I've run across ex-atheists at various online site; not many but a few. I just can't believe they ever were really atheists to begin with. How does somebody go about unembracing reason? It just doesn't add up. I get the feeling that a certain percentage of ex-atheists are actually Christian frauds using pseudonyms to give testimonies of fake reconversions.
What do you think? Can a real atheist really reconvert to Christianity? How?
Decisions made under duress are not legally -- or morally -- binding. In your father's case, it was just that one time: a temporary scare. I don't equate that situation with a life-changing decision to deconvert/reconvert.
I could agree with what you've written if there were some acceptable alternative to reason (rational, logical, thought). What else is there? Emotion? Intuition? What?
Of course, the more you know, the better decisions you CAN make (not that you necessarily will). Understanding is reliant on both logic and knowledge. If emotion and/or intuition plays some role in understanding, it's secondary at best.
At least, that's what springs to my mind . . . is there some viable alternative to logic?
I think those people were atheists because they simply didn't believe in a god. It doesn't mean that they were true skeptics and they embraced reason. It probably was pretty easy for them to become "saved" and call themselves ex-atheists. I wouldn't worry about these people too much. We know that they don't hold any true creditability with us. Because if anyone was a true skeptic, and did respect reason and logical thinking, then they wouldn't have converted without the evidence that we are all waiting for.
I do hate how they undermine (if only slightly) atheism.
I would look for a brain injury or a brain damaging illness, like high fever, age-related deterioration.
babies are born atheist, so technically every non-atheist is an ex-atheist. technicality, i know, but just contributing :)
What is notable about those that "return to the fold" always go back to the same flavor of religion. They normally don't pause and question whether the religion they were formally associated with is still the right one. Evidence that their use of reason is once again not engaged.
Yeah, that's a good point. It IS very telling, isn't it?
You have to be strong to be okay with the thought of not existing after death. I've had that conversation with my husband who is agnostic many times.
Yes, some lies are very appealing . . . until you check them out.
Just because someone does not believe in gods does not automatically mean that they subscribe to reason. The Raelian cult that worships UFOs and aliens are atheist (no gods in their religion), but I'd hardly consider them to be embracing reason.
While Nelson put it much more eloquently, I think it's quite possible for someone to be an atheist for non-rational reasons and then start to believe in a god for similarly non-rational reason.
Yes, Dave, I agree. We've already established that we're not discussing non-rational, pre-rational or quasi-rational "atheists".