The Handbook for the Recently Deconverted is a series aimed at helping newly-deconverted ex-Christians navigate some of the unfamiliar territory they’re now facing. In this series, I examine popular apologetics attempts and talking points, deconstruct fallacious arguments, and offer reality-based refutations of Christian mythology–as well as delve into some of the questions about morality and ethics that new ex-Christians encounter and try to defuse some of the negative pushback they’ll receive.
(And yes, the title is a riff on a book featured in the old movie Beetlejuice, though hopefully my web series is slightly easier to navigate!)
- It. Gets. Better. Life can seem like it’s coming at you fast, after deconversion. Please rest assured: it really gets better.
- Knowing what a claim looks like. Christians often don’t even know this basic beginning of critical thinking.
- How to know who owns the burden of proof. This topic, too, is one many Christians don’t understand.
- Why arguments aren’t evidence. However, apologists would love it if it were!
- That one weird thing that happened once. Once deconverted, what we once thought were real live miracles turn out to be anything but that.
- Circular arguments. Here’s how Christians use them in apologetics, and why they fail.
- Recognizing when the gas lights have dimmed. Gaslighting is an abuse tactic.
- Soaking in a bubble bath. A look at the Christian bubble, and how and why it’s so restrictive.
- Understanding the straw man. Christians love to strawman people. Here’s why they do it.
- Building a worldview around consent. Why it’s so important, and how to spot serious flaws in our thinking. (VERY IMPORTANT POST.)
- Generalizing, judging, and shaming. For people under divine orders to love and not judge, Christians sure do it a lot.
- Generalizations and the Mommy Wars. A continuation of the previous topic, narrowing our focus to look only at the ways Christian mothers try to dominate each other.
- Unlearning a rather distorted narcissism. Religion inspires a sort of narcissism in believers. And it’s really hard to get past that narcissism.
- Learning to move past religious narcissism. A new finding in astronomy smashes religious narcissism.
- Examining the evidence. Here’s why I thought Christianity was true, and how I was wrong.
- The first fundamental mistake apologists make. Apologists start with a conclusion, then work to find some kind of logic that’ll get them to their conclusion.
- The second big mistake apologists make. Apologists make a lot of money by presenting their work as persuasive–but it isn’t.
- An overview of the apologetics field, and its (hopeful) end. Unfortunately for Christians, apologetics actually posts a total disaster for the religion.
- Apologetics: Pascal, Ontological, Cosmological. Finally, the big classics!
- Science- and history-based apologetics. Weirdly, some Christian apologists try to PROVE YES PROVE the Bible is totally true.
- Wishful thinking in apologetics. A lot of nicer Christians, like C.S. Lewis, go for apologetics based in their own yearning for an idealized universe.
- Recognizing an “argument from X” attempt. This logical fallacy figures hugely in Christian apologetics and debate.
- The Zebra Rule, Occam’s Razor, and Bobby Dawkins. A fundagelical claims he’s prayed over a dead person and seen that person brought back to life. Sure.
- Videos for ex-Christians (and Christians teetering on the edge). Some great videos that challenge indoctrination. Yes, I do realize this blog post is at least a little ironic.
- The “Original Greek and Hebrew” is still nonsense. Here, we examine Christians who think that in the original Greek and Hebrew the Bible means thus-and-such.
- The Magic Christian (doesn’t exist). As silly as it is, a lot of Christians think they’re magical.
- Here’s not why I deconverted. Here are a bunch of the ways Christians have tried to cold-read me.
A Few More.
- Because it’s funny and sad: the TEN QUESTIONS. A Christian writes what he thinks are 10 questions he thinks no atheists could ever possibly answer.
- It is not enough; it is more than enough. Until deconversion, I didn’t appreciate how wonderful this universe is.
- A little bit like mourning: so much for your happy ending. Sometimes, deconversion can feel like mourning the death of an actual loved one.
- Intervention conventions. Christians love staging interventions with ex-Christians!
- What it’s like to roll to disbelieve. What this gaming term means, and how it feels to finally make the roll.
- Stages of grief at the end of apologetics. A Christian scholar dares to suggest that apologetics doesn’t work at all. Here’s why, and what happened next.
- The big secret about the meaning of life (that Christians don’t want people to know). The difference between purpose and meaning in life. Then we uncover the biggest lies about these ideas.
- Christian lies about deconversion–and EXTIMONY TIME AHOY! (LSP #39). For now, the endcap of the series.
MAN OH MAN, I wrote a lot about this topic!
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