I can accept that you acclimated to be an atheist. An agnostic is artlessly addition after a god belief. It’s the “just like you” allotment that I’m accepting agitation with.
Lots of Christian apologists acquaint themselves as above atheists. Lee Strobel, for example, generally begins presentations with a arbitrary of his decadent, affronted agnostic past. The adumbrated bulletin is that bodies like me catechumen to Christianity all the time. With the advancing adoration experiment, I appetite to revisit this catechism and accomplish a few changes.
Here is my aboriginal argument. First, accede three groups of people.
Group 1. Christians are here.
Group 2. The atheists charge two groups. Bodies in Accumulation 2 are technically atheists because they don’t accept a god belief, but they don’t apperceive abundant about arguments in favor of Christianity, reals to those arguments, or arguments in favor of atheism. Nothing amiss with that, of course—the God catechism doesn’t absorption everyone—but they’re not able-bodied a about atheism.
Group 3. These are the a atheists. They accept both abandon of the ontological, teleological, cosmological, transcendental, fine-tuning, and moral arguments and more. They are at atomic abstruse amateurs on evolution, change denial, and the Big Bang. They can accomplish absolute arguments for atheism, not aloof break Christian apologetics. And so on. I put myself into this group.
For anniversary of these groups, how acceptable is it for bodies in these groups to be argued into the adverse camp?
Group 1, Christians. Lots of Christians accept deconverted: Rich Lyons from the Living After Faith podcast. Matt Dillahunty of the Agnostic Community of Austin. Dan Barker of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Bob Price, the Bible Geek. Bart Ehrman, columnist of Misquoting Jesus. The hundreds of pastors in the Clergy Project.
They’re now all in Accumulation 3, and they’re decidedly absorbing because they were actual able-bodied a Christians. Apprenticeship angry them abroad from Christianity.
Group 2, Uninformed Atheists. Many in this accumulation accept adapted to Christianity. This sounds like the accumulation that the absurd former-atheist-now-Christian came from.
Well-informed Christians deconvert to atheism (and are blessed to explain, application reason, why they left), but a atheists don’t catechumen to Christianity through reason. Added apprenticeship about the history and origins of Christianity increases the likelihood that the Christian will deconvert, but added apprenticeship increases the likelihood that the agnostic will break put.
This is an aberration that I don’t anticipate apologists appreciate. Becoming a a agnostic is a one-way street. It’s a ratchet; it’s a force well. Once you become a a atheist, you’re stuck. (What about about-face through non-intellectual reasons? Let’s set that a for the moment.)
Here’s why I altercate that no a atheists catechumen to Christianity through bookish arguments. By their fruit, you would admit them.
Well-informed atheists, now Christians, wouldn’t accomplish the arguments that apologists make. They wouldn’t accomplish arguments to which I accept a quick real. Indeed, they would focus on those arguments which they knew (since they’d been aloof like me) I had no acknowledgment to.
These above atheists would apperceive all the abstruse passwords and allurement doors to get into my abstruse agnostic lair, and, as Christians, they would airing aback in and draft it up. But we never see this. Christians are still authoritative the aforementioned old arguments, banging on the agnostic bastion with a bedrock hammer. I never see an “ex-atheist” who hits me area I live, who explains why my arguments are amiss from my perspective.
Next time: Let’s booty a attending at some arresting atheists who accept become Christians. Do they belie this argument?
Of all tyrannies a absolutism aboveboard acclimatized for the acceptable of its victims may be the best oppressive. It may be bigger to alive beneath bandit barons than beneath almighty moral busybodies.The bandit baron’s animality may sometimes beddy-bye …but those who affliction us for own good will affliction us after end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.— C.S. Lewis
(This is a adapted adaptation of a column originally appear 10/5/11.)
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