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There are several articles on my blog where I explain why I am an atheist. There are plenty of reasons I can give why I don’t believe in any gods. So far though, I haven’t explained the process that lead me to reject my Christian faith. A series of events that I could not reconcile with the teachings of my pastor and what I read in the Bible ultimately brought me to a choice: rejecting reason or rejecting Christianity.

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In 1956, director Cecil B. DeMille treated the world to his epic interpretation of the story of Exodus, where God leads the Jewish people out of bondage in Egypt. Even if you’ve never seen the “The Ten Commandments“, most people will remember the iconic scene where Mozes, played by Charlton Heston, comes down from Mount Sinai holding the stone tablets that gave the world the Ten Commandments. Even to this day, most Christians consider these commandments God’s law and standard for behavior. As an atheist, I don’t believe that a god gave us these texts but are the Ten Commandments moral?

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When engaged in a discussion with religious people there often comes a point where your interlocutor says: “If you only had faith then you’d know my beliefs are true”. If they are Christian, they may quote Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Unfortunately for religious people, faith is not the same as evidence and faith is not a pathway to truth.

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In 1637, René Descartes published his work Discourse on the Method. In this work, Descartes discusses philosophical skepticism, doubting everything until arriving at truth which he considers to be so self evident as to be beyond discussion. This tome is the source of what is perhaps the most famous philosophical statement ever made: “Cogito, ergo sum”, “I think, therefore I am”. A statement that is deceptively simple and was revolutionary at the time. It is also a foundation of how to be a freethinker.

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The current corona pandemic worsens, claiming more victims and forcing countless millions to self-isolate. As of writing this, the World Health Organization reports just short of 2 million confirmed cases and over 123.000 deaths worldwide. The race is on to find a cure or a vaccine and governments the world over struggle to find ways to cope. Economies have ground to a halt and many people are out of a job and out of money. A global recession seems unavoidable. In the middle of all this calamity, people turn their eyes towards heaven in the hope of relief or a miracle. As an atheist though, I am forced to ask: has religion ever been less relevant?

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