Question for theists: What would make you change your faith?
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28-01-2013, 04:33 AM (This post was last modified: 28-01-2013 07:04 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Question for theists: What would make you change your faith?
(27-01-2013 03:04 PM)ideasonscribe Wrote:  
(27-01-2013 08:01 AM)Free Thought Wrote:  What would depend on what you are asking evidence for.

Evidence against PersephoneK's particular ideology, or evidence against god itself?
I'm asking for the particular evidence that PersephoneK referred to when he said "it was a relatively short path to total unbelief. The evidence was just too strong".

I'm not going to let you turn this around on me.
Someone said "evidence" and I asked what it was. As simple as that.


While I can't speak for PersephoneK, I can tell you what 'evidence' I found compelling.


There is none.


Let me explain that a bit. We have plenty of evidence to explain the world around us, between biology, paleontology, geology, physics, and cosmology; we are coming ever closer to understanding not only our origins, but the universe's as well. None of these explanations, theories, equations, or hypothesis have or require god or miracles in them to work. Simply put, we don't need the super-natural to explain the natural. And conversely, the natural is not evidence for the super-natural.




[Image: then-a-miracle-occurs-cartoon.png]


I've studied ancient mythology, and when I got around to reading the holy books of the Abrahamic religions; I was literally unable to see any difference between the two. To me the Bible is as factually accurate as Beowulf, the Illiad, or the stories of Sinbad or Heracles; which is to say, not at all factually accurate. None of these are histories of things that actually happened to real people, they're all stories told to pass on ideas. With Beowulf and the Illiad it was the concept of manhood, bravery, and honour, as respective to their cultures. Holy books are just fables that people start to take way too seriously.


There is just as much evidence for the existence of Yahweh as there is for the existence of Zeus. I don't go to church and pray for salvation on Sundays for the same reason that I don't make animal sacrifices to Mt. Olympus to protect myself from lightning strikes.


Once a believer truly understand why they don't believe in other religions, and applies those same standards to their own religion, they will be left with some very hard to answer questions (this is John Loftus' Outsider's Test of Faith). I had it easy, I was never a believer, I didn't 'have a dog in this fight' so to speak. I didn't have to wrestle with cognitive dissonance, the trail of reason and logic was easy to follow to it's conclusion. Believers don't have it that easy. Most deal with the dissonance simply by ignoring it, you never have to answer question you don't ask; ignorance is bliss I've been told. Others can and do work through it, such as Dan Barker, Seth Andrews, and many of the regulars on this forum.


Take the motion of our solar system. The Bible gets this incorrect, just like it does everything else in the stories contained within Genesis. The book essentially says that we are the center of everything, that the universe revolves around us, and was made for our benefit. In keeping with this idea and trying to make it mesh with our growing understanding of the cosmos, it took Ptolemy 13 volumes in his Mathematike Syntaxis to try and make sense of epicycles to explain the planet's positions around an Earth centered model. All of this to keep in line with the religiously held 'truth', one that was not to be questioned; the evidence would be made to fit the conclusion (much like modern day ID proponents). With heliocentrism and enough calculus to fit into a few chapters of a current math textbook, NASA launched the Voyager II probe to the edge of our solar system and had it arrive at Neptune's orbit over a decade later, and it's arrival time was calculated to within 1 second of accuracy. This is the power of logic, reason, free thought and inquiry, when unchained from the dogma of religiosity.


So I'm left here standing in an open market of ideas, and I can see all of the vendors shouting and trying to sell their wares. But I've yet to have a compelling reason to believe in any god or gods. Faith and special pleading isn't good enough, neither are calls to authority or argumentum ad populum. I have no reason to buy what the faithful are selling, and until I am presented with compelling evidence, I don't have a good reason to change my position. I get by just fine without attributing anything to god, and when I come across something I don't know, it is simply that 'I don't know'. Not that 'I can't know' or 'will never know' or 'God did it, so I don't need to know'. It is simply 'I don't know', and it is an incredibly liberating statement. I don't have to be afraid to ask question and think for myself, ideas alone won't banish me to an eternity in a lake of fire. I've studied the physics of fire enough to know how it works, and it no longer frightens me.


There is no reason to think that 'god' is anything more than a concept. Concepts can't hurt you, judge you, hate you, love you, banish you to eternal torment, or reward you with everlasting peace. Concepts are thoughts and ideas, given form by human consciousness and imaginations. Concepts can hold power, but only insofar as expressed by the will of men. If humans were to go extinct from a nearby star going supernova and blowing away our atmosphere and bathing Earth in lethal doses of cosmic rays and radiation, there are two things I am sure of. One, that the universe would not take any notice of our passing; and two, gods would cease to exists without humans to create them.


:edited for grammar and to add image:

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28-01-2013, 06:45 AM
RE: Question for theists: What would make you change your faith?
fuck fuck fuck fuck.

That felt good.

Anyway what the fuck where we talking about... oh yeah what would it take to make a theist change his faith? it's not evidence that's for sure. Because evidence had nothing to do with their faith in the first place. I think since their faith is based on old transcripts we need some transcripts of similar vintage to say something different. So Egor's approach might be the most effective at changing faith. It worked for Joseph Smith.

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28-01-2013, 10:52 PM
RE: Question for theists: What would make you change your faith?
(27-01-2013 07:50 AM)ideasonscribe Wrote:  
(25-01-2013 07:03 PM)PersephoneK Wrote:  From then on, it was a relatively short path to total unbelief. The evidence was just too strong.

What evidence, specifically?
That would take a long time. I'll have to respond when not typing with my thumbs. But in a nutshell its plainly obvious and not a secret that the bible was written by ancient shepherds who didnt understand how the world worked. If the bible cannot be trusted as the inerrant word of god, the house of cards falls apart.

"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." ~Rene Descartes.
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28-01-2013, 10:53 PM
RE: Question for theists: What would make you change your faith?
And not that it matters greatly but persephonek is a girl.

"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." ~Rene Descartes.
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28-01-2013, 10:58 PM
RE: Question for theists: What would make you change your faith?
(28-01-2013 06:45 AM)Andrew_Njonjo Wrote:  fuck fuck fuck fuck.

That felt good.

Anyway what the fuck where we talking about... oh yeah what would it take to make a theist change his faith? it's not evidence that's for sure. Because evidence had nothing to do with their faith in the first place. I think since their faith is based on old transcripts we need some transcripts of similar vintage to say something different. So Egor's approach might be the most effective at changing faith. It worked for Joseph Smith.
Many people do a lot to avoid cognitive dissonance and surround themselves with people who will not give them different points of view or challenge their faith, and it's easier and usually more socially acceptable to keep believing. I don't think it's just a matter of evidence, I think you have to also consider the social factors.

If everyone you know is a Christian, they're gonna think you're nuts and maybe stop talking to you, and you might want to avoid that, even if another religion or no religion sounds good to you. I think it's a big factor in why many people remain in the same religion they were born into. Peer pressure.
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29-01-2013, 07:23 AM
RE: Question for theists: What would make you change your faith?
A liitle dissonance, a sprinkle of egocentrism and voilà! Kudos to Miller.

January 29, 2013
Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller
[Image: 4fdb98c0470f01301099001dd8b71c47]



The theist, having his boat stuck at low tide, will pray long enough for the tide to come in, praise God for His help, and declare this an example of devine intervention. The atheist would have checked the charts in the first place and acted accordingly.

“I suppose our capacity for self-delusion is boundless."
― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's." - Mark Twain in Eruption
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