Former Atheists - What convinced you?

Getting to know more about a particular group

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rikuoamero
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Former Atheists - What convinced you?

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Post by rikuoamero »

What I'm writing here is for those people who consider themselves to be former atheist i.e. at one point in life, they either lacked a belief in a god of any kind, or actively disbelieved there is a God (there's a difference between the two).
I'm hoping that at least some people who are of this group (and hopefully joined the usergroup called 'Former Atheist' on this site) are/were also skeptical, in that they demanded evidence for religious claims.

My question is - What is it that convinced you? If you were to somehow go back in time and meet your previous, atheist (hopefully skeptic) self, would you or could you use whatever it is that convinced you to convince that version of you? Or would your past self be skeptical and dismissive of what it is you present?

Just to be clear - This isn't restricted to Christians only. You can be a Muslim who considers him/herself former atheist or whatever religion or belief you subscribe to. I want to hear from you.
I also promise NOT to debate in this thread. All I want are responses and your thoughts on this question. I will probably debate elsewhere, but not on this thread. This thread is solely for me to gather information.

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Re: Former Atheists - What convinced you?

Post #31

Post by 2timothy316 »

Kylie wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 5:39 pm
2timothy316 wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:28 am
Kylie wrote: Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:25 pm The fact that we don't know how it happened does not mean it is impossible, and you are attempting to show that science has proven a negative.
Nope, just that it hasn't proven a positive in abiogenesis. I'll keep waiting and you're free to keep giving excuses.

Yet the 'fact' that it hasn't does point that it is impossible. It's up to you to show me abiogensis happening right in front of my face. Until then, I see more evidence that live is created which there is plenty evidence of that, versus life coming by accident with no intelligent help which there is 0 evidence of that.
2timothy316 wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:32 am
Kylie wrote: Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:31 pm Nice cherry picking there. Difflugia's very next sentence was, "It's true that scientists haven't identified a complete history of the transition from nonlife to life, but many, many experiments support the plausibility of such a transition."
Proof that abiogensis happens in nature is the only cherry that is important to me. All evidence stands that it doesn't. Excuses and other noise doesn't interest me. That is the great thing about this forum, look at the title of this thread. It asks, 'what convinced former atheists' not what convinced an atheists to be atheists. Want convinced you doesn't interest me.
So you are taking the fact that science has not explained it and you are assuming it means that science CAN'T EVER explain it.
I don't how many times I'm going to have to say this.
I'm not looking for explanations. I'm looking for life to spring up right in front of me from lifeless matter with no intelligent intervention. Please listen...
Also, not all scientist believe in abiogenesis. Some scientist have come up with an explanation, abiogenesis is impossible and there must have been an intelligent creator. Issac Newton believed in his God and he was a scientist. Science doesn't automatically mean a person doesn't believe in an intelligent creator. Some even say that atheism is not consistent with the scientific method. I completely agree with that.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... cist-says/

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Re: Former Atheists - What convinced you?

Post #32

Post by Purple Knight »

Difflugia wrote: Tue Oct 20, 2020 11:58 amYou may be onto something, but not in the way you intended. According to a 2007 survey of religiousity (or lack thereof) of scientists by discipline, biologists were the least religious of the sampled fields, followed closely by physicists. Considering that the two "scientific" reasons often given for theism are incredulity about natural origins for life and the Universe, perhaps it's telling that the scientists most qualified to actually understand those topics are the least likely to be theist.
Biology happens to be my field, and I can see why it makes people less religious. Basically this meme is true:

https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/new ... 44/d7f.jpg (warning, contains a swear word)

It is also true that somehow, Nature also created love, and kindness, but there is comparatively very little of it and paradoxically, the animals that can actually love you back seem to be the predatory ones (not the frog... I mean actual carnivores). If Nature produces harmony, it is in much the same way as a million monkeys on a million typewriters working for a million years would sometimes produce literature. I'm not saying that this is evidence against God; I'm saying that it makes people less likely to believe in a benevolent God whether it exists or not.

But I jumped into this thread because I'm still an atheist but I think it's just as valuable to tell you what would convince me.

Well, nothing really because I can't know something like that for sure, and I think that's the point if it happens to be true.

However, I would be significantly more inclined to believe in a benevolent God if there was consistent information available about the nature of good and evil acts; which are which. Even if you're just assuming one religion with one holy book is true, there are always conflicting interpretations of it. If God would intervene in anything, if he would reach down and smite anyone, I would think it would be those who twist his words and convince people to commit mortal sin while thinking they are doing good. It is because of these conflicting interpretations and conflicting moralities that people like me genuinely have no idea what is good and what is evil and are terrified to do anything because it might be wrong. I don't even think I'm going to face punishment; I just want to be a better person. It wouldn't absolutely convince me that there really was a benevolent God who is a fair judge, but the information being there and relatively easy to find would go a long way.

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Re: Former Atheists - What convinced you?

Post #33

Post by Difflugia »

Purple Knight wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:32 pmBut I jumped into this thread because I'm still an atheist but I think it's just as valuable to tell you what would convince me.

Well, nothing really because I can't know something like that for sure, and I think that's the point if it happens to be true.
I'm with you. I'd have to say that I'm technically agnostic in the sense of Bertrand Russell's celestial teapot, but I'm definitely not on the fence. In the same way that there's a describable body of evidence that would convince me of the teapot's existence, I could imagine a set of facts that would convince me that God is real. It wouldn't, though, be some individual datum sitting just outside of our current knowledge. A better example than the teapot might be someone trying to convince me that my house isn't in North America. I have an entire body of knowledge that supports the conclusion that it is, so someone showing me two maps that differ slightly (conflicting, perhaps, on the county in which my house resides) won't overturn everything else I've come to know. I could imagine a complex series of data and events convincing me that my knowledge of geography is completely wrong, but it would take much more than being told that I'm reading the map wrong, especially by somebody that demonstrably can't read a map themselves.

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Re: Former Atheists - What convinced you?

Post #34

Post by Kylie »

2timothy316 wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:01 amI don't how many times I'm going to have to say this.
I'm not looking for explanations. I'm looking for life to spring up right in front of me from lifeless matter with no intelligent intervention. Please listen...
Then you don't understand what you are talking about.

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Re: Former Atheists - What convinced you?

Post #35

Post by 2timothy316 »

Kylie wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:21 pm
2timothy316 wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:01 amI don't how many times I'm going to have to say this.
I'm not looking for explanations. I'm looking for life to spring up right in front of me from lifeless matter with no intelligent intervention. Please listen...
Then you don't understand what you are talking about.
Another excuse. Empty. Nothing. Zero. Nada. Thanks for playing.
You can't prove what you're taking about.

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Re: Former Atheists - What convinced you?

Post #36

Post by Difflugia »

2timothy316 wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:47 pmYou can't prove what you're taking about.
No, Kylie can't prove what you're talking about.
2timothy316 wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:01 amI'm looking for life to spring up right in front of me from lifeless matter with no intelligent intervention. Please listen...
No biologist thinks that's what happened. We've explained to you what biologists do think and have proven ("please listen...") and it's not that life would "spring up right in front of" anyone.

What you're describing is something that one of the gods might do if any of them were real.

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Re: Former Atheists - What convinced you?

Post #37

Post by Kylie »

2timothy316 wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:47 pm
Kylie wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:21 pm
2timothy316 wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:01 amI don't how many times I'm going to have to say this.
I'm not looking for explanations. I'm looking for life to spring up right in front of me from lifeless matter with no intelligent intervention. Please listen...
Then you don't understand what you are talking about.
Another excuse. Empty. Nothing. Zero. Nada. Thanks for playing.
You can't prove what you're taking about.
If you think evolution means that life is just going to spring from nothing in front of you, then you most certainly don't understand evolution.

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Re: Former Atheists - What convinced you?

Post #38

Post by Tcg »

2timothy316 wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:01 am
Science doesn't automatically mean a person doesn't believe in an intelligent creator. Some even say that atheism is not consistent with the scientific method. I completely agree with that.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... cist-says/
This interview includes one of the most convoluted descriptions of atheism I've read and that is saying a lot given how many want to twist it. Beyond that, no attempt is made to define the scientific method or how the absurd definition of atheism isn't consistent with it. Add to that the fact that the scientist you are relying on here identifies as an agnostic and mentions nothing about a creator god.

Of course you've provided even less. All you state is, "I completely agree with that." You don't provide any reasoning as to why you agree with it nor why anyone else should. This isn't the first time the claims you make about a given scientist isn't supported by the words of the scientist themselves.

Even if you presented a scientist who agrees with you, which you haven't done, it would simply be one more opinion.


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To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

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Re: Former Atheists - What convinced you?

Post #39

Post by 2timothy316 »

Kylie wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:56 pm
2timothy316 wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:47 pm
Kylie wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:21 pm
2timothy316 wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:01 amI don't how many times I'm going to have to say this.
I'm not looking for explanations. I'm looking for life to spring up right in front of me from lifeless matter with no intelligent intervention. Please listen...
Then you don't understand what you are talking about.
Another excuse. Empty. Nothing. Zero. Nada. Thanks for playing.
You can't prove what you're taking about.
If you think evolution means that life is just going to spring from nothing in front of you, then you most certainly don't understand evolution.
If you can't produce it then then you just have excuses as well.
I can show you life being made from intelligent life. People, animals, bacteria, and plants make new life every day. I'm asking for life coming from no intelligent source. If you don't can't produce this yet can only try to explain what is wrong with me, then your avoiding the the fact that burden of proof is on you now.
Last edited by 2timothy316 on Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Former Atheists - What convinced you?

Post #40

Post by 2timothy316 »

Difflugia wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:30 pm
2timothy316 wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:47 pmYou can't prove what you're taking about.
No, Kylie can't prove what you're talking about.
2timothy316 wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:01 amI'm looking for life to spring up right in front of me from lifeless matter with no intelligent intervention. Please listen...
No biologist thinks that's what happened. We've explained to you what biologists do think and have proven ("please listen...") and it's not that life would "spring up right in front of" anyone.

What you're describing is something that one of the gods might do if any of them were real.
I will no longer reply to excuses. No more replies unless you show a physical example of life being produced from lifeless matter with no intelligent help.

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