thread to discuss this, as my personal belief is not the original topic nor is it related to it, nor do I intend to discuss it, as I do not need to justify my personal beliefs to anyone but myself.
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.
Enjoy.

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Meldinoor, posted 11-26-2010 1:19 AM Meldinoor has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Meldinoor, posted 11-27-2010 2:23 AM RAZD has replied
 Message 20 by Dr Adequate, posted 11-27-2010 9:31 AM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1511 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 24 of 299 (593499)
11-27-2010 1:12 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Meldinoor
11-27-2010 2:23 AM


Re: On the other hand ...
Hi Meldinoor, thanks.
I'm an atheist only in the sense that I'm "not a theist", i.e. I don't claim the existence of any god. But I'm skeptical enough to consider any suggestions you'd care to put forth about gods.
I am curious where you put yourself on the following scale:
  1. Absolute Theist: knows god/s exist. (logically invalid position)
  2. Strong Theist: the existence of god/s is more likely than not. (logically invalid position)
  3. Weak Theist: the existence of god/s is possible, maybe likely, but not sure. (logically valid position)
  4. Agnostic: god/s may exist or they may not, there is insufficient evidence to know one way or the other. (logically valid position)
  5. Weak Atheist: the non-existence of gods is possible, maybe likely, but not sure. (logically valid position)
  6. Strong Atheist: the non-existence of god/s is more likely than not. (logically invalid position)
  7. Absolute Atheist: knows that god/s do not exist. (logically invalid position)
I put myself at a 3.
See Message 166 of An Exploration Into"Agnosticism" for more.
Enjoy.

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Meldinoor, posted 11-27-2010 2:23 AM Meldinoor has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by frako, posted 11-27-2010 2:01 PM RAZD has replied
 Message 34 by articulett, posted 11-27-2010 4:22 PM RAZD has replied
 Message 38 by Meldinoor, posted 11-27-2010 4:42 PM RAZD has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1511 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 29 of 299 (593518)
11-27-2010 3:25 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by frako
11-27-2010 2:01 PM


Re: On the other hand ...
Hi frako
This is a logically valid position, whit no valid evidence to support the claim that a god exsists, it is very highly likely that no god exsists, there is still a possibility that we have not found any evidence yet and we will in the future or that he is shy and does not want to be found though until one or the other reason is proven the only logically valid position is that the existence of a god Is very very unlikely.
Sorry, but you don't know how likely it is without having some evidence.
All you are doing is using the "absence of evidence is evidence of absence logical fallacy" to say that your opinion is valid.
Compare:
• any X with no contradictory evidence is possibly true
• X(a) has no contradictory evidence
∴ X(a) can be true
to:
• any X with no contradictory evidence is absolutely true
• X(a) has no contradictory evidence
∴ X(a) is absolutely true
OR:
• any X with no contradictory evidence is more likely true than false
• X(a) has no contradictory evidence
∴ X(a) is more likely true than false
If the logical form is true for any X then it is true for Y, now let Y = notX:
• any Y with no contradictory evidence is possibly true
• Y(a) has no contradictory evidence
∴ Y(a) can be true
== notX(a) can be true ...
... and by the form of the argument, X(a) still can be possibly true ... which is in fact the case, so this is a valid argument, and a true conclusion is reached.
3, 4 and 5 fit this pattern. Possibility is a valid conclusion from a lack of contradictory evidence.
versus:
• any Y with no contradictory evidence is absolutely true
• Y(a) has no contradictory evidence
∴ Y(a) is absolutely true
== notX(a) is absolutely true ...
... and by the form of the argument, X(a) is still absolutely true ... which is a contradiction ... unless you have objective empirical evidence that directly contradicts one or the other being true: without such evidence there is a contradiction in the form of the argument and the argument is invalid, falsified, void.
As the second premise is the same as above, we see that the first premise is falsified. 1 and 7 fit this pattern and are logically FALSE arguments.
OR:
• any Y with no contradictory evidence is more likely true than false
• Y(a) has no contradictory evidence
∴ Y(a) is more likely true than false
== notX(a) is more likely true than false ...
... and by the form of the argument, X(a) is still more likely true than false ... which is a contradiction ... unless you have objective empirical evidence that directly contradicts one or the other being true: without such evidence there is a contradiction in the form of the argument and the argument is invalid, falsified, void.
As the second premise is the same as above, we see that the first premise is falsified as well. 2 and 6 fit this pattern and are logically FALSE arguments.
See Message 24 for the scale references.
This is now going off topic as I feared (see Message 7 re not discussing deconversion experiences), so I suggest any further reply be on the An Exploration Into"Agnosticism" thread and Message 166.
Enjoy.
Edited by RAZD, : reference

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by frako, posted 11-27-2010 2:01 PM frako has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by frako, posted 11-27-2010 3:55 PM RAZD has seen this message but not replied
 Message 35 by Dr Adequate, posted 11-27-2010 4:24 PM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1511 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 41 of 299 (593536)
11-27-2010 5:00 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by articulett
11-27-2010 4:22 PM


not the topic
Hi articulett, and welcome to the fray if I haven't said it before.
Where are you on the scale when it comes to ...
This thread is not about me and my personal beliefs, and which I have no need to discuss or justify to anyone.
Enjoy.

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by articulett, posted 11-27-2010 4:22 PM articulett has not replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1511 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 42 of 299 (593537)
11-27-2010 5:03 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by Meldinoor
11-27-2010 4:42 PM


therefore we don't know
Hi Meldinoor, thanks.
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.
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by Meldinoor, posted 11-27-2010 4:42 PM Meldinoor has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by Dr Adequate, posted 11-27-2010 6:15 PM RAZD has seen this message but not replied
 Message 48 by nwr, posted 11-27-2010 6:24 PM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1511 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 104 of 299 (593713)
11-28-2010 9:23 PM
Reply to: Message 102 by dwise1
11-28-2010 8:01 PM


wakes & waking up
Hi dwise1
I've heard a song sung by a local Irish band about an Irishman who died, so they held his wake. And it took the sound of the jar of whisky being dropped and broken to revive him.
Tim Finnigan's Wake
FINNEGAN'S WAKE - Celtic Irish Folk Song, Lyrics, Free MP3, Sheet Music, Tab
Classic.
Enjoy.

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 102 by dwise1, posted 11-28-2010 8:01 PM dwise1 has not replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1511 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 280 of 299 (596937)
12-18-2010 10:07 AM
Reply to: Message 278 by Kairyu
12-18-2010 9:30 AM


Re: dealing with stuff
Hi WSW24, and welcome to the fray, If I haven't already said it.
Plus I am still a little in limbo. Being atheist has implications on thoughts about the bible, and life in general. I'm still a little afraid to take a firm atheistic stance on them. It's going to take a while before I've sorted it all out.
Naturally. Take things as they come, and don't be afraid to wait for more evidence\alternatives.
On a general note, I have been posting in this topic often lately. I would like to post more on the forum, but I am not really really to debate about certain things. Also haven't got much experience in it. Any suggestions?
Research.
See what you can find to support your position and then check that for validity.
... I could start by reviving my old topic of a few months ago about our biologically flawed nature.
When you do, consider asking yourself what you mean by flawed. A lot of times how you frame a question frames your answer.
Enjoy.

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 278 by Kairyu, posted 12-18-2010 9:30 AM Kairyu has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 281 by Kairyu, posted 12-18-2010 12:26 PM RAZD has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1511 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 283 of 299 (597645)
12-22-2010 9:15 PM
Reply to: Message 281 by Kairyu
12-18-2010 12:26 PM


Re: dealing with stuff
Hi WSW24,
The research thing is a little troubling though.I do not know enough sources yet.
A resource for biology\evolution that I like is:
An introduction to evolution - Understanding Evolution
This is a well organized website with a lot of information that is up to date with modern science. This should help you vet concepts you see discussed on the various threads discussing biology & evolution from the viewpoint of a university that teaches the science.
A couple of resources for logic that I like are:
http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/toc.htm and
http://usabig.com/autonomist/fallacies.html
Just reading through them you will likely see how these apply to many arguments that have been made by various people, politicians, and tv advertisements, and help you learn to recognize them in order to review arguments for their value. We don't have the luxury of hands on review of empirical evidence on these forums, but we can look at the logic of the arguments to at least see that they are valid constructions.
Enjoy.

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 281 by Kairyu, posted 12-18-2010 12:26 PM Kairyu has not replied

  
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