Religion (Christianity)

I grew up in the Midwest raised in the Lutheran Church by parents who are deeply religious. We attended church every Sunday, and religion was a regular topic of conversation in our home. As a child, I struggled to believe the fantastical stories of Christianity, but I really, really wanted to! It was not until College that I began to seriously doubt the religious ideas I had been taught. Over time it became increasingly clear to me that there is no God, at least not in the Christian sense.

This was a jarring realization, even though I'd known it all along. The people I trusted the most in the world - my mother and father - had spent my entire life pushing these ideas on me through a variety of approaches including guilt and fear. Most of my friends and acquaintances are Christians. It is an eerie feeling when you discover the truth about religion and then realize that there is no way to separate from it in our society.

Below are a few of my thoughts about why I do not believe in God, the resurrection of Jesus, and the authority of the bible:

Unfortunately, there is real value in religion. While there are obvious upsides to the benefits it offers, there are also down sides to many of the benefits. The benefits that I see are:

I hesitate to recommend abandoning religion when there are so many real benefits. However I think there are alternative ways to realize these benefits while also avoiding the downsides. Here are the corresponding downsides that I can think of for the above benefits: