About

10721328_278062212388486_378808137_nMy name is Zach Van Houten and I am a secular Humanist with progressive values who enjoys good discussions with open minded people. I was a passionate conservative Christian from childhood until I found intellectual freedom in November of 2014. I take an interest in Humanism,  philosophy, psychology, atheism, politics, biblical studies, and most importantly, the life cycle of sea turtles. Email me at meinperspective@gmail.com if you’d like to offer tips on how I can make myself less boring or start up a convo about the weather.

8 thoughts on “About

  1. Zach, I noticed that you had commented in your last post you were battling depression. Is that you think associated with moving away from your Christian faith? I ask this because as you would be aware I am on a similar journey and have found it incredibly stressful and depressing as everything I had based my life upon seems to have unravelled?

    At times I almost wish I could have remained blissfully ignorant. But I can just can’t look at the Bible as a divine book anymore.

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    1. Yes I am. My depression started almost exactly two years ago, when I was still a Christian. In fact, it was at the same time that I felt I was growing closer to God.

      I do think leaving the faith has caused me to become more cynical, disillusioned, etc. Maybe a little more of a realist.

      The biggest hurdle, which you alluded to, is that when your life is built on your faith, everything does unravel. I believe most of my depression is related to disappointments in life, and confusion about what to do with my life. So I think it adds to that.

      I share your feeling about wishing you could’ve remained blissfully ignorant. I think that sometimes. It would have been easier certainly. I sometimes wonder why I feel the need to be a nonconformist. It would’ve been easier to fake it. But I think it was my mentality, and I assume yours is the same, that seeks the truth at all costs. I can still stand by that now. It’s just funny how people get really uncomfortable when your search for truth doesn’t lead down the narrow road they expect it to.

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      1. Certainly in the end I want to find the truth.

        In December last year I came across someone I had not seen for 6 years. They expressed surprise that at that point I had become an ordained Christian minister. When they had known me previously I was working in the finance industry. They said on balance that they thought Christianity was more a force for God than harm, even though they did not believe themselves. I responded, prophetically as it turned out. I said to them ‘if I did not think it was true, I would be doing something else’. At that point I had no inkling it would all unravel, there were issues, but I had not allowed ‘the dam wall to break’.

        Still, better to find out the truth now than in 20 years time.

        I recently looked at the six video Purple Fox deconversion series on You Tube, which I found helpful. If you are interested, they go under the user name Prplfox. He was a guy who had a pretty tough journey, but ended up in a good place.

        I have appreciated your past posts on this blog, especially the post on hell.

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      2. Yes, me too. Truth matters.

        I really wanted to be a pastor as well, although didn’t take any actual steps to become one before researching all of it and finding it was all resting on a shaky foundation. I agree; better to find out the truth now then way down the road.

        I will check out that YouTube channel. Thanks for the recommendation!

        Thank you Peter. I hope sometime I’ll get back to writing about Christianity again. I’ve had a hard time getting back in the mood to write. The hell topic is my favorite, as it’s so fascinating. I also enjoy studying Persian religion as well, with how it relates to the Bible.

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  2. About two years ago I started to get depressed. I looked at my life, and even tho my life is good, there were a lot of areas that caused my depression. I really started to analyze everything, that included my faith. During that journey, I got incredibly sad. I started to get happy once I admitted that I was no longer a believer. It wasn’t over night, but I feel my joy returning… And it feels good. Hang in there, it will get better. This really is a mind f×ck lol

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    1. Yeah, sounds like you got depressed the same time I did. 2 years ago. Same here, in that I’ve been recovering slowly but steadily. I’m glad you are recovering well! Seems like depression may be a catalyst for deconversion.

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  3. I just want to say that I really appreciate this blog for a number of reasons. Firstly the description of your ‘journey’ is mirroring the journey I am on at the moment. I have massive problems with the idea of hell as eternal conscious torment on moral, textual and historical grounds. I also can no longer affirm biblical inerrancy due to issues such as new testament use of 1 Enoch as you have highlighted. Unlike you I still consider myself a believer but I can’t help but acknowledge that if I continue on this road I won’t be for long. It is a lonely experience. I don’t feel I can share my doubts with Christian family / friends for fear it will cause them worry. Their answer will no doubt be ‘spend more time in the bible’.
    I also appreciate your blog as a voice of reconcilation and mutual respect between athiests and christians. There are too many arrogant athiests on the internet misrepresenting Christian beliefs and forgetting that for every one science hating red neck there are hundreds of intelligent, well thought through christians who are really helping to make the world a more loving place. And on the other hand christians need to realise that people have good reasons for their athiesm and they aren’t simply ‘supressing the truth in their wickedness’.
    I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the ressurrection of Jesus. I can’t understand how the Christian movement flourished if it didn’t happen. But I also have problems with the discrepancies in the accounts and the fact that the early church had little divine instruction (on jew/gentile relations and doctrine such as trinity).
    Anyway beginning to ramble. Basically thanks for your writing and please post more soon!
    John from England

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    1. Thank you so much John! I must admit it is very fulfilling to know that people like us can share such similar experiences and find each other in the blogosphere. I wrote most of these posts as a form of therapy, nd a way to use my knowledge to some purpose (even if I haven’t always felt convinced I was going about it the right way). I think honesty is important, because it opens the door for that connection. There are many of us who have lost faith or are hanging on by a thread. It’s important to know that we are not alone.

      I agree very much about respect and reconciliation between atheists and Christians. So many of the people closest to me have totally different beliefs about everything, but that’s okay. Over the last year I have learned that people for the most part will still accept us, although sometimes it takes time. And those who can’t are likely not that good of friends anyway.

      I think it’s cool that you still believe. My transition was rather sudden. My own personal stance right now is agnostic atheism, but I encourage people to feel things out for themselves. On a macro level more atheists can help us fight on a sociopolitical front for a more just, equal, and healthy society, but Martin Luther King is a g great example of faith being used to make the world better.

      On a personal level loss of faith is jarring. I honestly don’t know whether it has helped or hurt me emotionally, but I recognize that certain people connect with religion and faith, and that it can be very difficult to leave it behind.

      If you’re like me, truth and honesty wins out. But it’s certainly a tough road. Can be fulfilling too in ways, as you can own your beliefs when you have fought t separate fact from fiction.

      I will try to share my thoughts on the resurrection sometime. I had a post in draft, but never finished it.

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