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1/02/2009                                                                                       View Comments

The Christian Ex-Atheist

The evolution of religions via descent with im...The evolution of religions via descent with imagination.
Image by Colin Purrington
By Uruk

Jesus was not the first character to be born of a virgin, to be adored by wise men, and to heal the sick, to suffer and die on a tree or a cross, to be buried in a tomb, and to rise again on the third day only to ascend into the sky. This had happened before. This is an old story. And Christianity's way of dealing with this problem is to ignore it.

-- The God Who Wasn't There -- movie trailer

Despite my beliefs concerning god's non-existence, I still think one may not be able to disprove (or prove) god's existence. Also, deconverting from Christianity does not mean one's only option is to become an atheist. One may certainly remain theist while still discarding religious practice -- or choosing some other set of religious beliefs to replace the former.

How does an atheist one day turn around and allow faith to take over their reasoning? How does one start ignoring such evidence after seeing it? But, I'm particularly puzzled at how an atheist can deconvert into a Christian. The ex-atheist seems to have been genuine in his or her former skepticism; no different from my former and genuine adherence to Christianity.

But after that similarity, the experiences of the ex-atheist seems to be the inverse of my experience as an ex-Christian.

What happened? How does the ex-atheist make such different decisions with the same information that I now have? Or, did they every have the same information after all?

As for me, faith is a veil that hides facts and observations. People ignore alternative ideas when they blindly hold to faith -- regardless of how much truth may be in the alternative way of thinking.

I'm an ex-Christian because I finally learned about textual criticism, archeology, and that the bible is quilted together by various authors with various agendas -- none of which are divine. I've learned about the mystery religions and that actual contradictions do exist within biblical scripture.

How does someone develop a new trust in Christianity if such facts never change?!

How does an atheist one day turn around and allow faith to take over their reasoning? How does one start ignoring such evidence after seeing it?

I'll admit, one doesn't have to become an atheist after discovering the fallibility of the bible. And one doesn't have to remain atheist if something causes that person to suddenly believe in god.

And of course, anyone has the right to become a Christian ex-atheist.

But just remember . . . converting to Christianity from atheism requires actively ignoring a lot of important facts.

I guess that is why Christians walk by faith and not by sight.

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