I've run across ex-atheists at various online sites; 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?
People like Kirk Cameron shudder>> claim to have been atheist before they "found [insert religion here]" when in reality, I get the impression that they just never THOUGHT about god / didn't follow any religious tenets. Now that they "found" religion, they don't THINK at all.
I don't use blanket statements very often but EVERY atheist I know personally, were once religious in some sense and actually RESEARCHED religion and their "souls" for the answer. As a result, I would put ANY atheist up against ANY religious person when it comes to knowledge of the bible. I haven't read any statistics but I would be REAL interested to know how many xtians ACTUALLY believe christ was born 25 December (besides my mother in law!).
@John R... I know more than a few who think Dec 25 is set in stone and refuse to believe he may have been born few months earlier.. After all "Jesus is the reason for the season", right..? *rolls eyes*
If you're God in the flesh, you can change your birthday as much as you damn well please!
The thing is.. Jesus didn't change it. Man did. That's my point.
For instance The shepherds were in the fields when an angel came to them about Jesus. Now that would most likely put the time in the Spring or Fall, not winter. Had it been winter the animals would have been inside and so the feed troughs (ie, manger) wouldn't have been available to put Jesus.
Now,that aside, for the first 2 centuries after his birth his birthday wasn't observed. In fact the church said it was sinful to observe his birth as though he were a Pharaoh.
It wasn't until the 4th Century that the Church in order to subvert the growing pagan religion, Mithras, designated Dec 25 (the winter solstice) as Jesus's birthday. It did two things, it allowed all the various religious groups to celebrate en masse and as a result allowed the Church to slowly supplant those other religions with their own.
But then you know all that,,
In a recent survey, only Jews scored higher (and only slightly so) than atheists on Bible knowledge. I seem to recall that Mormons were pretty high up on the list too.
@Rob Klaers... I personally celebrate 25 December as it also happens to be Jimmy Buffett's birthday (in actuality) though my wife gets a little upset with me. At least she realizes that 25 December was the christians way of trying to incorporate all those pesky pagans and their "silly solstice" festival.
@Atheist Exile... I can believe the Jews know more than most christians as they seem a little more "serious" about their faith as opposed to the plethora of different christian sects who choose to interpret the bible the way that best fits THEIR beliefs. The Mormons would be interesting too... was their knowledge of THEIR religion or (no disrespect to Mormons here), the "actual" christianity beliefs?
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......