A Message to Atheist DagoodS

I left the following message today on the website of “DagoodS”, one of the persons most influential in my deconversion from Christianity:

Hi Dagood,

Over the last year and a half I have watched as your blog has remained silent, wondering why you lost interest in it. I now think I understand.

You no longer need to confirm to YOURSELF that Christianity is false.

I have been furiously debating conservative Christians regarding the non-reality of the Christian supernatural claims ever since my deconversion in June, 2014, most recently on Theology Web, debating apologist Nick Peters. I have come to the conclusion that no amount of reason, common sense, and even evidence will change a conservative Christian’s view of the Bible and his supernatural belief system. It is a futile effort. He or she is never going to see the truth until they decide that knowing the truth is more important than their cherished faith. Very few of them are willing to make that choice.

I am now fully convinced of the falsity of Christianity. My debates with Christians may have never changed the mind of a single one of them, but my debates with Christians have convinced ME. And I guess I should be satisfied with that.

Thanks again for your help in the past.

Peace and happiness,

Gary

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “A Message to Atheist DagoodS

  1. You mentioned confirming for yourself and other conservative Christians' views (I think you mean conservative Protestants, though). Don't expect to persuade everyone though the same way you were persuaded. There are alot of people without deep critical thinking skills. You really need someone who is able to reflect critically on issues. It's not just the Resurrection or even basics of Christianity – some people's minds can't handle deep critical reexamination, and don't want it either.

    One thing that you can ask is if the same Protestant approach applied to Catholicism would debunk Christianity.

    Two main arguments for the NT is that the apostles suffered for their faith, thus their beliefs were true, honest, and sincere reflections of what they were taught by Jesus and experienced. Second, we have thousands of miracles claimed by Christians across denominations.

    BUT if the early Christians' persisting through persecution in 30-300 AD proves their truth, why don't Protestants in practice consider their writings outside the Bible from 30-300 AD to be a central authority (infallible or not)?

    When it comes to the NT, we know it's true because the early Christians' faith proves it, but in practice Protestants don't care much about that those beliefs when it comes to debating issues. You don't hear a Christian Zionist say that we need to absolutely support Israel and then a Protestant respond, “But St. Justin Martyr from ~150 AD clearly taught that the Church is Israel, and he got martyred for the faith that he learned within a generation of the NT”.

    So if Protestants can so easily discount the early Christians' writings, how is suffering for faith such a great proof in the apostles' cases for their beliefs on these same kinds of topics (eg. Christian Zionism)?

    Secondly, Protestants dismiss hundreds of thousands of stories of miracles by centuries of non-Protestant Christians involving relics, so how can hundreds of thousands of miracle stories not involving relics be so objectively reliable?

    Like

  2. 1. Tens of thousands of people have died refusing to recant their religious superstition. Their refusal to recant the reality of their supernatural beliefs is not proof that the supernatural beliefs are true. It only proves how sincere and intense was their belief in its veracity.

    2. We have no good evidence that any witness claiming to have allegedly seen the resurrected dead body of Jesus was martyred because he refused to recant seeing this body with his own two eyes.

    3. So that fact that thousands of Christians were willing to suffer terrible persecution for their supernatural beliefs (faith) proves nothing other than that these people sincerely believed their superstitions.

    Like

  3. I do agree with you that a Catholic is going to be less likely to deconvert based on the same reasoning as the typical Protestant will deconvert.

    A Protestant, such as myself, will be much more likely to deconvert if he (or she) realizes that the Bible is far from inerrant. It contains numerous, significant errors and scribal alterations. That is very disturbing to a conservative Protestant for whom the written text is the final authority for his faith as compared to a Catholic who looks to the Church as his final authority.

    If the Church says that a particular discrepancy in the Bible is not of any significance, the Catholic let's it go. The Protestant could care less what the Church says.

    So what would make a Catholic deconvert? I don't know, but I would guess one issue might be this: If you ask the officials at Lourdes how many confirmed healings have occurred there out of the hundreds of thousands of people (probably millions) of people who have gone there for healing, they will tell you less than one hundred.

    That should tell any Catholic who genuinely values the truth more than his faith the real truth about Catholic miracles.

    Like

  4. Question for potential Protestant de-converts, Gary:
    If 1 million Catholics see Mary or get healed with relics and at Lourdes, then it didn't happen?

    But if 1 million Protestants get healed with no miracles and sometimes see Jesus, then this is objectively reliable evidence?

    Like

  5. I think Catholicism in some ways represents a more original version of Christianity, with Reformed being a more modern, rationalistic one. Someone's robe healing a person or a holy person going to live in the desert is much more in the spirit of the Bible and Catholicism.

    Like

  6. Calvin and Baptists think that they are getting back to a more original form of Christianity with bishop-less “house churches”, but in reality they are reinterpreting what that “original” Christianity was based on their own modern views of science and reality.
    Since they don't believe in holy “objects”, they imagine (wrongly), that Biblical believers didn't either.

    Like

  7. I don't think that either case is objectively reliable evidence for anything other than rare “cures” happen. Sometimes even God-hating atheists have rare cures.

    Rare events happen in our world. Before attributing these rare events to a god or saint, I suggest we do more research.

    Naturalists such as myself cannot PROVE that the supernatural does not exist. We can only point out that rare events do happen and that there is no good evidence to attribute these rare events to a supernatural cause. They just happen. It's called: playing the odds.

    What are the chances that YOU (or I) are going to win the Powerball jackpot next month? Answer: Incredibly low…but people do win. But just because this very odd event happens does that mean it had to have a supernatural cause? No.

    And the same for any “miracle cure”. Cancers do go into remission. I suggest that we should always assume a natural explanation for any odd/rare event before jumping to the conclusion that “a god did it”, unless we have EXTRAORDINARY evidence to support a supernatural cause.

    Like

  8. “I don't think that either case is objectively reliable evidence for anything other than”…

    I know, but are Reformed/Fundamentalists going to blow the question off and answer that Catholic miracles claimed by millions of Catholics are fake and that protestant ones are good “objectively” reliable evidence?

    Like

  9. I doubt that most Protestants think that Catholic miracle claims are “fake”, only that they are imagined. The Catholic person truly believes that the Virgin Mary has appeared to them, but Protestants would say it was a dream/vision/hallucination/delusion.

    And we skeptics say the same about both Catholic miracles and Protestant healings.

    Like

  10. Right….
    So we know Jesus is real because he appears to Protestants, but when Mary appears to groups of hundreds of Catholics they are deluded. Very objective.

    Like

  11. Licona is not a fundamentalist. He is a moderate. And I consider moderates the most dangerous of theists. They are reasonable enough to deny the literal interpretation of those Biblical claims that science has proven overwhelmingly improbable (a Six Day Creation, a World Wide Flood, or walking/talking zombies in Jerusalem that everyone but “Matthew” fails to mention) but will still insist on a literal bodily resurrection of Jesus.

    Like

  12. I don't know what makes one more “dangerous” than another. PCUSA is more laid back about things, so they can allow more views. PCUSA churches have hosted the Jesus Seminar.

    Meanwhile, Calvin was more rationalistic and materialistic in dissenting on doctrines than Luther, as Luther himself noted. But although opposition to killing heretics was one of the 95 theses of Luther, Calvin ran Geneva with his Consistory like a theocratic Inquisition. Hence the Servetus affair and killing of Gruet as well.

    Like

  13. Luther “reluctantly” authorized the killing of Anabaptist “heretics” so I don't see Lutherans as standing on any higher moral ground than Calvinists on that issue.

    Like

  14. Reluctance vs. Zealously playing leading role of introducing heretic killing into protestantism as doctrine.

    Considering that Calvin himself was a heretic on the eucharist, and punished people for rejecting calvinism, eg predestination, Calvin was like “Worship spaghetti monster or die”.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s