My guest this week is Joel Furches. Joel is a Christian and a psychologist researching topics of religion. He has a BA in psychology an MA in education, and he is working on his PhD in Behavioral Analysis. He he has focused on conversions and deconversions and has written a well researched article entitled: Why Do Christians Become Atheists? A Case Study.
The people I find most likely to adopt the label atheist and deconvert are the people who tied their identity most importantly to the Church.
Joel and I discuss his research and walk through his model of deconversion. We discuss the “Market place of ideas” and “The Christian Bubble.” We define the terms disaffiliation, deconstruction and deconversion.
I would advise intellectual humility and the ability to say “I don’t know” about things.
Joel’s advice for Christians who are seeing more deconversions:
[What] I would say to Christians in general is that it is not their responsibility to re-covert [the deconvert].
They have not failed because this person deconverted and they will probably not succeed in re-converting them.
It is to respect the person who has deconverted, respect their experience. Give them the right that any other human being would have which is to defend their views. And interact or engage in those views as important.
Perez, S. and Vallières, F., 2019. How Do Religious People Become Atheists? Applying a Grounded Theory Approach to Propose a Model of Deconversion.Secularism and Nonreligion
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“Waves” track written and produced by Makaih Beats