My mother is a pastor. She was watching the Trinit Broadcasting Network and people were talking about their conversion to Christianity. I noticed something strange about all of the conversion stories. They all involved someone down on their luck and in need of a change. Its like they were all sorority chicks that sucked fifteen dicks, downed forty beers, caught an STD, and got arrested in one night only to realize there life was shitty and "needed" God. None of them said, "Well, I thought about this bit long and hard and it seems Christianity really is the one true religion!". I commented on this wierd pattern and my mother said something along these lines, "Well sometimes the Lord has got to bring you down so you can realize you need him".

I wish evolution was able to convince people in a simliar manner.

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"Well sometimes the Lord has got to bring you down so you can realize you need him"

Okay, now substitute the words "your boyfriend/girlfriend" for "the Lord"...
"Well sometimes your girlfriend has got to bring you down so you can realize you need her"

Codependent abusive relationship, anyone?
I noticed that also.
It's stuff like this that erodes my faith in humanity.
It makes sense that those who are down and out, desperate, and probably emotional would grasp for god. It makes for an easy answer. After they convert they can let god (i.e., their church) lay down rules for them and impose and enforce an external order for them. In short, it's a crutch. After the partying, the indiscretions, the bad decisions, lack of control, the STDs, the arrest, or simply at the heart of the matter for many, the low self esteem, it's becomes palatable to believe that you need god because you're a sinner, ease your conscience with the belief that we all do, and in so doing redeem yourself in your own eyes as a good person.

Now if you are an atheist, agnostic, or even a liberal christian, deist, or someone who just never thought things through or gave religion much stock, but you kept your nose clean, kept drama to a minimum, never really got in trouble, maybe went to college, generally made pretty good decisions for yourself, and things turned out pretty good for you, you're not going to be likely to think of yourself as a sinner who needs god. If you are such a person and you do start thinking things through long and hard you will not find any evidence to support that christianity is the one true religion.

I'm sure there are also those who got in a mess and emerged from it by thinking things through, self directed change, support, etc., who without having used religion as a crutch, but you never hear their testimonies in a Wednesday evening service.

By the way, in regard to the codependent abusive relationship comparisons above, the parallels are uncanny.
This is one of those streets that goes both ways. Many people that are down on their luck will often shift views of reality or change some fundamental aspect of their life. Some step from non or disinterested belief to wholehearted service to God. Some do the exact opposite! How many Christians, when faced with a hardship such as a family member dying or some other rough circumstance, LOSE their faith? It happens all the time! Any upsetting situation in our life may make us re-evaluate the fundamentals and often involve a shift... and there may not be anything all that rational about the change that happens. It may be a hardwired mechanism that we find "reasons" for and justify/rationalize after the fact.

Ah well, something to ponder.
I would say that everyone has a breaking point when it comes to faith. If you read the Bible, you'll find that even God's yes man Job was able to doubt the infinite justice of God. Usually though, these deconversion experiences lead to bitterness and a general hostility towards life in general.

This re-enforces my belief that religion may very well play a positive role for society in some regards by channeling the self destructive energies of the ethically deranged into an easy to manage fantasy land.

Am I not giving people enough credit?


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