Getting the believer thinking...
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25-06-2015, 09:57 PM
Getting the believer thinking...
Hello forum,

I am a former christian who is well on his way to recovery. Thanks in no small part to the works of the 4 horseman and 1 horsewoman, Chirstopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Dan Dennett and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. However my father (the source of my former belief) is still a believer in Jesus Christ. Now luckily, he is also a very patient and open minded person who I can express my new found lack of faith to without fear of misunderstanding.

So, we were having a discussion about the historical accuracy of the bible and he admits to me that he doesn't believe the bible is without fault, handed down word for word from god himself. Instead he believes that humans have assembled and passed down the bible in a way similar to broken telephone. Some bits have been altered and added after the fact, by humans simply being humans, but there are meanings and hints throughout the bible that god meant for us to receive through all that mess. Although I saw many holes in his theory, i felt that this was at least a jumping off point for a deeper discussion.

So I asked him whether or not these meanings are worth the homophobia, genocide, paranoia, racism, (the list goes on) that the bible includes and has caused since its inception. He paused for 15 seconds or so, then said, "No. I think there are better ways to get the good parts of the bible across without the baggage of eternal damnation for sin, and antique ways of thinking." To this I responded, "Are there any moral teachings from the bible that could not have been said by an unbeliever?" He then lovingly told me I had read to many books and that he would think on that one and get back to me.

My dad may be to far gone to abandon his faith entirely, but I was successful in using his affection for me to put forward some hard hitting arguments that got through and got him thinking. Does anyone else have a similar story to mine? Or one that ended in varying degrees of success or even the opposite?

P.S. - If anyone has any book recommendations I would love to hear them
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25-06-2015, 10:58 PM
RE: Getting the believer thinking...
Welcome to TTA, QB.

I admire your manipulation of his affection. Very devious.

Just kidding.

Are you asking for recommendations for yourself or your father?

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25-06-2015, 11:06 PM
RE: Getting the believer thinking...
Welcome to the group!
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25-06-2015, 11:46 PM
RE: Getting the believer thinking...
(25-06-2015 10:58 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Welcome to TTA, QB.

I admire your manipulation of his affection. Very devious.

Just kidding.

Are you asking for recommendations for yourself or your father?

Myself mainly, I've sent him "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins, but I think the title may have scared him off haha.
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25-06-2015, 11:55 PM
RE: Getting the believer thinking...
I also see that you are a prominent member of TTA and I made a comment on a very long email chain between an atheist and a theist to which i have enclosed the link. I would be interested in hearing your opinions on what I wrote.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...ned-Pastor
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26-06-2015, 01:04 AM
RE: Getting the believer thinking...
First of all welcome to TTA! Smile

I think one of the best ways is for the believers to ask their own questions. I mean to ask them questions about their faith to which they do not know the answer and will not be able resist seeking the answer to out.

When you point out the lack of corroborating evidence in support of any of the major biblical events outside of the bible itself, usually gets the theists brains whirring.

Smile

"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too"? - Douglas Adams Bechased
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26-06-2015, 02:13 AM
RE: Getting the believer thinking...
(25-06-2015 11:55 PM)Qad Bane Wrote:  I also see that you are a prominent member of TTA
...

If by 'you' you mean 'me', I'm not prominent. It's just the way I walk.

Blush

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26-06-2015, 04:27 AM
RE: Getting the believer thinking...
I really hate getting theists thinking.....

Sometimes those long dormant parts of their brain overheat....

and it smells like bacon cooking................

Not that I mind the smell - I just get a terrible urge to cook some waffles.......

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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26-06-2015, 10:39 AM
RE: Getting the believer thinking...
(26-06-2015 04:27 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  I really hate getting theists thinking.....

Sometimes those long dormant parts of their brain overheat....

Man, you're better than I am, then. I've been working on it for years, but so far all I've managed to accomplish is to overheat them so quickly than there's an audible "SNAP" as their mental fuse blows, their fundamentalist BIOS virus re-programming kicks back in, and they resort to religious preset-quotation gibberish in place of actual argumentation. Sadly, even if they had been thinking just moments prior, it shuts down any such capacity from that point on.

I think the Christianity memetic virus comes with a self-protection mode that, if it detects too much energy flowing between separated parts of the brain (the phenomenon we call Cognitive Dissonance), it activates a defensive program that blanks the reasoning part of the mind for a preprogrammed defensive-BS-storm memory core dump. Perhaps this does prevent meltdowns, but I encounter it a lot!

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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