Author Topic: Mr. Blackwell, LoriPinkAngel...what brought you to your current worldview?  (Read 334 times)

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Offline pisteuo

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Others are also welcome to comment, but I'm curious about what took from a position of traditional theism (Christian) to where you are today?  Was it a gradual dismissal?  Life change event?  Something else entirely?

I'm also curious if you would have considered yourself devout, or simply more of an attender/consumer of religion?  Did you ever feel close to your faith or the object of your faith? 

If you have questions for me, as a believer, also feel free to ask.  I'm sure, in some ways, you probably can identify with aspects of my worldview that put you in a position to ask some unique questions.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Mr. Blackwell, LoriPinkAngel...what brought you to your current worldview?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2017, 04:20:58 PM »
I was raised as a Lutheran.  As an adult I went to a Presbyterian church.  I sang in the choirs, participated in the youth groups, joined committees, did charity work and all that.  I prayed and prayed and read the bible.  I was often conflicted by the brutality in the bible.  I also noticed broken promises.  I never felt any two way communication with god, ever.  I never felt there was any answer to my prayers other than no.  After a terrible set back occurred in my life I thought about my situation and so much other tragedy going on in the world and I finally came to the conclusion that god was either really cruel or did not exist at all.  It was preferable to me that he was fictional than that he was an awful, sadistic being.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline pisteuo

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Re: Mr. Blackwell, LoriPinkAngel...what brought you to your current worldview?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2017, 04:45:59 PM »
LoriPinkAngel, thanks for sharing your experience.  I can certainly understand how if you felt that way and came to those conclusions, it would seem preferable to think of God as fictional.  I think it is somewhat common for people to look at tragedy and suffering and ask those same questions.  Undoubtedly, I'm sure those very questions have often been the catalyst for many who have arrived at a similar conclusion.  Again, thanks for sharing.  Looking forward to engaging more, I'm sure, in the future as I get more comfortable navigating the forum and community here.

Offline wheels5894

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Re: Mr. Blackwell, LoriPinkAngel...what brought you to your current worldview?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2017, 04:15:12 AM »
I joined my local church choir when I was 14, mostly to learn to sight-sing but ended up getting confirmed in the church and taking part in various activities. Layer I took up organ playing and played as organist in various places. I started to take an interest in theology and enrolled in a part-time 1st year for a theology degree which involved learning Greek and the study of the bible and apologetics.

By the time I completed the 2 years and passed the exam, we had decided to move to Scotland and I was able to use the part-time study to qualify to study full-time for an master of Theology degree. I specialised in the Bible, with all three languages to master as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is probably not well known but the Dead Sea Scrolls includes quite a lot of biblical texts (it has 2 versions of Jeremiah - a longer one and a shorter one) which shows that bible texts were being redacted and added to for a long time after they were supposedly written.

By the time I have completed my degree I had come to the conclusion, based on my study, that whilst really interested documents from the past, the bible documents were not what people are told - the word of god - but only the words of men.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline pisteuo

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Re: Mr. Blackwell, LoriPinkAngel...what brought you to your current worldview?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2017, 03:52:13 PM »
I joined my local church choir when I was 14, mostly to learn to sight-sing but ended up getting confirmed in the church and taking part in various activities. Layer I took up organ playing and played as organist in various places. I started to take an interest in theology and enrolled in a part-time 1st year for a theology degree which involved learning Greek and the study of the bible and apologetics.

By the time I completed the 2 years and passed the exam, we had decided to move to Scotland and I was able to use the part-time study to qualify to study full-time for an master of Theology degree. I specialised in the Bible, with all three languages to master as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is probably not well known but the Dead Sea Scrolls includes quite a lot of biblical texts (it has 2 versions of Jeremiah - a longer one and a shorter one) which shows that bible texts were being redacted and added to for a long time after they were supposedly written.

By the time I have completed my degree I had come to the conclusion, based on my study, that whilst really interested documents from the past, the bible documents were not what people are told - the word of god - but only the words of men.

Wheels, that is a fascinating background.  Yes, I'm familiar with the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Thanks for sharing your experience, I appreciate hearing about your background and how it led you to your current position.   I may have some followup questions at some point for discussion, but I have to leave shortly for the rest of the afternoon.

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Mr. Blackwell, LoriPinkAngel...what brought you to your current worldview?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2017, 03:31:37 PM »
Others are also welcome to comment, but I'm curious about what took from a position of traditional theism (Christian) to where you are today?  Was it a gradual dismissal?  Life change event?  Something else entirely?
For me it was a very gradual dismissal.  The way I like to put it is that I didn't so much look up one day and say to myself "I do not believe that god exists," but rather, it was more of a situation where I was regularly looking at my inventory of beliefs and one day noticed that "god exists" wasn't there anymore.  I don't think I'd be able to pinpoint a particular time, not even a year, when I lost my belief in the existence of god.  Nor do I think that moment coincided with my embracing of the self-label 'atheist'.  I think that came some time later.

One thing I can say though is that my introspect regarding concept of hell was one of the primary kick-starters in terms of 'causal impetus to fundamentally reexamine my beliefs regarding this particular topic (e.g. god, religion)'.  I've oft said that, from a more holistic perspective, that the actual change and 'deconversion' stemmed from a genuine desire to take my religion (Catholicism) more seriously.

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I'm also curious if you would have considered yourself devout, or simply more of an attender/consumer of religion?  Did you ever feel close to your faith or the object of your faith? 
For me it's more appropriate, I think, to say I was somewhere in between 'devout' and 'cafeteria Christian' (attender/consumer).  The beliefs were earnest, squishy and malleable as they were, but I neither took too much stake in what either scripture said or the head of the church said.  It was largely a progressive variant of Catholicism, allowing my perception and experiences of the reality I lived in to help inform my views regarding my religion.  In retrospect, I wonder if that aspect of my religious practice was synonymous with me attempting to find some feedback loop on the whole matter.  I'm unsure of that though.

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If you have questions for me, as a believer, also feel free to ask.  I'm sure, in some ways, you probably can identify with aspects of my worldview that put you in a position to ask some unique questions.
If god suddenly rescinded his offer of salvation, what would you do?
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

- Eddie Izzard

http://deepaksducttape.wordpress.com/

Offline pisteuo

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Re: Mr. Blackwell, LoriPinkAngel...what brought you to your current worldview?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2017, 04:43:52 PM »
JDawg,

Thanks for replying and sharing a little bit about your own perspective shift, and perhaps some of the catalysts that brought you to your current position.  I also wanted to respond to your hypothetical question:

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If god suddenly rescinded his offer of salvation, what would you do?

What is there to do?  I'm not sure what my response would be, but seems futile to try and "do" anything.  I think it would be devastating...


Offline jdawg70

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Re: Mr. Blackwell, LoriPinkAngel...what brought you to your current worldview?
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2017, 10:28:54 AM »
What is there to do?  I'm not sure what my response would be, but seems futile to try and "do" anything.  I think it would be devastating...

Would you at least continue worshiping, loving, and/or praising god in this circumstance?

Do you think that your feelings of devastation, and presumably the feelings of devastation others would feel, would be something that god ought to take into consideration if he ever decides to entertain the choice to rescind the offer for salvation?

Finally, in your opinion, why didn't the angels receive any similar offer for salvation?
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

- Eddie Izzard

http://deepaksducttape.wordpress.com/

Offline pisteuo

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Re: Mr. Blackwell, LoriPinkAngel...what brought you to your current worldview?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2017, 07:35:49 AM »
Would you at least continue worshiping, loving, and/or praising god in this circumstance?

Definitely dealing in the hypotheticals here :)  I'm not sure, other than to say He's worthy to be worshipped simply because He's holy, even if we are not.  But, what you're proposing seems completely antithetical to the entire meta-narrative of Scripture, so it's rather difficult to imagine.

Do you think that your feelings of devastation, and presumably the feelings of devastation others would feel, would be something that god ought to take into consideration if he ever decides to entertain the choice to rescind the offer for salvation?

Of course.

Finally, in your opinion, why didn't the angels receive any similar offer for salvation?

Who says they didn't?  This seems to be an argument from silence.  The Bible is a story about God's relationship to mankind, not the angels. But, there may be reason to believe the situation with the angels is not the same as the situation with men.  Any ideas, however, would large only be assumption since the Bible doesn't speak clearly on it.

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Mr. Blackwell, LoriPinkAngel...what brought you to your current worldview?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2017, 09:38:39 AM »
Would you at least continue worshiping, loving, and/or praising god in this circumstance?

Definitely dealing in the hypotheticals here :)  I'm not sure, other than to say He's worthy to be worshipped simply because He's holy, even if we are not.  But, what you're proposing seems completely antithetical to the entire meta-narrative of Scripture, so it's rather difficult to imagine.
Why does this particular action (the withdrawal of his previous offer of salvation) not affect your assessment that he is worthy of worship?  I guess...what does holy mean?

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Do you think that your feelings of devastation, and presumably the feelings of devastation others would feel, would be something that god ought to take into consideration if he ever decides to entertain the choice to rescind the offer for salvation?

Of course.
Why?  That is, why do you think he ought to make those considerations?

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Finally, in your opinion, why didn't the angels receive any similar offer for salvation?

Who says they didn't?  This seems to be an argument from silence.
Or it's my attempt to take the scripture seriously and not inject my own, or your own, narrative on top of it.

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The Bible is a story about God's relationship to mankind, not the angels.
When you have a relationship with someone, does knowledge about their past help you be closer to that person or no?

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But, there may be reason to believe the situation with the angels is not the same as the situation with men.  Any ideas, however, would large only be assumption since the Bible doesn't speak clearly on it.
Well speculate for me.  In what ways could the situation with the angels have been different to the situation with humans?
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

- Eddie Izzard

http://deepaksducttape.wordpress.com/

Offline wheels5894

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Re: Mr. Blackwell, LoriPinkAngel...what brought you to your current worldview?
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2017, 12:25:42 PM »
There's a serious problem with angels - based on the bible. We have pitifully little information about them. Isaiah 6 has the seraphim with their 3 pairs of wings but little else to know. The bast stuff on angels is in Revelation but the key thing there is understanding the meanings of the various angels - Michael who is like god, Gabriel warrior of god and so forth. Wars in heaven and fallen angels are not really covered in any detail and we know nothing about exactly what angels / cherubim / serpahim are.  A book that failed to ake it to the bible, Enoch, has some things though.

Really it was the Jews speculating on this that brought about Jewish mysticism and the Book of Zohar which has much on angels. For those in the UK, the comedy show on Radio, 'Old Harry's Game' has a lot more information!

The fact is, though, that all of the stuff on angels is speculation rather than knowledge. the bible tells stories but they are not stories about heaven and about how things are run up there as it concerned itself with how people should live and, latterly, how people can get to heaven.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)