"The reason theists are tirelessly trying to convert the populace is because they are motivated purely by the desire to save our immortal souls."
This proposition strikes me as unlikely - though I might be wrong.
When people engage in large-scale coordinated activities to counter what seems to me to be normal, I get suspicious. So rather than confront THEIR issues directly, I prefer to try to surmise what really motivates these people. For example:
Why would people, decades after the science was "in", continue to maintain that smoking was harmless.
Why, when prohibition, "Just Say No!", and the "War on Drugs" have been demonstrated to be abject failures, do people continue to support and pursue these strategies?
Why do people deny climate change science?
In these examples, I could suggest, "follow the money".
But, back to the point, why do theists care what we believe? What motivates THEM (if not altruism).
Yeah but they gotta know they're "twisting the science" which makes them either hypocritical or otherwise motivated.
extremely well educated. Kurt Wise has a PhD in geology from Harvard
Not impressed. I cut Harvard out of my will when I learned that GW Bush was a Harvard MBA. They're back in when they disclose who actually wrote his papers. :-)
Oh well, looks like all I can do is lurk around here and try to pick up some rational arguments against advanced silliness.
I don't know if you were ever a believer, but I'll share my experience with it. At a certain point I just found the holes that I had rationalized away so gaping that I actually perceived them in a way that made me ashamed of myself, but it was horrible to move forward past my rationalizations. Honestly, with each little bit that I acknowledged, with each page that I turned in another book about the history of the bible, I honestly felt like I was killing Yahweh - even saying his name was like thinking of my grandpa as 'Earl', just not something we did back then.
It's as though I had only ever known my grandfather as a big time war hero who was captured and held as a POW in Vietnam. I might not even know if he was alive or not but I would idolize him anyway, rethink the stories about him - even creating my own and embellishing. Then imagine that one day I see a little piece of paper sticking out from under a dusty pile of rubbish in the basement - pulling it out I find it is a newspaper clipping of my grandpa and it says he was a pedophile that was sent away to prison back before I can remember.
Now, if that were the case, would you expect me to accept it, maybe even head to the library to confirm it? Or would you be surprised if I set the damn basement on fire to make sure no other pieces of paper like that would ever be found again? What if I ran to the library and stole all the archives newspapers containing the story? Would I be a hypocrite?
That's what giving up god means to some people - maybe even more dramatic than that for some.
I was raised a Catholic, educated by nuns and Jesuits. Yes, I believed – to the extent that I remember inflicting pain upon myself in penance for my sins.
My father died when I was nine and, although I remember being devastated, I remember little else about him. Perhaps along the same psychological vein, I don't remember how/when I became a non-believer. There may well have been pain that I've hidden from myself.
The two possibilities I proffered above were "hypocrite" and "otherwise motivated". Would you have been a hypocrite? Yes, but under a wide range of circumstances, I don't see that as the crime that many do. I believe I can understand theists' problems with deconverting and I think my submissions thus far bear that out. It's not really hypocrisy I have a problem with. It's the "otherwise motivated" that I'm trying to get a better handle on.