I have been reading through some of the discussions and am always appreciative of the well considered responses to what is some times just crap or obviously trolling.
Has there ever been a case of someone who joined the site with the intention of trolling who got brought over to the dark (our) side? I have seen them leave a discussion from time to time - perhaps when they realise they can't compete with logic/rational responses?
It seems to me when you have time to read and digest responses that this is a possible outcome of debate and high level discussions. And certainly taking into account the wide range of interesting topics tackled on AN which impress me with the level of learning that constantly blows me away.
Not sure that such a person would now admit that that has happened but just wondering?
A person who escapes religion wouldn't necessarily be shy about it- we can all relate after all! Most likely, a deconversion wouldn't happen instantly as a result. Usually, it takes much longer to deconvert than it does to convert.
All we can do is show them that the truth isn't so bad, and once you get used to it, makes life MUCH better. Wonderful having freedom of thought and lack of guilt over trying to please some insatiable sky being (who, obviously, is never pleased and could care less about this planet.)
Not that I know of. They are usually reported and kicked-off of here pretty fast.
Just wondering if they perhaps came in with the intention of showing AN how wrong they are and ended up being turned around. That does however require an open mind which the religious don't tend to be.
I've been here since November of 2009, and I haven't seen one. Thing is, trolls come to places like this for two reasons: disruption and mischief. I've reported my share of 'em and if I had the means, they'd get kicked before they knew what happened.
Worthy of note: I'm not sure I've ever seen someone come in here questioning his or her beliefs and subsequently go the full distance and become an atheist either, so there's that as well.
Never seen it happen on here. Like Loren, I've reported a few myself, but the typical response I see from A|N members once a troll reveals herself/himself is not really one of compassion, sympathy or understanding. And, that includes my response. They lied to get on here, so I have zero empathy for them.
Trolls come and go with most of them being here to disrupt and cause problems. I've reported a few. The most annoying troll to me is the one that comes in pretending to be atheist, then they hope they can suck you in to christianity. They do this in sneaky ways and if they can see that you were once a christian, they try to win you back "because something must have happened."
All theists believe that one. Hey, something did happen. It's called logic and reasoning, backed up by evidence.
I.e., has someone posted that they were a theist when they came to A/N, but now they aren't anymore?
Intriguing possibility, but I don't know that it's happened.
Deconverting seems to involve a long process of someone thinking about things for themselves. Just reading discussions by others would be unlikely to do it.
I've wondered if there are theists out there who read A/N and itch to retort ...
I bet if someone is just trolling, he/she may just be intrigued by how many are Atheists and that we actually all pretty much think alike and have very convincing discussions about theism....I would not be surprised if one of them will at least begin to question their religious beliefs..I am sure many are not totally dedicated to their faith and may just need to hear the other side to really think about all of this.... ...Speaking for myself it was a real eye opener when I finally delved into the meaning of Atheism...A lot of my questions were answered and filled a void that was inside me for so long. I recommend the book Nonbeliever Nation by David Niose...This book changed my life....
In my experience, religious trolls don't hang around long enough, or converse long enough to be converted. I suspect they are fearful of listening to us too long.
In order to join Atheist Nexus, members have to state they are nontheist. If someone shows themselves to have fraudulently joined, they are removed. This site was set up as a community for nontheists - a group of people who often don't get community elsewhere. There are plenty of places to debate. Nexus is not here for that purpose.
I think once people find Carl Sagan (or reality, for that matter) would pretty much be de-converted... And there's lots of references to both here!
So I hope we've converted some trolls... Get them outta the 'matrix' as it were.