Find fields & stores near you!
Find fields and stores
Zipcode
PbNation News
PbNation News
Community Focus
Community Focus

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-03-2009, 06:32 PM #1
JRunior
 
 
JRunior's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Thought experiment for believers

I had a discussion with a Christian friend of mine and during the discussion I asked him a question that he struggled with and I've decided to pass it along to the other Christians/Believers in this subforum.

If you were provided evidence that caused you to become an Atheist how would your life change? Would you volunteer less, give less money to charity, hire hookers, break your abstinence vow, lie, cheat, steal...murder? Simply being, how would your actions change as a result of a change in your 'philosophy'?

My friend said he'd change almost nothing and so I asked him how he would evaluate himself as a christian if his belief causes him to behave in a way no different than he would without belief. Christianity and other faiths often promote self sacrifice and talk about how the righteous path is a difficult one.

So I pass this question on to you guys. If you lost your faith how would you change? After thinking of your own answers how do you feel you're doing in your efforts to live a Jesus like lifestyle?

Just to close, I really don't think this is an attack on anyone's belief. Heck, I'd rather it bolster your efforts in living like Christ than having no effect on you at all.

Jr,
JRunior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sponsored Links Remove Advertisement
Advertisement
Old 08-03-2009, 06:37 PM #2
warbeak2099
That is my foot!
 
warbeak2099's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Wouldn't u like to know!
 has been a member for 10 years
I also don't mean to offend any Christians here in my post. I'm not sure if this helps at all, but I can tell you how I did change after I "lost my faith". In my opinion, I became a much better person and started living a much better life. I lost a lot of arrogance in my relationships with others (I can still be arrogant of course lol). I became much happier in general and less anxious. I don't know how to explain it exactly, but it's been so much easier for me to simply relax and have peace in my life after shedding my faith. My values concerning service of others and making sacrifices for others have not changed at all. Really, my relationships with others have improved and my personal life is much more peaceful. I feel like I'm in control now, and it's very empowering. I feel even more able to do good by others.

Just my personal experience.
__________________
US Navy Baller
UL'd 07 PMR F/S, PM me if interested!
#12 Italian Baller
“The real test of a man is not how well he plays the role he has invented for himself, but how well he plays the role that destiny assigned to him.”
-Václav Havel
warbeak2099 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2009, 07:04 PM #3
TheSilentAssassin
Words and Stuff
 
TheSilentAssassin's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by warbeak2099 View Post
I also don't mean to offend any Christians here in my post. I'm not sure if this helps at all, but I can tell you how I did change after I "lost my faith". In my opinion, I became a much better person and started living a much better life. I lost a lot of arrogance in my relationships with others (I can still be arrogant of course lol). I became much happier in general and less anxious. I don't know how to explain it exactly, but it's been so much easier for me to simply relax and have peace in my life after shedding my faith. My values concerning service of others and making sacrifices for others have not changed at all. Really, my relationships with others have improved and my personal life is much more peaceful. I feel like I'm in control now, and it's very empowering. I feel even more able to do good by others.

Just my personal experience.

In my opinion, if Christianity was causing you to be arrogant, anxious, and unhappy then you never really were a Christian to begin with. You might have been living the faith of your parents or peers but you truly didn't have a relationship with Christ of your own. I'm glad that you took the morals out of Christianity and I am sorry that you never established a trusting relationship with Christ. Hopefully some day you're views will change.
__________________
“There are only two kinds of people, those who accept dogmas and know it, and those who accept dogmas and don’t know it.” – G. K. Chesterton - The Mercy of Mr. Arnold Bennett, Fancies vs. Fads
TheSilentAssassin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2009, 07:15 PM #4
warbeak2099
That is my foot!
 
warbeak2099's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Wouldn't u like to know!
 has been a member for 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSilentAssassin View Post
In my opinion, if Christianity was causing you to be arrogant, anxious, and unhappy then you never really were a Christian to begin with. You might have been living the faith of your parents or peers but you truly didn't have a relationship with Christ of your own. I'm glad that you took the morals out of Christianity and I am sorry that you never established a trusting relationship with Christ. Hopefully some day you're views will change.
That may be your opinion. But I can honestly say that I was very serious about my faith. I did have a serious relationship with Christ. I was always just very troubled by it though, and it made me a very agitated person. I didn't really realize why I had these problems, I couldn't imagine not believing and not having a relationship with Christ. When I did finally choose to dig deeper, it ultimately led me away. I was serious about Christianity though and I did have a trusting relationship with Christ of my own though, contrary to your "opinion".

I also didn't take my morals out of Christianity. When I started confronting the problems that I had with the religion, I began searching for similar morals and different morals from other sources. I found them in my own musings on natural law as well as a lot of secular philosophers.

So yea, I definitely felt what many "real" Christians feel, I just realized that I can't believe in it after questioning it for myself. To say that I never really had a real relationship with Christ is a very poor attempt to answer away my particular experience as simple insincerity or a misunderstanding of Christianity. It may make you feel better to believe that anyone who truly believed and was truly felt God's grace could never turn away from it and be happier for it, but that's a fallacy. It can and has happened in my case and others'.
__________________
US Navy Baller
UL'd 07 PMR F/S, PM me if interested!
#12 Italian Baller
“The real test of a man is not how well he plays the role he has invented for himself, but how well he plays the role that destiny assigned to him.”
-Václav Havel

Last edited by warbeak2099 : 08-03-2009 at 07:19 PM.
warbeak2099 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2009, 07:21 PM #5
JRunior
 
 
JRunior's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
SilentAssasin,

I'd be very interested to hear your response to my original question. I also agree with WarBeak, what you have done is put forth a 'no true scottsman' fallacy.

I too left the faith after years of participating. I knew my scriptures, I prayed nightly and at the time believed many prayers were answered. I sought inspiration and looked for answers through my prayers. I 'felt' the love of Christ and still I lost my faith.

Jr,
JRunior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2009, 07:34 PM #6
TheSilentAssassin
Words and Stuff
 
TheSilentAssassin's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRunior View Post
So I pass this question on to you guys. If you lost your faith how would you change?
Christianity's moral completely contradict with what human instincts would want us to do. So I see this in 2 possible scenarios.

1) I have never heard of Christianity or religion for that matter. I was born on an island of atheists. If that were true, I believe I would live by my instincts because there is nothing compelling me to do otherwise.

2) I was a man of faith and for whatever reason I fell away from it. If that were true, I believe that I would keep the pre-existing morals. I have seen these counter-instinctive morals at work and have seen the good things that come from them. So if I lost my faith in God, I think I would keep most of the same morals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRunior View Post
After thinking of your own answers how do you feel you're doing in your efforts to live a Jesus like lifestyle?
Romans 3:
23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
__________________
“There are only two kinds of people, those who accept dogmas and know it, and those who accept dogmas and don’t know it.” – G. K. Chesterton - The Mercy of Mr. Arnold Bennett, Fancies vs. Fads
TheSilentAssassin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2009, 07:53 PM #7
Mastermind26
We are moons
 
Mastermind26's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: SF Bay Area
Mastermind26 is a Supporting Member
For me, I'd have a real challenge to "tolerate" those that are difficult.
Giving would not really change, but to those that I give would certainly change.

Just this Sunday, I had an "encounter" with a really diff. person.
I was waiting for my wife to come back from getting a small b-day cake and a "bum" walked up to the car and knocked on the window asking for money. (I make it a point to not give money, but if hungry can help provide a meal.)

I politely said "sorry" through the window and looked down the road.
He knocked a little more firmly and asked for money and I rolled the window a little to ask if he was hungry. He said: "no, MONEY", so I said sorry again and closed the window.

The third time he "knocked" he used his elbow to hit the glass. at that point I ignored him, but saw my wife was walking back to the car. I got out to try and stop him from approaching her (seeing how belligerent he was acting).

That's when all "hell" broke loose. He walked up to me giving me a "one way to heaven" sign and telling me to go do unnatural acts with my own body. I asked if he was sure he wasn't hungry and he gently moved me out of the way with his shoulder, as he was about to go "talk" to my wife.

At that point I reached for him and he turned and less gently pushed me, walked away and decided to return to finish what he started. It was then that my wife picked up her cell and once he saw that, he bolted for his bike and took off yelling several things that were equivalent to a curse on my family and the children's children.

If I lost my faith, I doubt I would be as patient. It is not really in my "nature" to put up with people (at all). I tend to be very opinionated and vocal (in person), but Christ's love shows me that I have received compassion (countless times) and I am to countless times show the same to the less fortunate and even the less than "deserving".
__________________
†Christ † Krew†

CK member #04 (???)
Mastermind26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2009, 08:08 PM #8
warbeak2099
That is my foot!
 
warbeak2099's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Wouldn't u like to know!
 has been a member for 10 years
Interesting. I've kept that same rule without my faith lol. I will gladly provide someone with food or drink, but I won't just give them money. Unless of course if they're honest. A homeless man asked me for money one night outside a bar because he "needed a drink". I gave him $4 for a beer, why not? But yea, another time a homeless guy stopped me outside a restaurant. He said he needed money for food and I offered him my leftover meal, there was a lot left. He said no, he wanted to buy a sub from a place down the street. He obviously wanted booze or drugs so I gave him my leftovers and left.

I think natural law tells us to instinctually care for others. We are a social species and it behooves us to treat each other well. That's why people who don't care about other people at all (sociopaths and people with ASPD) are considered psychologically "sick".
__________________
US Navy Baller
UL'd 07 PMR F/S, PM me if interested!
#12 Italian Baller
“The real test of a man is not how well he plays the role he has invented for himself, but how well he plays the role that destiny assigned to him.”
-Václav Havel
warbeak2099 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2009, 08:15 PM #9
mike m
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: torrance
mike m plays in the PSP
mike m plays in the APPA D5 division
I don't believe that someone who has really been saved;born again and then falls away will ever be an atheist.They may profess such and all but when God stamps eternity into your heart you can run;hide;deny all you want but it is there always.If I were to walk away I think the changes would be gradual and sorto sneak up on me so I could not tell.
There is a scripture that has always made me stop and really search myself;mathew 6:22,23
but mainly the last of 23
if the light that is in thee be darkness,how great is that darkness!
mike m is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2009, 08:16 PM #10
Mastermind26
We are moons
 
Mastermind26's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: SF Bay Area
Mastermind26 is a Supporting Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by warbeak2099 View Post
Interesting. I've kept that same rule without my faith lol. I will gladly provide someone with food or drink, but I won't just give them money. Unless of course if they're honest. A homeless man asked me for money one night outside a bar because he "needed a drink". I gave him $4 for a beer, why not? But yea, another time a homeless guy stopped me outside a restaurant. He said he needed money for food and I offered him my leftover meal, there was a lot left. He said no, he wanted to buy a sub from a place down the street. He obviously wanted booze or drugs so I gave him my leftovers and left.

I think natural law tells us to instinctually care for others. We are a social species and it behooves us to treat each other well. That's why people who don't care about other people at all (sociopaths and people with ASPD) are considered psychologically "sick".
Being smart about how treat the needy is common, I think.

The rest (social/natural "law" vs. compassion), I think it is true to a certain extent.

The fact that the "rich" throw money so they don't have to really get involved would kinda throw off the natural law, no?

Anyway, I've had other times where the guy asking for money was so grateful that someone actually noticed him/her that he broke down. Or when they receive the meal they actually cry because it's a real meal in days.
__________________
†Christ † Krew†

CK member #04 (???)
Mastermind26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2009, 08:19 PM #11
mike m
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: torrance
mike m plays in the PSP
mike m plays in the APPA D5 division
Quote:
Originally Posted by warbeak2099 View Post
I think natural law tells us to instinctually care for others. We are a social species and it behooves us to treat each other well. That's why people who don't care about other people at all (sociopaths and people with ASPD) are considered psychologically "sick".
If this were true there should be no starvation or does most of mankind not follow the natural laws?
mike m is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2009, 08:25 PM #12
TheSilentAssassin
Words and Stuff
 
TheSilentAssassin's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by warbeak2099 View Post
I think natural law tells us to instinctually care for others. We are a social species and it behooves us to treat each other well. That's why people who don't care about other people at all (sociopaths and people with ASPD) are considered psychologically "sick".
I would have to disagree with that one. Ok I have a question for you. Suppose a man grew up on a deserted island all by himself. He had no influence by the outside world. Do you think that he would follow today's modern morals? I would have to disagree. I think he would follow his natural instincts of survival.
__________________
“There are only two kinds of people, those who accept dogmas and know it, and those who accept dogmas and don’t know it.” – G. K. Chesterton - The Mercy of Mr. Arnold Bennett, Fancies vs. Fads
TheSilentAssassin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2009, 09:40 PM #13
warbeak2099
That is my foot!
 
warbeak2099's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Wouldn't u like to know!
 has been a member for 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike m View Post
If this were true there should be no starvation or does most of mankind not follow the natural laws?
A lot of people don't for whatever reason. Sometimes it's harder to think about others instead of yourself, but it's always best to treat others well, that's natural law.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSilentAssassin View Post
I would have to disagree with that one. Ok I have a question for you. Suppose a man grew up on a deserted island all by himself. He had no influence by the outside world. Do you think that he would follow today's modern morals? I would have to disagree. I think he would follow his natural instincts of survival.
If he grew up alone, then he would have no experience of society would he? I just said that it is best for animals in society together to treat each other well, humans included. You're trying to say that's not true so that we NEED religious morality to come to the conclusion. It's only natural for such a thing to be true, religion or no religion.

But that's not the point of this thread and I don't want to derail it. If you want to debate the source of morality, we can make another thread. Lets stick to answering the OP's question, it's a good one.
__________________
US Navy Baller
UL'd 07 PMR F/S, PM me if interested!
#12 Italian Baller
“The real test of a man is not how well he plays the role he has invented for himself, but how well he plays the role that destiny assigned to him.”
-Václav Havel
warbeak2099 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2009, 09:42 PM #14
markcheb
surrender...don't move
 
markcheb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: across the Jordan river
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRunior View Post
So I pass this question on to you guys. If you lost your faith how would you change? After thinking of your own answers how do you feel you're doing in your efforts to live a Jesus like lifestyle?

Just to close, I really don't think this is an attack on anyone's belief. Heck, I'd rather it bolster your efforts in living like Christ than having no effect on you at all.

Jr,
I don't feel it's an attack so I'll answer for myself and only myself.

No change, if I "lost my faith" I could still do better.
__________________
Which thief ~»††«~ are you?
ChristKrew #185
Anointing foreheads with the paintball for a while now.
Where's God? - Read Luke 15:11-32
markcheb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2009, 10:02 PM #15
ISmokeIce
Postmodern Sophist
 
ISmokeIce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Florida
Quote:
Originally Posted by warbeak2099 View Post
I think natural law tells us to instinctually care for others. We are a social species and it behooves us to treat each other well. That's why people who don't care about other people at all (sociopaths and people with ASPD) are considered psychologically "sick".
So many wrong things with this oversimplification of natural law. Just say that defining "care" and "well" is very difficult and at times (if not always) subjective in the manner that it's used.

On the thought experiment, I think the things that change are not the rules by which you abide but the value you attribute these rules. Even for an atheist, I think the value can be comparable to that of a believer if the rule s/he follows is treated as a rule from God in the perspective of a Christian. I don't say "even for an atheist" in a condescending voice, but I say even for an atheist as a way to include some of them but not all since some atheist might disagree with me while others do not.

So if an atheist views the rules in a certain way as to attribute values similar to a believer, I think that atheist might be considered religious. Even if I were an atheist, and at times I have been and pretty sure in the future I'll sway back into that thinking, my values for the rules I follow are the same. So it wouldn't be that big of a change. There are some people that may belief in God or follow some organized religion, but who are not religious because they undermine the value of their professed belief. This can happen to athiests (I prefer "nonbeliever" or secular) as well.

But ultimately it's all bull**** and I'll call shens on anyone who thinks their life has changed because they've gain or lost religion. It's all a delusion. Memory is the worst form of evidence. I think some people are disposed to certain ways of thinking that allow them to feel this connection with the universe, which may be more intune with lunacy than with logic. Human beings are not just any other brand of animals, because they have something more developed that allows them to be aware of their own demise. People cope with this in different ways and they prefer to say that they don't live in ignorance than admit they're dolts.
__________________
"No passion is stronger in the breast of man than the desire to make others believe as he believes...It is not the love of truth, but desire to prevail that sets quarter against quarter and makes parish desire the downfall of parish. Each seeks peace of mind and subserviency rather than the triumph of truth and exaltation of virtue-- But these moralities belong, and should be left to the historian, since they are as dull as ditch water" - Orlando: A Biography
ISmokeIce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2009, 10:05 PM #16
RamboPreacher
Player not a Pro.
 
RamboPreacher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Central Iowa
RamboPreacher is a founding member
 has been a member for 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRunior View Post
...If you were provided evidence that caused you to become an Atheist how would your life change?...
To me this is an invalid question. kind of like the can God create a rock so big...

why? Because I have knowledge of God's existence. it isn't expressible to someone that isn't me, so it is called faith and belief when expressed. the evidences of God's existence weigh highly in my understanding and knowledge; while others may not even see the evidences as valid.

just my two cents on the "what if" question presented, using variables within my personal context.
__________________
Brent "RamboPreacher" Hoefling
Founder of the CPPA - Christian Paintball Players Association
Member of: † Christ † Krew † #82

"I believe, in order to understand" or "I understand in order to believe": Augustine/Anselm (paraphrase)
"Science, and especially physics is not about 'truths' - It's about forming beliefs that are less false"; Dr. S. James Gates, Jr.
RamboPreacher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2009, 10:11 PM #17
cuttlefish32
 
 
cuttlefish32's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSilentAssassin View Post
I'm glad that you took the morals out of Christianity and I am sorry that you never established a trusting relationship with Christ. Hopefully some day you're views will change.
and not just beacuse "your" is used wrong

To answer OP's question, it's more than just being an Atheist. By being raised in a Christian household I learned the values assossciated with the religion (compassion, forgiveness, etc.) If I was an Atheist but still learned about those values, I would still be the same person. I've said this before but I think its more the values of the religion that the religion itself that matters. IF the core values of Atheism was "every man for himself" and "a dog eat dog world" than being an Atheist would change my personality from the Christian idea of being kind to others.
__________________
If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right.
-Henry Ford
cuttlefish32 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2009, 10:25 PM #18
TheSilentAssassin
Words and Stuff
 
TheSilentAssassin's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuttlefish32 View Post
just beacuse "your" is used wrong
Epic "typing too fast on an iPhone and the spell check changed it" fail
__________________
“There are only two kinds of people, those who accept dogmas and know it, and those who accept dogmas and don’t know it.” – G. K. Chesterton - The Mercy of Mr. Arnold Bennett, Fancies vs. Fads
TheSilentAssassin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2009, 11:44 PM #19
JRunior
 
 
JRunior's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by RamboPreacher View Post
To me this is an invalid question. kind of like the can God create a rock so big...

why? Because I have knowledge of God's existence. it isn't expressible to someone that isn't me, so it is called faith and belief when expressed. the evidences of God's existence weigh highly in my understanding and knowledge; while others may not even see the evidences as valid.

just my two cents on the "what if" question presented, using variables within my personal context.
In all due respect that's why it is called a thought experiment. You 'know' God exists in your own way and we've seen this argument in numerous threads. None of it is relevant for this experiment. I'm just trying to see how believers practice what they preach in a sense. I'd be very interested in knowing how you feel you'd behave.

I have debates about super heroes even though I KNOW superman doesn't exist doesn't mean I can't theorize scenarios with that as a 'given' to continue the discussion.

Jr,
JRunior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 12:02 AM #20
WorrFighter
Sweet Serenity
 
WorrFighter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Mt. Juliet, TN
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRunior View Post
I had a discussion with a Christian friend of mine and during the discussion I asked him a question that he struggled with and I've decided to pass it along to the other Christians/Believers in this subforum.

If you were provided evidence that caused you to become an Atheist how would your life change? Would you volunteer less, give less money to charity, hire hookers, break your abstinence vow, lie, cheat, steal...murder? Simply being, how would your actions change as a result of a change in your 'philosophy'?
Yes, I would change. Being a Christian is who I am, I am not an Atheist. I wouldn't have the same moral outlook I have now. Granted, I would still have morals, just not the same ones. I would also be more prone to "break" my own moral rules, because I would have no one to answer to in my own mind.
__________________
Wash: This landing is gonna get pretty interesting.
Mal: Define "interesting".
Wash: Oh God, oh God, we're all going to die?

g2 has a skanky sig!
Member of the KOT before it was ruined .
WorrFighter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 12:04 AM #21
warbeak2099
That is my foot!
 
warbeak2099's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Wouldn't u like to know!
 has been a member for 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mouse87 View Post
jeremiah 31:33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts."

our conscience is God given.
You do realize the problem with what you just did right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISmokeIce View Post
But ultimately it's all bull**** and I'll call shens on anyone who thinks their life has changed because they've gain or lost religion. It's all a delusion. Memory is the worst form of evidence. I think some people are disposed to certain ways of thinking that allow them to feel this connection with the universe, which may be more intune with lunacy than with logic. Human beings are not just any other brand of animals, because they have something more developed that allows them to be aware of their own demise. People cope with this in different ways and they prefer to say that they don't live in ignorance than admit they're dolts.
Proof for these ideas? Otherwise you're just like any other rambling fool. I've bolded the phrases you use that make your "opinion" utterly useless. Other than those, your entire paragraph there was a huge gogglygook of assumptions, speculation, and little to no logic to back any of it up.
__________________
US Navy Baller
UL'd 07 PMR F/S, PM me if interested!
#12 Italian Baller
“The real test of a man is not how well he plays the role he has invented for himself, but how well he plays the role that destiny assigned to him.”
-Václav Havel

Last edited by warbeak2099 : 08-04-2009 at 12:11 AM.
warbeak2099 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
Forum Jump