Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Why atheists change their minds

Here. 

Of course, for some atheists, the fact that an atheist leaves the atheist fold is proof that they were never real atheists in the first place (the atheist equivalent of Perseverance of the Saints).

12 comments:

Starhopper said...

I think the confusion over "they were never one of us in the first place" can be solved by acknowledging that immediately prior to a person's either coming to the faith or departing from it, he is no longer what he has been.

An atheist becoming a believer may very well have been a genuine atheist in the past, but has probably through a series of stages moved away from that position before taking the final step of declaring himself a believer.

Same thing goes for the other direction.

Joe Hinman said...

I was an atheist and became a Christian,I had no prior build up to it that I was aware of.I had a series of experiences over the course of a year that moved me closer to it util I had a final born again experience. The initial break from atheist to acceptance of some kind of divine something came in one night.

Starhopper said...

Some of the scariest lines in all of World Literature occur near the end of C.S. Lewis's That Hideous Strength. Frost is on the verge of eternal damnation:

"Not until then did [he] suspect that death itself might not after all cure the illusion of being a soul - nay, might prove the entry into a world where that illusion raged infinite and unchecked. Escape for the soul, if not for the body, was offered him. He became able to know [...] that he had been wrong from the beginning, that souls and personality existed. He half saw: he wholly hated. The physical torture of the burning was not fiercer than his hatred of that. With one supreme effort he flung himself back into his illusion. In that attitude eternity overtook him as sunrise in old tales overtakes them and turns them into unchangeable stone."

Unknown said...

I was an atheist. Over the course of a decade long journey I came to believe. First in deism. Then in panentheism. Then in Christianity.

Joe Hinman said...

Unknown said...
I was an atheist. Over the course of a decade long journey I came to believe. First in deism. Then in panentheism. Then in Christianity.

>>>Praise God.

Joe Hinman said...

Starhopper said...
Some of the scariest lines in all of World Literature occur near the end of C.S. Lewis's That Hideous Strength. Frost is on the verge of eternal damnation:

Lewis really saw a lot. in my artiest days we were real critical of him for not being a "real philosopher" as though we were! we were not anything we were college debaters, on drugs,

Joe Hinman said...


This essay argues that we need not allow skepticism a privileged pomposity in undermining faith,

being skeptical of doubt

Starhopper said...

"The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist. But at the bottom of the glass, God is waiting." Werner Heisenberg

"It's the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense." (G.K. Chesterton, Fr. Brown in The Oracle of the Dog)

"The scientific answer is relevant only so far as concerns the sense-impressions. For the rest the human spirit must turn to the unseen world to which it itself belongs." (Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington)

In my opinion miracles will never confound a naturalist. It is not miracles that bring a naturalist to faith. A true naturalist, if he is not a believer, will always find in himself the strength and ability not to believe in miracles. And if a miracle stands before him as an irrefutable fact, he will sooner doubt his own senses than admit the fact. And even if he does admit it, he will admit it as a fact of nature that was previously unknown to him. (Dostoevsky)

But in reality the rivers mythology and philosophy run parallel and do not mingle till they meet in the sea of Christendom. Simple secularists still talk as if the Church had introduced a sort of schism between reason and religion. The truth is that the Church was actually the first thing that ever tried to combine reason and religion. There had never before been any such union of the priests and the philosophers. (G.K. Chesterton)

One Brow said...

I found the link in the original post to be an excellent description of some points that led me from Christianity to atheism.

I was an atheist and became a Christian,I had no prior build up to it that I was aware of.I had a series of experiences over the course of a year that moved me closer to it util I had a final born again experience.

Your second sentence contradicts your first.

One Brow said...

Part of the problem is that there are so many ways to think of yourself as an atheist.

However, I think many people ultimately have belief systems that reflect their personalities, not any sort of external evidence.

Joe Hinman said...

One Brow said...
I found the link in the original post to be an excellent description of some points that led me from Christianity to atheism.

I was an atheist and became a Christian,I had no prior build up to it that I was aware of.I had a series of experiences over the course of a year that moved me closer to it util I had a final born again experience.

Your second sentence contradicts your first.

I wasn't clear. from the time I began calling myself an atheist to the initial experience which was basally a conversation with someone there was no build up.After that conversation I began thinking in a more open fashion being willing to accept the possibility then over the course of a year a series of things led me to seek God in prayer and have the born again experience,

Joe Hinman said...


Our friend Skeptical made the statement: "If you are serious about epistemology, you owe it to yourself to discover genuine sources of knowledge" Takig this statement in its best light as a sincere word about epistemic quandary, "If one is serious..." I accept it as such and can agree with it, Yet I find it highly ironic for a couple of reasons, first because many atheists,our friend included, don't seem to have any tolerance for sources other than those that back his view. That his born out by his reactiom to my 200 studies on mystical expereice (from my book The Trace of God Avaible on Amazon), His convetionl wisdom says experince can't be valid because it;s suibjective so no study could ever work. He claims to have read some of them but he was knocking them before he read one.

The second reason I find his statement ironic is because he says he;s serious aboiut epistemology but he is willing to accept the entire universe and all of reality as a collection of loose eds with no meaning. Alfred North Whitehead, who was an atheist at one point in his life, observed this contradiction in modern thought:


here