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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Reasons I doubted


I have written in the past about the things that caused me to leave Christianity, but today I will discuss the things that lead up to that deconversion. The reasons I doubted my faith in the first place.

1)The silence and hiddenness of God
This wasn't the main thing going through my head when I decided that I no longer believed in a god, but in hindsight it was definitely one of the leading factors in my path to apostasy. In my YouTube Video discussing my Christian upbringing I recall pivotal experiences , most notably the ones where despite hours of praying, I did not receive word from God, nor did I feel any supernatural presence. At the time I rationalised this by blaming myself, it was MY fault that I didn't feel the presence of God.

2)Natural explanations
I had grown up under the pretence that evolution was false and that the Bible was literally true. Upon learning more about science, I found it harder and harder to reconcile my literalism with reality. I gradually conceded point after point until I no longer considered the Bible to be the infallible word of God. First to go was a young earth, then the global flood, then the fixity of species, then a literal Adam and Eve (and consequently a literal fall) and finally the origin of life and the universe.

3)The sterility of the bible
Even the staunchest Bible-fanatics will have to admit that it's not exactly a good read and is actually quite boring in a lot of places (the begats?). I found this fact to be quite disconcerting, how was it possible that texts inspired by the omnipotent, omniscient God I believed in would be so unappealing and tedious? Surely God would have made the text be fascinating and engaging throughout, but this simply wasn't the case. I heard other believer claim that when they read the Bible the spirit speaks to them and the words "come to life" on the page (relates to reason 1). This simply wasn't the case for me, I found it incredibly laborious to read, yet I persevered and by the time I deconverted I had read the Old Testament completely once (some books many times) and the New Testament at least 4 times.


4)Immoral Old Testament
This was something that hadn't really occurred to me until I read The Age of Reason  and Biblical Blasphemy by Thomas Paine. It is no coincidence that within a few months of reading these books, I became an atheist, and immediately after reading them, I no longer considered myself a Christian, but rather some sort of Deist. I'll end with a quote from The Age of Reason.

"Besides, the character of Moses, as stated in the Bible, is the most horrid that can be imagined. If those accounts be true, he was the wretch that first began and carried on wars on the score or on the pretence of religion; and under that mask, or that infatuation, committed the most unexampled atrocities that are to be found in the history of any nation. Of which I will state only one instance:

When the Jewish army returned from one of their plundering and murdering excursions, the account goes on as follows (Numbers xxxi. 13):[KJ: I have used a different translation here (NLT), Paine quoted the King James version.] "After they had gathered the plunder and captives, both people and animals,  they brought them all to Moses and Eleazar the priest, and to the whole community of Israel, which was camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho.  Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the community went to meet them outside the camp. But Moses was furious with all the generals and captains[a] who had returned from the battle.
“Why have you let all the women live?” he demanded. “These are the very ones who followed Balaam’s advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the Lord at Mount Peor. They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the Lord’s people. So kill all the boys and all the women who have had intercourse with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.""

2 comments:

  1. Weird. I agree with all of them except #1. I heard God, and He explicitly said He didn't exist.

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