Evolving in Discussion
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05-10-2015, 01:20 PM (This post was last modified: 06-10-2015 08:55 AM by Tonechaser77.)
Evolving in Discussion
This past weekend I had a 4 hour face-to-face conversation with one of the pastors at the church i occasionally attend with my wife and kids. A few weeks ago my family sought him out and he approached me for a discussion. I obliged and we met a local coffee / foodie dive and I proceeded to tell him my story. I brought up all the questions I had gone through preceding the emergence of my journey as a non-believer. To my face he was very polite, listened to my story and did his best to answer some of my questions. Many he could not. He even admitted there were big problems in the bible that he just couldn't explain....a relief since so many believers try to harmonize everything to make it all coherent.

He supposedly came from a life of atheism into christianity. However, after reviewing his story I quickly found that his lack of belief on into his 20s was not from thinking through ideas logically but rather, not believing because he hadn't been exposed. Because of this he thought it was more "reasonable" to believe in a god than not. I give him credit because he at least thought through some of the questions however most of this "thinking" has come after the fact from a presupposition of belief.

One of his strongest pushes was that of accepting science as a faith. I can either put my faith in god or put my faith in something else (myself, science, etc). I explained this straw man and equivocation fallacy as best I could but it didn't seem to sink in.

I say all that to say this....for those of you who are just emerging from religion or are giving yourself enough space to question, please don't let the fear of talking to people keep you from doing so. The more people I talk to the more confident I become in my answers and the way I address issues. Now, I'm no Matt Dilihunty, Sam Harris or C. Hitchens nor will I ever be, however, I am truly starting to evolve out of my fear and accept who I am becoming. I still have days of doubt....Pascal's Wager plays tricks on my head like you wouldn't believe. But, in the end, I focus on day-to-day living the best that I can under the circumstances I've been handed as a baseline and give myself the space I need to learn, love and grow into a better human being than I was yesterday. Shy

**Crickets** -- God
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05-10-2015, 01:25 PM
RE: Evolving in Discussion
(05-10-2015 01:20 PM)Tonechaser77 Wrote:  This past weekend I had a 4 hour face-to-face conversation with one of the pastors at the church i occasionally attend with my wife and kids. A few weeks ago my family sought him out and he approached me for a discussion. I obliged and we met a local coffee / foodie dive and I proceeded in telling him my story. I brought up all the questions I had gone through preceding the emergence of my journey as a non-believer. To my face he was very polite, listened to my story and did his best to answer some of my questions. Many he could not. He even admitted there were big problems in the bible that he just couldn't explain....a relief since so many believers try to harmonize everything to make it all coherent.

He supposedly came from a life of atheism into christianity. However, after reviewing his story I quickly found that his lack of belief on into his 20s was not from thinking through ideas logically but rather, not believing because he hadn't been exposed. Because of this he thought it was more "reasonable" to believe in a god than not. I give him credit because he at least thought through some of the questions however most of this "thinking" has come after the fact from a presupposition of belief.

One of his strongest pushes was that of accepting science as a faith. I can either put my faith in god or put my faith in something else (myself, science, etc). I explained this straw man and equivocation fallacy as best I could but it didn't seem to sink in.

I say all that to say this....for those of you who are just emerging from religion or are giving yourself enough space to question, please don't let the fear of talking to people keep you from doing so. The more people I talk to the more confident I become in my answers and the way I address issues. Now, I'm no Matt Dilihunty, Sam Harris or C. Hitchens nor will I ever be, however, I am truly starting to evolve out of my fear and accept who I am becoming. I still have days of doubt....Pascal's Wager plays tricks on my head like you wouldn't believe. But, in the end, I focus on day-to-day living the best that I can under the circumstances I've been handed as a baseline and give myself the space I need to learn, love and grow into a better human being than I was yesterday. Shy

Read 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God by Guy P. Harrison. He really helps put things in perspective. It really helped me a lot re: Pascal's Wager as I used to struggle with that myself early on in my transition to atheism.

EDIT: BTW--I have that book on my kindle, I think I might be able to send it to you if you have one too, but am not sure?
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05-10-2015, 01:42 PM
RE: Evolving in Discussion
(05-10-2015 01:20 PM)Tonechaser77 Wrote:  One of his strongest pushes was that of accepting science as a faith. I can either put my faith in god or put my faith in something else (myself, science, etc). I explained this straw man and equivocation fallacy as best I could but it didn't seem to sink in.

Axiomatic does mean, as a matter of faith. Other than that.... Thumbsup

Nah, nobody should let "first information*" get in the way of exploring a personal philosophy.

*actual fallacy, I've been learning stuff. Angel

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06-10-2015, 09:54 PM
RE: Evolving in Discussion
Keep reading! I've been a self- acknowledged atheist for over 10 years, and still flinch sometimes when I see religious iconography altered. Just part of the programming that I haven't thrown off, as yet. I still get a frisson when Pascal's Wager is mentioned, and then my rational side kicks in and defeats it. Only to be tweaked again, later.

One of my best defenses is to just look at how illogical the religious dogma really is.
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07-10-2015, 07:25 PM
RE: Evolving in Discussion
(05-10-2015 01:20 PM)Tonechaser77 Wrote:  This past weekend I had a 4 hour face-to-face conversation with one of the pastors at the church i occasionally attend with my wife and kids. A few weeks ago my family sought him out and he approached me for a discussion. I obliged and we met a local coffee / foodie dive and I proceeded to tell him my story. I brought up all the questions I had gone through preceding the emergence of my journey as a non-believer. To my face he was very polite, listened to my story and did his best to answer some of my questions. Many he could not. He even admitted there were big problems in the bible that he just couldn't explain....a relief since so many believers try to harmonize everything to make it all coherent.

He supposedly came from a life of atheism into christianity. However, after reviewing his story I quickly found that his lack of belief on into his 20s was not from thinking through ideas logically but rather, not believing because he hadn't been exposed. Because of this he thought it was more "reasonable" to believe in a god than not. I give him credit because he at least thought through some of the questions however most of this "thinking" has come after the fact from a presupposition of belief.

One of his strongest pushes was that of accepting science as a faith. I can either put my faith in god or put my faith in something else (myself, science, etc). I explained this straw man and equivocation fallacy as best I could but it didn't seem to sink in.

I say all that to say this....for those of you who are just emerging from religion or are giving yourself enough space to question, please don't let the fear of talking to people keep you from doing so. The more people I talk to the more confident I become in my answers and the way I address issues. Now, I'm no Matt Dilihunty, Sam Harris or C. Hitchens nor will I ever be, however, I am truly starting to evolve out of my fear and accept who I am becoming. I still have days of doubt....Pascal's Wager plays tricks on my head like you wouldn't believe. But, in the end, I focus on day-to-day living the best that I can under the circumstances I've been handed as a baseline and give myself the space I need to learn, love and grow into a better human being than I was yesterday. Shy

Yes, it's a great way to clarify your own thinking. I am continually amazed that theists use the "you have faith too" argument. Don't they realize that they are invalidating their own faith when they do this. Apparently that just goes over their heads. "You have faith that evolution is true". But they think that evolution is totally false. "you have faith that their is no god". But they think that atheism is totally wrong. Theists, when you use faith in the pejorative, it really doesn't help your case at all.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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07-10-2015, 07:34 PM
RE: Evolving in Discussion
(05-10-2015 01:20 PM)Tonechaser77 Wrote:  This past weekend I had a 4 hour face-to-face conversation with one of the pastors at the church i occasionally attend with my wife and kids. A few weeks ago my family sought him out and he approached me for a discussion. I obliged and we met a local coffee / foodie dive and I proceeded to tell him my story. I brought up all the questions I had gone through preceding the emergence of my journey as a non-believer. To my face he was very polite, listened to my story and did his best to answer some of my questions. Many he could not. He even admitted there were big problems in the bible that he just couldn't explain....a relief since so many believers try to harmonize everything to make it all coherent.

He supposedly came from a life of atheism into christianity. However, after reviewing his story I quickly found that his lack of belief on into his 20s was not from thinking through ideas logically but rather, not believing because he hadn't been exposed. Because of this he thought it was more "reasonable" to believe in a god than not. I give him credit because he at least thought through some of the questions however most of this "thinking" has come after the fact from a presupposition of belief.

One of his strongest pushes was that of accepting science as a faith. I can either put my faith in god or put my faith in something else (myself, science, etc). I explained this straw man and equivocation fallacy as best I could but it didn't seem to sink in.

I say all that to say this....for those of you who are just emerging from religion or are giving yourself enough space to question, please don't let the fear of talking to people keep you from doing so. The more people I talk to the more confident I become in my answers and the way I address issues. Now, I'm no Matt Dilihunty, Sam Harris or C. Hitchens nor will I ever be, however, I am truly starting to evolve out of my fear and accept who I am becoming. I still have days of doubt....Pascal's Wager plays tricks on my head like you wouldn't believe. But, in the end, I focus on day-to-day living the best that I can under the circumstances I've been handed as a baseline and give myself the space I need to learn, love and grow into a better human being than I was yesterday. Shy

excellent point. When i get the faith in science thingy, this is my response:

Science is the antithesis of faith. Science is a process that contains multiple and redundant checks, balances, and safeguards against human bias and error. Science has a built in corrective mechanism..hypothesis testing...that weeds out false claims. Claims that come about as a result of a scientific process are held as tentatively true by scientists..unlike claims of faith that are held as eternally true with zero evidence. Related to this, claims that come about as a result of a scientific process are falsifiable, that is, there is a way to show the claims are false. This is not the case with faith claims. For example, there's no way to falsify the claim that the norse god Loki was able to assume other forms.

Scientists try to prove claims false (falsification), unlike faith leaders who unequivocally state their faith claims are true. If a scientist can demonstrate that a popular scientific claim is false, he or she can become famous, get tenure, publish books, earn more money and become respected by her or his peers. If a preacher states that the claims of his faith tradition are false, he's excommunicated, defrocked or otherwise forced to abandon his position...the stifling of growth and enlightenment basically.

Science is a method for advancing our understanding. It is process we can use to bring us closer to the truth, and to weed out false claims. Science thus is the best way we've currently found to explain and understand how the universe works. No faith required. When you have facts and evidence, you don't need faith, which is the belief in something without evidence.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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07-10-2015, 07:36 PM
Evolving in Discussion
(07-10-2015 07:34 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  
(05-10-2015 01:20 PM)Tonechaser77 Wrote:  This past weekend I had a 4 hour face-to-face conversation with one of the pastors at the church i occasionally attend with my wife and kids. A few weeks ago my family sought him out and he approached me for a discussion. I obliged and we met a local coffee / foodie dive and I proceeded to tell him my story. I brought up all the questions I had gone through preceding the emergence of my journey as a non-believer. To my face he was very polite, listened to my story and did his best to answer some of my questions. Many he could not. He even admitted there were big problems in the bible that he just couldn't explain....a relief since so many believers try to harmonize everything to make it all coherent.

He supposedly came from a life of atheism into christianity. However, after reviewing his story I quickly found that his lack of belief on into his 20s was not from thinking through ideas logically but rather, not believing because he hadn't been exposed. Because of this he thought it was more "reasonable" to believe in a god than not. I give him credit because he at least thought through some of the questions however most of this "thinking" has come after the fact from a presupposition of belief.

One of his strongest pushes was that of accepting science as a faith. I can either put my faith in god or put my faith in something else (myself, science, etc). I explained this straw man and equivocation fallacy as best I could but it didn't seem to sink in.

I say all that to say this....for those of you who are just emerging from religion or are giving yourself enough space to question, please don't let the fear of talking to people keep you from doing so. The more people I talk to the more confident I become in my answers and the way I address issues. Now, I'm no Matt Dilihunty, Sam Harris or C. Hitchens nor will I ever be, however, I am truly starting to evolve out of my fear and accept who I am becoming. I still have days of doubt....Pascal's Wager plays tricks on my head like you wouldn't believe. But, in the end, I focus on day-to-day living the best that I can under the circumstances I've been handed as a baseline and give myself the space I need to learn, love and grow into a better human being than I was yesterday. Shy

excellent point. When i get the faith in science thingy, this is my response:

Science is the antithesis of faith. Science is a process that contains multiple and redundant checks, balances, and safeguards against human bias and error. Science has a built in corrective mechanism..hypothesis testing...that weeds out false claims. Claims that come about as a result of a scientific process are held as tentatively true by scientists..unlike claims of faith that are held as eternally true with zero evidence. Related to this, claims that come about as a result of a scientific process are falsifiable, that is, there is a way to show the claims are false. This is not the case with faith claims. For example, there's no way to falsify the claim that the norse god Loki was able to assume other forms.

Scientists try to prove claims false (falsification), unlike faith leaders who unequivocally state their faith claims are true. If a scientist can demonstrate that a popular scientific claim is false, he or she can become famous, get tenure, publish books, earn more money and become respected by her or his peers. If a preacher states that the claims of his faith tradition are false, he's excommunicated, defrocked or otherwise forced to abandon his position...the stifling of growth and enlightenment basically.

Science is a method for advancing our understanding. It is process we can use to bring us closer to the truth, and to weed out false claims. Science thus is the best way we've currently found to explain and understand how the universe works. No faith required. When you have facts and evidence, you don't need faith, which is the belief in something without evidence.

Love this! Great responses!

**Crickets** -- God
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07-10-2015, 07:41 PM
RE: Evolving in Discussion
(07-10-2015 07:36 PM)Tonechaser77 Wrote:  
(07-10-2015 07:34 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  excellent point. When i get the faith in science thingy, this is my response:

Science is the antithesis of faith. Science is a process that contains multiple and redundant checks, balances, and safeguards against human bias and error. Science has a built in corrective mechanism..hypothesis testing...that weeds out false claims. Claims that come about as a result of a scientific process are held as tentatively true by scientists..unlike claims of faith that are held as eternally true with zero evidence. Related to this, claims that come about as a result of a scientific process are falsifiable, that is, there is a way to show the claims are false. This is not the case with faith claims. For example, there's no way to falsify the claim that the norse god Loki was able to assume other forms.

Scientists try to prove claims false (falsification), unlike faith leaders who unequivocally state their faith claims are true. If a scientist can demonstrate that a popular scientific claim is false, he or she can become famous, get tenure, publish books, earn more money and become respected by her or his peers. If a preacher states that the claims of his faith tradition are false, he's excommunicated, defrocked or otherwise forced to abandon his position...the stifling of growth and enlightenment basically.

Science is a method for advancing our understanding. It is process we can use to bring us closer to the truth, and to weed out false claims. Science thus is the best way we've currently found to explain and understand how the universe works. No faith required. When you have facts and evidence, you don't need faith, which is the belief in something without evidence.

Love this! Great responses!

I been playing in the pool for awhile now, literally hundreds of offline/online debates under my belt, not much I haven't had thrown at me, and most of it is the same stuff over and over, so I have had time to hone my answers. Thumbsup Drooling

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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08-10-2015, 07:32 PM
RE: Evolving in Discussion
(07-10-2015 07:25 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  I am continually amazed that theists use the "you have faith too" argument. Don't they realize that they are invalidating their own faith when they do this.
Usually when they use this argument they aren't thinking of faith as "belief without evidence" so much as conflating it with the more casual use of "confidence based on experience". If they have the former in mind then they have the heavy lifting of pooh-poohing science and trying to turn it into the same failed epistemology as unquestioning faith in god. If they mean the latter definition then they can try to use their personal subjective experience of the divine as equivalent to more concrete experiences like the fact that orbital mechanics, cell phones and computers work such that we have reason to have confidence in their viability. Which is still an uphill battle but at least not so obviously ridiculous.

Ultimately though it is an attempt to legitimize the failed epistemology known as "faith" by claiming your opponent uses it too. Which when you think of it, is pretty desperate.
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08-10-2015, 07:37 PM
RE: Evolving in Discussion
(07-10-2015 07:34 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Scientists try to prove claims false (falsification), unlike faith leaders who unequivocally state their faith claims are true. If a scientist can demonstrate that a popular scientific claim is false, he or she can become famous, get tenure, publish books, earn more money and become respected by her or his peers. If a preacher states that the claims of his faith tradition are false, he's excommunicated, defrocked or otherwise forced to abandon his position...the stifling of growth and enlightenment basically.
True, but in fairness, the nature of tenure, research funding, and resistance to change (science can be just as hidebound as any human enterprise in some ways) has also prompted some scientists to falsify their data or to use politics and influence to extend the life of their pet theories long enough to retire.

I'll take science over faith any day but we have to be careful not to portray it is a perfect system. It is more an ideal to strive for than an actuality to embrace.
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