Atheist-turned-Christians
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
28-08-2011, 04:11 PM
 
RE: Atheist-turned-Christians
OP, I wonder if these ex-atheists like Shockofgod, Lee Strobel, Kirk Cameron, etc equate being a "cultural Christian" or not practicing their faith with being a nonbeliever.
Quote this message in a reply
28-08-2011, 06:07 PM
 
RE: Atheist-turned-Christians
It would be really great if you could break up your text into smaller paragraphs.

That makes it easier to read.
Quote this message in a reply
29-08-2011, 05:41 AM
RE: Atheist-turned-Christians
(28-08-2011 02:14 PM)BnW Wrote:  My guess, and this is only a guess, is many of these "converts" were more in the camp of just not caring about religion as opposed to not believing in god.

Certainly there are such cases but I think the article was more careful than that. It specifically listed Alice Cooper as converting from Unknown to Christian. I.e. almost certainly previously he just did not care and even now I believe he cannot really articulate why he is a Christian.

Antony Flew is a special case. I don't believe he did convert. Rather I believe some unscrupulous evangelicals got to him as he sunk into dementia. That makes me quite upset.

In general you should be quite careful with the "well they cannot have been a proper atheist then" accusation. Those of us who were Christians find it quite insulting when the equivalent is thrown at us.

C.S.Lewis at least I believe was a genuine atheist. When I read "Mere Christianity" he failed to set off any of the booby traps in my mind. So I am quite sure he was a genuine atheist. In fact he has got me seriously thinking about my own position. (So much that if it continues at this rate I will be a Christian in time for Christmas Sad .) It is not that I have found any arguments or evidence for Christianity because I haven't. It is not that I am impressed in the least with how Christianity has worked out in practice - because no I am horrified. Rather it is because C.S.Lewis' interpretation of Christianity seems morally admirable and defensible - at least for now.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like angry_liberal's post
29-08-2011, 08:05 AM
RE: Atheist-turned-Christians
Hello, first post here.

There are quite a few definitions of atheist that different people use. The definition I would use, which it seems others share, is that one has evaluated and rejected the positive claims of one or more religions. I don't believe that if you grow up in a secular family never having heard the purported message of a religion that you are an atheist.

Therefore, it's not a matter of playing the No True Scotsman card because we're not evaluating the depths of their beliefs, rather we're seeing that many of them (C.S. Lewis excluded) never really evaluated the claims of religion in the first place. They just happened to be raised in a secular family from the get-go. If someone says they evaluated the claims of religion and rejected them, I take them at their word that they are or were at one time an atheist. This is not what I hear from Kirk Cameron and the like.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-08-2011, 02:09 PM
RE: Atheist-turned-Christians
(29-08-2011 05:41 AM)angry_liberal Wrote:  In general you should be quite careful with the "well they cannot have been a proper atheist then" accusation.

First, I did not make any "accusation" and certainly not the one your are attributing to me. What I did say was that there is a difference between not paying attention to religion and the idea of god vs. not believing in god. I then went on to say that I would guess (meaning I don't have any evidence and it is just a feeling I have) that many (which means "not all") of the people who have gone from atheist to to Christian (or Muslim, or Jew, or ... whatever) may not have actually been atheists.

Alice Cooper is probably a perfect example of this. I don't believe he claimed to be an atheist. In interviews he said he became a Christian because he was afraid of going to hell. You pretty much can't fear going to hell AND be an atheist as atheists do not, be definition, believe hell. So, I think we can probably throw out the Alice Cooper example. And, again, I strongly suspect that many (again - not all) of the people in these examples are similar to Cooper.

As for your decision to become or not become a Christian, to each their own. We all live our lives as we see fit. The only thing I'd say is that Christianity, or any religion, is not what we make out of it. The religion dictates the terms to us, we do not dictate the terms to the religion.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-08-2011, 02:29 PM
RE: Atheist-turned-Christians
(29-08-2011 02:09 PM)BnW Wrote:  
(29-08-2011 05:41 AM)angry_liberal Wrote:  In general you should be quite careful with the "well they cannot have been a proper atheist then" accusation.

First, I did not make any "accusation" and certainly not the one your are attributing to me. What I did say was that there is a difference between not paying attention to religion and the idea of god vs. not believing in god.
Let me rephrase it. One should be very careful to have evidence that someone's previous belief status was not genuine or serious before saying so. I would normally take what people say about at face value. I do however agree there are many cases where one is right to question it at least internally.

(29-08-2011 02:09 PM)BnW Wrote:  The religion dictates the terms to us, we do not dictate the terms to the religion.
That is a fairly wierd thing to say. There are many versions of most religions and one can choose between them. One can also go back to the original sources and follow one's conscience based upon that.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-08-2011, 02:36 PM
RE: Atheist-turned-Christians
I agree with Angry Liberal. This is a matter of what did they believe prior to what they believe now.

As for the notion that C.S. Lewis' views on Christianity are appealing I will have to look into that. I am sure he brings up admirable characteristics but I don't know that it can prove a god to me. I find the possibility of god no longer feasible. God may have admirable traits just like Santa Claus but I can't believe in either anymore.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes TheBeardedDude's post
29-08-2011, 02:44 PM
RE: Atheist-turned-Christians
(29-08-2011 02:36 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I agree with Angry Liberal. This is a matter of what did they believe prior to what they believe now.

As for the notion that C.S. Lewis' views on Christianity are appealing I will have to look into that. I am sure he brings up admirable characteristics but I don't know that it can prove a god to me. I find the possibility of god no longer feasible. God may have admirable traits just like Santa Claus but I can't believe in either anymore.

Yes. Where I am now is:
  • There is no evidence for God or religion.
  • I think religion does a lot of harm, probably more than good.
  • I am looking for ways of getting on better with religious people.
  • Understanding their viewpoint helps.
  • C.S.Lewis' viewpoint appeals to me which makes it easier to understand.
  • A side effect is that I can see why they find some things that atheists say offensive.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-08-2011, 02:49 PM
RE: Atheist-turned-Christians
(29-08-2011 02:44 PM)angry_liberal Wrote:  
(29-08-2011 02:36 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I agree with Angry Liberal. This is a matter of what did they believe prior to what they believe now.

As for the notion that C.S. Lewis' views on Christianity are appealing I will have to look into that. I am sure he brings up admirable characteristics but I don't know that it can prove a god to me. I find the possibility of god no longer feasible. God may have admirable traits just like Santa Claus but I can't believe in either anymore.

Yes. Where I am now is:
  • There is no evidence for God or religion.
  • I think religion does a lot of harm, probably more than good.
  • I am looking for ways of getting on better with religious people.
  • Understanding their viewpoint helps.
  • C.S.Lewis' viewpoint appeals to me which makes it easier to understand.
  • A side effect is that I can see why they find some things that atheists say offensive.

I agree with those points (except for the C.S. Lewis one since I have not studied his writings I cannot formulate an opinion on them). If you believe in God and someone says that they believe there is no God it is not a reason to get upset. Telling them they are wrong would be offensive but that applies to more than just god. They leave me alone about my beliefs and I'll leave them alone about mine. They attack evolution and I'll attack creationism/intelligent design. Leave religion out of science and I'll leave science out of religion.

I think my wife has some C.S. Lewis books. She enjoys his material, she is essentially a christian and is the kind I can deal with...that is, she does not try to convert me.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: