"I was a christian", theist argument.
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08-10-2015, 08:30 AM
RE: "I was a christian", theist argument.
(08-10-2015 08:05 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(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 agree there are many people in denial... you just need to demonstrate a manner of how to consistently show what constitutes denial.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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08-10-2015, 08:35 AM
RE: "I was a christian", theist argument.
(07-10-2015 02:07 PM)Seeking_Truth Wrote:  
(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.

Not anymore. There are some countries where they are starting to outnumber catholics.
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08-10-2015, 08:36 AM
RE: "I was a christian", theist argument.
(07-10-2015 02:07 PM)Seeking_Truth Wrote:  
(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.
Puerto Rico is officially a Roman Catholic country with over 80 percent baptized persons. But in reality most Catholics don't give a shit about religion. So in practice evangelicals are the active Christians in the island.

Religion is bullshit. The winner of the last person to post wins thread.Yes
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08-10-2015, 08:39 AM
RE: "I was a christian", theist argument.
(08-10-2015 08:35 AM)Iñigo Wrote:  
(07-10-2015 02:07 PM)Seeking_Truth Wrote:  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.

Not anymore. There are some countries where they are starting to outnumber catholics.

Latin America is a nominally Roman Catholic region but again Catholicism in Latin America is dying because most baptized Catholics don't give a shit about religion. And some portion is converting to Protestantism.

Religion is bullshit. The winner of the last person to post wins thread.Yes
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08-10-2015, 09:41 AM
RE: "I was a christian", theist argument.
(07-10-2015 01:50 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  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.

I disagree. I know for sure there was one person I know who published a book via a christian vanity press who basically said he was an atheist -- which wasn't true. His book played well in church circles.

Before that I'll admit I always kinda figured they stretched the truth. But what was written in that book (allegedly a memoir) were just outright lies.

While I can't be completely certain, I think the main motivation was business -- which from what I can gather was hurting before the book and flourished after. Of course there was a lengthy blurb about him too, effectively pitching his business.

I'll admit I've read far more books alleging the former atheist becoming Christian book....because those stories give so much hope to family members when they believe someone has become "lost".

Aside from using the word "atheist," I didn't see any parallels between me and them.

People who have never given god/church/whatever, much thought or the people who did have bad things happen to them and briefly for a time hated god...didn't resonate with me in the least.

Nor did the book I read once who again claimed they were atheist (again, not giving god much thought doesn't really make an atheist) until they married a good catholic girl and saw the light.

Personally, I think they use the term atheist because it's becoming more popular as atheism becomes more visible. I think some might confuse the term secular with atheist at times. Because atheist plays and sounds better.

I've read more stories here from atheists who did seem to be heavily indoctrinated and moved away from it. Those resonate with me....especially the ones who have said to take many years or decades.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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08-10-2015, 10:05 AM
RE: "I was a christian", theist argument.
(08-10-2015 07:40 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(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?

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

Senior year of high school into college. A minister said some really stupid shit, then realized it was straight from the bible. Realized bible was some really stupid shit.

"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?"

Christianity was inconsistent with reality and needed special pleading and faith to be believed in, no rational mind would ever do so. They weren't pubescent, I was thoroughly brainwashed as a young teen, but when I had doubts I did what every other theist does, I doubled down on my faith, got baptized, and refused to think about the myriad of questions about the inconsistencies and illogical beliefs.

"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?"

Southern Baptist then more on the non-denominational side. I hadn't attended church in years, so my thoughts of the remaining congregation were absent.

"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?"

I don't think about them (church congregations).

My parents aren't overtly religious and have come to accept my opinion despite their theistic beliefs. My friends don't care either, we don't discuss religion. I don't have negative thoughts about someone strictly because they are religious (I'd never have married my wife were that the case. Who is now agnostic after growing up evangelical). As long as religious people keep their nose out of my business, don't ask me to follow their religious "morals," and don't try to preach to me, I don't care what they believe. I think negatively of dishonest people (like those who engage with people under false pretenses) and those who try to push their bullshit onto others (implicitly or explicitly).

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
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08-10-2015, 11:21 AM
RE: "I was a christian", theist argument.
(08-10-2015 10:05 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  My parents aren't overtly religious and have come to accept my opinion despite their theistic beliefs. My friends don't care either, we don't discuss religion. I don't have negative thoughts about someone strictly because they are religious (I'd never have married my wife were that the case. Who is now agnostic after growing up evangelical). As long as religious people keep their nose out of my business, don't ask me to follow their religious "morals," and don't try to preach to me, I don't care what they believe. I think negatively of dishonest people (like those who engage with people under false pretenses) and those who try to push their bullshit onto others (implicitly or explicitly).

But the sort that you think negatively about, are they representative of people in your own personal life, those folks you once went to church with, family members etc…? Or are they just the sort you hear about on the news, and argue with on forums? Clearly you have an aversion to certain types of people even if for justifiable reasons, but are these types representative of real people in your life, or just internet personalities, and folks you see on tv, or read about in the news? Did you feel that way about the pastor who baptized you, and led the church you grew up in?

Quote:Christianity was inconsistent with reality and needed special pleading and faith to be believed in, no rational mind would ever do so. They weren't pubescent, I was thoroughly brainwashed as a young teen, but when I had doubts I did what every other theist does, I doubled down on my faith, got baptized, and refused to think about the myriad of questions about the inconsistencies and illogical beliefs[…]Southern Baptist then more on the non-denominational side. I hadn't attended church in years, so my thoughts of the remaining congregation were absent

In your case it seems that you had some preliminary doubts, but just doubled down on your faith, got baptized, and brushed those myriad of questions aside, till around the time you were no longer attending church for a number of years. It seems to be the case that the age in which Christianity was a relevant thing for you, a part of the community you shared with every sunday, your youthful identify, etc… you brushed your doubts aside. And it was in that period in which it had already lost much of it’s relevance, the period in which you didn’t really care to go to church, those doubts were able to take form and undermine whatever faith you might had remaining at that point.

Wouldn’t you say you were already long out the door before you officially rejected the religion of your youth? That religion had long lost it’s luster before you denounced your beliefs in it?

"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, 11:35 AM
RE: "I was a christian", theist argument.
The Christian guy in the video is incredibly rude and dense. He is treating belief as *fact* and not honestly acknowledging the faith or belief portions of religion. If you stuck a muslim converted christian and a christian converted muslim in a debate together, they could make the exact same argument towards each other.

He speaks of a relationship with god as if it is as factual as gravity. He barks about how "I don't care about feelings, drug addicts have feelings." Yet the vast majority of "evidence" that a god believer will have is their own feelings. This guy probably is no different.

Needless to say listening to this twisted my stomach and made me angry. Such a bully d-bag.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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08-10-2015, 11:48 AM
RE: "I was a christian", theist argument.
(08-10-2015 11:21 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(08-10-2015 10:05 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  My parents aren't overtly religious and have come to accept my opinion despite their theistic beliefs. My friends don't care either, we don't discuss religion. I don't have negative thoughts about someone strictly because they are religious (I'd never have married my wife were that the case. Who is now agnostic after growing up evangelical). As long as religious people keep their nose out of my business, don't ask me to follow their religious "morals," and don't try to preach to me, I don't care what they believe. I think negatively of dishonest people (like those who engage with people under false pretenses) and those who try to push their bullshit onto others (implicitly or explicitly).

But the sort that you think negatively about, are they representative of people in your own personal life, those folks you once went to church with, family members etc…? Or are they just the sort you hear about on the news, and argue with on forums? Clearly you have an aversion to certain types of people even if for justifiable reasons, but are these types representative of real people in your life, or just internet personalities, and folks you see on tv, or read about in the news? Did you feel that way about the pastor who baptized you, and led the church you grew up in?

Quote:Christianity was inconsistent with reality and needed special pleading and faith to be believed in, no rational mind would ever do so. They weren't pubescent, I was thoroughly brainwashed as a young teen, but when I had doubts I did what every other theist does, I doubled down on my faith, got baptized, and refused to think about the myriad of questions about the inconsistencies and illogical beliefs[…]Southern Baptist then more on the non-denominational side. I hadn't attended church in years, so my thoughts of the remaining congregation were absent

In your case it seems that you had some preliminary doubts, but just doubled down on your faith, got baptized, and brushed those myriad of questions aside, till around the time you were no longer attending church for a number of years. It seems to be the case that the age in which Christianity was a relevant thing for you, a part of the community you shared with every sunday, your youthful identify, etc… you brushed your doubts aside. And it was in that period in which it had already lost much of it’s relevance, the period in which you didn’t really care to go to church, those doubts were able to take form and undermine whatever faith you might had remaining at that point.

Wouldn’t you say you were already long out the door before you officially rejected the religion of your youth? That religion had long lost it’s luster before you denounced your beliefs in it?

"But the sort that you think negatively about, are they representative of people in your own personal life, those folks you once went to church with, family members etc…?"

I was pretty explicit in my answer there. My family doesn't preach to me or my wife or my son. They don't push their religious "morals" on us. We get along just fine. My in-laws on the other hand, we don't speak. And I have not seen or interacted with anyone from my old church in over a decade. I don't think about them...at all.

"Or are they just the sort you hear about on the news, and argue with on forums? Clearly you have an aversion to certain types of people even if for justifiable reasons, but are these types representative of real people in your life, or just internet personalities, and folks you see on tv, or read about in the news? Did you feel that way about the pastor who baptized you, and led the church you grew up in?"

I don't think about the pastors or youth ministers I have had (save the one who said the stupid shit to a bunch of kids and in that case, I often think about the immorality of religion and its brainwashing of kids with such awful lessons about life). I never had any conflict with anyone while in my church(s).

My interactions with theists that represent those I "hate" tend to be the ones trying to interject their religion into the political sphere or who try to preach to me (explicitly or implicitly) or preach (gossip, etc) about me to others. The GOP and my in-laws are good examples.

"In your case it seems that you had some preliminary doubts, but just doubled down on your faith, got baptized, and brushed those myriad of questions aside, till around the time you were no longer attending church for a number of years. It seems to be the case that the age in which Christianity was a relevant thing for you, a part of the community you shared with every sunday, your youthful identify, etc… you brushed your doubts aside. And it was in that period in which it had already lost much of it’s relevance, the period in which you didn’t really care to go to church, those doubts were able to take form and undermine whatever faith you might had remaining at that point. "

You shouldn't try and play shrink. There were no great schisms in my church. No conflicts. No tragedies. In fact, my life was pretty boring around the time I began to lose my faith.

My "doubts" were questions that invariably came down to just having "faith" in the answer I was either given or "believed in my heart" (since god apparently puts different correct answers in people's hearts these days). I accepted them but found that not asking these questions was a better way to move forward with my faith. So, I'd just pray for the answers, read my bible, go to Sunday school, and listen to the sermons.

"Wouldn’t you say you were already long out the door before you officially rejected the religion of your youth? That religion had long lost it’s luster before you denounced your beliefs in it?"

No, I wouldn't. In fact, not going to church probably extended my period of religiousness/spirituality by a decade or so. It isn't as if I assumed the identifier of "atheist" immediately upon realizing I didn't believe in a literal reading of the bible. I toyed with literal interpretations of it, my own interpretations, abstract interpretations, and other BS like the stories as metaphors and allegories.

My religious beliefs weren't in serious jeopardy until I started learning about other religions directly related to my own (Judaism, Roman Catholicism, and Islam) while in college. Once I realized they all preached the same stuff, using the same "evidence" and the same faith, it became apparent that they couldn't all be correct, but they could all be wrong.

Then came my deistic phase. My pantheistic phase. My deistic phase again. Then my atheism (but from start to finish, it took 4-5 years to go from Christian to atheist).

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08-10-2015, 12:04 PM
RE: "I was a christian", theist argument.
(08-10-2015 06:44 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  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.

A lovely non-answer.

If what you think someone thinks is explicitly contradictory to what they say they think, you'd best have a very good reason for it.
("my feels are the only thing in the universe that matter" is not a very good reason)

(08-10-2015 06:44 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
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.

In other words, you do claim to understand the thoughts and beliefs of others better than they themselves do.

That's... special, champ. Real special.

(08-10-2015 06:44 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  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.

Citation needed on the part where you apparently know more than anyone else on Earth about how the human mind words.

(and of course likewise, on the ludicrous claim that moral reasoning does not correlate with behaviour)

(08-10-2015 06:44 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  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.

Citation needed on the part where you apparently know the personal history of others better than they do and apparently even in greater detail than they may have ever expressed.

(serious bonus points, though, for massively equivocating on free will and self-knowledge!)

(08-10-2015 06:44 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  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.

If indeed someone had claimed that none of their personal experiences ever affected them, I might be skeptical.

Has anyone ever claimed that?

That there are atheists of all walks of life and yet religious affiliation is highly segregated by community is, I'm sure, entirely coincidental.

(08-10-2015 06:44 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
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.

It's a hell of a long way to go to pretend you're not just scotsmanning it, but whatever helps you sleep at night, I guess.

Certainly if we go full determinist I can't actually blame you for such patent dishonesty. So there's that.

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