My #1 Reason for disbelief in God.

comments 5
leaving Christianity

Both of my top two reasons for my loss of faith in God were anthropological and came to me out of my own experience and exposure to the real world during our time living overseas as missionaries.  This first reason can be summarized by the following picture and video.

funny-map-Bible-action-circle

And this video (I apologize in advance if this is offensive to theists; the makers of the video weren’t concerned about the feelings of believers.) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0A_iF1B3k0

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The Author

I'm a closet atheist christian missionary. Paradigm shifts happen frequently for those who allow themselves to think critically about currently held beliefs and openly about new ones. I’ve developed the skill, or perhaps addiction, for change but the community around me is slow to catch up -- and would damn me if they knew where I stood.

5 Comments

  1. Arthur Schopenhouer says

    To play the devil’s advocate (literally since your disbelief in God would suggest a similar disbelief in the devil), there are answers to both of these problems.

    The photo shows the area in which God’s actions have been recorded….by…..the people in that circle . Actually it’s worse than that, it only chronicles the actions recorded by one people group in that area.

    There are many places in the old testament which hint at Gods action involving other peoples (melchizadech for instance). We know the Abrahamic line was not the only people group contacted by God if we look earlier in the timeline at Noah. Or earlier still at Abel. In the NT(acts 17:23 i think), Paul certainly hints that a tradition of worshipping of God by non-jews.

    The conclusion “this is all god did” does not then follow from the premise “this all all these people recorded god doing”. Especially in a time where long-distance communication was slow and inefficient.

    A similar problem could be found in the video. It highlights various theological teachings from differing times and cultures and then smashes together, highlighting all of the places they are different. But are these differences not to be expected if Gid has been working through and with these people in ways they would understand socially and historically? What the video points out is dissimilarity of histories and teachings not an argument against the existence of God.

    Consider the similarities and you will find they are sweeping. Monitheism is most prevalent but we see blurry lines as some non-monotheistic religions have redemptive/sacrificial features similar to the trinitarian ideology in christianity. Could the truth be a little less comprehensible than we would like it to be? Is the “truth” a little harder to grasp than “one god” or “many gods” can sum up?

    Also every major religion aims at social justice and love for man, self sacrifice and humility, and the work of living a just or holy life.

    Surely the small details of historical tradition over which man has divided himself cannot serve as evidence that all of these similarities are inconsequential.

    At most the video pushes toward a universalist theistic idea rather than an atheistic one.

    Also, now that I have made you believe in God again, I am going to get a reward in heaven.

    You’re welcome for the salvation

    Shanda

    -Art

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    • Always love your perspectives 🙂 I finally just read this, no excuse really other than we’ve had a super busy couple weeks and just moved and have been dealing with religious fundamentalism from all ends and now the place we are temporarily in has no internet haha. But I WILL respond soon, because you make some very valid points!

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    • I’m finally getting to this, so sorry it took so dang long.

      Yes, but the point isn’t that this is “all God did,” but that this tiny amount of God’s workings among this tiny group of people (relative to all of humanity that ever lived) forms the basis of THE truth, according to Christians. And his workings recorded by other groups of people, forming their sacred scriptures, is heretical and wrong. It’s a problem or statistics and closed-mindedness.

      As for the video, my problem isn’t that there are dissimilarities among religions. In fact, I really like the similarities you did point out: “social justice and love for man, self sacrifice and humility, and the work of living a just or holy life.” My point isn’t shaken if there are X number of similarities among monotheistic or polytheistic or just plan theistic religions, even if X is extremely large (which it isn’t). My problem is that each religions (specifically Christianity, though others do as well) claims that their particular dissimilarities are what holds the key to eternal life. If the keys were more general, then perhaps it never would have shaken my belief. But the specificity of requirements of each religion’s keys are what threw me off.

      Maybe you’re right (in your advocacy), maybe there is a God whose common themes were more general among humanity. But I have plenty of follow-up questions for that God, directly related to these very problems.

      Perhaps the title of this post is a misnomer. This isn’t the number one reason why I don’t believe in God – this was the catalyst for my critique of religion that then brought me to the conclusion of unbelief.

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  2. Spartan says

    Your map about all of God’s actions in the Bible, Quaran, and Torah is incorrect. In the New Testament the 12 Disciples go as far (and farther) as Greece and modern day India. Then in the Old Testament Moses and his people escape from Egypt. Finally, the Garden of Eden was most likely somewhere near the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. As you can obviously tell, those places I just spoke of are not only NOT in the circle, but VERY far from it. I don’t know too much about the Quaran, but I am willing to bet they have a bunch of accounts of God in places outside of that circle.

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