What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
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29-09-2013, 08:32 PM (This post was last modified: 30-09-2013 05:55 AM by RedJamaX.)
What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
So we have all heard, read, watched, or experienced for ourselves, the stories of people who have converted to, and/or from, being an athiest, and sometimes back again. To be honest, the first time I heard of an atheist converting to theism, I was baffled... I had converted from theism to atheism my self, and I coulndn't possibly fathom how I (or anybody else) could ever switch back. I thought it was just some theistic manipulation of the truth in order to provide more "prais to the glory of god". But I think I understand what's really going on. Based on all of the stories I have heard (or otherwise), I have a general hypothesis about atheists who convert to, or back to theism.

I think that almost all atheists who convert to theism were not atheist due to a rational, in-depth analysis of theism. I'm not supposing what may have been their source for being atheist, just that it was NOT a concious and deliberate decision against being a theist due to a rational, in depth approach to theism. I am making a point to say "in-depth approach" because... a theist who used to be an atheist, but their atheism was simply because they were raised in an atheist family and was always told "there is no evidence for god", could claim a "rational approach". While that claim "is" rational, it's no where near the same level as a fomer theist who was raised theist, and battled with the cognative dissonance for years while examining the scriptures, evidence, history, etc... and finally coming to the conclusion that their belief in god is unsubstantiated.

Agree, disagree? Does my hypothesis make sense?

EDITED:

I forgot to mention, based on the conversions I have read about - MOST were triggered by some traumatic event in the person's life... possibly suggesting that it was driven by fear, or need for comfort perhaps?
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29-09-2013, 09:13 PM
RE: What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
I only heard of cases where atheists in jail convert to theism. My only idea as to why is poor education that landed them in jail in the first place, or just claiming to convert to get out easier.
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29-09-2013, 09:21 PM
RE: What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
Becouse they were atheists for the wrong reasons i think. If you have been brought up not learning about gods then you prolly are more prone to convertion than somebudy who became an atheist because of scepticism

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29-09-2013, 09:23 PM
RE: What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
(29-09-2013 08:32 PM)RedJamaX Wrote:  So we have all heard, read, watched, or experienced for ourselves, the stories of people who have converted to, and/or from, being an athiest, and sometimes back again. To be honest, the first time I heard of an atheist converting to theism, I was baffled... I had converted from theism to atheism my self, and I coulndn't possibly fathom how I (or anybody else) could ever switch back. I thought it was just some theistic manipulation of the truth in order to provide more "prais to the glory of god". But I think I understand what's really going on. Based on all of the stories I have heard (or otherwise), I have a general hypothesis about atheists who convert to, or back to theism.

I think that almost all atheists who convert to theism were not atheist due to a rational, in-depth analysis of theism. I'm not supposing what may have been their source for being atheist, just that it was NOT a concious and deliberate decision against being a theist due to a rational, in depth approach to theism. I am making a point to say "in-depth approach" because... a theist who used to be an atheist, but their atheism was simply because they were raised in an atheist family and was always told "there is no evidence for god", could claim a "rational approach". While that claim "is" rational, it's no where near the same level as a fomer theist who was raised theist, and battled with the cognative dissonance for years while examining the scriptures, evidence, history, etc... and finally coming to the conclusion that their belief in god is unsubstantiated.

Agree, disagree? Does my hypothesis make sense?


There is no "rational, in depth approach, to theism".
Faith is the decision to abandon reason, and "make the leap".
They say the same thing about believers turned atheists ... "Oh you were never a real Christian"

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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29-09-2013, 09:26 PM
RE: What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
I think the most common reason would be ignorance. Other than that it could be fear of death, a need to fit in with others, political reasons, an unusual experience that seems to be counter to logic, a need for support or community, or some other scenario which I have not thought of off the top of my head. There are many reasons, none of which apply to me.

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29-09-2013, 09:34 PM
RE: What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
I've thought about this from time to time whenever it comes up. Honestly, the only mind I truly know is my own, so I don't have any answers.

We all seek out the truth that we want to see. That's why there are billions of differing opinions on any given subject. Some of us are interested in seeing what can be proven (or demonstrated best) to be real. Some people are looking for miracles.

I don't blame a person for looking for miracles. I think a person who would throw away reality for peace of mind is weak. But then again, nobody is perfectly strong. So I can't be mad at someone for seeking a higher meaning at a cheaper price. Although it is disappointing.

I'd kinda like to hear KC opine on this. He claims atheism before conversion.

Yo, KC!

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

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29-09-2013, 09:35 PM
RE: What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
(29-09-2013 09:23 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  There is no "rational, in depth approach, to theism".
Faith is the decision to abandon reason, and "make the leap".
They say the same thing about believers turned atheists ... "Oh you were never a real Christian"

Yeah, no True Atheist™ would become a theist. Dodgy

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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29-09-2013, 09:55 PM
RE: What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
There is the case of my sister who was an atheist, she was SUPER happy I had a secular wedding, then started dating a very manipulative and abusive man. He believes in god and "breathing in white light, and exhaling bullshit" whatever that means. They gave me religious books at Christmas, letting me know I needed enlightenment. I think hers is a case of brainwashing, and very sad. Not just for her religious change, but also the circumstances she now finds herself in with this man.
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29-09-2013, 10:12 PM
RE: What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
Short answer? A very credulous one.

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29-09-2013, 11:19 PM (This post was last modified: 29-09-2013 11:26 PM by amyb.)
RE: What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
This made me think of musicians who once made "satanic" or at least mildly-non-christian music who got "born again." This apparently includes Tom Araya from Slayer, Peter Steele from Type O Negative (this one upset me a bit), Dave Mustaine from Megadeth. Though I don't know about his earlier days when it comes to religion, Alice Cooper was apparently quoted as saying, "Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that's a tough call. That's real rebellion!" Lolz.

Certainly, I've heard stories of people who "found Jesus" later in life, when they weren't religious before. And some people seem to try on every option to find what fits best, and are even very into whatever they're into at the time. And then there are those who "find religion" in a crisis situation, like they get cancer or someone they love dies, and it seems to be a wishful thinking thing, or they cling to it to give them hope.

I have a friend I've known since high school, he was very anti-religious, and he suddenly "found Jesus" in his mid-30s. I haven't talked to him much about it because he gets all pissy and I know it probably has something to do with his way of dealing with past sexual abuse (he's mentioned that specifically in this context), so I don't push the subject, but again, that's just another example of people using religion to deal with trauma.

Though I usually consider my dad to have been an atheist, he sorta went nuts and said some troubling things before he died. He had cancer 10 years before that, but was in remission, but that, and smoking, and working around insulation contributed to his COPD. Then he had to get part of the other lung removed, so he had half of each lung, was an alcoholic and addicted to painkillers. So I don't think his brain was working right at the end. He'd go into the backyard and scream things at the sky, like, "Quit fucking me god you faggot motherfucker!" And when I asked him why he did these things and why he suddenly seemed to believe innonsense, he replied that he'd been fucked over so much in life, someone must be responsible. So maybe a sort of self-pity mixed with agenticity? When bad shit happens, people like to have a scapegoat, and they may think that some evil skydaddy or something is behind it all.
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