Feelings toward converts/deconverts
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04-11-2014, 10:02 AM
RE: Feelings toward converts/deconverts
In related news, I have a ridiculous amount of faith as a prophet; I remember explaining my lack of religiosity to a Jewish scientist by stating only need trust in god once - the final moment - whilst alive I shall trust in science. Thusly peeps pontificating on conversion strike me as being uncertain in their new faith, and uncertain people tend to be untrustworthy.

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04-11-2014, 10:16 AM
RE: Feelings toward converts/deconverts
(04-11-2014 08:57 AM)WhiskeyDebates Wrote:  There are no good rational reasons to join any religion so when I hear of people who go from not believing god claims to believing god claims my first reaction is to assume they did it for a bad, often idiotic, reason.
My second reaction is to ask them why? To this day I have yet to hear a rational reason from anyone. Emotional appeals, a failure to understand burden of proof, fear, an inability to deal with reality on realities terms, poor to nonexistent logic, god of the gaps style thinking and many more are all common. The most common I have found is an Appeal to Beauty/Nature or just simplistic emotional reasons. It's never actual evidence or a rational evaluation of reality born out of critical thinking and intellectual honesty.

Take for example Francis Collins. This is a man that lead the Human Genome project, the head of the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, polished best selling author, award winning scientist and all around smart fellow.
His reason for becoming a Christian? He saw a frozen waterfall once, and it reminded him of the Trinity. The end.

Like I said, I have yet to hear a case where the person had a good reason.

I'll give the same examples I always give: C.S. Lewis and Edward Feser. Who knows what their "real" reasons were, and I don't find their arguments convincing (I'm still an atheist), but they are both intellectuals who claim to have converted (from atheism to Christianity) for intellectual, rational reasons rather than emotional ones.

And I doubt that Francis Collins became a Christian because of the waterfall. I don't know that much about him, but I'll bet he was already a Christian when he had that experience. According to Wikipedia (which I just looked at), he had done a lot of cosmological investigation, and read Lewis, before the waterfall thing, so even if that was the catalyst, it sounds to me like a mostly intellectual process.
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04-11-2014, 10:27 AM
RE: Feelings toward converts/deconverts
It was the reason Collins gave in his book, he goes into great detail on it. He fell to his knees and accepted Christ on the spot. While I'm not familiar with Feser I have read Lewis and his justifications for being a Christian don't contain a spec of rationality in my opinion. Most of the arguments for the existence of god he put to paper were deeply fallacious and whats more they have the tone that he knew they were when he wrote them. They were justifications that only seem justified to people who already believe.

Most people who convert claim they did it for rational reasons, which is why I don't rely on what they claim but the arguments they put forth. I've yet to see a good reason, but to be fair that is not their fault. There are no good reasons to believe nonsense.

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04-11-2014, 10:42 AM
RE: Feelings toward converts/deconverts
(04-11-2014 05:18 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  What is your typical reaction when you hear an account of a conversion? Why do you think you're compelled to feel this way? Would you feel the same if the person was one of your good friends? (for theists who like to respond the question should be understood as modified)

For anyone that converts from atheism to theism, they of course were never a true atheist. Tongue

Yeah, I'm kidding.

Seriously, my reaction is first "to each his/her own". People are free to believe or not believe whatever they want. For people that I don't know, that's it. For people closer to me, I would seek to understand what changed their mind. I am always open to the possibility of the existence of a god. If they can convince me they have a sound, rationale reason for belief, I would consider it. But I also seriously doubt anyone will ever be able to do that.

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04-11-2014, 11:07 AM (This post was last modified: 04-11-2014 11:14 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Feelings toward converts/deconverts
(04-11-2014 10:27 AM)WhiskeyDebates Wrote:  Take for example Francis Collins. This is a man that lead the Human Genome project, the head of the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, polished best selling author, award winning scientist and all around smart fellow.
His reason for becoming a Christian? He saw a frozen waterfall once, and it reminded him of the Trinity. The end.
[...]
It was the reason Collins gave in his book, he goes into great detail on it. He fell to his knees and accepted Christ on the spot.

No it wasn't, the event that led to his conversion, was his work in a mission hospital in Nigeria, and an encounter with a dying man reading the Bible by his bedside. The scene with the waterfall was the setting in which he committed himself to God, but it wasn't the reasons he came to believe in God. It's been strange to me that his critics who supposedly read his book, ignore this event completely:

To quote the passage from Collins:

"But then this young Nigerian farmer, just about as different from me in culture, experience, and ancestry as any two humans could be, spoke the words that will
forever be emblazoned in my mind: "I get the sense you are wondering why you came here," he said. "I have an answer for you. You came here for one reason. You came here for me."

I was stunned. Stunned that he could see so clearly into my heart, but even more stunned at the words he was speaking. I had plunged a needle close to his heart; he had directly impaled mine. With a few simple words he had put my grandiose dreams of being the great white doctor, healing the African mil lions, to shame. He was right. We are each called to reach out to others. On rare occasions that can happen on a grand scale. But most of the time it happens in simple acts of kindness of one person to another. Those are the events that really matter. The tears of relief that blurred my vision as I digested his words stemmed from indescribable reassurance—reassurance that there in that strange place for just that one moment, I was in harmony with God's will, bonded together with this young man in a most unlikely but marvelous way.

Nothing I had learned from science could explain that experience. Nothing about the evolutionary explanations for human behavior could account for why it seemed so right for this privileged white man to be standing at the bedside of this young African farmer, each of them receiving something exceptional. This was what C. S. Lewis calls agape. It is the love that seeks no recompense. It is an affront to materialism and naturalism. And it is the sweetest joy that one can experience.
[....]

I also saw more clearly than ever before the author of that goodness and truth, the real True North, God himself, revealing His holy nature by the way in which He has written this desire to seek goodness in all of our hearts."
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04-11-2014, 11:12 AM
RE: Feelings toward converts/deconverts
I only have 100 posts per day due to their limitations on me here... so Ill not be answering any spam

You have my open challenge... accept it like grown adults or run like little bitches, I don't care which you are

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...-CHALLENGE

^^^There's the challenge, take it or leave it

.
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04-11-2014, 11:56 AM
RE: Feelings toward converts/deconverts
(04-11-2014 11:12 AM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  I only have 100 posts per day due to their limitations on me here... so Ill not be answering any spam

You have my open challenge... accept it like grown adults or run like little bitches, I don't care which you are

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...-CHALLENGE

^^^There's the challenge, take it or leave it

.

Oh, you chicken-shit, whiny, cry-baby. Two people issued you debate challenges before you posted yours.
This one
and this one.

You have not accepted those, take them or leave. Drinking Beverage

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04-11-2014, 12:09 PM
RE: Feelings toward converts/deconverts
(04-11-2014 11:07 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(04-11-2014 10:27 AM)WhiskeyDebates Wrote:  Take for example Francis Collins. This is a man that lead the Human Genome project, the head of the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, polished best selling author, award winning scientist and all around smart fellow.
His reason for becoming a Christian? He saw a frozen waterfall once, and it reminded him of the Trinity. The end.
[...]
It was the reason Collins gave in his book, he goes into great detail on it. He fell to his knees and accepted Christ on the spot.

No it wasn't, the event that led to his conversion, was his work in a mission hospital in Nigeria, and an encounter with a dying man reading the Bible by his bedside. The scene with the waterfall was the setting in which he committed himself to God, but it wasn't the reasons he came to believe in God. It's been strange to me that his critics who supposedly read his book, ignore this event completely:

To quote the passage from Collins:

"But then this young Nigerian farmer, just about as different from me in culture, experience, and ancestry as any two humans could be, spoke the words that will
forever be emblazoned in my mind: "I get the sense you are wondering why you came here," he said. "I have an answer for you. You came here for one reason. You came here for me."

I was stunned. Stunned that he could see so clearly into my heart, but even more stunned at the words he was speaking. I had plunged a needle close to his heart; he had directly impaled mine. With a few simple words he had put my grandiose dreams of being the great white doctor, healing the African mil lions, to shame. He was right. We are each called to reach out to others. On rare occasions that can happen on a grand scale. But most of the time it happens in simple acts of kindness of one person to another. Those are the events that really matter. The tears of relief that blurred my vision as I digested his words stemmed from indescribable reassurance—reassurance that there in that strange place for just that one moment, I was in harmony with God's will, bonded together with this young man in a most unlikely but marvelous way.

Nothing I had learned from science could explain that experience. Nothing about the evolutionary explanations for human behavior could account for why it seemed so right for this privileged white man to be standing at the bedside of this young African farmer, each of them receiving something exceptional. This was what C. S. Lewis calls agape. It is the love that seeks no recompense. It is an affront to materialism and naturalism. And it is the sweetest joy that one can experience.
[....]

I also saw more clearly than ever before the author of that goodness and truth, the real True North, God himself, revealing His holy nature by the way in which He has written this desire to seek goodness in all of our hearts."

Been a while since I read his book so I appreciate the clarification.

That said the passage you just quoted is not a better or more rational reason to believe in god.

When valour preys on reason, it eats the sword it fights with.
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04-11-2014, 12:10 PM
RE: Feelings toward converts/deconverts
(04-11-2014 11:12 AM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  I only have 100 posts per day due to their limitations on me here... so Ill not be answering any spam

You have my open challenge... accept it like grown adults or run like little bitches, I don't care which you are

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...-CHALLENGE

^^^There's the challenge, take it or leave it

.

So now he's just jumping into a bunch of unrelated threads spamming shit? That's a grow up way of doing things.Rolleyes

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04-11-2014, 12:22 PM
RE: Feelings toward converts/deconverts
(04-11-2014 11:12 AM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  I only have 100 posts per day due to their limitations on me here... so Ill not be answering any spam

You have my open challenge... accept it like grown adults or run like little bitches, I don't care which you are

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...-CHALLENGE

^^^There's the challenge, take it or leave it

.

Yeah, you wouldn't want to waste them on similar posts and disrupting other people's threads. Rolleyes

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