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?
I am very suspicious of statements like "Job Lowe says he used to be an X, but now he's a Y, so he was never really an X in the first place. Thus his claims of being an ex-X are false and he's a troll." (usually said by someone who is himself an X now).
You are just making that same statement, not just for Job Lowe, but for everyone, and your phrasing makes it clear you don't believe there are any exceptions.
People are capable of changing their minds, and yes, sometimes they will change them in a bad direction.
I don't believe MOST ex-atheists were dyed-in-the-wool atheists. I'm dubious of the notion of unembracing reason. It doesn't make sense.
Of course it DOES happen. I mention Anthony Flew as an example, so I'm obviously not denying it's possible. But I do believe that the ones I've run across revealed the shallowness of their "ex-atheistness" and betrayed their rationality by providing lame excuses like "a sudden, deep, insight that God is in me" or "I decided to try prayer again" or whatever. I've never really heard a reason that was both informed and logical -- including Anthony Flew's explanation of the complexity of DNA. Surely he understood how evolution can give the appearance of grand design.
There are those who gravitate to atheism for the wrong reasons. They might perceive atheists as smart and want to be perceived as smart through association. They might be angry with God and want to strike back at him. They might be stupid and easily swayed by any fad or trend that comes along. These, to me, aren't "true" atheists. They can call themselves whatever they like but if they don't think, they don't count in my book.
Somebody once said the Atheist Bible has but one word: THINK.
Yes, I've already conceded that what I mean does not fit the standard dictionary definition of an atheist. By "true" atheist, I'm trying to describe a certain minimum level of commitment to reason that demonstrates the atheist has thought things through. This would require that he/she is ABLE to think things through and admittedly assumes that he/she concludes there can not be any god of any consequence. This assumption seems to naturally follow from the logic that if they conclude anything else, they can't be an atheist.
Yeah, I read that after the post. I guess you have a point. To get to the conclusion one must follow a certain line of reasoning. In order for that line of reasoning to be called to question would require a very serious, headline making, unmistakable, unequivocal first hand experience that simply doesn't happen in the real world.
I get what you mean.
I am new to the Atheist world; only found it in Janurary... Don't know anything about ex-atheists, but coming most recently from Wicca/Witchcraft, I do know that many of those born-again Wiccans can't even answer basic questions regarding Wicca. They are obviously making it all up, using only Christian stereotypes about it. It would be quite possible that these ex-atheists are doing the same thing.
Just a take from a newbe......
Yes, Cheryl, I didn't even think of that angle. Newbies bring fresh perspectives. :-)
Asked why I returned to an abusive husband, my reply was that I didn't get enough abuse the first time. So, when I found myself utterly alone in this world, emotion outweighed reason. I reverted to my Christian upbringing for more religious abuse. Only this time with a twist, I became a Baha'i. A "new" religion one for current times, one with a "new" prophet. This is the religion for "scholars". It embraces science, it embraces all races, cultures "unity in diversity". Religion can offer a great comfort nipple.
It took time but eventually when my emotions healed, reason returned, and I started to understand that there is nothing "new" about the Baha'i Faith. Just Christianity rehashed with a flock that is just as unreasonable and blind to reason as the Christians who rejected me as a Baha'i (because it is the "wrong" religion).
No need to dump out my life story. However, I am still alone but I know peace based on what is and who I am.
Nobody should be alone. Most people claim to be religious but don't really put religion front and center in their lives. I'm sure most of us have lots of friends and positive associations with nominally religious folk. Your religious orientation shouldn't be a barrier to friendship if you get yourself out there and meet more people.
That is something that has always baffled me even when I was younger and more impressionable. IF the religious flocks are SURE there is an ETERNAL afterlife that can be filled with pure bliss or pure torment... HOW are they not putting it "Front & Center" in their lives? I would think they would all flock to religious study's... A reason why I think most "religious people" just take comfort but don't WANT to dig deeper because deep down, they know they will shake their comfort bedrock.
@Estella B Perkins... I am also sorry you feel alone. You are NOT alone regardless of your perception. I once dabbled in Wicca as well when I was early 20's with the thought that if I could get conformation from ANY supernatural "level," then it would justify at least the POSSIBILITY of all supernatural phenomena. Needless to say, here I am!
Thank you John, for your kind comment. I guess I didn't do a very good job of conveying that I am not a lonely person (although I did feel very lonely when I left my ex), I simply live alone and peacefully from the religious here in the midwest bible belt. So, I am not a hermit, I volunteer in many activities and have a circle of family and friends.
Trying to make you feel alone is one of the abusive recruitment tactics religion uses against those who don't believe. We have to learn to be strong and recognize that it is better to feel that way a little bit than to join in a mass delusion. We also need to reach out to each other. There are more of us than we know. We just need to build our own communities.
I am glad you are here Estella.