Perusing my Twitter timeline, I often come across Christians either belittling atheism or a particular atheist that I happen to follow. As a curious person, I usually look at their profile to see if I can determine anything about them aside from their tweet.
On several occasions, I’ve discovered people claiming to be ex-atheists. That intrigues me. How does one give up non-belief for belief? I’ve written before that Atheism is Not a Light Switch, at least in my opinion. It’s not something a person turns on one day and then, for whatever circumstance, suddenly flips to the off position.
Yet there seem to be people that claim to have done just that. In my opinion, they were never atheists and what they seem to enjoy is the attention they receive from their fellow theists as being someone that realized, finally, that yes, there was a God and in most cases gave their lives to Jesus.
I’ve never met anyone that left their belief and became an atheist and said it was easy for them. As I wrote here, it’s a process. For some, years before they were able to throw off superstition. So to declare oneself an ex-atheist to me says quite a bit about the individual.
I’ve known people that were atheists because, in their group, it was popular. No, I’m not kidding. For a few, it was in college and they didn’t want to be on the outside of some social group. For others, it was rebellion against their parents. None of that ever made sense to me, even when I was a believer. I don’t have many contacts from college today, but those that I have? None of those that were atheists at the time are atheists today.
I look at those claiming to be ex-atheists as pretenders. They never really gave up their former belief (if they had one), and were never people that considered atheism seriously. If they had, they would still be atheists.
I don’t believe any of those claiming to be ex-atheists were really ever atheists. I don’t use the word lightly. Believe has two main definitions: trust and opinion. and I do not trust that those claiming to be ex-atheists ever really were. Those that make that claim should first show their bonafides.
I know that people can choose what they want, when they want. Please though, don’t claim to be something you never were to begin with. You embarrass yourself, along with those that think you are credible.