Going Back To Faith.
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13-12-2015, 08:23 AM (This post was last modified: 13-12-2015 09:34 AM by DLJ.)
Going Back To Faith.
In the past few weeks I have seen some posts where someone has stated that they have "come back to faith".

It's not relevant who wrote it and it might have been more than one person; the point of this post is not to pick apart any one person's personal choice.

I am asking for help from those who have shed their indoctrination and survived because as a life long infidel I simply can't get my head around it.

Incidentally, it reminds me that Atheism doesn't really have the equivalent of a pastor / counselor who would come to your home, for a chat, to help you back to The True Way

Thank fuck for that.

But I'm baffled. When one has found that doubt, logic, reason and evidence is a more successful method (in fact, the most successful method that humanity has developed) for determining what is true, why would anyone go back to using an unreliable method such as faith (or authority, revelation or tradition)?

In an attempt to empathise, I'm trying to think of a secular example for this behaviour, i.e. making a deliberate choice to suspend disbelief (despite the evidence) ... would it be something like ...

"I'm really looking forward to the next Star Wars movie.
I know that people say that all indicators point to the franchise being all about profit (marketing and merchandising) rather than artistic integrity (truth) but I choose to ignore that and prefer to believe the hype. I want it to be true.
I have a slight uneasy feeling* about it but I have faith."

* aka Cognitive Dissonance.

Is this a good analogy? Can anyone provide a better example to help me get my head around this?

Thanks in advance.

Additional thought that might exemplify my ignorance ... The Sixth Sense.
My position is one of non-belief. I am not one of those people who realised early or mid-movie how the director was tricking us... and then deconverted.
I watched the whole movie not realising that we were supposed to think that Bruce Willis was alive. I was watching a different movie to everyone else.

Cheers.

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13-12-2015, 08:32 AM
RE: Going Back To Faith.
I think it has some to do with brainwashing and the fear of what if, despite the rational side of yourself telling you otherwise. I think some people want to believe despite all of the evidence telling them otherwise. I also think there can be pressure from religious family and friends--or a desire and wanting to belong to a community and feel included with all of your family and friends. I think some may also have had natural experiences that may *seem like* divine intervention or a miracle and choose to attribute xyz occurrence as being from God.
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13-12-2015, 08:34 AM
RE: Going Back To Faith.
Being skeptical of supernatural things is an intellectual struggle, a difficult path. When someone comes up with another hackneyed argument for the existence of magical things, except with a twist you haven't thought of before, you should research it to find the flaws in the argument.

The easy way is to think "sounds good to me!" and give up. Especially if that belief system promises to give you eternal life or some kind of magic powers.

Religion offers a way out, tell yourself the supernatural exists and stop struggling with your intellect, shut the questions down and go with the flow man. Smokin

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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13-12-2015, 08:46 AM
RE: Going Back To Faith.
I don't know how one can possibly have "faith" after having knowledge to the contrary.

I can see how someone may miss the church community so much that they talk themselves into it again...but someplace they need to know that it's not real...

I dunno. I just know that there is nothing that could make me believe that nonsense again.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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13-12-2015, 08:53 AM
RE: Going Back To Faith.
I was thinking along the same lines as Dom.

I don't understand the concept of again believing in something you stopped believing in. Unless you have one of those drug induced hallucinations that you are convinced is real, or if you develop a psychiatric disorder that disturbs your sense of what is real and what is fiction.

However, returning to a church community and returning to the rituals that comforted you at one point in your life I have an easier time understanding.

I guess I can understand returning to the flock but struggle to understand how you can 'believe' again.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

We're all mad here. The Cheshire Cat
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13-12-2015, 08:55 AM
RE: Going Back To Faith.
I can’t understand it either. They must not have been True Atheists TM?

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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13-12-2015, 08:56 AM
RE: Going Back To Faith.
I know you were asking for opinions from the deconverted and I'm pretty much a lifelong atheist, but I'll throw one more possibility into the mix and let wiser heads than mine vet it:

Group affiliation.

For better or worse, our religious identification (including non-religious status) can and often does define our circles of relationships (and vice-versa). Inter-religious friendships, especially for people to whom religious identifiers are non-trivial, can be strained, and that gets extra-amped-up in families and especially in marriages. Sometimes being in a church doesn't mean "I believe in those things" so much as it means "I'm with those people", and sometimes coming back to the fold is less about returning to the shepherd and more about rejoining the flock.
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13-12-2015, 08:59 AM
RE: Going Back To Faith.
In my experience people slip back for several reasons:

Fear...the ol Pascal's wager messing with people's heads as they get older or perhaps suffer a serious life threatening health issue.

Fellowship...let's face it, it can be a bit lonely and frustrating if one is in a community chock full of those who are infected with faith. I can see if one misses the sense of community, ongoing social schedules, "friends", and maybe even family or loved ones because they walked away from delusion, wanting to just do the easy thing, throw in the towel, and go play christian.

Personal experience...ugh...the ol mind tricks one's brain can create if one has the proclivity to interpret things with supernatural undertones. I have made several analogies over time explaining why I think this is complete BS, but to the person who experiences a near death experience, it was real to them, and it isn't a huge leap for some to think...."maybe god is real, and that was him letting me know and giving me a warning to stop being foolish and embrace him" ... Rolleyes

But in summary, I think you and i agree on this. I find it nigh impossible to comprehend that someone who is educated in the fallacies of faith, would suddenly throw away that knowledge, and embrace what they know is fabricated nonsense with zero evidence.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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13-12-2015, 09:02 AM
RE: Going Back To Faith.
I think it is something deep in evolution that invents religious feelings. I couldn't attempt to guess what,but that is my best guess. Dogs look up to humans and believe that we are omnipotent.It seems that we, like dogs, have a need, desire, to have someone take reality off our shoulders. And since God doesn't actually do any of that we continue to pretend and wish!
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13-12-2015, 09:04 AM
RE: Going Back To Faith.
(13-12-2015 08:56 AM)‘Reltzik Wrote:  ...sometimes coming back to the fold is less about returning to the shepherd and more about rejoining the flock.

I think this is why this Forum is so important, it gives the disenfranchised a feeling of community.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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