Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
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28-04-2010, 10:22 AM
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
Well, I was speaking more general layman's terms. To the average Joe who may not care if a vague belief in a first cause is intellectually justified, I understand how that person could hold such a vague belief. Especially when in most cases, it doesn't really affect that person's day to day life or mindset.

I don't buy the arguments, but the general First Cause argument is the most common that you hear. What I'm saying is that if someone gives me a First Cause argument, or a Cosmological argument for the existence of God, I can just let it go. It may not be good logic, but it's generally of no interest to me, probably because the First Cause and Complexity arguments were what I personally held on to for so long (without really realizing it). I was pretty much an Agnostic Deist. But it's such a huge leap to go from the assertion that First Cause = God, to First Cause = God = Yahweh/Jesus/HolySpirit. That leap is the one that really boggles my mind.

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
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28-04-2010, 10:25 AM
 
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
And what was the cause of the god?
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28-04-2010, 10:43 AM
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
(28-04-2010 10:25 AM)Ceryle Wrote:  And what was the cause of the god?

Well, exactly. Which was a question I had probably never thought that much about.

But do you see what I'm saying? My former position was, vaguely: Yes, I believe there is a God of some sort, but I don't know it. I don't claim knowledge of that God. It's possible that there's no God. So when someone presents the First Cause argument to me, that's basically what I hear: Person X believes there's a God, because it all had to come from somewhere. Ok, no harm, no foul. It's not intellectually sound, but in most cases I don't have much interest in pointing out the flaws in that thinking.

As long as that person is claiming belief, and not knowledge, then I at least have an understanding of where they're coming from. And know that they can believe anything they want. And know that they really have no good reason for that belief, and that the belief doesn't do anything for me.

When we go from that to "yes God exists, yes this is Him in the Bible, and yes I have a personal relationship with Him" - at that point it's like "ok, prove it."

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28-04-2010, 10:51 AM
 
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
Fair enough. I too hold the position, that so long as your deistic viewpoint doesn't conflict with our day to day lives, then all the more to you. I'm not in a position where I even personally care about such an opinion; if it weren't for my compulsive urge to point out a logical inconsistence.

So if someone says: Hey I think a god created the universe, I'm okay with that. So long as that's as far as it gets really. And even then I'm still kind of up in the air about it, considering my own opinion, and I do mean that literally, about the events predating the big bang; not to mention Hawkings recent presentation of the wave function theory.
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28-04-2010, 12:33 PM
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
(28-04-2010 10:51 AM)Ceryle Wrote:  Fair enough. I too hold the position, that so long as your deistic viewpoint doesn't conflict with our day to day lives, then all the more to you. I'm not in a position where I even personally care about such an opinion; if it weren't for my compulsive urge to point out a logical inconsistence.

So if someone says: Hey I think a god created the universe, I'm okay with that. So long as that's as far as it gets really. And even then I'm still kind of up in the air about it, considering my own opinion, and I do mean that literally, about the events predating the big bang; not to mention Hawkings recent presentation of the wave function theory.

Wave Function Theory - to be placed on the list of scientific stuff to study. Smile

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28-04-2010, 12:43 PM
 
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
At present, I hold that this universe is a recurring cycle, as it currently stands, of big bangs, filtering into heat deaths, forming into quantum wave fluctuations, and in turn initiating the next big bang.
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03-05-2010, 01:11 PM
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
Quick update for anyone interested: I screwed my courage to the sticking place and replied back to Mr. Pastor. I'll be happy to share our conversation in a new thread when he responds (leaving out any personal information, of course). Thanks to those of you who offered advice - I might need more if this conversation goes on for any length of time.

Ceryle, I did use your suggested comment as a springboard for what I eventually sent. Thanks.

This was really a big step for me, to open myself up to this discussion (not here on the forum, but in the email). I'm kinda nervous, though I don't really know why.

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
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04-05-2010, 03:32 PM
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
Well, one more update - it's a good thing I titled this thread "Potential" Conversation, as apparently it has stalled out.

I wrote the Pastor yesterday (relevant excerpts here):

"______ has been asking me for some time now to speak to you regarding various things about Christianity. It's a broad subject, but I would be interested in hearing your case for believing that the Christian God exists, and why you believe Christianity to be true."

To which he responded:

"About the subject of Christianity, I want you to know that I am glad to talk to you about it any time. It is up to you. I don't want you to feel pressured intimidated or what have you. Any time you have a question please feel free to ask; i'll be more than happy to try to give you an answer.

Thank you _____ and you have a great week. Look forward talking to you when you are ready."

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

Uh, ok. So I asked him why he thinks the Christian God exists and why he thinks Christianity is true, and he responds that he'd be happy to talk to me at anytime I'd like. I'm not sure if he just avoided the question or if he's saying he won't do it in email. Either way, I say fail. My opinion of this guy as a putz continues...

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