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Should Exchristian=atheist?


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We are ex-christians here, but...I get the feeling that many people have come to automatically reject the idea of God out-of-hand. I think this gives those rejected religions a remnant of authority they don't deserve. Is there anyone who can make an argument for atheism being more likely or deisrable than a non-interactive God?

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I don't believe in anything supernatural. Deities are supernatural beings, thus I don't believe in them. It doesn't work with the universe as we know it. If we find evidence otherwise, I will change my stance.

 

However, I don't think that ex-christian means atheist. Some people have different data than I do, which points them to the supernatural. I don't think it's a right or wrong decision to believe or not to believe, I just chose not to.

 

Anyway, my argument for the nonexistence of deities is Occam's Razor. Deities make things more complex, and physics explains the universe perfectly well as is.

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When I was a Christian, I thought I was believing the words of a guy who had conquered death. A guy who bridged the gap between human beings and the creator of the universe.

 

When that went caput, I lost all inclination to believe in anything supernatural. After reading Dawkins, David Mills, Sam Harris, and - of course - Robert Ingersoll - the whole idea of god seems completely ludricrous and unnecessary to me. I no longer have any use or need for the big guy.

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Paneful,

 

The common link for us is being ex-christians... yes. But...

 

 

re. I get the feeling that many people have come to automatically reject the idea of God out-of-hand.

 

Many of us consider that the absence of evidence makes the question of god irrelevant. He doesn't answer prayer and he doesn't leave crumbs for us to follow. The onus is on it(god) and its believers to convince me. Since I already reviewed pretty much all of the rationale (pretty lame), they've got a tough slog to get my attention now. Yet... if you have the one solitary wizz bang explanation that escaped me, I'll consider a listen. Send me a PM on it and I promise to read.

 

re. I think this gives those rejected religions a remnant of authority they don't deserve.

 

I'm confused. Upon whom do they hold authority?

 

re. Is there anyone who can make an argument for atheism being more likely or deisrable than a non-interactive God

 

I don't see the difference. You are welcome to believe in Thor. I think you will find a brother or two here. It is his job to convince me that Thor exists and matters. I don't need to prove non-existance.

 

He and I will likely to agree that belief in Thor is far less damaging than Christianity. My sister is a Bhuddist and we get along great and she doesn't piss me off.

 

On that note, I do feel a personal responsibility to demonstrate my reasons for considering Judaeo-Christian-Islamic religion to be the feces I consider it to be. I have provided my evidence several times on this site. Ask and ye shall receive.

 

I will confess to replying to most people with a preconception that they are atheist which is not always the case but certainly the tendancy. I should be more careful. Thankfully... everyone here is not a christian (except some trolls and lurkers) and therefore much more forgiving and accepting.

 

Eric

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We are ex-christians here, but...I get the feeling that many people have come to automatically reject the idea of God out-of-hand.
What's wrong with that? Why believe in faerie tales?
I think this gives those rejected religions a remnant of authority they don't deserve.
I don't.
Is there anyone who can make an argument for atheism being more likely or deisrable than a non-interactive God?
Even with a "non interactive god" you're believing in something that doesn't exist.
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I've never really been able to wrap my brain around the whole "agnostic" position or even the deist's position; even when a believer.

 

After 40+ years as an evangelical and 25 years as a preacher, I rejected YHWH and Company because of a lack of evidence. Unless there is some evidence of the existence of some other god, that leaves me with an "atheistic" position only.

 

To harbor some kind of hope or whatever for a deity somewhere seems pointless and unreasonable. IF (and that is a huge IF) there is a deity of any kind out there, somewhere but it/he/she/they have absolutely no intereaction with our world then they are of no consequence whatsoever. Hence; why believe? Why even ponder the possibility?

 

Can I, or anyone, say with certainty that THERE IS NO GOD? Of course not. But neither can we say THERE IS NO FLYING PINK POLKA-DOTTED UNICORNS either. Am I therefore "agnostic" or "undecided" as to the existence of the unicorns? Hell no... for all practical purposes I do not believe that said unicorns exist - anywhere! If my position is wrong and, in fact, these delightful flying unicorns do exist somewhere in the vastness of space, my position is - SO WHAT? WHO GIVES A RAT'S ASS! I have not seen one. They have no influence on my being or my future so their existence (or non-existence) is of no concern to me whatsoever.

 

By default, therefore, I am "atheist" and "aunicornist".

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We are ex-christians here, but...I get the feeling that many people have come to automatically reject the idea of God out-of-hand. I think this gives those rejected religions a remnant of authority they don't deserve. Is there anyone who can make an argument for atheism being more likely or deisrable than a non-interactive God?

 

 

 

I know there are a few here that don't believe 'agnostics' exist. I've pretty much stayed out of that pissing contest, it's a difference in opinion, and it's not my problem if people fail to see that. I can however say that my personal stance is agnostic and I won't apologize for it. Perhaps later on down in my life I'll be happy and comfortable with the term atheist, but I am not at that stage now. I could give two who understands that or not.

 

My stance is not up for debate, it's where I'm comfortable. Please this is not an invitation by self proclaimed atheists to beat me down into an 'atheist label'. I don't worship any deity, I have no idea if any deity exists or not, I'm past the stage of caring if they do. I will say this, Life is to amazing to be coincidence, it is to me anyways. I don't have answers but that doesn't mean answers don't exist.

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*sigh*

 

Why is it your posts are always so condescending Painful? Yes, we atheists are just pissed at xianity so we threw out all religious thought without any forethought. We are stupid, lazy, uncritical thinkers who have never spent more than a Bush minute on introspection...

 

Seriously, the burden of proof is on you. We don't make a claim, you do. As for me, I find all the other claims wanting. This leaves me at the default position.

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We are ex-christians here, but...I get the feeling that many people have come to automatically reject the idea of God out-of-hand. I think this gives those rejected religions a remnant of authority they don't deserve. Is there anyone who can make an argument for atheism being more likely or deisrable than a non-interactive God?

My stance is not up for debate, it's where I'm comfortable. Please this is not an invitation by self proclaimed atheists to beat me down into an 'atheist label'.

 

Japedo,

 

If you are feeling under attack for your view (I'm atheist and I like the term), then somebody here needs a good slap!

 

I can see the debate as largely semantic and perhaps one day you will come over to my side.

 

Some of the younger ones don't realize that the meaning of the term atheist has evolved. I like the new meaning and endorce it.

 

If not, you and I have bigger fish to fry. Xtianity in particular. I love to fry xtianity.

 

After so much exposure to condemnation and judgement in our xtian lives, I can't understand how ex-christians have much to disagree on.

 

Mongo

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Is there anyone who can make an argument for atheism being more likely or deisrable than a non-interactive God?

 

 

I would ask, "what's the difference?"

 

If you had me an empty glass and tell me it is filled with the best tasting ice cold beer in the world and then tell me that I won't be able to taste it and it will not quench my thirst, what have you offered me?

 

For all practical purposes you've given me nothing... even if it is something.

 

So, if you or anyone wants to believe there is a god somewhere, go ahead and knock yourselves out. It's no skin off my nose.

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Well, when I deconverted I was definitely trying to hang onto a religion(attempting to try paganism, buddhism, and shamanism), but over the year since I've been chatting here I realize that I don't believe in a, supposedly, benevolent being who created the universe...

 

I think, maybe, I am becoming an atheist...Right now I like to say I'm pretty much agnostic in my thinking.

 

But atheism wouldn't be a default position for me. It would be, perhaps, a natural progression.

 

Atheism is not about rejecting god because you are pissed...It is just the lack of belief in things supernatural.

 

The reason I am not an atheist is because I still think there is a possibility of the supernatural.

 

So I am still in my own process...

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We are ex-christians here, but...I get the feeling that many people have come to automatically reject the idea of God out-of-hand. I think this gives those rejected religions a remnant of authority they don't deserve. Is there anyone who can make an argument for atheism being more likely or deisrable than a non-interactive God?

 

Why not seek your own Truth? Research for yourself and come to your own conclusions.

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We are ex-christians here, but...I get the feeling that many people have come to automatically reject the idea of God out-of-hand.

 

Why shouldn't we? Every scrap of alleged "evidence" that may be shown has ultimately proved wanting when subjected to reason. Do you have something new to bring to the table?

 

Everyone dismisses countless fantasies and fairy-tales "out of hand" every day of their lives. The only difference between those and the God myth is the popularity the latter enjoys in modern society.

 

I think this gives those rejected religions a remnant of authority they don't deserve.

 

How so?

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We are ex-christians here, but...I get the feeling that many people have come to automatically reject the idea of God out-of-hand. I think this gives those rejected religions a remnant of authority they don't deserve. Is there anyone who can make an argument for atheism being more likely or deisrable than a non-interactive God?

My stance is not up for debate, it's where I'm comfortable. Please this is not an invitation by self proclaimed atheists to beat me down into an 'atheist label'.

 

Japedo,

 

If you are feeling under attack for your view (I'm atheist and I like the term), then somebody here needs a good slap!

 

I can see the debate as largely semantic and perhaps one day you will come over to my side.

 

Some of the younger ones don't realize that the meaning of the term atheist has evolved. I like the new meaning and endorce it.

 

If not, you and I have bigger fish to fry. Xtianity in particular. I love to fry xtianity.

 

After so much exposure to condemnation and judgement in our xtian lives, I can't understand how ex-christians have much to disagree on.

 

Mongo

 

 

No.. I personally don't feel under attack but there was a thread here not to long ago with arguments about the particular terms, which I felt dwindled into a pissing contest. I didn't want this thread to evolve into that was the only reason I said it. I support and Respect atheists.. it's just not something I'm comfortable calling myself, Sorry for any misunderstanding! :D

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(Don't know why the

's done work--of all times)

 

Callyn wrote:

I don't believe in anything supernatural. Deities are supernatural beings, thus I don't believe in them. It doesn't work with the universe as we know it.

 

Deists don't believe in the supernatural since the Big Bang either. Before that there is no evidence either way. To eliminate one or the other is to make a leap of faith.

 

Mythra wrote:

 

When I was a Christian, I thought I was believing the words of a guy who had conquered death. A guy who bridged the gap between human beings and the creator of the universe.

 

When that went caput, I lost all inclination to believe in anything supernatural.

 

Why? Isn't that an overreaction?

 

Mongo wrote:

Many of us consider that the absence of evidence makes the question of god irrelevant.

 

That's absence of evidence for the supernatural in this universe, with which deists agree. But do you know the cause or possible purpose of this natural unverse. If not, is it not close minded to come down on one side or the other?

 

He doesn't answer prayer and he doesn't leave crumbs for us to follow.

To do so would be to corrupt the natural universe and thus undermine our free will.

 

The onus is on it(god) and its believers to convince me. Since I already reviewed pretty much all of the rationale (pretty lame), they've got a tough slog to get my attention now. Yet... if you have the one solitary wizz bang explanation that escaped me, I'll consider a listen. Send me a PM on it and I promise to read.

 

re. I think this gives those rejected religions a remnant of authority they don't deserve.

 

I'm confused. Upon whom do they hold authority?

 

Being corrupt "revealed" religions", ultimately their own, iow none. Deism is the only reasonable postion out there besides atheism.

 

On that note, I do feel a personal responsibility to demonstrate my reasons for considering Judaeo-Christian-Islamic religion to be the feces I consider it to be. I have provided my evidence several times on this site. Ask and ye shall receive.

 

I don't disagree with you.

 

Dave wrote:

 

Even with a "non interactive god" you're believing in something that doesn't exist.

 

Are you privy to some information that I'm not?

 

Lostorfound wrote:

 

After 40+ years as an evangelical and 25 years as a preacher, I rejected YHWH and Company because of a lack of evidence. Unless there is some evidence of the existence of some other god, that leaves me with an "atheistic" position only.

 

Why must there be evidence "for" God. I think the existance of the universe is pretty much inscrutable either way.

 

If you had me an empty glass and tell me it is filled with the best tasting ice cold beer in the world and then tell me that I won't be able to taste it and it will not quench my thirst, what have you offered me?

 

No deist would tell you any such thing. He would merely point to the glass.

 

Japedo wrote:

 

I can however say that my personal stance is agnostic and I won't apologize for it.

 

I am agnostic above all else, and don't see how anyone can claim that they are otherwise without proof. Believe what you want, knowledge is something else.

 

Vigile_del_fuoco1 wrote:

 

*sigh*

 

Why is it your posts are always so condescending Painful?

 

What a condescending post. I claim proof for nothing. I only ask why.

 

Loosing my religion wrote:

 

I think, maybe, I am becoming an atheist...Right now I like to say I'm pretty much agnostic in my thinking.

 

I can't disagree with that.

Atheism is not about rejecting god because you are pissed...It is just the lack of belief in things supernatural.

 

I agree with the first, but deists have a lack of belief in the supernatural, in this universe at least.

The reason I am not an atheist is because I still think there is a possibility of the supernatural.

 

Me too.

 

qadshet wrote:

 

Why not seek your own Truth? Research for yourself and come to your own conclusions.

 

Because if God created the universe or not, He did it long before we came along. Some Truth is subjective, but that wouldn't be an example

 

woodsmoke wrote:[

Why shouldn't we? Every scrap of alleged "evidence" that may be shown has ultimately proved wanting when subjected to reason. Do you have something new to bring to the table?

 

Everyone dismisses countless fantasies and fairy-tales "out of hand" every day of their lives. The only difference between those and the God myth is the popularity the latter enjoys in modern society.

 

You argue against "revealed" lies that constitute the religions. There, I'm on your side.

 

I think this gives those rejected religions a remnant of authority they don't deserve.

 

How so?

Because, even though their corrupt influence must be faced, their mythology is so obviously bogus.

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Words have meanings.

 

"Ex-Christian" means just that - a former Christian.

 

"Atheist" means someone who doesn't believe in a deity or deities, who may or may not have believed in them previously.

 

Is there something difficult about understanding that?

 

Not every ex-Christian is an atheist, and not every atheist is an ex-Christian. Trying to shoehorn one entirely into the other is fucking stupid, mmkay? So, no, "ex-Christian" shouldn't solely mean "atheist".

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I know a number of exChristians who are Buddhist. There are also exChristians who are Pagans. Others have converted to Islam. All of these believe in the supernatural in one way of another and can therefore hardly be called atheists, but they are exChristians.

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My deconversion from Christianity followed a lifetime of growing distaste for supernatural elements. I only believed in God because it was good for me (or so I'd been taught). When God no longer equaled good, I cast belief in the concept aside. Naturalism gives me peace, and humanism gives me purpose. Christianity did neither.

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LadyFeline wrote:

 

"Ex-Christian" means just that - a former Christian.

 

"Atheist" means someone who doesn't believe in a deity or deities, who may or may not have believed in them previously.

 

Is there something difficult about understanding that?

 

Have I said anything about exchristians or atheists different from your most excellent definitions. I was merely wondering at the apparent high proportion of atheists among the exchristians here (and elsewhere?). Why the belligerence?

 

RubySera wrote:

I know a number of exChristians who are Buddhist. There are also exChristians who are Pagans. Others have converted to Islam. All of these believe in the supernatural in one way of another and can therefore hardly be called atheists, but they are exChristians.

 

And I'm an exchristian agnostic/deist. But together with Buddhists, Muslims and Pagans etc., we're all together well outnumbered by atheists amongst exchristians. I can understand why most would rationally reject these other examples, they suffer from the same problems as Christianity, but why deism? I'm just wondering if deism was given anything but a passing consideration, and if it was, why then atheism?

 

smellincoffee wrote:

My deconversion from Christianity followed a lifetime of growing distaste for supernatural elements. I only believed in God because it was good for me (or so I'd been taught). When God no longer equaled good, I cast belief in the concept aside. Naturalism gives me peace, and humanism gives me purpose. Christianity did neither.

 

God, if He exists, would most likely equal good, but He must refrain from defending it in this natural world. We must do that. I think of God as an ideal, that instead of money, fame, power etc. which some people hold as their ultimate ideal/god, I believe that Truth is God, figuratively and literally--whether there's a big sentient spirit in the sky or not.

 

In any case, deists agree with the atheist's distaste for the supernatural, at least in this natural universe, the birth of which may or may not have been a supernatural event. We know nothing of the other side. Thus the likelyhood of atheism or deism being correct is (almost) equal.

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Not every ex-Christian is an atheist, and not every atheist is an ex-Christian. Trying to shoehorn one entirely into the other is fucking stupid, mmkay? So, no, "ex-Christian" shouldn't solely mean "atheist".

 

Agreed - since there are so many alternate belief choices other than Atheism, "Ex-Xian" cannot possibly ever equate to "Atheist."

 

Seems pretty simple to me :shrug:

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Agreed - since there are so many alternate belief choices other than Atheism, "Ex-Xian" cannot possibly ever equate to "Atheist."

 

Since people leave Christianity, to some degree at least, driven to find a reasonalble philosophy concerning God, there's only two possiblilties that I know of: atheism and deism (materialists are reasonable but they don't care about philosophy/god/whatever). All the other choices rely on revelation or pure feeling (another word for blind faith) for which I see no rational, common sense foundation any more than Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism....

 

People who become atheists, either sincerely care about this stuff, or they're just materialists in rebel garb. They seem to have rejected the possibility of any God because Christianity etc. have so screwed up the concept. If I believed in the Devil, I'd be certain he was running the churches and for just that purpose.

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PainefulTruth,

 

I've not seen the percentages listed here, i.e. how many members are atheist vs. deist, vs. pagan, etc. But I for one have no problem with deism. I think it has to do with the question of what is your threshold of evidence. Deism is belief of free thought, no "revealed" doctrine, and based on reason and evidence. So, if you in your own mind interpret reality as presenting evidence of a creator, so be it. (Is that creator a god in the traditional sense, or something different, anyway) I myself followed a path from fundamentalist christianity through deism ultimately to atheism, because as I thought these things through over time, I arrived at the place where I really could not find any compelling reason to believe any gods exist. But I don't try to be an evangelist for atheism...those leaving christianity should find their own alternative in their own way.

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Agreed - since there are so many alternate belief choices other than Atheism, "Ex-Xian" cannot possibly ever equate to "Atheist."

 

Since people leave Christianity, to some degree at least, driven to find a reasonalble philosophy concerning God, there's only two possiblilties that I know of: atheism and deism (materialists are reasonable but they don't care about philosophy/god/whatever). All the other choices rely on revelation or pure feeling (another word for blind faith) for which I see no rational, common sense foundation any more than Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism....

 

People who become atheists, either sincerely care about this stuff, or they're just materialists in rebel garb. They seem to have rejected the possibility of any God because Christianity etc. have so screwed up the concept. If I believed in the Devil, I'd be certain he was running the churches and for just that purpose.

And that has anything to do with "ex-christian" somehow equalling soley "atheism"... how?

 

WORDS MEAN THINGS. Just because you apparently have a problem with one word's broader definition doesn't magically change that.

 

Have I said anything about exchristians or atheists different from your most excellent definitions. I was merely wondering at the apparent high proportion of atheists among the exchristians here (and elsewhere?). Why the belligerence?

Because you are, according to the title of your thread ("Should Exchristian = atheist", in case you conveniently forgot), trying to shoehorn the very broad definition of "ex-christian" into the very narrow meaning of "atheist".

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Painful, you want to know how we arrive at the idea that there is no god. First of all, I think you're wrong in suggesting that there are only two options available for atheists: either materialists or care very much.

 

Secondly, if you carefully read the posts in this forum, and also the comments posted to Christians on the Main Blog, you will see that there are many reasons people arrive at atheism. For me personally, the article about God and the Brain had enormous impact.

 

Thirdly, I don't know if God or some supernatural force exists and I think it is not important. Nor do I consider it important to know how the universe came into existence or if it was always here. I am here and so is the universe and all its inhabitants. What I make of it is what I consider important.

 

Finally, you suggest atheists are billigerant. I can't speak for others. I try not to be billigerant, but it's a bit difficult when a person comes with your attitude. Maybe I'm misreading you but you seem to be saying:

 

As a theist I'm part of a persecuted minority and the persecuting majority is the atheists, and they are taking over the world.

 

Atheists are hardly the majority. The majority of the human population seems to be religious in some tradition or other. Maybe when you digest that bit of truth you will feel less need to defend yourself against an imaginary enemy. FYI, I am hardly an atheist; agnostic is more like it at this point.

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Since people leave Christianity, to some degree at least, driven to find a reasonalble philosophy concerning God, there's only two possiblilties that I know of: atheism and deism (materialists are reasonable but they don't care about philosophy/god/whatever). All the other choices rely on revelation or pure feeling (another word for blind faith) for which I see no rational, common sense foundation any more than Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism....

 

I doubt I'll win any friends with this one, but I'm curious what real, logical evidence the Deist has to believe in the Creator?

 

This isn't in any way meant to be interpreted as a criticism of Deism; I simply fail to see how a Deist's belief in the concept of the creator is any less based on faith than the Christian's belief in the god of the bible.

 

People who become atheists, either sincerely care about this stuff, or they're just materialists in rebel garb. They seem to have rejected the possibility of any God because Christianity etc. have so screwed up the concept. If I believed in the Devil, I'd be certain he was running the churches and for just that purpose.

 

The first sentence is pure black and white thinking. Nothing in life can be reduced to such a simple dualistic explanation. As a Deist, I would have expected you to know that.

 

The second sentence, honestly, has a rather offensive ring to it. "You were hurt by the establishment, so you lashed out at God!" Putting a Deistic spin on poor apologetics doesn't make them any more valid. Again, as an ex-Christian, I expected you to know better.

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