Hi, I'm a Christian
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15-11-2011, 11:44 AM
RE: Hi, I'm a Christian
(15-11-2011 03:26 AM)free2011 Wrote:  The problem you will find here is in the name, "The Thinking Atheist". Most of us are atheists because we can't believe in something just because it makes us feel good. We really need evidence. You said something happened 80 to 100 times. That sounds like pretty good making of evidence. So tell me what happened ?

Ok, you convinced me. Allthough, do keep in mind I did warn you not to have high expectations.

So back in the day, I played the Yugioh card game. I played a lot back then, every day at school, and twice a week tournaments at a local card shop. Here's the situation that came up for me a lot. It had been a fairly long game, back and forth. I was on the verge of losing, and I was in a really desperate situation. In this type of situation there would be only 1 card I could draw and save me, and my next draw would be my last if I didn't draw what I needed. I would think of the card I needed to draw to get me out of this situation, then when I drew what would have been my final card, I get the exact card I needed. For a long time I just passed it off as a really cool coincidence. It's not like I called a time out, folded my hands, and started praying for the card I needed (remember, I was an atheist at the time).

A little more background information. First of all, Yugioh can be a very volitle game. Things can go from good to bad very quickly, or from being in a good position to losing the game next turn. I certainly didn't win every game, and the situation described certainly didn't come up every game. There were games where I'd be in control and winning the whole game, in which case, there was no one specific card I needed to draw in order to win. And there would also be games where I'd lose horribly, and there wouldn't be any 1 card I could draw that could save me, or in some cases, I lose before I even get another draw, so it would have done nothing to think of a specific card. The situation above certainly wouldn't happen in every game (and you can play yugioh to verify that yourself Wink ). But what I began to notice is that every time, and I do mean every time, one of those desperate situations came up, I would always draw that one exact card I needed.

Now, some numbers for those that like numbers. Keep in mind of course these are all estimations. It's not like a normal person would keep an exact tally of such things. I said I played a lot of Yugioh. This was over the course of 3 years, give or take some time away from playing the game. Now whenever one of these situations would come up, there would be about 20-30 cards left in my deck, but sometimes as low as 15 cards left (again, an estimate, I didn't stop the game and count an exact number each time it happened). The odds of drawing that one specific card from the deck at that time would then be about 3-7%. The event described above would probably happen to me an average of once or twice a week, again give or take. And of course, if you calculated 1-2 times per week for 3 years (or even 2.5 years), you'll get a number that is higher than 80-100, making that 80-100 a low estimate (these really are just estimates since again, I didn't keep an exact talley or anything). One thing is for certain however, this situation did happen to me A LOT, otherwise I wouldn't have even taken notice of it and just passed it off as a coincidence when it did happen. I don't care how you want to calculate the numbers, even if you take 7% raised to the 80th power, the odds are incredibly small for this event to keep happening to me. In fact, the odds are so small, that in any way you combine these numbers, you may as well call it a 0% chance of happening. But yet somehow it did happen to me, and I'm certainly not that lucky of a person. I simply could not accept this as a coincidence anymore, which as I said, the only other logical explaination to me was some supernatural power at work.

Now of course, I realize these numbers are all estimates for the most part. You can take this for however you want, but I myself am convinced that this was not just some mere coincidence. Even if you want me to be increadibly generous with the numbers and say that it happened 20 times, with a 7% chance of happening each time, 7%^20 is still a very very small chance of actually happening.

You could also come back and say I'm lying about the whole thing, or I'm mistaken. But this is The Thinking Atheist. If you think for about it, if I was going to just lie about this whole thing, why on earth would I be using Yugioh? Using Yugioh to convince people God exists? You can take this information however you wish, whatever makes you feel comfortable. Myself, I'm already convinced, so if you're going to try convincing me of anything here, you're wasting your time.
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15-11-2011, 12:26 PM
RE: Hi, I'm a Christian
I personally have no interest in converting you to atheism. You can believe whatever you choose so long as you keep it on your own lawn so to speak.

My only negative comment here has to do with your requirements for proof to you. I understand that someone can see things their own way using their own personal feelings and perspective. I do. But I have to wonder as to your reasoning here only because one of my pet peeves are people claiming holy intervention for the most mundane things. Don't get me wrong yugioh is super important and all that but even if for some reason I personally felt that a god was helping me out by bringing me the card I needed, this would not by a long shot make me a) feel that Christianity was true by any means or the bible was correct and b) that this god was worth anything let alone worship. I mean he can intervene in a fame of yugioh but not save a starving kid? Or some kid getting molested by priests? That god would only earn disdain from me.
I know this isn't where you went with the holy intervention thing. I get it. You got something else out of it an that's fine. I'm just curious as to why or how. I'm interested in the human sanity conundrum which can be verified by multiple posts here on this forum I you want to check just to make sure I'm not trying to be a dick... Entirely Wink

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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15-11-2011, 12:38 PM
RE: Hi, I'm a Christian
(15-11-2011 11:44 AM)megamaster125 Wrote:  So back in the day, I played the Yugioh card game. I played a lot back then, every day at school, and twice a week tournaments at a local card shop. Here's the situation that came up for me a lot. It had been a fairly long game, back and forth. I was on the verge of losing, and I was in a really desperate situation. In this type of situation there would be only 1 card I could draw and save me, and my next draw would be my last if I didn't draw what I needed. I would think of the card I needed to draw to get me out of this situation, then when I drew what would have been my final card, I get the exact card I needed. For a long time I just passed it off as a really cool coincidence. It's not like I called a time out, folded my hands, and started praying for the card I needed (remember, I was an atheist at the time).
...Now of course, I realize these numbers are all estimates for the most part. You can take this for however you want, but I myself am convinced that this was not just some mere coincidence. Even if you want me to be increadibly generous with the numbers and say that it happened 20 times, with a 7% chance of happening each time, 7%^20 is still a very very small chance of actually happening.
...
You could also come back and say I'm lying about the whole thing, or I'm mistaken. But this is The Thinking Atheist. If you think for about it, if I was going to just lie about this whole thing, why on earth would I be using Yugioh? Using Yugioh to convince people God exists? You can take this information however you wish, whatever makes you feel comfortable. Myself, I'm already convinced, so if you're going to try convincing me of anything here, you're wasting your time.

Actually, I will say that you are likely mistaken. The human mind usually makes this kind of selective memory error; we remember things that seem significant and forget the (usually greater) number of non-significant events.

But let's say that your memory is more accurate. The problem is that this does not constitute evidence. You would need to repeat the experiment with controls and get repeatable results. What you describe is just personal anecdotes. This gives you a feeling of some truth, but proves nothing.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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15-11-2011, 12:51 PM
RE: Hi, I'm a Christian
(15-11-2011 12:26 PM)lucradis Wrote:  I personally have no interest in converting you to atheism. You can believe whatever you choose so long as you keep it on your own lawn so to speak.

Well, everyone seems to want to talk to me about Christianity.

Quote:My only negative comment here has to do with your requirements for proof to you. I understand that someone can see things their own way using their own personal feelings and perspective. I do. But I have to wonder as to your reasoning here only because one of my pet peeves are people claiming holy intervention for the most mundane things. Don't get me wrong yugioh is super important and all that but even if for some reason I personally felt that a god was helping me out by bringing me the card I needed, this would not by a long shot make me a) feel that Christianity was true by any means or the bible was correct and b) that this god was worth anything let alone worship. I mean he can intervene in a fame of yugioh but not save a starving kid? Or some kid getting molested by priests? That god would only earn disdain from me.

You seem to be forgetting that people have free will. Kids get molested by priests because the priests choose to moleste them. People need to start taking responsibility for the choices they make, not doing something evil and trying to blame everything on God.

(15-11-2011 12:38 PM)Chas Wrote:  Actually, I will say that you are likely mistaken. The human mind usually makes this kind of selective memory error; we remember things that seem significant and forget the (usually greater) number of non-significant events.

But let's say that your memory is more accurate. The problem is that this does not constitute evidence. You would need to repeat the experiment with controls and get repeatable results. What you describe is just personal anecdotes. This gives you a feeling of some truth, but proves nothing.

Actually, those same events do continue to repeat themselves all the time. I don't collect the actual cards anymore, but I do play the some of the video games. And those same situations and results still happen.

So go ahead, continue to try and sweep what I said under the rug, whatever you have to do to maintain your beliefs, and I will continue to maintain mine.
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15-11-2011, 01:00 PM
RE: Hi, I'm a Christian
(15-11-2011 12:51 PM)megamaster125 Wrote:  
(15-11-2011 12:38 PM)Chas Wrote:  Actually, I will say that you are likely mistaken. The human mind usually makes this kind of selective memory error; we remember things that seem significant and forget the (usually greater) number of non-significant events.

But let's say that your memory is more accurate. The problem is that this does not constitute evidence. You would need to repeat the experiment with controls and get repeatable results. What you describe is just personal anecdotes. This gives you a feeling of some truth, but proves nothing.

Actually, those same events do continue to repeat themselves all the time. I don't collect the actual cards anymore, but I do play the some of the video games. And those same situations and results still happen.

So go ahead, continue to try and sweep what I said under the rug, whatever you have to do to maintain your beliefs, and I will continue to maintain mine.

You don't understand the nature of proof. Your personal experiences do not constitute scientific or logical proof. The only thing I am sweeping away is the idea that you have proof of something.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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15-11-2011, 01:14 PM
RE: Hi, I'm a Christian
Here's my anecdote...

Some years ago, I decided I liked playing craps in casinos. Lots of numbers lots of arithmetic computations, it was a fun game. There was a one point where I thought I was winning according to certain patterns that I found in the game, and I did win lots of cash. It seemed I was on to some kind of process that made it more likely to win than not. Now the skeptic in me took control and I decided I would study the probability of dice rolls by actually keeping track of the rolls.... over 300,000 of them, some by computer and some not. I kept a solid count for 8 months strait. During that time, I had on 2 occasions rolled box cars or snake eyes (2 6's) 6 times in a row. Even though this had nothing to do with my "system" the odds of this are incredible and I did it twice. There were also times when my system made a lot of money and times when it dwindled. There was a lot of middling back and forth that would be undetectable or unnoticeable in a normal game and there were other rather extraordinary rolls that stood out like $$$.

The outcome.... Even though there were times when I made thousands of bucks, and even though the almost impossible happened on multiple occasions, in the end.... the probabilities of all rolls came out exactly as would have been expected doing the math... approximately .5% in favor of the house using my "super duper system". What I did find in my favor was that I had found the most likely way to stay in the game for the longest time with the least loss... in the long run. Pure arithmetic.

I am leaving out all the house rules and system details, but the point is they were consistent throughout. My perceptions were not. My innate interest in seeing a loophole in the system led me to see what was not really there in the long haul.

Humans have a proclivity toward magical thinking. Unless you can keep a running record for a long, long period of time and be able to compare that to the true probabilities, there is nothing there, I guarantee. Magical looking things happen all the time. Shit happens all the time. Everything in between happens all the time. That is all that is.

Note: be sure you are not the one sweeping things under the rug... Wink

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15-11-2011, 01:15 PM
RE: Hi, I'm a Christian
(15-11-2011 01:00 PM)Chas Wrote:  Your personal experiences do not constitute scientific or logical proof.

I never claimed they did. If you actually read through the topic, people were asking me questions about my expereinces, and I was reluctent to share them. I share them, and now you want to go off about some scientific proof which I never made a claim about.
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15-11-2011, 01:21 PM
RE: Hi, I'm a Christian
(15-11-2011 01:15 PM)megamaster125 Wrote:  
(15-11-2011 01:00 PM)Chas Wrote:  Your personal experiences do not constitute scientific or logical proof.

I never claimed they did. If you actually read through the topic, people were asking me questions about my expereinces, and I was reluctent to share them. I share them, and now you want to go off about some scientific proof which I never made a claim about.

And I think we are just trying to show you that your experiences are not necessarily fact in reality. I appreciate your experiences. I have had the same kind many times in life. But they all come down to predictable probabilities in the end if that is what you look for. We are quite the technical no nonsense type here.

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15-11-2011, 01:38 PM
RE: Hi, I'm a Christian
I see by your other post that you feel like you need to leave the forum. I said I wouldn't post again in that post so I'll do it here.
I read all the posts in that other thread and had to force myself not to engage you simply because I felt you were mocking and teasing but not In a good natured way. You came in with head held up high and made some condescending remarks.
What I will say is that I think some of the other members may have been less resistant to the challenge and fell into it with some in appropriate behaviour. As far as I see it anyways. But the thing is you couldn't expect better from the way you behaved because like Christians we are all different. We all react differently. Just because the majority of us are critical thinkers does not me we are immune to goading. I'm certainly not and I have to congratulate myself on staying out.
This also does not mean that the majority of us want you to go away. I personally want to actually engage you in civil discussion. I find the differences in mentality so fascinating that I don't want to refuse the chance. In discussion form mind you. Nothing is one sided so I don't want to have a one sided conversation. No assumptions of right or wrong, hell no right or wrong even. Just a back and forth and maybe some mutual understanding or learning.

What do you say?

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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15-11-2011, 01:49 PM
RE: Hi, I'm a Christian
Well that is definitely less than I was expecting. Although I do appreciate your honesty. I am truly not trying to bash you or your beliefs. You have stepped up when many would not and this is great incite for me into the mind of a theist.

However, this really is the kind of thing that confuses me about religious people. Out of the 7 billion people in the world, many starving and dying horrible deaths, your loving god chose to help you out with a card game. How many people pray for their loved ones to be healed from painful illnesses and those prayers aren't answered. Doesn't that seem a bit absurd and cruel?
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