Daily GUIDE-ance:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


A while back in the JSFC supplemental edition (the first one ever!) I mentioned that I was spending alot of time "debating" religion on an online forum, and T-dog asked me what the attraction was, and I tried to answer her one night, but I was sufficiently sleep deprived to not be able to write/think coherently, and gave up after wasting at least half an hour trying. Here's another try.

I'm still passing a substantial portion of my online time there. This forum is mainly contributed to by self described atheists, although most of them are more what I would have described as agnostics. By atheists they basically mean they are fed up with religion in general. There is the occasional theist/Christian popping in, but they tend to be of the insane variety, sadly.

Here's the attraction for me, I think:

During my missionary days in Vegas, I came to realize that if you talk and listen to pretty much anybody long enough to find out what their really core beliefs are, you will discover that their core beliefs are things that you agree with. The more peripheral beliefs- the ones that are built/ extrapolated from their core beliefs-can be fairly koo-koo... but when you get down to it, people don't hold the koo-koo ideas nearly as dearly as they hold their core ones. Here's why: people's core beliefs are almost always true. Truth has an attractive quality that draws people to it and holds them there. Kookiness does not.

Fact is, I tend to agree with the atheists on this site alot. I tend to be fed up with modern religion and religious people alot. I are a religious person myself, but I got here not by rejecting all the thinking and question-asking I did as an agnostic, but by building on that thinking and actually finding answers to most of my questions. I find that there is an irritatingly large contingent of religious people who have more superstition than faith. Miss Watsons, instead of Widow Douglases. (Huck Finn reference. see Two Providences) I tend to like these people anyway- ever body is stupid in someway or another- But I can definitely see where these atheists are coming from.

I guess I feel like my perspective in this forum is a valuable one. I'm not trying to do any hardcore preaching- just some alongside thinking- the occasional sanity check... And its going well. Anyhow. That's my rambling first draft explanation. Done.


Renae said...

Cool, man.

Bruce said...

i think alot of people are fed up with modern day religion. some of it goes back to what i was talking about on my blog, all the in-fighting. and i think alot of people feel like (i think it was) Gandi when he said "i like your christ but not your christians."

timpani76 said...

So you think by turning these people down the same road to discover the truth like you did that they will come to where you are? Aren't their core beliefs so radically different from your own that it would be impossible to steer them the same way you steered yourself?

Are you ever afraid you'll turn them the exact opposite way (away from the truth)? Or do you just figure since they are atheists anyway that they could not possibly get too much farther away from the truth?

Eyepoke said...


hmmmm. Have you been reading any of the stuff I posted at the other site? Your questions are hard. heres a rough go:

1)No, not really. Just an exchange of ideas. Im not trying to promote belief, just thought.

2)No. Most of these guys seem to have become athiests by embracing truth rather than rejecting it. Like I said, most people's core beliefs are pretty similiar.

3)This question really makes me wonder if I am completely missing your point? no? what?

4)No again. Part of the appeal of talking to these guys is that I agree with so much of what they think. I think of myself as an unreconstructed skeptic- but i have had some... suprizing experiences in my life that many simply have not had.

Dana Cheryl said...

Religion is one of my very favorite topics to discuss. Of course many people refuse to discuss they prefer to argue.

It's like they fear hearing another person's opinion. I grew up with superstition disgused as religion and it's tough to overcome without becoming a hardened cynic.

There is value in listening and talking about all beliefs. One of my very dearest friends was born and raised Muslim. Her family was forced out of there country by Christians murdering them. "Ethnic Cleansing" I've been enriched as a person by listening and learning from her.

I particulary enjoy hearing what other religions think about Jesus. Most of us in America can't fully appreciate that the claims of a man resurrecting from the dead is nearly impossible to comprehend. My close Buddhist and Muslim friends just cannot understand why and how I can believe that.

It's incredible how muchwe can learn and grow when we drop our fears and trust God to teach us through others. He'll always find a way to show us the truth.

Eyepoke said...

Dana, if you'd like, I can email you the links to some of the threads. A non-psycho, female, Christain voice would be very useful there. Besides being athiest dominated it is also quite a testosterone-powered site at times.

Dana Cheryl said...

Yeah I'd appreciate that J. It sounds like something I'd really enjoy.

Eyepoke said...

Dana, I broke into liz email to get an address for you and found one at MSN.com. Hope that one is current. peace yo!

See you in the funny pages!

Dana Cheryl said...

Hey J! I got the links. I'm looking forward to checking 'em out. First I have to move to a new place. Again! Urg!! Things will slow down in May.

timpani76 said...

Are you dead?

Eyepoke said...


Sammi said...

Thanks for commenting on my favorite subject to discuss, my family. Thirty doesn't scare me. I have had so many other things on my plate that another birthday is just like another day to me right now. As long as I get up, we're doing good. It's not bad to get a little older, you grow a little wiser, too. Sometimes you don't have to get older to find that out either, it can just be thrown at you. Oh, AND if my husband ever called me "the girl I married", I'd slug him. It sounds bad. :P Crappy actually. LOL. Liz's blog is cute and so are your kids. It doesn't have a family picture, you should post one. Tell your parents Hi for me. Keep in touch.

Eyepoke said...

She does slug me, all the time!

Renae said...