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Author Topic:   My Book On Evolution
Phat
Member
Posts: 13928
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 16 of 31 (875608)
04-30-2020 12:05 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Tangle
04-30-2020 9:03 AM


Persecution Complex
Tangle writes:

Yes, it's a Christian preoccupation and longing for persecution. Sadly for both you and Faith, it's not going to happen. What will happen is what is actually happening across the developed world is that extreme beliefs like yours will gradually just get diluted and fade out. They eventually become irrelevant.

Do you think that I want to be persecuted? I'm a spoiled brat! Jesus did that work...why should I have to do it?? Oh, I know....scripture suggests that I too will be persecuted. I don't want any human to be persecuted for any reason, even if they do evil things. At best, I would want the demons that claim them to be wiped out, so you can use that statement to proclaim me certifiably nuts.


“The only way I know to drive out evil from the country is by the constructive method of filling it with good.”Calvin Coolidge
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
“As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.”-RC Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith

- You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
Anne Lamott
Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.~Andre Gide

This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Tangle, posted 04-30-2020 9:03 AM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 13928
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 17 of 31 (875609)
04-30-2020 12:17 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by jar
04-30-2020 8:56 AM


Re: How Long Have You Been Working On This Book?
jar writes:

It's not a matter of what I believe rather it is a conclusion based on the Evidence and reality.

There are a plethora of evidential claims regarding Biblical origins. As for reality, the reality is not what it seems. My basic question to you is how you can in good conscience steer Christians towards what *they* are responsible to do and to essentially dismiss God as simply evolving characters within human mythos.

Don't get me wrong, I see your "evidence" and have followed your arguments.

I have asserted that you do not represent Christianity the way that it should in fact be represented, whereas you then counter that the Christianity that I attempt to follow and market is "an apologetic marketing fantasy". When I protest and challenge you on this point, you admittedly do present an intellectually persuasive argument that an unbeliever could follow as well as or better than a believer. You are true to your conclusions. I had to dig for the story of Virginia. I am still evaluating my ideas regarding your belief but I respect that you are honest.


“The only way I know to drive out evil from the country is by the constructive method of filling it with good.”Calvin Coolidge
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
“As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.”-RC Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith

- You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
Anne Lamott
Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.~Andre Gide

This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by jar, posted 04-30-2020 8:56 AM jar has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7620
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 18 of 31 (875611)
04-30-2020 12:33 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by Phat
04-30-2020 12:00 PM


Re: How Long Have You Been Working On This Book?
Phat writes:

You would have to ask Him, of course. This question does not keep me up at night, that's for sure

Best not to think about it eh?

Not sure I understand this question. What do you mean "why is here necessary? " You mean the "experiment" that I suggest God may be conducting? The obvious answer is to build and develop human character in the face of ongoing adversity.

How is that obvious? As has been said often, if god knows who'll pass the character test, he doesn't need to run the cruel experiment. And the question was about suffering - why is it necessary if perfect happiness can be achieved without it? ie in heaven. Does it really make sense to you that god builds this whole routine to see how many pass his test? I mean really? I'm mean why would he? What possible motive is there?

And you get that but don't accept it

I certainly don't get it - it makes no sense at all. I hear you say it, but it's absurd.

I'm not sure that you understand what it is like to be a believer. It is not like Santa Claus.

Of course I do, I've been one!

It is being internally and objectively certain that GOD exists through Jesus Christ and that Jesus is alive and present today.

And then one day you realise what a pile of shite that was. It's called delusion - it's very powerful. You really think that it's real. I know.

Once one has actually met somebody, one cannot deny the existence of such a person. But thats a discussion for another sermon.

This gets to the heart of it - pretty much all the people I've met that believe like you do that you've met god, spoke to him etc etc. That 'experience' rules out any further objective thinking; nothing can shake it. I've seen it in mental hospitals, the belief in the personal experience - regardless of how bonkers it objectively is, people claiming to actually be Jesus for example - is very strong and hard to break.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Phat, posted 04-30-2020 12:00 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3943
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 19 of 31 (875613)
04-30-2020 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by Phat
04-30-2020 12:00 PM


Re: How Long Have You Been Working On This Book?
Phat writes:

It is being internally and objectively certain...

If you insist on using words in a way other than how that word is intended... you will forever continue to be confused as to why others cannot understand you.

Belief in God certainly can be "internally certain."
But it cannot be "internally and objectively certain."

It can even be "as internally certain as I am about other things that are objectively certain."
But it cannot be "internally and objectively certain."

Because there is no objective certainty about God's existence.
If there was... it would be on the same level of "a flat earth" conspiracy.

Calling a belief in God "internally and objectively certain."
Is like calling a gas-guzzling muscle car "loud and environmentally friendly."

If it's a gas-guzzling muscle car - it cannot be environmentally friendly, an environmentally friendly gas-guzzler does not exist (at our current level of car-technology.)
If it's a belief in God - it cannot be objectively certain, objectivity about God's existence does not exist (at our current level of God-knowledge.)

I am quite clear that you claim to give my concept of God no more thought than you would Zeus. I get that.

Do you?

Do you understand that atheists give your concept of God no more thought that you (Phat) would give to Zeus?
Do you understand that many/most people, a few thousand years ago, would call their belief in Zeus "internally certain?"
I'd even be willing to bet that most of those people would also call their belief in Zeus "internally and objectively certain" ...for as much as that means.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Phat, posted 04-30-2020 12:00 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 4163
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.9


(2)
Message 20 of 31 (875618)
04-30-2020 8:00 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Phat
04-30-2020 5:35 AM


Re: How Long Have You Been Working On This Book?
First if I may, it seems odd that the only reply you chose to ignore was that one that evolution never stops, that all species, including humans, are still evolving.

Instead, you have chosen to fall into the creationist trap of entangling evolution with religion and to set up evolution as something in opposition to your religion. In reality, there is no conflict between science and religion -- basically they have nothing to do with each other. Similarly, there is no conflict between evolution and creation -- evolution is basically the natural consequences of populations of living things doing what they naturally do, and that happens regardless of how the earliest populations of life came into existence, whether by purely supernatural means, by purely natural means, or by natural means set up or guided by supernatural means. No questions of origins have anything to do with evolution and evolution has no effect on questions of origins.

The only conflict that appears comes exclusively from the religion side when religionists make false and contrary-to-fact claims about the real world (eg, young earthism) and then insist that a conflict between science and religion exists.

Why would you want to get suckered into that game?

Finally, what harm does belief in God do for your life? How does it cripple you?

Interestingly, that very question is raised by examination of the infamous Pascal's Wager, which I encountered fundamentalist proselytizers presenting as "after-life insurance", hence the title of my page on the subject: DWISE1'S CREATION / EVOLUTION PAGE: After-Life Insurance.

The Wager is presented in typical gaming theory fashion with a 2x2 array showing the four combinations of two binary factors:

quote:
Blaise Pascal postulated that there are two possible conditions, either God exists or He does not, and there are two possible actions you could take, either you believe in God or you do not. Graphing these two possible conditions and two possible actions yields four possible outcomes (green is good, red is bad):

Possible Conditions:
  1. God exists.
  2. God does not exist.

Possible Actions:
  1. You believe in God.
  2. You do not believe in God.

... my presentation of the resulting 2x2 table ...

Presenting that as a list:


You win in these cases --
  • If God exists and you believe in Him: then you are saved.
  • If God does not exist and you believe in Him: then no loss, but you gain peace of mind and are a better person.

However you lose in these cases --
  • If God exists and you do not believe in Him: then you are damned for eternity. This is the ultimate loss.
  • If God does not exist and you do not believe in Him: then no loss, but also no gain. You lose by having cheated yourself out of the opportunity to live a good life through faith.


Pascal's reasoning seems to assume that belief in God is needed for a good life. Therefore, with these outcomes if you do not believe in God, then there is a 50% chance of losing really big-time and 50% chance that you would have simply not led a good life. Therefore, you gain nothing by not believing in God and stand to lose everything. However, if you do believe in God, then there is 100% chance you will win, since if God exists then you are saved and if He doesn't exist then you will have at least led a good life. Therefore, choosing to believe in God is a sure bet.

There are many problems with Pascal's Wager, including several false assumptions. My page goes on to examine some of them. Of interest here is this one:

quote:
  • If God does not exist and you believe in Him: then no loss, but you gain peace of mind and are a better person.

    . . .

    However, if you do believe in God, then there is 100% chance you will win, since if God exists then you are saved and if He doesn't exist then you will have at least led a good life. Therefore, choosing to believe in God is a sure bet.


  • Setting aside the glaring problem that you are required to choose the right god (including which of the many versions of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic god, , because choosing the wrong one is the same as choosing to not believe) and the right theology (ie, which of the myriad theologies attached to each of those many versions of God, because choosing the wrong theology is the same as choosing none -- remember that Pascal expected you to become a Catholic), choosing to believe does not come without a heavy cost:

    quote:
    Pascal maintained that believing in his god and theology costs you nothing, but that is not true of his own theology, nor of most of the theologies that exist. What if you could not pursue your dream career because your chosen god forbade it? Or marry your one true love (your "media naranja", or "half orange", as my wife's grandmother had put it) because your god forbade you to marry that kind of person? Or learn the sciences because your god forbade you to study the truth? Or to think for yourself because your god forbade it? Or had to suffered from a horrible disease or injury or had to watch your child die horribly of a treatable disease because your god forbade the medical treatment for it? For many of us, that would be too great a cost to bear.

    So to answer your question, Phat, belief in your god could be horribly crippling.


    Additional discussion:

    My page was written in response to a fundamentalist playing through the "after-life insurance" script he had learned (I've seen the exact same script being played by others a couple other times), so I did my favorite thing and went off-script, which always leaves them befuddled:

    quote:
    So I told my after-life insurance salesman that his after-life insurance was a rotten deal (unfortunately, I didn't think of that name for it until the next day, but that poor guy was already hurting too much). We had to pay an exorbinant price for a policy that would only pay in the most restricted and oddest of circumstances. By the car insurance analogy, it would only pay if you were hit by a green Edsel -- on the northbound side of the Santa Ana Freeway -- while it was exceeding the speed limit -- backing up -- at night -- with its lights off -- being driven by a one-armed Lithuanian midget.

    He had been so self-assured that his argument was flawless and unassailable. He couldn't understand what had just happened. I think he still doesn't know what had hit him.

    Which goes to show that it does pay to read the classics.


    --------

    Trivia: The Ford Edsel was named after Henry Ford's son, Edsel Ford. Edsel comes from the German form, Etzel, of the Hungarian name, Attila (as in Attila the Hun). I worked with an Attila once.

    --------

    My related web page, Dov Wisebrod's "Pascal's Casinos Under Fire", is a reconstruction of that article from his Religion Detox site which appears to no longer exist. Fortunately, I had a hard copy that I had printed out, so I created that page to revive it.

    The article examines Pascal's Wager as the primary game in Pascal's Casino which has come under investigation by the Nevada Gaming Commission for actually running a "major con job." An excerpt:

    quote:
    "Safe Bet" Ruins Lives
    In the Seventeenth Century, Pascal invented a wager that intertwined philosophy, religion, and gambling, and he opened a casino in which his new game was exclusively played. In time, Pascal's wager proved so popular that franchises sprouted in virtually every neighborhood around the world.

    Basic gameplay follows the original recipe. The dealer asks, "God is, or He is not. What will you wager?" The players then bet on one of the two possibilities. If you bet that God exists and win, you win everything; if you lose, you lose nothing. If you bet that God doesn't exist and win, you win nothing; if you lose, you lose everything.

    For obvious reasons, most players choose to bet that God exists, but that's only the beginning. They are given a complex regimen of "do-s" and "don't-s" to follow throughout their lives -- if they don't, they can't win. Some players come to regret their bet.

    "If you lose, you lose a helluva lot more than nothing," said Jerrold Alwell, who is kicking a weekly gambling habit with the help of detox therapy. "They tell you it's a safe bet, but they make you sign your life away. I almost lost my mind to those liars at Pascal's."

    "And they don't tell you that only one casino will have winners," added Angela de la Reese, also a recovering addict. "Players at all others will go to the winning casino's hell." Because each casino's regimen prohibits play at any other, players can't hedge their bets by playing more than one. Detox therapists call this the "avoiding the wrong hell" problem.

    . . .

    In its defense, Pascal's CEO John Paul, Jr. said the organization is prepared to aggressively assert its First Amendment rights. They will argue that any government interference in its affairs would be an unconstitutional violation of the separation between church and state.

    "Besides," said a smirking Paul, "Even if we lose, we could always transform Pascal's into an offshore gambling operation that people can play on the Internet."

    Curran grudgingly admitted that domestic regulation is "an imperfect solution" and that educating the public is essential. "The only guaranteed way to protect yourself from these gangsters -- the only truly safe bet -- is to bet against God."


    --------

    Three years ago I stumbled a response to Pascal's Wager, the Atheist's Wager and I added a section to my "After-Life Insurance" page. The Atheist's Wager was developed and presented by philosopher Michael Martin.

    Basically the Atheist's Wager expands to three variables:

    1. A benevolent god exists, one who judges you on the kind of life you lead instead of on the details of your beliefs.
    2. Whether you believe in that god or not.
    3. Whether you lead a good life or an evil life.

    From my page:
    quote:
    The Atheist's Wager is used to prove that the results of leading a good life has nothing to do with whether any gods exist. Gods or no gods, leading a good life has a positive outcome. Furthermore, it can be used to show that atheism is a more rational position than theism is.

    According to the article, the assumptions of one version of the Atheist's Wager are:


    One version of the Atheist's Wager suggests that since a kind and loving god would reward good deeds – and that if no gods exist, good deeds would still leave a positive legacy – one should live a good life without religion. Another formulation suggests that a god may reward honest disbelief, a reward which would then be jeopardized by a dishonest belief in the divine.

    The article proceeds with the assumption that should a god exist, it would be a benevolent god. I feel that this leaves out the situation of an arbitrary and/or malevolent god, in which case all bets would be off. More on that below.

    After I present a quick tutorial on Boolean Algebra and truth tables (an integral part of my computer technician and computer science training) and then use that to more clearly present the logic of Martin's Atheist's Wager (ie, that the state of the factors of the existence of and belief in a benevolent god is "don't care" (an actual technical term indicated by an "X")), I then turn to the question of a malevolent god, which is the situation that we are faced with:

    quote:
    As I already mentioned, I feel that the argument presented on the Wikipedia page for the Atheist's Wager is incomplete because it only considers whether a benevolent god exists. But if a benevolent god does not exist, then that would mean either that no god(s) exist (which is what I assume is supposed to be implied) or that a malevolent god exists. Or if not actually malevolent, then at the very least very arbitrary. Like the god described by that subset of Christian sects that includes fundamentalists and evangelicals.

    Frankly, with a god like that all bets are off. As Dan Barker says in his song, You Can't Win with Original Sin: "Any god that would damn me will just as certainly damn you too." It's like being in a very bad marriage (been there!) with a spouse who is impossible to please: damned if you do, damned if you don't, damned no matter what! Even when she describes explicitly what would please her and you do exactly what she tells you, you're still damned.

    Similarly with the malevolent god of that set of Christian sects, even when you do everything you're told to in order to be saved, you still don't know whether you're saved -- I have read countless testimonials and anecdotes of former and current believers who have suffered those agonizing doubts. Remember that each of those sects believe that all the other sects have gotten it wrong, so you have to believe that your particular narrow sect is the one that had gotten everything right. Because if it had gotten wrong any part of the requirements for salvation, regardless of how minute, then your arbitrary god will damn you for it. Or, being absolutely arbitrary, He'll damn you anyway even if you met every single arbitrary requirement, because ... arbitrary.

    That is the Universe of Hurt that you let yourself in for by believing in a god who is not benevolent.


    I conclude with a section taken from a Philosophy of Religion page discussing Martin's Atheist's Wager. The conclusions are:

    quote:


    This revised version of the Wager would go something like this:

    1. It is possible that God exists and it is possible that God does not exist.
    2. If one believes in God then if he exists then one either receives an infinitely great reward or an infinitely great punishment and if he does not exist then one loses little or nothing.
    3. If one does not believe in God then if he exists then one either receives an infinitely great reward or an infinitely great punishment and if he does not exist then one gains little or nothing.
    4. It is better to either receive an infinitely great reward or an infinitely great punishment or gain little or nothing than it is to either receive an infinitely great reward or an infinitely great punishment or lose little or nothing.


    Therefore:

    5. It is better not to believe in God than it is to believe in God.

    6. If one course of action is better than another then it is rational to follow that course of action and irrational to follow the other.


    Therefore:

    7. It is rational not to believe in God and irrational to believe in God.

    . . . [my discussion of #4 to try to parse it into something easier to understand] . . .

    Michael Martin is quoted indirectly as saying that if any pragmatic argument of the form of Pascal’s Wager is sound, then it is an argument for atheism, rather than for religious belief. I think that that point has been well made.



    This message is a reply to:
     Message 12 by Phat, posted 04-30-2020 5:35 AM Phat has not yet responded

      
    ringo
    Member
    Posts: 18103
    From: frozen wasteland
    Joined: 03-23-2005
    Member Rating: 2.3


    (1)
    Message 21 of 31 (875654)
    05-02-2020 1:46 PM
    Reply to: Message 12 by Phat
    04-30-2020 5:35 AM


    Re: How Long Have You Been Working On This Book?
    Phat writes:

    Hey, I get it. I even understand why some of you think and believe that there is no "God" and that the very story of Jesus Christ may well have been a myth. You were taught this belief.


    Nope. You don't get it at all. I don't "believe that there is no God." I just don't have any belief that there is. As I have told you many times, I have never read a word of atheist writing so I could not have been "taught" to abandon belief in God. Any belief I had died of its own emptiness.

    "I'm Fallen and I can't get up!"

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 12 by Phat, posted 04-30-2020 5:35 AM Phat has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 22 by Tangle, posted 05-02-2020 4:37 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply
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    Tangle
    Member
    Posts: 7620
    From: UK
    Joined: 10-07-2011
    Member Rating: 2.8


    (1)
    Message 22 of 31 (875659)
    05-02-2020 4:37 PM
    Reply to: Message 21 by ringo
    05-02-2020 1:46 PM


    Re: How Long Have You Been Working On This Book?
    Ringo writes:

    I have never read a word of atheist writing so I could not have been "taught" to abandon belief in God.

    I hadn't thought of that.

    I don't think I'd ever heard the word 'atheist' when I became one. It's a bit like the father Christmas thing, you don't have a name for it when you realise you don't believe.

    The idea that I might have been taught atheism, is well, wrong. My parents and my younger sister still went to church every Sunday and I went to a religious school. I had blazing rows with them for months. I was about 14. Never heard of evolution either.

    It just became obvious that it was a pile of shite.


    Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

    "Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

    "Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
    - Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 21 by ringo, posted 05-02-2020 1:46 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

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     Message 23 by AZPaul3, posted 05-02-2020 4:54 PM Tangle has not yet responded
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    AZPaul3
    Member
    Posts: 4979
    From: Phoenix
    Joined: 11-06-2006
    Member Rating: 3.9


    Message 23 of 31 (875662)
    05-02-2020 4:54 PM
    Reply to: Message 22 by Tangle
    05-02-2020 4:37 PM


    Re: How Long Have You Been Working On This Book?
    I was converted to atheism by the most compelling motivational read on the planet ... the bible.

    Factio Republicana delenda est.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 22 by Tangle, posted 05-02-2020 4:37 PM Tangle has not yet responded

      
    dwise1
    Member
    Posts: 4163
    Joined: 05-02-2006
    Member Rating: 2.9


    Message 24 of 31 (875663)
    05-02-2020 5:10 PM
    Reply to: Message 22 by Tangle
    05-02-2020 4:37 PM


    Re: How Long Have You Been Working On This Book?
    I don't think I'd ever heard the word 'atheist' when I became one.

    Same here. It was years after I had become an atheist that I first heard about it.

    I was a Christian kid, baptized around age 11, who a year later decided to learn more about what I was supposed to be believing. Naïvely assuming biblical literalism (not a part of our congregation's doctrine, so far as I can reconstruct), I started reading the Bible. I ended up realizing that I just couldn't believe what I was reading. Following my own logic, since I couldn't believe what I was required to, then there was no point in staying, so I left. Guess it's a toss-up whether it was the Bible or biblical literalism that made me an atheist (BTW, it was about half a decade later that I even heard about atheism).

    Then around 1970, my friend's family got sucked into the Jesus Freak Movement so we became "fellow travelers" learning about it. They were strongly into biblical literalism and I found their teachings even more unbelievable. That was also when I was first exposed to creationism, which proved itself to be bogus with its "NASA computer that found Joshua's Lost Day" claim (see Thoughts on "Joshua's Long Day" by Allan H. Harvey (AKA "steamdoc").

    A decade later, in 1981, I encountered creationism again after a decade. Thinking that maybe there might be something to it I started studying it and checking out its claims. I found it not only to be completely bogus, but also engaging in deliberate deception. Yet more verification that I had made the right decision nearly two decades before.

    And now, more than half a century after having become an atheist, every day in every way creationists and "true Christians" repeatedly confirm more and more that I had made the right decision.


    This message is a reply to:
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    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 13928
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 1.3


    Message 25 of 31 (875685)
    05-03-2020 11:47 AM
    Reply to: Message 21 by ringo
    05-02-2020 1:46 PM


    Re: How Long Have You Been Working On This Book?
    ringo writes:

    I don't "believe that there is no God." I just don't have any belief that there is.

    In which case I would argue that you never did. At best, you saw God as a kid sees Santa Claus. How many kids do you know that had a personal relationship with Santa Claus?

    “The only way I know to drive out evil from the country is by the constructive method of filling it with good.”Calvin Coolidge
    "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
    “As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.”-RC Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith

    - You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
    Anne Lamott
    Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.~Andre Gide

    This message is a reply to:
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    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 13928
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 1.3


    Message 26 of 31 (875686)
    05-03-2020 11:50 AM
    Reply to: Message 24 by dwise1
    05-02-2020 5:10 PM


    Re: How Long Have You Been Working On This Book?
    So whats your first-hand observations about Jesus Freaks who actually had a personal relationship with Jesus? Did any of them have a peace about them? Did they help encourage others? Did they respect you enough to never actively try and convert you? Just curious.

    “The only way I know to drive out evil from the country is by the constructive method of filling it with good.”Calvin Coolidge
    "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
    “As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.”-RC Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith

    - You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
    Anne Lamott
    Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.~Andre Gide

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 24 by dwise1, posted 05-02-2020 5:10 PM dwise1 has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 30 by dwise1, posted 05-06-2020 5:58 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply
     Message 31 by dwise1, posted 05-08-2020 1:01 PM Phat has not yet responded

      
    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 13928
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 1.3


    Message 27 of 31 (875687)
    05-03-2020 11:54 AM
    Reply to: Message 22 by Tangle
    05-02-2020 4:37 PM


    Re: How Long Have You Been Working On This Book?
    I had blazing rows with them for months.
    Explains why you reject authority figures and chalk them up to human mythos. Perhaps God created you to be an arguer. Iron sharpens iron.

    “The only way I know to drive out evil from the country is by the constructive method of filling it with good.”Calvin Coolidge
    "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
    “As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.”-RC Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith

    - You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
    Anne Lamott
    Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.~Andre Gide

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 22 by Tangle, posted 05-02-2020 4:37 PM Tangle has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 28 by Tangle, posted 05-03-2020 12:02 PM Phat has not yet responded

      
    Tangle
    Member
    Posts: 7620
    From: UK
    Joined: 10-07-2011
    Member Rating: 2.8


    Message 28 of 31 (875689)
    05-03-2020 12:02 PM
    Reply to: Message 27 by Phat
    05-03-2020 11:54 AM


    Re: How Long Have You Been Working On This Book?
    Phat writes:

    Explains why you reject authority figures and chalk them up to human mythos.


    No it doesn't, it explains that I have a mind

    Iron sharpens iron.

    Many a mickle makes a muckle.

    Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

    "Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

    "Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
    - Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 27 by Phat, posted 05-03-2020 11:54 AM Phat has not yet responded

      
    ringo
    Member
    Posts: 18103
    From: frozen wasteland
    Joined: 03-23-2005
    Member Rating: 2.3


    Message 29 of 31 (875695)
    05-03-2020 1:25 PM
    Reply to: Message 25 by Phat
    05-03-2020 11:47 AM


    Re: How Long Have You Been Working On This Book?
    Phat writes:

    In which case I would argue that you never did.


    But you never actually make an argument. It's just wishful thinking on your part. You think if you keep your ryes closed tight enough you'll never have to face what you might see. But it's still out there.

    Phat writes:

    At best, you saw God as a kid sees Santa Claus.


    Which is how you see Him - Sky Daddy.

    Phat writes:

    How many kids do you know that had a personal relationship with Santa Claus?


    I don't know any adults who have a personal relationship with God either.

    "I'm Fallen and I can't get up!"

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 25 by Phat, posted 05-03-2020 11:47 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

      
    dwise1
    Member
    Posts: 4163
    Joined: 05-02-2006
    Member Rating: 2.9


    Message 30 of 31 (875808)
    05-06-2020 5:58 PM
    Reply to: Message 26 by Phat
    05-03-2020 11:50 AM


    Re: How Long Have You Been Working On This Book?
    So whats your first-hand observations about Jesus Freaks who actually had a personal relationship with Jesus?

    Of course most of them thought that they actually had a personal relationship with Jesus, no differently then others have thought they they had a personal relationship with their gods. Or those who have had such a relationship with Frodo Baggins, CDR Spock, or Illya Nickovitch Kuryakin.

    While they certainly believed that relationship existed, whether it actually did exist is an entirely different question altogether. They were taught that that was what was supposed to happen, so that's what they believed happened. How long they could maintain it was another matter.

    Did any of them have a peace about them?

    They were burned out hippies. Don't you remember the bumper stickers of the time depicting the ΙΧΘΥΣ fish with a fish hook through its nose with the caption, "Hooked on Jesus". They were exchanging one drug experience for another, so of course they were blissed out.

    Was it actual peace? Probably, no different for people finding peace in any of many other ways. And again there's the question of how long they could maintain it.

    We should not forget many ex-Christians for whom it stopped working. Mainly because you cannot keep it up for very long. For example, here's the testimony from "Ed" (a fundamentalist and ex-creationist with whom I've lost contact, but whose old web pages I've reposted; eg his My Story page):

    quote:
    I met Jesus in 1983 and have truly seen my life turn around! I have always loved science and would have classified myself as an agnostic and to say that I was not skeptical after I was saved would be a lie. I investigated the claims of the Bible (not realizing at the time we are commanded to do so), and the Bible, time and time again, would be justified. So to begin, let me say, I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and is fully vindicated in all it claims and it is not dependent solely on the issue of origins.

    "Creation science" had become a passion for me almost from day one. Yet all my information concerning the pros and cons of the young earth position, I received from young earth creationists. The weight and number of their arguments were amazing! I collected the books, audios and videos and was just blown away! I was a well equipped "young earther." I believed that God had created the universe, all life forms and Adam and Eve in six literal days less than 10,000 years ago, and I had the SCIENCE to PROVE it too! "Oh! How I would love to see the faces of those atheist scientists when they get a load of this stuff!" "Isn't it true that evolution and the Big Bang were invented just so the immoral can justify their lifestyle?".... How naive!

    I discovered, as life went on, my exhilaration would dwindle if creationist material was not fresh in my mind. Whenever I would "bath" myself in their details, I would be renewed and so excited, "God is real, heaven is real, the universe IS young!" There was one doubt however, that would pop into my mind frequently, "how can all those scientists be so wrong?" This single idea would gnaw at me like a toothache so it would be time for a fresh dose of YEC (Young-Earth Creationism), and life would be wonderful again!

    One day, being psyched-up for a new fix, I popped in a video I had received from a young man at Church. The tape was a series of debates (about eight), between a famous "young earther" and various evolutionists. After viewing them, I found my jaw on the floor. I truly expected these evolutionists to roll over and die after being presented with this battering of "facts" - they didn't! I was truely numbed and frankly, pretty upset with the manners of this "young earther." I had to come to some serious conclusions that day.

    • Scientists have answers for each point raised, e.g. shrinking sun, polystrate fossils etc., they were not surprised at all!
    • Creation Science is not science. I watched as this creationist fellow was repeatedly being cornered, relying on miracle after miracle to answer their questions. Yes, God can and does perform miracles, but these were miracles that were not even in the Bible - that's not science!
    • I have been a hypocrite! My favorite reasoning with skeptics is to challenge them to examine both sides of an issue before reaching their conclusions. "How can we dialogue fairly if we only have one point of view?" I would ask. But I have NEVER given an evolutionist nor an old earth creationist the opportunity to present their case!

    Even though "Ed" came along about a decade and a half after the Jesus Freak Movement, his experience and vocabulary still parallel drug experience. No matter how hopped up and blissed out he would get, that experience would dwindle over time, such that he had to go back for another "fix" (his word for it!).

    BTW, that "famous 'young earther'" on that video tape was none other than Kent Hovind. And we all know the rest of that story.

    Did they help encourage others?

    That kind of silly question typically warrants the answer: "Duh?"

    Do you mean among themselves? What self-respecting cult member (¿blatant oxymoron?) wouldn't work to keep other members in the fold?

    Do you mean proselytizing to outsiders? That's what they lived for. That was their primary mission, to convert others. After all, the End Times were right around the corner, so this was the last-minute surge to "save" everybody they possibly could.

    Did they respect you enough to never actively try and convert you?

    Are you kidding me? Oh hell no! They were out to convert everybody they possibly could by whatever means possible regardless of how dishonest. Many of the materials they read (ie, the ones that didn't dwell excessively on the End Times or demons, the two topics they were obsessed about) would contain "typical conversations with non-believers" which were actually training materials in how to proselytize and what arguments to use. Those training materials (very commonly in cartoon form, like in many Chick Pubs tracts) were read and memorized as scripts that they could use. So I adopted the practice of going off-script whenever one of them would try that on me, mainly by asking probing questions that they are not able to answer because they don't know what they are talking about (that works especially effectively with creationists who can recite their claims by rote but cannot discuss them because they have no understanding of their own claims). My page on Pascal's Wager, After-Life Insurance, came from such a proselytizing attempt on me in which Pascal's Wager was dressed up as a car-insurance analogy, so I went off-script and analyzed for him the serious problems with Pascal's Wager.

    Remember, those were the days when it was nearly impossible to walk down the street without being constantly accosted by fundies trying to convert you. As a result of those very unpleasant experiences, even now, a half century later, a very large number of normals want to have nothing at all to do with fundies.

    During the Jesus Freak Movement, proselytizing was highly virulent. As I said, they were all fired up to go out there and convert everybody. After all, it was the Eve of the End Times. But then, as with the early Church (where they were so sure the Second Coming was imminent that they wouldn't even plant any trees since they wouldn't be around to enjoy the fruits), life caught up with them. They fell in love and married. And had children and were now raising a family. They had to start a career and even buy a house. And then have grandchildren. And so their proselytizing efforts had to take a back seat to living their lives and the movement became less virulent that it had been at first. Though we are probably seeing an up-tick in proselytizing because those children they had raised in the faith are fleeing their churches in record numbers (about 80% leave as fast as they can), leaving them with gaining new converts as the only way to keep their churches from dying out.

    But, like the Serpent, some fundamentalists were more subtle. For example, there were two girls, Pat and Lisa, in my French class (my first year of college) who were close friends. Pat was referred to by other class members as "that Jesus Freaky chick" -- our French teacher hooked us up with French pen pals and her letter to hers went on and on about her personal relationship with Jesus; she couldn't understand why she never got a reply. About 14 years later she married my wife's brother (worse, she turned out to be a Campbell). A couple decades after that French class, Lisa showed up at the Atheists United monthly lunch and we caught up with each other. She and Pat were inseparable, but Pat kept trying to convert Lisa. When Lisa finally made it clear that she would never convert, Pat never had anything more to do with Lisa. Pat was only using the pretense of friendship in order to score one more conversion, to "get another scalp". Similarly, I've encountered creationists on-line who wanted so desperately to be my best friend and was willing to spend any amount of time discussing creationism with me, but the moment that it became clear that they could never possibly convert me, suddenly they had to rush off to take care of important business and they disappeared completely.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 26 by Phat, posted 05-03-2020 11:50 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

      
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