I’ve come across several people over the years who have claimed to “try” atheism, and not like it. They “gave up” being an atheist to re-embrace their religious heritage. This isn’t true. Atheism is not a religion. It’s not a sweater that either fits or not.
Belief in a deity is something that parents indoctrinate their children into. Without parents forcing their children to go to church, go to sunday school, pray and give homage to a deity for everything in their lives, the children would not know about said deity, nor would they believe any such deity exists. Therefore, atheism is a human being’s default state. Society has created religion and god, not the other way around.
What I find most interesting is the fact that I am comfortable with who I am. If someone else feels the need to believe in deities or find comfort in the supernatural, that is their choice. As long as they don’t push their beliefs onto me, they could believe in herds of rainbow colored unicorns and it wouldn’t bother me. Unfortunately, it seems that missionary work is all but required here in the US. As soon as a religious person becomes aware that I am an atheist, they go to great extremes to convert me. The worst part is, these people will pretend to be my friend until they realize that I am not going to convert, then they treat me horribly, or simply disappear.
Many try to convert me by using the story that they were once atheists…until they saw “the light.” This is meant to be an emotional appeal; an attempt to empathize with me. The truth is, my lack of belief has nothing to with emotions. It is a logical approach to the evidence put before me. Anyone who has reviewed the same evidence logically, would come to the same conclusion. A logical conclusion of this magnitude would not, and could not be overturned by mere emotional desire.
The name that continually comes up during these discussions is Lee Strobel. Being a well read, well informed atheist, of course I’ve read his books, and they are poor examples of evidence to say the least. I had put in more research into this subject in my early 20s than he put into his books. He wanted a specific outcome, so he searched to find specific sources that would support that outcome. For each issue he addressed, he only consulted one source. That has to be the shoddiest research I’ve ever seen. When I breached these subjects in my research, I consulted a minimum of ten sources for each issue. Often, I sought as many as 30.
Believe it or not, when I started my quest for knowledge, I was looking for the same specific outcome as Lee Strobel. Unlike Strobel, I was not willing to tamper with the evidence to taint the results of my research. The only evidence of a deity is what science cannot explain. That is a small window that continues to grow smaller every day.
I find it truly disturbing that some people are so desperate to keep the concept of an imaginary being alive that they will lie about not believing at one point to try to gain emotional sympathies, they will deliberately taint research, and they will fake friendships in order to force their beliefs onto others. Looking through history, people have literally beaten, raped and bombed religion into others. What else are these people capable of?