I know what most people mean when they use that term, I'm just trying to figure out what skep means when he uses it to describe his experience of "being an atheist".
Does it make sense to you? To me, it's roughly <does not compute>.
He's lying. If he was 100% atheist, he'd know exactly how to speak to us, and he doesn't. Every Christian that has come here stating they used to be a "hardcore atheist" never knows how to speak to us and that's because they were never "hardcore" or mostly likely, an atheist.
Ànd blood words on a wall, the phrase he mentioned, I swear I saw that in a movie once. I'm still looking but that's a lot of movies to go through.
I karma'd you because this is just too obvious, and not just with Skep but with 99% of all Christians I've ever heard claim to have been atheists.
When I was still new, I commented that I didn't buy that claim at all, while thinking 'now you are in No True Scotsman territory' which is ONLY true if you can prove there are True Scotsmen, or fake ones, or both.
Before I was a Christian, I was a US citizen, born and bred. There is no escaping Christianity if you are born and raised in America. My family didn't go to church, but most of my friends' families did, and that's how I became a baptized member of the church of Christ (not The Church of Christ). All the love and brotherhood of my other friends' churches didn't get through to me, but the brimstone and Hellfire the church of Christ preached did. But before that, I was not an atheist. I just hadn't committed myself, nor took seriously, the practice of BEING a Christian.
Atheism is not simply the absence of Christianity, as Skep seems to believe. Or the absence of going around and testifying that you are a Christian, either, or arguing for Jesus with heathens.
I see becoming an atheist as a kind of existential 'one way door', that once you go thoughtfully through, you turn around and the door back to theism is just gone. Atheism is part of a worldview that is incompatible with pre-rational thinking. Once the rational thinking takes hold -- and perhaps to a degree, which I'll get to in a minute -- a person can't just stop thinking rationally. I guess that would be considered a point scored for the demons of rational thinking for folks like Skep.
I'm watching my sister, a Southern Baptist evangelical-in-recovery, struggling mightily with the indoctrination and conditioning. She left because her third child, born female, announced she was male and because her love for her children far overrode (thank . . . um . . .) her Christian hardness of heart. Her family immediately lost their close knit community overnight.
She took a class on the Christian church in American history, and just that simple college course unhinged the shaky lies the church told its congregants. Just this small bit of education! A freshman level class at that.
Now I see her struggling with fear. She was always easily frightened by scary, invisible things (if I go to Hell, it will be because I got SO much enjoyment from terrorizing her as a kid
). Especially, God. She lost her first baby at 11 days of age from a diaphragmatic hernia (lungs didn't develop) and since then, she's felt somehow 'punished' by God, and in the 23 years hence, spent most of that time seeking ways to NOT get punished by God. I would bet money this is the same reason many convert, especially to these crazy evangelical/fundamentalist/literalist sects. Even Kim Davis admitted that her issues were a lot more than keeping her job, it was an issue of "Heaven versus Hell". So many theists lie through their teeth that this is how they got hooked in. It's practically the ONLY way possible in modern life.
Anyway, I'm watching her slowly climb out of this worldview, losing her fear a little at a time. Her life has radically changed, as has that of the children (one of whom concurrently announced she was Queer, and the youngest, Bi) who were entirely homeschooled and completely unprepared for life (another story). She's even apologized to me for the nastiness over the years, like sending me each new Rush Limbaugh book 'as a joke', knowing I was in a relationship with a woman at the time), but I tell her 'Please try hard not to forget what it was like for you. You could be so helpful to others in your situation.' I'm not sure if that scared her worse, or helped. I hope it helped
I tell her she's brave. And even I can see, watching her, how it is impossible, without a frontal lobotomy, for her to 'go back'.