My friend came up to me two days ago (March 25) and said that it was me that converted her to atheism. I showed her a couple of books, websites, and some of my favorites on youtube about a month ago, when she asked me about Atheism. I didn't really intend to convert her purposely, we were just casually yapping in my house about nothing and the subject came up. She thanked me too! This is the first person I ever converted!

If anyone has similar or great stories, please share.

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By the way, I came from a Jewish (Reform, non orthodox) background. He was Protestant.
Deconversion as I call it is complex... I've never been directly responsible for anyone's deconversion but I am confident that I've helped at least one person access information that led her to atheism.

As with some of the other stories here, she was already questioning and I just exposed her to answers/opinions that validated that she was not a crazy person and her questions did make sense. One of the hardest things to overcome (for me anyway) was the notion that since billions of people on earth are religious there must be something to it! How nice for her to have a friend on the subject - I was more or less on my own during my own process of letting go of superstition.
point 1
Aye... read this entire thread and need express how
uncomfortable I find the use of the term conversion or deconvert etc.
Conversion is the transformation, or change of One thingy into another Thingy.

Conversion as a term, has many applications, and is not solely owned by theism;
since we are using the term to address the quantity of faith that a person has
in a religious theory-set, and comparing it with the before and after degrees...

We are not converting one theory-set of faith into *another* theory-set of faith.
Not 80% to 20% of, let's say, catholicism to judaism, then over to 35% / 65%.

The translation is a reduction to 0% in Faith, not Faith (A) to Faith (B).

Making use of coversion makes me feel that if someone were to read this thread
from a Faith-point-of-view.. then Atheism is, in fact, a Faith.

We need to re-train ourselves to stop using religious terns to describe
our non-theist world..... fer gawds sake, otherwise we don't have a hope in hell.

I'm an Atheist #7

point 2

I have been able to present the main arguments to many people regarding
the contradictions of any* Faith of the facts empirical of science.

Those who listened well, almost wanted to be convinced,
wanted someone to tell them that it is OK to not have Faith...
.... that the matrix isn't real.

So many people would drop their Theisms in a heart-beat if they knew
that no one in their family, especially senior family, would ever know.

Imagine an entire family, all growing up in modern schools, with good
access to free-thinker materials.. ages 10 to 50? sitting around a table
.. and they all have 0% Faith.. but can't bear to tell each other..

Everyone accept the grand-parents or great-grandparents.
The elders still have faith, so the family still keeps it's faith.

So they all sit there in silence as the prayers are spoken before meals.
Some - even looking directly at each other during prayer,
instead of heads bowed; eyes connecting and beseaching the other
to give away why they weren't praying.

I know I went on a tangent.

Hope I didn't hijack your thread.

Atheist #7

Wait - I remember my point.

Congradulations Jenny on de-programming your friend.

If I had a preferred terminology to use for the issues of
critical-thinker reasoning, to disuade a Theist from their stance;

it would be de-programming

Just as mainstream media revels in the use of the word de-programming
when referring to the classic case of gullible freshmans rescued after being
briain-washed by the local cult-group, Moonies etc.

De-program your friends from Theism.

No meaningful discourse towards mutual understanding
can begin if we do not allow ourselves and others the freedom
to express themselves without fear of attack.

I strongly feel that it IS* the fear of attacks, as so eagerly propagated
within Theistic circles, that holds back many Atheists or Agnostics from
coming OUT and stating they no longer are Theists.

If it always looks like a religious-shit-storm everytime
I look out my window, I wouldn't say 'boo' about being an Atheist either.

Atheist #7

De-programming is the term I find most accurate. AND WAY TO GO JENNIFER!!
I believe I helped a couple of folks down the road but I dont know so I must say nay to your question.:-(
As a former college prof for 14 years I was fortunate enough to have a "stage" whereby I could preach logic and rational thinking. As a result, I deconverted several (10? 15?) students that I know of, and no doubt sent many more down the road of atheism.
What about the opposite? :) I have 5 atheist siblings, along with John, and Darly, who directed me to this site. Darly and my sister have been huge influences.

As for me... I take advantage of good-spirited (sort of) debate but I don't think I've converted anyone. My last brother is slowly coming though.
To tell you the truth, I don't really feel threatened by the word "converted". If you got what I meant in the first place, I think its a bit pedantic to change the set of words. People of faith can use and abuse the word "enlightened" as well. If a person of faith declares that Atheism is a religion by my set of words, they are obviously not being rational in the first place.
That's why I for one prefer the word deconvert. Simply because all of us were born without a religion, and those who are religious had to be "converted" (brainwashed, of course) or convert themselves to get there. Deconversion is just reversing the process. :)
I did it to the peson I loved(I don't like the word conversion-it is a religious one)
On the subject of terminology, I wonder if borrowing from the Muslim play book may be appropriate here?

According to Islam, everyone is born a Muslim but some people lose this as they grow up (lack of indoctrination in childhood being the prime reason, I suspect!), hence in their parlance no one "converts" to Islam, they "revert" to it.

Working on the assumption that we are all born atheist (which I certainly agree with), the term "revert" may indeed be the best one.
Yes indeed. Even better than "deconvert" in its appropriateness. I may have to latch on to that one.




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