I use to be a full on christian(see my blog ect for more background) I just wanted to type down the reasons in my head that made me deconvert and see what made others do it too!?

For me it was not the whole Creation Vs Evolution as I was one of those Christians who believed in evolution ect. 

So what did open my eyes to the truth?

The main thing for me was the logic of god and how its just doesn't stack up. And if there was a god it certainly wasn't one i would want to follow... So my following points are all on the assumption that as the bible says god is all knowing, loving and powerful. so why this all powerful, knowing and loving god:

  1. Create a world full of sickness and disease and pain. my old christian response was because we separated from god BUT god would have known we would reject him thus god knowingly created all that is bad in this world. An all powerful and all loving god would not do this. 
  2. ~It says god created each and everyone of us and has plans for our lives. Now if we reject god we go to hell for eternity. So why would god create you knowing that your going to reject him. He is essentially making you just to go to hell.. would a loving god do this?

Those are just two quick examples out of many more.

Secondly was the bible. Even when i did not take the bible literally e.g adam and eve ect.. there are certain contradictions and points that simply dont work. Remembering that gods word was the same 'then, today and forever more' 

  1. if gods word never changes why is he so different from the Old and new testament it just makes no sense unless god is bi polar or something!?
  2. why does god order murders for working on the sabbath (exodus. 35:2), kill your teenagers if they are disobedient (Deuteronomy21:18-21). Girls who are not virgins when they marry(Deuteronomy 22:12-21) endorse slavery and the beating of them(Exodus 21:20-21) yet in the new testament jesus is the total opposite e.g stopping the stoning of the lady.
  3. Twice in the bible God shows himself. e.g to thomas and peter. why no one since? why should they get the evidence they wanted to save them but god chooses no one else to since then!?
  4. Why are amputees never healed!?

again just a few quick ones from long list! I wish not to bore you! So what made you guys stop believing?

Kind Regards!

Tags: belief, exchristian, god, nogod

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You're dodging the point I made.  

Use the example of a parent standing next to their child.  Their child begins to run into heavy traffic.  The parent stands there thinking they are being a loving parent by allowing their child the freedom to do as they please. 

Who on this planet would ever not judge this parent as being an abomination?

Come on Dr. Bob, come to the dark side.  Things make more sense over here.  ;)

God should be spectacularly different to our parents. He should be BETTER than them. He should be an utterly perfect role model.

But instead he is a petty murderous vindictive bi-polar monster.

My two parents are far superior role models. The are a millions times better shepherds than this god character.

But instead he is a petty murderous vindictive bi-polar monster.

That's a claim.  It would not be a position shared by the large majority of people who profess faith in God.

So when you have a personal position that is at odds with a large majority of the people who are actually participants in a discipline, what do you do?  Do you reassert your position, or re-evaluate it?  

If, for example, you believe that climate change is a bunch petty nonsense but a large majority of the people engaged in climate science don't hold that position, do you reassert the position and go look for climate-denier blogs to support you?  Or do you re-evaluate your own position?

Davis: But instead [God] is a petty murderous vindictive bi-polar monster.

Bob: That's a claim.  It would not be a position shared by the large majority of people who profess faith in God.

Except that torture in a hell-like afterlife for disobeying or disbelieving in God (or His cosmic woo-woo equivalent) is the position of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, and Zoroastrianism among others.

So when you have a personal position that is at odds with a large majority of the people who are actually participants in a discipline, what do you do?  Do you reassert your position, or re-evaluate it?  

Since Bob is describing himself here...

If, for example, you believe that climate change is a bunch petty nonsense but a large majority of the people engaged in climate science don't hold that position, do you reassert the position and go look for climate-denier blogs to support you?  Or do you re-evaluate your own position?

...he's missing a third option on what to do about it: ignore it and attack others falsely for positions they do not hold, and for doing what he does himself.

Yeah honestly I just grew up. I look back on it like it was a game, and the only time I remember really sort of believing in it were times when I was in great need as a youth (I grew up poor, mother was drunk, crying babies-- it was unpleasant essentially), and in hindsight I remember the "believing" as being very similar to believing in Santa as a child.
Great post Toby. I was once in your shoes. I was leading four Bible studies a week before I deconverted.

Today I realize almost all of what I believed was nonsense and doesn't deserve to be argued against. The reality is that it's human nature to want to believe in god(s) and that has nothing to do with logic. It takes a brave and intelligent person to go beyond this superstition.

Good luck on your quest. The World needs more people who rely on logic and not superstition!

God doesn't exist because he doesn't exist.

It's a simple matter and there's no need to pile justifications and reasons onto the denial of God's existence.

Am I the only person old enough to remember what it was like in the Fifties and Sixties?

Yes, when we were growing up we all were taught the Sunday school lessons about God and the rest of the supernatural bullshit.  But we knew, all of us knew, that eventually when we became adults that all the Sunday learning we got growing up was just another aspect of childhood.

We were taught these things as children, but we all knew that when we became adults these childish beliefs would be left behind.

I grew up as a child in a preacher's family.  I grew up reading Ian Fleming and John le Carre and Richard Wright and James Baldwin and Ernest Hemingway and a host of other adults who taught me what being an adult was all about..  I knew that the education I received as a child was not to prepare me for my adult life...was never meant to be a part of the adult world.  That when I grew up I would discard these childish beliefs.

There was no doubt about this.  There was no discussion, no argument, no angst.  It was understood that the childish beliefs I had would eventually be discarded as I grew to understand the adult world and my place in it.

We all knew it.  We all accepted it as a part of growing up.  

Now we have a world in which growing up is the only sin.

Giving up on our childish hopes and fears was once an accepted part of becoming an adult.

Now it is not.

Now we have a culture and a community that denies this fact.

It isn't a matter of education, as most atheist would like you to think.  It's a matter of sophistication.  Of being an adult and not a child.

Scientific proof that God does not exist is all well and good if you have that bent of mind.  But the scientific acceptance of the non-existence of God is futile and vague.

Most people...myself included...don't understand or care about the scientific proofs of God's non existence.

They may be a comfort after one becomes an atheist, but they aren't a primary motivator leading us to understand that there is no god.

The primary motivator is simple sophistication.

Dorothy Parker does more for atheism than Stephen Hawkins.

You grow up.

You stop believing in the Sunday school teachings not because of anything you learn in science classes, you stop believing because of what you learn from the humanities.

That is a fact.

That's really interesting, @Philip.

Scientific proof that God does not exist is all well and good if you have that bent of mind... Most people...myself included...don't understand or care about the scientific proofs of God's non existence. They may be a comfort after one becomes an atheist, but they aren't a primary motivator leading us to understand that there is no god. The primary motivator is simple sophistication.

As a theist, I would say almost exactly the same thing in reverse.

Most people, myself included, don't really care about proofs of God's existence.  Those may be a comfort to some after they become theists, but they aren't a primary motivator leading us to understand there is a God.  

The primary motivator is different.  I wouldn't use the terms "simple sophistication" or "being an adult", but I confess that there's probably an element of that.  

You stop believing in the simplistic Sunday school teachings the way you stop believing in simplistic elementary school science, because your understanding becomes more sophisticated and nuanced.   You begin to understand that science, and religion, are both very rich, deep, subtle and nuanced things that are worthy of an adult's study.

Philip: Scientific proof that God does not exist is all well and good if you have that bent of mind... Most people...myself included...don't understand or care about the scientific proofs of God's non existence. They may be a comfort after one becomes an atheist, but they aren't a primary motivator leading us to understand that there is no god. The primary motivator is simple sophistication.

Bob: As a theist, I would say almost exactly the same thing in reverse.

And you would be just as wrong as Philip is, Bob. There are no "scientific proofs of God's non-existence" so it's impossible to take "comfort" in them.

I'm an agnostic atheist because the God claim is insufficiently supported, by science or anything else. In other words, God is unproved, not disproved.

It's rare that you encounter an atheist asserting atheism as a positive claim with a burden of proof which the atheist claims to have met. It's common to encounter atheism as simply a rejection of unsupported claims that God exists.

The God claim, particularly the Abrahamic one, is patently absurd. That's the motivation to reject it.

And on the subject of absurd...

Most people, myself included, don't really care about proofs of God's existence.  Those may be a comfort to some after they become theists, but they aren't a primary motivator leading us to understand there is a God.  

...it's worth noting that proof generally involves science, evidence, logic, reason and responsibility. When it comes to God, the likes of Bob don't simply lower their standards, nor are they satisfied with removing every important standard from the proving ground: they must abandon that ground altogether.

So what's the primary motivator for doing that?

The primary motivator is different. I wouldn't use the terms "simple sophistication" or "being an adult", but I confess that there's probably an element of that.  

The God claim never holds up. Absolutely never. So the theist's primary motivator is very different indeed. His only chance is a firm refusal to contend honestly...

You stop believing in the simplistic Sunday school teachings the way you stop believing in simplistic elementary school science, because your understanding becomes more sophisticated and nuanced. You begin to understand that science, and religion, are both very rich, deep, subtle and nuanced things that are worthy of an adult's study.

...while extolling the great worth of his contention, the depths of the doubter's foolishness, and the believer's total awesomeness, all without explaining, specifying or supporting anything.

Of course, this disregard for every reasonable standard-- including reason itself-- is nothing but another ridiculous defeat for the theist, except in his own imagination.

@Gallup, this was the first time that I've seen you admit that a God claim is unproved (and unprovable) in a scientific epistemological framework. I would agree.

Then you went back and reverted to your old way of looking for proof of God. I'm wondering which it is?

We theists aren't looking for proofs of God and don't really care about them. Oh, we have the Thomistic "prime mover" stuff or C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity stuff to think about, but we all recognize those things aren't logical proofs of God so much as formulations of aspects of theistic philosophy.

As I've tried to explain before, God is a postulate, a foundational assumption for an epistemological frame. We can no more prove God's existence than we can prove that the universe exists, that mathematical lines exist or that the postulates of Quantum Mechanics are "true." While some philosophers may get hung up on whether the universe exists and some atheists might get hung up on whether God exists, most of us are content to take existence and some other fundamentals as a given. What we're really interested in is whether the framework built on those assumptions is useful.

So as a physicist, I take the existence of the universe as a given without proof, and assume without justification that my observations of the universe are measures of an underlying reality. Then we build up a system of physical science, and we decide that the system is useful for some things, or at least interesting. As a Christian, I similarly take the existence of God as a given, and am part of a different community that has built up a system of theology that is useful for some things, or at least interesting.

Yep, I also along the way had to reject the (really bad and simplistic!) science I was sometimes taught in elementary school, just as most of us here have rightly come to reject the (really bad and simplistic!) versions of Christianity that are sometimes taught to children or naive adults. So I agree with most atheists when they reject the simplistic (and sometimes toxic) religion of their youth, as many posters to this thread describe.

My question in turn would be, if you take non-belief in gods as your fundamental premise, what does that get you? What system of thought results? How is that system of thought at all useful? What questions or problems does it answer?

So far, each time I have asked that question, the answer has been that it isn't a system of thought, it's just that gods don't exist. For me, it's not rational to buy into a premise that fails to yield any useful results.

Dr. Bob,

Surely if you practice Christianity at all, you have to believe in a god that insists you worship him and will judge you. You have to believe that the scapegoating of Jesus is ethical and makes sense.

We are free to live and think without concern about an imaginary celestial authoritarian. We believe that humans can be moral and good. We believe that reason and analysis is better than prayer. It goes on and on.

We are free to live and think without concern about an imaginary celestial authoritarian. We believe that humans can be moral and good. We believe that reason and analysis is better than prayer. It goes on and on.

And when you say "moral and good", what do you mean by that?  How can you tell?  On what basis do you judge that another human being is "moral" or "good"? 

When you say that you believe that reason and analysis is better than prayer, the next question is "better than prayer at what?"   Tools, ways of thinking, all have places where they are useful and places where they aren't very useful.  Praying at the oncoming train isn't very useful.  Using reason and analysis with your wife (or husband) sometimes isn't very useful either. ;-)

We live in a society that was built on a foundation of theistic thought, so that our notions of everything from "morality" to natural law are a product of that history.  If we are going to dump the foundations of all of that and replace it with an assumption that God(s) are non-existent, describe to me how that theory is substantively better.   You've thrown off the imaginary celestial authoritarian (and I agree with you, that is imaginary), now what? 

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