Friday, July 03, 2009

Atheist Bloggers - Persevere!

There are many anecdotal examples of former believers who have become atheist or agnostic in the past decade, and many who claim to have dropped faith after reading one of the recent best-sellers on atheism or from online discussions. It feels like you aren't ever getting through to folks, but I've argued for a long time that you can not judge the success of your rational arguments based on the hope that someone will thank you personally for deconverting them!

I look at what I do as similar to tossing seeds along a barren stretch of land. Maybe if I came back in 5 or 10 years, I'd see some beautiful trees. The story in this video encourages me (like many such stories do) to keep tossing seeds. I'm walking through the barren land anyway. I have nothing to lose.


Anonymous said...

You already know my story, so I won't repeat it here. I'll just say that, in my opinion, atheist bloggers have a role to play in giving religious doubters food for thought.

John Evo said...

I was thinking about you, Chappy, when I was doing this post and thinking back on many of the stories I've heard.

Not only do we have a role, but it's probably much more effective than we ever will or can know. That sounds a bit "faith based", but I think there is a difference.

We can look at the empirically derived numbers of increasing disbelief, in the U.S. and in the world. We can see that a change is occurring (in the direction, if not the speed) that we would favor. We can probably even get empirical datum in the future about the causes.

In the meantime, it takes very little faith to assume that some portion of deconverts get to their new position, slowly over time, by the things they hear and read.

Temaskian said...

Atheist bloggers influenced me too, when I was a Christian. They did not convert me; I converted myself, but they gave me the assurance that there were really people out there doubting the veracity of religion, just as I was. It probably made me feel less odd, and encouraged me to abandon religion altogether.

Anonymous said...
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John Evo said...

@ Temaskian - thanks for adding that to this thread! That's good to hear and maybe that's one of the things that newer atheists and agnostics can add to this whole dialogue. It gives strength to the whole process when you give credit to it for you being here.

@ Gideon - That was one of the most thoughtful and articulate responses you have made. NO. "The" most. If I had just read that without seeing your name attached, I wouldn't have thought it came from you.

But you did say I've seen a lot... enough to convince me that there is more to life than hard science.... and no one I know is claiming otherwise, my friend.

The Exterminator said...

OK, it's time to change your name to Johnny Skeptoseed.

John Evo said...

Ex - I actually kind of like it! I think I would change the "o" to an "i", but if we were doing my name contest of a couple of years ago, I would be charmed at your suggestion.