A forum to discuss how ex-Christians have dealt with family members, replaced the church as a place of community, reactions of your family, friends, church, acquaintances upon learning of the de-conversion, or anything else relevant to the Ex-Christian Life.
The bulk of science does not support belief in a deity, or does it? This is an open discussion area to hone your skills at supporting and understanding the various positions. Feel free to post any links of value in this important topic.
This section is confined to serious and formal debate. New topics will not appear in this section until approved by a moderator. For best results, contact a moderator before attempting to post a new topic in this section.
"The very same people who say that government has no right to interfere with sexual activity between consenting adults believe that the government has every right to interfere with economic activity between consenting adults."
I think the answer to this question is an emphatic and resounding "no". When I look around the world, mostly what I see is people who will take any excuse to believe whatever they are told, sans evidence. A sad fact about humans is that, in general, we quite like to be told what to do. We like having someone in authority over us. We like the idea that someone who knows what they are doing is in charge, and if we just listen to them than everything will be alright. So no, in general we don't demand too much evidence; we're more than happy to believe just about anything.
Maybe. Maybe not.
It is true that history has affected the sorts of baseless claims that many people are willing to believe. We do, as a species, know quite a bit more now than we used to. We don't need to attribute plagues, earthquakes, and floods to the wrath of God. We know what causes them. Yet, there are still many people in the world who do just this, and some of them profess to be quite civilised. Even today, many people are ignorant, and some are wilfully so. But clearly it would be wrong to conclude that in the first century everyone would have found the claims of Christianity compelling. Some people did, and some people didn't. Which group we would have been in is difficult to ascertain.
Well, the fact is that the Christian faith is mainly non-sense. The very fact that you have to wonder what is expected of you is evidence of this.
This is possible. No can assure you with authority that it isn't. But the thing is, there is no reason to believe that it is true. None whatsoever. It also isn't consistent with the Christian message. So there's that.
Ah, see the thing is, you don't generally have to disprove faith claims. The person making the claim has a duty to convince you that they are correct. If they can't do this, then you are under no obligation to accept the claim. The importance of this grows with the absurdity of the claim. Christianity is an absurd claim. Very absurd. So unless there is a reason to accept it, we are well within our rights to simply dismiss it as silly.
There is much more that can be said about this. It's an interesting topic. I'm glad you brought it up.
Welcome to ExC!
There is something I have been pondering lately, well, it has always been there I just did not realize what I was dealing with at the time. I have been considering the difference between faith claims and what we can ascertain to be true knowledge. When I say true knowledge, I do not necessarily imply we have a complete understanding, but we could reasonably say it matches reality as humans understand it because it has an existential element to it, i.e., we can test it, observe it, or verify it to some extent.
A read through of BAA and Dude's thread on Complete vs Limited Understanding might be a start. This was a very interesting topic on understanding, truth etc
I mention this because I am struggling to get a grasp on faith claims (in this case, explicitly the Bible or tradition passed down the church) and how they are to be understood.
Even more specifically, there are a lot of different faith claims floating around in different denominations and I can reasonably say, almost none are able to be verified or placed in a category of true knowledge as I described above. I have an example from today, I ran across this Linkedin profile where this gentleman had wrote a whole blog on the different types of people who are going to be in hell.
Faith claims are not isolated to the bible. Thus a great thing to bring up with religious people is that people from other religions also have faith claims. Why doesn't (say a Christian) accept the faith claims of a Muslim or Hindu? Once they can answer that then they know why you reject their faith claims.
Women who wore hoop earrings
People who listened to secular music
Women who wore trousers
Couples who have sex with the woman on top (no kidding, this was actually stated)
I wouldn't say this is a faith claim. Rather its someone's opinion. Stupid, illogical opinion at that.
"Hell exists" is a faith claim. You are going to hell because of x y or z is an opinion.
Not only that, the Bible does not have what I consider a divine stamp. It has human hands all over it, we are unable to actually verify if it is indeed inspired by God, therefore the authority of the Bible becomes another faith claim.
Actually I would say we are able to verify some of the claims made. And because they do not past the verification test we can reject them.
One claim is how the world was made in Genesis - we can reject that. The Exodus, we can reject that. The flood story, we can reject that. These are things we can test, and find out that they fail the test. Jesus promise of "returning soon". We can reject that.
One of my questions would be, if God truly does love us as so many claim, why would there not be evidence for the Bible or claims within Christianity that could be subjected to the scientific method or any other verifiable method to determine what exactly we should believe and how we should live? Do modern humans demand too much so far as evidence goes?
No, considering there are 2 billion Christians, and most just believe on faith I would say there is an extreme lack of demand for evidence. If people demanded evidence Christianity would fall over tomorrow.
Tying into the previous question, if we all lived in the first century, would we find the claims for the Christian faith compelling, and if so, why? I ask this question because perhaps modern humans do not see the world as the ancients did and that is why a lot of us end up leaving the faith.
That would depend on our level of scepticism I guess. It can be shown that if you are inclined to believe one false thing, then you are more susceptible to believe other false things.
The reason for my post is because I do have a lot, and I mean a lot of doubts about the Christian faith but I am always plagued by the "what if." What if the answer is really obvious but I missed it and end up regretting it after I die and I end up standing in front of the Christian God. Am I being unreasonable for wanting to verify the claims and to truly understand what is expected?
No, you are not being unreasonable. No just God would judge any honest investigation. However if there is a God and he is a prick then I wouldn't want to worship him anyway. But let me suggest that you do not have these worries about meeting any other God apart from the one you were brought up to believe in. Think of that. Do you worry about running into Hades? Or Zeus. Anubis?
I know a lot of you have put the idea of Christianity to bed, but I am not sure how you did it. How plausible is it our first example is actually correct and God has what we consider very extreme and/or outrageous expectations. How plausible is the second example? How plausible is it any of it is true by either modern day or historical reasoning?
Curious to hear different takes on it because I am losing my mind over it. As much as I would like to say "this is not true and I have nothing to fear," I am afraid I do not know how to disprove any of the faith claims just as I am unable to prove any of them.
One of the first things is to be comfortable with not knowing 100%. Can I give you a gift wrapped 100% guarantee that the Christian God doesn't exist? No. But I can't do that for my transcendent unicorn either.
What we can say, is based on everything we know, all the information we can currently gather, the existence of God is very unlikely.
Welcome to Ex-c! I think you should start a topic in the Spirituality Section and allow the people who are longing for some kind of spiritual walk in 'the universe', to be able to post there? PM me and I'll let you in. The reason I suggest this is because if you go stay here in the Lions Den, you will have to prove what you are stating about this spiritual concept. So I'll leave this up to you. Thanks, new friend.
(hug) @Soul The Spirituality Section allows for a much friendlier discussion.
You seem like a science and philosophy oriented guy who was raised in a Christian home and sent to church as a child. If I am wrong, then I guess I am just seeing myself in you.
I would recommend looking into cultural anthropology. Christianity looks quite impressive when it is standing by itself and you have been saturated by Christian apologetics. But when you study other primitive cultures and notice how they all created gods you start to see a pattern. Put Jehovah next to Odin, Zeus and Osiris and suddenly they all look silly. But then when you realize that humans have created thousands of gods then it becomes clear that the Christian god is just one more of the same. It is human nature to create gods. We still do it today but modern gods are called "superheroes" and they live in comic books. Really it is the same thing.
Christians should not be allowed to get away with special pleading. They should demonstrate that their god had earned an exception or else their god should be dismissed the same way Christians dismiss all the other gods people have invented.