Mike Adams, former Atheist, on Understanding Atheism

Professor Mike Adams wrote a column titled, “Understanding Atheism” in which he makes good points.

Adams, himself a former atheist, this from the column,

I declared myself an agnostic in 1983 and stayed that way until I declared myself an atheist in 1992. The road from Christianity to atheism and back to Christianity was – with my apologies to Beatles fans – long and winding. It took many years to travel.

He talks about cognitive dissonance in relation to Christianity,

Because Christianity is sometimes a demanding religion, it, too, may create a good deal of cognitive dissonance. For example, the declaration “I am a Christian” can sometimes clash with the awareness that “Christians are supposed to tithe” or “Christians are supposed to love their enemies.”

I have seen people who began tithing to the church and loving their enemies upon converting to Christianity. But that is not how it always ends for the converted Christian. Like me, many other Christians have resolved the tension by, at least temporarily, deciding to abandon the Way. Sometimes it is simply easier to say “I am not a Christian.”

Dr. Adams soberly concludes,

I often wonder why we speak of the atheists as if they are our enemies. And I wonder whether that should matter if we call ourselves Christians. I hope this column will inspire some cognitive dissonance, for the writer and the reader alike. And I hope the tension will be resolved with love, which the best cure for dissonance, or, for that matter, anything else.

He’s right, we tend to demonize deluded people and make them out to the be the source of evil when in fact, the Apostle Paul warned us,

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

May God forgive us for thinking otherwise.

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18 Responses to Mike Adams, former Atheist, on Understanding Atheism

  1. pranajules says:

    QUOTE> ” He’s right, we tend to demonize deluded people and make them out to be the source of evil when it fact…”

    BINGO!!! Except that the ‘delusion’ that THEY are deluded is the biggest downfall to truly living THE WAY. We Christians are very good at projecting unto others what we need to see about ourselves.

  2. Rick Wingrove says:

    It seems like every xian writer these days claims to be an ex-Atheist. This is, of course, crap. It is a perverse version of a logical fallacy, known as ‘appeal to authority’, done to lend super-credibility to your opinion. After all, if someone is an “atheist” but then comes back to the “truth”, then it must really, really, really be true. But, alas, while this claim is all the rage, it is merely a ruse.

    To anyone who is actually an Atheist, one who has arrived at the crystal realization that the ancient gods are all myth, it is clear that you are one of those “angry at god” types of backsliders who thinks that skipping church for a few years makes you an Atheist. But all it does is demonstrate that the correct definition of Atheism is one that you don’t understand or use properly.

    Your unsuccessful flirtation with doubt is pretty much the opposite of anything that can be called Atheism. Your alleged re-conversion, if true, would be sad and pathetic – but as an attempt to garner credibility for your opinion, it is …well, still sad and pathetic. Atheism once achieved is irreversible short of brain damage. Just like Santa Claus.

    And if you find “cognitive dissonance” to be an ongoing affliction in your life, the reasons are obvious. You were, and are, still captive to religious indoctrination from which you never successfully escaped. Part of the package is the mandatory belief in things that a rational person cannot believe.

  3. Laz says:

    Thanks for the comment Rick.

    Atheism once achieved is irreversible short of brain damage. Just like Santa Claus.

    Well I would say this of true conversion to Christianity, given the fact that once the Holy Spirit of God comes to dwell in a human being, nothing will ever be the same (He will make one a new person, if you want to call this ‘brain damage’ well I can’t really blame you for you can’t in your present state, understand). The analogy of someone born blind and then being granted vision only to try to explain vision to another blind man is somewhat apropos.

    By the way, I personally never claimed to have once been an atheist. I would probably say I was an agnostic, couldn’t quite make that giant leap of faith (it is what it is) and deny the existence of God.

    How did you come to the “crystal realization” you testify to?

  4. pranajules says:

    Rick Wingrove is 100% correct. I’m a christian on paper, but I have truly seen the light. And a self-limiting fear-based, man-created religion is NOT the WAY.

    Jesus was an example of the truth but he is not the only truth and the “only WAY”. He was one of many to walk the earth as walking “light”. We are ALL capable of becoming walking “light”. It takes genuinely being true to yourself, finding your own flow, developing and trusting your intuition and making the necessary sacrifices along the way (of your own stubborn ego, unhealthy patterns, unhealthy relationships, etc.) for your soul to START to wake up and you WILL start to see the light.

    No bible necessary. Bibles are great for those who can’t find the way, then they at least have some kind of manual to fearfully live by, knowing that at least it’s a good default standard that’s accepted by most in western society as a “safe” way to live without much scrutiny or attention.

    I came to my “crystal realization” when I found out (in grade 4) that I wasn’t the only one that felt that christianity didn’t have any solid ground to stand on and when I went inside, my intuition strongly told me to NOT submit to the brainwashing. Ever since then, I have been free. Oh! And yes, I do believe in God. But he’s not a bearded man in the sky. God is the universal consciousness from which all is created from, all memories reside and its vital energy is LOVE.

  5. Laz says:

    Prana, where do you get your ideas about Jesus?

    You do realize that if Rick is “100% correct” that means you’re incorrect seeming how he doesn’t believe in any sort of god including the vague and nebulous one you have created, right?

  6. Rick Wingrove says:

    No, I get what pranjules is saying – for lots of atheists, “god as universal consciousness” is the last step on the way out the door. That view of god has way more to do with the laws of physics than it does with the ancient religions. You are right in that I don’t have any reason to believe in the objective existence of mythical supernatural deities of any sort. And all that that implies.

  7. Laz says:

    Much like Hawking and Einstein?

    You are right in that I don’t have any reason to believe in the objective existence of mythical supernatural deities of any sort. And all that that implies.

    So nature is all there is?

  8. Rick Wingrove says:

    Yeah, sorry – no magic. We live in a discoverable universe which continues to give up its secrets to those who apply reason and scientific methodology. As opposed to those who live in a universe at the whim of vengeful and inscrutable gods where there is no hope of understanding.

  9. Laz says:

    I pray for people who “live in a universe at the whim of vengeful and inscrutable gods where there is not hope of understanding”.

    They cannot see that without trust in God there can’t be any real understanding. If you think for a second that your statement describes the God who has revealed Himself not only through His Creation but through the Written Word, then you are ignorant of the true nature of God. It’s easy to construct caricatures then demolish them as it suits you. It’s easy because it doesn’t require any more questioning just a blind denial of what is plainly obvious.

    So did nature create itself? Has it always existed?

  10. Rick Wingrove says:

    Save the first cause argument – it only works for you if you get to smuggle in several unfounded assumptions including the conclusion. It has been fatally discredited for a couple of centuries now. And you are missing a lot of information you need to talk knowledgeably on the subject of origins. There ARE books less than 2000 years old which have taken a Scientific look at origins and have discovered that the biblical creationism myth – written by people who thought the world was flat and were unaware of the existence of China – is crap, bearing no resemblance to reality, and contradicted by the fossil and geologic record. And common sense.

    Try reading some Science if you want to know anthing about Science. If you are getting your Science at church, you are getting it from people who hate Science and who lie about it. This is because Science does not help religion – Science has shown us that the records in the rocks fatally contradict the biblical creationism myth. Your aversion, while fully delusional, is understandable. And the people who tell you what to think have a vested interest in making sure you desest and misunderstand Science.

    Regarding your perverse assertions about “understanding” you got it bass-ackwards -belief in “god” short circuits and supplants any hope of understanding. God belief makes you satisfied with simple, easy to understand answers, many of which are demonstrably false. I have read the bible – have you read Darwin? Or Hawking? Of course, we both know the answer to that question.

    Science is the methodology for the discovery and validation of knowledge. Religion has no such methodology and, as a result, has never contributed a single objective fact to the accumulated knowledge base of Humans. Ironically, if your alleged magical sky god were to objectively exist, it would be up to Science to prove it since religion has no process whatsoever for proving that the sky is blue.

    Gods “written word”, btw, was written by men. Every word of it. And the “plainly obvious” varies, depending on who is observing. For instance, some people hold it plainly obvious that Brahma, Rahma, and Vishnu did what you mistakenly attribute to “God”. It is also plainly obvious to 5 out of 6 people on this planet that christianity is a false religion. It is plainly obvious to me that ALL religions are false, based on the ignorance and superstition of an age before the birth of knowledge, and that the perpetration and perpetuation of these myths is not only wrong, it is harmful. “Plainly obvious” doesn’t mean a thing – what can you prove?

    Still, it is always amusing to see god believers getting all ‘logicy”.

    To answer the last question, there is no reason to think that existence has not always existed, in one form or another. Given that stuff exists, there is no reason to think that there was ever “nothing”. Whatever the circumstances of existence are, and given the breathtaking array of subjects about which the ancients were just plain wrong, it is obvious that the ancients had no access to any special knowledge about the workings of the Universe which are available to us now.

    Gods were a wild-assed guess by the uninformed. We know better now. This is thanks to the men and women – Humans – who have done the hard work of Science, and have chased down the answers where the evidence and conclusions led them, and who did so in the face of religious resistance and persecution.

  11. Laz says:

    Rick,
    Thank you for the amount of time put into your response.

    it only works for you if you get to smuggle in several unfounded assumptions including the conclusion.

    One could say the same about your worldview and its presuppositions. Of course believing that once there was nothing and now there is something and it happened all on its own is a pretty good example of blind faith.

    I don’t have time to respond in full right now but let me answer one of your assumptions,

    Try reading some Science if you want to know anthing about Science. If you are getting your Science at church, you are getting it from people who hate Science and who lie about it.

    I actually read quite a bit in college as I earned a B.S. in Microbiology. Given the fact (of course you don’t have to believe me since you have no proof other than my word) that I work in a lab which conducts scientific research (molecular biology and such), I still have to read quite a bit of articles in scientific journals.

    Not to mention the other fact that I come to work everyday and actually conduct scientific experiments. That doesn’t make me an expert on anything but I do know a thing or two about the scientific method.

  12. pranajules says:

    Rick I guess you weren’t 100% right. You obviously have never experienced any real metaphysical connections or experiences to allow you to see that there’s so much more than what can be dissected or calculated on this physical realm that most of us spend most of our time in. I respect your intellect and your freedom from the caging of organized religions (especially christianity), but you need to open up a little more and you’ll discover that there’s a lot of magic out there that science will likely never be able to explain. Right now scientists love to use the word “coincidence” but many of us know that there’s a lot more involved than just coincidence. Let me ask you something Rick, do you believe in spirit guides or angels? If not, why not.

  13. Laz says:

    The plot thickens…

  14. Rick Wingrove says:

    You read it wrong. I did not say there was nothing then something – that is a theme from the Genesis fable. I said that since stuff does exist, there is no such thing as “nothing”. Big Bangers all recognize that matter existed, although in a different state, prior to the BB.

    You are right to point out the undesireability of “blind faith” however.

    I will provisionally accept your word that you are a Scientist who conducts research using Scientific Methodology. I have known other Scientists who still retained a vague, minimal form of deism. Interestingly, biology has an extremely high participation by Atheists – something over 90%. And it should be pointed out that it is Science you are conducting, not religion.

    All this just shows the grip religion can have on a young mind when it is inflicted early and often. Many – most – never manage to overcome their early indoctrination.

  15. Rick Wingrove says:

    Pranj,

    No, I do not believe in ghosts or the supernatural.

    Scientists love to use the word coincidence? Really? What does that even mean? Did a spirit guide tell you that?

    And I am 100% right that there is no scientific evidence which supports the existence of gods, ghosts, or goblins or any other of the left over mythical crap from the dark ages. I recommend you check it out if you don’t believe me

  16. Laz says:

    Rick,
    Your knack of making assumptions is astounding. First you accuse me of being ignorant of science then you break out with this beauty:

    All this just shows the grip religion can have on a young mind when it is inflicted early and often. Many – most – never manage to overcome their early indoctrination.

    I responded to Christ as an adult (after obtaining my degree, you can infer what school by some of my posts) not when I was a child. You seem to have no shortage of preconceived notions about people who don’t see things the way you do.

  17. Laz says:

    Rick,
    Forgive me for not assuming that you or anyone else is omniscient, but unless you are then you really cannot discount the possibility of the existence of God.

    Let’s be honest here, no evidence presented to you making the existence of God plausible will convince you for you are already convinced that He does not exist, in other words you are rolling loaded dice.

    And that’s ok, we are entitled to our presuppositions (I’m convinced that God exists and He became man and walked among us to restore the brokenness that we created due to our arrogance) just don’t pretend you don’t have any.

    Yeah the Bible was penned by man but Christians believe that God inspired these men.

    No actually the list of Hindu deities (though they only have one, no really) didn’t create the universe, they are the universe. It’s pantheism and if you’re truly interested you can ask jules.

    The birth of knowledge huh? When did this happen?

    As far as superstition is concerned, is not abiogenesis a prime example?

    If the “perpetuation of these myths” is harmful, then what would you suggest be done? Let’s say you are President of the U.S., what measures would you take?

    Rick, it is amazing to me how religious you truly are,

    Gods were a wild-assed guess by the uninformed. We know better now. This is thanks to the men and women – Humans – who have done the hard work of Science, and have chased down the answers where the evidence and conclusions led them, and who did so in the face of religious resistance and persecution.

    No your faith isn’t on any god your faith is in humankind and in our so-called knowledge. This is what got us in the mess we’re in now. Thinking that we are gods, that we hold the power when in fact we are nothing but dust.

    The 20th Century was awash in new discoveries but more people died in wars in that century than in any other, sorry man you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t have any hope in humankind, when we try to set up on our own without our Creator.

    who did so in the face of religious resistance and persecution

    Now this is humorous.

  18. Jonathan says:

    Very interesting reading. I always enjoy reading absolute statements about spiritual things. I love the presumption that the mechanical mind should not be allowed to think any way but scientifically.

    Now my question is, as an artist, how do I paint or photograph scientifically? When I write and record music how do I do that scientifically? I agree that when I record I am using science because the devices I use were manufactured, and science drove all of the materials to be created.

    If in my art and music, especially fringe art, is scientific would there not be a way to decode the process and thus teach it? Sort of like teaching trig or violin?
    How do you explain creativity scientifically? The reason I ask, is that a lot of creative people are inspired by the unknown. If everyone in the world thinks scientifically, and takes out the unkown, then creativity would be lost.

    “No, I do not believe in ghosts or the supernatural.

    Scientists love to use the word coincidence? Really? What does that even mean? Did a spirit guide tell you that?

    And I am 100% right that there is no scientific evidence which supports the existence of gods, ghosts, or goblins or any other of the left over mythical crap from the dark ages.”

    That crack me up to think that your head must almost explode everytime a horror movie comes out. And it’s a great thing that Death Metal has never made it to top 40 radio. I think that would hurt a lot too.

    These are all people who create and there is not always reason to it. If you saw the method to how I paint, there is zero way for me to predict what ends up on the canvas. So is it still scientific? Artist use matter to create, but can it be explained? Even art historians cannot explain exactly was artists of old meant when they painted their works. I had two extremely different Doctors of Art History at university and neither gave the same explinations on the same paintings. That’s somewhat non scientific, eh? Art history for the most part is a hypothesis.

    For the record, I am an art dealer. I deal in fringe art. Things that would make your scientific eyes bleed! So I am curious if your views strip me and the artists I rep of our creativity because we allow ourselves to think outside of the rational box?

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