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 #191

Post by 2timothy316 »

[Replying to bluegreenearth in post #189]

Again, you are only talking. Again, all talk is not going to get you answers, when you are ready to DO something let me know. We are as far as this discussion can go. If you want to learn more than the academic (the equivalent of an armchair quarterback) and understand the practical then we can move on, until then you're wasting time. You're being critical of what you refuse to fully understand by not moving on to the practical implementation of the knowledge you have. Knowledge is great but using it is called wisdom. When you want wisdom then let me know.

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Re: Former Atheists - What convinced you?

Post #192

Post by bluegreenearth »

2timothy316 wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:45 am [Replying to bluegreenearth in post #189]

Again, you are only talking. Again, all talk is not going to get you answers, when you are ready to DO something let me know. We are as far as this discussion can go. If you want to learn more than the academic (the equivalent of an armchair quarterback) and understand the practical then we can move on, until then you're wasting time. You're being critical of what you refuse to fully understand by not moving on to the practical implementation of the knowledge you have. Knowledge is great but using it is called wisdom. When you want wisdom then let me know.
What would be a practical implementation of your claim that, if it failed, would determine it is false?

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Re: Former Atheists - What convinced you?

Post #193

Post by bluegreenearth »

2timothy316 wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:42 am As we look at the world and the state it is in today, is the world about to 'get hit by a bus'? Is 'I don't know' a good answer? Are we living in a time where "I don't know" could be a really bad answer? If you don't think it's a bad answer, what evidence is there for or against it being a bad answer? And have you only investigated one side of the question?

Think of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. There were reports before that attack of a possible Japanese fleet with the intent on attacking the US. The question as at the time, 'Is Japan about to attack the US?' The answer was "We don't know". There wasn't much investigation. There were major signs overlooked because there was little investigation. https://www.history.com/news/pearl-harb ... wii-attack

Are we living in a Pearl Harbor kind of situation? There are reports of something pretty bad coming our way. Should we diligently investigate? Should we be making decisions actions now? Or are we not living in a critical time?
For the third time, your example above refers to a falsifiable claim rather than an unfalsifiable claim like the one you are defending. The null hypothesis (i.e. Japan is not about to attack Pearl Harbor) could have been falsified by identifying the "major signs" they should have expected to find if Japan was about attack Pearl Harbor and then observe that the disconfirming evidence was available. In other words, the hypothesis that Japan was about to attack Pearl Harbor made novel testable predictions about the evidence they should have expected to find, but they failed to conduct the investigation that would have demonstrated the claim was not false. Therefore, your use of this example to argue for making a decision to accept or reject your claim is another false equivalency fallacy.

A more analogous example would be the claim that extra-terrestrial aliens are about to attack Pear Harbor using advanced technology that allows them to remain undetectable to our current defenses. Should we diligently investigate that claim? If so, how could we investigate the claim if the aliens are undetectable? If we cannot investigate whether the claim is false or not because the aliens would be undetectable, should we make decisions to spend time and resources developing enormously expensive defenses in outer space because the potential threat is logically possible and just in case the unfalsifiable claim might be true?

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Re: Former Atheists - What convinced you?

Post #194

Post by 2timothy316 »

[Replying to bluegreenearth in post #194]
If you don't have answers to my questions then why reply? If the stawman argument continues then I will place all future replies on ignore. Besides the comment was not directed at you and you're commenting in the middle of different line of thought. I already know you don't make critical choices, I get it.
Last edited by 2timothy316 on Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Former Atheists - What convinced you?

Post #195

Post by Purple Knight »

2timothy316 wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:42 amThink of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. There were reports before that attack of a possible Japanese fleet with the intent on attacking the US. The question as at the time, 'Is Japan about to attack the US?' The answer was "We don't know". There wasn't much investigation. There were major signs overlooked because there was little investigation.
There's a theory that the US wanted to get Japan to attack it because it wanted an easy way into WWII.

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Pearl- ... ry-1688287

But it's still a good example so let's run with it.

The counterpoint is that we don't want to live in a world of perpetual preemptive attacks because there's some evidence the other guy is about to attack you. Yes, you should investigate, but you should be sure before you move. If you see someone waving his gun around and yelling, should you shoot him because he might shoot you?
bluegreenearth wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:05 pmFor the third time, your example above refers to a falsifiable claim rather than an unfalsifiable claim like the one you are defending. The null hypothesis (i.e. Japan is not about to attack Pearl Harbor) could have been falsified by identifying the "major signs" they should have expected to find if Japan was about attack Pearl Harbor and then observe that the disconfirming evidence was available. In other words, the hypothesis that Japan was about to attack Pearl Harbor made novel testable predictions about the evidence they should have expected to find, but they failed to conduct the investigation that would have demonstrated the claim was not false. Therefore, your use of this example to argue for making a decision to accept or reject your claim is another false equivalency fallacy.
I think it's a perfectly good example of being too uncertain, precisely because it also illustrates that there would be horrible consequences to assuming yes, just as there would be to assuming no. Imagine if the US moved against Japan somehow, even defensively, when it hadn't been about to attack and that action blew up into war? Wars have been declared over less.

Both sides of the issue point to be bloody certain before you do anything that could have horrible consequences. If there's a flaw in his argument, it's that he's actually on the side of I-don't-know (because the clear right answer is to investigate more; he seems to know that) but he's not really admitting as much.

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Re: Former Atheists - What convinced you?

Post #196

Post by bluegreenearth »

2timothy316 wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:39 pm [Replying to bluegreenearth in post #194]
If you don't have answers to my questions then why reply? If the stawman argument continues then I will place all future replies on ignore. Besides the comment was not directed at you and you're commenting in the middle of different line of thought. I already know you don't make critical choices, I get it.
Please demonstrate where I argued against a strawman?

As for answering you questions, I have answered them. You either don't like or understand my answers. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and presume you just don't understand my responses. Also, for the record, the rules of the forum permit members to respond to any post regardless of who it was directed towards.

FYI - I'm still waiting patiently for you to answer the questions I've asked. If you need me to clarify my questions, please just ask.

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Re: Former Atheists - What convinced you?

Post #197

Post by 2timothy316 »

Purple Knight wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:48 pm
2timothy316 wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:42 amThink of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. There were reports before that attack of a possible Japanese fleet with the intent on attacking the US. The question as at the time, 'Is Japan about to attack the US?' The answer was "We don't know". There wasn't much investigation. There were major signs overlooked because there was little investigation.
There's a theory that the US wanted to get Japan to attack it because it wanted an easy way into WWII.

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Pearl- ... ry-1688287

But it's still a good example so let's run with it.

The counterpoint is that we don't want to live in a world of perpetual preemptive attacks because there's some evidence the other guy is about to attack you. Yes, you should investigate, but you should be sure before you move. If you see someone waving his gun around and yelling, should you shoot him because he might shoot you?
I have heard the Pearl Harbor theory as well. Could it be true? Sure! It still goes to the main point of the consequences of inaction when action is needed. It also points the truly sinister point of knowing something is coming and choosing to do nothing. So thank you for bringing that up.

IRL I don't own a gun so if a man with a gun yelling coming at me and I can't get to cover, hide or run then I'd run at him to try to take the gun away. Are my odds of survival low? Yeah probably but I think it would be my best choice. I could choose to stand still, that could be a choice for a better result, yet that would still be a choice of action.

In both cases of Pearl Harbor or a man screaming and waving a gun around both are recognized as in need critical action.

Today, in the world we live in, one might even imagine the the whole world to be a screaming man waving a gun around. Based on your observations, are there signs that critical choices and actions are needed to survive like at Pearl Harbor? I use the Pearl Harbor example because the man with a gun is much more unexpected and unpredictable. What we see happening in the world, the reports are in our face 24-7 and based on those reports many warning of a disaster coming like nothing seen before. Should we be concerned? And what evidence is there that we should or shouldn't? What can we do to avoid being in our own, "Pearl Harbor"?
Last edited by 2timothy316 on Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Former Atheists - What convinced you?

Post #198

Post by 2timothy316 »

bluegreenearth wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:14 pm
2timothy316 wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:39 pm [Replying to bluegreenearth in post #194]
If you don't have answers to my questions then why reply? If the stawman argument continues then I will place all future replies on ignore. Besides the comment was not directed at you and you're commenting in the middle of different line of thought. I already know you don't make critical choices, I get it.
Please demonstrate where I argued against a strawman?

As for answering you questions, I have answered them. You either don't like or understand my answers. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and presume you just don't understand my responses. Also, for the record, the rules of the forum permit members to respond to any post regardless of who it was directed towards.

FYI - I'm still waiting patiently for you to answer the questions I've asked. If you need me to clarify my questions, please just ask.
You replied to a comment that was not directed at you but feel free to answer the question. Yes or no answers please.
"Based on what we see in the world today, are we living in critical point in the history of mankind?"

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Re: Former Atheists - What convinced you?

Post #199

Post by bluegreenearth »

2timothy316 wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:45 pm
bluegreenearth wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:14 pm
2timothy316 wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:39 pm [Replying to bluegreenearth in post #194]
If you don't have answers to my questions then why reply? If the stawman argument continues then I will place all future replies on ignore. Besides the comment was not directed at you and you're commenting in the middle of different line of thought. I already know you don't make critical choices, I get it.
Please demonstrate where I argued against a strawman?

As for answering you questions, I have answered them. You either don't like or understand my answers. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and presume you just don't understand my responses. Also, for the record, the rules of the forum permit members to respond to any post regardless of who it was directed towards.

FYI - I'm still waiting patiently for you to answer the questions I've asked. If you need me to clarify my questions, please just ask.
You replied to a comment that was not directed at you but feel free to answer the question. Yes or no answers please.
"Based on what we see in the world today, are we living in critical point in the history of mankind?"
What do you mean by "critical point" in the history of mankind because every point throughout the history of mankind could be interpreted as a critical point in some context?

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Re: Former Atheists - What convinced you?

Post #200

Post by Purple Knight »

bluegreenearth wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:18 pmWhat do you mean by "critical point" in the history of mankind because every point throughout the history of mankind could be interpreted as a critical point in some context?
Basically I think he means horrible consequences: A lot of people die who didn't have to.

Many people have a vague sense of these being the end times and I'm one of them despite not being religious. I think society is going to collapse because it's too corrupt to sustain itself. I think we live in an intentionally created system wherein no one really knows the rules, so the people at the top can follow none and claim to be following all the right ones.

The question is what to do about that.

If there was some hero who rushed in with guns blazing and somehow fixed things, he'd be exalted. The ledger of heroes is filled with people who took bold action and happened to succeed.

And the ledger of villains is ten times as full, with the names of people who did the same and didn't happen to be right.

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