Re: [humanism-174] Atheist deconversion?

From: Justin
Sent on: Friday, March 8, 2013 2:08 PM
Believe whatever you want. I know no freethinker that would hold a person in the wrong for "rediscovering a god". 

The opposite may not be so true. I know plenty of Christians (and others) who would, and do, judge people for "discovering there is no god"

We are all a part of humankind. Be both. Human and kind.

~J


On Mar 8, 2013, at 13:54, Mark Tiborsky <[address removed]> wrote:

Shoot- the whole thing is readable on my mobile device. Here's the heart of her story, after she began her studies at Harvard and had her so-called atheism philosophically challenged by a religious friend:

***************

"By Valentine's Day, I began to believe in God. There was no intellectual shame in being a deist, after all, as I joined the respectable ranks of Thomas Jefferson and other Founding Fathers.

I wouldn't stay a deist for long. A Catholic friend gave me J. Budziszewski's book Ask Me Anything, which included the Christian teaching that "love is a commitment of the will to the true good of the other person." This theme—of love as sacrifice for true good—struck me. The Cross no longer seemed a grotesque symbol of divine sadism, but a remarkable act of love. And Christianity began to look less strangely mythical and more cosmically beautiful.

At the same time, I had begun to read through the Bible and was confronted by my sin. I was painfully arrogant and prone to fits of rage. I was unforgiving and unwaveringly selfish. I passed sexual boundaries that I'd promised I wouldn't. The fact that I had failed to adhere to my own ethical standards filled me with deep regret. Yet I could do nothing to right these wrongs. The Cross no longer looked merely like a symbol of love, but like the answer to an incurable need. When I read the Crucifixion scene in the Book of John for the first time, I wept.

But beauty and need do not make something true. I longed for the Bible to be true, but the intellectual evidence was still insufficient.

So I plunged headlong into apologetics, devouring debates and books from many perspectives. I read the Qur'an and Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion. I went through The Skeptic's Annotated Bible and looked up Christian rebuttals to apparent contradictions. But nothing compared to the rich tradition of Christian intellect. I'd argued with my peers, but I'd never investigated the works of the masters: Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, Kant, Pascal, and Lewis. When I finally did, the only reasonable course of action was to believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

But my head and my heart suddenly switched places. Though I began to know the evidence for the Scriptures, my head full of answers, I began to feel distant from the story that had brought me to tears a month prior. When reading through the Passion narrative on retreat on Cape Cod in the spring, I remained utterly unmoved. I went out to pray."

******************

On Mar 8,[masked]:22 PM, "Chris K" <[address removed]> wrote:
You can only read a few paragraphs without subscribing. :(

I'm guessing she became a Christian because of "an overwhelming body of evidence" and "the living god"?  

Chris


Sent from my ayayayphone

On Mar 8, 2013, at 11:44 AM, Mark Tiborsky <[address removed]> wrote:

These types of stories are always similar in that they're not very compelling. But this might be of interest to those of us who have shed (or are in the process of shedding) a religion, in a sort of polar-reverse way :)

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/march/atheists-dilemma.html?paging=off





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Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
This message was sent by Mark Tiborsky ([address removed]) from The Cleveland Freethinkers.
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