(A.k.a. When Catholics that shovel a mountain of books on someone’s desk and say, “Read this before you criticize my faith.)
>I wasn’t raised in the faith so my worldview remains largely atheistic in the feel.
I hate contradicting people on personal details they didn’t introduce in a thread, but I have to make a lengthy correction for clarity (you can revise it.) I thought you said on the Christian forum that you were raised Catholic, “turned Atheist” as an adolescent, and then converted back to Christianity around the age of 18 or so? At least two others there claim to have been Atheists. They also claim to having formerly led degenerate ruinous lives until they found Christ. I’m not buying it when they talk like my eternally fundamentalist relatives.
It’s impossible to take seriously, when you find out they were raised in a Christian household, or a Christian environment. Sure you can have some doubts as a teenager, but that doesn’t make someone an Atheist or apostate. Neither does deciding at 14 you would rather sleep in than go to church and sing Christian worship for an hour.
Teenagers aren’t well read like adults and tend to devour anything you put in front of them before they’ve developed critical thinking… Any source will suffice for them, because they haven’t developed bullshit detectors. Most of the top results on the internet are by Christians, and strongly present the Christian one while distorting the other position. It’s easy to fall back into old habits and go with the flow unless you have a clean and extended break from religion, and then take the time to read rational arguments to protect yourself from nonsense.
If you bounce back to one of the denominations of a familiar faith it’s unlikely to be for rational reasons. Some form of latent indoctrination must have been triggered. At least, I consider this much more probable than a person has fully studied all of the surviving religions with equal ferocity and decided theirs was the best.
It’s usually obvious when they are bluffing about the severity of their Atheistic phase too, because they have about the same level of passing familiarity with secular sources and arguments as any other (educated) Christian.
A few months ago I had a typical discussion with a Catholic who claimed to be Atheist, and he kept throwing me links to Christian websites and books. What he was saying is you can’t possibly understand my faith without reading this mountain of theological interpretations. Catholics tend to fall hard for the appeals to authority, (in the form of expert opinions), more than Protestants, which is all the urging to read theology and Christian literature really is.
Usually in those discussions they randomly attack a few Atheist authors like Richard Dawkins, name-dropping and hope to convince you they’re familiar with the opposition, and you should not fall for some other authority. They then attack scientists, and/or question how much they can really know. This fails because one doesn’t need the words of a trusted authority to leave a religion. Many of those authors just clearly articulate arguments Ex-Christians have already thought of while deconverting. The ad hominem arguments fundamentally misunderstand that the person you are talking to is less moved by appeals to authority.
This is a false narrative people make to rewrite their lives, (I have to resist the urge to do so myself after deconverting.) I’d like to meet all these Atheists, because I’m just not meeting them, and apparently most of the churches are is filled with them and their Atheist children.
By the way this phenomenon is not limited to Christians. A certain Muslim I met told me he converted from shamanism. Those enrolled in Alcoholics Anonymous Claim their lives were much worse before, even though studies show the organization has questionable results.
Someone else added this reply:
No, I’m not going to (that Christian forum) and not chatting privately. I’m atheist. That means I have no belief in gods nor do I wish to entertain such notions. I’ve did it many years and debated atheists online for many years. I’ve heard all the arguments and nothing’s convinced me and I don’t think I was ever convinced to believe it. I had “faith” or hope that it might be true and that one day I could truly believe yet it didn’t work out. My atheistic views seem more true to me than any other religious or philosophical views I’ve encountered or thought.
I’m tired of it by now. I’ve given Christianity so much of my time, most of it I’d say were wasted. I could’ve done so many things, looked into so many other religions and gods just as deserving and I fucking hate that I wasted my time with it. I think it may serve some bit of purpose to comfort people just as believing in Santa for children does but it doesn’t make it true. And to go from a true atheist to a christian, I don’t see how that’s possible. That seems like going from not believing in santa to believing, which I’d assume would require some sort of brain damage. You were probably agnostic, at best or ’12 year old edgy atheist’ type of atheist, meaning you haven’t tested your views enough to firmly posit them with philosophical credentials.
You see you’re wasting your time with us and our time is being wasted. I see you’ve come here to save souls, as I figured and since it’s not working you’re getting uncomfortable. Do yourself a favor and don’t waste anymore time over this. Gods are like a mindgame. I’ve wasted so much time wondering about and seeking gods, who they might be, how I’m supposed to live, what they’d want me to do, and so on only to realize I’m a fool wasting my life away when there’s people outside to care for, things to do, etc. Before I did it because I felt I should as a christian, now I do it because I feel it’s a good thing to do. I was so mission oriented then but if you ask me now, if we have a mission in life it’s not to worry so much about what made us and what we’re to do here. It’s hard to have fun when you’re people like us that worry so much about these things. But I woke up way too early today, a bit grumpy, and need some sleep so will be check this thread tomorrow.