Sorry. I'm new here, but I'm already confused.

 

Why are people arguing the existence/non-existence of God? Honestly is anyone aware of an online conversion being made? In either direction? Has anyone EVER said, "Oh wow, I guess you're right. So there really is/isn't a God."?

 

To me it makes more sense debating the existence of Santa Clause - which is supported by a great deal more physical evidence. At least I've SEEN Santa Clause.

 

It seems that engaging in such arguments actually adds strength to theist perspectives because a logical argument should assume a reasonable basis on both sides. Whoever has the best case or makes the best argument wins.

 

Are there any sound logical arguments in support of God? I assume not. Why then do we argue with people who are not swayed by certainty?

 

More broadly, why are we here (at TA).

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I throw my hat in with Nelson, although I haven't been a part of a de-conversion yet.  I have, however, had theists stop returning messages after very amiable exchanges - right at the point where I've hit some contradiction that really rings home for them.  At least that's the sense I get from the nature of the exchange.

I completely agree with Nelson.

I've also seen conversions of atheists to religion and from one religious system to another.

 

I have a pretty hard time imagining a debate between a Christian and a Muslim, let alone such a debate leading to a conversion.  How does that debate go, "Jesus was the messiah, no he was a prophet like Mohammed, Mohammed was no prophet, yes he was just like Jesus, Jesus was the messiah..."  I just can't see how any ground could be gained.
I am fascinated by atheists who convert to religion.  I cannot imagine going back to mine without forgetting everything that I have learned about religion.  So what did the atheists who converted or returned to a religion know prior to this event?

I know! I my parents are still theists (although I'm cautiously working on that), and my dad keeps reminding me that their pastor was atheist when he was younger but then turned to religion. Anyway I managed to meet him and as I'm quite 'loud & proud' about my non-belief I asked him what he meant by being atheist.

Well I wasn't surprised to find that he meant the atheism of, say the UK youth, which boils down to a lack of a concerted effort to attend church or reading of scriptures. I asked him if he went to a seminar to get his qualification, and whether they dealt with issues such as the historicity of Jesus and the problems of Theodicy...he knew not of what I spoke, his seminary was something more akin to the alpha course.

So the bottom line is he had not dealt with any of the major or minor philosophical questions of the existence of God from any atheistic view, nor did he ever really reject the notion of a God, or do any kind of critical analysis about the errancy of the bible or the historicity of Jesus....nothing. I had to inform my parents that he was as atheist in his earlier life as my mums shitzu. I think that kind of thing happens a lot.

The internet and the social networking era have been the driving force behind the recent increase in the number of non believers.
Amen
I agree, I found the online resources to be invaluable in getting acquainted with more diverse opinions, most of which were way off bat some of which were great.

I agree with you. Not only that... but anyone's head who is soft and mushy enough to convert over words by strangers on the internet is equally likely to revert back to religion via other strangers' words. They're more than mushy mushy non-believers!

 

Also, atheist numbers haven't really changed that much. Some studies are about daily importance of religion, some studies about religious affiliation, some studies about belief in gawd, they are usually non comparable.

 

I myself would not waste a second "working" on someone else's belief beyond a one-line statement.

You might be missing an important point here. It's no surprise that the highest number of non believers demographically speaking are those people of a net surfing age, between 15 - 30. The internet is the best weapon against theism out there...and the best part is where ever you find a happy clappy you're bound to find an atheist sticking his big dirty toe out to burst your dreamy little theist bubble. This alone is good enough to push certain young folks toward doing a bit of research before they embarrass themselves by being knocked down online. And THATS all it takes...the rest is history.
In my opinion, I use those discussions to really understand why I feel the way I do. I do not consider myself an intellectual power on this site and many of the conversations go way over my head. However, by reading the back and forth I do get reaffirmation of how I explain my views. You can debate until your hair falls out on the existence of god or not. However for me, personally, I just like to be a free thinker, live my life for others humans, not other gods, and be able to be a good moral person with divine guidance. Yet I think the whole point to being an atheist is being knowledgeable about these and all things. And if you, by understanding that you do not feel the need to get into an argument about semantics and definitions,  have learned something about what you believe in and how you express yourself, then you understand this site more than you give yourself credit for. You don't have to comment on these blogs or join in. I sit on the sidelines a lot too.  The great thing about TA is that is leaves room for people who enjoy the debates and for those who do not.  Don't keep the faith!
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