Open thread for episode 23.09: Tracie & Phil

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  1. B says

    I grew up in religion and met the Holy Spirit one day. I never knew what I know now when I was a Catholic. God is personal to me in that He filled me with His Spirit. In a moment, I went from angry, using drugs to total freedom. Even my old friends wouldn’t have anything to do with me. The light of the Lord was now shining from within. You can ask a lot of questions to disprove God in your unbelief, but I have seen God, not religion, save and transform many hearts. You say, ” where’s your proof? I’d say, this is my testimony of what He did in me in 1986. I have no desire to spread lies, but truth. Jesus died for us sinners that we might have His Spirit take up residence within us. He’s as close as the mention of His name. His tender, loving and peaceful Spirit wants to give you what you and I could never attain I our own. Don’t be religious, but call upon Him in Jesus name and you’ll know there is a God that loves.

  2. Lamont Cranston says

    Atheist Capital of America! 🙂 There is a new take on ACA 🙂 Go Tracie, go.

    With regard to the recent Methodist Church declaration/announcement/whatever it is, I had a brief glimpse into the turmoil this has caused within at least one (maybe now former?) Methodist church.

    That church has provided a meeting place for LGBTQ people and their families and friends for years and years. Some of the members of the church also attend the meetings. They are very upset about the situation. It actually came to the point of the church choosing to cover up the Methodist part of their sign on the building in protest of what is happening.

    Sometimes people know the right and moral thing to do IN SPITE of their religion.

    Lamont Cranston

  3. says

    @B – Your entire post dismisses every deconvert who had experiences just like yours, but came to understand it as confusing their own capacity with god. You express your story as though no atheist has ever witnessed that same thing and deconverted–which has happened. There have been life-long believers dedicated to their relationships with “god” who are now atheists, because they came to believe they were misinterpreting other data points, experiences, influences.

    You also dismiss all of the people who successfully turn their lives around without god, because of other influences, like “after I had a child, I realized I had to start thinking more about the choices I was making in life.” Or, “after my best friend died, I thought about the path we were headed down, and whether I also wanted to end up in a casket when I was only 21.” Many things can influence people to make changes. Religion–or even a belief in / personal relationship god–is just one such thing
    people mention. It’s certainly not some sort of miraculously unique tool in that regard.

    You also dismiss all the people from all other religions who reject Jesus was who you believe he was, who say that their religions are life-altering and helped them. Some of those religions–such as some forms of secular Buddhism–are even atheistic. If religions that change lives that reject Jesus as Lord can make the same claims–does that mean they are right about your savior and you are wrong? How does a nonbeliever choose between similar competing claims about gods that are logically contradictory?

    So, I guess my question is how you are sure that your turn around was due to a real god helping you, or that you simply were able to do it on your own, due to a misinterpretation of the data that led you to believe a god did what you were entirely capable of doing on your own, with the right trigger/s? I even gave the example during the show of a tale about Tesla attributing his capacity for understanding some of his inventions to extra-terrestrial minds. His discoveries may have been outstanding. And he could have honestly believed they were inspired by aliens. But does that make it true? And if we care about whether our beliefs are true or not–shouldn’t we care if it’s true or not? Or should we just hear and believe because that’s what Tesla said?*

    In the end, regardless, I’m happy if you’re no longer in behaviors that were damaging to your or your life. But I you have to show there is a god that exists before you can say it can cause things to happen. The fact that things happen is not evidence of the existence of a god–even things that are meaningful and useful to you.

    *I noted on the show it was a story I’d heard. I don’t know if this is a true story about Tesla, but it certainly serves as a good illustration for why testimonials are not evidence of the existence of god. It wasn’t good evidence for the person giving the testimonial (who was simply believing without sufficient reason), and it wasn’t good evidence for anyone else, certainly.

  4. RationalismRules says

    When I was in my mid-20s I met a young woman who told me that she had met an alien. The alien had visited her in her bedroom, and sat on the end of her bed. And she knew that the alien had come to take her away, with her sister. She didn’t just think it, or sense it, she knew it.

    She told this story with the same sincerity and intensity that you have displayed in your post.

    I find your post similar in every way to her story, and I believe both accounts equally.

  5. bluestar says

    What brings you to a place called The Atheist Experience? Either you want to re-convert the de-converted (not likely) or you are seeking some one from the gallery to confirm your belief (more likely), or you wish to impress your friends by trolling an atheist web board with your ‘non-religion’ (most likely). I hate to break this to you but you are in a religion. It is called Christianity; the belief that Jesus – Ben -Joseph from Galilee of +/- 2,000 years ago is actually god. Something neither his close followers or himself actually believed in the early days. Your non- religion requires worship of this deity exclusively,and the loving god you speak of has designed a forever torture chamber for those who don’t believe. I’m happy that you are no longer an angry drug user, but perhaps you don’t give yourself enough credit for that transition. This is actually quite common many of the fundie believers I know claim to have been delivered from addiction, abusive relationships, whatever by god. If that is what makes it work for you fine. But please don’t come here and say you aren’t religious. You may no longer be Catholic, but you are still in a religion.

  6. speedofsound says

    I was visited by jesus hisself one night. He was hovering above the foot of my bed. Interesting that these hoverings often occur at the foot of the bed. It’s an interesting story. To me anyway.

  7. anti religion says

    Religious people should learn that no religious person has ever proven to an atheist that God is real, and that it is impossible to do so. It has never happened, and it never will.

  8. speedofsound says

    I was also visited by a twelve foot high troll, scary motherfucker, out in my yard on a hot summer night after a 9 day cocaine binge. Another interesting, but less so, story.

    I could have taken him into my heart and lived in accord with his rulings but I decided to call it a week and go get some sleep instead.

  9. Lamont Cranston says

    B says in #1:

    I grew up in religion and met the Holy Spirit one day. I never knew what I know now when I was a Catholic. God is personal to me in that He filled me with His Spirit. In a moment, I went from angry, using drugs to total freedom… His tender, loving and peaceful Spirit wants to give you what you and I could never attain I our own. Don’t be religious, but call upon Him in Jesus name and you’ll know there is a God that loves.

    B, welcome. I am glad you have had an experience that was so good for you. Of course it does little to establish whether or not a god actually exists. I know you believe it and think everyone else can and would have the same experience that you have had. However, that isn’t the way it is. Many here, including myself, have done exactly as you did and are now aware that there really is no proof that a personal god actually exists.

    That does not mean that we may not have gained some personal insights and have become better people. It just means that we are what we are because we put the time and effort into those things. You did too, but simply don’t give yourself credit for what you have done. You just believe someone or something else did it for you.

    You have a belief in a very good god and a belief in a very kind Jesus. That’s nice. Of course it doesn’t exactly agree with the god or Jesus portrayed in the Bible. That’s quite normal of course. People have a tendency to make gods be what they want them to be. It was reading the Bible that led me out of my preconceived notions. The God of the Bible, if you read it for what it says, is not nice. He is a jealous, vengeful, angry god who orders his followers to kill entire populations of men women and children. He explains how to acquire and treat slaves (just make sure they don’t die after you beat them), and gives people a lot of confusing and contradictory commands while condemning people to eternal punishment for very small transgressions (like using your mind instead of just doing what you are told).

    Please, if your belief makes you a better person, stick with it if you feel the need. The reality is that you became a better person because of you, not a magic man in the sky (or anywhere else for that matter). You had it within you to be the person you became. Congratulations.

    Then, if you ever choose to be more concerned whether what you believe is true or not, I hope you understand you can believe things because they are true without being a bad person.

    Lamont Cranston

  10. says

    >Religious people should learn that no religious person has ever proven to an atheist that God is real, and that it is impossible to do so. It has never happened, and it never will.

    I do think nonbelievers convert, although that may not be what you’re talking about. Not sure I’d use the word “prove” so much as convinced. Nonbelievers have been convinced to believe by believers, certainly. When I was younger, I was also convinced, and ultimately years later became unconvinced again. So, it’s not really fair to say that “B” can’t hope to convert anyone (and since he was converted, albeit by personal experience, he has some reason to believe people who don’t believe can become believers. It’s not undemonstrated. And I think that’s probably more his point/thinking–although I can’t speak for the person, obviously.

    For me what is more compelling is the question of why he rejects the testimonials of others as unconvincing, but expects his testimonials to be convincing. So, If he’s asked why someone should believe a god helped someone get clean of an addiction, when clearly we have testimonials from people who did so without god, then why not assume the person claiming god helped them, did it through secular mechanisms, but is simply confused? Why not accept there is nothing miraculous in someone cleaning up their life–even in horrible life circumstances?

    Additionally, why reject the testimonials of people who accept other religions without Jesus or even opposed to Jesus as Lord, and accept B’s? If B rejects their testimonials as evidence of the truth of their beliefs about god/Jesus, why would he expect his own testimony to be compelling? Testimony in this situation is either compelling and should be believed, or not. As he rejects the stories from people who reject Jesus as Lord are representing truth about god–why does he believe his own story is credible?

    And then there is the rejection of deconverts who say they believed and had their own personal experiences of/with god, and now say they believe they were mistaken? If testimonials are compelling, shouldn’t that make him reconsider his beliefs? Why should others be convinced by testimonials when he is not? Why should his testimony be believed when he doesn’t consider the testimony of others to be believable–rejecting their new understanding that a god wasn’t the reason for what they experienced?

    It’s like handing you a photo of Big Foot and expecting you to be convinced, and someone else hands me a photo of a fairy in their garden and I reject it and label it a fake. For me it’s not whether others are convinced by the photos, it’s about the irrationality of considering my photo valid evidence, while rejecting the photos of others as clearly unbelievable.

    It’s asserting that photographic evidence should always be rejected unless it comes from me/aligns with what I already believe.

  11. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @B #1:

    met the Holy Spirit one day

    Describe the ways the Spirit thing affected objects in the environment and appeared to your senses.

    [God] filled me with His Spirit

    Explain ‘filled’.
    I have a vague understanding based on the verb’s conventional uses.
    It was previously not inside you.
    You had some capacity to contain this thing.
    It was somehow moved into you, in a way that registered on your senses.
    Presumably this registered in ways other than a headache, full stomach, bloating, or abdominal pain.

    I went from angry, using drugs to total freedom.

    Mood and behavior are features of you.
    Why do you implicate a Spirit thing?
    Did you even *see* a Spirit thing?

    The light of the Lord was now shining from within.

    Is this ‘light’ synonymous with the ‘Spirit’?
    Does it illuminate a dark room?
    Can you take a lux measurement of its intensity?
    What part of the electromagnetic spectrum is it?
    If not, why call it ‘light’?

    I have seen God

    Oh good. So you should be able to describe God, at least.
    We have appropriate words for detailing visual phenomena. Please use them.

    Even my old friends wouldn’t have anything to do with me.

    That’s sad.

    I have seen God, not religion, save and transform many hearts

    A ‘heart’ is an organ that contracts rhythmically to circulate blood.
    If you do not mean an organ, why call it a ‘heart’? *
    What was threatening the hearts that made saving necessary?
    * I’m familiar with reasons ancients would’ve been confused. Why are you, today?

    I have no desire to spread lies, but truth.

    How do you expect to spread truth when you use the wrong words to convey what you mean?

    Jesus died for us sinners that we might have His Spirit take up residence within us

    First God’s Spirit, then Jesus’ Spirit too? Must be crowded in there.
    What does dying have to do with this Spirit thing?
    Sounds like an important part of the process.
    Are Jesus and God dead then?
    Do the Spirit(s) only take up short-term residence?
    Do we have to wait until *you* die before the Spirit(s) transfer into another host body?

    He’s as close as the mention of His name.

    So Jesus doesn’t exist in regions where his name isn’t mentioned?
    If the name is said simultaneously by multiple people, is he in multiple places at once?
    Is he summoned when someone shouts his name as profanity?
    Or with spelling / inflection differences?
    What about referring to regular humans who also happen to be named Jesus?
    Is Jesus perpetually mind-reading to tell the difference?
    If he’s reading minds, why is *mentioning* his name even necessary?

    His tender, loving and peaceful Spirit wants to give you what you and I could never attain [on] our own.

    How do you know what the Spirit thing wants?
    Does it communicate? If so, describe that communication.
    What *exactly* is it wanting to give? You didn’t say.
    Why can’t we attain that on our own?
    Why would we even want it?

  12. Ronald Kyle says

    @#1 B says

    I … met the Holy Spirit one day…. using drugs…

    How do you know it was the Holy Casper and not the Devil or an Alien or just a delusion as a result of your brain having been damaged as a consequence of you abusing the hell out of it with your history of substance abuse?

    God is personal to me in that He filled me with His Spirit.

    … Are you sure it was not an erotic fantasy you had as a result of your grey cells having been smashed so frequently in the past and now they are again hankering for the stupor?

    The light of the Lord was now shining from within.

    Are you sure it is not a luminescent parasite you ingested or an Alien’s finger that has luminescent properties?

    Jesus died for us sinners that we might have His Spirit take up residence within us.

    How do you know that? And why do you think that this heinous insanity was in anyway necessary for Jesus’ spirit to penetrate into you… could he not find a better way to possess your body?

    Jesus died…

    Really??? I thought he is alive!!!

    Jesus had an extreme BDSM weekend with strapping humans in domineering uniforms and afterwards went back home to his alien planet… ah and before that he duped 12 idiots to leave their families unprotected and unprovided for, so as to have naked feet washing orgies with him while his “spirit took up residence inside them”.

    He’s as close as the mention of His name. His tender, loving and peaceful Spirit wants to give you what you and I could never attain I our own.

    Why doesn’t he do anything when he watches and listens to the millions of cries of agony and screeches of fear and wails of suffering of millions of children around the world who perish on a daily basis as a result of their torture or starvation or diseases or abuses and exploitation?

    I guess he was too busy attending to you, making sure that the insertion of his spirit inside you proceeded smoothly.

    … call upon Him in Jesus name and you’ll know there is a God that loves.

    Really… is that the same celestial slave monger who did not lift a finger while in his name and for his sake were tortured to death, millions of the descendants of his friend and chosen above of all humanity Sumerian pimp???
    Ah… I guess their screeches and cries and screams where not begging his more recently beloved ill begotten son, so they did not deserve to be succored.
    “The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum.” ― Thomas Paine

  13. says

    @heicart Have you ever considered that what B speaks about regarding the “Holy Spirit” may be universal to all the major religions? I mean, if people find their way here from watching The Atheist Experience, then these threads will continue to be haunted by people like B. He may use the term “Holy Spirit,” because he grew up with western religion, but if he were a Hindu, he may call it moksha or if he were a Buddhist, he may call it “buddha-nature,” but all these terms are essentially just different ways of saying one and the same thing.

    I’d be interested in what B has to elaborate on it, but the way everyone here sort of pounced on him with a barrage of questions may be why he hasn’t responded yet. I don’t know if you ran across the thread for the first episode this year, but I spoke on this elaborately with all the users that participate here on these threads, and spoke on terms like Holy Spirit, nirvana, Fana in Islam, etc. relative to what neuroscientists today call mystical states of consciousness which occur on a spectrum that range from visionary/archetypal experiences to full-blown or “complete” mystical experiences precisely as Mitchell Diamond has pointed out in an episode you appeared on with him. That was an awesome episode, by the way. The phones went down that day, so y’all couldn’t take callers and you were able to really pick his mind, and it made for a really interesting episode. I would really like to see him on the show again.

    Anyway, I want to quote a professional for you involved in this research happening at Johns Hopkins relative to these mystical states of consciousness, a.k.a. mystical experiences that might give you somewhat of a better idea how these professionals approach all of this.

    “This mystical consciousness we’ve come to, at least, I would argue that it’s evidence of the so-called Perennial philosophy. In each of the great world’s religions, there’s a word that points to it. You know, samadhi in Hinduism, nirvana in Buddhism, sekhel mufla in Judaism, Theoria or the the Beatific vision in Christianity, wu wei in Taoism, baqá wa faná in Islam, The One in Neoplatonism, it is the Gnosis of the Gnostics and so on. It just seems to be something that’s intrinsic to the human organism, and it can be facilitated in many different ways. Not everyone has to take psychedelics drugs, and actually there are many people who take psychedelics and don’t have this experience, but it happens in some wonderful meditative states, it happens in sensory isolation and sensory flooding, sometimes it happens in natural childbirth. We guys can’t explore that option. Sometimes it happens in midst of creative performance or athletic heights as in the runner’s high, but it’s just there, and some people would say that it comes purely as a gift of grace, you know, some people just wake up in the middle of the night and POOF! There it is. And it’s so profound in its many variance. I like to distinguish between the visionary states of consciousness where there’s an ego, you’re everyday personality kind of looking, beholding, relating to something that is incredibly inspiring, but it’s within the subject-object dichotomy. Then there’s the unitive mystical consciousness where the ego or everyday personality seems to die, and immersed in this unitive state, sort of like the Hindu drop of water merging with the ocean, and then the rebirth of the ego afterwards. I would define that as the ‘complete’ mystical consciousness.” –Dr. Bill Richards

  14. jacobfromlost says

    @B I’ve never been an angry person. I’ve never taken drugs. I’ve never drunk alcohol. (I don’t even consume caffeine anymore because it makes me nervous–except for whatever is in chocolate.) There is no need or reason for my heart to transform (in fact, my heart seems far more open than any believer I know). My life was transformed through art, books, movies, and a broad formal and informal education. Having recently started to realize that I have “made it” in life on multiple levels, I now look back on how that has happened, and Jesus has nothing to do with any of it. And even with that being said, there was never a time where my life was miserable due to any dysfunctional behaviors on my part. In fact, in applying reason and evidence, I have pulled many others out of dysfunctional behaviors, no Jesus necessary or involved.

    What is it you think my life as an atheist is like? It is a bit insulting to insinuate an atheist’s life must be abject misery, and transcendent joy must be impossible without Jesus. It’s also insulting to suggest we haven’t called upon “Him” in Jesus name. I did it again just now. Guess what? Still an atheist. How is that possible?

  15. Monocle Smile says

    If Kafei is going to insult our intelligence by restarting the same bullshit repeatedly without digesting any responses, can we just ban it for spamming?

  16. says

    @Monocle Smile I pay close attention to what people say, and I do digest their thoughts and respond sincerely. I’ve never been insulting to anyone here or have spammed something over and over. I’ve always made sure to address people’s specific points. Now, you might want to take a cue from Sky Captain who posted how to block/ignore people on these threads. If you feel so insulted simply because I’m posting here, then it might not hurt you to download the browser extension, and have all my posts simply disappear.

  17. Ronald Kyle says

    @#15 jacobfromlost says

    What is it you think my life as an atheist is like?

    Self-Projection with abject irrationality is the common theme amongst theists; and especially so amongst those who used to have misreable lives due to substance abuse and who fortunately managed to sober up, but falsely attribute their recovery to a substitute addictive drug from a sky dealer (often the one of their infantile brainwashing).
    They project their own current and past fears and agonies and failings and failures onto other people and think that just as they managed to find some modicum of relief in a substitute addiction, and just as they previously used to push their old addictions onto others, they now want to push their new drug.

  18. buddyward says

    @B Although I do agree with others in saying that if your belief in a god is what allows you to get your life straight then please continue to believe. I do however would like to caution you not to impose that belief onto others. That is where you will find the line in which many atheist will not allow you to cross. at least not in this forum.
    If you want to have a conversation about your belief here then many will be glad to engage with you but if all you want to do is make that one single post and not engage in a conversation then do not be surprised if what you said is not accepted to be true.

  19. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Reminder: If they’re not going to ban him, then the best that you can do is to not engage and hope that he gets bored and goes away.

  20. Ronald Kyle says

    @#14 Kafei says

    but all these terms are essentially just different ways of saying one and the same thing

    Yes… a delusion by any other name is still a delusion…
    Apologies to Shakespear

  21. speedofsound says

    A spiritual transformation not often talked about is where the believer sees his entire mythical structure come crashing down and her falls into the loving secular arms of science and atheism.

    The holy spirit feels just as damned good on it’s way out the door.

  22. speedofsound says

    Transformations are common in addiction. Often called hitting bottom. A variety of these transformations happens to every human being every day. You look out across the forest and catch a glimpse of a crow in a tree and then it starts to whirl around the trunk of the tree and you realize it is a black squirrel. You feel a little jarred in the head, like a small brain slap. You have a small paradigm shift. The disorientation gives way to a warm feeling of having ‘solved it’.

    In your cortex one neuron is connected to the next in a predictive fashion. If that prediction does not work you get a flurry of signals across your entire brain until you get back in the predictive groove. A standard cocktail of chemical flows out across your cortex from your limbic(feelings) system and they do that so that you rewire your brain a little bit. A bad feel followed by a damned good one.

    Sobering up experiences and mystical experiences and some drug experiences involve a massive range of these meltdowns. The experience is sustained in time more so than the everyday black crow/squirrell variety. It’s powerful and it can change your life.

    The danger is that when you have this experience there is this flurry of cognitive groping for the solution. It is in this time that beliefs are set down and not always true beliefs.

    We have to, as thinking atheists, acknowledge the power of these experiences. We can’t keep chalking them up to being fooled and discounting the positive effects. Our job is to figure out what is really going on here and fold the positive into the secular. Into the rational.

  23. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @MS, EL, others
    Sorry fellas I’m gonna engage our favorite chewtoy Jimmy a little bit.

    @Jimmy 14
    I’ve read all of your threads here and most of the ones you’ve poster here from RatSkep but I’ve never seen you answer my fundamental question when proposed with a new hypothesis: So What?

    Why should care that your pet theory (perennial philosophy) is true? How does knowing it’s true effect my day to day life in any way? So what if all religions have the same “mystcial experiences” at the base? Even though I personally think that claim is false, My life literally wouldn’t be changed at all if it was true. Nothing you’ve proposed, if it were 100% true, would effect my atheism or decision making in any way. I’m just trying to figure out why I should care at all about this stuff.

  24. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Myself 26
    Wow there are some careless typo’s in 26. “poster” should be “posted” and “effect” should be “affect” both times. Guess I need some more sleep!

  25. Heretical Ryan says

    I don’t think we’ll be hearing from “B” again. He seems like one of those Xian posters who copies and pastes their witness story on atheist (or at least nonXian) board and just hopes he converts someone.

    Kind of like a drive-by witnessing.

  26. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Heretical Ryan #29:

    He seems like one of those Xian posters who copies and pastes their witness story

    Article: Alethian Worldview – Magic Story Syndrome

    I once watched an episode of Candid Camera in which Alan Funt gathered a bunch of people with a sub-par sense of humor, told them a joke, and then recorded them trying to re-tell the joke to other people. The bit was pretty comical, because the people tended to mangle the punch line so badly that you could tell they never really understood the joke in the first place. And yet they told the joke anyway, and expected people to laugh.
    And in fact, I think for many believers, that’s exactly what is happening. The Gospel isn’t just a story, it’s a magic story. Maybe there are things about it that you don’t understand. Maybe there are things that don’t make sense. But never mind. Just tell the story, and sooner or later it’s going to produce a magical result, and people will be saved.
    It doesn’t matter that, in purely intellectual terms, you’re going to lose badly. The story itself, despite its visible flaws, supposedly possesses an inner, supernatural virtue that bypasses the mind and works directly on the heart.

  27. t90bb says

    #1 B…..

    cool story bro.

    Likewise, when I was about 6 I got sent to my grandparents for a summer. I was lonely. I met an imaginary friend that summer. It was wonderful. He still visits me occasionally. .

  28. Lamont Cranston says

    Heretical Ryan says in #29

    I don’t think we’ll be hearing from “B” again…. Kind of like a drive-by witnessing

    I think you are right about that and I am not sure exactly how I feel about it.

    There is some relief in knowing that someone who apparently is not going to listen to what anyone else has to say is not going to waste everyone’s time by hanging around and pretending to engage in a dialog with both fingers planted in his/her ears.

    On the other hand it was kind of refreshing to have someone probably explain exactly why they are a Christian without engaging in some esoteric non-proof proof that God exists which actually had absolutely nothing to do with what they believe and why they believe it.

    I tire of the pseudo-intellectuals like the guy who called into Talk Heathen and claimed that he had worked on developing the perfect syllogism that had no flaws and that he was going to use it to prove that God exists ( ). Then he claimed that people had been unable to find any flaw in it (never a good sign). His first premise was nonsense. This premise amounted to, “Science can not investigate the supernatural, therefore everything that science cannot investigate is supernatural.” Not even logical let alone not even being a proper premise at all.

    Why is it that it never occurs to people that if there was a real proof regarding the existence of a god, that it would be clearly know after over 1500 years of offering supposed proofs?

    Lamont Cranston

  29. Honey Tone says

    Why is it that it never occurs to people that if there was a real proof regarding the existence of a god, that it would be clearly know after over 1500 years of offering supposed proofs?

    Let’s face it: we’re not getting theist PhD candidates in philosophy calling the show. I’m not sure many of them even have had (or paid attention to) an undergrad intro to philosophy course!

    Humans are all born ignorant, so we must constantly train up a younger crowd. Invariably, if we don’t show them where we’ve already been then we have to suffer through their intellectual growing pains, their reinvention of the philosophical wheel. Too bad we don’t make the early study of this stuff mandatory, like readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic.

  30. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Why is it that it never occurs to people that if there was a real proof regarding the existence of a god, that it would be clearly know after over 1500 years of offering supposed proofs?

    Motivated reasoning plus plenty of other cognitive biases.

  31. says

    Whoops … I have been missing how to share my experience with the bloggers on this specific part of the show, my bad. If you are interested, I have started a thread about this under the actual partial video upload entitled ” Dealing With Fundamentalist Christians | Eric – Texas | Atheist Experience 23.09.”

    Sadly, I am a slow learner. I am also new to this kinder gentler street epistemology type of interactions with the “faithful.”

    P.S. I really enjoy how you deal with folks Tracie, but I also like Matt D’s approach also. (I’m fickle)

  32. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    Looks like Jimmy finally got bored of proselytizing to us. I never had him pegged as a quitter.

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