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My conversion and de-conversion

PARADIGM_L0ST
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2/9/2012 9:29:48 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Many of you do not know this about me, but for several years I was a died-in-the-wool, Born-Again Christian... I mean, full-on... with a ravenous appetite for the Word. To say that I took it seriously doesn't even begin to describe my interest in God.

In fact, I even wrote a book, though unpublished, entitled "The Road to Damascus: Finding life amidst the valley of the shadow of death. I really haven't looked at it in many years. Headlines in the news have recently prompted me to revisit it and reminisce on a portion of my life that now seems so foreign. What I read disturbed me greatly... obviously so much so that here I am posting it.

There is something slightly terrifying about it. I was SURE back then... I mean, dead-certain and absolutely convicted. And now there is no certainty, only immeasurable doubt and the feeling of utter contempt for having been duped so thoroughly. I certainly don't feel vastly different, but as I read of my former self, the transformation seems night and day. That's what's so disconcerting.

And because you feel so convicted in both extremes, it leaves you contemplating: Was I right back then, or am I right now? Or was I right about some things, and wrong about others.

The cold, hard truth is that there is no answer -- no solace... Just the same struggle to uncover the truth that plagues all of mankind. I'm certainly no exception.

*** But what does this all mean? ***

For shits and giggles, I'd like to play the devil's advocate by revisiting my former self. I will be the obnoxious Christian, you be the obnoxious atheist. I will post a contentious topic, you attempt to debunk it, and I will respond. This can go vice-versa as well. If you have any deep, theological topics you'd like to springboard, I'll respond as a Christian.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
nonentity
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2/9/2012 10:05:23 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
That is really interesting. People tend to think of themselves as linearly progressing in terms of knowledge, fashion, etc., as though what they "know" just simply builds and improves upon itself. It's hard to judge where you stood 'then' in the context of 'now'. Until you brought it up, I've never actually thought about it.

I used to keep a journal so I can relate to the feeling of "I wrote that? I thought that?" and how you believe the things you believe with conviction, and when your mind changes, you're just as sure of your new convictions.

I don't really have anything to add right now, I just thought it was an interesting topic :)
Koopin
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2/9/2012 10:10:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I have thought about this a lot. I am sure God exists and I am going to be with him when I die. It makes me so happy! But I realise that there are people out there who are certian there is no God and this is it. We live, die, and rot. I hate when they want to force me into acepting their way of thinking, so I try not to force my way in. I'll tell tjen about Christ, but i've learned to move on if they don't wanna hear it.
kfc
thett3
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2/9/2012 10:23:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Have fun burning in hell, heathen dipsh*t.

Lol, we came from monkeys. Then why are there still monkeys? Arrogant As****e, I bet you think religion is for idiots, dont you? well ill have the last laugh when God and I watch you and your heathen friends burn in agony and stuff. you probably like gay people too. Queer.

Jesus is my saviour.....but I'm too lazy to read the bible ://

no but really, do you want to come to church with me?
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: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
thett3
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2/9/2012 10:23:47 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/9/2012 10:23:02 PM, thett3 wrote:
Have fun burning in hell, heathen dipsh*t.

Lol, we came from monkeys. Then why are there still monkeys? Arrogant As****e, I bet you think religion is for idiots, dont you? well ill have the last laugh when God and I watch you and your heathen friends burn in agony and stuff. you probably like gay people too. Queer.

Jesus is my saviour.....but I'm too lazy to read the bible ://


no but really, do you want to come to church with me?

ANDDDD as soon as I posted this I remembered I had to be the obnoxious atheist, not Christian. Awkward.
DDO Vice President

#StandwithBossy

#UnbanTheMadman

#BetOnThett

"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

"My name is max. I'm not a big fan of slacks"- Max rapping

"Walmart should have the opportunity to bribe a politician to it's agenda" -Max

"Thett, you're really good at convincing people you're a decent person"-tulle

"You fit the character of Regina George quite nicely"- Sam

: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
PARADIGM_L0ST
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2/9/2012 10:41:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I don't really have anything to add right now, I just thought it was an interesting topic :

Thanks. It is interesting. I think it summarizes that we all evolve in our thoughts and beliefs. I have no way to know what kind of beliefs I will subscribe to in the future, but I'm fairly certain that no one remains static.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
Koopin
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2/9/2012 10:46:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/9/2012 10:41:37 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
I don't really have anything to add right now, I just thought it was an interesting topic :

Thanks. It is interesting. I think it summarizes that we all evolve in our thoughts and beliefs. I have no way to know what kind of beliefs I will subscribe to in the future, but I'm fairly certain that no one remains static.

Two years from now I can see you holding an AK47 "ALLAH ALLAH ALLAH!!!!"
kfc
PARADIGM_L0ST
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2/9/2012 10:52:33 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/9/2012 10:10:20 PM, Koopin wrote:
I have thought about this a lot. I am sure God exists and I am going to be with him when I die. It makes me so happy!:

I remember the feeling; the joy, the tears I wept in deference and awe of him... and it was all genuine. But for me, I also remember the obsessive thoughts, the constant torment of not measuring up, and about inconsistencies that plagued me. It was very much paradoxical for me having been a time of great comfort and great confusion.

But I realise that there are people out there who are certian there is no God and this is it. We live, die, and rot. I hate when they want to force me into acepting their way of thinking, so I try not to force my way in. I'll tell tjen about Christ, but i've learned to move on if they don't wanna hear it.:

I don't ever want to be the angry atheist, but you need to remember that a great many of them have put their balls out there and had them chopped off. Most of them at some point were believers. They feel lied to about something so grand, whether they're justified or not. What that lie does to a person is nothing short of cruelty (again, this is from the perspective of a de-converted Christian). It's an agony that you couldn't possibly fathom unless you've been there.

If you want to do the "Christian thing," just try not to lose sight that they are people who felt abandoned. That's a very painful place to be. Be patient and understanding.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
PARADIGM_L0ST
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2/9/2012 10:57:33 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/9/2012 10:23:02 PM, thett3 wrote:
Have fun burning in hell, heathen dipsh*t.

Lol, we came from monkeys. Then why are there still monkeys? Arrogant As****e, I bet you think religion is for idiots, dont you? well ill have the last laugh when God and I watch you and your heathen friends burn in agony and stuff. you probably like gay people too. Queer.

Jesus is my saviour.....but I'm too lazy to read the bible :

You succeeded admirably in being that guy!

Taunting people with eternal damnation doesn't bring them closer to Jesus... it just repulses them. And reveling in their alleged eternal demise seems so... hmmm, what's the word?.... un-Christ-like....
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
PARADIGM_L0ST
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2/9/2012 10:58:56 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Two years from now I can see you holding an AK47 "ALLAH ALLAH ALLAH!!!!":

Wow, you think it'll take that long?!?! I give it 5 months...

Now where did I put the blasting cap to my detonator? o.0
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
Ragnar_Rahl
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2/9/2012 11:51:26 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/9/2012 10:23:02 PM, thett3 wrote:
Have fun burning in hell, heathen dipsh*t.

Lol, we came from monkeys. Then why are there still monkeys?
Because the evolutionary environment is more conducive to having X monkeys and Y humans than X plus Y humans. Why do people still farm when some people have taken up different careers? The economy won't work if everyone's a lawyer. Nature won't work if everyone's a monkey.

(This is ignoring, of course, the fact that humans did not come from modern monkeys but some other primate).
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
popculturepooka
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2/10/2012 12:16:21 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/9/2012 9:29:48 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
...you be the obnoxious atheist.

Haha, one the few times Izbo would have fit in perfectly.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
PARADIGM_L0ST
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2/10/2012 7:03:33 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/9/2012 11:23:46 PM, Koopin wrote:
Were you Catholic?:

Nope, went to Calvary Chapel's.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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2/10/2012 7:59:59 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
That's crazyyyyy... you wrote a book? That alone is impressive. When I read that, I was like, "lol, well, he didn't say novella, and he didn't say dissertation. He said book, which essentially suggests at least 120 pages."

Your perspective is interesting. You're staunchly atheistic? For some reason, I thought you were agnostic.

Here's the thing. You say that what you wrote was terrifying, but you didn't really go into detail. What was so frightening about what you wrote. What did you base your beliefs on?

Are you assuming categorizations and attempting to rationalize them, or are you rationalizing life, then finding a categorization that might help make it easier to convey to other people to explain your beliefs?
Ren
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2/10/2012 8:00:15 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/9/2012 11:51:26 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 2/9/2012 10:23:02 PM, thett3 wrote:
Have fun burning in hell, heathen dipsh*t.

Lol, we came from monkeys. Then why are there still monkeys?
Because the evolutionary environment is more conducive to having X monkeys and Y humans than X plus Y humans. Why do people still farm when some people have taken up different careers? The economy won't work if everyone's a lawyer. Nature won't work if everyone's a monkey.

(This is ignoring, of course, the fact that humans did not come from modern monkeys but some other primate).

We found the missing link.
PARADIGM_L0ST
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2/10/2012 8:15:31 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/10/2012 7:59:59 AM, Ren wrote:
That's crazyyyyy... you wrote a book? That alone is impressive. When I read that, I was like, "lol, well, he didn't say novella, and he didn't say dissertation. He said book, which essentially suggests at least 120 pages.":

Yeah, and you'd probably vomit reading it. It embodies every aspect of dispensationalism. It puts the capital "F" in fundamentalist views. I'll just list the chapters, and you might get a sense of what I was trying to convey

Forward: The inexplicable revealed
Chapter 1: REALITY - The state of being real
Chapter 2: I AM - The self-existent One
Chapter 3: AXIOM - The human condition
Chapter 4: COSMOS - Beyond space, time, and matter
Chapter 5: ORIGINS - The evolution of a lie
Chapter 6: CREATION - In the beginning God...
Chapter 7: REBELLION - Assassination of the conscience
Chapter 8: INERRANT - Divine inspiration
Chapter 9: MESSIAH - The anointed one
Chapter 10 - END OF DAYS - The revelation
Conclusion: Seeds along the path

Your perspective is interesting. You're staunchly atheistic? For some reason, I thought you were agnostic.:

No, definitely not staunchly atheistic. I'm just as hard on the rabid, foam-at-the-mouth anti-theists than I am on the fundy Christians.

Here's the thing. You say that what you wrote was terrifying, but you didn't really go into detail. What was so frightening about what you wrote. What did you base your beliefs on?:

What was frightening, and causing dissonance, was juxtaposing my former state with my current state and seeing such a massive shift in thinking. Obviously we change slowly over time, gradation by gradation, so that it is relatively imperceptible. Going back and reading it seeing such a marked change causes you to wonder which belief is most closest to the actual truth.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
Lasagna
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2/10/2012 8:36:37 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/9/2012 10:10:20 PM, Koopin wrote:
I am sure God exists and I am going to be with him when I die.

I don't see this as inherently Christian. To you, God is an entity who lives in heaven. To me, an agnostic, God is a more abstract concept which fills the same purpose. I don't believe we just rot in the dirt and cease to exist for eternity; "beginning and end" are human constructs, not real states of existence. It is nonsensical to assert that infinite time went by before I was born, and infinite time will go by after I die, all without any consciousness on my part. What makes more sense is that my current state is a change of consciousness from one form to another. To you, this is life on Earth and your soul in heaven afterwards. To me, it is simply left undefined because I feel I am being a bit presumptuous about it given the limited information I am given. But the more I converse with Christians, the less I feel that we actual have distinct and differing viewpoints. The differences mostly lie in communicational limitations and a general inability to acquire (or to comprehend) the information available to us. In a way, arguing it is one of the most useless endeavors we can partake in.
Rob
Koopin
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2/10/2012 9:47:43 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/10/2012 8:36:37 AM, Lasagna wrote:

It is nonsensical to assert that infinite time went by before I was born, and infinite time will go by after I die, all without any consciousness on my part. What makes more sense is that my current state is a change of consciousness from one form to another.

I have heard this, and if I were an atheist I'd like to think that way. But for me it just seems depressing while still on earth. While I wouldn't notice it then, knowing what is coming next would kill me. This world is pretty sucky for that to be it. I suppose that it depends on the person. I enjoy knowing that after the hardships of life, I won't go into a coma, but rather go have eternal life, and be happy.
kfc
PARADIGM_L0ST
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2/10/2012 10:14:41 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
But for me it just seems depressing while still on earth. While I wouldn't notice it then, knowing what is coming next would kill me. This world is pretty sucky for that to be it. I suppose that it depends on the person. I enjoy knowing that after the hardships of life, I won't go into a coma, but rather go have eternal life, and be happy.:

Of course the million dollar question is whether or not you are deluding yourself because you cannot conceive of no longer existing. But then, before we were conceived we didn't exist either. All our conscious minds are aware of is existence. It's difficult to contemplate non-existence because we have no experience with it. Then of course, 99% Christians believe that animals die and do not to any sort of heavenly realm. They can conceive it for animals, but not humans.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
Koopin
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2/10/2012 10:25:44 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/10/2012 10:14:41 AM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
But for me it just seems depressing while still on earth. While I wouldn't notice it then, knowing what is coming next would kill me. This world is pretty sucky for that to be it. I suppose that it depends on the person. I enjoy knowing that after the hardships of life, I won't go into a coma, but rather go have eternal life, and be happy.:

Of course the million dollar question is whether or not you are deluding yourself because you cannot conceive of no longer existing.

I can conceive it. You're exactly right with the unborn example. Something that really draws me to serving God while alive is that I get to meet him when I die. I know I must sound crazy and cheesy. But the main reason I want to go to heaven is to be with my pure creator.
kfc
jat93
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2/10/2012 1:27:30 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/9/2012 9:29:48 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
Many of you do not know this about me, but for several years I was a died-in-the-wool, Born-Again Christian... I mean, full-on... with a ravenous appetite for the Word. To say that I took it seriously doesn't even begin to describe my interest in God.

In fact, I even wrote a book, though unpublished, entitled "The Road to Damascus: Finding life amidst the valley of the shadow of death. I really haven't looked at it in many years. Headlines in the news have recently prompted me to revisit it and reminisce on a portion of my life that now seems so foreign. What I read disturbed me greatly... obviously so much so that here I am posting it.

There is something slightly terrifying about it. I was SURE back then... I mean, dead-certain and absolutely convicted. And now there is no certainty, only immeasurable doubt and the feeling of utter contempt for having been duped so thoroughly. I certainly don't feel vastly different, but as I read of my former self, the transformation seems night and day. That's what's so disconcerting.

And because you feel so convicted in both extremes, it leaves you contemplating: Was I right back then, or am I right now? Or was I right about some things, and wrong about others.

The cold, hard truth is that there is no answer -- no solace... Just the same struggle to uncover the truth that plagues all of mankind. I'm certainly no exception.

*** But what does this all mean? ***

For shits and giggles, I'd like to play the devil's advocate by revisiting my former self. I will be the obnoxious Christian, you be the obnoxious atheist. I will post a contentious topic, you attempt to debunk it, and I will respond. This can go vice-versa as well. If you have any deep, theological topics you'd like to springboard, I'll respond as a Christian.

Kinda random, but I have what I think is a sweet idea for both an actual book and introspection. I guess I'll just say what I would do. I went through a similar situation, was born Jewish, not religious.... Became insanely religious when I was 14. Knew everything about the torah, apologetics, jewish/religious philosophy, etc. I used to write defenses of my faith as well, but in short blog-like articles, not books.

When I became in atheist in 2009, I wrote more and more until by summer of 2010 I had written an actual book explaining how I went from orthodox Jew to atheist and justifying it. Essentially a thorough refutation of judaism, using the bible, science, history, logic, etc. It was 150 pages. I never got around to a title though and it still isn't finished.

Anyways, if I had written a full book when I adhered to Judaism, now I'd write a point-by-point refutation of it. I think this would make a cool idea for an actual published book... And it would help test my beliefs against what they used to be, and give me more certainty that they can hold up to the test of facts and logic. Just what I would do, I think that'd be an awesome book (describing the de-conversion and what made you change your mind and why you think you were wrong) and I'd totally read it.
Lasagna
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2/11/2012 11:34:11 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/10/2012 9:47:43 AM, Koopin wrote:
At 2/10/2012 8:36:37 AM, Lasagna wrote:

It is nonsensical to assert that infinite time went by before I was born, and infinite time will go by after I die, all without any consciousness on my part. What makes more sense is that my current state is a change of consciousness from one form to another.

I have heard this, and if I were an atheist I'd like to think that way. But for me it just seems depressing while still on earth. While I wouldn't notice it then, knowing what is coming next would kill me. This world is pretty sucky for that to be it. I suppose that it depends on the person. I enjoy knowing that after the hardships of life, I won't go into a coma, but rather go have eternal life, and be happy.

Well, besides the obvious flaw of letting your depression guide your judgment, I have one beef with your beliefs: I view happiness as a balance, not as an absolute. IOWs, happiness is part of a relationship that sentient beings possess, consisting of the positive (happiness) and the negative (depression, sadness, regret... whathaveyou). To me happiness cannot be defined in and of itself, and only exists as part of this relationship. I think this way because everything I see and feel in this world seems to obey this format.

Therefore, the idea that one is going to exist in a permahappy state in heaven is nonsensical. In fact I don't think I'd even want to; if I was without pain for very long I would miss it and begin to envy those who can experience it. As the great Captain Kirk once said: "I need my pain." Pain molds our character; it defines who we are. A pain-less individual would lose all sense of right and wrong; all ability to sense and to feel. Pain is the method through which we gain strength, hence the saying "pain is weakness leaving the body." Pain brings us honor and meaning to our existence... Those tribes that send their young warriors through the desert with water in their mouths and force them to run miles through the sun without swallowing it, for instance, don't NEED to do that, but they do it anyway... Do these men daydream about infinite relaxation and pleasure while floating on clouds? I would rather be tempered in the fires of hell.
Rob
Danielle
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2/12/2012 3:11:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I used to be incredibly religious, even to the point that I was almost sure I was going to become a nun. I remember praying to God BEGGING Him not to "Call" me because I didn't want to be a nun (yet I was so religious that it felt right to me). I was also the only person in my Catholic HS who attended that school because I wanted to learn more about God and continue my religious education, instead of due to scholarships, sports or because my parents forced me to go. Neither of my parents went to Church yet I made it a priority to get myself there somehow every Sunday because I felt so strong in my convictions.

Looking back, I don't ever think "Was I right then?" I definitely recognize that I believed what I did because I was indoctrinated to do so, and that faith is generally pretty nice to have... especially since theists typically cherry pick which parts they want to adhere to and what to ignore. Random -- My friend's Facebook status yesterday was, "Headed to Church to confess my sins and apologize in advance for whatever drunken debauchery ensues tonight!" It's like - why not avoid that debauchery all together if you're oh so concerned about pleasing God? And if you're not and choosing your own selfish desires over God's (i.e., getting drunk and doing whatever), then you're just a hypocrite in so many ways.

Anyway, the ONLY time I ever wonder if whether or not God and whatnot is real is when I consider the possibility of theist mythology as mere symbolism. I know a lot of "Christians" do that too. However, that negates so much about what many theists preach. It also causes so0o much grey area to the point where the original premises are so distorted til there's really nothing left. Then you're left wondering whether or not your interpretations are correct and all this other crap, such as why the stories are told like that in the first place. I think Christians recognize that so much of what they're supposed to believe is such BS that they are desperate to find ways to justify the doctrine or make sense of it. It's really pathetic to me sometimes. However considering reality as we know it is nothing but a bunch of symbolism in general, it makes spirituality a very interesting topic.

Anyway sorry PL for not really adhering to your OP and request. Perhaps I will take on the role of angry atheist or vehement theist with you later :)
President of DDO
baggins
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2/12/2012 3:28:55 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/12/2012 3:11:27 PM, Danielle wrote:
I used to be incredibly religious, even to the point that I was almost sure I was going to become a nun. I remember praying to God BEGGING Him not to "Call" me because I didn't want to be a nun (yet I was so religious that it felt right to me). I was also the only person in my Catholic HS who attended that school because I wanted to learn more about God and continue my religious education, instead of due to scholarships, sports or because my parents forced me to go. Neither of my parents went to Church yet I made it a priority to get myself there somehow every Sunday because I felt so strong in my convictions.

Looking back, I don't ever think "Was I right then?" I definitely recognize that I believed what I did because I was indoctrinated to do so, and that faith is generally pretty nice to have... especially since theists typically cherry pick which parts they want to adhere to and what to ignore. Random -- My friend's Facebook status yesterday was, "Headed to Church to confess my sins and apologize in advance for whatever drunken debauchery ensues tonight!" It's like - why not avoid that debauchery all together if you're oh so concerned about pleasing God? And if you're not and choosing your own selfish desires over God's (i.e., getting drunk and doing whatever), then you're just a hypocrite in so many ways.

Anyway, the ONLY time I ever wonder if whether or not God and whatnot is real is when I consider the possibility of theist mythology as mere symbolism. I know a lot of "Christians" do that too. However, that negates so much about what many theists preach. It also causes so0o much grey area to the point where the original premises are so distorted til there's really nothing left. Then you're left wondering whether or not your interpretations are correct and all this other crap, such as why the stories are told like that in the first place. I think Christians recognize that so much of what they're supposed to believe is such BS that they are desperate to find ways to justify the doctrine or make sense of it. It's really pathetic to me sometimes. However considering reality as we know it is nothing but a bunch of symbolism in general, it makes spirituality a very interesting topic.

Anyway sorry PL for not really adhering to your OP and request. Perhaps I will take on the role of angry atheist or vehement theist with you later :)

Pardon me if I am intruding. I gather that the main reason you abandoned religion was because Christianity did not make any sense for you. What happens if you realize now that it all does make sense?
The Holy Quran 29:19-20

See they not how Allah originates creation, then repeats it: truly that is easy for Allah.

Say: "Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things.
Danielle
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2/12/2012 3:33:33 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/12/2012 3:28:55 PM, baggins wrote:
Pardon me if I am intruding. I gather that the main reason you abandoned religion was because Christianity did not make any sense for you. What happens if you realize now that it all does make sense?

I won't, because it doesn't...

Again, the only way it can is if all of the stories are symbolic and not to be taken literally at all whatsoever. In that case, most of the main premises of Christianity and monotheism in general become entirely abandoned all-together. There would also be too many unanswerable questions and no point in labeling myself Christian. I agree with a lot of Christian values, but that's because they're mostly secular humanist values.
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Ren
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2/12/2012 3:35:58 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
After revisiting this thread, I realize that I have some questions, such as:

At 2/9/2012 9:29:48 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
Many of you do not know this about me, but for several years I was a died-in-the-wool, Born-Again Christian... I mean, full-on... with a ravenous appetite for the Word. To say that I took it seriously doesn't even begin to describe my interest in God.

In fact, I even wrote a book, though unpublished, entitled "The Road to Damascus: Finding life amidst the valley of the shadow of death.

Well, this book was about something specific and personal, right? Where were you in life before this paradigm shift to Christianity, and what led you away from that?

I really haven't looked at it in many years. Headlines in the news have recently prompted me to revisit it and reminisce on a portion of my life that now seems so foreign.

Like what??

What I read disturbed me greatly... obviously so much so that here I am posting it.

There is something slightly terrifying about it. I was SURE back then... I mean, dead-certain and absolutely convicted. And now there is no certainty, only immeasurable doubt and the feeling of utter contempt for having been duped so thoroughly.

Why? How were you dubed? Did someone find you while you were down and "trick" you? What did he or she get out of it?

I certainly don't feel vastly different, but as I read of my former self, the transformation seems night and day. That's what's so disconcerting.

And because you feel so convicted in both extremes, it leaves you contemplating: Was I right back then, or am I right now? Or was I right about some things, and wrong about others.

Are you saying that your convictions, perspectives, and deductive thinking all remain the same? That makes the answers to these questions all-the-more interesting...

The cold, hard truth is that there is no answer -- no solace... Just the same struggle to uncover the truth that plagues all of mankind. I'm certainly no exception.

*** But what does this all mean? ***

For shits and giggles, I'd like to play the devil's advocate by revisiting my former self. I will be the obnoxious Christian, you be the obnoxious atheist. I will post a contentious topic, you attempt to debunk it, and I will respond. This can go vice-versa as well. If you have any deep, theological topics you'd like to springboard, I'll respond as a Christian.

It doesn't seem as though you actually went through with this... I'm curious -- what's your contentious topic?
baggins
Posts: 855
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2/12/2012 3:44:17 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/12/2012 3:33:33 PM, Danielle wrote:

I won't, because it doesn't...

Again, the only way it can is if all of the stories are symbolic and not to be taken literally at all whatsoever. In that case, most of the main premises of Christianity and monotheism in general become entirely abandoned all-together. There would also be too many unanswerable questions and no point in labeling myself Christian. I agree with a lot of Christian values, but that's because they're mostly secular humanist values.

Problem is: it is a mix of symbolic and literal. The literal part is also full of several inaccuracies and exaggerations. All the stories and concepts reach you after multiple translations over ages. In each translation, some of the interpretations and prejudices of those ages also get added. And then it does not make sense.

To me Christianity makes a lot of sense when I 'cherry-pick' with help of Islam.
The Holy Quran 29:19-20

See they not how Allah originates creation, then repeats it: truly that is easy for Allah.

Say: "Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things.
baggins
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2/12/2012 3:56:12 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
@OP

At 2/9/2012 9:29:48 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
...And because you feel so convicted in both extremes, it leaves you contemplating: Was I right back then, or am I right now? Or was I right about some things, and wrong about others.

The cold, hard truth is that there is no answer -- no solace... Just the same struggle to uncover the truth that plagues all of mankind. I'm certainly no exception.

It is merely an assumption on your part that there is no answer. The only fact is that you have not found the answer yet! Maybe the really important thing is that you continue to be honest to yourself!
The Holy Quran 29:19-20

See they not how Allah originates creation, then repeats it: truly that is easy for Allah.

Say: "Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things.
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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2/12/2012 4:03:28 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/12/2012 3:33:33 PM, Danielle wrote:
At 2/12/2012 3:28:55 PM, baggins wrote:
Pardon me if I am intruding. I gather that the main reason you abandoned religion was because Christianity did not make any sense for you. What happens if you realize now that it all does make sense?

I won't, because it doesn't...

Again, the only way it can is if all of the stories are symbolic and not to be taken literally at all whatsoever. In that case, most of the main premises of Christianity and monotheism in general become entirely abandoned all-together. There would also be too many unanswerable questions and no point in labeling myself Christian. I agree with a lot of Christian values, but that's because they're mostly secular humanist values.

What if you realize that nothing makes sense?