Maybe we could have some of the more-recently-deconverted WWGHA members try to remember exactly what was going through their mind as they were gradually(or perhaps suddenly) convinced that their previous beliefs no longer held up to scrutiny. Maybe DeathOverLife or TruthOT could chime in on this thread and help.
Ask, and you shall receive!
As a former theist turned atheist/LaVeyan, I can give the testimony story, or the straight to the point story.
I think with all former theists, since theism plays dearly into emotions, I will admit that the initial emotion and reaction is shock, and confusion. The reason of such is, the longer you cleave to this belief, the harder it is to let go. It has been almost a year now since my de-conversion, and yet, all the years of being lied to still toy with my emotions, so I do have a much greater disdain on religion than from a traditional atheist.
Pretty much for a testimonial, it started with as a Christian, wanting to get to know God more. Long before I even thought of atheists or atheism (pretty non-existent in the Bible Belt) I read not all of the Bible, but was reading it at the time. Let me mention that reading the Bible needs to be encouraged, because the Bible started the shaking of my faith, and I still remember to this day that the name which-must-not-be-named, started the shake due to contradictions of how he died.
He-who-must-not-be-named, is Judas Iscariot, also a badass black metal band as shown here:http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Judas_Iscariot/915
I apologize for the sham less advertising as I tend to always do this at times. Anyways, I could go on about how Judas Iscariot was actually the 1st step in causing my road from theism to atheism, but wikipedia has already done that work for me, so I’ll post it here. It perfectly explained everything that had me up in question marks: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judas_Iscariot
The main part to concentrate on are Death and under Theology, The Betrayal Of Jesus. It was through Judas Iscariot did my eyes start to open that Christianity may not be the Truth that I was so willing to seek. Once Judas could not loosen it’s grasp on me, it started the chipping away and revealing what Truth was all about.
Fast forward through a few loss of faiths at times, and you end up with me here as a Theist debating. Fast forward here now, and you get to where I am at today.
I made mention that my 1st step from theism to atheism was Judas Iscariot, but waay before then, the 1st thing that made me show that I could be wrong on a belief was that of the rapture and 7 year tribulation, which I debated with other Christians.
Overall, starting with the Rapture, Going into Judas Iscariot, and just seeing the downward spiral of faith from reading the Bible, since Christianity really does not follow the Bible it claims to base it’s beliefs on, led to my loss of faith and now my atheistic, yet nihilistic, yet Satanic views of life. Satanic in this case not meaning Devil-Worship, but as LaVey mentioned, Hebrew for Adversary. Adversary to Christianity and the other Semitic faiths.
I will never know how it actually feels to be a believer coming to this site and being bombarded with so many killer arguments against my faith in such a short time. I think it would be some good reading if some of the more-recently-deconverted WWGHA residents could provide some insight on this. Maybe they could even provide reference to some of our archived discussions that they were involved in.
Since you mentioned me earlier, and since I fit the description, no problems if I give my insight.
When I initially came, it wasn’t even of my own decision, but I had a friend join 1st named Hguols. I saw the hostility that they were showing him and it pissed me off to the point to come in myself. Atheists have a stigma from theism that atheists are always angry, upset, miserable, etc and the constant hostility didn’t not only rebound the stereotype, but it actually gave evidence to such claims. As a theist, who appeals to emotions and not logic nor reason, saw this as a blanket to show that atheists are not happy people by any means, and that they are upset for being wrong or lied to.
So, I did decide to try engaging anyway because I was still one of the most open-minded theists that came. I agreed to the fact that I could be wrong, but I didn’t see the views as wrong. Concerning the posters here that I argued, the biggest names I can think of now are Alzael, and ParkingPlaces. In fact, we still have my short lived debate with Parking Places here:http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,17210.0.html
And the commentary thread here:http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,17212.0.html
Had life not interrupted either of us, I would have liked to see where this was heading when I was a theist.
Other than this, I don’t really remember or if they even exist anymore the debates I’ve had with Alzael, other than I remembered it was Bible debating.
The whole de-converting process didn’t really happen from the site, but after the site where I did my own researching. I didn’t have 100% faith, as I was shaky even during the time I did debate and argue for God.
As I have said before to others when I very 1st de-converted that the hostility made it very off-putting. However, being on the atheist side seeing theists, I can also see how the hostility is actually much needed because the theist tends to refuse to listen.
Overall though, this is my problem 1st and foremost, but I think there will be 2 things from both viewpoints that will help out the discussions and that would be open-mindedness and patience. I will admit I think I lost some of my open-mindedness with the de-conversion, but that is logical as atheism tends to raise your bull-shit detector A LOT! In addition, I’ve always been impatient, but deep down, you can only debate with what one personally views as bullshit so much until it starts becoming hostile, but that’s why we need more patience, and I’m the 1st person I’m pointing at to be honest.
In addition, I wish to end it on this note as many have been seeing, I seem to have lost the flame on debating theists due to my no longer interest to let us say continue preaching to the choir, but have gotten way more into politics recently. Although I’m now far more political here than I ever dreamed I would be or would want to be, I still do tussle with theists in real life, since theists exist in real life and none on wwgha. I’m giving my friend a few days to answer the question I proposed about Cupid vs. Jesus. Either way, the extreme lack of theists on this site who are willing to discuss are why I haven’t been around much other than the politics threads.