Thursday, August 21, 2008

Conversion


I was flicking through the channels the other night and I saw that a crappy Left Behind movie was on. Kirk Cameron was in it, and while I was tempted to watch (hello, Antichrist!), I wisely opted for something less craptacular. I don't even remember what it was, but it might have been the second half of Fletch. Which is way awesomer than the Kirk Cameron.

But that Cameron guy got me thinking. Apparently, he used to be an atheist. Then he found Jesus. Just like C.S. Lewis, and a local writer whose pretensions in morality and godliness are exceeded only by his literary pretensions. He's quite a guy, is our Herman.

I understand when people go from one flavour of religion to another. Especially switching from, say Catholicism to Anglicanism. What's the difference, right? And if you believe in god, then why not become a Muslim? Seriously? What difference can it really make? Your religion is an accident of your birth, usually, so why not switch if something cooler or niftier comes along?

But going from non-belief or disbelief to belief is incomprehensible to me, unless you've met god, or are hearing the voices (again, I'd see a shrink before a witchdoctor on that one) there's no real reason to believe. Here's the reasoning:
  1. God exists.
  2. Because a book and/or some preacher says so.
  3. Heaven exists.
  4. Because a book and/or some preacher says so.
  5. Hell exists.
  6. Because a book and/or some preacher says so.
  7. You are going to hell.
  8. Because a book and/or some preacher says so.
  9. You can stop this by believing in this or that saviour.
  10. Because a book and/or some preacher says so.
  11. The bible is the word of god.
  12. You know this because the Bible or the Quran say so, and they are the word of god.
  13. And all this is indisputable and obvious.
  14. Because a book and/or some preacher says so.
How do you get to this place when you haven't started there?

3 comments:

Adrian Hayter said...

I have discussed atheist to theist conversions with a large number of friends. We agreed that those who do so are probably only passive atheists (i.e. they never thought about God / didn't call themselves "atheist"), or they had some kind of experience that made them think about God.

We also considered a classification of "true atheist". One who has studied religion and does not convert to it because they see it as unreasonable. Of course, such a classification only comes into effect when a person has died, so nobody alive can call themselves "true atheists". The best you can do is hope that you become one :P

The Maze Monster said...

I usta have a crush on kirk cameron... now I only wanna fuck him to make him feel dirty.

Is that weird of me?

Father Shaggy said...

To Adrian:

You're skating dangerously close to the "true Scotsman" argument of the apologists. Be careful...

To moster:

Yes. A little.