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Old 03-30-2001, 10:24 AM   #11
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
No, absolutely not. It is a one way door. All atheist converts are genuine, all Christian converts are only emotional cripples. </font>
Here's another good example. The use of the sarcastic extreme. Nice one, Layman!

Only problem is, I agree (though I'd replace "all" with "most" as I did in my original post).

 
Old 03-30-2001, 10:24 AM   #12
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[B}
As with most secular vs. cult issues, we tell the truth and cultists tell carefully crafted lies so that they can pretend they're telling the truth.
[/B}
That is what the bible is all about and that is what politicians are about today. Our leaders tell us carefully crafted lies. Some of us see through their thinly veiled messages while others remain as their trolls.
I guess it is o.k. to tell lies because the bible that we are supposed to swear upon is a book of lies.

thanks,
offa
 
Old 03-30-2001, 10:29 AM   #13
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
No, absolutely not. It is a one way door. All atheist converts are genuine, all Christian converts are only emotional cripples.</font>
Break out the bubbly - Layman has seen the light!
 
Old 03-30-2001, 10:32 AM   #14
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by gcameron:
Doesn't it cut both ways, though? I mean, if we are willing to claim that an atheist convert like Dan Barker was once a true Christian, shouldn't we also accept that ex-atheists were true atheists?</font>
Not necessarily. It would (obviously) depend upon the "ex-atheist" in question. Here the question went to Stroebel (and, indirectly, Josh McDowell), who, in my opinion, uses atheism as a tool of propaganda.

As for whether or not we should take "their" word for it (meaning any other ex-atheists lurking out there), I suppose it wouldn't matter one way or another, unless their word is a lie in order to promulgate their cult agenda, as I believe to be the case with both Stroebel and McDowell.

Regardless, truth is on our side, right Layman?



 
Old 03-30-2001, 11:06 AM   #15
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
No, absolutely not. It is a one way door. All atheist converts are genuine, all Christian converts are only emotional cripples. </font>
I have known people converted from fuzzy non-belief to Christianity, and I think that being emotionally crippled is a good part of the reason.

The people involved were not looking for truth or reason, and were not trained as skeptical thinkers on religious matters. They were looking for community and social support. The price of this social support was to give up part of their reasoning (which Christians label "pride").

Converts from Christianity to atheism are more likely to be genuine, because the new atheist usually loses family and social support.

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Old 03-30-2001, 11:08 AM   #16
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by hezekiahjones:
Break out the bubbly - Layman has seen the light!</font>
While I recognize what an asset I would be to the Atheist community, and appreciate the celebration such an event would induce among skeptics world wide, I must confess that I lack sufficient faith to be an atheist.
 
Old 03-30-2001, 11:18 AM   #17
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True, some of these Christian apologists may once have been real, convinced atheists/agnostics. However, they may also have been simply indifferent to religion, as seems to have been the case with C.S. Lewis, who had claimed that he had been angry at God for not existing. Why be angry at a fictional being?

Farrell Till, maintainer of the _Skeptical Review_ (Biblical-errancy publication archived at this site), maintains that many "ex-atheists" had actually simply been indifferent to religion, as described earlier, and that he does not know of serious philosophical atheists who had converted.
 
Old 03-30-2001, 11:30 AM   #18
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As to conversion stories, one cute one was that of pop singer Cat Stevens. Someone had given him a book on Islam, and one day, he was swimming in the ocean. A rip tide pulled him out seaward, and he begged to Allah for help. He claimed that a big current pulled him back to the land, and that that had induced him to become a Muslim. Even to the point of changing his name to Yusuf Islam and becoming a hard-boiled Koran-banger.

I'm not impressed with that "miracle", because if Allah was really omnipotent, Allah could have picked Mr. Stevens out of the water and carried him in the air. Water currents seem as if Allah was trying to hide or something.

 
Old 03-30-2001, 12:31 PM   #19
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The Argument form the Hospitals, as it may be called, is IMO rather weak, since the most successful forms of medicine treat the Biblical God as an unnecessary hypothesis, though in fairness, no more unnecessary a hypothesis than most other deities.

It's just like lightning rods -- Ben Franklin's invention was far more effective at protecting against lightning than the Power of Prayer or ringing church bells.

And the Bible is *very* short of discussions of modern types of medicine or sanitation, of experimental procedures, and so forth. Why does the Bible lack discussion of these important things?

Finally, how many hospitals have herds of pigs on hand to serve as temporary homes for cast-out demons?
 
Old 03-30-2001, 12:39 PM   #20
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However, a book that features such conciliatory language as "Blind guides! Snakes and brood of vipers! How can you escape being thrown into Hell?" is not the sort of book that is big on discussing alternate possibilities or hypothesis testing or how to design experiments. Where does the Bible discuss controlled experiments? Or hypothesis falsifiability?

By contrast, an approximate contemporary of some of the writers of the Bible, Hippocrates, was remarkably rational when he pointed out that epilepsy is called the disease of the Gods because nobody really knows what causes it.
 
 

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