Advice for Believers

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Re: Advice for Believers

#101  Postby scott1328 » Sep 17, 2014 4:48 am

kravarnik wrote:I was directed to this board due to me saying there are barely any civil atheistic forums, with a relatively large memberbase. I believe this thread to be redundant, as I believe the issue lies much deeper. To be more precise, it lies in the misconceptions about the opposite camp and especially the lack of interest for comprehending the opposition. And these miscoceptions are not exclusive to atheists or theist, but to people in general.


What I mean is, if you view religion/non-religion/atheism/-insert what you like- as evil, irrational and stupid, then most likely you won't be handling its adherents in a good manner, since all you see in their actions are negative attributes. You won't be seeing your counterparts as people who genuinely seek the truth, as you do, but as evil people who try to win you on their side. Their ways and reasoning becomes deceptive to you, thus false and deservent of bad treatment. This does no good to anyone, nor the very purpose of discourse - to seek and find the truth.

I believe we need more comprehension. We need to understand that these people, who spit out words which are seemingly false and non-sensical, are just like us, trying to find the truth, or sharing what they deem to be truthful, even though, to us it's of no intellectual value. We need to understand that these people are like ourselves, although mistaken in our eyes. Try to void mockery, try to avoid the snarky remarks for easy points of witt, try to be more understanding, etc. This will only help, I promise you.

I am a Christian and I really hope there are people capable of understanding, capable of sensing genuineness.


Your concern has been noted.

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Re: Advice for Believers

#102  Postby surreptitious57 » Sep 17, 2014 10:23 am

kravarnik wrote:
I was directed to this board due to me saying there are barely any civil atheistic forums, with a relatively large memberbase. I believe this thread to be redundant, as I believe the issue lies much deeper. To be more precise, it lies in the misconceptions about the opposite camp and especially the lack of interest for comprehending the opposition. And these misconceptions are not exclusive to atheists or theist, but to people in general.

What I mean is, if you view religion/non-religion/atheism/-insert what you like- as evil, irrational and stupid, then most likely you won't be handling its adherents in a good manner, since all you see in their actions are negative attributes. You won't be seeing your counterparts as people who genuinely seek the truth, as you do, but as evil people who try to win you on their side. Their ways and reasoning becomes deceptive to you, thus false and deservent of bad treatment. This does no good to anyone, nor the very purpose of discourse - to seek and find the truth.

I believe we need more comprehension. We need to understand that these people, who spit out words which are seemingly false and nonsensical, are just like us, trying to find the truth, or sharing what they deem to be truthful, even though, to us it's of no intellectual value. We need to understand that these people are like ourselves, although mistaken in our eyes. Try to avoid mockery, try to avoid the snarky remarks for easy points of wit, try to be more understanding, etc. This will only help, I promise you.

I am a Christian and I really hope there are people capable of understanding, capable of sensing genuineness.

One thing to remember here is that the word truth has multiple meanings and can refer to either subjective emotional truth or objective logical truth. So what it might mean to you may not mean the same to someone else. I tend to disregard the subjective emotional version myself because it does not have to conform to physical reality so is only true for the one believing in it. It therefore is not as valid as objective logical truth and so it is a false equivalence to assume otherwise

As you are new here you may not be familiar with how the site operates. It is expressly forbidden by the FUA to attack any member here but not to attack anything they post. So mockery and snark is perfectly legitimate when directed at the latter And as most of us here are atheists that means that religion is a fair target. So if you disapprove of that then maybe this is not the site for you. However I myself hope that you stay as we do not have many Christians here and it is always good to have those with a different worldview to the majority as it stops the site from becoming an echo chamber of itself even if unintentionally so. Though having said that there is actually much that we disagree on outside of religion so that is not in reality going to happen so just saying. Anyway welcome to Rat Skep
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Re: Advice for Believers

#103  Postby Zadocfish2 » Nov 29, 2014 10:26 am

Just found this thread! Yeah, we Christians are seriously under-represented here. I have two theories as to why:

1) This is a forum about expounding on science and refuting non-science. Which means, a Christian attempting to post normal Christian things would likely be blitzed by replies explaining why something or other makes no sense, or is "irrational." Christians under that circumstance tend to ignore the posts, usually giving up and leaving for lack of things to say and a lack of responses that don't rely on previously-discussed arguments from apologist sites.

2) If a Christian is open-minded to science, like I am, they absorb arguments and stuff from here. If he then goes on to think about these arguments and take them to the conclusions, he will usually end up with a crisis of the Faith, like the one I'm in the throes of right now. I seem to sink into that every time I spend a lot of time on this forum... The points made by Cali and Spearthrower and the like will get into your head if you let them, and they're much harder to get rid of than they are to obtain. The only choices are to stop thinking about it altogether and lose interest in such debates, and/or to leave the site so as not to fall under the influence of such thoughts. Either option eventually leads to abandoning the forum.

It's hard. You either stay, listen, and be mentally accosted by constant and nagging doubt, or you pack up and leave before they get you, or you stay and refuse to listen to a word said that you don't agree with. There's little middle ground.
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Re: Advice for Believers

#104  Postby laklak » Nov 29, 2014 10:40 am

Many, if not most, atheists have been through the same crisis of faith. I was lucky, as I never had any faith to begin with, but there are a lot of ex-theists here. Perhaps I'm being facile, but I honestly do not understand how anyone can buy into any doctrinal religion. The mental gymnastics required to maintain that level of cognitive dissonance is impossible in the long run, eventually you're forced to reject one side or the other. Maybe one could keep up some nebulous, fuzzy deism, but that approach doesn't provide the certainty many theists seem to need.
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Re: Advice for Believers

#105  Postby jerome » Dec 25, 2014 12:52 pm

I felt the same laklak, till I ended up believing. That is the thing: you can not possibly see things any other way, it seems as irrefutable as gravity, whichever "side" you are on :) Unless you are like many of us at times here, addicted to doubting six quite possible things before breakfast!

Have a cool yule
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Re: Advice for Believers

#106  Postby surreptitious57 » Dec 25, 2014 1:05 pm

I find that it is best to only accept that which is demonstrably true and the methodology by which that is
determined should naturally be devoid of any emotional reasoning. For with that you could convince your
self of absolutely anything if you really wanted to. So happy Isaac Newton day to you too jerome ha ha ha
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Re: Advice for Believers

#107  Postby jerome » Dec 25, 2014 1:20 pm

surreptitious57 wrote:I find that it is best to only accept that which is demonstrably true and the methodology by which that is
determined should naturally be devoid of any emotional reasoning. For with that you could convince your
self of absolutely anything if you really wanted to. So happy Isaac Newton day to you too jerome ha ha ha


:cheers:
Isaac Newton! One of ours, I believe! ;) (Yes I'm listening to Good Omens...)

j x
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Re: Advice for Believers

#108  Postby surreptitious57 » Dec 25, 2014 1:34 pm

He attended church rather infrequently and was labelled a
heretic for not believing in the concept of the Holy Trinity
so not much of a role model for Christianity then ha ha ha
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Re: Advice for Believers

#109  Postby Scot Dutchy » Dec 25, 2014 2:29 pm

I never believed anything my mother told me when I was a child which lead me not to believe in anything in my life.

The whole religious concept was so alien. Just seemed so stupid. I was forced to go to sunday school and bible class until I was kicked out at the age of 12. That was 1961.

I was never superstitious and never accepted anything supernatural.

I always laughed at people who believe in spirits and ghosts. It just left me cold.
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Re: Advice for Believers

#110  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Dec 25, 2014 4:50 pm

jerome wrote:I felt the same laklak, till I ended up believing. That is the thing: you can not possibly see things any other way, it seems as irrefutable as gravity, whichever "side" you are on :) Unless you are like many of us at times here, addicted to doubting six quite possible things before breakfast!

Have a cool yule
J x

I disagree, I can perfectly envision becoming a theist.
As soon as someone can demonstrate to me, either through rationally sound arguments, but preferably evidence, that at least one god exists.
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Re: Advice for Believers

#111  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Dec 26, 2014 1:16 am

Part of the problem believers have is they confuse informational 'tools" with motivational "tools". Suppose one is a religious scientist. One may regard nature as god's works, and thus believe science as a form of worship of god's works, as presented in nature. This sentiment is a great motivational tool, but a poor informational one. One could believe that god is nature, but it is scientifically untestable. Thus Newton could believe in a god who was the creator of a clockwork universe. However, we can only test the model of the universe as a clockwork mechanism, and not the watchmaker. Thus even if the universe was clockwork, Newton did not prove god as its watchmaker. In any case, we now know via Einstein that the Universe is not quite as clockwork as Newton imagined it to be.
An atheist scientist, who would not make the presumption of a celestial clock-maker in any case, is freer to propose models of less prejudice. He would simply ask if the universe is clock-like or not.
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Re: Advice for Believers

#112  Postby Jerome Da Gnome » Dec 26, 2014 4:57 am

laklak wrote:Many, if not most, atheists have been through the same crisis of faith.


Consider devil worshipers, killing a goat, have bad things happen after, they too are having a crisis in faith.
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Re: Advice for Believers

#113  Postby Jerome Da Gnome » Dec 26, 2014 5:00 am

Darwinsbulldog wrote:
An atheist scientist, who would not make the presumption of a celestial clock-maker in any case, is freer to propose models of less prejudice. He would simply ask if the universe is clock-like or not.


If it is done with proper method, personal bias is irrelevant. The beauty in science.
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Re: Advice for Believers

#114  Postby Jerome Da Gnome » Dec 26, 2014 5:04 am

Scot Dutchy wrote:I never believed anything my mother told me when I was a child


Why?

She must have told you truths :scratch:
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Re: Advice for Believers

#115  Postby Thommo » Dec 26, 2014 5:28 am

Zadocfish2 wrote:Just found this thread! Yeah, we Christians are seriously under-represented here. I have two theories as to why:


Interestingly it hadn't even occurred to me that you were a Christian. I guess that's down to which topics I read these days, or what you post about.
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Re: Advice for Believers

#116  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Dec 26, 2014 8:00 am

Jerome Da Gnome wrote:
Darwinsbulldog wrote:
An atheist scientist, who would not make the presumption of a celestial clock-maker in any case, is freer to propose models of less prejudice. He would simply ask if the universe is clock-like or not.


If it is done with proper method, personal bias is irrelevant. The beauty in science.


Methodological naturalism means you leave your prejudice/bias at the door to the lab. This is the difference between someone like Michael Behe, who refuses methodological naturalism, and Francisco Ayala, who accepts it. Ayala is some sort of Catholic deist. But when doing proper science, and science write-ups in journals, he is purely MN. In his popular works however, that try to bridge religious belief in science, he is more ambiguous. In other words, his religious beliefs urge him to write about god as a possible cause with a little more enthusiasm than prudence would allow. OF COURSE god could be the ultimate cause or prime mover, it is possible, but it is not science to deal with such things, because there are no tests for it. In other words, as I said above, science can test for clockwork universes, but not the clock-maker. [Unless of course, the clock maker is a natural process, like natural selection in evolution]. Of course, one can argue that NS is perhaps only the clock-maker's helper.
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Re: Advice for Believers

#117  Postby 2Curious » Jun 24, 2015 4:45 pm

Thank you Jerome, You said: "People often assume all theists are irrational, delusional, bigoted, fanatical and embrace blind faith while being intolerant wankers", sad but true.

By the way, what's a "wanker"?
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Re: Advice for Believers

#118  Postby THWOTH » Jun 25, 2015 10:57 am

'Wanker' is a British colloquialism, a pejorative sobriquet for one who wantonly indulges in onanistic pleasure. It's relatively mild as pejoratives go.
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Re: Advice for Believers

#119  Postby Blackadder » Jun 25, 2015 4:31 pm

THWOTH wrote:'Wanker' is a British colloquialism, a pejorative sobriquet for one who wantonly indulges in onanistic pleasure. It's relatively mild as pejoratives go.


What a simply delightful and erudite explanation of the vernacular. I would add only that it is not often used in its literal sense but rather to describe behaviour that is ignorant or selfish. For example it is commonly employed when delivering an unsolicited and informal appraisal of the driving skills (or lack thereof) of other road users.
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Re: Advice for Believers

#120  Postby THWOTH » Jun 26, 2015 12:55 am

Indeed. It is also used as a term of endearment when referring to members of the Royal Family.
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