Who wants to help me in my current debate?
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27-08-2012, 04:18 AM
Who wants to help me in my current debate?
First, hello everyone! I am a newly opened mind. I am still in the throes of casting off my previous delusions, and my friends and acquaintances are desperately trying to get me to change my mind (even though that is not looking very plausible).

For the past 10 years, I have been an Eastern Orthodox Christian (mostly similar to Catholic, sans any Pope and with a much better track record as regards causing atrocities in the world). Orthodox Christians, like all christian sects, pride themselves on having the 'fullness of the truth.' By this, of course, they mean that everyone else is some degree of wrong. Unlike everyone else though, they actually get some reasonable claim to being closer to 'original christianity' (whatever that is) than anyone else. Basically, the Eastern christians never opened their theology up with rationality to realize how rotten it is. So, they have never had to change their beliefs. They mostly rely on 'mystery' (as in mystical) as the answer for everything that does not make sense. Virgin birth? Mystery. Trinity? Mystery. Transubstantiation? Mystery (really - there is no theology of transubstantiation in the eastern church because they simply assert that the bread and wine 'mystically' become the body and blood of Christ, and leave it at that. No explanation for why the molecules do not change). And etcetera... Anyway, I can't see how to argue with this. They have managed to make their religious belief system self-consistent by deflecting any and all potential problems with 'mystery.' God is a mystery too, so pointing out that free will, omnipotence, omniscience and a host of other things are logical impossibilities just gets ignored. It seems that they have successfully crafted an unfalsifiable Christianity to go with their unfalsifiable God.

How do I even argue with this? Not only do they stick to their argument from ignorance, they even rationalize why they think all these things SHOULD be 'mysterious.' Some of these people mean a lot to me, and even though I know I cannot convince them that I am right, I would at least like to be able to communicate to them why it seems obvious to me that this answer is bullshit.
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27-08-2012, 05:02 AM
RE: Who wants to help me in my current debate?
You can't argue with that. You can, however, try to section these people. Tongue

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27-08-2012, 05:09 AM
RE: Who wants to help me in my current debate?
So they want to be cosy in their faith bubbles rather than face the harsh realities of life.

Is that such a mystery?

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27-08-2012, 05:12 AM
RE: Who wants to help me in my current debate?
I have learned that it is one of those things that you have to be very patient with. A debate does not necessarily settle things, especially overnight.

My family has slowly become more and more comfortable with me being an atheist. Oddly enough, my mom has even become more open minded. Her initial intentions to "debate" with me over email, phone or whatever method would usually end up with, "Hm that's an interesting point, I didn't think of it like that." and while she still holds her beliefs, she has been able to look at things more openly than she did prior.

Like someone who is teetering in the middle. One part of you says, "I don't want to let this go because that would mean I have to admit I'm wrong and look at things all over again." while the other side is saying "What if this is right?"

For those who were always an atheist it can be VERY hard to put yourself in the shoes of a theist. I was a christian for a very long time and I do recall a time when people who said anything of opposition seemed bat shit crazy to me or were purposely trying to trick me. "Logic? Reason? What? THIS IS THE TRUTH." or so it seemed.

I do remember things, small things that people said that made me go, "That's an interesting point." even though I would never admit it. Things like "What if the big bang was how we were 'created'... how would you know?"

In the words of one of the members of "The Atheist Experience" told me via email... "People don't believe in irrational things for rational reasons."
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27-08-2012, 07:09 AM
RE: Who wants to help me in my current debate?
Hey, JOren.

It's seems to me like you just did a pretty good job of it.

I mean, you don't have to convince them. You said something very important about those that believe they have objective truth; that all other truths must necessarily be wrong. Do you need them to be wrong? Or can you content yourself with believing what you believe and letting them do their thing? If you can do that, then you alleviate the pressure of having to convince them of anything. You just do what you just did. "Hey, guys. I believe X because of Y." And leave it at that.

You don't have to attack a thing to disagree with it. If someone tells me they believe that the world is 6 000 years old and that Jesus rode a dinosaur, well, I don't believe it. I don't believe it because there is a mountain of scientific evidence that places the existence of dinosaurs millions of years in the past and the creation of the planet billions of years in the past. That's why I believe what I believe. I don't need to get into a fight. I don't need to call their beliefs bullshit or them stupid. My truth is my truth, theirs is theirs, and they aren't compatible for reasons X, Y, Z. It doesn't need to be more complicated than that.

Welcome to the community. I hope that you find something of value here.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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27-08-2012, 08:05 AM
RE: Who wants to help me in my current debate?
J0ren,

The fastest way to end the debate is to get right to the root of their belief system straight away - Jesus. I have been studying, and educating myself on the "historical Jesus", and to my surprise (I'm ex-Catholic by the way) there is little to no evidence that the Biblical Jesus of Nazareth existed as an actual person in history. The ONLY mention of him are in Mark, Matthew, John and Luke in the Bible. The extra-Biblical accounts that you hear about (Namely Josephus) are sketchy at best and probably forgeries. You would think that with someone of this importance, someone would have preserved an article of clothing, a possession of his or his families (tools, cups, etc.), or even preserved a piece of the cross he was supposedly crucified upon... But we find nothing. No physical evidence, and even no record of him during his supposed lifetime - not even a Roman record of his trail and punishment, and the Romans kept immaculate records!

So, with that said - without a Christ, Christianity as a whole is completely falsifiable. Everything in the "New Testament" is rubbish without a Christ. And THAT is the fastest way to end the debate with Christians. You won't ever convince them, but it will end the debate. Tongue

Good luck!
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27-08-2012, 08:44 AM
Who wants to help me in my current debate?
Hey J0ren,
Welcome. You've come to the right place to ask questions and do a bit of a reality check.
I can actually agree with Ghost's advice and say you're already doing a good job of expressing yourself. There's not much you need from us in being able to lay out your thoughts in an organized manner. And as Ghost suggested, you're goal here is not to change anyone else, but to express what you know and what you believe. If they're wanting to change, they'll do so. If they don't, at least they'll understand you, and I should think that's your biggest goal: to be heard and understood. Or at least, that's what I would want.

Also, Malleus is one of our forum members and he was an Orthodox Priest, so hopefully he'll see this and chime in. Smile

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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27-08-2012, 11:24 AM
RE: Who wants to help me in my current debate?
(27-08-2012 08:44 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  Also, Malleus is one of our forum members and he was an Orthodox Priest, so hopefully he'll see this and chime in. Smile

How did I not know that? WeepingConsider

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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27-08-2012, 11:49 AM
RE: Who wants to help me in my current debate?
(27-08-2012 07:09 AM)Ghost Wrote:  My truth is my truth, theirs is theirs, and they aren't compatible for reasons X, Y, Z.

I disagree. Truth is objective, not subjective.

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27-08-2012, 12:53 PM
RE: Who wants to help me in my current debate?
(27-08-2012 11:24 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(27-08-2012 08:44 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  Also, Malleus is one of our forum members and he was an Orthodox Priest, so hopefully he'll see this and chime in. Smile

How did I not know that? WeepingConsider

Maybe because technically I was wrong?

Malleus' Intro

He did 10 years of training in Orthodox Priesting, but didn't become ordained.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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