How to Become an Atheist – My Journey out of Religion


What’s up skeptics, Thom-Ass Westbrook here. Ah ha ha! Ah. That’s hot! That’s hot! Before I dive into this video, I’m going
to give away 1 2 3 4 – Uh, about 42 of so of these Holy Koolaid magnetic bumper stickers. To find out how to get yours absolutely free,
smash that like button and watch to the end of this video. In my last video, I shared the extent of my
religious upbringing as a missionary kid, youth pastor, worship leader, and missionary,
and many of you asked me about my journey, and how anyone who was in it THAT deep could
reject so heavily ingrained in them. So this is my story of what I guess you could
say an atheist’s version of “redemption” looks like. Bear in mind, when you’re in it as deeply
as I was, there usually isn’t one “aha” moment. Reshaping your entire worldview takes massive
time and effort. It’s more like a bunch of “OH My’s”. George Takei “Oh My.” 6 millennia back, in just 6 days – that’s
the time and length of creation I was sold as a kid. I was taught that scientists lie about the
age of the earth and lie about evolution because they’re pawns of Satan who just want to
live an accountability-free life of sin. That same tall-tale was fed to most of the
kids in our missionary community, so we didn’t really have any dissenters. It just seemed normal. The first person whose opinion I respected
who openly didn’t buy that was my high school youth pastor – an old-earth creationist who
believed that Genesis was allegorical and evolution was God’s method of diversity-building
on earth. He warned that I would discover the overwhelming
evidence for evolution in college, and urged me not to chuck the baby with the bathwater
– I didn’t even think there was bathwater. I thought it was all just delicious baby. After high school, I visited California. At an emotionally-charged revival meeting
there, a speaker was giving prophetic messages. Turning my direction, he began prophesying
over me, and his words really hit home. How could he know me so well?! I’d never talked to him in my life. Was the God of the universe speaking through
this dude? I wanted it to be real so badly buying it
hook line and sinker, and even snagged a copy of the night’s meeting on CD to revisit
later. The next summer, I worked at a church camp. When my co-counselor Max shared his testimony
with me, he relayed how he’d spent the last year trying to disprove the Bible. That seemed super counter-intuitive to me,
since I’d always been told not to doubt, but he explained that truth withstands scrutiny,
so we should be able to scrutinize the Bible, and if it’s true, scrutiny wouldn’t change
that, and if it’s not, we shouldn’t blindly stumble after a lie. Now he was convinced it was true, but for
me, hearing a Christian say it was ok to explore our doubts was a big deal, and it made me
a little less hesitant to peek behind God’s curtain. Heading off to college, I still interpreted
the Bible literally, but the more I learned about biology, the harder it was to ignore. I learned that we share genetic code with
every animal on earth, and are more similar genetically to apes than to potatoes – (unless
you’re pastor John Hagee). With an open mind, I explored the claims of
young earth creationists, and one by one found they didn’t withstand scrutiny. For example, I had been told that DNA information
can only be lost or modified and no new genetic information can be acquired by an organism,
and then I learned about horizontal gene transfer and gene duplication. Were the creationist lying or ignorant? I was taught that scientists couldn’t explain
fish fossils on mountain tops, and they must have gotten there from Noah’s flood. Then I learned how tectonic plates, submerged
beneath the ocean floor, can collide and subduction can push one plate up to form a mountain range. That’s how earthquakes happen and why Everest
is still growing. Creationist scientists claimed that we can’t
measure the age of the earth because carbon 14 dating isn’t reliable. But then I learned from a paleontologist that
that’s why they don’t use Carbon dating for anything older than about 50,000 years
old, and that they have much more reliable methods for older samples like Potassium-Argon,
Uranium-Lead, or many other radiometric dating methods. My highschool creation-science textbooks taught
me that all genetic mutations are harmful or benign and never beneficial, but then I
learned about positive mutations for denser bones, malaria resistance, cold tolerance,
higher lung capacity, super-strength, hyper-flexibility, better memories, and so much more. I had been taught that animals could have
genetic variation within species, but would always remain the same species. Then I learned about ring species that shared
a common ancestor but diverged enough genetically to where they could no longer reproduce with
each other. I was told that vestigial organs were a myth,
and that we were masterfully designed, and every organ has a purpose. Then I learned about whales still having the
remnants of leg bones. As well as multiple vestigial traits in humans
and other animals. Were creationist “experts” liars, or just
completely clueless to basic science – making them “not experts?” In some cases, I found that they were either
straight up dishonest or extremely lazy in their research. Like, when Dr. Steve Austin and the Creation
Research Institute attempted to discredit radiometric dating by showing that measuring
a newly formed rock sample from the Mount St. Helens volcanic eruption yielded 5 conflicting
dates. However, the creationists knew they were using
the wrong equipment to date the rock sample, their equipment wasn’t advanced enough to
accurately date rocks younger than 2 million years old. Leftover argon residue from previous dating
analysis could contaminate the equipment, causing “memory effects” and yielding
an inaccurate result. And it gets even worse. Rocks formed in eruptions like this can contain
older contaminants called xenoliths which incorporate into the melted rock and can throw
off the dating result. The creationist researchers knew this, but
ignored scientific standards and made zero effort to separate out these contaminants
– making their dating of such an impure sample a pointless exercise in futility. But that didn’t stop them from triumphantly
touting their earth-shattering findings about how science is wrong and untrustworthy and
we must look to the Bible instead. A book whose genealogies don’t even match
up. In college, my roommate got be hooked on Ted
Talks, and I started reading science books and watching science documentaries out of
sheer curiosity. I stumbled across a few atheist YouTube videos,
and at first I was simply intrigued. Wanting to strengthen my position as a Christian,
I watched click-baty videos like “The top 10 Creationist Arguments” by The Thinking
Atheist and the series “Why do people laugh at creationists” by Thunderf00t. I genuinely wanted to know if my armor just
had holes, or if I was a clothing-free emperor going full commando. And that’s when it started getting breezy. I watched many of the arguments I had been
bottle-fed dissipate without substance at the slightest critical inquiry. The Bible clearly wasn’t a science textbook
and got almost everything wrong in that arena, but I still thought it was God’s word. God still seemed like the most plausible explanation
for the origin of life and the universe to me, and I believed the Bible was an internally
consistent grand narrative about our need for salvation and God’s deliverance of us. So I threw myself back into my faith, becoming
a missionary to Central Asia. On the mission field, in addition to soaking
up my Bible, Christian music, online sermons, and devotionals, I was still binging Ted Talks
and science videos and learned more about abiogenesis, evolution, and the formation
of stars and galaxies, and how we observe all these steps happening naturally on their
own. For example, all it takes for stars to form
is matter, gravity, and time. Gravity pulls clouds of hydrogen gas together,
and over time the increased pressure causes extreme heat. It ignites so hot that the hydrogen atoms
fuse together into more complex heavier elements. And when the star burns out, it collapses
and explodes its contents out which make up asteroid belts, moons, and accrete to make
planets and life. We observe every step of this process and
even know exactly what elements gas nebulas, stars, and planets are made of using instruments
like spectrographs. I wasn’t just spoon-fed a hypothesis, I
learned exactly how we know what we know. And my Story of Life series covers exactly
that. Gaps in my understanding – previously plugged
by god – were filled with sensical, evidence-based alternatives, and I was conflicted. I genuinely didn’t want to leave my religion. I loved the community. And my whole world view had required the Bible
to make sense. I didn’t know how to find meaning outside
of it yet. I was unaware of any secular community, and
my pastors had stigmatized atheists so heavily, that the thought of becoming one was unthinkable. So when best friend came out to me as agnostic, I freaked and tried so hard to convert him back, because I still believed in Hell, and
didn’t want him to go there. But him leaving his faith and coming out to
me, helped normalize it a bit. You know I mentioned my prophetic destiny
– spoken by the California prophet? Well, I went back and listened to it years
later. And there was nothing special in it. He claimed he saw great changes in my life,
as though I was standing before three doors. But I was 17. I had just graduated high school and was contemplating
college, the mission field, the military, and other options. The plethora of choices that hits you at that
age is ubiquitous. He foresaw great things in my life, like I
was going to be a strong warrior for God. I wanted that to be true so I latched onto it. But honestly, in retrospect, I’ve deconverted
way more people than I ever “saved.” But I can see now, how in my emotional state,
with the music, and the attention, how I would connect the dots and try to make the reading
fit my life. Like ya do. After my mission trip I started watching more
atheist content: DarkMatter2525 helped me see a lot of my positions from a new light. Jaclyn Glen and Christina Rad helped me overcome
the stigma in my mind that all atheists were angry, ugly, devil worshipers. And James Randi’s documentary The Secrets
of Psychics. Led me to be very skeptical of the paranormal. And then I started exploring the internal
consistency of the Bible. I’d always been told that despite having
many different authors, there were no contradictions in the entire thing. But I had never actually read it cover to
cover up until that point. I watched Non-Stamp collector’s video on
Biblical Contradictions and it piqued my curiosity. I went so far as to purchase Self Contradictions
in the Bible by William Henry Burr and The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine. And then started reading the Bible itself,
beginning in the beginning (cause it’s a really good place to start) and then plowing
cover to cover. I’d skipped large chunks of the Bible as
a kid, but was still intimately familiar with most it. Ya can’t have over 20 years of sermons every
Sunday, devotions every morning, and memorize giant chunks of it without learning the Bible
pretty well. Or at least knowing the parts people tend
to focus on in church and Bible studies and stuff. But reading it like this was different. I was open minded and was actually looking
for contradictions, errors, and what-not. And I was taking detailed notes. I couldn’t even make it through Deuteronomy,
before I’d filled pages and pages with problems. So I searched for the top Christian apologists
to see how they were handling stuff like this. Ravi Zacharias seemed oblivious to most of
these issues – like he had his head buried so deep in the sand he couldn’t smell that
his pants were on fire (I guess all it takes is a spark of critical thinking when you’re talking out of your butt and spouting pure flatulence). But he had some clever stories, and it was
enough to make the average Christian feel good – or at least smug. I liked religious scientists like Francis
Collins and the man seems genuine and honest, but he offered no reason for why we should
believe in the God of the Bible other than that he had no explanation for altruism without
a God-given conscience. But I had read the Selfish Gene and just because
Francis Collins didn’t know of any reasonable explanation, didn’t mean there wasn’t
one. William Lane Craig’s was a good debater,
and he had logic down, but he had no evidence that his premises were correct. And he got creamed in his debate against Hitchens. Now there are a million other points on this
journey, and I’ve shared in past videos about my experience with sleep paralysis – thinking
it was demons before I understood the phenomenon. I’ve talked vaguely about my experience
with faith healing. And if you guys want see it, I can do a video about a vision that I had and my experience there. So give this video a thumbs up and let me
know if the comments if you want to see that. But for now, I want to cover two more highlights
in my deconversion process. When Answer’s in Genesis’ president Ken
Ham debated Bill Nye the science guy, almost five years ago, I still viewed Ken Ham as
a legitimate, honest science-based Christian. But during that debate, an audience member
asked what it would take to change Bill or Ken’s minds. “What, if anything, would ever change your
mind?” Nye responded that one piece of evidence was
all he needed. “We would just need one piece of evidence.” But Ham showed his true colors ”No one is ever going to convince me that
the word of God is not true.” He said it as if closed-mindedness was a badge
of honor. What a disgusting joke. I felt insulted and violated that for decades
I had been told that scientists were closed minded liars, and creationist were following
the evidence. At that moment, I was out. I stood up from my desk and literally blurted,
“I’m done.” Bill Nye took a lot of flak for that debate,
and people told him he was giving legitimacy to huckster Ham. But I disagreed. Myself and many other Christians already saw Ham as legitimate, and this debate exposed him. Years later, I had the privilege of meeting
Tracey Moody who submitted that question. And it was awesome being able to thank her
in person. I would put a pic of the two of us together. But the pic I took was blurry with a crappy
lighting and angle, and she hates that picture, so Tracy, next time we see each other, we’ll
have to get a better one. I also got to have dinner with Bill Nye at
CSIcon, and it was great being able to tell him that story and thank him in person too. By the end of that debate, I was no longer
a Christian. I didn’t really believe in God, but the fear of hell, was still super heavily ingrained in me. So I started wrestling with Pascal’s wager
– what if I’m wrong? And I’ve done a whole video on that as well,
as how I overcame the fear of hell. But a key part of it was a video by 43Alley
about how hell is obviously man-made. How the Jewish people don’t even believe
in an eternal hell – and that’s where Christianity evolved from. And by the end of his video, I was comfortable
being an atheist. The fear was gone. Since then, I began seeing how much harm religion
can do, and I faced a lot of blowback from family. I also started exploring the neuroscience
of belief, cognitive biases, and self-delusion. And I highly recommend the You Are Not so
Smart podcast by David McCraney exploring these topics. Understanding things like cognitive dissonance,
confabulation, false memories, the backfire effect and just basic psychology made religion’s
sticking power far more sensical. Understanding how I had been duped and we
can all be fooled, and talking with Magicians like Randi, Banachek, Paul Zenon, Matt Dillahunty
and other made me far more careful of how I explore the world and I began rebuilding
my worldview from the ground up through a lens of scientific skepticism. I started rebuilding my community – reshaping
my world view, and finding purpose in life, but I did it using reason, logic, and evidence. Early on in this process was a really difficult
point in my journey. And I stayed in the atheist closet for a while
but started making videos about the things I was learning. I felt so far behind in my science education
– an autodidact playing a lifelong game of catch up, I soaked up everything I could find. I wasn’t just frustrated over being unintentionally
lied too. I was in love with science, and I wanted to
see how far humanity could go. How far out we could reach into the cosmos? How effectively could we battle our own extinction? Could we eliminate drought, hunger, and poverty,
and slow down or even end aging? These were the questions I wanted to explore
but kept seeing religion, pseudoscience, and superstition stagnating the rocket ship of
progress. I didn’t want to be a angry atheist. I didn’t want to live under a cloud of hate,
but I gave a damn. I started making videos full time, sold almost
everything I owned, quit my IT job, took out a $20,000 business loan, and moved to South
East Asia where I could live cheap and stretch out my funds till Holy Koolaid broke even. When I came back to the states, I took out
my retirement and did the conference circuit. My car doubled as a bed and a recording studio,
Anytime Fitness was my shower, and the coffee shop was my office. Holy Koolaid has come a long way since then
and has been featured on national Canadian Radio, Skeptical Inquirer, and most of the
big atheist, skeptic, and humanist podcasts, YouTube channels, and blogs, because this
story is clearly resonating. Many of you have a shared experience here,
and I would love to hear your story in the comments below. We’re on the cusp of something huge! But things are still tight, and I’ve only
gotten this far because of you. You guys continue to share my videos, support
me on Patreon, and most recently, donated literally this whole studio! As well as donations for me to go out and
buy a bed. I’m extremely grateful to all of you and
completely humbled. I don’t have a lot, but I want to give a
little something back. So I made a bunch of these magnetic bumper
stickers. They say: Don’t Drink the Koolaid. Science is Greater than Dogma. And I want to give ‘em to you as a Christmas
gift. Go to holykoolaid.com/happyholidays and let
me know where I can send them. Just do it ASAP, because they are limited,
and it’s first come first serve till they run out. Thank you for your ongoing support. Thank you guys for your ongoing support. It really does mean the world to me. If my story resonates with you, maybe you’ve
had a similar journey, and you want atheism de-stigmatized and you want to see our secular
community grow. Give this thumb a videos up and share it with
your friends. Dare to be curious. But don’t drink the Koolaid. Our God is possum-god he faints in heaven
above. Plays dead it’s make-believe love. Our God is a possum-god.




Comments
  1. Unfortunately these videos are geared towards atheists and not the religious. I wonder what percentage of people here are religious.

  2. I got goosebumps when you said "I'm Done" This story really resonates with me. While i did not spend as much of my youth in the church as you, i had many MANY of the same experiences. Great video!

  3. I was also a missionary kid. I'm starting to realize how wild my story is to people and how much it can really make them question their faith.

  4. Holy shit I've never heard ur story before and mine is almost exactly the same lmao I was a missionary at 14 and an evangelical atheist at 16 and watched the same people like Thunderfoot and DarkMatter2525. It's even in the same order as my story. Now I can never be an atheist YouTuber 😭😭😭.

  5. I will give you my philosophy on religion love the religion hate the people worshiping it the religion alone is pure and good and helps give hope to the people but the people misuse, exploit and profit from it turning something pure into something corrupt but in the words of gandhi a few drops of dirty water will not dirty the sea* so just do this simple thing just keep living day by day that is all you need to do
    *not accurate quote look it up if you want to know the accurate quote sorry about the inaccuracy I tend to forget things fast

  6. It's sad that man always thinking that he is his own God. I believe that God is real and that a human could never be a God, if they are there own God why haven't none of the none belive show us there powers and show us that you are your on God, if you are a good why haven't none of yall can show us your powers and why would u want to die or lose a family member or show us that you can control everything in your life and that you can show us what powers you have. If you are your own God why would we live in a place like this, and wouldn't you stop all the bad things that is going on in this world. And show me what is water how is it made and what is made from. And how are we not able to stop all the bad things that is in our life and the main on big things that makes me believe that God is real, is death why would we want to die and why are we not able to stop death. Why loss your family or friends and what really goes on after death. Just these simple things should show us what there is something bigger than us. You guys really need to think about what your really doing for your self. I pray that all of you opening your eyes before it's to late. He is the only one that loves you the most and hes the only one that will never leave your side once you give your life to him and even if you don't, he still loves you, even when you shut him out.

  7. I'm a new subscriber but I will unsubscribe your channel. Because of what u believe in. I love God to much and I can't just sit here and hear all these bad things you think of him.

  8. I went to a Christian play group as a kid (4-6) because my parents wanted me to have some friends. Religion was never a big thing in my closest family and my mother told me how I annoyed the hell out of the playgroup leaders. It was usually 1½ to 2 hours long and it ended with a bible reading in the last 30 minutes. All of my mates sat and listened quietly but I questioned every single bit of what we were told.
    Ended with me having to sit in the corner and be silent during the readings. XD

  9. Your videos came in my recommendations, I subscribe to atheist republic also. I subscribed to you! I have 3 kids and raised them as atheists too. Some of their friends were not allowed at our house.

  10. My whole life I never believed in god. I was always a very smart kid and just could never describe the feeling. I did have a feeling as I was different though, I kept singing, going to church and doing whatever to push that feeling down or just not recognizing it. Now that I have reached my early teen years I realized what atheism is and that it is possible not to believe in a god. Plus religion made it hard to be a Gender-Queer, Bisexual, Asexual person that never wants to have kids.

  11. As a little kid, I bought into god 100%. At some point I asked myself “what god would damn those who just want to love for the sake of love” and decided that that god wasn’t mine.

    That was 7th grade, when I was really being thrown into the world. That’s the year I rocketed full speed into science, learning about all of these things that I was told every Sunday that I shouldn’t believe because I would be sinning if I did believe it. I decided, why would it be in a school book if I it was wrong? Why would it be aloud in schools of jEsUS wasn’t.

    Then I found Mr. Atheist, and Telltale. Suddenly- I saw that I wasn’t the only one that didn’t think a god that hated love didn’t deserve to be my god- that I wasn’t the only one that chose science over jESuS.

  12. I was a very strong Christian, until one day, I thought, 'I've had enough. I've had enough of all the guilt, all the judging, all the questions left unanswered or shut off because pastors didn't want to answer them, and I had enough of being a Christian in lots of different ways (you'd be surprised at how many different types and beliefs are in the same Christian religion)" so I one night I said to myself "I'm not going to be a Christian any more."
    And I've never felt more free and happy, I've never been more successful until then, my night tremors and hallucinations stopped as well. And I became a better person to others.

  13. Honestly, it was slow at first. I was never very devout, and I just kind of accepted the platitude that a god was always there and kind of thought, "Well, I'll deal with him later". Then cognitive dissonance caught up to me and I thought "Why, if all these stories about an all-powerful god that can damn me to hell forever are true, do I feel no urgency to do anything about it?". That was when I realized I had never truly believed in a god or all of those empty words in the Bible.

  14. It always seemed so unfair to me, and unsensical, and whenever I asked things that clearly disproved it, and the only answer I've ever gotten was "we don't know" "Why does god only save certain people?" "We don't know" "can you prove god exists?" "No you just have to have faith"

  15. I have never been happy with the idea of a God who saves only his Chosen people anyway and if you read the Bible, being one of his Chosen People doesn't seem to be all that good an idea either.

  16. I know you’ll probably never see this but I do have a Ken Ham story. I was in a college ministry in the south and he was coming to speak to our church around 1997. Because I was a ‘leader’ in the college group, we got to have lunch with him the day of the event.

    A close friend of mine, who was also a college group leader and at the ‘special’ lunch, told Ken that he was bringing his atheist professor to the talk that night. He asked him ‘Please don’t say anything like you know he is an atheist because I’m going to bring him up to meet you.’

    Ken said very seriously, ‘No, I would never do that!’

    That night, my friend and his professor were there. During the talk Ken gave, which was, as always, very repeated material, he diverged from his script to say, ‘So many people out there don’t believe and it’s such a shame. For instance, I spoke with a young man today who said he was going to be bringing his atheist professor to the talk. Hopefully, he’ll see reason.’

    And he chuckled. And the audience chuckled.
    I was mortified for my friend. My friend felt like sinking into a hole. And his professor had the curtesy to stay until the end but opted out of going to meet Ken, and who can blame him.

    Well, my friend and I are both now atheists. So, good job, asshole.
    (Oh, and he also said Americans were disgusting with their love of pickles on a sandwich?)

  17. I grew up atheist (and I still am atheist, don't worry) but only now am I gradually realising (1) how valuable that is and (2) how other people trapped in that stuff can benefit from my perspective.

  18. Anger is a trait that runs in the males in my mostly catholic family. I have happen to have a very strong distaste for all forms of BS which probably led me to Atheism. So: I’m angry. I’m an atheist. The two seem to be inherent to the way I am and fully independent of each other. I’m not angry because I’m an atheist, but I am angry because theists seem to have a very strong grip on their particular BS (this channels host and myself are both examples of exceptions) and I see that refusal to grow as a threat to the planet as a whole. Wouldn’t you be angry if most children worldwide were indoctrinated into belief systems that threatened the future of mankind? Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I’m an atheist. I’m also a concerned inhabitant of this planet, and an amazing lover. You (theists) just have a bucket on your head that makes it really hard to see or hear what’s happening on the outside. A special note goes out to American liberals who are clearly Deists, but insist on calling themselves Atheists: your almost there, in my opinion, but you need to understand that there’s zero compelling evidence for supernatural forces of any kind, and luck is just statistics taken personally

  19. Reading the Bible as a teenager started the cracks in my belief. The cruelty and pettiness ascribed to God in the old testament was hard to overlook. As were the prescribed prices for slaves.

  20. Atheists are just lazy, there is a wealth of proof, the first proof is the Pagan Gods, those were the Gods who created the havoc and why Jesus came because they all leading you to sin. You seem quite bright but you overlook a majority of the evidence.

  21. For me, there were never any "Oh, My" moments. My whole community was religious, I never understood anything what they told me about God, I saw holes in almost everything they said to me, always questioning basically everything. They told me that I'd get it when I get older, so I believed them, and just went along with it. At some point I realised that I can indeed think rationally, so I just decided one day that it was all just a tool by people back in the day to gather a mass of human following by the means of "salvation", "fear" or both, not before getting all those beautiful gifts one would get in my region by becoming fully "
    Protestant" by the age of about 14

  22. So i note that everyone seems to have forgotten that thomas doubted and he saw with his eyes what the christ did, also we are gentiles and the majority if not all of the old and new testament was written for the jews and finally the jewish Christians, doubting is a necessary part of belief, even the christ doubted, actually begging his father to let him out of the downfall penalty, remember gentile, its ours now, or not, its totally up to the individual, thats the secret, are you good soil, are you rocky soil, are you worthless, for there are some of each, regardless of background..pay attn.

  23. It was a church ad before this. Bullshit youtube. Gwt your shit right i will never believe. And you stupid cunts that do believe, You Are Being Lied to

  24. I felt so so so bad for you when you said atheism is stigmatized in your community that you couldn’t even come out. I’m sorry about that.

    I’m thankful that my family isn’t like that. I’m just not allowed to criticize the weird parts of my religion

  25. We have learned more about our universe and how and why it operates in the last half century or so than in all of previous human history.

    This is why we no longer need to invent imaginary, magical, supernatural 'gods' to explain thunder, disease, planetary motion, speciation, chemical reactions, etc.

    Hundreds of religious belief systems have gone down the toilet of history and the remaining ones are circling the bowl as we speak. Intelligent educated people understand this.

    As Neil deGrasse Tyson so elegantly put it, "God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that is getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time goes on".

    People who substitute faith for thinking don't have much intellectual horsepower anyway.

    The good news is that someday we will finally resolve the old question of whether religion is the cause…or the result…of insanity; then we can work on a cure for both. Meanwhile, churches already have FAR too many special perks including exemption from taxation on their enormous earnings. Giving them free advertising for their commercial activities is just insane, immoral, obtuse and needs to be illegal.

    http://www.godisimaginary.com

  26. I was a super religious kid, I genuinely felt like I had felt the holy spirit and believed what I was taught. But I started to question it after hearing the story where David nailed his friend’s wife, got her pregnant, then killed his friend to cover it up and then God made the baby die a slow painful death to punish him. I asked my youth pastor later “But why did he punish the child like that? The child was innocent”
    “Well to punish David”
    “But why did he have to make a baby that did nothing wrong suffer like that? Why didn’t he punish David directly?”
    And he basically gave me the answer of “God knows best”
    And that’s the snowflake that started the avalanche. Good thing I figured out I was bisexual after I lost my faith, it would have made accepting my sexuality 10x harderu

  27. The biggest reason I gave up and resent Catholicism and religion, is due to how my mind works.
    The error that I realized 1 day with religion was of how much it did NOT make sense. My mind questioned:
    "Where is the evidence religion was reality?"
    Then, I was wavering back and forth of whether I wanted to believe in the same thing over and over again, or needed to find a different answer and a different solution. I gave up on religion when I was 15, but still battled of whether I had to go back.
    I took time to understand what to go for, but during that time more resent began to build up against religion. I felt it was not worthwhile, so I took a closer look as to why it kept going.
    I later started choosing something else for an answer: shamanism. I may have not practiced it right, but my strength I kept with the environment around me.
    In 2018, I nearly died at 18. But, it was not the end of it. After I awoke, my mind was different. I started taking a closer look at what I believed in, and I found later, it was garbage I foolishly believed! I was not thinking on a logical end! I was thinking on a ridiculous end of unintillegence!
    I later started going by logical reasoning, but also practiced Shamanism.
    I later started finding more Dark and Dirty concepts about the world, but not always by the help of spirits that followed, but from the key idea of how logic worked:
    Logic is like a puzzle. Find the pieces that make sense and help put together the picture, and discard the irrelevant pieces not needed.
    I have done several Shamanic Practices, and I found a key to balance and peace. The spirits that were around me gave me wise advice and even gave some support I normally do not see!
    Belief is okay, but never force it on others who need to learn of what to look for. If you do, that is one way to have a minion who follows only what you tell them, and they lose their chance for curiosity.
    Let others decide, never you…

  28. It is interesting that perhaps the very fact that my family was predominantly atheist and I've been exposed to evolution and big bang and genetics and all the real science stuff from the very childhood, I've been staying a theist for a longer time. It is perhaps also because the Orthodox church as I knew it actually fostered the "scrutiny does not affect the truth" way of thinking, and didn't deny science outright – to say more, many priests were physicists, biologists or engineers, still remembering the prosecution of religion in USSR. I've had more space for the holes into which I could have squeezed my faith.

    As to an "oh my" moment: in my early 20s I was an old-earther and anti-abiogenesis. Once, when I've been trying to defend my position in an internet discussion, I was pointed over to the RNA-life. By this time, I was familiar with the multiverse theory and, as a mathematician, had and have not problem with "something from nothing". It was that moment that I understood: eventually, I'll have to give up my faith and call myself an atheist, because there is no gap I can pull my faith into a personal God any more. It was then only along the lines when I've discovered the fact-based history of Abrahamic religions. It was, however, quite hard to accept it, and I have to confess that it took me about a decade before I finally called myself an atheist.

  29. holy shit, ravi i know him, he was the guy that got me to convert BACK to christianity, then now i am an athiest again.

  30. IM SO HAPPY that i am an athiest now at 19 instead of being in my 20s. I dident want to say it but when i was a christian I would watch all the scishow videos, even about evolution and other non-christian things. I never batted an eye at those videos i just told myself i want to know how athiest think ect.. well that really helped me see that scientists were not lieing to us.

  31. after havin' a look at some atheist channels, I am completely sure that I should not launch one. born an atheirst and, after 0 god tales from all the adults around me, remained an atheist. The End. not exactly a story full of astonishing twists and turns :- )
    + I would get it again and again that I cannot have any clue about religion 'cause I've never been in one.

  32. I don't think I ever became an atheist. But I did come to realize that I already was one.

    A caution for all atheists: Stay free. Don't let the state replace god.

  33. How do you know your house had a builder? Or a painting had a painter? Could nothing create everything? But no one created God, he is imortal invisible all powerful, he is who he is, and we only exist because from everlasting to everlasting he is God! Blessed forever Amem! And if you repent and believe in the name of his only begotten Son Jesus Christ you'll be saved, and forgiven, justified of the sin you and i were born with, and were slaves of. You'll be crucified with Christ by faith and be ressurected with him as a new creature to live a New Life. Eternal Life! It is for free, please think about it and surrender to your creator who loves you with an everlasting love.
    "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
     Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen." (Romans 1:18-25)

  34. A fool said in his heart there is no God. Wake up my friends! And be ye saved by the Lord Jesus Christ, and you'll have Eternal Life in his name. Why would you perish and die for no reason, if there is an excape, a Savior? Trust him repent and live. In the name of Jesus. Amem!

  35. There simply aren't any good reasons to be an atheist. None. A positive case cannot be made FOR atheism. Think I'm wrong? Okay, give me 3 positive reasons why I should be an atheist. This is your opportunity to defend your "lack of belief". Anyone?

  36. What drove me out of the catholic church (I refuse to capitalize it any more!) was the very convenient death of cardinal bevilacqua on Jan 31, 2012. 5 minutes after a court ruled that he HAD to testify in the catholic child molestation cases! He was supposed to testify why he had ordered the destruction of thousands of files. The announcement came out that the had to testify, and then within minutes he was dead. My faith died just then as well! Now that I see that child molestation has been going on for millenia, my faith was shattered totally. Painful story I know.

  37. WHOA whoa whoa wait wait! What? Say again? Wha…..? You graduated from highschool at the age of 17? What, did pass grade 3 on your first go or something? LOL! Sure. Sure smarty pants.

    Heh heh heh…

  38. People who deny evolution today are ridiculous. Evolution is clearly true and the Bible is clearly make believe. That doesn't mean there isn't a higher being (after all while we do know the big bang happened we don't know exactly what caused or why the big bang happened) but it does prove the higher beings mentioned in holy texts are clearly not real and if there is a higher being it's one us humans have no knowledge of.

  39. Have none of y'all watch doctor who? The boat was bigger on the inside then on the outside. So all fit perfectly fine inside the boat. Use science people it happens. Remember all powerful mean the impossible as well. You are thinking small not big.

  40. Well, I was in itr pretty deep. In a way, when you're in it that deep, it's almost easier. When you've got God on the mind all the time, it's hard not to come across things that make you doubt. Had my parents decided to remain the Easter, Christmas Christians they were, I probably would either be a spiritual but not religious person or something like that or a not so outspoken atheist.

  41. I have a question for you. In your church, did you ever hear anyone say "You're not supposed to read the Bible cover to cover like that." They want you to read it at Bible study . I never knew why or questioned it at first but it seems so obvious now that so many people start the Bible Christians and end it atheists.

    One more thing. For anyone who still deals with a fear of hell, try this. Go online and read some of the Christian arguments against hell. That's right. Many Christians do not believe in a literal hell and to me that's a much easier position to defend. You cannot have a good God and a literal hell at the same time. If you can make that work in your mind, to me that's just evidence that religious people need to be able to accept contradictions. Some of them anyway.

  42. This made me cry man, this made me cry

    I guess you could call this story of mine, "Oh, my.. god?"

    Three or four days ago I saw this video from CosmicSkeptic (Alex J. O'Connor) and it was him talking about how he, an atheist, fears hell. (Link: https://youtu.be/wrfBFZggqhg )That was very video I ever watched from him, I tapped on it because I, at that time, was going through a process of becoming one, like, I was doubting but as you did, didn't want to leave. I loved the community of Christians, I loved being around them, then it took me a lot to move my head and look. But I also didn't like the idea of hell, I remember crying night after night for my father and step-mum, and my three other half-sisters, and praying earnestly. And I remember crying night after night for myself, not because entirely cause I feared hell, but for my depression. I had suicidal tendencies that I was always told to let the "Holy Spirit overcome" and not go to a psychiatrist and get help.

    Ever since, those 3 days ago I found CosmicSkeptic I started looking to open my mind more and more, and all the questions he's answered. And now the fourth day I found the collaboration with you and him and I subscribed to you, too! Thank you so much Holy Koolaid, and CosmicSkeptic!

  43. Greetings from the Philippines! I really like your videos. I would gladly share your videos to my friends to try make them understand more. It's been a year since I became an athiest and since then I am considered the black sheep among the flock of deeply religious people that surrounds me. Watching this kind of videos makes me feel that I am not alone. Thanks a lot.

  44. I tended to feel very inadequate compared to my peers growing up in grade school. I had and still have wonderful parents who loved me, but they were and are severely religious, fundamentalist Christians. I was bullied by people since late elementary school into early high school, middle school being the worst.

    I can truly relate to what you say at 9:00 because of this, the way my old church grabbed me at that emotionally difficult and confusing time. I remember the dogma and the feelings of peace it gave me. If only I knew back then how harmful and limiting it all was.

    It stifled me for a long time, but I am finally feeling freer to make my own decisions about what I believe in. I have been out of the church for over three years now, and while I occasionally visit to spend time with my parents and see people who I genuinely liked at the church, I can never see it becoming a weekly (twice on Sunday) ritual ever again, nor can I see myself ever believing the fervent dogma that the church espouses.

  45. I accept science…..God owns it all because he created everything…. we merely discover things thru the years….He already knows what we find…. churches should accept solid facts

  46. 500 people saw Jesus after his death and resurrection…..about 10 people close to Jesus died for their faith…. no one dies for a MAYBE……who is like the Lord—-no one!

  47. I was raised in a christian family. At around 18, in 1968 I made the biggest mistake that any christian can make. I actually read the bible from cover to cover, 4 times, just to make sure I didn't miss something. By the second reading, my bullshit meter/alarm, was jangling off the wall. It is so full of primitive ignorance, contradictions, and out right lies that I immediately became at least agnostic. A bit of further research, and actually studying the history and origins of religion, and Atheism here I come. As I was told as a youth, to be a christian, you have to have dumb blind faith to accept it. My problem was opening my eyes, asking questions, and learning not to accept bullshit just because some respected leader told me to.

  48. I had always questioned lots about religion. I was raised Catholic. When I was , more or less, convinced that religion was a scam, I came across a video called “ Why doesn’t god heal amputees?” It kind of opened my eyes and convinced me that I was an atheist. Then, a couple of years later, I watched a video where Richard Dawkins was with a group of scientists who were dissecting a giraffe. After I learned about the laryngeal nerve, and how it evolved, that was it for me. There was no going back after that.

  49. I was kicked out of church camp 3 years in a row 💁🏻
    After that my parents left me alone or just gave up on saving my dark black soul
    Either way I turned out fine

  50. Once christians start thinking for themselves, and realize that love of the misogynistic, racist, homophobic, patriarchal, xenophobic, and genocidal god of the Iron Age biblical text (Old Testament), and feelings of warmth that come from knowledge of god's advocacy for the rape of women and children, is despicable, becoming an atheist is quite natural.

  51. I've watched this video several times over the past few months and every time you say "I just thought it was all delicious baby" I laugh out loud and I laugh hard!

  52. 1:44: spoken like a true atheist lol XD

    Me rejecting the bible wasint really special. I was raised in a non religious house hold. My mom didn’t want me getting raped by preachers and she found it boring and scary as a kid so she never indoctrinated me. Her boyfriend however was very much doing everything in his power to make me religious. Then he showed me The Prince of Egypt and the part where god killed all the children freak me out. My logic was that my mom isn’t a believer so if we were in this sonars god would have killed me to punish my mom. Then my 7 year old logic kicked in because he told me that heaven was paradise then I said “well if mom isn’t their how can it be paradise” (I love my mom a lot ya’ll) and then I just decided that it was a bunch of bs pretend stories for grownups and never thought about it again.

  53. Paulagia also got lead into atheism by ken ham…. i find it kinda funny that his close mindedness and bad arguing is convinsing people to leave religion, but i do not find it funny that a lot of people just never ask any questions about their own religion….

  54. Your story is very similar to mine:

    1. Grew up in a heavily religious environment
    2. Tried desperately to respond to biblical critiques and improve my arguments for what i believe.
    3. Saw tons of weaknesses/contradictions.
    4. Stopped fearing hell for similar reasons
    5. Eventually decided that there was no merit in believing the bible

  55. Now, I disagree that it is dishonest that one will not change their mind on religion as a believer. The reason is: There is no evidence, only belief. Belief / faith cannot by definition be disproved. Hence, as atheists, this should be fine to see it as that but also show this as evidence that there is no evidence – because this would make it knowledge, not belief.

  56. I recently discovered that the well known theologian Francis Schaeffer's son became a Christian drop out. Peace https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=13&v=e_fNTRWsKUY

  57. Religious people who converted to atheism have all my respect, they are far sharper than I could ever be.
    I've always been an atheist, because my parents left anything about religion out of my upbringing, so science and atheism was the only thing that ever made sense to me.
    I'd imagine if I was brought up in a religious environment, I don't know if I'd have the mental sharpness and strength to question everything about my reality, to such a degree that I could just discard it entirely and fully step over to the other side.

  58. How f..king stupid do you have to be. The actions of man and the motives of God are diametrically opposed. If you would have paid attention in class you would have learned that Satan is The Great Deceiver. Now you have bitten the tip of the snake

  59. Your story is very interesting to me because I too grew up in a Christian atmosphere. Interestingly, though, most of the things you were taught in your Christian high school is the complete opposite of what I was taught. Maybe it's regional or maybe it's just the fact that the parents at my homeschool co-op were NASA engineers or had some level of degree in paleontology, but I was taught all about gene duplication, positive mutations, ring species, vestigial structures, etc. Plate tectonics were even discussed as the driving force behind Noah's flood per John Baumgardner's simulation models. I was taught a bunch of B.S. about radiometric dating being inaccurate so we have that in common, but overall I'm a little surprised by the differences in our experiences.

  60. Becoming a historian is what brought me out of Christianity. Some of my history professors were still religious but most weren't. They opened my eyes to the real history of Christianity, which most Christians don't know and don't want to know because it would burst their bubble. Like you I searched for fact over fiction. It's been difficult leaving all that behind because I've been shunned by many people I cared about. However, I feel FREE and I would never go back to the lies, back to the Koolaid.

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