The Day I Almost Deconverted

Although my actual deconversion several years ago was a rather thoughtful and deliberate process, there was a memorable day approximately eleven years ago when I seriously considered becoming an atheist in the matter of a single day. It was the summer after I graduated from high school and I was working at a supermarket as a bagger. I remember that I had recently had conversations with a couple of friends who were atheists in which they had refuted the apologetic arguments that I had presented to them, even though I didn't really recognize the validity of their responses at the time. As I carried the groceries out of the store to the customers' cars and brought back the shopping carts, I imagined how it would feel to be an atheist. I can't seem to recall the particular issues that I was pondering, but I do recall the surge of emotion that I felt, a mixture of excitement and fear. At home at the end of the day, I decided that I couldn't ignore the arguments from miracles and the peacefulness of the religious, though it was certainly the fear of hell which provided the greatest motivation to remain a believer. It seems truly strange that I almost rejected a lifetime of belief with hardly any thought and I wonder what could have happened if I had deconverted that day. If it had stuck, I might have saved myself from a lot of grief that I was to experience in later years, but if it hadn't, then I might have ended up worse than I actually did.

One of those friends correctly predicted that I would eventually become an atheist because, in his opinion, I was too smart to remain a believer. I haven't seen him since high school and I have occasionally wondered whether he would even remember his remark and whether he would be pleased to learn that he was right. If I ever talk to him, I will be sure to ask and probably report on it here.


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