These examples also suggest several specific ways we can help them. Many of us in the non-believer community (myself included) are naively inclined to take believers at their word when they offer arguments for God's existence or justifications for believing. But these examples should remind us that many of so-called believers, even the important among them actually don't even buy all the nonsense themselves. They say what they are supposed to say, but it would appear that they are trying to convince themselves as much or more than they are trying to convince us. We must remember that the best response to the broken arguments may be, "I don't think you actually believe that. And I know that you've felt the force of the doubts against God that I am raising." What they need to see is that it would be worse to sustain the lie than to come out and clear their minds and conscience of the bad faith their peculiar situation has created.
“I didn’t plan to become an atheist. I didn’t even want to become an atheist. It’s just that I had no choice. If I’m being honest with myself. . . . I want to understand Christianity, and that’s what I’ve tried to do. And I’ve wanted to be a Christian. I’ve tried to be a Christian, and all the ways they say to do it. It just didn’t add up.”
“The love stuff is good. And you can still believe in that, and live a life like that. But the whole grand scheme of Christianity, for me, is just a bunch of bunk.”