I myself come from an extremely devout conservative family. I was raised as a Catholic and became "born again" during a Summer Vacation Bible camp when I was in the sixth grade. I made all the sacraments, went to CCD (like Bible study classes), attended Christian Conferences and week long camps, and even went to a Private Catholic College. My husband went into the military shortly after we married and I think that was the beginning of my de-conversion. I attended LSU and lived all over the deep South. This really opened up my eyes to a world very different from where I grew up. I began questioning after attempting to find a church that "fit" us. Listening to pastors talk about beating their kids, using Bible quotes to condone it, and then sitting through masses about tithing and speaking in tongues, I started to see how crazy religion was. I guess I identified as non-denominational for a while because I didnt want to have anything to do with man made religion. Then it was watching documentaries and specials on Jesus and I started questioning the Bible and whether or not he could have existed and raised the dead, and walked on water, turned water to wine, etc....My conclusion upon getting my degree in Science Psychology was no he couldnt have, those things are improbable. If that was my conclusion then every other "story" in the Bible was improbable and where did that leave me?
My de-conversion was a process and progress if you ask me. I didnt just wake up one day and say "I think I'll be an atheist". I was a long sometimes painful process that led me here. I could never "go back" EVER, too many things about this world and Universe point to happen stance, probability, and accident. We are Serendipitous, the outcome of a happy accident. I'm fine with that, I'm happy with that! I no longer need a man in the sky subconsciously re affirming my every choice and "making" me feel guilty when I make a poor decision. My brain is far evolved from the mythology and going back is no longer an option.
The repercussions from my de-conversion have been slight. My Mom cried when she found out and told me I was going to Hell, now she just tries to get me to listen to Christian radio stations and referred to my recent raise and promotion as an "answer to her prayers". I deal with the religious rhetoric because she is family. I now look back often, especially when she looks at something purely scientific and attributes it to God, and wonder how I could have ever believed such nonsense.
@Kevin --- The inherent problem with Craig is that he automagically makes the presupposition for something like "an unembodied mind". Which then leads into his God exists hypothesis. Which is why his arguments fail. .... Granted he's decent at what he does, but he breaks the cardinal rule right off the bat every single time.. He makes an assumption and then uses what he sees as 'evidence' to back his claim. When instead he needs to keep an open mind to all possibilities not just the one he wants. By making that presupposition of mind of any sorts he's already closed off all other possibilities. .
So in my book, any claim he makes about an "unembodied mind" is an unfounded assumption on his part.
You know, Kevin, every time I shut you down you just shuffle off and engage other people rather than dealing with the hard questions. I think you just don't know what to do when your rhetorical constructs turn out to be fundamentally flawed.
Rhetorical constructs are really nothing more than schoolyard trickery - silly little games. When I was 5 years old saw a comedy sketch that highlighted this, as well as how a rudimentary physical test can completely undo a word game.
Here is a link to that sketch:
So, Kevin, have you any solid arguments as to how the aforementioned rhetorical silliness is any different than your ow? Also, Kevin, would you please explain to me why you aren't immediately jumping on the bandwagon of "They Wholey TV Set"? I mean, what makes your cult doctrines superior to those of this other theist?
Kara.. the funny thing about that is. if you were a being who lived in the void. Had no point of reference for anything. How could you make the universe, let alone all life as we know it.? How would you know *to* make it in the first place? Those are the questions which theists avoid by giving the "God works in mysterious way" coverall. Have to love that cop-out.
Oh, you disagree - well, I guess that settles it --
It is amazing how we stand at the moment of 'creation', in our minds, and then say how it happens 14 billion years latter or there abouts.
I like playing this game also, but I still wonder about the details, one of which is 'How can I say much about X if I can't observe it?' I want to think that my 'thinking/imagining' can connect me to realites, but assuming this is always true causes me to catch my mental shirt tails before I fall into the hole of infalibility.
We might know something about 'being', but are we just pretending to know something about timelessness, spaceless....? Pretending to know can make us feel very good about ourselves, but honesty can be a painful pill.
I think that atheists don't believe that there is only 'material', by necessity. It is unclear at what point the concept of the 'material' breaks down. Is energy material, or does it need matter to carry it? If something is 'immaterial', does that mean that it does not exist or is only a mental construct? Propositions might be considered linguistic constructs that might or might not refer to 'existing' objects/processes/etc.
I tried being the wise sage a few times in my life, but the strait dope sticks to the bottom of my shoes as a reminder.
Kevin do you believe in a personal God? One that you turn to in times of despair and answers prayers?
Yes. I think God is a personal being. I think God has revealed himself not only in nature but in Jesus and we can turn to God at anytime.
How can someone revere Science....yet believe in a magical being in the sky? Boggles my mind.
I don't believe in a "magical being in the sky". Is that what you de-converted from? I don't blame you!
lol no you believe in a fairy in the sky that will spank you if you don't pray to it on sundays. Oh and you believe in zombies too, aka "christ".
I fear that holding ones breath can injure your health and increase your stress..;p). Better to let ACD's to continue, on their own, to 'make sense out of non-sense'.
In school I finally got fed up with all of it after a little hard work in propositonal calculus/logic. Working out the classical proofs for the existence of 'god', and trying to determine logic issues with the positivitists was a little enlightening. All the classical attempts at proof for 'god' are found to be false. It seemed clear that trying to get to 'god' via proof, does not work. They really do look good on the surface, but the real work offers no insight into existence, but might suggest that human cognition has a truely funny problem.
Working out a proof for the positivists concerning the demand for 'positive' evidence also seemed to offer a problem. The dependence on evidence might have a falt, if there exists a class of objects that offer no means of proof.
I would like to suggest, that there is a what could called a 'logic hole', where everything on the outside seems be available by evidence, the every thing that is asserted, supposed, wished, imagined, etc is in the 'hole'. We can keep pushing into the hole with new tools, ways of thinking, new evidence, etc, but the hole itself might not get much smaller due to the number of new questions/ideas that could be posed. I figure that 'god', demons, angels, monsters, aliens, etc could fit into the hole nicely with more room to spare. The 'making sense out of non-sense' could be a good example of what I would like to call 'logic hole surfing'. I think I have played there also, with several attempts at weird computer modeling.
Theist attempts to extract codes from the bible, determine the age of the universe by summing the ages of folks in the bible, or asserting that dinosaurs and humans existed at the same time because the bible says so 'right here', could be good indications of the above mentioned 'surfing'. In this case the validity is always subordinate to the bible and their undieing attempts at meaning/truth extraction. I guess they could have their own 'hole' to play in, but turning the lights on might be helpful..;p).