More Evidence Christianity is Dead

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I’ve been part of the community over on Debating Christianity & Religion since 2005.  I initially went there on the recommendation of a different forum whose name I no longer remember because it was stopping all religious discussion because it offended the religious owners.  While I find that generally pathetic, it was their site and their rules and I left the forum not long thereafter, moving over to DC&R.  It was, at least at the beginning, a breath of fresh air.  They had rules that didn’t favor the religious.  They expected everyone to produce evidence to support their beliefs.  Faith was not an adequate reason for making a claim.  Even though the owner was a theist, he tried his hardest not to cater to religious sensibilities, he made sure there were moderators from every possible religious stripe, etc.  It was one of my favorite forums for a long time.

Then the theists started to complain that it was unfair to expect them to present evidence for their claims.  It was unfair to ask them to back up  their assertions with anything other than faith.  Unfortunately, the owner decided that theists just didn’t have to follow the rules.  It wasn’t an official thing.  The rules were never changed on paper, theists just stopped being held accountable.  The quality of the debates went down dramatically.  Most of them were little more than “I’m right because I believe I’m right, therefore I win!”  That’s when I walked away, it just wasn’t worth my time or effort to debate against people who could just declare victory because they had blind faith that they were right.

I was gone for a good, long time, 3-4 years at least.  I looked in from time to time to see if things had improved and they never really did and so I’d move on for another 6 months or so before trying again.  Recently though, I stopped in and things had changed pretty dramatically.  Oh, the rules weren’t any different, theists still weren’t required to back up their claims. what had happened, for reasons unknown, was that atheists had almost entirely taken over the forums.

For some reason, the overwhelming majority of theists have vanished.  People who I remember being theists way back in the day were now identifying as atheists.  There are literally a mere handful of theists remaining,  There are still debates going on, it’s still active, but the majority of them seem to be more academic, between just atheists rather than between atheists and theists.  There are a few theists still around but they don’t seem to be very fanatical about their faith and they aren’t winning debates, at least from where I’m sitting.  They’re losing. Consistently.

That’s not the only place I’ve noticed this change.  On other forums, where healthy debate has always gone on, the theists are vanishing.  The ones that remain, by and large, are the zealots.  People who are not only ignorant of their own religions, but of the world around them.  They are the creationists, the presuppositionalists, the idiots who just demand they’re right because they’re right.  They’re little more than laughing stocks who lose every debate because they have nothing intelligent to say.

I’m just wondering if anyone else has noticed this trend.  On debate-specific forums, are the theists vanishing?  Are they finally realizing that they have nothing worthwhile to say, or are they simply realizing that their religious beliefs are stupid and either deconverting, or just vanishing into the night to hide in a dark corner?

The problem is, DC&R isn’t much fun right now, it’s little more than an echo chamber because most people have no vested interest in religion and the few who do aren’t very skilled at making their case.  It seems I just can’t win, either the theists get to ignore the rules and declare victory or they just leave and there’s no one worth debating with.  I suppose this is yet more evidence of the downfall of organized religion but I find myself missing the good old days when you could challenge a theist and they had to at least make an attempt at a good showing.  I guess even success has it’s downside.

53 thoughts on “More Evidence Christianity is Dead

  1. I would say there is a definite trend towards less theists. However, I am pretty sure from what I have seen preachers say that many theists are simply avoiding the places on the Internet where we evil atheists go to. Instead they are going to their echo chambers and getting all the "answers" there.
    My recent post Psychosomatics in my humble opinion

    1. Well sure, they want their parishioners to remain stupid and ignorant, it's the only way they get to stay in power, but we know that most theists don't really listen to their leadership, they do what they want. Only the most fanatical are going to remain in their echo chambers, the rest want to see what the Internet has to offer and sooner or later, they're going to run into questions they can't answer.

        1. While it wasn't a preacher, my entire move away from religion came because I rejected what my religious teacher said. He forbid me to think for myself. I refused. That started the long road to atheism for me.

          1. Tell this to all your christian friends and acquaintances. Indoctrination is what every christian parent engages in.

          2. True, Muslims are born into their religion and indoctrinated in it. But then this is also true of Christians in general. Most christians did not choose their religion. It was chosen for them by their parents. Those same parents did not encourage them to explore other religions. No, only the religion of the parent is the one that was focused on, encouraged, and advanced in the household. I have no doubt this is true of you. Your parents raised you to be a christian. They did this to the exclusion of all other religions. They made no effort to introduce you to the many other religions and encourage you to choose for yourself. Thus you were indoctrinated.Perhaps you did choose your religion later in life as an adult if you decided to remain a christian after having explored all the other religions and decided that christianity was the right one. But I doubt that this is what you did. You probably did what most christians do: simply keep believing christianity because that is what you were taught to do.

          3. Not really I have a brother that has drifted away, it's a day by day choice.

            And I raised attending church, drifted away and saw the consequences of others who did the same, and reexamined by beliefs in the world and what put it here.

          4. You did not address the main point of my comment, which was that you did not actually chose your religion. A choice means that you examined all of the alternatives and then picked what you thought to be the best one. My guess is you have never actually explored all the different religions, their tenets and beliefs and then selected the one you thought to be the correct one. You did not do this as a child. And I seriously doubt you have done this as an adult. When you returned to your christian religion it wasn't because you examined all the others and then made a selection. My guess is you went back to the one you knew without having given all the others a thorough examination. And this is true of nearly every christian, muslim, jew, hindu, buddhist (though it really doesn't qualify as a religion), jainist and so on. Nearly every believer on the planet, regardless of which faith they are part of, was indoctrinated into that faith. It is a rare case where a person actually thoroughly examined all the religions and then chose the one he or she thought to be the correct one. Had you been born in Pakistan it is almost a certainty you would be a muslim, not because you freely chose from among all the options, but because that would have been what you parents raised you to be. The same is true of christians here. The same would be true of a hindu born in India. If you are raised in a home where a particular religion is practiced that is the religion you will practice and likely practice the remainder of your life. It's all indoctrination.

          5. Yes, I did. Read the second sentence.

            And in my adulthood I have a pretty good concept of major religions, or the lack of religion. I am a member of my church in spite of the people I knew in that church growing up, not because of them. It's based on my relationship with God, not any social strictures.

            It is not indoctrination, that's the excuse you use to mock religion.

      1. But they have always been the face of "Christ's followers". The only people who are going to be left are the lunatics like the Westboro Baptist Church.

          1. They do not follow the teachings of Christ.

            You have not shown a single teaching of Christ that led to evil because Jesus wanted it.

            You can take one verse out of an entire chapter on persecution and pretend it fits somehow, but even that text doesn't say we are to be the ones carrying swords.

          2. That's because you reject anything that you disagree with out of hand as a teaching of Christ. We've gone through this before. You think you're right and everyone else is wrong, even though every Christian thinks the same thing, including about you. You're the one picking and choosing verses mean something in a larger context.

          3. I use common definitions and don't use talking points when reading the Bible.

            So, something actually means what it says. And no Christian reading that text in my Church, nor any other church I have attended thinks it says what you think it says.

          4. No it shows you don't understand those in the churches.
            Misconceptions may seem strong to you but that doesn't make it more real.

          5. So you're saying you understand the doctrinal position of every one of the 44,000 distinct Christian sects and you're the only one that's right? Really?

          6. So, you're saying you understand the doctrinal positions of a church and religion you completely reject?

            Really?

            The text says what it says, and you haven't been able to point to a single word within that text that says I as a follower of Christ should arm myself and commit violence.

          7. I was once a member of the religion, you know. One doesn't have to belong to an organization to know what they're about or to look at their documents to see if their statements are defensible. The text says what it says, but it can be made to mean anything that you want it to mean. You twist it to mean one thing, other believers in the same book twist it to mean something else. You still haven't proven that your interpretation is the only factually correct one, as you assert.

            Try again.

          8. Try again? Why?

            I'm not an atheist and I reject atheism but I'm going to explain to you what you are required to do to be a decent atheist, even if I'm not a member because I think I know what atheists really should believe…

            With the shoe on the other foot can you see how flawed that is?

          9. Atheism has nothing to disprove. Atheism is the rejection of religious claims for lack of evidence. The only way to prove atheism wrong is to actually produce demonstrable objective evidence for the factual existence of your god. When do you think you might do that?

          10. Then Christianity has nothing to prove either.
            Fair is fair and meeting on a level playing field is all you can expect.

          11. You're wrong. Christianity makes claims. Atheism does not. Atheism just rejects the claims of religion for lack of evidence. Therefore, Christianity bears the burden of proof. Get to it.

          12. If you support evolution you make a claim.

            If you say there is no designer, you made a claim.

            I say that you do share a burden of proof.

          13. Evolution has nothing to do with atheism. When are you going to wrap your religion-addled mind around that very simple fact?

          14. Origins have absolutely nothing to do with atheism. Atheism is the lack of belief in the existence of gods. Full stop. It means nothing else. Just because atheists tend to share other common positions does not make those positions atheist, any more than what you like to each makes that particular food Christian.

            Geez, this has all been explained to you in the past, figure it out already.

          15. And intelligent design has nothing to do with Christianity then.

            Full stop. Nothing else.
            Just because I see intelligent design in a humming bird doesn't mean I have to prove there is a God.

            All this has been explained to you. Playing on a level field with both requiring the same level of proof works for me.

          16. I haven't asked you to prove intelligent design as a component of Christianity though. I have asked you to prove the existence of God, which you have used as a component of intelligent design. Whether you "see" intelligent design or not doesn't mean there actually is intelligent design. If you assert that there is intelligent design, you do have to show that there is an intelligent designer, that's part and parcel with your claims. The playing field is level, you just can't prove a damn thing.

          17. And I'll ask you.

            Please prove the non existence of God.

            Let's see how you respond now that you have explained what is required when the question is asked.

            And I have not used the existence of God as a component of anything. I've been very careful not to. But I'm curious how you can explain any origins as an atheist without using evolution.

          18. Please quote where I've claimed God doesn't exist. I am not obligated to prove something I have not claimed. I have said that you haven't met your burden of proof for the existence of God, therefore I have no obligation to take your claims seriously.

            Come on Roger, try honesty for once. It doesn't hurt that much. You keep trying to twist out of your obligations through unending fallacy and absurdity. Put up or shut up.

            Oh, and atheism has nothing to do with origins either. It has nothing to do with anything but not believing in gods. When are you going to pull your fingers out of your ears and figure that out?

          19. I'm trying for honesty, you willing to meet me half way here?

            After all your comments are you now saying you believe in God?

            And I would love to see you try to have any atheist that doesn't believe in evolution since it eliminates a need for God.

          20. The Bible says what it says. Even if an atheist doesn't like it.

            If you don't like it, that's your choice. If you reject it, that's your choice. But you don't get to read it as an outsider then tell me I have to change my views.

          21. And it can be interpreted in many, many different ways, that's why there's now an estimated 44,000 distinct Christian sects. You believe you are correct, so do all of the rest of them. None of you can prove a damn thing.

          22. No it can't. Not if you take the words themselves.

            You see the words and even knowing what those words can't accept them. Fine. Don't. But the words are still the words. And they don't say we're to be violent or to be the ones wielding swords, and the entirety of the life of Jesus backs up that view.

            I can and have just laid out that position. You can't prove I'm wrong because I'm not.

          23. You can't prove yourself right because you're not. Or at least the majority of Christendom think you're wrong because everyone has their own take on what the Bible really says, going by the words alone. You pick and choose the concepts you like, just like everyone else does.

          24. That's because you haven't made an argument, you've made statements of belief that you haven't demonstrated are factually true. Nobody has to show that you're wrong, you have to show that you're right. You haven't done that.

          25. I have laid out my case.
            You can't show where that logic is wrong.

            And factually I have, there are things, facts I have laid out.
            And if you say I'm wrong then you need to show why you have that assertion, if you make an assertion it's your job to back it up.

          26. He is right about everything all the time and has never been wrong ever in his pathetic existence

          27. Why thank you.
            It's so nice to realize that you have known all along that just because you sound sure of yourself that doesn't change facts.

    1. This may come as a shock to you.

      I come to sites on this ID forum for debate and discussion.
      I don't expect to agree with everyone, and certainly not about something as individual as spiritual beliefs or a lack of them.

      Cephus knows that and understands it. Yet we go back and forth on the issues anyhow. It's debate. If you don't want to be here, then your comment wouldn't be here, would it?

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