Attack a Theist
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20-05-2013, 02:38 PM
Attack a Theist
First, let me apologize to kingschosen for blatantly ripping off his thread title.

Second, I am a theist looking for an in-depth attack on my beliefs from an atheist willing to take the time to explain his arguments and respond to my counter-arguments. I am not interested in converting anyone. Instead, I seek to affirm the foundations of my own beliefs by testing them against arguments that have persuaded others.

Significantly, and perhaps unrealistically, I am not looking for a traditional "free for all" discussion wherein I address responses to lots of different people. Instead, I hope for a civil discourse with a single individual willing to do the following...

1. Explain why they are an atheist.
2. Read my responses to the argument(s) from #1 in detail and respond respectfully.
3. Correct any errors in my reasoning so that I can discard beliefs and/or arguments which are likely invalid.

A little about me to inform the discussion should anyone decide to take me up on my offer.

1. I am 30 years old.
2. Education wise, I have three degrees. (BA, M.Ed, JD) I have a working grasp of most scientific concepts but am not a scientist by training.
3. I have been a theist for my entire life as a result of my upbringing.
4. My current exposure to atheist argumentation has been limited to in-depth readings of The God Delusion and The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins.

If the above sounds like it would be interesting to you, please respond and we can discuss. I will attempt to post replies at least once a day. Of course, should you raise a point that requires additional research or education on my part, it may take several days (or longer!) for me to do sufficient outside study to understand your position.

Sincerely,

Mojch
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20-05-2013, 04:09 PM
RE: Attack a Theist
(20-05-2013 02:38 PM)Mojch Wrote:  First, let me apologize to kingschosen for blatantly ripping off his thread title.

Second, I am a theist looking for an in-depth attack on my beliefs from an atheist willing to take the time to explain his arguments and respond to my counter-arguments. I am not interested in converting anyone. Instead, I seek to affirm the foundations of my own beliefs by testing them against arguments that have persuaded others.

Significantly, and perhaps unrealistically, I am not looking for a traditional "free for all" discussion wherein I address responses to lots of different people. Instead, I hope for a civil discourse with a single individual willing to do the following...

1. Explain why they are an atheist.
2. Read my responses to the argument(s) from #1 in detail and respond respectfully.
3. Correct any errors in my reasoning so that I can discard beliefs and/or arguments which are likely invalid.

A little about me to inform the discussion should anyone decide to take me up on my offer.

1. I am 30 years old.
2. Education wise, I have three degrees. (BA, M.Ed, JD) I have a working grasp of most scientific concepts but am not a scientist by training.
3. I have been a theist for my entire life as a result of my upbringing.
4. My current exposure to atheist argumentation has been limited to in-depth readings of The God Delusion and The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins.

If the above sounds like it would be interesting to you, please respond and we can discuss. I will attempt to post replies at least once a day. Of course, should you raise a point that requires additional research or education on my part, it may take several days (or longer!) for me to do sufficient outside study to understand your position.

Sincerely,

Mojch

You're on!
When do we start? Regards, Mark
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20-05-2013, 04:23 PM
RE: Attack a Theist
Pig pile on the theist! Big Grin

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20-05-2013, 04:27 PM
RE: Attack a Theist
Mark,

Great, thanks for being willing to discuss with me. We can start at your convenience. I would prefer you started so you can direct the discussion (since I'm here to learn), but it may be beneficial for you to have me define my beliefs more specifically. If so, let me know what information would be most beneficial to you.

Sincerely,

Mojch
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20-05-2013, 04:36 PM
RE: Attack a Theist
First off, you say that you are a theist as a result of your upbringing.
Of the literal 10,000+ beliefs out in the world (not counting the ones that have died off), which one are you ?
If you are Christian, which of the 30,000+ versions of the bible to you ascribe to ?
Do you worship Odin on a daily basis ? If not, why not ?

The thing is, you believe something extra. Have you justified that belief in your own mind ?
Imagine if you will that I believed that little faeries painted the flowers that grow naturally so that their color seemed brighter.
I believe that each flower has an EXTRA coating of faerie dust on it that gives it that extra special brightness.

Now if you could, please explain to me WHY you don't believe this.

I am looking for an in-depth attack on my beliefs from an afaeriest willing to take the time to explain his arguments and respond to my counter-arguments. I am not interested in converting anyone. Instead, I seek to affirm the foundations of my own beliefs by testing them against arguments that have persuaded others.

1. Explain why they are an afaeriest.
2. Read my responses to the argument(s) from #1 in detail and respond respectfully.
3. Correct any errors in my reasoning so that I can discard beliefs and/or arguments which are likely invalid.

Education wise, I have three degrees. (BA, M.Ed, JD) I have a working grasp of most scientific concepts but am not a scientist by training.
I have been a believer in faerie folk for my entire life as a result of my upbringing


Does this portion of my near mirror copy of your initial post seem ridiculous ?
It does doesn't it.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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20-05-2013, 04:37 PM
RE: Attack a Theist
(20-05-2013 02:38 PM)Mojch Wrote:  ...I seek to affirm the foundations of my own beliefs by testing them against arguments that have persuaded others.

1. Explain why they are an atheist.
2. Read my responses to the argument(s) from #1 in detail and respond respectfully.
3. Correct any errors in my reasoning so that I can discard beliefs and/or arguments which are likely invalid.

A worthy goal, and certainly a good idea if that is truly your goal... one cannot know how to tame lions until one has stepped into the lions' den, no?

I am an atheist because there is probably no god or gods. When I say "probably", I mean it in a mathematical sense -- there are literally thousands of gods worshiped at present, and uncountable numbers of gods that have been worshiped over the ages. The chances of any one religion's god or gods being real and all of the others being false is far less than 1%.

Of course it hardly matters how improbable a certain religion's god is if they have sufficient evidence of their god to make it more likely than not, but no religion has stepped up to this challenge. There are "proofs" of god, but none of them actually prove a god, instead choosing to prove a "first cause", "prime mover", "intelligent designer", "greatest possible being", etc. Even if any of these were found true, they certainly wouldn't prove a specific god, but only a generic god with whatever trait it set out to prove (aseity, intelligence, or whatever).

You introduced yourself as a theist, but I'm going to assume you're some stripe of Christian (again, working off of probability) until you correct my assumption. The Christians do have one specific argument for their God, the Argument from Resurrection, but I would absolutely love to see this in some sort of logical form... no Christian ever attempts to do so because it would show how pitiful the argument is. Coming to the conclusion that Jesus' resurrection proves that he is a god couldn't have come from inductive reasoning, because there's no pattern of former gods resurrecting themselves to demonstrate that this is something that a god does. And a deductive argument would have to hold a premise such as "gods resurrect themselves", something that can't be known from observation (again, only one example at most) nor could it be proven that Jesus resurrected himself even if we granted you that he existed, died, and rose again because that would force you to give us a mechanism by which one resurrects himself and you'd have to be able to compare it to the mechanism by which one is resurrected by someone else. And simply being resurrected doesn't make one a god, otherwise the gospels contain many stories of gods other than Jesus (Lazarus, for example).

Outside of this specific argument, Christians don't have an argument for God that differs from any other religion's argument for a god, arguments that I'm sure you yourself also reject based on the same skepticism that we atheists hold.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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20-05-2013, 04:40 PM
RE: Attack a Theist
Mojch, there are numerous threads about people's individual journeys toward atheism if you search. They are in more narrative form, of course, rather than your desired format, but reading some of them might give you more insight into why and how many of us became atheists, or those who never believed to begin with. Also Seth (the owner of this forum) wrote an excellent book called De-Converted. I digress from your format, but wanted to offer this as food for thought.

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20-05-2013, 04:50 PM
RE: Attack a Theist
Thanks to Rahn127 and Starcrash for their replies. Per my original post, I'm going to limit my discussion to them plus Mark. No disrespect is intended to anyone else but I need to limit myself in order to learn in depth.

Cjs, thanks for the book suggestion. I will check it out once I finish my current text. Is it mainstream published or an e-book?

I will draft replies to both Rhan127 and Starcrash ASAP.

Sincerely,

Mojch
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20-05-2013, 05:00 PM
RE: Attack a Theist
Mojch it's available either way. I read it on my kindle. I would also suggest Godless by Dan Barker, a former preacher, and Why I Believed, by a former missionary whose name I can't recall (middle age is fun!). Seth was in Christian radio before deconverting.

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20-05-2013, 05:05 PM
RE: Attack a Theist
Starcrash, with out knowing the names of all I do know there is a precedent for gods rising from the dead. This is not a notion unique to christianity.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dying-and-rising_god

If anyone cares my mother's name and now my granddaughter's middle name are that of Baldr's wife.

The tradition of Baldr rising from the dead is generally considered to be the norse incorporating christian traditions for their own use.

It should also be pointed out that "life after death" is a common motif in many religions. Often slaves and retainers were killed to serve their masters in the afterlife. A fate almost as harsh as worshiping and serving some christian god for ever.
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