Author Topic: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails  (Read 6821 times)

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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #87 on: December 01, 2011, 07:39:00 AM »

  I remember my own, so am I to take it that you admit that this experience is just a feeling, and nothing real?

Am I to take it that you admit that your experience was just a feeling and nothing real?
If yours was not real why are you so adamant in claiming  that you used to be
either a christian or a theist?If you really believed you had an encounter with The Holy Spirit who would have 'quickened' you....gave you Spiritual life ( born again) then you are a backslider, granted a very pissed off one, but one none-the-less .But you have to deny that experience, which you now finally seem to do,( "nothing real" ) in order to embrace atheism.If you are an atheist then of course you believe there was no God or Holy Spirit to do anything and you begin to make more sense.Why don't you just drop the bone Velkyn and deny the possibility of you ever being Christian?
 I would think at that point it should feel like you found out the test came back negative...you really don't have cancer!!!You should be rejoicing!

What a lot of words to avoid answering the original question!  "I'm curious if OS can define "born again" and how he knows someone has been."  Surely an easy thing to do - and pointless asking someone else to define it when you are certain they did not really have the experience?

OS, as I suspect you well know, the point is regarding what one believes was the case at a particular point in time.  If not - and you are saying that the only people who can say they were True Believers are those that can demonstrate the actuality of the experience (rather than just the belief they had the experience), then you are going to have to define, clearly and specifically, how one can tell if a person REALLY encountered the Holy Spiriti, compared to someone who did not, but believes they did.

In other words, to answer Velkyns original question that you seem to be at pains to avoid answering.....perhaps because you know that there IS no way of empirically demonstrating it.  And, therefore, that there is nobody who can legitimately say they are a True Christian, since in every case they have no way of distinguishing between an actual event, and a delusion.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline gonegolfing

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #88 on: December 01, 2011, 09:10:27 AM »

  I remember my own, so am I to take it that you admit that this experience is just a feeling, and nothing real?

Am I to take it that you admit that your experience was just a feeling and nothing real?If yours was not real why are you so adamant in claiming  that you used to be
either a christian or a theist?If you really believed you had an encounter with The Holy Spirit who would have 'quickened' you....gave you Spiritual life ( born again) then you are a backslider, granted a very pissed off one, but one none-the-less .But you have to deny that experience, which you now finally seem to do,( "nothing real" ) in order to embrace atheism.If you are an atheist then of course you believe there was no God or Holy Spirit to do anything and you begin to make more sense.Why don't you just drop the bone Velkyn and deny the possibility of you ever being Christian? I would think at that point it should feel like you found out the test came back negative...you really don't have cancer!!!You should be rejoicing!


If I may ?

Because it seemed real at the time. Just like it did for all of us formers, and for you currently. But it was in fact just a subjective mind experience based on feelings and emotions alone, and of course very unreal as an actual real experience.

We don't, and will not, deny thinking that we had the experience, but we will deny the validity and the truth of it as being real and an authentic event occurring external of the mind.

We were never, and no one is ever truly, "born again" because there is no spirit or soul that we can verify and know of. There is no tangible or realtime proof available whatsoever for an individual to present to themselves or others that will support the subjective claim of having a "rebirth of spirit". None.

You only think, as we all did at one time, that you're "born again", because in fact you have zero evidence to back that abstract claim and emotional statement up.

I understand why you think you've had that experience, and that you base your mistaken belief on the supposed 2000 yr. old words of a confused and misleading revolutionary Rabbi who was thought to have live in Palestine. But that basis that you use, and the legend that it is, has been proved faulty through and through and therefore cannot be used to support the truth of the "born again" claim. This is the truth that we as theists finally came to discover and if we were to be true to ourselves and intellectually honest with ourselves and others, we realized that we must move into the atheist position immediately to do so.

You cannot deny--and don't try to convince us otherwise-- that there is zero current evidence for the truth and realness of the born again claim, and also that the bible, being the plagiarized and broken and bronzed aged book of legends that it is, doesn't qualify as evidence or support for it either.

Which of course leads us to the god hypothesis itself. Why does your god procrastinate ? What is it waiting for ? Why does it remain hidden ? .........I'll tell you why:--Because it is a human idea that is abstract beyond the reasoning capabilities of those who created it, a self projection of what humans would like to be but cannot, and therefore the idea is impossible to be made to materialize no matter how bad the human mind may want it, or how hard they try to make it so.

Cheers

   
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #89 on: December 01, 2011, 10:53:58 AM »
When I was about 6 my mom took me to a crappy little park in the northlands of NY state, called Santa's Workshop[1].  I saw reindeer and toy workshops.  I got to see Santa and tell him how good I had been and what I wanted him to bring me for xmas.  It was the highlight of my life at the time.

It was a real experience.  I had real feelings.  I had real beliefs about the experience.  But since then I learned my initial conclusions about the experience were wrong.  Once, I believe in Santa.  Now, I do not.  That does not mean I never truly did.  It means I have changed my belief based on new and presumably better information.

I know xians don't like it when atheists compare god to Santa.  I am sorry if this bothered you.  But in this case, it is an apt and relevant comparison.

onesteward, I think you should examine why you are trying so hard to prove velkyn was never a xian.  What is the point?  What do you have to gain?  Why is it so hard for you to agree that she was a xian once, but is no more? 

Is there anything you once believed but changed your mind about?
 1. it looks much nicer now.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #90 on: December 01, 2011, 10:56:02 AM »
Am I to take it that you admit that your experience was just a feeling and nothing real?
this pathetic attempt to again claim I wasn’t a TrueChristiantm has been ably answered by my forum mates.  Sad, OS, really sad.
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If yours was not real why are you so adamant in claiming  that you used to be either a christian or a theist?If you really believed you had an encounter with The Holy Spirit who would have 'quickened' you....gave you Spiritual life ( born again) then you are a backslider, granted a very pissed off one, but one none-the-less .But you have to deny that experience, which you now finally seem to do,( "nothing real" ) in order to embrace atheism.If you are an atheist then of course you believe there was no God or Holy Spirit to do anything and you begin to make more sense.Why don't you just drop the bone Velkyn and deny the possibility of you ever being Christian?
 I would think at that point it should feel like you found out the test came back negative...you really don't have cancer!!!You should be rejoicing!
  No, dear, I’m not a backslider at all. I’m an atheist.  I’m quite happy as one, and as far as I can tell, you so desperately need to believe that no one can turn their back on the religion that validates your self-worth, you need to call me something that I’m not falsely.  It was indeed a feeling, and I thought it was real.  You think your feeling was real too and you still do.  Doesn’t make it from any god though.  It’s so amusing to watch you so desperately try to convince me of something though.  No, I will not “drop the bone” because it is very important to me to show that your religion is not what you claim, that it is quite possible to really really believe and accept you’ve been born again and then become an atheist, your attempts to lie to the contrary.  Now, OS, go pray real real hard and see if God can change my mind since you can’t &) 
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I would have to go by their testimony by their actions and fruit.I believe the Scriptures about the new birth are for us to check ourselves primarily.
<snipped my quote.
One can compare a persons testimony and fruit to scripture Velkyn.It would be something I'd naturally do in a  congregation if my kids were under someone else's charge for instance.
 
  Yep, there we go, you have to depend on what they say.  It’s so cute when you add that you can tell by their “fruit”. This fruit, which I assume you mean as giving to charities, was polite, worked to better the world by helping, you know those things I mentioned in my post?  I do all of those, just like JC says when he’s separating the sheep from goats, so we’re finally back to you only know by their testimony aka what they claim.
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The Bible does have supernatural origins.
Oh really it has supernatural orgins?  Evidence please.
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and is helpful in being a "fruit inspector"Do we know every case for sure...of course not. Are we to try?:
15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act
Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.
I think "beware" tells me that we should.
 
So, we have you defining a Christian by what the bible says.  Again, each Christian disagrees on what God really means in the bible.  We have Christians who are sure that God meant that we should revile and hate homosexuals?  Does that determine who the real Christians are?  Or does saying God will eventually accept everyone?  Both are claimed to be scripturally sound.  And since none of you can do what JC promised you could, well…..
What if a person gave to various charities, was polite, worked to better the world through helping
Not enough info to really tell much about them.[/quote] ROFL.  Oh my my my.  So what else do you need to know?  I’m quite willing to give you as much information as you need. Funny how you said to know actions and their fruits (aka the results of their actions) above.
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Do you know if this was from his "christian" days or atheist days by any chance:
 "I support a women's right to choose an abortion. Jesus never said anything about a woman with an unwanted pregnancy, He was silent on the issue, I think Christians should be as well. I think for most women an abortion is a blessing in her life, it is a wonderful thing. 
 Is that one of the tenets of FFRF?
You’d have to ask them.  I don’t recall them having any “tenents”.  And hmm, where did you get that quote from, OS?  Nice to quote things but to have no source? Tsk.  Oh, hate to tell you but atheists don’t agree on abortion either, just that there is no god.  Nice to see you try a strawman, I was getting bored.
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Any critique of his books I've read seem to make the case that he left something he didn't have much of a grasp on in the first place.Man, that would be ironic.
Gasp, Christians trying to make a case.  What is this case, OS?  Or do you like to spread innuendo when you haven’t a leg to stand on.  Go ahead, OS, write to Mr. Barker and ask him directly.  Or are you afraid only wanting to believe people who assume the same baseless things like you want to?
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It's like you can read my mind!! ;) Really,you aren't the least bit curious? You just take this guy at face value?I mean the part where he said he was "instrumental" ?
Cant’ tell if you are serious.  It’d be amazingly stupid if you did think that, talk about ignorant wishful thinking.  I’d love to know who were the people that were supposedly healed and of what malady. That’d would be great but I can pretty much bet that there were no amputees in the mix.  You know what, OS, I’ve just emailed FFRF about this and hope to get an answer about your question. I’ve even invited Mr. Barker here. 
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Let's don't open that can of worms for now, ok?

Aw, don’t you like it when I show your claims to be garbage.  Poor thing. :D
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Offline onesteward

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #91 on: December 01, 2011, 03:27:11 PM »

I know xians don't like it when atheists compare god to Santa.  I am sorry if this bothered you.  But in this case, it is an apt and relevant comparison.

I actually don't mind so much.Santa is based on the life of a Christian as I recall.  St Nicholas.


onesteward, I think you should examine why you are trying so hard to prove velkyn was never a xian.  What is the point?  What do you have to gain?  Why is it so hard for you to agree that she was a xian once, but is no more?

I believe Velkyn agreed that becoming a Christian was the result of The Holy Spirit acting in our life.If you don't believe The Holy Spirit exists how can you claim the experience He gives?I have nothing to gain personally.


Is there anything you once believed but changed your mind about?
Sure. I'd bet everyone has.Is there anything you have decided was the correct decision or course of action...Choosing your mate for an example, and didn't need to consider any more options?
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when sorrows like sea billows roll;
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Online nogodsforme

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #92 on: December 01, 2011, 03:39:31 PM »
onesteward, it seems that you think none of us could have ever really been Christians, because we are no longer believers. Does that hold for other religions or only Christianity? If a person was a devout Muslim or Buddhist and then leaves the faith, were they never a Muslim or Buddhist?

I was raised in a home where I could not have been anything but a believer--we were not exposed to the concept of "not believing" in god or the truth of our religion. It seems strange to say that although I was a sincere and devout Christian and spent all my time being one, I was not really a bona fide super duper Christian.

If you say that a person has to be "born again" in some conscious way, does that mean that a child raised in a Christian home by Christian people is not really a believer in Christianity? What else could that child be? And if people were taught a form of Christian religion that does not have "born again" as part of its teachings, are the members not really Christians?[1]

When I was a JW Christian kid, I prayed to Jehovah God a lot. One of my prayers was to change something about myself. It worked and has held firm to this day. Since I am now an atheist, the prayer should have worn off--or should never have been fulfilled in the first place. I would not think that god answers prayers from future atheists, or did god not know that I would become an atheist? The prayer was fulfilled, so does that mean I was really a Christian at that time? I am pretty sure that you view answered prayers as evidence of god working in the world, right? Or was my answered prayer just a coincidence like all other answered prayers?

Now I know that I changed myself, using fear of god as the motivator.... :)
 1. That would mean that Catholics, who are the majority of Christians in third world countries like Mexico, Brazil and the Philippines, are not really Christians. Taking all of them out would make Islam the number one religion in the world! 
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #93 on: December 01, 2011, 04:05:09 PM »
I believe Velkyn agreed that becoming a Christian was the result of The Holy Spirit acting in our life.If you don't believe The Holy Spirit exists how can you claim the experience He gives?I have nothing to gain personally.

I think you misunderstood velkyn.  I'll let you two sort that out.

The point I was trying to address was the oft held idea that atheists who used to be religious must not have really been xians.  Is that your point?
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #94 on: December 01, 2011, 04:31:38 PM »
onesteward, I think you should examine why you are trying so hard to prove velkyn was never a xian.  What is the point?  What do you have to gain?  Why is it so hard for you to agree that she was a xian once, but is no more?

I believe Velkyn agreed that becoming a Christian was the result of The Holy Spirit acting in our life.If you don't believe The Holy Spirit exists how can you claim the experience He gives?I have nothing to gain personally.
Then you were wrong and didn’t read what I posted, only seeing something you wanted to see.  I said I believed that this was the case.  I once believed in the HS provided an experience and now I don’t, knowing now that people can sure make themselves feel a lot of things which don’t require a god at all.  Again, evidence for the good ol’ HS? If you can provide it, we can start from there.   
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Offline Brakeman

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #95 on: December 01, 2011, 06:14:24 PM »
I believe Velkyn agreed that becoming a Christian was the result of The Holy Spirit acting in our life.If you don't believe The Holy Spirit exists how can you claim the experience He gives?I have nothing to gain personally.

Are you able to converse with the Holy Spirit? Perhaps Velkin thought she could but instead she was suffering from an improper baptism, because, as you surely know, without the proper ceremonial rites and wording in a proper baptism, you do not have access to the Holy Spirit, no matter how sincerely you want it. What baptism mistake do you think was made on Velkin? Any guesses?
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Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #96 on: December 01, 2011, 09:46:38 PM »
I don't like this terminology of "backsliding". It's got some presumption in it, that being: the experience was actually enough proof of God.

This is wrong for at least 2 reasons (1) the experience may have been a mental or statistical artifact, or (2) the experience may be from another god, or pixies.

I had one Christian friend who promised she would become Christian, if God saved her child. Now, her child was saved, but she has absolutely no idea if God saved her child, or it was just going to happen anyway, by a half-skilled doctor. The child may have been in no danger at any point. If she loses her faith, is she then backsliding? She will never know.

I had an experience when I met my girlfriend. For some reason (probably desperation) I started feeling an exaggerated feeling of love. This feeling went on for another 24 hours, and was also felt towards other men I met. If I was that way inclined *cough*, I would have taken it as a sign that the spirits of the yonder wanted me to couple with her. If it had happened it a church, I would have presumed that it came from God. *phew*

We have no idea what sort of strange shit our minds are going to pull on us; nobody can protect us from that. But, if you go around making high-priced contracts and deals with your own imagination, you are going to lose, badly.

If onesteward did have an experience that could only come from God, then it would be backsliding, but if he is in doubt, then, well... he obviously knows that he left himself open, and the experience may not be from God. Why does God work in a way that's designed to torment him?

« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 10:07:39 PM by Add Homonym »
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #97 on: December 02, 2011, 07:03:41 AM »
I believe Velkyn agreed that becoming a Christian was the result of The Holy Spirit acting in our life.If you don't believe The Holy Spirit exists how can you claim the experience He gives?I have nothing to gain personally.

It was a real experience.  I had real feelings.  I had real beliefs about the experience.  But since then I learned my initial conclusions about the experience were wrong.  Once, I believe in Santa.  Now, I do not.  That does not mean I never truly did.  It means I have changed my belief based on new and presumably better information.

I'm going to argue - albeit briefly - from where I think onesteward is coming from.  In purple, to show where I'm being Devil's Advocate.  ;D

Screwtape's analogy is flawed, because the "better information" in this case was that the person he saw that was introduced to him as "Santa" was never actually the real Santa.  Similarly, anyone who claims to have been influenced by the Holy Spirit once, but who now realises it was not really the Holy Spirit, is totally correct.....it WASN'T the Holy Spirit.  They WERE never visited by the Spirit, so WERE never Truly Born Again, no matter what they thought at the time.  If Screwtape had been taken to see the REAL Santa, then he would never have lost his belief.

Actually, that's a perfectly reasonable argument.  If you never experienced the actual Spirit, just something that felt like it at the time, then of course you will - at some point - come to that realisation.  Anyone who had the real experience, from the real, actual, Holy Spirit, would never be able to come to that realisation. 

Except.....all that we can therefore conclude from that argument is that we can only reliably identify the people who were NOT really visited by the Spirit, because they have now realised it was all a fake.  It gives us NO way of determining who "really has", and who simply "still just THINKS they have.

And that poses two rather nasty questions for the believer.  Because what they are saying is that someone who is a good Christian, a regular churchgoer, and who believes they have been Born Again By The Spirit.....has no way of knowing whether they really HAVE been, or if they are just deluded.  And so the two rather nasty questions are:

1) So you think you are Born Again?  How do you KNOW you aren't just deluded?

2) What kind of a god picks out a good follower, who honestly believes they have done everything right and been blessed by the Spirit.....and DOESN'T then send the Spirit to make that experience real?

Frankly, if I were in onesteward's shoes as someone who thinks they have been Born Again....I would be very, very worried indeed. 
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #98 on: December 02, 2011, 07:16:16 AM »
1) So you think you are Born Again?  How do you KNOW you aren't just deluded?


Oh, Oh. I know this one. You know when you can cast out demons and heal people without con artist shit.
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Offline gonegolfing

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #99 on: December 02, 2011, 08:32:00 AM »

I believe Velkyn agreed that becoming a Christian was the result of The Holy Spirit acting in our life.If you don't believe The Holy Spirit exists how can you claim the experience He gives?I have nothing to gain personally.



By the way,

Did I miss it somewhere on the last four pages onesteward:-- Have you proved or provided the necessary tangible evidence that a god of some kind exists in the first place ?  :?

That would help out your cause greatly if you did.

Cheers
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #100 on: December 02, 2011, 10:35:00 AM »

I know xians don't like it when atheists compare god to Santa.  I am sorry if this bothered you.  But in this case, it is an apt and relevant comparison.

I actually don't mind so much.Santa is based on the life of a Christian as I recall.  St Nicholas.



Santa is a syncretic mythic character, composed of several legends including that of St Nicholas as well as Odin. Christianity itself is a syncretic religion of a Jewish heresy and many of the aspects of Christ can be traced back to Egyptian mysticism, such as Virgin birth, sacrifice to save the earth, and so forth. Even some aspects of how the soul is viewed can be held as being influenced by Platonic thought.

By bringing up the Santa is based on Saint Nicholas, you are attempting to dodge the central issue here...all legendary characters larger than life attributes are pure fantasy and there is nothing solid to prove Christ rising from the dead than there is of flying reindeer.

I, however, will not allow you to sidestep this so easily.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline velkyn

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #101 on: December 02, 2011, 11:48:19 AM »
Mr. Barker has graciously  taken the time to answer my question. :)  I'll post it just as soon as double check with him that I have his permission. 
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #102 on: December 02, 2011, 02:04:11 PM »
I'm going to argue -

I owe you a +1 for that.  I have to wait an hour though...
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #103 on: December 02, 2011, 02:16:45 PM »
Earlier I had told OS to ask Dan Barker himself about this line in his essay on losing faith.  Here’s OS’s question to me right here:
Hey Velkyn, you're like a FFRF evangelist.Do you know if Barker ever expanded on this claim in any of his writings:
"I served for a while as librarian for Kathryn Kuhlman's Los Angeles choir, observing the "miracles" first-hand. I was even instrumental in a few healings myself."
That was interesting and I would be curious to read more about it.
Now, guessing that this wouldn’t happen, I decided to ask Mr. Barker myself.  He very graciously answered.  Now, if the provenance of this email is questioned, I would be more than happy to send his reply to me to anyone’s email address so all of the source code is intact.  So, without further ado, here it is.  I suppose I should demand on being proclaimed a prophet in that my guess was pretty darn accurate: “I’m sure you see that he has miracles in quotes, so you can see he finds that this claim is rather specious.” 

Quote
> Andrea,

Yeah, that quote looks right. Notice that I put the word "miracles" in quote marks. I did observe what I was convinced were real miracles at the time, but today I know they were not miracles, so I put the word in quotes.

I also explain in Losing Faith in Faith and in Godless about a few times when I prayed for someone who was healed . . . but I now do not consider them to be supernatural healings. I now consider them to be either lucky coincidences (they were going to get better anyway), or psychosomatic  improvements, or misunderstandings, or temporary "I feel better" claims. In any event, those experiences were very rare . . . probably 99% of the prayers I made were NOT followed by a positive outcome . . . and what happens is the understood psychological phenomenon of "confirmation bias," where we eagerly count all the HITS and ignore all the MISSES. If we counted ALL the results, prayer would be seen as a dismal failure.

The reason I mention this in my writings is to point out that I was a true believer. Christians sometimes accuse me of having been a phony: "If you really knew Jesus, you would never have left him." But I make a case that I was really a true believer . . . I did believe it . . . I did believe I was seeing miracles. And if I was not a true Christian, then nobody is.

db
Now, OS, if you want more details, please do ask Mr. Barker. Just fill out the contact form at the link I gave you and ask for your message to be sent to Mr. Barker.
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Offline onesteward

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #104 on: December 02, 2011, 03:46:44 PM »


Are you able to converse with the Holy Spirit? Perhaps Velkin thought she could but instead she was suffering from an improper baptism, because, as you surely know, without the proper ceremonial rites and wording in a proper baptism, you do not have access to the Holy Spirit, no matter how sincerely you want it. What baptism mistake do you think was made on Velkin? Any guesses?

 Perhaps her name was  spelled incorrectly on the certificate? That's my only guess for right now.
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it is well, it is well with my soul.

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #105 on: December 02, 2011, 04:22:59 PM »
^^^Ahh, that has to be it. God can't spell. He really can't. I have proof.

I worked in a country where all rural village births were recorded at the local church, and everyone's name was spelled wrong. When the child went to school, the teachers wrote the kid's name correctly on their official records. The name on the birth certificate did not match. This caused all kinds of problems because later when someone wanted to get married, vote, open a bank account, obtain a death certificate or inherit the family farm, they could not legally prove that they were who they said they were.

Many parents were illiterate and depended on the church authorities to keep accurate written records of their baby. Who would have thought that the church would have a secretary who could not spell and whose pride would not allow him to check with anyone else? I was not fluent in the local language but had seen enough of it written to do a better job than the weird things the church guy came up with.

The worse off people are, the less time god has for their problems-- he helps much wealthier people get winning lotto numbers, write best-selling rap albums, pass college exams and win football games. I just read a book where the author (a dreadlocked black female like me) credited god with getting her a promotion at her law firm. Of course the fact that she had a law degree and relevant experience had little do with it. It was supernatural.

I know we are never supposed to blame god when things go wrong, only praise him when things go right. But couldn't he have sent down the holy spirit or some spare angel to give the church guy the accurate spellings of poor village baby names? I guess he is too busy shining special magic lights on people's dogs....
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Brakeman

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #106 on: December 02, 2011, 07:29:36 PM »
Are you able to converse with the Holy Spirit? Perhaps Velkin thought she could but instead she was suffering from an improper baptism, because, as you surely know, without the proper ceremonial rites and wording in a proper baptism, you do not have access to the Holy Spirit, no matter how sincerely you want it. What baptism mistake do you think was made on Velkin? Any guesses?

 Perhaps her name was  spelled incorrectly on the certificate? That's my only guess for right now.

Not much of a bible scholar are you? OK let me make it a little easier on you, ACTS 19
Previously baptized christians can't access the Holy Spirit until they were re-baptized.
Now how is it that ANYONE at ANYTIME would have trouble accessing the holy spirit? Why wouldn't god want to talk to you?

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #107 on: December 03, 2011, 09:57:50 AM »
. probably 99% of the prayers I made were NOT followed by a positive outcome . . .

Ah, there you go. If he'd been a real Christian, 99% would have healed.


I can see that you think that some people have the spirit and can never lose it.

In all actuality I don't believe that at all.


I'm still a bit confused about this one, since the thread still seems to stink of it.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #108 on: December 03, 2011, 04:49:51 PM »
.....Perhaps Velkin thought she could but instead she was suffering from an improper baptism, because, as you surely know, without the proper ceremonial rites and wording in a proper baptism, you do not have access to the Holy Spirit, no matter how sincerely you want it. What baptism mistake do you think was made on Velkin? Any guesses?

 Perhaps her name was  spelled incorrectly on the certificate? That's my only guess for right now.

Yeah.  Because that's clearly the most important question on this page for you to answer.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline onesteward

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #109 on: December 03, 2011, 07:21:12 PM »
 Ok maybe I can clarify my position here.

Whether it is Velkyn, Dan Barker or Gonegolfing as long as you claim to have been really Christians , Velkyn as a "Presby" , Barker and GG as Pentecostals then I believe you have to stop claiming to be atheists.

What makes a person a "Christian" in the Presbyterian Church?  This is what they say:

Presbyterian Doctrine:

"Justification by Grace through Faith - Our salvation (justification) through Jesus is God's generous gift to us and not the result of our own accomplishments."

To me it seems that if you insist there is no God you wouldn't be able to get a " generous gift " from Him.The way I read it  : no gift= no salvation.

Assemblies of God? From their site:The ABC's of salvation...

Become a child of God by receiving Christ."To all who receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12 (See Revelation 3:20.)

 Confess that Jesus is your Lord. "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9 (See verse 10.)

 Again, here it would appear that if you don't believe there are any Deities you would exempt youself from being "saved" under those doctrines.
In either case I could see a person being one or the other....but not both.

I'm also not making any claims to whether or not any of them were ever Christians or not.If I had a gun to my head right now and had to choose correctly or else, I would say all three were Christians at one point.Which is why I think that them calling themselves 'atheists' now doesn't add up.

 



When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
what ever my lot, you have taught me to say
it is well, it is well with my soul.

Horatio Spafford

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #110 on: December 03, 2011, 08:08:02 PM »
If we no longer believe in god, what else would you call us if not atheists? We used to, but no longer do any of the things that Christians do, ie believe that god exists, that Jesus is his son and the savior, that prayer is communication with god, etc.[1] Are we all still Christians then?

If a person can be a Christian without believing in god, Jesus or prayer, why bother doing any of those things? It starts to sound like Islam --that everyone is secretly a Muslim but just doesn't realize it yet..... :?

If a person was ever a Christian, they remain a Christian forever no matter what they say, do or believe. Is that what you are saying? Please explain.
 1. Dan Barker devoted his entire life to it for 19 years, publicly as an evangelist, musician and minister. Either he was a major con artist, one hell of an actor, had a psychotic break, or he really truly believed in it! Occam's Razor suggests he was a believer. Like the rest of us.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #111 on: December 03, 2011, 08:26:20 PM »
Ok maybe I can clarify my position here.

Whether it is Velkyn, Dan Barker or Gonegolfing as long as you claim to have been really Christians , Velkyn as a "Presby" , Barker and GG as Pentecostals then I believe you have to stop claiming to be atheists.


None of this works, because in order to resolve the profound contradiction between the Judaised synoptic gospels and Paul/John, Christians have had to insist that in order to be saved, you need to also follow the entire Jewish law. James 2:14-26

If what you are saying is true, then there is such a thing as an unsaved Christian. Wrap yer head around that one.

Quote
[14] What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
[15] If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
[16] And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
[17] Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
[18] Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
[19] Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
[20] But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
[21] Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
[22] Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
[23] And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
[24] Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
[25] Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
[26] For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also..

Q: OK, so how do you know whether you have fulfilled enough works to be saved?
A: To Christians, that is a non-issue; they don't care if you are saved, or not. The important thing is to keep people in doubt and spread the neurosis to others.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2011, 08:43:33 PM by Add Homonym »
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Offline Ender

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #112 on: December 03, 2011, 09:09:53 PM »

The "I used to be an atheist" stories fails because they're always[1] boils down to "I had a big emotional moment".  They're never about rational thoughts and inquiries.  Having an emotional moment does not make something true.  As an example, suppose you found out you've won the lottery.  You're excited beyond belief, you call everyone you know... then you find out you didn't win the lottery at all.  You misheard/misunderstood something, and your big emotional moment will not do anything to change that.

Oftentimes, the words about the emotional moments are preceded by "I wanted to believe".  Again, there's nothing about rational thoughts and inquiries.  No usage of the scientific method, etc.  If you're desperate for god, then it's no wonder you'll have an emotional moment as a catalyst for belief.

For these stories to work, they would have to drop the emotional angle.  They need to start with "I have read/heard the arguments for god, studied the evidences presented, and have come to the conclusion that god exists based upon the following: (*insert conclusive proof here*).  These findings are repeatable, testable and falseable."  It would also be great if at least some of them could end with  "I have submitted my findings to the scientific community for peer reviewing, and I am confident that my findings will hold up."  But I have my doubts we'll see that anytime soon.
 1. technically, I suppose I should say "almost always", in case there's an exception out there, but I have yet to see one, and I doubt there is one


While I have not read his books, journalist Lee Strobel supposedly mounted a rational investigation into this topic and ultimately became a Christian. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Strobel
Just something to throw in there; I know the topic has changed quite a bit since the beginning of the thread.

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Offline Alzael

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #114 on: December 03, 2011, 09:24:16 PM »

While I have not read his books, journalist Lee Strobel supposedly mounted a rational investigation into this topic and ultimately became a Christian. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Strobel
Just something to throw in there; I know the topic has changed quite a bit since the beginning of the thread.

No he didn't. To say that Strobel did a rational investigation is utterly ludicrous.

"The Case Against Christ" (and all of his other books) was purely, obviously, and shamefully a piece of propagandist literature. You can tell from the fact that the book contains only interviews made by apologists. Not a single secular scholar of any note. It never shows any interview from a single skeptic. He does not even interview or provide information from other Christians who hold differing viewpoints. The entire piece of work is only written to show and uphold one particular perspective. That being his own.

In everything that Strobel has ever put out there is not only no evidence of any rational thinking being involved. He demonstrates complete ignorance of the subjects he's trying to talk about.

Don't try to bring Strobel to an argument if the other side has anything resembling a functioning brain. It won't end well for you.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2011, 09:30:31 PM by Alzael »
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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #115 on: December 03, 2011, 10:02:44 PM »
...Our salvation (justification) through Jesus is God's generous gift to us and not the result of our own accomplishments." ...

So he can choose to save them if he wants to. Just because the christians say atheists are doomed doesn't mean a darn thing. He's god afterall. He can do whatever he likes. Quite frankly, If I were god, I'd be more likely to save atheists and puppy dogs. It would keep heaven interesting.
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