Author Topic: My Issue Is Not With God  (Read 528 times)

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Offline Truth OT

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My Issue Is Not With God
« on: October 18, 2013, 10:15:24 AM »
As a former believer and a person that is still consistantly involved in the lives of many believers I have come to realize that usually you get nowhere with believers by attacking their god. In a believer's mind god is the only thing that is totally perfect/objective. So in order to put a dent in the god belief they possess, it is imperative that the subjectivity of their god-view be presented to them so that they can personally reckognize how subjective and biased their view is. I think you actually make more headway by confronting them and bringing their issues to their sight and addressing the human fallacies they bring to the table as opposed to pointing the finger at their god.

I'm interested in some ideas on how to contruct an effective argument that assumes a loving god exists (in reality doesn't waste time arguing this massive assumption) but makes the case that such a god could not and would not be represented by a book like ________ (insert religious text).

The goal of such an endevour is to help the believer deauthorize and devalue the religious text they run to so that it can become clear to them that the god they believe in is but a god of their mind's own creation based on their culture, their upbringing, their worldview, and what they've been exposed to.

Offline Jag

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Re: My Issue Is Not With God
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2013, 10:43:36 AM »
You could start with geography. Point out how similar beliefs have been localized to specific regions until relatively recently - and that the change is due to improvements in travel technology more than any changes in beliefs of any individuals or groups. In other words most theists follow some version of the predominant religion of the region in which they grew up. By the looks of things Christians think God only likes Americans - but that's not what the bible says. Actually, the bible doesn't show god liking very many people at all but that won't get you far in the beginning.

Point out the atrocities in the Bible, and ask if those things match up with the God they believe in. Cast doubt on the divine inspiration and point out the human fingerprints all over the manuscript. Talk about how it's been used to justify horrible acts, and again, stress the human behavior that would lead to creative translations of the word of god.

Don't let anyone off with "the NT changes everything" excuses either - there are several threads in here that explain in great detail why Christians can not dismiss the OT due to Jesus - if they try, it invalidates everything their religion is based on and really drives a spike into the acceptance of Jesus as the predicted savior.

Buy everyone a copy of The Brick Bible, both OT and NT for Christmas this year. It wasn't deliberate on my part, but I contributed to someone's emerging deconversion that way this summer.

You could also chip away at the schisms between denominations, calling into question some of the minutia that divides various sects and the lengths people have one to to preserve them with no discernible impact to any of their lives - no punishment from God for following the "wrong" version, so how can anyone tell which one is the "right" one? All denominations of christianity claim to get their instruction from the Bible, so how can so many different interpretations exist and ALL be coming from the same book dedicated to the teachings of the same god? Why wouldn't God want to clear up the confusion by making it clear who is correct? That points to an indifferent god by the most generous terms, and not what (they think) the bible says is true. It's certainly not what they are being told in church.

My issue is not with god either. It's entirely with what people are doing in service to their beliefs in such a being that pulled me into vocal and active opposition. Even the bible talks about keeping your practices private - you could use that as well to point out how wrong evangelical behavior is.
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: My Issue Is Not With God
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2013, 10:48:34 AM »
My issue is not with god either. It's entirely with what people are doing in service to their beliefs in such a being that pulled me into vocal and active opposition. Even the bible talks about keeping your practices private - you could use that as well to point out how wrong evangelical behavior is.

If we can get people to see that they really don't believe in the god they claim to and that their god is actually the personified and subsequently deified embodiment of what they value or deem moral and right we may be able to help people free themselves (AND OUR WORLD) from the mental slavery these views subject society to. 

Offline Dante

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Re: My Issue Is Not With God
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2013, 10:56:36 AM »
As a former believer

TOT, did you ever create a thread explaing how you came to deconvert? I looked in the "Testimonials" sub-forum, and didn't see one.

Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline Truth OT

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Re: My Issue Is Not With God
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2013, 11:17:28 AM »

TOT, did you ever create a thread explaing how you came to deconvert? I looked in the "Testimonials" sub-forum, and didn't see one.

I don't recall creating one, but I did address it briefly here: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,20280.msg447712.html#msg447712

Offline screwtape

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Re: My Issue Is Not With God
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2013, 02:41:43 PM »
Sorry ToT, I cannot give what you request.  I think your premise is incorrect:

I think you actually make more headway by confronting them...

After 7(?) years of first hand experience, and recent studies about argument and debate, I think this is completely backwards.  Direct confrontation drives people deeper into their prior beliefs.

I think you have to be sneaky and underhanded.  You have to undermine their foundations without them getting a whiff of an attack on their stupid beliefs. 

The goal of such an endevour is to help the believer deauthorize and devalue the religious text they run to...

I can see how that might be a strategy for people who actually rely on their book.  Most religionists I know have no idea what their book actually says though. And of those who do, their belief is circular: the believe in god because of the book; they believe in the book because of god.  You attack one, the other kicks in. 

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Offline Truth OT

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Re: My Issue Is Not With God
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2013, 11:44:50 AM »
The idea that beings almost unimaginatively more powerful than us have a vested interest in monitoring our behavior and injecting themselves and their rules for how we behave is a thought process that has given rise to religion. Why is it that we feel that what we do is so monumentally and cosmically significant that gods would give a damn about us!?

Offline junebug72

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Re: My Issue Is Not With God
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2013, 04:33:32 AM »
The idea that beings almost unimaginatively more powerful than us have a vested interest in monitoring our behavior and injecting themselves and their rules for how we behave is a thought process that has given rise to religion. Why is it that we feel that what we do is so monumentally and cosmically significant that gods would give a damn about us!?

If there is such beings I would say it's because our planet sustains so many different forms of life!!!
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline junebug72

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Re: My Issue Is Not With God
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2013, 05:02:54 AM »
Truth your strategy sounds much better than screw's.  I think it's much more important to get rid of the religion.  Once that is done the mind opens up to new ideas.  Even the bible says to not be religious.  I just hate to see what putting all those preachers out of work would do to the economy.  Can you imagine some of these guys actually working? :laugh:  They would make some good used car salesmen; maybe. :laugh:
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline Add Homonym

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Re: My Issue Is Not With God
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2013, 08:54:30 AM »
I'm interested in some ideas on how to contruct an effective argument that assumes a loving god exists (in reality doesn't waste time arguing this massive assumption) but makes the case that such a god could not and would not be represented by a book like ________ (insert religious text).

I have a variant of that. Essentially, you try to beat their God.

If a creationist says that evolution is impossible, then I have a God who could create life by evolution, because that's the superior way a superior God would do it.

If a hippy asks if you believe in alternative therapies, then you reply that don't believe anything works, whether conventional or alternative.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: My Issue Is Not With God
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2013, 09:22:24 AM »
If there is such beings I would say it's because our planet sustains so many different forms of life!!!

Our planet is a tiny speck of dust in the universe.  A big space-alien might find us interesting, but not a universe-scale deity.  To think that something on the scale of the universe cares about us would be both silly and arrogant.
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Offline shnozzola

Re: My Issue Is Not With God
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2013, 10:01:50 AM »
   My wife would make a much better landlord than I.  She has the ruthless " business first" sense that I lack.  I need her to balance me out.   She is also a delusional theist.  My mom and sister are starting a social program  with children in a city.  Excellent Work.  They think god is helping them along not seeing how much time and effort they are putting in.

   In these cases of people very close to me, I would never consider arguing with them and attacking their delusions.  My relationships with these people are incredibly more important than the loss of trust, or closeness, the debate may lead to.  They know my religious beliefs have changed by what I question once in a while.   The debate is not worth it to me.

   You have to decide how important the debate is.  There may have been a point when Mohammed Atta told his parents  on the phone that he is learning to fly planes in America - I wonder what his mother thinks today.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: My Issue Is Not With God
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2013, 07:09:40 AM »
If there is such beings I would say it's because our planet sustains so many different forms of life!!!

Our planet is a tiny speck of dust in the universe.  A big space-alien might find us interesting, but not a universe-scale deity.  To think that something on the scale of the universe cares about us would be both silly and arrogant.

I strongly disagree!  I think you should elaborate on this conclusion.

Is it not arrogant or silly to question where we come from or why we are here or to conclude something Great and Intelligent helped compose life.  The only thing I find delusional is the awful attributes some humans believe this awesome entity possesses.  I think these are human desires gullible people choose to believe because the preachers are charming and pillars of their society.  They are also desperate for answers.  Desperate people do desperate things.

I think knowledge had to exist before humans why else need there be a brain.  My hypothesis is that all knowledge and matter was condensed into a tiny space and when it banged God came forth;created a planet that could sustain life and planted the seeds of all species male and female and allowed natural growth.   

To follow religions blindly is careless.  Question everything!!!

a tiny speck of dust that contains millions of life forms! MIRACULOUS!!!
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline Azdgari

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Re: My Issue Is Not With God
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2013, 10:09:02 AM »
Is it not arrogant or silly to question where we come from or why we are here or to conclude something Great and Intelligent helped compose life.

Why are you lying about what I said?  I won't read the rest of your post until you answer why you're now lying about what I'd said in mine.
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Offline penfold

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Re: My Issue Is Not With God
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2013, 10:53:49 AM »
Our planet is a tiny speck of dust in the universe.  A big space-alien might find us interesting, but not a universe-scale deity.  To think that something on the scale of the universe cares about us would be both silly and arrogant.

I strongly disagree! [...]

a tiny speck of dust that contains millions of life forms! MIRACULOUS!!!

Lovely example of how intractable much 'theist vs atheist' debate is.

Mr Paley and Mr Darwin are walking through a field; they come across a beautiful butterfly. On the wings are the Greek letters Alpha and Omega. Mr Paley turns to Mr Darwin and says "A ha! As this butterfly does not itself understand Greek, we can only conclude that this butterfly was designed by a Greek." Mr Darwin wearily shakes his head: "My dear Mr Paley, you are most confused, butterflies are not designed by men; each butterfly is born of another, and so on back through time." Mr Paley thinks and replies, "That may well be so, but clearly some Greek speaking power must have intervened to give rise to such patterns in this particular butterfly." Mr Darwin, barely able to keep his irritation hidden, responds: "The process of change is based in the blind selection of random mutations by the environment." "Well in that case," Mr Paley shoots back, "the environment itself must be set up by some Greek speaking God." Mr Darwin, now visibly shaking, says "Your reasoning is redundant, there is no need for a Greek speaking intelligence to explain the existence of this butterfly, it is simply not needed." Mr Paley, all smug calm, starts "I pity you Mr Darwin, here in front of you..."

But he never finished. For at that moment Zeus smote them both.


« Last Edit: October 29, 2013, 10:57:36 AM by penfold »
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Offline junebug72

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Re: My Issue Is Not With God
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2013, 11:22:42 AM »
Is it not arrogant or silly to question where we come from or why we are here or to conclude something Great and Intelligent helped compose life.

Why are you lying about what I said?  I won't read the rest of your post until you answer why you're now lying about what I'd said in mine.

Now this is delusional.  I only disagreed with you.  I never called you a liar.  I already explained why I disagreed. 
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline Azdgari

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Re: My Issue Is Not With God
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2013, 11:43:36 AM »
You disagreed with something I never said.  You pretended I said something I never said.  You lied about what I said.

Why did you lie?

Also, smiting doesn't hide your lie.  I realize that smites are the price of interacting with you, because you like to smite people.  It's your character.

Edit:  If you want to comment on my post, or disagree with my post, then fine.  But disagree with what the post actually says, don't lie about what it says and then disagree with that.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2013, 11:46:32 AM by Azdgari »
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Offline Jag

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Re: My Issue Is Not With God
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2013, 01:19:44 PM »
For what it's worth, I don't thinks she's lying, if lying indicates deliberation. I think she honestly doesn't see the disconnect between your post and her reply.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: My Issue Is Not With God
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2013, 09:36:42 PM »
Perhaps that is the case.  I would acknowledge and apologize for that, if she is willing to admit that she misunderstood my post and acknowledge what I actually said.

Should I hold my breath?
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Offline junebug72

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Re: My Issue Is Not With God
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2013, 08:59:53 AM »
I don't see a disconnect and I certainly don't see a lie.  Az said it was silly and arrogant to think an entity cared for us and I disagreed.  I gave an explanation for why I disagreed.

I find this petty and a waste of time.  I don't care what you think at this point I know I meant no disrespect.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline Azdgari

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Re: My Issue Is Not With God
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2013, 09:26:54 AM »
I don't see a disconnect and I certainly don't see a lie.

Glad I didn't hold my breath hoping for some honesty...

Az said it was silly and arrogant to think an entity cared for us and I disagreed.

This is untrue.  I never said that.  I said something different.  The words are right there in the original post for you to acknowledge or ignore.

I gave an explanation for why I disagreed.

...why you disagreed with something you made up, not why you disagreed with me.

I find this petty and a waste of time.  I don't care what you think at this point I know I meant no disrespect.

You evidently didn't care what I thought at the outset, since you replaced what I said with something completely different and responded to that.  This petty waste of time wouldn't have happened if you hadn't misrepresented me.


Should I expect another smite in lieu of any genuine response from you?
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