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Goodbye Jesus

Dispelling The Myth


R. S. Martin

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We keep encouraging each other to "dispel the myth" of religion among Christians. This is a topic I am researching. I just spent some time on William Lane Craig's forums in an effort to learn something about the mindset. I haven't the slightest clue how we will ever dispel the myth. Anybody got any ideas?

 

Here are some of the things I observed. They are so detached from reality that they haven't a clue what "reality" or "fact" or "logic" mean. "Evidence" is but an empty term for them. I posted a thread based on a quote from one of their own--an evangelical leader--who explained the difference between fact and belief.

 

It was so simple and straightforward I trusted it would make sense to any adult with a basic education. And the people on those forums demonstrate a fairly sophisticated education. I also believed they would trust it because it came from one of their own. My mistake was who I personally was.

 

Because I am on the wrong side of the line they did not trust it. They asked stuff like "Does the skeptic know what fact is?" "Does the skeptic trust logic?"

 

Even if they were mocking and ridiculing in the extreme, I think they were caught with their pants down. If these people had any idea what logic is, or what constitutes fact, they would not have asked me those specific questions--not after I had posted 70-plus posts. THESE PEOPLE DON'T KNOW THE BASICS OF LOGIC.

 

All they know is what their trusted authority has told them. That is ALL they know. I don't know if this model makes sense to others. My thinking tends to be democratic or horizontal. I reach out to see how a statement compares with other similar statements. Their thinking tends to be strictly vertical. They look to see from what authority it comes.

 

The motive of the authority is all-important--it is THE vital factor. Because I am an atheist, even though I presented an evangelical quote along with the author's name and full documentation, they were sure there was a hidden agenda on my part and that it was presented out of context in order to deceive and mislead and trip up, etc. It wasn't but they wouldn't have believed me had I told them. So I didn't bother telling them.

 

Another example. A person declared that a Christian need not provide evidence for his religion if he knows subjectively that he is right.

 

I said "That is the epitome of self-deception."

 

Him: It would be if Christianity were false.

 

For those of us who retain the capacity to think myths can be dispelled. But how does one breathe life into such atrophied brains?

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But how does one breathe life into such atrophied brains?

I don't know how to get past years of brainwashing and fear, but I've been trying for years now. I think it's only possible to breathe life into a brain that has begun to wake up from its religious slumber, not one that is fully immersed in it.

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We keep encouraging each other to "dispel the myth" of religion among Christians. This is a topic I am researching. I just spent some time on William Lane Craig's forums in an effort to learn something about the mindset. I haven't the slightest clue how we will ever dispel the myth. Anybody got any ideas?

 

Here are some of the things I observed. They are so detached from reality that they haven't a clue what "reality" or "fact" or "logic" mean. "Evidence" is but an empty term for them. I posted a thread based on a quote from one of their own--an evangelical leader--who explained the difference between fact and belief.

 

It was so simple and straightforward I trusted it would make sense to any adult with a basic education. And the people on those forums demonstrate a fairly sophisticated education. I also believed they would trust it because it came from one of their own. My mistake was who I personally was.

 

Because I am on the wrong side of the line they did not trust it. They asked stuff like "Does the skeptic know what fact is?" "Does the skeptic trust logic?"

 

Even if they were mocking and ridiculing in the extreme, I think they were caught with their pants down. If these people had any idea what logic is, or what constitutes fact, they would not have asked me those specific questions--not after I had posted 70-plus posts. THESE PEOPLE DON'T KNOW THE BASICS OF LOGIC.

 

All they know is what their trusted authority has told them. That is ALL they know. I don't know if this model makes sense to others. My thinking tends to be democratic or horizontal. I reach out to see how a statement compares with other similar statements. Their thinking tends to be strictly vertical. They look to see from what authority it comes.

 

The motive of the authority is all-important--it is THE vital factor. Because I am an atheist, even though I presented an evangelical quote along with the author's name and full documentation, they were sure there was a hidden agenda on my part and that it was presented out of context in order to deceive and mislead and trip up, etc. It wasn't but they wouldn't have believed me had I told them. So I didn't bother telling them.

 

Another example. A person declared that a Christian need not provide evidence for his religion if he knows subjectively that he is right.

 

I said "That is the epitome of self-deception."

 

Him: It would be if Christianity were false.

 

For those of us who retain the capacity to think myths can be dispelled. But how does one breathe life into such atrophied brains?

 

... I think there still has to be a willingness on the part of the individual to move outside their square and be looking for help before the chance that deconversion will happen. One good sign to me is the regular considerable number of "guests" shown as being on this site. My opinion on this is that they are likely to be people seeking help rather than just ignorant fundies looking to hone their arguing skills. Most fundies would never venture here to start with! What these "guests" will see hanging around here is far more reality and logic from the ex-xtians than they will ever see from the x-tians. I think the current debate with "Nenlow" in "The Arena" proves that without doubt! (I think "Nenlow" may have even fled as he has not logged in for a few days!)

 

I think the bible itself may be the best way to get to many with doubts. In my own case this is exactly what happened. One is taught in fundamentalist style christianity the bible IS GOD'S WORD! No "ifs and buts" about it! You do not question it; you do not challenge it; you TOTALLY accept it as 100% truth. As you therefore just accept that as FACT- the bible is not looked at in any way with suspicion by the believer. Something you do not understand in it (no matter how ridiculous) you have been brainwashed to accept it just by having "faith."

When I first realised the bible may have had major problems, I started looking for information from the opposing viewpoint. It was people like Richard Dawkins that first confirmed some of my doubts when I read their books. Suddenly I saw all the lies in the bible; the massive contradictions; the plain stupidity of the myths like Noah's Ark; etc. etc.. If one found one problem with the bible how could it be god's word?? How then could it contain countless problems? The answer soon became very clear! It was man's word! Not god's word! Then I found the Net was my next resource. I "Googled" for ex-xtian sites and soon found sites like this. I soon saw answers on these sites that made FAR more sense than the ceaseless regurgitated dribble from "born agains". I saw them arguing against common sense and facts and logic, with the same old tired, often bullshit, and brainwashed arguments. Suddenly it was oh so much clearer! One of course will only ever know some of the answers - but one thing for sure - the bible will suddenly become the book of fables it always has been as the scales are lifted from ones eyes.

 

That's my 2 cents anyway!

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I also believed they would trust it because it came from one of their own. My mistake was who I personally was.

 

Because I am on the wrong side of the line they did not trust it.

This is one major part of it. Even when I've agreed with xians and posted things that were in 100% straight out of the bible to with no hidden agendas. Basically stuff that was quoted word for word from my xian days from xian text books...I was rejected out of hand as wrong. It is shocking when they'll tell you that you're wrong when you're basically quoting them to themselves. It's like going to a math class stating 1+1=2 and getting shouted down like you're a lunatic and then trying (pointlessly) to tell everyone that you're just reading from their own text book. Then watching someone else (one of them) parrot you and get applauded for their brilliance.

 

mwc

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Thanks mwc. I've seem this happen and could not make sense of it.

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