I am a Christian
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05-03-2016, 07:39 AM
RE: I am a Christian
(04-03-2016 11:16 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  
(04-03-2016 09:48 AM)kim Wrote:  No, the word atheism comes from the word theism. The a means without. Therefore, atheism is the reaction to theism.

Theists have faith in particular beliefs.
Atheists have no faith in particular beliefs.

I don't know if there is a god or if there is not a god.
But I do know that I have no faith, either way.

Faith = theist
No faith = atheist
***

The "name" we give another, describes them to us in our own minds. This name very often has little to do with how the other describes himself. Shy

In the same way that amoral is to be without morals and immoral is to be morally wrong.

I was going with baby steps, there. Wink

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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05-03-2016, 07:59 AM
RE: I am a Christian
It's too bad that the Christian Left before he could answer my questions. He claims that his God is invisible and intangible so just how in the world is he aware of it. If he is not aware of it by sensory means then he must infer its existence. But what is his starting point for this inference. What are his underlying premises? Perhaps he does not know how he is aware of it. Perhaps he is aware by some other means. If so what is it? These are the questions Christians need to answer. If he is honest then he would have to answer that he imagines it because I know of no other way to apprehend what Christians call God and none have been able to give me one.

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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05-03-2016, 08:14 AM
RE: I am a Christian
When I hear someone say "I am a christian", immediately a price is paid in ill conceived laughter. I know right away that I'm dealing with a gullible mind who probably can't be trusted to make rational decisions.

It would be similar to someone in a job interview who said he was a Jedi and that he firmly believed that Luke Skywalker really did exist in a galaxy far far away.
"His story was so powerful, the force carried it across the vastness of space so it could told here. That's a miracle right there. Plus, you can't prove he didn't exist"

When you say "I am a christian", this tells me that something is wrong inside your brain."

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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05-03-2016, 09:54 AM (This post was last modified: 05-03-2016 10:02 AM by DLJ.)
RE: I am a Christian
(05-03-2016 08:14 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  When I hear someone say "I am a christian", immediately a price is paid in ill conceived laughter
...

If you are channeling Sam Harris there, I think it was "ill-concealed" laughter.

(05-03-2016 08:14 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  ... I know right away that I'm dealing with a gullible mind who probably can't be trusted to make rational decisions.
...

Like a child, perhaps?

(05-03-2016 08:14 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  ...
When you say "I am a christian", this tells me that something is wrong inside your brain."

Like the wrong apps have been uploaded into your necktop? (channeling Dan Dennett, there).

Many here have lived through that experience. Have you not?


OK. Maybe I'm seeing things a little differently having recently started doing some "community service" at a local school (I call it community service because we're in negotiation over how much they can afford to pay me so it's currently pro bono) so when I see "I am a christian", this tells me that they've been a victim of childhood indoctrination.

If they are still in the bubble, their assumptions and their questions will be naive. And I mean "naive" in the sense of 'natural' or 'innocent' rather than 'inept' although I think the latter does apply in this case.

Example:

(04-03-2016 04:22 AM)VoidAndNull Wrote:  ...
but what is the isolated reason for atheist wanting to spread atheism?

this is in fact my argument: Atheists want others to be atheist because of a variety of reasons. The first reason I see is that they hate God, or the idea of God, because it goes against their instincts, core of who they are, or natural self.
...
(breather for comments)
(04-03-2016 04:29 AM)VoidAndNull Wrote:  (continuing)

So, alternatively if there are other reasons, I'd like to know what they are.
...

No surprise that one reaction was:

(05-03-2016 07:32 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  ...
It was the claiming that Atheists hate god that really pissed me off though. He could seem to get his head around the fact that one can't hate what doesn't exist.
...

But what if the wording had been less naive? Like...
"The first reason I see is that they hate God, or [perhaps more accurately] the idea of God..."

Peeb spotted that this was probably what was going on:

(05-03-2016 12:31 AM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  ...
The written word loses a lot of nuance and really only the masterful few can put the exact words onto medium to incite those exact same feelings in the reader.
...

Our different reactions / responses no doubt depended on whether we thought he was genuine in the search for deeper understanding as he claimed to be.

Also they probably were influenced by our assessment of the state of doxastic openness and what level of contemplation was portrayed/identified.

From Peter Boghossian's A Manual for Creating Atheists page 85:

Quote:The Transtheoretical Model of change states that behavioural change occurs in a series of stages..." [Personally, I think it's more of a continuum but thinking in categories, or stages, is useful for analysis]:
  • Precontemplation (not ready to change)
  • Contemplation (getting ready to change)
  • Preparation (ready to change)
  • Action (changing)
  • Maintenance (sustaining change)
  • Termination (change completed)

What reasons do we have for not taking an individual at their word... our own previous experiences or the evidence as it's presented to us?

I saw this one as somewhere around the Contemplation stage (or perhaps on the verge of it) or else why take the 'probing us' approach rather than the 'all-out preacher' approach. I think that Commonsensei and others in the early pages saw it the same way. Kim mentioned "baby steps" and honestly, I'd never disagree with Kim (I'm way too chicken).

Others, no doubt, saw it as the Precontemplation stage.

If so, what would be the best approach to achieve a desirable outcome.
And what is that desirable outcome? Showing them the door or helping them to the next stage.

For me, e.g. Bucky's advanced questions would be appropriate at the Action stage and true scotsman's line of questions (which are too advanced for me sometimes Blush ) might be more relevant at the Maintenance stage.

To the newer members, please note that I'm not saying any of this as a moderator (it's not in bold purple text), it's just my analysis of what I read.
The more seasoned veterans don't take me seriously anyway.

Opinions welcomed.

All in all, regarding his initial position ... he wasn't banned. This may have surprised him.

If he returns, I hope he gets the chance of having a one-on-one in the fireside chat/boxing ring as many of you chaps and chapesses are living proof that one can indeed be reasoned out of a position that one was not reasoned into.

Wink

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05-03-2016, 10:14 AM (This post was last modified: 05-03-2016 12:31 PM by Reltzik.)
RE: I am a Christian
Okay, VnN, since you didn't take me up on my offer of a one-on-one discussion, I'll join in here. Hang on, this is going to take a while to get caught up. I'm sure that regulars here will be shocked that I took a time to write such a long post.

(03-03-2016 01:14 AM)VoidAndNull Wrote:  I was viewing a particular thread about how a user was banned from christianChat.com, a website i dont care so much for, but i digress.

the person in the thread went about pumping his fist for getting banned for attacking the beliefs of another person as if a hero who had accomplished something.

are all atheist such that they would celebrate that they have caused a christian to view them as pushy, insulting and childish? i would hope not. where are the rational and worthwhile atheists who actually are worth talking to?

as a christian who wants to debate, i would only celebrate if one of the parties comes to a deeper understanding, and we mutually learn something worthwhile, or at least one of the parties debating.

Actually, in his post he said he was banned for "spreading disbelief", which is not necessarilly the same thing as attacking beliefs. But let's say that he was attacking beliefs... it's not confirmed, but it's not an implausible assumption. Here is her/his description of the exchange:

(06-08-2013 10:01 PM)atheistinhiding82 Wrote:  ... It started off with a bunch of them talking about needing God and Jesus for strength to get through hard times. I posited that all the strength anyone needs to get through hard times can be found within themselves and with supportive friends and family. Looking to an invisible skydaddy isn't necessary. They challenged me on my beliefs and I challenged back. They threw an article about Intelligent Design up and I was busy reading it and forming a rebuttal.

Then they took all my fun away and banned me.

Stinkers.

So. Self-reliance as a counter-point to divine assistance... not exactly an attack on a belief, but certainly expressing a dissimilar attitude. Some dismissive language, though I don't know if that was in the original at ChristianChat or just the summary here. Some mutual back-and-forth pushing. There's not enough here to decide whether to throw the yellow flag at one side, both sides, or neither side.

You might find it interesting to note that after the first page of that thread, some members of this form offered a bit of criticism. Some suggested that it was rude and others suggested that it was bad tactics. Of course, others got enthusiastic and formed a bandwagon, and the enthusiastic ones stuck around in the thread while the chiders went off to do something else.

But okay, let's be generous to your complaints and say that (s)he was attacking someone else's beliefs, and that (s)he was the instigator. It's quite plausible. So what? You formulated your OP with the tone that attacking someone's beliefs was inherently wrong, on the level of attacking a person. I would dispute that with three examples.

Example 1: A well-armed Klansman moves in next door and you (hypothetically being white, I don't know if you are but hypothetically) manage to establish a rapport as neighbors before learning about his racism. You realize that he genuinely believes in racial inferiority and a need for a race war to defend himself, his family, and his community. Within the framework of that belief he is doing a good thing for good reasons, but the falseness of his beliefs is twisting his good intentions to something that could be called outright evil. Is it wrong to attack that belief?

Example 2: A 9/11 Truther conspiracy theorist explains how Bush arranged a secret demolition of the WTC to instigate a war against Iraq. You have facts showing his belief to be false on many levels. He's not a public menace as in example 1, but he is still defaming and misleading as many people as will isten to him with his false beliefs. Are you wrong to attack these beliefs?

Example 3: A little girl explains to you that the moon is made of green cheese because her grandma said so. This belief isn't a menace as in example 1, and she isn't going to mislead many people as in example 2. Is it wrong to kindly explain that no, it's basically a big rock covered in dust, and we know this because we sent men there and they brought back rocks and dust rather than cheese? Isn't this attacking beliefs? Is it better to leave the child misinformed and in ignorance because of... because of what? Because it's cute when grandparents lie to children?

Note that in each of these cases it is the belief, and not the believer, being attacked. The hope is to expunge the false belief while leaving the believer intact, and even giving the believer an opportunity to learn and grow.

Of course, it would be reasonable to ask whether these examples are relevant to Christianity. We wouldn't want to engage in a false analogy, after all. Does Christianity have a track record of being harmful to its neighbors, of victimizing minorities and outsiders? Does Christianity regularly defame people and mislead anyone who will listen on the basis of flimsy or no evidence? Are the core claims of Christianity essentially fables passed down by each generation to its credulant progeny? Whether these analogies are fitting would be interesting discussions to have.

The ethics of attacking the belief are in a way tied to whether the belief is true... but not entirely. It is possible to attack beliefs in such a manner as to act as a proving grounds, such that true beliefs will withstand the attacks and false beliefs will not. This is called critical thinking, and we do it to our own beliefs as well as the beliefs of others, because we want to believe true things only. In a way, when I apply critical thinking to someone else's beliefs, it is a mark of respect. I consider their thoughts worth the time to analyze and critique them, on the possibility that they might withstand scrutiny and be worthy of acceptance and adoption. I consider the possibilities they raise to have at least enough merit to be given a fair hearing. And I consider the other person strong enough to witness that fair hearing, imagining in a perpetual state of over-optimism that they are just as interested as I in knowing if what they believe is right or wrong.

Beliefs are not people. Say whatever you will about that banned poster's conduct, attitude, invasiveness, or what have you. All of those might (and likely would, if we knew the details) be reasonable objects of complaints. But "attacking beliefs", if done in a reasonable manner, is just fine in my book.

(04-03-2016 04:06 AM)VoidAndNull Wrote:  so to say the world is young might just mean that it went through a period of hyper fluctuating time, when God created all mater. young or old becomes relative in that light.

... so leaving aside the accuracy of this science, does the word "young" even mean anything at this point? If not, what's the point of saying it? Isn't it meaningless -- LITERALLY without meaning -- to argue for a six-day creation if through relativity the word "day" can refer to any length of time you want?

(04-03-2016 04:22 AM)VoidAndNull Wrote:  Hmm. Well lets talk about atheism.

Atheism is a belief that there is no God, often based on observation of the known universe.

Theism is a belief that there is a God, often based on observation of the known universe.

Okay. I'm replying to these as I work through the thread, so I don't know as I type this how others have replied. I would like to think they've already said what I'm about to say, but experience suggests they might go umpteen-dozen pages without actually clarifying this point. So here we go.

There are multiple different definitions of the word "atheism" at work in common usage. You are using the word atheism in one sense -- an atheist is a person that believes there is no god. This is called "strong atheism" because it makes the bolder claim. Most -- though not all -- of us here fall under a different definition of atheism -- not believing there is a god, sometimes described as a lack of belief in god or an absence of a belief in god. It's a broader category known as "weak atheism" (despite, ironically, being much easier to defend).

In short, we're unconvinced.

(04-03-2016 04:22 AM)VoidAndNull Wrote:  Now I understand why Christians would want to share the gospel, as they believe that they have found something positive and necessary for humans to believe, but what is the isolated reason for atheist wanting to spread atheism?

this is in fact my argument: Atheists want others to be atheist because of a variety of reasons. The first reason I see is that they hate God, or the idea of God, because it goes against their instincts, core of who they are, or natural self.

That doesn't look like an argument. That looks like an assertion. To explain the difference: An argument is an assertion (called a conclusion) which is presented with an attempt to logically support it in more basic premises. What you've presented here is a naked assertion, absent the logical support of an argument. You've simply said THAT it is so, without saying why anyone should think it is so.

As Hitch once said, that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. ... of course, in my case, I DO have evidence. Yes, I hate the idea of a god, but not because it violates my sense of self in any way. I hate it because it has been at the root of much of the evil in human history, and continues to be so. I hate it because Bad Things happen when it is believed.

But when I go activist, I'm not really targeting the idea of a god. I'm targeting the idea of faith... and since apologists like to play equivocation word games with the multiple meanings of the word "faith", I will clarify that I mean faith in the sense of believing something on little evidence, on no evidence, or contrary to the evidence. That faith is the linchpin to believing in a god, Christian or otherwise, is a happy bonus, but faith itself (and not any god belief) is my target.

Still, that's a personal case about me. Other atheists will hate the concept of the Christian god for other reasons and base their activism on that. Still more will NOT hate it... just regard it as a curious bit of backwards absurdity akin to tossing salt over your shoulder if you spill it... and quite a few atheists AREN'T activists on the subject at all. These non-activist atheists are, because of their non-activism, not very noticeable, which might explain why (judging by your question's phrasing) you don't seem to have noticed them.

(04-03-2016 04:22 AM)VoidAndNull Wrote:  If this is true, the bible spells this out, saying that man is set against God, and it would make sense that the selfish arrogance in all of us would strike against the idea of God.

Scientology doctrine holds that people who attack Scientology are doing so in an attempt to cover up their own "crimes"... that EVERYONE who opposes Scientology is a criminal attempting this sort of cover-up. They will deploy this accusation as an "answer" to criticisms that their church is, say, blackmailing its most prominent spokespeople with embarrassing recordings of things said in confidence.

Take a moment and ask yourself. Does this make sense to you? Do you believe the Scientologist assertion that anyone who attacks the religion is doing so to hide their own crimes? If not, why not? Does this assertion convince you that the critiques of Scientology are invalid? No? Assuming your answer is no, take a moment -- now, before you read the next paragraph -- to formulate in words why you think this is nonsense. Jot it down on paper before you read on.

.

.

.

When you can articulate why you think this is nonsense and why Scientologists espousing this doctrine to confront their non-Scientologist critics is... well, so stupid it befuddles, you will understand how I regard your use of this particular Biblical teaching to this particular audience.

(04-03-2016 04:29 AM)VoidAndNull Wrote:  (continuing)

So, alternatively if there are other reasons, I'd like to know what they are.

Other things i can think of are that people just want to be on a team, want to believe something that is validated by other people. Then there would be a reason to want others to be atheistic.

i suppose in some cases there is a vendetta against Christians, or a theist, having been hurt by someone...

but none of this really strikes me as a good reason for atheist to be activists about atheism. so, my question to you, sir, is what reason do atheists have to want others to be atheists?

I am critical, but I am also honest, just so you know.

I'd say I have two prominent reasons, and it would be hard to address either in isolation.

The first is, I regard the belief in a god as without basis in evidence, as absurd, and as most likely false. The moon-is-green-cheese example from earlier.

The second is, I regard the beliefs as generating considerable harm to society and its members. I could expand on this... at length... and I mean at LENGTH... but this post is going to be long enough as is without writing a Tolstoy novel. Faith is in many ways a rabid beast, dangerous to everyone around it and especially to those who hold it.

Again, neither of these is an issue in isolation. I would not object to an established, true fact being widely believed, even if it motivated people to do bad things. I would not object strenuously to a silly, harmless fiction, even if I wouldn't hide my opinion that it is a silly fiction. It is the harmful fiction I oppose.

(04-03-2016 05:36 AM)VoidAndNull Wrote:  Atheism is a belief that there is not a God. Lack of opinion on the matter would be a non-belief non-system. If you state there is, or you state there isn't, either way its a belief system (that there is or there isn't a god).

Even under your usage of the word atheism (being, specifically, strong atheism, which is not the position of most of us here... so if you want to debate a strong atheist, you should probably go somewhere strong atheists hang out, just saying), this is not a belief system. A system involves multiple pieces combining together into an interlocking and cross-referencing whole. Atheism is a single position regarding a single assertion. It doesn't have enough parts to be a system.

(04-03-2016 05:36 AM)VoidAndNull Wrote:  If the burden of proof had been met, i do wonder would people continue to say it had not been met? If at a time in history people were dancing about and one guy said, "there is a God!" and someone replied "You are wrong!" and he said, "I will prove it. if there is a God then fire will rain down on this rock." then, at that time, there was a meteor that flew out of the sky and the rock was obliterated and burnt up, then the people there said "ok, we take it back" and then if it was recorded in 10 books, 2 of which still exist, the rest discounted, then, we get to today,....
(extremely long run on sentence intentional, lack of breath if spoken this way, almost comical)

thennnn... we would have met the burden of proof, it would be logical to say God is existent. But lets get real, if this was the case, if this was the truth that really happened, you would still be sitting here saying the burden of proof is not met.

however from my point of view, it is met in various forms, that proof is just rejected.

now, the observation that proves God's existence in my opinion is the existence of a logical universe. or more precisely, its our logical existence in a universe that tends to disorder over order.

but, i would like to put all these trivial arguments aside and focus on the meat of the issue.

Okay, I had a lot lined up to explain how that doesn't qualify as proof because it does not logically indicate a god over other possibilities, and also some fun mind-screwery about infinite regress, but sure, let's put those trivial arguments aside.

(04-03-2016 06:04 AM)VoidAndNull Wrote:  the word atheism ... comes from a- meaning without theos, or god.

You get my point i hope.

First of all, a literal breakdown of the grammatical construction of a word doesn't necessarily tell you what it means. If that were so, there would be no down button on elevators. (And if you live in a part of the English-speaking world that calls them "lifts", there would still be no down button.)

But it does work in this case, because there are two possible grammatical constructions of the word "atheism".

One, as you put forward, is (a-theos)-ism, meaning a belief or doctrine that the world is without gods. A-theos is constructed, and then modified by -ism, and then shortened from atheosism to atheism.

The other possible construction is a-(theos-ism), that is, without a belief or doctrine that gods exists. Theos-ism, the belief or doctrine that one or more gods DO exist, is constructed, and then shortened to "theism", and only then is the a- prefix is applied, to mean "without theism".

Just remember, there are two distinct types of atheism at work here. Strong atheism (claim that there is no god) and weak atheism (absence of a claim that there is). ... well okay, there's a lot more than just those two types, but that's the distinction I'm trying to highlight here.

Now we can quibble over what the word SHOULD mean, or we can try to get down to the concepts people are actually trying to convey with the word. If you focus on the latter, realize that most of us are weak atheists and THAT is the position we hold and advance, and stop insisting that no, the word atheism has to refer only to strong atheism, therefore we are all strong atheists even when we explicitly tell you that we aren't... once you do that, we can get down to arguing substance rather than presentation.

If it makes you feel better, here. From Wikipedia:

Quote:Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists.

Hmm, how about Oxford English Dictionary (online)?

Quote:Disbelief in, or denial of, the existence of a God. Also, Disregard of duty to God, godlessness (practical atheism).

Note the two options. Disbelief OR denial.

So what exactly is your basis for insisting that atheism can only be defined as denial, and can't be just disbelief?

(04-03-2016 01:09 PM)VoidAndNull Wrote:  but then, if i wanted to make the code able to take parts of itself, recombine with another code and then copy its program spreading itself, it would be beyond my ability given 30,000 years of working on it. i guess i could take that number and multiply it by infinity and maybe just maybe i could hope all this code will one day fall into place, but that would be silly.

What if you had a genetic algorithm to do it for you and ran it on a massive beowulf cluster larger than the Internet? You know, that whole evolution thing.

(04-03-2016 01:09 PM)VoidAndNull Wrote:  however, i have studied enough of biblical prophesy to see some of it come true in recent years. i would need to be convinced that of the proof i have seen for god, all of it was a fluke and my misunderstanding.

Let's put it this way. Ever since Revelations was codified and promulgated, people have been seeing signs of the end times in their present day. Christians were convinced that the world was going to end in the year 666. They were convinced that it was going to end in the year 1000, and that the 30 Years War was Armageddon. And again in World War 1. And that is a very, VERY abbreviated list.

Some Biblical prophesies are so vague that they are ALWAYS HAPPENING. Take, as one example, the signs of the end times that there will be wars and rumors of wars and earthquakes and mockers. Rome and Greece are tectonicly active locations. When has, say, a decade gone by and there NOT been an earthquake? Show me a single century in the Mediterranean where there was NOT a war or a rumor of a war. Show me a single century of Christianity's existence where it has not been mocked -- by Romans, or by North-European pagans, or by Muslims, or by someone else. Biblical prophesy is like an oversensitive car alarm. It's always sounding off, and so far it's never because someone is trying to break into the car. At some point you stop thinking it's legit... and get pissed off at the owner. And if the owner always calls the cops every time he hears the car alarm, everyone eventually thinks he's nuts on top of being irresponsible.

...

Okay, phew. Caught up... largely. I held off until now on addressing a few points you raised earlier on, because like DLJ I see this disconnect as a problem of epistemology.

If you're not familiar with epistemology, it's basically a philosophical study of knowledge. What counts as knowledge, when are we justified in saying we know something, et cetera.

The three questions I like to ask are: What do you (claim to) know, how did you come to that (claimed) knowledge, and is that method, generally speaking, a reliable means of arriving at the truth?

For example (which is not yet applicable to the positions you've expressed) might be someone saying they believe suchandsuch is true because their holy book says so. I can then ask whether taking a holy book at its word is a reliable method of arriving at the truth, and point to all the holy books from all the other religions which they disagree with. They might then say that no, it's not just any sacred text, it's The Bible, and that's the special case. I could then ask them how they know it's a special case. And if they ever did produce a reason for believing that was a reliable method, that would be at least the beginning of convincing me. (So far, they haven't.)

Now you have put forward a couple of flavors of cosmological and ontological argument, presented pretty vaguely. I'd like to ask for specific details on this. What do you believe, why do you believe it, and are your reasons for believing a reliable way to arrive at truth?
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05-03-2016, 10:20 AM
RE: I am a Christian
(05-03-2016 09:54 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(05-03-2016 08:14 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  When I hear someone say "I am a christian", immediately a price is paid in ill conceived laughter
...

If you are channeling Sam Harris there, I think it was "ill-concealed" laughter.

(05-03-2016 08:14 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  ... I know right away that I'm dealing with a gullible mind who probably can't be trusted to make rational decisions.
...

Like a child, perhaps?

(05-03-2016 08:14 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  ...
When you say "I am a christian", this tells me that something is wrong inside your brain."

Like the wrong apps have been uploaded into your necktop? (channeling Dan Dennett, there).

Many here have lived through that experience. Have you not?


OK. Maybe I'm seeing things a little differently having recently started doing some "community service" at a local school (I call it community service because we're in negotiation over how much they can afford to pay me so it's currently pro bono) so when I see "I am a christian", this tells me that they've been a victim of childhood indoctrination.

If they are still in the bubble, their assumptions and their questions will be naive. And I mean "naive" in the sense of 'natural' or 'innocent' rather than 'inept' although I think the latter does apply in this case.

Example:

(04-03-2016 04:22 AM)VoidAndNull Wrote:  ...
but what is the isolated reason for atheist wanting to spread atheism?

this is in fact my argument: Atheists want others to be atheist because of a variety of reasons. The first reason I see is that they hate God, or the idea of God, because it goes against their instincts, core of who they are, or natural self.
...
(breather for comments)
(04-03-2016 04:29 AM)VoidAndNull Wrote:  (continuing)

So, alternatively if there are other reasons, I'd like to know what they are.
...

No surprise that one reaction was:

(05-03-2016 07:32 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  ...
It was the claiming that Atheists hate god that really pissed me off though. He could seem to get his head around the fact that one can't hate what doesn't exist.
...

But what if the wording had been less naive? Like...
"The first reason I see is that they hate God, or [perhaps more accurately] the idea of God..."

Peeb spotted that this was probably what was going on:

(05-03-2016 12:31 AM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  ...
The written word loses a lot of nuance and really only the masterful few can put the exact words onto medium to incite those exact same feelings in the reader.
...

Our different reactions / responses no doubt depended on whether we thought he was genuine in the search for deeper understanding as he claimed to be.

Also they probably were influenced by our assessment of the state of doxastic openness and what level of contemplation was portrayed/identified.

From Peter Boghossian's A Manual for Creating Atheists page 85:

Quote:The Transtheoretical Model of change states that behavioural change occurs in a series of stages..." [Personally, I think it's more of a continuum but thinking in categories, or stages, is useful for analysis]:
  • Precontemplation (not ready to change)
  • Contemplation (getting ready to change)
  • Preparation (ready to change)
  • Action (changing)
  • Maintenance (sustaining change)
  • Termination (change completed)

What reasons do we have for not taking an individual at their word... our own previous experiences or the evidence as it's presented to us?

I saw this one as somewhere around the Contemplation stage (or perhaps on the verge of it) or else why take the 'probing us' approach rather than the 'all-out preacher' approach. I think that Commonsensei and others in the early pages saw it the same way. Kim mentioned "baby steps" and honestly, I'd never disagree with Kim (I'm way too chicken).

Others, no doubt, saw it as the Precontemplation stage.

If so, what would be the best approach to achieve a desirable outcome.
And what is that desirable outcome? Showing them the door or helping them to the next stage.

For me, e.g. Bucky's advanced questions would be appropriate at the Action stage and true scotsman's line of questions (which are too advanced for me sometimes Blush ) might be more relevant at the Maintenance stage.

To the newer members, please note that I'm not saying any of this as a moderator (it's not in bold purple text), it's just my analysis of what I read.
The more seasoned veterans don't take me seriously anyway.

Opinions welcomed.

All in all, regarding his initial position ... he wasn't banned. This may have surprised him.

If he returns, I hope he gets the chance of having a one-on-one in the fireside chat/boxing ring as many of you chaps and chapesses are living proof that one can indeed be reasoned out of a position that one was not reasoned into.

Wink

Thanks to all and especially to you DLJ, if he was at the contemplation phase I feel bad for not giving him more of a chance but as you said I was pretty convinced that he was at the precontemplation phase or at least retreated to it. In future I will try to be more measured in my responses in the hope that something from more experienced members gets passed the god filter, I guess we live and learn.
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05-03-2016, 10:22 AM
RE: I am a Christian
(05-03-2016 09:54 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(05-03-2016 08:14 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  When I hear someone say "I am a christian", immediately a price is paid in ill conceived laughter
...

If you are channeling Sam Harris there, I think it was "ill-concealed" laughter.

(05-03-2016 08:14 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  ... I know right away that I'm dealing with a gullible mind who probably can't be trusted to make rational decisions.
...

Like a child, perhaps?

(05-03-2016 08:14 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  ...
When you say "I am a christian", this tells me that something is wrong inside your brain."

Like the wrong apps have been uploaded into your necktop? (channeling Dan Dennett, there).

Many here have lived through that experience. Have you not?


OK. Maybe I'm seeing things a little differently having recently started doing some "community service" at a local school (I call it community service because we're in negotiation over how much they can afford to pay me so it's currently pro bono) so when I see "I am a christian", this tells me that they've been a victim of childhood indoctrination.

If they are still in the bubble, their assumptions and their questions will be naive. And I mean "naive" in the sense of 'natural' or 'innocent' rather than 'inept' although I think the latter does apply in this case.

Example:

(04-03-2016 04:22 AM)VoidAndNull Wrote:  ...
but what is the isolated reason for atheist wanting to spread atheism?

this is in fact my argument: Atheists want others to be atheist because of a variety of reasons. The first reason I see is that they hate God, or the idea of God, because it goes against their instincts, core of who they are, or natural self.
...
(breather for comments)
(04-03-2016 04:29 AM)VoidAndNull Wrote:  (continuing)

So, alternatively if there are other reasons, I'd like to know what they are.
...

No surprise that one reaction was:

(05-03-2016 07:32 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  ...
It was the claiming that Atheists hate god that really pissed me off though. He could seem to get his head around the fact that one can't hate what doesn't exist.
...

But what if the wording had been less naive? Like...
"The first reason I see is that they hate God, or [perhaps more accurately] the idea of God..."

Peeb spotted that this was probably what was going on:

(05-03-2016 12:31 AM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  ...
The written word loses a lot of nuance and really only the masterful few can put the exact words onto medium to incite those exact same feelings in the reader.
...

Our different reactions / responses no doubt depended on whether we thought he was genuine in the search for deeper understanding as he claimed to be.

Also they probably were influenced by our assessment of the state of doxastic openness and what level of contemplation was portrayed/identified.

From Peter Boghossian's A Manual for Creating Atheists page 85:

Quote:The Transtheoretical Model of change states that behavioural change occurs in a series of stages..." [Personally, I think it's more of a continuum but thinking in categories, or stages, is useful for analysis]:
  • Precontemplation (not ready to change)
  • Contemplation (getting ready to change)
  • Preparation (ready to change)
  • Action (changing)
  • Maintenance (sustaining change)
  • Termination (change completed)

What reasons do we have for not taking an individual at their word... our own previous experiences or the evidence as it's presented to us?

I saw this one as somewhere around the Contemplation stage (or perhaps on the verge of it) or else why take the 'probing us' approach rather than the 'all-out preacher' approach. I think that Commonsensei and others in the early pages saw it the same way. Kim mentioned "baby steps" and honestly, I'd never disagree with Kim (I'm way too chicken).

Others, no doubt, saw it as the Precontemplation stage.

If so, what would be the best approach to achieve a desirable outcome.
And what is that desirable outcome? Showing them the door or helping them to the next stage.

For me, e.g. Bucky's advanced questions would be appropriate at the Action stage and true scotsman's line of questions (which are too advanced for me sometimes Blush ) might be more relevant at the Maintenance stage.

To the newer members, please note that I'm not saying any of this as a moderator (it's not in bold purple text), it's just my analysis of what I read.
The more seasoned veterans don't take me seriously anyway.

Opinions welcomed.

All in all, regarding his initial position ... he wasn't banned. This may have surprised him.

If he returns, I hope he gets the chance of having a one-on-one in the fireside chat/boxing ring as many of you chaps and chapesses are living proof that one can indeed be reasoned out of a position that one was not reasoned into.

Wink

Interesting post.

A pre-contemplation stage implies a contemplation stage does it not?

Did you get the feeling that he would eventually contemplate conversion to atheism because I certainly didn't.

It seemed as though he visited our jolly forum to confirm his superiority over us 'poor old atheists - the ones without god - the misguided ones - the ones who hate god'.

He claimed that he came to understand. It seemed to me that he'd already made up his mind and came to confirm his incorrect beliefs and inflect them on us.

The issue was though that he started out badly but later, he fell away.Facepalm Redefining atheism and dimensions wasn't the wisest of actions methinks.

He's probably gone away to tell all his friends about those nasty Atheists.

Pity really because by asking questions he'd have achieved much more.

There again, what was he hoping to achieve? To confirm that Atheists are nasty? If so, then QED.

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05-03-2016, 10:29 AM
RE: I am a Christian
(05-03-2016 09:54 AM)DLJ Wrote:  OK. Maybe I'm seeing things a little differently having recently started doing some "community service" at a local school (I call it community service because we're in negotiation over how much they can afford to pay me so it's currently pro bono) so when I see "I am a christian", this tells me that they've been a victim of childhood indoctrination.

Saying I'm religious equals or nearly equals saying I was indoctrinated I think.

(05-03-2016 09:54 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Our different reactions / responses no doubt depended on whether we thought he was genuine in the search for deeper understanding as he claimed to be.

I don't think that he wanted to deepen his understanding. Take his words about atheism being a belief for example. It's not uncommon for theists to think so and it's not inconceivable to think that clergy says them such. But claiming that it is so after repeated answers making it clear that atheism is something else does not strike me as behavior of someone willing to learn.

(05-03-2016 09:54 AM)DLJ Wrote:  And what is that desirable outcome? Showing them the door or helping them to the next stage.

In this case I think desirable outcome is showing the door. Discussion can't really be called such without both parties being intellectually equal and open to changing one mind and preconceptions about certain things. There I saw no intellectual parity, only deserved verbal spanking of another indoctrinated christian who believe too strongly to be capable of something else than monologue.

(05-03-2016 09:54 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Opinions welcomed.

To save one life is to save entire world, so to illuminate one is to illuminate everyone? Perhaps, but I don't see the point. If someone does not appear as willing to learn/change/honestly discuss then why waste time?

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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05-03-2016, 10:41 AM
RE: I am a Christian
(05-03-2016 10:20 AM)adey67 Wrote:  
(05-03-2016 09:54 AM)DLJ Wrote:  If you are channeling Sam Harris there, I think it was "ill-concealed" laughter.


Like a child, perhaps?


Like the wrong apps have been uploaded into your necktop? (channeling Dan Dennett, there).

Many here have lived through that experience. Have you not?


OK. Maybe I'm seeing things a little differently having recently started doing some "community service" at a local school (I call it community service because we're in negotiation over how much they can afford to pay me so it's currently pro bono) so when I see "I am a christian", this tells me that they've been a victim of childhood indoctrination.

If they are still in the bubble, their assumptions and their questions will be naive. And I mean "naive" in the sense of 'natural' or 'innocent' rather than 'inept' although I think the latter does apply in this case.

Example:


No surprise that one reaction was:


But what if the wording had been less naive? Like...
"The first reason I see is that they hate God, or [perhaps more accurately] the idea of God..."

Peeb spotted that this was probably what was going on:


Our different reactions / responses no doubt depended on whether we thought he was genuine in the search for deeper understanding as he claimed to be.

Also they probably were influenced by our assessment of the state of doxastic openness and what level of contemplation was portrayed/identified.

From Peter Boghossian's A Manual for Creating Atheists page 85:


What reasons do we have for not taking an individual at their word... our own previous experiences or the evidence as it's presented to us?

I saw this one as somewhere around the Contemplation stage (or perhaps on the verge of it) or else why take the 'probing us' approach rather than the 'all-out preacher' approach. I think that Commonsensei and others in the early pages saw it the same way. Kim mentioned "baby steps" and honestly, I'd never disagree with Kim (I'm way too chicken).

Others, no doubt, saw it as the Precontemplation stage.

If so, what would be the best approach to achieve a desirable outcome.
And what is that desirable outcome? Showing them the door or helping them to the next stage.

For me, e.g. Bucky's advanced questions would be appropriate at the Action stage and true scotsman's line of questions (which are too advanced for me sometimes Blush ) might be more relevant at the Maintenance stage.

To the newer members, please note that I'm not saying any of this as a moderator (it's not in bold purple text), it's just my analysis of what I read.
The more seasoned veterans don't take me seriously anyway.

Opinions welcomed.

All in all, regarding his initial position ... he wasn't banned. This may have surprised him.

If he returns, I hope he gets the chance of having a one-on-one in the fireside chat/boxing ring as many of you chaps and chapesses are living proof that one can indeed be reasoned out of a position that one was not reasoned into.

Wink

Thanks to all and especially to you DLJ, if he was at the contemplation phase I feel bad for not giving him more of a chance but as you said I was pretty convinced that he was at the precontemplation phase or at least retreated to it. In future I will try to be more measured in my responses in the hope that something from more experienced members gets passed the god filter, I guess we live and learn.

Adey67

I liked your post. It shows measure and humility. However, I'm fairly sure that VaN was not here to learn about us Atheists. He made far too many statements about our supposed beliefs and asked far too few questions for that to be the case.

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05-03-2016, 10:45 AM
RE: I am a Christian
(05-03-2016 10:22 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  ...
Interesting post.

A pre-contemplation stage implies a contemplation stage does it not?

Did you get the feeling that he would eventually contemplate conversion to atheism because I certainly didn't.

It seemed as though he visited our jolly forum to confirm his superiority over us 'poor old atheists - the ones without god - the misguided ones - the ones who hate god'.

He claimed that he came to understand. It seemed to me that he'd already made up his mind and came to confirm his incorrect beliefs and inflect them on us.

The issue was though that he started out badly but later, he fell away.Facepalm Redefining atheism and dimensions wasn't the wisest of actions methinks.

He's probably gone away to tell all his friends about those nasty Atheists.

Pity really because by asking questions he'd have achieved much more.

There again, what was he hoping to achieve? To confirm that Atheists are nasty? If so, then QED.

A precontemplation stage does imply that there is contemplation stage ... just that he wasn't in it.

No, I did not get the impression that "he would eventually contemplate conversion to atheism" just that he was ready to ask questions. Evidenced by ... him asking questions.

He certainly did have some unusually unscientific notions. I wonder how those came about?

He had questions. They were ill-formed and insulting but was he aware of that or is this just a result of living in a bubble?

All I'm asking, if your analysis is correct, and I accept that you may well be a better judge of character than I (it's not one of my strengths), is what would be the best approach to move him from precontemplative to contemplative?

This assumes, of course, that that would be a desirable outcome.

Do you think we did a good a job at confirming his opinions about nasty atheists?

Tongue

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