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Old 01-26-2014, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Central Jersey
386 posts, read 578,806 times
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Who knows the guy's motives? Yet it does some like a potential setup for a new approach to apologetics: "Hey buddy, I know how it is to be an atheist...I WAS an atheist for a whole year." I suspect, like many other posters, that this is simply a way to cash in on a book deal.

Then again, maybe he's one of the many ministers who are essentially nonbelievers, but who is too invested in his education and work to quit (although most of these folks remain "in the closet": The Clergy Project - Home Page ).
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,099,963 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Josef the Chewable View Post
Yet it does some like a potential setup for a new approach to apologetics: "Hey buddy, I know how it is to be an atheist...I WAS an atheist for a whole year."
A silly concept if ever there was one. Belief is not something to turn on and off like a spigot. He is simply enacting a role, which he simplistically sees as the mere absence of Christian observance and practice. But it wouldn't be the first silly concept that theists will buy in an effort to dismiss opinions they don't want to have to deal with.

One possible outcome, though, is that if a person stopped praying, studying the Bible, attending church, and thinking about god, and they were really honest with themselves, then unless their life happened to undergo a coincidental, consistent and unambiguous change of some kind, they might well notice that nothing of substance actually changes, the sky does not fall, etc., and they might begin to have a little healthy skepticism about the efficacy of all those trappings of theism that they thought so crucial. But there are so many rationalizations around that, and so much socially to miss, that the odds are against that, too.

Ultimately what he is doing is no different than an atheist agreeing to outwardly observe Christian practices and morality for 12 months. It would prove nothing other than one's acting abilities. It's possible that some of the practices might rub off and "stick"; it's possible that walking that metaphorical mile in someone else's shoes would produce some empathy and compassion; but in the main, it has no real meaning because it's not animated by the person's actual beliefs.
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:29 AM
 
11 posts, read 16,363 times
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Default pretend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Allen View Post
From [URL="http://yearwithoutgod.com/"]Year Without God | a former pastor's journey into atheism[/URL] :

"I'm making it official and embarking on a new journey. I will "try on" atheism for a year. For the next 12 months I will live as if there is no God. I will not pray, read the Bible for inspiration, refer to God as the cause of things or hope that God might intervene and change my own or someone else's circumstances. (I trust that if there really is a God that God will not be too flummoxed by my foolish experiment and allow others to suffer as a result)."

IOW, he's just pretending to be an atheist. What will that prove - that he's a good actor?

More discussion can be found here: [URL="http://www.metafilter.com/135678/My-desire-is-as-always-to-pursue-the-truth"]"My desire is, as always, to pursue the truth." | MetaFilter[/URL]

Once you believe theres no going back..remeber that in the bible jesus said even the demons believe and they tremble. The fact is the fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom. People have this misunderstanding that god is this barney granting wishes , hence the thought expression"why does god let bad things happen to good people". When jesus clearly stated no one is good but the father. The mindset of a true atheist is the fear of believing at all. But remember god didnt give us the spirit of fear, but he did give love peace and a sound mind. I dont see how one can pretend god doesnt exist, thats like pretending theres no sun because its dark outside..
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:42 AM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,026,983 times
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Spoken like another theist that doesn't understand what atheism is. The only thing that makes one an atheist is not having a belief in god. So, unless this pastor no longer believes that his god actually exists, then he can not claim to be an atheist, temporary or not. Not reading the bible, not going to church, and not praying do not make someone an atheist. I know many atheists that read the bible and actually go to church. Does simply going to church and reading the bible make you a christian? I would assume that believing in god/jesus would be necessary to be a christian.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,099,963 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conanman27 View Post
Once you believe theres no going back..remeber that in the bible jesus said even the demons believe and they tremble. The fact is the fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom. People have this misunderstanding that god is this barney granting wishes , hence the thought expression"why does god let bad things happen to good people". When jesus clearly stated no one is good but the father. The mindset of a true atheist is the fear of believing at all. But remember god didnt give us the spirit of fear, but he did give love peace and a sound mind. I dont see how one can pretend god doesnt exist, thats like pretending theres no sun because its dark outside..
There is so much wrong here that's it's difficult to know where to start.

Is the simple desire for there to be justice for the righteous some sort of self-absorbed desire for a cosmic Santa Claus to dispense party favors? No, of course not.

Does everyone deserve to be punished, even those to whom the righteousness of god has been imputed? Of course not.

The mindset of a "true" atheist is the fear of believing at all? What does a-theist mean? It means no-god. A "true" atheist does not believe in even the one god you believe in. Nothing more, nothing less. And their disbelief in Jesus / Jehova is no different in quality from your disbelief in Thor. I have met many atheists who very much wish they could still believe. You can't fear something that isn't voluntary. Belief is what you conclude from what you know.

Atheists do not PRETEND that god doesn't exist. They see no reason to BELIEVE that he exists. The difference between you and an atheist is your standards of evidence. You are willing to say, the sun rises every day, therefore god. I had goosebumps in church, therefore god. I was a drunkard and surrendered to a higher power, therefore god. The Bible says stuff, therefore god. The Bible exists, therefore god.

It is insulting to suggest that atheist disbelief is akin to mistaking the sun being obscured by the earth or clouds for the sun ceasing to exist. God doesn't just fade in and out because of passing clouds or times of days or seasons. He has in the modern age pretty much permanently faded out altogether, as he does not have many ignorance-gaps to hide in anymore. Fundamentalists in particular are burdened today with the necessity to expand their ignorance in order to keep god alive. Thus they reject science (when it conflicts withs scripture) and cast deep suspicion on rational discourse and empirical evidence (while happy to embrace it when they think it supports or at least doesn't conflict with dogma).

So pretend all you want that atheism is inexplicable fantasy ... that's 100% projection, my friend.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:58 AM
 
11 posts, read 16,363 times
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Default pretend?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
There is so much wrong here that's it's difficult to know where to start.

Is the simple desire for there to be justice for the righteous some sort of self-absorbed desire for a cosmic Santa Claus to dispense party favors? No, of course not.

Does everyone deserve to be punished, even those to whom the righteousness of god has been imputed? Of course not.

The mindset of a "true" atheist is the fear of believing at all? What does a-theist mean? It means no-god. A "true" atheist does not believe in even the one god you believe in. Nothing more, nothing less. And their disbelief in Jesus / Jehova is no different in quality from your disbelief in Thor. I have met many atheists who very much wish they could still believe. You can't fear something that isn't voluntary. Belief is what you conclude from what you know.

Atheists do not PRETEND that god doesn't exist. They see no reason to BELIEVE that he exists. The difference between you and an atheist is your standards of evidence. You are willing to say, the sun rises every day, therefore god. I had goosebumps in church, therefore god. I was a drunkard and surrendered to a higher power, therefore god. The Bible says stuff, therefore god. The Bible exists, therefore god.

It is insulting to suggest that atheist disbelief is akin to mistaking the sun being obscured by the earth or clouds for the sun ceasing to exist. God doesn't just fade in and out because of passing clouds or times of days or seasons. He has in the modern age pretty much permanently faded out altogether, as he does not have many ignorance-gaps to hide in anymore. Fundamentalists in particular are burdened today with the necessity to expand their ignorance in order to keep god alive. Thus they reject science (when it conflicts withs scripture) and cast deep suspicion on rational discourse and empirical evidence (while happy to embrace it when they think it supports or at least doesn't conflict with dogma).

So pretend all you want that atheism is inexplicable fantasy ... that's 100% projection, my friend.
The comparisons made between the sun and God is rediculous. The sun doesnt ever fade, and niether does God. Just because one part of the earth is cold doesn't mean another part isn't experiencing a heat wave. Likewise to God believers and atheists. Just because God seems to have faded out to one mind/heart, doesnt mean he isn't performing miracles in another persons life. There never will be 100 percent projection of atheism , nor God believers. The spectrum of believing is very colorful and full of imagination. From no god to multiple gods to one god. The similarity is the denominator of belief based on knowledge and the more a person knows the harder it is to pretend to not believe in one true god.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:05 AM
 
11 posts, read 16,363 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mythunderstood View Post
Spoken like another theist that doesn't understand what atheism is. The only thing that makes one an atheist is not having a belief in god. So, unless this pastor no longer believes that his god actually exists, then he can not claim to be an atheist, temporary or not. Not reading the bible, not going to church, and not praying do not make someone an atheist. I know many atheists that read the bible and actually go to church. Does simply going to church and reading the bible make you a christian? I would assume that believing in god/jesus would be necessary to be a christian.

This statement is absolutely correct. Anyone can read the bible, and go to church, doesnt mean your not stalking some girl and trying to get into her panties. "Just saying" In a more serious note, this is a serious subject because of how relevant the after life is to everyone. Similar to the before life, if there was one , i certainly dont recall, does anyone?
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,099,963 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conanman27 View Post
The spectrum of believing is very colorful and full of imagination.
On that, we can agree.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Downtown Raleigh
1,650 posts, read 3,012,410 times
Reputation: 2122
Quote:
Originally Posted by conanman27 View Post
Once you believe theres no going back..remeber that in the bible jesus said even the demons believe and they tremble. The fact is the fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom. People have this misunderstanding that god is this barney granting wishes , hence the thought expression"why does god let bad things happen to good people". When jesus clearly stated no one is good but the father. The mindset of a true atheist is the fear of believing at all. But remember god didnt give us the spirit of fear, but he did give love peace and a sound mind. I dont see how one can pretend god doesnt exist, thats like pretending theres no sun because its dark outside..
I 100% believed (and lived accordingly), and now I do not. When I tried to share Christ, my belief crumbled. I did not want it to. I was not afraid to believe. I didn't reject anything. I didn't pretend anything. But as I tried to find a way to show an unbeliever that there was something to believe in, I discovered that there wasn't.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Richland, Washington
4,145 posts, read 5,113,017 times
Reputation: 2540
The problem with what this man is trying to do is that he already has personal biases on how an atheist lives.
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