Holy Grail for Deconversion
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
06-04-2012, 01:50 PM
Holy Grail for Deconversion
Hello everyone,

as the title suggests i was wondering if there could ever be a holy grail for deconversion. Now, i know that many probably are thinking that its funny for an atheist searching for a "holy" grail but i believe it could be found.

I was watching today the latest video of thunderf00t with eric hovint and i couldn't believe that he had to repeated how many times what an assumption is, and i bet he still doesn't know. This shows a clear problem which i didn't need the video to tell that people are uneducated. Moreover, science is made to be something uncool, damn and for losers. No wonder that if we can't simply establish what an assumption is we can never end up agreeing on anything else.

So i know that the holy grail for any deconversion(or probably the best path for deconversion) is through critical thinking and scientific principles. After all this would help people later on with all kinds of conspiracy theories. I am certain that if materials are developed in a fun and way that don't directly target religion, eventually people will distinguish evidence based predictive models than just pure belief. They may still believe in the divine but not necessarily in a religious organization. Maybe i am an optimist but hey, what do we have to lose? :-)

So my question would be, what do you think is the best scientific material that can make someone become a critical thinker and eventually deconvert(at least drop official religious affiliations).

I'd start with the basics of the scientific method and research methods. It should probably include also scientific writing with how and why references are important than just baseless claims. It may sound hard but given a good video it should take just 30 minutes to quickly teach this concepts. Hell, you can even create some fun exercises for people to apply this knowledge.

Suggestions? Comments?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-04-2012, 08:50 PM
RE: Holy Grail for Deconversion
Every person believes for a different reason. Some believe because they yearn for someone to look after them on Earth, some are inspired by the good deeds of Jesus. Deconversion of someone is like fighting a boss. Find the weak point and use your ULTRA-LOGIBLASTER9000X to attack it. Be wary that they may try to convert you by targeting your weak points, so be sure in the first place why you do not believe in a God.

Scientific material may not be a good choice, as not every theist will accept such material. A minority may even view those materials in the ranks of horrible things Satan created to deceive all of us.

Welcome to science. You're gonna like it here - Phil Plait

Have you ever tried taking a comfort blanket away from a small child? - DLJ
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
07-04-2012, 08:00 AM
RE: Holy Grail for Deconversion
You cant use science and logic on someone who poo poo's the ideas of science and logic.

There really are no "gotcha" arguments on either side, though I will argue that the best questions and arguments are on the atheist side (which is why I identify with atheist/agnostic the most)

I find that most believers do so out of tradition and emotional arguments, so you should know some emotional arguments. I have many arguments I toss out in those cases. One of them is the argument from design and the other is the epicurian paradox:

Epicurian argument is basically the argument that if "evil" exists then why doesnt god stop it, etc...etc...but I dont use it like it is in its generic form. I try to draw an emotional connection to it like this:

-Why does Jesus sit on his all powerful hands while people rape and murder innocent children?

The first thing that always comes out is "freewill". I dont argue wether or not freewill exists with these fundies because that is the whole point of them bringing it up..to avoid having to answer a tough question. I automatically accept that freewill exists like this:

-So what you are telling me is that Jesus cares more about the rapists freewill to rape the innocent child over the innocent childs freewill NOT to be raped? This kid is screaming out "God please make him stop!" yet the rape and murder still happens.
Then I focus on how Jesus is supposed to be a savior, yet doesnt do anything close to resembling a savior like this:
- So Jesus claims he is the savior of humanity yet he sits back and watches the little kid get raped and murdered against his freewill? What kind of savior is that? If I sat back and watched your daughter get raped and murdered, refused to stop it, and then refused to tell the police ANYTHING about the suspect would you consider me moral or would you want me imprisoned? Of course you would hate my guts! But if Jesus does it, you bow down and worship him as the author of all morals and kindness.
eventually the topic of Hell comes into play. Apparently its okay for Jesus to ignore the suffering as long as those who cause the suffering suffer for ever and ever in flaming torture. I then say this:
- So Jesus is excused from his innaction and sitting back watching the rape and murder as long as he tortures people in flames for all eternity? This makes him look worse, so not only does Jesus do nothing to save the innocent, but he comes down with eternal harshness as punishment for people AFTER they die. What if the rapist repents and asks Jesus for forgiveness? Then that rapist goes to heaven right?
Its not a "gotcha" argument, but I do think it makes people think hard about how fucked up this whole "savior" concept is, along with the "eternal punishment/reward" concept. If you are doing good things for a reward and to avoid punishment, then I argue you are not doing such things for personal morality, but doing so out of fear.

"Praise Sweet Baby Jesus!" - RevJ. Cool

My Sites: www.jesuschristarcade.com - www.facebook.com/jesuschristarcade - Twitter@jesusarcade
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like reverendjeremiah's post
07-04-2012, 10:13 AM
RE: Holy Grail for Deconversion
Just one thing to consider before deconverting someone - Are they willing to listen and change their perspective? If not, no matter how strong your logic, no matter how convincing your argument, if it falls on deaf ears, it would be pointless.

I agree with reverendjeremiah that emotional arguments are quite common. In quite a few cases, the theist was once an "unbeliever/skeptic", questioning everything and laying doubt onto the workings of nature and God ("Just like you now", they always claim). Until one day, the following occurs...

a) The person gets into an accident, miraculously survives, and goes ALLELUIA
b) The person gets a deadly disease, miraculously survives, and goes ALLELUIA
c) The person suddenly has a feeling, a wonderful experience out of nowhere, and goes ALLELUIA
d) The person realises the fragility of life, fears death, and goes ALLELUIA
e) The person was one day, walking, and he realised how beautiful the world is, and goes ALLELUIA
f) The person read about a religious figure who did great deeds and imparted wonderful wisdom (usually Jesus), gets inspired, and goes ALLELUIA

The conversion stories are as predictable as cheesy movie plots. Predictable start, predictable end, with a mandatory sob tale or inspiring tale shoved within.

I haven't read a story that goes along the lines of...

"One day I was walking down the street and God appeared to me. I instantly took out my camera to take photographic evidence of the Lord. Suddenly, Jesus rode a chariot of fire and I took a picture of that too. Multiple shots, with high definition. God actually healed an amputee, which I took a very clear, steady video of, and left me with a list of major future events. Here's the evidence I have, and that's why I KNOW that there is a God."

Welcome to science. You're gonna like it here - Phil Plait

Have you ever tried taking a comfort blanket away from a small child? - DLJ
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like robotworld's post
08-04-2012, 02:41 AM (This post was last modified: 08-04-2012 02:44 AM by micdhack.)
RE: Holy Grail for Deconversion
I get what you are both saying and yes agree there are people which will shut their ears and will not want to hear anything about what i have to say.

My issue is that deconverting without appreciating science may lead to someone believing to ancient astronauts or other religions. What they will be lacking is simple tools, look for sources, evaluate critically, you can't prove non-existence...etc

Being agnostic is fine, most scientist are closer to agnostics than fundemantal atheists, but even atheists know that this is just a belief. Religious people see this and think that this is a weakness and they can convert someone that can say with certainty that god doesn't exist, but solid foundations about scientific principles are extremely hard to be tackled by any apologist.

So definately a full throtle christian won't hear anything that i have to say about science(especially if i reference deconversation), but at least christians that are halfway to deconvert or have doubts, can definately benefit from these materials. The problem is that people think that these are extremely hard concepts to grasp but they are not and they don't even have to do with god or religion.

Say your sink is clogged, what do you do? you try to find where the conjestion is and gradually rejecting hypothesis as following the pipes to establish the exact problem. Can i just go about and claim that the fact that the sink is clogged is a sign from god? It may just be, but the difference between believing and being just one of your hypothesis is two different things. In addition a generalized hypothesis such as this is one can never be proven. Moreover, i have still about a ton of hypothesis to go before i claim that my last one is that god did it and therefore i will have to assume that is true for now, or just keep being skeptical and keep looking for more testable hypotheses.

From my experience most people don't think like that, Religious or not. They don't cognitively understand what they are doing when dealing with problems. Let alone why it is wrong to say "God did it" as a solution or what the fuck is an assumption.

Science provides framework of thinking. Is not restrictive of religion but it can lead to a certain point of deconversation where you recognize that your beliefs are nothing but assumptions. But in the same framework we can also include all the emotional arguments. Basically make a checklist, follow 1, if that fails go to 3, if it doesnt go to 2. It sounds simple but i don't see why it cant be done given the experience of all people in this community.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
08-04-2012, 06:50 AM
RE: Holy Grail for Deconversion
Im not saying science or logic is bad. Im saying we humans are not logical beings. Sure, we have the capacity to TRY to be logical beings, but logic is VERY inhuman. These people want to feel special, and that is why they dump science for a "god of love"...either that or they never knew the scientific method to begin with.

"Praise Sweet Baby Jesus!" - RevJ. Cool

My Sites: www.jesuschristarcade.com - www.facebook.com/jesuschristarcade - Twitter@jesusarcade
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes reverendjeremiah's post
08-04-2012, 07:30 AM
RE: Holy Grail for Deconversion
I think questions are more useful than answers or arguments. Such as:
- Do you love your children?
- Where does that love come from?
- How big is the love of your god? Does it go on forever? Will it last forever?
- What's hell like?
- For you as a parent, what would your child have to do to you to deserve eternal hell fire?
- What do you think you would have to do to God to deserve eternal hell fire?
- What do you think about the worst person in history being able to go to heaven if they genuinely recant on their deathbed?
- What do you think about the someone like Albert Einstein who is not given the gift of faith by God being consigned by God as his child to eternal hell fire?
- Is genocide wrong?
- Do you know that genocide is wrong?
- Do you think God knows that genocide is wrong?
- Do you think God has morals?
- Do you think God's morals are better than yours?
- If you genuinely believed God asked you to kill your child, would you?
- Do you think that the ends justify the means?
- How many people would have to go to heaven, and how many could go to hell for this world to be considered "good"?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Hafnof's post
12-04-2012, 01:17 AM
RE: Holy Grail for Deconversion
(08-04-2012 07:30 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  I think questions are more useful than answers or arguments. Such as:
- Do you love your children?
- Where does that love come from?
- How big is the love of your god? Does it go on forever? Will it last forever?
- What's hell like?
- For you as a parent, what would your child have to do to you to deserve eternal hell fire?
- What do you think you would have to do to God to deserve eternal hell fire?
- What do you think about the worst person in history being able to go to heaven if they genuinely recant on their deathbed?
- What do you think about the someone like Albert Einstein who is not given the gift of faith by God being consigned by God as his child to eternal hell fire?
- Is genocide wrong?
- Do you know that genocide is wrong?
- Do you think God knows that genocide is wrong?
- Do you think God has morals?
- Do you think God's morals are better than yours?
- If you genuinely believed God asked you to kill your child, would you?
- Do you think that the ends justify the means?
- How many people would have to go to heaven, and how many could go to hell for this world to be considered "good"?
Let me attempt to answer with a Christian logic Big Grin

- Yes i do.
- God is love so it comes from God.
- It is eternal.
- It's a place without the love of God.
- Kill me? (i get the point here, no parent wants his child to go to hell but somehow i've Christians that would have no problem with this)
- Question him...
- Guenuine repentence deserves forgiveness
- He didn't believe, thats the rules
- Yes
- Yes
- Yes
- No
- Yes
- Yes
- All non believers

I mean i get the points and to me the sound absurd but for fundamentalist i doubt that this would be the case.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
12-04-2012, 01:23 AM (This post was last modified: 12-04-2012 02:11 AM by Erxomai.)
RE: Holy Grail for Deconversion
I'm not sure there is a single 1 scientific proof that could change the worldview of the True Believer. I clearly remember rejecting claims contrary to Christ as being either deceptions of the devil, biased research by diabolical atheists, or just a clear misunderstandings of the Mysteries of God.

For many, there's not a huge BAZINGA! that makes them leave their superstitions behind. The more evidence, logic, and critical thinking they (I) can be exposed to, the better for leading them to make their own factual conclusions.

It also helped me to read and hear the stories of those "saints who went before us." In fact, I wouldn't be on this forum if I hadn't latched onto Seth's authentic evangelical turned atheist story then I wouldn't be here to learn, be challenged, be encouraged and entertained my a good collective of you good folk.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Erxomai's post
12-04-2012, 02:07 AM
RE: Holy Grail for Deconversion
Erxomai you have a really interesting nickname :-)

My deconversion story, involved lots of reading of pseudoscience. Hell, i rejected god only to turn to ancient astronauts which is still a fascinating idea but without evidence. Eventually i kept reading all kinds of pseudoscience which seems a lot better than real science because it reads easier and you can make as many baseless claims as you like. Eventually, having read enough i started becoming more critical just because some of the claims seemed too absurd but it wasn't til i actually learned how real science works that my deconversion was complete.

I've met a number of Atheists today that still believe in homeopathy, 911 conspiracy and so on. That's why i still believe that deconverting from Christianity is far from learning critical thinking.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: