I get defensive sometimes when my critics/opponents dismiss my perceived choice as fantasy-driven and out of touch with reality. For me, I became convinced when my entire inner feeling changed.
Nothing changed but your thinking/feelings.
I suppose you can argue that. Most believers would assert that something changed them. That their thinking and feelings were changed.
What's the evidence that something changed their feelings? More feelings?
No new information became available to you, and nothing in the real world changed.
How could you know that? You are not a garden variety believer and thus you have never had the experience with which to critically evaluate.
Do you have evidence of anything real? Anything besides feelings? Feelings that can't be shared with anyone else other than by describing them?
Phat, Tongue firmly in cheek writes:
Since that initial time, it has largely been confirmation bias.
Why are you knowingly applying a fallacious non-objective method? Announcing this is like bragging, "I'm an idiot only interested in cementing what I already believe while ignoring evidence of other possibilities."
You're welcome to use a fallacious non-objective method, but if you do then you've relinquished any claims to knowing something about reality.
If you apply the critical thinking of the scientific method to your belief, you likely will never settle on anything.
If by belief you mean my spiritual beliefs then yes, of course. In the absence of objective, repeatable evidence the scientific method cannot reach any conclusions.
I believe in standing for something and taking a leap of faith that what I feel and experience is/was God rather than keep looking for something else.
You're more than welcome to your leap of faith - just don't claim that it represents anything true about the real world.
I have felt as if He speaks to me at times.
I have heard similar confirming stories from others...
These "similar confirming stories" wouldn't happened to have been from people who have read the same Bible you have and been steeped in the same Christian culture you have, would they?
And here's where your confirmation bias comes in. You're offering these "similar confirming stories" while ignoring the "dissimilar nonconfirming stories" that you've most certainly heard.
...in some cases, lives were changed for the better.
Sure. Over a lifetime most people's lives become better and worse and better and worse and so on. You can attribute these changes to God or good deeds looked on approvingly by God or sinning looked on disapprovingly by God or to the invisible spaghetti monster or to whatever. There's no real world evidence for any of it, just feelings. And surely no Christian would be so dishonest as to deny that how he felt about various aspects of Christian belief changed over time. Beliefs and feelings are as inconstant as Juliet's moon.
The only place I ever hear tales of lives getting better after dropping religion (and God, and Jesus and the whole nine yards) is in places like EvC. I think many of you threw the Holy Baby out with the bathwater.
Exactly how many times have you been disabused of this conceit? You know all the counterarguments. Stop ignoring them and start addressing them.
But go with Science as a philosophy and see how it helps you through hard times.
We've already seen how going with religion as a philosophy has helped you through hard times. You seem in a worse place now than you've ever been, plus you're sinking further into irrationality while using the senseless claim that because it's what you feel that it's therefore true and a valid part of Christianity which of course must be true because it has so many adherents. You pile fallacy upon fallacy.
To define and believe that reality favors no one and that we as humans must struggle to survive is not far from Christianity. The main difference is that you dismiss God and claim we must do it ourselves. How depressing! I could care less if I'm the grass that pushed through the sidewalk and survived. Survival in and of itself means nothing. I don't worship our collective offspring.
If this isn't mostly nonsense then you're going to have to explain it. You accuse others of dismissing God as if God were their particular target. He's not. He's your object of attention. It wouldn't matter what unevidenced idea you advocated - any science minded person would dismiss it as unevidenced. That doesn't mean your unevidenced idea isn't something true about the real world, but it does mean that it has just as much chance of being true as any other completely unevidenced idea.
I think what you're trying to say is that you feel free to accept or reject evidence based on how you feel about it when it comes to things that can't hurt you or negatively affect you in some way.
I'm thinking about this statement. In some ways, I feel free to accept or reject evidence and how I feel about it when it applies to things that CAN hurt me or negatively affect me.
Name some well evidenced idea that can hurt you that you reject. Will you be jumping off a roof or breathing carbon monoxide or putting your hand in a flame or locking yourself naked in a walk-in freezer or ingesting ant poison or cease taking your meds anytime soon?
The whole idea of "throwing God away" is insulting and disrespectful to not only Him but to humans in general.
What a colossal conceit. Christians can reject Mohammed, Allah, Buddha, Moroni and the rest because they're right, but those of other religions rejecting the Christian God are "insulting and disrespectful."
It's unbelievable that you continually utter such hateful and intolerant things. It's as if you never listen to yourself or think about how others might perceive what you say. You just blurt your bigoted ideas right out into the open.
We are NOT God. Nor are we the only solution to our own survival. (proving this won't be easy, I know)
My point is that You cant just lump all gods into the same pile.
But of course you can. There is nothing objective to distinguish one from another.
And yet you claim that objectivity is arrived at through consensus. I disagree. I have the right God.
You can't possibly know that.
All I know is that you dont know what I know.
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain " *** “…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox
“The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.” - Criss Jami, Killo
“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You (1894).
You simply awakened to the fact that you were trying to please Daddy...
Translation: I was walking everyday in obedience to my Heavenly Father.
...and under willful bondage to an authoritarian religious system.
Translation: Every day I prayed "Not my will, but Thine be done."
You also likely fell under the sway of...
Wanting to reject the oppressive authoritarianism, you threw your god out with it all.
Stop pretending you know the first thing about my past...
For me, throwing God away is as serious as throwing my own life away
Yeah Phat, I remember that feeling well. I could not wrap my brain around not only a universe without a god, but specifically, a universe without my personal God. This is an infection of the mind, and is exactly what makes religion so insidious, and hard to get free of. And it has spread far and fast in you, and is making you sicker at an accelerating rate. You are quickly becoming the resident Faith of the forum; mentally impervious to any reason, intellectual hollowness throwing out vanities into the void. I used to really enjoy going back and forth with you, because at least you were making sense in your own way.
Thus I have no reason to even think of doing so.
You may be almost past the point of no return, Phaith, and I'm sad for it.