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megasamurai

No rational reason to not believe?

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Been thinking about the ad hominem claim that non believers are insincere  and have ulterior motives. Apologists, especially former atheist/agnostics of the Strobel/McDowell persuasion always portray unbelief as an excuse to sin. Atheism is allegedly an excuse to engage in premartial sex and smoke weed.  The thing I've been thinking of, actually, the vast majority of Christians engage in it and many branches of Christianity believe you can sin if you feel really bad about it afterward. If this were true, can't the atheist just feel really bad and ask for forgiveness as soon as they settle down and marry? In the case of weed, Bible doesn't even mention it. Still, I really doubt every atheist is a wild hedonist and I wouldn't be surprised if ex-Christians still have lingering fears of premarital sex because of previous conditioning and the fact that churches contributed to sex ed in my schools. We looked at pictures of mutilated genitals and were told that condoms break easily and that you have a one in four chance of an agonizing and debilitating std for the rest of your life. From a non-Christian ethical perspective, premarital sex would be immoral if these details were true, but I have doubts that people would really try sex is odds were that high. I believe there were probably lots of lies in my sex ed. Granted, in my personal case, getting away from Christianity was partially motivated by a fear of hell, but it was actually for the sin of idolatry. The fear of loving my family or friends, or hobbies more than God. Not exactly hedonism. I did listen to hedonistic music and wasn't willing to give it up, proving my idolatry. It would seem my experience would prove Strobel and McDowell's point, but having an ulterior motive of avoiding the pain and fear of hell for idolatry does not prove the Bible true. In fact, I believed in maltheism, belief in an evil god, rather than atheism for many years because I believed Josh McDowell and his story as an agnostic trying to disprove Christianity and accidentally proving it. Much of the fear of hell and angst was for others as much as myself.

 

Granted Strobel and J. P Moreland believe they prove that atheists are hedonists who would choose the agony of hell rather than live under the rules of heaven. Considering many old dead atheists are probably married, this wouldn't apply and you can't get any kind of nookie in most apologists' versions of hell. Atheists wanting to go to hell to sin makes no sense when you can't sin while in agony. I personally, if we go with Moreland's argument that people go to hell only because they want to go to hell, I'd give up sex if it spared me from fire and/or separation from God (which Moreland says is agonizing and Bill Weise elaborates why).

 

The biggest issue is their argument boils down to, doubters doubt to engage in dirty deeds, therefore the Bible is without historical error. Ad hominem and x does not lead to y. I realize they may be right about me having an ulterior motive, but history and science speak for themselves. Josh McDowell essentially says historians are cowards and idiots for not supporting his position. Only the Campus Crusade for Christ is reliable scholarship according to him.          

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Well, if you don't sin, then jesus died for nothing.

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Warnings about the depravity of nonbelievers is nothing but a scare tactic.  Several secular societies have less crime and are more humanitarian than Christian ones.  There is no proof that athiests/agnostics have more out of wedlock sex than christians.  From my observation, there is no difference.

 

Read about the HADZA tribe in Africa.  No Christian God for thousands of years, but a very peaceful group.  The doctrine of original sin is a self fulfilling prophecy designed to keep people in submission, and give the religious police job security.   And in some cases make themselves rich.

 

The campus crusade is a cult.

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I do know that meeting unbelievers is what made me doubt my beliefs. I believed unbelievers were immoral monsters and was shocked in my teenage years that one of them showed me love. She did smoke weed, which did add to the stereotype, but probably a lot of Christians in my high school also smoked weed. My parents tried to comfort me and told me she wanted to go to hell so she could smoke weed and engage in premarital sex. The thing is that most versions of hell don't have any kind of joy and sex and drugs are hard to enjoy being set on fire. I really doubted that people would prefer being lit on fire to giving up premarital sex and thought that if God offered a choice after death, she would choose heaven. Found it to be BS and also thought that maybe atheism isn't primarily motivated by a desire to be a hedonist, but because the Bible's giants, talking donkeys, and 900 year olds are hard to believe. The thing is that people are damned for unbelief itself rather than the behaviors unbelief allegedly promotes. I was told that those who believe Jesus was a great moral teacher with no supernatural powers were evil people. It seemed like unbelief was more of an intellectual issue than a moral issue. The idea is that no doubt is sincere and that evolution was a conspiracy and excuse to sin. The idea seems to be that scientists are engineering excuses to sin and I have my doubts that scientists engage in 80s rock band levels of hedonism like I was taught.  

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Hi megasamurai.  :)

 

'No rational reason not to believe' ..?

 

So wouldn't that mean that believers DO have rational reasons for their beliefs.

 

I wonder what those rational reasons are?

 

:shrug:

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, WalterP said:

Hi megasamurai.  :)

 

'No rational reason not to believe' ..?

 

So wouldn't that mean that believers DO have rational reasons for their beliefs.

 

I wonder what those rational reasons are?

 

:shrug:

 

Whatever Josh McDowell says. Mostly the "disciples wouldn't die for a lie," "because the Bible says so," and "people like Michael Behe believe in intelligent design." 

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3 hours ago, megasamurai said:

I have my doubts that scientists engage in 80s rock band levels of hedonism like I was taught

 

Dang. So much for my degrees... 

 

McDowell is a liar and knows that he is so. He didn't set out as an agnostic to disprove Christianity, he was already a believer and used his marketing ability to sell books and speaking engagements. All the documents he references are after the cult was well established, so they prove nothing at all but that the cult existed and people wrote about it. 

 

The epistles are full of the same black and white, nearly racist approach to unbelievers being dogs that eat vomit, pigs that wallow in filth, weeds fit only to be torn up and burned, while the believers are pure, shining like lights in the darkness, blah blah blah. How many believers do you know that fit that description? It's like reading KKK pamphlets about blacks and Jews. 

 

Paul makes arguments that nature itself teaches that the bible god is real, which it does not at all. But he wrote as one who was himself indoctrinated from childhood, so of course he repeats the same lies. 

 

And "wouldn't die for a lie" is an insane claim. People believe lies all the time, even bizarre ones, and then die for the beliefs. The comet cult Heaven's Gate is one recent example. That they believed it was true didn't make it true. 

 

And to top it off, the claims that the gospels are eyewitness accounts is false just by reading them and looking for what they say that they could not have witnessed. The story of the wise men and Herod; the conversations between members of the Jewish leadership; the conversations between Pilate and the Jewish leaders; and so on. Plus we know from actual history about how the various writings about Jesus were selected while others were rejected. Names of authors were not preset and were added later to make it seem authoritative.

 

Then there are the many cosmological errors, such as Jesus ascending "up" into the clouds (and then into Heaven, which apparently is above the clouds). We fly airplanes there all the time, and have spacecraft that go far beyond. Earth is a speck of dust in a vast cosmos, and all the tyrants and messiahs of history were on that speck. 

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Believers do have a rational reason in wanting to preserve their social circles. We are political animals and well adapted to it. If we need to, we have the ability to ignore even fairly obvious contradictions and practice doublethink as far as developing a Stockholm syndrome.

 

Religion can easily be influential enough to sever familial ties. It is only rational to praise whatever idol you must to avoid losing people you depend on. If living such a lie would be too difficult to consciously juggle (or otherwise threatens your sanity), truly believing the lie becomes the rational choice, if you have the ability to do so.

 

When you look at it like that, to choose the secular way of living even over preserving your familiar ties perhaps truly requires some kind of pridefulness, hedonism or black-heartedness. One could give up their lust, swallow their pride and beg for Jesus to enter their heart, and perhaps if they truly, earnestly did that, their natural ability to develop a Stocholm syndrome or something similar would help them along.

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I have found several interesting accounts on Josh McDowell's origin story and I find it notable that he used the "angry at God because he had a rough life" cliche rather than Strobel's I just want to sin,  https://jimdaly.focusonthefamily.com/josh-mcdowell-from-suicidal-to-salvation/. It is obvious that these two individuals sell tons of books and know the best way to defend Christianity is to attack its critics. The penultimate chapter of The Case for Faith pretty much is about how atheism leads to atrocities like Stalin but all the bad in Christianity is because of fake Christians. Okay, The Case for Faith is probably the single most stupid apologetics book I've ever read, but it is highly used by Christians (Case for Christ is basically exactly the same book as McDowell's New Evidence That Demands a Verdict). I think Case for Faith also made the voluntary damnation doctrine semi-mainstream, but I think the dominant position is still that God sends people to hell because they are deserving of it and that it's a punishment for sin, not that hell is a free choice. The voluntary damnation doctrine kind of goes hand in hand with the idea that unbelievers are self destructive. Of course, the hell chapter states that if God let unbelievers choose heaven or hell after death, 100% would choose hell. I have doubted this claim as I think most people are averse to pain and would prefer living in heaven. The final chapter about doubts actually states that it's okay to have doubts as long as you have faith. I don't know how much faith is needed, though. I have read two decent refutations of The Case for Faith. Tiny Frog's piece is excellent, but doesn't cover the whole book.   https://tinyfrog.wordpress.com/the-non-believers-review-of-“the-case-for-faith”/. Case Against Faith covers all chapters, but not quite as thoroughly and also does not touch on one important aspect Tiny Frog does http://www.caseagainstfaith.com/critique-of-lee-strobels-the-case-for-faith.html. Christians seem to portray Hindus and Muslims as following false gods as an excuse to sin, even though their religions are stricter. The idea that they consciously choose hell seems strange. Tiny Frogs examination of the hell chapter is probably the best takedown, although his entire arguments are pretty solid throughout. Just some interesting notes to refute the whole idea that Strobel says unbelief is just an excuse to sin and has no rational basis, even though The Case for Faith is mostly speculation and doesn't even have Biblical basis and definitely no historical proof.

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On 7/18/2020 at 9:59 PM, megasamurai said:

Been thinking about the ad hominem claim that non believers are insincere  and have ulterior motives. Apologists, especially former atheist/agnostics of the Strobel/McDowell persuasion always portray unbelief as an excuse to sin. Atheism is allegedly an excuse to engage in premartial sex and smoke weed.  The thing I've been thinking of, actually, the vast majority of Christians engage in it and many branches of Christianity believe you can sin if you feel really bad about it afterward. If this were true, can't the atheist just feel really bad and ask for forgiveness as soon as they settle down and marry? In the case of weed, Bible doesn't even mention it. Still, I really doubt every atheist is a wild hedonist and I wouldn't be surprised if ex-Christians still have lingering fears of premarital sex because of previous conditioning and the fact that churches contributed to sex ed in my schools. We looked at pictures of mutilated genitals and were told that condoms break easily and that you have a one in four chance of an agonizing and debilitating std for the rest of your life. From a non-Christian ethical perspective, premarital sex would be immoral if these details were true, but I have doubts that people would really try sex is odds were that high. I believe there were probably lots of lies in my sex ed. Granted, in my personal case, getting away from Christianity was partially motivated by a fear of hell, but it was actually for the sin of idolatry. The fear of loving my family or friends, or hobbies more than God. Not exactly hedonism. I did listen to hedonistic music and wasn't willing to give it up, proving my idolatry. It would seem my experience would prove Strobel and McDowell's point, but having an ulterior motive of avoiding the pain and fear of hell for idolatry does not prove the Bible true. In fact, I believed in maltheism, belief in an evil god, rather than atheism for many years because I believed Josh McDowell and his story as an agnostic trying to disprove Christianity and accidentally proving it. Much of the fear of hell and angst was for others as much as myself.

 

Granted Strobel and J. P Moreland believe they prove that atheists are hedonists who would choose the agony of hell rather than live under the rules of heaven. Considering many old dead atheists are probably married, this wouldn't apply and you can't get any kind of nookie in most apologists' versions of hell. Atheists wanting to go to hell to sin makes no sense when you can't sin while in agony. I personally, if we go with Moreland's argument that people go to hell only because they want to go to hell, I'd give up sex if it spared me from fire and/or separation from God (which Moreland says is agonizing and Bill Weise elaborates why).

 

The biggest issue is their argument boils down to, doubters doubt to engage in dirty deeds, therefore the Bible is without historical error. Ad hominem and x does not lead to y. I realize they may be right about me having an ulterior motive, but history and science speak for themselves. Josh McDowell essentially says historians are cowards and idiots for not supporting his position. Only the Campus Crusade for Christ is reliable scholarship according to him.          

 

Fuck McDowell.

Fuck Moreland

Fuck Strobel. 

 

None of these people have more knowledge nor intelligence than you. They are a false authority. Now go get laid and stoned. 

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16 hours ago, midniterider said:

The biggest issue is their argument boils down to, doubters doubt to engage in dirty deeds, therefore the Bible is without historical error. Ad hominem and x does not lead to y. I realize they may be right about me having an ulterior motive, but history and science speak for themselves. Josh McDowell essentially says historians are cowards and idiots for not supporting his position. Only the Campus Crusade for Christ is reliable scholarship according to him.  

 

I remember reading The Case for Christ years ago. And what it did was illustrated to me the how frail the historical existence of jesus actually was. Prior to reading that, I didn't know about the minimalist's and mythicists. As he was outlining the positions he mentioned full myth. I just assumed that there had always been court records and that jesus was well documented at least as a man who was executed. In both jewish and roman records. Then I started seeing some of the mythicist books. Strobel literally sent me down that rabbit hole just by trying to refute the mythicists. 

 

Hell's a myth. It evolved in evident, human constructed stages over time. Not only is no one going to hell because of sex, no one is going to a place evidently invented by human minds in tell tale stages of development. Jesus is a myth, too. Regardless of any fractional aspect of the myth which contains some history. Myth is myth. Myth is metaphor and allegory. You have to take it all down to the base level. We shouldn't act in socially determined moral ways because we're afraid that a mythological story is real. We should do so out of empathy for others and because our social evolution sets forwards standards of conduct deemed acceptable by everyone else. Those morals change through time. Slavery was acceptable, then it wasn't. Duels were acceptable, then they were not. Premarital sex was not acceptable, then it was.  Society, not gods and devils from mythology, determine these things. 

 

When you understand all of this, apologist's make no sense at all. I understand wanting to debunk them. But it boils down to debunking a lot of evident nonsense. 

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Unfortunately, Strobel and McDowell are seen as authoritative as popular non fiction will always be sold in bookstores unlike most scholarly nonfiction which is confined to university libraries. I personally believe that a preacher named Jesus pissed people off and got nailed to a wooden letter T. It seems like you don't necessarily have to believe in the Jesus myth theory to be an atheist or agnostic as Bart Ehrman and Maurice Casey seem to believe Jesus was a real guy, albeit just a man. One interesting piece of food for thought is that I have found exactly one semi-popular apologist with a degree in history, Gary Habarmas, although it doesn't seem like most history departments take him seriously. It's hard to find archaeologists or scientists either in apologetics. It looks like most of them have no idea what they are talking about, but Christians take them as geniuses. 

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It isn't a simple one size fits all when it comes to abandoning or losing one's faith. There are a number of common themes you can find here on our site. Some do leave as McDowell claims over wanting to free themselves from christian morality (think premarital and/or LGBT guilt free sex for examples), some leave due to a search for the truest possible christianity (that perfect denomination) which leads them down a rabbit hole, some become completely disillusioned because of hell with its monumental immorality of eternal punishment for a crime so disproportionately small (Hell creates a sadism beyond human comprehension.), some leave after reading the entire Bible on their own and becoming completely disgusted by the immorality and/or horrifying capriciousness of the god portrayed there, some leave after being crushed by or simply empathetically crushed by any number of the devastating nightmares that that innocent humans might be unlucky enough to be forced to endure, and there are many other good reasons to be found here on ExC. But what I mostly wanted to bring up is the primary reason I, and a significant group of others on this site, were unable to hold on to our beliefs. It would probably surprise someone like McDowell who does not think deeply or selectively does not think deeply on certain topics due to cognitive dissonance that many leave because they believe wholeheartedly that christianity is true beyond any possible doubt. They are absolutely certain that christianity and its bible are unassailable. They drink up every word that is spoken at the pulpit. Everything christian is and must be completely reasonable and logical because it is true. For them the church and church life become top priority because what could be a greater good or more perfectly clear life mission than supporting their creator god and fulfilling what clearly is the best possible path. Then one day a tiny inconsistency or seeming contradiction catches their attention. The do not wisely put this item away in a box on a high shelf because there is no need. There is nothing whatever to be afraid of because they are safely wrapped in god's armor of truth so they take another step without any preconception and examine the confusing bit of information in the full light of reason certain that the truth will out and god will reveal the trick of the mind or the lack of complete information that has caused our needless distraction. We look as we know god wants us to look but rather shockimgly we do not find the support we were so sure we would find. God is silent as the confusion becomes a question which becomes a burning question followed soon after by another question that becomes a burning question. Probably every one of us true believers who find this happening to us ask god for help fully expecting that help to come. But only silence comes, silence and one burning question after another until one day typically years later we look for our faith and discover (very often shattered by the discovery) that we have no faith left.   

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^^^This person read my mail.

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2 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

^^^This person read my mail.

Straight up!

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11 hours ago, DanForsman said:

God is silent as the confusion becomes a question which becomes a burning question followed soon after by another question that becomes a burning question

11 hours ago, DanForsman said:

It isn't a simple one size fits all when it comes to abandoning or losing one's faith. There are a number of common themes you can find here on our site. Some do leave as McDowell claims over wanting to free themselves from christian morality (think premarital and/or LGBT guilt free sex for examples), some leave due to a search for the truest possible christianity (that perfect denomination) which leads them down a rabbit hole, some become completely disillusioned because of hell with its monumental immorality of eternal punishment for a crime so disproportionately small (Hell creates a sadism beyond human comprehension.), some leave after reading the entire Bible on their own and becoming completely disgusted by the immorality and/or horrifying capriciousness of the god portrayed there, some leave after being crushed by or simply empathetically crushed by any number of the devastating nightmares that that innocent humans might be unlucky enough to be forced to endure, and there are many other good reasons to be found here on ExC. But what I mostly wanted to bring up is the primary reason I, and a significant group of others on this site, were unable to hold on to our beliefs. It would probably surprise someone like McDowell who does not think deeply or selectively does not think deeply on certain topics due to cognitive dissonance that many leave because they believe wholeheartedly that christianity is true beyond any possible doubt. They are absolutely certain that christianity and its bible are unassailable. They drink up every word that is spoken at the pulpit. Everything christian is and must be completely reasonable and logical because it is true. For them the church and church life become top priority because what could be a greater good or more perfectly clear life mission than supporting their creator god and fulfilling what clearly is the best possible path. Then one day a tiny inconsistency or seeming contradiction catches their attention. The do not wisely put this item away in a box on a high shelf because there is no need. There is nothing whatever to be afraid of because they are safely wrapped in god's armor of truth so they take another step without any preconception and examine the confusing bit of information in the full light of reason certain that the truth will out and god will reveal the trick of the mind or the lack of complete information that has caused our needless distraction. We look as we know god wants us to look but rather shockimgly we do not find the support we were so sure we would find. God is silent as the confusion becomes a question which becomes a burning question followed soon after by another question that becomes a burning question. Probably every one of us true believers who find this happening to us ask god for help fully expecting that help to come. But only silence comes, silence and one burning question after another until one day typically years later we look for our faith and discover (very often shattered by the discovery) that we have no faith left.   

This is the most accurate description of my own condition when I believed that I have heard outside of my own words. Do many who believe simply want so badly to believe? Where they indoctrinated by family members when they were 6 or 7?

 

 

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On 7/18/2020 at 9:59 PM, megasamurai said:

Been thinking about the ad hominem claim that non believers are insincere  and have ulterior motives. Apologists, especially former atheist/agnostics of the Strobel/McDowell persuasion always portray unbelief as an excuse to sin. Atheism is allegedly an excuse to engage in premartial sex and smoke weed.  The thing I've been thinking of, actually, the vast majority of Christians engage in it and many branches of Christianity believe you can sin if you feel really bad about it afterward.

 

This is an attempt to claim authority over you and control you. And it diverts away from the 'where is God at?' issue. If you can establish guilt in someone then the door opens to control. 

 

 

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11 hours ago, DanForsman said:

God is silent as the confusion becomes a question which becomes a burning question followed soon after by another question that becomes a burning question.

 

Having din din last Friday night with devout friends of Mrs. MOHO's from church (one a psychologist) the topic of "that moment YOU believed" came up. My turn was last and I could feel Mrs. MOHO's eyes on me - knowing I am agnostic/atheist. As I revealed to the group that I am a non-believer I told of a lack of logic and reason in the doctrine as well as my feeling that much of it resembles ancient controls freaks with blood lust.

 

When I finished with the part about god being silent there was...well...silence. None of that "God spoke to ME in a human voice!" or "You are not listening." or "God does not speak to humans in human voices - he uses signs."

 

Nope. None of that. Just silence and Mr. psychologist was especially so and , staring directly at me for several moments, had a look of deep pondering. He had previously during this conversation mentioned that he was, most of his life, a non believer but that certain circumstances and investigation lead him to the Lord. I felt his conviction was not nearly as strong as most others who's testimonies I have suffered through.

 

I hope I did not take this in a direction unintended by the OP but felt this was a good segue into what I have been wanting to post for about a week.

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2 hours ago, MOHO said:

 

Having din din last Friday night with devout friends of Mrs. MOHO's from church (one a psychologist) the topic of "that moment YOU believed" came up. My turn was last and I could feel Mrs. MOHO's eyes on me - knowing I am agnostic/atheist. As I revealed to the group that I am a non-believer I told of a lack of logic and reason in the doctrine as well as my feeling that much of it resembles ancient controls freaks with blood lust.

 

 

 

"This one day at Olive Garden, I was eating spaghetti...and one noodle was shaped like a smile....I was overcome with joy and emotion and gave my life to the FSM..."

 

 

 

 

 

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The thought of the majority of people burning in hell did bother me. In fact, it bothers Christians enough that they reinvent it. Unbelief seemed like such a tiny offense and so human to do. At the same time, I was told that unbelievers all secretly believe in God and pretend not to in order to sin (Strobel's opinion of atheists). This was how I tried to rationalize the damnation of atheists even though some of them showed me kindness. I thought "She deserves it. She denies God's existence in order to smoke weed) Still, I hated God even though I thought it was the right thing. I cared more about people than justice. One major influence in my life was my parent's split between the theory of hell as justice and hell as a choice. In the latter, God is supposedly off the hook and it has nothing to do with justice, people only go to hell if they want to. I couldn't buy this with a literal burning hell as I doubted very many unbelievers, if any at all, actually desire such a fate. Of course, my mother believed that hell was separation from God and therefore, an agonizing separation from love. I thought about this and pondered if God gave everybody a choice between heaven and hell after death with both terms conforming to mom's definition and God clearly describing the agonizing effects of separation from God, would all non-believers really choose it? I doubt it. Part of me also pondered if it really would be compassionate for God to separate people from him even if they chose it as it is supposed to be agonizing. Putting myself in that hypothetical position, I would rather send people to heaven against their will in order to spare them that pain, making me a monster according to the theory of free will. There is an emotional reason why I left Christianity, finding it bleak that 2/3 of humanity will suffer and we have to worship the God who sent them to a place of suffering, but maybe having an emotional reason isn't necessarily bad. 

 

Now, I realize that hell seems to have the opposite of its intended effect of converting people and the Old Testament violence also is a notable deal breaker. Christians put lots of effort into solving both problems and most of Strobel's The Case for Faith tries to rationalize both issues, in fact codifying the voluntary damnation doctrine and making it mainstream. What I realize is that there's not much actual evidence for metaphorical flames and just separation from God as it seems like wishful thinking as Old Testament God actually has set people ablaze. Much justification for Old Testament violence is also speculation. Where's the rational reason?

 

IN my case, I actually converted to misotheism rather than atheism as I found no rational reason to disbelieve yet. It wasn't until I found out how actual historians view Bible stories' historicity in college that I truly made steps towards not believing. I guess my experiences do cast doubt on this idea that unbelief has no intellectual basis.  

 

       

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On 7/19/2020 at 4:30 AM, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Well, if you don't sin, then jesus died for nothing.

 

I have a funny story to tell about sinning. When I was about 11 years old I was asked to study Catholicism by my mother. It was an interesting request since she was not a catholic and just wanted my studied opinion about it. I was originally baptized a Methodist as a baby. Upon studying and being baptized a Catholic one of the requirements was to go to confession.   This was supposed to be done every week or two to relieve one of his sins. One time when I went to confession I couldn't think of any sin I committed since my last confession so I just made up some minor sin to tell the priest. That was a sin. So the next confession after that I had a valid sin to tell the priest, that I made up a sin in my previous confession since I couldn't think of any sin I committed and was expected to go to the confessional as part of my continued studies. Although I recall telling my mother pretty good things about my studies of Catholicism she never became one herself.

 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, MOHO said:

Do many who believe simply want so badly to believe? Where they indoctrinated by family members when they were 6 or 7?

I was brought up from birth in a strong, practicing, bible reading family but was nevertheless running into serious difficulty sometime around 4. I suspect the biggest issue is probably a genetic inclination to use an altered reasoning whenever confronted by cognitive dissonance. I think this inclination may well have resulted from natural selection as those people most able to associate closely with a group (irregardless of how immoral or ruthless) had a much greater chance of survival in the wild and later primative cultures. (This idea is somewhat supported by the fact that special preferential reasoning is commonly used to view family and close group members as bigger than life not just religious group members.) So I think there is probably a bell curve that would demonstrate the inclination towards using rationalizations when cognitive dissonance is introduced into the equation. A few people would have very little inclination to rationalize away unwanted knowledge and the vast majority would fall somewhere in the moderate to moderately strong inclination to rationalize away threatening information and a few would have very powerful instincts to rationalize each and every bit of concerning information they encounter out of existence.

   This is a made up idea but it allows me to make some sense out of this seemingly universal response humans have when confronted with cognitive dissonance that doesn't seem to relate to general intelligence or even the ability to reason. 

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I am going through a fed up with theology phase. Precisely because of those types of "arguments" and "evidence"

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On 7/23/2020 at 11:05 PM, DanForsman said:

Then one day a tiny inconsistency or seeming contradiction catches their attention.


I call that my “wait... what?” moment.

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