Former atheist, turned deist

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by keithzworld, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. keithzworld

    keithzworld Agnostic

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to this forum, my name is Keith. Well I guess I'm just looking for some advice.

    I regarded myself as an atheist for about 9 years and now after all of that time I find myself believing in God. I accept that the big bang is the event which allowed the universe to be, but science has no answers to what may have caused it. I think such an event like that would need a cause, and I believe some sort of higher being or God is the cause of this.

    I consider myself as a deist, like many deists I don't believe God interferes with the affairs of humanity and is merely responsible for getting the ball rolling in the creation of the universe. I'm also non-religious as I don't agree with organized religion.

    But I've been getting a lot of slack form other atheists online about me, converting to deism (so to speak). I'm not sure how I go about explaining to them why I no longer deny the existence of a God. Many of them say I'm using an "argument from ignorance" or use the argument of "god of the gaps".

    Any advice on how to explain this to them? So maybe they can understand it on some level, while obviously not sharing my beliefs.
     
  2. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Hi Keith and welcome to the forum.

    I know it's tough that you have friends that are 'still' atheists, but you have moved on, into an area that they do not relate to. I guess we could say you still relate to them (because they are your friends) but they don't relate to you any more.

    I'm afraid you are just going to have to set sail toward this new direction you have found, and start finding new friends that you can discuss these new ideas with. (And this forum may be a good place to meet the kind of people you are looking for.)

    Changing belief systems can be challenging. It may take the rest of your life to get this all sorted out. Don't rush it. Enjoy the ride.
     
  3. greymare

    greymare New Member

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    Gday Keith. and welcome.......... I think that (if you are anything like me), its all about timing..... you werent ready before, and for whatever reason, you have accepted, and realised something that others have not. Dont worry about how they feel about you, or what they think. Explaining to them would only fall on deaf ears, imo, just be happy and content within yourself.
    God Bless

    Love the Grey
     
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Keith —

    You might want to look at Sir Anthony Flew, and his reasoning for accepting Deism.

    The problem is that atheists tend to regard their theories as irrefutable, which they are not. The experiments they perform can be, but the conclusions they draw are far less certain.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  5. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    Oh, we're full of that. :eek::p.

    Hello!


    Whatever your opinions and beliefs are on anything, clearly there's going to be a lot of people who disagree with you, some of them people you don't even know in real life sitting at keyboards. Only you can explain what you think, using your words, I believe. At the end of it though, they'll probably still have the same opinion of your beliefs :)

    Why do you feel the need to justify your beliefs to others? especially strangers on internet forums...

    If someone asks me about my opinions and beliefs, if I think it is out of interest I'm happy to share but if it is merely to make argument, then personally I've got better things to do with my time. Civilised discussion between people with differing views can be enjoyable but exchanges cos I'm "arguing from ignorance" well <SNORT!!!>

    Snoopy.
     
  6. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Welcome, Keith.

    I used to be an atheist, but found out that my faith was not strong enough to believe in no intelligence behind the creation of the universe. (Blind chance or God of Good Luck?)

    So if anyone chides you about dropping your atheism, just cite a lack of faith! :cool:
     
  7. NiceCupOfTea

    NiceCupOfTea Pathetic earthlings

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    i used to be an atheist, now I am a born again Christian , this was a gradual process and did not happen over night.


    sorry i can give you any advice regarding your question though
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    you could point them this way....

    YouTube - Famous Atheist Antony Flew Changes, Believes in God Part II

    It isn't uncommon for atheists to switch sides....even after decades of atheistic fame...

    Nor is it uncommon for those 'left behind' to mourn the loss of their compatriot.

    Similar situations occur when someone pulls himself up by his bootstraps and leaves the hood... or quits drinking ...or quits drugs ...personal growth is all about change.
     
  9. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    I think you go with something like, "I changed my mind."

    Since most people at some point in their life have experienced a change of mind, they should be able to relate to this.

    Trying to understand it on any other level than that might prove difficult.
     
  10. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    a number of atheists regard flew's conversion as succumbing to senility. i think this is somewhat arrogant to say the least, revealing that only a knave, a fool - in this case, someone with diminished intellectual capability - could possibly believe such rubbish. i find such attitudes profoundly unhelpful, but in the words of the people over at the "butterflies and wheels" blog, they don't even see there's an argument to have. to them, it isn't a difference of opinion, we simply don't understand the arguments.

    this, unfortunately is the same tactic used by my mother when she doesn't like that i disagree with her.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  11. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    Conversion away from belief or non-belief says nothing about the original position held. The world is filled with people who've left a faith or taken one on. If this is supposed to be a measure of one side or another, then all sides have been discredited and validated countless times over.
     
  12. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    I've been both an atheist and a believer. I dislike the label atheist because rather than describing a position it describes a counter-position. If I was a color I would not want to be not green. OTOH, I can't honestly say that I believe. The truth is that I just don't know, so it's a leap that I don't feel I can ethically make.

    I dunno, maybe Deism is more satisfactorily vague than outright Theism. More of an idea and less of a being. It's still not honest enough for me.

    Chris
     
  13. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Admitting to being agnostic is very honest, Chris. Honest skeptics are a rare find. :)
     
  14. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Agnosticism does seem to me to be honest, but not skeptic.

    I mean in reality can anyone really be positive there is a G!d or isn't a G!d or G!ds?

    Science or religion, anyone that thinks they know what is after this life is stating conjecture based on belief and faith not on facts.

    Now some folks have had experiences that indicate that they 'know'.... and some of those people write books, some are on TV, and some are in mental institutions...

    I think reveling in the unknowing is a fine place to be.
     
  15. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    I see far too many "Atheist fundamentalists" online, who effectively toe a reductionist scientific approach, arguing that is science cannot describe it, then it cannot be real.

    In which case, these people never observed bees fly or fish swim, because it was only over the last 10 years or so that a theory of fluid dynamics applied to both could actually explain how both could do so as effectively as we observe - ie, bumblebees too heavy to fly, fish should not be able to swim at the speeds they are measured at.

    Agnosticism is the only intellectually honest opinion - a statement of fact atheist fundies care to ignore.

    In the meantime, Panentheism trumps Deism. ;)
     
  16. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Panentheists....I didn't know I was that till I was called that, but with your statement I think I'm moving closer to an panendeistic agnostic. I believe in a noncreator G!d in everthing, with everything, thru everything that I don't know for certain exists.

    Yes atheistic fundies...many are, but more confusing to me is so many are biblical literalists as well, baffling. Tell them Genesis is definitely allegory and metaphor and the rest contains hyperbole and tribal mythology and they blow their stack.
     
  17. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    Please point one out. I'd love to see someone say that if, "science cannot describe it, then it cannot be real."

    Science cannot describe gravity.

    They know its effect but not what it actually is.

    Science cannot describe gravity... but I think most people would agree that it is real.

    So please.... show me one of these "Atheist fundamentalists" that you see so many of.
     
  18. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    You gotta help me out.

    This is the internet. You'd think everything's been said at least once around here.

    EDIT: Wow. It took a little work, but I finally got some results. Four to be exact. Sure, I had to reduce my search to "If science can't describe it". But I think I'm getting closer to those Atheist Fundamentalists you were talking about. Check out the bottom screen grab...
     

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  19. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    The key word is "effectively."

    Chris
     
  20. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    ef·fec·tive·ly

    1. In an effective way.
    2. For all practical purposes; in effect: Though a few rebels still held out, the fighting was effectively ended.

    effectively

    1: in an effective manner; "these are real problems that can be dealt with most effectively by rational discussion" [syn: {efficaciously}] [ant: {inefficaciously}, {inefficaciously}]

    2: in actuality or reality or fact; "she is effectively his wife"; "in effect, they had no choice" [syn: {in effect}]


    I think you need to try again CCS... unless you'd like to say that a horse with a paper towel tube hot-glued to its forehead is "effectively" a unicorn. :rolleyes:
     

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