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"reasons To No Longer Believe" Thread


mick
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I was thinking this morning that a thread in which people post specific good reasons they no longer believe would be very useful to us human beings going through this de-brainwashing. It is a bit different than the sections where people post their entire anti-testimonty. I would love to hear people share things that did it for them.

 

Here's my first one. The biggie is of course Hell. I ALWAYS thought throughout my CHristian life that Hell was an embarrassing part of my faith. It was always obvious to me that God could not be Omnipotent, Omnibenevolent, and Ominiscient, and allow for a Hell. (This same rule applies to vritually ALL suffering as well. It is just that Hell is the real bulls eye.) If there is a place, where human critters are in extreme suffering (whatever form you choose, fire, eternal isolation and utter loniness, whatever) and there was a God who is ABLE to end the sufferring(Omnipotent), PERFECTLY IS AWARE of the situation, (Omniscient) and is PERFECTLY GOOD AND KIND (Omnibenevolent) He would simply end Hell and let everyone out. The free will choice excuse Christians always use is absurd.

 

I had a Christian friend say to me recently, Mick, it like's this. There is a lake with people drowning in the middle (I.e. all humans going to Hell) and a boat has been sent (I.e. Jesus) and people choose to either get on the boat or not (I.e. become Christians.)

 

I ripped this analogy apart. I'm like first of all, "Why are the people out in the lake drowning in the first place?" That's one problem. The have been "Sentenced" to drown by the same one whose sending the boat. The next problem, is the people don't know or believe that they are drowing. They need to be convinced by other people that they are drowning. (I.e. Christians trying to convince non-Christians they are destined for Hell.) Then they are told to "believe" in the boat by faith, and trust that the boat is real, etc. The don't actually see the boat, and it is reasonable for them to think there is no boat at all if they can't see it. Heck, they don't even know they are drowning. They need to be convinced of that first. So in summary, they don't know they're drowning, they are being told they are drowning by other people who think they were drowning, then they have to get on a boat that they can't see and have to believe is there.

 

The bottom line is the whole thing is so illogical. Anyway I kind of went off there. Sorry.

 

I would like this thread to be a place where people share something about reasonably rejecting this bible belief that will help others who are leaving/struggling etc. It would be one place (Thread) where you can go and look for this specific type of info.

 

Thanks, Mick

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1)I am more loving than the Bible God, so why worship Him? The main reason I know this is because I wouldn't send Hitler to Hell, much less babies and people who have never heard of God or were raised to believe differently or would be killed for converting to the Christian faith or simply don't have enough "faith" to believe. No one deserves eternal punishment, imo. Like I said I'm more loving than God.

 

2)God doesn't answer my prayers, so why do I keep praying to Him? Same prayers, year after year, nothing happening unless I make it happen. However, the big prayers, the big struggles, mostly continue on for myself and for other Christians that pray without ceasing.

 

3)The Bible has inconsistency, misquotes, mythology and scientific error, so why keep going to it for answers? I don't know what is true in the Bible so other than looking at principals, I find the Bible doesn't answer the more difficult questions that come up in my life.

 

4)The Jesus of the Bible may not have existed, so why keep believe in Him? This is a hard one to even type out because I "believed" at 5 and loved Jesus for so many years. And yet, if the above 3 reasons are true and I think they are, then Jesus may not have existed---certainly not as we know him in the Bible.

 

WakingUp

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Hell is a huge reason why I don't believe.

 

The second huge reason why I don't believe is that there is no proof, and there are way too many similiarities for Christianity not to have been based on older religions before it. Mithraism, for example.

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There is no evidence jesus ever existed, outside of the obviously biased gospels. That alone, was enough to jog me out of the xtian faith. I studied much further though, and to add to that how little modern archeology has been able to corroborate the bible, and the similarities between xtainity and every other religion that existed prior to it.

 

If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and looks like a duck, could it be a unicorn?

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Evidential problem of evil

 

1. Gratuitous evils exist.

2. Gratuitous evils are incompatible with the existence of a god (omnipotent, omniscient, all-good).

3. Therefore, no god exists.

 

The typical defense from Christians is "free will" like in the lake illustration.

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If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and looks like a duck, could it be a unicorn?

 

I love that Marty!

 

What started me on my road to deconversion was learning that the history of Christianity that was taught to me in church was very different from what is known of the actual history. If Christianity was true, why do they teach something very different in church than what actually took place?

 

For instance, I was taught Big Bang Christianity. Jesus brought a new and unique concept of god and religion to the world. Before Jesus there was nothing (except Judaism) than boom Jesus appears to herald in a new age of enlightenment. The truth is nothing Jesus did or said was new. They were already estabished as lore in religions much older than Christianity in that culture.

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Guest Freethinka

A big reason for me is, everytime I see terrible human suffering I think "how could God let these ppl suffer?" Why do children get cancer and die? Why wouldn't God save them? Then I think about how ppl pray for a sick loved one. How many times do ppl die anyways? Why didn't God save them? There are SO many more reasons- but these are a few that I think of often.

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1. The suffering of children

2. Unequal opportunities for people to know that God exists. If Christianity is correct, an American has a better chance of getting into heaven than a guy in Saudi Arabia, due to societal differences. It isn't fair

3. Biblical acts of cruelty and stupidity on the part of you know who. No caring God would order genocide or kill children for the sins of their parents

4. There have been almost no prophets since the Catholic Church and Islam were established. These two organizations are far from perfect, and one would think that God would send a messanger to reform them.

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1. I've seen people of many religions rationalizing away their suffering when their prayers don't get answered.

 

2. Can't imagine any possible location for heaven and hell in the universe.

 

3. Really not impressed by the lost-long-weekend "sacrifice" of Jesus.

 

4. Majorly pissed off by the stupidity in the Original Sin assertion. How can anything be born in a polarized moral state when it hasn't yet had the opportunity for conscious and deliberate action?

 

5. Find it entirely too convenient that certain people "discover" the will of some invisible being and then use it to extort resources and obedience from their neighbours.

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My reasons are a lot less logical, and I didn't use a whole lot of reasoning. Basically I felt miserable as a Christian, it was ruining my life, so I gave it up. Hell and lack of evidence were a part of it. But the biggest part was that it just wasn't working. I had to get out of Christianity before I completely lost my mind. Well there you go.

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A problem with Hell Doctrine got me started on why I don't believe anymore; but by now the biggest reason I don't believe is that I can see no reason why I should.

 

Nobody has been able to demonstrate to me that there is in fact a god in this universe, and on top of that, nobody has demonstrated that said god is in fact the Xian one... much less that there's any reason to take the Babble as being said god's holy inspired word.

 

It's always possible, but to me it doesn't seem like any other religion is any more or less possible; and it seems far more likely that religions are human constructs and ego-projections anyway.

 

As far as more detailed reasons why I rejected Xianity in particular, well... the list is really, really, really long by now, and has all sorts of things on it, ranging from issues like Biblical misogyny to the poor example of certain Xians.

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Here's a great reason to not believe. Why is Yahweh/Jehovah/Jesus true, but no other god? Try and make a xtian 'prove there is no Wotan'. :rolleyes:

 

All of the apologetics xtians use to prop up their ancient desert god can be used for Zeus, Odin, Ra, Manitou, etc. with minor modifications. It's fun to use them when you argue with fundies! :grin:

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Here's a great reason to not believe. Why is Yahweh/Jehovah/Jesus true, but no other god? Try and make a xtian 'prove there is no Wotan'. :rolleyes:

 

All of the apologetics xtians use to prop up their ancient desert god can be used for Zeus, Odin, Ra, Manitou, etc. with minor modifications. It's fun to use them when you argue with fundies! :grin:

 

Especially in the light of what the bible says about other Gods: http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/contra/gods.html

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A major thing for me, although by no means the only reason why i gave up christianity, was coming to the point of realisation that the bible wasn't all true.

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The reasons for my deconversion were mainly twofold. First, I saw that the theory of evolution was probably a valid theory. Having accepted it, I saw Genesis as the myth that it is. It wasn't too far from there to realize that much of the bible was mythology. Second the way the church treated sex seemed completely wrong to me. Somehow I was supposed to be wrong for having sexual thoughts and feelings. I knew that what I was feeling in my adolescence (which is when I deconverted) in regards to sex was natural and even necessary. I could see that the church was trying to make me feel guilty for something that I had no business feeling guilty about.

 

So to sum up, I came to believe that Christainity was engaged in the business of 1)denial and 2)control. I don't need that kind of combination.

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Number 1: The Missing Link

 

Okay, so Jesus died as a sacrifice for our sins.

 

a) What is sin?

B) Who is paying what to whom?

 

Sin: intentionally doing something you know is wrong

 

Okay, I never do that but probably most people do since there is this teaching.

 

I spend some time on this planet, something like three, four decades.

 

I observe people deeply. I am always aware of underlying motivations as best one can be aware of that in other humans.

 

I read autobiographies or faith stories about people whom I was taught are evil.

 

I worked with such people. I learned to know them very well. We had some deep conversations. They were every bit as genuine as my own mother. It was from her that I learned the most intense parts of religion.

 

In the meantime I also read all the books I could lay hands on (I borrowed from the public library) about self-esteem and inferiority complex. The topic held enormous appeal on the personal level because it offered me hope in an utterly hopeless situation.

 

Via all that reading, observation, analysis, and thinking I came to the conclusion that humans are inherently good, if only love can connect with that goodness

 

For some strange reason I never connected the dots between this conclusion and its religious implications. Not until I ran into Christians who were very hostile to the idea did I realize the religious implications. Well, I wasn't going to change my understanding of reality just to please the Bible. If there was a mistake it was the Bible. I had done my research. I knew the reality of the situation. The Bible, however, was not always right. For example, it assumed a flat earth. And today we know that the earth is not flat. Likewise it assumes a that the sun revolves around the earth (i.e. the day the sun stood still) and today we know that is not true. Disbelieving the Bible was not that much of a stretch for me.

 

Okay. That answers the question about inherent sin. It does not dispose of the sin theology, however. I now encounter hard-core fundamentalists who believe with unswerving faith in original sin.

 

And anyway, Jesus died to save people from their sin. Sin absolutely had to exist. WHAT IS SIN? The pastor tried accusing me of lying in order to prove the existence of sin. That was taking things too far. I had not lied. However, I was far too insecure emotionally to take that as my cue to leave Christianity.

 

The second part of the problem: Who is paying what to whom?

 

The man on the cross obviously is the one paying. By some twisted feat of the imagination the Bible (not to mention Christians) makes it out that God is paying i.e. he sacrificed his son exactly like Abraham sacrificed Isaac.

 

Without further ado over the complete nonsensicality of that. Okay so we have God paying God. Okay, okay.

 

Then they come up with the idea that God used this model of sacrifice because it was what was best understood by the Jesus' Jewish followers.

 

Now THAT'S a strange one! If this was for "ALL" people then it should also make sense to us today! A God who knows the end from the beginning and for whom a thousand years are as one day and vice versa, would realistically have chosen a less culture-specific symbol.

 

Besides, death was too serious a matter--cost far too much to the victim--to stand ONLY as a symbol. That much was obvious no matter what the Christians said.

 

But let's suppose they were right. Original sin exists. Jesus' crucifixion was absolutely crucial to human welfare. But how does it work?

 

There are two strands for the argument.

 

1. From God's side

 

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

 

It was out of pure love. God loved us so much he did not want us to go to hell. Somehow or other, it was a major price for him to have his only begotten son die on a cross. Okay, okay, I see.

 

 

2. From Jesus' side as a human and therefore the human side

 

So Jesus died in our place and somehow or other made God happy.

 

We humans are so desperately deficient that we could never ever even get near God were it not for Jesus' death. Let's forget the millions of God-fearing souls that lived and died before Jesus ever made the atonement. Somehow or other, it's just and it works.

 

Now if our sin was so serious that Someone had to die for ALL time and for ALL people, then the death of said person must of necessity cause some major change in the universe. This works on the assumption that the universe is the common ground between God and humans. There must have been an obstacle of some kind in the universe phsycially separating God and humans. Since the physical death of a human body was required to remove the obstacle it must of necessity have been a physical obstact, something as physical and concrete as sin.

 

And this obstacle must of necessity have been changed in some way at Jesus' death. Otherwise his death makes no sense. So what was that thing that changed?

 

NOT A SINLGE CHRISTIAN has been able to come up with an answer for that. They've come up with answers but not one that fits the picture. Much brain-twisting is required to make their answers fit.

 

Before we even get close to this understanding, fundamentalists and other closed-minded christians will tell me the standard fix-all: Well, if you don't want to believe there's nothing I can say that will satisfy you.

 

Let's just leave it at that. Far too much life energy has gone into this question to accept such a nit-wit answer. The blank to that question is the missing link. This is why I don't believe.

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Now if our sin was so serious that Someone had to die for ALL time and for ALL people, then the death of said person must of necessity cause some major change in the universe. This works on the assumption that the universe is the common ground between God and humans. There must have been an obstacle of some kind in the universe phsycially separating God and humans. Since the physical death of a human body was required to remove the obstacle it must of necessity have been a physical obstact, something as physical and concrete as sin.

 

And this obstacle must of necessity have been changed in some way at Jesus' death. Otherwise his death makes no sense. So what was that thing that changed?

 

NOT A SINLGE CHRISTIAN has been able to come up with an answer for that. They've come up with answers but not one that fits the picture. Much brain-twisting is required to make their answers fit.

 

Excellent question.

 

Also, what about those who haven't done anything so terribly wrong? Everyday people like you and me, who haven't committed any crimes, who haven't hurt people, who don't do bad things, why should we have to be tortured for all of eternity when we haven't done anything to deserve it? Christianity pretends that everyone is so awful, horrible and terrible that they deserve eternal suffering. But in my experience, at least, the vast majority of people are really not that awful.

 

Hence Christians (at least fundies) make up sins that really aren't evil acts because they harm no one, like reading science fiction and fantasy, listening to popular music, seeing popular movies & TV shows, etc. Why should a religion have to make up sins to make people feel horrible about themselves when they really don't need to be? Of course, the True Fundie will say "Oh, they really are sins and you're going to hell for reading Harry Potter books" or whatever they want to judge you for.

 

What I want to know is, how is that fair? It's not. If someone commits a murder, repents of it and converts to fundy Christianity while in jail, according to the fundy Christians, they go to heaven. Yet someone who harmed nobody in their entire life is doomed to be tortured eternally because they read a Harry Potter book that they enjoyed once, or because they were born gay, or because they were born in a country where Christianity isn't the dominant religion and were Buddhist or something else their entire life? WTF? Where is the justice in that?

 

Hell is the most unfair and unethical doctrine I have ever heard of in my entire life.

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>>What I want to know is, how is that fair? It's not. If someone commits a murder, repents of it and converts to fundy Christianity while in jail, according to the fundy Christians, they go to heaven. Yet someone who harmed nobody in their entire life is doomed to be tortured eternally because they read a Harry Potter book that they enjoyed once, or because they were born gay, or because they were born in a country where Christianity isn't the dominant religion and were Buddhist or something else their entire life? WTF? Where is the justice in that?

 

Hell is the most unfair and unethical doctrine I have ever heard of in my entire life.

 

This is a point that always bothered me. There was an abduction in NY recently of a Boston 24 year old girl. SHe was a party girl out frinking, and hence is very unlike to have been a "Born Again, Heaven Bound Fundy". She was brutally turtured and raped and slaughtered. I actually read about the details. It was truly grewsome. ANyway, I got to thinking about Hell. If the Bible is true she likley went to Hell, and is in the worst possible torment, yet her killer at least still has the chance to be converted and "saved". Ted BUndy, who raped and killed dozens of women converted in prison and would go to heaven, yet most of his victims are likely in Hell.

 

Its insane.

 

By the way, read "End of Faith" by Sam Harris. I just started it, it is really good.

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Well, for me, it came down to just the questions that have no logical answers and needs faith to believe with the result of cognitive dissonance.

 

Why did god create the devil?

 

If sin came from choice and choice was needed for true love, and when you die you go to heaven and are not capable of sinning, then why did god not just skip all the crap and suffering and hell and just create heaven with prefect people incapable of sin?

 

Why does the bible condone and regulate slavery?

 

Why does the god of the bible hate homosexuals and women?

 

There were many more questions, but those were some. Finally I just pulled myself out to look at the religion from the outside so to speak. Then suddenly I saw xianity the same way I did Islam, Judaism, Mormonism, etc. Once you get your brain out of that bubble, you can see there is no possible way to determine if anyone religion is the right one. But then I just stopped believing that a god is possible period.

 

I have an easier and happier time knowing there is no god, then to think there is a sadistic being out there watching this world suffer like a soap opera and doing shit about it.

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When I was in my teams (and an attending but not really devout christian), my mom was talking to me about the experience she had as a christian in Salt Lake City.

 

She told me how intollerant the Mormons were, and how they had these "crazy beliefs".

 

Knowing a bit about the history of the religion, I realized that her attitude about the Mormons was the same as the attitude the Mormons had about her, and the attitude that all religions have about the other.

 

Worldwide, there are thousands of different sects, and their members have absolute faith in their beliefs. Only 1% of those could be right at a time. That leaves two options:

 

1% of believers are absolutely right, and 99% are wrong

All believers are wrong

 

Since it's clear that absolute faith can't always be right, why would you ever think that it would be right.

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