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What de-conversion feels like

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Roark, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. radorth

    radorth Contributor

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    Oh fine you talked about your church life. Quit nitpicking.

    Just find me any non-Christian conversion testimony you think will impress as many people as Finney's. Is that simple enough for you.


    Yeah by meditation, going to the temple, burning incense in front of your llittle Buddha doll etc.. You never see them convert overnight. That's the point and you know it.


    Anytime. After your wild claims about a man who fed a billion people with his own money and how Douglas was an atheist were repudiated, I'd think you'd hold back on the hyperbole. Boy did Douglas change after his speech, eh?
    I used Google and found four relevant links in a total of about ten minutes.

    That seems rather hypocritical, and it is really unecessary.

    Oh please. i really don't care what you consider valid. i post them anyway for those who do wish to hear both sides.

    It's also a figure of speech every one understands. Just find the facts and give them to us and quit hedging.


    Yes I should have said private. So what? Ingersoll said you guys would build more private hospitals than the Christians. Where are they now that we are done playing games?




    Ar eyou freaking serious? That's your excuse?



    it was you who started talking science because you were losing the other argument, and telling us the Christians were all holding up medical progress. Now you say it doesn't matter if they were Christians?


    I said born again Bible savvy Christians, not Catholics. (although they preserved a tremendous amount of knowledge) I guess you don't get why Jefferson said that Christianity, "divested of the rags of the clergy, is the friendliest to liberty, science and the freest expansion of the human mind." Unlike you he could tell the difference between the baby and the dirty bathwater. You choose not to apparently. That's why you keep talking about what the Catholics, totally ignorant of the NT, did or didn't do.


    Hardly the point.



    Look at the time, no women were getting degrees in anything. But I can see why you'd move the goalposts again. Let me give you a little insight. We only see in others what we do ourselves. When you learn that you have a chance of escaping the phenomenon.


    Yada yada :sleep: I gave you historical facts and links. You give me atheist propaganda.

    In the case of saving the world from Hitler, who would have easily defeated Britain without our help, yes. But otherwise I have spoken of the triumphs of a relatively small number of born again social and charitable activists you apparently knew nothing about untill I told you.

    Speculating on motives is against the rules. Any idea why?

    I thought we were talking changed, more moral and benevolent lives, which impressed a man like Franklin as the Great Awakening did. Then you started talking about rock concerts.
     
  2. radorth

    radorth Contributor

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    You were the one who said he fed a billion people using his own money and "invented" wheat strains. And now you call it splitting hairs?

    Yeah I'll rest easy too after exposing that nonsense.

    And let's see a link to Douglas' journals so we can verify he was an atheist. Boy did he change after his famous 4th of July speech, eh? Can you at least find that?

    Rad
     
  3. LibertyChic

    LibertyChic Finally Free To Be Me

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  4. radorth

    radorth Contributor

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    No we aren't in your case, but I hope Cat has a better understanding.

    Rad
     
  5. White Horse

    White Horse Natural born world shaker

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    Perhaps your feeling of liberty had nothing to do with leaving the faith, rather, leaving an oppressive church?

    My friend, there is no such feeling of freedom in the world as that of being free from the burden of the guilt of sin. That's not to say I never sin. Heavens no. That's just to say that He took the guilt away for me and gave me a desire NOT to sin...and a power to not be slave to it anymore. Before, my spirit was dead. My desire was for nothing but my own desire. Now, I have a spirit that cannot sin. This old flesh still messes with me sometimes, and sometimes I let it get the best of me...but my spirit is alive and free, and it cannot sin. It has no desire to sin. It's free to love and please God. I wasn't free to do that in any capacity before He saved me.

    I'm sorry you were part of a church in which you couldn't feel the freedom of resting in God's grace, rather than (what I'm assuming was) being part of a group who insisted you had to do this or had to do that or if you weren't like this or you weren't like that then you weren't legit.

    I am free from sin. I am free from rules. I am free from regulations. As a sweetheart of a lady in this thread as said, "I'm fwee to be me!!!!" Because, my friend, I was designed to have fellowship with my Lord. And fellowshipping with my Lord is the sweetest thing...the most liberating high...you can ever feel.

    Remember, going to church and getting dunked doesn't make you a Christian anymore than crawling in an oven and putting butter on your head makes you a biscuit. It ain't about a building or a group of people, my friend. It's about communion with our Maker.



     
  6. 70judge

    70judge Veteran

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    the guilt of everyday sin comes from the indoctrination of superstitious religious belief. if you lose that belief your mind is free of that guilt in the firstplace. most things believers call sin are normal thought processes that normal freethinking people are able to reason their way through without guilt.
     
  7. LibertyChic

    LibertyChic Finally Free To Be Me

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    Whatever
     
  8. LibertyChic

    LibertyChic Finally Free To Be Me

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    While I don't doubt that some do leave Christianity for such reasons as oppressive churches, wanting to be "free" or other unconvincing reasons (in my mind, anyway), those that I know to have left (yours truly included) have left after much study, inquiry, reason and thought. It was not done on a whim or out of any sort of emotional reaction to something.

    The place where those I speak of actually end up at the end of the deconversion vary greatly...but the reasons for leaving are not foolhardy ones. :)
     
  9. LibertyChic

    LibertyChic Finally Free To Be Me

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    Oh...and whitehorse....I think you are rather sweet too. :blush: :hug:
     
  10. radorth

    radorth Contributor

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    While we are waiting around for Lokmer to prove Douglas was an atheist, those who are still interested might want to read this site, which shows he was anti-Christianity but pro-Christ. (As I am)


    http://www.selu.edu/Academics/Depts/WritingCenter/martinez.html

    (extract)

    Remarkably, Douglass was astute enough and emotionally healthy enough to be able to observe that he was witnessing a perverted version, or interpretation of Christianity: "I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity," he wrote in a thoughtful appendix to his autobiography (1077). As he put it, the "Christianity of this land"-or the brand of Christianity practiced in the Southern slaveholding United States, was not the Christianity of Christ, which was pure, good, and holy. Douglass was sane enough not to blame God, nor the entire Christian faith. If U.S. enemies today could be as fair as Douglass and realize that many of the ills coming from the Christian United States are not the fault of the Christian religion itself, perhaps the present religious conflict could be resolved.

    (end extract)

    Now compare Douglass and Jefferson's views with the other so-called "freethinkers" on this thread. A real freethinker doesn't lump all Christians together in one massive ball. A real freethinker can say Jesus' moral teaching was "the most sublime" and Christianity is bad in the same breath. IMO, most atheists just don't want to think that hard. David Gould and Garnet are two exceptions which come to mind, even though I so often disagree with them.

    Rad
     
  11. Lokmer

    Lokmer New Member

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    Huh?

    No, it's not. I keep asking what impresses you. I don't know you from Austrolopithicus, how am I supposed to have an inkling about what impresses you?

    No, it isn't. Buddhism requires none of that anymore than reformed Christianity requires communion or confession. Some people do 'em, some don't. They're trappings.


    The speech you linked of Douglass' doesn't impute that he was a Christian, only that he had once been one and that he was addressing a Christian audience (both of which are the case). His works are filled with very strong atheistic, anticlerical, and antiChristian words. If he believed in God (there are some passages to suggest that he did) it was the God of the Diests, not of Christianity. However, he is never explicit on the point, employing God only to rehtorical ends.

    Quote mining proves very little.

    And, unless you're quoting primary sources, sources on the internet are no better than hearsay, on the whole. I appreciated your link to the primary source of Douglass' speech (wonderful speech), but I am not going to get into an involved esoteric discussion of comparative religions based upon quote-mining. My standards are a wee bit higher than that.

    Obviously. However, despite any disdain I have for your tactics, I am interested in a dialogue. To that end, I'm not going to waste my time getting evidence that you are going to ignore, nor am I going to waste your time by presenting evidnetiary items you consider beneath you. Alas, such sportsmanship seems not to go both ways, but cest le vis.


    The way in which you are exploiting real and imagined gramattical errors and constructing straw men out of mischaracterizations, you will forgive me if I don't take you at your word on figures of speech.

    Already explained, to which end you responded:
    Indeed it is. Evidently the realities of history do not intrude upon your standards for those outside of your group.

    I never once implied that Christians were not involved in any medical progress or other activities benefiting humanity. I have maintained the opposite position all through, with the important distinction that I have been pointing out that Christianity - i.e. philosophical positions supported by historic Christian theology, upheld by Christian governments, and enforced by Christian churches and parachurch organizations undeniably impeded, prevented, and punished progress in medical science until AFTER the Enlightenment and consqeuent secularization of governments and laws.

    Ah...I see. So the vehicle that God entrusted his word and message to for fully 1492 years (from Jesus to the first stirrings of Reformation) is not really truly Christian? Can not be called Christian or be held as an exemplar of historical Christianity?

    It really is an amazing epistemology and evidentiary standard you have.

    Did you not read the rest of his essay, where he talks about what the rags of the clergy are? Priestcraft, superstition, miracles, and doctrines such as the Resurrection. Jefferson liked rationalist Christianity - liked it so much that he edited the Bible with scissors and tape to remove every reference to incest, barbarism, miracles, and supernaturalism.

    On that score, I agree with him. Christianity is more easy than many other faiths to take the best from and leave the drek behind - partly because of its emphasis on biblical knowledge and critical thinking. These two things are, however, artifacts of the Reformation and the Enlightenmen - - hardly representative of the realities of Chrsitain history.

    Not content to slander me, you now start in on Catholics. And not just serf catholics, but the very Catholic Clergy and church structure from whom you get your scriptures? They didn't know anything about them, eh?

    Unbelievable!

    Again? Hardly. You've not yet accused me of such a thing, and it's dishonest to start accusing me of doing something "again" that you didn't accuse me of doing before.

    Further, questioning the relevance of these degrees as an achievement of feminism is a secondary point, and fully legitimate.

    More ad.homs. and patronization. Don't try to be my friend, sir. I am your opponent, and your disingenuous attempts at gracious condescention smack of cynicism and dishonesty. You have a point? Prove it. You want to accuse me of a fallacy? Please do! You wish to debunk my evidence? Bring it on.

    But don't you *dare* pull your faux-concerned shenanigans on me. It's disgraceful.

    I see nothing in the paragraphed referenced that could qualify as propaganda. I listed the sins of people on my side of the fence even as I ennumerated the sins of those on yours. You have not the patience, inclination, or courage to deal with the historical facts or to debunk them? That's fine. Have the decency to decline with dignity.

    This has nothing to do with your contention, which is that the U.S. is somehow a Christian nation.

    What on earth gave you the idea that I didn't know about Charles Finney? Some of your info is new, and that's welcome. Most of it is old hat, but worth a review. Are you interested in truth, sir, or are you interested in triumphalism?

    You're correct. My apologies.

    I'm still waiting for yours


    You listed as a virtue revival meetings that leave people singing hymns in the street. You didn't mention benevolent lives. More vagueness and moving of the goalposts.
    -Lokmer
     
  12. LibertyChic

    LibertyChic Finally Free To Be Me

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    False accusations that have nothing to do with the OP.
     
  13. Lokmer

    Lokmer New Member

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    Ding Ding!!! Got it in one!

    Good for you. AntiChristian, but liked Christ as a person. Fabulous and accurate description.

    This is a strawman unsupported by the words of myself or of others. Christianity is a culture with a past. If you want to distance yourself from it, that's fine. I'm not attempting to imply that Christians are culpable for all that those before them did. What I AM doing is pointing out, patiently and rather frustratedly, that you cannot claim the good of Christianity as evidence for your faith and then ignore the contravening evils of Christianity. Simple, direct premise.

    A "real" freehthinker certainly could say that. I wouldn't. Jesus moral teaching was far from the most sublime. Some of it - such as his teachings about compassion and forgiveness - was amazing, glorious, and exalting. Some of it was utterly despicable - such as his teachings on divorce, wealth, and slavery.

    The point, Radforth, is that you cannot shirk the facts of history by attempting to define them away. Every movement on this planet has blood on its hands - horrific blood. But some do better than others, and some improve with time. There are crimes and evils in every philosophy and faith. There are good and worthy things in each too. Playing favorites by maximizing your own camp's accomplishments while demonizing the opposition (or worse, stealing their thunder by implying that they were *really* members of your camp) may be human and only natural, but it's also terribly dishonest.
    -Lokmer
     
  14. radorth

    radorth Contributor

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    Lokmer I never attacked or insulted anything but your goofy, self-serving hyperbole and now you have stooped to general and personal attacks, calling me a liar for all practical purposes. You lost the argument for lack of supporting facts and links, or you wouldn't say such things. But this is when the mods close the thread, so I will bow out now and let the readers decide what they will.

    Rad
     
  15. Lokmer

    Lokmer New Member

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    I that case, I won't carry on further.

    Thank you, however, for the vigorous debate. Intellectual exercise is always appreciated.
    -Lokmer
     
  16. radorth

    radorth Contributor

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    "Hitler was a Christian but Jefferson wasn't even though he said he was."

    You gotta love it. :D

    Rad
     
  17. White Horse

    White Horse Natural born world shaker

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    Oh, no. I didn't mean to imply anyone's decisions were rash or as the result of emotions. I just know that about every church I know of sort of ends up making their own rules at some point. When we get away from that, we find true freedom in Christ. Unfortunately, anytime a few people get together, they'll surely screw something up. ^_^

    And I'm not one who believes you have to believe everything that most folks (even me) teach about the Bible is true to be a true believer. Just know you sin and believe that He took it from you. That's it. And I believe that if you ever believed that and trusted in that, that you are then a child of God and He'll keep you, no matter what happens after that. Because it ain't about what we do. It's about what He does. And what He does is eternal. And I just love you to death and am glad you're my friend. :) And, please, don't anyone try to make anything out of that other than what it is. It's skrait up. I love all my friends. Even some of my enemies. :) I'm still working on that "love your enemies" thing as a blanket statement. ^_^
     
  18. LibertyChic

    LibertyChic Finally Free To Be Me

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    Oh that more Christians were like you (though I do know my share).

    :hug:

    Thanks, friend. :)
     
  19. Cat59

    Cat59 Just me

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    I think our understanding of another is difficult because we are coming from 2 different approaches.
    I can see what you are saying. From a viewpoint that does not believe in the type of spiritual rebirth you are talking about, I would say that if you examined a "born again" Christian in minute detail- their thoughts, beliefs, attitude, prayer life, and their intimate view of their personal relationship with Jesus and compared it with the people who are posting on this thread when they were calling themselves "born again", you would find no difference.
    To you, I think you are saying, it is because either they were not truly in a relationship with Jesus or that they were and will one day return, being inevitably drawn back to that which they cannot resist.
    To someone who does not believe in Jesus anymore, they have experienced a great loss, because whatever you say cannot undo the fact that their beliefs, their relationship to them was genuine, full of meaning and often the be all and end all of their life. And not believing as you do in this spiritual rebirth, they quite rightly point to you and say, Rad, I was once like you.
    Until suddenly, one day, it all became so much straw.
     
  20. LibertyChic

    LibertyChic Finally Free To Be Me

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    Beautifully said. :hug:

    And would you please turn on your reps!!??!! :D
     
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