Convert Me (Open Thread)

Despite my cold, unfeeling, atheist heart, I’ve always had a soft spot for religions.

And since many religions encourage their followers to convert as many people as possible, the point of this thread is to give you a chance to try.

Here are the rules: You post the best argument you can for why I should follow your religion, preferably in under a billion words. I will attempt to make a thorough and polite response.

You may recommend your favorite book on the subject, but please understand that I probably won’t have time to read it. Oh! Also, my computer is old and Youtube makes it crash, so no videos.

Also, please understand that my most likely answer is, “Sorry, I remain unconvinced.”

You guys are also free to try to convert each other, so long as everyone remains civil. :)

(I’m gonna figure out how to put a link to this thread on the sidebar, so it doesn’t get lost.)

Now go!

11 thoughts on “Convert Me (Open Thread)

    • The idea was to have fun having a conversation with people. I noticed a lot of my early visitors were hailing from religion-oriented blogs, so I thought they might enjoy the topic. If no one is interested, sooner or later I’ll just close the thread or whatever. No big deal.

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  1. Convert or die!

    Remember, fear is the biggest motivator. ;)

    Of course, if you’re not very bright, you might fall for a tall tale about a super-scary underworld of Loki’s daughter Hell or Zeus’ brother Hades.

    […] they perform their ritual, and persuade not only individuals, but whole cities, that expiations and atonements for sin may be made by sacrifices and amusements which fill a vacant hour, and are equally at the service of the living and the dead; the latter sort they call mysteries, and they redeem us from the pains of hell, but if we neglect them no one knows what awaits us.

    Plato (4th century BCE) The Republic. Book II.
    classics.mit.edu/Plato/republic.html

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  2. I believe in Catharism.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catharism

    The Catharist believe that the old testament was not God but a demon. Any reading of the old testament with it’s “kill them all” attitude would be a point in favor of Catharism.
    Catharist believe the material world is evil. Any one who’s stubbed their toe can attest this is true. I won’t say matter is unreal but I don’t believe it’s eternal. Cold fusion works and can change matter to different types. In the Dewey B. Larson Reciprocal System matter eventually comes apart as the planet that used to be where the asteroid belt shows.
    Catharist believe in reincarnation. I used to think reincarnation was stupid til I read a book by Ian Stevenson. Children have been able to remember many things that only a person who died would know. If reincarnation is not true then there’s some other super strange effect.
    The Catharist were defeated by the Jesuits which were expressly created for that purpose.
    “…In contrast to the Catholic Church, the Cathars had but one sacrament, the Consolamentum, or Consolation. This involved a brief spiritual ceremony to remove all sin from the believer and to induct him or her into the next higher level as a perfect…”
    The saying,”Kill them all, the Lord will recognize His own” was invented by a Man involved in the mass murder of the Catharist so opposing people who think this way is a good thing.

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    • Interesting thoughts. Thanks for sharing. How did you come to your belief in Catharism? Private research/revelation, or family history?

      Sorry for the delay in responding to your other comments; thoughtful comments deserve thoughtful replies, but thought takes time.

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  3. The universe is biased. Take the following statement: ‘There is no objective meaning.’ It contradicts itself. Thus, there must be objective meaning. As biological creatures we should be incapable of knowing this–of attaining to these absolutes–because there is nothing absolute about biology and yet we do know through simple logic. There is then, such a thing as propositional logic, and it is independent of the physical universe. Propositional logic, of course, affects the universe but by tampering with biology, or chemistry or physics, we cannot affect the rules of propositional logic. For example, we can’t repeal the reflexive property.

    So, there is an absolute reality beyond the ordinary material universe–or, put another way, a set of rules by which the universe must operate. More than that, mankind has an awareness of this greater reality. We live in a meaningful world. If there is objective meaning (and, logically, there must be because the inverse is self-contradictory) what is it? How do we respond to it? How do we know it? Really know–not just make a guess–that doesn’t do much good.

    We can only know by connecting to the greater reality and we cannot do that of ourselves. For us to know God, God must come to us.

    You’ll have deduced by now that this is Christianity. If you like, would be glad to talk a more about biology, Gnon and the difference between the Cathedral’s version of salvation and Christ’s. For a book, you’ll find nothing better than The Brother’s Karamazov.

    Thanks!

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    • Hi. Old thread, but I a appreciate your comment. I am a big fan of the Brothers Karamazov, though I confess I am remiss in actually finishing it–I believe it got buried under the library books. I find it particularly moving because I myself am an adopted kid who only met my biological half-brothers as an adult.

      The difficulty with meaning lies in jumping from “there is meaning” to “this particular way of interpreting it is the correct one.”

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      • In one of your other threads, you mentioned that no one responded to your ‘convert me’ thread, so I felt obliged to write something. In my observations, intelligence or stupidity does not seem to much matter whether one believes in a religion or not. Everyone has arguments, and yet it is not as if all the IQ 70 people hold to one view but all the IQ 120 hold to another. Intelligence alone, then, cannot be sufficient to understand meaning in the same way as it is sufficient to understand the Pythagorean Theorem. Nor is it a matter of will. Can’t say that everyone who agrees with me is more sincere than everyone else.

        I conclude that there must be some experiential or mystical way of understanding ‘meaning.’ A common response is to concede ‘meaning’ but to object that we don’t or can’t know it. That’s a very western/white/Hajnal-line way of thinking–to assume that we can only know anything by logic, when, in fact, most everything we know we know by experience. Our experience is often wrong but it’s close enough that it doesn’t get us killed. Even error can be functional.

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