As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
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14-02-2014, 03:08 AM
RE: As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
(14-02-2014 01:44 AM)nach_in Wrote:  Sure enough atheism as a concept grew on me and got me curious, in time youtube recommendations showed me a few talks and videos with Hitchens (hated the guy at first, too cocky) and Dawkins. But if I recall correctly, it was Stephen Fry and Hitchens in the Intelligence squared debate that started to lower the coffin (the grave was slowly dug over the years already), I still clung a bit to religion before that, mostly as a valve to vent any frustration, but after that video everything just fell apart and it didn't make any sense in any meaningful way, so I just started to watch atheist videos with my defences lowered and let more informed people clean my head of stupid ideas. Matt Dilahunty was my Seth, actually I don't think I ever listened to any of the TTA podcasts.

I just want to say, that your post reminded me that I had one very large debate that I have been wanting to watch for years now remaining on my to watch list. Sadly, it kept moving to the background for various reasons, but, I'm watching the intelligence squared debate now and I am quite literally in tears listening to Stephen Fry. This man is a hero of mine, truly, and this has just solidified that viewpoint. So thanks for the reminder.

And fuck this Ann Widdecombe woman. What a disgrace to her gender and species, I don't know how she could look herself in the mirror in the morning.

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14-02-2014, 03:14 AM
RE: As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
(14-02-2014 03:08 AM)Anudist Wrote:  
(14-02-2014 01:44 AM)nach_in Wrote:  Sure enough atheism as a concept grew on me and got me curious, in time youtube recommendations showed me a few talks and videos with Hitchens (hated the guy at first, too cocky) and Dawkins. But if I recall correctly, it was Stephen Fry and Hitchens in the Intelligence squared debate that started to lower the coffin (the grave was slowly dug over the years already), I still clung a bit to religion before that, mostly as a valve to vent any frustration, but after that video everything just fell apart and it didn't make any sense in any meaningful way, so I just started to watch atheist videos with my defences lowered and let more informed people clean my head of stupid ideas. Matt Dilahunty was my Seth, actually I don't think I ever listened to any of the TTA podcasts.

I just want to say, that your post reminded me that I had one very large debate that I have been wanting to watch for years now remaining on my to watch list. Sadly, it kept moving to the background for various reasons, but, I'm watching the intelligence squared debate now and I am quite literally in tears listening to Stephen Fry. This man is a hero of mine, truly, and this has just solidified that viewpoint. So thanks for the reminder.

And fuck this Ann Widdecombe woman. What a disgrace to her gender and species, I don't know how she could look herself in the mirror in the morning.

I'm watching Fry right now too, he's at his best in this debate Smile

I do think it was kind of unfair though, Hitch and Fry against those two was kind of an overkill Tongue

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14-02-2014, 03:48 AM
RE: As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
(14-02-2014 03:14 AM)nach_in Wrote:  I'm watching Fry right now too, he's at his best in this debate Smile

I do think it was kind of unfair though, Hitch and Fry against those two was kind of an overkill Tongue

Indeed he is. It really is a one sided debate, as Hitchens and Fry are arguing with mental midgets. Though in defense of the Archbishop Onaiyekan, I think his position is one more of flat out ignorance to a great deal of teachings in, and history of, his own religion rather than denial and untruths, but I don't know much about him. Ms. Widdecombe, on the other hand has no excuse for her awful, backward, and downright dishonest and disrespectful positions. She's a snake.

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14-02-2014, 06:41 AM
RE: As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
I don't believe I ever met a "self-confessed" atheist. I'm sure there were plenty but no-one advertised. Or maybe I just didn't pick it up.

I was brought up a Catholic. I stopped going to church when I was 13. Ironically, on my last visit to church, I became an altar boy for the first and last time in my life. My cousin had been an altar boy for years and was serving on the day. His fellow altar boy rang in sick or something and my cousin suggested me. So, he came and told me the priest wanted to see me. when I walked in, the priest said "Ah, our new altar boy". It was (at times) literally a giggle-fest. For example, there was a part in the mass where the altar boys bow, come up, bow, come up and then bow and stay down. I started to come up and my cousin's hand show out and pulled me back down. Both of us were trying to suppress our giggles.

Whether being an altar boy accelerated my leaving the church I can't say. But it didn't make me want to stay.

DP, I'm sorry that Matt was so arrogant and rude. Hopefully, he's mellowed.
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14-02-2014, 07:57 AM
RE: As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
(14-02-2014 03:08 AM)Anudist Wrote:  [quote='nach_in' pid='494261' dateline='1392363888']
And fuck this Ann Widdecombe woman. What a disgrace to her gender and species, I don't know how she could look herself in the mirror in the morning.

Hehe Ann Widdecombe - funniest thing when she was on a 'reality' tv prog [she'll do anything for publicity] - trying to convert 'kerb crawlers' ..... can you imagine the the look of horror on the man shown pulling up to Ms Widdecombe when she screeched 'Are you looking for a prostitute?' [!]

Moodie
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14-02-2014, 07:59 AM
RE: As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
I have had many internet discussions with athieist when I was still a believer. Some of them I have met in person and they are nice people. I had a few athiest friends when I was in college. Considering I was never a bible thumper our differences were never an issue.
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14-02-2014, 08:02 AM
RE: As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
(14-02-2014 12:42 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Did you ever believe? If you did, did you ever meet an Atheist? What was your experience? Did that Atheist convince you, or plant a seed?

Yes, I used to be Lutheran, and I had an atheist roommate in college (who I knew since first grade). He and I had lots of discussions. Ironically, he argued a lot of the same points I argue now. My position was largely one of credulity. He made a lot of good points, and for a while, I considered myself "lucky" to have been born in a country that worshiped the "correct" god. I realized that your origin of birth is the largest contributing factor to what you believe religiously.

I would say he definitely planted a seed. I remember discussing something religious with him one time where I was almost siding with him. I don't remember the exact discussion, but I was recognizing the absurdity of it all. He noted that it sounded like I didn't really believe what I was arguing, and... he was probably more right than I wanted to admit at the time.

It was around this time in my life that I first experienced "not really 'feeling' it anymore". It was hard to articulate. I was basically Christian because I wanted to be, and not out of any real belief. I largely ignored those feelings for about five years when they became too much to ignore. That started my two-year process to deconversion.


On a related note, I watched No Country for Old Men (a fantastic movie) a while ago. There's a line Sheriff Bell says near the end that somewhat highlights what I went through: "...I always thought when I got older God would sort of come into my life in some way. He didn't.". Of course, this wasn't without a year or more of me wondering what I was doing wrong. Ugh.
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14-02-2014, 08:35 AM (This post was last modified: 14-02-2014 09:00 AM by DLJ.)
RE: As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
There was no internet when I was still going to Sunday School etc. and I lived in an isolated village with no one I could really talk to about the god-stuff.

I went to a Church school and had fun in god-class because I knew the bible well even as a teen. The school's god-pusher was a happy-chappy who liked to talk about all of the bible and its (im)morals and it was more of a debate class.

The Church of England was not exactly aggressive... more of a club.

But I had some inbuilt/ inherited resistance to being told what to do and the believers around me were generally wankers.

I think I only attempted conversing with one atheist although at the age of 10 I didn't know the word yet.

At least I figured god must be an atheist because presumably he had no higher power to submit to.

I asked him if he existed.

He said "No."

That clinched it.

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14-02-2014, 08:46 AM
RE: As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
A guy at work used to be a hardcore bible thumper. Apparently he became an atheist simply by studying scripture and ways to defend his faith in debates. The way he is now... I wouldn't have wanted to meet him when he was religious, cause he is relentless.

I had a guy from highschool contact me last year and apologize for how he acted. I told him that threats of hell didn't need apologies as they meant nothing to me. He then said that he suspected as much and really just wanted to thank me for being a voice of reason. He used to be a witness, but now atheist.
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14-02-2014, 03:13 PM
RE: As a Believer, Did You Ever Argue with an Atheist?
I can't say I ever debated atheists while I was a believer. The ones I encountered were so dismissive of faith that I never took their positions as "arguments." I felt they misunderstood the Bible and I felt bad for them. I tried to answer their questions, and I never considered our conversations to be two-way streets. I was trying to convince them I was right, and I failed. It never occurred to me that they were trying to convince me they were right. As such, I was never tempted to accept their point of view.

I believe that in order to have a good debate, you have to acknowledge a certain common ground. I could debate other Christians, because we shared the common ground of our faith. We may have differed over the particulars. We could debate the subject of whether Jesus was God because we both accepted the Bible as the authority on the subject. I didn't have a common ground with atheists (or so I thought), so I could not debate them.
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