What's the Purpose of the Apetivist Website?

What's the Purpose of the Apetivist Website?

Hello to all. You can call me "Ape" (It's okay, I don't mind as I happen to be one.) I hope you get something useful from my website. I will explain more about myself below too. Now on to the purpose of this site.

First, let's get this basic Q&A stuff resolved before we continue:
Q. Do I mean to attack believers?

A. No, I am only addressing beliefs not the people who hold them.

Q. Do I think I'm more intelligent than believers?

A. No, intelligence is not the cause for my blog here at all. Intelligence is rather evenly spread throughout groups of people.

Q. Do I hate believers?

A. No, I was once a believer, and I have many in my present life whom I love dearly.

Q. Do I hate God(s)/God/gods?

A. No, it’s hard to hate what you don’t believe exists. If one or many existed, it would have no bearing on my points as I will point out later in the site.

Q. Do I have a personal ax to grind?

A. To be honest, yes, I do. I think it’s unfair to indoctrinate children before they’re grown up enough able to come from a background of understanding to know what if any evidence supports the claims and whether they have good enough reasons to accept them.

Q. Do I have questions to ask for believers about their beliefs?

A. Yes, I do. Stay tuned! More than this page is soon on the way!

Q. Do I wish for everyone to leave their belief?

A. Not always, depending on the faith and how it manifests I have little issue at all with people holding to faith if it isn’t an inflexible Literalist belief.

Q. Do I wish for some believers to become less literal in their beliefs and become more flexible and open-minded about life?

A. Yes, I think this is the goal of many believers too.

Q. Do I wish for some believers (as well as other unbelievers) to become less judgmental of others?

A. Yes. We are all in the same boat together and unless we play kindly and treat each other with a reasonable measure of respect we’re just making life worse for ourselves and others.

Q. As a bonus, do I hope to show why all believers can accept the efficiency, effectiveness, and findings of the scientific method?

A. Yes. There are many religious people who see the value in the sciences.

Q. As a bonus, do I wish believers desired to have a deep understanding of Philosophy?

A. Yes. If anything, it will help you understand your beliefs even better.

Okay, here we go:

About me: As a former believer and minister (c. 31 years ago) of the Southern Baptist flavor of Christianity (and even before my deconversion), I became interested in Philosophy primarily introduced to me through studies in Theology and Christian Apologetics.  This led me to the basic principles of Critical Thinking (by accident, of course and I found myself startled that this was such a foreign concept to me as I thought thinking about important stuff was "critical thinking") and as a by-product of applying it toward the claims of my faith I decided (through a great amount of research and investigation) that my beliefs based upon the Christian faith were no longer tenable. As a side note, please understand that Critical Thinking isn't divorced from us humans being emotional and takes it into account and allows for it in the process.

This wasn't a happy discovery! I became very sad and resulted in me leaving not just the belief but also the ministry and church. This all led me rather rejected by many close friends and even some family members yet eventually led to even greater happiness and fulfillment in my life (by saying this I am not saying the same results happen for other people). As a result of this discovery, I understood that I should think critically about important claims and not accept anything on faith, appeals from authorities, or appeals to my emotion. this was a process and still is and I admit I wasn't even nominally good at it until 2012-2013. This doesn't make me an unfeeling Spock (Star Trek character) that only "logics" his way through life. 🖖 I am a Humanist at heart, people who know me can see that I care for others, no matter their beliefs (we can all be correct or incorrect in our views and beliefs about different subjects) and I wish that we all could live in a peaceful and caring society.

Religion is proliferating throughout the world and has done so for possibly 400,000 years ago up to 40,000 years ago and comes in thousands of forms, many which are lost to prehistory and history. Depending on where you live you may see one religion more prolific than another. Why is this?

Here are some basic questions popularized by author John W. Loftus known as The Outsider Test for Faith. I will use the acronym "OTF" throughout to abbreviate the term. This is a basic summation of OTF, yet I highly suggest reading Lotus' entire book for greater details and nuance. Religion is proliferating throughout the world and comes in thousands of forms. In North America you will see Christianity as the predominate religion, in Saudi Arabia you will see Islam as the predominate religion, in India you will see Hinduism as the predominate religion. Also, there is no such thing as a singular monolithic belief system within the above-mentioned religions but up to thousands of variations of the religions that we can call major sets and subsets. With all this in mind how can people know with reasonable certainty they are born into or talked into the "one true religion"?

Are we all fated byaccident of birth to make our way through life while there is only one true religion that is indicative of the Creator(s) true plan for us and must riffle through the pages of every religious claim to make sure we are in the 'one true religion"? If we hear or see this "one true religion" how can we distinguish it from other less true or false religions? What method do we use to make this determination? If you're a believer in any god(s) or subscribe to any religious views have you ever asked yourself these questions? If not, please ask yourself why this is? Do your beliefs prevent you from examining the religion? Are you told that doing research or even critically examining your faith is a bad thing? If it's the 'one true religion" why wouldn't the leaders or experts wish you to do this research? If not, what are they afraid you'll discover?

Now ask yourself why is there religious diversity at all? If there were one true Creator(s) then wouldn't there be only one religion? Wouldn't a responsible Creator(s) make sure that everyone understood the plan? Why do religions blame humans for a poor plan that doesn't seem to do what God intended it to do? If the plan is that all people be saved then why aren't all people saved? Does an engineer blame those that walk on a bridge they built for its failure to hold up those people? Shouldn't the blame, if there be any, go to the engineer or designer of the bridge itself? Many legal experts would reply with an emphatic,"Yes!"  So, why is it that deities that supposedly have knowledge and abilities beyond humans not responsible for their design or plans backfiring? Oddly, many religious people will talk all about the value of personal responsibility but will excuse their deity(s) from taking personal responsibility. Why the double standard?

I wish to expose readers to various thoughts and ideas that may aid them in answering these questions and many others that I plan to present. If a person indeed has the one true religion or the proper relationship with the one true Creator(s) of the Universe then they should not feel challenged at all by these questions and should easily answer them as they have "special knowledge" (enlightenment, spiritual wisdom, insight) that others who believe differently (and by differently I mean 'wrongly") than they do? Let's see. Please, read on and subscribe to the blog to get new posts if you wish. Please leave comments below yet also be civil as uncivil comments will be deleted. Feel free to email me at apetivist@gmail.com.

Thank you for your readership and please understand all I'm doing is asking questions. I am doing this to not only challenge theists and their claims but also to invite others to consider how they come about any belief and how they can prove it with well-reasoned answers. Please, especially with more than mundane claims, question everything!

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