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Hi there from GG

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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  Chuck Ludikee on Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:41 pm

Seeker: I think that if you want to get people to question you have to start before those beliefs are firmly embedded. One of the true horrors of religion is that they like to indoctrinate children at an early age, before they are able to think critically.

Chuck: True, but I wonder what constitutes “firmly embedded”. There are plenty of long-term Christians who come to the realization that it is nothing but collective social superstition. I was a young father teaching Sunday school when I had to question what I was teaching based on the promises made in the Bible. That was about four decades ago, and my agnosticism has changed to atheism and open antitheism.


Seeker: The various contradictions in doctrine actually work to create compartmentalization, believers separate various aspects and behaviors rather than actually reconcile them. Critical thinking gets broken down when it comes to god and religion. That is why they can see a 'loving god' and cheer the genocide.

Chuck: I ‘m not sure. They sure rationalize the contradictions, and I agree that with the hardcore critical thinking doesn’t seem to do much good. That leaves me asking “why.” I’m inclined to think it has more to do a cultural desire to belong. The facts don’t seem to matter to the hardcore Bible thumpers but to some of the others a few of the troubling things might cause their brains to spark a little.


Seeker: Oddly enough I tend to think the only real way to get a Christian to honestly look at their religion is to have them actually read the bible all the way through. Most Christians only really read bits of scripture at a time and always accompanied by heavy doses of rationalization. Get them to read the bible on their own, without a lot of commentary and they sometimes start noticing just how un-loving their god acts.

Chuck: Now I have to laugh and just shake my head at the sad truthfulness of what you wrote. No, the Bible can NOT withstand the light of day. It’s easy to see why they thought burning anyone who wanted to bring it to the masses was a good idea ;-) I’ve had Christians publicly call me a liar about some of the things in the Bible. I’ve studied it for many years and can cite most of the horrific passages from memory, so if we are face to face when they challenge me, I just ask for a Bible and have some fun.

Seeker: I always thought that was one of the sillier stories in the bible. The notion that an omnipotent god is so offended by children taunting a priest that he is driven to murdering children is absurdly comic.

Chuck: Silly? Yes, but can’t you just see some old priest putting his arm around some questioning young, priest and saying, “I know it seems harsh to have poor old Herbert the sheep herder stoned for calling me a thief, but remember what God had Elijah do to those forty-two boys for just making fun of him being bald. No, no, we certainly can't let a herder call us a thief!” I think that story was used to justify using a VERY firm hand to keep the masses in line and the preisthood in power.


Seeker: Critical thinking. You have to get people to honestly evaluate their actions. Unfortunately a person who has grown into the habit of rationalizing every action is unlikely to ever really evaluate their own actions in any objective way. If the supposedly perfect example (jesus) can talk peace and love while simultaneously claiming to be a revolutionary here to 'set brother against brother' (an ironic hypocrisy) then the average Christian hypocrisy is really not a huge stretch.

Chuck: I have to agree that that is the answer, and we need to find ways to make it happen. Forcing public debates might be a good way. If the resources could be found to get authors who are also talented in public debating to take a tours touting their books by challenging local preachers to debates on the radio talk shows, it might be a start. Radio stations might just like the fireworks for their talk shows. I’m sure the preachers would leave thinking they won, but some of the listeners would think about what they heard. Somehow we need to start chipping away at the stupidity.

There is an atheist organization in San Luis Obispo, CA, which is near where my retirement home is, that puts up a booth at local street fairs with a banner that says “Ask an atheist a question!” While I can't work the booth yet … someday :-)

Chuck Ludikee

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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  seeker on Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:57 am

Chuck Ludikee wrote: True, but I wonder what constitutes “firmly embedded”. There are plenty of long-term Christians who come to the realization that it is nothing but collective social superstition. I was a young father teaching Sunday school when I had to question what I was teaching based on the promises made in the Bible. That was about four decades ago, and my agnosticism has changed to atheism and open antitheism.

There are indeed people who come to that realization but when you look at the percentages it really is a small portion of the total number of christians. Most people never question themselves when things are going well. One thing I've always found interesting though is that a large percentage of people who teach at seminary schools self identify as atheist or agnostic. People who really know what is in the bible tend to have to work a lot harder to rationalize their belief than the casual christian.

Chuck Ludikee wrote:I ‘m not sure. They sure rationalize the contradictions, and I agree that with the hardcore critical thinking doesn’t seem to do much good. That leaves me asking “why.” I’m inclined to think it has more to do a cultural desire to belong. The facts don’t seem to matter to the hardcore Bible thumpers but to some of the others a few of the troubling things might cause their brains to spark a little.

The desire to 'belong' is certainly a factor and I tend to agree that it is a major factor. There is no doubt that people feel pressure to fit in and that creates a lot of the need to rationalize and reconcile inconsistencies. What I'm suggesting is that process of rationalization and reconciliation invests the believer even further. The believer actually creates their own logical trap. We are not only dealing with social pressure; The believer ties his own internal notion of integrity to his beliefs when he is forced to accept the poor behaviors described as a part of their beliefs.

When God orders a group of people slaughtered in the bible the believer is forced to accept an atrocity as a just act or believe that god is unjust. Since the believer can never admit god to be unjust then atrocity becomes a justifiable act.

Chuck Ludikee wrote:Now I have to laugh and just shake my head at the sad truthfulness of what you wrote. No, the Bible can NOT withstand the light of day. It’s easy to see why they thought burning anyone who wanted to bring it to the masses was a good idea ;-) I’ve had Christians publicly call me a liar about some of the things in the Bible. I’ve studied it for many years and can cite most of the horrific passages from memory, so if we are face to face when they challenge me, I just ask for a Bible and have some fun.

LOL, we could trade stories. I've been called all sorts of things when pointing out some of the juicier passages. My favorite are the Amalekites whom God utterly wiped from the face of the Earth twice because apparently they spontaneously regenerated after the first time they were utterly destroyed.

Chuck Ludikee wrote:Silly? Yes, but can’t you just see some old priest putting his arm around some questioning young, priest and saying, “I know it seems harsh to have poor old Herbert the sheep herder stoned for calling me a thief, but remember what God had Elijah do to those forty-two boys for just making fun of him being bald. No, no, we certainly can't let a herder call us a thief!” I think that story was used to justify using a VERY firm hand to keep the masses in line and the preisthood in power.

I'm sure it was though i could equally see it as a cautionary tale told to the flock when they are about to run a priest out of town for flim-flamming them.

Chuck Ludikee wrote:I have to agree that that is the answer, and we need to find ways to make it happen. Forcing public debates might be a good way. If the resources could be found to get authors who are also talented in public debating to take a tours touting their books by challenging local preachers to debates on the radio talk shows, it might be a start. Radio stations might just like the fireworks for their talk shows. I’m sure the preachers would leave thinking they won, but some of the listeners would think about what they heard. Somehow we need to start chipping away at the stupidity.

There is an atheist organization in San Luis Obispo, CA, which is near where my retirement home is, that puts up a booth at local street fairs with a banner that says “Ask an atheist a question!” While I can't work the booth yet … someday :-)

Unfortunately those kinds of debates are often counterproductive. Theists tend to throw out a lot of unprovable assertions and turn debates into fact checking exercises.

seeker

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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  Chuck Ludikee on Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:40 am

Seeker: There are indeed people who come to that realization [is nothing but collective social superstition] but when you look at the percentages it really is a small portion of the total number of christians. Most people never question themselves when things are going well.

Chuck: Agreed, but that is no surprise. The number will remain low but will also slowly grow as a percentage until the tipping point is reached.



Seeker: The desire to 'belong' is certainly a factor and I tend to agree that it is a major factor. There is no doubt that people feel pressure to fit in and that creates a lot of the need to rationalize and reconcile inconsistencies. What I'm suggesting is that process of rationalization and reconciliation invests the believer even further. The believer actually creates their own logical trap. We are not only dealing with social pressure; The believer ties his own internal notion of integrity to his beliefs when he is forced to accept the poor behaviors described as a part of their beliefs.

Chuck: Agreed and VERY well stated!


Seeker: When God orders a group of people slaughtered in the bible the believer is forced to accept an atrocity as a just act or believe that god is unjust. Since the believer can never admit god to be unjust then atrocity becomes a justifiable act.

Chuck: And if that atrocity was presented to a hundred Christians, two or three of them might realize the moral dilemma and act accordingly. I think that is why we are seeing so much slippage in how they self identify. Too many things just don’t add up for anyone with a brain to be comfortable with what is inside the “Good” Book.




Seeker: Unfortunately those kinds of [confrontational] debates are often counterproductive. Theists tend to throw out a lot of unprovable assertions and turn debates into fact checking exercises.

Chuck: I’d have to disagree with their being counterproductive, but I guess that would depend on how you measure success. If you take my imaginary 100 Christians who are listening to the debate, will the debate cause them to retain exactly the same level of belief or will some of them shift a little with time. I have to believe that anytime a Bible thumper is confronted with the falsehoods contained in the Bible and the horrific, sadistic nature of their god some good will come from it. It may take a couple of years for the seed to develop, but it WILL develop in at least a few of them. A debate format is simply a way, when it can be made to happen, to hit a large number of people at one time. The only down side that comes to mind as I type this is that it might cause the extreme religious to close ranks and lash out in a more organized way, but aren’t they doing that for all they’re worth right now with their attacks on the civil rights of others? Realize my definition of success is if the action will move anyone away from the ranks of the superstitious with time, and it the action the best use of available resources.

P. S. I’m a little concerned that we’ve not had anyone join in our discussion. Think we’re carrying it on in the wrong forum? Maybe we should consider shifting it from the “New Members!” to the “General Discussion” forum? Also I found an interesting Pew Poll and I’ve posted. To me it seemed loaded with interesting information worthy of discussion.


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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  seeker on Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:02 am

Chuck Ludikee wrote:And if that atrocity was presented to a hundred Christians, two or three of them might realize the moral dilemma and act accordingly. I think that is why we are seeing so much slippage in how they self identify. Too many things just don’t add up for anyone with a brain to be comfortable with what is inside the “Good” Book.

That is why the Catholic Church spent centuries trying to prevent people from being able to read the bible for themselves.

Chuck Ludikee wrote:I’d have to disagree with their being counterproductive, but I guess that would depend on how you measure success. If you take my imaginary 100 Christians who are listening to the debate, will the debate cause them to retain exactly the same level of belief or will some of them shift a little with time. I have to believe that anytime a Bible thumper is confronted with the falsehoods contained in the Bible and the horrific, sadistic nature of their god some good will come from it. It may take a couple of years for the seed to develop, but it WILL develop in at least a few of them. A debate format is simply a way, when it can be made to happen, to hit a large number of people at one time. The only down side that comes to mind as I type this is that it might cause the extreme religious to close ranks and lash out in a more organized way, but aren’t they doing that for all they’re worth right now with their attacks on the civil rights of others? Realize my definition of success is if the action will move anyone away from the ranks of the superstitious with time, and it the action the best use of available resources.

You have a decent point, I'm just a pessimist Cool

Chuck Ludikee wrote:P. S. I’m a little concerned that we’ve not had anyone join in our discussion. Think we’re carrying it on in the wrong forum? Maybe we should consider shifting it from the “New Members!” to the “General Discussion” forum? Also I found an interesting Pew Poll and I’ve posted. To me it seemed loaded with interesting information worthy of discussion.


I'll take a look. I'm going to be gone for a couple of weeks (going to Switzerland) so I may not post for a bit.

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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  Chuck Ludikee on Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:52 am


Seeker: I'll take a look. I'm going to be gone for a couple of weeks (going to Switzerland) so I may not post for a bit.

Chuck: You must already be packing as you didn’t give me anything to fuss at ;-) Have a great time!

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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  seeker on Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:24 am

Hi, I'm back.

As I look at our debate you are right, it may get more views in the General discussion forum

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Re: Hi there from GG

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