My Story · Uncategorized

My Story: De-conversion Challenges

Pet peeves as a “new” atheist

One thing that I find as a newer atheist that still irks me, is the constant habit of so many Christians to rehash old arguments as evidence for their faith. I think most of them do it in all sincerity. Perhaps, they don’t know how well I actually know the Bible and its theology and arguments. Others do it because they truly believe the word of God is “living” that it can magically change my heart. Others do what I do, we forget that we’ve already discussed an issue and start debating it as if we had never hashed it out before. We should agree to disagree but we keep going in circles.

The problem that I have, is that so many Christians continue to rehash the same arguments against atheism or for their beliefs. When I disprove them or fail to accept their evidence as proof, they just restate the argument or even just the initial premise.

What I would like to see is one of three things:

Either we agree to disagree and go about our way. My friendship won’t be hurt and I won’t think less of you for your beliefs. Since we don’t agree and we’ve gone over all the evidence for our respective positions we know, we don’t need to bring it up again. No need to try to convert me, no need for me to try to de-convert you.

Or, if you have some new evidence, particularly something that is not mainstream Christianity, something that you haven’t heard before than let’s talk about that instead of rehashing the old arguments. There’s a good chance I’ve already heard it, but i’m open to surprises.

Or even better, why don’t you read some books that support my point of view. And then let’s discuss what you’ve learned or what you disagree with.

Sometimes when I suggest this, Christians tell me “read some books written by Christian authors supporting my perspective, and maybe I’ll consider one of your books”.

While I haven’t read nearly everything, I have read a huge amount of Christian apologetic material and find that most is quite redundant. The point is, if you as a Christian grew up like I did, you’ve read nothing or hardly anything by secular authors about religion or science. I’ve probably read over 100 books supporting Christianity. Once you’ve read half that many supporting evolution, science, logic, and atheism; maybe I’ll read a few more from your perspective.

I can’t tell you how many christian friends and acquaintances I have who are convinced of their views. They are more than happy to debate me on all issues of science and faith. And yet, to my knowledge, they have no read one single source of information in contradiction to their views.

Remember I don’t know everything on either side. I’m human just like you. You may have insight I never thought of. Chances are if you use typical Christian apologetic arguments, I’ve heard it already and it won’t changed my mind. But I’m trying to keep an open mind here.

Follow my world adventures on Instagram @Jeltown


21 thoughts on “My Story: De-conversion Challenges

  1. I’ve found that generally, those who can’t accept a friendship where there’s such differences of faith, are the judgemental ones who believe everyone else is going to hell. That they are better than everyone else because they ‘know the truth’. Not only does this make you an asshole as a human, but the bible is pretty clear on the topic of judgment.

  2. You should check out Freedomain Radio to take your atheism to a new level and incorporate philosophy 🙂 I think you’d find it fascinating!

        1. I don’t want to spoiler, but you will find they have the same zero evidence – and please note: jewish, christian and Islam are all the same religion, just different cultural context.

        1. you will find that they all, from any era or area – have the same zero evidence. whereas, anyone who sciences, not matter where and when, if they persist and create the tools. they discover the same things over and over

      1. I recently downloaded the “kindle” version. It’s amazing to know that I’m at a point in my life to read about the beliefs of athiests without fear of “damnation”.
        The key word is “fear”.
        Thank you.

    1. May I point out that I’ve observed the same for atheists. You, for example. Name-calling, godbots, isn’t emotional and escalating? I have tried to be reasonable, respectful, and responsive, even willing to learn about your beliefs to better understand. If I have come across emotional and violent, that is not my intention, and you have my sincere apologies if I did anything to cause that perception.

      1. Godbots is dismissive intentionally and it is used to describe behaviours of individuals who stop being people. You have not shown any curiosity, and only seek to promote other people’s points you have taken on as your own. So no, your misconstruing meaning, straw manning and then appearing to have manners thinking it’s a conversational civil high ground is what the issue is. And since this is the pattern of your conversation, your apology without behaviour change, lacks sincerity.

  3. Appreciated your article. One thought: you aren’t de-converted, you are converted. But in this case, you are converted to atheism. Both are positions and/or a set of claims, so “conversion” applies to both. “Convert” simply means to change. Small detail, but could be helpful for everyone’s thinking.

    1. interesting point, I think it can be helpful except that many people associate the idea of conversion with one supernaturally excepting a faith or belief system. I am not doing that. I have simply studied the facts and have changed my beliefs as you say based on those facts. My change is not based on faith or on a supernatural renewal of my “heart”.

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