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Lilith666

What Killed Your Faith For Good?

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Did a trusted Xian authority tell you something that struck you as false or hypocritical? Did a bible verse jar with your rationality/set of ethics? What ultimately decapitated your X-love?

 

I wondered if any of you guys remember that moment when you realized you didn't believe anymore.

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I remember exactly when I knew I didn't believe anymore. I was trying to reconcile this reality with all the statements/promises/doctrines, etc about god. The only way to do so was to realize that god does not exist.

 

I actually toyed with the idea that I was one of the predestined damned -I wanted to "be a child of god" - be obedient, faithful, etc, but for some reason god was not responding, thought his "word" said he should. However, anybody I'd ever talked to about the subject said that if you weren't one of god's chosen, you wouldn't really care about being right with him. Then, I recalled all those people who were full blown calvinists who felt anxious because they didn't reall know if they were truly chosen - you know, - the really, really, really REALLLLLLLLy really actual chosen ones.

 

I thought to myself,"This is insane! Way too irrational. We're not talking about life's profound mysteries, but nutcase, irreconcilable and conflicting doctrines and statements in the bible."

 

I finally realized the reason I couldn't figure out where god was in my life was because there was no god to be there.

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I don't remember the events that led up to disbelief it was more like a bunch of tiny events. Mainly thinking tha "certain" things about religion were not right (faith healing, the big bang, dinosaurs). They slowly made me see a world that worked just fine without god.

 

I realized i was an athiest while watching this video. I'll never forget it........ mainly the part about going through the motions.

 

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I remember reading the verse, 1 Samuel 15:3

 

"Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass."

 

Thats when i knew i wanted nothing to do with this system anymore.

 

Also studying the atrocities done by the Christian church.

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I stopped believing several years ago, and had no time whatsoever for Xtians but had a long standing sneaking suspicion that the beliefs I'd rejected might be true. I suppose you could liken Xtianity to some weirdo in the street calling out and following you, while I was speed walking ahead, keeping my head down and trying to shut it out.

 

It was only relatively recently when I returned to the bible to research apologetics, contradictions etc.Three finds in the scriptures really whacked me over the head with their distastefulness:

 

Anti girl power: Paul's misogynistic warblings, the OT horror of rape marriages, women as property, lack of god bothering to communicate directly with any women.

 

Genocide and sacrifice: I find it ironic that so many christians ban video games for violent content when the OT must be the bloodiest document ever. I felt I could no longer sustain a belief in a deity that could mindlessly murder millions, including women, children, and animals.

 

Discrimination: Leviticus 21. I suppose in light of the aforementioned this point seems much smaller, but it was this verse that sent the whole pack of cards tumbling down for me. I work with severely disabled young people, and have heard all manner of rationalisations from Xtians as to why god would create people with severe disabilities. Most rationalisations, while unbelievable, did not rail on the people concerned. To read here, that Biblegod told Moses that people with a range of mostly appearance related handicaps were not welcome in his house was a startling revelation. The idea that god would create, but then discriminate against these people seemed unforgivably cruel (but hey, that's god!)

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I don't know that there was *one* moment that it all just fell apart, but I remember seeing a prayer meeting after a particularly raucous Sunday service at this big UPC church I attended where all these people were praying, and I suddenly realized how fucking FALSE the Bible's promises about prayer were. I'd been taught that yes/no/maybe horseshit, but that night's sermon was specifically about squaring the real world with the Bible's actual verses that promise "yes" every time without fail. That's when I realized that the Bible didn't make any distinctions about the prayer request being God's will. Or about it being something edifying. Or something beneficial. And it certainly didn't say that the granting of my request depended on *EVERYBODY* around me being sinless and brimming with faith. It just said ASK, and that was it, you'd get whatever you wanted.

 

Then I began to mentally review the things I typically prayed for and realized they were all stuff that had a better-than-random chance of happening anyway--lost objects that were found (but only stuff lost in the house or in the church itself, not stuff lost with almost no chance of recovery), illnesses that were far from terminal or critical, injuries that certainly weren't permanent, financial situations that were guaranteed to resolve in time anyway. I had stopped asking for earth-shattering things very early on, it seemed, and I'd certainly never asked for anything impossible; why was I not asking for the dead to rise, for a million dollars to land in my lap, for world peace?

 

And even scarier for me: if the stuff about prayer was hyperbole, what else was?

 

That was probably one of the big moments for me, but it would take another year or two to really come face to face with everything and just stop bothering with the damned business. It was pretty gradual.

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of course as we said in another thread the start is being able to accept the fact that you just might be wrong and then searching for the truth. but its a fun and scary process. I remember thinking "OH MY GOD! ITS NOT REAL!" and being terrified and liberated at the same time like i just found out a big secret or i pieced together some grand puzzle. very weird especially when everything around you stays the same. thats the eerie part. People still go to church, the world keeps spinning, people keep dying, it just makes sense now.

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I was carrying the resurrection around as a "core", a central point that I wasn't prepared to negotiate for a looooooong time, well after I had begun to realize that many other things in the bible weren't (or couldn't) be true. I had huge difficulties for years with so many things, but it was reading about the gospel inconsistencies and the lack of real evidence for the resurrection that killed it for me. Most other things had fallen away long before but when that thought came to me that Jesus wasn't god incarnate, it collapsed in about ten minutes. I was devastated at first. I got better. Now I'm just pissed off at myself. and the church. I lasted as a universalist for about two weeks but it didn't take.

Habibas first paragraph above I can particularly relate to

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I had a series of ironies occurring in my life that tore apart the veil in my mind--the veil that separated belief/desire from truth/reality. Of course, each irony was so ridiculous and harmful to my overall health. Then add the icing of irony to the cake of unanswered prayer and I will never forget my official pronouncement (which happened to be as part of a 'victim impact statement' to my family physician) that "I am now an atheist".

 

What a relief! Thank dog!

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Archaeology.

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I had been struggling with trying to reconcile what I knew about evolution, etc. with my religious beliefs. One night, I was just simply intellectually honest with myself. I knew my faith was based on nothing rational what so ever. I was just fooling myself. After seeing that so clearly, I simply couldn't believe anymore.

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It was a series of over a few years that I slowly broke away from my faith.

 

I think one of the biggest blows was almost marrying a girl which I assume had borderline disorder. Basically she was abused several times as a child and then had this disorder as an adult, plus hours upon hours of prayer didn't make a damn bit of difference, for her to get better she'd have to go through the same tough times as every other BPD person. I had the hardest time accepting that a loving god would more often than not allow the ones who suffer the most to have the most psychological afflictions.

 

That combined with the errors in the bible, the truth of evolution, the ineffectiveness of prayer, the fact that religious feelings are experienced regardless of beliefs, the grandeur of the universe, ancient near east copies in the bible, etc...

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Just the constant assault of illogic.

 

I suppose I had already given up belief. But I hadn't given up wanting to believe. I talked and talked and talked to xtians. I hoped somebody would present a case that held up under scrutiny. I hoped somebody would point out something vital that I had missed. I wanted -- sometimes desperately wanted -- to find some way to believe this thing that millions of others (including some people I knew to be very smart) were so certain was "true."

 

But the more I listened, the more questions I asked, the more I read the books and bible verses they recommended, the more repelled I felt. Not just repelled, but shocked that apparently bright people had such low standards for "truth."

 

Then after having searched so long in vain, wasted so much time, energy, and hope, I would hear the biggest lie ever told: "Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:" ... that was THE END. Too much. No more.

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One word - Christians!!!!

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For me it all happened so fast. While I was like everyone that has the pre-deconversion stuff that goes on for years, going from true believer (without question) to full blown atheist was no more than three months. So it would kind of be like me driving a car at 100 miles per hour toward a cliff and asking me when was the exact moment that I'd no longer be able to stop in time. The exact moment I became an atheist was while reading http://www.whywontgodhealamputees.com/ . But the time which I had simply crossed the line of disbelief and realized there was probably no un-seeing behind the curtain, well that we probably about a 5 to 7 days into finding youtube atheism. I was watching hours upon hours a day of The Atheist Experience, Evid3nc3, DarkMatter2525, Purplfox, and Laci Green. So again, yeah no magic moment because it was just happening too fast, but one of those folks would get the credit for pushing me over the edge.

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Mental and Verbal abuse.

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When I realised through a massive betrayal by christians that there was nothing supernatural going on inside them. They were no different from anyone else, despite the opposite being rammed down my throat by hte church for 36 years. It was all bullshit, all of it. For the third time in my life whent hey had the opportunity to support me and care, they just walked away.

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One word - Christians!!!!

"The problem with communism is the communists, just as the problem with Christianity is the Christians."

 

For me, there were a few big moments. First, I remember a philosophy class in which a lecturer said religious experiences can't be used as evidence for God's existence. He never said why, but briefly cited Derren Brown so I assumed a religious experience could be made up by someone.

 

Second, a guy I met died of cancer. I wasn't too distraught since I didn't know him for long enough to get too close, but I still had a lot of respect for him and there was no way he deserved it. That made me as open as I'd ever been towards agnosticism, which wasn't helped by said philosophy lesson.

 

The third and final step is a bit of a haze. My girlfriend at the time dumped me without really providing a reason, and in the process of asking myself why. I dredged up every possible (and impossible) characteristic about myself that I don't like, which then got me pretty low. It also occurred to me that if Christianity is true, God solves a problem he made up and looks for glory in the process. What a dick. That became kind of a worst case scenario for me, and once I accepted that, the "what if I'm wrong?" fears pretty much vanished and I finally denounced Christianity.

 

Other factors were in play for several years, such as not feeling like I'd experienced the Holy Spirit in the way I was supposed to, learning of some of the Bible's bigger flaws, and of course Christians. But I'd say the three I mentioned were the big ones.

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It wasn't just one thing. I just started walking away. I kept coming back in my own way to try again, but there was this part of me that just said no I am done and kept walking toward my current life.

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After I started learning about stuff outside xianity and went into full-blown spiritual crisis mode, I prayed only for solace. God is supposed to be our refuge/comforter in times of need, right? Even this prayer was not answered. I said the loneliest amen of my xian life and walked away with my grief for good.

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For me it all happened so fast. While I was like everyone that has the pre-deconversion stuff that goes on for years, going from true believer (without question) to full blown atheist was no more than three months. So it would kind of be like me driving a car at 100 miles per hour toward a cliff and asking me when was the exact moment that I'd no longer be able to stop in time. The exact moment I became an atheist was while reading http://www.whywontgodhealamputees.com/ . But the time which I had simply crossed the line of disbelief and realized there was probably no un-seeing behind the curtain, well that we probably about a 5 to 7 days into finding youtube atheism. I was watching hours upon hours a day of The Atheist Experience, Evid3nc3, DarkMatter2525, Purplfox, and Laci Green. So again, yeah no magic moment because it was just happening too fast, but one of those folks would get the credit for pushing me over the edge.

 

This and realizing and that so called "proof" of God (spiritual experiences, abnormal healings, etc.) have been experienced by people of every religion and no religion. Then that led to me reading more about the brain and general human biology. That led me to realize that everything can be explained by natural processes and chance.

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For me, it was the infusion of political stuff into what was supposed to be a religion. I remember being shaken by the church I attended at the time (about 1968) holding a 'support our troops' rally. Nothing on its face wrong with that but it turned into a pep rally for the Vietnam war which by then I strongly opposed. Then there was all the culture wars- as they were in that era. I was constantly harassed for the clothes I wore, my hair leignth, etc. Not a deal, breaker in itself but it opened my eyes into the fact that I was in a mind-control cult.

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The silence in prayers, and as TB said, even no comfort during hard times. The stark nothingness led me to wonder about the validity of the Word of God. I mean, if this is the WoG, why was it so hard to read? Why was it so much work to go through? You'd think having the Life Manual from God of the Universe would be all that we needed to believe, yet it's insufficient. Even Christians don't read it (although, it's probably best that way).

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I think it was a combination of the prayer study and coming to understand natural selection. I had thrown out the idea of the Bible being the work of God long before that, but it really sank in realizing that intercessory prayer does nothing and natural selection is natural. It took telling someone that I shouldn't have told that I didn't believe for it to really solidify though.

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My deconversion had both a "spiritual" (or lack thereof) side and a more intellectual/sciencey side. On the spiritual side, I had never experienced anything supernatural firsthand, and had asked god constantly to show me something of this nature to solidify my faith. After a few years of talking to the sky, other Christians implied it was my fault, for some reason, that I never saw anything.

 

On the more intellectual side, I went for my degree in philosophy when I entered college and started finding tons of issues with Christianity, not because they were taught to me as "issues with Christianity" by the liberal/evil/godless/heathen academic community*, but because in the pursuit of greater understanding, Christianity doesn't really hold up. Specifically, I wrote a paper in my sophomore year about Occam's Razor, which is a very old idea which claims that when presented with multiple hypotheses, there will be the most truth in the one that requires you to make the fewest assumptions. If I chose a worldview without an extremely involved deity, there would be very few assumptions, as science could be used to explain the world around me. If there were things unknown to science, I could simply withdraw from making assumptions about them.

 

Christianity, on the other hand, requires you, by definition, to make a metric fuckton of assumptions about every goddamn thing. Christians feel the need to explain everything from the origins of everything, to the shape of bananas with a Biblical, god-reliant argument. Instead of looking at the world around them and coming to conclusions, they begin with conclusions and manipulate facts about the world around them to justify these assumptions.

 

At the end of the day, Christianity is an all-out DISHONEST philosophy, which is something I have a huge problem with (ironically, because of of the judeo christian morals I was raised with)

 

 

 

*sarcasm

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