The Value of Conversion/Deconversion Stories

We here at DC tell why we rejected Christianity in both personal deconversion stories, and with our arguments. Regarding our deconversion stories, it's disheartening when Christians on the web tell me I was never saved in the first place, or that deep inside I still believe. The equivalent for the Christian conversion story would be if naysayers argued that such a person never truly converted at all! Think how THAT would frustrate you! I take Christian claims of faith at face value. Why won't all Christians take our claims of unbelief at face value?

Let me comment on Dave Armstrong's recent evaluation of my deconversion story. In the first place, I want to thank him for thinking my story was worth reading and spending 4 hours on. I guess my story was worthy of a look (even if he won't bother to read the whole story until he can get my book for 25 cents at a bargain bookstore)!

When he criticized my deconversion story it was the last straw for my emotions that day. I think I've been treated like this for far too long, and I have been patient at worse attacks on me and my integrity. I think my problem was that I had hoped for better from Dave, that's all, which is a compliment to him that I thought this of him. I guess I will never hope for a better treatment again from any Christian apologist about my deconversion story, even if they read the whole story.

The argument that people convert to Christianity or deconvert away from it for less than justifiable reasons, is the natural reaction for someone who disagrees with that particular story, depending on which side of the fence one changes to. It's what we all do, depending on the particular story. When Anthony Flew claimed he was a Deist, many atheists said he did so for less than adequate reasons, for instance. This is natural. But these stories are also personal ones, so it's hard to see criticisms of them in a non-personal, objective way.

Personal reasons for converting or deconverting are just that, personal reasons. They only explain why someone changed, even if others don't see those stories as having any logical force at all. To the observant, these stories only make a rational case for the change when the person states the reasons for changing, even if no one can comprehensively articulate all of the reasons why he changed. Those reasons are left to be completely fleshed out later, and we do that here on a daily basis.

Carry on then. Let's stick to the issues.