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Atheists Wanted

Discussion in 'Non-Theistic/Non-Religious Beliefs DIR' started by AJS, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. AJS

    AJS AJS

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    “Hi ____everyone. I'm Adam________, I am taking Apologetics 120 at Willmington School of the Bible which is a part of Liberty University. I was hoping you might be able to help me with a homework assignment I have for my course. The assignment requires that I interview 4 people regarding their worldview. In order to evaluate you as a potential candidate for my assignment, could you please tell me your current religious views? Would you mind if I set up a time and a place for me to interview you? It shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes for the interview.”
     
  2. Daemon Sophic

    Daemon Sophic Avatar in flux

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    Why not have the interview here on the forum?
    I would love to discuss the agnostic point of view with you, but there’s no way in heck that I’m going to give you my telephone number.

    Good luck.

    And welcome to the forum by the way! :);)
    Have some nanaimo bars....
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. David T

    David T Well-Known Member
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    eeb5d57b4e547cb0271a3b53ecf2a242.jpg
     

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  4. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    Yeah I second that. Right here in the interview forum.
     
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  5. AJS

    AJS AJS

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    Okay we can talk in the interview regarding your wishes. The original post was just a template of what we might might say.
    But I will not argue in debate as I'm just looking for your knowledge and opinions of Christianity. Is that okay?

    Here's a list of questions for it the interview.

    1. (Origin question): How do you describe the origin of the human race and the world?

    2. (Identity question): Who are “we” as the human race? Are we an accident? Do we have intrinsic value?

    3. (Meaning/purpose question): What is the meaning and purpose of life?

    4. (Morality question): Where does the idea of right and wrong come from?

    5. (Destiny question): What do you think happens to people after they die? Do you believe in heaven and hell? Who decides or how does one get to heaven versus hell?

    Apologetics Action Questions:

    1. What is your opinion of Christians in general?

    2. If a Christian were to sit down and talk with you about their faith, what would it take to convince you that it was worth looking into or accepting?

    I'm looking forward to your answers and interviewing here in the forum.

    Thank you for replying.

    Sincerely,

    Adam
     
  6. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    Welcome to the forums.
    You might want to clarify some of the ambiguities in your questions.
     
  7. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    There is a good fair amount of ambiguity. Some refinement would be helpful.

    Anyways...


    1) If you're talking about the world in terms of the physical planet. The origin of Earth is pretty much what we see out there happening in the universe as we observe the process as it occurs in other systems. Given what we know at present, our own lives started with organic and inorganic material likely introduced from asteroids and or comets that crashed on the surface of Earth and reacted when conditions and circumstances were ideal. True abogenesis is of course unknown of which the original source probably isn't even around anymore. It's not like a singularity can be observed as it stands. It would seem the quantum realm has a lot of potential for answering many questions, but it's pretty much unexplored territory given our limitations with current technology.

    2) I don't know about accidents. That's assuming life never existed anywhere for the scope of Infinity prior to our arrival.

    I'm taking there is an infinite amount of potential where I personally suspect life may have always been around long before the universe in its present form as we see today. I'm going along the lines that we actually live in a continuum given the nature of everything is dynamic, and in flux for which our "value" comes across as universally superfluous. It's only relevant among ourselves.

    3) I've always taken the meaning and purpose of life is simply......to live. The meaning is what we make of it.

    4) Morality is just how well a group or Community gets along with each other.

    Our sense of right or wrong is probably based on our instincts and capacity for empathy which of course varies from person to person.

    5) I answer this one by looking at atoms and molecules. We are essentially a composite probably ancient as universe is old. There isn't really any actual death going on past the form we take on as living beings. When we "die" it just means the atoms, our composition, "falls apart" causing our form to lose cohesion and consequently rebinds into other molecules creating new substances and life. It's not like anything really gets destroyed. It just rearranges.

    As to our "destination" I don't think there is one. Just that the lights go out and the lights come on again. In the coffin, out of the coffin. I would say this life I'm living now, is a destination of sorts. What comes next? Who knows? My basis for it is, if it happened once, it looks like it's a pretty safe bet this will pretty much certainly happen again over and over in perpetuity.

    For your apologetics inquiry.....

    1) As an ex Christian you might be surprised that I actually think rather highly of the religion in terms of Christianity being an oasis for people in times of trouble. But I suppose that can be said for just about any other religion that has a fraternal aspect to it. That said, I do think Christians are basically delusional people living within attractive stained glass houses with rose colored glasses engrossed in a world of their own making for for which a person can become unrealistically cloistered with a skewed view that clashes with reality and in denial of anything that invades that comfort zone.

    2) lol ... I figured that's the main point here of the entire interview. A crack in the armor maybe? *Grin*

    Aside from my ribbing, I actually have an answer for the question. Basically it's this....

    A nice start would be noticing anything unique or miraculous that stands out for which Christianity could be identified as being actually "on to something". Christianity right now is really no different than any other religion out there when it comes to this. Pretty much when you see one religion , you essentially have seen them all. Christianity falls well within that criteria.

    Personally I also would think Christians would be in communication with their God yet all the existing denominations and divisions indicates otherwise. If all that confusion were to cease, and a complete consensus emerges, in every regard, that would be strikingly unusual for a religion.

    Like one single church with one single message with no divisions or branching out whatsoever with a concise and clear understanding what scriptures if any, say and mean. Since there is nothing of the sort like that going on, that would serve as very hard evidence there is no real communication with any God whatsoever going on. You simply can't convince others when you're finding it impossible to even agree among yourselves. There's just no hope of doing so unless by some miracle, there is a complete 100% consensus to show and prove you are indeed in communication with a deity.

    To put it another way, If it took a God to convince the characters in the Bible, it's certainly going to take a bona fide god to convince others in the same way those characters in the Bible became convinced, and not like watching a typical episode of Ghost Hunters where you have a group of people running around just pretending that something is there using parlor tricks and trinkets to drive on their message.


    Well that's the best I can with interpreting the list of questions. Best of luck in your studies.
     
    #7 Nowhere Man, Nov 4, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  8. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    I'm happy to give it a try...

    That seems like 2 quite distinct questions to me. Ultimately, I don't know how life on earth started (which is perhaps what you mean here). Humans came about via evolutionary processes.
    As for the planet, apart from the general view that the world's age can be measured in the billions of years, I don't claim to know how earth, or other planets were formed.
    Here is an article highlighting some of the current theories around this...
    How Was Earth Formed?

    I've never quite understood why the only alternative to intelligent creation is 'accident'. Suffice to say I don't believe we were intelligently created, else I wouldn't be an atheist.
    We don't hold intrinsic value to the universe, but at the same time, we are the ones determining what holds value. I would hope shared humanity has some value, that being the case.

    We bring our own meaning to life. I've never had a satisfactory answer of how this is any different for a Christian.

    Our culture, our parents, and those around us. Some things are obvious lines, and appear universal. Not killing our fellow humans is a shared pact we hope also protects us. Unfortunately war is a clear example of how fragile this pact is. Some things commonly considered 'right' or 'wrong' are actually less universal than we think. Some indigenous tribes lacked the idea of personal property, so concepts of 'theft' were quite different in those societies. Others were polygamist. Some banned images of their gods, others saw images as a means of worship. Clothing versus undress is also widely varied.

    They are dead. No more a part of the earth than they were prior to their birth, unless you wish to wax poetic on the circle of life.

    Apologetics Action Questions:

    I think they commonly misunderstand atheism, and see the world in binary fashion. But there is very little than can be said about Christians in general, due to the broad umbrella of beliefs that fit underneath that term.
    I have several close friends who are Christians, and have had devout friends.

    This has happened many times in my life.
    Most of us live in societies where Christian belief is widespread, and many of us...myself included...experienced Christian upbringings, or at least have attended and are familiar with Christian services.
    A Christian could convince me that their belief is honest, (although this would not be via earnest professing of it) but that's about it.

    I am not sure what you mean by 'worth looking into or accepting'. I have more than simply 'looked into' Christianity, and I accept the rights of Christians to believe as they wish. For me to become a Christian (if that is more what you meant) it would take far more than a sit down and chat. It would almost certainly require a personal revelation at this point.



    No worries, Adam, I hope it helps.
    If you need anything further, or require clarification of any answers, just let me know.
     
  9. ecco

    ecco Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad I didn't waste my time thoughtfully responding to a series of questions only to find the OP doesn't even bother to acknowledge responses people have made.

    My opinion of one of them just went down.
     
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  10. AJS

    AJS AJS

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    Sir, I’m sorry that I haven’t got to your comment sooner. But I do agree being cordial and respectful towards others. However, I have Schizoaffective Disorder which is half of Bi-Polar and half Paranoid Schizophrenic. I’m paranoid of new people especially online because I can see them as I would in person. I shut down after a couple of postings and that was the case then. I’m just sick and could use the understanding. Thank you for pointing that out to me.
     
  11. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Hey mate,
    Hope you're doing well now.
     
  12. masonlandry

    masonlandry Member

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    I think the most likely and most accurate desciption of the origin of homo sapiens is what we have from the theory of evolution by natural selection. We evolved from our ancestor, homo erectus, along with 4 or 5 other known species of homo who have all gone extinct now. If by the world you mean Earth, it came to be shortly after the sun did, when enough mass had accumulated in one area that gravitational force brought particles together in increasing volumes, which continued smashing into other large bodies, growing larger and larger until they had been pulled together so much that there was enough space between bodies that the bigger one didn't pull each other in any longer. If by the world you mean the entire universe, I don't know.

    I don't know what this question means. I don't think it has a meaningful answer unless given some more context. I don't know whether we are an accident or not. Accident sort of implies an unexpected consequence. I don't know the extent of what could be expected of universes. For all I know, things happen the way they do because there is no other option. Or maybe we are an accident. I don't know how to tell. As far as intrinsic value, that's a difficult question. If we have any, it's only in that other humans consider us valuable without choice. This seems like it might be the case, but I'm not sure. If it is, it would be a consequence of natural selection. A social species is much more functional (much more "fit" for their environment) if they treat other members of their tribe like they matter, because the other memebers are largely what determine whether you mate or survive.

    I don't think there is just one, at least in a grand, transcendent sense. Each individual will feel meaning and purpose for different reasons. It doesn't come from an external source, but internally.

    Again, it evolved. Social species have an aspect of natural selection that non-social species don't have. Other members of the species are additional "selectors". There are certain behaviors that will make other people not like you, not mate with you, not allow you to live near them or at all. If you act in those ways, you don't be passing on your genes. On the flip side, there are ways to behave that benefit not only you, but also your family and your community and continue to do so over lang periods of time. Those who act this way get the best mates, the best security, etc, and they are very likely to pass on their genes that make them predisposed to act this way. A lot of it is also just learned from one generation to the next, and passed on in stories as well as laws. There are moral positions people seem to hold naturally that, if they were to somehow become isolated and their children never taught, the kids would probably lack what seem to us to be intrinsic morals.

    I don't think people exist after they die. you're just dead, like a flame that has been exstinguished. I don't believe in heaven or hell, at least not in the literal sense of places you go after death.

    Apologetics Action Questions:

    It's really too large a group to have a general opinion about. I honestly think fundamentalists and evangelicals are complete wackadoos. Literal belief in the Bible seems really silly to me, but I understand why people believe it. As long as Christians aren't trying to impose their particular views on other people, I don't mind them believing things I think are silly. As far as the stories and the metaphysics, I think they contain a lot of metaphorical truth that is really useful and important to understand, which is why I consider myself a cultural Christian.

    It would depend on what brand they were trying to convince me of. To convince me that the whole Bible was literally true, I think would be impossible. You'd have to convince me that everything I know about the world is wrong. It would be as difficult as trying to convince me that the ocean is made of jello. To convince me that some conscious, actual, living deity existed and wanted me to know that, I don't think a Christian would be the one who could convince me, the deity who was interested in me would have to do that, and I guess it would know what to do.
     
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