July 26, 2008

Stops Along the Journey From Christian to Atheist

Poodles has an interesting post over at Poodles Place about coming out as an atheist. The question asked is whether atheists go through common stages as part of the coming out process. That is, do atheists who were formerly Christian transition smoothly from Christianity to atheism, or are there intermediate stops along the way? It is an interesting question that has not received much attention because most of the writing on coming out atheist deals instead with the sort of reactions one can expect from friends and family.

Poodles writes,
Some of us went through phases. I know I personally tried on several different religions. I even tried wiccan (sic) on for size as a final attempt to hold on to something society would recognize as delusional belief.
I did something similar but in a bit of a different order. I went from Christianity to sort of an indifferent agnosticism, to atheism, then played with Buddhism briefly, then back to atheism where I've been ever since. Now that i think about it, my dabbling in Buddhism had very little to do with fitting in or clinging to delusion - it was really little more than some college experimentation.

Poodles is correct to note,
Being godless in America isn’t easy, as I am sure most of us know. People here like to see delusions in others, it gives them comfort in their own. And once you realize the truth about religion and god it can be a hard thing to admit to yourself and others. It comes with a stigma, but it cannot be denied once you reach that epiphany. If you choose to come out to anyone you have to be prepared to deal with the reactions when they come.
Does this awareness lead people to make various stops on their ride to atheism?

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