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Category Archives: Questions

Giving up my faith in Santa

Lying to kids about Santa is something I’ve been thinking about in light of my realisation that my parents also lied to me about Jesus and God. I’m angry with them for the things they said about Jesus, but not about Santa. I guess that’s because belief in Santa never hurt me or anyone else, but I like to think of myself as a pursuant of truth, even when lies might be nicer.

I was probably about 10 years old when I stopped believing in Santa. My brothers and I were watching home videos of Christmases from when we were younger. After laughing at our three year old selves enjoying Christmas, we were shocked when a video came up that showed grandma taking our stockings filled with toys into our bedrooms. After watching this, my brother went straight to Grandma, very proud of himself for uncovering the mystery and revealing the truth.

I, on the other hand, was in denial. Surely Santa still brought the toys and Grandma was just helping him out. I felt the magic slipping away and I was very upset about it.  Next Christmas, rather than trying to stay awake for Santa, I tried super hard to fall asleep quickly so that I would not see if someone other than Santa brought the presents. I did not want to know the truth. I held on to my belief in him, trying to rationalise his existence and figure out ways that the counter evidence could be wrong. It wasn’t until my parents dropped the charade that I finally accepted that Santa wasn’t real.

I feel like Christians do the same thing to try and preserve their belief in God. They shut their eyes and refuse to listen. They twist the counter-evidence. They dismiss challenges to their faith as mysteries. They give up on finding answers as God is beyond understanding. They value “faith” over intellect. They willingly blind themselves to the truth, just like a frightened child does.

santa claus for grownups

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Agnostic Atheism

When talking to people about atheism I often find them confused about what atheism actually is. All the people I know that call themselves atheists do not claim to know for certain that there is no God, but some seem to argue that due to this uncertainty these people are not atheists but rather agnostics. This diagram should help to clear up the confusion:

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I originally found this diagram here: http://www.noforbiddenquestions.com/2010/10/defining-agnosticism/

Let me know what you guys think and where you might fall on the diagram!

Atheism and Choice

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I was always taught that the reason non-Christians don’t believe in God is because they do not want to believe in him. They want to continue in their sinful ways. They have consciously made a decision to reject God, when deep down, they know he is real.

My experience of de-conversion has really challenged me on this view. I now think it is pretty bullshitty. It is my experience that beliefs are formed through what an individual has been taught and exposed to, and the relevant evidence they have seen, not their wants or desires. At least that’s how my beliefs changed. Matt Dillahunty from The Atheist Experience puts it like this:

To me, belief is acceptance that a claim is true, and acceptance is a result of being convinced. Now you can be convinced for good reasons or bad reasons, but I am not convinced that you can be convinced simply by an exercise of will.

I agree.

Faith is a different story. By definition, faith is believing something when the reasons for believing it are not substantial. This is something I do not understand. How is believing something against the evidence a good thing? It seems basically synonymous with stupidity. Christopher Hitchens seems to make a lot of sense on this topic:

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This idea of belief being a product of free will is an especially important consideration when it comes to the idea of Hell. If I haven’t become an atheist through a choice of my own free will (as I believe is the case) it means I am going to Hell not because I chose to reject God, but simply because I was convinced by the wrong argument, despite my vigorous attempts to find truth. How can a good God punish me for what I believe (or don’t believe) when it really isn’t my choice at all?

Honestly, being an atheist has actually been a massive inconvenience to me. It has made me an outsider at school, at work, in my family. It means I’ll never be able to have my dream job at International Justice Mission. It means I can no longer be a student leader or youth leader. I would not choose this for myself. I never wanted it. I just wanted truth.

In many ways, I want to believe in Christianity. The comfort of having a cosmic all-powerful daddy, the promise of eternal life, peace with my parents; it would all be so nice. But I can’t force myself to believe something I don’t believe, and if you love a God who would send me to a place of eternal torment because of this, I think maybe you need to reconsider. Something has to be wrong here.

Adam and Eve: My Heroes

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I actually admire Adam and Eve for eating the forbidden fruit. It came from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and I believe that pursuing knowledge is a good thing; even if it accidentally condemns the whole human race.

It is telling that God did not want us to pursue knowledge by eating the fruit. I wonder how he feels about science and modern education.

Anyway, how would Eve have known it was wrong to disobey God if she didn’t have the knowledge of good and evil? Pretty sure God’s expectations were a bit unrealistic.

I think the whole thing is a conspiracy. God made the forbidden fruit, he made Satan, he made Adam and Eve ignorant of good and evil. He must have intended for them to eat it. He purposely set the human race up for failure so that he could make himself look good by “saving” us all in a pathetic attempt to become worthy of our worship and love.

Yeah, we see through your stupid plan!

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Need an Ark? I Noah Guy

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As a kid, I loved the Noah’s Ark tale. I never cared about all the people that died. Never considered it. I guess they don’t teach you about that in Sunday School. When I was in my early teens I thought about it and dismissed it. God gave the evil people lots of warnings. It was their fault for being evil anyway. Now I see it as a sickening story that has to make one doubt the goodness of God’s character. How could he kill all those people? He’s all powerful. We know he could have come up with a way of redeeming them. But he killed them instead. “With great power comes great responsibility.” I don’t think God has the got the responsibility part happening yet.

God’s Satanic Schemes

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The Evil of God

The Evil of God

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One of the major reasons for my de-conversion from Christianity is the ruthless cruelty of the Old Testament God. Here are some examples:

Kill Homosexuals
“If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

Death for Cursing Parents
“All who curse their father or mother must be put to death.” (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)

Death for Fornication
“A priest’s daughter who loses her honour by committing fornication and thereby dishonours her father also, shall be burned to death.” (Leviticus 21:9 NAB) (WHAT ABOUT THE GUY?)

Kill Women Who Are Not Virgins On Their Wedding Night
“But if this charge is true (that she wasn’t a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her father’s house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father’s house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst.” (Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB)

Kill Men, Women, and Children
“Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, “Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children.” (Ezekiel 9:5 NLT)

Mass Murder
“This is what the Lord of hosts has to say: ‘I will punish what Amalek did to Israel when he barred his way as he was coming up from Egypt. Go, now, attack Amalek, and deal with him and all that he has under the ban. Do not spare him, but kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and asses.'” (1 Samuel 15:2-3 NAB)

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When I began noticing these sections of the Bible, I felt that I could no longer love this God. How can I stand in church and worship such a God who has commanded the slaughter of children?!

I have spoken to various church leaders and read a few books on this subject, and I continue to do so. One of the most common responses I get is that the Old Testament was an acceptable context for brutality. The tribes that were slaughtered were exceedingly evil anyway – sexually immoral, baby sacrificing, violent groups of people. I don’t see this as any excuse! There is no “context” where it is okay to slaughter children. An omnipotent, all-loving, creator of all would not allow this, let alone command it.

Another common response in relation to the laws that command the death penalty for homosexuals, fornicators, etc. is that they no longer apply to us because we are under the New Covenant and therefore these seemingly harsh rules are no longer relevant. But the thing is, I don’t care whether they are relevant today or not. I think they say something about God’s character. For me, it is impossible to love a God who ever commanded the death penalty for these things, whether it applies today or not.

A more reasonable answer to the challenges of the blood thirsty Old Testament God is that because God is the creator of everything, he has the right to destroy it if he so wishes. He is the creator of human morality and is thereby not subject to it. However, I feel that a God who cannot even meet the human standards of morality is hardly worth my worship.

I feel that I cannot maintain my moral integrity and love the child-slaughtering, cruel, brutal and cold God of the Bible.

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