Non-Christian Interview
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12-12-2013, 07:50 AM
RE: Non-Christian Interview
(12-12-2013 07:25 AM)WitchSabrina Wrote:  ...
By the way - I think "simulacra" sounds like something I should be wearing under a tight dress...
buwwwwaaahaaa

Pics, please. Smile

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12-12-2013, 07:51 AM (This post was last modified: 12-12-2013 10:51 AM by anonymous66.)
RE: Non-Christian Interview
(11-12-2013 08:02 PM)Inquisitive Minds Wrote:  A couple of random questions that don't really have anything to do with apologetics (please don't be offended, these are totally serious. Never having been an atheist, the prospect seems enormously terrifying to me)
1. So how can you still find joy as an atheist? it seems depressing to believe there's nothing more than this life
2. What gives your life purpose? Do you bring meaning to your life?
3. Why not cheat, destroy, lie, break promises, and steal if there's no reason not to?Is there a reason not to? Does something hold you back?

I'll answer your questions, but point out that you are presupposing a lot. For all you know you are living in a world without a God, and I should be asking you why it is that you believe morals exist even though there is no God.

1.I'm 99.9% certain I take joy in the same things you do. I have a wife and son that give me a great deal of joy. I take joy in my accomplishments, I take joy in helping others. I'm more concerned with the truth. If the truth is that all we have is this life, and then we're gone forever, why not accept that truth? I'm not going to pretend to believe there might be more, just so that I can comfort myself. I'd rather deal with the truth as it is, not as I want it to be. (As it was pointed out.. this is begging the question. Do you really think it is impossible to have joy without a belief in God? How about people in other religions? Can they have joy even though they believe in a different God? )

2. I think it's kinda cool that we all get to decide what brings purpose and meaning to our lives. Some of the things that give my life meaning are raising my son, getting to know my wife, making new friends, doing well in my business.

3. There are plenty of reasons not to. I have a conscience for one thing. I know that if I'm good to others, they'll be good to me. I want to live in a world where people don't harm each other, so that's the kind of person I am. Actually, much has been written on the fact that secular morals are superior to religious morals. Some believe that if their God tells them to do something immoral (like kill their own son), then they should do that immoral thing.

I'm reminded of an atheist who said he was in a public debate with a Christian, and the Christian claimed that his belief in God helped him to be moral. The atheist asked for an example, and the Christian said he had been tempted to cheat on his wife, but his faith in God helped him to stay true to his wife. The atheist admitted he, too, had been tempted to cheat on his wife, but he loved his wife too much to follow through. Guess who's wife was happier after that debate?
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12-12-2013, 09:39 AM
RE: Non-Christian Interview
(11-12-2013 08:02 PM)Inquisitive Minds Wrote:  Of course, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my apologetics teacher. He wanted us to get practice talking to atheists because... Let me be honest and say every single one of us is in a little Christian bubble.

Oh, I totally understand. I was raised Christian, and never was really exposed to any alternate beliefs until college.


(11-12-2013 08:02 PM)Inquisitive Minds Wrote:  I'm in junior year at my high school and I'd never met an atheist until this summer. But like I said before, I've gained a lot more out of this than I expected so thank you, everybody!

That's good to hear.


(11-12-2013 08:02 PM)Inquisitive Minds Wrote:  A couple of random questions that don't really have anything to do with apologetics (please don't be offended, these are totally serious. Never having been an atheist, the prospect seems enormously terrifying to me)

I know what you mean. I don't mean this to be offensive, but when you look at these concepts from a Christian lens, they don't make much sense. I couldn't wrap my head around moral relativism when I was in college, either.


(11-12-2013 08:02 PM)Inquisitive Minds Wrote:  1. So how can you still find joy as an atheist? it seems depressing to believe there's nothing more than this life

The same way I found joy before. I just no longer look to God for any greater purpose. I find joy through things that make me happy, such as spending time with loved ones, working on various hobbies, listening to music (this one can be particularly strong for me), and messing around on the computer.


(11-12-2013 08:02 PM)Inquisitive Minds Wrote:  2. What gives your life purpose? Do you bring meaning to your life?

Basically, on a day-to-day basis, the same thing as #1: finding joy in life. On a (slightly) more grand scheme, I'd like to leave the world in a better condition than I found it. That includes some amount of being environmentally conscious (although I'm not that good at it), charitable giving, and trying to teach my two daughters to be nice.


(11-12-2013 08:02 PM)Inquisitive Minds Wrote:  3. Why not cheat, destroy, lie, break promises, and steal if there's no reason not to?Is there a reason not to? Does something hold you back?

Two reasons;

1) I'm personally not very comfortable with it, and likely wouldn't be any good at it, and

2) There are reasons not to do it. We accomplish more as a group than we do on our own. It's impossible to effectively collaborate if you are worried that the other person will lie, cheat, or steal. It's necessary for us to come to certain agreements for society to function. Even from a completely selfish point of view, you could argue that it is in one's best, long-term interests to cooperate and forgo short-sighted gains.
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12-12-2013, 09:43 AM
RE: Non-Christian Interview
(12-12-2013 07:50 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(12-12-2013 07:25 AM)WitchSabrina Wrote:  ...
By the way - I think "simulacra" sounds like something I should be wearing under a tight dress...
buwwwwaaahaaa

Pics, please. Smile


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12-12-2013, 12:35 PM (This post was last modified: 12-12-2013 12:46 PM by viole.)
RE: Non-Christian Interview
(11-12-2013 08:02 PM)Inquisitive Minds Wrote:  1. So how can you still find joy as an atheist? it seems depressing to believe there's nothing more than this life

We do not base our beliefs, or lack thereof, on wishful thinking. Actually, the more comfortable a belief is, the more epistemologically suspect it is. However, I think that it is more depressing to believe that it is depressing to live without hope of an afterlife.

Quote:2. What gives your life purpose? Do you bring meaning to your life?

Well, I am like a child, and in this I agree with my husband. Lol. Children seem to find purpose even when they have no clue about metaphysics and substance dualism (i.e. souls).

I guess I take life as a free launch. Since i am lucky and the menu is OK, I, well, try to eat all the courses. Do you think it tastes worse if it might be the last?

Or maybe i am just a Uebermensch, able to find motivation with the awareness of eventual irreversible oblivion. Who knows?

Quote:3. Why not cheat, destroy, lie, break promises, and steal if there's no reason not to?Is there a reason not to? Does something hold you back?

For the same reasons that you, I suppose, will not stat doing that if you lose your faith tomorrow. But if you are in doubt then, by all means, keep believing.

Ciao

- viole
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12-12-2013, 12:38 PM (This post was last modified: 12-12-2013 12:44 PM by viole.)
RE: Non-Christian Interview
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12-12-2013, 09:43 PM (This post was last modified: 12-12-2013 09:52 PM by Taqiyya Mockingbird.)
RE: Non-Christian Interview
I call Bullshit.

I received a PM from "Inquisitive Minds" (why is it that they always call themselves something that suggests they are open-minded when they are not at all?), and this person claimed they had some "follow up questions". They seemed a little off, but I answered them anyway, and then in return this person sent a bunch of nonsensical copypasta gibberish that made me seriously wonder if they are some sort of Banana-Man Chat-bot.
Here's the original PM with my responses:


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quote: Inquisitive Minds Wrote:Hello!
I read your responses! I've got some follow up questions! (But first of all thanks for participating. I didn't realize that my fellow Christians had such a bad reputation, and I'm really sorry if they've ever hurt you before.)
They only "hurt" (more like piss me off) me when they foist their superstitions on me through legislation, etc.
Quote: Quote:Can you tell me more about this secular morality that you believe in?
Well, I don't really "believe" in a morality, it's not something one really "believes" in. That may not make sense to you because you have likely had it drilled into you that a person has to have x beliefs in order to be moral, and cannot possibly behave morally without x beliefs, but that is simply not true. Frankly, it's a lie and anyone who tells you that is lying to you. You might want to think carefully about that.
Another side of that is this: if your morality (or anyone's) and your behavior is entirely dependent on your belief that a god is watching what you are doing and waiting to pounce on you and burn you foreverandever if you do something wrong, then the only thing that is keeping you from stealing, raping, pillaging, murdering, and doing all the things that you see as bad now is your belief in x fairytale. So what if one day you wake up and realize that it's all a fairytale? Your morality, dependent on your belief in that fairytale, goes out the window along with it. That is quite a tenuous thread to hang your morality on.
Quote: Quote: How exactly does that work? What is right and what is wrong? Why is something right and something else wrong?
Your people won't tell you this, but the "Golden Rule" preceded xtianity by at least 600 years, and probably a lot more. It's also a completely secular, non-religious, non-superstition-dependent notion (and thus built upon a LOT stronger foundation than a morality that hinges on superstition and beliefs in a sky-daddy watching everything you do).
Here's an excellent example of a non-superstition-based from the Buddha, 500 years before xtianity. Note carefully that there is nothing in it referring to any sort of superstition or fairy-god story at all:

[snip, what followed was the Discourse to the People of Bamboo Gate, which I have posted elsewhere]



Quote: Quote:Also do you believe in the Big Bang?
What your people won't tell you is that the Big Bang Theory, Evolution, and science are completely irrelevant to my (and most atheists) disbelief in superstitious fairy-tales. The whole "evolution vs. creation" thing is a contrived strawman argument. If the theory of evolution or BBT were somehow shown to be incorrect, that wouldn't make a bit of difference with respect to my being able to see that The Emperor Has No Clothes, that xtian mythology is superstition and fairy tales. Does that make sense to you at all?
Quote: Quote: And would you agree with this statement " everything that comes into existence must have a cause"!
Thanks,
Tori
Have you ever stopped to ponder why the Kalaam argument (which is what you are presenting) specifies "everything that comes into existence"? That's really hedging, and moving the goal posts. There are plenty of fatal problems with that "argument" -- I really don't even consider it an argument at all -- but did you know that it was originally used to "prove" the existence of the MUSLIM deity, and not the xtian one?
Also, the Kalaam hinges on failure to analyze where the supposed "creator" of the universe came from, and how it is supposed to have come into existence. Your teacher won't tell you that. It hinges on what is called a "Special Pleading Fallacy", attempting to bully past the necessary explanation of, if the universe is "created" by a "creator", then how did this creator come to be.
It's also an "Argument from Ignorance" in that it goes along the lines of "We don't know how the universe came to be, therefore Gawddidit".

What sort of high school are you are you going to, that has "xtian apologetics" in its curriculum? I would recommend, if at all possible, that you try to get into a real school that would provide you with a real education, as quickly as you can. Just my 2 cents...

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


This morning I received the following. It's as if the person had not read my responses at all, and instead had fed my PM into some sort of chatbot program that grabbed certain keywords and spit out canned paragraphs of copypasta.




-----------------------------------------------------------------
Hello!
Well I go to a Christian high school. I can't imagine a more accepting or kinder high school. Apologetics isn't required, but it is an incredibly useful class. We're learning logic and reasoning in addition to learning to own our faith.
Oh I agree with you! I would definitely say that morality is objective, and exists whether or not one believes in it. I phrased my question that way because I recalled you as saying that you had adopted secular morality principles. The wording seemed to suggest that morality was something that one could or could not believe in.
So who decides morality, if not God? Is it society? I agree that the moral principles in the Bible were not new-fangled. However, this supplements the point of moral objectivity. Because God created moral law, and He created our hearts to recognize it, people have always been aware that it is wrong to kill people ( that does not mean that that awareness stops them from doing it). Going back to who defines morals, if not God: what if the Golden rule apart from God was, " Kill anyone who gets in your way, Steal, and destroy others' happiness to pursue your own gains." What if that was what society defined as "moral". Would you follow it? Would you approve of someone trying to kill your mother and steal her money because it was morally right? If it is true that man is just a gene machine that came from a primitive being, shouldn't we advocate genocide? That way we could speed up natural selection and become a master race. Shouldn't only the fittest survive?
Well, of course we believe in the Big Bang. Christians just believe that God was the one who banged it. Also, some, like my father, believe that God was the architect of evolution. It depends on your definition of evolution. My father and I would say we believed in micro-evolution. But I believe that what you are referring to is macro-evolution, correct? So how did you come to that conclusion of macro-evolution? Also, assuming macro-evolution is true, where did the first primitive organism come from that everything else came from?
I did realize actually. The cosmological argument is indeed only an argument regarding the existence of God, but since you are an atheist, I did not think it to be irrelevant. Actually, the cosmological argument does not fail to account for that! God never came into existence, so He did not have a cause. He is, was, and always will be. However would you say that about the universe? That it is infinite and did not come into existence?
Thanks!
Tori


---------------------------------------------------------------------


I have been just shaking my head all day. I seriously don't think this person is a high school student, rather it's a proselytizing troll with a new shell game.


I'm not going to bother with PM on this, this person is being disingenuous and I think y'all need to see that.



Quote:Hello!
Well I go to a Christian high school.
Sorry to hear that. Like I said, you should consider going to a real high school.
Quote: I can't imagine a more accepting or kinder high school.
Have you even been to any other high school? Regardless, school is for getting a education, not getting "kindness and acceptance", whatever that is supposed to be.

Quote:Apologetics isn't required, but it is an incredibly useful class. We're learning logic and reasoning
I regret to inform you that you are not learning logic or reasoning; what you are "learning" -- and I wouldn't even call it that -- is a poor imitation of logic and reasoning. Logic and reasoning hinge on evidence, which is something your fairy tales lack entirely. Also, if they were teaching you logic and reasoning, you wouldn't have committed the dozen or so glaring fallacies you have already exhibited.

Quote: in addition to learning to own our faith.
How does that work? You realize that if you were born in Pakistan, you would be in a madrassa "school" and learning to "own" an entirely different "faith" and likely learning how to fly airliners into skyscrapers.

Quote:Oh I agree with you!
Exactly what is it that you say you agree with me on?
Quote:I would definitely say that morality is objective, and exists whether or not one believes in it.
Guess how I know you didn't read what I wrote at all. I do not consider morality to be "objective", in fact I consider the phrase to be meaningless word salad.

Quote:I phrased my question that way
What question did you phrase in what way? Do you realize that phrasing a question in such a way that it lays a trap for the person you are talking to is disingenuous and intellectually dishonest? But that is a huge part of "apologetics", though your "teacher" will never tell you that. But you need to know that dishonesty, such as that, is LYING. I believe your religion supposedly takes a dim view of lying.

Quote: because I recalled you as saying that you had adopted secular morality principles.
Where did I say that? More intellectual dishonestly. We cannot have a conversation. You don't have questions; you have an agenda to manipulate our "conversation" and turn it into evangelism. You cannot be trusted as a person. And your school is teaching you to be untrustworthy. This is a huge problem and will continue to be for the rest of your life if you don't get out now and find a real school.
Quote:The wording seemed to suggest that morality was something that one could or could not believe in.
AGAIN, guess how I know you didn't read what I wrote. What did I say about "belief" in "morality?

Quote:So who decides morality, if not God?
Another reason I know you didn't read what I wrote.
You are begging the question again. You didn't read the link I provided. We are not going to talk about your mythical fairytale deity at all unless or until you provide convincing EVIDENCE that it actually exists (Tip: You can't because you have none).

Quote: Is it society?
Again, this is how I know you didn't read what I wrote. I pointed you to a valid ethics of reciprocity and you completely ignored it.
Quote: I agree that the moral principles in the Bible were not new-fangled.
"New-fangled"??? What, do you think you are talking to some kind of country bumpkin? And I didn't say ANYthing about the supposed moral principles of your fairytale book. If we were to discuss these, we would start with the story of Lot and his drunken incestuous threesome with his own daughters.
Quote:However, this supplements the point of moral objectivity.
No, it doesn't. Not in the least. And claiming something ad hoc doesn't make it so, no matter what your "teacher" (and I use the term quite loosely) tells you.

Quote:Because God created moral law
Again. We are not going to talk about your fairytale monster at all without you providing convincing evidence that such a thing exists. Convincing evidence might include it showing up on the Oprah show, or appearing in my living room. You are not going to assert such a thing exists by fiat and expect to blather on about its supposed qualities, etc. Not going to happen.

You showed up here claiming that you had questions. Now it turns out these "questions" were merely a lead-in so that you could proselytize. You lied.

Quote:, and He created our hearts to recognize it, people have always been aware that it is wrong to kill people ( that does not mean that that awareness stops them from doing it).
You are story-telling. You have no evidence whatsoever for your ad hoc claim.


Quote:Going back to who defines morals, if not God: what if the Golden rule apart from God was, " Kill anyone who gets in your way, Steal, and destroy others' happiness to pursue your own gains."
Did your "teacher" come up with that nonsense and put you up to this? Why would anyone be so stupid as to follow such a "rule" simply because of the name it was given? I referred to a "Golden Rule" but the formal term is that it is an ethics of reciprocity. And what is significant and compelling about it is the reciprocity, not the name. Your tactic here is incredibly disingenuous and condescending as well, to the point of insulting. It's simply nauseating how xtian apologists with their canned arguments and responses delude themselves into thinking they are far more intelligent than atheists and other non-believers. And equally nauseating is their arrogance in thinking that they can play these puerile shell games like the above on people.

Quote:What if that was what society defined as "moral".
It would look a helluva lot like the mythical Xtian fairy-tale deity's morality. And like the morality of the xtian church.

Quote:Would you follow it?
Do you have any idea at all how condescending and insulting that question is? I know you have no idea what kind of ignorant arrogance it takes to ask it.

Quote:Would you approve of someone trying to kill your mother and steal her money because it was morally right?
More ignorant arrogance. But let's look at your own morality play, the one where the father is commanded by your fairytale monster to kill his own son in order to demonstrate his loyalty to the fairytale monster. Would you kill your mother if you got it in your head that your fairytale monster wanted you to? See, it's not ignorant or arrogant or condescending for me to ask you that question, because it actually is a part of your own "morality".

Quote:If it is true that man is just a gene machine that came from a primitive being,
Where does this nonsense come from? Did I say anything of the kind? Guess how I know you didn't read a word of what I said. And now you are erecting a strawman argument, yet another logical fallacy. The "education" you are getting at that xtard school is looking mighty sad.

Quote:shouldn't we advocate genocide?
No, thanks, we are not xtians.
Quote: That way we could speed up natural selection and become a master race. Shouldn't only the fittest survive?
Oh, look, in just two sentences you have clearly demonstrated that you don't have the slightest idea what evolutionary theory and natural selection are about. Your "teachers" are lying to you and setting you up to look like a fool on atheist internet forums. You really should be pissed at them for that.

Quote:Well, of course we believe in the Big Bang.
Yet more evidence that you didn't read a word of my post. What part of "big bang theory is irrelevant to my non-belief in fairy tales" do you fail to understand? What sort of "education" stunts you mentally so badly that you cannot comprehend a single word I took the time to write to you?

Quote:Christians just believe that God was the one who banged it.
I am quite familiar with your beliefs and your fairy tales. And again, you haven't shown (and you can't show) the slightest bit of evidence that your fairy tale monster exists. Don't mention it to me until you do (and you can't).

Quote:Also, some, like my father, believe that God was the architect of evolution.
I am sorry that your father is delusional. his opinion, however, is irrelevant.

Quote:It depends on your definition of evolution.
And your "teachers" will never, ever tell you that what you are doing is the intellectually dishonest tactic of equivocation, another logical fallacy, in which you make up your own definition of a term in order to cheat your arguments. It's cheating. It's lying. And you deign to attempt to lecture me on morality? I think not.
Quote:My father and I would say we believed in micro-evolution. But I believe that what you are referring to is macro-evolution, correct? So how did you come to that conclusion of macro-evolution? Also, assuming macro-evolution is true, where did the first primitive organism come from that everything else came from?

Guess how I know you didn't read a word of what I said. What did I say about evolution? Why don't you try repeating it back to me, so I know that you finally read it, and then we can talk about how inappropriate your tactic above is.

Quote:I did realize actually.
Did realize WHAT? Your "response", like every other paragraph in your PM, looks like you copy/pasted it out of some ill-conceived flow chart for apologetics.


Quote:The cosmological argument
So you know that I am familiar with the Kalaam, because I didn't call it the "cosmological argument" at all. And yet, even after I headed off your snake oil pitch by pointing out some of its killing flaws, you STILL are going to try to pander it at me. Do you have any idea how ignorant and arrogant that comes off as?
Quote:is indeed only an argument
See, this is how I know you didn't read my response. I didn't point out that what you are presenting is an argument and not evidence. But that is true, and you are not going to get anywhere with me, trying to pass off an argument in the place of evidence. Don't even bother trying it. I'll only make a fool out of you. Evidence. Arguments are NOT evidence. Don't even bother with ANY of the bullshit arguments your "teachers" suggest or "teach" you.
Quote:regarding the existence of God,

PURPORTED existence. And NOT evidence.

Quote:but since you are an atheist, I did not think it to be irrelevant.
I am not sure you are thinking at all. More likely parroting the nonsense your "teachers" spoon-feed you. And no, it isn't relevant AT ALL. Drop it now and don't ever bring it up again.

Quote:Actually, the cosmological argument does not fail to account for that!
And here comes yet more evidence that you didn't read a single word I wrote. Remember I said that the Kalaam hinges on a Special Pleading Fallacy and attempts to bully its way past the question of how this mythical creator was supposedly created? Remember that I said that the phrase "begins to exist" was hedging and moving the goal posts? No you don't, because you didn't read what I wrote. And now you make a fool of yourself by laying this steaming pile at my feet:

Quote: God never came into existence, so He did not have a cause.
And here you and your "teachers" (along with that idiot William Lane Craig) are thinking "Checkmate, atheists!", but I already called you on the absurdity of your argument before you shat it out, but the BEST part of the above is this: You admit that your "god" NEVER CAME INTO EXISTENCE".
I accept your claim, and thank you for admitting that your fairytale deity DOESN'T exist.
QED.


Quote:He is, was, and always will be.
Sorry, preposterous ad hoc assertions cannot help you now. You blew it. You get an "F" in Apologetics.

Which really isn't such a Bad Thing. You just haven't figured it out yet.

Quote:However would you say that about the universe? That it is infinite and did not come into existence?
I make no assertions whatsoever about the universe. And none of it has anything to do with my rejection of your myths.

Thank you for playing.

Do yourself a favor and quit that sorry excuse for a school and seek out a real education.


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It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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13-12-2013, 02:09 AM
RE: Non-Christian Interview
She went in an entirely different direction with me, although she did pull the good old "so you believe that something came from nothing" card on me. Consider

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13-12-2013, 02:30 AM
RE: Non-Christian Interview
And I haven't been contacted at all!

Apparently, this seems to be a good thing.

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13-12-2013, 02:41 AM
RE: Non-Christian Interview
Forgive me for not reading through everything here already. But is this person seriously honestly being inquisitive, or are they being presuppositionly ignorant? Are they even worth engaging with? Thanks. Drinking Beverage

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