Fomer Atheists

Getting to know more about a particular group

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rikuoamero
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Fomer Atheists

Post #1

Post by rikuoamero »

Yes, I know I already have a question up. Have had it up for years, and not one reply to it. So here's to hoping making a new thread topic gets some action.

There are people on this website who are part of the user-group "Former Atheists". Site owner otseng is one of them. I'm also talking to those people who think of themselves as former atheists, even if they're not part of the user-group (have just checked its roster and only two names are on it that I recognise - otseng...and JoeyKnotHead for some reason...)

So I'd like to know - what was the impetus for your transition?

First, I'd like to know what you did and thought during that period of time you were an atheist. A typical atheist (at least here on DC'n'R and other discussion boards) asks questions, pokes holes in the logical fallacies put forth by theists. This kind of atheist knows NEVER to use arguments like the Modal Ontological Argument, or Kalam. Or that other atheists are such simply because they want to sin.

Were you an active atheist/agnostic before, did you participate in discussions much like I do today? Do you use arguments today as a theist that during your atheist/agnostic days you would have refuted?
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Your life is your own. Rise up and live it - Richard Rahl, Sword of Truth Book 6 "Faith of the Fallen"

I condemn all gods who dare demand my fealty, who won't look me in the face so's I know who it is I gotta fealty to. -- JoeyKnotHead

Some force seems to restrict me from buying into the apparent nonsense that others find so easy to buy into. Having no religious or supernatural beliefs of my own, I just call that force reason. -- Tired of the Nonsense

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Divine Insight
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Post #2

Post by Divine Insight »

I would like to point out for clarification that the term "atheist", simply means to not believe in any particular God. It doesn't mean that the person was actually convinced that there is no God. Or that they at any time viewed secularism as a rational philosophy.

So I suggest that many people who use the term "atheist" really mean that they were "agnostic" prior to becoming persuaded by any particularity religion.

I would also like to mention that I have seen many people who claim to have been "atheists" prior to accepting Christianity, but upon further discussion with them I have discovered that they actually used to be angry with God. (the Biblical God) prior to finally accepting Christ as their savior.

The problem there is that people who used to be angry with God before deciding to do what they believe the God wants them to do, were definitely not "atheists". Believing in a God that a person does not like does not make them an atheist. In fact, in that case they were actually a theist who was angry with the God that they believe exists, before finally changing their opinion of the very same God.

Obviously this won't apply to everyone who claims to have been an atheist prior to changing their position on religion. But it clearly applies to some because their own personal testimonies have revealed the fact that they had a bone to pick with this God that they supposedly didn't believe in. And that clearly shows that they believed in the God even when they claimed to be an "atheist".
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Spiritual Growth - A person's continual assessment
of how well they believe they are doing
relative to what they believe a personal God expects of them.
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rikuoamero
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Post #3

Post by rikuoamero »

[Replying to post 2 by Divine Insight]
So I suggest that many people who use the term "atheist" really mean that they were "agnostic" prior to becoming persuaded by any particularity religion.

I would also like to mention that I have seen many people who claim to have been "atheists" prior to accepting Christianity, but upon further discussion with them I have discovered that they actually used to be angry with God. (the Biblical God) prior to finally accepting Christ as their savior.
Good points. Perhaps there should be a new usergroup - "Former Agnostics"? "Former Misotheists?"
Anyway, what I'm hoping to hear from are "actual" former atheists (and I hate to use the word actual there), atheists like yourself and myself, people who at a previous point in their lives were like I am today - a person who doesn't believe in a God or Gods, who debated and could debunk most if not all typical theistic arguments.
For example - I'd love to hear from someone who has debated, argued and refuted Kalam, or Modal Ontological but is now a theist who uses those arguments. I'd like to hear just why they use arguments they previously rejected. What changed?
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Your life is your own. Rise up and live it - Richard Rahl, Sword of Truth Book 6 "Faith of the Fallen"

I condemn all gods who dare demand my fealty, who won't look me in the face so's I know who it is I gotta fealty to. -- JoeyKnotHead

Some force seems to restrict me from buying into the apparent nonsense that others find so easy to buy into. Having no religious or supernatural beliefs of my own, I just call that force reason. -- Tired of the Nonsense

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William
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Re: Fomer Atheists

Post #4

Post by William »

[Replying to post 1 by rikuoamero]

Maybe the whole idea of claiming one was once an atheist before becoming a theist is a response to the oft touted argument, from atheists nonetheless - that everyone starts out as an atheist...in that everyone is born an atheist and that is the 'default position' of the human being?

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rikuoamero
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Re: Fomer Atheists

Post #5

Post by rikuoamero »

William wrote: [Replying to post 1 by rikuoamero]

Maybe the whole idea of claiming one was once an atheist before becoming a theist is a response to the oft touted argument, from atheists nonetheless - that everyone starts out as an atheist...in that everyone is born an atheist and that is the 'default position' of the human being?
In that sense, one might as well label themselves as/join the usergroup "Former Fetuses"...
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Your life is your own. Rise up and live it - Richard Rahl, Sword of Truth Book 6 "Faith of the Fallen"

I condemn all gods who dare demand my fealty, who won't look me in the face so's I know who it is I gotta fealty to. -- JoeyKnotHead

Some force seems to restrict me from buying into the apparent nonsense that others find so easy to buy into. Having no religious or supernatural beliefs of my own, I just call that force reason. -- Tired of the Nonsense

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William
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Re: Fomer Atheists

Post #6

Post by William »

[Replying to post 5 by rikuoamero]
In that sense, one might as well label themselves as/join the usergroup "Former Fetuses"...
Even so, the point they are arguing is that everyone starts out an atheist. In the context of setting a premise, claiming 'everyone was once a fetus' pretty much goes without saying, whereas the idea that everyone starts out in the atheist position and learn to be theists has some argument value.

If I were to assume that premise as correct, the short answer to the OPQ would be that I find atheism a position lacking any answers to the 'why' questions, whereas theology ventures into the metaphysical and comes up with some extremely interesting ones.

I have never been in a position where my lack of belief in GOD(s) developed into something which I then felt compelled to 'take on the road' and proselytize, nor have I ever encountered any 'active atheist' who has been able to convince me that atheism is 'the way' to proceed with my life, as those arguments appear to me to be an extremely shallow 'scratching of the surface' compared with the depth of my relationship with the idea of GOD which has developed in the course of my subjective unfolding reality experience.

I have discovered nothing more exciting than to understand the Earth as a living entity, alive, extremely intelligent and responsible for the fact of life. The thought of the whole process being a mindless accident has zero appeal to me and I liken such difference in thinking to that of someone staring at a windowless brick wall believing that is all there is to experience, while beyond the wall is a whole universe to experience.

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