So I was looking for stats on how many atheists were once theists of some type or another (still haven;t found it-- so could use some help) and I found this page.
I thought it was interesting in the fact they try to keep Christians aware of logical fallacies..
I know how we feel about religion already, what I'm wondering are your views on this primer for converting atheists...
Holding a loaded gun to the atheist's child's head, is more efficient.
Perhaps a lobotomy
No, I think reading repeatedly the silly stories when they're kids works better than a lobotomy or gun at pushing the silly stories into their heads. Then they tell their kids...etc. It's viral stupidity.
I would like to suggest that it might be really more like 'viral-MAKING SENSE OUT OF NON-SENSE!'
I have had very interesting, and absorbing projects that I have worked on, with the expectation that I might learn something about the world. Sadly a few have only yielded the result of learning a little about my own cognitive processes, and much less about the initial motivation. Some 'problems/ideas' seem to consist of mostly seduction, where there seems to be some perceived deep value in its solution/understanding, but the solution pathway seems to consist of ambiquity, poor data, non-numerically expressable variables, or mostly colorful/flowery language!
One example could be my attempt to optimise Dog Racing. I am rather conservative with my $$, but excessively generous with my time. Over the course of about 10 years, with episodic moments of intense work motivated by a new understanding in data analysis and programming, I tried statistical regression, fuzzy logic, genetic algorithms, neural networks, and game theory. None of which seemed to offer any wedge to open up wide the flood gates of cash flow. Neural networks was the only one that might work, but only seemed to offer a break-even model as long as you had atleast a very large three years data set and about two hours a day for data processing! So I learned nothing really about 'how to win at dog raceing', but a great deal about myself and data processing/pattern analysis!
So with this in mind, is there a parallel with the possible 'seduction of religion'? I expect that religion was one of human kinds first attempts to understand nature, and of logic system building. Linking nature with a 'god' as the 'behind the vail' arbitor, and attempting to learn a method to understand the suttle will of that being(s), could be considered a simplistic first attempt at science. Consulting the 'book' for this suttle will, with the asserted truth of this 'book' as the ultimate source of insight, might hold people in a tight closed loop of needyness, the desire for clarity, and intermitent payback as long as the needyness is preserved. The need for socialization and stress reduction in a world of easy death, and seeming constant unhappiness, holds that true believer in an ideological embrace not easily broken, without some degree of personal insight.
With this logically entrapping embrace, the true believer is not even allowed the needed moment of deep personal insight, since doubt is badly received, and human kind's 'sinful naure', is always over played! To excape, the believer needs their moments of deep independence from the ideology, and new questions to test against that confined sub-reality, that the ideology has attempted to create.
When Tim Lahay(Moral Majority period 1980's) titles a book about Humanism and education in the early 80's, The Battle for the Mind', he was quiet right! Sadly Mr. Lahay should have taken his own advice!
could you elaborate?
That's a nutty article. It doesn't offer actual advice on how to convert an atheist, it simply informs the would-be persuader of what to expect. But this part is the real screamer:
"Invite the atheist to your place of worship. You shouldn't outright ask them to attend Sunday church, but a church-funded charity or meeting would normally not be considered in connection with the church at all. Do this every so often and introduce your friend to other people who attend your church. Make him or her comfortable with the individuals who make up the church and religion."
I have no doubt that sleazeballs like William Lane Craig, Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson, and Cardinal Roger Mahony would feel comfortable in these places of worship. That's exactly the reason why such places make me profoundly un-comfortable.
They certainly make it sound like you should trick atheists into going to church functions, but then later they clarify:
Never trick someone. Never lie. When inviting an atheist to a Christian function, make sure they know exactly how overtly religious the event is.
In high school, as a catholic, I went to more mormon social functions than I can count. Most of my friends at the time were mormon. When they invited me to events, they were always upfront about the nature of the event. I never felt tricked or disrespected, and I never once considered converting.
I end up in churches from time to time (weddings, funerals) and join in the "fellowship" that goes along with it (snacks after a service, wedding receptions), but none of that draws me into the belief system. I can't even imagine what could make me become Christian again.
"Once you go black, you never go back."
There was a charming cougar gal at a UU fellowship, that came onto me once. That might be enough for some...LOL
Okay, maybe I'm being dense, but what does "30 minutes" means in terms of what I or James said.
Yeah, but UU doesn't count ;) You can be both an atheist and an UU; in fact I am both.
I refuse to go into a church and go along with the motions (outside of just being quiet during their prayers and such) as I don't want to be a hypocrite. In fact, I taught RE (Religious Education) for 4 years - as an "out-of-the-closet" atheist.