It’s the amount of thought that counts

The conclusion you arrive at is less important than how you got there.

When a believer who never gave it much thought becomes an atheist without giving it much thought, or vice versa, so what?

But that’s not what happened to me. I went from contemplative believer to contemplative atheist.

When I was a believer, I was really into it. I did mental gymnastics over the logic of Christianity because I needed confidence that I was believing the right thing, and I agonized over the moral implications of Christianity because my walk had to match my talk (it didn’t, and I really felt a lot of grief about it).

I did not reach an atheist conclusion arbitrarily or hastily. I coped with a strong cognitive dissonance (between faith and facts, and between ‘Bible morality’ and my real conscience) for about ten years, until it became too stressful. At that point, I started allowing myself to objectively consider all the information I could find, instead of looking for information to support a conclusion I had already chosen. I began following the evidence where it led.

My conclusions say something about me, but how I reached my conclusions says a lot more. I actually have more in common with a contemplative believer than I do with a non-contemplative atheist.

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Posted on November 1, 2012, in Personal stories, Sympathy for the atheists, Sympathy for the theists. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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