What or who was instrumental in your de-conversion? This to me is an interesting question for a few reasons. First, I’m fascinated by why people believe what they believe and why or how they lose those beliefs. Second, knowing what was instrumental in people’s de-conversion could help in de-converting others. Third, I have no real frame of reference for this question.
Last night, I was taking a survey for the American Humanist Association and one of the questions asked was something along the lines of, how instrumental were the four “New Atheist” authors in my de-conversion. Sadly, I had to put down, “Not influential at all” because by the time their main atheist books came out I was already an active atheist.
When I de-converted, there were very few atheist books and those that did exist were not easily found. The internet didn’t exist to the public and I didn’t know any atheists personally. I had to figure it out on my own and it was a hard and lonely road and not without its obstacles. Sure there were philosophy books, science books, and history books that could have helped my journey, but I didn’t even know to look let alone where to look.
Now of course, I am well aware of Epicurus, Russell, Paine, Ingersoll, O’Hare, and many others. But back then, I might have stumbled upon Russell or Paine, but not in the context of religion. I was truly on my own at first. Fortunately, when I was in college, the internet was starting to become accessible to the public, but it was still hard to find the content I was looking for.
Today, many atheists credit a particular author, scientist, or other public figure with being instrumental in their de-conversion. As someone who has had a few notches in my belt, I would very much like to be that instrumental person for others more often and I want you to be that instrumental person too. Let’s turn de-conversion into a science – after all, science is what we do best. Who was instrumental in your de-conversion and why? Go!
- 5 Best Books To De-Convert A Christian (skepticink.com)
- Why are you an Atheist in 100 words or less? (bittersweetend.wordpress.com)
- Barney Frank comes out of the closet as an atheist (Video) (examiner.com)