What led you to atheism? Problems with religion? Is religion needed?

I was asked by a follower on instagram;

“Quick questions, what led you to atheism? What is your biggest problem with religion? Would you say that some religion is needed?”

To keep this short (watch the video for the long version), I wanted to be the best Christian that I could be. I felt as if modern day Christians were much like first century Jews; judgmental, bigoted, and close minded. I wanted to set a good example so I went to seminary to become a pastor. They say that seminary is the place where faith goes to die–they are right. Once I was able to separate Christian fan fiction from what the Bible actually says, I realized everything that I was ever taught in church and by family and friends was all bullshit. Philosophy helped as well because you have to ask yourself hard questions and do thought experiments on tough situations. I would also say that my background in psychology (starting my M.S. in Psychology this year) also allows you to understand the mind more, which breaks down the misconceptions about god(s) and beliefs in god(s).

My biggest problem with religion is that it divides people. Suddenly, everyone not in the religion is an outsider and bad. In some cases, even the people within the religion can’t decide who is good. Religions, especially ones that are not founded on contemporary knowledge, are just the thoughts of ruthless men in history that sought to control others. Women as property, slavery, genocide, and discrimination against homosexuals are just a few of the ideas that these barbarians had. People that uphold these nonsensical ideas always end up on the wrong side of history.

I would say that no religion is needed. Empathy is what is going to make our world a better place and religion supersedes empathy. Religion has a way of “letting people off the hook” and I think it is bullshit. If you harm your fellow man, you don’t go to a mediator for forgiveness–you go to your fellow man and make amends.

I would really appreciate it if you…

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