Noteable Interactions With Theists.
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13-01-2013, 10:59 PM
Noteable Interactions With Theists.
Doesn't matter if you were a theist then or an atheist now. Any time in your life if you've had an interesting conversation with a theist please feel free to post it.

I once met a European Christian. He was fully versed in the theory of evolution, admitted that the existence of a god was unlikely, but he still chose to believe in a god and more specifically christianity.

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I think he might have been afraid of death, I mean I can't think of another reason why someone would delude themselves like that.
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13-01-2013, 11:08 PM
 
RE: Noteable Interactions With Theists.
I honestly don't know how someone can think the existence of God is unlikely: Either you believe in God or you don't. The existence of God can't be "unlikely."
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13-01-2013, 11:48 PM
RE: Noteable Interactions With Theists.
I've had notable interactions, but the most notable was the interaction with my sister; which eventually lead to her deconversion and ultimately to outspoken atheism. The reason this was the "most" notable is that we lived together at the time, and I was thus able to see her gradual loss of faith as it occured - in real-time.

It started when I began to express my lack of belief in Christianity. She (and everyone else in the household) was a die-hard believer, and scoffed at me whenever I'd make a quip about religion or spoke out against its teachings. In fact, for a time, my ever-increasing opposition prompted her to react by attending church more frequently, and sent her into what I perceived to be a kind of depression. After all, her good, reserved, faithful christian of a big brother had begun dating and sleeping with women; had begun indulging in the alcohol that our addict father caused us all to oppose; and now, was speaking out against the only ideology that either of us had ever known. I imagine she felt lost and somewhat betrayed, so she turned to God harder than ever before.

So, one evening, all of her frustration culminated in an outburst. We were in the kitchen where I had just cracked open my second bottle of the evening, and I was feeling a little tipsy (of all the weights, I am by far the lightest). The exact nature of the conversation escapes me, but it had something to do with religion and, feeling loose, I was more than a little inclined to ramble on about why belief is nonsense and why the Bible is full of flaws and how Evolution proves that the Christian god, given his qualities of creation, doesn't exist. Having had enough, she lashed out and asked me why I don't believe in God. "I don't understand it," she yelled, "how can anyone not believe that God exists?"

As kids, God was drilled so deeply into our heads that she, like some people, literally couldn't imagine the concept of a Godless existence. So, despite my intoxication, I retained the presence of mind (as I seem to have the ability to do while drunk) to think quickly for the best, most straight-forward, most logical answer. Ultimately, as cheesy as it sounds, I fell back on the old "Santa Claus" analogy. Being Jehovah's Witnesses, we were never taught that Santa was a real entity. Christmas has Pagan origins, so we were taught that everything to do with the holiday is evil and to be avoided like the Plague. So Santa had never been a realistic concept to us. From day 1, we knew that Santa was horse-shit. So in response, I asked her "Well, consider this: Why don't you believe in Santa Claus?" It's a question that rarely works on theists with whom I speak, but it must have flipped a light on for her, because she found herself at a loss for words. After a few silent moments, I concluded "Every reason that you don't believe in Santa is why people like me don't believe in God."

I could have gone on to make lengthy analogies and draw parallels between letters and prayers; gifts and blessings; and the fact that we have a better explanation for why there are presents under the tree. But I just sipped my beer and walked away; letting her simmer on the thought for a bit.

We didn't have another exchange about religion after that, but for the next few months I noticed a change in her manerisms and the way she spoke (and reacted to others speaking) about God. She got dressed up for church less and less, and made small inquiries about Evolution more and more. Apparently the Santa argument had planted a seed of doubt at just the right time, and it was slowly blossoming. I wanted to pursue it further, but opted instead to let it take its course on its own. She soon openly identified as Agnostic (in the strict sense, I assume), and eventually started to speak out against religion and faith. Eventually, she claimed full-blown Atheism. One night, we were sitting on the deck of the house we lived in (we had pooled our finances to build a duplex in the woods and shared the same roof) getting crazy-fucked-up-drunk, and started making cracks about religion. Between uncontrollable giggles, she confirmed outright that the Santa argument I made about a year before is what got her thinking and eventually lead to her tossing aside her belief.

So, no matter how many people I've changed - some of whom I may not even be aware of - I always know that I did change at least one person outside of myself. Smile

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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13-01-2013, 11:57 PM
RE: Noteable Interactions With Theists.
(13-01-2013 11:08 PM)Egor Wrote:  I honestly don't know how someone can think the existence of God is unlikely: Either you believe in God or you don't. The existence of God can't be "unlikely."

Dr. Richard Carrier would disagree with you, and funny enough, the math agrees with him. Statistically, your God is incredibly unlikely. Imagine that?




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14-01-2013, 12:01 AM
RE: Noteable Interactions With Theists.
(13-01-2013 11:08 PM)Egor Wrote:  I honestly don't know how someone can think the existence of God is unlikely: Either you believe in God or you don't. The existence of God can't be "unlikely."

What you believe is different from what is. One can lack a belief in God, while the existence of God can be either likely or unlikely.

I lack a belief in God. But if you ask me what the chances are of Him/Her/It existing, I'll tell you "It's incredibly unlikely".

That's called being an agnostic atheist.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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14-01-2013, 09:20 AM
RE: Noteable Interactions With Theists.
I imagine that invisible intangible trolls protect my house while I'm away from home.
Your god is just as imaginary and offers the same amount of protection.

None

Unlikely existence of your god is a verbal kindness we offer

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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14-01-2013, 09:54 AM
RE: Noteable Interactions With Theists.
I was walking through my town about 6-7 years ago and there was a guy in a sleeping bag rolling around on the floor with people standing round him. So I wandered over to see what was going on and watched him for a while before this amazingly attractive woman came over and asked me if I would like a drink of hot chocolate (it was winter)

So I said yes and we started to chat about what the guy was doing in the sleeping bag, she said that he was giving a demonstration on how we all struggle in life and that they were from the church and do I believe in god.

So I started to argue about the existence of god and she couldn't answer some of my questions so she went over to get this guy, who I presumed was their pastor and me and him had a convo about god. I gave him the same arguments I give all theists (all the previous gods nobody worships anymore, that were held with such importance as today's mainstream deities. How outdated the views of religion were in today's society and how hypocritical of them to change them to suit society.)

He couldn't answer my questions and all he could say was it was about having a "personal relationship with god" and that we were to take what "resonates" as true and discard the rest. I told him that was a cop out answer and he didn't like it and wouldnt speak to me anymore lol.

A year and a half ago I went and stayed in a Buddhist center on a working visit. I was more into my meditation then than I am now and I thought I might be able to learn something. They had me working in the gardens and it was all very laid back and the rest of the time there was my own.

When we were all eating dinner they asked me how I was getting on in the garden and I said I was puzzled. I wanted to know why they had me weeding and killing plants all for the pleasure of the eye, when in my view all plant life was "sacred". I was told that plants are not the same as animals, that they are essentially not alive and are not part of Dharma. So I went down the realms of modern research that suggest that in some subtle ways, plants are alive. This lead to a deeper convo about why they are vegetarian and the answer was because they believe in re-incarnation and that to kill an animal could potentially mean you have killed a loved one or a friend from a past incarnation.

My argument revolved around the fact that if they believe that the soul exists then basically our bodies are nothing but vehicles and it doesnt matter if you kill an animal, because in fact you could be helping that creature by helping it pass on to another life before it can do anything "bad" in this one... I also told them I thought it was mega fucking hypocritical that

A: Buddhists were not allowed to eat meat unless they were offered it and it was put in there alms bowl.
B: Buddha himself refrained from drinking alcohol and it was banned, however as soon as he escaped the "cycle" he was well known for being a drunkard.

I had booked myself in for a week, needless to say I could only stomach three days of it and left.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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14-01-2013, 11:03 AM
RE: Noteable Interactions With Theists.
My most notable interaction with a theist occurred in 1982 when I was a sophomore. A traveling “sidewalk preacher” who was about my age showed up in the open-air commons in front of the student center one warm spring morning and started preaching “Hell, Fire and Brimstone” according to the Bible. According to this guy, Jews, Gays, Muslims, Mormons, Buddists, Hindus and their sympathizers were going straight to hell unless they accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior. This guy made the “Westboro Baptist” bunch look like the glee club – he was light-years more hard-core.

It was damned entertaining, so I ran back to the dorm, smoked a joint, and ran back to hear more. I figured if he sounded crazy while I was straight, he would be “out-of this world” when I was high. He was! He was just that good.

Around lunch time the crowd watching the preacher got pretty big, and started to get pretty ugly. It seems that the vast majority of the crowd, even though they were Christian, took grave exception to the Preacher’s literal interpretation of their book of “Dogma”. Soon, threats were yelled, cans of soft drinks hurled, and offers to fist-fight the Preacher issued. Thank goodness some big guys (fellow students) with some cool heads stepped in to protect the preacher.

Well…even though the crowd numbered about 300 by now, the preacher decided it was best to leave for awhile and let things cool, and as he was leaving the crown burst into cheers in celebration of his forced departure.

I was pissed. These faux Christians had ruined a good high, so I decided to get them back. There was a large crowd behind me cheering, so I turned around and shouted, “Why is everyone cheering?” In response, a young woman said something to the effect, “Because his preaching was obnoxious and we’re glad to see him go”. To this I answered, “Yeah, I agree that the guy was obnoxious, but can anyone tell me anything – anything – that he said which contradicted the Bible?” I got nothing in answer but 50 Blank Stares. Oh Yeah...welcome to the reality of your Holy Book!
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