How many people have you de-converted?

Atheism, secularism & freethought etc.

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How many people have you de-converted

Poll ended at Oct 29, 2010 9:41 pm

Zero
33
72%
One to Three
11
24%
Four to Six
1
2%
Seven to Nine
1
2%
Ten or more
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 46

Re: How many people have you de-converted?

#101  Postby Davian » Feb 11, 2011 6:38 am

Lion IRC wrote:Hi Davian,

Yes you can take religion for a test drive.

Thats the beauty of it - its voluntary. Nobody can force you. Nobody can stop you.

And if someone says you have to pay for it then what they are "selling" isnt God

Lion (IRC)
PS - Sorry about the "original brochure" thingy. Noah didnt have one either. Nor did Job. Nor did Abraham. etc etc.
But the reprint has been the most popular published book in human history and it consistently out-ranks books on the NY Times Best Seller list. A Tale of Two Cities has sold an estimated 200 million +
The bible has estimated sales of 100 million - per year.
Books related to the bible are consistently popular also.

No, religion is the sales pitch, the car is what is promised in the brochure...

Lion: would you buy a car based on a salesman's pitch and a hand-me-down, hand-written, translated many times etc description of it? No, you can't go look at it. No, you can't talk to anyone who has been there or seen it. No parts, no pictures. No schematics. You read the description again and it has conflicting information and claims that outright defy the laws of physics. And get this - apparently there are over 30,000 different variations on the brochure! You look at the other brands out there but it doesn't look any better.

People that claim to talk to those that have gone there to see the car turn out to be charlatans and crooks.

And the real clincher for me is how they go on about how popular this car is, like that had value. It sounds like a child's security blanket: there must be something to it because so many believe they are gonna get this car.

An even if it were free - and those dealerships didn't just build themselves - I need to kick the tires on that thing first. But it appears that, despite your eager pitch, there is nothing behind the curtain.
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Re: How many people have you de-converted?

#102  Postby aspire1670 » Feb 11, 2011 6:57 am

Lion IRC wrote:Hi Davian,

Yes you can take religion for a test drive.

Thats the beauty of it - its voluntary. Nobody can force you. Nobody can stop you.


O'rly, srsly?
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Re: How many people have you de-converted?

#103  Postby Skinny Puppy » Feb 11, 2011 7:06 am

Lion IRC Wrote:
Yes you can take religion for a test drive.


Just leave your brain at the car dealership. You won’t need it for the trip to Fantasyland.

Lion IRC Wrote:
Thats the beauty of it - its voluntary. Nobody can force you. Nobody can stop you.


Except when religious groups try to force it into our schools, into our law court buildings, into government, into our daily lives, into what hours a business can be open on Sunday, into… well, I’ll get on a roll here, best leave it at that.

Lion IRC Wrote:
And if someone says you have to pay for it then what they are "selling" isnt God


Ah... okey-dokey.
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Lion IRC Wrote:
PS - Sorry about the "original brochure" thingy. Noah didnt have one either. Nor did Job. Nor did Abraham. etc etc.
But the reprint has been the most popular published book in human history and it consistently out-ranks books on the NY Times Best Seller list. A Tale of Two Cities has sold an estimated 200 million +
The bible has estimated sales of 100 million - per year.
Books related to the bible are consistently popular also.


I don’t disagree with that one bit. Oh, except you forgot this book.

Religious books, especially the Bible and the Qur’an, are probably the most-printed books, but it is nearly impossible to find reliable figures about them.


I guess they’re both right? :think:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_books

Now looking at that site we see that the bible and the Qur’an are the top two, followed by these 5.

A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens English 1859 over 200 million[1]
The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien English 1954 150 million[2]
The Hobbit J. R. R. Tolkien English 1937 over 100 million[3]
红楼梦 (Dream of the Red Chamber) Cao Xueqin Chinese 1759-1791 over 100 million [4]
And Then There Were None Agatha Christie English 1939 100 million[5]


It’s now easy to see and crystal clear that the bible is indeed the top selling fiction book of all time.

Judging from the list above it would appear that people do love their fiction books! :thumbup:
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Re: How many people have you de-converted?

#104  Postby Spearthrower » Feb 11, 2011 7:41 am

Lion IRC wrote:Hi Davian,

Yes you can take religion for a test drive.

Thats the beauty of it - its voluntary. Nobody can force you.



I think you skipped history classes Lion.
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Re: How many people have you de-converted?

#105  Postby Durro » Feb 11, 2011 10:38 am

jamest wrote:Given that you all know absolutely fuck all, how many of you have felt guilty for 'de-converting' people?



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Re: How many people have you de-converted?

#106  Postby The Plc » Feb 11, 2011 11:37 am

Lion IRC wrote:Hi Davian,

Yes you can take religion for a test drive.

Thats the beauty of it - its voluntary. Nobody can force you. Nobody can stop you.



Except if you live in an Islamic theocracy, where apostasy or blasphemy is rewarded by the death penalty, sometimes even if you're not a citizen of that country. If you live in the UK, unelected Bishops decide on laws that effect every you and every other citizen's life such as for example, vetoing humane euthanasia legislation because of their creepy taboo morality. If you live in Ireland, you'll know the catholic church has more or less dictated authoritarian social policies for centuries - contraception was only made legal only pretty recently, and it's still behind the rest of Europe when it comes to other birth control laws. If you live in Northern Ireland, you'll know that the largest political party is a fundamentalist Christian one, who abuse their power to try and force creationist nonsense into schools and museums, attack homosexuals, and collude with the other Christian parties to absurdly block birth control measures. And I haven't even mentioned the publically funded state faith schools scandal that is such a obscenely theocratic feature of countries like the Britain, Ireland other European countries. I could go on. What if you're unfortunate to be born to seriously religious, or even casually religious parents, won't they impose religion on you? How many innocent babies are baptised each year? Aren't children coerced into going to religious ceremonies virtually every week if they were born to a religious family?

You haven't a leg to stand on here, you surely know that religion is rammed down the throats of billions of people day after day. I can only presume, as I've before reading your posts, that you don't actually mean what you write.
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Re: How many people have you de-converted?

#107  Postby Nebogipfel » Feb 13, 2011 10:18 pm

Carl Sagan on buying a second-hand car religion:


When you buy a used car, it is insufficient to remember that you badly need a car. After all, it has to work. It is insufficient to say that the used-car salesman is a friendly fellow. What you generally do is you kick the tyres, you look at the odometer, you open up the hood. If you do not feel yourself expert in automobile engines, you bring along a friend who is. And you do this for something as unimportant as an automobile. But on the issues of the transcendent, of ethics and morals, of the origin of the world, of the nature of human beings, on those issues should we not insist upon at least equal scrutiny?


From The Varieties of Scientific Experience... ;-)
Once again, the only sensible approach is tentatively to reject the dragon hypothesis, to be open to future physical data, and to wonder what the cause might be that so many apparently sane and sober people share the same strange delusion
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Re: How many people have you de-converted?

#108  Postby CIS » Feb 13, 2011 10:34 pm

Nebogipfel wrote:Carl Sagan on buying a second-hand car religion:


When you buy a used car, it is insufficient to remember that you badly need a car. After all, it has to work. It is insufficient to say that the used-car salesman is a friendly fellow. What you generally do is you kick the tyres, you look at the odometer, you open up the hood. If you do not feel yourself expert in automobile engines, you bring along a friend who is. And you do this for something as unimportant as an automobile. But on the issues of the transcendent, of ethics and morals, of the origin of the world, of the nature of human beings, on those issues should we not insist upon at least equal scrutiny?


From The Varieties of Scientific Experience... ;-)

Great quote, but what if the salesman promises that the car can fly (even though it can't)? Would you still take it, given that it would be a decent car to drive regardless of whether it can fly?

(allusion to the afterlife BTW... I'm not good with analogies :tongue: )
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Re: How many people have you de-converted?

#109  Postby Lion IRC » Feb 14, 2011 1:21 am

The Plc wrote:
Lion IRC wrote:Hi Davian,

Yes you can take religion for a test drive.

Thats the beauty of it - its voluntary. Nobody can force you. Nobody can stop you.



Except if you live in an Islamic theocracy, where apostasy or blasphemy is rewarded by the death penalty, sometimes even if you're not a citizen of that country. If you live in the UK, unelected Bishops decide on laws that effect every you and every other citizen's life such as for example, vetoing humane euthanasia legislation because of their creepy taboo morality. If you live in Ireland, you'll know the catholic church has more or less dictated authoritarian social policies for centuries - contraception was only made legal only pretty recently, and it's still behind the rest of Europe when it comes to other birth control laws. If you live in Northern Ireland, you'll know that the largest political party is a fundamentalist Christian one, who abuse their power to try and force creationist nonsense into schools and museums, attack homosexuals, and collude with the other Christian parties to absurdly block birth control measures. And I haven't even mentioned the publically funded state faith schools scandal that is such a obscenely theocratic feature of countries like the Britain, Ireland other European countries. I could go on. What if you're unfortunate to be born to seriously religious, or even casually religious parents, won't they impose religion on you? How many innocent babies are baptised each year? Aren't children coerced into going to religious ceremonies virtually every week if they were born to a religious family?

You haven't a leg to stand on here, you surely know that religion is rammed down the throats of billions of people day after day. I can only presume, as I've before reading your posts, that you don't actually mean what you write.



No I didnt know that. It it true? Billions of people who dont want religion being forced into it by ....by whom?
Atheism has been an available menu option for 50,000 years.

Palaeolithic humans were perfectly capable of being atheists if they wanted to. If some shaman wandered into camp
and told the group of cave people..."I'm on a mission from God" the tribe could either throw him off a cliff
or they could say ..."prove it"
...and still throw him off a cliff later anytime they liked.

BTW - If this...
"I can only presume, as I've before reading your posts, that you don't actually mean what you write"
Then why bother?
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Re: How many people have you de-converted?

#110  Postby Skinny Puppy » Feb 14, 2011 1:39 am

Lion IRC wrote:
The Plc wrote:
Lion IRC wrote:Hi Davian,

Yes you can take religion for a test drive.

Thats the beauty of it - its voluntary. Nobody can force you. Nobody can stop you.



Except if you live in an Islamic theocracy, where apostasy or blasphemy is rewarded by the death penalty, sometimes even if you're not a citizen of that country. If you live in the UK, unelected Bishops decide on laws that effect every you and every other citizen's life such as for example, vetoing humane euthanasia legislation because of their creepy taboo morality. If you live in Ireland, you'll know the catholic church has more or less dictated authoritarian social policies for centuries - contraception was only made legal only pretty recently, and it's still behind the rest of Europe when it comes to other birth control laws. If you live in Northern Ireland, you'll know that the largest political party is a fundamentalist Christian one, who abuse their power to try and force creationist nonsense into schools and museums, attack homosexuals, and collude with the other Christian parties to absurdly block birth control measures. And I haven't even mentioned the publically funded state faith schools scandal that is such a obscenely theocratic feature of countries like the Britain, Ireland other European countries. I could go on. What if you're unfortunate to be born to seriously religious, or even casually religious parents, won't they impose religion on you? How many innocent babies are baptised each year? Aren't children coerced into going to religious ceremonies virtually every week if they were born to a religious family?

You haven't a leg to stand on here, you surely know that religion is rammed down the throats of billions of people day after day. I can only presume, as I've before reading your posts, that you don't actually mean what you write.



No I didnt know that. It it true? Billions of people who dont want religion being forced into it by ....by whom? Atheism has been an available menu option for 50,000 years.

Palaeolithic humans were perfectly capable of being atheists if they wanted to. If some shaman wandered into camp
and told the group of cave people..."I'm on a mission from God" the tribe could either throw him off a cliff
or they could say ..."prove it"
...and still throw him off a cliff later anytime they liked.

BTW - If this...
"I can only presume, as I've before reading your posts, that you don't actually mean what you write"
Then why bother?



1 John 4:8 KJV
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.




Exodus 22:18 KJV
Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.


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Re: How many people have you de-converted?

#111  Postby agromenmon » Feb 14, 2011 1:48 am

I can proudly say I have de-converted zero people, even when they agree with every response I make to every argument they present. I guess it's like a favourite teddy bear, hard to give up even when you know it's ready for the bin.

I certainly wouldn't have felt guilty if I had.

@Lion, Galileo Galilei springs to mind. Those billions of people who don't want religion get forced into it by those that do. As an example of apostasy:

“Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.” — Bukhari 9.84.57 ‘baddala deenahu, faqtuhulu’
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Re: How many people have you de-converted?

#112  Postby amok » Feb 14, 2011 3:53 am

I haven't de-converted anyone, as far as I know, but I had an interesting interaction last night. I was at a banquet celebrating Chinese New Year (about a week late, but the ethnic-Chinese host is much like most people I know around here, as in any excuse for a party, with food and drink and fun and games, but since it's just for fun, best to hold it on the closest weekend date - ha!).

Anyway, I got stuck next to a very nice woman who apparently believes EVERYTHING - the convo ranged from Christianity to Zen to to aboriginal beliefs to various other woo - and keeping in mind I'm not an expert in any of it, it basically got down to me nodding and smiling and mostly diverting to how tasty the most recent dish put before us was - when finally she declared that her belief in paranormal phen stemmed from the fact that sometimes she's thinking about someone, and lo and behold, the phone rings and they've called her. I couldn't help myself, and replied that that's also happened to me. But I've also thought about people, in the course of my life, likely a few million times, and they DIDN'T call me. I suggested we remember those instances because they're kind of neat, while forgetting the scads of instances when the phone didn't ring.

There was this blank stare for a moment or two, and then she said: Oh. Yeah, that makes sense.

I'm certainly not vain enough to think that's akin to a conversion, but I believe I might have offered a thinking point.
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Re: How many people have you de-converted?

#113  Postby Spearthrower » Feb 14, 2011 9:56 am

Lion IRC wrote:
No I didnt know that. It it true? Billions of people who dont want religion being forced into it by ....by whom?
Atheism has been an available menu option for 50,000 years.



Have you never heard of the words 'blasphemy', 'heretic', 'apostate' Lion? What do you think they mean? Do you think, historically, that there have been any punishments connected with these charges?

Please don't ignore responses to carry on making ridiculous a-factual assertions.
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Re: How many people have you de-converted?

#114  Postby Paul G » Feb 14, 2011 4:49 pm

Make mine one. Dad's an atheist again.
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Re: How many people have you de-converted?

#115  Postby The Plc » Feb 14, 2011 5:26 pm

Lion IRC wrote:
The Plc wrote:
Lion IRC wrote:Hi Davian,

Yes you can take religion for a test drive.

Thats the beauty of it - its voluntary. Nobody can force you. Nobody can stop you.



Except if you live in an Islamic theocracy, where apostasy or blasphemy is rewarded by the death penalty, sometimes even if you're not a citizen of that country. If you live in the UK, unelected Bishops decide on laws that effect every you and every other citizen's life such as for example, vetoing humane euthanasia legislation because of their creepy taboo morality. If you live in Ireland, you'll know the catholic church has more or less dictated authoritarian social policies for centuries - contraception was only made legal only pretty recently, and it's still behind the rest of Europe when it comes to other birth control laws. If you live in Northern Ireland, you'll know that the largest political party is a fundamentalist Christian one, who abuse their power to try and force creationist nonsense into schools and museums, attack homosexuals, and collude with the other Christian parties to absurdly block birth control measures. And I haven't even mentioned the publically funded state faith schools scandal that is such a obscenely theocratic feature of countries like the Britain, Ireland other European countries. I could go on. What if you're unfortunate to be born to seriously religious, or even casually religious parents, won't they impose religion on you? How many innocent babies are baptised each year? Aren't children coerced into going to religious ceremonies virtually every week if they were born to a religious family?

You haven't a leg to stand on here, you surely know that religion is rammed down the throats of billions of people day after day. I can only presume, as I've before reading your posts, that you don't actually mean what you write.



No I didnt know that. It it true? Billions of people who dont want religion being forced into it by ....by whom?
Atheism has been an available menu option for 50,000 years.

Palaeolithic humans were perfectly capable of being atheists if they wanted to. If some shaman wandered into camp
and told the group of cave people..."I'm on a mission from God" the tribe could either throw him off a cliff
or they could say ..."prove it"
...and still throw him off a cliff later anytime they liked.

BTW - If this...
"I can only presume, as I've before reading your posts, that you don't actually mean what you write"
Then why bother?



I just gave you a description of a sample of the all ways religion is imposed and forced upon people all the world today. You did quote it, but didn't address it, even though you quoted it. Religion is forced upon people by illiberal governments, over zealous family members, influential church bodies, and so on.

In the very recent Handmaid's Tale thread in which Lion was the core participant, this issue - Lion's bare assertion that religion isn't imposed on people - was discussed. This assertion of Lion's was opposed by myself and others, and Lion completely failed to respond.

For example, I wrote

As for this platitude about Christianity not being forced on people; besides from the objection that Cookiejohn brought up and to which I'll add later, I know from personal experience that it's total bullshit. I had Christianity rammed down my throat from a very young age, both from by my parents (I don't blame them, they were fucked up in their turn...) and by the Church-State education system - which incidentally happens to be one of the more obscenely theocratic features of my country's political landscape. I won't give details, and won't paint a picture of harsh brutality like in the Handmaid's Tale, but I will attest that I felt coerced and threatened into Christian practice and observance nearly every day until I very thankfully left the system of indoctrination shortly after I became a legal adult. And that's nearly without me mentioning how I used to actually believe the Christian doctrines that were taught to me as assumed fact.

But let's return to the original objection to the assertion that Christianity is not forced on people. Let's phrase the objection in the form of two direct questions to Lion and let's us hope he can answer them unequivocally. 1) What is it that you as a Christian believe happens to believers after they die? And 2) What do you as a Christian believe happens to non-believers after they die?

If his answers are those of Jesus' teachings in the Bible, the Bible that Lion is so enthusiastic about, then he's forced to admit that people that don't 'choose' Christianity will fucking go to hell. Any tripe about The Handmaid's Tale being ungodly and unchristian will look positively Russellan in it's clarity and logic when compared to apologia about hellfire doctrine not involving threats and coercion.


Lion never responded to any of this, or anybody's post on the topic, but continued to post in the thread about a different issue. Is it not reasonable then to assume that he had no answer to it? That he had no justification for his original assertion? That he knows himself that he was wrong? If otherwise, why didn't he post a serious rebuttal? This is why I think he can't genuinely believe what he writes, as his intellectual dishonesty and inconsistency is so palpable. He shouldn't assert the truth of something he's failed to demonstrate when given ample opportunity.

I genuinely don't understand the rest of Lion's post and the point he's trying to make about people being pushed off cliffs because the language and grammar seems so odd to me. I find it too difficult to parse.
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Re: How many people have you de-converted?

#116  Postby Davian » Feb 15, 2011 1:35 am

Lion IRC wrote:<snip>
Sorry about the "original brochure" thingy. Noah didnt have one either. Nor did Job. Nor did Abraham. etc etc.


Lion: I wonder why the creator manufacturer inspired contracted those men to write up the brochure that it did not push them to use something more durable, like what was done with the Rosetta stone. and use a couple different languages, so assist in translation to future languages. Weren't they of similar vintage?

I was thinking along the lines of: "I know you think you are gonna receive your cars in your lifetime, but it may take several thousand years for everything to be wrapped up, so you better chisel this into stone or something for future generations".

So Noah took on the building of that boat based on.. what exactly?

The only version of the story I remember is Bill Cosby's.
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Re: How many people have you de-converted?

#117  Postby Skutter » Feb 15, 2011 2:06 am

I would like to comment on these two points:-

The Plc wrote:
I just gave you a description of a sample of the all ways religion is imposed and forced upon people all the world today. You did quote it, but didn't address it, even though you quoted it.


and:-

The Plc wrote:
Lion never responded to any of this, or anybody's post on the topic, but continued to post in the thread about a different issue. Is it not reasonable then to assume that he had no answer to it? That he had no justification for his original assertion? That he knows himself that he was wrong? If otherwise, why didn't he post a serious rebuttal? This is why I think he can't genuinely believe what he writes, as his intellectual dishonesty and inconsistency is so palpable. He shouldn't assert the truth of something he's failed to demonstrate when given ample opportunity.

I genuinely don't understand the rest of Lion's post and the point he's trying to make about people being pushed off cliffs because the language and grammar seems so odd to me. I find it too difficult to parse.



I've noticed the same mode of behaviour also.

My first introduction to on-line religious debating, was on a massive thread in the Australian broadband forum called whirlpool. The thread was always referred to as the "what god?" thread and went on for ages. Unfortunately, whirlpool no longer allow religious debates. I suspect they caused too much work for the mods. There's no point linking to it, because it's in the "In the News" section and you can only access it after being a member for a while. Any Aussies here remember or participate in it?

What I noticed from that debate, is that when the supernaturalist doesn't have a comeback (or they are proven to be dead flat wrong), is that they will invariably obfuscate. They will say anything to muddy the waters and confuse the issue. That observation has been proven correct time and time again on RDF and here.

I suspect it's because they realise they have nothing, so the only defence is to make it appear that there's "doubt and debate" on the rationalist side. All the while using the fruits of the scientific method to post their pathetic arguments.

Sad really.
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Re: How many people have you de-converted?

#118  Postby Lion IRC » Feb 15, 2011 2:56 am

The Plc wrote:In the very recent Handmaid's Tale thread in which Lion was the core participant, this issue - Lion's bare assertion that religion isn't imposed on people - was discussed. This assertion of Lion's was opposed by myself and others, and Lion completely failed to respond.


Thats almost exactly what I felt about the failure of several ppl - you included - to respond to my points. Unlike most people in that thread - you included - I actually gave references and examples from the book including chapter numbers and page numbers. Your anti-catholic church agenda derails were off topic.

FYI - Once a person in a thread goes on record as saying things like ...talking to Lion IRC is an EFF'ing waste of time, he doesnt know WTF hes talking about, his arguments are stupid, his intellectual dishonesty and inconsistency is so palpable, hes just trolling, etc etc etc, I make a point of not bothering to read their posts. If you really wanted to discuss a worthwhile salient point and I ignored you - SORRY.

Dont feel bad. Even if I hadnt ignored your rudeness and offered you an answer in my bestest mostest politest grammar, you probably would have found it "too difficult to parse." Oh well.
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Re: How many people have you de-converted?

#119  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Feb 15, 2011 3:39 am

U still goin' ta kill me if your Cod whispers it in your ear, Leo? :-) Cod's law is higher than man's is it not? Whatever, god's law is certainly fishy! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Until you adequately address that point, few here will be likely to take your arguments seriously. Or respect your scholarship or critical thinking faculties. :think:
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Re: How many people have you de-converted?

#120  Postby Spearthrower » Feb 15, 2011 5:01 am

Lion IRC wrote:
The Plc wrote:In the very recent Handmaid's Tale thread in which Lion was the core participant, this issue - Lion's bare assertion that religion isn't imposed on people - was discussed. This assertion of Lion's was opposed by myself and others, and Lion completely failed to respond.


Thats almost exactly what I felt about the failure of several ppl - you included - to respond to my points. Unlike most people in that thread - you included - I actually gave references and examples from the book including chapter numbers and page numbers. Your anti-catholic church agenda derails were off topic.

FYI - Once a person in a thread goes on record as saying things like ...talking to Lion IRC is an EFF'ing waste of time, he doesnt know WTF hes talking about, his arguments are stupid, his intellectual dishonesty and inconsistency is so palpable, hes just trolling, etc etc etc, I make a point of not bothering to read their posts. If you really wanted to discuss a worthwhile salient point and I ignored you - SORRY.

Dont feel bad. Even if I hadnt ignored your rudeness and offered you an answer in my bestest mostest politest grammar, you probably would have found it "too difficult to parse." Oh well.



Citations for the bolded, please?
I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
Religion: Mass Stockholm Syndrome

Learn Stuff. Stuff good. https://www.coursera.org/
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