Sent in by JG
First... please, please, please (!!!) read Carl Sagan's "The Demon-Haunted World." He does such an excellent job explaining the difference between science and religion. This book is so incredible.
Okay, and now...
I am getting lots of emails from people wanting to know THE one thing that made me ''give up on God''. They read my blogs about why I deconverted, but still wanted to know what the final blow was. I hate to disappoint, but there wasn't one simple thing that did it. I wasn't mad at ''God'', I wasn't mad at other Christians, there wasn't a prayer that wasn't answered, and no one died in my family. Giving up on a belief in a god for emotional reasons seems immature to me.
Of course, I mention science and philosophy as major players, but, as my wife and I were talking about it the other day, it seems THE reason that guided me to where I am at is my passion to know THE truth of our world and existence. Now I can hear some of my old Christian friends objecting, saying that they too love the truth. But I would have to disagree. And here is why...
In all my years as a Christian it seemed that all those that claimed to be searching for ''God'' were already convinced of what they believed. I knew people who claimed to be looking for greater things in ''God'' when they church-hopped, but what they really were doing was looking for people who already agreed with what they believed. They may have heard some preacher that was saying something that appealed to their emotions or beliefs, but they never dug very deep for real solid evidence on anything. Faith was enough. If it felt right, it must be the truth. To me, that's just too shallow. I wasn't happy with what felt right or made sense, I wanted the truth, no matter how ugly, regardless of how much it may have contradicted beliefs I already firmly held and was convinced of.
I think that's how I could go from Methodism to Charismaticism, from Charismaticism to Word-of-Faith, from Word-of-Faith to Messianic Judaism, from Messianic Judaism to Orthodox Judaism... to Noachidism, and finally to Atheism.
Regardless of what some people may say about me now as an atheist, I truly sought to know ''God''. There was no greater passion for me. I really tried to find ''His heart''. I poured myself out in every way to know and understand ''His ways''. I studied countless hours searching through mountains of information, and prayed myself dizzy. I had a passion for THE truth. I still do.
If you really say you have the same passion to know the truth of life, you are going to have to be willing to question ALL your presuppositions. You can take NOTHING for granted, you can assume NOTHING. You have to be humble enough to admit you might be wrong even on statements as grand as the existence of your ''God'' and the truthfulness of your religion.
Again, let me recommend Carl Sagan's book. And if you are willing to be intellectually honest, then do some research. Study it out for yourself, and don't take my word for it. The truth can be found, are you willing to consider that something outside your religion may be what reality really is?
I did, and I am a better person for it. Life is precious and so fragile. We only have one shot, what do you want to really make of it?
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Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)