Atheist Peter Kirby is Now a Catholic

[Edit this is old news since Kirby now says he's basically an agnostic. Link.]


Former atheist Peter Kirby says the Catholic Church is his home, and he now finds himself "identifying with the Christian religion."

*cough* In my opinion he never was an atheist in the first place, or that if he was one, someday he'll return to the atheist fold.

I'm not serious when I said he was never an atheist, but Christians regularly say that about those of us who leave the Christian fold. How does that sound, Christian?

In any case, I'm not sure what Kirby has been converted to, since what he describes isn't all that clear to me. He describes himself as "a Catholic-Naturalist." I'd like for him to explain what doctrines of the Catholic Church he believes, and where he has changed his mind regarding the content of these beliefs, if these beliefs have changed. But whether he does or not is up to him in his own timing.

It seems as though he felt the need for "help" from outside of this present existence. We all have that feeling. Just last week I myself "prayed" for help, just in case there was actually a Spirit out there, or just in case there is a mind and that thinking affects reality in some way. I have always been a lucky person, and I don't know why this is so. I think lucky thoughts, if you will, and fortuitous events happen in my life. Is it because I think I'm lucky that in turn I see a fortuitous event, or is it the case that my positive thinking somehow affects events that bring me luck? Since there is no evidence that positive thinking affects historical events, it probably doesn't affect them. But we want to think positive anyway. At least in doing so it helps us to react positively to what happens in this life which gives us the best chance to act in ways that produce positive events in our lives.

Why is it that on shows like "Deal or No Deal," and "Family Feud" that after people make a guess they subsequently clap and say it out loud as a "good choice/answer"? Does it help? What about the Craps Dice roller in Vegas? He calls out for his numbers as he throws the dice. Does it help? Probably not, but who can say for absolute certain, right? So we do. I do. Perhaps Kirby is doing the same thing? Maybe for him it's a Kierkegaardian leap of faith into the unknown. It brings comfort. It offers the promise of help. It feels safe.

Even though I can't fully understand why he would want to support and align himself with the Catholic Church, given its past and present day atrocities, I for one, wish him well.

I would hope that atheists treat their apostates more respectfully than Christians or Muslims treat their apostates.

26 comments:

Blue Devil Knight said...

I fell for it, and was getting all irate before I read below the fold :)

And some unsolicited reader opinion: that 'snap' feature is extremely annoying. No mas, por favor. It makes navigating the page a total pain and slows things down. They should at the very least provide a button on sites to disable it, and at the most should be forced to watch Clockwork Orange style to 100 hours of Jim Bakker's old broadcasts, with the scenes with Tammy Fay crying put in slow motion.

Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

I was going to yell too. John, you devil, you, did you realize this was the 666th post here at DC?

Anonymous said...

I hope all Christians are more educated than the athiests I meet.

That is a dumb statement.
This also is a dumb statement:

"I would hope that atheists treat their apostates more respectfully than Christians or Muslims treat their apostates."

I would be careful not to use the word Christians so freely, as one Christians does not necesarilly represent them all. If a Christians I know leaves the faith, I will try to talk with him, pray with him/for him, but I will not persecute him or treat him differently than anyone else. Muslims on the other hand, will kill or excommunicate those who leave the faith, including the man in Iran who changed to Christianity.

calvin said...

I believe I would rather stay an Atheist than become a Catholic.

richdurrant said...

Now Mr. Kirby is headed straight for heaven. How could he choose heaven over hell for eternity? No heat, no teeth gnashing, no lake of brimstone to soak in, complete carefree bliss. I mean the guy is crazy. What's worse is he was never a true atheist AND he still isn't a true Christian!;)

Oh and Calvin, I think you are suffering from Cathoilicaphobia. You should seek help SOON!!

richdurrant said...

I have had some recent trouble posting so this is actually the blogger formally know as Rich. I haven't been able to figure out how to use a symbol for my name yet.

elwedriddsche said...

I don't know who Peter Kirby is and I don't care if he converted in any direction. I am mildly interested why people change their belief systems, but I generally consider the reasons to convert from atheism to theism as spurious.

"I would hope that atheists treat their apostates more respectfully than Christians or Muslims treat their apostates."

Personally, I grieve when atheists take leave of their reason. To treat "atheist apostates" with disrespect is like kicking a man when he's already down...

calvin said...

Hey Rich,
I was just being funny. Although I do hope the guy comes to his senses and becomes a reformer. I don't have any phobias. When you're wrong you're wrong.

richdurrant said...

I figured as much Calvin, I was ust funnin back:)

Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

To Anonymous the latest (the one at 5:35)
Your comment is unintentionally hilarious. You argue, quite rightly,"one Christian does not necesarilly represent them all." But then you step on your own point by treating Muslims precisely the way that you argue that Christians hould not be treated.
Yes, many Muslims do hold the belief that you ascribe to them but many other do not.

And, btw, the case you referred to happened in Afghanistan, which is a predominently Sunni/Selafist (or Wahabist) nation, not in Iran, predominantly Shiite. A BIG difference.

Anonymous said...

Prup: I would recommend reading "Islam and the Bible" for a little guidance.

A muslim is a muslim from birth, a christian is not a christian from birth.

Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

Anonymous:
Sorry, but while I'd appreciate the reference and will look at it if I can find it and it is published by a trustworthy publisher, you don't have it quite right. (I spent five months on a Pakistani board discussing Islam, and one of my blogs was entirely devoted to Islam.)

To a Muslim -- accurately, to many Muslims, don't want to make the mistake you did -- EVERYONE is born Muslims, and always has been, even before Mohammed. (YOU and I, by this way of thinking, are born Muslims, we just didn't realize it.)

This is why the term Muslims use is not to 'convert to Islam' but to 'REVERT to Islam.'

Anonymous said...

I don't know where this has gone, but the point in the beginning, as obvious to everyone, is that Christians treat those who leave better than those who leave Islam. There are actually very few of those who "officially" leave the faith for both sides.

Preacher said...

to anonymous: I believe the point of the statement about how Christians treat those who leave Christianity, etc. was taken slightly out of context from the rest of the post.

The point of this statement is to emphasize what was already said: Many Christians will automatically state that someone who becomes an atheist (from being a believer) was never a true believer to begin with. John is simply stating he hopes that atheists won't express the same sentiment about those who leave atheism.

A deacon, by the grace of God, said...

I like the wit in this post, and I don't want to make a big deal out of this here (although I think it IS a big deal in general). But one of the big errors I think that atheists as well as we theists commit regularly is generalizing in too hasty a way. Atheists aren't monolithic. Neither is Islam or Christianity (or any other world religion with which I'm familiar). Muslims don't treat "apostates" in any uniform way. Neither do Christians. If we can't move past these blanket characterizations, we're NEVER gonna be able to talk to one another. We'll just continue demonizing one another, and trashing our own projections.

elwedriddsche said...

"I think that atheists as well as we theists commit regularly is generalizing in too hasty a way."

That's true as far as it goes, but living in a few different countries has taught me that the behavior of a group of people can be something very different from the behavior of any individual who's a member of the group.

BK said...

Personally, I like the fact that you apparently accept the notion that atheism is a religion by referring to apostates from atheism. I also hope that atheists treat their apostates better than the leading expositors of atheism in today's world (Dawkins, Harris, etc.) treat Christians generally.

Anonymous said...

Yes, deacon, we all generalize too quickly. However there is a difference between Christianity and Islam

Christianity: Love your neighbor as yourself. Doesn't matter who or what belief.

Islam: In the Koran, it says to kill the infidel, and those who leave the Islamic faith are considered infidels.

Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

But in Deuteronomy 13 we find the same demand that apostates be killed, and Jesus insisted that not one jot or tittle of the law be changed. (I'd suggest you read the whole Chapter.)

live-n-grace said...

Correct Prup, to kill those who preached to them to turn away from God, to believe in other Gods, or to tell a false prophecy. But it is illogical to think that we are in the same boat today. Jesus didn't come to change a jot or title, but rather a NEW covenant. That they will know we are Christians by our love, and to love our enemies, and I think those who preach against God is our enemies. Was that the order back then? Yes. Was it unjust or unfair to kill those who preached falsely or against God? By no means! You should be glad that God is merciful and does not give us consequences immediately for our sins.

I think that "law" was to keep them faithful. They didn't have the holy spirit to guide them, and to realize that if they said to go to another God or preach false things, that they would be put to death.

Anonymous said...

I find it incredible that you made a blog to bash a man for exercising his religious freedom to choose what he wanted to believe. Absolutely incredible.

Then you question what it is he does believe which proves you don't even know the religion you are bashing.

Perhaps when you get over your fear of whatever it is that Catholics believe that threatens you so, you might realign yourself from the persecutors of old and worry about your own state of consciousness. Yet that will never come to fruition when your time is spent analyzing what goes on the mind of someone else for the sake of judging them, instead of focusing on yourself for your own good.

Peter Kirby said...

Please continue to stay tuned to my blog The Darkling Thrush as I peregrinate among Theism, Atheism, and other assorted views. I have backed off returning to the Catholicism of my youth, at least.

Peter Kirby said...

The information was roughly accurate, but it is now obsolete. I am agnostic / secular / what-have-you now, once again.

Trader T said...

Peter Kirby is what now? 27 years old? He has been jumping between Atheism, Agnosticism, and Catholicism/Christianity for over the past decade.

I think it speaks more about his own confusion/soul searching/psychosis than any certain truths, so don't read too much into it.

I also don't believe Mr. Kirby has ever been a true Atheist, as a true Atheist would see that there really isn't a difference between one delusion from another, and Mr. Kirby is unable to break away from Christianity do to some reason - upbringing or mental programing of some sort.

Next time he has a change of mind/heart again, I would like to see Mr. Kirby choose an exotic religion next time - less Western. Maybe Buddhism, Hinduism, African JuJu, or, if he wants to stick to the familiar, choose the Nordic or Grecian gods.

Peter Kirby said...

One of my favorite quotes has always been the one attributed to Bertrand Russell, "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are so cocksure and the intelligent so full of doubt." A culture that derides changes in ideas, minds, and even hearts as only so much political or psychological flip-flopping, to be commented upon with rancor, is a dangerous one to freedom of inquiry... as the true test of the critical person is whether it is a person who constantly and continuously questions himself and sticks to the ideal of Shakespeare, "To thine own self be true."

John W. Loftus said...

I agree. You and I are first and foremost freethinkers. I like that. Be true to yourself, my friend.