Is Atheism irreversible ?
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24-10-2013, 07:24 PM
RE: Is Atheism irreversible ?
I was going to mention Antony Flew, but someone beat me to it. It's worth mentioning that Flew took pains to point out that the God he now believed in was not the Christian or Muslim God, but more like a philosophical concept.

Perhaps a better example is Edward Feser, who, as a Philosophy professor, began to look into the teachings and arguments of Thomas Aquinas -- in order to be able to convincingly refute them for his students -- and ended up being convinced by the arguments and converting to Catholicism. He goes into detail about all of this in The Last Superstition. In my experience, Aquinas's "five ways" seem to only be convincing to those who already believe in God. They are not convincing to me, and I'm always tempted to argue that I don't know any atheists who have ever been convinced by them. But I can't truthfully make that claim, because Feser is one who has.
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24-10-2013, 10:09 PM
RE: Is Atheism irreversible ?
Do brain states change? Yes? Then opinions and beliefs can change. However I do think it is unlikely that a atheist who came to atheism through a commitment to rationalism, evidence, and the scientific method would abandon his position in favor of irrationality (but it is possible).

That being said, popular theistic apologists like to claim they were once atheists as a tool for their evangelizing, and this can most likely be traced back to C.S. Lewis claiming as much in his 'Mere Christianity'. When Kirk Cameron talks about his 'former atheism', he talks about it in such a way that I've never heard any atheist ever talk about their atheism. It's an evangelizing tool, a stawman, and their 'reasons' for being 'atheists' are just as bad as their evidence for their god...

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26-10-2013, 03:10 AM
RE: Is Atheism irreversible ?
My friend's husband claims to have gone from atheism to Christianity. I've never spoken to him about it. She said they had been friends for many years and one day he called her up and said he believed in Jesus. During that phone call they also decided they wanted to marry each other (they had never even considered entering a relationship), so it was all around weird.
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26-10-2013, 03:47 AM
RE: Is Atheism irreversible ?
(26-10-2013 03:10 AM)Dena Wrote:  My friend's husband claims to have gone from atheism to Christianity. I've never spoken to him about it. She said they had been friends for many years and one day he called her up and said he believed in Jesus. During that phone call they also decided they wanted to marry each other (they had never even considered entering a relationship), so it was all around weird.

Was she strongly Christian ? Suspect el boyo might have had Christian gonads all along.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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26-10-2013, 09:49 PM
RE: Is Atheism irreversible ?
I would convert!

If a giant... SOMETHING... descended onto the earth, proclaiming with a thunderous voice that he is the god that needs to be worshiped and proved his claims by performing miracles that defy the laws of physics, then the possibility that I may convert from a atheist to a person who accepts the existence of a god (theist) is actually quite high.

I would still think that giant... SOMETHING... is a giant asshole... but I would accept the existence of that giant asshole Smile

Fun "paradox": The higher the selection pressure, the slower evolution takes place.
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27-10-2013, 02:13 AM
RE: Is Atheism irreversible ?
^^ I'd still be skeptical. Say an alien race decided to enslave us. They do a bit of research and find out about this predominant cultural legend we've got about an angry God who wants us to be slaves to him - perfect! So they whip up some Jesus-second-coming hoodoo and ya know, presto...

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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27-10-2013, 03:24 AM
RE: Is Atheism irreversible ?
(26-10-2013 09:49 PM)Youkay Wrote:  I would convert!

If a giant... SOMETHING... descended onto the earth, proclaiming with a thunderous voice that he is the god that needs to be worshiped and proved his claims by performing miracles that defy the laws of physics, then the possibility that I may convert from a atheist to a person who accepts the existence of a god (theist) is actually quite high.

I would still think that giant... SOMETHING... is a giant asshole... but I would accept the existence of that giant asshole Smile

If he made the scumbag humans of the old testament in his own image, then I would expect a Giant Asshole descending on us. It would then be an argument about why do you worship this fnC#$T.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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27-10-2013, 09:11 AM
RE: Is Atheism irreversible ?
Modes of thinking and brain function are always reversible.

I find that far too often even as atheists, some will fall on the "no true scottsman" fallacy just as easy as a fundie does. "If they were a REAL atheist that used logic and reason, they wouldn't convert!" and I've seen people say that more than once. But modes of thinking are just that. They can change based off of how a person thinks. So is it irreversible? No. I think to bounce back and forth between multiple ways of thinking might fuck with you though. That would be an interesting conversation to have with a psychologist.

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27-10-2013, 11:06 AM
RE: Is Atheism irreversible ?
(24-10-2013 10:09 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Do brain states change? Yes? Then opinions and beliefs can change. However I do think it is unlikely that a atheist who came to atheism through a commitment to rationalism, evidence, and the scientific method would abandon his position in favor of irrationality (but it is possible).

That being said, popular theistic apologists like to claim they were once atheists as a tool for their evangelizing, and this can most likely be traced back to C.S. Lewis claiming as much in his 'Mere Christianity'. When Kirk Cameron talks about his 'former atheism', he talks about it in such a way that I've never heard any atheist ever talk about their atheism. It's an evangelizing tool, a stawman, and their 'reasons' for being 'atheists' are just as bad as their evidence for their god...

Lee Strobel also claims to have converted from atheism. It's like those christian rockers who praise god for saving them from horrible drug addiction, etc. Makes for a great testimony for the sheep.
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27-10-2013, 11:11 AM
RE: Is Atheism irreversible ?
(27-10-2013 11:06 AM)Chopdoc Wrote:  
(24-10-2013 10:09 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Do brain states change? Yes? Then opinions and beliefs can change. However I do think it is unlikely that a atheist who came to atheism through a commitment to rationalism, evidence, and the scientific method would abandon his position in favor of irrationality (but it is possible).

That being said, popular theistic apologists like to claim they were once atheists as a tool for their evangelizing, and this can most likely be traced back to C.S. Lewis claiming as much in his 'Mere Christianity'. When Kirk Cameron talks about his 'former atheism', he talks about it in such a way that I've never heard any atheist ever talk about their atheism. It's an evangelizing tool, a stawman, and their 'reasons' for being 'atheists' are just as bad as their evidence for their god...

Lee Strobel also claims to have converted from atheism. It's like those christian rockers who praise god for saving them from horrible drug addiction, etc. Makes for a great testimony for the sheep.

And maybe he did convert from being an atheist. It would be a moot point really. I can imagine the conversation would go like this, "Well if he did convert from being an atheist, he probably wasn't a very strong atheist. His critical thinking is probably weak."

On the flip side to the coin:

"Well maybe he did convert from being a christian, but he wasn't a TRUE christian. Anyone who is a true christian would never stray from jesus if they were strong in their walk with him!"

Maybe he uses it as a selling point as an argument from authority or appeal, or maybe he really did. Point is, doesn't matter. What is important is why and analyzing the thought process to understand it.

Official ordained minister of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Please pm me with prayer requests to his noodly goodness. Remember, he boiled for your sins and loves you. Carbo Diem! RAmen.
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