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Discussion in 'Religious Issues' started by Brasso, Jan 29, 2013.
I will do my best to remember to stay out of threads in GTRI that you start.
THIS IS NOT A BELIEVERS ONLY FORM! GET THAT THROUGH YOUR SKULL!
You Theists are going to have a hard time living in this new century. Non-believers are going to keep being more vocal. And our numbers are going to keep growing. Your religion is not under attack... it's dying. The writing is on the wall and you people just don't wanna see it. I don't want to silence you. I simply want your religion to die out from lack of supporter on its own. But you guys just want anyone that disagrees censored or silenced. Even if we were separated here.... you aren't going to silence us in the real world. You might as well learn to get used to being on the losing end of the situation.
Of course you don't cuz you are an atheist. You are your own man unencumbered by dogma. In fact you are so wise, that you come here to show us how foolish we are. You must really care.
I don't necessarily mind athiests posting in a Religious Issues forum -- they are religious issues they generally bring up.
If we claim to believe (as I do) we understand that there are various spritiual gifts - teaching, leading, discerning of spirits, etc. Each believer receives one of the gifts due to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We're called to do something specific for the body in line with our gifts. However, every believer is called to be an apologist:
1 Peter 3:15 - But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect ...
So my fellow Christians, are you prepared to give an answer with gentleness and respect? If not, it's time to check yourself. Now, I admit that this is hard work. Some of the non-theist posters present interesting arguments; defend your position or abdicate the field. Others present statements that seem to be designed only to inflame the believer. Answer with gentleness and respect. While I don't know who will choose salvation and who won't, I'm fairly certain that responding in kind to this sort of comment won't change anyone's mind. For example, I've had many conversations with non-believers, and for some, I don't know if I influenced them postively. I can however specifically recall conservations when I disregarded the "gentleness and respect" part of what I quoted before, and I'm farily certain that I drove them away from Christianity, possibly permanently. That's my personal challenge. My first inclination is not to speak with gentleness and respect (which is another reason I post infrequently here), and I have to stop, ask for grace, and then respond or shut up if I can't. From where I stand, it doesn't matter if the other side doesn't respond with gentleness and respect; they aren't called to do so, we are.
One area that Christians and churches fail miserably at is being able to explain their postion and investigate the other side's claims. That's a partial reason why I turned my back to the faith for many years; another reason is that I didn't want to be accountable for my actions. Only when I started investigating the claims of Judaism and Christianity with the goal of refuting them once and for all did I come to belief. In that respect, I'm an evidentialist, but that can only took me so far. Eventually I had to weigh the incomplete evidence and make a decision. Prior to that, I approached life from the postion that there could not be a God, and that caused a bias when considering the evidence.
My recommendation to my Christian brothers and sisters would be to learn some apologetics - I tend to read those who were not Christians, but came to it such as Ravi Zacharias (former Hindu; great podcasts), CS Lewis (athiest; especially Mere Christianity), J. Warner Wallace (a cold-case homicide detective whose professional career is gathering evidence to investigate an event in which there are few, if any eyewitnesses still around -- he was a staunch athiest until he started investigating the authenticity of the Bible) from pleaseconvinceme.com are places to start. Also read the other side -- Dawkins, Ehrman, Flew (before he changed sides) to name a few ; understand their reasoning and arguments, and work to refute them. Of course, you may come to doubt your faith, or you may come out stronger. If you believe (as I do), then you'll come out stronger. If there's gaps in why you believe, and you can't reconcile them, you may turn away - that's a risk you'll have to take. One thing I've come to realize is that there are many Christians who are so for no other reason than they were raised that way, but never did the dirty work of investigating why they believe what they believe. God never called us to suspend reason and critical thinking -- the verse "Love the Lord your God with all your heart .... all your mind.." isn't in there accidently. I'm not afraid to look at the other side - I have and made up my mind. I encourage you to do the same.
This forum presents an opportunity to explain why you believe what you believe. Will you be subjected to ridicule? Yep. We'll be hated for our beliefs, deal with it with gentleness and respect. I think we need less million dollar evangelists, and more one dollar apologists (to paraphrase Wallace in his podcasts). That's what you'll get from me -- one-dollar apologetics (or less, you get what you pay for!)
So to sum up, to the Christians (since this is less a religious issues forum and more a Christian issues forum), take the opportunity to explain with gentleness and respect and be what you're called to be. Some of us are guilty of not doing so. Search your heart, you'll know who you are. One bit of advice to my Christian brothers and sisters -- consider if what you're about to post serves as a good example of what we believe. If not, I'd hope you'd be convicted to revise it or keep quiet. Attacks and drive by scripture quoting won't change anyone's mind, and probably serve to reinforce the negative stereotype of Christians. Check Proverbs 20:3, 29:11 & 29:20.
To the non-believers, I ask for respect. Topics brought up here are open for debate, that's not an issue. However, from my perspective, many of the comments aren't doing anything to convince me that your position has more merit, and in fact tend to reinforce several of the scriptures to me. If your goal in the debate is to change minds then you're failing. If your goal is drive-by posting then you're succeding. The previous comment doesn't include every non-theist that posts here; several have intelligent, respectful, thoughtful comments that require me to think and reconcile the conflict. I appreciate it.
Remember Akil? They ran him right out of town.
This thread effectively illustrates the inevitable problem with being convinced that you have the one and only truth and that this truth applies to everyone. Sooner or later it brings people to the conclusion that they shouldn't be allowed to disagree with you.
He'll be along shortly to claim that he rarely (if ever) encounters theists being unreasonable and/or claiming infallible knowledge.
I remember him from a few posts I read, I figured Snow "I really hate Islam" Bird was the one who ran him off.
I'm more or less wondering what Theists think if there were to be a bunch of folks in here preaching up ol'Moe Hammad and telling all the Christians they were infidels who were gonna serve them in the after life....Would there be a thread titled "May We Please Have an Islam Forum?"
I can't believe I would ever say this but I agree with Brasso on this one.
I used to enjoy the forum and have meaningful discussions while both sharing my faith and learning about the finer points of others. I stopped taking this forum seriously some time ago and really don't post here all that often anymore. One can only talk about evolution so much.
It's a lot like JBnTX said.
Methinks you've misunderstood the idea and intent behind the creation of a *discussion* forum...
If certain posters annoy you, put them on your ignore list. Easy, peasy.
I'm an atheist and I certainly don't begrudge anyone their faith - so long as they don't try to impose it on me or proselytize to me.
The only problem is that the basic premise of your worldview is that everything supernatural must be discounted. Therefore, any faith is groundless and there is no rational argument that can be seriously considered. This is not discussion on your part. It is warfare against anything that does not agree with your world view.
I agree with Brasso, atheists are here only to provoke, attack, and troll.They need a seperate section to discuss their beliefs in.
I am very dissapointed the the admins to this section have not stepped in and addressed these issues.
I pray it will happen soon.
It probly will. Since so many of you cannot seem to handle dissent.
Although the "I'm gonna take my ball and go home" attitude may not work out for you quite as well as you might think.
There is a strong inductive argument to be made rejecting the supernatural. I don't agree that Gecko's written proof can be applied to God/s, but as with any inductive argument the success lies in being able to convince the reader of your conclusion.
Can you cite any specific phenomenon where a supernatural explanation has been shown to be correct?
Luckily no one cares what you think either. This forum does not belong to you. It is not yours to dictate what happens and who can post in what. You don't like the diversity of responses you get when you post here? Don't post here. That is what power you have. The power to govern yourself. You religious people are going to have to learn (Probably the hard way) that you can't silence people that disagree with you just because you feel attacked when your beliefs are shown to not be grounded in reality. If you don't like that view point I suggest you crawl under your bed and hide away from the rest of the world. You don't get to demand that some protective bubble be maintained around you so that you can remain in La La Land unchallenged.
No one is waging war on you. Stop playing such a victim. You guys (Believers) are a majority in this nation. Yet you act like everyone is out to get you. understand this is how sensitive you people are. That anyone that disagrees with you is waging war against you. Poor you... 17% of the nation is waging war on you. But to your point about the supernatural... has anything supernatural in the history of the world ever been proven or evidenced? Ever? Anything? Why should it be given equal consideration just because it makes you feel warm and fuzzy. No one is telling you what to believe. You're angry because you can illustrate it as true. That's what we represent to you people... you inability to reconcile what you believe with reality. It makes you angry that we remind you of this. And so you just want us gone. You don't want discussion, or debate... you just want your view held over top of everyone else's.
The most fighting in here in the last month was stirred up by an Agnostic. This is not a believers only forum. I imagine our options are love this forum or leave it.
What do you mean by "the hard way"?
Not what most evangelicals would like it to mean such that they can live out their little tribulation doomsday fantasy.
Through multiple disappointments that people aren't going to coddle them or baby them just because they don't like people illustrating the flaws, contradictions, and inequities in their belief system.
The easy thing to do would be to just accept that people aren't going to agree and learn to deal with it. But instead many of the religious just want those that disagree silenced. As Geko said, many believers feel that people just simply shouldn't be allowed to disagree openly because it's some kind of imagined assault on their faith.
GH, if you'll search, every theist who has gotten on my case has been engaged by me with the same level of politeness they show me. I'm an equal opportunity kind of a guy. Maybe you don't understand the agnostic point of view. I have no problems with theists believing there is a god, or atheists believing there isn't. That's simply a choice people make with faith. If they think I'm going to hell, I'm not convinced I am. Besides, I think his rant was aimed at atheists, not agnostics.
The fact that you are even offended that some guy is telling you that you will go to a place you don't believe exists might indicate something. What do you think it means?