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disillusioned last won the day on November 22 2015

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About disillusioned

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    Holy Prophet of the FSM

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    Still trying to find my way, mostly making it up as I go along.
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    Chess, literature, science, philosophy, entertainment, food and drink.
  • More About Me
    "Using words to talk of words is like using a pencil to draw a picture of itself, on itself."
    ~Patrick Rothfuss~

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    I have looked deep into the sauce and cheese.

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  1. Series of causes

    I've been keeping an eye on this thread and meaning to comment, but work has been persistently getting in the way. Ultimately, I think that the problem (one of the problems?) is that the Aristotelian metaphysics that the Thomistic arguments are based on is flawed. I'm not sure why one would insist on keeping a metaphysical framework when one has discarded the outmoded physics that it accompanies, except if one has a vested interest. I haven't read any of Feser's stuff (not really my usual oeuvre), but I'd be interested in looking at his reasoning for keeping Aristotelian metaphysics.
  2. The mistake of painting a group with a broad brush

    I think that part of the problem here is that Christianity (and, more broadly, theism) is not well-defined. Christians come in all shapes and sizes and with all kinds of different sets of beliefs. And so do atheists. I know plenty of very intelligent Christians, and quite a few dumb atheists. Neither belief is a credential, and neither is a particularly good criterion for judging intelligence.
  3. Personally, I don't find it helpful to consider what I've lost or gained because of Christianity. It has had an unalterable effect on my life. It has shaped who I am in ways that can never be reversed. Things might be better if I had been raised differently. They might be worse. I don't know who I would be without Christianity, and I can't know who I would be. All that I know is who I am now, and all I can do is go forward from here.

    In addition to what has been said so far there is also another refutation that can be made. The laws of thermodynamics are known to apply within the universe, and only within the universe. We have no reason to think that they should apply to the universe as a whole. This is true because the universe need not be a closed system (as BAA has argued), but it would also be true if the universe were a closed system. To argue that the laws which apply within the universe should also apply to the universe is to commit the fallacy of composition. So yes, within closed systems in the universe, energy cannot be created or destroyed. But this says absolutely nothing about whether or not the universe itself can be created or destroyed.
  5. Nearly always been an atheist, but...

    I don't think that it's really arguable that the Bible is one of the most important books ever written. Everyone should read it. Parts of it are beautiful, parts of it are profound, and parts of it are nonsensical. But there is no question that it has had more influence on history then almost any other book. It should certainly be read and studied carefully. One of my most prized possessions is a very old Bible which I inherited from my grandparents, but which has been in my family for several hundred years. I like books, and, by any measure, that is a very cool book. The fact that I don't consider it to be God's word doesn't really change this at all. Welcome to Ex-C!
  6. What's the deprogramming process like for you?

    Yes, I felt like this for quite a while. It did go away eventually though. Keep learning, keep reading, keep researching. The habits will go away in time.
  7. Idk where to post this...

    You may be able to distance yourself from these kinds of conversations without going all the way to "I'm not a Christian anymore". I don't know your situation, but I did this with my family and it worked pretty well. Remember that there are all kinds of Christians who believe all kinds of things about the end times. Just pick a less crazy kind of Christian to pretend to be. Tell her that you don't think the end times are imminent because of all the false alarms that we've had. Tell her that every generation of Christians has thought that they were the final generation. Remind her that the Jews didn't expect or recognize the coming of the messiah, and ask if it does not stand to reason that we, too, might not expect or recognize the second coming. Give her the line about no one knowing the day or the hour and, as midniterider suggested, that he will come like a thief in the night. Tell her that you don't think a fixation on the end is healthy, or even in line with what Christianity is about. We are here, and now, and we don't know how long we have. Shouldn't we focus on doing the best we can with the time that we do have rather than wasting it wishing for it all to end? Don't try to change her mind, try to get her to agree to disagree. If can do this about side issues like the end times, then maybe one day it will be easier to do it with the central issues as well. Or go another way entirely. Like I said, I don't know your situation.
  8. Is The Fine Tuned Universe (Argument) Leaky..?

    BAA, I think you're right that the fact that we don't know the actual volume of the universe is a real problem for the teleological argument. It's not the only problem for that argument either. I think that the argument appeals to our sensibilities, but ultimately doesn't obtain anything. It falls apart on inspection.
  9. Muslim convert to Christianity dies

    The book that I read was basically a comparison of Islam and Christianity. He gave a lot of decent reasons why he left Islam, but didn't really give any solid reasons for embracing Christianity. It was almost like he didn't even consider that both might be false.
  10. Quarter Life Crisis....?

    For a 2 year program, it almost doesn't matter what you major in. Just pick something and stick with it. You'll be finished before you know it. Then take some time to figure out what you want to do.
  11. Muslim convert to Christianity dies

    I listened to one of his audiobooks at the behest of my father about a year ago. He certainly seemed sincere, if misguided. It's a shame he died so young.
  12. Moving on

    A lot of atheists are assholes. But it is possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist who is not an asshole. Also, it is very possible to be an ex-christian and not be an atheist. We have a few such people here. Many religious people are wonderful. But that does not change the fact that religion itself is reprehensible. For many, being able to recognise the difference between the religion and the religious is a major step on the road to recovery. You seem to have made that step, which is awesome. We all need to move on from anger. And many who come here stay for a while, and then move on. That's great. That means the site is doing its job. Others of us stick around so that we can help the newcomers, and so that we can continue to interact with fellow free-thinkers. There's nothing wrong with that either. If you've found peace, then that is wonderful. All the best.
  13. LovelyChantel is Here

    Please do stick around. This is a wonderful place :). But also see your therapist. I hope all is well.
  14. Telling the parents.

    After I realized that I no longer believed, I waited over two years before I told anyone other than my wife. When I did decide to tell the rest of my family, I put a lot of thought into how and when I would do it. It had to be done, but it did not have to be done right away. It caused them a lot of pain, and it has forever altered our relationships. But it had to be done. I have no regrets. Everyone's situation is different. The only advice I have is to take your time. To quote Robin Hobb, "Don't do what you can't undo, until you've considered what you can't do once you've done it."
  15. Burden of Proof

    I agree with what ficino said earlier about the skeptic's position not really being "not P" but rather "you have yet to prove P". In general, I think that the principle of the burden of proof cuts both ways; ie, if you say "P" and I say "not P" then we both share an equal burden of proof. Keep in mind that "P" could be anything, including "not A" for some other claim "A". But in this case "not P" reduces to "A". From the right perspective, every assertive claim is a positive truth claim and requires proof if it is to be accepted of necessity. But, in every day life, many claims are accepted without proof, and this is fine. The burden of proof only really exists if someone is being skeptical of the claim being made, and the party making the claim wishes to convince the skeptic. Otherwise we can just agree to disagree. Regarding proving negative statements like "the exodus did not occur", I'll just say for the moment that one common way of doing this is to show that the corresponding positive claim leads to a contradiction. If we can show that the claim that the exodus did occur entails that some other verified fact can't be true, then we have a contradiction. And, so long as we assume the law of non-contradiction, we can conclude that the exodus actually did not occur. Unfortunately I don't know enough about history to make any comment on whether or not this can actually be done in the case of this particular claim.