In My Story, I talked about how I went from being a fully fledged Christian to an agnostic – call it a deconversion story if you will. I glossed over some of the reasons why I don’t believe anymore, but now I would like to explain four of these reasons in more detail.
For me, my unbelief didn’t happen all at once, but over a gradual period of time. I studied science and over time developed a critical mind. I began to question everything I had been taught from The Bible. Not only that, but I began to see big discrepancies between God’s supposed perfect love and how he actually acted in The Bible. If you are a religious person reading this, I hope you will be challenged by the content within, and the questions that I propose to you.
Reason One: The Book of Genesis flies in the face of science
According to Genesis, God created the earth and everything in it in seven days, so there was no evolution. Somehow plants are created on the third day, before the sun is created on the fourth day. Also, the moon is counted as a light; I am sure creationists probably had fun coming up with loopholes to explain this away.
Noah’s ark and the worldwide flood flies in the face of science. Given the ever growing number of species (estimated at around 8.7 million +/- 1.3 million), how can two of every animal fit onto the ark, and be kept alive (also avoiding predation)? Not to mention, he would have to find animals such as polar bears and llamas which live on completely different continents and environments. Also, the flood narrative contradict itself. In Genesis 6, God tells Noah to bring two of every ‘kind’ of animal onto the ark, but in Genesis 7, he says seven?
If the entire earth flooded in 40 days, and this only happened a few thousand years ago, wouldn’t there be significant geological evidence for this? Yet there isn’t. Supposedly the flood waters (which covered the highest mountains) receded after 150 days, but where did it all go? It couldn’t have evaporated in that time; all the water in the sea and groundwater can’t account for all this. Personally I think the Great Flood was probably based on a real localised flood, and the story was exaggerated over time to get mythical status. There are texts older than the Book of Genesis which have a very similar flood story, such as in the Epic of Gilgamesh, which the writers of Genesis may have borrowed from.
Reason Two: There is no way the earth is only a few thousand years old
If we take the genealogies in the Bible and the creation story in Genesis literally, the earth was created in seven days, and there was around 4000 to 4500 years from Adam to Jesus, and another approx 2000 years from Jesus to the present day. This would make the earth around 6000 to 6500 years old, much younger than the 4.5 billion years accepted by science. Radiometric dating has shown our earth to be much older than the 6.5 k mark, and the science involved is well established and accurate. These dating methods do have a margin of error, but the error involved is usually very small relative to the estimated age, so a young earth of 6.5 k years should definitely be out of the question!
Furthermore, scientists can use super powerful telescopes to see stars that are millions of light years away. For the uninformed, a light year is the distance light can travel in a year. This means that when we see the light from these stars, we are seeing them as they actually were millions of years ago! Wow. If the whole universe was only a few thousand years old then it wouldn’t be possible for these stars light to reach us.
Reason Three: Whatever happened to miracles and demonic possession?
In the bible there are many accounts where people are miraculously and instantly healed of some disease. Yet we don’t see credible instances of this happening today. OK, people claim that miracles happen all the time at church meetings, but these are usually never followed up on, and why doesn’t God heal amputees?, or people with aids? Some of the people at my old church believe that miracles were only for Jesus’s disciples and apostles at the time, to advance the ministry of Jesus and the gospel. But nowhere does The Bible suggest that miracles were only limited to apostles or that God wouldn’t do further miracles in the future. As for demonic possession, since advances in medical knowledge and mental health, we just so happen to have less instances of it occurring.
Reason Four: The Problem with Hell
Why would an all loving God send people to Hell for eternity? There is nothing even remotely just about this. The thing is, Christianity doesn’t teach that bad people such as Hitler go to Hell; anyone who doesn’t believe in Jesus and accept him as their personal lord and savior will, because everyone is bad and has sinned at least once. What kind of asshole God would demand people worship him, and severely punish them for eternity if they choose not to, or if they don’t believe in him? If God is happy with his creation, why not be happy if they choose to do their own thing, as long as it isn’t destructive? Choice is an illusion if you will suffer for eternity by not believing in God. It also doesn’t make a lot of sense that the whole world fell under ‘sin’ because Adam and Eve ate from a tree that God told them not to… Anyways, I believe Hell was probably a more recent invention, as the Old Testament doesn’t explicitly mention it, and Jewish belief doesn’t have the concept of a Hell.
So there you have it – four reasons I dropped my Christianity card and signed an evil pact with The Devil to be an agnostic atheist.