[personal profile] wingedbeast
On May 21, Shannon Low, of The Order of Elijah (a metalcore band that once self-identified as a Christian rock band), made a Facebook post explaining and declaring that he is no longer a Christian. He no longer believes that God exists. The post is a good read. It's long on the scale of Facebook Posts, but not on the scale of good narrative*.

That said, for our purposes, we'll pay attention to the Christian response. Admittedly, some of the Christian response was good, respecting him as a person and stopping at that. The rest, however... gives me material for more tips.

In his Facebook Post, Mr. Low points to the story of Elijah and the Two Bears as one of the issues that were a part of how he got to the point he was at the writing of that post. He also writes about how he did ask others and got unsatisfying responses to his moral issues with the story.

The most obviously predicted response based on that detail did happen. Christians, all quite certain that they had the answer, gave him their different answers. "The 42 youths weren't children but young men." "They were threatening Elijah."

I will speak about estimations of satisfaction in a future tip. For this tip, let's pretend that they would, indeed, satisfy Mr. Low on just the matter of Elijah and the Two Bears.

One thing to know about deconversion is that it's inevitably followed by other changes that happen at a quick pace. One of the very first things to happen is that your interest in maintaining a positive view of Christianity. Be it the ethics supported in the Bible, the nature of the relationship people claim that God wants, the actions of those subcultures you once most closely associated with Christianity, etc. You're not their defender anymore.

Metaphorically speaking, the magic writing was rubbed off the lamp and the djin is loose. I'd argue that it's not a malevolent djin, but it can't be undone by quickly replacing the ink. The magic it employs is differing perspectives.

Even if there were some perfect answer to the moral problems of Elijah and the Two Bears, other issues arise very soon. God commanding Abraham to kill Issac, the treatment of women in the Bible, the treatment of women by your own sect of the faith. Issues come out of the woodwork, especially when your faith is predominantly displayed.

Instead of trying to answer the one issue that they speak of for an example, listen to the new person that is there. This isn't entirely a new person, not entirely a stranger. They're the same person, but they've changed just a bit and that new person needs to be respected for who they are. They are the djin and it won't do you any good to try to shove them back into the bottle.

Then, with this new person, you can have the conversation. And, I hope it's a good one.

* https://www.facebook.com/theorderofelijah/posts/1040598199319463

is the subject optional or?

Date: 2016-06-23 06:38 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] dosmastr
real quick before bed I would like to push back on two points

God Commanded Abraham to kill Issac.

What are the two possible outcomes? A. Abraham refuses, Issac is ok.
B. Abraham attempts to follow the instruction -- and it is documented that God provided a Ram and told Abraham to stop, Issac is ok.

Was Issac actually in any danger? I do not believe so because in either case he is not harmed (....physically.....)

Treatment of women in the bible, its more of ... how would Raza Aslan put it?... "Thats not a christian problem its a jewish culture (which christianity grew from) problem...."

please keep in mind that perversions of the faith's teaching aught not be held against the faith. (unless like a certain major church...they fail to deal with those who continually break the teachings)
For example Hitler believed in survival of the fittest (remember even at the end he said the Germans didn't rise to the challenge and thus did not deserve to survive the war?) that does not make Darwin (or anyone who shares his worldview) liable for Hitler....though survival of the fittest isn't quite a perversion either....mmm... this is a sep topic entirely and one we'd be better to not get distracted by.....I was just trying to use it as example...

In my case my experience, and my personal story the only thing I have seen cause people to turn away from christianity is the problem of evil and on a much smaller scale, the lack of any intellectualism in the christianity they have been taught. The logic of "God gave you a brilliant mind... now refuse to use it and JUST BELIEVE" rings kinda hollow when an atheist with what appears to be very good reasons for their convictions starts asking questions (at best) or issuing challenges.
Edited Date: 2016-06-23 06:40 am (UTC)

Re: is the subject optional or?

Date: 2016-06-23 02:42 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] dosmastr
Looks at face value that you are saying "Hey don't dialog, don't attempt to correct misconceptions, just listen."
What a drag that would be.
Doesnt that sound like something from behind a pulpit?
(you non church goers are said to seriously hate that ;) )

Further, you say don't use your own experience in thinking others may be similar, and then You cite your own experience as support for the claim. I would humbly submit that my experience watching most of my 50 member youth group leaving the church has a little more data behind it than I imagine you assume. I mean to say: I'm not just talking about my own thoughts but of what I have seen from the inside.

From all I have read people like you are.... Well I wish there were alot more of them. Maybe they are much more prevalent in groups you run with but I can count on one hand the people in or out of church trying to keep an open mind but just so far bring unconvinced. Yet as I said above, I am one of maybe 5 in that 50 person youth group that didn't leave for the reasons I cited.

I look fwd to giving a more detailed read a little later when I'm off my phone.

Edited Date: 2016-06-23 02:54 pm (UTC)

Re: is the subject optional or?

Date: 2016-06-23 04:32 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] dosmastr
well i did read it first otherwise how would i respond :P

I can see how I could try to argue that second point but I'm already dealing with a guy on youtube making the claim that because all religions believe in supernatural things they are all the same... I brought up karma and how hindus have it at the center and christians cant have it... he said "but some practice it though!"

so I'll make the choice to not be that guy here. (I would have pursued along the lines of... I can see its different but is it *meaningfully* different... still morality which could be said >99% of humanity shares (can of worms there also I know....)...but I'll not go there today) :)

at any rate-- off to work that I was sched for 3 hours ago! (i kinda make own hours... long story)
Edited Date: 2016-06-23 04:33 pm (UTC)

Re: is the subject optional or?

Date: 2016-06-23 04:42 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] dosmastr
hey, stop hatin!

I DID read it first. did i comprehend/process it in my 3am stupor?....mmm...perhaps not...

Re: is the subject optional or?

Date: 2016-06-23 05:10 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] dosmastr
well it didn't help that im unfamiliar with "Elijah and the two bears"

Your tip appears to be "Let them go, don't try to answer the objection -- it will only drive them away, then later talk to them"

i use quotes for clarity though on face value it may appear disrespectful, I assure you its not intended that way:

I see two things here. A. it sounds like the "new" person is raising an objection but doesn't want answers to it (why raise it then?) B. we should listen to the "new" person.... because the objection they raised isn't quite the issue? (which is why they don't want responses to it?) You say responses *were* solicited but found to be unsatisfactory so I'm not sure I follow you here.

I mean of course you can't force somebody to believe something they no longer do and it is terribly foolhardy (let alone counter-productive!) to try. Steve meyer says the heart cannot delight in what the mind does not exalt. (it has become one of my favorite quotes) but I think I need a little more clarification on this one because I kinda see what you are saying but haha maybe i'm expecting emotional humans to always be 100% rational

djin is something else i'm not up on
what is this?

I completely understand what you mean by a series of quick changes after deconversion, it is an entire worldview shift!
One which I was 2 inches from a couple years ago and contrary to what the church seems to teach, it wasn't "knowing God" that pulled my back from the edge, it was intellectual argument I had learned and even taught.

crap now i'll be driving in traffic...
Edited Date: 2016-06-23 05:14 pm (UTC)

Re: is the subject optional or?

Date: 2016-06-23 06:32 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] dosmastr
Well I’m characterizing so that you can point out the differences in my understanding and what you are trying to communicate. Not ignoring …well… not deliberately anyway!
Also, wow I can do this via email?!?! How awesome is that!?!

Been too long since I’ve seen Aladdin…. Then again You’re probably not talking about the cartoon here are you…

Yeah… gave up on driving today, going to research my college major… fun fact associates of liberal arts might as well be toilet paper!
Also intimate aware or perils involved in texting and driving…damn I still miss that car…. (also, seat belts and airbags are total life saving devices! I can tell from personal experience yaaay…)
Rutgers sells Religion and Philosophy degrees nearly the exact same way “logic and argumentation skills”. … I .. just find this interesting for some reason.

I’ll read it again later – don’t waste time saying it a third time … not yet anyway….heh

Date: 2016-06-23 02:45 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] dosmastr
How often do you post?



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