Question for the nonbelievers and atheists
What specifically made you stop believing in God and the Bible? Was it a steady road of doubts or it was reading one book or one major event that made you realize the Bible was not what it's claimed to be?
My doubts start with Religon. So many interpretations and dismissle of other views. It was enough to convince me that a search for a true religon was futile. Maybe I believe in a Higher Power, Maybe Not. I'll never truly make up my mind. But Religon is poison through and through. And with all the different sects basing their beliefs around the Bible, it's enough to make me avoid it. Take the good from the bad. I realized I didn't need an organization to be my moral compass. Einstein said it best already. You know, Education, Sympathy, Social Ties. That's all you should need to figure out the rest. Religon not necessary.
1980,Iran and Iraq war. What's with all the conflicts in the
Holy land....What are they fighting about..Can not recall the book,
the history of Israel and when they became a state in 1947...
The wars between islam, Christianity and Judaism, I knew nothing
about other major religions, only JW world and their imaginary persecution...
The thing that caused me to wake up from Watchtower indoctrination was realizing how Watchtower literature distorted the facts about evolution and how they used fallacious reasoning in their arguments.
I researched the subject of evolution from scientific sources and discovered that, contrary to the claims of Watchtower and other creationist sources, there is an abundance of evidence supporting evolution. Once I realized that evolution is true (the evidence is just too much and too compelling to deny it), I realized that the book of Genesis cannot be trusted as a source of accurate information on the origin of all living species and man. Genesis speaks about special creation of each kind from the dust. Evolution proves descent of all species from a common ancestor. Genesis is clearly wrong. That got me to thinking what else in the bible is wrong.
Other research on early caananite religious writings showed me the remarkable similairites between OT judaism and the religions of the early caananites. It seems like Jehovah is nothing more than a copying and reworking of older caananite gods like el and baal. The bible isn't this unique one of a kind book inspired by a real God. It's just a plagiarism and modification of caananite and surrounding religions. Further research showed me that many NT books are actually pseudonymous writings created by forgers falsely claiming to be Paul. Then there are the obvious discrepancies between the gospels. There is much about the bible that is very flawed. But religious people just turn a blind eye or come up with very creative rationalizations and excuses to hide from accepting it.
Coupled with this there was an awareness in me about the need to think critically and avoid fallacies. I began to see that the arguments for theism are pretty much all grounded in fallacious and emotional thinking and not logic. I don't say this with any disrespect intended but beleivers are by and large, irrational, emotional (ever wonder why women outnumber men by far in most churches?) and fallacious thinkers. They have lost the ability to reason soundly (at least on the subject of the existence of God) because of the effects of religious indoctrination.
I'm now convinced that religion is all bogus. I now see the whole concept of enobling credulity with the word faith, as being nothing more than a devious psychological manipulation aimed at suspending rational thinking and getting people to accept extraordinary unproven claims. Faith is nothing more that a con tool devised by early religionists. There is no way that an intelligent and all-wise God would value faith as a virtue. Only religous con-men intent on having others accept their wild and unproven claims would value faith. They devised it as a powerful tool to quash the critical, rational thinking that leads one to escape being conned.
It was a long road as the more I researched about the Bible the more I realized it was just the words of men. But the final knock down arguement came from Sam Harris (The Moral Landscape). He referenced the genocide the Israilites committed against the all the different nations because God told them to. Specifically, when Moses told them to kill all the Midianites - men, women, and children - and only preserve the virgins so they could be parceled out to the Israilite men along with the Midaintites cattle later on.
Sam Harris asked, if you were an Israilite man in the Bible and you're told to kill a woman and her child what is the most humane way to do it? Do you run the family through with your sword? Or do you decapitate them? Perhaps you just bash their heads in with a rock? Do you kill the mother first - and make the child watch? Or is it more humane to make the mother watch you kill her son before you kill her? Exactly what method would a loving God want you to use to slaughter unarmed women and children?
It was then that I realized that the charachter of Jehovah in the Bible was completely immorale. And that the Bible was written by men not by the creator of our universe. About a week later, I realized that, if the Bible wasn't true, I didn't really have any good reason to believe a God exists. I remain open to the possibility, but the time to believe something is after it has been demonstrated to be true. Not before. There's no point in drawing conclusions in the absence of evidence.
Reading the bible.
The absence of understanding of reality by the bible writers. the way the bible contradicts our present scientific understanding, starting from the error in Genesis 1:1, majestic though it sounds.
It does not mean to me that there is no creator, just that all that is linked to the talking snake story, and it's elaboration,-- is fiction.
reality will be interesting to be further understood, but it is not going to come from the bible based beliefs.
When the explainations for how the bible was compiled started making more sense than the absurdities found in the bible I had to consider an alternate to the idea that God exists and the bible is his word.
It was a steady road of adding to doubts and adding to what is known about the Bible and comparing that to science.
Basically, I learned the truth about Jehovah's Witnesses and just kept going on to learn the truth about the Bible and religion and God and science.
While no one book did it for me, THE BIBLE UNEARTHED (https://www.google.com/shopping/product/4364054611556777716?q=archeology+bible&rlz=1CAZZAC_enUS605US605&es_sm=93&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.74649129,d.aWw,pv.xjs.s.en_US.mrQEfghoF0I.O&biw=1366&bih=657&tch=1&ech=1&psi=IqIPVN2UNM2QyASswoKYAQ.1410310692273.3&ei=M6IPVISYGdaeyASa2oGQDQ&ved=0CJgCEKYrMAo) was huge.
Also, books by Jonathan Kirsch like A HISTORY OF THE END OF THE WORLD (http://www.amazon.com/History-End-World-Controversial-Civilization/dp/0061349879/ref=la_B000APIGQK_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410311072&sr=1-1) were helpful.
So were Hitchens and Dawkins and many youtube discussions.
There was quite a bit on this forum about the flood and other myths of Genesis that were helpful.
Astronomy. Anthropology. Geology.