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What ideas best deconvert Christians?

There’s a Christian web forum I read, where a certain apologetics sub-forum was closed. Some atheists there claimed it was closed because Christians were being deconverted by it. I asked “what specific ideas or arguments were successful in deconverting Christians?” An atheist responded, but instead of answering, he gave me a link to this site, indicating I should ask my question here. So I guess I’d like to ask “what ideas do you find most successful in deconverting Christians”?

Posted: March 27th 2009

Dave Hitt www

If you adamantly try to de-convert someone, right now, failure is pretty much guaranteed. But if you leave them a little nugget of fact to mull over, a little seed of doubt, it may work months or years from now.

I left my extreme religion when I hit twenty, more than thirty years ago. I still remember a few specific things people said to me as a teenager, things that blossomed into full-fledged disbelief years later.

Forcing the issue won’t work, but a few little chips at their faith may be all it takes in the long run. You just have to accept that you’ll probably never know when you’ve succeeded.

Posted: April 5th 2009

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Eric_PK

Well, it’s been said that you can’t use logical arguments to change the mind of somebody who didn’t use logic in the first place.

So, I don’t think there are great arguments.

I do think that the best way to convert a christian is to have them read the whole bible and try to understand it. There are a whole lot of ex-theology students who became atheists after years of studying the bible.

If you are looking for one argument, I think the best one is noting that every person of every religion believes in their god and is an atheist towards all over gods.

Posted: March 28th 2009

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SmartLX www

There’s no one way to deconvert every Christian, because Christians have various reasons to believe. If a Christian is hanging onto belief by a single thread, a single argument, its refutation might well be the tipping point. Richard Dawkins, for example, believed in God as a teenager solely because of the argument from design. Once he learned about evolution, his last thread was cut.

Therefore, you’re likely to find out more on the Christian forum itself than on this site. Is there an argument they rely on more than any other? If so, perhaps that’s what one of us put paid to.

Go find out how they justify their belief over there. Then see if we’ve talked about it.

Posted: March 28th 2009

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logicel

De-conversion is a process that starts and ends with the religious believer. I do not think that non-believers do much more than show by example that a fulfilling and productive life is possible without god belief. That is why I support outspoken atheism, even though there may be some bad publicity and disadvantages involved. I think it is important to come out as an atheist, as one who does not have any god belief (not one who knows for sure there is no god, just that there is no sufficient reason to take the supernatural faith leap). If one stays in the closet, how then can an example of a good life coupled with the lack of god belief be shown?

The biggest percentage of de-converted religious believers who I have met have told me that the most compelling reason for them to have started the process of de-conversion was reading their holy book in full. Reading with a focus on comprehension allowed them to recoil in horror at the nonsense and contradictions in those antiquated books with their obsolete 'wisdom.’

Another common reason is the disgust with religious organizations with their blatant hypocrisy and pompous selfishness. In that regard, atheists who publicly and clearly expose those aspects relating to holy books and religious organizations are playing an indirect role in de-conversion.

So in essence, it is the dawning of dissatisfaction with religion itself which triggers de-conversion. Some religious believers are finally getting this aspect and are trying to present religion in a more favorable light. However, now that it is no longer taboo to hold religion under a critical light, they sure have their work cut out for them. And the more they flounder in their inanity, the more they unwittingly do the important work of de-conversion. Therefore, it behooves atheists to encourage theists to open their mouths.

Answers to a similar question can be found here

Posted: March 28th 2009

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George Ricker www

Let me begin by saying I don’t spend any time at all trying to “deconvert” Christians. What I do try to is make the case for atheism as effectively as I can.

I have always found the most useful approach to take in discussions with Christians, or other religionists, is to ask questions that lead them to a critical examination of their own beliefs. I try to be conversational rather than confrontational.

The only successful deconversion I can point to is my wife of 30-plus years who was a Christian when we married and has now come around to my way of thinking. That happened because she asked me what I thought and listened to what I had to say. But there weren’t any magic bullets I could point to that did the trick. Just a number of honest discussions over a period of several years.

What is most important in such discussions is to adopt an attitude of mutual respect and genuine interest in what the other person has to say. You aren’t going to get very far with anyone if you take the tack that some do and insist “I’m smart and if you don’t agree with me, you must be stupid.” Even if that were true (and in most cases it probably isn’t), it’s hardly the way to persuade anyone of anything. Remember that many people have devoted years of time, energy and emotional commitment to their religious beliefs. Such things are not cast off easily, and an attack is more likely to cause the person to cling to them more tightly than it is to encourage them to let go.

Posted: March 28th 2009

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