Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. My Failed Attempt at Being an Atheist

 

At an emotionally flat part of my life, I had the idea of being an atheist. I’m a scientist of sorts, and so I really ought to take the scientific view of everything, I thought. I’d been raised as a protestant (Methodist) but hadn’t been observant for years, and I no longer thought of it as an important part of my life. Looking back on it now I’m not certain how sincere I was about this. It doesn’t seem like I ever really got into being an atheist like some of them do. Things kept getting in the way.

For one thing, many atheists are ignorant of the religion they criticize. They think about religion a lot, especially Christianity, but most of what they think they know about it is wrong. I realize that there are plenty of thoughtful atheists who harbor no ill will against believers and respect their beliefs. The trouble was I kept running into the other kind.

The big names in atheism these days, Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens, have ideas about Christianity that are so obviously wrong that it’s hard to see why anyone takes them seriously. They think Christianity is bad for people. Billions of people who believe and participate of their own free will and live full lives in harmony with their society don’t agree. They will nearly all tell you that they benefit enormously from their beliefs. One does not even need to evoke the prospect of eternal life to see lots of worldly, objective benefits in terms of fellowship and friendship, support, and wellbeing. Some people have bad experiences with religion. I think here in particular about the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, but those are rare exceptions. Pedophiles are no more common among Catholic priests than they are in the general population. Not being religious does not protect people from that sort of crime.

Other religions have their own problems, of course, but I believe that for the majority of believers their beliefs offer them many benefits. Being raised as a Christian, though, I’ll stick to that.

An ordinary conversation with an atheist inevitably would bring up erroneous ideas about Christianity, so I found myself defending it again and again.

“I would never believe in a God who is always demanding to be praised,” said one fellow. “What kind of egotistical deity is that?”

Mmmm, well… Believers think that God is complete unto Himself and needs nothing from us. He wants us to praise Him for our own benefit and the benefit of others. Everyone needs to know who to go to for salvation. God wants us back, but we have to choose to go to Him; He won’t revoke our free will.

This would be received with irritation, and the topic would shift to some other canard about Christianity.

There were, of course, those logical conundrums some non-believers come up with that supposedly prove that there can be no such thing as an omnipotent God. If God is all-powerful can He make something so heavy that even He can’t lift it?

Well, yeah. God made heavy stones, but I’ll bet Jesus could not physically lift one.

Some atheists celebrate the fact that Christianity is on the decline in Europe and think that this augers an age of rationality. But looking at the context of this decline shows that it’s part of a more general decline of European culture and society with falling birth rates, falling population of the relevant ethic groups, increasing suicide, economic stagnation, increasing deviance, and a loss of confidence in institutions of all types. The rising atheism might be one of these signs of degeneration, not rationality. Obviously, I didn’t say this out loud.

Some atheists are always congratulating themselves on being more educated and intelligent. Most of the scientists and university professors, they say, are atheists. Most of the intellectuals are atheists. It’s the hayseeds in flyover country that are religious, they say. But they are cherry-picking. There are plenty of non-believing poor and uneducated people. They are probably the majority of non-believers. A lot of them are in prison.

I was no better than any atheist at explaining why officially atheistic governments, those that were actually hostile to Christianity and other religions, were in the habit of killing millions of their own citizens. The dodges some atheists concoct for this are never convincing. Being conservative by nature, it seemed obvious to me that what happened in those nations was that the controls were taken off of human nature, and the result was inevitable.

Also, being conservative informs me that the new atheists are wrong when they say that getting rid of religion will usher in a Utopia of rationality and clear thinking. No, there is still human nature to deal with. Things would get worse, not better; less rational not more. Rousseau was wrong. The Marquis de Sade was right. Take away the restraints provided by culture, tradition, and religion and the result is depravity. To return to a state of nature is to die by starvation, disease, and violence. The more atheistic the chattering classes get in the US the more divided we seem, the worse the rhetoric gets, the more hostile and intolerant they are toward people who don’t agree with them to the point that they are seriously talking about getting rid of First Amendment protections. They are advocating a return to the type of democracy in which there are no minority rights, the kind that the people of Athens had when they voted to kill Socrates, the ultimate form of cancel culture. Those guys are getting worse, not better, as they leave religion behind.

So, I was a total failure as an atheist. I had to admit to myself that I’m a believer after all, and now I participate at my local Church on a regular basis.

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There are 60 comments.

  1. Arahant Member

    Roderic: Also, being conservative informs me that the new atheists are wrong when they say that getting rid of religion will usher in a Utopia of rationality and clear thinking.

    The French tried that. Remember the Temples of Reason? Remember the guillotines? Good times. Good times.

    • #1
    • November 7, 2019, at 9:19 AM PST
    • 14 likes
  2. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Roderic: Also, being conservative informs me that the new atheists are wrong when they say that getting rid of religion will usher in a Utopia of rationality and clear thinking.

    The French tried that. Remember the Temples of Reason? Remember the guillotines? Good times. Good times.

    Worked well in the Soviet Union too.

    • #2
    • November 7, 2019, at 10:09 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  3. Hartmann von Aue Member

    Globally, atheism has declined since 1970 and will likely disappear by 2050 as a globally noticeable cultural force, dropping to a number less than one-third of current population of the U.S. Christianity, Islam and Hinduism are all growing at rates faster than global population growth. Source: The same Pew Global Religious Landscape survey that certain other persons here on Ricochet are dishonestly touting as evidence of the disappearance of Christianity. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity has also conducted studies with similar results as have organizations in France and Turkey. 

    Oh, and violent crime has been declining globally as atheism has declined globally. Were I the author of a certain other thread here, I would make the irrational statement that this means atheism was the main cause of violent crime world-wide and its disappearance portends a new age of civic peace and order. 

    • #3
    • November 7, 2019, at 11:31 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  4. Bill Nelson Member

    I went through a similar phase, though not atheist so much as not even thinking of religion. Raised a catholic who was forced to go the mass, I decided to not make the same mistake with my children. I am sorry for that choice.

    I am an engineer, so logic and reason are key for me. But I also read a lot of history. And the more I read, history, politics, science, the more I am absolutely sure there is a benevolent God.

    But this is common, the youth go off to create a life, and as the gain experience, they find deficiencies in that life.

    I still do not attend church, but my life is based on a solid belief in God.

    And I did read this:

    ENCYCLICAL LETTER
    FIDES ET RATIO
    OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
    JOHN PAUL II

    • #4
    • November 7, 2019, at 12:00 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  5. Manny Member

    I was similar in my young adulthood. I was not an angry atheist, just one who found it hard to believe. I too have a scientific background. I’m a mechanical engineer. But somewhere in my mid thirties I think the incredible order of the universe was an epiphany. Something had to put that together. It was so highly unlikely that it could all form by chance was just statistically unlikely. At that point I was a believer in a creator. In time, perhaps another ten years, I had a religious experience that brought me to Christ.

    Kudos!

    • #5
    • November 7, 2019, at 12:29 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  6. Skyler Coolidge

    Roderic: For one thing, many atheists are ignorant of the religion they criticize. They think about religion a lot, especially Christianity, but most of what they think they know about it is wrong.

    I didn’t realize we were in some club with rules and written agreements on what we think. Maybe my membership lapsed?

    • #6
    • November 7, 2019, at 1:15 PM PST
    • 1 like
  7. Arahant Member

    Skyler (View Comment):
    Maybe my membership lapsed?

    When did you last pay your membership dues?

    • #7
    • November 7, 2019, at 1:23 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. HeavyWater Coolidge

    I am an atheist-agnostic and I personally think Christianity false in the sense that I don’t think St. Paul actually received his revelation from God.

    I don’t think there ever was an Adam and Eve as described in Genesis and I don’t think that Jesus rose from the dead and that his death and resurrection allows for the salvation of those who put their faith in him. I also do not think that heaven and hell exist.

    I can’t say I am 100 percent confident in any of these claims. But I often wonder how confident Christians, Muslims, Mormons and Hindus can be of the claims made by their religions. One wonders if they ever reflect and think that perhaps these religions are inaccurate in some significant ways.

    I have lots of Christians in my extended family and have lots of atheists in my extended family. All of these people are nice and intelligent people. So, my criticism of any given religion, not just Christianity, is that the religion makes claims that I don’t think are actually true.

    I am open to the possibility that religion can be false in many ways, but still have a positive impact on someone’s behavior throughout life. I am also open to the exact opposite possibility, that someone who subscribes to false religious ideas could end up behaving badly as a result of those beliefs.

    Now, I also realize that there are over 30,000 different Christian denominations. So, if I were to criticize a group of Pentecostal Christians who claim that if you have faith in Jesus you can handle poisonous snakes and they will not hurt you, I can anticipate that some Christian from a different church or a different denomination could say, “Well, that’s not the Christianity I subscribe to.”

    Generalization and oversimplification is a problem. And this is true when people criticize atheists too. Whatever one might think of Sam Harris or Richard Dawkins, neither of them are Joseph Stalin. Those non-religious people in Denmark aren’t creating a replica of North Korea or Castro’s Cuba.

    Also, Sam Harris’s first book, “The End of Faith,” was primarily directed at Islam, not Christianity. Harris, Dawkins and Hitchens have been very outspoken about the harms that Islam is causing in the world even as many on the Left claim that to criticize Islam is to be a Western imperialist engaging in Islamophobia.

    So, just as I don’t think Christians and Mormons should be cast into outer darkness, I don’t think atheists should be dismissed either.

    Milton Friedman was an agnostic but was an advocate for free enterprise. It’s not automatic that someone who isn’t sure if God exists will decide to join the Bernie Sanders campaign.

    • #8
    • November 7, 2019, at 1:26 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  9. HeavyWater Coolidge

    I should also mention that Christianity is booming in sub-Saharan Africa and not doing too well in the wealthy nations of the world (Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Denmark, Switzerland, Japan and the United States).

    This isn’t to say that Christianity causes poverty or that atheism causes prosperity. I think the chain of causation goes the other way. People who are mired in poverty are more likely to embrace a religion (Christianity, Islam or some other religion) than are people who are living comfortably and are living in a scientifically literate environment.

    Also, in previous times one had to adhere to the religion that ones community subscribed to because being a contrarian was tough. In previous times one might have suffered severe punishment for being out of step, theology wise, with ones community.

    These days one can decide to leave the religion that was handed down from ones parents. Perhaps in some situations parents will disown their son or daughter who fails to follow the religion they were raised in.

    But for the most part in the Western World there is a “live and let live” attitude towards religion. If your Mom is a Mormon and you decide you don’t believe in the tenets of Mormonism and you tell her this to her face, she might still invite you over to her house during the holidays. She might still visit you to see her grandchildren.

    In previous times it wasn’t necessarily like that. To be a religious heretic meant losing friends and family. With that social pressure gone, many people are deciding that what they were taught in Sunday school wasn’t true. So now we actually have debates over these issues the way we debate the minimum wage or tax rates or health care or the war in Syria. It’s a different world.

    • #9
    • November 7, 2019, at 1:39 PM PST
    • 1 like
  10. HeavyWater Coolidge

    From 2014 to 2017, my wife and I attended a Presbyterian Church. But it leaned to the Left. My wife was the one who wanted us to start going there.

    At some point, my wife no longer wanted to attend. At right about that same time, I was put off by the heavy emphasis the church was placing on “Woke Leftism” and this idea that to be a good Christian, you had to be a “progressive.” Of course, there are lots of Christian churches that are not like this at all.

    But in any case, this was how the church we were attending was like. And the rise in emphasis in “Woke Leftism” happened immediately after Trump got elected. We were told that we should read the book on white guilt called, “Waking Up White.”

    We were basically told what to believe, at least that’s how I saw it.

    I guess that is what I don’t like about some aspects of some religions, the fact that thinking for oneself, doing research and “leaning on ones own understanding” isn’t kosher.

    I would like to find a church that didn’t get too political and could just be a good gathering place for people to be friendly with each other, volunteer for food banks and sing songs. I am not interested in telling people that anyone who doesn’t believe a certain way will end up roasting in hell because I don’t think hell exists.

    But it’s hard to find a church like that. So, some friends and I have developed a group that gets together once per month where we each bring food and we eat together. That’s about where I am now.

    • #10
    • November 7, 2019, at 1:48 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. HeavyWater Coolidge

    If you want to locate the most motivated atheists in the world, you must look toward the ex-Muslim atheists.

    This ex-Muslim, who calls himself Apostate Prophet, grew up in Turkey and Germany but now lives in the United States.

    He contrasts Christianity with Islam and notices that “There is no joy in Islam.”

    • #11
    • November 7, 2019, at 3:25 PM PST
    • 1 like
  12. EJHill Podcaster

    I made a run at being agnostic. I think. To tell you the truth, I’m really not sure…

    • #12
    • November 7, 2019, at 4:04 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  13. HeavyWater Coolidge

    I think this is a good discussion between an agnostic-atheist and a Christian.

    It’s an attempt to describe “Christianity 101.”

    It goes into some of the issues that might distinguish someone who isn’t sure if there is a God and if there is a God isn’t sure that God is depicted accurately in the Bible and someone who does accept both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament as being without error.

    At the 11:00 minute mark they begin discussing whether the events described in Matthew 27 actually happened.

    • #13
    • November 8, 2019, at 2:03 AM PST
    • Like
  14. Yehoshua Ben-Eliyahu Coolidge

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it has always seemed to me that a lot of the motivation for being an atheist is to be able to attract attention for saying, “I’m an atheist.” Has there ever been a shy and retiring atheist?

    • #14
    • November 8, 2019, at 5:12 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  15. Brady Allen Member

    I don’t believe in atheism.

    • #15
    • November 8, 2019, at 6:09 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  16. Roderic Coolidge
    Roderic Post author

    HeavyWater (View Comment):
    I can’t say I am 100 percent confident in any of these claims. But I often wonder how confident Christians, Muslims, Mormons and Hindus can be of the claims made by their religions. One wonders if they ever reflect and think that perhaps these religions are inaccurate in some significant ways.

    To the non-believer Christianity looks like foolishness. I can hardly blame non-believers for thinking so. Once people have had an experience with God then they know. It’s no use telling believers that they can’t know. They know.

    • #16
    • November 8, 2019, at 10:43 AM PST
    • Like
  17. HeavyWater Coolidge

    Yehoshua Ben-Eliyahu (View Comment):

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it has always seemed to me that a lot of the motivation for being an atheist is to be able to attract attention for saying, “I’m an atheist.” Has there ever been a shy and retiring atheist?

    In many Muslim majority nations identifying oneself as an atheist is punishable by death. In other Muslim majority nations saying one is an atheist might result in being killed, not by the government, but by ones community.

    That’s not the case in pretty much all of the Western world. Sure, there are atheists who keep it to themselves because their family and friends are Christians or Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses and they don’t want to lose all of their relationships. 

    But in many parts of the United States it is socially acceptable to say that one is either not religious or doesn’t attend church or is an agnostic or an atheist.

    It’s hard to prove the existence of shy and low key atheists because once they admit that they are atheist, they can no longer claim to be shy and low key.

    • #17
    • November 8, 2019, at 12:51 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. ShaunaHunt Member

    Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) are Christians.

    The full name of the Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I’m an active member. Jesus Christ is the center of my beliefs.

    • #18
    • November 8, 2019, at 1:58 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  19. ShaunaHunt Member

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    From 2014 to 2017, my wife and I attended a Presbyterian Church. But it leaned to the Left. My wife was the one who wanted us to start going there.

    At some point, my wife no longer wanted to attend. At right about that same time, I was put off by the heavy emphasis the church was placing on “Woke Leftism” and this idea that to be a good Christian, you had to be a “progressive.” Of course, there are lots of Christian churches that are not like this at all.

    But in any case, this was how the church we were attending was like. And the rise in emphasis in “Woke Leftism” happened immediately after Trump got elected. We were told that we should read the book on white guilt called, “Waking Up White.”

    We were basically told what to believe, at least that’s how I saw it.

    I guess that is what I don’t like about some aspects of some religions, the fact that thinking for oneself, doing research and “leaning on ones own understanding” isn’t kosher.

    I would like to find a church that didn’t get too political and could just be a good gathering place for people to be friendly with each other, volunteer for food banks and sing songs. I am not interested in telling people that anyone who doesn’t believe a certain way will end up roasting in hell because I don’t think hell exists.

    But it’s hard to find a church like that. So, some friends and I have developed a group that gets together once per month where we each bring food and we eat together. That’s about where I am now.

    I think that’s great! Doing service is universal. Whatever works for you! One of the core tenants of our beliefs is to allow others to worship (or not) according to their own consciences. It’s one of our Articles of Faith.

    • #19
    • November 8, 2019, at 2:07 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  20. HeavyWater Coolidge

    USAhafan (View Comment):

    Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) are Christians.

    The full name of the Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I’m an active member. Jesus Christ is the center of my beliefs.

    I understand what you are saying. It’s just that I’ve heard many Christians say that Mormons aren’t Christians.

    As an agnostic-atheist, I don’t really have a dog in that fight.

    I’d be interested to know if there are any books Mormons have written attempting to make the case to non-Mormon Christians that Mormons are indeed Christians. If so, I’d like to read a book like that.

     

    • #20
    • November 8, 2019, at 2:08 PM PST
    • 1 like
  21. HeavyWater Coolidge

    @shaunahunt, 

    Have you ever watched “Mormon Stories” on You Tube? It’s a You Tube channel devoted to interviews of Mormons who have either had a faith crisis where they no longer believe in the tenets of Mormonism or they still consider themselves Mormon but have a disagreement over a significant issue (perhaps same sex marriage or women’s role in the church).

    If you have watched Mormon Stories, what is your opinion on it? Do you think the host of the show does a fair job of covering the Mormon church or do you think he is too critical of it?

    • #21
    • November 8, 2019, at 2:14 PM PST
    • Like
  22. ShaunaHunt Member

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    @shaunahunt,

    Have you ever watched “Mormon Stories” on You Tube? It’s a You Tube channel devoted to interviews of Mormons who have either had a faith crisis where they no longer believe in the tenets of Mormonism or they still consider themselves Mormon but have a disagreement over a significant issue (perhaps same sex marriage or women’s role in the church).

    If you have watched Mormon Stories, what is your opinion on it? Do you think the host of the show does a fair job of covering the Mormon church or do you think he is too critical of it?

    I haven’t watched them, but I will.

    I actually have a lot of friends who have left the church. Some are on their way out. Having a faith crisis is becoming increasingly common and complex. I have friends who are still members, but are struggling with those very issues. My daughter has lots of questions that I can’t answer. We talk about it often. Family members have left the faith.

    For me, I live and breathe my faith. God and Jesus Christ are there for me. It’s a natural part of who I am. I have been through some horrendous things in my life and my faith has seen me through all of it.

    You can PM me if you have more questions.

    • #22
    • November 8, 2019, at 4:33 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  23. HeavyWater Coolidge

    USAhafan (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    @shaunahunt,

    Have you ever watched “Mormon Stories” on You Tube? It’s a You Tube channel devoted to interviews of Mormons who have either had a faith crisis where they no longer believe in the tenets of Mormonism or they still consider themselves Mormon but have a disagreement over a significant issue (perhaps same sex marriage or women’s role in the church).

    If you have watched Mormon Stories, what is your opinion on it? Do you think the host of the show does a fair job of covering the Mormon church or do you think he is too critical of it?

    I haven’t watched them, but I will.

    I actually have a lot of friends who have left the church. Some are on their way out. Having a faith crisis is becoming increasingly common and complex. I have friends who are still members, but are struggling with those very issues. My daughter has lots of questions that I can’t answer. We talk about it often. Family members have left the faith.

    For me, I live and breathe my faith. God and Jesus Christ are there for me. It’s a natural part of who I am. I have been through some horrendous things in my life and my faith has seen me through all of it.

    You can PM me if you have more questions.

    Here is one episode titled “The faith crisis of a former relief society president.”

    I have to warn you though that these intereviews last a long time. Part 1 is about 50 minutes.

    • #23
    • November 8, 2019, at 5:04 PM PST
    • Like
  24. ShaunaHunt Member

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    USAhafan (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    @shaunahunt,

    Have you ever watched “Mormon Stories” on You Tube? It’s a You Tube channel devoted to interviews of Mormons who have either had a faith crisis where they no longer believe in the tenets of Mormonism or they still consider themselves Mormon but have a disagreement over a significant issue (perhaps same sex marriage or women’s role in the church).

    If you have watched Mormon Stories, what is your opinion on it? Do you think the host of the show does a fair job of covering the Mormon church or do you think he is too critical of it?

    I haven’t watched them, but I will.

    I actually have a lot of friends who have left the church. Some are on their way out. Having a faith crisis is becoming increasingly common and complex. I have friends who are still members, but are struggling with those very issues. My daughter has lots of questions that I can’t answer. We talk about it often. Family members have left the faith.

    For me, I live and breathe my faith. God and Jesus Christ are there for me. It’s a natural part of who I am. I have been through some horrendous things in my life and my faith has seen me through all of it.

    You can PM me if you have more questions.

    Here is one episode titled “The faith crisis of a former relief society president.”

    I have to warn you though that these intereviews last a long time. Part 1 is about 50 minutes.

    Thanks!

    • #24
    • November 8, 2019, at 6:09 PM PST
    • Like
  25. Arahant Member

    HeavyWater (View Comment):
    I understand what you are saying. It’s just that I’ve heard many Christians say that Mormons aren’t Christians.

    Trinitarians tend to like kicking people out of the club. According to them, Unitarians aren’t Christians.

    • #25
    • November 9, 2019, at 5:19 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  26. ShaunaHunt Member

    Here’s the easiest way to explain what we believe. When someone asked Joseph Smith what we believe he wrote the Articles of Faith:

     Articles of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

    1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

    2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

    3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

    4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

    6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

    7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

    8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

    9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

    10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

    11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

    12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

    13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

    You can judge for yourself if we’re Christians. The key to our beliefs is looking at the fruits of our faith and finding out for yourself. (@HeavyWater, I will see if I can find a book you’re looking for.)

    • #26
    • November 9, 2019, at 3:28 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  27. HeavyWater Coolidge

    USAhafan (View Comment):

    You can judge for yourself if we’re Christians. The key to our beliefs is looking at the fruits of our faith and finding out for yourself. (@HeavyWater, I will see if I can find a book you’re looking for.)

    Or if you can find a debate on YouTube where one participate argues that Mormons are Christians while the other participant argues the opposite. Or something along those lines.

    A book would be great. But YouTube debates can sometimes be lots of fun.

    • #27
    • November 9, 2019, at 3:36 PM PST
    • 1 like
  28. ShaunaHunt Member

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    USAhafan (View Comment):

    You can judge for yourself if we’re Christians. The key to our beliefs is looking at the fruits of our faith and finding out for yourself. (@HeavyWater, I will see if I can find a book you’re looking for.)

    Or if you can find a debate on YouTube where one participate argues that Mormons are Christians while the other participant argues the opposite. Or something along those lines.

    A book would be great. But YouTube debates can sometimes be lots of fun.

    You should look up the Latter Day Saint Channel (formerly the Mormon Channel) on YouTube! It’s best to go straight to the source for information. (It’s like asking someone from the Left what conservatives believe!) I recommend the Now You Know videos.

    I won’t force my beliefs on you. If you’re sincerely curious, and I believe you are, I will do my best to answer questions and recommend good sources. I’m happy to listen. I consider Ricochetti my friends.

    I am not here to try and convert you. Your faith strengthens mine!

    • #28
    • November 9, 2019, at 4:17 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  29. HeavyWater Coolidge

    USAhafan (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    USAhafan (View Comment):

    You can judge for yourself if we’re Christians. The key to our beliefs is looking at the fruits of our faith and finding out for yourself. (@HeavyWater, I will see if I can find a book you’re looking for.)

    Or if you can find a debate on YouTube where one participate argues that Mormons are Christians while the other participant argues the opposite. Or something along those lines.

    A book would be great. But YouTube debates can sometimes be lots of fun.

    You should look up the Latter Day Saint Channel (formerly the Mormon Channel) on YouTube! It’s best to go straight to the source for information. (It’s like asking someone from the Left what conservatives believe!) I recommend the Now You Know videos.

    I won’t force my beliefs on you. If you’re sincerely curious, and I believe you are, I will do my best to answer questions and recommend good sources. I’m happy to listen. I consider Ricochetti my friends.

    I am not here to try and convert you. Your faith strengthens mine!

    I guess I should clarify my intentions. I am not interested in evaluating the Mormon/LDS faith so that I can decide whether or not I want to join that faith. I am more of someone who likes to study religions as a hobby. So, I am interested in learning about what various Christians say about Mormonism and how Mormons responds to these conclusions.

    So, I am approaching this from an academic perspective, which is quite different from someone who is searching for a religious faith to believe in.

     

    • #29
    • November 9, 2019, at 4:27 PM PST
    • Like
  30. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Roderic: For one thing, many atheists are ignorant of the religion they criticize. They think about religion a lot, especially Christianity, but most of what they think they know about it is wrong.

    I didn’t realize we were in some club with rules and written agreements on what we think. Maybe my membership lapsed?

    Perhaps it has, along with mine.

    My dad used to opine that if you were ever in trouble and had to chose between the guys at the local bar or the guys at the local church, the guys at the bar would do a better job of looking out after you.

    It is not always true, but it is true often enough.

    And of course, I have to believe in God – otherwise who would have come up with the idea of beer?

    • #30
    • November 9, 2019, at 7:41 PM PST
    • 2 likes