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Former Atheist, Ask Me Anything


fschmidt
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I was raised as an Atheist and was an Atheist for most of my life.  After studying religion and history, I realized that Atheism is evil and that throughout history, decaying cultures lost respect for their founding religion and became atheistic which led to immorality.  I now follow the Old Testament.

 
I was never Christian but I have a lot of respect for traditional (not modern) Christianity.  Traditional Christianity produced the Enlightenment.  I also respect most other religions, particularly those that produced productive cultures.
 
I am new here and this is my first post.  I very much look forward to hearing the opinions of former Christians.
 
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After studying religion and history, I realized that Atheism is evil and that throughout history, decaying cultures lost respect for their founding religion and became atheistic which led to immorality.

 

 

 

 

Do tell.  How does atheism lead to immorality?  The more details you include in your answer the better.

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It is evil not to believe there is a god? How so?

 

No, it is not evil not to believe there is a god.  Buddhists, Confucianists, Shinto, and other religions have no gods and they are not evil.  Atheism is evil.  So is Satanism, and they have a god.  The Bible makes this quite clear in Jeremiah 35.

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Oh, I beg your forgiveness for failing to welcome you to ExC. Welcome, I note with intrigue that you're not a Christian, but you follow the Old Testament. It will be interesting to explore what you mean by this.

 

Thank you for the welcome.  But why am I labeled as "authentic Christian believer"?

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It is evil not to believe there is a god? How so?

 

No, it is not evil not to believe there is a god.  Buddhists, Confucianists, Shinto, and other religions have no gods and they are not evil.  Atheism is evil.  So is Satanism, and they have a god.  The Bible makes this quite clear in Jeremiah 35.

 

 

 

But what if the Bible is wrong?

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Do tell.  How does atheism lead to immorality?  The more details you include in your answer the better.

 

 

We can never be sure how X leads to Y in history.  This is because we cannot apply the scientific method to history.  We cannot perform controlled experiments for a theory of how/why X leads to Y.  We can come up with hypotheses and argue about them all day long, but that seems pointless.

 
What we can do is to observe that X generally precedes Y in history and therefore X may cause Y.  This is the case here.  Loss of respect for religion is generally followed by moral decay and then the collapse of the affected culture.
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But what if the Bible is wrong?

 

 
Of course the Bible could be wrong.  To say that the Bible is perfect is idolatry because the Bible is man-made.
 
As I mentioned, I was an atheist most of my life and studied history, anthropology, primate behavior, evolution, and other subjects before studying religion.  Of all the books that I have read in my life, the Old Testament makes the most sense to me.  Therefore I generally trust it, but I have always been a skeptic and I will always question anything from any source.  Jeremiah 35 is an example of something that makes perfect sense to me.

 

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So you have now decided that your opening statement:

 

"After studying religion and history, I realized that Atheism is evil and that throughout history, decaying cultures lost respect for their founding religion and became atheistic which led to immorality."

 

. . . is wrong? 

 

 

Perhaps now you are thinking "we can never be sure if atheism is evil and we can never be sure if atheism leads to immorality"?  You started with a very bold statement.

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One can actually never be 100% sure of any statement about the real world.  Only in logic and math can one have 100% certainty.  When I say "I realized", I mean that I become convinced beyond a reasonable doubt based on the historical evidence.

 
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Question:

 

Since you state you are a former atheist, I'm interested in what convinced you there is a God?

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One can actually never be 100% sure of any statement about the real world.  Only in logic and math can one have 100% certainty.  When I say "I realized", I mean that I become convinced beyond a reasonable doubt based on the historical evidence.

 

Okay, let's try this again.  How does atheism lead to immorality?  The more details you include in your answer the better.

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Question:

 

Since you state you are a former atheist, I'm interested in what convinced you there is a God?

 

I see that you are Christian and your god is "Jesus the visible image of the invisible God".  For me, there is only the invisible, undefined god of the Old Testament.  And from my atheistic background, I essentially interpret this god as the forces of nature.  But the important point isn't the definition of God, which the Old Testament goes out of its way not to define, but rather the ethics represented by God.  Based on all my knowledge of history and science, this ethics makes by far the most sense.  And so I follow the Old Testament.  The point of worshipping God does not depend on the definition of God.  The point is that a person should not consider himself to be the center of the universe, and should instead respect the real forces of the world, whatever they are.

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Okay, let's try this again.  How does atheism lead to immorality?  The more details you include in your answer the better.

 

 

We are going in circles, so I will keep this simple.  I don't know how atheism leads to immorality and I don't really care.  I just know that it does based on historical evidence.  But if you want a reasonable explanation, read "Clouds" by Aristophanes.

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Clearly you do not have evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.  It only took a few minutes to expose you.  Have fun worshiping your God of rape, slavery and genocide.

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"And so I follow the Old Testament."

 

You say you interpret this god as the forces of nature,

 

what OT scriptures support this view?

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"And so I follow the Old Testament."

 

You say you interpret this god as the forces of nature,

 

what OT scriptures support this view?

 

There are none that support it, but none that oppose it.  The interpretation of God is left to the reader.

 
I realize that this will sound strange to a Christian, so let me explain.  In Exodus 3:13-14, Moses asks God to describe himself and God refuses say "I am who I am".  One may argue that God acts like a sentient being in the Old Testament, but then the Old Testament also personifies Wisdom and Folly as women in Proverbs 8-9, so personifying abstract ideas is simply a literary device of the Old Testament and not a factual statement that these things are actually personalities.  How else could world forces be explained at that time without personifying them?  I can't think of any other way.
 
But I also want to make clear that I am not saying that my interpretation is the right one.  I am just saying that this is how I choose to interpret God.  The traditional (not modern) Christian interpretation of God, like that of Orthodox Christianity, is also perfectly valid and perfectly compatible with the Old Testament.  The focus of the Old Testament is ethics, not beliefs.  As long as an interpretation of God is compatible with the ethics of the Old Testament, it is a valid interpretation of God.
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"But I also want to make clear that I am not saying that my interpretation if the right one.  I am just saying that this is how I choose to interpret God."

 

 

 

Thanks for being honest in your reply.

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But the important point isn't the definition of God, which the Old Testament goes out of its way not to define, but rather the ethics represented by God.

 

I guess we have read entirely different editions of the Old testament.

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As long as an interpretation of God is compatible with the ethics of the Old Testament, it is a valid interpretation of God.

 

 

 

ISIS has you covered.  They have nailed the ethics of the Old Testament.  They absolutely nailed it.

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But the important point isn't the definition of God, which the Old Testament goes out of its way not to define, but rather the ethics represented by God.

 

I guess we have read entirely different editions of the Old testament.

 

 

Here is my edition:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Drill-Bible-Holman-Editorial-Staff/dp/1433601729/

 

If your edition contradicts what I have said, maybe you could provide references.

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Oh, I beg your forgiveness for failing to welcome you to ExC. Welcome, I note with intrigue that you're not a Christian, but you follow the Old Testament. It will be interesting to explore what you mean by this.

 

 

Thank you for the welcome.  But why am I labeled as "authentic Christian believer"?

I am not sure why you are so labeled. I will check into it.

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