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Thread: 5 Reasons an Atheist Changed His Mind About Religion

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    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    5 Reasons an Atheist Changed His Mind About Religion

    So I occasionally wander to another theology forum, and found this encouraging from one of their resident atheists,

    Iíd just like to explain the five main reasons why I changed my mind about religion.

    5- Many of my foundational arguments were much weaker than I had suspected. was initially convinced that the Bible was plagiarised from Pagan myths, filled with scientific errors (true) and bad morality. Whilst I never outright denied the existence of Jesus (nor did I believe the Catholic Church taught the Earth was flat or that Hitler was motivated by Christianity, or that Christianity was unevocqually pro-slavery), I did believe elements of his story were taken from earlier pagan deities such as Mithras and Krishna (I was aware that the Horus stuff was a load of BS however). I later of course discovered this was completely wrong.

    4- Realising atheists do not have the monopoly on truth, as they think they do. This is linked to the first point. Thanks to Tim OíNeill, Ben Stanhope and others I have realised the hypocritical promotion of junk historical theories by almost the entire movement. Whilst it does not convince me of God, it certainly means that I will never again associate my self with the movement of New Atheism.

    3- I do see evidence for some form of design. I find it hard to see how the laws which govern the universe could have came about through naturalism.

    2- Christianity and Judaism are the only two religions I have seen which give some form of explanation for Ďwhyí God would go through the trouble of creation. After reading John Waltonís Lost World, Iím convinced it is to function as a temple to him.

    1- Perhaps the most important reason for me is realising how foundational Christianity is to liberal, western values. New Atheists do not like to hear it, but our ideas on Liberty, Dignity and Equality do have a greater basis in Christianity than anything else. Iím in no way suggesting that you canít be good without God, you can, but we canít expect everbody to intellectually rationalise things. I feel as though eventually, as western countries lose their foundational values through secularism, we will inevitably turn to chaos.

    There you go, that is the reason why 2017 was the year I changed my mind, probably for good.

  2. Amen Rushing Jaws, Jedidiah amen'd this post.
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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    So what did he change his mind to?
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    -Martin Luther King

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    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    So what did he change his mind to?
    It's listed in the first post.

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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    It's listed in the first post.
    I guess I'm missing it. The post seems to say s/he changed his/her mind abour religion, and the 3rd item suggests a return to Christianity or Judaism. Do you know if it was one of those, or just a general change in perspective about religions? Maybe s/he thought they were all bad or something?

    Edited to add: NVM, I guess the fifth item more clearly suggests s/he returned to Christianity.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    -Martin Luther King

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    I hope he continues to question and study.

  7. Amen Adrift, mossrose, Cerebrum123, Rushing Jaws amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    I guess I'm missing it. The post seems to say s/he changed his/her mind abour religion, and the 3rd item suggests a return to Christianity or Judaism. Do you know if it was one of those, or just a general change in perspective about religions? Maybe s/he thought they were all bad or something?
    Huh. I thought his post was pretty clear. The post indicates that he essentially went from a hardcore sort of "New" Atheist who found religious ideas ignorant and occasionally evil, to one that found a lot of his initial ideas about religion incorrect. That religious people can have good reasons for accepting the views they accept, and that some religions even seem self-consistent (even if he believes them untrue). The third item doesn't at all suggest to me a return to Christianity or Judaism, rather it suggests that he sees good reason for some people to embrace views that are not bound by strict naturalism. So, he may be agnostic on that particular point, but not so agnostic on other points that he'd consider himself an agnostic or theist. Perhaps he leans towards some sort of virtual simulation theory like Starlight does. But either way, he seems to be saying "Hey, I get why you believe in a higher power, even if that's not for me".

  9. Amen Cerebrum123, Teallaura amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    Edited to add: NVM, I guess the fifth item more clearly suggests s/he returned to Christianity.
    He hasn't.

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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    5- Many of my foundational arguments were much weaker than I had suspected. was initially convinced that the Bible was plagiarised from Pagan myths, filled with scientific errors (true) and bad morality. Whilst I never outright denied the existence of Jesus (nor did I believe the Catholic Church taught the Earth was flat or that Hitler was motivated by Christianity, or that Christianity was unevocqually pro-slavery), I did believe elements of his story were taken from earlier pagan deities such as Mithras and Krishna (I was aware that the Horus stuff was a load of BS however). I later of course discovered this was completely wrong.


    I agree with this. Too many atheists I listen to are not really all that versed in history or theology, and take on some very odd positions as a consequence.

    4- Realising atheists do not have the monopoly on truth, as they think they do. This is linked to the first point. Thanks to Tim OíNeill, Ben Stanhope and others I have realised the hypocritical promotion of junk historical theories by almost the entire movement. Whilst it does not convince me of God, it certainly means that I will never again associate my self with the movement of New Atheism.


    I have not met too many atheists that think they have the "monopoly" on truth. Indeed, this is often a claim I hear from some theists, who claim a kind of inerrant knowledge that is biblically inspired or god-inspired. Most atheists that I know of are fairly heavily science-focused, and if they know their science, they know that "truth" is not an absolute thing.

    3- I do see evidence for some form of design. I find it hard to see how the laws which govern the universe could have came about through naturalism.


    I have never found the argument from design compelling. It tends to presuppose its conclusion. "Order" does not required an orderer. The universe exhibits a degree of order because of the natural laws under which it functions. These natural laws are the "nature" of the universe - they describe it. They did not "come about" in some fashion. In a sense, just as the nature of god is said to be intrinsic to god, the nature of the universe is intrinsic to the universe. We seek to discover and understand them, much as Christians seek to discover and understand the nature of their god. Different methodologies, of course, but a similar goal.

    2- Christianity and Judaism are the only two religions I have seen which give some form of explanation for Ďwhyí God would go through the trouble of creation. After reading John Waltonís Lost World, Iím convinced it is to function as a temple to him.


    I'm not sure this is true either. Islam has an explanation for creation (https://www.islamreligion.com/articl...create-part-1/), and so do many other religions. I'm not sure why the writer thinks this is unique to Christianity and/or Judaism.

    1- Perhaps the most important reason for me is realising how foundational Christianity is to liberal, western values. New Atheists do not like to hear it, but our ideas on Liberty, Dignity and Equality do have a greater basis in Christianity than anything else. Iím in no way suggesting that you canít be good without God, you can, but we canít expect everbody to intellectually rationalise things. I feel as though eventually, as western countries lose their foundational values through secularism, we will inevitably turn to chaos.


    There is no question that Christianity was (and is) the dominant force in Europe and the Americas. The Christian ethics has framed much of modern social ethics. A lot of that framing has been good - some not so much. As Christianity is giving way to a more secular population, ethics and morality are going through a change. Change usually comes with some amount of discomfort and pain. I look at the way our young people today are standing up for the disenfranchised, helping the poor, fighting for equal rights for all people, and I think the future is going to be in good hands. I do not see any more or less chaos than we have had in the past.

    An atheist responds...
    Last edited by carpedm9587; 01-11-2018 at 01:07 PM.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    -Martin Luther King

  12. Amen Starlight amen'd this post.
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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    Huh. I thought his post was pretty clear. The post indicates that he essentially went from a hardcore sort of "New" Atheist who found religious ideas ignorant and occasionally evil, to one that found a lot of his initial ideas about religion incorrect. That religious people can have good reasons for accepting the views they accept, and that some religions even seem self-consistent (even if he believes them untrue). The third item doesn't at all suggest to me a return to Christianity or Judaism, rather it suggests that he sees good reason for some people to embrace views that are not bound by strict naturalism. So, he may be agnostic on that particular point, but not so agnostic on other points that he'd consider himself an agnostic or theist. Perhaps he leans towards some sort of virtual simulation theory like Starlight does. But either way, he seems to be saying "Hey, I get why you believe in a higher power, even if that's not for me".
    Thanks for the clarification. I did not find his actual worldview clear from the post. Perhaps I missed the larger context.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    -Martin Luther King

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Basically Carpe, he is saying he turned from JimL into you.

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