The Australian network ABC has an audio podcast called Earshot and yesterday’s episode was all about life after religion. The hosts spoke with a handful of atheists about their journey into faith… and then out of it.
For the most part, the atheists just tell their stories and let their words speak for themselves. There isn’t much analysis or commentary — but it’s still extremely compelling. (Ryan Bell, a former Seventh-day Adventist we’ve featured many times on this site, is one of the people interviewed.)
I can’t embed the episode nicely but you can listen to it here:
Most of it will be familiar to anyone who’s heard these kinds of personal anecdotes before, but I appreciated how one of the speakers explained the difficulty of leaving her faith even though she no longer believed in God: She said the hardest thing was losing the filter through which she had been looking at the world for the past three decades.
It’s such an important point: So many atheists, online especially (and I’m no exception), focus on the logical or social problems with faith as if pointing out the problems should be enough to get people to walk away from faith. But as many believers would tell you, they don’t necessarily belong to a congregation because they accept all the beliefs. They belong because of the community, the social safety net, and the feeling of hope they get. Unless atheists (who care about these things) are able to address those needs, there are groups of people they will never be able to reach.
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