It has been said that Atheism doesn’t come from intelligence so much as from having the courage to question the truth. Some have said it is linked to one’s tendency to reconsider intuitive answers.
Lately I feel as though all paths (in Education) lead toward the attainment of Atheism. As long as you study any subject deeply enough and don’t resist the truth, Christianity will crumble apart before your eyes. Every Atheist has their own fun story about how they came to call themself an Atheist/Agnostic. Let’s take time to examine what could lead someone “away from God.”
Religious studies – find out other religions are as likely to be true as Christianity. Discover how cults and religions develop. That’s the superset which affected me the most.
Christianity’s history – find out about the internal contradictions of Christianity
Theology – Find out about how ridiculous hell is. Some would-be preachers get tired of chewing on the fat and spit it out, and major in Philosophy instead.
Philosophy – there’s a good reason so many philosopher professors are Atheists. Philosophers may be laughed at for having useless degrees, but their diplomas do teach critical thinking, fallacies, logic, and contradictions that can free a person from religious dogma.
Astronomy – Science is in direct opposition with the 6,000 year old Earth theory. Science says the Universe doesn’t treat the Earth in any special way.
Biology – Evolution refutes the bible and intelligent design
Geology – Evolution again. Also, Geology says the Earth is billions of years old.
Anthropology – Evolution. Also teaches about ancient mystical thinking of cavemen.
Medicine – Destroys intelligent design. Also makes God appear evil for not curing sickness.
Mathematics – there are proofs that show God is full of nonsensical paradoxes.
Foreign language – see the contradictions in the translations, which wouldn’t exist if God wanted his word to be perfect and not mislead people. Refute your pastor when he mistranslates a Greek word. Wonder why certain tribes died out (and were sent to hell) without hearing God’s word.
Story-writing – teaches you how to write bible stories.
Literature – deconstruction, narrative, or post-modernism can tear apart the bible.
World History – see literature or anthropology. Also teaches you about Christian atrocities God condoned, and past religions that died out.
Law – laugh at the book of deuteronomy. Find out that other ancient cultures made better laws Than God. God’s 10 (or 6) commandments is a useless code, and God doesn’t even follow his own commandments.
Business/ economics – be taught that God rewards selfish greed and capitalism. The world’s problems remain unresolved, even with charity. Christians can be manipulated by politicians or PR campaigns. Discover tax exemptions, and that non-profits (churches) are often run nearly the same as for-profit companies.
Biochemistry / human anatomy: learn about evolution, and how organic molecules can spontaneously form without intelligent design. Learn about genetic illnesses, and how animals frequently have better organs (eyes, ears, etc) than humans, even though humans were made in God’s image.
Physics – find out the universe does not need first cause or a beginning. The apparent randomness of quantum mechanics also blows up the notion of a finely tuned universe. Also let’s you laugh at certain biblical passages where the laws of physics need not apply.
Psychology – paranormal phenomenon can be explained as mental states. “Demon possession” is due to mental illness (or retardation). Born again experiences can also be explained.
Robotics – Learn the shortcomings of human anatomy. Refute intelligent design. Make machines that surpass organic life at certain tasks.
Art – paint your your own goddess and fall in love with idols and Islamic Art. Realize all of these religions have beautiful works, but they can’t all be right. Learn about the Pagan syncretism that crept into Christian art.
Computer programming – learn how to create logical arguments, or how to debug faulty ones.
Video game design – Discover you can create happier worlds than God did. Create an inner-universe or playground that surpasses Eden.
Ethnic studies – learn about how God/Jesus supported slavery. Read about how the bible was used to fuel racism.
Gender studies – learn about polygamy in the bible. And modern bigotry. Discover multiple sexualities that occur in nature, but which the bible/church tradition call unnatural.
Paranormal / Ufology / crackpot conspiracy theories – Has the same effect as studying another religion. Also makes you paranoid and skeptical about trusting any authorities, including the bible. Once you break free of conspiracies, you tend to break free of religion.
Just to name a few disciplines.
“The path is smooth that leadeth on to Atheism.” – What Jesus should have said.
I wrote a follow up post here to answer the question: “Does Atheism Lead to Many Roads (of Philosophy?)”
I also found someone wrote a similar post below, pointing out how studying philosophy leads to many schools which will tend to make a person into an Atheist. (It’s by Tony Houston, who is a professor of Spanish.)