Re-Conversion: My theory
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
30-06-2012, 01:22 AM
Re-Conversion: My theory
Today, I had a very strange experience that got me thinking very hard about the topic of re-conversion. Recently, I had a rather long Skype chat with a creationist and somewhere at the end of the conversation, when I asked him to prove God, he asked me to give prayer a try for a bit. Being open minded, I decided to go ahead and do so. Since I was having a rather boring week, I prayed for a surge of happiness, or excitement. Sure enough, that came a bit later, induced by some rather dramatic Anime that I had been watching. I didn't think it to be the work of God, but it helped me to realize how some people can think it to be. When most people pray, they pray for something that is either easily obtainable, possibly obtainable, or has a rather good chance of occurring. When they don't, it obviously doesn't come true for them. When it comes true, it's basically "Praise the lord!". When it doesn't, they give the "The lord works in mysterious ways" argument, as Seth puts it, and look very closely for something to have occurred that may even be connected with the prayer and label that the lord's method. I know this because I thought in similar ways not too long ago, and because Seth has stated it hundreds of times.

When it comes to re-conversion, however, the person in question has something occur in their every day lives that feels divine, like a rather strong emotion as I had a few minutes ago, and takes that as a feeling set forth from God. With the mindset "The lord works in mysterious ways", God is the first thing to come to mind. Knocking this down isn't always as easy as using a rational mind. It took me a few moments to push it away with rationality before I could fully come to my senses. When you -FEEL- something to be supernatural, or divine, it's no where as easy to debunk as when you hear preaching, or read texts. When something -FEELS- powerful, your mind naturally wants to cling to that feeling, and look for higher meaning to account for it. In my own opinion, this is generally what causes re-conversion, and it seems to be the case with a lot of Atheists that have claimed to have re-converted, but not in every case. This is just what I see to be the general cause.

I'm hoping this makes sense. I'm fairly tired at the moment, and the way I'm writing this may be a bit strange compared to my usual posts.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like pppgggr's post
30-06-2012, 03:10 AM
RE: Re-Conversion: My theory
Not only that, but my hypothesis is that some people that reconvert have probably felt that the lack of religion makes their life useless, and not filled with the importance that their previous, or one that they are currently interested in, provides.

It always seems to me that some people use this as an excuse as to why you should stick with religion, and why atheism, or agnosticism, is a pretty dull, lifeless, and ultimately unfruitful, view on life. ( which is weird because Atheism isn't a world view.)


I struggled with the ( what I thought) fact of no purpose in my life because of my disbelief in God. It was a rather unsettling proposition that I was insignificant, and that there WAS no true justice in the world. It brought me to dark places and I thought that this MUST be what an average atheist must feel, but I was wrong.


And that's when I figured out that there is a purpose to life, one that doesn't require a deity:


Try to do, or succeed in, actions that overtly affect the wellbeing of the people that you are in contact with in a postive way.


When I found this out, there was no need for the religious nonsense about life having no purpose without God to sway me back into religion, I realized the scam religion plays in that it says it provides you with something that you can have without it in the first place.


I feel bad for all of those that have fell for the scam and have run back to religion, getting a cheap replacement for something you should work hard for.

[Image: 0013382F-E507-48AE-906B-53008666631C-757...cc3639.jpg]
Credit goes to UndercoverAtheist.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
30-06-2012, 03:56 AM
RE: Re-Conversion: My theory
Here's my take on re-conversion in the form of a story:

There is a world where everyone is born normally at the start thanks to scientific advancement, with perfect functioning legs since birth. Genetic disease is a thing of the past. However, babies still need to be taught to walk, and there are two different methods parents used to teach their child to walk. The first method involves the use of a crutch, and the child is to used the support of this crutch to walk for the rest of his life. The second method involves guiding the child on how to walk, allowing the child to walk by himself or herself.

Eventually, as these two groups of children grow up, one group is so dependent on their crutches, they are unable to walk normally like the other group of children. Some people, having depended on crutches so long in their lives, were willing to be rehabilitated such that they can walk by themselves. Some of them succeeded and walked the earth on their own feet for the first time in their lives. They feel released from the shackles of the crutch. However, for the rehabilitated, and even for those who are lucky enough to be taught to walk by themselves since birth, the siren call of the crutch is so strong, with its comforting abilities and the fact that it makes walking a lot easier, that some return to using the crutch to walk, now so more dependent on it.

Indeed, one might require less effort to walk using the crutch, but is it really necessary when you can throw the crutches away and walk by yourself?

Welcome to science. You're gonna like it here - Phil Plait

Have you ever tried taking a comfort blanket away from a small child? - DLJ
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes robotworld's post
30-06-2012, 11:30 AM
RE: Re-Conversion: My theory
That is a very astute analysis Pppgggr! Thumbsup

I think it's human nature to desire the "better" thing... at least something we might perceive as "better" or "easier" or "happier" thing. And a lot of that perception is dependent on our feelings and our body's chemical reactions. It would be cool if endorphins released during a personal "epiphany experience" could be monitored the way it's been assessed in bi-polar people and drug addicts. Could provide some fascinating data.

Some people feel odd about equating feelings with chemical reactions, but that is indeed a lot of what happens in our brains and bodies. I think a lot of people who decide they are Atheist, really aren't secure with their own personality, let alone have a solid understanding of what an Atheist perspective might be. I think most any chemically induced, random "good feeling" could come along give them an easy out. This "powerful experience" would let them avoid the challenges of growing up and becoming a secure, responsible, thoughtful human being.

It's human nature to take the easy way -to seek comfort- even if it turns out to be something we dream up. Theists think God is the all powerful thing in the life of all human beings. This non-Theist thinks that the mind is the all powerful thing in the life of all human beings.

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
30-06-2012, 11:38 AM
RE: Re-Conversion: My theory
For some religion is an addiction, praying is proven to cause a "high" by releasing endorphins, all their friends are religious, their days are structured around religion, and when you take all that away the house of cards falls and there is a huge void. The older the person, the longer they have lived like that, the bigger the void.

So there is withdrawal. And where there is withdrawal there are relapses. And when everyone you know praises you for the relapse, it might end up being the status quo, period.

Finally came around to looking at it like that, it makes the most sense to me.

[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
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Dom's post
30-06-2012, 11:45 AM
RE: Re-Conversion: My theory
(30-06-2012 11:38 AM)Dom Wrote:  For some religion is an addiction, praying is proven to cause a "high" by releasing endorphins, all their friends are religious, their days are structured around religion, and when you take all that away the house of cards falls and there is a huge void. The older the person, the longer they have lived like that, the bigger the void.

So there is withdrawal. And where there is withdrawal there are relapses. And when everyone you know praises you for the relapse, it might end up being the status quo, period.

Finally came around to looking at it like that, it makes the most sense to me.
While probably not a true addiction, that is a useful model.

However, it's funnier to say religion is a habit. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Chas's post
30-06-2012, 11:54 AM
RE: Re-Conversion: My theory
(30-06-2012 11:45 AM)Chas Wrote:  However, it's funnier to say religion is a habit. Drinking Beverage

Ha - I think nuns especially, would appreciate being enablers! Tongue

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
01-07-2012, 03:18 AM
RE: Re-Conversion: My theory
(30-06-2012 03:56 AM)robotworld Wrote:  Here's my take on re-conversion in the form of a story:

There is a world where everyone is born normally at the start thanks to scientific advancement, with perfect functioning legs since birth. Genetic disease is a thing of the past. However, babies still need to be taught to walk, and there are two different methods parents used to teach their child to walk. The first method involves the use of a crutch, and the child is to used the support of this crutch to walk for the rest of his life. The second method involves guiding the child on how to walk, allowing the child to walk by himself or herself.

Eventually, as these two groups of children grow up, one group is so dependent on their crutches, they are unable to walk normally like the other group of children. Some people, having depended on crutches so long in their lives, were willing to be rehabilitated such that they can walk by themselves. Some of them succeeded and walked the earth on their own feet for the first time in their lives. They feel released from the shackles of the crutch. However, for the rehabilitated, and even for those who are lucky enough to be taught to walk by themselves since birth, the siren call of the crutch is so strong, with its comforting abilities and the fact that it makes walking a lot easier, that some return to using the crutch to walk, now so more dependent on it.

Indeed, one might require less effort to walk using the crutch, but is it really necessary when you can throw the crutches away and walk by yourself?
The thing with that is, not every religious person uses that crutch to its full extent. A good deal of Americans alone call themselves Christian while rarely going to Church or praying at all.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
01-07-2012, 05:44 AM
RE: Re-Conversion: My theory
(01-07-2012 03:18 AM)pppgggr Wrote:  
(30-06-2012 03:56 AM)robotworld Wrote:  Here's my take on re-conversion in the form of a story:

There is a world where everyone is born normally at the start thanks to scientific advancement, with perfect functioning legs since birth. Genetic disease is a thing of the past. However, babies still need to be taught to walk, and there are two different methods parents used to teach their child to walk. The first method involves the use of a crutch, and the child is to used the support of this crutch to walk for the rest of his life. The second method involves guiding the child on how to walk, allowing the child to walk by himself or herself.

Eventually, as these two groups of children grow up, one group is so dependent on their crutches, they are unable to walk normally like the other group of children. Some people, having depended on crutches so long in their lives, were willing to be rehabilitated such that they can walk by themselves. Some of them succeeded and walked the earth on their own feet for the first time in their lives. They feel released from the shackles of the crutch. However, for the rehabilitated, and even for those who are lucky enough to be taught to walk by themselves since birth, the siren call of the crutch is so strong, with its comforting abilities and the fact that it makes walking a lot easier, that some return to using the crutch to walk, now so more dependent on it.

Indeed, one might require less effort to walk using the crutch, but is it really necessary when you can throw the crutches away and walk by yourself?
The thing with that is, not every religious person uses that crutch to its full extent. A good deal of Americans alone call themselves Christian while rarely going to Church or praying at all.
Good point there. There are people who do not attend mass or even pray at all, and still call themselves Christian. There are various reasons why a person would do so. One possibility could be that they view such rituals as being pointless, but still believe in a supreme deity. They are sometimes known as Cafeteria Christians.

From RationalWiki
Quote: The phrase "cafeteria Christian" is a snarl word that can be applied to most followers of Christianity in ordinary society. It implies that the person in question selects which of the principles of Christianity they intend to adhere to and assembles their beliefs from what is available, rather than letting the leaders of one particular denomination select their teachings for them. The purpose of the term is to imply a casual support of the faith, without any genuine identification with its principles.
My point is that once a person lives his or her life under the assumption that God does not exist, the crutch is abandoned.

Welcome to science. You're gonna like it here - Phil Plait

Have you ever tried taking a comfort blanket away from a small child? - DLJ
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: