Athiests, I'm Wondering

Crossover
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Athiests, I'm Wondering

How do you fel about people like Lee Strobel, and C.S. Lewis. Strobel was a journalist and Lewis was an Oxford professor and they both set out ot disprove Christianity, and became Christians. What do you have to say about them? I've just always wondered that. This really isn't a topic for a debate, I'm just wondering.

My Master has no desire to be merely victor in a debate: he did not come into the world to fight a battle of logic just
for the sake of winning it. --Charles Spurgeon


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Crossover wrote: How do you

Crossover wrote:
How do you fel about people like Lee Strobel, and C.S. Lewis. Strobel was a journalist and Lewis was an Oxford professor and they both set out ot disprove Christianity, and became Christians. What do you have to say about them? I've just always wondered that. This really isn't a topic for a debate, I'm just wondering.

Most of those stories don't tend to affect me personally and haven't studied their reasons for conversion, so can't help much.   I'd also point to stories from people like Dan Barker, a former evangelical preacher turned athesit,  or Hector Avalos who became a biblical scholar after being a missionary and youth preacher until he studied enough of the bible (self taught in greek and hebrew as well) to no longer believe its accepted origins..(and is also now an unbeliever) but continues to study the work as he IS still interested in how it was actually put together.  

He's a professor at Iowa State now, and I'd recommend checking out the recent Infidel Guy show with him on it about his book "The End of Biblical Studies." (i think it should be on itunes, for free if you search for infidel guy under podcasts.  We've all been donating to keep 'em free for everyone else Smiling )


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I think CS Lewis should have

I think CS Lewis should have stuck to writing fiction for children instead of defending fiction for adults.

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Crossover wrote: How do you

Crossover wrote:
How do you fel about people like Lee Strobel, and C.S. Lewis. Strobel was a journalist and Lewis was an Oxford professor and they both set out ot disprove Christianity, and became Christians. What do you have to say about them? I've just always wondered that. This really isn't a topic for a debate, I'm just wondering.

I feel fine, thanks for asking.  I mean, religion owes people like them a lot, doing their best to shoehorn their personal definitions/interpretations of God to match observable reality.

Unfortunately, without evidence to back it up, it's all kind of meaningless.


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Crossover wrote:

Crossover wrote:
How do you fel about people like Lee Strobel, and C.S. Lewis. Strobel was a journalist and Lewis was an Oxford professor and they both set out ot disprove Christianity, and became Christians. What do you have to say about them? I've just always wondered that. This really isn't a topic for a debate, I'm just wondering.

Good question

Christianity as such doesn't stand up to much scrutiny. but as a money making business it's incredibly profitable. it is the ultimate gravy train. knowing this one is immediately tempted to jump on board. to sell ones book ect ect, it's all to easy. if any of the big wig's here decided to convert, they could be rolling in money for the rest of their lives, just for lying

? What would you do if you were a well known atheist ? Smiling fight the limitless wealth of the church, for the benefit of mankind, or join the other atheists running the church for your own benefit

 


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I'll throw this out

I'll throw this out there.

One can have all the PHD's, training, and expertese in any number of areas but if you're logic sucks it's all useless. 


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Intelligent people can get

Intelligent people can get it wrong sometimes.
Besides, I'd be surprised if either of these guys knew much about philosophy, especially metaphysics.
From what little I've read about Strobel, I think that his inspiration for becoming a Christian was his wife. She converted for whatever reason. Apparently he was nasty to her at first (the classic "I was such an asshole before I found God") but he found that as her faith changed her, he liked the changes.
Then he started studying the 'evidence' - presumably read some theological arguments, found that theism was more sophisticated than he previously realised not to mention the intuitive power of certain arguments and the effect he'll have seen of faith on Christians around him and that presumably was enough to convince him.

One thing that I am sure is that it was the lifestyle of the Christians that was mainly responsible for the conversion. Had he just looked at the 'evidence' with no motives for giving the arguments the benefit of doubt then I think it would have been a different story. The 'evidence' was just enough to assure himself that he wasn't just blindly following.

Not that there's anything wrong with that - in practice we don't have reason to be absolutely sceptical of everything. If something intuitively works then that's good enough reason to believe it until we have a reason to think our intuition led us wrong. Strobel's books wouldn't be so bad if he didn't keep making out what a sceptic he was.


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Crossover wrote: How do you

Crossover wrote:
How do you fel about people like Lee Strobel, and C.S. Lewis. Strobel was a journalist and Lewis was an Oxford professor and they both set out ot disprove Christianity, and became Christians. What do you have to say about them? I've just always wondered that. This really isn't a topic for a debate, I'm just wondering.

 

I'd say they have opinions just like everyone else. 

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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I'm also a professor with a

I'm also a professor with a Ph.D. and I've studied Lewis.  I think he made some very basic logical/rhetorical mistakes that appear to me to be inexplicable--the false dilemma in the liar/madman argument, for example.  It should be elementary stuff for a philologist.

 I can only suppose that cognitive bias caused him to fall into a self-reinforcing complex of error that fed some kind of emotional shortfall or something.  I can respect Tolkien (who Lewis credits with converting him) more because at least he wasn't trying to pretend that his belief was logical.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Crossover wrote: How do you

Crossover wrote:
How do you fel about people like Lee Strobel, and C.S. Lewis. Strobel was a journalist and Lewis was an Oxford professor and they both set out ot disprove Christianity, and became Christians. What do you have to say about them? I've just always wondered that. This really isn't a topic for a debate, I'm just wondering.

I gotta wonder what negative experience they had with reality to cower into a world of self-delusion. 


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Textom wrote: I'm also a

Textom wrote:

I'm also a professor with a Ph.D. and I've studied Lewis. I think he made some very basic logical/rhetorical mistakes that appear to me to be inexplicable--the false dilemma in the liar/madman argument, for example. It should be elementary stuff for a philologist.

He commits a blunder of the same proportions in the first chapter of Mere Christianity, where he argues that the 'moral sense' is evidence of  'god' because it wouldn't be possible for a person to have a 'sense' that goes against their libidinal instincts.

But he makes this argument based on his understanding of psychodynamic theory, which claims that one's 'moral instinct' is born of a process of introjection of parental rules. So his argument is based on a brand of psychology that refutes his conclusion.

Lewis makes blunders of this sort all the time. As for Strobel, he can't be taken seriously at all.

http://www.caseagainstfaith.com 

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Rev_Devilin wrote: Good

Rev_Devilin wrote:

Good question

Christianity as such doesn't stand up to much scrutiny. but as a money making business it's incredibly profitable. it is the ultimate gravy train. knowing this one is immediately tempted to jump on board. to sell ones book ect ect, it's all to easy. if any of the big wig's here decided to convert, they could be rolling in money for the rest of their lives, just for lying

? What would you do if you were a well known atheist ? Smiling fight the limitless wealth of the church, for the benefit of mankind, or join the other atheists running the church for your own benefit

The wealth of the church is not limitless.  The Catholic church, for example, is losing millions on sexual abuse lawsuits.  This idea of selling out to religion totally misses the fact that atheism is selling pretty well these days.  Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, Mills, etc. are doing quite well without selling out. 

The other implication in your statement, that atheists are running the church, is irrelevant.  If you are a theist trying to piss off atheists, you're going to have to find something more likely to be true.  If you are an atheist, then I'm not sure what kind of demented point you are trying to make.

The words in each of the following word pairs are not interchangeable:

"Their" and "there."
"Its" and "it's."
"Your" and "you're."
"Then" and "than."


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Crossover wrote: How do you

Crossover wrote:
How do you fel about people like Lee Strobel, and C.S. Lewis. Strobel was a journalist and Lewis was an Oxford professor and they both set out ot disprove Christianity, and became Christians. What do you have to say about them? I've just always wondered that. This really isn't a topic for a debate, I'm just wondering.

They got it wrong. End of story. Poeple make mistakes even intelligent people.

Let me ask you how do you feel about all the people that where raise Christian and who are now atheist? Given the decline of religion over the last hundred years there are far far far more many people rejecting religion that turning to it. Thats just a statistcial fact so how do you feel about that?

 


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I agree, they just got it

I agree, they just got it wrong. Even intelligent people make mistakes. I suppose, while the named people may have convinced themselves that a god exists, the scientific procedure of peer reviewing their theories by other scientists will and already did show their fallacies.

help me with this: who was the scientist that found the proof for god in the beauty of a frozen waterfall while wandering in the mountains? (sam harris occationally mentions him)

"And the only people I fear are those who never have doubts."
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Francis Collins, head of

Francis Collins, head of the genome project and author of "Language of God".

 

Read Harris' review of Collins' book here: Sam Harris: The Language of Ignorance

There are no theists on operating tables.

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The only thing i can think

The only thing i can think of is that they give into social pressure to be Christian. Many societies way more accepting of Christians than people who believe otherwise.

Nero(in response to a Youth pastor) wrote:

You are afraid and should be thus.  We look to eradicate your god from everything but history books.  We bring rationality and clear thought to those who choose lives of ignorance.  We are the blazing, incandescent brand that will leave an "A" so livid, so scarlet on your mind that you will not go an hour without reflecting on reality.


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thanks zarathustra!

thanks zarathustra!


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Ryan wrote: The wealth of

Ryan wrote:

The wealth of the church is not limitless. The Catholic church, for example, is losing millions on sexual abuse lawsuits. This idea of selling out to religion totally misses the fact that atheism is selling pretty well these days. Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, Mills, etc. are doing quite well without selling out.

 losing millions that's a drop in the ocean which is the Catholic church wealth, although only limited financial information is available about the Catholic Church, one could make a conservative estimate of trillions of US dollars and probably fall well short of the true value of this business, they make hundreds of billions from the US alone every year tax free Smiling

 

 

Ryan wrote:

The other implication in your statement, that atheists are running the church, is irrelevant. If you are a theist trying to piss off atheists, you're going to have to find something more likely to be true. If you are an atheist, then I'm not sure what kind of demented point you are trying to make.

 ? so you think all those TV evangelists are true believers working for the benefit of mankind

? do you also believe in Father Christmas the tooth fairy the Loch Ness monster 

 


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Rev_Devilin wrote: losing

Rev_Devilin wrote:
losing millions that's a drop in the ocean which is the Catholic church wealth, although only limited financial information is available about the Catholic Church, one could make a conservative estimate of trillions of US dollars and probably fall well short of the true value of this business, they make hundreds of billions from the US alone every year tax free Smiling

Let's not forget Germany.  They have to pay 8% of their NET income to the church.  This is collected by the employer and sent directly to the administration fund.  You can opt out if you want, but then your employer will know and, especially in the south, this can really count against you.  They must be making hundreds of millions a year off that little scam.  Disgusting. 

Religion is the ultimate con-job. It cons the conned, and it cons the conner.

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D-cubed wrote:   I gotta

D-cubed wrote:

 

I gotta wonder what negative experience they had with reality to cower into a world of self-delusion.

 

ROFL! You rule the internets. 


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  Lewis' trilemma argument

 

Lewis' trilemma argument (lord, liar, or lunatic) doesn't take into consideration the possibility of non-existence or mythological aggrandization of JC in the Holy Babble and therefore would be begging the question that would need to be asked to get to that point which would be the veracity and accuracy of the NT.

The "nothing more perfect than oneself can be conceived of" argument was essentially stolen from Descartes.  It amazes me that so many people consider him to be some kind of theological heavyweight.


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kellym78 wrote:

kellym78 wrote:

Lewis' trilemma argument (lord, liar, or lunatic) doesn't take into consideration the possibility of non-existence or mythological aggrandization of JC in the Holy Babble and therefore would be begging the question that would need to be asked to get to that point which would be the veracity and accuracy of the NT.

The "nothing more perfect than oneself can be conceived of" argument was essentially stolen from Descartes. It amazes me that so many people consider him to be some kind of theological heavyweight.

I can only speak directly on Mere Christianity as that is the only Lewis book I read, but from my recollection most of his arguments begged the question... he puts on the pretense of socratic irony, acting as if he has exhausted all possible rational explanations, but usually leaves a glaringly obvious alternative out...

To me the classic example, again, is his argument that a conscious, as described by freudian theory, cannot originate in the individual, as it comes into contrast with the id, ergo it must come from god ... had he simply read chapter two of whatever book on psychoanalysis he was briefly thumbing through he would have learned that to a analyst, the superego is introjected through contact with parents... in other words, we have an 'conscious' because we interact with people who repeat rules so often that we remember them as if they came from 'inside us'

basic psychology. 

Yet he bases the entirety of Mere Christianity on what he holds to be a discovery of psychology!

And I see francis collins bases his belief on mere christianity and this very argument.

Talk about building a claim on a house of cards... 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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evil religion

evil religion wrote:

Crossover wrote:
How do you fel about people like Lee Strobel, and C.S. Lewis. Strobel was a journalist and Lewis was an Oxford professor and they both set out ot disprove Christianity, and became Christians. What do you have to say about them? I've just always wondered that. This really isn't a topic for a debate, I'm just wondering.

They got it wrong. End of story. Poeple make mistakes even intelligent people.

Let me ask you how do you feel about all the people that where raise Christian and who are now atheist? Given the decline of religion over the last hundred years there are far far far more many people rejecting religion that turning to it. Thats just a statistcial fact so how do you feel about that?

I feel that people have been rejecting God for more than a few hundred years, so these last few hundred aren't surprising. I think those who were raised to be Christians were not truely saved and not true Christians to begin with, but I sympathise with them more because they have tasted the power of the Holy Spirit and rejected him. But hey, life is life. Athiests will convert, proclaiming Christians will leave. I don't the mass numbers of people believing in a God is what God wants. Just read my sinature!

My Master has no desire to be merely victor in a debate: he did not come into the world to fight a battle of logic just
for the sake of winning it. --Charles Spurgeon


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crossover wrote: I think

crossover wrote:
I think those who were raised to be Christians were not truely saved and not true Christians to begin with, but I sympathise with them more because they have tasted the power of the Holy Spirit and rejected him.

I'm personally offended by this particular recurring no-true-scotsman argument.

 My experience of Christianity was as genuine as anyone's, and I challenge anyone to show otherwise.  All the more so, I think, because I wasn't raised/brainwashed from birth, but only came in contact with the indoctrination after reaching my abstract/reasoning teen years.

The experience of the "power of the holy spirit" is a delusion, a brain trick involving induced altered states of consciousness.  I can get a deeper, more profound spiritual experience whenever I want by chugging a couple of tequila shots and watching Blade Runner.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Textom wrote:

Textom wrote:

crossover wrote:
I think those who were raised to be Christians were not truely saved and not true Christians to begin with, but I sympathise with them more because they have tasted the power of the Holy Spirit and rejected him.

I'm personally offended by this particular recurring no-true-scotsman argument.

Good point. And there's a famous christian apologist who vehemently agrees with YOU.

What makes it odd is that the apologist in question is...

drumroll please....

C.

 

S.

 

Lewis:

(One of my favorite Lewis lines too)

The name Christians was first given at Antioch (Acts 11:26) to 'the disciples', to those who accepted the teaching of the apostles. There is no question of its being restricted to those who profited by that teaching as much as they should have.

From Mere Christianity. In the section devoted to attacking the no true scotsman fallacy of saying that somel christians were not christians based on their behaviors.

Lewis also makes the obvious point that if a religion holds that behaviors are not the road to salvation, then how can anyone point to a christian's behaviors as proof of their not being saved?

As he says:

 

When a man who accepts the Christian doctrine lives unworthily of it, it is much clearer to say he is a bad Christian than to say he is not a Christian.

Yes, he's knocking the whole idea of regeneration for the contradiction that it is...

 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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D-cubed wrote: I gotta

D-cubed wrote:
I gotta wonder what negative experience they had with reality to cower into a world of self-delusion.
 

Maybe in Lewis' case it was his trauma after serving in World War I and being wounded.  Bearing in mind he enlisted and served at the Somme and was wounded at Arras I don't think we can accuse him of cowering though, can we?  Whether you like his views or not he was undoubtedly both a brilliant and a brave man.

 

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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Crossover wrote:

Crossover wrote:
How do you fel about people like Lee Strobel, and C.S. Lewis. Strobel was a journalist and Lewis was an Oxford professor and they both set out ot disprove Christianity, and became Christians. What do you have to say about them? I've just always wondered that. This really isn't a topic for a debate, I'm just wondering.
How do I feel?

I think Strobel just wanted to believe. He probably said "hey, I don't believe, but I really want to, so I'll try to disprove it, and if I can't, I'm in." He probably didn't look too hard. [edit: I base this on his level of devotion and zeal, this far outpaces that of Lewis]

C.S. Lewis, I'm told, didn't truly believe, and just wanted to fleece people. However, I'm not sure on this. However, an intelligent man's convertion means little. Intelligent people change religions just as much as stupid people. Does a brilliant christian converting to Islam prove Islam is true? What of brilliant Muslims becoming Hindus? Brilliant Hindus accepting Judaism? Brilliant Jews becoming Baha'i? Brilliant Baha'is becoming Zoroastrians? etc.

More importantly, what do you think of Charles Templeton, who was a high ranking evangelical minister who left the faith?