Saying Goodbye to God

At the recent Ascent of Atheism Conference in Denver, Colorado, Seth Andrews (The Thinking Atheist) interviewed a few attendees about why they left their faith. While their responses aren’t necessarily unique, they obviously had a long way to go to leave their faith. It’s uplifting to know they broke free to the other side. Hell, it might resemble your own story:

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Osmium50
  • Octoberfurst

      That was a very good video. It’s interesting that so many Christians lose their faith once they start to really read the Bible instead of just hearing bits and pieces of it from preachers.  I remember in Sunday school how we would talk about Moses leading his people out of Egypt but never talked about all the massacres Moses ordered afterwards.  In other words we avoided the unpleasant parts. The parts that would make any sane person go, “Oh my God that is horrible!”  But once you really start to read it you realize how bizarre it is.
      I went from being a fundie to a liberal Christian and finally to an atheist because even as a liberal Christian I realized I had to believe stuff I thought was BS. I refused to leave my brain at the church door anymore so I left. Common-sense, logic and reason won’t let me go back and I am very thankful for that.

  • Larry in Phoenix

    Why are all your pathetic spineless commets limited to God & Christianity ?
    We have some very nice riots going in the Eqypt (did you notice) So if the Christian God is a flying monkey in the sky, what is ALLAH.  The Koran and Islam ?

  • Larry in Phoenix

    So where is your “common sense” “logic” “Reason”  now ?   Well its over here, no, its over there .  Well, “it” is just there. Dont you see it ?  It has to be there, some where, right ?  

  • Octoberfurst

     I keep it in my back pocket.

  • Larry in Phoenix

    How do you view Allah, Koran, Islam ?   All your commits focus only on Christianity.

  • Octoberfurst

     What’s the matter Larry? Are your feelings hurt? Having a snit are we? Yes indeed we mean old atheists just pick on you poor, helpless Christians but we don’t have the GUTS to talk about Islam right?  Oh wait, Hemant did have a post or two on that. You know, you may want to check the whole site out before you post something stupid.
      Oh and FYI—I consider ALL religions to be equally absurd.

  • Anna

    Larry, it doesn’t seem like you’ve spent much time here. Hemant regularly posts threads about Islam and other non-Christian religions.

  • Anonymous Atheist

    “We have some very nice riots going in the Eqypt (did you notice)”?

    Obviously YOU didn’t notice these posts:

    Not to mention over 80 other Islam-related posts in the site’s history:

    BTW, another thing you didn’t notice: The Abrahamic Bible god Yahweh is the god worshipped by the whole Abrahamic family of religions, they just each put their own spin on it. This includes Judaism, Christianity and all its denominations, Islam, and Mormonism. ‘God’ is a title, not a name; ‘Allah’ is the Arabic word for ‘god’.

  • Anonymous Atheist

    Here’s a Christian source attesting to ‘Allah’=’God’:

  • Rich Wilson

    Hey Larry, why are all your pathetic spineless comments limited to Islam?  How come you ignore Hindus? Pagans?  Satanists?  Scientologists? Jews? Jedi?  Flying Spaghetti Monsterists?

  • amycas

     I keep a wocket in my back pocket…

  • Anonymous Atheist

    Ah, so you’re saying the Christian God is a concept describing a process within the human brain, with no influence on the physical world beyond what is performed in its name by humans.

  • Octoberfurst

     Don’t be too hard on poor Larry. He doesn’t get out much. He spends most of his days in his mom’s basement  searching the Internet for evidence of atheists “persecuting” Christians so he can rant about it.

  • The Other Weirdo

     I don’t really care about Egypt. So long as they do whatever they want to do in Egypt and they don’t violate all bounds of propriety by invading embassies or kill embassy employees, they are welcome to it.

  • Blacksheep

    I agree. 
    BTW – How did you feel about Clinton calling the recent anti-islam film “Disgusting and reprehensible?” To me, that’s akin to calling the portrayal of Christ in Monty Python films or South park disgusting, when really it’s just humor. I think Clinton should have said, “sorry, grow up a little, freedom of expression, sticks and stones” and all that. Apologies legitimize their position. (yesterday Arab officials warned of “Armageddon” coming as a result of the film).

  • Rich Wilson

    Some people confuse “not agreeing one what you say, but defending your right to say it” with “agreeing” 

  • The Other Weirdo

     In my opinion, there’s too much pandering to Muslim religious sensibilities going on. Then again, that can be said about us Jews and also Christians.

  • ctcss

    As a Christian, after viewing the video, I can honestly say I am glad these people found a happier mental framework with which to view life. However, I am rather dismayed that they felt the need to leave their former beliefs simply because they were not allowed to ask questions or to think more deeply within the realm of their respective religions. It has long struck me that some of the main complaints that non-believers have against believers is the intellectual shallowness of their approaches to religion, or the hypocrisy of their approaches, or the unkindness/uncompassionate/unneighborliness of their approaches.

    The question of God’s existence is one that cannot be definitively answered either pro or con since God is not considered to be material. However, the idea that one cannot ask questions relating to God or to scripture, or that religious belief and practice is frozen and that correction can never be part of its practices is not even a concept that is found in the Bible.

    I feel that these people were badly served by their religious instructors. I am a very devout believer, but I never found myself being denied the right to question or to seek deeper understanding about any concepts contained in my religion. And in turn, as a Sunday School teacher, I have no problems with my students asking honest questions of their own. The whole point, at least as I see  it, is to help students understand. And it is only by exploring and understanding a concept that a person can truly make up their own minds as to whether or not they will embrace it or reject it.

    Religious belief or non-belief is a very personal choice. But for a person to not even be able to explore a subject intelligently enough in a supportive, friendly environment so as to be able to make that very personal choice is a crying shame IMO.

  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    You state that “some of the main complaints that non-believers have against believers is
    the intellectual shallowness of their approaches to religion…”

    This is probably true, but there is more. As a nonbeliever, not only do I find it intellectually shallow that so many religions discourage openly questioning whether the religious teachings are true or not. Importantly, I also find it intellectually shallow to hear you say that god can not be definitely proved, but that you decide to believe it anyway.

    The intellectually wise thing to do is to withhold belief in a thing until adequate evidence is available to support belief. Otherwise we’d all be running around believing in invisible unicorns and the Flying Spaghetti Monster (PBUH: Pasta Be Upon Him) and Bertrand Russell’s celestial tea pot.

  • ctcss

     I think you may be reading a bit more into what I said than what I actually did say, and have come away with a bit of a misunderstanding. In any formal sense (such as that used in mathematics or logic), the existence of God cannot be proved or disproved. But one’s everyday life experiences are not arranged around formal proofs, nor does everyone wait around until every last proposition has been definitively decided before taking action on the various things in one’s life. All of us act on the best information available to us and, using the best of our understanding, we try to adjust our paths in life based on what we “know” and what our experiences have been while acting on that “knowledge”. Thus we move forward (with course corrections) with useful (although imperfect and incomplete) knowledge.

    The reason I personally believe in God despite not having an absolute proof of God’s existence is because of the “useful (although imperfect and incomplete) knowledge” I have concerning God. I simply go forward with what I have usefully ascertained about God and continue to revise my “understanding” as I move through life. My students also need to do the same thing. They are free to reject anything they are learning about God if they cannot, in the slightest, ascertain something useful regarding that knowledge. But if they have gained some useful insight into God’s existence (as I believe I have in my own personal life experience), then it would be logical for them to pursue that greater insight and see where it leads them. If, at some point, either they or I find that the pathway we are individually following regarding God leads into a blind alley, we would then have the option to backtrack and revise our courses, or (in the case of complete failure), abandon our courses altogether.

    So far, I have not found reason to abandon my current course regarding God, since I believe I have continued to find useful knowledge (as well as course corrections) on my current path. I assume that you navigate your own pathway in life in a similar fashion, even if the focus of your efforts lies along different lines than mine does.