Thursday, 27 October 2011

"I was an atheist . . . just like you!"

Have you ever been told "I used to be an atheist, just like you"?

I have.  I don't usually believe it because it is often said by christians who were converted in their early twenties.  It just means that they were being rebellious teenagers who were trying out their independence.  It doesn't necessarily mean that they had seriously studied the subject and made a rational decision.

Galileo Unchanged has obviously had this experience too, and writes very nicely on the subject. 

Well-educated Christians deconvert to atheism, but well-educated atheists don’t convert to Christianity.  More education about the history and origins of Christianity increases the likelihood that the Christian will deconvert, but more education increases the likelihood that the atheist will stay put.  Education pushes you in one direction only.  Read on

19 comments:

krissthesexyatheist said...

Obviously they were never 'true atheists'. that was so awesome to say. Lates.

Kriss

Hilary said...

Haha so untrue an argument...I was definitely an atheist...and the argument that more education pushes a person more to atheism or reinforces such a belief is an interesting but totally without substance claim...

Hilary said...

...and I was a very well educated atheist actually...lol...you're an amusing lot...

...oh and late twenties btw...in fact almost 30...and I've never stopped reading atheistic arguments but frankly they are so full of holes and without any real substance or evidence, and without consistency...
:)

Hilary said...

...and you clearly don't know many christians if you can say that most of them were converted in their twenties in some sort of rebellion...time I introduced you to the ones I know I think...lol, would give you rather a different perspective that's for sure... :D

Haywood Jablomi said...

@Hilary was an educated atheist, but rejected atheistic arguments because they were full of holes and lacked evidence. I can see how educated an atheist she was.

Plasma Engineer said...

@Hilary Interestingly, although I had you in mind when I wrote this post I don't remember you using exactly the words that I wrote. Several people have made similar comments though.

Hilary said...

What is your basis for making such a sweeping assumption that I quote "It just means that they were being rebellious teenagers who were trying out their independence. It doesn't necessarily mean that they had seriously studied the subject and made a rational decision"? Is your basis;
1) Christians you now know
2) Well documented research and if so by whom, and when and was it stratified data? What were the questions in the survey and what proportion of the population did you choose and what part of the country and indeed what country did you take this data from? I am most interested in this.
3) An idea you have

Oh and to Hayward Jablomi, I presume you are just being rather sarcastic and rude. Not a huge amount added to the argument there is there :D

...and back to P.E I was 29 when I truly converted, 10 of the previous years I would classify myself as a seeker, with many many doubts and questions.....which I plagued my christian friends with. I had two sets of friends, christian friends and atheist friends and I was very much weighing up what these two different groups of people were saying...

Before that, I was a very militant atheist with exactly the same views that people such as yourself have, which I had come to out of my interest in all things science and out of the influence of those whose books I consumed...
it was only when I went to uni that I really met christians who made me think more about all these things and who challenged my position...

as for rebelling, there was nothing I was rebelling against. my parents at that time were not church goers at all, and were at that time not church goers and as far as I remember not professing or talking about God particularly...they were just interested in whatever I came up with next lol

Haywood Jablomi said...
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Haywood Jablomi said...
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Haywood Jablomi said...

Not trying to be rude, just observing that a "well educated atheist" would not be looking for evidence for atheism. Atheism comes from the lack of evidence for god claims, and makes no claim but "I don't think so". Asking for evidence for atheism is a clear sign you didn't/don't get it.

BTW, what is your basis for the sweeping assumption that you had "exactly the same views that people such as yourself have"?

Plasma Engineer said...

@Hilary So if christians agree with each so much, why was Lord Mackay of Clashfern, a senior judge and elder in his church, expelled from the 'Free Church of Scotland' simply for attending the funeral of a Catholic colleague a few years ago? This even lead to a split in his church. And just last month there was a similar story about two members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland being disciplined by the Orange Order for a similar 'offence'.

Once you get away from the more 'cuddly' sects of the christian church you can start to see the reality of the mutual hatred, and these two examples are from UK alone.

Indeed why are there so many sects (or as you call them, 'denominations')? Why are Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox separate strands of christianity? Surely they all agree so much that they should be in a single church.

BTW - My 'sweeping assumption' was intended more as a 'sweeping assertion' really, not specifically aimed at @Hilary. But so far I have seen nothing to change my mind in a general sense.

Plasma Engineer said...

@Haywood - your continued polite and pertinent contributions are welcomed.

Hilary said...

To Haywood, methinks you are simply twisting my words...by your argument why are you looking at an atheist site then if you are an atheist. I simply enjoy reading and reading other people's perspectives whether they agree or disagree with my own. I think reading about what other people think and believe is a healthy thing to do and enables mature discussion...though sadly in your case it seems not...

To P.E I don't know about the example you cite but I do no this one thing, that not all who call themselves Christian believers are and there are some who are full of doubts but who are true believers... and where there is a meeting of true believers who have the Holy Spirit of God within there there will always be agreement as to the Person of Jesus Christ, who He is and what He has done and continues to do...

However there is another point to be made and that is that Christian believers are not clones, we don't all agree on everything, that is why there are different denominations, that is why we have freedom to ask questions, to doubt, to express those doubts, that is why there is freedom within the 'Church' to be individuals with minds and voices. Sometimes disagreements can be divisive, even Paul and Barnabas had a sharp disagreement which eventually got sorted.

Christians are not perfect, in fact the basis of why I believe is the knowledge that I am a sinner, which a sinful nature which only Jesus' death on the Cross has redeemed, and His resurrection and ascension and the pouring out of the holy Spirit on his people enables me to live according to His Power and Grace.

It's interesting isn't it, if a Christian sins, atheists are very quick to say 'ha call themselves a Christian' but when a Christian confesses need for a Saviour atheists say 'ha there is no absolute right and wrong, ei no sin' so whatever a Christian says the atheist will find an arguement that is inconsistent with a previous argument to disagree...yet is seemingly oblivious to such inconsistency.
:)

grimachu said...

The telling sign for me with these claims of 'I used to be an atheist like you' is that they know none of the science, none of the logic, none of the flaws, none of ANYTHING that have lead me to be an atheist.

Were they atheists? Perhaps. Just like me? Fuck no.

Hilary said...

Hey P.E wanted to comment on your amazing mountain climb but it wouldn't let me, so well done for the climb and great pics...I'd prob not even get halfway before I'd be saying "is there anywhere that does a good cuppa and if not let's go back" lol :)

Haywood Jablomi said...

@Hilary You can claim I twisted your words, but they're still there for all to read: "atheistic arguments ...are so full of holes and without any real substance or evidence".

My argument can be summed up as "gods have not met their burden of proof". No evidence is given or required for that argument.

GregoryCool said...

Hi @Hilary,

Your statement :

"...and back to P.E I was 29 when I truly converted, 10 of the previous years I would classify myself as a seeker, with many many doubts and questions.....which I plagued my christian friends with. "

This implies that you were agnostic, but never 'definitely an atheist'.

True atheists no longer 'plague' our friends and family on seeking spiritual answers.

We believe there is no god. Period. End of. No more seeking for non-evident 'spiritual' truth.

Kind regards.

@TastesLikeYou

Haywood Jablomi said...

@GregoryCool Not sure I understand you correctly, but I disagree with your statement on seeking answers. It's why I engage in debate; I am open to being proved wrong.

When I was Christian, I always assumed that the authorities had better answers to the hard questions. When I reached high school and started to hear those answers, I realized they did not. I am still open to hearing those answers, but after 20+ years, I know they aren't coming.

If you're saying that @Hilary really *wanted* to believe, so no surprise, ended up believing, I agree with that.

Plasma Engineer said...

Lovely! I always assumed the same but they don't have any answers at all do they. They can't possibly know. How could they?