Another preacher gives up on god

Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13652
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Another preacher gives up on god

Good for him.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/magazine/from-bible-belt-pastor-to-atheist-leader.html

However, as the article describes it seems to be an emotional reaction to the death of a friend's friend. While it does cut to the selective cherry picking nature of any god claim, emotional reactions causing a shift of position is not the core reason to reject any claim. The core reason is evidence and evidence alone.

Why bad things happen to good people we often hear "former atheists" cop out to as to why they became an atheist.  "I was angry at god". Not saying this is the reason this former preacher left his religion, but could easily fall back into theism without deep understanding as to the psychological reason they fell for it in the first place. But you can be angry at the use of logic people use to defend such a claim. No one in their right mind would baby sit a kid in the same selective cherry picking manor this alleged god seems to.

When one thinks about the entire history of evolution and nature in reality, we can see that violence and destruction and death have always been a part of natural reality. There have always been earthquakes, hurricanes, bacteria and viruses. There has always been crime and war.

And once you accept that both the good and bad that happen in natural reality are not the result of a comic book battle between fictional super heros vs super villains, you can be angry at absurd use of logic, without being angry at any fictional being.

To this former preacher I would say it is sad that it took a death for you to come to your senses. No one likes to lose friends or loved ones for any reason, to anything. But don't let your emotions rule you. The fact is we all face death and no one can avoid it. Death is simply part of a natural reality void of superstition and magic men. It is no different than a leaf falling off a tree and rotting. Even the star we call a sun has a lifespan, and the same with our planet.

The emotional reaction only has a valid argument in the context of the "OMNI" attributes people claim about an allegedly moral caregiver who sets us up in an environment he did not have to set us up in, then blames us for what he didn't have to set up. This has long been expressed in Epicurus "problem with evil" which I have yet to see any credible refutation of from a logical standpoint.

The good and bad in reality are better explained by nature and evolution. Ocham's razor is all it takes when someone gives you superfluous myth. Which makes more sense in reality? Humans have always made up myths and falsely believed them to be fact? Or, invisible friends by any label are real?

Atheism is nothing but the kid growing up and giving up on Santa. Evolution was around long before the Egyptians falsely believed the sun was a god. We now live without that false belief, and I do not think life will be any different if the popular god claims today are discarded, other than they will simply be discarded. There will still be natural disasters and disease. But without myth, our observations without sugar pills can help humanity extend our finite ride.

The plus of having a former preacher give up on religion, is that they are ones better to argue with those still in religion as to why they don't need it. Welcome to reality preacher, glad to have you with us.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 3385
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
it seems to me that his

it seems to me that his deconversion wasn't a reaction to any specific catalyst, but a gradual falling away from faith as he little by little recognized the inconsistencies and harmful elements in his religion as well as his own cognitive dissonance.  the episode of him being unable to pray for one of his parishioners seems to have been his breaking point, when he finally started to face head-on what had been scratching at the back of his mind for years, not the reason for his deconversion.  in fact, his process seems similar to mine, except i was only just starting to preach and had never gotten into it professionally.

all in all, he seems a very level-headed, rational guy, and i admire his courage in the face of the atheist movement as well as the church, because, as he said, many atheists only want to hear that religion is 100% bad, has no redeeming qualities, and that the church is only out to deceive and rob people, and he says, "sorry, i can't tell you that, because it wasn't my experience."

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


pauljohntheskeptic
atheistSilver Member
pauljohntheskeptic's picture
Posts: 2484
Joined: 2008-02-26
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote:Good for

Brian37 wrote:

Good for him.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/magazine/from-bible-belt-pastor-to-atheist-leader.html

However, as the article describes it seems to be an emotional reaction to the death of a friend's friend. While it does cut to the selective cherry picking nature of any god claim, emotional reactions causing a shift of position is not the core reason to reject any claim. The core reason is evidence and evidence alone.

The more an educated rational person studies religion, the less they will accept. As with Bart Ehrman and even Fred Phelps son.

I agree with Iwbiek, after reading the entire article it appears that Ex-Pastor Dewitt fell away gradually. When the phone call came, he couldn't pretend anymore.

His emotional reaction, was more of letting down the friend not the likely death of her brother from the motorcycle wreck.

There was a point for me in the mid 1990's when I just couldn't pretend anymore either. All of what I had learned just came together and suddenly I knew it was time to walk away from it. DeWitt quickly went to the other side whereas it took me 5 years or so to become an activist. I applaud him for his courage and rational stand. It is very hard to face religious family and friends once they know you are an atheist. This was even more difficult for him as he had been a pastor in his community.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13652
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

Good for him.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/magazine/from-bible-belt-pastor-to-atheist-leader.html

However, as the article describes it seems to be an emotional reaction to the death of a friend's friend. While it does cut to the selective cherry picking nature of any god claim, emotional reactions causing a shift of position is not the core reason to reject any claim. The core reason is evidence and evidence alone.

The more an educated rational person studies religion, the less they will accept. As with Bart Ehrman and even Fred Phelps son.

I agree with Iwbiek, after reading the entire article it appears that Ex-Pastor Dewitt fell away gradually. When the phone call came, he couldn't pretend anymore.

His emotional reaction, was more of letting down the friend not the likely death of her brother from the motorcycle wreck.

There was a point for me in the mid 1990's when I just couldn't pretend anymore either. All of what I had learned just came together and suddenly I knew it was time to walk away from it. DeWitt quickly went to the other side whereas it took me 5 years or so to become an activist. I applaud him for his courage and rational stand. It is very hard to face religious family and friends once they know you are an atheist. This was even more difficult for him as he had been a pastor in his community.

I hope so. Hitchen's brother I would hazard to guess has relatively the same upbringing, yet he believes/ One of Murry O'Hair's sons believes.

I think the difference between the apologist who studies deeply who stays in it, and the apologist who studies deeply and leaves it, is that one wants it to be true badly enough, whereas the one who leaves it wants the truth badly enough, and when the facts get in the way, the one who wants it to be true badly enough, ignores the facts, where as the ones who want the truth don't ignore the facts and face reality.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 3385
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote: One of Murry

Brian37 wrote:

 

One of Murry O'Hair's sons believes.

 

christ, i think if i were murray o'hair's son, i would believe too, just to stick it to my bitch of a mother.  from all accounts i've read, christian and otherwise, she was a dishonest, spiteful, manipulative, greedy disgrace of a human being who was as dogmatic an atheist parent as any religious parent ever was.  i mean, look how she publicly "disowned" her son when he became a christian.  she probably still has millions of embezzled dollars stashed away somewhere.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13652
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
iwbiek wrote:Brian37

iwbiek wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

 

One of Murry O'Hair's sons believes.

 

christ, i think if i were murray o'hair's son, i would believe too, just to stick it to my bitch of a mother.  from all accounts i've read, christian and otherwise, she was a dishonest, spiteful, manipulative, greedy disgrace of a human being who was as dogmatic an atheist parent as any religious parent ever was.  i mean, look how she publicly "disowned" her son when he became a christian.  she probably still has millions of embezzled dollars stashed away somewhere.

Where is your evidence O Hair was a criminal? The money American Atheists lost at the time was because she was kidnapped and her family murdered by a former employee she caught stealing money and wrote an article about. He kidnapped her family, stole gold coins and murdered her and her son and daughter.  O'Hair has no money, she is dead. So she got herself murdered just so American Atheists could get rich? And that benefited her personally how?

She was "in your face" , so the fuck what? Are you saying atheists should never blaspheme or challenge religion? And if it were not for her siding with a Christian in the Supreme Court case, mandated government lead prayer would still exist in public schools.

I disowned my brother for the same reason, not because he was a Christian, but because he is bat shit crazy and wouldn't leave me alone. The rest of my family I get along with and they believe to some degree.

She was no different than any other human, with flaws like the rest of us, and no family in the world is perfect like Leave it to Beaver. She is much maligned for no good reason that she spoke out. Phil Donahue who could hardly be called a radical, was friends of hers and she was his first guest when he went national and his last guest when his talk show ended, and a frequent guest inbetween. If Phil thought she was a total bigot, he never would have had her on his show. Phil was no Jerry Springer and while ratings were important, Phil's show was more about informing and he was not simply a talking head.

O'Hair was not doing anything differently than many of us do on this website today. So if you are going to throw her under the bus, I suggest you also throw me under the bus too, because I have also been "in your face" as much and sometimes even more than she did.

 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 3385
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote: Where is

Brian37 wrote:

 

Where is your evidence O Hair was a criminal?

i don't need evidence because i'm not a fuckin' court, so in the end it doesn't matter what i think.  i'm going by the words of those who worked closely with her, as well as her own son, and my common sense tells me what they say is highly likely.  while i don't agree with what her son stands for and the movement he started, i still think that, as her son, he knew her better than most people, and while anger obviously made him speak indiscreetly and focus only on her bad points, the idea that he would wantonly slander his own mother with criminal allegations both before and after her death is just not likely.

even donahue said she was an unpleasant lady who mocked him for being catholic off-camera.  if you consider that "in your face," fine.  i consider it being a bitch.  gandhi was "in your face."  eugene debs was "in your face."  o'hair was crass for the sake of it. 

Brian37 wrote:

Are you saying atheists should never blaspheme or challenge religion?

yes, brian, that's exactly what i was saying.  if you look closely at all my posts on this forum, you'll see that's precisely what i've been saying all along.  atheists should definitely never speak out.

Brian37 wrote:

And if it were not for her siding with a Christian in the Supreme Court case, mandated government lead prayer would still exist in public schools.

no, it wouldn't, because it was already gone.  her case was about mandatory scripture reading.  she did not in any way "get prayer taken out of school," even her son got that wrong.

Brian37 wrote:

I disowned my brother for the same reason, not because he was a Christian, but because he is bat shit crazy and wouldn't leave me alone.

well, from what i've read, o'hair and her son left each other alone from about 1980 till the end of her life.  they were completely estranged.  so, i don't know what kinda parallel you're trying to draw here.

Brian37 wrote:

because I have also been "in your face" as much and sometimes even more than she did.

oh, come off it.  for fuck's sake, chiming in on every imaginable issue while typing in caps and using profanity does not make you "in your face," unless "in your face" means annoying.  you're not in any kind of vanguard or any kind of trenches.  you're free to express your opinions, sure, but let's none of us have any delusions of rocking any boats here.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13652
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
iwbiek wrote:Brian37

iwbiek wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

 

Where is your evidence O Hair was a criminal?

i don't need evidence because i'm not a fuckin' court, so in the end it doesn't matter what i think.  i'm going by the words of those who worked closely with her, as well as her own son, and my common sense tells me what they say is highly likely.  while i don't agree with what her son stands for and the movement he started, i still think that, as her son, he knew her better than most people, and while anger obviously made him speak indiscreetly and focus only on her bad points, the idea that he would wantonly slander his own mother with criminal allegations both before and after her death is just not likely.

even donahue said she was an unpleasant lady who mocked him for being catholic off-camera.  if you consider that "in your face," fine.  i consider it being a bitch.  gandhi was "in your face."  eugene debs was "in your face."  o'hair was crass for the sake of it. 

Brian37 wrote:

Are you saying atheists should never blaspheme or challenge religion?

yes, brian, that's exactly what i was saying.  if you look closely at all my posts on this forum, you'll see that's precisely what i've been saying all along.  atheists should definitely never speak out.

Brian37 wrote:

And if it were not for her siding with a Christian in the Supreme Court case, mandated government lead prayer would still exist in public schools.

no, it wouldn't, because it was already gone.  her case was about mandatory scripture reading.  she did not in any way "get prayer taken out of school," even her son got that wrong.

Brian37 wrote:

I disowned my brother for the same reason, not because he was a Christian, but because he is bat shit crazy and wouldn't leave me alone.

well, from what i've read, o'hair and her son left each other alone from about 1980 till the end of her life.  they were completely estranged.  so, i don't know what kinda parallel you're trying to draw here.

Brian37 wrote:

because I have also been "in your face" as much and sometimes even more than she did.

oh, come off it.  for fuck's sake, chiming in on every imaginable issue while typing in caps and using profanity does not make you "in your face," unless "in your face" means annoying.  you're not in any kind of vanguard or any kind of trenches.  you're free to express your opinions, sure, but let's none of us have any delusions of rocking any boats here.

You need to come off it. I am not under any delusion that I am special or any semblance of likes of Hitchens or Dawkins. But everyone here is making waves and everyone here has a voice that does count in mass. No single person here stands out, but together we do give aid to the voice of atheists and do give them the comfort to know they are not alone.

WE are rocking boats and I did not say me or I. But we are and I know where our voice was back in 01 vs how much it has grown since.

Now if you dont like my style, fine. Go do your thing. I don't tell you how to post do I? I am not out to win any popularity contest. And if you don't like what I have to post you don't have to read or respond to my posts do you?

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13652
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Knock it off, you simply

Knock it off, you simply didn't like her, but without her voice much of what atheists have now would not have grown if she did not "be crass for the sake of it".

This is nothing but a veiled attempt to say "You make me look bad as an atheist Brian37". No, guilt by association is a fallacy. If I am an individual, which all humans are, then the worst criticism you can have of me is "you make yourself look bad".

You also fail to see that there still are far too many theists, even without the cussing or caps are threatened by our mere existence. The word "atheist" to many theists might as well be the word "FUCK".

But you are absolutely dead wrong to think that all people cant handle it and all have glass jaws. It is simply your own personal predilections. Theists who are willing to listen to us can not make any more demands of "play nice" than we should in asking them never to offend us. I think it is far better to let the words fly and know neither side has to fear the other. I think walking on eggshells is childish and stupid and does not solve any divide in humanity. It is the cry if the insecure.

If you like the library that is on you, but I am not you so please, do your own thing, but do not project yourself on me.

 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 3385
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
  ok, brian, ok.  fuck,

 

ok, brian, ok.  fuck, man.

 

 


JesusNEVERexisted
Superfan
JesusNEVERexisted's picture
Posts: 693
Joined: 2010-01-03
User is offlineOffline
The translation is this

The translation is this pastor realized the bible is middle eastern MYTH and Jesus is as real as Daffy Duck!

There was a report on the news a while ago how even in ITALY they are having a hard time to find people to live a wholly religious life! Religion classes for clergy used to have 30 people in it but now only have 1 or 2!!

Christianity has been IMPOSED after 1,700+ years of FORCE so it will take time but it's slowly dying out!  Give it a few hundred years and it will be 99% gone!

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13652
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
JesusNEVERexisted wrote:The

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:

The translation is this pastor realized the bible is middle eastern MYTH and Jesus is as real as Daffy Duck!

There was a report on the news a while ago how even in ITALY they are having a hard time to find people to live a wholly religious life! Religion classes for clergy used to have 30 people in it but now only have 1 or 2!!

Christianity has been IMPOSED after 1,700+ years of FORCE so it will take time but it's slowly dying out!  Give it a few hundred years and it will be 99% gone!

I am not going to lose any sleep if any religion dies out. All one has to do to see the futility of clinging to the past is to look at the fact that times change and cultures change. But the future is just as likely as something dies out, to be replaced by another mass delusion. Scientology was started by a Si Fi writer, and it would be no surprise if some moron's started a religion based on Harry Potter or "The Force" of Star Wars.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 3385
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote:it would be no

Brian37 wrote:

it would be no surprise if some moron's started a religion based on ... "The Force" of Star Wars.

didn't somebody do just that?  i've heard "jedi" is a common option on certain forms.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen