A journey to atheism: A closer look
I found a deconversion testimony by an atheist on Prayson Daniel’s blog, and I thought it might be useful to take a look at it.
But first, I want to recap some reasons why people think that God exists.
The kalam cosmological argument and the Big Bang theory
The fine-tuning argument from cosmological constants and quantities
The origin of life, part 1 of 2: the building blocks of life
The origin of life, part 2 of 2: biological information
The sudden origin of phyla in the Cambrian explosion
Galactic habitable zones and circumstellar habitable zones
Irreducible complexity in molecular machines
The creative limits of natural selection and random mutation
Angus Menuge’s ontological argument from reason
Alvin Plantinga’s epistemological argument from reason
William Lane Craig’s moral argument
The unexpected applicability of mathematics to nature
In addition to these arguments for theism, Christians would make be some sort of minimal facts case for the resurrection, one that leverages the early creed in 1 Corinthians 15:3-7. And some sort of case for the early belief that Jesus was divine.
In addition to those positive evidences, there would be informed defenses to other questions like the problem of evil, the problem of suffering, religious pluralism, the hiddenness of God, materialist conceptions of mind, consciousness and neuroscience, the justice of eternal damnation, sovereignty and free will, the doctrine of the Incarnation, the doctrine of the Trinity, and so on.
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I listed these out so that you can see how many of these positive arguments and defenses that he wrestles with in his deconversion testimony, which is linked below.
So here is the deconversion testimony.
And here are some revealing snippets, under headings.
“ Being baptists things were pretty legalistic growing up.”
His parents tell him: “This is the bible and its truth can’t be debated. It is what it is.”
Piety rather than apologetics
“Most of my young life I was “that” religious kid. You know him. He’s awkward looking with coke bottle glasses and horrendous hair and triple hand me down clothes. I told random kids on the bus that I would pray for them and would be mocked in return.”
“I told random kids on the bus that I would pray for them and would be mocked in return. One time I even got jumped while fishing and once they started punching me I didn’t even fight back, “turn the other cheek” was being said in my mind over and over. I got the crap kicked out of me and several months of ridicule at school over getting such a beating.
I think the most embarrassing time for me was in 8th grade science class when one kid started calling me a “bible beater” while the teacher was out of the room. He then got the entire class to mock and laugh at me. It wasn’t fun. In fact, it sucked.”
Deconversion prior to serious study of the evidence
“I think it was around 9th grade that my apathy for religion and god really started to set it. Being honest with myself I didn’t want to be the kid that got mocked anymore.”
Ineffective church leadership
“We’d laugh at our peers that were so moved by the message told by the church leaders… Everything I was seeing my peers do could easily be chalked up to a group or mob mentality. A psychological effect of emotions.”
I agree with him about this one, the church generally does nothing to form a Christian worldview, even though they have years and years to do it. And they are quite proud of this “focus on the gospel”, even as kids drop Christianity as soon as they hear intellectual objections to it in college…