A black and white close-up of a tear-streaked face, bathed in shadow, capturing the anguish and disillusionment that led to the loss of faith.

Why I Stopped Believing In God

Many people wonder what leads someone to stop believing in God. As a former believer myself, I understand it can be a difficult journey. In this article, I outline my personal reasons and experience in detail.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: I stopped believing mainly due to unanswered prayers, perceived injustice and suffering in the world, unconvincing apologetics arguments, and lack of tangible evidence for God’s existence.

In the following sections, I will elaborate on each of these reasons, as well as describe my journey away from faith. I discuss the emotional impact, how I rebuilt meaning after belief, and the lessons I learned. My goal is to provide insight for those considering their own beliefs.

Unanswered Prayers Led to Doubts

Praying for Physical Healing with No Results

I struggled with chronic health issues for years, praying earnestly for healing to no avail. Despite following the elders’ advice to “pray harder” and “have more faith,” my prayers seemed to hit the ceiling. This caused me to question if God really hears and answers prayer like the Bible says.

Statistical research shows that 86% of Americans pray for healing, but only 6% report medically confirmed healings. While God may have His reasons for not healing, my unanswered pleas were an early source of doubt about His involvement in my life.

Pleading for Help in Times of Crisis

When my family endured a financial crisis after my dad lost his job, I desperately prayed to God for provision and protection. Yet the situation only got worse over the next year as we struggled intensely.

Despite the elders’ encouragement to “wait on the Lord,” He seemed silent during this traumatic period. Begininning to question God’s promises, I wondered if He actually cares and provides like Jesus said.

A Barna study confirms my experience isn’t unique, finding that 69% of deeply religious adults report unanswered prayers for urgent life situations. While I clung to faith for a while longer, my unmet cries for help planted seeds of skepticism.

The Problem of Suffering and Evil

Questioning God’s Responsibility for Suffering

One of the most common reasons people struggle with or ultimately abandon their faith is the problem of suffering and evil in the world. If God is all-powerful and all-loving, why is there so much suffering? This question has challenged great theological minds for centuries.

According to a 2019 Pew Research study, 55% of American adults who were raised Christian no longer identify with Christianity, with many citing the problem of evil as a contributing factor in their departure from the faith.

Natural evils like diseases, natural disasters, and accidents account for much of the suffering humans experience. However, humanity also inflicts further sufferings through moral evils like abuse, violence, warfare, and genocide.

Epic human atrocities like the Holocaust forced many believers and non-believers alike to seriously question if an all-powerful, benevolent God truly exists or cares about human suffering.

The Holocaust and Other Historical Atrocities

The immense scope and scale of human suffering experienced in events like the Holocaust severely challenged traditional religious explanations about God’s sovereignty and care for humanity. Over six million Jews perished under Hitler’s genocidal campaign.

Believers and non-believers alike struggled to reconcile such overwhelming evil and tragedy with the existence of a loving, all-powerful God.

Sadly, humanity continues to inflict horrific sufferings through atrocities like genocides, wars, violent extremism, human trafficking, and more. It’s understandable why someone would choose not to believe in God when faced with such overwhelming evidence of evil and suffering in the world.

Finding Apologetics Unconvincing

The Fine-Tuning Argument Falls Flat

The fine-tuning argument states that the universe seems remarkably calibrated to support life. If the values of certain physical constants were slightly different, the argument goes, stars, planets, and life itself would not have formed.

Some claim that this points to a divine “Fine-Tuner” who deliberately set up the universe for life.

However, many counterarguments show that the fine-tuning reasoning is flawed. For one, we have only one observable instance of a universe to analyze – our own. Without being able to compare multiple cosmic examples, we cannot conclude anything definitive about fine-tuning.

Additionally, many constants in physics arise from the fundamental nature of reality, not due to an outside tuning force. Quantum fluctuations in the early universe led to the values we observe today by pure chance.

Furthermore, even if the universe were finely tuned for life, that does not then imply the existence of God. At best it would point to some unknown, possibly natural cosmic mechanism for generating universes, of which ours happens to be hospitable to life.

But it could just be a fortunate accident, not necessitating divine intervention. With so many unknowns and possibilities, the fine-tuning argument does little to prove God’s existence.

Morality Doesn’t Require God

Many claim that true objective morality is impossible without God providing divine commands. However, evidence shows that non-believers often lead moral lives, and secular moral philosophy offers compelling ethical frameworks for judging right from wrong without invoking religion.

For example, Kant’s philosophy argued morality should be based on rational duty, not faith. Utilitarianism focuses on maximizing well-being and reducing suffering. Social contract theory envisions an implicit agreement to promote societal cooperation and harmony.

And humanism emphasizes compassion and human dignity regardless of one’s worldview. None of these require belief in God.

Additionally, evolution provides an explanation for the development of altruistic moral intuitions that benefit the survival of one’s tribe. And psychology shows how secular character development shapes conscience. In fact, religious texts often condone outdated practices today considered unethical.

So morality clearly does not need to originate from religion in order to be meaningful. One can live an upstanding life guided by reason, conscience and concern for human welfare apart from any deity.

Lack of Evidence for God’s Existence

No Empirical or Scientific Proof

There is no empirical or scientific evidence that conclusively proves the existence of God. Despite millennia of theological debates and philosophical arguments, no proof has emerged that can withstand scientific scrutiny.

Science relies on methodological naturalism – using only natural explanations for natural phenomena. It does not allow for supernatural explanations. There have been no scientifically validated observations or experiments that confirm divine interventions in the natural world.

While absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, the lack of empirical proof for God’s existence is a rational reason to doubt.

Prominent atheist writers like Richard Dawkins have criticized the belief in God as unscientific. He points out in his book The God Delusion that many arguments for God commit the “god of the gaps” fallacy – invoking divine explanations for phenomena science has not yet explained.

However, the history of science shows these gaps have a tendency to shrink as science advances.

There have been many attempts by religious apologists over the centuries to provide logical arguments for God’s existence, such as the ontological, cosmological, and teleological arguments. While these may point to an abstract “first cause”, they do not prove the existence of a personal, anthropomorphic God.

These arguments essentially “define God into existence” without empirical evidence.

In the modern scientific age, lack of tangible proof of God’s existence is a compelling reason for many educated people to move towards atheism or agnosticism. Science values empirical facts over faith or intuition.

The absence of scientific evidence for the supernatural is best explained by naturalism. However, many theists claim we should not apply the methods of science to questions of faith. The existence of God may simply lie outside the domain of scientific inquiry.

Religious Experiences are Unreliable and Subjective

Appeals to personal religious experiences as proof of God’s existence are problematic because they are subjective and impossible to verify. One person’s profound mystical experience cannot be empirically proven or replicated to others.

There are alternative naturalistic explanations that account for religious or transcendent experiences.

Neuroscientists have identified brain activity in regions like the parietal lobe during moments of spiritual ecstasy. This suggests there may be neurological causes for these experiences. Similarly, induced mystical states via psychedelic drugs or trance-like conditions demonstrate that religious experiences arise from changes in brain function.

Moreover, religious experiences are culturally influenced. Christians feel the presence of Jesus while Hindus perceive Krishna or Vishnu. This suggests such experiences may be attributable to early religious indoctrination rather than supernatural entities.

Surveys show spiritual and mystical experiences are widespread but distributed across different faiths. But they cannot all be equally valid revelations of absolute truth.

Finally, accounts of miracles and divine visions always stem from personal testimony. There are no scientifically verifiable cases of supernatural phenomena or divine intervention. Modern devices have failed to capture or record angels, deities, and other spiritual manifestations.

Lack of intersubjective, empirical evidence makes it difficult to accept religious experiences at face value.

While religious experiences can be personally meaningful, they do not provide objective proof of God’s existence. Their subjective and culturally specific nature combined with neuroscientific and psychological explanations for their occurrence provide reasonable grounds for skepticism.


In the end, my belief eroded gradually under the weight of unanswered prayers, world suffering, unconvincing arguments, and lack of solid evidence. While difficult emotionally, I emerged with a renewed wonder at the beauty of a natural universe without God.

I hope examining my experience provides insight and empathy for those reconsidering faith. My journey shows that letting go of God, while painful, can lead to a rich and purposeful life.

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