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6 hours ago, WarriorPoet said:

I was just a little disappointed though.  There in the early middle part of this thread, for a few glorious minutes, we seemed to be getting somewhere.  I leave for a night, log in the next day and he had turned that all to 💩.

 

If you go and look at the history of 'authentic christian' members who have come here in recent years, you will see a series of this exact pattern of behavior. Played out through different perspectives of denomination and / or personal beliefs. But it amounts to the same basic patterns of discussion, debate, and conduct. It all turns to shit soon enough...

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I'd have given anything to be like BAA when I first joined this website.  He was so calculating, level-headed, and stoic; while I was (and still am) aggressive, abrasive, and brash.  I talked about it

Thanks for answering the question, that clarifies things a lot.  The thoughts of evangelising for god are well known here, this is one audience that absolutely gets it.  Many of the people here have d

I've tried to have a polite conversation, but so far you've not answered any of the direct questions asked.  While you may have the answers to the life, the universe and everything, you don't appear t

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The various thoughts debriefing poster BrotherMario are interesting.  I'll add mine:

 

Poster BrotherMario is a little shit.

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6 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

So this guy is a painter by trade? Blue collar, self proclaimed master of philosophy and catholic mystical thinking???

There is a Joe Mello Painting profile on LinkedIn, if you're curious enough to pursue that line of questioning.  But the only employment listed on his Facebook page is as a cook in a restaurant. 

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Have you ever stopped to think about why some of us get so excited about the incessant and seemingly futile rabbit chasing we do with the apologists that come here?  I admire Walter and others who refuse to be baited into aimlessly running from one point to another.  I have tried to do that, but seem to always succumb to the evasive rabbit chasing. 

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29 minutes ago, Weezer said:

Have you ever stopped to think about why some of us get so excited about the incessant and seemingly futile rabbit chasing we do with the apologists that come here?


It’s very likely futile in terms of making any impression on our apologist visitors.  But I try to tailor my comments to a potential audience of tentative ex-Christians or even wavering Christians who could be helped by my counter-apologetics.  That’s really the only good reason to allow apologists a platform: to take advantage of them for our own ends, to be honest. 

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I enjoy the entertainment...for a short while. But evidence-less assertions just get old.

 

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On 1/7/2021 at 12:17 AM, sdelsolray said:

The various thoughts debriefing poster BrotherMario are interesting.  I'll add mine:

 

Poster BrotherMario is a little shit.

You think everyone’s a little shit..

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On 1/6/2021 at 11:18 PM, Joshpantera said:

 

If you go and look at the history of 'authentic christian' members who have come here in recent years, you will see a series of this exact pattern of behavior. Played out through different perspectives of denomination and / or personal beliefs. But it amounts to the same basic patterns of discussion, debate, and conduct. It all turns to shit soon enough...

There’s no end to the discussion... it’s futile other than defining ourselves.  Takes awhile to get there.. but a worthwhile endeavor.

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27 minutes ago, Edgarcito said:

You think everyone’s a little shit..

 

That is an incorrect statement.  Let me correct it for you:

 

"You think some people are little shits."

 

 

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8 hours ago, TABA said:

 

I try to tailor my comments to a potential audience of tentative ex-Christians or even wavering Christians who could be helped by my counter-apologetics. 

 

That's a good way to look at it.  But could something else be at work?  I can't speak for anyone else, but I think Mario identified one reason.  I don't remember the exact words, and am too lazy to go back and find it, but he said something to the effect of us liking to see our own words.  In other words, feeding our own egos.  I'll confess, I think I fall into that, and in a sense, trying to "one up" someone else.  It can even be fun, and can be good brain exercise.  I wind up using the dictionary and thesaurus to say what I want to say.

 

And old habits are hard to break.  Like feeling we need to "convert" others to our way of thinking as Christians.   Does that not carry over to our new beliefs? 

 

No big deal.  Just my musing.

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I'd have given anything to be like BAA when I first joined this website.  He was so calculating, level-headed, and stoic; while I was (and still am) aggressive, abrasive, and brash.  I talked about it with BAA once and he told me, "we all play our own roles." 

 

That has stuck with me throughout the years; and I've come to understand that the rapid-fire common sense approach I take is just a vital as the solid point-rebuttal approach of WalterP. 

 

All of the ground has to get covered.  Walt can cover a veritable swath in a single post, while I run mini-sprints through a half-dozen posts.  It's all necessary in some form or other; because not all of our lurkers are going to learn the same way, or respond to the same posting style.

 

You play your role, @Weezer; and let the @WalterP roles be played by the Walts of the world.

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1 hour ago, Edgarcito said:

There’s no end to the discussion... it’s futile other than defining ourselves.  Takes awhile to get there.. but a worthwhile endeavor.

I think there's a certain element of defining each other, too.  I think I am a better man for the conversations you and I have had.

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I second all of the above. Wise words from BAA. Everyone has their own mind, their own way looking the situation from their own perspective, their own personality types, etc., etc. And so essentially everyone has their own role to play. Including sarcastic or mischievous posts (within the forum guidelines of course). 

 

There's always going to be a diversity of reaction to apologist's visiting us here. And everyone's perspective holds value in their own ways. 

14 hours ago, Weezer said:

That's a good way to look at it.  But could something else be at work?  I can't speak for anyone else, but I think Mario identified one reason.  I don't remember the exact words, and am too lazy to go back and find it, but he said something to the effect of us liking to see our own words.  In other words, feeding our own egos. 

 

Let me clarify something from my own perspective. Look at BM. What was he doing the entire time? Was he feeding his own ego? Was he enjoying his own words? He obviously kept posting over and over. He must have enjoyed it.

 

It looks to me like BM like to project his own thinking and mannerism's on to others. Whether correct or not. He was projecting his own ways at everyone else and reading through the exchange can spot light that. Some of you called him out on it. But he kept projecting anyways. 

 

14 hours ago, Weezer said:

And old habits are hard to break.  Like feeling we need to "convert" others to our way of thinking as Christians.   Does that not carry over to our new beliefs? 

 

No big deal.  Just my musing.

 

Our new beliefs are not unified, they are diverse. There is no ex christian belief, just as there is no atheist belief. They are both used to express a lack of belief each in their own ways. We lack belief in christianity. Some lack belief in god, in edition to that. What we 'do believe' is almost besides the point in the context of this website, as Dave has laid it out. It's very clear that we're not here to proselytize christians. Or convert people to atheism. Nor political partisanship. 

 

What we are doing is debating issues of christianity, religion, and even god. I think there's a big difference. All within the greater context of encouraging struggling and ex christians. We're debating in an open forum (The Lion's Den) and creating a platform where readers can watch and observe the exchanges and make all of their own decisions about who may be right or wrong about a given topic or issue.

 

We all probably want to see people push past barriers that we were able to push through ourselves. But is that "egoic?" Or is that just people wanting to help someone else because they understand what it's like to be in the position of being lied to and believing false claims? It seems to me that most of the time our members here have the best of intentions when wading into these debates. 

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5 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

It's very clear that we're not here to proselytize christians. Or convert people to atheism.

I hope that's not true for everyone here.  If a few members are motivated to do so, even if only subliminal, personally, I see no problem with that. Christianity has wreaked havoc on individuals, families, societies, cultures and nations.  One could argue that it has had negative global consequences.  While it is not the mission of this website, I don't think an obvious attempt at proselytizing Christians should necessarily be discouraged either -  if the occasional ex-christian wishes to do so.

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21 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

I'd have given anything to be like BAA when I first joined this website.  He was so calculating, level-headed, and stoic; while I was (and still am) aggressive, abrasive, and brash.  I talked about it with BAA once and he told me, "we all play our own roles." 

 

That has stuck with me throughout the years; and I've come to understand that the rapid-fire common sense approach I take is just a vital as the solid point-rebuttal approach of WalterP. 

 

All of the ground has to get covered.  Walt can cover a veritable swath in a single post, while I run mini-sprints through a half-dozen posts.  It's all necessary in some form or other; because not all of our lurkers are going to learn the same way, or respond to the same posting style.

 

You play your role, @Weezer; and let the @WalterP roles be played by the Walts of the world.

 

My thanks to Weezer and to TheRedneckProf.  :)

 

I've just upvoted your post Prof, not just for your content, but also because of BAA's gem of wisdom.  

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

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Weezer,

 

Why do I refuse to let others bait me?  Because if I stick ONLY to the issue under discussion and never deviate from it, how others possibly accuse me of veering off into ad hominems, disparagements or even insults?  They simply can't get any traction against me.  

 

Btw, when it comes to Brothermario, I had this up my sleeve but never had the chance to play it.  He wrote...

 

Posted December 29, 2020

Let me tell you guys what is going to happen.

 You’re going to run to each other for support, commit the ad hominem against me all day long and never notice, praise each other, and finally find excuses why I’m so unworthy of you that you’re just gonna leave.

 This is what always happens.

What is not going to happen is any of you guys admitting that you just don’t have good enough answers to counter the scholastic answers I am giving to you about who God is and who we are.

 The badges you award each other is particularly comical, especially if you get one here.

 

I could have cited this and used his own words against him.  Thus...

 

Brothermario,

You cannot paint us all with the same brush.  What you predicted doesn't apply to me.

I haven't run to any other member for support.

I haven't committed any ad hominems against you.

I haven't praised any other members.

I haven't found any excuses and I haven't left this thread.

I haven't admitted that I don't have good enough answers to counter your scholastic ones because you have yet to support your claim about having had a true experience of god.

Nor have I awarded any badges to any other members.

I'm still waiting for you to support your claim.

You have appealed to philosophy and I have shown you that the philosophical onus is on you to support your claim with evidence.

Please do so.

Thank you.

Walter.

 

I was a little bit disappointed that he left before I could play this on him because that 'paint us all with the same brush' comment would have really stuck in his craw.  Given his line of work.

 

;)

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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17 hours ago, freshstart said:

I hope that's not true for everyone here.  If a few members are motivated to do so, even if only subliminal, personally, I see no problem with that. Christianity has wreaked havoc on individuals, families, societies, cultures and nations.  One could argue that it has had negative global consequences.  While it is not the mission of this website, I don't think an obvious attempt at proselytizing Christians should necessarily be discouraged either -  if the occasional ex-christian wishes to do so.

 

You can approach them however. But the site purpose is not proselytizing christians. Just to clarify to people reading who may not have encountered this issue before. I always argue in favor of things like agnostic atheist position taking as a tried and proven philosophical stance. But that's just my opinion. Not the mission of the website nor sanctioned in that way. 

 

 

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On 1/8/2021 at 7:16 PM, TheRedneckProfessor said:

I think there's a certain element of defining each other, too.  I think I am a better man for the conversations you and I have had.

I appreciate that Prof.  Lot of valuable discussions here that not many folks dare to endeavor.....better understanding.

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9 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

But the site purpose is not proselytizing christians. 

 

Where is the line between explaining why we believe what we believe, and why we don't believe what they believe, and proselytizing?

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2 hours ago, Weezer said:

Where is the line between explaining why we believe what we believe, and why we don't believe what they believe, and proselytizing?

 

Proselytism

 
 

Description

Description

Proselytism is the act or fact of religious conversion, and it also includes actions which invite such conversion. The English-language word proselytize derives from the Greek language prefix προσ- and the verb ἔρχομαι in the form of προσήλυτος. Wikipedia
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On it's face, proselytizing is a religious act. If we were convincing someone to leave christianity for another religion. Or any belief system. But we are arguing about lacking belief in religion. Defending our own personal lack of belief in the christian religion. 

 

And encouraging others who have taken similar steps on their own, or are currently in the process of struggling to take steps out of christianity and possibility religion altogether. What we do would require a different term outside of converting people from one religion to another. 

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On 1/10/2021 at 7:12 PM, Weezer said:

Where is the line between explaining why we believe what we believe, and why we don't believe what they believe, and proselytizing?

 

On 1/10/2021 at 10:04 PM, Joshpantera said:

 

Proselytism is the act or fact of religious conversion, and it also includes actions which invite such conversion.

 

On 1/10/2021 at 10:07 PM, Joshpantera said:

On it's face, proselytizing is a religious act. If we were convincing someone to leave christianity

 

Not to belabor the point, but I think Weezer raises a good question and I'm not really clear on the answer.  I totally get that the main purpose of this website is to support exchristians, but when the occasional Christian visits - particularly in certain forums like the Lions Den, what is the point of arguing our beliefs (or lack of beliefs) if not to change a Christian's mind or at the very least - give them something to think about (without telling people what they should or shouldn't do)?  Isn't that what we did when "witnessing" as Christians? 

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1 hour ago, freshstart said:

Not to belabor the point, but I think Weezer raises a good question and I'm not really clear on the answer.  I totally get that the main purpose of this website is to support exchristians, but when the occasional Christian visits - particularly in certain forums like the Lions Den, what is the point of arguing our beliefs (or lack of beliefs) if not to change a Christian's mind or at the very least - give them something to think about (without telling people what they should or shouldn't do)?  Isn't that what we did when "witnessing" as Christians? 

 

When you figure something out - that Christianity is untrue, for example - it's natural to want to share it.  It’s just that very few Christians are open to questioning their beliefs..  So if a Christian in the Lions Den is taking about Satan being real, I will jump in and point out that no, you can look in the Old Testament and see how the concept of Satan was developed gradually over the course of centuries and so there’s no good reason to believe Satan actually exists, I’m really doing it for the benefit of some deconverting person who didn’t know that and who may even be tormented by fears of Hell.  I’m not expecting the Christian to change his mind.  If it makes him think, that’s a nice side effect.  But setting out to talk Christians out of their belief is generally a waste of time.  The Lions Den is available for that purpose if you so desire.

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The main difference, I think, is motivation.  If someone makes bald claims and unfounded assertions, I'll point that out to them.  If someone is using logical fallacies, I'll identify them.  Certainly if someone is condemning, judging, or otherwise being rude, I'll throw back with an equal measure of aggression.  But my motivation for doing so is not because I want, or need, to convince that person; I am simply observing the rules of engagement. 

 

I have neither the need nor the desire to convince anyone of anything.  Even if I did, it is not my place to do so.  We all walk our own paths.  If someone else's path converges with mine for a while, I will offer what help and companionship is mine to give; but their path is still their own.  I should always respect that, and never attempt to coerce, cajole, or corral them onto the path that is mine to walk.  And if our paths, mine and theirs, should diverge, I should accept it with happy resignation, knowing that I did what I could for them, and they for me.

 

When I believed, no amount of logic, reason, or sound argument could have convinced me otherwise.  Neither could mockery, humiliation, appeal to emotion, or judgment.  I had to experience for myself.  I had to realize on my own.  That was my path, though many had walked it before and since; and it led me here.

 

You got to walk that lonesome valley...

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