During my 10-year transition from Christian to atheist, my belief system has undergone a number of significant changes. At first, I believed the Bible to be the inerrant and literal word of God. After discovering that some of the “facts” therein are just plain incompatible with reality as we know it, I transitioned to believing the Bible to be the metaphorical but divinely inspired word of God. Eventually I decided that the Bible is of little use and that God couldn’t possibly be like he is described therein. I started believing in a form of pantheism. Later I dropped that and became an agnostic – believing that there is not enough information to know whether God exists or not. Recently, I became an atheist – believing the complete lack of evidence for the existence of God does not justify being open to his existence any more than we should be open to the existence of Santa Claus – despite the possibility of the actual existence of God and Santa Claus.
Most Amish people would consider me unstable for changing my belief system so often. They’d use the word “unstable” in a manner that makes you think of a person with no mind of their own – extremely gullible and easily fooled by evil people. They use the word degradingly – as if speaking of an inferior person.
They warn people away from sites like this one in the fear that an “unstable” Christian reads it and becomes convinced that there is no God.
What the Amish call “unstable” is actually the result of “learning” and not of arbitrariness. Learning involves the acquisition of new information and the continual modification of one’s belief system based on the new information that is assimilated. To call a person “unstable” simply because they changed their belief system, is the equivalent of saying “learning is dumb”.