"I was a christian", theist argument.
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07-10-2015, 12:18 PM
RE: "I was a christian", theist argument.
My thoughts as I watched the video (and frequently paused to type this out).

0:05: Okay, Eric. Fair's fair. If when atheists say they used to be Christians, you want to challenge that? Fine. Cool. I'll let you. (Also, you've already done it and it's on YouTube, so obviously I can't stop you.) But since turnabout's fair play, when you say that you ARE a Christian, I get to challenge that. You're cool with that, right? Golden rule and all that jazz? You wouldn't be doing to someone else something you wouldn't want done to you? You wouldn't? Great! Here, I'll do it with one hand figuratively tied behind my back. I'll only challenge your Christianity against the same yardstick that you challenge the atheists' former Christianity, rather than bringing in some yardstick that you don't introduce. This will ensure that I'm judging you by your own standard of Christianity rather than one of the other myriads of standards out there.

"To say 'I used to be a Christian' assumes that God does exist. You could instead say 'I used to be delusional.' That would be consistent with what your world view is now saying. But you cannot say, 'I used to be a Christian'." Oh, wow. I didn't think you'd shoot yourself in the foot THAT quickly, Eric. Okay, since God DOESN'T exist, you are delusional and not, in fact, a Christian. Professing Christian, yes. Actual Christian? No such thing, apparently. Like unicorns and God, Christians don't actually exist. Now if you'd provide good (emphasis: GOOD) evidence that God exists, rather than just assuming God does while simultaneously accusing us of merely assuming that God doesn't, we'd be getting somewhere. You could probably make a case for Christians existing, and also win back some of those wayward atheists. But since you won't and can't do that, we're on equal footing, right down to apparently making "assumptions" about God's existence, and I can employ the very same standard to say that you're not a Christian that you use to say that former atheists are not Christians.

... that was kinda disappointing. A first-round knock-out leaves the crowd wondering why they bought their tickets. So okay, let's pick up my imaginary straw-man Eric Hovind (yes, I know, but for some reason the real one doesn't want to be here on this forum... at least I'm honest about it and actually sticking with his views as he presents them), brush him off, and have round 2.

The wife wasn't real argument: Yeah, the difference is that you haven't realized that YOUR wife isn't real yet. That's okay, you're still walking off my last punch, I'll give you a light test jab while you get your feet under you again.

The Bible is very clear about this: Oh, gee. Quoting Paul. What. A. Shock. Someone fetch the salts, I think I might faint from surprise.

Okay. First of all, Paul was a nutter and I'm not taking his words as authoritative. That's how it's possible to claim one used to be a Christian. But we're not going to find common ground on that so let's move on to something we CAN find common ground on.

Those that left us were never among us? WOW! You'd think someone would have noticed that they were never among us while they seemed to be among us! Okay, fine, if they're delusional they might think they're among us when they weren't among us. But what about all the rest of the "us" who somehow think they're among us? You're judging using post-hoc information, the atheist's eventual departure from the flock, something that apparently NO ONE knew... not even the eventual atheist... at the time that the atheist was among us but not really among us.

Let's say that you'll eventually go through a deconversion experience too. I don't know that YOU will, but SOMEONE will, so let's hypothetically say it's you. RIGHT NOW you believe, or at least believe you believe so strongly that if anyone asked, even if you asked yourself, you'd say that you believe. Similarly, the people around you and your internet fans believe that you believe. You've given them no sign that you don't believe, no sign that you won't believe in the future, and for some reason (hint: NOT EXISTING!) God hasn't revealed to any of them that you're actually a false Christian. In the future, all of that will become known as you become a none, but for now no one, not even you, realizes it will happen.

Are you a Christian? APPARENTLY NOT! ... except you apparently are. You aren't a Christian, and yet to the ability of anyone to determine, including yourself, you are indistinguishable from a true Christian.

Who can say with confidence that ANYONE is a Christian with this standard in play? Can you say that your father is a Christian, if he might deconvert two years from now? NO! Because he wouldn't really have been among you! Can you say it of your pastor? Of the Pope? Even yourself? No! You can't know it! You might never have been among... well, you. Because for all you know, you will have a deconversion experience sometime later in your life, and that will mean you were never a true Christian to begin with! Perhaps EVERYONE IN YOUR CHURCH will deconvert eventually, and you are among people NONE of which who are among you! (YES, I TORTURE BABY GRAMMARS FOR FUN!)

In other words, when you say that you're a Christian, I should believe it EXACTLY AS STRONGLY as I should have believed that the former atheist was a Christian when he was professing that he was a Christian.

... okay, it's not exactly the same knockout punch that I got in Round 1, but it's completely dismantled any confidence we might put into your claim of being a Christian, and the judges ought to award some points for that. Meanwhile, let's get some actuaries in here evaluating how many currently professing Christians will deconvert before they die, because apparently our estimates on the number of Christians in the world are drastically overstated for reasons beyond poll respondents not knowing the alternatives and churches refusing to strike people from their rosters.

Did you have a relationship with Jesus Christ: This is just rehashing the same "delusional" argument again. Your opponent was never a Christian... and neither are you, because if some historical Jesus ever did exist he's almost two thousand years dead, his words have been drastically distorted by a horrifically unreliable chain of custody, and you don't have a relationship outside of your own delusions either. You just haven't realized that your wife doesn't exist! Okay, guess you either didn't learn your lesson or you forgot it due to a heavy blow to the head. Let's see if this second knock-out taught you better. (Probably not, you're prerecorded on YouTube and not actually reading this.)

Also, given the wet noodle you're... interviewing? debating? ... I no longer feel guilty about the straw man treatment. At least straw has SOME firmness. This guy's not even al dente.

Feelings don't matter. What I'm talking about is what is true: GREAT! Let's see your evidence that you actually had a relationship with oh wait that's just feelings and Bible nevermind.

Okay, I'm up to 1:40 and I'm getting bored now. It's just the same thing repeated over and over with that annoying Eric Hovind extroverted enthusiasm that mainly seems to work by beating your brain into shutting down. Stopping here.

I've had a recent change of heart on the subject of bad apologetic. I used to hate it because of this.

[Image: duty_calls.png]

But now I love seeing them, because I realize that you aren't speaking to the actual issues that make people leave. You aren't actually fixing the broken gate that's allowing the sheep (and goats that were never truly among them?) to escape. You either refuse to see them or refuse to publicly admit that they're there. Either way, you are forfeiting the opportunity to actually address their doubters, critics, and those of wavering faith. You might think you're accomplishing something, Eric, and you are. What you're accomplishing is to signal that you're just as clueless as the doubters in your fold think you are, in favor of attacking a straw man that doesn't actually represent your doubters' doubts but which you are comfortable enough to admit exists. (Tu quoque! Tu quoque!) As long as you keep doing this, as long as you refuse to face squarely the factors behind deconversion, you won't staunch Christianity's hemorrhaging numbers. As someone who wants to see your religion die, Eric, let me recommend to you in the strongest terms possible that you keep doing exactly what you're doing.
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07-10-2015, 12:33 PM
RE: "I was a christian", theist argument.
(07-10-2015 11:47 AM)Commonsensei Wrote:  She constantly is accusing me of wanting to be a Mormon. Mostly because one day someone left a Book of Mormon on the hood of my car and I decided to read it instead of throwing it away. I've also been also thinking of getting a Quran, and Bhagwad Gita. But being poor I've stuck with the on-line versions.

Don't forget your Aqdas and Iqan, your Grunth, or your choice of Tripitakas.

If you actually go to a church/temple/etc and ask you'll almost certainly be able to walk away with a free copy, but, that's probably not easy to actually do, with more obscure religions...

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07-10-2015, 01:50 PM
RE: "I was a christian", theist argument.
(07-10-2015 11:35 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Still, when they claim they 'had faith' in science and evolution (Cameron), even then they clearly weren't atheists for the same reasons most of us share. I don't think there is a single person here that would claim to 'have faith' that evolution is true. Because we don't need faith, evolution is evidently true.

So they were atheists that didn’t talk or sound like you? So what. There’s all sorts of atheists that don’t talk or sound like you.

Like this atheist philosopher dude: “I have taken a leap of atheist faith.”

Most of you wouldn’t be caught dead talking that jive, but he’s as authentic as an atheists as it comes.

Most people here wouldn’t talk like that because they tend to come from a similar backgrounds, and found themselves in a respective internet community, and cultural phenomena that’s developed it own language, and decorum, so mottos and slogans become acquired and repeated. But those atheists outside of this phenomenon are likely to speak a bit different than you.

Quote:So it seems like only theistic charlatans trying to sell bullshit ever claim to be former atheists, and then talk about it is ways that atheists never talk about their lack of belief. Which makes sense if they're just telling a lie to sell something to fellow credulous believers.

There are plenty of theists peddling books, in which they proclaim to be former atheists. There’s also plenty of books written by atheists, proclaiming to be former theists as well, some even on a pastoral track, like our Matt Dillahunty. So you say you were a former believer? Well I was a former unbeliever myself, but I can’t say either of us are trying to sell something. Nor could we say that what form of believer your were, or whatever form of unbeliever I was, that there’s any real parallel between us.

You could say that whatever form of atheism those believers held, it has very little resemblance to your own unbelief, and I think that’s accurate, but it would also be accurate for the most part to say that whatever form of believer you were, is unlikely to resemble the sort of beliefs held by those committed theists that appear here so often. If they did share a great deal in common, we’d all be just a stones throw away from becoming each other.

Quote:What is unclear? Most people build their beliefs upon evidence, but not everyone knows what constitutes good evidence. Not everyone is aware that hearsay is terrible evidence, and even less care enough to educate themselves in the evaluation of evidence. I don't doubt that many, if not most, theists think their belief is justified by evidence. I only posit that most all of them don't know what good evidence is (vast majority), do and yet compartmentalize their faith (Dr. Ken Miller, Nobel laureate Francis Collins), or are honest in their faith sans evidence (our own KingsChosen).

The only thing true for any person that transitioned from belief to unbelief, or vice verse, is that one day they believed, and one day they didn’t. And the reasons they provide for this transition, are nothing more than carefully pruned half-truths, a series of justifications formulated after the fact. A point that should be evident to us folks who don’t subscribe to free-will. You didn’t choose to not believe, you were pushed one day not to, by all sorts of factors beyond some billboard or book you might have read. One day you found yourself in a church, and felt uneasy, and unable to identify with those singing and devoted parishioners, those things that one time seemed so attractive became distasteful. Perhaps accompanied by a distaste for the very idea of a subjectively lived and observed life, and attraction to the notion of living an objectively observed one.

We’d like to say to ourselves it was all product of some careful considerations, but that’s more fantasy, than truth.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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07-10-2015, 02:07 PM
RE: "I was a christian", theist argument.
(07-10-2015 11:01 AM)Iñigo Wrote:  Seeking the truth, I have a question for you. Have evangelical missionaries descended on Puerto Rico in droves? Just asking since the title of the video is in Spanish and the subtitles makes me wonder if it is evangelicals targeting people in Puerto Rico like they are all over Latin America.

As much I can remember Puerto Rico is full with evangelicals, there's a lot of fundamentalist here. They tend to do a lot of preaching here. There are more evangelicals than catholics, which is quite uncommon considering that catholicism is the main religion in Latin America.

"Skepticism is the first step towards truth" -Denis Diderot
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07-10-2015, 02:26 PM
RE: "I was a christian", theist argument.
(07-10-2015 01:50 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  So they were atheists that didn’t talk or sound like you? So what. There’s all sorts of atheists that don’t talk or sound like you.

There are all sorts, rather.

(07-10-2015 01:50 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Like this atheist philosopher dude: “I have taken a leap of atheist faith.”

Most of you wouldn’t be caught dead talking that jive, but he’s as authentic as an atheists as it comes.

Well, that's a pretty good misrepresentation of what he's saying...

(07-10-2015 01:50 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  You could say that whatever form of atheism those believers held, it has very little resemblance to your own unbelief, and I think that’s accurate, but it would also be accurate for the most part to say that whatever form of believer you were, is unlikely to resemble the sort of beliefs held by those committed theists that appear here so often. If they did share a great deal in common, we’d all be just a stones throw away from becoming each other.

A ludicrous contention - but I can see why it's convenient for you to tell yourself so. Can we take it for given that we cannot, in fact, directly perceive another's thoughts? Yes? Okay - how might we understand what they claim to think and believe? Only, necessarily, through how they express themselves. Unless there exists good reason to suppose them dishonest, it would seem better to take them at their word.

As concerns popular apologetics works I have never encountered a professing former atheist whose stated beliefs and justifications resemble my own. What I have seen in abundance is former theists whose representation of their former outlook is indistinguishable from current theists, in details, in rhetoric, in experience, and in justification. Not least of all in the way some explicitly identify their desire to participate in discussions of religion and apologetics as motivation for the learning process that led to their deconversion.

Perhaps you have examples to the contrary. I don't pretend to know every possible account on the topic.

(07-10-2015 01:50 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  And the reasons they provide for this transition, are nothing more than carefully pruned half-truths, a series of justifications formulated after the fact. A point that should be evident to us folks who don’t subscribe to free-will. You didn’t choose to not believe, you were pushed one day not to, by all sorts of factors beyond some billboard or book you might have read.

That such beliefs are not chosen by no means implies that one cannot come to know one's own thought processes. It's rather dishonest to argue otherwise.
(not least because it's once again pretending you know the minds of others better than what they themselves express - didn't we agree not to do that?)

Unless you think all introspection is impossible? That's an option, I guess...

(07-10-2015 01:50 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  One day you found yourself in a church, and felt uneasy, and unable to identify with those singing and devoted parishioners, those things that one time seemed so attractive became distasteful. Perhaps accompanied by a distaste for the very idea of a subjectively lived and observed life, and attraction to the notion of living an objectively observed one.

If I present made up anecdotes I too can make all sorts of things seem true.

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08-10-2015, 06:44 AM
RE: "I was a christian", theist argument.
(07-10-2015 02:26 PM)cjlr Wrote:  //Well, that's a pretty good misrepresentation of what he's saying...


I’m not too sure how an exact quote could be a misrepresentation.

Can we take it for given that we cannot, in fact, directly perceive another's thoughts? Yes? Okay - how might we understand what they claim to think and believe?

If human minds can understand quantum physics, how the universe was formed billions of years ago, understanding other minds shouldn’t be that hard. People reveal all sorts of tell-tale signs, all sorts of predictable behaviors, that if two people hold a series of common beliefs, and somewhat shared worldview, values, etc…, you’d likely find out that they also had similar background histories as well. And the better you know yourself the better you know others. The better you understand the features of your own mental states, the better you understand their appearances in others who share them.

Quote:Unless there exists good reason to suppose them dishonest, it would seem better to take them at their word[…]Unless you think all introspection is impossible? That's an option, I guess…

They’re not dishonest. They’ve just been misled by their introspection and consciousness, overestimating the capacities of each, imagining them as the drivers of their lives, rather than passengers. Most people believe in free-will, are they being dishonest? of course not. Do we say we should take them at their word, since their introspection led them to this belief? Of course not. If you were more consistent with these factors we likely already agree on, we really wouldn’t be arguing here.

Introspection is not impossible, but when asking the question of how you truly got from point A to point B, your introspection is misleading you if you think it was through a series of propositional exchanges in your head. Even when it comes to moral behavior, though we invest a lot in moral reasoning, the correlation between moral reasoning and proactive moral behavior is virtually nonexistent.

The only fact is that one day you believed, and one day you didn’t. And those clean stories we tell of how we got there, are just stories, ones we’re inclined to believe because we value the fictitious powers of our autonomy. A true account of how you got from point A to be point B, would be one that’s the same for all movements, that it was a product of a series of physical forces, and in this case one’s acting on your physical brain. Your history revealing more about this movement, than those beliefs your introspection led you to hold. And like all history, as opposed to those clean and polished tales we tell our sleeves, it’s messy, and never simple.

Why do I believe, and why do you not believe? It’s not a question of education, knowledge or agreement with the conclusions of a series of scientific observations. It’s because we lived two different lives, one that pushed you to where you are today, and pushed me to where I am today. Our relationship with our parents, etc… more a deciding factor in who we are, then reading the God Delusion.

Quote:That such beliefs are not chosen by no means implies that one cannot come to know one's own thought processes. It's rather dishonest to argue otherwise.

Perhaps people can know their own thought process, but if they assume what their intuitions mislead them into believing that they have choices, and freewill, believe their thoughts are how they navigate their lives, as opposed to making sense of it, and that their thoughts make choices, then their understanding of their own thought processes will be entirely faulty.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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08-10-2015, 07:07 AM
RE: "I was a christian", theist argument.
Theists have a real problem accepting the fact that there are those of us who took a closer look at our religious beliefs, and realized they were bullshit. It suggests to them that maybe they believe bullshit too!!

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08-10-2015, 07:40 AM (This post was last modified: 08-10-2015 07:49 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: "I was a christian", theist argument.
(08-10-2015 07:07 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Theists have a real problem accepting the fact that there are those of us who took a closer look at our religious beliefs, and realized they were bullshit. It suggests to them that maybe they believe bullshit too!!

When did you start taking a closer look? What led you to take a closer look in the first place?

What where the preliminary things you recognized upon this closer look, prior to actually rejecting Christianity all together? What did those pubescent doubts consists of?

Was your former Christianity, the fundie evangelical variety? Where your feelings for those you attended church with changing as well at that point in which you started taking a closer look?

How do you currently feel about those folks you attended church with, your old pastor? You religious parents, and friends? If the feelings are primarily negative, were they already forming as negative when the thought of taking a closer look arose in your head?

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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08-10-2015, 08:05 AM
RE: "I was a christian", theist argument.
(06-10-2015 11:36 PM)Seeking_Truth Wrote:  Recently I saw this video (you can disable annotations if you wish) where there's a debate between a christian and an atheist. During this debate, the christian said that atheist where never true christians, because they really didn't had a relationship with god. Alse said that if they say they had one but later changed their minds it means that they accept god is real.

I have a problem with this argument, especially because it can also apply for any other religion. A islamist, or krishna former follower never had a relationship with their respective deities, and if they say they did then are asserting the existence of their respectives deities. And of course that doesn't proof anything.

Besides, that's their definition of christianity, you have to accept the bible in order to accept this biblical definition. But as non-believer, the bible isn't valid.

Another point, you can't compare a relationship of marriage which involves a real person to a relationship with your imaginary friend. Just because you think you're close to that entity doesn't make real.

What more can you say against this argument?


Of course an atheist may have formally been a born again, "true" Christian. Many of the people at TTA are saved. They are just bitter and in denial. Healing is available, you know!

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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08-10-2015, 08:13 AM
RE: "I was a christian", theist argument.
not another no true Scotsman fallacy AGAIN

I'm getting tired of the same old arguments
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