Evidence isn’t proof for anyone

I have watched and monitored a couple people who have deconverted from Christianity. I have also observed the way other people have viewed them. I have seen them change in their actions as their views have changed.

I can think of an individual who realized that the view of god he learned his whole life did not add up. He studied his religion and others and came to the conclusion that god was not real. He removed himself from the church, but really continued his study with a focus on the good in humanity. He found non-believers were just as moral as believers and in many cases much more so.

As his life and views changed he sought to find a way to be the best person he could be. He studied the core of religions and their principles. He tried various philosophies. He even went from being a steak and potatoes guy to being vegan. In most aspects of his life he became even more “christian”. He started helping the homeless and feeding the poor, but he made some changes that would not be considered more christian.

He started using profanity. His language became rougher even on social media. He regularly used he would never have used before his deconversion. Another way he changed was his use of alcohol and marijuana. He started drinking and even drinking with the intent of getting drunk on occasion. He also started using marijuana on a regular basis. The state he resided in has legalized it with a medical license, which he has.

Christians use the changes in his life as proof that God is real. They insist that he never really “got saved”. He was only trying to appease his conscience before. He was running from god and just doing good works to try to live with himself in his own sin. I have seen people say he finally rejected god because of his sin. They use his drug and language use as proof.

They said he just missed god. He had religion and not a relationship. He never really met god. People who have do not ever use drugs or use that type of language.

I have also seen his newly found, at the time, atheist friends chime in. They say his change of lifestyle is proof that god does not exist. They say if god did exist he would not let one of his own change like that without consequence. They  point to the idea that he is more at peace, happier, and a better person without religion. They say religion poisoned him. He could have been doing more good all along. He wasted effort in the church. They say his language and substance use is just the freedom he did not have under the church. He has not harmed anyone or done anything bad while under any influence.  They also say words are words and there has never been anything bad about any of them.

I think his life provides evidence of something but not proof for either the Christian view I’ve seen or the atheist point of view expressed. I can see the point each side is making and I feel like his life is proof of neither. Both points of view have holes in their arguments if they are using his life as proof.

No one can know or prove what is in someone else’s head or truly know everything that has happened in their life. No one can say “he lied to himself and others before” or “he has finally opened his eyes and truly understands now”. I do fin it interesting that both sides take somethings he says as true when it fits their point of view, but if something arises that does not fit their belief, his thoughts, memories, or statements must be wrong.

His life and the changes he has made gives no proof of the existence of god or the non-existence of god.

I think many people confuse evidence with proof. I think that is common in many areas. The grand canyon is one an example. Many christians say it proves a young earth and flood. Many atheist say it prove an old earth and the non-existence of god. (I will not get into the arguments or reasons related to the arguments because that is a whole separate discussion).

I am continuing to collect evidence in so many areas in my life. The more I see, the more I believe that no god I have seen worshiped or proposed really exists.

 

25 comments

  1. carmen · January 7, 2016

    Glad you’re back!

    The thing is, disillusionist, it doesn’t matter whether there is or there isn’t. . .it’s how you live your life, how you treat others, and whether you strive for peace whenever and however possible. It’s just about being nice (I’ve often heard, also, “don’t be an asshole”). Whatever. I’ve said, for a long time, that it matters not what you THINK, it’s what you DO that counts. 🙂
    I’d bet any money that you are, simply, a nice guy. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • adisillusionist · January 7, 2016

      I agree, but some people aren’t as nice as they could be because of what they believe. Sometimes they believe something based on insufficient evidence that they have been convinced is proof.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Richard · January 17, 2016

      Australian Comedian Jim Jefferies, who is an outspoken atheist, says the bible should be only one sentence long: “Try not to be a cunt”.
      I think that sums it up nicely.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Brad D · January 7, 2016

    Of course I may be biased, but I would lean toward a portion of the atheistic argument here. Not with regards to whether or not this example proves or disproves the existence of god, though. Rather, I think it’s only proof that religion and its restrictions are not necessary to be a nice, moral person. This guy can go out and drink and get high, things that religion would say makes him immoral, and yet at the same time he’s going out and doing more good for humanity. If you take the idea of god out of the equation, all this shows is that what religion says is immoral does not necessarily make for an immoral person.

    This, I think, is one of the things that makes it difficult to debate religion; everyone wants to come back to arguing whether or not god exists, regardless if that’s what the current topic actually addresses. The question “Can you be a good person without religion?” is not the same as the question “Can you be a good person without the existence of god?”, even though it’s often assumed they’re equivalent.

    Liked by 3 people

    • adisillusionist · January 7, 2016

      Exactly! I wish I had approached this post from that position. Well said.

      Like

  3. Clay · January 7, 2016

    Glad you’re back! I was wondering how you were faring.
    As far as character and behavior goes, I remember writing in my original journey series that I couldn’t shake the thought that Muslims often demonstrate far greater dedication to their faith, or that Mormons generally demonstrate better morality and conduct. What does that prove? (Nothing really or at least nothing that helps Christianity). Added to that, Christian church history is rampant with embarrassing abuse and misconduct. When I reflect back on my own personal experience in church service for 30+ years, it repeatedly showed me that Christians often demonstrated some of the WORST behavior among human beings. I found many to be some of the most judgmental, intolerant, hateful and ungrateful people in the world. I concluded that religious belief rarely made a big impact on moral behavior. I also pondered that divorce rates for Christians and non-Christians are both very similar, and that the viewing of pornography is often higher among conservatives. The latter is something that Christians preach against furiously to little avail. As an atheist, my views on porn have changed but that’s off topic. Just glad to see you writing again!

    Liked by 2 people

    • adisillusionist · January 7, 2016

      Thanks! I am glad to be writing again too. I agree with your assessment also.

      Like

  4. KIA · January 7, 2016

    Welcome back brother. I would have to day that my life and character hasn’t really changed other than feeling more personal freedom.
    I’m not sure that even from my former Christian perspective I would have equated a person’s lifestyle or character with the truth or evidence of the existence or non existence of God.
    To paraphrase shakespear “God is or is not, that is the question”
    For me, the question is pretty much answered by the lack of actual evidence for the existence of the abrahamic god at least, and the naturalistic explanations that are there for the existence and operation of the universe around us, ie. Reality
    Real is real… The biblical god is not

    Liked by 2 people

  5. pcts4you · January 8, 2016

    The fact that christian reasons are cited as to why this person is or isn’t doing the things they did or didn’t do before they stopped believing in one version of monotheism, itself an acknowledged human fabrication, like polyatheism, gives christian privilege yet another hat tip when there is no reason whatsoever to do so. That you chose to do so in such a way prompts me to ask this: is this supposed person you’re speaking of you?

    It sounds like a there is a brewing discussion about how evidence comes about here. Literally, how we get to say, “X is evidence of Y” with a straight face. Science. Science is all we have. If it isn’t a situation that is publicly verifiable and can be recreated, it isn’t worth knowing. Study of the brain, the mind, and all things the mind can experience, can only come from science. Including studying the inability to handle uncertainty.

    “Science is more than a body of knowledge. It is a way of thinking; a way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility.”
    – Carl Sagan, during his last interview on Charlie Rose, May 27th, 1996

    “Without Science, everything is a miracle.”
    – Lawrence M. Krauss

    Liked by 3 people

    • adisillusionist · January 8, 2016

      It definitely is not me. Although, I have no problem with his use of language, alcohol or other substances because he uses all within reason and responsibly.

      Like

  6. nowamfoundatlast · January 8, 2016

    welcome home! merry christmas and happy new year! i am so happy you are ok. none of us can prove a damn thing that is what faith and belief is all about. however, science and logic do prove soo much. this might have been a difficult and strange holiday for you. i hope this post means that you are ok. you sound ok. i am relieved! mazel tov!

    Liked by 1 person

    • adisillusionist · January 8, 2016

      I am find for the most part. I am not struggling with faith or the lack of. There are other issues going on. I will be fine. It is nice to hear from you all.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. tsentientpuddle · January 8, 2016

    I’m interested in how a Christian can say that another person would not stop believing in God if he had truly been saved. They must believe we have free will in order for us to be responsible for our sins. So why not the free will to “reject” God? Do they believe that they themselves have lost some free will since accepting Christ as their saviour?

    All the best for 2016.
    Shane

    Liked by 1 person

    • adisillusionist · January 8, 2016

      I think Christians for the most part believe you can’t stop believing in god. They believe someone never really believed or they believe that they are consumed with sin and chose to reject god as a choice to live in their sins instead of repent. Also, some believe that because of some tragedy or something people start to hate god, again based in sin or demonic influence.

      Like

      • tsentientpuddle · January 8, 2016

        Did you believe that when you were a Christian?

        I don’t remember ever having to face the question, as I don’t think I knew of anyone who lost their faith when I had mine. But I can’t imagine I would have thought along those lines. Since I became a born again atheist I have certainly heard those things said about me. Both those things, in fact, though generally from people who have never met me, and certainly didn’t know me when I was a Christian.

        The idea that any belief is set in stone and unchangeable is pretty ridiculous. I’m 46 years old. I’m not sure I still believe anything I believed when I was half my age. And the idea that any I belief I have now, somehow means I didn’t really believe the opposite a couple of decades ago is just plain wrong. My life experience was just very different then.

        Shane

        Liked by 1 person

      • adisillusionist · January 8, 2016

        I did not believe someone could turn from a Christian to an atheist. God was real to me. I truly believed if someone was saved it could not be undone. A father is always your father regardless of how you felt about him. I believed if someone became an atheist that they could not have truly been saved. They must have just believed there was god but not accepted him truly. That such a person did not have real faith.

        As a matter of fact, it is because I felt that way and knew for a fact that I was saved and thought it possible (after very much struggling) that god did not exist that lead to my deconversion .

        Liked by 1 person

      • tsentientpuddle · January 10, 2016

        Interesting. Is there scripture to back up the belief “Once saved, always saved.”? I always thought the denial that any Christian could become an atheist was a defence mechanism. “That could never happen to me because I am a true Christian, and they obviously couldn’t have been.”

        “A father is always your father regardless of how you felt about him.”

        I don’t see how that backs up the “always saved” belief. Someone else becoming an atheist doesn’t negate the Christian belief that God would still be his father. There are many Phelps that have left the Westboro Baptist Church does not negate where they sit on that particular family tree.

        Cheers
        Shane

        Liked by 1 person

      • adisillusionist · January 10, 2016

        I think it was also a belief that it simply was not possible. No one who truly was saved could give that up because you had the Holy Spirit living inside you. The spirit would not leave you and could not let you walk away from God.

        Again, it was part of how I realized it was all make believe. God did not verify in me through the spirit that I was his child. I knew for a fact I had accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for my sin. I had repented from my sin. I did my best to allow god to work through me to do god’s will. God could not and would not allow me to not identify as his child. He might convict me of sin, he might punish me for lack of faith, but god would not turn his back on me when I was seeking his will and understanding more than any other time in my life.

        So, I had to figure out what was the most likely possibility. To make the long story short I concluded that god did not exist. No god I had ever studied and most certainly not the god I had worshiped. That god was just a concept.

        Liked by 1 person

      • tsentientpuddle · January 11, 2016

        So what is an argument for God’s non existence,

        1. God would never let a true Christian lose his faith.
        2. True Christians do lose their faith.
        3. Therefore the Christian God does not exist.

        Gets twisted around to fit the belief.

        1. God would never allow true Christians to lose their faith.
        2. People do lose their faith
        3. Therefore they cannot have been true Christians.

        It’s good to see that you went from believing the latter to believing the former.

        Shane

        Liked by 1 person

      • adisillusionist · January 11, 2016

        yes pretty much

        Like

  8. nowamfoundatlast · January 8, 2016

    you’ve started some wonderful conversations!

    Liked by 1 person

    • adisillusionist · January 8, 2016

      Thanks. I am glad we can discuss things and learn or at least get more information to help us understand things better.

      Like

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