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 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".
One cannot truly be an atheist and go back to theism. And if they truly were and found some empirical evidence that showed them they were wrong, I should suspect they would have no problem, as a former atheist, showing it to the rest of us. Normally when people claim that they "left atheism" to become a Christian/Muslim/Buddhist/Other, they are lying because they think that real atheists will empathize better to someone that "understood" our point of view at some point. It's a weapon that we have against them, but they do not have against us. For example, many atheists used to be Christians and many Christians today are slowly but surely and steadily becoming atheists. We understand their theism, but they do not understand atheism, because to fully and truly understand atheism, one must become an atheist him/herself. It's not optional. However, understanding Christianity does not make you a Christian, in fact, it usually makes you an atheist if you see what it really is like most of us "real" atheists do. I can't think of a better way to explain it.