My interests are philosophy and psychology. Lately, I’m wanting to grasp a lot of these concepts that atheists have and knowledge over history and the bible or debates. I’m becoming frustrated I know a ton of information but I never feel like I know enough information. How does a person get to the point where they can do that stuff accurately without too many mistakes? how long did it take you to grasp all of these topics? I’m always gaining speed but then I get there with something new and I feel like everyone else has gotten their way before me It makes me feel like I’m always behind. I’m not sure how to ask this question but how do half of you figure this stuff out? I listen to documentaries, i read (whatever I can hear), and watch debates and videos yet a lot of this information still remains over my head or there is more to it than what I’ve figured out i know i’m not going to understand it all but at the very least i’d like to understand most of it.
I suspect I was once in a similar situation ten years ago. My journey in learning about the history of the bible and atheism began by watching YouTube videos.
“how long did it take you to grasp all of these topics?”
What on earth makes you think that we grasp all of those topics… ?
You are looking at the “whole” … step back …look at the detail…
This community is made up of individuals each of whom tends to have specialist interests.
Some are science geeks ,others maths freaks ,still others chase history and or archaeology … then there are those who study the bible and mythologies ,biology ,geology ,logic .philosophy etc.
Like an ant nest we make a whole from many parts but we can act in concert to bring to bear all of the above in a single debate.
Don’t try to learn it all at once… thats not possible … step back pick a specialism … follow that…
Remeber the theists have been building their fantasy kingdoms for thousands of years… you are not going to find all the loose bricks in one go… but keep picking away and you’ll get there.
I have been anything i can get my hands on but a lot of the talk and vocabulary is over my head or in-depth. I grasp some of it and then I don’t grasp the others. I don’t even know a lot of the questions to ask either so that stumps me. And the autism never helps.
It’s not that I’m not looking at the details, it’s usually I’m overlooking the details. And other times I have a low understanding of generalizations. You bring up good points but there things i don’t automatically think about even though i try. A lot of people are really good with what they know is basically what i’m saying and it seems i’m always falling behind that.
I don’t know your age, but judging from your impatience, I suspect you are relatively young. If you are, then you will have plenty of time to dig into all sorts of material.
You cannot learn everything in one go, you have to be patient. As for me, my strategy has been to learn as I go. If I come across something that I find interesting, I read about it. Or listen to/watch videos on the subject. And I read books, mainly on popular science and history. And then I read related material. Everything from the history of the ancient Sumerians, the ancient Greeks (including classical literature like the Iliad and the Odyssey), the Roman empire, to modern history, military and war history. And of course popular science, where my two major favourite subjects are evolution and cosmology. I have also found time to read about cults, in particular one of the nastiest of them all, Scientology. Actually, there is a lot of interesting psychology to learn about when reading about the bait & switch practices of the Scientology cult. I have also read about the massive hoaxes of so-called alternative medicine, like homeopathy, acupuncture, remote healing, etc. That covers some of it.
Another source of knowledge is to read whatever you have to read in order to participate in discussions on forums. I have debated with religious nutcases, alternative medicine believers and practitioners, flat earthers, audiophile golden ears, Covid-19 deniers, Holocaust deniers, and other scum. And I almost always have to read, cross-check and update my knowledge base when I do this. I do online searches (be careful, use only reputable sources), and cross check information. Also, I am very selective about my battles, and engage only where I think I might stand a chance of actually contributing with facts or something useful.
- Read a lot, on all subjects that interest you. This takes time.
- Get recommendations for reading material from reputable sources.
- Cross-check information before using it in a debare.
- Be selective when choosing where you decide to discuss online, and which topics to discuss.
- Be prepared to sometimes end up being in the wrong. Learn from it, and move on.
- Be patient.
It took me a lot of videos and a few years before I started to grasp the basics. A WordMush suggested, relax, this is a process, one can not learn everything, and it takes awhile just to grasp a few simple things.
And if it takes you three, four, five views to start to grasp a concept, I went through that process.
- Realize that you are not required to do a damn thing. You are not required to prove the non-existance of Chist, God, spirits, or anything else. Everything you hear from the religious side is a ‘CLAIM.’ Evereything. Prophecies are real and in the bible. The New Testament was written after the old testament and the Christians had a vested interest in making their prophet, the great Jesus, meet the predicted prophecies in the Old Testament. Anyone can write a book. There are only CLAIMS and little to no evidence at all supporting those claims. You do not have to know a damn thing beyond that. You only need to get to the point where you can spot the razzle-dazzle routine, circular bullshit and unsubstantiated shit they are throwing your way. It’s all shit. All you need to do is ask, “How do you know it? What makes you think so? Do you have any evidence?”
Of course, everyone has gotten there before you. Theists have been putting out the same bullshit arguments for 2000 years. NOTHING NEW in all that time.
I’ve got a tape at home of some university philosophy professor who looks at all the arguments for God. (All the main ones.) He goes over the theist’s side and the atheist’s counterarguments. At the end of each presentation, the asshole academically concludes, “So it’s a push. Neither side can prove anything.” I wish I was in this assholes philosophy class. “PUSH MY ASS.” The burden of proof is on the theists. Failure to demonstrate the existence of their god is NOT a push. They have lost the argument due to a lack of evidence. The atheists do not need to do a damn thing. No one needs to prove that something that can not be proved to exist, does not exist. That’s fucking stupid.
Of course, you are behind. 2000 years behind. But the good news is that the theists have had nothing new in all that time. If you are feeling lost or confused by a theist’s argument, it is only because you have not remembered that they are only making a claim. There is nothing behind the claim. Nothing at all. Behind the claim, you will find fallacy after fallacy. An empty void of circularity, emotional appeals, or appeals to personal experience. Nothing of any substance whatsoever. There is nothing over your head. Anyone can make a claim. Providing evidence, real solid evidence, for the claim is another thing entirely. Theists can not do that! They have never been able to do that.
I prefer to keep things simple, because most religious arguments like to wrap a lot of fluff and distractions around their arguments.
As Cog has stated, it is the theist who must prove their claim, I just have to sit back and state that I do not accept their story. They have to convince me, I do not have to convince anyone.
Additionally, and although there are more relevant standards, I stick to the standards of a court of law. Everyone has a basic understanding of this process, of evidence, confirmation by reliable witnesses, cross-examination, evidence.
Theist: jesus existed and is the son of god.
Myself: I do not accept this claim without evidence and/or proof commensurate with a court of law.
Theist: I have no proof, no argument that would stand up in a court of law. All I have is my belief.
Myself: fine, I respect that you have faith, but you have offered no compelling argument or proof.
That is true. But it is much easier to arrest them on their erroneous arguments, their circular reasoning, their straw man arguments, etc. if you also have a sufficiently working knowledge of, say, history, logic+maths, science (in particular biology and evolution, and some physics/astronomy/cosmology), etc.
In any case, having a desire for chasing knowledge and for learning is commendable. OP should be encouraged to read and learn about the topic he/she is interested in.
Howdy, Mush. I haven’t been around here in awhile, so please forgive me if I’m a little rusty at this. Regardless, you picked the right place here for answers and understanding. A very fine and knowledgable group of folks in this place. (Well, except for Cog. Watch out for his poo flinging. He has a very accurate aim.) Anyway, please allow me to fill you in on a little secret that might help you in your quest for understanding. (At least I HOPE it helps you.)…
Here’s the thing… Stop making it more complicated than it is. As others have already said, unless you are some kind of large-brain super-whiz mega-genius, you will likely NEVER know EVERYTHING. And if you DID know everything everybody else knows, then you would not be here asking for assistance, right? So, with that in mind, just stick with the BASICS for now. And here are the “Basics” as I personally see them:
Read just the first couple of chapters of the bible and ask yourself if they make any rational sense. (Keep in mind this is a book that was supposedly dictated by an ALL-KNOWING, ALL-POWERFUL, PERFECT god.)
Consider the fact Christianity did not come into existence until around a couple of thousand years ago. Soooooo, whatever did god (of the bible) do with all the millions (billions?) of people who lived/died throughout all the other civilizations for all those thousands of years prior to Christianity and the bible? Guess they were all just shit out of luck, huh?
If god is All-knowing and All-powerful and NEVER MAKES MISTAKES and has a PERFECT PLAN for his most precious creations (aka: we humans), then just kick back and relax and enjoy the ride. Because if all that is true, then at any given time in any given place, you are doing EXACTLY what god planned for you to do. And if anybody questions your lack of belief in that particular god, then proudly tell them you are helping their god carry out his Perfect Plan.
Sure, having a whole bunch of technical knowledge can be fun and useful. For instance, I fully enjoy math and science and several other areas of study. It is all considerably entertaining for me. However, we have some folks on here that I could never keep up with when it comes to higher levels of those topics. (Still fun for me to try to follow, though.) But, in the end, those subjects have little to nothing to do with my being an atheist. My being an atheist is simply based on the bible itself and its teachings that were pushed upon me as a child and on into my adult life. And (Here’s the IMPORTANT part…), the bible is THE foundation of the Christian faith, right? And, if you pay attention, it will not take you long to see how horribly cracked and unstable that foundation truly is. And if the foundation is cracked, then all else that is built upon it is basically worthless. Anyway, that’s just my personal take on it all. Hope it helps.
Well welcome back Sergeant rationality. About bloody time we got your particular brand of pithy prose around these parts again.
Carry on Sergeant…resume your duties…and don’t forget to clean Cog’s bathroom.
Well there you go, if a deity existed that was omnibenevolent, it would never allow that kind of suffering…
Son of a… Are you kidding me? What the hell? All this time, and you guys STILL haven’t been able to find some clueless little flunkie to assign to that chore? Ugh! Okay! Fine! But just this one time, though!..(stomping down hallway)… (rummaging through hallway closet)… HEY! Where did y’all put the damn flamethrower?!?..
The problem with the Bible is it’s made in a very abstract way where you have to figure things out and understand the symbolism. I agree it’s fake. I can’t comprehend abstractly. The bible has always been one big “Word game” to me and being autistic and dyslexic it’s always been a big NOPE. I’m good. But I have listened to audio versions of it to the extent that I can understand it. The first thing I did is laughed.Start trying to convince me about whales and space, or whatever the heck else is stated then i’m gone. But at the very least I’d like to grasp the things they’re speaking about. Some examples are “Morality and ethics” or “Free will” but I’ve noticed while studying that everyone has their own versions of everything and it’s never clear. I do not know where i’m supposed to go to understand a lot of these arguments but i do know that there are ways to understand people’s arguments with just the basics and the understanding of bigger subjects like ethics or morality and how people work. I just haven’t found myself all the resources yet. I think the bible can help yes, i just don’t think you need it to argue these people. It’s the science and the history and all the little things i need that i was never educated on because growing up the system failed me because they thought i was stupid. But, we have figured out I’m not my therapist told me I’m highly intelligent. The issue is finding information that’s done in a way that works for my own brain and how i interoperate the word. I’ve been listening to a lot of matts debates on the ashiest experience but god he knows so much stuff and i don’t even understand a lot of the words they use on that show. The issue may also be i need to expand my vocabulary (which I’m working on) but its all just frustrating so much information to take in and our life spans are short. i apologize if I’m being repetitive but I’ve always been like this my thoughts don’t end they just keep going and i overwhelm myself. I may not be making sense or rambling again.
BINGO! You may not realize it, good sir, but that simple statement you just made is more profound than you might imagine in regards to the Christian claims of an All-knowing/All-powerful god.
I’ll let you think about that for a bit so you can understand it on your own. But please let me know if you need me to expand a little more. Keep in mind, though, it is so simple and so obvious that it can be easily overlooked. No difficult science or fancy words required. Please let me know when you figure it out.
@WordMush One the most basic concept I use is how one deals with an assertion. I do not have to know much about any subject, I deal with specifics.
The fundamental process is that the claimant will made certain propositions. Each proposition MUST be agreed on by all parties, or the entire argument is invalid.
For example, on the origin of our universe. A theist may first propose that this universe popped out of nothing. I do not agree with that proposition, and thus anything that follows is useless.
Next to the empty oil can. If you were not such a glutton, there would have been some fuel for the dang flamethrower. No one else around here is drinking 10W-40 . I won’t even feed that shit to my lawnmower.
Make fun all you want, Banana Butt. But with the rising fuel costs, I have to lower my standards for petroleum refreshments.
I ponder the result if we spike Tin Man’s refreshment with nitro-methane.