I had previously posted a question requesting suggestions for short books or videos that would concisely put a convincing case forward to my wife regarding Christian belief. I greatly appreciated all the recommendations. The third, and most important, item my wife agreed to consider is a paper by myself regarding how and why I no longer believe.
I've authored a 100 page paper traversing through my journey which encompasses evolution versus creation, problems with the bibles authorship, the problem of evil, etc. However, the deeper I delve into my beliefs the more I realize how insightful Christopher Hitchens was in stating he did not want it to be true.
So my question is this...Should I continue with showing how irrational it is to believe based on the available evidence OR should I more heavily cover the fact I would refuse to bow down to the type of monster described in the bible, and that I'm just thrilled there is no evidence it is true.
I like Boghossian's focus on initially attacking the value of Faith. He pushes on making the definition clear that faith is belief that something is true despite lack of evidence, and sometimes despite evidence against it. From there he rewords it into "pretending to know something that you don't really know".
Once faith is clearly defined, he separates it from morality simply by asking how something can possibly be moral if it isn't even connected to reality. Not to mention that religious zealots have abundant faith, but their brutal actions cannot possibly be considered moral.
After those two things are accomplished, attacking any religious ideology is comparatively easy. One big thing that Boghossian stresses is not to expect big changes. Conversions to religion are usually quick, and those away from religion are usually slow. Just break the ice a little with each exchange and in time it will fall apart.
100 pages paper to explain why you no longer believe is to me quite long a paper. Five pages should be sufficient. This is your wife you are talking about. I mean you were able to convince her you were the right man for her, 100 pages is just excessive!
Yeah, Im starting to see that now. I appreciate it.
.....and Hitchens did it in 10 minutes :-)
Good. I think it shouldn't be too hard as you were about to make it. And you don't have to do this in a day
You're not the first to tell me Im over thinking an issue. But, thank you. It helps to be brought back sometimes. I just think its really important we are on the same page and I want to make a compelling case. But your right. She isn't as analytical as I am. Maybe I'll just ease up some. Thanks
God's not real, and people invented Him in the image of a monster patriarch. My biggest beef is, how does anyone feel they have the right to push their definition of--and belief in what a diety is and wants--onto others?
It's the same reason that allows a group of people to impose their view of a type of governance onto a weaker group of people with a different type of governance. Hubris is difficult to recognize in oneself.
My biggest beef is, how does anyone feel they have the right to push their definition of--and belief in what a diety is and wants--onto others?
Beanie, I believe unhappiness motivates them. They want to be less alone.
During my years in Catholicism, I came to believe its rulers need people to be unhappy.
So long as people are not unhappy enough to rebel, they will return for more of the drug.
I figured on someday marrying, and given the sometimes violent family I grew up in, my having to provide for children I didn't want would have made me very unhappy.
In ancient times, religions relieved the unhappiness most people felt. They were, after all, living in the tyrannies the wealthy people created.
The wealthy still rule, but less oppressively, and religion still relieves the unhappiness of people who allow themselves to be so ruled.
Give her personal stuff, NOT intellectual stuff. Tell her what hurt you and how you felt about the hurt. IF YOU CAN!!!!
Belle said it well above.
I spent decades over-thinking stuff. Until I did some very serious political combat, during which my employment and my life were endangered.
I laugh about it now; the people who threatened my employment and my life, METAPHORICALLY TOOK MY HEAD OFF, SHOOK THE OVER-THINKING SHIT OUT OF IT, AND GAVE IT BACK TO ME.
I became able to feel, and it was about the best thing anyone ever did for me.
Overthinking hides, from you, something you need to know.
Your wife knows damn well that you are protecting yourself.
Gary, I'm not your damn Dutch uncle. I'm German and a bit less brutal.
One of the greatest mistakes we can make when explaining our lack of belief to someone is to fall into the trap of debating Science with that person. What I mean is that I am not an Atheist because of what Science has shown me. My disbelief in gods happened before I fully understood Evolution or Big Bang Cosmology or anything else like that.
Once I admitted to myself “I am an Atheist”, I found that I then had many unanswered questions that the “goddidit” answers of religion had previously tried to address. Once I discovered the explanations that science offered to these bigger questions in life, I found that they only reinforced my Atheism. My reasons for not believing in any supernatural agency being involved were given a stronger foundation. Science gave my Atheism greater justification. I use the word “justification” in the sense that when knowledge is justified it become the “Truth”. To me, in the depths of my being, there are no gods.
However, in a debate the theist will ask me to justify what I don’t believe in gods. But at this stage I don’t have to. I am not making a claim. I only need say “I do not believe what you say you believe”. I ask them to explain their beliefs and to justify them. I tell them I will believe in their god if they can show me what would justify doing so.
I can talk Science all day long (and sometimes do) but there is only one reason I don’t believe in gods. There is no evidence for any god. None. If someone wants to debate with me that I am wrong then they must produce their reasons for their belief. Veering off topic to slander Science or to say my heart is not open or that I am close minded does not cut it.
They will usually try to turn the conversation by asking me about the Big Bang or about Evolution. I will not allow that. I am not giving them a free science lesson. I will keep returning to the line that “We are discussing belief in god and your (the theists) assertion that your god exists.” If they cannot give me any evidence that is not purely subjective then they cannot expect me to believe what they believe. I say it to them like that. It is almost “put up or shut up”. If I can get them to understand this point I know some doubt has been planted. They have started to think about the justification of their own reasons.
The debate must first get to the point where they understand that I do not believe what they believe because there is no evidence for me to do so. If not, no Science gets discussed.
Personally I take an igtheist approach. Which demands that THEY clearly define their supernatural phenomenon and then present me with good rational evidence. If they won't play by these rules and/or when I explain why their evidence is non-evidence...I end the conversation and I tell them they have failed. It's important that they know that the door is always open to try again. I'm always open to even the craziest idea or round number two if the evidence is promising. That way they just might try and rationalise their fantasies on their own and see how vacuous it is. It's one of many approaches the best part of it being that they do all the work.