Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Conversion Catalyst

I’ve interviewed a many notable atheists with great conversion stories. Ex-Baptist minister, Bruce Gerencser, one-time Catholic priest, Thom Burkett, and past Presbyterian pastor, David Hayward, to name a few. I’m aware of atheists who are now proud Christians, mostly because evangelists reshare such stories until my timeline is a flood of textual reruns. They must know that the narrative of someone discarding one life for another can be very compelling, but should it ever be compelling enough to convince you to change? Is there anyone whose conversion would be a catalyst for your own?

Not long ago I had a close college friend pass along his testimony of religious revelation. Unlike a door-to-door religious testimony, my friend’s meant something because I knew that he wasn’t mentally unstable. He wasn’t justifying the means of a lie to the end of saving my soul. Coming from a person who with I’ve spent the best and worst of over four years it meant what he was saying was very likely honest, but probably untrue. My trust in my friends doesn’t supersede my trust in the arrow of time or the laws of physics. I know that makes me the cynic who will eventually be proven wrong in the feel-good movie of the year, but I also know that my life isn’t a fantasy flick.

Still, my friend’s conversion was as an influencer on a personal level, but not on an intellectual level. We never spoke of theology or justified our beliefs. I merely knew he was an atheist. Inquiring further would have required a firmer interest, which I didn’t have at the time. Alcohol and video games seemed more interesting. Fast forward to present day and I wonder what if an atheist converted who based more of their life on their non-belief, like the aforementioned ex-pastors? What if, say, Dawkins accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior? I’d be very interested in that conversion story. The conversion itself would have less affect on me than my friend, but intellectually I’d be fascinated in what facilitated the change. A near-death experience, a personal revelation or some other one-off subjective event would hamper my interest. However, if the change was due to new evidence that Dawkins believes undermines the entirety of evolution in some way? I would probably research it until I was either a Christian or a biologist.

The appeal to authority or celebrity should never be enough to change your mind, but conversion stories can be a marker for information with real value. I’d be willing to bet that the Pope will convert before Dawkins will, but if that happens, I imagine the Church will retroactively revoke his infallible status quicker than you can say "transubstantiation."

14 comments:

  1. Transubstantiation. Now that's a mouth full!

    I have always found conversions from atheism to religion bewildering and fascinating. I was all up and posting like mad about Leah Libresco (whom I had only vaguely heard of before her conversion to Catholicism of all things). Stacy Transancos fascinates me as well.

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    1. Haven't heard about Stacy...I'll have to Google her.

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  2. for the FAKE ANGLO-SAXON MONARCHY

    isgodimaginary.com/forum/index.php/topic,54144.0.html

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  3. As an aside, Bruce Gerencser doesn't blog anymore. He shut down his blog and vanished overnight. I was sorry to see him go.

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    1. Me too. I enjoyed his commentary.

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    2. Me too, of course. It's all rather odd how he disappeared.

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    3. He has vanished before I think. Just closed down his blogs and popped up again a few months later.

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    4. I see Bruce is back blogging again. Nice to see him back.

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  4. Appeal to celebrity. I like that, makes me think how many people have become Scientologists because of Tom Cruise and the like.

    I agree with you though if Dawkins converted, I would do some serious research as to why, probably still stay an atheist though. I am sure it would be due to him losing his mind or something dramatic like that.

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  5. Lee Strobel, became a to know YHWH(The Father and The Son and The Holy Spirit) exists due to evidence and facts(Don't know if he's a Christian/Saved though)

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  6. Most I know became an atheist not by doing their own research, but by being brainwashed like the rest of the masses, "Science said it, that settles it!" without an investigation.

    Science doesn't rely on what Scientist say, but on 1 thing, Observation and Logic, and All Assumptions, Achievements, Statuses, are kept at the door, whatever is Observed and Logical, is Scientific.

    One Species has never been observed to evolve into a new species, it's Scientific Status? Idea, not a theory, as theories are based on all evidence.

    Creation by Intelligent Mind has been observed in DNA, thus is Scientifically a Fact.

    Yet no scientist says it, why should I take Mainstream "Scientist" in support of evolution Serious, who use fallicous logic such as Richards Dawkins(Who Caused God fallacy for example), and provide no proof specifically for Evolution as all "proof" provided can easily support Creation.

    For example Transitional Fossils do no prove Evolution, we can easily theorize that YHWH created Species similar and at different levels, the "why would God deceive us into thinking Evolution?" fallacy doesn't work, as if it supported Evolution, it would support Evolution Only, otherwise it would not count as proof, for example,

    if the glove at oj simpsons murder fit on OJ AND could fit on another suspect, can the size be used as proof for who the killer is? No, only if there was their own blood on it or the glove only fit one of the suspects could it be used to prove who the killer is.

    Likewise, One Species being observed into a New/Different species can only AT LEAST be a theory when there's evidence that can Only support Evolution, if not, if it can support Creation, then Evolution has no evidence, One Species needs to be observed to evolve into a New/Different Species.

    So when someone says that "science proves God doesn't exist" or that "God isn't required" I ask the atheist, How?

    They'll point to evolution and the "evidences" for it,

    I'll then refute them with the fact that this same "evidence" can be used for Creation, meaning it's useless for Evolution and not proof for evolution.(cont)

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    1. Most I know became an atheist not by doing their own research, but by being brainwashed like the rest of the masses.

      Please know that's exactly how I feel about the religious.

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  7. (cont)In which they'll then say, "why is Evolution accepted as a fact from a Majority of Scientist",

    Which I'll refute with the fact that most Scientist do not hold to Evolution and that Popularity doesn't equal truth, Evidence does, this is the Ad Popularium fallacy.

    Which all just demonstrates that the masses are brainwashed by whatever the media claims, if the media claims you're your brain, they'll believe it, if they say corn flakes reduce masturbation, they'll believe it, if they say evolution happened, they'll believe it, with no sort of investigating.

    Not until I investigated properly, started critically thinking, started using logic and reason, started being open minded to science without lying to myself did I find that Christianity is an Objective Fact, with no issues.

    Anyone if they stopped being lazy, emotional, and open to science would easily give up atheism if they investigated the facts, I never understood how Miracles were possible, after studying and being Scientific did it change, now I cannot Scientifically see how Miracles are NOT Possible, they aren't even miracles anymore, they're Natural.

    For example you wouldn't believe in a talking snake because you never seen/heard one(which is fallacious thinking, not seeing doesn't mean not existing) however they are Scientifically valid under Quantum Mechanics/Atoms, a snake can talk as a human can, whether you believe it or not, Scientific Truth.

    People use Interpolations in The Bible against YHWH, this doesn't work, because they're interpolations, all the passages on YHWH speak for Good, He is indeed perfect, so people have no excuse, why do people hate YHWH?

    Watch this, if you want to have sex, wouldn't YHWH who knows what you need and knows your consciousness, and actually cares about you more than yourself, want you to have great sex?

    if you're hungry, wouldn't He want you to eat? indeed.

    However most important out of all, Wouldn't He want you to Live/Exist? Yes of course, that's the very reason why He doesn't appear(Answered here, http://savedbychrist94.blogspot.com/2013/03/problem-of-suffering-solved-why-it-is.html

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    1. "For example you wouldn't believe in a talking snake because you never seen/heard one(which is fallacious thinking, not seeing doesn't mean not existing)"

      "One Species has never been observed to evolve into a new species..."

      Excellent form! You executed a perfect christian double standard. Idiot...

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