All too often I hear people say, "I was an atheist when I was in college/younger/a teenager, but then god found me and I became a christian." In my experience, the Atheist community consists largely of people over 30 and I think that A/N reflects that. Along with the testimonials of alleged "ex-Atheists" it would appear as though there is a narrative within the christian community that Atheism is a young persons belief, and that the increased wisdom of many years leads to a conclusion that god exists. That conclusion is usually based on things like a "gut feeling" or "some of the unexplainable things I've seen", or "how life seems to work its self out".

So what gives A/N? How many of us were "converted" when we were young and maintained our beliefs and how many of us took many many years to dis-believe. Also, why is it that people who profess to atheism in their youth eventually join a church? I suspect that the answer is more complex than the simple need for a security blanket.

Views: 335

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Quote Dacx: "When people were singing and raising their hands upwards towards their "god".....that was just too much for me. All they did was appear fucking stupid"
Er there's a good reason for that Dacx, they ARE stupid.....

Chris P.
I started a new thread in the Canadians group requesting additional info on Alph, do you guys have any additional information?
I've gotta wonder how you get to this site. Usually spelling "atheist" in the way that is the superlative comparison for the non-existent adjective "athy" ("athy" "athier" "athiest") is the hallmark of theists ranting. Nah, you're not a deep-cover theist.

So, then, we need to create some philanthropic/community-helpful organizations to do what churches do but without the indoctrination. I wonder if we can be as successful without the indoctrination.
Short answer - no. The indoctrination is a big part of the draw for church people.
I also read that two out of five church goers who clame to believe in god are actually atheists in the closet.
They go to church for social reasons...So some of the people who return to the fold may in fact be atheists pretending to be xtains.
I've been a non-theist for as long as I can remember and while their have been brief bouts of me thinking about joining a church I quickly realized I didn't need one to make me happy. If I can't find happiness by myself I don't expect a non-existing entity to find happiness for me.

I wouldn't want to hang out with theists anyway. If they believe in a "god" that's one thing just leave it to themselves and don't be worshipping in front of me
As a new person to this board I explained that for some strange reason I always thought religion was weird at the age of 12 I found out what an atheist was & have been one ever since even surrounded by church goers of almost every stripe I really enjoyed my uncle (baptist) reading me comic books about the devil & hell trying to explain to me how I could be saved !!!! I was only about 10 but I still remember thinking he was weird....

I became an atheist around the age of 10ish and have found the mere idea of a God absurd since then.

I would have said the same except for the experience of my children. I believe we are all born atheist...the damn indoctrination comes later, then the sudden (or not) realization that it is all BS.

My son, in particular, has found the very concept of a god silly.
Good question. I came from Jehovah's Witness as a small child, through many flavors of protestantism, ending in being a member of an Assembly of God (Pentacostal) church, and then to atheist. I think much of the "arrogance" some Christians attribute to atheists is due to the piss and vinegar of the younger set. Maturity brings a calmer approach.
We have friends who spent there 20's traveling the country smoking dope, lots of casual sex & partying, living the life of the '70's then they return home get married & start producing kids and suddenly they get born again(?) and love telling anyone who will listen that they are successful financially because of god? (instead of the fact their parents died & left them buckets of money)

My own belief is these people are generally extremist personalities there is no middle road for them it's all or none ;)
You have made a great observation.

I noticed this myself when I lived in the US. All these "so called" athiests becoming fundamentalists. They were adamant that they WERE athiests and became fundies.Us athiests know, this doesn't happen. It's a step backward for us. It just isn't possible.

So, what was going on?

There are different forms of non-belief. We lump it all into athiesm, but this is not correct imo. What is the difference between these non-believers "who were found" and us? I will use a very simple religious term. WE..the athiests(NOT those who are "found/saved") submit to a power, bigger than ourselves.

We athiests, submit to something much bigger than our own individual selves. We truth.

When you think about it, it's what you've done. You cannot accept the "god" of faith, because the "TRUTH" is, it's probably wrong. But when you reject religion for the sake of truth you are rejecting the one thing you might most like. Eternal life and meaning. Most religious people cannot understand this. Why would you "give" up, a belief in an eternal life, for a mortal one?

You don't have a choice, once you've chosen truth, because truth ecompasses all..including your own desires.

Use their own language. The answer? "Because there is something more important than me, my own dreams of imortality and meaning. Truth,is my higher matters more than you and me and I accept it...with absolute submission. No matter the cost, even dreams of living for ever" submission to a higher power. :) And those that are religious "read" about it becuase it's what they are supposed to do, but they can't actually do it. They cannot give up "immortality" for something else.

Athiests, give it all up for the sake of something real.

I'm too tired to continue now. But the believers who "used" to be athiest, haven't even come close in understanding of the athiests here tonight.

Hence the weird confusion when you confront them.

I'll be back to continue.

Perhaps it's simply a definitional problem. Maybe these "former atheists" don't really know what atheism is. Maybe they were just "backsliders" who rejected God's authority, but never really rejected the very concept of God. Maybe that's why so many religious people think that atheists are Satan worshippers or otherwise "evil"--they can't imagine the idea of there not being a god, so they think atheists fall into the camp of those who simply don't submit to God, who arrogantly assume authority over their own lives. People like that can easily fall back into submission to the imagined authority of God, because they never really doubted his existence. Once they get over whatever tiff they were having with God, they blindly stumble back into his smothering embrace.

This would also explain the theist's dismissal of atheism as simply being "mad at God" like a petulant child. They don't seem to grasp that atheists by and large have outgrown the need for a supernatural babysitter. Religion is an adolescent mindset. Atheism is the grownup, responsible approach to life--we admit that we're on our own and have to make do with that. What's more, as Annette points out, it's not like we have a choice--we go where reason takes us in the search for truth (aka reality).




Update Your Membership :



Nexus on Social Media:

© 2019   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: The Nexus Group.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service