Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Before we get underway in this post I would like to take the time to define two key words that need to be understood beforehand. For this I will be using the Sage dictionary and thesaurus which is a very useful freeware tool by Sequence Publishing that you can download here The first word is doctrine: 'a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school.' The next word is indoctrination: 'Teaching someone to accept doctrines uncritically.'

Having defined those two words in the simplest terms we can begin to discuss one of the biggest problems with religious beliefs in general and Christianity specifically. It is my opinion that when most people come to accept religious beliefs, they do so because they have been convinced that the doctrines that they have been presented are true by default. Here in the U.S. most people believe for instance that there is a God in the traditional Christian sense of the word. Former president George H.W. Bush is quoted as saying: "I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God." 

 Christianity is so entrenched in our culture that even politicians defend it as true, although in many cases it carries with it ulterior motives. Atheists have been called every name in the book and have been singled out as un-American despite the fact that many of us have honorably served our country in military conflicts and have died in the defense of not  just our freedoms but those of everyone else in the country regardless of religion, race, or creed.

What Christians in this country fail to realize is that they generally believe what they believe because they have been indoctrinated. Some of us later than others and not all of us by official religious teachers but we have been taught that God exists and cares for us. We are told he is love and that he wants to "save" us from our evil ways, because he wants us to be with him forever. We learn these ridiculous beliefs from our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles etc. We learn these things in the same way that we learn as a child that Santa is real and if we don't behave he will not bring us anything for Christmas. Both of these things are the exact same forms of indoctrination.

Whenever things go wrong in my life and I discuss it with a friend or some family member the first thing that they tell me is to trust in God. Things will work out they say, you just have to have faith. Here in the states most people hold a basic belief in the biblical God and they live as they please and do as they please. This is seen all the time where I am from here in the Bronx, NY where gang bangers wear crucifixes in the hope that while they are outside selling crack or shooting someone in the back their god will protect them! Many have never even read what the bible has to say they just claim to believe it by default because pretty much everybody else believes it as well.

All these people share one thing in common; they are all deluded! Some more so than others but in the end it's all the same delusion with different degrees. These people did not come to God through the use of reason, they came to God through faith. It is because of this that no amount of argumentation or evidence will convince them otherwise. To break free from silly beliefs and indoctrination you must ride the horse of reason willingly no matter where it may lead you.

When a believer reaches this vital step he/she begins to analyze and rethink their beliefs from a more logical standpoint. It only took me one reading of the bible in its entirety to get there, for some it may take a little more. This is why we atheists have a saying that states: "read the bible, we need more atheists." When the bible is read not through the clouded lenses of faith but rather through the bright lights of reason it just does not hold up.

To break free from indoctrination you must first accept the fact that you have been indoctrinated, be willing to re-evaluate your beliefs from a different perspective. And finally be true to yourself and what you find out. No one can do  this for you it is just like trying to break a harmful addiction to drugs. It takes honesty and hard work. 


  1. A parent's job is to guide their children, let them ask questions, find evidence for themselves and make up their own minds when they're ready and not force your beliefs down their throat. Children are so trusting and parents take advantage by indoctrinating them at an impressionable age...what child doesn't want to please their parents? By the time they can look at the facts objectively they're so entrenched in myths it's difficult to let go. I wonder how many people would embrace christianity if they waited until adulthood to make a decision. People like to take the easy road rather than think for themselves.

  2. I agree with you that more people need to question their beliefs but I think you are asking for more then most can do. You aren't just asking them to use reason but to admit to themselves that those they have trusted the most in their lives have lied to them for their whole lives. I am lucky that I have never really been fully indoctrinated into religion but many aren't so lucky. I know even now when I feel I have to change my views on an issue it isn't easy and sometimes is made harder because I have to admit someone I trusted to tell me the truth has misled me.

  3. @cici459, thanks for your reply. I must say that I agree with every single word of it too. I was always told that God was good and that he loved me and that everything that happened was in some way some part of his will. I did not become a Christian till I was 14 years old and it was my decision, but the foundation was already in place. @Baconsbud the thing that is missing in your comment is that our parents and those that are closest to us don't deceive us purposefully or with bad intent. You must remember that they themselves are passing on what they believe to be the truth. In other words they have been deluded as well. Of course its hard to change our views but that is part of growing up and being completely honest with ourselves. I have lost a lot of "friends" when I left the church and my family treats me like a bad rash that they wish would go away although none of them is as devout as they let on. Sometimes the truth comes with consequences and we have to be willing to live with those or live a lie.

  4. Hi Chatpilot. I like your blog which I found via your comments at Debunking Christianity. Mostly I just lurk, but wanted you to at least know I appreciate your efforts against superstition.

    Your posts are clear and concise, sticking to one point in plain but forceful language.

    As to the topic of this post, a hunger for truth must overcome childhood indoctrination and cultural pressure in order for the mind to become free enough to investigate in an open manner. I am glad you were able to do this and wish you well with your blog and with life in general.

  5. @Exrelayman, thanks for your comments and support. I think as an informed atheist the least I can do is share my knowledge and experience with the many that find themselves where I once was. Those that are searching for answers after many years of delusion. I even give advice on my blog sometimes. It's a good feeling to know that you were able to help others with your simple words and in the smallest way make a great impact on peoples lives.