Deconversion Story

Over on YouTube, Evid3nc3 has a movie about his deconversion:

I say it’s a movie because at nearly three hours (and counting; it isn’t finished yet), it’s really a documentary movie. But I think it’s well worth the time to watch it: for one thing, instead of just talking into a camera for three hours, he uses graphics to illustrate his points and to provide references.

For another, he covers the fact that religion “degrades gracefully”, as they say in systems parlance: there are multiple components, but none are essential (kind of the opposite of “irreducible complexity”). For instance, the phone system and power grid have lots of interconnected nodes, so that if, say, a station in Chicago breaks down, the rest of the system is unaffected: you can still make calls from Los Angeles to Mobile. The sound quality might suffer, or the system might only be able to handle a smaller load, but calls will still go through.

Likewise, there are a number of elements supporting religion: the morality it provides, the power of prayer, the influence of other believers, and so on. Even if you knock one of these out, e.g., by demonstrating that creationism is bunk, the other elements remain. Evid3nc3 goes through these and shows how each one, in turn, crumbled when he examined it closely.

His story also resonates with me because we both started out the same way: by trying to figure out the whole “God” thing, but also preferring truth over comforting fiction. Of course, big parts of his journey are different from mine, but the endpoints are similar.

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