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« Atheist Meme of the Day: Secular Faith /= Religious Faith | Main | Atheist Meme of the Day: Personal Experience Is Not Evidence »

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Dan S.

but the faith of old Muslims and Hindus and whatnot somehow doesn't count as evidence for the reality of Allah or Vishnu or whoever?

And don't forget elderly life-long atheists - by Hoffman's reasoning, that should count as evidence for the reality of, well . . . reality, right?

Peggesis

Even if you find just the right candidate for this guy, won't he just move the goal posts? He'll say that the person was not a true Christian because they were of the wrong denomination or never had a sufficiently dazzling born again experience, etc. I'm not quite 60 years of age, so I'm a bit under age for this, but until this year, I was a devout liberal progressive Episcopalian. No, I don't really know what took me so long to give it up. I'm certainly happier and more at peace with myself as an atheist. The social isolation is a problem. (I'm still doing some volunteer activities at a progressive church.) Other than the two people I've come out to, no one else has even noticed the difference. Since progressives don't do much god talk anyway, I've begun to wonder how many others are there for reasons other than believing the god stuff, too. Quite a few, I think.

And many of those who might say they believe have never really thought about it. Lots of believers have a faith that's a yard wide but shallow enough to walk through without getting your feet wet.

Iamcuriousblue

"And don't forget elderly life-long atheists - by Hoffman's reasoning, that should count as evidence for the reality of, well . . . reality, right?

Ah, but those people convert to Christianity on their deathbeds, just like Darwin did. --sarcasm--

Valhar2000

Ah, but those people convert to Christianity on their deathbeds, just like Darwin did.

And they are lost souls, too, so their opinions can be safely ignored, because if you pay any attention to them you will go to Hell.

Deen

"Pastor Hoffman is arguing that people who have been Christian for a long time tend to remain Christian... and that this therefore proves that Christ is really Lord, and is faithful to those who put their trust in him."

Which means that Hoffman has already built in a defense against any example of a person who lost their faith after 70: clearly, they didn't put enough trust in Jesus. I wonder if he did that on purpose.

vel

Hmmm, my father, who is now *71* is much less a Christian than ever before and much more a deist. I think he would become agnostic or atheist if he didn't fear death, in that little bit he does.
Golly, another liar for Christ in Pastor Hoffman. Seems rather than an argument from popularity, this could be called an argument from habit...

ckitching

Maybe I'm being cynical, but I wonder if he chose 70 because it's near to the average life expectancy. Feeling your own mortality creeping up on you and watching friends or family starting to pass away might make you less inclined to give up comfortable beliefs about death even if you have doubts about them.

Of course, if I'm right, that means the good pastor is being a cynic, too.

John the Drunkard

The argument could be extended to anything:

"People who have been [White Supremacists]their entire lives tend to remain [White Supremacists]and not change their mind in their old age. Therefore, [White Supremacy] exists[is correct]"

Feel free to insert:
[stalinists]
[Ayn Rand nuts]
['free market' anarchists]
[investors in pyramid schemes]
[alt-med true believers]
[pedophiles]
ad infinitum.

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