Shadow To Light has posted a video that purports to be the conversion story of a man, David Wood, who says he grew up as an atheist. It's a rather bizarre story. He says that at the age of five years, he was told that his dog died, and his reaction was "So what?" He became a criminal, and he had no boundaries, no care for other people, no reason he shouldn't steal from them, destroy their property, or even kill them. Even when his friend was killed, he said "So what?" And this, he wants us to believe, is because of his atheism.
He says he saw the world and humanity as just matter without meaning. Accordingly, he came to understand that there are no rules, and to "recognize that we don't have to do anything anyone tells us to do." And then he decided that "the killing has to start closer to home. My dad ... needed to die." So he beat his father's head with a hammer. He paints a picture of a meaningless world and a meaningless life with no moral rules or guidance. And he wants us to believe that this is the reason for his horrendous behavior. Here are a few quotes that present his philosophical reasoning:
"I can understand that most of you atheists out there live perfectly normal lives, but I can't understand why you would want to."
"The universe couldn't care less ... so you might as well do whatever you feel like doing."
"Young people are lining up to dance to the music of their DNA"
"There is no blueprint here for doing what is right, because there is no right."Now Wood might be telling the truth about his behavior, in which case, he is a sociopath. This is a mental illness, not caused by being an atheist. Consider that he was already exhibiting this at the age of five. He certainly hadn't developed his nihilistic philosophy derived from atheism at that age. So why is he trying so hard to make us believe that this philosophy caused his behavior? On the assumption that he is being truthful about his behavior, he is obviously being dishonest about the reason for that behavior.
On the other hand, he might be exaggerating about how bad his behavior really was. But why would he do that? Could it be that he wants to present a distorted picture of atheism? Either way, he's not telling the truth.
Wood goes on to tell about his conversion. He describes meeting a Christian in jail that helped him to change his way of thinking. He began to question his atheistic beliefs.
"I believed all of this without anything even remotely resembling a careful investigation."
"it would become clear ... to me that many of my beliefs, when put into words, sounded really, really stupid. Things that made perfect sense when unquestioned, made no sense at all when questioned."And he began to see the "logic" of Christian belief. He tells of three main things that shook his atheistic "belief system". First, there is the design argument. "Why did I blindly accept the extraordinary claim that life arose spontaneously ... without evidence?" Second, there was the resurrection of Jesus, and the supposed "fact" that his apostles died for their belief in it. "If you're willing to die for something, you have to believe it." And third, the existence of goodness. "I started worrying that Jesus might actually be better than me ... If there were to be something like a "best person" that would require some kind of standard of good, and that would require something like God."
Let's think about this for a moment. He gains skepticism. That's great. Of course, we should all examine our beliefs. But did he actually examine what he believed as an atheist? No, he merely traded one set of unexamined beliefs for another. For example, if he had actually examined his atheistic "belief system", he might have come to the conclusion that it is possible for a person to be in control of his own behavior without being directed by something external. He might have realized that meaning and right are things that we create for ourselves. Now, I'm not saying that these are conclusions he would necessarily have arrived at by examining his beliefs, but the point is that he never gave it any thought. He never examined those beliefs at all.
What did he do instead? He swallowed the cool-aid of theistic belief without ever questioning whether it makes any sense. The design argument is quite convincing to theists because they already accept the existence of God as the designer. But a skeptical examination of the evidence shows that there is plenty of reason to think that designer didn't do such a good job. A critical look at the bible shows that the apostles who supposedly saw the resurrected Jesus weren't even sure it was him, and all Paul saw was a vision of Jesus, who he says was "resurrected in the spirit". And if God really is the "standard of good", why wouldn't Wood have recognized this as an atheist? In other words, you have to believe in God before you accept this argument. So by all appearances, these arguments that he found to be persuasive were in reality things that he thought about only after he already believed in them.
It seems that David wood was less than honest in his conversion story. But that's not surprising. In answering Wood's criticisms of his book Sense and Goodness without God, Richard carrier says:
he had to fabricate false claims and then use them to build a straw man to tear down. Is this the dishonesty that Christian fanaticism all too often breeds in its adherents? - http://www.richardcarrier.info/contrawood.htmlWood also uses disgusting deception to discredit Muslims:
Our pal, David Wood, has no regard for honesty, scholarship or responsibility and presents the material as fact and subsequently misleads thousands of Christians and non-Christians alike. Sad, but true. - https://yahyasnow.wordpress.com/2010/11/27/david-wood-shames-abn-sat-with-pornographic-liesBecause when David Wood found God, he found his true morality.