The ties that bind: Factors that make de-conversion difficult

August 18, 2008 at 5:16 pm 55 comments

Recently poster mindbogglingly dazzled said that “there should be a post about the reasons that made/make it difficult for us to leave faith. A post about what hinders/hindered us in walking away.”

This seems a great idea, so as the self-appointed blog list-maker, I have started a list of such reasons/factors. Y’all please hop in with more and I’ll modify the list when I’ve collected a goodly number of new reasons.

1. Family/friend pressures to keep the faith
2. Fear of family/friend reactions to de-conversion
3. Worry about losing church friends
4. Not knowing how to live without the faith/belief
5. Fear of falling into gross immorality
6. Not knowing where to look for friends, fellowship, etc
7. Not knowing what beliefs/philosophies to use to guide life
8. Concerns about death/next life
9. Sense of abandonment
10. Loss of meaning/purpose
11. Employment worries (biggie for pastors, ministry workers, etc.)
12. What if I’m just bloomin’ wrong?
13. Not wanting to say that friends, family, teachers, etc. are all wrong.
14. Not wanting to admit that apologetics are weak, unconvincing, illogical; in short, ‘crap’.
15. Not wanting to drag family through the painful, scary process.
16. Not wanting to hurt family/friends by rejecting the faith (which is tantamount to rejecting them in the minds of many believers).
17. Worries about the effect of atheism/agnosticism on business (i.e., possible lack of trust by clients).
18. Memories of good times and such in the church/faith.
19. Memories of experiences of closeness to God and things interpreted as miracles.
20. Leaving a lifetime of being open to the idea of God/gods, and the supernatural as being part of the universe.
21. Admitting that one had been SO wrong for SO long.
22. The odd and scary need to start anew from an unfamiliar perspective in a suddenly unfamiliar world.
23. Embarrassment. I.e., meeting those to whom you were a Christian role model, or whose lives significantly impacted or shaped (Your own kids would fit here in a big way.), or non-christians you witnessed to or argued apologetics/faith with and to whom you raved about the beauty of the Christian life.
24. The sense of betrayal that you know others may feel from your leaving the faith.
25. Laziness.
26. What to do on Sundays?
27. Not wanting to be considered “evil”. (Fundy’s will look at atheists this way. Specially apostates.)
28. Not wanting to be excommunicated. (More a trouble for Catholics, Orthodox, Lutherans, Anglicans, and the like.)
29. WANTING there to be something more to life, the universe, and everything.

OK. That’s it for now. Y’all pile on with more and I’ll add them in time.

[[Man that grew fast. The list more than doubled in one day.]]


Previous Lists:
Convenient categories: Why Christians believe de-cons leave the faith
Inconvenient categories: The real reasons de-cons leave the faith

Entry filed under: LeoPardus. Tags: , , .

Finding Faith? Hearing the Voice of God

55 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ordover  |  August 18, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    It’s kind of hard to summarize succinctly, but a big one for me was not wanting to admit that those I loved and looked up to were wrong. It was really hard to admit that all of my family and my teachers at the Christian school I attended were choosing irrationality over reason. It was hard to accept that every figure of authority in my life could not really be trusted, because they were convinced by really weak apologetic and phony arguments against scientific concepts like evolution.

  • 2. HeIsSailing  |  August 18, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    A big one for me was dragging my longsuffering wife along with me during my crisis of faith. Since we had such different approaches to Christianity, she did not know how to deal with my questioning and doubting. She asked all usual questions of me, like “if you are a heretic, where will you get your morality from?”, in a sincerely loving, concerned and frightened way. Why couldn’t I just go to church with her, go with the flow and skip putting her through this grief?

    My brain needed to leave Christianity, but my heart wanted to stay – for the sake of my family. In the end, I left – and I thank God that I did ;-)

  • 3. Ubi Dubius  |  August 18, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    “Employment worries (biggie for pastors, ministry workers, etc.)”

    It’s also a big issue for the self-employed, especially attorneys, financial planners, cpa’s, and others who need to develop a trusting relationship with their clients. There are a large number of clients who would never trust an atheist, or even somebody not a member of their church.

    An attorney colleague of mine helped a woman (a financially poor, elderly woman) defeat a claim by a creditor. She thanked him and told him, “you’re a good Christian”. He responded, “thank you, but I’m not a Christian.” She walked out without another word and never saw him again.

    I once damaged my relationship with a life insurance agent who had referred 1 or 2 clients to me. I was telling him a story about going to an “akika” – a party Pakistani’s throw for infant sons when they reach a certain age, I think 100 days. The only people who spoke English were the proud and busy father (my next door neighbor) and the imam. The imam tried very hard to convert me that night. The insurance agent said, “and you were probably the only Christian there!” I told him that I’m not a Christian. I didn’t got another referral from him.

    For at least 2 of my colleagues, their law practices run almost exclusively on attracting members of their own churches as clients.

  • 4. Prodigal D.  |  August 18, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Great list, I can identify with quite a few of these and also with Ordover and Ubi’s comments.

    I tried to fit my main reason into one of your categories but I think it may need its own number:

    I don’t have a fear about what friends/family will react, I just don’t want to hurt them. It will be like a slap in the face and I have never slapped anyone (ok once I did!)

  • 5. Quester  |  August 18, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Reasons it is hard for me to leave the faith: memories of experiences I’d interpreted as closeness to God and things I’d interpreted as miracles, and a lifetime of being open to the idea of God, gods, fairies, aliens, miracles and magic being a part of the universe.

  • 6. Lorena  |  August 18, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Admitting that I had been SO wrong for SO long. It felt as if I had to remove the floor from under my feet and start anew from pretty much a womb-like, primitive state.

    I was correct. But I once I left the faith, I found out that I could do it, that, as scary as it was, I could actually survive, if barely.

  • 7. The de-Convert  |  August 18, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    See http://ordover.wordpress.com/2008/08/18/reasons-to-believe/ for a great post on this subject.

    Paul

  • 8. mindbogglingly dazzled  |  August 19, 2008 at 3:29 am

    as far as relations are concerned it’s not only fear of losing and hurting them, but for me another big thing is also embarassment

    For example embarassment at meeting people for whom I have been a christian role model or whose lifes I have shaped. Or embarassment at meeting non-christians with whom I have argued and to whom I have raved about the beauty of the christian life.

  • 9. mindbogglingly dazzled  |  August 19, 2008 at 3:32 am

    Sometimes (and this is more for the older ones of us) I think something that I have difficulties with is the idea of wandering about and searching and roving as an adult. How should I rerail life if my foundation isn’t laid? How should I found a family, make career decisions, decide on volunteering involvements and so on if I constantly change my basic outlook? Shouldn’t I just stick to what I have decided as a young adult?

  • 10. mindbogglingly dazzled  |  August 19, 2008 at 3:37 am

    - Given that my problem is that christianity sometimes just seems so unbelievable, how could it be that there are these scientists and philosophers at ivy league universities who keep the faith?

    – How can I explain some miracles? I have to make some kinky dodges in order to fit them into another world view.

    – Given that my problem with christianity is that it’s got contradictions and implausibilities and given that I can’t find an alternative without contradictions and implausibilities (maybe less, though…) why not stick with christianity?

    – When I sat in church that one evening and it was like literally the walls were “glowing” – what was that? And all those times I felt like I was praying “to someone” – is that just to be explained psychologically? Or am I just some poor modern Westerner who has been brainwashed to deny the obvious – the presence of some supernatural, spiritual realm?

  • 11. mindbogglingly dazzled  |  August 19, 2008 at 3:47 am

    Thanks for all your comments. I can connect with many of them!

    Here’s more:

    – No appetite for a change of life; I’m too lazy to get up…

    – What to do on Sundays?

    – Why not stay christian but just try to change and reframe and adapt and completely reinterpret faith? I probably could spend quite some years with that strategy and would not have to walk away.

    – God is so mysterious and he is the completely different “other” so the things that seem implausible to me might just be expressions of things I don’t understand

    – If as a skeptic I don’t know what’s true concerning the “big issues” anyway, so I might as well stay christian.

    – 7, 9, 10 from LeoPardus’ list and in addition: loss of guidance for day-to-day life

  • 12. mindbogglingly dazzled  |  August 19, 2008 at 5:03 am

    - Isn’t there really something special about Israel?

    – Something that also makes me hesitate a whole lot is the intuitive grasp of the “cosmological argument” (i.e. “where did it all come from?”).
    (I am not saying that the argument itself is that compelling. But there sure is something about it that has a hold on me. The philosopher Peter van Inwagen has some interesting lines in his spiritual autobiography about his walk in and out of faith about how at some points in life he was able and other points he wasn’t able to look at the world and see it as unsustained/uncreated by something bigger. He compares it to the duck-/rabbit-picture: Sometimes you see it as a rabbit and hardly can do differently and sometimes you see it as a duck and hardly can do differently. So it is with nature and the question: why isn’t there nothing but something (btw, I am not sure if I am really reflecting van Inwagen’s own message)).

    – not being “the good girl” anymore

  • 13. Frreal  |  August 19, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Deconversion wasn’t that particularly difficult for me. Not after I read the bible anyway. Telling anyone about my deconversion is unbearable for both selfish and unselfish reasons.

    I often wonder, hope, there are others like me confident and sure in their lack of belief yet fearful of the ramifications of exposure nodding heads in religious agreement while the inside struggles with hypocrisy.

    Of course inner conflict aside my life is glorious and fulfilled. I am utterly content with all other aspects and in the grand scheme of things I conclude it’s much more harmonious for me to live the lie than the chaos “I believe” would ensue were I to reveal my true feelings. At least at this particular moment in time.

  • 14. Pete  |  August 19, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Oh man, great list. I’m still trying to believe, and I openly recognize that I am “trying” because of many of these reasons. Namely 1,2,8,10,12,13,15,16,19,21,23,24 and 25. That’s a lot.

  • 15. bosquechica  |  August 19, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    I’m am an “unconvertible” – never had a religion, never will. I’ve always wished I could – I’ve got religious inclinations. But since the core of religion across the board seems to be the unconditional condemnation of people who believe something else, I find it essentially unbearable. It must be very difficult for people raised in reliigion to separate themselves, knowing that all their family, their community, will then see them as strictly hell-bound.
    I do wonder about the concept that someone without religion must therefore not have beliefs. I make every effort to live my life with integrity, compassion and respect for others. I have beliefs, values, and ways of living that are unrelated to the concept of a specific, external, paternal god, and these beliefs are quite consistent. I think (I could easily be wrong, not ever having been religious) that when you lose god, you don’t necessarily lose yourself or your moral compass; rather, you learn to use your mind (god-given or not) to help you guide your choices in a way that creates some consistency between thought, action and belief. I don’t get any free rides when I sin – nobody gives me forgiveness. I am responsible for my own behavior. I think that seems good, even though I am saddened by and sometimes afraid of all those good people out there who really believe that there is only one way.

    Nice post, very thoughtful responses.

  • 16. The Apostate  |  August 19, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    I am not too sure I understand numbers 25 and 26. Why would laziness hold one back? And wondering what to do on Sundays seems downright silly – church for most people consists of about an hour to an hour and half at the most annoying time of the day: early enough to not let you sleep in and late enough to make your tummy growl. :D

  • 17. tuimeltje  |  August 19, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Laziness might simply be not bothering to actually examining what you believe and see if it matches with “official” doctrine, or even examining whether you believe at all, and just go along with the crowd.

    This is probably the only reason I considered myself more-or-less a christian when I was a teenager. It was really only because I was raised in a (Dutch-protestant) christian family, going to christian schools and church every sunday (all pretty laid-back and open-minded, not particularly dogmatic or Hell-teaching), and having mostly friends who identified as christian (most also laid back, but some, well, a bit more evangelical).
    Once I started a local Alpha course and started properly questioning what I believed in I realised that, if I believed anything at all, it certainly wasn’t what christianity tought. I did have a half-hearted go at molding it into something more suited to me, but in the end I realised that it was all just (occasionally) nice writing and allegory, occasionally useful for teaching but generally not to be taken literally at all.

  • 18. LeoPardus  |  August 19, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    TA:

    Laziness keeps people from questioning beliefs or from acting on doubts, etc. Basically it let’s one remain in the status quo and avoid troublesome thoughts or actions.

    As for Sunday, that is a bigger day for some people than others. For many people, a typical Sunday might include: going to a service, followed by Bible study class (~2-3 hours depending on whether you have a donut break in between); going out to lunch or to a friend’s house afterward for further fellowship (many hours); going to evening service (~1 hour). And of course there’s travel time in all that. And there may be stuff the kids are doing too. And you might be in choir, church council, etc.

  • 19. Evo  |  August 20, 2008 at 12:57 am

    I think that “fear of death” either ranks much higher, or shouldn’t be on the list at all. I say ranked higher because I think it is a primary factor in belief. I say not at all because it’s more of a reason for believing. If you haven’t gotten past that, you probably aren’t struggling with the other issues that you listed. I blogged about the issue recently HERE

  • 20. LeftBehind  |  August 21, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    “Why not stay christian but just try to change and reframe and adapt and completely reinterpret faith? I probably could spend quite some years with that strategy and would not have to walk away.”

    I keep trying to work out how I could do this in my mind, before my mind says, STOP, don’t do it!!” I think I did actually try it on for about a year, it was called “lukewarmness.” Fortunately for me, that isn’t an option allowed in the bible and my fundamentalist wife won’t allow that kind of compromise! ;^)

  • 21. Michael  |  August 21, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Yeah, as a former pastor and Christian leader, I can relate to most of those. I guess for me, my kids are the issue. They live with my ex, and she is a hyper-religious person. My kids know I used to preach, and can’t understand why I don’t go to church anymore. I would never discourage them from going. I think we all have to find our place. Another hard part was, “What if I’m wrong about all this?” “What if hell is real?” I think that now, I have resolved those issues. I loved my time in the church, and made a lot of really good friends. I realized it was time to move on after 24 years of serving a God who was never really there.

  • 22. Michael  |  August 21, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    BTW, my Sunday is now spent recovering from Saturday night! :)

  • 23. LeoPardus  |  August 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Michael:

    Yessir. Kids are an issue in the de-con process. I really don’t want to influence them away from the faith. They need to work through that as they grow. And my wife would be pretty miffed if “I led them astray”.

  • 24. LeoPardus  |  August 21, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Micheal:

    PS – I looked at your blog. Interesting stuff. And thanks particularly for the post about Todd Bently. I know you said something about not crowing too much about it, but it’s hard not to crow when fraudulent, con men fall.

  • 25. ordover  |  August 21, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    I was thinking a bit more about these issues today and another one came to mind. It’s very difficult to throw off certain doctrinal concepts, especially if they aren’t necessarily unique or central to Christianity. For example, to took me a really long time to grasp the concept of moral relativism, since I had heard for so long that there was one right and one wrong, one way to heaven, etc.

  • 26. Michael  |  August 22, 2008 at 2:00 am

    Thanks for the visit Leopardus, yes, I try to keep my blog about anything that catches my eye!

    That is true about Bentley, it is hard not to but I think of his wife and kids, especially his kids. What are they going to think of all this when they grow up? Don’t these con men care about them?

  • 27. LeoPardus  |  August 23, 2008 at 12:25 am

    In all honesty I don’t think someone like Bentley ever care about anyone but himself. Just look at others who were like him and see if you can detect any “care” for someone other than #1. (Mike Warnke, Jimmy Swaggart, Joel Osteen, etc.)

  • 28. mindbogglingly dazzled  |  August 23, 2008 at 7:25 am

    Here’s another one:
    It’s so frustrating to know that a lot of the intra-christian debates I’ve been involved in are now futile. You may have fought for or against child baptism, for or against Jim Wallis, for or against KJVonlyism, and so on. You may have spent a lot of time reading about that stuff. And now, it’s all futile. And the old fervor in defending one of the sides in these debates now looks just ridiculous because the whole presupposition – ie that one of the two sides make sense – doesn’t seem plausible any more because one has left faith alltogether.

  • 29. Anonymous  |  August 27, 2008 at 9:11 am

    20. Leaving a lifetime of being open to the idea of God/gods, and the supernatural as being part of the universe.

    Why not remain “open to the idea”? I mean, I remain open to the ideas of perpetual motion, cold fusion, superluminal transport, time travel, antigravity, etc. in the sense that, if someone ever presents a credible, testable, repeatable demonstration, I will immediately begin taking it seriously.

    Just sayin’.

    After reading this list, I have to wonder how it is that ANYONE successfully deconverts.

  • 30. Derek  |  August 27, 2008 at 9:11 am

    #29 is me.

  • 31. Ubi Dubium  |  August 27, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Derek-

    Why not remain “open to the idea”? I mean, I remain open to the ideas of perpetual motion, cold fusion, superluminal transport, time travel, antigravity, etc. in the sense that, if someone ever presents a credible, testable, repeatable demonstration, I will immediately begin taking it seriously.

    I agree with you that I am open to those possibilities if someone does, indeed produce real evidence. But that does not mean that I think those things are likely to be true. Something can be “possible” but also be simultaneously “highly improbable”. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, and until that extraordinary proof is shown, there is no reason for me to consider that cold fusion or time travel or sky-gods or the tooth fairy might be true.

  • 32. Cooper  |  August 28, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    I would like to ask a question. A very old friend of mine contacted me and we had several e-mails back and forth, and then he revealed to me that he had once moved to Oregon to attend a Seminary there with every intention of becoming a Pastor.

    He said he is now an agnostic/atheist. I asked him if he could explain what lead to his decision to deconvert. He responded that it had been an accumulation of things. I asked “what things”? He e-mailed me this morning, very upset, saying “Haven’t I made myself clear? There was nothing that led to my decision–no doubts, no tragedies, nothing.”

    When I pressed further saying “Come on. There had to be something that started you on the path toward deconversion—-Biblical contradictions, unanswered prayers, hypocritical Christians, etc.—there had to be something to key off a journey away from faith.

    He e-mailed back very upset saying that I “just didn’t get it”—that there was “absolutely nothing” that led him to turn away from the faith—it just happened”.

    I need to ask isn’t this a bit disingenuous? The people on this blog say that the deconversion process took a long time, with many struggles with doubt, etc.—in some cases being an excrutiating process—-with some stating they literallly pleaded with God to give them a sign He existed before finally accepting He wasn’t there.

    I am a believer—-but I have read many of the testimonies here. His insistence that “nothing happened” just doesn’t seem to ring true. I know that it is his own experience, and I am questioning it—-but it just doesn’t seem to fit the path that most of you walked down before your deconversion.

    Does anyone care to comment? He is my friend and I will accept what he says—-but I kind of feel he is afraid to open up about what really happened. What do you think?

  • 33. Cooper  |  August 28, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    By the way—-we are not at each others throats or anything—I am just a bit surprised that he would react the way he is—-and expecting me to believe that a person can just turnaround from being a Christian to an atheist with no “process” or “steps” involved in that. That just doesn’t seem possible.

  • 34. Ubi Dubium  |  August 28, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Well, Cooper, I think it’s entirely possible. Some people report being converted to “faith” in an instant, there’s no reason it can’t happen the other way too. And it’s not excruciating for everybody – certainly wasn’t for me.

    I see several possibilities:

    1. Your friend is telling you the honest truth.

    2. Your friend really does not want to talk about it and this is his way of ending the conversation.

    Either way, you can respect your friend by not pestering him about it.

  • 35. Cooper  |  August 28, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Either way, you can respect your friend by not pestering him about it.

    Can I pester you then? :)

  • 36. john t.  |  August 28, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Cooper

    If you really are his friend, give him time and space. If he needs your input he will ask for it. If not leave him alone.

  • 37. Cooper  |  August 28, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    John T.—

    Thanks. What was hard about the conversation is this: he said he moved to Oregon to attend a Seminary, and told me he was “filled with the Spirit” at the time. Then he said he decided God did not exist and moved to Colorado. Now imagine if you were having a conversation and a person
    said “Yes, I bought all the mountain climbing equipment to climb Mount Shasta and moved my family there. Then I moved back to Colorado.” You ask “So how was the Shasta climb?” “Oh, never climbed it” the person responds. You ask “Why not?” “Aw, no reason” they respond.

    Wouldn’t you be curious as to what happened? The guy moved his whole family there for Pete’s sake! Then he says “Aw, no reason” when asked? This is basically what my friend did when I asked him about his deconversion. Yet—-he was flat out saying God didn’t exist—it was all hogwash, etc. etc.–so I’m supposed to accept his statements, but he can’t explain why he no longer believes?

    It didn’t seem quite fair. Oh well—-to each his own.

  • 38. john t.  |  August 28, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Cooper

    Pretty strange indeed, and I would admit its not fair, but hey thats just one of those mysteries of life.

  • 39. Paige  |  August 28, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Does anyone care to comment? He is my friend and I will accept what he says—-but I kind of feel he is afraid to open up about what really happened. What do you think?

    Will you accept? Really?

    Is he afraid? Maybe. Can you blame him?

    What do I think? I think you should accept what he says and be his friend.

  • 40. Cooper  |  August 28, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Oh I do accept it. But usually a “friendship” is based on two people be completely honest with one another don’t you think? That is my only gripe. But no big deal—like I said, to each his own.

  • 41. BigHouse  |  August 28, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Ironically, Cooper, you sould like an atheist responding to a new Christian who states that he becamse a believer “all of a sudden, it just hit me, I cant explain it”.

  • 42. Cooper  |  August 28, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Bighouse—-
    :) Actually I was hoping to hear the steps it took for him to come to his decision. This was a friend I knew quite a while ago, so I was hoping he might be able to shed more light on the subject. Everyone I have spoken to on the blog are strangers—-I accept what you have to say—–and the majority of you have said it took quite a while to come to terms with unbelief—i.e. struggles, doubts, pleading with God to prove himself, etc.—I was very curious about it.

    But as a few have stated, maybe he just isn’t wanting to open up about it now. I can respect that.

  • 43. Rover  |  August 29, 2008 at 10:55 am

    The process is does not have to be long, but at the same time the implications may take a while to deal with. The light can go on in a moment and then dealing with the knowledge that is now in your brain can take a while to deal with as go about your life. Who do you tell? What does it all mean to this life I have built? How does it effect my family? Maybe you can’t point to one verse or one incident that led to deconversion. Perhaps the “perfect storm” hits at a moment in time and you can’t get past it. Is this criptic enoug for you? If not, I can try to be less clear. :)

  • 44. Cooper  |  August 29, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Rover—

    Thanks. I had a good conversation via e-mail this morning with this old friend. I just have a tendency to be “knee-jerk” about things and not take the time to really think things out. Thanks for the input.

  • 45. Derek  |  August 29, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    I agree with you that I am open to those possibilities if someone does, indeed produce real evidence. But that does not mean that I think those things are likely to be true. Something can be “possible” but also be simultaneously “highly improbable”.

    But belief in a likelihood and simple openmindedness are two separate concerns. I hold open the possibility of faith, provided someone can present to me a verifiable reason to believe. That’s not the same as believing, just admitting to the fact that as a human I am capable of being incorrect. I’m just saying being utterly closed off to the idea of god-entities and other-worlds, or staunch refusal to even consider the ideas and at least present a rational rebuttal, seems counterproductive to me.

  • 46. Ubi Dubium  |  August 29, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Derek:

    I’m just saying being utterly closed off to the idea of god-entities and other-worlds, or staunch refusal to even consider the ideas and at least present a rational rebuttal, seems counterproductive to me.

    I would not say that I am utterly closed off to the idea, and I don’t think I’ve heard many (if any) on this blog say they are. But as for the evidence that the theists usually present – the supposed truthfulness of some ancient book, sermonizing and evangelizing, lenghthy apologetics, and appeals to ignorance (god-of-the-gaps) and emotion (especially fear), well those are totally unconvincing to me. If the theists actually come up with something new and verifiable, then I will certainly reconsider the matter.

  • 47. Derek  |  August 29, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    I’m with you on all that. But the way the article is worded, “Leaving a lifetime of being open to the idea,” seems to imply a complete refusal to reopen the issue in light of truly novel evidence.

  • 48. Derek  |  August 29, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    I should say, “even in light of”. Damn FriendlyAtheist letting me edit my posts and spoiling me on proofreading.

  • 49. Ubi Dubium  |  August 29, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Derek
    As I read that item about “being open”, I think of it more in light of “if you open your mind too far, your brain will fall out”. I think that’s more the kind of openness i’ve given up on. (That’s also the title of a really great song by Tim Minchin, look for it on YouTube.)

  • 50. Derek  |  August 29, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    “if you open your mind too far, your brain will fall out”

    Funny, that was used on us as a warning against liberalism in my Christian high school. What a world of difference perspective makes…

  • [...] of this post is “Reasons why it is difficult to de-convert”.  I can associate with a list of reasons posted at the blog De-conversion, and I copied them here with my comments on it in Afrikaans.  I also [...]

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  • 54. LeoPardus  |  November 15, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Hmmm… “the ties that bind” seem to have triggered a spanish-language porn ‘bot.

  • 55. Josh  |  November 15, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    We should probably make a decision on whether to allow commentators without “souls” (double joke intended).

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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