Atheists convert to theism
Kirk Cameron and other fundamentalists are fond of saying things like, "I used to be an atheist. I had doubts about God. But I opened my heart to him and found the truth..."
Do atheists routinely convert back to theism?
To resolve this query, ask yourself another question:
Do you know of anyone who stopped believing in Santa Claus and then later changed their mind and started to believe again?
Kirk Cameron was not really an atheist. He may have been confused; he may have had some agnostic-like moments of weakness where his life sucked and he temporarily abandoned his delusional theist rituals and beliefs, but that, to most true atheists, is not the definition of an atheist. It's like saying you're a vegetarian because at the end of one day, you recognized you didn't eat any meat.
What adult has started to re-believe in Santa? Have you ever heard of that? This is what we're talking about. Once you recognize that Santa Claus doesn't exist and the whole story about him delivering presents to all boys and girls on one night, riding a sleigh through the sky, is BS, that's the end of that. You don't wake up a few years later and change your mind. If this is what happened to Kirk Cameron and other theists who think they can get some "street cred" by implying they used to be atheists, they're not being completely honest.
When you truly become an atheist, that's what happens: You UNDERSTAND that believing in a fictional supernatural being for which there is no physical evidence, is not rational. You raise the bar on your skepticism to require physical evidence of supernatural claims. Nothing short of that will convince a true atheist to believe.
Likewise, once you realize the myth of Santa Claus makes more sense as a fictitious folk tale, you can't honestly go back to thinking it's real unless you've had some sort of brain damage or mental retardation, or you actually see some fat guy in a red suit flying through the air on a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer. If you decide to believe in lieu of any real evidence, you're exhibiting pathology indicative of paranoid delusion.
Granted, it's a lot easier to see why people continue to hold onto theist dogma when there are so many institutions and influences in society that promote it as being real. But the bottom line is that there still isn't any physical evidence. It makes you wonder if more people talked about how Santa was a real live person and flying sleighs do exist, whether people would continue to believe? It says less about what's real and true and more about the power of propaganda and peer-pressure.
--Pile 11:58, 17 August 2007 (CDT)
Anthony Flew is among many atheists who have been touted as examples of people who returned to the theist fold. Unfortunately for those making the theist argument he did not fully reconvert,and certainly not to a christian-style faith as he himself pointed out. . Overall his change of heart was to a fairly weak and confused form of deism, which was to some degree inspired, according to him, by a misunderstanding of scientific evidence (ibid). Despite this admission at this point he continues to adhere to his recent shift in viewpoint.
Or get another answer by asking the question: "Have people believed that electrons were arranged into shells around a nucleus and then learned that the likely picture is different and more complex"
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