Reasons why I de-converted and now consider myself an atheist

September 3, 2008 at 9:15 am 43 comments

I would like to share with the d-C readers, the primary reasons why I de-converted and why I no longer have to consider what some mysterious, mythical, and hideously confusing god feels about me.

  1. Watching my religious mother and both aunts die of cancer, while begging Jesus/god to save them, and he did not.  Not only that but I also worked in the pediatric ward of a cancer hospital in Houston and watched entire churches praying for god to save babies from cancer, and he did not.
  2. Knowing that between 1900 and 1999, more than 180 million “good” Christians and Jews died in wars begging, pleading and praying to god to spare their lives. And their imaginary god did not.  I participated as a co-leader in a therapy program of former religious Jews (many of whom are now atheists) whose entire families were murdered by Nazis in WWII, who asked the same question – “where was god?  Many came to the conclusion, that instead of believing a god was going to save and protect them from “evil,” they should have been preparing to save their own lives. Many had tremendous guilt and anger at being lied to since believing those lies resulted in false sense of security (god’s love, god’s protection, blah, blah, blah), which resulted in entire families going to the gas chamber because of their delusions.
  3. Watching the ongoing hypocrisy of the Christians, who cherry pick their way through the bible and do NOT obey god’s laws, such as more than 100 verses which says to “kill those who break god’s laws.”
  4. Realizing that the religious expect you to believe their religious gobbleygook without any proof, but if they were tried in a court of law for an alleged crime, they would be demanding that decisions of guilt NOT be made on “faith” but evidence and proof of their innocence.
  5. Knowing how insane religion really is.  In fact, in brain scans of blood flow, Christians who are having “religious experiences,” have the same blood flow centered in the limbic (emotional) system as do drug addicts. Yes, religion is addictive.
  6. Reading the research on the activities of faith-based organizations in prisons and finding that felons who participate in religious, and faith-based programs, a) had poorer mental and emotional adjustments to prison life, b) committed more crimes in prison, and c) having a higher re-arrest rate by committing more crimes after they leave prison. It is also interesting to note that 95% of people in American prisons are Christians. Well, a fat lot of good that does.
  7. Reading the studies showing that not only does prayer not work, but can be in fact dangerouse for those in poor health.  For example, individuals who were “prayed for” because of heart issues died sooner from secondary heart attacks (probably from stress) than a control group who neither knew about the study and were NOT the subject of prayer.
  8. Becoming aware that the Sunday Schools I attended as a child were nothing more than child abuse and indoctrination centers, where children are told that if they don’t “believe” they are going to hell and suffer eternal torture and damnation. Of course, little kids become hard-core acolytes in the same way as Hitler’s Youth were indoctrinated. How dare they!?
  9. Understanding that trillions of dollars are wasted on religion, which teaches magical mind states, that do not solve problems, stop poverty and in fact, have created more poverty in Africa by feeding the poor just enough to make them healthy enough to have more children without a birth control program to prevent future generations from starving in greater numbers.  More children result in over population, which causes more poverty and massive starvation. But the “religious” do not care, as long as they get one more souls for Jesus. Nor have any religious organizations in Africa taught “safe sex,” treating women with respect, or done anything to prevent HIV/AIDS since sex outside of marriage is a taboo subject among the religious.  So the combination of Christians teaching religious magic, that god will provide for them, save them, protect them, coupled by massive feeding programs without birth control creating overpopulation engaged in indiscriminate unprotected sex has helped to create a continent of tragedy. In some areas of Africa, 1 in 6 persons are afflicted with HIV/AIDS.
  10. Realizing that the bible is wrong about the sun revolving around the earth; the earth being flat with four corners, standing still in space, or the earth is a hollow ball; rabbits have cloven hooves; stars are actually lights shining down through holes in the ceiling of heaven; and heaven is like an upper floor and so many other idiotic statements.  These issues made me think: If the bible is so wrong about such basic stuff, what else is the bible wrong about?
  11. Learning that many of the bible stories and Christian traditions are plagiarized from other religions – up to and including the fact, that Dec 25th is Apollo’s birthday, stolen and given to Jesus – and that many other bible stories have no outside proof.  For example, there is no a shred of proof, not a pot shard, not a bone, nothing that 2 million Jews wandered around in the desert, or that Jews were slaves who built the pyramids.
  12. And finally, knowing from observations that once the religious become politically powerful enough, they will in fact create a theocratic dictatorship and truly follow “god’s laws” – probably including following the previously mentioned 100 verses in the bible that says to “kill those who disobey god’s laws” (including atheists).  The most effective block that keeps the religious in check, are the secular laws put in place by Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Franklin, Wilson, and Washington – all of whom if you read their private papers were “functional atheists,” and knew the vagaries of religion in Europe. If the religious did not try to impose their beliefs on society and go on massive propaganda programs to discredit science, I would not give a damn what the religious said or did. However, they vote based on their beliefs and the enforcing of those beliefs and ergo are a danger to this planet – especially to women.

I could go on for hours but finally I “concluded” there was no god. I should clarify that I do not “believe” god does not exist, as the definition of “belief” to make statements as true in which there is no proof.  I “know” there is no god based on “knowledge.”  After looking for evidence throughout all 10,000 years of known history, 250 million years of geological history, and 6.5 billion years of cosmological history, there is NOT one single instance where something “divine” interrupted the laws of physics – which would prove there is a god.

I am on a campaign against all “religious,magical, and Utopian thinking” including those atheists who claim they are not religious and don’t believe in a god, but yet worship the state, and make gods and demi gods out of political persons and ideologies. If a particular political or social ideology does not work, then for an atheist to continue to “believe” and promote such ideologies, then makes them “Pseudo Atheists” who have just switched one religious belief for another. In my analysis, to be a “true atheist,” it means one does not live in the realm of any kind of magical religious belief but demands proof, evidence, and facts for all statements.

Having been an atheist now for about three years, I’ve never been so happy. Everything is so much clearer, organized, realistic, and I am in control. It is not god’s will but MY WILL that counts. I am in charge of my life, not an imaginary, invisible, non-existent god.

- Hugs, DeeVee (guest contributor)

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The de-conversion story of an Ashkenazi Jew Null Hypothesis ≠ Presuppositionalism

43 Comments Add your own

  • 1. The Apostate  |  September 3, 2008 at 9:49 am

    I just briefly read this, but as for no.11 – nowhere in the Bible does it sy Jesus was born on December 25 (which was also the birthday of Horus, Mithras, and several other deities). This point could have been nailed much better by simply stating things such as the pronouncement of the birth, the virgin birth, the shepherds, the “three wise men,” the forerunner of John the Baptist, etc. are all plagiarisms from earlier “pagan” religions.

  • 2. campistheword  |  September 3, 2008 at 10:17 am

    I’m no expert but it seems you are talking a lot about religion and very little about Christianity. Atheism is often bred out of people’s abuse of the church’s religious systems, not the true measure of a Christian life. I guarantee that when all else fails, your atheists pals will bail on you just as quick if it means saving their own ass and breeding a nation of american atheists hasn’t really done much for the success of your country. You butcher each other just as readily as the middle east does and the rest of the world mostly looks at you with disdain. BTW, Aids/HIV has a lot to do with african men raping women and children with abandon and refusing to believe they need to change or accept help. You should get of your atheist butt and do something about it yourself, like go to africa and see what you can do. I doubt they’s be interested in you opinion if it means cutting off the food supply.

  • 3. Joan Ball  |  September 3, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Hi Dee Vee: Your post left me with a question that may be too personal to ask in this very public forum, but I will float it and you can decide. Before I ask it, however, I would like to be sure that you do not read any negative tone into it, because it is written with genuine interest.

    It is clear that you have divested yourself of belief and, while I have some different understanding of some of the points in your post, you have obviously thought this through. I’m just wondering what you do with all of that control now?

  • 4. ordover  |  September 3, 2008 at 11:37 am

    campistheword-

    I’m no expert but it seems you are talking a lot about religion and very little about Christianity. Atheism is often bred out of people’s abuse of the church’s religious systems, not the true measure of a Christian life.

    Please tell me the difference between the religion Christianity and the “Christianity” you are referring to. Also, please tell me what a “true Christian life” is.

  • 5. The de-Convert  |  September 3, 2008 at 11:56 am

    TA,

    You’re right. I added “and Christian traditions” for DeeVee.

    Paul

  • 6. karen  |  September 3, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    DeeVee:

    Reading the research on the activities of faith-based organizations in prisons and finding that felons who participate in religious, and faith-based programs, a) had poorer mental and emotional adjustments to prison life, b) committed more crimes in prison, and c) having a higher re-arrest rate by committing more crimes after they leave prison. It is also interesting to note that 95% of people in American prisons are Christians. Well, a fat lot of good that does.

    Do you have a cite or link for that information? I researched faith-based prison ministries a few years ago. I found some studies showing that they really don’t make a difference – positive or negative – on recidivism rates or behavior while in prison. But I never saw anything showing that faith-based programs actually had negative impacts. I’d love to look at those studies.

    I am on a campaign against all “religious,magical, and Utopian thinking” including those atheists who claim they are not religious and don’t believe in a god, but yet worship the state, and make gods and demi gods out of political persons and ideologies.

    Not sure what you mean by “worship the state” or making gods out of political persons. Can you give us an example of where you see atheists doing this? My experience is that atheists are overall skeptical and realistic – more so than most people.

    In my analysis, to be a “true atheist,” it means one does not live in the realm of any kind of magical religious belief but demands proof, evidence, and facts for all statements

    I agree with much of what you’re saying here, DeeVee, but I shy away from making judgments about who is a “true atheist” or not. The background I came from as a fundamentalist made a lot of narrow and bigoted judgments about who was/wasn’t a “true Christian” and I am loathe to revert to that now that I am not religious.

  • 7. Israel Walker  |  September 3, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    I agree with your statements but not your tone. I too have d-C experience. I agree religion hurts people. I agree that magical thinking is destructive. I have also been hurt by the church. And, frankly, I’m bitter about it. I sit on the fence with Atheism and think its more honest to call myself a Deist right now, but we are on the same team.

    But you made a couple of logical errors. In (1.) If personal experience is a valid thing to form an argument from, then Jonny Pewsitter’s personal experience is just as valid as yours. In (3.) Its only a problem to pick and choose out of the Bible if you subscribe to a very narrow view of the inspiration. If people were a little more careful about what they picked and chose, we would have a lot less hungry and poor people. Its not the picking and choosing that’s wrong, its the object of it. In (5.) you equate emotional with insane. Thats not really accurate or healthy. Emotions are great, they just make a lousy compass. We really need good peer reviewed support for (6.) because I haven’t heard anything about those recidivism rates either.
    In (8.) I’m not sure its really fair to demonize the Church for indoctrinating children. The question here is not, “Has the church done wrong?” (of course it has) but “Has the church done quantifiably more damage than other large organizations, religious or otherwise?” (12.) Its not that religious dictatorship is bad. It’s that almost any dictatorship is bad. Religion is one of the many ways that people use to manipulate people into giving them power, but its certainly not the only one.

    I write stuff like your post. I am not splitting hairs because of what you said, I agree with you. I am splitting hairs because you offer this as evidence instead of your personal experience getting TO the evidence. You then close with the statement “demands proof, evidence, and facts for all statements.”

    You can’t really live that way. No one can. We all create a paradigm. Many people’s are stupid and self-contradicting. Since you are an atheist, I think I can reasonably assume that you are interested in making yours as clear and rational as possible. But you’re deluding yourself if you think you can question everything. Your life is too short. You question what your value system leads you to question. Thats good and right, but don’t think that you can or even should question everything. Many statements “I had pie today” for instance, are not worth verifying.

    Finally, if I could offer my 2 cents on what it means to be an atheist.
    Basing your life around what you aren’t is a bad idea. So you don’t believe in God. Thats a great start, but what DO you believe in? Define yourself by what you believe in (yourself and freewill) instead of what you don’t. (God)

    Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

  • 8. robertgarrettnz  |  September 3, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    So long as people don’t force their views on others there really should be no problem. You have set your self up as a crusader against magical beliefs, but I fear you miss the point. There are plenty of very hard questions that don’t really have any good answers. You talk of control and rationality, but I wander if you have looked at the universe and at nature in depth. Control is an illusion. Your first two points make this very clear. Cancer can strike anyone down at any point in their lives, even the healthiest of us. Thus, I find it difficult to see how it is that you feel so in control. You could not save those people nor could you save yourself in the same situation. So where is the control? And are you content in the belief that when you die there is nothing?

    Perhaps you are, but many are not so content with such a belief. Rather these individuals need to believe in a higher truth so that they can sleep easy. Sure religion is abused. But one’s personal beliefs should never be dictated by another. Let people have their fairy tale, if for no other reason than simply in respect of the fact that for many of them it is all they have to hold on to.

    You speak of Christians praying to God to save an individual or themselves, but there are also those who accept their fate and go to their God free of fear because they no in their heart that they have lived a good life.

    Forgive any of my statements that may have seemed disrespectful. It was not my intention but rather to help you see from the perspective of others.

  • 9. Ignorance is Prison and I like Chrome. « What This Is  |  September 3, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    [...] I logged onto my wordpress account I saw an interesting link for another blog. This was located under the Religion section so I clicked on it and read through most of the post. [...]

  • 10. becky  |  September 3, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    I’ve been reading a few comments and several post on reasons one does not believe in God and what defines a Christian or Christianity. In all honesty, I don’t believe Christianity can be defined thats the problem we want a box so that we can say this is the model. The God I believe in is outside the box of humanity that humans have placed him in.

    As for pain and suffering, these questions go very deep with me personally, evil was present in the very beginning, which God knew and God allowed as to why, I believe this may be question, battle and story of Christianity.

    becky

  • 11. E.D. Jones  |  September 4, 2008 at 12:02 am

    You’re spot-on with reason #3. That’s a big part of the reason behind my blog; to counter hypocrisy and try to communicate the truth of Jesus Christ. But if I understand your point, it seems to me like you’re missing something in #3 when you refer to the verses that prescribe the death penalty for breaking God’s laws. This death penalty is indeed real and in fact, unchanging. But I think a lot of people miss the fact that for those who believe, the penalties have already been carried out; Jesus bore upon himself the death penalty for every sin that was ever committed. People seem to remember the harsh penalty, but forget that Jesus already stepped and paid the penalty for us.
    Numbers 1 and 2 are definitely heart breakers. But it reminds me of a concept we all hold onto which is very hard to let go of: we all tend to believe that physical death is bad. Yet if heaven is a real place, and if it is as is described in the bible, than life in heaven is much preferred over our physical life here on earth. If you believe in it, death can be the beginning of real living and real joy. C.S. Lewis once said, “Christianity is a statement which, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, of infinite importance.” But it’s up to each of us to decide.

  • 12. robertgarrettnz  |  September 4, 2008 at 12:21 am

    Is it an over generalisation to say that the Christians who fear death do so because: A, their faith is weak; or B, they have not been good Christians/humanbeings and thus fear judgement.

  • 13. robertgarrettnz  |  September 4, 2008 at 12:31 am

    E.D. Jones,

    I fear that the safety net approach to religion is inapproriate. Religion takes a great level of dedication and resources. Thus, if Christianity is of little importance then why waste resources on it. And if it is of infinite importance then we should be conscious of it every moment of our lives as Muslims try to do with Islam.
    Ones heart must dictate ones path, not a safety net in the afterlife.
    There are the believers, the non-believers, the seekers and those who simply don’t care. Which are you?

  • 14. davidtong  |  September 4, 2008 at 1:15 am

    Religion is so convenient… The gods are so full of crap as well. If something good happens, they take credit, if something fails, it’s either the devil or a higher purpose in the end that no one can quantify…

    Woopdidoo…

    Nothing causes more segregation, pain, suffering, guilt, confusion than believing in things that are supposedly “controlling your destiny” aka gods.

    If I choose to type meespeell the word I just typed, did anything correct it? I think MS Word is smarter than some gods then.

    Religion is just a well marketed, cruel joke made by some pranksters a long time ago, it’s amazing that majority of humans are still insanely gullible and weak willed.

  • 15. The Apostate  |  September 4, 2008 at 1:47 am

    BTW, Aids/HIV has a lot to do with african men raping women and children with abandon and refusing to believe they need to change or accept help.

    I’m surprised this commenter refrained from putting “raping white women.”
    campistheword, i truely feel sorry for your hatred.

  • 16. Glenn Davey  |  September 4, 2008 at 4:07 am

    I get the sense from the writer that this was something they had to get off their chest. I do think you can be an atheist and not have very well-honed skeptical skills, just as you can be a very skeptical person and still be a believer in God. For all his talk of evidence and proof, the writer doesn’t cite any verifiable sources for his claims – it’s more of an emotional piece by someone who appears to have had a rude awakening.

    I was raised a type of Christian, and I was bitter about it before I reached any clarity as a scientific skeptic. Now I can see how inevitable religion was, from an evolution standpoint, and I cannot possibly hold it against anyone that I was raised the way I was.

    I’m just glad to have worked things out while I’m young, and I go about life with a very wide angled lens of worldview. I can’t hear the Christian ranting that I’m going to hell because I’m preoccupied by the fact that we are both tiny specks on a planet in a solar system, in a bunch of solar systems on the arm of a galaxy in one cluster of galaxies amongst billions of others in this universe. It kinda makes our petty squabbling seem like.. well, kinda funny, really. So I have a little giggle, and I live and let live.

    You can’t live life all bowel-knotted about how you were raised. And you can never know it all. So try and retain some child-like wonder in life, it will keep your feet on the ground and your head nice and cool.

  • 17. qmonkey  |  September 4, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Glen davey makes a decent point…. do you have a reference for this paragraph?

    >>>>>>>>Knowing how insane religion really is. In fact, in brain scans of blood flow, Christians who are having “religious experiences,” have the same blood flow centered in the limbic (emotional) system as do drug addicts. Yes, religion is addictive.

    Maybe you do and its verifiable… but a sure way to kill a case that you are only using knowledge based on solid evidence is to submit dubious science that fits with your thinking.

    there lies creationism!

  • 18. ordover  |  September 4, 2008 at 10:29 am

    I’m just glad to have worked things out while I’m young, and I go about life with a very wide angled lens of worldview. I can’t hear the Christian ranting that I’m going to hell because I’m preoccupied by the fact that we are both tiny specks on a planet in a solar system, in a bunch of solar systems on the arm of a galaxy in one cluster of galaxies amongst billions of others in this universe. It kinda makes our petty squabbling seem like.. well, kinda funny, really. So I have a little giggle, and I live and let live.

    This is such a wonderful way to think about it.

    When I start being bogged down by old religious fear or anger about the damage religion has done in my life, one of my favorite things to do to rejuvenate my skeptical mind is to watch or listen to Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot talk:

    “Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”

    It helps me stay aware of my insignificance.

  • 19. Cooper  |  September 4, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    It helps me stay aware of my insignificance.

    But what if that blue dot, amongst billions of other blue dots, is equally significant to an all-knowing, infinite creator? In Psalm 147 it says that God “calls all the stars by name” and the he has “infinite understanding”. Each star or planet is just as significant to him as another. Sure, earth compared to a huge Universe may appear insignificant—–but to an infinite mind EVERYTHING in the Universe can have the same significance. That makes you as a person totally unique, and just as significant to him as one of the stars in the belt or ORION.

  • 20. Cooper  |  September 4, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    I meant to say “belt OF Orion, not “or”.

  • 21. ordover  |  September 4, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    But what if that blue dot, amongst billions of other blue dots, is equally significant to an all-knowing, infinite creator? In Psalm 147 it says that God “calls all the stars by name” and the he has “infinite understanding”.

    Your starting this argument with the presupposition that the Bible is the true world of God, so forgive me for throwing out the rest of the argument.

  • 22. Anonymous  |  September 5, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Your starting this argument with the presupposition that the Bible is the true world of God, so forgive me for throwing out the rest of the argument.

    orDover—

    And you are posting with the presuppostion of your own insignificance. When you say it makes you aware of your own insignificance—-how do you know you are?

  • 23. Cooper  |  September 5, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Your starting this argument with the presupposition that the Bible is the true world of God, so forgive me for throwing out the rest of the argument

    orDover—-

    And you are posting with the presupposition of your own “insignificance”. Just how do you know you are so “insignificant”? Every life cycle on earth involves many levels of creatures to maintain—can we call any of the creatures in the cycle “insignificant”? An insect crawls under a rock, then hatches into a mayfly, that ascends to the surface where a trout eats it. Then a man catches the trout, etc.—-is any thing in that cycle “insignificant”?

  • 24. titus2woman  |  September 5, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    I’m so sorry for all of the hardships you’ve witnessed and suffered! Please do forgive me though as I cannot help but send up a prayer that God will reveal Himself to you through all of it and give you a new understanding of Christ. May you be blessed, your hurts healed, and all your needs provided for! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  • 25. orDover  |  September 5, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    And you are posting with the presupposition of your own “insignificance”. Just how do you know you are so “insignificant”?

    I did not presuppose I’m insignificant, I established that through evidence. I’m sure you’re next question will be “What evidence?,” and that requires a long and complicated answer but it can be summarized by a few points for the sake of brevity:
    -Lack of evidence for “top-down” design
    -Evolution though random mutation
    -The random placement and creation of earth, and the existence of several other earth-like planets
    -The chemistry of my body, which can be explained by the natural distribution of elements in the universe
    -Geology
    -The age of the Universe

    Basically everything in nature points to either a Deist god, a “prime mover” who doesn’t care or interfere in the lives of men, one who views men as insignificant, or no god at all.

  • 26. Ubi Dubium  |  September 5, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Cooper

    Just how do you know you are so “insignificant”? Every life cycle on earth involves many levels of creatures to maintain—can we call any of the creatures in the cycle “insignificant”? An insect crawls under a rock, then hatches into a mayfly, that ascends to the surface where a trout eats it. Then a man catches the trout, etc.—-is any thing in that cycle “insignificant”?

    You just made an argument for me, thanks. Is anything in that cycle “insignificant”? I can rephrase that as: Is anything in that cycle “more significant”? Religions are constantly awarding a special favored place in the universe to humans, that we are somehow “special” and “chosen”. But I don’t see it. Compared with the enormity of space, the sweep of geologial time, the vast numbers of hugely successful and enduring species on this one small planet, we’re not that big a deal. Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot” says it for me, too.

  • 27. Cooper  |  September 5, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Ubi—

    I guess you are missing my point. If a “life cycle” cannot continue without EVERY link in the chain continuing, we realize that even a mayfly larvae is “significant”. How much more valuable are we then to God? Jesus said “What shall it profit a man if he gain the WHOLE WORLD and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” He is saying that not even the whole world is as valuable to God as one person is to him!!

    To God the mayfly is deeply “significant” in the physical scheme of things. But there is something about the soul of man that makes him extremely valuable to God—he is created in God’s own image. What I am trying to say is that NOTHING in this world is “insignificant”—it is all here for a reason, and all of it plays it’s part. We are not just “accidents” that live for a few decades, die, and exist no more. There is something extremely special about ALL LIFE—but especially man/woman to God. Jesus said “the very hairs of your head are all numbered”——this is actually very true—DNA has calculated how many hairs you will have on your head—and DNA is a coded thing—-can a “code” simply be an accident of chance? You can think so—–but to me that is complete nonsense.

  • 28. ordover  |  September 5, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    We are not just “accidents” that live for a few decades, die, and exist no more. There is something extremely special about ALL LIFE—but especially man/woman to God.

    How can this be proven objectively, without the Bible? Show me your empirical data that says we are special.

    I feel like all you are doing is spouting myths.

  • 29. ordover  |  September 5, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    DNA is a coded thing—-can a “code” simply be an accident of chance? You can think so—–but to me that is complete nonsense.

    What are the chances you will read this and actually understand it?

  • 30. Weemaryanne  |  September 7, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Fascinating list. The link in point 3 seems to be broken, can you fix it? – – I’d love to see those verses. Thanks.

  • 31. The de-Convert  |  September 7, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    wma,

    It’s fixed.

    Also check out http://literalbible.blogspot.com

    Paul

  • 32. Pat Man  |  September 9, 2008 at 4:57 am

    Well, your anger is clear, but I think you are not thinking clearly. I mean no offense, but most of your “reasons” are not very honest.
    #1 Death is a reality. We don’t understand it–even Christ died.
    #2 Again, death is reality.
    #3 People sin. Even Judas handed Jesus over to be killed. There are hypocrites, so what?
    #4 Some Christians expect you to believe their “gobbeltygook” but reasonable Christians allow the HS to convert you. You are painting with a very large brush.
    #5 Don’t quite get the point other than it “just sounds cool to say.”
    #6 Again, this being a reason to de-convert is like not rooting for the home team because the cheerleaders are ugly.
    #7 Your charge that Christians “cherry pick” can be turned on you with “cherry picking” the sources you rely on. Within Christianity, prayer is never promised to offer physical changes. Yes, Christians hope for it, but we don’t count on it.
    #8 All parents have the right to “indoctrinate” their kids–it is their responsibility. Do you not believe that “indoctrination” exists within ANY human development arena–especially secular? Why not de-convert from secularism when you see a govt’ school teaching their beliefs?
    #9 Okay, not to insult you, but have you ever read a book about history? The Church has done more good in the world than any secular ism has. How many hundreds of millions of people have been killed by strict-secularists need to be killed for you to see that your point is completely backwards?
    #10 The Bible is not a science book. It uses language that is observable. If your background of “chrisianity” teaches otherwise then I can understand your angst. You are quoting a prophet 680 years BC describing what he sees. Context is king.
    #11 Wow. Your desire to make “chrisian folklore” a substitute for authentic christianity defeats your arguments. The Bible, history, and Christians who don’t live in caves don’t suggest that Jesus was born in December, that the pyramids were build by “Jews” ect. However, the point about 2 million (arguable) “Jews” in the desert–well, information regarding that is concealed within books;)
    #12 Conspiracy!!! FYI. If theocratic rule was desired, it would be that way. Also, your extensive education may have informed you that is was in fact Christianity and its desire to understand God by studying his creation that founded science. Yes, there were some embarrassing setbacks, but an honest analysis would need to give the Church Credit.

    If these were your “top 12″ then this really looks like little more than masturbation. Do you feel good now? Can you go again?

    Your spew seems to be aimed at a God you have never had an interest in trying to understand. Your hatred of a “TYPE” of Christianity that jaded you is not the kind of Christianity that Christ established. It takes some energy to understand that, but it would be wise of you to focus some of your “blogging calories” into some hones study.

    Peace, I’m glad you “are happy now.”

    Pat Man

  • 33. donnaintera1  |  September 18, 2008 at 5:01 am

    My parents didn’t believe in God and when I hit 15 I got involved with a very religous and abusive church. I left after 18 months and turned my back on God. At 32 I found myself asking for His help and I decided to follow Him. No outside influences just me and God. My life was transformed dramatically, I lost the desire for drugs, got out of debt and out of bad relationships. My total perception changed and I have seen evidence after evidence of God working in my life. This is not other people knowingly answering me prayer cause all the time they don’t know they are answering a prayer…. unless my life has suddenly become a life of conicidences since I started following God but someone explain that if that is not God.

    Sometimes, He shows me things before they happen, sometimes He tells me things what people are thinking and feeling deep inside and they are amazed that I know.

    Now I was an athiest, burnt by religion but found that God existed when I simply asked for help and believed. It takes just as much faith to believe God doesn’t exist as believing He is out there.

    God gave man free will and He didn’t like how selfish and greedy and immoral man became so He sent a flood. He wiped out mankind beside a few. He then promised He wouldn’t destroy the earth by flood again despite mans thoughts and actions being continually evil. now you know why the earth is filled with people whose thoughts and actions are continually evil.

    If you look for good you will find it and yes when you look for evil you find it. There is a day for judgement, when each individual will have a conversation with God about what he done here on earth. If people lived forever I would hate to think what evil people like Hitler would still be up to. God has given us a short life so it hurts when people we love die. But a promise of eternity is given to us when we choose to get back into a relationship with Him .

    Sorry guys nothing exists without Him and what does exist without Him – is war, crime, rape, hatred etc. Thing is people can get religious and have a heart that is still continually evil. But there are people that genuinely have a real turn around and there lives are transformed. My experience tesitfies He exists.

    Is God quiet? No in my world. yes, I have wondered how God can tolerate so much evil but that is when we look at things from a temporal existence. If you had a child and your child done wrong, would you snuff him or her out of your life? Would you not try and get your child to turn their life around? God’s patience with us is being used for evil but God want’s us to turn around. I know people who were so far into evil and God saved them. Not through church but through hearing Him speak.

    My partner was a career criminal – he had a death wish and lived right on the edge. He heard God speaking to Him thought He was going mad. He listened and said Ok God and His life transformed. He is a totally different person and helping other men who found God in prison make a new life for themselves outside.

    I share these stories cause I think when you are burnt out with all the evil you don’t see the good and you believe that God is not out there. He will put an end to it once and for all and that is why He gave us prophecy to understand the signs of when that will be, just find your faith again. you don’t have to go back to church to find it cause God speaks to your heart.

    But respect to you that you grapple with God and His existence, it is much better to answer questions then be dead in the pews secretly fearing that you will be burnt in hell if you don’t go to church. I don’t know that God that they serve. I know the one that gave me a new life and as a result means I can now do something to help others

  • 34. Wrapup, “My Cat Hates Me” Edition | jcksn  |  September 24, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    [...] A really nice article: “Reasons why I de-converted and now consider myself an atheist” [...]

  • 35. For what it is Worth...  |  October 7, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    I have only time enough to respond to your first two arguments. Do not think that I consider the other numbered reasons less valid, but I read these two reason first (obviously). If I may boil down the first two argument to one simple sentence: Why believe in God when bad things happen (especially to those who He supposedly is happy with, Christians). If this is not a correct summation, please tell me a better one. I think the answer from this comes in part from correctly understanding who God is. He is not a safety net. God does not protect and never promises to protect Christians, or anyone for that matter, from the dangers of this world. He only promises that he will provide comfort when those dangers present themselves. These dangers come for a number of reasons. First of which is that God never makes decisions for people. God allows people, both Christians and not, to make all their decisions for themselves. And what happens, 100% of the time, is that people are not perfect. And, when people are not perfect, negative consequences result. These negative consequences cause the bad things to happen. Now, then you might ask, why does God not then just make our decisions for us so that we do not make bad decisions. The answer here is similar to the relationship between a Parent and child, (after all, Christians believe that God is a Father). A parent wishes for a child to become a mature adult. To do this requires that the parent let the child start, as they get older, making decisions for themselves. These decisions that the child makes often gets the child in trouble, but a good parent will not come in and then shield the child from ever making their own decisions again. A good parent will allow the mistake to cause whatever negative consequence it has and let the child learn from it. If the parent where to constantly shield the child from the negative consequence, then the child would never stop doing the action that caused the negative consequence. In the same way, God wants his children to become mature adults who know how to act to prevent negative consequences.
    Also, things that happen that can be considered “bad” my not after all have been “bad”. For example, when someone is fired from their job, that can be considered to be “bad”. However, if that firing then allows the person to be in the right place at the right time to get a better job, then that firing cannot really be called “bad”. Often people, including me and many others that I know, are very short sided and can only see the “bad” that is immediate. They often over look the eventual good that can come out of “bad” situations. This is also even true for things like when a family member dies. For example, my grandfather died about 5 years ago. At the time, my sister took the news very hard. But, this hardship brought the final outcome of her becoming very much appreciative for her own life and wanting to make sure she made the most of it while she could.
    Also, a Christian does not even consider dying “bad”. This is because that for a Christian, to die is to gain. Dying allows the Christian to get away from this inferior world to a better perfect place where there is no pain. (I realize this comfort is little for those who think people become worm food upon death, but it puts into perspective what can be considered bad.)
    Also, lastly, harship, such as bad things happening to Christians, is seen as discipline. Again, drawing from the Parent child relationship, what child is not disciplined by their parent. A good parent will discipline their child because they love them. If a child does some bad thing, hitting their brother or sister, then that child should suffer a negative consequence that causes him or her not to want to hit their siblings any more. This is a little different from my first point because in this situation, the parent takes a proactive effort to cause a negative consequence for the child instead of just letting the negative consequence happen as a result of the bad action. In this situation, a parent will do something like ground the child from TV. This creates the desire for the child then to not want to hit his or her sibling because they do not want to be prevented from watchin TV. It is not until later that the child learns the idealistic idea of right and wrong and that hitting others is wrong. But, this discipline creates a starting point of reference for the child that hitting is wrong. The relationship God has with people (his children) is similar. If people disobey him in whatever reason they choose, God wishes to correct the negative behavior. If God decides that one is putting their job above their family, then God might take away that job to allow His child to re-focus on what is important. And, like a good parent, God is doing this not because He wishes us harm, but because He loves us. However, as I said earlier, people, including me, are short sided, and it takes us time to learn these lessons (much like the child who hits his or her sibling until they figure out what consequence that brings and that the parent is serious in what they say).
    I hope this helps answer at least the first two reasons you give. I would appreciate a give and take on this, so, please feel free to respond to my arguments and give reasons why you may or may not reject them.

    My Humble Opinion

    P.S. In response to the Apostate on Sept 3, there is no mention of how many wise men their are. That is merely church tradition. I know you mentioned other things, but at least with that point, there is no mention of there being three wise men. And, for many of the reasons mentioned, I personally reject all Church tradition as being just that, from the tradition of people, and only accept as ultimate truth the Bible (which was written when people were alive who lived during the life of Jesus and would have refute its contents as ridiculous if it was not true)

  • 36. campistheword  |  January 2, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Is the difference between us and all other life our conscience?

  • 37. campistheword  |  January 2, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    I don’t understand campaigning for atheism. Why would you need to convince people to stop believing in the thing you say doesn’t exist? You should be happy. It doesn’t exist therefore they’re not able to believe in it. I always thought atheists were just abstainers. Now, you just have something different to give witness to. same old, same old.

  • 38. orDover  |  January 3, 2009 at 12:19 am

    campistheword,

    This site is not “campaigning for atheism,” which you could have figured out by reading the banner at the top of the page. We’re not trying to convince people to stop believing in god here, we are a community dedicating to sharing and discussing our mutual experiences. This isn’t a site for Christians, it’s a site for ex-Christians.

  • 39. Ubi Dubium  |  January 3, 2009 at 12:43 am

    @campistheword
    Most Atheists are not “campaigning for atheism”. Not in the US anyway. We are campaigning for the right of people to be atheists without being demonized and discriminated against. I don’t care what you believe, as long as you allow me, and others, the right to choose not to believe it. We are now starting to be more noisy and visible about it because remaining quiet has not improved our standing in American society.

    I would say that I personally am campaigning for “freethought”. I would prefer that everybody work it out for themselves, instead of just mindlessly accepting what they are taught. The “good news” I talk about is that you don’t have to be a sheep. It’s OK to doubt, it’s OK to ask questions. Whatever conclusion you come to on your own about life is likely to be a better fit for you than whatever religion you happened to be born into.

    Oh, and in reply to your previous post – why do you assume there is a difference between us and all other life?

  • 40. Ubi Dubium  |  January 3, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Dratted italics. Those should have shut off after the word “be”.

  • 41. campistheword  |  January 3, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    orDover, you are right and I only landed here by accident. Clearly, this is an important discussion for ex-believers to have with each other and a curious visitor is not really welcome, I respect that.
    Ubi dubium, I have never demonized or discriminated against anyone for being an atheist or any other reason. I am a lousy evangelist. I was also not born into a “religion”, nor was I was “taught” my faith. I don’t care for atheists any more or less than I care for Christians. (I have been attacked verbally by atheists for being a believer.)

    As far as being different from other living creation than each other, I have yet to be apologized to by the bee that stung me, or thanked by the plant I watered. We have a conscience that doesn’t seem to be present anywhere else and that seems to be how we experience good and evil, or right and wrong if that is more palatable.

    orDover, I think it would be helpful if every Christian were not tarred with the same brush, as the condemnation seems very clear and thorough. I rarely expound my beliefs, but that dosen’t preclude “good works” whatever the motive. It sounds like it was lousy Christians that have changed your view.

  • 42. orDover  |  January 3, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    “Clearly, this is an important discussion for ex-believers to have with each other and a curious visitor is not really welcome, I respect that.”

    Curious visitors are welcome, but it’s best if they know what they’re talking about and who they’re talking to before they decide to comment, or else the come across as nothing but rude.

    “It sounds like it was lousy Christians that have changed your view.”

    No. I don’t even think I’ve met a lousy Christian, to be honest. Christians as people had nothing to do with it, rather it was the complete lack of evidence for their God.

  • 43. Ubi Dubium  |  January 3, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Campistheword

    …We have a conscience that doesn’t seem to be present anywhere else…

    I don’t see this issue as black and white by any means. Thanks from the plant you watered? No. Thanks from the dog you just fed? Most assuredly. A sense of right and wrong? Research with great apes shows they have quite a bit of this. I don’t see an abrupt difference between us and the other animals, I see a spectrum with us toward one end. I’m not even sure we are the creature with the highest sense of conscience – until we learn to speak dolphin I don’t think we really can know that. They might be better than we are.

    I am glad that you have never demonized an atheist. I’d love to see more people who think like that. But there are plenty who accuse us of all kinds of awfulness, and when we speak out, that’s what we are reacting to. My kids have been told by schoolmates that they are going to hell. Political ads use association with Atheists as a smear tactic against their opponents. There have even been billboards posted saying “Why do Atheists hate America?”. There are lots of individual “good christians” and most of those I know fit into this description. But there plenty of lousy ones out there.

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

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Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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