Many Christians love to tell their stories of how they got saved. I think it is also valuable for atheists to tell our stories of how we became damned to eternal torture… I mean how we de-converted from religion to atheism. The thing is that I think atheists and Christians have very different processes for how we came to our present position on the existence of deities. I don’t really want to know how someone got saved, but I would like to know what convinced them of their beliefs. That is not necessarily the same thing.
Being saved is often described as a very emotional and dramatic change. But I want to know about the less emotional cognitive change. Clearly there is a relationship here in the sense that Christians become “born again” emotionally and then their cognitive mind moves to match up with their emotional change. But I want to get Christians to start focusing more on the cognitive conversion rather than the emotional one.
If they could take the emotion out of it and think about what the evidence was that actually convinced them, I think that would go a long way in the de-converting process. It’s hard to argue with “I feel God.” It is much better to ask, what does God feel like? And could what you are feeling be something other than God? How do you know it is God? What knowledge of the “feeling of God” did you have prior to actually feeling it?
If nothing else, studies have shown that thinking about analytical thinking makes people less likely to believe in religion. So just getting Christians to think analytically about their “witness” experience will help them de-convert.
- Why Advocating For Atheism Is Important (skepticink.com)
- The Hard Truth About Religion (skepticink.com)
- Faith In People (skepticink.com)
- God is an Oldsmobile (skepticink.com)
- Interview: Rob Bell author of ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About God’ (examiner.com)