The Straw that broke the Religious Camel’s Back

People have asked me “What is it that drove you to quit believing?” or “What one thing could you just not get past in your faith so you turned atheist?”. I have also read many other people’s stories on how they quit believing and almost all speak of such a topic or moment.

I have thought about my journey to non-belief and I wondered what was it that pushed me over the edge. I really have to say it was not a single thing. I did not see a domino fall in the world of belief that started knocking down the other dominos. I suppose I had a pretty strong wall build around my thoughts, guarding me from any doubt or disbelief. What I experienced was the block crumbling away together util the wall collapsed all together.

I generally don’t put to much stock in one discrepancy for such a huge matter. I need more to really shake me. I remember when, my once good friend, Kent Hovind said “If you can prove one thing that shows the world can not be more than 6000 years old then that is proof enough.” (Roughly translated) I did not question that at the time, but it was because I had an overwhelming pile of evidence that the earth was only 6000 years old. I did not look at other things in the same fashion. If someone believes everything in that manner they would fall for almost all conspiracy theories. One Example would be :Shadows on the moon in the pictures prove it was not sun light, so that must have been a sound stage.

I started studying various arguments against religion to gear up and try to convert an online atheist. (He still has no idea asI never confronted him or hinted at what I was planning to do.) I felt I would take a deeper look at his arguments, go find the truth, and gently convert him to the truth. I, of course, knew the standard Christian answers to his arguments, but I also knew his counter answers. I was determined to find answers that he would accept. I always knew that the truth would stand on its own and didn’t need my help. So, I set out to find a way to show him the truth.

As I studied I found the pat answers really weren’t enough. I found that I could not just simply prove it to him. I decided then to consider a different approach. I would try to think like he thinks, try to see the issues as he saw them, through misguided, blinded eyes. If I could really capture his sinful point of view I could show him the light. But as I monitored his arguments with Christians and as I sought out answers based on motives and sin nature I still did not find anything that might help me convert him.

All the while I started to discover that there were to many holes in my truth.

I will share more of my story as time marches on, but that is a glance at how my walk started.

16 comments

  1. Ricky · October 1, 2015

    Great post. Funny how once we look at “apologetics” from another’s point of view it all falls apart. It just takes the courage to step outside our protected world-view and see things honestly. Loving the blog.

    Like

    • adisillusionist · October 1, 2015

      Thanks! I guess I never felt like i had a protected world-view and I sure felt I was seeing things honestly. I really believe it was a case of generational brain-washing.

      Like

  2. Richard · October 2, 2015

    Interesting seeeing things from another point of view for sure. Just curious, was this online atheist a well known entity or was it some random person you were going to try and convert?

    Like

    • adisillusionist · October 2, 2015

      He was a random guy, but he kept showing up on a Christian post I was following.

      Like

  3. Dutch Thomas · October 2, 2015

    I can relate to this! I was in mission college and it was the teaching on worldview that caused me to rethink my own. It took me five years of switching between evangelical and agnostic worldviews that I finally saw that the evangelical worldview just didn’t work at all. But it all started by taking the ‘other’ worldview seriously.

    Like

  4. absenceofchrist · October 2, 2015

    I remember praying for wisdom to help me discern between a false reality and God’s truth when talking with atheists and it didn’t pan out too well. When something an atheist said made sense to me, I’d think “Well.. all truth is God’s truth.” After awhile I had nothing left of “God’s truth” and realized there may not even be a god. It was scary and took awhile to balance my inner life out with that thought.

    I wish you well on your journey and look forward to reading more.

    Like

  5. Brent · October 2, 2015

    You may not have run across yet the video series by Evid3nc3 documenting his deconversion. His framework (as a computer science guy) made a lot of sense to me (as another C.S. guy), that Christianity is supported by a whole set of subordinate beliefs and practices. A Christian can deal with questioning any one of those sub-beliefs; the structure has redundant support and will still stand. But when you remove too many of them all at once, it collapses.

    Like

    • adisillusionist · October 3, 2015

      I have not seen that. I will have to look it up. That is what happened to me. The collapse was devastating to me. It was the toughest thing I have ever been through!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mike Stone · October 12, 2015

        It’s a great series. He goes into quite a lot of depth.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Logan · October 8, 2015

    The same sort of thing happened to me. When my oldest son became an atheist, I tried to find the flaws in his arguments and in so doing, I considered his point of view and slowly but surely, I got sliced by a 1,000 paper cuts until my faith had bled out.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. tomdidymus · October 27, 2015

    “If someone believes everything in that manner they would fall for almost all conspiracy theories.”

    I’ve heard Hovind speak numerous times (I listened to him on purpose quite a bit growing up), and he _does_ fall for every conspiracy theory you can imagine. Even in high school, I recognised that something was a bit “off” about him because of his cancer conspiracies and UN conspiracies and whatnot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • adisillusionist · October 27, 2015

      I sure see a lot of his beliefs differently now. I have also looked into things for myself and that made a big difference.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. thoughtsfromthebackalley · December 27, 2015

    Former PK here, decades in and out of church, fully left in 2011, and accepted being Agnostic (or a gutless atheist) in late 2014. Found your blog from a poster on The Clergy Project. Excited to follow your journey out.

    Part of my journey: http://backalleythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/01/where-does-my-tithe-money-go-kelly.html

    Like

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