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#1 Vigile

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 11:39 AM

After reading Tab's thread it occurred to me that Ex-Christian, the site, is missing an opportunity.

I realize the site is full of assorted resources on various subjects. It seems to me, however, that it would be a good idea to have an edited down cliff-note type resource that outlines the basic problem with xian belief.

I thought perhaps we could brainstorm some ideas here and then we could as a group or as volunteers take our thoughts and put them into a concise, easy-to-read outline that we could point others to on occasions where it is apt.

Off the top of my head, there are 5 basic problems with xian belief.

1. Is there a god in the first place?

2. If there is a god, is he a good god?

3. Does the plan of salvation make sense?

4. Do xians believe the bible?

5. Is the bible error free?

This is just a starting point. Perhaps one or more categories can be combined or perhaps we need more categories or even different ones.

So first off, is anyone interested in contributing to such a project? If so, let's brainstorm here.

We can then see where this is going. Hopefully a few of you will be willing to step up and emerge as guiding forces, if you will, to help analyze and then eventually to consolidate everyone's contributions so that in the end we have an easily digestible, quick guide that outlines the basic problems with faith/belief.

If you are a taker, then take away and add your thoughts. Or just add your thoughts anyway. There are no wrong answers at this point.

Go!

Ps, I realize that trying to organize free thinkers is like trying to herd cats, but hopefully we can all reach some sort of consensus after things all get hashed out for a while.
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#2 Vigile

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 12:19 PM

Missed a big category:

6. Did Jesus exist?
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#3 BlueGiant

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 12:57 PM

Out of curiosity, would it also be appropriate to include refutations to common arguments that show up here in this document? I'm thinking the four-point-perfect-proof™, Pascal's and the like.
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#4 Vigile

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 01:03 PM

Out of curiosity, would it also be appropriate to include refutations to common arguments that show up here in this document? I'm thinking the four-point-perfect-proof™, Pascal's and the like.


Absolutely. There are no rules here; at least until we all agree on some.

I'm also thinking that if anyone has some zingers, we can put them together. Hans just had a good one I think in the Tab's thread. He mentioned that free choice was like putting two bowls of candy in front of your child and telling them they can choose whatever they want, but that they had better choose the one on the left or else.

Hopefully no one feels underqualified to contribute here or that they feel it will be too time consuming. Everyone here has a point(s) that really firmed things up for them. Just pass them along for discussion.
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#5 Shyone

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 08:27 PM


Out of curiosity, would it also be appropriate to include refutations to common arguments that show up here in this document? I'm thinking the four-point-perfect-proof™, Pascal's and the like.


Absolutely. There are no rules here; at least until we all agree on some.

I'm also thinking that if anyone has some zingers, we can put them together. Hans just had a good one I think in the Tab's thread. He mentioned that free choice was like putting two bowls of candy in front of your child and telling them they can choose whatever they want, but that they had better choose the one on the left or else.

Hopefully no one feels underqualified to contribute here or that they feel it will be too time consuming. Everyone here has a point(s) that really firmed things up for them. Just pass them along for discussion.

Something occurred to me when I read this, but I hesitate to comment.

A lot of this work has already been done. There are many resources available for various arguments and refutations (not even including books). I think that "favorite links" might be useful, particularly if they are topic specific (even a page within a web site).

The end product then could be a combination of original contributions and links - perhaps organized in an easily accessible way. Quoted, referenced, and made into a flowing format that is easily read and easily understood.

As for format,

I. Problem 1
----A. Answer 1
--------1. Objection 1 answer 1
--------2. Objection 2 answer 1
--------3. (etc., as needed)
----B. Answer 2
--------1. Objection 1 answer 2
--------2. Objection 2 answer 2
--------3. (etc. as needed)
----C. (etc., as needed)
II. Problem 2

and so forth. Easy to find and understand, easy to reference for debates. Similar format used by Aquinas.

Otherwise, the lack of organization will leave the collected material unusable and jumbled.

Just a few thoughts.
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#6 Vigile

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 12:12 AM

That's a good idea Shyone. Organizing links and resources does make them much more useful.

What I'm thinking is that would be a good resource for someone willing to do the research, a friendly seeker if you will, but what about a hostile person? I was hoping to put together a short and sweet refutation that addresses the main objections most of us have with the xian faith.

Dunno, maybe no one is really interested. No big deal if not.
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#7 BlueGiant

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 02:33 PM

I'm interested, just have to carve out some time to write for this.

Perhaps an explanation, or a statement on a given point followed by a "further reading" section where the links/citations can go can address both.
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#8 Ouroboros

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 07:37 PM

I think it's a great idea. I've thought about the same thing in the past that it would be nice to have collection of the different things explained and outlined, without discussion--just the statements. The only reasons why I didn't start anything like this is that it's a huge undertaking and I'm not sure exactly how it should be formatted. A wiki thing perhaps?
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And behold, one came who in the form of a demon holding a beer, and he spake with a tongue of red. And when he spake, he said bye bye, and all listened, and watched as he smote the babbling troll with his +5 banhammer of fedupishness. And there was much rejoicing.



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#9 Shyone

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 08:15 PM

I think it's a great idea. I've thought about the same thing in the past that it would be nice to have collection of the different things explained and outlined, without discussion--just the statements. The only reasons why I didn't start anything like this is that it's a huge undertaking and I'm not sure exactly how it should be formatted. A wiki thing perhaps?

I would say that the first thing would be to identify "categories." Then topics.

For example, The Existence of God, Biblical controveries, Christian Theological Insanity, Harms of Contemporary Christian Religion, and a large number of topics that members might consider important, perhaps following the format of the Forums which have a general outline of the issues we discuss. A special category of "Quotes" from members that have been recognized as special might be interesting to have.

Topics under The Existence of God might be subdivided into specific reasons for not believing there are gods at all (e.g. topics such as multiple religions, history, etc.) and Refutations of arguments for the Existence of God (e.g. Kalaam, Cause, Design, Anselm, etc.).

Once topics are identified, it might be helpful to start with combing the posts in these forums for the best posts or passages available, and perhaps the links suggested in these posts might be helpful. A lot of work has been done, and it would be a shame for that work to be forgotten in the ether.
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Posted 28 January 2010 - 05:08 AM

We could also look at big events in the bible like

The Resurrection
The Exodus
The Reigns of David and Solomon

There ways to find out about this, but with the brain power(the members of the site interested) we have here we could make it easy and accessible and more importantly detail heavy. (Which is the one flaw of the Iron Chariots wiki, its lack of detail)

Count me in
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#11 Guest_Valkyrie0010_*

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 05:10 AM

We could also look at big events in the bible like

The Resurrection
The Exodus
The Reigns of David and Solomon

There ways to find out about this, but with the brain power(the members of the site interested) we have here we could make it easy and accessible and more importantly detail heavy. (Which is the one flaw of the Iron Chariots wiki, its lack of detail)

Count me in

I will do what I can, I don't have the time to become heavily involved but if I can I would like to contribute.
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#12 Vigile

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 05:16 AM

I think it's a great idea. I've thought about the same thing in the past that it would be nice to have collection of the different things explained and outlined, without discussion--just the statements. The only reasons why I didn't start anything like this is that it's a huge undertaking and I'm not sure exactly how it should be formatted. A wiki thing perhaps?


I'm not really sure either. I thought perhaps we could just have a bull session like we are doing and then once something makes sense we could have a clearer picture how to move forward.
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#13 Vigile

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 05:23 AM

I would say that the first thing would be to identify "categories." Then topics.


Agreed. I started a list in the OP. We can either add to it, combine it, or change it altogether. Nothing's wrong while you are brainstorming.

Ultimately what I'd like is something that slam dunks those who have too narrow of a focus.

Creation? First you have to prove there's a god and then you have to prove that the bible is his words and then you have to prove...

Etc...

And if we could give them short, sweet zingers for each step I think that would be great. I've read so many zingers on this site over the years I think it's not an issue. We just need to use one or two for each category to create a user-friendly, no brainer refutation.

Topics under The Existence of God might be subdivided into specific reasons for not believing there are gods at all (e.g. topics such as multiple religions, history, etc.) and Refutations of arguments for the Existence of God (e.g. Kalaam, Cause, Design, Anselm, etc.).


I think answering each of these arguments in detail is a great idea as well. Perhaps we could have a short and sweet, all-in-one refutation and then in addition, we can shore up our resources in a more detailed manner as well. That would certainly put more meat on the bone.
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#14 Deva

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 06:27 AM

Maybe a separate topic on the free will issue, or incorporate it in the category "does the plan of salvation make sense". This comes up all the time and right now there is some really good material in a couple of threads, especially the origin of Satan thread. Some good statements on that which I had never thought of before.
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#15 Ouroboros

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:00 PM

I'm not really sure either. I thought perhaps we could just have a bull session like we are doing and then once something makes sense we could have a clearer picture how to move forward.

One question that comes to my mind is, would it be best to focus on just one topic and work it out first, and then go on to the next when it seems completed? Or should we go at several big topics at once? Another question is, should we petition Dave to set up a Wiki thing where the collaborated material is collected?
Jabbrwokk QFT:



And behold, one came who in the form of a demon holding a beer, and he spake with a tongue of red. And when he spake, he said bye bye, and all listened, and watched as he smote the babbling troll with his +5 banhammer of fedupishness. And there was much rejoicing.



Book of Hans 3:16

#16 Vigile

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:05 PM

One question that comes to my mind is, would it be best to focus on just one topic and work it out first, and then go on to the next when it seems completed?


It would certainly be more efficient and make things less complicated.

So what project should we start on. Anyone have an opinion?

Another question is, should we petition Dave to set up a Wiki thing where the collaborated material is collected?


Maybe we should reach an agreement on the question above and that might answer this question?
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#17 Ouroboros

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:07 PM

So the steps would be:

1) identify the topics
2) make a poll for which topic to debate
3) ... what would be the next step?

---edit

I have an idea, which I will outline more later because I have to leave.

We could use the Arena. Assign to persons to be the Socratic proxies for the debate. And in a peanut gallery we'll discuss is point/counterpoint and the correct responses. That way we'll sort out and clean up the arguments and logic and it will be presented in a static forum with the results. Okay. I'm out of here. I'll explain more later...
Jabbrwokk QFT:



And behold, one came who in the form of a demon holding a beer, and he spake with a tongue of red. And when he spake, he said bye bye, and all listened, and watched as he smote the babbling troll with his +5 banhammer of fedupishness. And there was much rejoicing.



Book of Hans 3:16

#18 Vigile

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:30 PM

Cool! Thanks Hans, this is great.
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#19 FourDogBrewing

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:43 PM

Wonder if a wiki type format would most appropriate for a project like this. Might be easy to organize, manage and edit, be search-able etc...

Of course you would have to lock it down to invite only, or you would have fundies raising hell with it. lol

If we need server space, hosting/whatever for this project let me know. I can't help so much from a content perspective as I an new and still learning. I can however help from a technical perspective, I am OK with PHP databases etc...
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#20 Ouroboros

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 04:02 PM

Wiki would be great, but I just suspect it's a too big of an undertaking. It would require a new host, app, setup, admin, moderators, etc... So my suggestion is to keep it simple (for now), and if it grows and become unmanageable here, it could be extracted and put into a wiki system.

Here is my thought process:

At first I was thinking we could just continue having regular discussions and pin those topics, but the drawbacks are: the topic rarely stay on track, the same questions keep on re-occurring, and eventually there will be way too many pinned topics in the forums where regular discussions are supposed to be done.

So that lead to the idea that we could have these material under the (mostly unused) Arena.

Unfortunately, the Arena serves for the purpose of a discussion between two parties and not as a storage of articles.

So the next thought I had was, why not present that material as a Socratic dialogue. Question/Answer/Argument/Counter-argument, from two individuals. Now, it would be too much to ask that the two individuals would know what to say or ask, so my next thought was: we're using two individuals who are up to the task to be the ones representing the two sides, and we have a peanutting thread on the side where we all contribute with what and how each argument should be done.

In other words, one thread where we all discuss about the topic and help both parties to give the best possible response in the Arena thread, and hopefully we'll end up with a thread which amalgamate the topic in the best way.

I don't know if that makes sense, so give some inputs to the idea. Please.
Jabbrwokk QFT:



And behold, one came who in the form of a demon holding a beer, and he spake with a tongue of red. And when he spake, he said bye bye, and all listened, and watched as he smote the babbling troll with his +5 banhammer of fedupishness. And there was much rejoicing.



Book of Hans 3:16


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