Saturday, May 16, 2009

Take an outsider test and find a new idea

What do you believe? What beliefs do you reject? Are you willing to address your certainties with skepticism as a means of testing your certainty?

Are you willing to get back to your childhood and approach the big wide world with one question, "why?"

John Loftus challenges true believers to take an Outsider's Test of Faith at his website "Debunking Christianity". He says
"The outsider test . . . challenges believers to examine the social and cultural conditions of how they came to adopt their particular religious faith in the first place. That is, believers must ask themselves who or what influenced them and what the actual reasons were for adopting their faith in its earliest stages. "

I'm finding this test fruitful.

It seems taking an Outsider Test can keep one from inadvertently co-signing someone else's BS.

Loftus' challenge is targeted to true believing evangelical Christians but, I think the practice could be applicable to any impassioned ideology. It's a great way to twist your noggin and invite humility. The Outsider Test demands one to examine their control beliefs and humbly admit (as Loftus suggests) the truth Voltaire stated, "Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives, and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of their time.”

I work in the idea industry so, something that helps me recognize my lack of novelty can be a useful creative filter.

What ideology do you hold dear? What would happen if you asked yourself why these things are important and/or superior?

You might not have the comfort of your control beliefs but you might just find a new idea.


Brad Haggard said...

Hey Chuck, I've never met you, but I do feel bad for your de-conversion. I do hope you continue being honest with yourself, though. I went through an OTF and reworked many of my theological ideas, but came out with my faith. has and interesting post from a couple days ago looking at someone else's deconversion story. You may resonate with it some.

I hope some of the shallow thinking that I think you encountered in your church won't turn you off from Jesus forever.

We can have some good conversations, though :)

feeno said...

W'dup sir Charles
Just checking in. Wanted to come over and visit. I've been to Wrigley field several times. Chicago is a cool town, like a giant college campus.(unless it's winter)then that town shuts down, except for the night life? I don't know you probably know more about that than I do? What kind of church does your wife go to?
Anyways thanks again for clicking over to my blog, I'll be checking in from time to time.

Peace out, feeno

feeno said...

W'sup Chuck

Since Voltaire died around 1778 an estimated number of Bibles that have been printed is somewhere around 10,000,000,000. I don't even know what that number is. (I'd like to know if someone could tell me)? I'm telling you that because you quoted him, and before he died he was also quoted as saying that "The Bible will be extinct in 100 years".

I know that doesn't prove anything. And I actually like Voltaire. Quite interesting. He struggled with his faith/lack of faith his whole life.

Any ways, like I said I'll be checking in now and again, hope all is good. Dueces, feeno