Pastor "tries" atheism

I suppose it’s like trying on shoes?
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/01/08/pastor-learns-the-price-of-atheism/

One to watch, but I don’t expect much to come from it. I don’t which is worse, this, or the guy who tried “living Biblically” for a year. A friend of his got divorced but he knew it would cause trouble if he stoned him, so he flicked a pebble at him.

I suppose it's like trying on shoes? http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/01/08/pastor-learns-the-price-of-atheism/
Sort of, but when you try on shoes you're actually trying them on. He's not doing anything that irrefutable. I'm very skeptical this pastor is suspending his belief, just like that.

At first this sounded silly. I thought it would be like one of those “Atheist Sundays" some churches do. But now that I’ve read a little of his words it sounds like it could interesting. I’ll definitely be following his blog.
The trappings of theism are pretty easy to “try on". There is a nagging suspicion throughout the atheist community and I’m sure within the theists, that most people are extremely weak believers. Historically, churches haven’t had to care, because either they or the community would sanction non-believers harshly. Now that those sanctions are lifting, they have to be nice to you if you have doubts, they even have to offer classes using books by Marcus Borg or at least Bonhoffer.
But still, as long as you say you are praying and keep giving and occasionally give an amen, they’re fine. Ryan started his journey in pretty standard fashion, by questioning first the really crazy stuff, like End Times prophecy. Now he’s dumping the trappings, the church going and praying. What’s really got him in trouble is saying he won’t consider God as a reason for natural events. Although that’s not entirely clear, so we’ll see.

Well this is a little goofy. He’s not really switching to atheism, he’s switching to not-Christianity. From a belief system to a non-belief system, golf to not-golf. What he SHOULD do to actually switch is to live as a Secular Humanist, or according to Character Counts, etc. (i.e. some other positive belief system, religious or otherwise). What I can see happening is, he gets all down and out and shoots someone. Ahah! See atheism is evil. Wrong. Atheism is merely not-theism. Sort of like not having a hobby versus having hobby X that’s good or bad.

He says he’s going to reading “atheist” books. Hopefully he is listening to good suggestions. You should put something on his blog.

He’s doing what a lot of theists do. He’s taking a position he thinks will get god’s attention so god will be so chagrinned he will bring him back into the fold. This is an old trick theists pull. “I was once an atheist, then I was saved.” Watch for him to pop up with his story of “redemption” within the year.

I understand the cynicism, but I can tell you haven’t heard the guy speak. There are a variety of Christians out there, and just like the Muslims that speak out against terrorists, we should consider partnering with them to end the violate affects of religion. We now have a few ex-preachers out there, like Jerry DeWitt, who are telling us what it is like to lose your religion when religion is your whole life, but they did most of the work privately. This guy is doing something public.
His blog yesterday is a roll of media links. You might want to check the 5 minute NPR interview. He says he is not asking anyone to follow him out of the church. That could be a faked statement, but he goes on. He notes that Christians have long done the “you’re not a proper Christian thing”, so he is not too affected by the “you’re not a proper atheist” statements. He knows about UU people, about atheists who go to church. He says, “If your faith community can contain those questions, then you ask and answer them within the framework of your community. If you community can’t contain them, you step outside of it, and it’s more painful and messy.” That sounds authentic to me. That sounds like someone walking the walk.

I understand the cynicism, but I can tell you haven't heard the guy speak. There are a variety of Christians out there, and just like the Muslims that speak out against terrorists, we should consider partnering with them to end the violate affects of religion. We now have a few ex-preachers out there, like Jerry DeWitt, who are telling us what it is like to lose your religion when religion is your whole life, but they did most of the work privately. This guy is doing something public. His blog yesterday is a roll of media links. You might want to check the 5 minute NPR interview. He says he is not asking anyone to follow him out of the church. That could be a faked statement, but he goes on. He notes that Christians have long done the "you're not a proper Christian thing", so he is not too affected by the "you're not a proper atheist" statements. He knows about UU people, about atheists who go to church. He says, "If your faith community can contain those questions, then you ask and answer them within the framework of your community. If you community can't contain them, you step outside of it, and it's more painful and messy." That sounds authentic to me. That sounds like someone walking the walk.
It's just that I've heard so many tales of, "I was an atheist then Jesus saved me" that I've become cynical. They usually don't know what an atheist is and confuse it with having some doubts about their religion and refusing to go to church for a while. Anyway, I hope you're right and I'm wrong and that my cynicism loses out this time. Lois

One of the atheist podcasts I listen to was talking about this guy (and is planning on having him on in the near future). He’s evidently been fired for saying that he was going to spend a year as an atheist, so he’s already gotten a dose of the harsh reality that’s ahead of him.

One of the atheist podcasts I listen to was talking about this guy (and is planning on having him on in the near future). He's evidently been fired for saying that he was going to spend a year as an atheist, so he's already gotten a dose of the harsh reality that's ahead of him.
The very fact that he said he would spend a year as an atheist shows that he doesn't know what atheism is. He means he intends to fake it for a year.

I’m not sure about that, Lois. If one decides to speak only a foreign language for a year, it means one has to learn that language and even begin to think in it. The person may decide to go back to his/her original language after the year, but s/he will never be able to erase the logic of the new language from his/her brain. I think he doesn’t realize how powerful the effect of the new reasoning will have on him.
Occam

I'm not sure about that, Lois. If one decides to speak only a foreign language for a year, it means one has to learn that language and even begin to think in it. The person may decide to go back to his/her original language after the year, but s/he will never be able to erase the logic of the new language from his/her brain. I think he doesn't realize how powerful the effect of the new reasoning will have on him. Occam
There's a big difference between speaking a language and believing or not believing in something. We can certainly hope that learning the language of atheism will have a positive effect. Lois
I'm not sure about that, Lois. If one decides to speak only a foreign language for a year, it means one has to learn that language and even begin to think in it. The person may decide to go back to his/her original language after the year, but s/he will never be able to erase the logic of the new language from his/her brain. I think he doesn't realize how powerful the effect of the new reasoning will have on him. Occam
There's a big difference between speaking a language and believing or not believing in something. We can certainly hope that learning the language of atheism will have a positive effect. LoisLanguage can have a powerful role in shaping how we see and understand things. "Enhanced interrogation techniques" sounds so much better than "torture," now doesn't it? He's already realized that if someone's sick, he can't pray for them, he actually has to do something to help them, if he feels real concern for them. Rome wasn't sacked in a day, and he might not remain an atheist after the year is up, but he will have a different perspective on things, and there will be cracks forming in his belief structure that have the potential of deconverting him. In any case, he will have done more to try to understand the atheist perspective than most Christians do, and that's something.

The blog under discussion:
http://yearwithoutgod.com/

Reviewed the site.
The site would stand up in court as proof that Faith Based Religion is a form of a Cult.

You can hear an interview with him here.] I haven’t listened to that particular episode of the podcast (yet), but I’m familiar with the hosts, having heard several of their podcasts. They can be a bit annoying, as they’re often happy to talk about a subject, while admitting that they’ve done no research on the topic. Even when they’ve been given credible reference materials. I speak from experience on this. They did a couple of episodes on GMO foods, attacking those who claimed GMOs were going to kill us all, and denying that there were any problems with GMO organisms. I sent them links to credible organizations (like Cornell University) which showed that there had been problems with GMO organisms, and that if we weren’t careful in how we used them, we could wind up with some difficult to handle situations (nothing life threatening, but still nothing that could be safely ignored). Their response was, “Well, maybe, but we couldn’t be bothered to read your links, so something else might have been involved, that we have no idea of what it could possibly be, but we’re just going to say this because reasons.”
Generally, I’ve found that at least once an episode I’ve heard them say something which makes me want to shout, “Guys, have you never heard of Google? You can find answers to this easy enough!” Its irritating, because if you’re going to put yourself out there as having more credibility than folks who blindly follow what their preacher tells them, then you’d better be willing to actually look things up when you don’t know something. Otherwise, you’re no better than the religious nutters.

I'm not sure about that, Lois. If one decides to speak only a foreign language for a year, it means one has to learn that language and even begin to think in it. The person may decide to go back to his/her original language after the year, but s/he will never be able to erase the logic of the new language from his/her brain. I think he doesn't realize how powerful the effect of the new reasoning will have on him. Occam
There's a big difference between speaking a language and believing or not believing in something. We can certainly hope that learning the language of atheism will have a positive effect. LoisLanguage can have a powerful role in shaping how we see and understand things. "Enhanced interrogation techniques" sounds so much better than "torture," now doesn't it? He's already realized that if someone's sick, he can't pray for them, he actually has to do something to help them, if he feels real concern for them. Rome wasn't sacked in a day, and he might not remain an atheist after the year is up, but he will have a different perspective on things, and there will be cracks forming in his belief structure that have the potential of deconverting him. In any case, he will have done more to try to understand the atheist perspective than most Christians do, and that's something. That's possibly true, though I'm not so sure he tryng to understand the atheist perspective so much as reaffirming his faith. I do not accept that he is spending a year being an actual atheist. He is spending a year thinking about it, not as an atheist would but as a believer would. Nobody can either believe or stop believing at will. The fact that he gave it an end point says to me that he is planning to start believing again after the year is up.. If he was serious that he wanted to live as an atheist there would be no reason to announce it. He could do it privately if he wasn't trying to make a spectacular statement to his believing brethren. I say he has announced and is publicizing it because he knows very well he will "go back" to a life of believing. I also say he will not spend one moment as an actual atheist during the year. He is a believer pretending to be an atheist and he has an agenda. At the end of the year he will say he struggled with non belief for a whole year and has decided that it's an impossible way to live and that he is so happy to have found "the truth". Anyone on this group want to bet against it? We should have a betting pool! I hope we don't forget it by the end of the year. Lois

In listening to the interview, it sounds like he’s pretty much not a Christian, but lacks the courage to directly state that he is an atheist.

In listening to the interview, it sounds like he's pretty much not a Christian, but lacks the courage to directly state that he is an atheist.
Interesting. I thought he was some kind of pastor. Maybe he truly is struggling with belief/nonbelief. I just have a hard time believing it. We'll have to wait and see. Lois