From the conduct of religious authorities to the perceived irrationality of holy texts, there exist various rational explanations for the abandonment of religious beliefs. In a recent online survey, individuals were asked, “What led you to leave your faith?” In response, we’ve compiled the 18 most noteworthy answers.
1. Child Murder
One user expressed, “I’m omniscient, but my murder angel is dumb as rocks.”
Just as in the case of Passover, a holiday of significant importance in Judaism today, the notion of God’s omniscience and boundless love seems perplexing when considering the need for human intervention, as in marking doors, to prevent any tragic errors from occurring.
2. Sunday Mornings
One individual who used to attend church says, “I couldn’t be bothered to get up on Sunday mornings and learn from seedy Catholic priests.”
From another perspective, a viewpoint emerged that contemplated the rationale behind early morning and sartorial demands imposed by religious customs. This perspective suggested that a benevolent deity might abstain from mandating such rituals, particularly when children typically enjoy a reprieve from early school mornings and formal attire.
3. Contemporary Insignificance
“It was used for teaching basic ethics and trying to control the masses, but the education system now teaching actual science makes it redundant and doesn’t ask for 10% of my income.” explains another on the thread.
Many people embrace longstanding religious traditions, taking pride in their commitment to practices that have persisted for centuries. These rituals offer a connection to a rich historical heritage. For some, they provide a sense of continuity and spiritual fulfillment in a rapidly changing world.
4. Atheism Just Makes Sense
A Redditor explained their story, “At school, I was talking to another girl about religion, and she said, ‘I’m an atheist.’ I asked her what it was, and she explained that she didn’t believe in God. I was mindblown. I didn’t even know that was an option, but it immediately made sense to me in a way Christianity never did.”
Atheism, in contrast to religion, makes more sense to specific individuals. This perspective, based on rationality and a lack of belief in a higher power, aligns with their worldview and reasoning. For them, atheism provides a more coherent and logical framework for understanding the world.
5. Greedy Institutions
“When my religion had 120 billion dollars in a slush fund, owned 2% of the land in the United States, and made no effort to help the world with those funds, I knew it was all wrong.” said one person on the discussion.
Tithing, which involves giving a portion of one’s income to the church, appears fundamentally unjust. The idea of wealthy pastors accumulating vast fortunes while their less fortunate followers struggle to make ends meet raises serious moral concerns. It seems to tip the ethical balance in the wrong direction.
6. Dying for “Our Sins”
A confused Redditor chipped in with their comment, “He died for your sins; what does that even mean? What does one have to do with the other? I hit myself in the foot with a snow shovel for your mortgage. And how could he die for MY sins when I wasn’t even born for another 2000 years.”
The idea that Jesus died for our sins, what exactly does that entail? This concept of Jesus sacrificing himself for our transgressions only sometimes sits well with some individuals. It raises questions and concerns, prompting them to ponder the meaning and implications of this belief.
7. Illogical Teachings
“I couldn’t turn my brain off and believe that magic and the supernatural exist. There are over 10,000 gods to choose from and over 4,500 religions, so all it becomes VERY clear.” one person on the platform said.
Religion can perplex some individuals, making it challenging for them to comprehend why people become associated with it. They find themselves puzzled by the allure and involvement in religious practices.
8. Testing One’s Faith
Another contributor brought their point to the discussion, “If God is all-powerful, then what’s the point of tests? Wouldn’t he know the outcome already?”
If everything is made by him, then the test, sin, and its outcome are all his products. One might question the purpose of randomly subjecting your own child to torment. Wouldn’t it be more straightforward to eliminate the urge to sin?
9. Avoiding Punishment Through Virtue
One person on the platform explains, “If it makes these people have a reason to be “good” in fear of an almighty punishing them… Fine with me. I prefer to be a good person just because I’m fully responsible for my actions and have no need for imaginary friends to blame or a fear of hell to keep me moral.”
Many individuals believe that their goodness is instilled in them by a divine force rather than being a product of their own choices and actions. This perspective varies widely among people and can influence their beliefs and moral values.
10. Church Inaction
One person told their personal story, “Had an abusive father growing up, and no matter how much I prayed, god did nothing.”
The belief that religion and prayer can prevent or mitigate life’s hardships is challenged by many individuals. When adversity strikes despite devout faith and prayer, some people question the effectiveness of these practices. The notion that “it is God’s way” may not provide satisfactory answers for those grappling with life’s challenges, leading them to reconsider their religious affiliations.
11. Universal Pardon for Believers
One person just laughed, “Being forgiven for sins seems like a well-designed marketing plan to increase membership.”
Some people argue that individuals should be responsible for their actions, with their overall behavior determining their moral character. They question the sincerity of those who join religious groups solely to evade accountability for their wrongdoings.
12. No Evidence
Another person added, “This is a dealbreaker for me. Passing off circumstantial or questionable evidence as rock-solid proof? If we applied the same evidentiary standards in our courtrooms, we’d be destroyed.”
The absence of empirical evidence outside religious texts, such as the Bible, can trigger profound skepticism. When individuals rely solely on ancient scriptures for their beliefs, they may find themselves questioning the reliability and validity of these narratives, which, in turn, leads to uncertainty and introspection about their faith.
13. The Complete Hypocrisy
“People saying they’re Christians spouting hate for people just living lives that aren’t like theirs.” explains one Redditor on the thread.
The individual’s turning point away from religion was driven by the perceived hypocrisy among those claiming to be devout Christians. They concluded that one can lead a virtuous life and impart these principles to their children without the constraints of religious affiliation.
14. Justified Cruelty
One person on the Reddit discussion explained, “Seeing the people who sold me on religion as an anchor of truth start using it to rationalize all sorts of bad behavior. To see people you trusted, people smarter than you, use it to justify horrific behavior, then pat themselves on the back for it. The corruption and hypocrisy stinks.”
It’s deeply troubling to witness how some people manipulate religion to justify their cruel actions. Religion should ideally promote love, compassion, and empathy. When misused as an excuse for cruelty, it undermines the core values and principles that faith systems often aim to uphold, creating significant moral dilemmas for society.
15. No Questions Allowed
“I’ll never forget being told in Sunday school that we can’t question anything we’re taught about the Bible or Jesus or god because you “don’t question faith” and if you do, you don’t believe.” said one.
Many find the relatively rigid constraints on questioning within religion a significant issue, often prompting individuals to ponder their moral values and ethical beliefs.
16. Old Testament vs. New Testament
One Redditor said of the Bible, “The Old Testament preached the hate, but Jesus brought about the New Testament, replacing the Old Testament teachings. Jesus replaced all that with two simple rules: Have no other God but his Father, and love thy neighbor as you would love yourself. Somehow, Christians forget that.”
Many individuals observe that within Christianity, the fundamental principle of “loving thy neighbor” sometimes appears to be overlooked or lost amidst doctrinal intricacies and rituals.
17. Instilling Fear
“When they said my friend was a sinner and doomed for hell, simply for being who he was. Any god who does that should be hated, not worshipped.” added another to the discussion.
A different individual shared their experience, recounting how a family member once conveyed that being a good person isn’t sufficient; one must also believe in Jesus to avoid eternal damnation. This perspective was deeply distressing, as they found it unsettling to use fear as a means to enforce religious beliefs. They believed instilling fear in people based on their mere existence was morally unacceptable.
18. Religious Control
One person on the thread said, “Religion is a man-made set of rules based on power and control over other humans (see Hell).”
One person expressed their reasons for leaving religion in straightforward terms. From a young age, they observed religion being used as a tool for manipulation, control, bullying, intimidation, and harm. The pervasive misuse of religion to harm and manipulate people led them to have no desire to be a part of it, emphasizing the controlling nature of religion.
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