Author Topic: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails  (Read 6128 times)

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Offline screwtape

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #145 on: December 07, 2011, 12:28:03 PM »
So, let me make sure I understand what onesteward is saying.  If I understand correctly, it sounds like:

1. he defines a xian as someone who is "inhabited" by the holy spirit
2. atheists who claim to have been genuine xians do not believe in the existence of a holy spirit, and so, retroactively, could not have been "inhabited" by it.
3. thus, they were never actually xians.

However!  onesteward claims he really, really is a xian because he is now a receptacle for the hallowed haunt himself.

Please, correct me if I am wrong. 

If I am right, continue.

They are contradictory arguments.  In the first case he more or less goes along with the idea that there is no pious poltergeist.  The only way his argument works is if we are right.  If there is no angelic apparition, then it could not have been "with us".  But then he reverses his position when it comes to himself.  He definitely has it.  You can't have it both ways.

Either there really is a saintly spook, or there is not.  If not, then onesteward is right, we were never really xians[1]. But neither is he.  Owie.  If there is, then...

Either atheists who claim to be former xians really were inhabited by the sacred spectre, or they were not. If not, they were not a real xians[2], as one steward claims.  But he has no way of knowing or showing that was the case.  I mean, the reverent wraith can come and go as it pleases, right?  So ostensibly it could have been with someone and then either left or was evicted[3]  So, if it exists for him, it exists for all.  And his job to support his claim is to show that it was not with us at one point and then left was never with us in the first place.

Frankly, I think his definition is a poor one.  I would say that a xian is someone who believes that nonsense.  That would make it easy for onesteward, or anyone, to establish their bona fides as a xian. All he or she would have to say is "I believe suchandsuch..."  But that would force him to admit that those of us who were once xians really were xians and not a bunch of phonies.

But if his definition is the one you want to stick with, then he has a tougher row to hoe.  He has to prove:
1. there actually is a godly goblin
2. it really is inside him.

...in order to establish that he really and truly is a xian. And given that the blessed banshee is normally defined as "completely undetectable by any means other than just 'knowing' it is real", I think he's shit outta luck.  He has as much evidence for his own credentials as a True Xian as any of us.

Sucks to be him. 

edit - clarified my point
 1. as defined by him
 2. as defined by him
 3. exorcised.  tee hee!
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 12:40:49 PM by screwtape »
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Offline Alzael

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #146 on: December 07, 2011, 12:31:54 PM »
^^^^ That pretty much sums up what everyone has been pointing out to him. Now how much do you want to bet that he's going to completely ignore all of that?
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #147 on: December 07, 2011, 01:03:34 PM »
Unless by "religious belief" you mean "religious practices", your argument is utterly wrong. You cannot simply believe in something or stop believing in something through sheer force of will.
Actually, you can.  Not by a single exertion of will over a short period of time, granted, as it takes a sustained effort over a long period of time, the same as every other habit.  Merriam-Webster defines belief as "a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing".  And habits of thought aren't that much different than habits of action, they're reinforced by doing the thing in question and weakened by not doing it.  Of course, it's possible to reinforce those habits from the outside, as per Azdgari's brainwashing example, but if a person is sufficiently determined, they can do it entirely on their own, without or even despite outside influences.  It just takes more effort and more time.

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #148 on: December 07, 2011, 02:26:39 PM »
<snip>

Belief is not a habit of thought. You can't stop believing in evolution, for example, because you know that it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt (and then some).
Same goes for belief in a deity or lack thereof. You can't stop believing through sheer force of will due to the brainwashing techniques that were used to convince you that there's a super powered Santa out there indoctrination that was used to convince you of the existence of deities, just like you can't start believing in said deities again, because you know how ridiculous they are.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #149 on: December 07, 2011, 02:28:51 PM »
Luci, you can't "just" decide to.  But J is right:  With enough well-done self-delusion, one can believe in anything one wants to.  Sheer force of will isn't effective, but emotionally embracing another paradigm of thought, engaging in doublethink, that sort of thing - it can work.  Believers do it all the time.  Are our brains somehow fundamentally different machines?
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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #150 on: December 07, 2011, 02:35:02 PM »
Luci, you can't "just" decide to.  But J is right:  With enough well-done self-delusion, one can believe in anything one wants to.

I don't see how one can indoctrinate oneself with an idea that one did not already consider possible. Care to explain?

Are our brains somehow fundamentally different machines?

I sure hope not.
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #151 on: December 07, 2011, 02:41:46 PM »
It sounds like os thinks he is bulletproof, with god as is copilot and Jesus as his airbag or something. I would agree with him that folks like Velkyn were never christian, but only because there is no god and there was no jesus, not because she didn't try. Of course using that definition os isn't a Christian either, he just doesn't know it.

Edit: iPad caused spelling errors..
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 04:43:01 PM by ParkingPlaces »
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #152 on: December 07, 2011, 02:42:12 PM »
I don't see how one can indoctrinate oneself with an idea that one did not already consider possible. Care to explain?

By this point, we've probably disciplined ourselves enough in that regard to make it nigh-impossible.  But we could be broken.  All we'd need is to want it enough.

It's hard to imagine embracing a false belief without being able to accurately imagine wanting to do so, emotionally.  Simply put, what it takes is to want to believe X, and to be able to refrain from thinking about the things that indicate not-X.

I sure hope not.

Then why are you suggesting that theists' brains have capabilities that atheists' brains do not?

EDIT:  Quotation fail
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 02:58:53 PM by Azdgari »
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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #153 on: December 07, 2011, 02:45:06 PM »
By this point, we've probably disciplined ourselves enough in that regard to make it nigh-impossible.  But we could be broken.  All we'd need is to want it enough.

It's hard to imagine embracing a false belief without being able to accurately imagine wanting to do so, emotionally.  Simply put, what it takes is to want to believe X, and to be able to refrain from thinking about the things that indicate not-X.

I see.

Then why are you suggesting that theists' brains have capabilities that atheists' brains do not?

When did I suggest this? :S
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #154 on: December 07, 2011, 03:00:46 PM »
Theists can choose to maintain their beliefs when presented with solid contrary evidence and reasoning.  So if they are able to do this, but we are not, then their brains must work differently.
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Offline relativetruth

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #155 on: December 07, 2011, 03:03:58 PM »
If a Christian is defined as someone 'inhabited/guided by the Holy Spirit'.

Then when Velkyn was a Christian she was so possessed. Then for reasons only known to himself the spook drifted away and she became an atheist.

Of course this does not help OS in any way because any day soon said poltergeist could on a whim, suddenly, up-sticks and leave OS.

We can look forward to that day when he returns to WWGHA as an atheist  :D   
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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #156 on: December 07, 2011, 03:05:22 PM »
Theists can choose to maintain their beliefs when presented with solid contrary evidence and reasoning.

Is it a choice or are they just so arrogant that they can't consider that they might be wrong?
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Offline relativetruth

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #157 on: December 07, 2011, 03:17:46 PM »
Theists can choose to maintain their beliefs when presented with solid contrary evidence and reasoning.  So if they are able to do this, but we are not, then their brains must work differently.

I think many politicians have the same gene which might explain why countries with a huge religious influence can be so screwed up.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #158 on: December 07, 2011, 03:18:01 PM »
Is anything a choice, or is it an inevitable result of the interactions of particles in our brains?

What definition of "choice" are you using here?  Because a reasonable one has to allow for physical determinism - or state of mind.
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Offline relativetruth

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #159 on: December 07, 2011, 03:21:09 PM »
Theists can choose to maintain their beliefs when presented with solid contrary evidence and reasoning.

Is it a choice or are they just so arrogant that they can't consider that they might be wrong?

Same for many politicians
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #160 on: December 07, 2011, 03:23:28 PM »
Belief is not a habit of thought. You can't stop believing in evolution, for example, because you know that it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt (and then some).
You're right that I can't just say, "I no longer believe in evolution", and change my mind in a few seconds.  But I'm not talking about that kind of unrealistic sudden change.  I'm talking about something that would take months, maybe years, to accomplish, and that one would have to have a pretty strong reason to persist through the effort it would take.

Quote from: Lucifer
Same goes for belief in a deity or lack thereof. You can't stop believing through sheer force of will due to the brainwashing techniques that were used to convince you that there's a super powered Santa out there indoctrination that was used to convince you of the existence of deities, just like you can't start believing in said deities again, because you know how ridiculous they are.
It's more accurate to say that a person needs a reason to be willing to use that force of will to change their habit of belief (as Azdgari said).  It isn't that someone can't stop believing through persistent force of will, it's that they need a reason to apply that will.  It would be nonsensical for a person to just randomly decide to stop believing in something they've accepted for most of their life; it isn't that they can't apply the force of will needed, it's that they won't without a strong reason to do so.

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #161 on: December 07, 2011, 04:17:55 PM »
Is anything a choice, or is it an inevitable result of the interactions of particles in our brains?

I had not thought about that, but I guess you're right.

Same for many politicians

Same for many people.

<snip>

Already went through this with Azdgari. However, I still thank you for your reply.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline onesteward

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #162 on: December 08, 2011, 07:24:13 PM »
So, let me make sure I understand what onesteward is saying.  If I understand correctly, it sounds like:

1. he defines a xian as someone who is "inhabited" by the holy spirit

Pretty much.Based in part on these scriptures from John 3 :

3) Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God.

     5)  Jesus answered, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, unless a man is born of water and  the Spirit, he cannot [ever] enter the kingdom of God.

     6)  What is born of [from] the flesh is flesh [of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.

      7)  Marvel not [do not be surprised, astonished] at My telling you, You must all be born anew (from above).



2. atheists who claim to have been genuine xians do not believe in the existence of a holy spirit, and so, retroactively, could not have been "inhabited" by it.

To claim that  The Holy Spirit doesn't exist, never existed, and claim to have been "born again by The Holy Spirit..... just doesn't line up as I see it.


3. thus, they were never actually xians.


That seems to make more sense. That is the only point I'm trying to make.If you want to hang onto your atheism you have to let go of your 'born- again' experience.


However!  onesteward claims he really, really is a xian because he is now a receptacle for the hallowed haunt himself.

 I do claim to be a Christian.Born again Christian.


They are contradictory arguments.  In the first case he more or less goes along with the idea that there is no pious poltergeist.
If you got that from what I wrote I either accidentally made a humongous misrepresentation of my belief or you misinterpreted it.

  The only way his argument works is if we are right.

Right about which one? The Holy Spirit exists or The Holy Spirit doesn't exist?


  If there is no angelic apparition, then it could not have been "with us".

Correct me if I'm mistaken here, You may be confusing your pejoratives.I don't think "angelic apparition" would apply in the case of The Holy Spirit.At least not  the Holy Spirit in the Bible.However regarding the claim that if there was no Holy Spirit ( angelic apparition)as you say,and He couldn't have been "with us".I agree. Some of the former Christians- now atheists- don't seem to.





  But then he reverses his position when it comes to himself.  He definitely has it.  You can't have it both ways.

 My position has been the same, I'm a Christian based on an action undetaken on my behalf by God Himself.That hasn't changed since I was " born again" originally.If  for some reason I decided to become an atheist I would then have to drop any idea that Bible God even existed never mind "saved" me.

Either there really is a saintly spook, or there is not.  If not, then onesteward is right, we were never really xians[1]. But neither is he.  Owie.
 1. as defined by him
Correct- no Holy Spirit = no Christians.
 

 If there is, then...

Either atheists who claim to be former xians really were inhabited by the sacred spectre, or they were not.

That seems to be it in a  'nutshell'.Can an atheist, whom for all intents and purposes denies the very existence of The Holy Spirit, at the same time, maybe in the same breath claim to have been "inhabited" by the same  Holy Spirit and still "make sense"?What I'm saying... the only thing I'm trying to say is that, by their own admission ,an atheist takes the " born again"as per John:3 off  the table.Like you said " you can't have it both ways". It seems  that way to me anyway.

 If not, they were not a real xians[2], as one steward claims.  But he has no way of knowing or showing that was the case.
 2. as defined by him

 I'd say " as defined by The Gospel of John" You are correct.The only way I have of knowing ,in here anyway, would be their  'testimony' about it.My point is if someone now declares themselves "atheist" I'm pretty sure they would be denying a "born -again' experience.I could see a Deist becoming atheist 'cuz you and God never hung out.To be a Christian means that at the time you 'believed' God interracted with you. On the spot, right then and there.

  I mean, the reverent wraith can come and go as it pleases, right?  So ostensibly it could have been with someone and then either left or was evicted[3]  So, if it exists for him, it exists for all.  And his job to support his claim is to show that it was not with us at one point and then left was never with us in the first place.
 3. exorcised.  tee hee!

Let me see, my job is to convince atheists that   God...The  Holy Spirit...wasn't with you at some point.How the heck much convincing could that take!?You're atheists.
Are you planning on countering my argument by arguing that The Holy Spirit was "with you' at some point?The same Holy Spirit that you don't believe exists?.


 

Frankly, I think his definition is a poor one.  I would say that a xian is someone who believes that nonsense.  That would make it easy for onesteward, or anyone, to establish their bona fides as a xian. All he or she would have to say is "I believe suchandsuch..."  But that would force him to admit that those of us who were once xians really were xians and not a bunch of phonies.

I absolutely could believe some of you were Christians at one point.I just don't understand the claim that they are atheist now and both are true.And sure, just change the definition of Christianity and everybody is covered.That actually was my basic reason for back-sliding: The more I read the Bible the more I came to realize that Christianity wasn't going to change to suit me but I was going to be the one changing.Period.I "fussed" about that for a decade or so.

 And given that the blessed banshee is normally defined as "completely undetectable by any means other than just 'knowing' it is real", I think he's shit outta luck.

I didn't know that was the 'normal' definition.In here you mean?


  He has as much evidence for his own credentials as a True Xian as any of us.

Sucks to be him. 

Time will tell that tale.

edit - clarified my point
[/quote]
« Last Edit: December 08, 2011, 07:30:17 PM by onesteward »
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #163 on: December 08, 2011, 10:30:32 PM »
To claim that  The Holy Spirit doesn't exist, never existed, and claim to have been "born again by The Holy Spirit..... just doesn't line up as I see it.

"I believe the Holy Spirit exists.  Praise the Lord!  I am a Christian!"

...10 minutes go by.

"You know what?  Brain fart there for a second.  The Holy Spirit doesn't actually exist...guess I'm not a Christian."

The middle bit with the "10 minutes go by" is relevant.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #164 on: December 08, 2011, 10:31:56 PM »
The only way his argument works is if we are right.

Right about which one? The Holy Spirit exists or The Holy Spirit doesn't exist?

If it does not exist. 

However regarding the claim that if there was no Holy Spirit ( angelic apparition)as you say,and He couldn't have been "with us".I agree. Some of the former Christians- now atheists- don't seem to.

No, we all agree on that.  What we do not agree on is your definition of a xian.  If we use your definition, then we would say you are not a xian either.

My position has been the same, I'm a Christian based on an action undetaken on my behalf by God Himself. That hasn't changed since I was " born again" originally. If  for some reason I decided to become an atheist I would then have to drop any idea that Bible God even existed never mind "saved" me.

You might do that, but I doubt it.  I think it is more likely you would look back on your days as a believer with mild embarrassment and possibly a tinge of anger and think, "what a dupe I was!"  You would realize that it was not some mystical essence that made you a xian, but what you believed. 

You might also be a little peeved if someone came along and said something along the lines of "well, you were never really a xian anyway."  But not because you don't like his definition.  It would be because who  is he to judge your experiences?  Who is he to say how sincere you were?  Who the fuck is he to say he knows the inner working of your mind?

Either there really is a saintly spook, or there is not.  If not, then onesteward is right, we were never really xians[1]. But neither is he.  Owie.
 1. as defined by him

Correct- no Holy Spirit = no Christians.

So then what should we call people of your... ilk?  Since there is no holy spigot for you to be "reborn in", you are clearly not a xian.  Yet, you say you are.  So, what should we call you?  Something you would not mind being called, I mean. 
 

That seems to be it in a  'nutshell'.Can an atheist, whom for all intents and purposes denies the very existence of The Holy Spirit, at the same time, maybe in the same breath claim to have been "inhabited" by the same  Holy Spirit and still "make sense"?What I'm saying... the only thing I'm trying to say is that, by their own admission ,an atheist takes the " born again"as per John:3 off  the table.Like you said " you can't have it both ways". It seems  that way to me anyway.

Being on this side of the fence changes your perspective.   And this whole stupid point is largely about perspective.  From our perspective, your definition puts True Xians in the same category as leprechauns, mermaids and Santa.   

We now say we did not have the spooky guy with us because we now do not think there is such a thing.  But we could be wrong.  In fact, you think we are wrong.  So you are taking our perspective - something you disagree with - just so you can say "you were never xians".  Kind of a shitty and dishonest thing to do, stewie.  Why do you prefer that route when you could just as easily and more charitably say "well, I think there is a holy spirit, so I grant that maybe you were xians.  Maybe the HS was with you, but maybe not.  But if it was, maybe it left?"  Why is that so hard?

If not, they were not a real xians[2], as one steward claims.  But he has no way of knowing or showing that was the case.
 2. as defined by him

 I'd say " as defined by The Gospel of John" You are correct.  The only way I have of knowing ,in here anyway, would be their  'testimony' about it.My point is if someone now declares themselves "atheist" I'm pretty sure they would be denying a "born -again' experience.

But that is not true.  Many of us had "experiences".   We just no longer explain them in the way we once did.  That was my whole point about Santa.  My experience at the North Pole was a gen-U-ine, bona fide Experience.  It just was not really Santa.  That is the point, I think.  You are making commentary about our experiences as if you know any of us.  You don't.  And you are doing this to diminish us in your own mind.


  I mean, the reverent wraith can come and go as it pleases, right?  So ostensibly it could have been with someone and then either left or was evicted[3]  So, if it exists for him, it exists for all.  And his job to support his claim is to show that it was not with us at one point and then left was never with us in the first place.
 3. exorcised.  tee hee!

Let me see, my job is to convince atheists that   God...The  Holy Spirit...wasn't with you at some point.How the heck much convincing could that take!?You're atheists.
Are you planning on countering my argument by arguing that The Holy Spirit was "with you' at some point?The same Holy Spirit that you don't believe exists?.

I think you are trolling now. You cannot really be this confused.

This is like Schrodinger holy ghost.  If it serves your purpose to say we weren't xians, then it doesn't exist.  If it serves your purpose to say you are a xian, then it exists.  But until your purpose is revealed, its existence is a probability cloud, neither existing or not existing.

I absolutely could believe some of you were Christians at one point.I just don't understand the claim that they are atheist now and both are true.

Because nobody thinks your definition is true.  We think your definition negates all xians.  Yet, there are a zillion people running around calling themselves "xians"  It is like defining a Star Trek fan as someone who has a  tribble for a pet.   


And given that the blessed banshee is normally defined as "completely undetectable by any means other than just 'knowing' it is real", I think he's shit outta luck.

I didn't know that was the 'normal' definition.In here you mean?

Okay.  How does one detect a holy spirit?  Infrared?  UV cameras?  Do they make sounds?  Emit alpha particles?  How? 

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Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #165 on: December 08, 2011, 11:01:58 PM »
-snip-

I absolutely could believe some of you were Christians at one point.I just don't understand the claim that they are atheist now and both are true.And sure, just change the definition of Christianity and everybody is covered.That actually was my basic reason for back-sliding: The more I read the Bible the more I came to realize that Christianity wasn't going to change to suit me but I was going to be the one changing.Period.I "fussed" about that for a decade or so.

 


Ok. I trimmed that down a bit. I would agree, that either the atheist position is correct, and there is no God, or the Christian position is correct, and there is God. However, I can't help but notice that throughout, you argue as though whatever the believer's perception is, is what is right. It cannot be both. You say a Christian who has become an atheist was never really blessed by the Holy Spirit, because for the Atheist, it doesn't exist. But for the born again Christian, it doesn't matter if they were Atheist, because it is by God's choice alone that they are blessed with the Holy spirit, and because  they are blessed, they are a believer. .

The problem with that is that one of those must be wrong . If the Atheist is right, and there is no God, then they were never blessed with the Holy spirit, because it doesn't exist. However, if the believer is right, and there is a God, that doesn't mean someone who now identifies as an Atheist was never REALLY a Christian. There are a few options, that being just one. Another is that, since, as you say, God determines who is blessed with the Holy Spirit, that God has chosen to UNBLESS those people who become Atheists (please don't misunderstand me: I don't believe this to be the case at all. It is just a conclusion I am drawing based on my understanding of your post). If God is omnipotent and has free will, he can certainly decide that he does not want to bless person A any longer, and bless person B instead. Person B, an atheist, become "born again" and Person A becomes an Atheist. You can't tell me that a God that determine who gets blessed and who doesn't could possibly be incapable of reversing his decisions, particularly if he felt that a "believer" had committed offenses serious enough to have the Holy Spirit removed.

Another option still, is that God removes the blessing of the Holy Spirit AS A RESULT of someone choosing to become an Atheist. Kind of like turning in your key/ID badge if you quit a job, so to speak. As opposed to being fired and having that stuff taken away because your boss has had enough of your BS.

So really, it is not as even of a split as you are portraying it to be, OneSteward. Also, consider this situation: A person could conceivably, at any point in their life, become an atheist. So. let's suppose a man lives a good, moral life, attends church, gives to charity, volunteers at the local food bank, never abuses anyone, and is an all around model True Christian. Then, at the age of 95, still going strong, he decides that he doesn't have faith anymore. he chooses atheism. He is struck by a falling 80 foot wide meteor the next day and instantly vaporized. Now, this man only lived one day as an atheist, the rest of the time he was convinced in the existence and benevolence of God. Considering this man's life as a whole, not just what he ended up as, was he really an atheist all along, or a believer for all of his life, minus 1 day? How about the other REAL True Christians: how did THEY not notice that this guy was an atheist all along if, as you allege, he was NEVER REALLY blessed by the Holy Spirit to begin with? By what means does a true believer establish who is another true believer? How is it that so many non-true believers are missed by true believers? How is it that I hoodwinked my family, congregation, priests, and other church officials where I was raised into believing I was the real deal, if ALL ALONG I was really an atheist? If being blessed by the Holy Spirit makes no discernible difference that even a true believer could tell, what is so special about it then?

Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline jtp56

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #166 on: December 08, 2011, 11:21:10 PM »
The arguments in this thread are better articulated in other blogs or argued on the basis of Calvinism vs Arminianism.  Choose wisely. This only demonstrates that the real/true argument lies in scripture.  I will digress.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #167 on: December 08, 2011, 11:33:26 PM »
So really, it is not as even of a split as you are portraying it to be, OneSteward. Also, consider this situation: A person could conceivably, at any point in their life, become an atheist. So. let's suppose a man lives a good, moral life, attends church, gives to charity, volunteers at the local food bank, never abuses anyone, and is an all around model True Christian. Then, at the age of 95, still going strong, he decides that he doesn't have faith anymore. he chooses atheism. He is struck by a falling 80 foot wide meteor the next day and instantly vaporized. Now, this man only lived one day as an atheist, the rest of the time he was convinced in the existence and benevolence of God. Considering this man's life as a whole, not just what he ended up as, was he really an atheist all along, or a believer for all of his life, minus 1 day? How about the other REAL True Christians: how did THEY not notice that this guy was an atheist all along if, as you allege, he was NEVER REALLY blessed by the Holy Spirit to begin with? By what means does a true believer establish who is another true believer? How is it that so many non-true believers are missed by true believers? How is it that I hoodwinked my family, congregation, priests, and other church officials where I was raised into believing I was the real deal, if ALL ALONG I was really an atheist? If being blessed by the Holy Spirit makes no discernible difference that even a true believer could tell, what is so special about it then?

And, see, this is where it comes down to for me. I know you could claim that the man who became an atheist directly before he died was never a TrueChristian to begin with...So let's just let this perception sit for the moment...

The other side of this coin has the man who followed the exact same pattern in life, but instead dies the day before. As far as he is concerned, he has lived a life of devotion to God. He has believed. He has tried his utmost to remain faithful to everything he understands.

He dies....but had he lived, he might just as easily have begun to ponder questions raised by atheists in his place of business, by friends who had drifted away from the church,  or even just by his own perceptions of the world.

Had his doubts been strong enough to sway him, what of his soul? OK, maybe he wasn't a "true Christian" by your definition. Maybe there was enough doubt left in his mind for him to give in. Would he have still been saved had he died the day, month, or year before those doubts became annoying enough to give in to? Would he be damned after whatever threshold of doubt had been reached had he died a few days later?
If this man is destined to fall short of 'truechristian" ideal, then is he still damned had he died during his period of belief, or does he luck out? Or does everyone who considers themselves saved have to face the possibility tha tthe faith they consider so unshakable is just as susceptible

Offline jtp56

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #168 on: December 09, 2011, 12:01:29 AM »
So really, it is not as even of a split as you are portraying it to be, OneSteward. Also, consider this situation: A person could conceivably, at any point in their life, become an atheist. So. let's suppose a man lives a good, moral life, attends church, gives to charity, volunteers at the local food bank, never abuses anyone, and is an all around model True Christian. Then, at the age of 95, still going strong, he decides that he doesn't have faith anymore. he chooses atheism. He is struck by a falling 80 foot wide meteor the next day and instantly vaporized. Now, this man only lived one day as an atheist, the rest of the time he was convinced in the existence and benevolence of God. Considering this man's life as a whole, not just what he ended up as, was he really an atheist all along, or a believer for all of his life, minus 1 day? How about the other REAL True Christians: how did THEY not notice that this guy was an atheist all along if, as you allege, he was NEVER REALLY blessed by the Holy Spirit to begin with? By what means does a true believer establish who is another true believer? How is it that so many non-true believers are missed by true believers? How is it that I hoodwinked my family, congregation, priests, and other church officials where I was raised into believing I was the real deal, if ALL ALONG I was really an atheist? If being blessed by the Holy Spirit makes no discernible difference that even a true believer could tell, what is so special about it then?

And, see, this is where it comes down to for me. I know you could claim that the man who became an atheist directly before he died was never a TrueChristian to begin with...So let's just let this perception sit for the moment...

The other side of this coin has the man who followed the exact same pattern in life, but instead dies the day before. As far as he is concerned, he has lived a life of devotion to God. He has believed. He has tried his utmost to remain faithful to everything he understands.

He dies....but had he lived, he might just as easily have begun to ponder questions raised by atheists in his place of business, by friends who had drifted away from the church,  or even just by his own perceptions of the world.

Had his doubts been strong enough to sway him, what of his soul? OK, maybe he wasn't a "true Christian" by your definition. Maybe there was enough doubt left in his mind for him to give in. Would he have still been saved had he died the day, month, or year before those doubts became annoying enough to give in to? Would he be damned after whatever threshold of doubt had been reached had he died a few days later?
If this man is destined to fall short of 'truechristian" ideal, then is he still damned had he died during his period of belief, or does he luck out? Or does everyone who considers themselves saved have to face the possibility tha tthe faith they consider so unshakable is just as susceptible

As usual, you dig deep.  Salvation is on a personal level.  I'm sorry I make it so simple, but, you can come up with the most complicated hypothetical situation imaginable.  Bottom line is: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved".

I've sat beside death beds,  I have found nothing else comforting. 
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #169 on: December 09, 2011, 05:50:00 AM »
.  Bottom line is: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved".

If that's the bottom line, then how much do I have to believe it? 50%? 10%? Or does it have to be 101%, and with a life full of wonderful works? Belief without works is dead. Do I have to cast out demons?

If I 100% believe, a few seconds before I die, how many great works do I have to do in that period? Should I sacrifice a goat, or should I not worship false idols? So many works to choose from, in such a short time!

Please supply proof that you will be going to heaven.

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I've sat beside death beds,  I have found nothing else comforting.

That makes it true, does it?
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #170 on: December 09, 2011, 06:10:46 AM »
What really interests me - and, for some reason, what appears NOT to interest YOU - is how one tells at the time, whether one is truly a "made by Yahweh" Christian or not? 

Why does it matter what the "not nows" call themselves, when for all you know 99% of the people in your church AREN'T "made by Yahweh" Christians, but simply deluded into thinking they are?

And why does it matter what the "not nows" call themselves, when YOU YOURSELF have no way of knowing whether you are really a "made by Yahweh" Christians....or if tomorrow you will wake to discover that - just like Velkyn - YOU were never really a Christian either?  Is that what all this semantic dance is about?  Because you suspect you aren't a real Christian, and what to know how to refer to yourself when you finally summon up the courage to "come out"?

Hello onesteward.  I see you're still more interested in arguing the "whether atheists were ever really Christians" question - rather than the "whether Christians were ever really Christians" one.

Let me say it again: how Velkyn et al felt when they believed they were Christians is (so far as I can tell from the thread so far) exactly how you feel now.

Is there anything you can give us - anything at all - that someone could have used while Velkyn believed she was a Christian to be able to say "yes, Onesteward has truly been born again - but Velkyn, poor girl, is just deluding herself"?

I can only assume, from your continued silence on that question, that you have nothing.

And if that is the case.....
Why should I for one moment accept your claim that there is, really, a Holy Spirit?
Why should you accept the claims of your fellow church members that they have, really, been entered by the Spirit?
And why should THEY accept YOUR claim that you too have, really been entered by the Spirit?
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 velkyn

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #171 on: December 09, 2011, 09:25:05 AM »
well, that last post by OS was a lot of scripture but not one bit of showing hwo we can tell who really is a Christian and who isn’t.  It’s just more magic decoder ring nonsense and OS declaring on his own that the only TrueChristians are those who meet his personal interpretation of what his god “really” meant.  Of course, no evidence that this god is real or that this god agrees with OS at all. 

Again, he is unable to accept that someone can believe something at one time and then find out that belief is wrong.  Sad.  By his claims, he must never have believed in things common to children since he doesn’t believe in them now.  It’s always cute on how his reason make special definitions for his religion and ignores everything else. 

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That seems to make more sense. That is the only point I'm trying to make.If you want to hang onto your atheism you have to let go of your 'born- again' experience.
  The only reason you insist on this is that is threatens the validity of your claims and makes you just one more human, not some divinely touched special snowflake.  Again, evidence that your born again experience was any better than mine, or are we back to your circular arguments again?


However!  onesteward claims he really, really is a xian because he is now a receptacle for the hallowed haunt himself.

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I do claim to be a Christian.Born again Christian.
prove it. Where are those magic powers that your savoir claimed you’d have? Why should we believe your baseless claim?

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My position has been the same, I'm a Christian based on an action undetaken on my behalf by God Himself.That hasn't changed since I was " born again" originally.If  for some reason I decided to become an atheist I would then have to drop any idea that Bible God even existed never mind "saved" me.
and again, you can’t demonstrate this claim.  Your god cannot be shown to have done anything.  And no, you wouldn’t have to do any such thing.  You would simply be just like me.  You have declared a requirement that you cannot support being needed. 

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Either atheists who claim to be former xians really were inhabited by the sacred spectre, or they were not.

That seems to be it in a  'nutshell'.Can an atheist, whom for all intents and purposes denies the very existence of The Holy Spirit, at the same time, maybe in the same breath claim to have been "inhabited" by the same  Holy Spirit and still "make sense"?[/quote] Yep, it can if they only believe tht his happened and since you cannot show that this is in fact a valid claim suppored by evidence, you, supported by all evidence so far, only believe in this too. 

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What I'm saying... the only thing I'm trying to say is that, by their own admission ,an atheist takes the " born again"as per John:3 off  the table.Like you said " you can't have it both ways". It seems  that way to me anyway.
So what if it seems that way to you.  It isn’t that way.  I believed in John 3, it seemed that it was true.  All evidence since then has supported that it wasn’t.   

It all comes down to OS showing by some evidence that his born again experience was any different than mine other than by circular reasoning.  He hasn’t and I suspect he can’t.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #172 on: December 09, 2011, 09:29:16 AM »
The arguments in this thread are better articulated in other blogs or argued on the basis of Calvinism vs Arminianism.  Choose wisely. This only demonstrates that the real/true argument lies in scripture.  I will digress.
and of course have no evidence of your claims at all.  As usual. 

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As usual, you dig deep.  Salvation is on a personal level.  I'm sorry I make it so simple, but, you can come up with the most complicated hypothetical situation imaginable.  Bottom line is: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved".
which uyour bible disagrees with. Gee which Christian has the real story from his god.  Funny how all of you fail to present any thign that shows you are the most favored.   and more magical claims on how to contact this god.  Gee, shall we be more "Sincere" too.  I always love to see these claims and watch them fail repeatedly. 
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I've sat beside death beds,  I have found nothing else comforting. 
So?  I've sat by death beds too and have found nothing comforting in a primtive superstition.  I do find comfort in helping a fellow human.  Since I have actual evidence that my way  actually helps someone, and yuo don't, which is the better way?
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Offline Ivellios

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Re: Theists: why your "I used to be an atheist" stories fails
« Reply #173 on: December 09, 2011, 09:31:05 AM »
That makes it true, does it?

Of course, everything done in fear of the unknown is fully accounted for and it is true in each and every circumstance.

Then you have to face reality and realize people do some really whacked out **** while in fear of the unknown. A mother trying to kill her children because she fears them being left behind when she gets raptured away, way back in May. Other stupid stuff like that. Yep, right before the end, there's always 100% clarity.