Coming off of a 3 year hiatus due to a number of factors that I have kept relatively silent about, I found it somewhat difficult to to return to my Youtube channel and create content. Despite atheism once being a fringe minority, I have found myself in an echo chamber of family, friends, and coworkers that I have personally deconverted from the clutches of religion. I remember at a certain point during one of my infamous house parties back in 2016, at which I had many friends and coworkers over grilling out, drinking, and generally having a good time, I walked from my back deck to my kitchen to my dining room to my den to my living room and sat down on the couch to reflect on what I had observed. In that epiphanous moment, I realized that everyone in my house was an atheist. I find it unnecessary to say for anyone that understands exactly what that entails, but for those that need it detailed to them, this means that I no longer have any religious influence in my life nor any religious influence that comes to mind. Sure, there are numerous individuals that find the time to search for content like mine and voice their opinions via comments on the internet, and there is a plethora of religious nonsense that is still occurring on a daily basis, but I could barely say that I even see these anymore or that it has some direct effect on my life. I could seek out these topics and individuals, but I have found that almost any retort that the religious can muster to defend their nonsensical beliefs, I could debunk with literally no effort, or I have already done so in a previous video. Perhaps the evolution of this channel requires that I tread down that trail like my good friend the Godless Engineer has chosen. That I seek out the crimes and negative effects that religion has on people and our world at large. I don’t know if anyone understands how I feel about it, but it is much like beating the dead horse that you have heard often in cliche.
At this point what can be said about atheism? The religiously concerned find that the same tried and true methods from years ago can still apply today. They are still lacking the reason and logic that we have consistently demanded for thousands of years. They have never presented any valid argument nor provided one shred of evidence that their chosen deity exists. As atheists, what do we say to someone that has chosen blind faith or ignorance? What evidence can you provide to someone that has chosen to create or adopt arguments that have always lacked evidence? You may say, well, Aeolus you have successfully deconverted everyone in your social circle from religion, what would you do? To answer that question, I didn’t really do anything I would consider a counter to religious indoctrination, nor did I discover the key to ending religious belief forever. In many of these cases, I simply maintained my relationships with them without attempting to change their minds and exposed them to the person that I am and the content I have created. Someone that they knew had the courage to question the things they believe in and ask questions about the absurd things they were expected to accept and believe.
To be Frank, since everyone wants to be him, I have found that many people are afraid to ask questions regarding what they have been taught to believe is their accepted worldview and do not actively pursue contradictory beliefs and opinions. Many of us may understand this to be a form of confirmation bias, but for anyone who has never heard that terminology before or understands the meaning of it, they have no idea what that consists of. Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information that confirms or supports one’s personal beliefs or values, and in the information era, it is perhaps more prevalent than it has ever been. We live in an age where ideologies run rampant and certain moralities or traits are applied to anyone that holds a belief that we believe to be associated with a group or movement. It is quintessentially tossing out the baby with the bathwater, but on much grander scale. It seems that the more access to information we have, the easier this becomes as it can be quite difficult to perform introspection and attempt to understand information with the enormous amount of it at our fingertips. I have stated clearly in a past video entitled, “Touching the Wet Paint”, that “Most people are ardent skeptics, but have never thought of turning that skepticism toward their personal beliefs.” That’s why they have to touch the wet paint to be sure it is wet, but will happily accept that a celestial dictator with hundreds of thousands of galaxies to attend to has decided to focus on what a primitive ape on earth has chosen to cognitively accept.
It is my understanding that it is not our mission to question the beliefs of others, but to get them to question those beliefs themselves. It is unlikely that you will ever convert a theist to atheism, however, you can be instrumental in their deconversion process. It has long been my position that you have to sow discord amongst their beliefs or to increase their doubt in their own beliefs. Will you change their minds? That is also unlikely. Sometimes it can take many years of persisting in cognitive dissonance in order for those seeds of doubt to take root and begin to have an effect on the individual. The majority of atheists began as religious individuals only deconverting after a long and arduous journey toward the light. There are things that are intrinsic to this process that you cannot teach or instill into someone, such as the pursuit of truth or the value of skepticism. Unfortunately, this means that many people will not be deconverted or will continue on supporting religious institutions despite the evidence of harm that these institutions create and exploit. However, I think that we can look to the decline of religiosity and the rise of the irreligious as proof that at the end of the day we are making a measurable change in the world.
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