Eric, nice opening and I appreciate you laying out where you are as a theist.
Personally I'm sad you accept evolution and the age of the earth as it makes my job much more difficult. In essence where we diverge in our belief systems is more or less where the spark came from that started the universe and life on this speck of dust. That's a far more difficult discussion as you have pointed out. Strict young earth creationists can be taken apart with evidence so easily its not even a challenge. This will be more difficult and interesting. Kudos to you for being already half way to being a free thinker.
I'll give you my background as a theist. I was as most of my baby boomer era brought up christian (Presbyterian) with relatively devote parents. Mom sang in the choir dad was a deacon in the church. I have a pin from the church that was given out for in Sunday School for consecutive attendance. Its has 13 bars to it and a dangling star indicating I taught as well as attended every Sunday for 13+ years.
Probably around the time I was 8 or 9 I had my first doubts. It was the Noah story. I couldn't wrap my brain around the 20-30 million creatures that needed to be on board. It was the first chink in my god googles.
I decided to read the entire bible so that maybe I could understand my misgivings at about 10. I couldn't understand why so many seemed to completely accept what was told to them and i did not. I was afraid I was the only person alive that had any doubt what-so-ever as no one ever expressed anything other than I wish we could play ball instead of going to church.
At about 12 my mother kinda went off the deep end and started getting me to read books like the" Cross and the Switchblade" and other books. She became a bit of a holier than tho jesus freak. I decided I needed to do this as well to keep her happy. I was born again at a jesus freak camp in Beatrice NE at some church college. I was certain I had felt the hand of god on my heart.
So I doubled down, well maybe tripled down at this point, because The doubts kept coming. Why were they so many passages that were undeniably contradictory? Contradictory on virtually the same page. So I took it upon myself to re-read it again. Front to back. I couldn't believe my expanded reading of the book at this point and when I was done I laid it down and was no longer a believer. My faith was shattered into a million pieces. I tried one last time to read it cover to cover and found it comical and laughed out loud frequently that I had ever believed such things.
After that decades went by as I became a big shot (at least in my own mind) and devoted myself to business enterprises.
Religion became meaningless to me. Didn't care about it at all and had no real debates about other than one humorous incident with a full on believer from Metro vineyard. At one point I stopped my car on the highway in Iowa during a lightning storm, got out climbed up on the roof of the car with arms outstretched, cursed god, called him a pussy, dared him to strike me dead, got back in the car and finished driving to Minnesota.
Then a few years ago I began to feel the creep of religion pushing science and social issues in ways I felt were morally unjustified. I began to speak out. I had talked to plenty of friends and acquaintances over the years when the subject came up about the silliness and folly of religion. It was honestly so easy to deconvert them it was silly. This was mostly in the 70s and 80s when religion was at a low ebb.
Now it appeared religion, much like Sauron, was rising again. This time with even newer arguments and agendas. It appeared that religion, while I was paying no attention had reconstituted itself in a even more malevolent way.
Donald Trump: “ Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys wearing yarmulkes… Those are the only kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else…Besides that, I tell you something else. I think that’s guy’s lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks.”
Last edited by Dave Lane; 08-08-2014 at 05:07 PM..