A strange conversation
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15-06-2011, 09:15 AM
A strange conversation
I was walking in the city with a navy colleague after service hours and we happened to pass by a religious bookstore. I said something along the lines of "do these lunatics need their own bookstores now?" My colleague turned somewhat red and started an argument with me that went something like this:

Him: Do you have something against christians?
Me: If they spread lies and stupidity, yes
Him: well, I'm a christian
Me: Oh really?
Him: yes
Me: so you believe the world was created in 6 days as stated in Genesis?
Him: of course not, that's ridiculous
Me: do you believe all those fantastic stories the bible tells then?
Him: no, I mean, there's no proof for them
Me: and do you accept the theory of evolution?
Him: yeah, sure, that's a scientific fact you know
Me: but you believe God created the world?
Him: Well, we can't really know that, the bible isn't really proof for that, I just don't know
Me: and you believe Jesus is his son?
Him: I find that hard to believe
Me: and do you think christians have better values?
Him: well, every major religion has more or less the same. And the bible states some crazy shit, so it's best not to use it as the main reference
Me: and you still call yourself a christian then?
Him: of course, is that so strange?
Me: Mmh, I find it a little strange, but ok, as long as it makes you happy


We changed the subject there and went to a bar for a few beers. But it still left me wondering; why does he consider himself to be a christian when he more or less rejects everything and does what an atheists does? I'm pretty sure he is an atheist, but he won't admit it. And I don't want to force him in any way to admit in public, but I still think it's strange...

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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15-06-2011, 10:53 AM
RE: A strange conversation
This is pretty common. I've known a lot of christians who completely denounce their faith but see christianity more as a birthright. If he were concerned he could add an extra line to his christianity but people don't do that often with christianity.

You could always discuss with him the fact that he's an agnostic-christian and it might give him a slightly different outlook, but the main thing to realize is that he's not someone whose going to give you too much trouble. I like religious people who are agnostic but lean, because that's as honest as a religious person can be with themselves.The only problem is in cases like this one, where they still defend the gnostics even though they can't even start to agree with them.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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15-06-2011, 11:17 AM
RE: A strange conversation
For quite a lot of people, Christianity is more like ethnicity or culture than an actual set of convictions. It's not what they believe; it's where they belong, with whom they identify. Of course, they usually don't question the commandments or whatever rules passed for commandments in their household. (There is a vast spectrum of interpretations, amendments and deletions and translations.) Since those rules are generally taught in every household of a period and region, you can't tell the Christians from the semi-Christians, pseudo-Christians, converts, ex-xtians, renegades, agnostics and atheists - and some of them aren't all that sure what they are. In a lot of neighbourhoods, it's probably simpler just top keep the old label.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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15-06-2011, 01:43 PM
RE: A strange conversation
Most people don't really know there is such thing as deists.

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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15-06-2011, 01:57 PM
RE: A strange conversation
He most probably can be classified as a deist, I just wondered why he seemed offended for me mocking christianity when he himself didn't believe the same stuff either.

But as the others said, he'll most likely consider it as something cultural instead of a religious view. I have some jewish friends who do the same thing, but I never met a "christian" that was like thise. Most people I know take stances. Or he just doesn't like the taste of babies like we do... Big Grin

Enough to close the case, I suppose. Thx

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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17-06-2011, 12:32 AM
 
RE: A strange conversation
I have a friend who consideres himself a Christian who is actually an Atheist.

His explanation is that Jesus Christ may not be what the bible says he is, but he may be an actual person (like the Buddha) who preaches one particular idea of morality (which my friend did specified by I can't really remember which was it) and had followers but was an ordinary man but mistaken for something extraordinary. He referred to the movie Man From Earth - where the main character was a preacher in those times which was later exaggerated generations after generates forming the image Jesus Christ.

And since this friend of mine follows this one particular moral philosophy by a man we now refer to as Jesus Christ, he calls himself a Christian.
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17-06-2011, 01:09 AM
RE: A strange conversation
(17-06-2011 12:32 AM)SubmissionToScience Wrote:  I have a friend who consideres himself a Christian who is actually an Atheist.

His explanation is that Jesus Christ may not be what the bible says he is, but he may be an actual person (like the Buddha) who preaches one particular idea of morality (which my friend did specified by I can't really remember which was it) and had followers but was an ordinary man but mistaken for something extraordinary. He referred to the movie Man From Earth - where the main character was a preacher in those times which was later exaggerated generations after generates forming the image Jesus Christ.

And since this friend of mine follows this one particular moral philosophy by a man we now refer to as Jesus Christ, he calls himself a Christian.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Atheism

The God excuse: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument. "God did it." Anything we can't describe must have come from God. - George Carlin

Whenever I'm asked "What if you're wrong?", I always show the asker this video: http://youtu.be/iClejS8vWjo Screw Pascal's wager.
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17-06-2011, 01:21 AM
 
RE: A strange conversation
(17-06-2011 01:09 AM)Efrx86 Wrote:  
(17-06-2011 12:32 AM)SubmissionToScience Wrote:  I have a friend who consideres himself a Christian who is actually an Atheist.

His explanation is that Jesus Christ may not be what the bible says he is, but he may be an actual person (like the Buddha) who preaches one particular idea of morality (which my friend did specified by I can't really remember which was it) and had followers but was an ordinary man but mistaken for something extraordinary. He referred to the movie Man From Earth - where the main character was a preacher in those times which was later exaggerated generations after generates forming the image Jesus Christ.

And since this friend of mine follows this one particular moral philosophy by a man we now refer to as Jesus Christ, he calls himself a Christian.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Atheism

Thammuz, give this link to that colleague of yours then ask him, "Would you then consider yourself Christian Atheist?" This should solve the problem.
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17-06-2011, 01:33 AM
RE: A strange conversation
Quote:Thammuz, give this link to that colleague of yours then ask him, "Would you then consider yourself Christian Atheist?" This should solve the problem.

I don't think that's necessary. There isn't really a problem between us and he doesn't really think about religion. He's just an atheist that calls himself a christian for a strange reason. If I'd give him this, he would probably think I'm shoving my views down his throat. But the link was good; proves that everything isn't black&white.

Maybe I should've made another thread about religious views and what people call themselves instead of this one. That way the debate would have been somewhat wider.

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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17-06-2011, 01:51 AM (This post was last modified: 17-06-2011 01:58 AM by Efrx86.)
RE: A strange conversation
It'd be interesting if you could ask that guy what he thinks about people who believe fervently in those things you asked him (6-day creation, the divinity of Jesus, etc), and how he views people who hold ultra-conservative views and want to impose ultra-conservative laws based on scripture (abortion illegal or very restricted, no gay marriage, creationism taught as science, etc). The conversation you posted shows that he seems to hold a pretty secular view of the bible, but it doesn't say anything about what he thinks of fundamentalists.

The God excuse: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument. "God did it." Anything we can't describe must have come from God. - George Carlin

Whenever I'm asked "What if you're wrong?", I always show the asker this video: http://youtu.be/iClejS8vWjo Screw Pascal's wager.
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