Feedback discussions - Scott

asks if I'm an atheist, can a true Christian lose their salvation and if there are absolutes.


To: Steve Locks

Sent: 20 April 2001 04:34

Subject: Curious believer. :0)

Hello Steve,

I stumbled uon your site somehow looking for some Humanism websites for a Philosophy paper. I tryed to read threw as much of your website as possible. I found it - well - complete. It's very rare to see someone spend so much time on a personal subject such as this. Anyways :) I was curious - You may have mensioned this and I missed it but - After all this examination of self and bible - do you believe there is a God who exists? Do you think it is possible for a true Christian to actually "convert" to - well for lack of a better term (i know you don't like non-christian) someone who is not saved? (I take it you feel you grasp the meaning of salvation so I won't patranize you with repeating others who have likely tryed to redefine it and someone shed light on a subject you must have just overlooked or something...) :) Well thanks... I appreciate you looking at this and expressing your opinion - even if it's different then my own. Oh yeah - one more quick question - Are there absolutes? :) Well maybe not such a short answer...


From: Steve Locks

To: Scott

Sent: 22 April 2001 11:20

Subject: Re: Curious believer. :0)

Hello Scott,

Thanks for your friendly email.

<< do you believe there is a God who exists? >>

You shouldn't worry too much about me personally. In general, from my

interactions with ex-Christians, something over 3/4's become atheists or

agnostics. The rest go onto some kind of non-Christian theism, pantheism,

Wicca, you name it. Even there some drift on to something else, but the

general trend seems to be towards a more secular stance.

As for me, if you really must know (why do you want to?) no I don't.

It's a belief that I find I don't have. Not sure knowledge, but I am

unaware of any good reason for believing there are any gods, so I

find myself in a state of unbelief. However, it is only Christianity that

I have a decent knowledge of - I have not made a detailed study of

other religions, but I am unaware of any good reason for believing in

their gods either. Also see

Usually Christians rejoinder with "how can you be sure there isn't a

god - have you looked everywhere?" However, the point is rather that

I know of no good reason to think that there is a god, just as I can think

of no good reason to think that there has been a stranger hiding unseen

in various rooms of my house all the time I have lived here. I can't prove

that there isn't somebody sneaking around my house who is good at

hiding, but with no reason to suspect there is I find it hard to believe

there is such a person. Also a long examination of the claims of

Christianity has led me to find it full of fallacious arguments - see my

debate starting at for

an example of what I mean.

Relatedly, Christians often describe belief as a "choice" but how can that

be? How can one honestly "choose" to believe something is true? Either

something convinces me or it doesn't. Is it even psychologically possible

to believe something you don't believe? Can you choose to believe that

insects have four legs Lev.11:21, 23 or that commands to kill babies

Ezechial 9:4-6 and hamstring horses Joshua 11:6 are commands from

a good God ? I find such things unbelievable, without having to make a

choice. It seems obvious to me - see here. I could multiply examples

but if you follow my long debate and research into the resurrection

starting at then you

will see the sort of material that convinced me I was mistaken about

Christianity. It was not a choice to not believe, just a feeling of

realisation that I had been wrong.

For more on honest belief not being a choice see my long conversation with

Dr. Garrett which starts here.

<< Do you think it is possible for a true Christian to actually "convert"

to ... someone who is not saved? >>

Firstly, what is a "true Christian?" There are so many different versions

of what a Christian must do to be "saved" that nobody is a "true

Christian" by every Christian's definition. It also begs the question that

there is anything to be "saved" from. Do you think it is possible for a

true Muslim to actually "convert" to someone who is not saved? The

Koran says:

"Pagans indeed are those who say that God is the Messiah, son of Mary.

The Messiah himself said, "O Children of Israel, you shall worship God; my

Lord and your Lord." Anyone who sets up any idol beside God, God has

forbidden Paradise for him, and his destiny is Hell. The wicked have no

helpers. Pagans indeed are those who say that God is a third of a trinity.

There is no god except the one god. Unless they refrain from saying this,

those who disbelieve among them will incur a painful retribution."

[Koran 005:072-73]

The best I can do for you is to tell you that from my collected stories it

seems that representatives from every Christian type do indeed deconvert.

Tell me what kind of Christian you think would not leave Christianity and

I'll see if I can dig out any stories from such kinds who did - like I did

for Tammy D. Sundby at

Few Christians think that they (a "true Christian") would ever deconvert

until it happens to them!

If you haven't read my "Seek and Ye shall Find" debate then please do so

as it is very relevant.

<< Oh yeah - one more quick question - Are there absolutes? :) Well

maybe not such a short answer... >>

Absolutely not! (joke!)

Actually I am not sure. Top philosophers have been discussing this one for

ages. Christians often like to argue that without absolutes we can have no

morals. Unfortunately this one has been argued to death and you can easily

find debates on this at the secular web if you want something to send

yourself to sleep. Generally I think that theists and non-theists have the

same problem though - it is we who have to judge whether any god is really

good and it is we who are or are not convinced by religious arguments, and

even by religious experiences.

As I mention at the

Christian apologist and debater William Craig ultimately takes the line

that he just "knows" Christianity is true due to his religious experience.

Despite being keen to use logic and evidence in debates with

non-Christians, Craig wrote: "Should a conflict arise between the

witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith

and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former

which must take precedence over the latter, not vice versa."

[William Craig - Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics,

1994]. Indeed from reading the debate and analyses in "Jesus'

Resurrection: Fact or Figment : A Debate Between William Lane Craig

and Gerd Lüdemann" it appears that despite his initial appeal to sift

historical evidence, the crunch of the argument for Craig is that his

personal religious experience convinces him of the resurrection. To

claim something for Christianity (e.g. the veridical nature of mystical

experience) that you would not accept for another religion (e.g. the very

different mystical experience of Buddhists and Daoists demonstrating their

veracity rather than Christianity's) is a fallacious argument (special

pleading). See

A digression there into religious experience...back to absolutes:-

I just remember that we are all humans. Thus we may have many things in

common and so I think that somethings are absolutely wrong from a human

perspective, such as torture. It is merely the inability to be inside

somebody else's skull that makes us not care - i.e. a lack of appreciation

of what things are like. The universe itself seems indifferent though, so

some aspects of morality may be absolute to humans (or at least those of

us with enough empathy to care) but I doubt morality is a law of the

universe. The universe did not step in to stop the holocaust. As for the

Christian God, if one is a bible believer then God not only approves of

and encourages rape, child murder and animal cruelty but he actually

commands such things! Crazy Stuff from the Bible

However, the problems of absolutes for Christians get even worse - see

I hope that is of interest.

Best wishes,



Leaving Christianity: