You can use any terms you like, but never underestimate the ability of a believer to redefine your terms.
LOL. Yes, this is certainly something I do often expect, as I did it myself for many years with "you atheists".
Dan Barker is an excellent resource as a believer-turned-rational. It must gall believers that an atheist makes money off of them. I'm sure they prefer to avoid that subject.
So true. For me (back then), I absolutely avoided such authors. In fact, I once went to a public library (looking for something else) and found myself being "tempting by Satan" to checkout the "atheist" books. Well, I found my way to that bookshelf and starred at two books, but could not pick them up. They were Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist
, and The Book Your Church Doesn't Want You To Read.
Isn't it mentally exhausting to keep up that kind of activity? Did you feed yourself some kind of elixir that all of it would make sense some day?
I'm not sure if you mean now, or back then, but I will speak to both. Back then (in the fundie days) my "elixir" was JESUS! I wanted to save you "lost" folk and prove to you that you are wrong! LOL. Now that I'm moving in the opposite direction I'm pretty motivated by 1) the fact that I enjoy debate, 2) I like to think I'm good at it! 3) It's fun to see theists squirm, as I used to (knowing some of the thought processes they are going through, and 4) I think it betters the world to engage false beliefs and force them to be critical/rational.
Given the 20+ centuries that this kind of crap has been happening, you can appreciate a reluctance to invest too much time. Perhaps you have leverage that we don't.
I may have a slight edge in that I understand the psychology of being a Christian Apologist (from the inside). I often want to get to the "heart" of the matter (i.e. - why they REALLY came to believe this nonsense - b/c it's not due to evidence or argument). It's due to emotion (particularly fear and in-group thinking, etc).
Religion is the same as any social club -- it requires dues and a mental/social investment. People don't like to throw away their time and money, so they will find any way they can to justify their habits.
Absolutely...as did I! Yet, I can't quite say exactly when I decided to get honest with myself and accept the fact that I "just didn't know". It just happened. I found myself being very curious about other ways of thinking, how outsiders (ex-Christians) thought of my beliefs, and whether or not my beliefs could really
stand up to scrutiny. I thought, "Hey, if this is the absolute truth it will stand up to anything you can throw at it." And of course, it didn't.