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Old 08-08-2011, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodrow LI View Post
Since I reverted to Islam, needless to say I have considerable contact with "Born Again" Christians trying to lead me back to the "truth". For some strange reason, I often discover the most persistent ones, turn out to be closet atheists. My own theory is they feel guilt over presenting themselves as avid Christians when they are not. So they compensate by being overly zealous towards me. Sort of like they can justify leaving Christianity, by coaxing me back to it, they want me to be their replacement, I guess.
.
None of this made much sense at all. {to me}
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhipperSnapper 88 View Post
None of this made much sense at all. {to me}
To simplify

1. Since I left Christianity for Islam, Many people have tried to get me to return to Christianity

2, Some of the most outspoken, I have learned are actually Atheists (My Bishop friend for instance)

3. I suspect they do so out of a feeling of guilt

4. I think that they try so hard, is to make me be their replacement in Christianity. Sort of to help lessen their feeling of guilt.

5. They seem to have a need to bring a person back to Christianity, because they left it.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Ohio
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[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodrow LI View Post
To simplify

1. Since I left Christianity for Islam, Many people have tried to get me to return to Christianity
Ok, thats makes sense
Quote:
2, Some of the most outspoken, I have learned are actually Atheists (My Bishop friend for instance)
I would be interested to know how you learned this? I wouldn't think it would be something they would admit. { if they felt guilt over it}
Quote:
3. I suspect they do so out of a feeling of guilt

4. I think that they try so hard, is to make me be their replacement in Christianity. Sort of to help lessen their feeling of guilt.
This is where you lose me. Why would they want to convert someone to something they now believe is a fallacy?
Quote:
5. They seem to have a need to bring a person back to Christianity, because they left it.
So again I ask.....
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
15,511 posts, read 13,302,730 times
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[quote=WhipperSnapper 88;20376194]
Quote:


Ok, thats makes sense

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhipperSnapper 88 View Post
I would be interested to know how you learned this? I wouldn't think it would be something they would admit. { if they felt guilt over it}
Most are long time friends of mine. The bishop for instance was a college class mate of mine. We get into some pretty deep discussions and know enough well enough that some times personal beliefs get discussed. I spent a number of years as an Evangelist, and many of my friends are Christian ministers. Some are still very close friends. I doubt if they would have discussed their Atheist views with me if I was still a christian. Perhaps being removed from Christianity, they feel safe in discussing it with me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WhipperSnapper 88 View Post
This is where you lose me. Why would they want to convert someone to something they now believe is a fallacy?

So again I ask.....
That is just a feeling I get. Since they admit to actually being atheist, I can not understand their desire to convert me back to Christianity. That is the only explanation I can think of.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:08 AM
 
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Nor can I. If they don't really believe it I find it incomprehensible they would be trying to sell it to anyone else. I can only recall a deconversion story or two where the writers said that they were at their most evangelical during the time they were struggling with doubt and actually deconverting. But whether that has any relevance to someone who doesn't really believe doing religion just as a job, I don't know. Where such hypocrisy is involved I am left uncomprehending.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:52 AM
 
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They certainly have my sympathy and I have heard about a lot more than just these 2. Daniel Dennett has been doing a study on them and has found quite a number of them, most if not all of which wish to remain anonymous. In fact it is Dennetts work the article is based on.

The prevailing comment from them all is that they feel trapped in their careers, unable to decide what else to do, not qualified to do any other job and unable to talk to anyone for fear of their loss of faith becoming public and their job being taken off them. Not just their jobs, but the person interview fears losing friends, and even his wife when the truth becomes known.

Clearly the role of priest of minister is so disconnected from reality that, as they say themselves in this article, they have “no marketable skills”. From the linked article I also find the following interesting:

Quote:
"Reading the Bible is what led me not to believe in God," he said.
I have converted a number of people away from thinking there is a God in my time and the vast majority of them I have done so be getting them to actually read the Bible. It is shocking to me how many people claim they think there is a god and the Bible is the precious book… yet they do not bother to actually read it. One questions their belief, or at least the sincerity of it. I know if I thought there was a god (which I do not) and that this book was the key to understanding it, I would not only read it, but would study it incredibly closely. Yet people who claim to be Christian have, quite often, never even held or owned one, let alone read any of it.
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:06 AM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
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I think the evangelizing among people who don't really believe might be about people wanting to believe. If they can convince you maybe they can convince themselves. I doubt it's "I need a replacement for when I leave" or at least I'd guess that's rare.

As for the ministers what I recall is that many of these situations involve a guy, or sometimes gal granted, who doesn't believe in God or the Bible anymore but still feels connected to that community. Also it's possible, even if rare here, for a person to disbelieve in God but still find themselves sympathetic with many Christian principles. I think Kurt Vonnegut had a positive view of the Beatitudes, for example.

As Catholicism is what I know I know of "atheist Christians" best in that faith. For example Graham Greene at the end reportedly quit believing in God, but still found some principles of Catholic social teaching or the like to be positive for him and liked the community. Santayana I think referred to himself as a "Aesthetic Catholic", he liked the art and some elements of the faith, but was skeptical of God. (He might have been more agnostic than atheist) Charles Maurras, French Fascist sympathizer, supported a strong Catholic Church as socially useful while not personally believing in God and distrusting the Bible. (Although he reportedly converted to Catholicism later in his life) Granted none of these are priests, but I think I've heard of it with priests.
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:10 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,286,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
I think the evangelizing among people who don't really believe might be about people wanting to believe. If they can convince you maybe they can convince themselves. I doubt it's "I need a replacement for when I leave" or at least I'd guess that's rare.
Possible. There are other theories too. Dennett talks of people who have "belief in belief". He says what he means by this is people who he has found who have no faith in a god themselves, but sort of think that it is good that other people do.

I find it kind of warped to sit and think "I know X is false but I think it better that I convince other people X is true". But maybe that is just me.
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:55 AM
 
39,220 posts, read 10,895,806 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
I think the evangelizing among people who don't really believe might be about people wanting to believe. If they can convince you maybe they can convince themselves. I doubt it's "I need a replacement for when I leave" or at least I'd guess that's rare.

As for the ministers what I recall is that many of these situations involve a guy, or sometimes gal granted, who doesn't believe in God or the Bible anymore but still feels connected to that community. Also it's possible, even if rare here, for a person to disbelieve in God but still find themselves sympathetic with many Christian principles. I think Kurt Vonnegut had a positive view of the Beatitudes, for example.

As Catholicism is what I know I know of "atheist Christians" best in that faith. For example Graham Greene at the end reportedly quit believing in God, but still found some principles of Catholic social teaching or the like to be positive for him and liked the community. Santayana I think referred to himself as a "Aesthetic Catholic", he liked the art and some elements of the faith, but was skeptical of God. (He might have been more agnostic than atheist) Charles Maurras, French Fascist sympathizer, supported a strong Catholic Church as socially useful while not personally believing in God and distrusting the Bible. (Although he reportedly converted to Catholicism later in his life) Granted none of these are priests, but I think I've heard of it with priests.
That is certainly one aspect. In fact many of the deconversion stories I read described the major factor in the deconversion was trying to convince themselves in the course of trying to convince others. Nozzferrahtoo's (1) post refers to people who apparently have lots belief but just have to keep doing the job and my remark was probably insensitive. They are aware of the hypocrisy as much as I am but they have the car payments to keep up.

Possibly as you suggested they cushion the sheer invalidity of the whole religion thing by finding some social or moral value in the Bible or church organization and that there is such I can't deny.

And that's something I'll have to think about and it's probably off topic anyway.

(1) I have a compulsion to spell that 'Noscferatou'
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:55 AM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
Possible. There are other theories too. Dennett talks of people who have "belief in belief". He says what he means by this is people who he has found who have no faith in a god themselves, but sort of think that it is good that other people do.

I find it kind of warped to sit and think "I know X is false but I think it better that I convince other people X is true". But maybe that is just me.
radical honesty hurts people's feelings. People usually care more about being happy than whether something is true or not.
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