A question for atheists.
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09-03-2014, 01:55 AM
Re: RE: A question for atheists.
(08-03-2014 10:28 PM)shimmyjimmy Wrote:  reasons that COULD change their minds.

No one has ever seen or heard god, jesus, or any other deity.
No one has ever seen any miracle. There are no videos of miracles or anything else supernatural.
God does not exist.
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09-03-2014, 01:59 AM (This post was last modified: 09-03-2014 02:02 AM by Charis.)
RE: A question for atheists.
I'm actually not sure what the frack I am... Christian? (so delicately penned as a x-tard) Agnostic? Dunno.... not sure I could really go by Christian at the moment though. I've started saying "Agnostic with Christian leanings" lately. My mom says I've just been severely hurt, which is certainly true.
So to answer the OP's question... what has brought me from full-blown, fundamentalist, obedient-deacon's-wife, pregnant-in-the-kitchen, YEC Christian to IdunnowthIam?

I was waaaaayyyy familiar with Comfort/Cameron/Friel/AIG apologetics and those who used it (used it myself sometimes, and corrected husband when I saw horrid logic... he didn't take too kindly to that). In short, they taught to consciously circumvent intellectual conversation and go for the emotions and conscience instead. Something about that seemed... wrong. Not only was it manipulative, it also went against their assertions that the evidence speaks for the Bible. After all, if it does, stop circumventing it... just let the evidence out and blow everyone away with it, right?

Well, there was also abuse. Gross psychological abuse. The "women have no rights" kind of abuse. The "if your husband is into porn, it's your fault for not being a Godly wife and it's better for him to rape you than to fall into porn" type of abuse. The "I know childbearing is dangerous for you, but I am not willing to risk sinning against God by not getting you pregnant again" kind of abuse. The "your suicide attempts are simply manifestations of your pride and rebellion and you need to get on your knees and repent" kind of abuse. The "Sarah called her husband Abraham 'Lord'" kind of abuse.

I left. I ran. I had to.
And I was punished.
But him? My husband? He was blessed. He was protected and provided for.

And you can't TELL ME that he's "really not blessed but is suffering deep down inside." Don't even.

Now during all of this, I'm needing to take a step back to see really what is what. And that's the point you find me at now.
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09-03-2014, 02:02 AM
A question for atheists.
Frankly, generalized belief in the supernatural are MUCH more deeply entrenched than religious beliefs.

I believe they're related, in that modern people who come from a religious background may believe them more easily, but beliefs like these are pretty much endemic to human nature.

Animism is very old, possibly the earliest form of religion. I have vaguely animistic "do no harm" beliefs about respect for living things, and respect for the environment I believe are rational, but could very well be hold-overs from supernatural beliefs.

I don't believe the supernatural exists, that there are ghosts, demons, or malevolent spirits. They're interesting historical ways for interpreting the unexplained and bizarre human behavior, but that's about it.

However, a lot of otherwise rational people -- usually women, in my experience, and not meant as a judgement -- have vague beliefs about the supernatural, the existence of ghosts, and a preoccupation with "haunted" spaces. Or vaguer yet, a "do not ____ around with" superstition like Ouija boards, or provoking ghosts.

I believe those are strongly psychological, tied to early trauma, and require therapy to overcome.

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
― Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes
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09-03-2014, 02:12 AM
A question for atheists.
(09-03-2014 01:59 AM)Charis Wrote:  I'm actually not sure what the frack I am... Christian? (so delicately penned as a x-tard) Agnostic? Dunno.... not sure I could really go by Christian at the moment though. I've started saying "Agnostic with Christian leanings" lately. My mom says I've just been severely hurt, which is certainly true.
So to answer the OP's question... what has brought me from full-blown, fundamentalist, obedient-deacon's-wife, pregnant-in-the-kitchen, YEC Christian to IdunnowthIam?

I was waaaaayyyy familiar with Comfort/Cameron/Friel/AIG apologetics and those who used it (used it myself sometimes, and corrected husband when I saw horrid logic... he didn't take too kindly to that). In short, they taught to consciously circumvent intellectual conversation and go for the emotions and conscience instead. Something about that seemed... wrong. Not only was it manipulative, it also went against their assertions that the evidence speaks for the Bible. After all, if it does, stop circumventing it... just let the evidence out and blow everyone away with it, right?

Well, there was also abuse. Gross psychological abuse. The "women have no rights" kind of abuse. The "if your husband is into porn, it's your fault for not being a Godly wife and it's better for him to rape you than to fall into porn" type of abuse. The "I know childbearing is dangerous for you, but I am not willing to risk sinning against God by not getting you pregnant again" kind of abuse. The "your suicide attempts are simply manifestations of your pride and rebellion and you need to get on your knees and repent" kind of abuse. The "Sarah called her husband Abraham 'Lord'" kind of abuse.

I left. I ran. I had to.
And I was punished.
But him? My husband? He was blessed. He was protected and provided for.

And you can't TELL ME that he's "really not blessed but is suffering deep down inside." Don't even.

Now during all of this, I'm needing to take a step back to see really what is what. And that's the point you find me at now.

I posted my last reply while you were writing this, so don't take it as a response.

It sounds like recognizing the emotional abuse was a step toward critically examining all of your other beliefs.

Hearing these kinds of stories are a source of significant anger for me, having witnessed it repeatedly to varying degrees for decades, and always being told to "stay out of it" for raising questions.

Without hijacking this thread with the impetus I let spill over into the Christian Sex Abuse thread, you're absolutely not alone, and I applaud your courage at getting out of an abusive situation.

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
― Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes
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09-03-2014, 02:23 AM
RE: A question for atheists.
Thank you, and yes you're right about it being a major step in examining a lot of things.

The teachings have been drilled SOOO DEEP into me, that I have been very afraid of being sent to Hell for leaving. The whole "if they leave, they were never of us" teaching? Yeah....

But then there are other issues this whole thing brings to light. I was having an internet debate with someone over the rights of a wife in the Bible. I was going to prove to this person that the Bible does, in fact, give a woman the right to say "no" to sex with her husband... maybe not explicitly, but implicitly. Except for one thing.... no it doesn't. That whole argument of "her body belongs to him, but his body belongs to her too?" Well listen to this: a husband and wife are not to abstain unless it is mutually agreed upon. Does it say that SEX must be consensual? NO! It's SAYING NO that must be consensual. And since, per the Bible, I was to SUBMIT TO MY HUSBAND IN ALL THINGS..... apparently, the only reason that rape shouldn't be happening is because the wife should be in submission. Which jives very well with what I was taught.

Go look up Debi Pearl's "Created to Be His Help Meet" or whatever the title is. A very popular book in fundamentalist circles. When I read the words in there, I hear them in the voice of my pastor's wife, because it sounds just like her.

And that only leads to more and more questions.
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09-03-2014, 02:53 AM
RE: A question for atheists.
(09-03-2014 02:12 AM)rampant.a.i. Wrote:  ...
It sounds like recognizing the emotional abuse was a step toward critically examining all of your other beliefs.

Hearing these kinds of stories are a source of significant anger for me, having witnessed it repeatedly to varying degrees for decades, and always being told to "stay out of it" for raising questions.

Without hijacking this thread with the impetus I let spill over into the Christian Sex Abuse thread, you're absolutely not alone, and I applaud your courage at getting out of an abusive situation.

You took the words from my fingers.

As much as like to see a pretty girl on her knees Dodgy it should be voluntary.

Fleeing from authoritarianism and bondage (no, not that kind) does not automatically equate to atheism. But it is certainly a "step towards" as the parallels between male created/dominated mind-slavery embedded in the evolution of religions becomes more obvious through reflection and analysis.

Regarding the OP, this is one area where the supportive atheist needs to be wary. It's the ol' drama triangle of victim-persecutor-rescuer. Taking the rescuing role bears a risk that the victim may just end up replacing their previous persecutor(s) with you; and you have to be careful to manage them towards a non-victim status rather than accidentally fostering a dependence on you as a new authority.

Anyway, one can only have so many sex-slaves on a tight budget. Gasp

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09-03-2014, 03:09 AM (This post was last modified: 09-03-2014 03:14 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: A question for atheists.
1. Almost every argument we see from religionists involves some sort of "explanatory" god of the gaps argument, (ie see William L Craig, and his Kalam bullshit). They NEED, (secondary to their low ambiguity tolerance and NEED for cognitive closure) a "place holder" explanation for how, what they see around them, came to be, ("Oh you think the universe just popped into existence"),even though the deity thing fails utterly to explain anything important. They call that explanation "god". It's been that way for thousands of years. That's the function the gods have always played.
2. Almost all theists have virtually no knowledge (including those who claim to "know" the Bible) the actual historical roots of their various cults. There is no reason AT ALL to even begin to think that the 70th son, (Yahaweh Sabaoth) of the Babylonian chief deity, (El Elyon), the "god of the armies" of the ancient Canaanites, just happens to *be* (of all the deities humans have cooked up over the centuries) the real one, or the set of ancient texts that HUMANS cooked up and assembled (the Bible) in political exile to create a national story to function as a political tool to unify and keep in control some tribes which were being allowed to return by the Persian emperor to part of one of their kingdoms which they had carved out by waring against neighboring city-states, (Isra-EL), and then WROTE FOR THEMSELVES, and justified for themselves by calling it their "promised land" is any more legitimate than any other national explanatory myth system.
3. If people choose to live in ignorance of the origins of what they believe, and why they hold it as "true" in their brains, it's their problem. There is no reason those who dismiss the bullshit claims of theists, (and ALL their various cult iterations) need to try to "sway" anyone, anymore than we have to worry about providing why it's preposterous to explain why there is no 1957 Chevy orbiting Pluto, or why there is no teapot orbiting the sun, which are the precise equivalent of the claims of theists . It's THEIR responsibility to examine the roots and foundations for what they tell themselves is true, and get an education. Life is short. There are FAR better things to do than argue with the scientific, psychologically and historically ignorant.
4. There is no coherent or internally consistent definition of the set of brain patterns, that humans "reference" when they use the meaningless three letter word *god*.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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09-03-2014, 03:15 AM
RE: A question for atheists.
I think that this is a useful thread. From the atheist perspective it collaborates on the most successful ways to reason with theists. For the agnostic lurker who has yet to let go of their conditioning, it helps them to focus on the most troubling areas. Each person takes a different path of course but there are some flaws in mono-theistic religion that are more apparent than others.

My family was never that religious but I did get sent to religious schools. I never really believed, I just accepted what I was told as small children do. As an exercise in school we were told to pray once and let Jesus into our hearts. I sincerely tried it and nothing happened.

Several years later as a teenager I read one of my mum's books about philosophy. It was very interesting (but completely full of other woo in hindsight). The only bit I remember is the argument that if God is omni-presence (every where), omniscience (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful) then God was everything. If something is every thing, then it is also no one particular thing, or nothing. This may sound like an argument from semantics, but it does make sense. A thing by definition has limits.

But the first real crack in my religious indoctrination was the whole thing about Satan sending us all to Hell. That just seemed so wrong. So I decided I did not believe in that. God soon followed.
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09-03-2014, 03:28 AM (This post was last modified: 09-03-2014 03:31 AM by DLJ.)
RE: A question for atheists.
(09-03-2014 03:09 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  ...
3. If people choose to live in ignorance of the origins of what they believe, and why they hold it as "true" in their brains, it's their problem.
...
There are FAR better things to do than argue with the scientific, psychologically and historically ignorant.
...

Yes and no. There are much better things to do but if I saw no value it and if it was just 'their problem' I wouldn't do it.

The problem is, for me, the sense of injustice.

Sure, in the big nihilistic scheme of things, it doesn't matter but when a friend for example simultaneously holds, unwittingly, two conflicting positions e.g. "It's not fair that women don't have the same career opportunities as men" and "I think it's great that the Quran makes my husband responsible for my well-being; it makes me feel secure", I think it would be amiss not to mention that she is trading freedom for security and the divine diktat may just have something to do with her loss of upward mobility.

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09-03-2014, 03:29 AM
RE: A question for atheists.
(09-03-2014 02:23 AM)Charis Wrote:  And since, per the Bible, I was to SUBMIT TO MY HUSBAND IN ALL THINGS..... apparently, the only reason that rape shouldn't be happening is because the wife should be in submission. Which jives very well with what I was taught.
You know.. now i realize that its not men in power that single out and oppress women but its women who are raised up to accept misogyny&subjugation.

Dreams/Hallucinations/delusions are not evidence
Wishful thinking is not evidence
Disproved statements&Illogical conclusions are not evidence
Logical fallacies&Unsubstantiated claims are not evidence
Vague prophecies is not evidence
Data that requires a certain belief is not evidence
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