christian student with questions

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isobel's picture
i dont know y but im trying

i dont know y but im trying to pm u but its saying invalid user. im probably just doing something wrong, but could u pm me instead? i would love to interview u!

Tin-Man's picture
@Isobel Re: Answers from my

@Isobel Re: Answers from my first PM interview questions ("how did u become an atheist, and were u ever a Christian?")

Hey there, Isobel. Happy to be of assistance. Allow me to start with your second question, if I may.

As you might have seen others post, I was born an atheist, as were we all. However, having been born in the U.S. and raised in a Christian family (Baptist, primarily. I also had an Uncle who was a Methodist preacher), I naturally adopted the Christian faith. Was even baptized (Baptist) when I was about 9 or 10 years old. Attended church services and vacation bible school fairly regularly throughout my childhood. That being said, even as a kid, the whole God/Jesus/Heaven/Hell concepts, along with most of the bible stories we were taught in Sunday school, never really made sense to me. Even at a young age, I was very perceptive and always noticed so many contradictions and inconsistencies with the whole thing. And whenever I questioned some of these things, the answers were always less than satisfactory. (Not bragging, but I was pretty smart as a kid.) However, I was still just a kid, and as such I trusted in my elders. Besides, we got cookies and Kool-Aid in Sunday school class, and I really had more important things to worry about such as, "Will I be able to get my new bicycle seat today?" and "Do I need more BB's for my BB gun?" and "What position will the coach put me in during the baseball game tomorrow?" You know, important kid stuff like that. Basically, I just played along until the day came when I was told it was my choice if I wanted to go to church or not. And I gradually stopped going. Hard to remember, but it may have been somewhere around my junior high years.

Fast forward a bit. Early twenties. Been out on my own awhile. Already been married/divorced once. Going through a rough emotional period in my life. Started going back to church with a buddy of mine who was having a few problems of his own. Got baptized again. And that whole "return-to-the-flock" stint may have lasted a little over a year or so. Again, too many things simply never felt right or made sense to me. And it never gave me the comfort or peace of mind for which I was looking. Ended up solving my problems on my own, and the church attendance gradually faded out again, helped along by my changing work schedule at the time.

Now to get along with your first question; How did I become an atheist? To that, I am afraid I cannot give you a very definitive answer. Also, the question is somewhat misleading to a degree. In a very small way, it does not settle very well with me. (Not your fault, by the way.) And, quite honestly, I doubt I could even fully explain why. Nevertheless, it might surprise you to know that up until less than two years ago I actually viewed atheism as an almost horrid thing. To have been even remotely associated with an atheist or atheism in general was enough to make me quite uncomfortable and a little nervous. Funny how things change, though. Despite the fact that I had known for many years I had my doubts about God and Jesus and so forth, I always wrestled with myself as to WHY I did not believe or have faith. And then one day toward the end of summer last year I found a show on YouTube called Atheist Experience and started watching it. At that point, my questions started getting answered. (It is a great program, by the way. I highly recommend you watch it. Could help you with your assignment tremendously.) And it was just this past December that I joined this site, and all my confusion and doubts have since disappeared. So, you see, there really is no specific "Ah-ha!" moment when I woke up and stated, "Hey! I'm an atheist!" If I had to sum it up, I suppose I could say I have always been an atheist since birth, but I just happened to go through an extended period of doubting belief until finally returning to the default position. *chuckle* Hope this helps.

LogicFTW's picture
how did u become an atheist,

how did u become an atheist, and were u ever a Christian?

I never really was christian, about as christian as a 5 year old could claim to be christian. (To young or uninformed to really understand.)

I went from agnostic to atheist once I looked up definition of the word "god."

Dave Matson's picture
isobel,

isobel,

At last a question! My childhood saw me raised as a Lutheran. But, as the years rolled by, I slowly came to realize that Christianity has intractable scientific and common sense problems. Reading the whole Bible without the usual rose-colored tint in my glasses was what put me over the top. It became abundantly clear to me that the Bible was not even up to a college level of sophistication, let alone a work by a god. By the time I was 22 I was completely done with religion.

Sapporo's picture
I was a Christian as a child,

I was a Christian as a child, but rejected the Christian god first on the grounds of immorality (on its part). Later, I rejected all gods and other supernatural entities because I considered them to be immaterial.

isobel's picture
do u believe the immaterial

do u believe the immaterial as nonexistent?

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Isobel That is a silly

@ Isobel That is a silly question.

Ask any electrician.

CyberLN's picture
Or Newton’s apple.

Or Newton’s apple.

Tin-Man's picture
@Old Man

@Old Man

This is what I would normally call a target-rich environment. But the targets are just too easy, and I am trying my best to mind my manners. *hand clasped tightly over mouth while face turns red*

isobel's picture
right, but he said he

right, but he said he rejected theism because it is immateral

Dave Matson's picture
isobel,

isobel,

Is this your 2nd question?

Good reasoning must begin with the evidence, or with the axioms if you are doing math. Feelings are no reliable guide at all since one person's truth (based on his feelings or revelation) contradicts another person's truth (based on her feelings or revelations). In order for any revelation or inner feeling, however intense, to gain any credibility it must make testable predictions. Hence, it ultimately comes down to evidence.

Once we realize that evidence must be the starting point of any serious objective reasoning, the natural question is how do we test that evidence for reliability? Personal Interpretation invariably influences how we perceive things and any good psychologist can give you a long list of horror stories. The gold standard is to only allow evidence and claims that can be repeatedly checked by many people who have some expertise in that area. Ideally, they would compare notes as another check on reasoning and evidence.

If some immaterial thing leaves no evidence that fits the above gold standard, or perhaps no evidence at all, then it has little or no credibility. We don't say that it doesn't exist. Rather, we exclude it (insufficient evidence) from our library of reasonably reliable knowledge--our public library of truth. All claims that get filed in that public library of truth must pass a stiff test so as to insure that the great majority of ideas filed there are indeed true.

The short response: No, I don't claim to know that something immaterial (lacking good evidence) is nonexistent. I do claim that it should not be admitted to our public library of truth until it passes the test for entry.

isobel's picture
numbers are immaterial

numbers are immaterial

LogicFTW's picture
Numbers, a human thought

Numbers, a human thought construct, a label people made to measure the world around them, but has zero actual tangible evidence for. In other words, people made it up. Yep. Agree.

Just like how lots of theist like to say god is immaterial has no tangible evidence. Human thought construct, yep, people made it up.

isobel's picture
have u had good or bad

have u had good or bad experiences with Christians in general?

CyberLN's picture
Depends on the xtian.

Depends on the xtian.

isobel's picture
of course, but just on

of course, but just on average

CyberLN's picture
I won’t do that. I will not

I won’t do that. I will not sort people into buckets. It is inaccurate and inappropriate.

isobel's picture
why do u believe it

why do u believe it is inappropriate?

CyberLN's picture
It smells of too much

It smells of too much prejudice to me. Xtians are....Atheists act like....women think that....Italians all...

Some do, some don’t.

I want to avoid judging someone based on a category as much as I can.

isobel's picture
i didn't mean for u to lump

i didn't mean for u to lump all Christians into one category. i just wanted to know about the experiences u have had with certain Christian individuals. u could say half positive and half negative if u like.

CyberLN's picture
People are people. There are

People are people. There are lovely ones and assholes of every stripe. Name an individual and I’ll tell you about my experience with them. I will not, however, bite on your attempt to get me to say that folks with one aspect of their lives in common behave in any certain way. Did you not understand the point I was making earlier about that stinking of bigotry?

David Killens's picture
Let us just substitute just

Let us just substitute just one word, and you MUST reply. Of course you will resist because it is extremely offensive.

"have u had good or bad experiences with negros in general?"

Now, do you understand?

isobel's picture
lol idk if i would call them

lol idk if i would call them that, but personally, i have had extremely positive experiences with people who have dark skin. see? im not asking u to tell me how u feel about most Christians, just the ones u have encountered.

CyberLN's picture
Bingo, DK!

Bingo, DK!

isobel's picture
did u not see wut i said?

did u not see wut i said?

CyberLN's picture
Yes, and I think it’s

Yes, and I think it’s misguided.

isobel's picture
plz, explain

plz, explain

CyberLN's picture
It seems that you want me to

It seems that you want me to tell you about a number of people based on one commonality among them. That’s just bs. I can tell you about my experience with an individual, but to try to assign qualities to a group of people is, IMO, bigotry in action. I find it no different than ascribing a behavioral quality to, for instance, red-heads or folks who have diabetes. It is meaningless. It is vapor.

isobel's picture
look, if u dont want to

look, if u dont want to answer because of ur personal convictions, then just dont. other people were fine with the question

CyberLN's picture
You requested that I explain.

You requested that I explain. I did.

Do you think that your latest comment is at all gracious?

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