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Author Topic:   Deconversion experiences
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 144 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007

Message 25 of 299 (593500)
11-27-2010 1:12 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Phat
11-27-2010 10:39 AM

Re: Why be hasty at deconversion?
Hi Phat,
I still dont understand why you have to be a non believer?
Humour me for a moment. I want you to believe in something. I want you to believe that there is a tiny penguin inside your computer. Believe in it as hard as you can. He's in there right now. A tiny penguin, black and white and cute as a button. Believe in him.
Do you believe in the computer penguin? Really believe?
Or are you just thinking about believing?
Try as I might, I can't quite bring myself to believe in the computer penguin. Even as a mental exercise, I can't really claim to be able to consciously decide to believe in the penguin. I might try and convince myself that I believe, but deep down, I know that I don't, can't believe in the penguin. I can't force myself to do it. It simply isn't an option available to me. I suspect that you probably can't believe or disbelieve things at will either. It's just not something that we can easily do. We believe what we believe, it's not a conscious process.
Given this, once someone like Meldinooor has realised that a former, treasured belief is no longer sincerely held, they are left with a choice; to hide behind ineffectual attempts at self-deception in trying to maintain the old belief, or to be intellectually-honest enough to admit the perhaps unpalatable truth. Consciously deciding not to change one's beliefs is simply not an option.
As I understand it, deconversion is not a conscious choice that anyone makes, it is a much more gradual process. Doubts creep in, rationalisations fall apart and then, eventually, the subject realises that their beliefs have just changed. A number of former theists speak of a moment of realisation, not that they ought to change their beliefs, but that their beliefs had already changed and that those beliefs had changed some time ago. All that remained was for them to admit this to their conscious selves. I've linked to this before, but the videos by Evid3nc3 tell this kind of story very eloquently.
Being honest with oneself about what one really believes is of paramount importance. It's up to each individual to decide how much of their own beliefs they want to share with others, but we all have a duty to admit to ourselves what we really believe instead of what we wish we believed.
Mutate and Survive

On two occasions I have been asked, — "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. - Charles Babbage

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Phat, posted 11-27-2010 10:39 AM Phat has not replied

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