Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Without experience you just can't know!

I have stated many times before that an atheist who has never experienced religion could never imagine the effects of deep indoctrination on the lives and minds of fundamentalist believers. When I speak of fundamentalists I am speaking of those on the furthest extreme of religious belief and commitment. Those are the ones who live their entire lives based on faith and believe as they do based on their personal experiences with the divine.

I myself was one of the most extreme Pentecostal believers when I was an evangelist and in retrospect although I read and studied my bible often my mind was led entirely by confirmation bias. I read only books that confirmed my beliefs or preconceptions about those beliefs. I never came to faith by way of reason or logical deduction.

This is what many of our more prominent atheists who dedicate themselves to debating theists do not seem to get. Most extremist believers did not come to those beliefs through logical reasoning and so as a result they cannot be reasoned out of those beliefs. As a theists whenever I was approached by non-believers about my beliefs and was presented evidence against my beliefs I chalked it up to various inane reasons. Either those who did not believe had their minds clouded by their desires of the flesh to sin, they were being deliberately blinded by Satan, they could not see the truth because they were of such a corrupt worldly nature, or they were being used by Satan to lead me astray. I often quoted biblical verses that extolled the virtues of faith and condemned the knowledge of man.

8“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8

Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  1 Corinthians 1:20

I compare the experience of the charismatic believer and the so called gifts of the Spirit and their manifestations versus the atheist who has not had these experiences to those of a trained soldier who has not seen combat and a combat hardened veteran. An atheist who has never experienced these things cannot possibly comprehend why believers take such experiences as evidence of their beliefs and the existence of the god of their choice.  Like a veteran who has never seen war we can talk about the horrors of war all day, but until you have been on the battle field watching your friends head explode or his guts spilled before your eyes you cannot possibly comprehend the deep psychological effect that those experiences can have on a person. 

It took me literally six years to get over my religious indoctrination. It wasn't the arguments made by atheists that convinced me of the falsity of my former beliefs it was the many inconsistencies of the scriptures themselves versus what I was experiencing and seeing in the churches that led me to question and seek a better truth. I never dreamed in a million years that the search for the truth would lead me to atheism. But that is what an honest truth seeker does. They follow the evidence to where it leads no matter what the conclusions. 

Note: All scripture cited in this post are taken from the New Internation Version of the bible.