Atheism, Freethought, Freethinker, Free Thought, Freethinking, Critical Thinking, Higher Order Thinking, Education, Skepticism, Reason, Logic, Psychology, Psychology of Belief, Reason vs Faith, Belief, Counter-Apologetics, Counter Apologetics, Science, Evolution, Evolution vs Creationism, Evolution vs Creationism Debate, Christianity is not true, Christianity is false, Christianity is untenable, Religion, Problem of Evil, Problem of Suffering, Apetivist, @apetivist, Twitter Atheists, Free Will Defense, Mythicism vs Historicity Debate, Historicity vs Mythicism Debate, Historicity of Jesus, Mythicsim, Authoritarianism, Anti-intellectualism, Intellectualism, Science Denialism, Science Deniers, History, Atheist Blogger, Apetivist Website, Apetivist Blogger

Featured Post

Questions for Theists by Apetivist

Questions for Theists by Apetivist


Questions for Theists by Apetivist

(What's the Purpose of the Apetivist Website?)



Preface:



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 so you can better understand where I'm coming from. 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, making a case of my or the reader's intelligence is not the cause for my blog. Intelligence is rather evenly spread throughout groups of people.  There are no peer-reviewed scientific studies that indicate intelligence being a factor that is  negligible enough to make any difference between believers or unbelievers.  WE must be careful and kind to not make snap judgments on the intelligence of others based upon a belief or absence of belief.  I will make another post regarding this subject later.

Q. Do I hate believers?

A. No, I was once a believer, and I have many in my present life whom I dearly love.  I don't like certain personality types or perhaps specific people, but that is due to their behaviors and not due to professed belief or absence of belief (unless such beliefs encourage violence or the marginalization of others through bigotry or force of law).  In regards to these types of people I admit I feel disgust, but would not go so far and call it hate. In a way, I pity them more than anything.
 as they are missing out on the joys of diversity and understanding people personally as they actually are which goes beyond labels.

Q. Do I hate any deities?

A. No, it’s hard to hate what you don’t believe exists. Do you hate Leprechauns or Bigfoot?  That's the way I see this question as it is framed toward atheists.  If one or many deities existed, it would not have any 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 experienced and informed enough to come from a background of understanding and 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 that reflects negativity towards people that believe differently or promotes violence, hatred, and marginalization either by personal or collective behavior either by dogma and/or by force of law.

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 liberal or moderate 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. Unless we interact kindly and treat each other with a reasonable measure of respect we’re just making life worse for ourselves and others.

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

A. Yes. In fact, many religious people see the value in Science and do not reject its many findings.

Q. Do I wish believers desired to have a more mature understanding of Philosophy?

A. Yes. If anything, it will help them understand their beliefs even better and whether their beliefs stand up to logic and examination from various perspectives.

Okay, here we go.

About me:


As a former believer and minister (I deconverted 31 years ago as of 2020) of the Southern Baptist flavor of Christianity, I became interested in Philosophy that was 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 concept was so foreign to me as I incorrectly thought that thinking about important stuff was "critical thinking") and as a by-product of applying Critical Thinking toward the claims of my Christian faith I came to realize (through a great amount of research, as well) that they were no longer tenable.

This wasn't a happy discovery! I became very sad as it resulted in me leaving not just the belief but also the ministry and church members I cared for. They didn't meet my deconversion with understanding or open arms at all.  I was callously rejected by many close friends and even some family members.   Yet, eventually this all 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 my deconversion, I understood that I should think apply critical thinking and skepticism about important claims and not accept anything on faith, appeals from authorities, or appeals to my emotion.

Note that to do this took a lot of practice and sometimes I failed in (and at times still do) in doing so and did get caught up in some odd beliefs that were popular at the time.  We must remain vigilant.  It's a process and I admit I wasn't even nominally good at it until around 2013 due to really listening to the thoughts and ideas as expounded by greater thinkers than myself. Great thanks to Matt Dillahunty, Aron Ra, Tracie Harris, Seth Andrews, Dr. Richard Dawkins, Dr. Hector Avalos, Dr. Richard Carrier, and especially through direct communication with John W. Loftus and David Madison, PhD.  True, I'm a self-designated Agnostic Atheist, however I am even more so a Humanist.  People who personally know me can attest that I care for others, no matter their beliefs.  I admit we can all be correct or incorrect in our views and beliefs upon a multitude of different subjects. As a result of becoming more deeply involved into Humanism, I sincerely wish that we all could live in a more peaceful and caring society.

Regarding Religious Beliefs:

Religion permeates much of 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.  Have you ever asked why this is the case?

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 as also used by John W. Loftus. This is a brief summation of OTF, yet I highly suggest reading Loftus' entire book for greater details and nuance. Ask yourself why are religions predominately popular based upon geographic locations? In North America you will find Christianity as the predominate religion, in Saudi Arabia it's Islam, in India it's Hinduismetc.  Please make note that 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 subsets. With all this in mind ask yourself how can people know with reasonable certainty they are born into or talked into the "one true religion"?

Are we all fated by an accident of birth to make our way through life while there is only "one true religion" that is indicative of the Creator's or Creators' true plan for us and must we search through the pages of every religious book 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?

Now ask yourself why is there religious diversity at all? If there were one true Creator or Creators then wouldn't there be only one religion? Wouldn't a responsible Creator or Creators make sure that everyone understood this divine plan? Why do religions blame humans for a poorly designed plan that doesn't do what the Creator or Creators intended it to do? If the plan is that all people be saved then why aren't all people saved?

Do Bridge Designers blame the pedestrians that walk on the bridge they built for its failure if the bridge collapses? Shouldn't the blame, if there be any, go to the designer of the bridge itself if the result of the failure was a poor job of engineering? Many legal experts would reply with an emphatic,"Yes!"  So, ask yourself why is it that deities that supposedly have knowledge and abilities far beyond humans are not held responsible for their design or plans failing?  Oddly, many religious people will talk all about the value of personal responsibility but will excuse their Creator or Creators from taking personal responsibility for the things they do. Why is there this double standard?  Humans do something irresponsible equals bad and deserves some punishment.  Deities do something irresponsible equals being given a free pass.

I wish to expose readers to various thoughts and ideas that may aid them in answering these questions and many others that I  have planned for this website.  If a person indeed has the "one true religion" or the proper relationship with the one true Creator or Creators of the Universe then they should not feel challenged at all by these questions. They should be able to 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? Correct?  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 also please be civil there, too.

Thank you for your readership and please understand all I'm doing is asking questions and asking you to ask 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 think about them and perhaps confirm or disconfirm them with well-reasoned answers. Please, especially with more than mundane claims, question everything!

2 comments:

  1. I totally agree. We need to treat people with respect until the don't deserve our respect anymore. Even then we need to try to understand where they are coming from. There are many reasons that people have faith and generally it starts out in a good place like needing to believe a loved one isn't just gone or even for their own impending death.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautiful article. I hope to let my parents know about my deconversion. And your article has given me a number of ideas on how to approach this in a thought provoking process that might make it possible for them to see my point of view.

    ReplyDelete

Popular Posts