I am a former Atheist. Oh, I grew up in the Church. My parents were Catholic, but that didn’t work for me – and sometime in junior high I told them I didn’t believe in God. That honestly may have been just a case of a teenager trying to get under his parent’s skin, but as time went on my doubt became real. In high school I started preparing for a career as a journalist – was trained to question everything. I spent my adult life in that line of work and saw and reported on a number of tragedies- all which only confirmed my believes that God didn’t exist – if he did he’d never would have allowed something like this to happen (a tornado, a hurricane, a murder, sexual assault of a child or whatever.)

 

But that all changed when I was 33. For the last 5 years I’ve been a bible thumping, Jesus freak. However I continue to think that the biggest problem with Christianity is the Christians. And so I am here in part to show the world that we are not all judgmental and self righteous.

 

So I decided to create this thread; Ask a former Atheist. You can grill me or attack me here. I think one truth is that Atheist talk about God as much as believers – if not more so – because it is such a fascinating topic.

 

By the way – just as a plug- I ‘ve written a book called Gradually to God which is all how finding faith as an adult. It can be purchased on amazon

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Gradually-God-Finding-Crossroads-ebook/dp/B00...

 

                                               

Thanks for your time

Doug Wahl

Views: 121

Tags: atheist, christian, debate, god, jesus

Comment by Voodoobones on April 14, 2011 at 12:11pm

Doug, I'm not trying to be a jerk but I do want to ask some questions to clear up a few things. First, my understanding is that a Christian's belief is based on the Holy Bible. If this is true then don't you have to read the bible completely to be able to claim you are a Christian or can you be a Christian without reading the bible? I'm not claiming you haven't read the bible, I am just clarifying your view of what a Christian truly is.

 

Second, you mentioned Jacob trying to change the color of cows by showing them a polka dot pole. I might be remembering it incorrectly but wasn't it a picket fence the changed the goats to have stripes?

 

And finally, and I really am the last person who should be pointing this out, but you claim to be a journalist, you should read through your post a bit better. I have found a lot of errors in your post. I know that we shouldn't nit pick each others grammar but since you claim to be a journalist I find it odd to see so many errors. Like I said, I should be the last person to say anything because I make more mistakes than anyone, but I felt I should mention it.

 

 

Comment by Mac B on April 14, 2011 at 1:00pm
I don't really understand how one can sort of almost shrug off Genesis in a way but then believe the rest. It's all connected, there's a straight line from the people in Genesis to Jesus. If you can't believe Genesis then to me the most reasonable thing to do would be to find another religion (and hope it's the right one).

Personally, and I'm also a journalist, I only have to look at Genesis 1, maybe even the very first page of the bible, to see clearly that this is a work of fiction, offering exactly what you'd expect of an ancient text in terms of our understanding of the universe. It would take very huge and very strange revolutions in our understanding of science to make me change that view.
Comment by doug wahl on April 14, 2011 at 2:18pm

Okay Apple here is the answer to your second post. It was emotional distress (a bad break up) that started my pursuit of God, and as you wrote I did benefit from being part of a community. But that was five years ago and I would have checked out a long time ago if I didn’t find truth….I would have checked out the moment the next girl came along.

 

But here is where I think you are a 100% wrong – at the end of the day all faith is a choice. If you’re honest you cannot prove anything – at least anything from a historical point of view. It all comes down to a choice. I choose to believe that man landed on the moon, but I know there are people out there who choose to believe that it never happened.

 

How do I prove to them that they are wrong? If I show them video they come back with: “That was shot on a Hollywood lot.” If I present eye witness testimony – they tell me the “witness” can’t be trusted. If I let them hold a moon rock – they tell me about a similar rock in their garden.

 

If this sees far fetched to you  then consider this – there are people out there right now who don’t believe President Obama was born in the United States. (I don’t want to start a political argument here- I am just trying to make my point seem current.) At the end of the day they have chosen to believe that.

 

By the way – I am not comparing an atheist to someone who doesn’t believe in the moon landing. I really do understand where you guys are coming from   All I am saying is that when it comes to history you really can’t prove anything. So you have to look at things not from the point of view of what is possible but from the point of view of what is probable.

 

Is ir possible that Armstrong was on the MGM lot – I guess, but it’s not probable. Is it possible that Jesus was a charismatic fake – sure, but it isn’t probable that he would have suffered that kind of death  without coming clean.

 

Faith in history is a choice.

 

By the way thank you for your later post. I am a single parent of a 6 year old, but I will respond to every post up here.

Comment by Mac B on April 14, 2011 at 2:22pm
Actually, there's this thing called evidence. Mythbusters already did the moon landing and Obama's birth certificate is on file in Hawaii. Tell a historian that "faith" in history is a choice and I think you're in for a pretty big lecture. Surely you see the difference between this and fatih without having to take it all to a purely philosophical level.
Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on April 14, 2011 at 3:02pm
Hello Doug. I am glad you mention the value of having Evidence. As an Atheist you did not believe in the existence of gods. So could you share what evidence you found to make you change your mind. The arguments re Obama and the moon landing are not analogous to the existence of a god. What turned you into a “Jesus freak”. Please share this evidence. Present it as a journalist would to his Editor who is looking for a scoop. Of course if it is just based on your faith alone, you as an ex Atheist, will understand why I dismiss it and think you are deluded.
Comment by doug wahl on April 14, 2011 at 3:04pm

Jason (and please understand I am trying to respond in order.)

 

By asking "are you saved," I guess you are wondering if I think I get into heaven. If that is what you meant - the answer is I think I do.  But I want you to understand that I didn't become a Christian because I want to get into heaven.  I became a Christian because I need him this world (what some of y ou may call a crutch - guilty as charged)  Whatever happens in the next world is for another time and place

Comment by Wassabi on April 14, 2011 at 3:12pm
Hi Doug,

I think you're mixing choices with insanity. Yes, it's much harder to convince people of things which they don't wan't to be true- but ultimately, when confronted with evidence, hard clear cut, overwhelming evidence, the only man still denying is the one willfully closing his ears and eyes.

The new testament is based on the old testament, and the old testament's backbone is the story of the passover exodus. with out the exodus there's no god revealing himself to the people of israel for the first time, which would turn jesus from the son of god, to some weird dude with an imaginary friend.

and i'm sorry to say that archeology has shown without a doubt that the exodus story, as described in the bible is a myth. the Egyptians kept vast detailed records, which add up with all the information found in ancient syria, jordan, and caanan. they all tell a similar history ranging hundreds of years, but none of them fit with the bible- which was written much later and describes a made up history, completely incompatible with reality.

i can whole heartedly understand the choice to turn to god as a result of personal crisis. whenever speaking with theists who confide in me that they've suffered a personal loss, such as a dead child or spouce- i immediately stop.

but please leave rationality out of this. it's all emotional...
Comment by Heather Spoonheim on April 14, 2011 at 3:27pm
You know, I can understand a deistic faith - just choosing to believe there is some sort of universal consciousness behind it all.  What I can't understand is any sort of theistic faith that takes deism a step further and suggests that that conscious mind has some sort of personal concern for what we do here, and specifically that there is a list of 'rules' laid out for us.  Where do these 'rules' come from and how do you know which ones apply and which ones don't?
Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on April 14, 2011 at 3:30pm
Sorry to rush in with another question so soon but I am so excited at the prospect of finally getting some Evidence after all these years as an Atheist. Please tell me more about getting saved so I can become immortal and live forever and ever in Heaven too. What do you think Heaven is like? It must be a very special place indeed.  I am so happy I changed my name !! Wait until I tell my friends!! They will think I am gone off the deep end completely. I am bursting with the anticipation. Evidence at last!!!
Comment by Austin Fisher on April 14, 2011 at 4:21pm
I'm only wondering why you decided to change your mind. You said yourself that you had found plenty of things that point to Christianity being wrong, so it's confusing that you just randomly decided to forget it all.

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