Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

Introduction: The Story of My Life [Part 1]

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Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

#1  Postby eliech » Nov 03, 2016 3:18 am

Hello there,

I'm Eli and I'm glad to connect with you here.

Throughout my entire life, I've been questioning the existence of GOD and the beliefs of religions. I consider myself Agnostic because although I cannot factually prove the existence of a GOD I cannot factually disprove it either.

I found this space on Infidels.org, where I read the case on:"Why I'm not A Christian" by John W. Loftus http://infidels.org/library/modern/john_loftus/christianity.html#4

But before I tell you how I got to that page, let me tell you the story of my life and particular upbringings.

I was raised in a Catholic family, and since very little was forced to the view of the world through religion glasses.
My family was then, extremely conservative... There was a lot of psychological abuse impregnated to myself.
I always felt guilty for merely existing(infamous original sin). Everything that was naturally attractive to me was WRONG in the eyes of GOD and religion.
All the way to my teenage years I was forced to attend Catholic Church and pursue the "Holy Sacraments"

Once I started gaining a better understanding of what religion signifies to people and what its function was in society I started questioning why do people insist in believing this fairy tale? I asked all my family members for advise. The response was that; I was a rebel, that I needed professional help, that I was undoubtedly going to HELL... :think:

I couldn't have an open rational conversation with anyone in my family. And yet, I had to obey the rules and principles of something that I did not identify with or believe in.

It was tough,.... and I still remember those times with resentment.

As I approached my 19s, I started to look for ways of becoming free not only physically but mentally. I truly wanted to pursue the freedom of thought. So, I did. I attended college and pursued a Biological Science Degree (comically). :grin:

This degree allowed me not only to question even more our existence, but the human nature itself, the universe as a whole.... using solely critical thinking, factual evidence and reason. I took a class on Philosophy of Religion in which the Professor challenged us to questioning ourselves about the very roots of religion and humanity. I learned a lot in that class. So much that I decided to never enter in a church again...

Thank you for reading. Feel free to leave your comments, I can use a friend. :grin:

Stay tuned! Part 2 Coming Soon... :cheers:
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Re: Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

#2  Postby surreptitious57 » Nov 03, 2016 6:12 am


Hello Eli and welcome to the forum
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Re: Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

#3  Postby chairman bill » Nov 03, 2016 12:10 pm

Welcome to RatSkep, the Lifeboat for the Rational Mind :-)
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Re: Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

#4  Postby LucidFlight » Nov 03, 2016 1:16 pm

Hello, Eli! Welcome! Glad you could find us :D
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Re: Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

#5  Postby Sendraks » Nov 03, 2016 2:20 pm

Welcome Eli! I'm going to start my welcome by getting into a definitional point with you.

eliech wrote: I consider myself Agnostic because although I cannot factually prove the existence of a GOD I cannot factually disprove it either.


I'm guessing you're describing yourself as "agonostic" rather than "atheist" because you've got the wrong idea of what one or both of these words mean.

For clarity, atheist simply means that a person lacks belief in a particular class of entity i.e. deities.

If you don't believe in a god or don't believe in any gods, then you are an atheist. Being an atheist has no bearing on whether you believe there is no god (gnostic atheists) or whether you believe such a thing is unknowable (agnostic atheist).

You're an atheist Eli. Don't shy away from using the term, just because some folk have managed to convince you it means something it doesn't.
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Re: Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

#6  Postby Calilasseia » Nov 03, 2016 5:49 pm

And, with my penchant for wading into a thread in pedant mode, I'll provide a rigorous response. :)

Quite simply, an atheist is someone who doesn't treat unsupported supernaturalist assertions uncritically as fact. That is it. It may surprise you, Eli, when I post this, but I'm an atheist, and quite prepared to state this openly, but I don't rule out the existence of a god-type entity. I simply consider pre-scientific mythologies to be wholly incompetent to answer the relevant questions. Indeed, I'm on public record here repeatedly, as stating the following:

[1] if genuine evidence ever arises, pointing conclusively to the existence of a god type entity, said entity will be completely unlike anything in past human experience, to the point of falsifying all of our mythologies at a stroke;

[2] Said evidence, once it materialises, will be a worldwide news sensation for months on end, and guarantee its discoverer a Nobel Prize;

[3] The people best placed to understand said evidence, once it materialises, will be particle physicists, because they encounter and analyse counter-intuitive phenomena on a daily basis in their work.

It should, of course, be implicit in my placing the words 'genuine evidence' in italics above, that I do not consider the tinselly fabrications of pedlars of apologetics worthy of the title. This has much to do with the sort of discoursive shell games that are endemic to apologetics, which I highlight via the following contrast:

Science: Hypothesis H is constructed. Said hypothesis states that phenomenon X will be observed occurring, whilst phenomenon Y will never be observed occurring. If X is observed and Y not observed, hypothesis H is considered sound, and provisionally retained for as long as the data supports it. If X is not observed, and Y is observed, on the other hand, hypothesis H is tossed into the bin, and it's back to the drawing board.

Apologetics: "My magic man exists" is asserted. It is further asserted that phenomenon X purportedly constitutes "evidence" for this. If phenomenon X is observed, this is asserted to be "evidence" for the magic man in question. If, on the other hand, phenomenon X is not observed, but phenomenon Y is, this is still asserted to be "evidence" for the magic man in question, on the flimsy basis that this is what said magic man wants.

As for the matter of being an agnostic, this actually addresses a different question. Instead of addressing the question "does a god type entity actually exist?" agnosticism, properly and rigorously constructed, concerns itself with the question "can we actually know the answer to the question of whether a god type entity actually exists?". Agnosticism is a matter of epistemology, not ontology. Those with the best rigorous claim to be agnostics, are those who regard the existence question as being unanswerable even in principle. The important conceptual differences are best highlighted as follows:

Q1: "Does a god type entity actually exist?"

Q2: "Can question Q1 above ever be answered?"

Supernaturalism consists of asserting that both Q1 and Q2 have the answer "yes", and that the answer to Q1 is found in the supernaturalist's mythology of choice.

Atheism consists of regarding Q1 as currently unanswered, and regarding mythology as incapable of answering it. Atheism, at least when conducted properly, does not of itself commit either way to an answer for Q2, but waits for requisite scholarship to inform us of the matter. Some atheists think Q2 has the answer "yes", and that Q1 is answerable in principle, but that supernaturalist assertions about that answer fail all elementary tests. Other atheists have an agnostic view, which I now come to.

Agnosticism consists of regarding Q1 as unanswered, and Q2 of having the answer "no".

In short, every substantive question, at bottom, consists of answering three corollary questions, viz:

[1] What truth value does the postulate contained in our original question have?

[2] Is it possible to determine this truth value?

[3] What actions or data are required to provide the requisite truth value, if the answer to [2] is "yes"?

Science operates on the basis that the answer to [1] consists of "unknown prior to test, provisionally true if it survives the current test, and false if the current test destroys it". Thus opening up the possibility that a future test could falsify the postulate, if that is what the data tells us. With regard to [2], science operates on the basis of "yes if we can test it, unsure if we currently cannot". [3] is where science starts to get busy in the lab. :)
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Re: Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

#7  Postby Alan B » Nov 03, 2016 7:18 pm

I've posted this a couple of times before...

Reply to a theist who asserts that a god exists or gods exist:
What you must do now is to prove (or show evidence of) the existence of an interface between a non-physical God and a physical universe (or even a physical human being will do). You must then describe the precise nature of the interface: how it is implemented, what 'connections' are used and the translation 'mechanism' across the interface. Bearing in mind, of course, that one side of the interface must be entirely non-physical such that no physical measuring device can detect its presence and that the other side must exist solely in the physical universe.
We’re still waiting…
(When I've directed this request to some of the theists who visit from time to time, all I get is waffle and 'suddenly' going off at a tangent on to some other subject - usually involving some, er, 'sciency theories' that, er, 'prove' their point of view).

Reply to an atheist who asserts that a god does not or gods do not exist:
(To paraphrase the above)
What you must do now is to prove (or show evidence of) the non-existence of an interface between a non-existent non-physical God and a physical universe (or even a physical human being will do). You must then describe the precise nature of the non- existent interface: how it is implemented, what 'connections' are used and the translation 'mechanism' across the non-existent interface. Bearing in mind, of course, that one side of the non-existent interface must be entirely non-physical such that no physical measuring device can detect its presence and that the other side must not exist in the physical universe. All of which, of course, is nonsensical.

For an atheist a simple expression of ‘non-belief’ is sufficient. (As Cali so eloquently pointed out above).
To make the assertion that a god does not exist is unnecessary and pointless.

It is the sole responsibility of the theist to provide material evidence of the existence of a ‘god’. The atheist does not need to take any active part in this process but to just metaphorically ‘sit back’ and watch the theists tie themselves in knots.
The onus is upon the theist to provide evidence of the existence of the god or gods in which they have a belief. This evidence must be peer reviewed and acceptable to believer and non-believer alike. If this evidence is accepted then non-belief and belief with respect to the existence of a supreme deity or deities will be made redundant since they will replaced by knowledge.

It is common among theist believers to assume that their belief system imparts ‘knowledge’ to the individual that they then claim is ‘evidence’ that their deity (or deities) exist. They then try to back-up this claim by presenting additional ‘evidence’ – usually in the form of ‘sacred’ or ancient writings – that ‘prove’ that their belief-driven claim is true (usually at the expense of other beliefs). This is delusional.

Oh, and welcome to RatSkep, Eli. Have fun.
:cheers:
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Re: Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

#8  Postby Fallible » Nov 03, 2016 8:10 pm

Wow, tough crowd. :lol:
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Re: Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

#9  Postby ScholasticSpastic » Nov 04, 2016 3:19 pm

I'm not in a mental place to match the length or the rigor of some of these posts right now, so I'll just say hello. :D

What's with capitalizing the whole word, "GOD?" That seems to be going above and beyond the popular Christian convention of capitalizing the first letter, like it's someone's name. I'm not stressing about it because, as I've decided this is a fictitious character, whether or not one capitalizes which letters is an entirely academic exercise for me. I'm simply curious as to why you've chosen to do it the way you do.
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Re: Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

#10  Postby NamelessFaceless » Nov 04, 2016 4:07 pm

Welcome! :cheers:

I look forward to reading your Part 2. I love de-programming stories.
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Re: Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

#11  Postby eliech » Nov 04, 2016 5:08 pm

Sendraks wrote:Welcome Eli! I'm going to start my welcome by getting into a definitional point with you.

eliech wrote: I consider myself Agnostic because although I cannot factually prove the existence of a GOD I cannot factually disprove it either.


I'm guessing you're describing yourself as "agonostic" rather than "atheist" because you've got the wrong idea of what one or both of these words mean.

For clarity, atheist simply means that a person lacks belief in a particular class of entity i.e. deities.

If you don't believe in a god or don't believe in any gods, then you are an atheist. Being an atheist has no bearing on whether you believe there is no god (gnostic atheists) or whether you believe such a thing is unknowable (agnostic atheist).

You're an atheist Eli. Don't shy away from using the term, just because some folk have managed to convince you it means something it doesn't.


This is very helpful to me.

Thank you for bringing some clarity!! Please stay tuned for my next post! :cheers:
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Re: Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

#12  Postby eliech » Nov 04, 2016 5:09 pm

NamelessFaceless wrote:Welcome! :cheers:

I look forward to reading your Part 2. I love de-programming stories.


Yay!! thanks for the support. Almost done with part 2 :cheers:
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Re: Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

#13  Postby eliech » Nov 04, 2016 5:15 pm

ScholasticSpastic wrote:I'm not in a mental place to match the length or the rigor of some of these posts right now, so I'll just say hello. :D

What's with capitalizing the whole word, "GOD?" That seems to be going above and beyond the popular Christian convention of capitalizing the first letter, like it's someone's name. I'm not stressing about it because, as I've decided this is a fictitious character, whether or not one capitalizes which letters is an entirely academic exercise for me. I'm simply curious as to why you've chosen to do it the way you do.


Hello there,

Yeah, I honestly don't know why I did that LOL. It might be related with previous readings in which the capitalize it and the brainwash. :grin:
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Re: Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

#14  Postby eliech » Nov 04, 2016 5:16 pm

Fallible wrote:Wow, tough crowd. :lol:


Tough shield too! :coffee:
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Re: Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

#15  Postby ScholasticSpastic » Nov 04, 2016 5:19 pm

eliech wrote:
Hello there,

Yeah, I honestly don't know why I did that LOL. It might be related with previous readings in which the capitalize it and the brainwash. :grin:

:cheers: Whatever you feel like you need to do. It looked kind of like screaming, which made it silly and fun for me. Blah, blah, blah, SCREAM, blah, blah. :lol: I wondered if that's how you had learned to do it, or if you were being Hipster-ironic, or whatever. Thanks for your response.
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Re: Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

#16  Postby The_Metatron » Nov 04, 2016 5:25 pm

Fallible wrote:Wow, tough crowd. :lol:

Seems like I remember getting plenty of my dumber ideas shot to shit by some of this crowd a few years ago.
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Re: Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

#17  Postby eliech » Nov 04, 2016 5:31 pm

Alan B wrote:I've posted this a couple of times before...

Reply to a theist who asserts that a god exists or gods exist:
What you must do now is to prove (or show evidence of) the existence of an interface between a non-physical God and a physical universe (or even a physical human being will do). You must then describe the precise nature of the interface: how it is implemented, what 'connections' are used and the translation 'mechanism' across the interface. Bearing in mind, of course, that one side of the interface must be entirely non-physical such that no physical measuring device can detect its presence and that the other side must exist solely in the physical universe.
We’re still waiting…
(When I've directed this request to some of the theists who visit from time to time, all I get is waffle and 'suddenly' going off at a tangent on to some other subject - usually involving some, er, 'sciency theories' that, er, 'prove' their point of view).

Reply to an atheist who asserts that a god does not or gods do not exist:
(To paraphrase the above)
What you must do now is to prove (or show evidence of) the non-existence of an interface between a non-existent non-physical God and a physical universe (or even a physical human being will do). You must then describe the precise nature of the non- existent interface: how it is implemented, what 'connections' are used and the translation 'mechanism' across the non-existent interface. Bearing in mind, of course, that one side of the non-existent interface must be entirely non-physical such that no physical measuring device can detect its presence and that the other side must not exist in the physical universe. All of which, of course, is nonsensical.

For an atheist a simple expression of ‘non-belief’ is sufficient. (As Cali so eloquently pointed out above).
To make the assertion that a god does not exist is unnecessary and pointless.

It is the sole responsibility of the theist to provide material evidence of the existence of a ‘god’. The atheist does not need to take any active part in this process but to just metaphorically ‘sit back’ and watch the theists tie themselves in knots.
The onus is upon the theist to provide evidence of the existence of the god or gods in which they have a belief. This evidence must be peer reviewed and acceptable to believer and non-believer alike. If this evidence is accepted then non-belief and belief with respect to the existence of a supreme deity or deities will be made redundant since they will replaced by knowledge.

It is common among theist believers to assume that their belief system imparts ‘knowledge’ to the individual that they then claim is ‘evidence’ that their deity (or deities) exist. They then try to back-up this claim by presenting additional ‘evidence’ – usually in the form of ‘sacred’ or ancient writings – that ‘prove’ that their belief-driven claim is true (usually at the expense of other beliefs). This is delusional.

Oh, and welcome to RatSkep, Eli. Have fun.
:cheers:


Hi there!

Thank you for this.
A great approach to answering the question. And better for understanding delusion...

Speaking of such, would love some feedback on these two articles. :popcorn:


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4327528/pdf/fpsyg-05-01588.pdf
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2174370/pdf/jeab-88-03-435.pdf

:cheers:
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Re: Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

#18  Postby eliech » Nov 04, 2016 5:33 pm

:lol:

The_Metatron wrote:
Fallible wrote:Wow, tough crowd. :lol:

Seems like I remember getting plenty of my dumber ideas shot to shit by some of this crowd a few years ago.
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Re: Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

#19  Postby LucidFlight » Nov 04, 2016 5:33 pm

ScholasticSpastic wrote:
eliech wrote:
Hello there,

Yeah, I honestly don't know why I did that LOL. It might be related with previous readings in which the capitalize it and the brainwash. :grin:

:cheers: Whatever you feel like you need to do. It looked kind of like screaming, which made it silly and fun for me. Blah, blah, blah, SCREAM, blah, blah. :lol: I wondered if that's how you had learned to do it, or if you were being Hipster-ironic, or whatever. Thanks for your response.

God, wrong, and hell are all capitalised in that first post. I think it's a sign... of... uh... something.
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Re: Hello Skeptics I'm Eli! Pleased to Meet You

#20  Postby eliech » Nov 04, 2016 5:38 pm

ScholasticSpastic wrote:
eliech wrote:
Hello there,

Yeah, I honestly don't know why I did that LOL. It might be related with previous readings in which the capitalize it and the brainwash. :grin:

:cheers: Whatever you feel like you need to do. It looked kind of like screaming, which made it silly and fun for me. Blah, blah, blah, SCREAM, blah, blah. :lol: I wondered if that's how you had learned to do it, or if you were being Hipster-ironic, or whatever. Thanks for your response.


I think you nailed it with the SCREAM part :lol:
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