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?
We can agree that an Atheist is someone who does not believe in the existence of gods. In order to become a “true” or “solid” Atheist we need at some point to be “confirmed” in our lack of faith. To do this we must come to terms with our own mortality. It is something we must confront for if there is no god then there is no Afterlife. Once we accept we have this one life and that there is nothing after it just as there was nothing before it we have reached a place from where there is no going back. I cannot envisage a situation where someone who is now a “true” Atheist (sorry Scotsman) could then start believing in the existence of supernatural creators.
Once this reality is reached it shows us the world in a different light and I would say that it is a more mature and adult way of looking at things. It has given me a greater understanding of the world and an appreciation of all other life in it. I cannot claim dominion for I am related to it all other life. Deep down inside I have no desire for there to be a god who is all loving or knowledgeable. I would not want it any other way no matter how many foxholes I was to find myself in. This one life is all I need.
I don’t mind the run of the mill Theist believing in whatever they claim to believe just don’t try to make it policy for me to follow. As an Atheist I could not start believing what I have come to consider untrue and nonexistent.
Coming to terms with one's own mortality, especially as an atheist, is a very hard proposition normally. Personally I have excepted what my future holds and remain very glad I am not a fruit fly. :^ )
LoL . . . at least if you were a fruit fly, you'd never have angst about your own death. I have a saying, "Coming to terms with death means coming to terms with life . . . THIS life." The converse is true also.
It's not death that bothers me . . . it's the pain and suffering that scares me.
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.