Agnosis Skeptikos

The introspective wanderings of a one-time Christian turned agnostic

Deconversion

Posted by agnosis on September 4, 2007

FriendlyAtheist has an interesting bit about the deconversion process away from religious belief and into atheism. For me, it was a process of about four years for me to find my way into agnosticism. I don’t know if I’ll ever fully convert into atheism – that seems a little too drastic of a switch to me – but the process definitely was not instantaneous. The problem for me was countering a lifetime of training and belief, and that’s not something that a person can usually just give up in an instant. There are doubts and questions that, at first, seem to be answered adequately by religious belief. After awhile, though, the answers to the doubts and questions start to sound – and feel – hollow, shallow, contrived. They pile up and combine with experience to push the religious belief you’ve held for so long aside and prove it inadequate. I tend to think that, ironically, the intellect, the rational mind is part of what makes the process take time because the mind has to process the tension between the long-held religious beliefs and the newly-found anti-religious leanings. Some find their way back to religion. The rest of us, though, discover that the old religion is no longer a part of who are, and we discover that we are now either agnostic or atheist – and that just takes time.

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2 Responses to “Deconversion”

  1. Nice. Especially the last line.

    If I was a betting man, I’d bet you are already an atheist. You just aren’t ready to admit it to yourself.

    Personally, I’ve never understood the difference between an atheist and an agnostic. To me they are the same thing. If you don’t know whether there is a god, you don’t have enough evidence to convince yourself that there is. And if you don’t feel you have enough evidence to believe, then you are an atheist. An atheist says there is no reason to believe in god because there is no evidence for god.

  2. agnosis said

    Well, I mentioned in my very first post my rationale for describing myself as agnostic. My biggest sticking point is trying to think of this universe as something that came about, in all its vast complexity, all by itself. Of course, this could just me ‘wishing’ for a better explanation of origins. I actually don’t have as much trouble as I used to of accepting that the universe is on an infinite loop of death and rebirth. So you may be right – I may already be atheist and just not willing to admit it yet.

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