Conversion Stories: My Two Cents

I find myself skeptical of great many conversion stories. I include atheist-theist as well as theist-atheist conversion stories. Obviously, there is an agenda behind popular ones; since, having been batting for the other team gives one “street-cred.” (I won’t argue this too much here. I think it’s painfully obvious.)

Also, I notice a great many of conversion stories have a similar theme. They were raised an atheist/theist home, and they never thought about it until they were an adult. I, personally, don’t take anyone’s religious or nonreligous stance seriously until they are an adult or close to it, for the most part. I actually disregard anyone’s claim identifying with a specific group, until they go through some amount of internal questioning. Why? Most people take for granted their families religious views. If someone just never thought that their parents just might be wrong, then they are merely defacto “x” religious/non religious groups. They haven’t “chosen” what they think for themselves. It does matter what the person actually believes. Don’t get me wrong. However, simply not thinking about something until you’re an adult does not qualify as holding a particular viewpoint.

It seems to me that people come to a point in their lives where they begin to contemplate beliefs they took for granted during childhood. Many do this. Many do not. A small minority end up differing from their upbringing. Most, it appears, stick with what they were raised to think. In any case, it seems that these people, who are claiming to have converted, haven’t “converted” so to speak. They just finally figured out what they believe on their own for the first time. In some sense, this is the first time they’ve had their own viewpoint. It is not as if they were really convinced of one view, and then they changed their minds. They just hadn’t really thought about it on their own before. Now, we can argue semantics, but I think there is huge difference here.


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