#Christianity:1.5B, #Islam:1B, me:1
Way back in my college days, my recently-lost-my-faith days, I operated partly under the ridiculous notion that, were I to simply point out the ridiculousness of Christianity (islam wasn’t on my radar yet), a believer would stop believing. I really got into this on a board called The Great Wall of Infinite Evil. I mixed it up with a Vanessa, who was born-again at the time. I did this weird thing (which unfortunately I no longer have), which was sort of a reductionist gospel. As in, instead of saying “Jesus did this,” I said something like “this bearded Jew did this.” It was cute, but not brilliant. And since I don’t have it anymore, you’ll just have to trust me on that.
My goal was that were I to reduce the narrative to its bits, its essentials, what we’re being expected to believe, that I’d expose it for the bullshit it is. I think the idea was fine, but I was running under the assumption that were a believer to see this, they’d suddenly go, “Yeah, hey, you’re right!”
The “nope” instantly played out as, upon review of my reduction, Vanessa basically said, “Yeah, it sounds strange to you, but makes sense to me.” This is actually why I never make the argument that miracle claims are ridicuous because to a believer, they don’t sound ridiculous.
Flash forward to about a year and some ago and I’m talking to this guy about his beliefs and evolution. I wrote about it in this article. As I mention in the article, I made the mistake of not having patience, the mistake of being condescending, the mistake of not being fully knowledgable of what I was discussing, and ultimately, the mistake of presuming that should I present the evidence, it’d be accepted.
As I observed in the article, the whole exchange not only seemed to have no de-converting effect, but it actually seemed to firm this guy in his faith. No biggie. I wans’t really out to de-convert him. I’d failed at explaining evolution, but whatever. Nothing truly lost.
Flash forward to this past weekend and a friend, a mutual acquaintance of the guy in question, informs me that the guy no longer believes. He’s not an atheist–he thinks there’s probably something out there–but he’s no longer a Christian. At first, I was like, “Okay, so what?” My friend said that it was partially due to my exhange with him. I’m like, “How do you know?”
That’s what he said.
Odd. I truly saw no positive result from my exchnage with this guy, basically only that he’d become greatly annoyed with me (and I with him) and now he credits that same exchange with his loss of faith? Huh.
I guess I’d always expected that were this sort of thing to happen, it’d be, I don’t know, more dramatic? More exciting? Not so fucking ho-hum. And yet here we are. I helped de-convert someone. Yay for me.