Sent in by Jeff
As I perused over a lot of the articles on this site, I realized I fit the common profile. I grew up in Alabama my whole life, was born and raised in a Southern Baptist church, and was inducted into the cult around the age of 9. For several years, everything about Christianity made sense (at least from what I could perceive). But, starting around the age of 15 (i estimate), i would get occasional doubts in my mind. E.g. How could a perfectly benevolent god create evil? and if he didn't, wouldn't his omniscience and omnipotence enable him to prevent ANYTHING from creating a malevolent presence? Or if all of creation was ruled by god, why did he have no choice but to sacrifice his son?
But every time, I would cast off these thoughts as evidence that I didn't know enough about the Bible.
Then, just a couple of weeks ago, I had my revelation. After hearing a lecture from my Geography professor, I decided to do some research on the age of the Earth. I realized that there is more than enough physical evidence that gives way to the idea of a billion-year old earth, but the Bible only accounts for an earth around 7000 years old. This was not the first time I had this thought. My pastors and Bible study teachers would always dismiss such evidence with biblical passages about "not following the way of science, but the way of faith" or something like that. But now, 19 years old, I had a new thought: If God wants nothing more than all mankind to follow him, why would he create an earth filled with endless amounts of proof against his Word? Sounds like a pretty deceptive god to me. Even if he was real, he isn't the kind of god I'd want to live for. This revelation made me realize that almost all the proof that I had rested my faith on in the past was evidence in the Bible itself. Circular logic at its finest.
I still haven't pinpointed what exactly I believe in yet. I know that the near perfectness of the earth (axis tilt, nearness to sun, etc) gives way to the possibility of intelligent design, but not by the Judeo-Christian god. Then again, if the universe is indeed infinite (as some believe), then maybe Earth is just one of infinite outcomes of chance.
Now I have mixed feelings. Everything I had ever known to believe has been shattered by intelligence. The greatest fear I have is telling all my friends and family of my newfound beliefs. Almost all my friends back home went to my church, where I was an avid member. Worst even, my parents are some of the most blindly fundamental Christians I know. I have little doubt that they will cease to fund my college education, if not completely disown me.
So for now, I'll keep relatively quiet, at least until I am firm enough in my beliefs to face them as more than just a confused teenager.
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)