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Old 06-19-2014, 11:08 PM
 
Location: In a little house on the prairie - literally
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To the answer the OP's' question:

Cheeses Flippin' No Way Ever.
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Old 06-19-2014, 11:20 PM
 
Location: Salinas, CA
15,042 posts, read 4,801,752 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sizzly Friddle View Post
You are reading way more in to this old post than was implied.
I am not referring to just any person converting, I am referring only to famous high profile atheists.
People behave differently than me all the time, and I don't think they are mentally ill.
I don't see how you got all of that out of a very short and to the point post.
OK, I just know that RW fundamentalists use similar language at times. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt then. I know it would be a surprise, because Dawkins is the author of some popular atheist books.
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Greenbelt, MD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbrains View Post
No. I became an atheist before I knew about any famous atheists, other than Madalyn Murray O'Hair, and I thought she was crazy. I did not know a single atheist in my personal life. I became an atheist after study and thought.

The famous atheists and the pop culture books all came along after I had made my decision. Their well articulated views has certainly helped to reinforce my thoughts, but they are not central to my reasons why.
Me too.

I used to watch her weekly TV show The Atheist Forum with her son Jon and sometimes with her adopted daughter Robin. I thought the show was a hoot! It was on public access in the county I used to live in.

I still don't know any atheists. I didn't even meet a single atheist from the time I realized there was no god at age 19 until I turned 40.
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Old 06-20-2014, 01:26 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
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Ridiculous question.
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Old 06-20-2014, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,114,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mejsito View Post
If famous atheists, such as Richard Dawkins, suddenly converted to Christianity (whether givings good reasons for doing so or not); would you change your mind and convert as well?
Of course not. We Atheists know how to think for ourselves.
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Richland, Washington
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No. Converting to another religion because someone else did would only say my own convictions are rather weak. However, I am near certain my convictions are accurate. I also became an atheist due to my own thinking and examination of the evidence rather than someone else's say-so. Someone else's conversion or deconversion means nothing to my beliefs.
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Old 06-21-2014, 05:27 AM
 
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I seem to have come late to this, but there are three elements to the question

(1) appeal to authority. If some famous atheist converted to Christianity, would I convert, too, just because he was a famous atheist?

(2) would I convert when I hear the very good reason why he (or she) converted?

(3) is it purely a pointless hypothetical question, since none of them ever will?

Of course, Anthony Flew's conversion was a shock and a lot of atheists reacted badly. In fact, Flew did not convert to Christianity but only to Theism. He accepted that there was a persuasive case for ID, and I could respect his reasons for adopting Theism as a philosophical position. I leave a door open myself for the possibility of some kind of planning input into reality, but I had enough reservations about the ID claim that I could not adopt it.

Of course, the claims and science of ID collapsed and I never found out whether Flew realized that he had been misled. The argument for complexity is still one with some mileage. Others, like information cannot be added, are false but the point is that not being able to rule 'God' out does NOT mean ruling it is.

That brings in the 2nd point. It's like someone asking me whether I would be persuaded that the earth was flat or the sun went around the earth if some astronomer royal said so. No. I would thinks his screws had come loose.

Of course we rely on the expertise of these people for our info. And, if all the astronomers gave good reasons for why the earth was flat and we had a geocentric system and we had been wrong all the time, I might begin to be persuaded. But, I really can't see that happening.

In that respect, too much water has gone under the bridge for Religion to claw back a position of credibility -in my view anyway. There are those who believe on Faith and either fiddle or ignore the evidence. That will not persuade me, even if Dawkins suddenly began doing it.

This brings in the third point which is that it is possible for a former atheist to become theist and even religious, on faith rather than through an evidential case. Obviously I would see that as no good reason for me to convert.

P.s I have to mention the atheist blogger who (rather famously) converted to Godfaith. In fact, reading the case, it was clear that she was very much attracted to catholicism and saw morality as an extant entity. The idea of God being a morality - giving being was in her mind already and, atheist or not, she was halfway to belief. And for reasons that didn't persuade me for a second.

I recall reading about some other atheist who converted and it was through increasing concerns about the world's problems. Again, Despairing of anything other than a Dieu emergent ex machina et brandishment baton mirabilis is not what I would consider good reason to convert.

There have been some atheists converting, but not one of them came up with a reason that I'd consider logically or evidentially sound. That in itself persuades me that it never will.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 06-21-2014 at 05:49 AM..
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Old 06-21-2014, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Greenbelt, MD
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^
Quote:
There have been some atheists converting, but not one of them came up with a reason that I'd consider logically or evidentially sound.
FWIW - I highly doubt there is any way to prove it but I predict many more used to believe and came over to the rational side as opposed to atheists converting.
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:29 AM
 
39,107 posts, read 10,849,315 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John13 View Post
^

FWIW - I highly doubt there is any way to prove it but I predict many more used to believe and came over to the rational side as opposed to atheists converting.
That I don't know. I used to read a LOT of deconversion stories and the conversion ones were rather less, but that might have purely misleading as to the rates of conversion or deconversion.

There are all sorts of variables about the obtaining of statistics or the pressures to convert or deconvert and the new areas of conversion or deconversion, so I won't get into the numbers game.

All that matters to me is the quality of our case
the quality of our delivery,
the widest possible exposure of our case.

As I said before, I trust people to want to believe what is based on the best evidence.
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Old 06-21-2014, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,085,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Of course, Anthony Flew's conversion was a shock and a lot of atheists reacted badly. In fact, Flew did not convert to Christianity but only to Theism.
Indeed -- specifically to Deism, and his god is aristotelian. It is almost a technical position, as such a god would not be palatable to most theists. Plus, the only sort of god I could conceivably be persuaded of is a deist god, but that god is so ineffable, so esoteric and uninvolved and unknowable, that I see no point in applying the label "god" to it. It would impact my life and thoughts exactly as much as no god at all.

While some Christians spread rumors in the early part of the last decade that Flew had converted to Christianity, Flew himself has repeatedly denied that and reaffirmed his Deism. He has also reaffirmed his distaste for Christianity, and, especially, for Islam. So this conversion is not the Damascus Road sort of event that most Christians would fantasize about. Nor does it represent a way-station en route to such an event.
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