Jewish Atheist was originally a commenter here, but then went off and started his own blog. Of course back then, he and I didn’t agree on anything much. Maybe he even started his own blog just to counter all the nasty anti-skeptic things I used to write Nowadays though, at least intellectually, there’s not a huge difference between us.
However, having said that, we still choose to lead our lives very differently. I’m still frum, while he is out eating lobster and enjoying other fine aveiros. What gives? You might say, he has the courage of his convictions, whereas I’m a wus. He’s still single, whereas I’m married and tied to all the commitments that marriage and community brings. But I don’t think that’s it, or at least it’s not the whole story.
Here is how I responded:
I think the difference between you and me is that you're willing to act as if Orthodox Judaism is true in order to get what it offers and I'm not. I'm pretty sure I've always been incapable of doing what you do, but maybe if I'd gotten married and settled into a community as an adult before I reached my intellectual conclusions, I'd have made the same decisions you have.
Anyway, here's to hoping both our paths work out. :-)
Two completely unrelated thoughts:
1) There's a difference between theory and practice. In theory, Gadol/XGH and I sort of have similar beliefs. He makes all the same arguments against Orthodox Judaism that I do, although he stops short of making the obvious (to me) conclusion. In practice, we're at opposite ends of the religious spectrum. I think the gulf between theory and practice is something we bloggers should keep in mind when debating online. It's sometimes hard to picture the disembodied debaters as people.
2) I'm tempted to believe that Orthodox Judaism encourages its members to marry so early partly to increase retention. (It also works the other angle by encouraging high birthrates.)