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 GreenEyesAndHam
Joined: 2/11/2005
Msg: 26
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The Metric Conversion of an AtheistPage 2 of 3    (1, 2, 3)

freespeech: If theism is to believe in a god or at least a possibility of one, does Atheism not mean to believe that there is no god and hence no possibility of one?
Nope. Do you believe that there exists a cure for cancer? Me either - and we're right. Still, I believe that there's a possibility that there'll eventually be a cure. When there's a proven cure for cancer, then I'll believe in it. When there's proof of a god, gods or advanced beings - then I'll believe in them. That's the scientific way*.


So please define Atheism so it fits that bill.

QED**

GE&H

* That would sound cool if Sean Connery said it like he said That's the Chicago way in "The Untouchables".

** Pretentious Latin
 RDtoo
Joined: 1/30/2005
Msg: 27
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The Metric Conversion of an Atheist
Posted: 5/1/2006 9:28:47 PM
I have always thought that one of the quickest ways to become an atheist is to be raised Catholic. I realize others become atheists, but most of the ones I have met were raised Catholic. (I just know I am going to see a variety of posts now stating "I was raised Amish" and similar).

Count, how do I know it was the Christian God? One of the incidents that I mentioned happened when I was calling upon Jesus, so it seemed obvious. I will state though that I do not build my faith on my experiences, but what is written in the Bible. (Now I will see a variety of posts which will point out a verse in Esther or something where one word was misinterpreted or something).
 Lemonade
Joined: 1/31/2005
Msg: 28
The Metric Conversion of an Atheist
Posted: 5/1/2006 10:08:24 PM
I think one of the leading forces that drives some athiests to taking up Christianity or any other religion is the fear of death. But, at the same time, I had the displeasure of watching my very devoutly Catholic grandfather die in the hospital. As faithful as he was, he was still very afraid of dying. So I think it's a superficial comfort, the kind that lets you procrastinate on thinking about dying.

In my opinion, faith is just the decision to not question. But if we don't question we will not learn.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 29
The Metric Conversion of an Atheist
Posted: 5/1/2006 10:10:02 PM
RD, how do you know it wasn't Trickster having a bit of fun at your expense?
 RDtoo
Joined: 1/30/2005
Msg: 30
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The Metric Conversion of an Atheist
Posted: 5/1/2006 10:19:51 PM
Like I said Count, I cannot base faith on experiences. It has to be based on the Word of God and nothing else. When I was younger I got very confused when I got the same calming sensation from a couple of Pentecostals laying hands on me and having a girl into Zen take hold of my hand when I was feeling particularly jumpy. After pondering this for quite some time I came to the conclusion that you could not base anything on emotional experience. Nonetheless, my encounter with the Divine was real enough that I would not question that Someone was listening to me.
 Freespeech
Joined: 4/15/2006
Msg: 31
The Metric Conversion of an Atheist
Posted: 5/1/2006 11:57:09 PM
QED. (end of proof) for those unaware. Mathematical terminology to signify substantial evidence thus making the statement true. LOL. I liked that.

So the clear terminology of an Athiest is defined as one who refuses to accept anything until it is proven. Therefore nothing is true until it is physically mainfested with subsequent valid equations and substantial data. Which of course leaves no explanation for anything to exist.

Now what I was getting at earlier was level's of Athieism. Does an athiest believe nothing that is in front of their eyes or is there credible sources that are valid enough to be taken as truth.

Examples would be, do you believe the Earth is flat? Scientists say it is but physically with at least my own eyes I have not seen or mapped the Earth. Was an Atom truly split? I wasnt there nor at any subsequent test or even aftermath to witness the event. What about man walking on the moon? A popular conspiracy theory puts this event as nothing more then a staged event in Nevada and we have never left our atmosphere. The latest is the proclamation that we in fact have proved Time Travel exists, Forward only, of a particle at least. I wasnt there and did not witness this event.

Proof of events come from scientific credible sources. Are these dismissed as well? What level of proof does an Athiest need to have before they are in fact without doubt?

I am not religious by no means but I still have faith. I dont dismiss the possibility of some sort of higher entity. I also recognize that faith is held by a vast majority of people, at least to some degree. It is so substantial in fact, that I believe it is part of the equation. I quoted these events earlier not as a means of saying that Athiests are believer's of Conspiracy theories or lack open-mindedness, but rather to signify there is a distinct correlation between Athieism theories and extreme skeptics. They share one thing in common and that is unwillingness to accept anything that is not right in front of their eyes. 'Prove it to me' they say.

Now before anyone takes offense, I do understand the need to not have to live within a system governed by a divine entity. To be limited to what we can and cannot do for fear of eternal damnation. I have faith but am also perceptive enough to realize that all religious teachings have been misinterpreted through time. Stories seem to change just a little bit through time and I am sure that all gospels are not exactly representing what really happened. I still believe there is alot of Merit to their basic teachings and that is evident in the willingness of a majority of people to remain vigilant in their own faith.

Which after all this comes hopefully a point, LOl. Is a Athiest, a true one as defined in previous posts, truly skeptical and lacks all faith. Or is there faith just less then other's?
 GreenEyesAndHam
Joined: 2/11/2005
Msg: 32
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The Tantric Conversation of an Atheist
Posted: 5/2/2006 12:39:27 AM

freespeech: So the clear terminology of an Athiest is defined as one who refuses to accept anything until it is proven.
No, you're making it antagonistic. An atheist just doesn't believe in a god or gods - for whatever reason. It's as simple as that. Skepticism is unrelated.

I don't believe that this thread is the place to discuss the ontological or metaphysical discussions that you touched on, so I'll leave those out.


freespeech: Is a Athiest, a true one as defined in previous posts, truly skeptical and lacks all faith. Or is there faith just less then other's?
Why do you insist on picking an incorrect definition, and then compounding your error by making it sound like athiests are lacking something (faith)? It's as bad as if I said that Christians are lacking common sense or that a healthy human is lacking cancer. Faith is in addition to people's empirical experience, it's not the standard.

GE&H
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 33
The Tantric Conversation of an Atheist
Posted: 5/2/2006 7:25:11 AM
Who do so many Christians have trouble accepting that Atheism is simply lacking belief in any gods?
 Lord Dave
Joined: 11/25/2005
Msg: 34
The Tantric Conversation of an Atheist
Posted: 5/2/2006 1:57:05 PM
Because they can't understand how you couldn't have a religion just like we can't understand why you need one.
 vichycycl
Joined: 5/5/2007
Msg: 35
The Tantric Conversation of an Atheist
Posted: 5/10/2007 4:35:58 PM
I am completely convinced, beyond skepticism, that logic, empirical observation and strict verifiability protocols are the way to the truth. It is no more dogmatic of me to say I have zero faith than it is to say I have zero desire to mate with porcupines. I am quite sure.

To convert me, show me evidence. If you say I have to look spiritually or with my heart, why not say look "citrically" and use my toes: that's not how one finds truth. Use a spade to dig a hole, use your intimate heart to talk to your lover, use science to find truth.

Why I try to enlighten: I never start it. It's always explaining why I don't have faith, or a response to something really acinine like "atheists actually have faith in order to not believe".
 Matt Adore
Joined: 10/1/2006
Msg: 36
The Tantric Conversation of an Atheist
Posted: 5/10/2007 6:15:37 PM
I enjoy reading the posts of GreenEyesAnd Ham and the several regular agnostic/atheists here at POF...It is obvious that they are logical thinkers. That's why I would like to direct this forum back to it's original subject.

C.S. Lewis has a lot in common with the regulars, especially GE+H... Many of ya'll have said that you haven't read the Lewis account, or some of his other great books. 'Mere Christianity' is an amazing book too!

Lee Strobel's, 'The Case for Christ' is a great read; very entertaining as well. He gives many accounts from his carreer as an investigative journalist to help teach the lessons. His carreer activities read like a good detective novel...

My point here is that intelligent people like the regular posters should highly enjoy these stimulating books.
 garry1949
Joined: 12/26/2005
Msg: 37
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The Conversion of an atheist
Posted: 5/10/2007 7:02:02 PM
From op;
"What kept hammering away at Lewis was that Christianity had a "ring of truth to it". This eventually led him into becoming a Christian."

The teachings of Jesus appeal to, and console our suffering soul. In a world where everyone seeks to gain the most with hardly any consideration for the plight of those who cannot keep up, His words are as cool water to a slave labouring in the hot sun. We matter to God. If our lot in life is that of a lowly janitor, our willingness to do well this honest work counts for more in God's eyes than that of the barrister who is forever inclined to take advantage. The problem for the seeker is getting some sign of the truth of it.
If it's any consolation, proofs come soon after faith and prayer. Before long you are a believer and over time you'll see your life as a series of miraculous events while on your way to heaven.
 Ender
Joined: 2/1/2004
Msg: 38
The Conversion of an atheist
Posted: 5/10/2007 7:02:54 PM
Faith makes sense to people for different reasons. I would never choose to attack someone based simply on their beleifs....its much more productive to attack the beleif system itself.


Enlightening people and having a desire to help others open their mind isn't something restricted to religions. I think we all have a duty to help others expand their thinking.
 writerlychik
Joined: 9/28/2006
Msg: 39
The Conversion of an atheist
Posted: 5/10/2007 7:50:48 PM
I think you'll find that most Atheists would become ex-Atheists if you could supply us with some emperical evidence for God.


Well, unfortunately, I can't do that, but in the meantime, just know that God is working on you, whether you like it or not!

Lemonade: Having faith doesn't mean you believe without question--I have plenty of questions and doubts, but I still choose to believe than Not to believe... and I think that takes a lot more than simply shrugging one's shoulders and declaring, "Show me the evidence and then I'll believe".

Trust me, I think plenty... I don't need an atheist to make me open my mind. I've seen enough in this crazy world to know I'd rather err on the side of caution and commit my life to the Good guys--and I believe the Good guys are Jesus Christ and God, the father/creator and the Holy Spirit-- than be on the Other side, facing judgment and having to explain why I just couldn't believe in Him 'cos there wasn't any solid proof

I don't know where people got the whole "blind faith" thing... I'm sure plenty of Christians and faithful people have questions, but the really committed ones probably pray on them and/or focus on the Word to get them over their doubts, since Satan is the father of lies and is Hell-bent (no pun intended) on getting us as far away from God as possible.

I also don't believe that the only way to know if there is a connection to God is if emotions aren't involved (sorry, can't recall the precise wording of the idea expressed by Rtoo?). I often feel most connected with God when I become emotional, esp. through song 'cos as I read the words that best express how I'm feeling, I am overwhelmed and that is when I feel closest to God--but I haven't yet felt the need to dance/jump around--my nature is such that these overt displays make me highly uncomfortable.
 Ender
Joined: 2/1/2004
Msg: 40
The Conversion of an atheist
Posted: 5/10/2007 8:22:17 PM
^^^^ So you are saying that you beleive because you fear the possible reprecusions in the possible afterlife?



Oh, and its called blind faith because it doesn't require that you ACTUALLY see any proof....the beleif is its own justification. Suprisingly enough, that is also one of the defenitions of insanity.
 Stonestongue
Joined: 5/18/2006
Msg: 41
The Conversion of an atheist
Posted: 5/10/2007 8:29:36 PM

What kept hammering away at Lewis was that Christianity had a "ring of truth to it". This eventually led him into becoming a Christian.


Everything has a ring of truth to it if you can disregard what you see as truth...
 rockondon
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 42
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The Conversion of an atheist
Posted: 5/11/2007 1:49:03 PM

Personally I do not believe in Santa Claus and I leave it at that. I am not going to spend my time trying to rescue children from believing in this myth.

You might think differently if billions of people believed in Santa and told you that your beliefs are wrong and theirs are right. And you better accept Santa's love or you'll spend eternity in hell. Plus the Santaians want to take away rights from certain groups that Santaity looks down upon, tells other people how they should live, makes outrageous claims about the universe that contrast greatly with evidence, every time they don't know the answer to a question they say Santa did it, etc etc.

Plus look at the name: Santa. Now take out the 'n' and put it on the end. Ya....nuff said.
Beware the santa.
 Matt Adore
Joined: 10/1/2006
Msg: 43
The Conversion of an atheist
Posted: 5/11/2007 3:47:51 PM
In the preface of 'Mere Christianity' it says, "C.S. Lewis was for many years an atheist, and described his conversion in Surprised by Joy: 'In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God... perhaps the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.' It was this experience that helped him to understand not only apathy but active unwillingness to accept religion, and, as a christian writer, gifted with an exceptionally brilliant and logical mind and a lucid, lively style, he was without peer."...

Just trying to peek some interests to read Mr. Lewis.
 flyguy51
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 44
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The Conversion of an atheist
Posted: 5/11/2007 6:21:33 PM
"Surprised by Joy" is a fascinating book for the thinker-type. Almost the entire autobiograhy takes place inside Lewis' head, if I recall correctly. His conversion to Christianity is almost entirely a cerebral one, which is unusual in my experience. Usually it's an emotional journey.

If one wants to see reviews of his writings by non-Christians, I would recommend going to amazon's site and reading those reviews. Most find his arguments and analogies unconvincing.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 45
The Conversion of an atheist
Posted: 5/11/2007 7:35:33 PM


I've seen enough in this crazy world to know I'd rather err on the side of caution and commit my life to the Good guys--and I believe the Good guys are Jesus Christ and God, the father/creator and the Holy Spirit-- than be on the Other side, facing judgment and having to explain why I just couldn't believe in Him 'cos there wasn't any solid proof


Why Christianity instead of Islam or Hinduism, for example? What if the Jews are right and you've eternally screwed yourself by not living according to the Law and believing in a false triune god? How do you know that god won't reward Atheists for using intellect and condemn Theists for using faith? Pascal's Wager is a bad bet.
 Taphophilia
Joined: 4/30/2007
Msg: 46
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The Conversion of an atheist
Posted: 5/11/2007 9:35:42 PM
Atheism for me is the default position. Christians don't believe in Zeus or any other god. My beliefs are not all that different than Christians. I just believe in one less god.
 skypoetone
Joined: 3/24/2005
Msg: 47
The Conversion of an atheist
Posted: 5/12/2007 5:40:56 AM

I would not be so naive to believe that everyone who claims to be an atheist is like Lewis, but I have often wondered why someone who does not believe in God is so intent on "enlightening" the rest of humanity to that fact as some have claimed. Personally, I do not believe in Santa Claus and I leave it at that. I am not going to spend my time trying to rescue children from believing in this myth. I am curious if some of the people here who claim to be atheists have read Lewis' autobiography or other writings about his conversion and what was thought about it.


Speaking for myself, I'm not an atheist but I understand their anger/frustration. Concerning humankind’s moral standards, mainstream religion is so up itself and in your face. Not satisfied by continuous regurgitations of their high moral opinions, one's we should adhere to, they make it known that hell and damnation to unbelievers will follow!

Even when you're dead you cannot rest in peace?

What a crock!

It's hardly akin to believing in Santa Claus, now is it?
 Stonestongue
Joined: 5/18/2006
Msg: 48
The Conversion of an atheist
Posted: 5/12/2007 2:40:29 PM

It's hardly akin to believing in Santa Claus, now is it?


To a child who just found out they were lied to for years by people they trusted(parents) it IS akin... Trust me... I was that child, in fact--I still am
 Matt Adore
Joined: 10/1/2006
Msg: 49
The Conversion of an atheist
Posted: 5/12/2007 3:36:17 PM
From chapter 1 of C.S. Lewis' 'Mere Christianity'... "This Law was called the Law of Nature because people thought that everyone knew it by nature and did not need to be taught it. They did not mean, of course, that you might not find an odd individual here and there that did not know it, just as you find a few people who are colour-blind or have no ear for a tune. But taking the race as a whole, they thought that the idea of decent behavior was obvious to everyone. And I believe they were right. If they were not, then all the things we said about the war were nonsense. What was the sense in saying the enemy were in the wrong unless Right is a real thing that the Nazis at the bottom knew as well as we did and ought to have practised? If they had had no notion of what we meant by right, then, though we might still have had to fight them, we could no more have blamed them for that than for the colour of their hair."...

Whether you think that we ought to know Right by nature and don't need to be taught it, or by learning what is best for humanity over time and calling that Right, it is a bad argument that there is no such thing as Right or Wrong.
 skypoetone
Joined: 3/24/2005
Msg: 50
The Conversion of an atheist
Posted: 5/12/2007 4:02:44 PM
To a child who just found out they were lied to for years by people they trusted(parents) it IS akin... Trust me... I was that child, in fact--I still am


Yes stone, I was making light of the situation. Be assured. Ironically the christians do make light of it and it is the main reason I am not one of them.
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