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Invited Confusion?


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Longtime lurker, first time poster here. I haven't posted my "ex-timony" yet, but the short story is that for the time being, I'm obligated to work at a small fundy co-op for homeschoolers. 

 

Recently the students discussed "On the Reading of Old Books" by C.S. Lewis, and this passage discussing the Athenasian Creed was weirdly unsettling to me:

 

 

The words "Which Faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly" are the offence [to those who oppose the creed]. They are commonly misunderstood. The operative word is keep; not acquire, or even believe, but keep. The author, in fact, is not talking about unbelievers, but about deserters, not about those who have never heard of Christ, nor even those who have misunderstood and refused to accept Him, but of those who having really understood and really believed, then allow themselves, under the sway of sloth or of fashion or any other invited confusion to be drawn away into sub-Christian modes of thought. 

 

Here's the full text: http://www.theelliots.org/Soapbox2008/OntheReadingofOldBooks.pdf (I hope the way I've done this doesn't violate any rules). 

 

I've always heard the "No true Scotsman" argument and gotten pretty immune to it: "If you were really one of us, you would have never fallen away...." But what Lewis is saying is a lot more accusatory, isn't it? If I understand correctly, he says that True Christians can fall away, but it's through their own "invited confusion." What does that even mean?

 

I guess the worst thing is that I know my family, friends, and coworkers have all read this piece, and as far as I know they agree with it, and I wonder if that's what they'd think of me. How am I supposed to defend myself against "invited confusion"? And is this a thing? Do people use this argument? Coming from a Calvinist background, it seems like heresy to me ... which doesn't actually concern me, I guess. But I've never actually heard this argument used (granted, I'm young and don't know much.) 

 

I don't know, it gets my goat in ways other arguments haven't been able to recently. This may be because I'm not sure if it's true. I'm not more confused now, at least I don't think I am. But "invited" unbelief? I'm one of those who stopped wanting to believe before I actually stopped believing so I still sometimes feel guilty about that.

 

Have any of you had this used against you? How do you respond, either to the person or just logically?

 

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When a person de-converts, he isn't "inviting confusion" in, but rather evidence, facts, logic, and truth in. 

 

If something is not provably true and it can't stand up against new information and knowledge, it deserves to be deserted. 

 

It doesn't matter if you wanted to leave because the belief wasn't of practical use first (that is, because you wanted to) when you can easily see now from the other side as an atheist (or agnostic, humanist, etc.) that those beliefs don't hold up under any sort of scrutiny whatsoever. 

 

Clinging to a biblical bias, trying to force yourself to keep believing in spite of your acquired knowledge of established facts and evidence that disproved your old beliefs would be much more confusing than allowing your old beliefs to disappear in light of the new things you KNOW to be true. 

 

Don't let a christian believer's assumptions about your quest for knowledge upset you. They're free to be scornful and re-label it as "inviting confusion" when it's actually the opposite of that: "inviting truth" They can project all they want, but that doesn't mean they're correct. You also don't owe anyone a defense of your position unless you want to give it. 

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I didn't "allow" myself to be swayed by sloth or fashion or invited confusion to no longer believe.  I had questions and doubts, very legitimate questions and doubts, that did not receive rational answers.  I still did not simply "allow" myself to disbelieve.  I searched for answers (rational answers) for years, doing a lot of reading and studying, and I think I made the only rational choice I could, to eventually disbelieve.

 

It's very patronizing language, saying things like "allow themselves, under the sway of sloth or fashion . . ."  If a religious person actually cared about people that deconverted, they should not just mock them.

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More Christian threats. The fact that it is impossible for Christians to believe a person could examine evidence, find it lacking, and decovert, shows their blindness. An intellectual excuse is never enough for them - instead its a "heart" matter or inviting a demon of confusion or some other explanation.    "Invited confusion" what does that mean?

 

Sounds almost like someone invites a demon to posses them. It is also condescending and implies that anyone who deconverts is automatically confused.  I say, Christianity is very confusing and dropping it is the only way to discover one's own self and the truth in life.

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  • 2 months later...
  • Super Moderator

I invited disbelief in the same manner as I invited a deeper knowledge of how dendritic cells work: I explored the evidence and came to a conclusion.

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Longtime lurker, first time poster here. I haven't posted my "ex-timony" yet, but the short story is that for the time being, I'm obligated to work at a small fundy co-op for homeschoolers. 

 

Recently the students discussed "On the Reading of Old Books" by C.S. Lewis, and this passage discussing the Athenasian Creed was weirdly unsettling to me:

 

 

The words "Which Faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly" are the offence [to those who oppose the creed]. They are commonly misunderstood. The operative word is keep; not acquire, or even believe, but keep. The author, in fact, is not talking about unbelievers, but about deserters, not about those who have never heard of Christ, nor even those who have misunderstood and refused to accept Him, but of those who having really understood and really believed, then allow themselves, under the sway of sloth or of fashion or any other invited confusion to be drawn away into sub-Christian modes of thought. 

 

Here's the full text: http://www.theelliots.org/Soapbox2008/OntheReadingofOldBooks.pdf (I hope the way I've done this doesn't violate any rules). 

 

I've always heard the "No true Scotsman" argument and gotten pretty immune to it: "If you were really one of us, you would have never fallen away...." But what Lewis is saying is a lot more accusatory, isn't it? If I understand correctly, he says that True Christians can fall away, but it's through their own "invited confusion." What does that even mean?

 

I guess the worst thing is that I know my family, friends, and coworkers have all read this piece, and as far as I know they agree with it, and I wonder if that's what they'd think of me. How am I supposed to defend myself against "invited confusion"? And is this a thing? Do people use this argument? Coming from a Calvinist background, it seems like heresy to me ... which doesn't actually concern me, I guess. But I've never actually heard this argument used (granted, I'm young and don't know much.) 

 

I don't know, it gets my goat in ways other arguments haven't been able to recently. This may be because I'm not sure if it's true. I'm not more confused now, at least I don't think I am. But "invited" unbelief? I'm one of those who stopped wanting to believe before I actually stopped believing so I still sometimes feel guilty about that.

 

Have any of you had this used against you? How do you respond, either to the person or just logically?

In order to make nonsense believable one needs to add a little truth to it.

With that i mean take something that is true and then turn it around and give a different reason for it.

 

When you gain knowledge or research something you invite confusion (or in other words: invite more questions).

How this? What that? How come this? etc...

Usually answering a question gives us even more questions to ask because we gain knowledge.

 

What this text is trying to do is scare you into not asking question. Because asking questions and trying to make sense of things is bad Wendytwitch.gif

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Thanks for all your responses!

 

When you gain knowledge or research something you invite confusion (or in other words: invite more questions).

How this? What that? How come this? etc...

Usually answering a question gives us even more questions to ask because we gain knowledge.

 

What this text is trying to do is scare you into not asking question. Because asking questions and trying to make sense of things is bad Wendytwitch.gif

That makes sense, because it's true that anyone deconverting will feel like they're drinking from the fire hydrant for a while. I never saw that as something bad or uncomfortable but I can see Lewis saying, "see? You don't understand everything now like you did before!" I've had this response from a few people saying things like "well how can you know what happens after you die then?" Or "it takes just as much faith to believe in a Big Bang!" And they can't understand how I could be ok with not knowing everything about the universe like they think they do.

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  • Super Moderator

Faith is pretending to know things you don't know; it is the antithesis of inquiry and curiosity, which is the natural state of the human brain.

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