Highlights

Is there a powerless god, an apathetic god, a powerless and apathetic god, or no god? (Answer: It doesn’t matter which.) — My quadrilemma

So what does it mean when you assert that God is “good” and “in control” and “merciful” and “never gives you more than you can handle” and “answers prayer” and “cares about his children”? The only way for these things to be true of God is for us to strip them of the meanings that they have for everyone else.Irreconcilable and not worth reconciling

A presumably all-powerful god who does mediocre miracles deserves to be called out. And every miracle in the Bible that I can think of is mediocre — that is, much less impressive than it could be — especially when you think of it in the context of God’s supposed omnipotence. — Miracles are not impressive

Religion makes a great basis for morality — just add morality.The stone in the soup

If God is able to allow people ‘free will’ to do evil and still rig the outcomes ‘for good,’ he should be able to rig the outcome of every evil act so the victim is protected or even rewarded.Why not rig all the outcomes?

Religion can introduce multiple new reasons to act nice toward various people.The niceness test

There are better people than you, and there are worse people than you. You are not a worthless pile of dung; you are a valuable member of the human race and at least a potentially awesome person. — Adequacy

I’m not angry at anyone, or even hurt or disappointed. Nothing traumatic happened to make me ‘turn my back’ on my former belief system.  I just took a frank, objective look at what I had always considered proof of the claims of Christianity, and realized it wasn’t strong enough evidence.It’s not because …

It is logically possible that anyone who has ever believed the central assertions of the gospel, to any degree for any period of time for any reason, is saved. It is also logically possible that anyone who has ever doubted the central assertions of the gospel, to any degree for any period of time for any reason, is condemned. — Rules of salvation, part 3

How strong a belief is considered “belief” for purposes of entering heaven? Do I have to believe the gospel to the same degree that I believe there will be a sunrise tomorrow morning, or only to the degree that I believe my goldfish will be alive tomorrow morning?Rules of salvation, part 2

If I ever was a believer, my belief took me only to a point of selective obedience that had little positive effect on the ‘unsaved.’I never walked the walk

[F]rom the moment of conversion, a believer tends to feel pressure to start acting and communicating as if nothing that conflicts with his new belief system could possibly be true. He is likely to see any other stance as a personal affront to his creator and redeemer.Conversion: instant total commitment

To a person who has never encountered anything he or she would consider supernatural or paranormal, the question of the existence of supernatural or paranormal things may be trivial.The central question? It’s subjective

My whole Christian faith had been based on the historicity of the gospels and Acts. Those books, for me, were the evidence of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, which in turn were the basis of the “salvation by faith” doctrine. Now those books were off the table, leaving me no basis for belief in any of the claims of Christianity.Doubting the Apostle Paul: my slippery slope

To say I’ve become an atheist is to miss the point. Atheism is a conclusion, and conclusions are subject to revision based on new evidence. I don’t want or need to commit to the conclusion that there are no gods. By contrast, skepticism – an insistence on rational inquiry, an insistence on testing claims by examining evidence – is something I can commit to indefinitely. And I am committing to it.Doubting the Apostle Paul: my slippery slope

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