What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
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30-09-2013, 07:52 AM
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?

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?

That sounds reasonable. It would be like if someone was raised on an island, never hearing about religion at all. This would be a form of atheism. If later on in life they began to read about a particular religion and then joined, they could claim that they were atheist and now they are theist.

I too would make the claim that, barring brain injury, it would be nearly impossible to convert to theism after making a rational, reasonable examination of the observable world. I might, in my own mind, slightly alter the definition of atheism to be a lack of a belief in a god in which you have some knowledge about the myth that you are lacking a belief of.

Something like that. I'll have to word it better.

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30-09-2013, 08:59 AM
RE: What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
(30-09-2013 07:30 AM)absols Wrote:  fuck u with ur crap lies market

Morgan Freeman away!

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30-09-2013, 09:44 AM
RE: What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
(30-09-2013 06:06 AM)cheapthrillseaker Wrote:  I think if an atheist finds a reason to become a theist, it's doable. The Witnesses have their tactics and they are pretty good at "changing the mind" of who enters their flock. I've seen it happen.

Self preservation would be my main guess. Preservation could extend to other people within their influence bubble.

I can definitely agree with this... Self preservation is probably a more powerful influence than knowledge.
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30-09-2013, 10:21 AM
RE: What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
I suppose really, you're not an atheist until you've actually sat down and thought about it seriously. Until then you're either an apatheist or agnostic, and could be persuaded either way.

Children are fed a distorted version of reality. Growing up with the Jehovah's Witnesses I was led to believe that it was the ONLY religion, and that there was no alternative explanation, religious or otherwise.

This is implanted in the mind, to the point where you cannot even conceive of atheism... For years I just couldn't understand how anyone could not believe in God, since it seemed so obvious that he existed. Now I realize that it was because I'd never seen any alternative to theism, no science or logic.

Since becoming an atheist, it's easy to forget just how real religion is to a believer. I often make the mistake of assuming that devoutly religious people are stupid or afraid to face facts... in most cases they simply haven't had the opportunity to question any of it.

To question a belief, you need information... science, history and philosophy. If you've never had access to such material, you cannot hope to truly question anything. That's how religions keep people in...

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30-09-2013, 11:48 AM
RE: What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
(30-09-2013 09:44 AM)RedJamaX Wrote:  
(30-09-2013 06:06 AM)cheapthrillseaker Wrote:  I think if an atheist finds a reason to become a theist, it's doable. The Witnesses have their tactics and they are pretty good at "changing the mind" of who enters their flock. I've seen it happen.

Self preservation would be my main guess. Preservation could extend to other people within their influence bubble.

I can definitely agree with this... Self preservation is probably a more powerful influence than knowledge.

Fucking brain, Y U NO RATIONAL!?! Big Grin

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30-09-2013, 12:23 PM
RE: What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
(29-09-2013 11:19 PM)amyb Wrote:  This made me think of musicians who once made "satanic" or at least mildly-non-christian music who got "born again." This apparently includes...Peter Steele from Type O Negative

I had to look that one up. I knew Peter Steele was an atheist, he had spoken publicly about it, and I even had a quote from him that I really liked about it when I was younger. Anyhow, I looked it up to confirm it, yeah reconverted to Catholicism. Also, I didn't know he died, three years ago as well. Can't believe he died three years ago and I just now found out.

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30-09-2013, 12:24 PM
RE: What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
The atheists I know of who became religious were not atheists due to rational thought and evidence but simply by apathy. They either started out practicing religion as children but became apathetic as teenagers, or had largely apathetic but still Christian parents (where they celebrated holidays but prayers and churches didn't feature in their lives). Then, as young adults, they started taking their family's religion seriously due to the influence of close relatives or friends in school groups.

They were atheists, but due to apathy, not reason. And in every case they were primed for the religion through their childhood. It wasn't really converting to a religion so much as being seriously re-introduced to their old religion.

I understand those kinds of atheists becoming theists, because the religion had already been a part of their lives, and unlike someone such as myself who grew up being too skeptical for my own good (not that such a thing exists Tongue), they never investigated, challenged, or in any way reasoned through the issue, so in the absence of contrary evidence their minds were susceptible to mysticism.

If something can be destroyed by the truth, it might be worth destroying.

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30-09-2013, 12:28 PM
RE: What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
(30-09-2013 10:21 AM)Paranoidsam Wrote:  I suppose really, you're not an atheist until you've actually sat down and thought about it seriously. Until then you're either an apatheist or agnostic, and could be persuaded either way.

just playing devil's advocate.
You're redefining the term to suit your argument and commit the "no true scottsman fallacy"

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It's too damn "peopley" out there....
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30-09-2013, 12:44 PM
RE: What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
(30-09-2013 12:28 PM)Lightvader Wrote:  
(30-09-2013 10:21 AM)Paranoidsam Wrote:  I suppose really, you're not an atheist until you've actually sat down and thought about it seriously. Until then you're either an apatheist or agnostic, and could be persuaded either way.

just playing devil's advocate.
You're redefining the term to suit your argument and commit the "no true scottsman fallacy"

Err... no, that's not what I meant.

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30-09-2013, 01:11 PM (This post was last modified: 30-09-2013 01:15 PM by kim.)
RE: What kind of atheist converts to a theist?
(30-09-2013 07:30 AM)absols Wrote:  
(30-09-2013 06:04 AM)RedJamaX Wrote:  Most of what you said is unintelligible.

this is completely retarded word, on what base you judge what is unintelligent???

RedJamaX's word - unintelligible
unintelligible |ˌəninˈteləjəbəl|
adjective
impossible to understand : dolphin sounds are unintelligible to humans.

Absols' word - unintelligent
unintelligent |ˌəninˈteləjənt|
adjective
having or showing a low level of intelligence : a good-natured but unintelligent boy.

***

Absols, I (and possibly others) did not read beyond your first sentence because you: (1) possibly did not comprehend the word RedJamaX wrote ... and/or (2) in your response, you used an entirely different word with an entirely different meaning... and then proceeded to simply rant with a wall of text.

RedJamaX was correct, your wall of text rants are very often unintelligible. Which means they are impossible to understand.

Pay attention to what people write and pay even closer attention to what you write... if you do, you will have a more positive experience.

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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