An Atheist

I was raised in a good albeit sometimes dysfunctional Christian home. I went to a Christian high school. I went to a Christian college. I even taught at several Christian schools. So why am I now an atheist?

It’s not just one thing. It’s a thousand. Well, ten for now.

1. Hell. What a disgusting use of punishment for those who chose not to believe in something that has been made very hard to believe.

2. Science. It doesn’t have to be something that Christians are fearful of, but they are. They are afraid to accept that some things that seem miraculous have an actual factual reason behind them.

3. The judgment. The fact that God could send bears to kill children for behaving like children seems another example of a terrible use of punishment. Plus, let’s go find our enemy and defeat them. Then we can go to their homes and kill their wives and their babies. That’s perfect judgment. We wouldn’t want them to grow up hating us for killing their fathers would we? That would be terrible! Let’s save them the trouble and just kill those precious babies. Ahh justice.

4. Why is one religion wrong, where yours must be the right one? There are people all over the world that believe devoutly that they are following their God and are doing right through following him. Don’t tell me that Mother Teresa is in Hell because she was Catholic instead of _______. Sickening. If we truly had one creator who has spoken to prophets, it would be done consistently, not contradictory as thousands of different religions have proven.

5. There are thousands of gods recorded in history. Some of the stories are even similar. An atheist is not one that refuses to read the one true religious doctrine; he is one who has probably read too many.

6. Babies are born without religion. Which religion you follow probably depends on where and when you were born and raised.

7. It is better to find your own answers and make an educated decision for what you believe, than to intentionally remain uneducated and make a decision based on fear.

8. Humans are supposedly given free will and then punished when they use it. It’s not free if you get punished for choosing the “wrong” option.

9. Belief is a choice. I have finally made the choice to stop believing. I will never be able to describe the incredible weight that was lifted when I made this decision.

10. This is my biggest reason: How can a God who made us, created us in his own image, knew who we were before we were even born – how can he then allow such hurt and sorrow to befall us? How can he watch as children are slaughtered? “God has a plan.” If I hear that one more time… Why does his plan which is so omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent only benefit some? This makes no sense whatsoever. When I became a mother, everything else fell away. My new purpose in life is to take care of my son and to protect him from harm as much as possible. How could a God who can fix every hurt, fix every disease, sit back and watch and say, “Yes, that little girl being beheaded will serve the greater good.”??? “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then He is not omnipotent. Is He able, but not willing? Then He is malevolent. Is He both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is He neither able nor willing? Then why call Him God?” – Epicurus

This is my list. I may add or take away as time goes by, but this is how I feel at present.

I do apologize for offending with this list. I know that all Christians do not fit into the box that I have put them in. I wish things were more simple, and my belief wouldn’t hurt yours and vice versa. Maybe one day that will be the case.

Even though this sounds terribly negative – and it is, I still love my family and friends who are Christians. I love you all very much.

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7 thoughts on “An Atheist

  1. One of my precious students sent this to me. I thought it was fair to place it here for everyone to see. I love him and thank him for his thoughts.

    Hello, Miss Amanda, I saw your blog post on Facebook, and it made me extremely sad. You are one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. You taught me so much, I think it’s only fit for me to teach you a little.
    It made me especially sad when I saw you had said you were an atheist. I could possibly understand agnosticism, but to believe in absolutely nothing is completely irrational. If theres not God then there is no reason. If there is no reason, then whats the point of loving someone, whats the point of trying, whats the point of living if all you do, and all you, will just die with you, and you’ll be forgotten? Come on. Even you don’t truly in all your heart believe there is absolutely nothing.

    1. Hell.
    Ok, yes, Hell is a very real, and scary place. Hell was not designed for mankind, but for Satan and his angles. It’s very hard to see how such a loving God can send a man to hell.
    This is an issue that bothers many people who have an incomplete understanding of three things: the nature of God, the nature of man, and the nature of sin. As fallen, sinful human beings, the nature of God is a difficult concept for us to grasp. We tend to see God as a king, merciful Being whose love for us overrides and overshadows all His other attributes. Yes, God is loving, kind, and merciful, but is first and foremost a holy and righteous God. So holy is He that He cannot tolerate sin. He is a God whose anger burns against the wicked and disobedient (Isaiah 5:25; Hosea 8:5; Zechariah 10:3). He is not only a loving God-He is love itself! But the Bible also tells use that He hates all manner of sin (Proverbs 6:16-19). And while He is merciful, there are limits to His mercy. “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God,for he will freely pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7).
    In Luke 16, the Bible shows us how hell is (sorta). Luke 16, shows us that EVERY person in hell has complete realization that he deserves to be there. Each sinner has a fully informed, acutely aware, and sensitive conscience which, in hell, becomes his own tormenter. This is the experience of torture in hell—a person fully aware of his or her sin with a relentlessly accusing conscience, without relief for even one moment. The guilt of sin will produce shame and everlasting self-hatred. The rich man knew that eternal punishment for a lifetime of sins is justified and deserved. That is why he never protested or questioned being in hell.
    “What a disgusting use of punishment for those who chose not to believe in something that has been made very hard to believe.” <- Regarding this, you need to understand that any manner of sin is an act against God, and is punished by death. (Romans 6:23). When King David slept with Bathsheba, had had Uriah put in the vanguard to die in battle, he claimed he had only sinned against God; this is because all sin is ultimately against God. God is an eternal and infinite Being (Psalms 90:2). As a result of this all sin requires and eternal punishment.
    Paraphrasing: "The Bible is hard to believe". As a matter of fact it isn't; and if that is a reason for not being saved, Romans 3:23; 3:10-18; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9; 10:13; 5:1; 8:1; 8:38-39 ( https://www.biblegateway.com NIV )and John 2:16 are not that hard to understand the grace that God has. You see, this is basically how it is: You identify with Christ Jesus, or the alternative, you identify with the evil, sinful, brutal world. As Romans 5:1 and 8:1 say, if we are in Christ we are completely free from sin, there will be nothing we can say, or do that will break our salvation, from God who does not, and has not, broken one. Feel free to message me on Facebook if this didn't answer it for you.

    2. Science

    I don't know about most Christians, but I love science, I love how it proves God's existence, then people try and say it doesn't! Ok, so, I'm assuming the main idea in your head is evolution. Which obviously goes against the Bible. So lets start!
    There are a lot of ways I can criticize evolution scientifically, but most of them are extremely specific. So there are three basic areas of flaws in the theory of evolution. First, there is a contradiction between "punctuated equilibrium" and "gradualism." Second, is the problem in projecting "microevolution" into "macroevolution". Third, is the unfortunate way in which the theory has been unscientifically abused for philosophical reasons.
    First, there is a contradiction between “punctuated equilibrium” and “gradualism.” There are two basic possibilities for how naturalistic evolution can occur. This flaw in the theory of evolution occurs because these two ideas are mutually exclusive, and yet there is evidence suggestive of both of them. Gradualism implies that organisms experience a relatively steady rate of mutations, resulting in a somewhat “smooth” transition from early forms to later ones. This was the original assumption derived from the theory of evolution. Punctuated equilibrium, on the other hand, implies that mutation rates are heavily influenced by a unique set of coincidences. Therefore, organisms will experience long periods of stability, “punctuated” by short bursts of rapid evolution.
    Gradualism seems to be contradicted by the fossil record. Organisms appear suddenly and demonstrate little change over long periods. The fossil record has been greatly expanded over the last century, and the more fossils that are found, the more gradualism seems to be disproved. It was this overt refutation of gradualism in the fossil record that prompted the theory of punctuated equilibrium.
    Laboratory studies have shown that organisms are capable of adaptation. That is, living things have an ability to shift their biology to better fit their environment. However, those same studies have demonstrated that such changes can only go so far, and those organisms have not fundamentally changed. These small changes are called “microevolution.” Microevolution can result in some drastic changes, such as those found in dogs. All dogs are the same species, and one can see how much variation there is. But even the most aggressive breeding has never turned a dog into something else. There is a limit to how large, small, smart, or hairy a dog can become through breeding. Experimentally, there is no reason to suggest that a species can change beyond its own genetic limits and become something else.
    Finally, there is the flawed application of evolution. This is not a flaw in the scientific theory, of course, but an error in the way the theory has been abused for non-scientific purposes. There are still many, many questions about biological life that evolution has not answered. And yet, there are those who try to transform the theory from a biological explanation into a metaphysical one. Every time a person claims that the theory of evolution disproves religion, spirituality, or God, they are taking the theory outside of its own limits. Fairly or not, the theory of evolution has been hijacked as an anti-religious mascot by those with an axe to grind against God.

    The Bible actually encourages science (Genesis 1:28). I'm not scared that science will disprove God, I'm just waiting for it to prove God!

    3. Judgment

    Without judgment the world would be 10x's worse, I promise you. Regarding the two shebears that killed the children, the Hebrew word translated into "children" literally means "young adults", so I'd say they weren't actual kid (12ish), but were probably 16-20. The Old Testament is a lot different in the way judgment is; being that Jesus hadn't come yet. Yes, judgment seems cruel, but God can only take so much. Isn't it a miracle in itself that the world hasn't been judged yet? God is long-suffering, but Justice must come. I personally don't think a 16 year old being nothing more than a punk is excusable with "kids being kids".
    And I'm going to go on a limb, but I think you're against any sort of war or any sort of fighting. You think we should sit down an talk things out, which isn't a bad idea. We should never if we have a conflict go straight to war, but we also shouldn't be scared of war. Some people will not sit down and talk. Take ISIS for an example, they will not be negotiated with.
    To conclude, I can't explain to you why God killed those young adults, all I can say he did, and it needed to be done, I also don't know a lot about Old Testament Laws to be straightforward.

    4. What makes Christianity the right religion?

    To begin, it's not fair to say you must be Christian to go to Heaven and Catholics, Mormons, Baptists, etc. go to hell. As far as I'm concerned the only thing that truly is important is Jesus. There are many ways to Jesus, but only one way to God. So what about the Quaran? The Quaran contradicts itself for starters which is a pretty rational reason alone. Probably the biggest reason is that the Quaran speaks of Jesus as merely a man, a prophet, whereas the Bible speaks of him as deity. While I'm not an expert I want you to read this too: https://answersingenesis.org/world-religions/other-religious-writings/
    People born into Islam have an innate nature to seek God, which is why in even remote amazonian tribes, they have religion; creation screams for a God.
    Those people can seek God and find Him, but will they?

    People long for a God. It's the hearts deepest desire.

    5. Thousands of gods

    In Greek and Roman mythology, these little 'g' gods pop up all around. The facts that they behave, and judge like humans should be enough to realize they're made up.

    I've been doing this for 2.5 hours, I' going to cut to the point at number 10, you're biggest reason.

    How does God allow all this evil, sorrow, and pain? Because free will. God puts you through hardships, because HE KNOWS you can make it trough it, the Bible says he will never give you something he knows you can't handle, if you're going through hard times, it's because God wants you. Why does God judge Israel? He wants them to turn back to him. Man's sin has caused all this, and I can promise you this, it will get much much much much worse. You think its bad now? Wait until the Great Tribulation, this will be paradise. God tolerates sin, therefore he tolerates the world. After the 7 year tribulation, Christ will rule, there will be only the temptation of the flesh, Satan will be gone for a thousand years, the world will be ruled by God.
    Then Satan is released into the world, to show that sin cannot be with God, to show that even a perfect world, without war, without disease, without pain, can be ruined by sin. You sit there pointing the finger at God saying "DO SOMETHING", while he's sitting there saying, "I DID, I CREATED YOU".
    You wonder why God's plan benefits some, and not others. You need to not look at God's plan off how much they have in this world. How sad would it be to have all this world, but lose your soul? Job lost literally everything. Put yourself in his shoes. You lose EVERYTHING, what would you do? Curse God, or praise God? God's plan does benefit others more then you, but don't look at it from a greedy perspective; look at it like "God benefits me, more then he does others"

    We live in a real world where our good and evil actions have direct consequences and indirect consequences upon us and those around us. God’s desire is that for all of our sakes we would obey Him that it might be well with us (Deuteronomy 5:29). Instead, what happens is that we choose our own way, and then we blame God for not doing anything about it. Such is the heart of sinful man. But Jesus came to change men’s hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit, and He does this for those who will turn from evil and call on Him to save them from their sin and its consequences (2 Corinthians 5:17). God does prevent and restrain some acts of evil. This world would be MUCH WORSE were not God restraining evil. At the same time, God has given us the ability to choose good and evil, and when we choose evil, He allows us, and those around us, to suffer the consequences of evil. Rather than blaming God and questioning God on why He does not prevent all evil, we should be about the business of proclaiming the cure for evil and its consequences—Jesus Christ!

    You mean a lot to me, Miss Amanda, you will always hold a special place in my heart, which is why I spent my evening making this. You're decisions are yours, I will not hold it against you, if you decide this isn't going to convince you, then I pray for you. You deciding to be atheist will not give me any ill feelings towards you, but I hope you reconsider.

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  2. This post is fantastic, and thanks for visiting my blog. I just read through the above comment, and what I gleaned from it is that you must be a great teacher. As an educator myself, I applaud you. It seems you’ve made a big enough impact on a student’s life that s/he wants to help you, even if that help is misguided.

    As I am sure you can guess, however, I disagree with your student’s counterpoints. Your arguments are incredibly sound and incredibly reasoned. My favorite point is number 5. Contrary to the assumptions of many believers, we atheists and agnostics are not simply uneducated in terms of religion and the Bible. We are, in many cases, very knowledgeable and very educated in many things religious. It was my continued Christian education at the graduate level that eventually led to my loss of faith. How does a believer explain that?

    Anyhow, I hope you never lose hope and never succumb to your detractors. I hope you continue posting reasoned, respectful, well-thought posts like this. I’ll certainly continue reading!

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  3. Amanda and Mortem, check out http://www.clergy project.org (pretty sure). What Mortem said was 100% accurate, maybe more so than she knows. There are untold numbers of pastors, ministersand priests who have become agnostics and atheists BECAUSE of all their study of the Bible and their pondering of the world around the. Some leave, most stay because there are no other prospects for them or they can’tdestroy their families. Check exChristian.net for painful testimonies (including mine) of people who deeply, deeply believed and were torn to shreds when they realized the truth. And have you ever heard of an “atheist factory?” That is a nickname for seminaries, which have massive undergrad dropout rates because these kids are READING the Bible for the first time.

    When people tell you that you must have “never been a true Christian in the first place,” Google “no true Scotsman argument.” That is the fallacy they are using on you.

    And yes — even when I was devout I was always aware that the average atheist knew more about Christianity than the average Christian did…and I actually respected atheists because of that.

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  4. Amanda, this post is as if you are scooping out my brain. They one difference — and I think it’s mainly semantics …. is that I don’t think we choose to believe, I think it chooses opus. Life would be so much easier if we could choose. Muslim brothers would choose not to participate in honor killings, Christian martyrs (if there were any) would not have eaten lions, Hindu women would not lie down on their husband’s burning funeral pile, Quiverful mothers would not have their uteri (???) Ripped to sheds for 13 children. And imagine the countless tears parents have shed at the loss of an unsaved child.

    It may be true for some lucky individuals like you, because I wish I had been you. I spent most of my life terrified of God and trying to will myself into atheism. Like 30 years. Then he started to fade away and I spent another 10 years trying to believe him back! (I am a very slow learner. 😉

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