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The Cardinal Sin Of Doubt...reversed.


chad
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Doubts about the veracity of biblical truth claims precipitate the de-conversion process of the average ex-christian, and each individual usually points to a single source of doubt that contributed more wieght to the eventual demise of his or her faith (i.e. biblical contradictions, the problem of evil, or the questionable historicity of Jesus, etc...) than any other dubious point. Assuming that concern for intellectual integrity or what some may call the "truth seeking" spirit (which is such a rare quality among fundys, tragically) played a huge role in acknowledgeing the doubt that ultimately beget one's deconversion, I'm also assuming, then, that this same passion for truth induces doubts about the atheistic/agnostic world-view that many ex-christians have now come to embrace, such as myself. On that note, I'm wondering, what do you consider to be the most cogent source of personal doubt regarding the veracity of atheism/agnosticism? More specifically, from an intellectual/rationale perspective, what particular aspect of Christianity/theism provokes your doubt regarding the plausibility of atheism/agnosticism more than any other aspect and why?

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so in layman's terms... youre asking what makes us agnostic right? agnostics by definition cant prove or disprove the existence of god. you know the basic arguments for disproving, and now you want to know the basic arguments for proving right?

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so in layman's terms... youre asking what makes us agnostic right? agnostics by definition cant prove or disprove the existence of god. you know the basic arguments for disproving, and now you want to know the basic arguments for proving right?

 

I think the suggestion is that atheism is an act of faith like theism and must therefore be subject to an element of doubt. Its an act of faith because all them of them are having to deal with metaphysical questions that are not open in essence to the ways of pure science. Agnosticism I would maybe put in a different category.

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so in layman's terms... youre asking what makes us agnostic right? agnostics by definition cant prove or disprove the existence of god. you know the basic arguments for disproving, and now you want to know the basic arguments for proving right?

 

I think the suggestion is that atheism is an act of faith like theism and must therefore be subject to an element of doubt. Its an act of faith because all them of them are having to deal with metaphysical questions that are not open in essence to the ways of pure science. Agnosticism I would maybe put in a different category.

think i got thrown off with the grouping of atheism and agnostic... cause i agree that agnosticism should be in a different category.

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More specifically, from an intellectual/rationale perspective, what particular aspect of Christianity/theism provokes your doubt regarding the plausibility of atheism/agnosticism more than any other aspect and why?

An interesting question. Unfortunately the answer would be far from simple to explain. There are no intellectual or rational reasons to choose it over freethought. But there is more to being human than that. Culture, society, a sense of community united under a common mythology. This is something that being an independent agent does not offer.

 

However, my experience with this aspect of religious communities has shown it to be defective and not offering a genuine sense of that community that on the surface it appears to show. I have long lists of reasons why I feel that happens: Problems with the system; My own expectations and experiences. But setting aside questions of mythology needing or not needing to be taken as fact, so far I have not experienced compelling enough reasons to accept that what they have to offer at this point is adequate to offer more than what I have now. If they had genuine community with integrity, that would be appealing to me.

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The fact that mere chemical reactions somehow give rise to consciousness. I guess this could be a case of a GofG fallacy, but it still boggles my mind daily. This doesn't mean I think Christianity is viable, but it keeps me from becoming a hard atheist. Maybe there is some vague force out there... who knows.

 

Regardless, it doesn't really change the way I live my life.

 

so in layman's terms... youre asking what makes us agnostic right? agnostics by definition cant prove or disprove the existence of god. you know the basic arguments for disproving, and now you want to know the basic arguments for proving right?

 

I think the suggestion is that atheism is an act of faith like theism and must therefore be subject to an element of doubt. Its an act of faith because all them of them are having to deal with metaphysical questions that are not open in essence to the ways of pure science. Agnosticism I would maybe put in a different category.

 

 

Ditto. I think my first answer applies mainly to agnosticism (it's what keeps me agnostic), and the faith argument you just mentioned applies more to atheism.

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Rhemtron,

 

No. If one de-converted from Christianity to agnosticism/atheism, I'm simply asking what aspect or point of Christianity/theism (i.e. the design argument, religious experience, etc...) has elicited the most doubt regarding the plausibility of a non-theistic world-view within his/her intellect (assuming that the typical agnostics that frequent this site lean toward a non-theistic stance)? Another way of asking this question: if forced to choose one feature of Christianity that you considered the most persuasive or the one feature that you considered the greatest threat to Atheism, what would it be and why?

 

Golden Meadows,

 

I've encountered a # of Christians who argue that Atheism demands as much faith or more as Christianity; and therefore, Atheists harbor a self-deceiving pretension that their world-view is rationally/scientifically superior to that of a Christian. Although I agree that Atheism, or any other philosophical position for that matter, requires a measure of faith -- because no world-view is deductively "bullet proof" -- I'm certainly not suggesting that Atheism call for a higher degree of faith than Christianity; thereby attempting to cast a dubious light on Atheism compared to Christianity in accordance with the play-book of a Christian apologist. In fact, given that I'm an agnostic who possesses strong atheistic tendencies, I'm persuaded that Atheism, despite failing to be absolutely rock-solid, is far more probable than Christianity. In a nutshell, then, both Christianity and Atheism may necessitate a leap of faith based on epistemological integrity, but Christianity seems to necessitate a much larger leap.

 

Antlerman,

 

Forgive me if I've misinterpreted the essence of your answer, but I'm not asking whether one deems the truth-claims of Christianity, as a whole, more rationally compelling than atheism/agnosticism as a whole. Rather, I'm asking one to identify what particular aspect of Christianity/theism he or she deems to be the most intellectually cogent, if any at all.

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Chad, there is no source of doubt about not believing in Christianity that I take seriously right now. The closest would be reports of miracles. But then, all religions generate those, so I can't see them as proofs of Christianity and not of, say, Hinduism or the cults of ancient Greece. Reports of miracles might be enough to push me from atheism into a general spirituality/theism where I believed that all religions are paths to one spiritual truth, but then, I'd wonder whether what we were classifying as a miracle were not simply the outcome of as-yet-undiscovered natural processes. You write "Christianity/theism" but I'd consider belief in some deity as much more miminal than belief in all the doctrines of christianity.

 

I suppose another thing might be if it were proved that the Big Bang had to have been initiated by a conscious entity. I could call that God, I guess. I don't know if this can be proved. To come out with a prime mover like Aristotle's would be a far cry from the theism most people understand, though - i.e. the initiator of motion and change need not be anthropomorphic enough for humans to have a "relationship" with it.

 

None of this draws me right now, though.

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gotcha... as far as cogent... i dont think there's anything intellectually appealing or damaging. At least none i can think of right off the bat.

 

ficino pretty much covered what i wanted to say....

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Antlerman,

 

Forgive me if I've misinterpreted the essence of your answer, but I'm not asking whether one deems the truth-claims of Christianity, as a whole, more rationally compelling than atheism/agnosticism as a whole. Rather, I'm asking one to identify what particular aspect of Christianity/theism he or she deems to be the most intellectually cogent, if any at all.

I did try to address it that way, but the best I can say is there is not one thing intellectually/rationally in Christianity that speaks to me or is more compelling than secularism. However, people are both rational and non-rational, reason and emotion. Your question only asks to the rational side. That side of me sees nothing that makes more sense rationally than the natural world. Emotionally, that is a different question.

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