T Nation

Honest Question For Non-Christians


What is the main reason that you do not believe in Christ, God, the Bible or all of the above? This is an honest question. It would seem that very few people are converted later in life. I have been a Christian for a long time, and I am interested to find out the thought process for a Non-Christian. I have a few ideas for why people don?t believe, but I would prefer to hear it before I state something that would corrupt my findings. Again, I am looking for ?point blank? reasons for not believing. Bullet statements would work best.

Me Solomon Grundy


A) Much to many Gods and Holy Books.


That is not even all of them, knock yourself out.

B) Kants "Critique of pure reason"

Once you start to speculate without the need for empirical proof, everything and its opposite can be "proven".

He was famous, tough deeply religious, for destroying every "proof" for God?s existence he could lay his hands on.

C) If God really existed AND he was exactly the way some Christians describe him, he is nothing but a sexually repressed all mighty schoolyard bully and I will definitely not bow to him.

Hail Lucifer, the light-bringer, for at least trying to stand up to his bullshit.


Dude, you need to think a little deeper than that. Please look up empirical. In the scientific realm you are basically saying that you need empirical proof, yet "empirical" means coming from observation, not controlled scientific studies.

Empirical = observation of things, items, people, etc in their own natural environment to support or develop scientific hypotheses

Controlled research = an observation of a controlled environment to support or develop scientific hypotheses

So the fact would be that God can be proven empirically, meaning based on observation of how peoples lives are changed as a result. But, God cannot be proven in controlled scientific research.


Soloman Grundy,

Although I still consider myself a christian (baptized catholic), I have recently started to find god in the teachings of other religions, Bhuddism especially.

I can't speak for non-christians, but I personally think that a persons faith depends largely on upbringing, environment, influences, etc. Interestingly enough, all contain the same messages when boiled down to core beliefs IMHO.

Sadly enough, any "religion", despite peacfull intent and teachings, can be hijacked. Whatever belief system works for you, go with it. I don't believe that catholisism, or christianity as a whole for that matter, is the only pathway to gods love.

God is everywhere and in all things.



Solomon Grundy,

Thanks for giving "us" (atheists, agnostics) a fair chance to voice our views without any judgement. Kudos.

I'm not sure if it can be fit into bullet points though. I my case it was a decision of faith: I come from a prussian-lutheran background, so religion was always connected to individual moral behaviour, driven by a sense of duty to society - you are essentially defined by how you act, rather than a prescriptive dogma to be followed.

My 2 first points of doubt came first when I was 15 and I was confirmed into my church community - after almost 2 years of very valuable learning about christian thinking: I was expecting to see among the adult church community, which I was just entering, the living practice of the learnt bible lore. Didn't happen - it was more like a club, and people were more interested in the social aspects than spiritual learning. The second point was ritual: I've never understood or had time for hollow ritual - the above cemented my above doubt, as most of the seemingly more devout christians were hung up on ritual rather than content (the new testament). I was more and more unwilling to "share" my religion with others.

I pondered this for about 3 years, while learning about buddhism which seemed less prone to rituals to me, while at the same time promoting similar values (read Daisetsu T Suzuki on this), especially within Amidism. So - I realised - I could live a life according to what I perceived as christian values, with less ritual - that appealed a lot to me.

Also, around that time, my church had decided to give out a recommendation (essentially a democratically elected statement, as there is no central leader of German protestantism) that homosexuals should not live their homosexuality. Not being homosexual myself, but having some friends who were struggling with the then still pretty strong homophobia in Germany, I found this highly offensive and essentially against Jesus' message of social inclusion rather than exclusion. This was a crucial point: I found this amoral and unchristian to try to tell people to feel and act different to their individual setup.

This led me to leave the church, but not to abandon being a christian, but I decided that I did not want to share my religious practice, and within buddhism, I did not have to.

Then I started studying buddhism (which I saw as a good alternative) as part of my MA course in Japanese studies, and I spent some time living at a temple, studying at a buddhist university in Tokyo. And there I saw, that the buddhist philosophy itself was covered pretty much in a coat of religious ritual, as I had seen it in my christian church: Which lead me to the conclusion that my problem is not with denomination, certain religious beliefs, but with religion itself. Not any religion I had encountered so far could give me the values I strongly believe in without a ritualistic overcoat, dogma or prescriptive attitude.

So I turned away from religion whatsoever - and my personal realisation that there is (most probably) no God or higher purpose to life, was one of the happiest days in my life. My view tended to be that it is irrelevant, if there is a God: I have to follow the values I believe in without trying to guess if it brings me to heaven or hell - faith is to come from within, not from the outside. By that time I was about 25, and I have been a practicing atheist ever since.

So in bullet points, I choose not to accept:
- ritual (of any form)
- dogma (based on the conviction of knowing "the truth")
- exclusion (of the ones weaker than the dominant group)
- the tendency to give answers to questions which are not based on observable facts

Make sense to you? Or better, does it answer your questions?



All that would "prove" is, that the belief in a higher being can change peoples lifes, for better or worse.

That does not verify the existence of said higher being.


That is so sad. This is a huge problem in so many churches. I know exactly why this would drive you away.

This is why we should not look to other men for our example, but to Jesus himself.

My guess is that a many of these people think they are Christians but are not really saved, and many of these people are saved but have major shortcomings that God is working out.

I'm sorry that this behaviour played a part in driving you away from God. God himself is faithful and perfect. And He will reveal Himself to you if you seek him with your whole heart.


Does this question apply to non-Christians who believe in God, Christ, and the Bible?

"(And remember) when the angels said: O Mary! Lo! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him, whose name is the Messiah, Isa (Jesus), son of Mary, illustrious in the world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (unto God).

She said: My Lord! How can I have a child when no mortal hath touched me? He said: So (it will be). God createth what He will. If He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is.

And He will teach him the Scripture and wisdom, and the Torah and the Injeel (Gospel),

And will make him a messenger unto the Children of Israel, (saying): Lo! I come unto you with a sign from your Lord. Lo! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into it and it is a bird, by God's leave. I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I raise the dead, by God's leave. And I announce unto you what ye eat and what ye store up in your houses. Lo! herein verily is a portent for you, if ye are to be believers.

And (I come) confirming that which was before me of the Torah, and to make lawful some of that which was forbidden unto you. I come unto you with a sign from your Lord, so keep your duty to God and obey me.

Lo! God is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is a straight path.

But when Jesus became conscious of their disbelief, he cried: Who will be my helpers in the cause of God? The disciples said: We will be helpers (in the way) of God. We believe in God, and bear thou witness that we have surrendered (unto Him).

Our Lord! We believe in that which Thou hast revealed and we follow him whom Thou hast sent. Count us among those who bear witness (to the truth).

And [the unbelievers] planned and God (also) planned, and God is the best of planners.

(And remember) when God said: O Jesus! Lo! I am gathering thee and causing thee to ascend unto Me, and am cleansing thee of those who disbelieve and am setting those who follow thee above those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then unto Me ye will (all) return, and I shall judge between you as to that wherein ye used to differ.

(Qur'an 3:45-55)



Are adults supposed to have imaginary friends?


From my point of view, the question is: why should I?

There's absolutely no reason I can fathom for me to believe in any of those things. So I don't. Simple as that.


I believe the root of all religious dogma lies in fear.

Since the first prehistoric beings ventured out of their caves and saw the violent scary world before them they have needed a belief system of hope to give them the strength to face extreme predation, famine, warfare, struggle.

Something to soothe them and give them the internal strength to face another day and forge ahead in their violent and unforgiving existence.

They created mythologies to explain to them what at that time couldn't be explained. They threw rocks at the rising moon thinking it was some evil beast ready to kill them.

As man progressed forwards and developed more and more the ability to think and use his brain some that were smarter saw how powerful and useful this tool of religion could be.

For after all we are a herd type creature we want to belong to the herd why in that time we needed to belong to the herd for our very survival.

If you could control that herd you could indeed be a very powerful entity indeed.

And what better way to control the herd then through dogma, superstition, and fear. Sometimes this control was for a benevolent cause and sometimes it was and still is malevolent.

We are hard wired from thousands of years of evolution to believe in dogma. It works for those that need a comforting explanation for this very mysterious world we live in and Death the end of this existence is very scary and sad... sad because these relationships we have formed with other humans and even objects of this dimension will end.

For me my end of holding to dogma or religion was letting go of the fear of the unknown and the need for an explanation. I will think for myself and any entity that would be god like in my opinion would applaud that and welcome that of his creation that he loved.

As a christian hopes and thinks that one accepting god is great. I think that one is saved when they cut loose of the herd and look inside for self awareness and peace.

I am the master of my existence here, I determine the life I will have from the choices I make.

And, when this life ends and there is or isn't another adventure ahead I can accept this. My energy will flow somewhere else.

I don't mean to offend any christians, but when I hear them talk the blood of this or their interpretations of verses written by man in an old time it is as silly or nonsensical as it would be to hear someone try to convince me of Allah's word or that flying a plane into a building would grant me bedfulls of virgins.

I think that for many due to what we are hardwired for our belonging to the herd and a comforting story that offers a counter to the unknown of death religion will always remain a powerful thing.

For me as I got older and thought deep and hard about the dogma that was taught me from a young age many things just didn't add up. I initially was scared of the threat of Hell, but as I thought more about this and went through my own troubles in life and got to know me better the fear drifted away and I was no longer afraid.

I try to continue to learn more everyday about myself and the word I live in. I don't associate with people that I don't care for and I love and enjoy and try to spend as much time with the few people that I do respect and care for.

I will offer help if I feel it is warranted and I don't lie or cheat steal not because I am afraid a guy with a long white beard in the sky is keeping tabs on me, but because I have learned their are consequences for this type of behavior that I don't want and I like to be able to look myself in the mirror a the end of the day.

Many christians will read this and hope that I am saved.

I also hope for them that aren't (some are) that they are saved by the gift of self awareness and peace and not living in fear of fire and brimstone.



Yes. As a side question was I misss led to believe that the Qur'an was not to be translated?

Me Solomon Grundy



Well herein lies the crux of the matter: Sharing your beliefs (whether religious or non-religious) opens up room for debate and dissent. Almost inevitably, you end up with people telling others what to believe. Many threads in these forums are an example.

I always thought that distinction is to be made by god. And that is where I can understand the agnostic view - even if a diety exists, in essence it should be irrelevant, as our behaviour should IMO be guided by certain standards, whether there is a judgment or not.

Hm, haven't thought about this for a long time. Given the fact that I am happy with my decisions, I don't have any hard feelings (and it's about 20 years ago) towards my former fellow christians. As for god - can't comment on that as I do not seek him or her, but I do appreciate your well wishes.



What is the main reason you do not believe in the prophet Mohammed, or in Islam?


Faith is belief without seeing, and it's difficult to force onesself to believe in something without specific reasons for doing so. It is easier to figure out (and perhaps to restore the faith of) people who have lost their faiths because of an event or series of events.

I'd also direct you to Pascal, who points out that faith (and ultimately salvation) are not within realm of human power. All anyone can do is hope that true faith will be granted by the Holy Spirit.

When some proselytizers have stopped me to try to "convert" me, I have, in the past, tried to make them understand the problem: For every rational "proof" they try to tell me of the existence of God or the divinity of Jesus, I can give a rational "proof" that contradicts it. Ultimately, all their words rest on the authority of men, who could have lied or been mistaken. As such, the only possible means of conversion would have to be a personal experience of God that would give me a supra-rational reason to believe.


[quote]hspder wrote:
Solomon Grundy wrote:
What is the main reason that you do not believe in Christ, God, the Bible or all of the above?

From my point of view, the question is: why should I?

There's absolutely no reason I can fathom for me to believe in any of those things. So I don't. Simple as that.[/quote/]

What was the first thing you thought of? Out of all the reason's to not believe you had to think of one. If the question doesn't work for you, then try this one. What evedence would you accept. Something as realistic as possible.

Me Solomon Grundy


I am not putting you off, but I want to get a few more responses to the question before I throw any specifics out there. I will say that over the past few years I have taken a much deeper look at what I believe and why. Some of my conclusions have changed. My faith, however, has gotten stronger.

Me solomon Grundy


If you qualify the question with "something as realistic as possible," you're not likely to get any answers, because those who don't already believe are not likely to "come around" to believing without some extraordinary proof/reason to do so. Capice?


Well, it's not that the Qur'an is not to be translated. It is reported that the Prophet's companion Salman the Persian translated parts of it into Persian for those new converts.

It's just that when it is translated, it ceases to be the word of God. In its original arabic, the Qur'an is the word of God (or so us Muslims believe). As soon as it translated, it ceases to be the word of God, because it loses many of its meanings. However it can be and should be translated for those who do not know arabic.



Any translation of the Qur'an immediately ceases to be the literal word of God, and hence cannot be equated with the Qur'an in its original Arabic form. In fact, each translation on is actually an interpretation which has been translated. "