Deconversion story posted on Dawkins' forums - ironic or not? We report...you decide. *LOL*
Here is a post from the Dawkins' forums that essentially credits us, and specifically the Nightline debacle with Cameron/Comfort, for his deconversion from christianity. I find this terribly ironic since some of the regulars at the RDF site are extremely critical of us and our methods, some even going so far as saying that we will never affect anybody's beliefs and that we somehow harm atheism. I find it telling that when this was posted on their boards, nobody had anything to say. Why didn't they explain to this person that they shouldn't have been persuaded by our juvenile, offensive argumentation? Why was the typical response to anything having to do with us not represented in this thread? Go ahead and explain to this poster all the reasons why we are ineffective and pedantic stupid morons. I triple-dog dare you.
Hello everyone, and thanks in advance for your warm welcomes. I suppose it is necessary to go into the obligatory story of my personal journey, but I promise to be as brief as I can. (Disclaimer: I am not capable of being very brief)
I was raised by very liberal and progressive parents who happened to attend the United Church of Christ. My mother still holds her Christian beliefs, but admittedly picks the parts of God's Word that deal in love and discards the rest. She is not a literalist by any means. My father is rather mysterious in his beliefs, but I think he's more of a deist, believing in some kind of collective consciousness that runs throughout everything in the universe (he's a hippie). I think it can be said that he believes in intelligent design.
As for me, I've always had my doubts but was a more-or-less skeptical believer for a long time. By the time I started college, I had moved comfortably into agnosticism, deciding that concentrating on myself at that critical point in my life would be the best thing. Now I'm 22 and settled into the San Francisco Bay Area, and I have more time to devote to these questions. By happy accident, I stumbled upon the recent debate between the Rational Response Squad and the Way of the Master folks. Kirk Cameron told me he was going to prove God's existence without invoking faith or the Bible, and I was immediately a captive viewer.
What I saw instead was a pair of men making fools of themselves, and violating their own preset rules in the process. After they let me down, I came to accept that there are no convincing objective arguments for God, least of all arguments that don't stem from scripture, and since then my beliefs have been solidified by the beauty and simplicity of evolution science - indeed, I believe it can be used to explain far more than simply the presence of life; the structure of the universe and even the most successful religions can be said to show evidence of the validity of evolution theory.
After all, in Christian households children are typically indoctrinated at a very young age before they are capable of objective critical thinking and are told that nonbelievers go to Hell - these are both extremely strong survival mechanisms in evolutionary terms. It is also an imperative that Christians try to reach and save as many souls as possible, and spread their beliefs to the underdeveloped, needy parts of the world. This is an extremely strong reproductive mechanism, so Christianity can be said to have prospered thus far due to its powerful drive to survive and reproduce, not unlike any biological specimen on this planet. I find the idea that these people's beliefs are a standing testament to the biggest argument against them to be quite amusing and ironic.
I am now an atheist through-and-through, but it is a continuous process as I continue to read and investigate further. Initially, I got back into theology as a field of study in order to put to rest all the questions in my mind that had been building over the years, but learning what I have has only made me thirsty for knowledge about the secular universe as we know it. The Rational Response Squad, as well as books by Mr. Dawkins, David Mills and others, have helped me to accept my beliefs and I'm no longer afraid.
This is my first attempt at connecting with a larger community of nonbelievers. I've had friends throughout the years who are atheists and I never judged them (in fact, a deep-seated part of my consciousness knew that they were just being more honest with themselves than I was), but now that I've freed myself of the belief in a creator I want to connect and find out what other people like me have to say. If you've read this far, you must be as eager to learn as I am (or just bored). Let's figure the universe out together!