What makes former atheists switch sides become theists? Were they really atheists in the first place or do the likes of people such as Lee Strobel simply claim former atheism in an attempt to give their theism more credibility? Or an attempt to lure real atheists into theism by claiming to have solid enough evidence to convince an atheist of the supernatural? Are there really any true atheists who become theists by choice?
Atheists switching sides seems far outside the realm of logic or reason. With everything most of us know about evolution, our independent studies into the history of religion, our constant debates with theists, and our bare requirement for evidence of an invisible deity how can any one of us abandon all logic and reason to become dinosaur-riding, Jesus-loving, young-earth creationists?
It's like Cypher from The Matrix
knowing the truth and wanting to be ignorant anyway. People who are already theists I can understand because their faith keeps them blind and ignorant. But I can't fathom anyone CHOOSING ignorance.
The 40 Year Old Atheist
did a really good blog post
awhile back outlining the different types of atheists I'll copy and paste below here:
1) Natural Atheists: Those brought up by atheist parents who never experienced the conflict between religion and rationality.
2) Apathetic Atheists: Those whose faith was not particularly strong and who, without a compelling drive to believe or not believe, defaulted to atheism - becoming an atheist involved very little internal debate and conflict.
3) Dissonant Atheists: Those who grew up with belief but who were overwhelmingly torn up over the incompatibility between faith and rationality. These people sought one thing - to rid themselves of the terrible cognitive dissonance cat #1 and #2 atheists are spared from.
If any atheist does jump the fence I can't imagine it would be category 3 from above there. Those of us in that category didn't leave their theistic beliefs on a whim. Another atheist blogger I read recently but can't recall who it was compared leaving theism to a dense fog clearing from a lake. It's a process that takes time and eventually it's gone completely. I myself was agnostic for about 3-4 years before considering myself an atheist. I can't imagine going back to a theistic belief without compelling evidence.