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Deconversion: The End

Thanks to Jackie for the link, she found it at Andrew Sullivan's Blog. Really, Andrew Sullivan posted this?



sullivan must have his own reasons for posting this. look for his refutation in the near future. taking this line by line (leaving out the creepy voiceover) i could rip this a new one toot sweet. to bad i'm busy with other stuff right now.

reed, doesn't hearing this kind of thing make you thank the fsm you were born into a freethinking family? these "born again atheists" just give me the willies sometimes. i bet that's where sullivan wants to go with this, and norm just fell for mr. creepyvoice. oh well.

Fell for, what does that mean? I posted it because I wondered what Sullivan's motivation was. To get some opinions on that, otherwise I'd have posted it without reference to Sullivan. You're too enamored with your own cleverness jb.

I think that jb may be right - Sullivan may want this to represent some kind of straw man.

I very much enjoyed Sam Harris's online debate with Sullivan on religion. It is probably a debate that Sullivan would rather forget since I think Harris whipped him. Nevertheless, at least I could read Sullivan's posts without becoming disgusted with the stupidity of the Christian side. In contrast, Dinesh D'Souza is embarrassingly stupid for a so-called "scholar".

Yeah, it's nice growing up sane, and acquiring insanity later. The opposite process seems messy.

I think the born again types, at least the passionate ones are creepy before during and potentially after they get their second belly button.

Yeah, it's nice growing up sane, and acquiring insanity later. The opposite process seems messy.

you know, sometimes you say really smart stuff. sometimes i wonder if you know how smart it is. is that your quote? cuz i am totally stealing that one.

It's all me JB.

if you're not familiar with the "documentary hypothesis" (which, as atheists would behoove the fuck out of you) look it up, and see just what the word "consensus" means in that context.

just one of about a million objections i can come up with off the top of my head to this cultic claptrap. including (thanks syngas) a really, really blatant example of false dichotomy that appears- illustrated- somewhere around 3 min. in.

don't be taken in! it's a trap! you don't need this crap to be independant thinkers, quite the opposite- this guy is trying to tell you what to think in a blatantly propagandistic way. anyone who proudly wears the red "a", whether for atheism or anarchy, should spit on this horseshit.

I am not sure i get your objection. He seemed to use the documentary hypothesis to show that it was possible the bible was not dictated by god.

Certainly, the great evidence of heavy editing shows that the bible has strong human influence and potentially could be written by men.

The meaning of consensus is sort of irrelevant to the argument.

i think you're wrong. i think the narrator was saying that there's some kind of scientific consensus among bible critics that precludes divine origin, and this just isn't true. the bible critics operate from the assumption a priori that divine origin is impossible, and work from that position toward trying to explain where the bible DID come from. and on this they are far from a consensus.

this is not to say they don't have many strong points and arguments in favor of their theories, just that they don't as a group share a consensus on those theories that would "prove" something as our narrator here is claiming. i think consensus is germaine to his point but i can't listen to it again to check.

my main point here really is that this whole thing smells like a freshly painted target to me- one that the heroic a. sullivan can come along and demolish with the mighty lance of his "reasonable faith" at a time of his choosing while we ooh and ah.

speaking of targets, norm's criticism of my conclusion-jumping hit it's mark. ouch.

Of course, Sullivan is looking for a debate partner that has a pause button. It's hard to relate to the faceless cartoon, I think he can beat it.

But, I still don't agree with your interpretation of the authors use of this argument. I am sure that the "consensus" he speaks of is rather mundane. Perhaps they have some number on how much was clearly rewritten by someone other than the author. Who is to say god didn't step in to edit his work after some humans had screwed it up somewhere along the line. That is possible, however unlikely.

my goodness you're grasping at straws, but you do it so well i gotta hand it to you. you are technically correct of course.

I am not sure it can both be correct and a straw. Can it?

debate partner that has a pause button.

boy, you are on a roll today (i guess that would be last night for you). did you make that up too? i'm gonna get me some t-shirts and bumper stickers and start printing them suckers up.

Norm needs a shirt supplyer and someone to supply some volunteer design services. I am not sure my quotes would be the obvious design choice, but who knows. Static horse theory does have a certain ring to it.

Now there's a picture I've never contemplated, god sitting at his/her/its desk in the sky copyediting.

Hard to imagine it without him wearing bifocals, and cursing, "Now, who put this shit in here?" Scratch, scratch, scratch.

It wasn't that bad. That said, I completely agree that I was bothered by exactly the passages you've indicated, jb. I don't need to impute any particular motives to those who wrote or preached the Bible - I came to the conclusion that it's baloney quite independently of such stuff. I don't need to know biblical minutia better than a true-believer to tho reach that conclusion either. Now, I do think that most religious proselytizers have self-serving motives, but my atheism certainly doesn't hang on that opinion.

well, good for you. i mean really (not kidding).

Is that Andrew Sullivan or HAL doing the voice over?

I'll throw Sullivan a bone for his presentation and say 1. at least it's from his blog, not an official Atlantic article and 2. He's probably explaining all of this the way he came to understand it, figuring if that's how he was convinced, others may be similarly convinced.

It's not that I agree with his method, just that this scenario to me - and the way I understand it. ;)

Jonathan Becker: "Sullivan must have his own reasons for posting this." No!!!!! Really???? I thought for sure Sullivan was posting it for somebody else's reasons. Thanks for getting us all on the right page.

Reading Andrew Sullivan over the years is an exercise in patience, but it is rewarding in the long haul. He does change positions s l o w l y , and when he does, he is transparent, on the whole. If you have been paying attention, you will see that he is wrestling with a.) The Catholic Church--as well he should be as a gay man and as a thoughtful person, and b.) faith in general. He's drifting toward doubt. Entertaining to watch!

thanks for the reccomendation. i've only read a few columns of his in the newspaper over the years- maybe 5 or 10. he does seem reasonable enough, but it would never occur to me to follow his blog. i know i'm too enamored of my own cleverness, but debunking catholicism is childs play for me, i did it one afternoon while waiting for a bus. :) watching a gay religious person come to the same conclusions does not sound like fun for me, though i wish him the best.

but debunking catholicism is childs play for me, i did it one afternoon while waiting for a bus. :)

So when do we get to see your book, "Waiting for the Pope?"


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