A former devout Christian explains her conversion to atheism:
What was there to suggest that the version of Christianity I believed in was actually real? Was there any better evidence for the version I accepted than there was for the versions I did not? […]
Just about all the Christians I came into contact with “knew” there was a god, too. They, too, spent time in meditative prayer with him on a daily basis. And as a result, they, too, “knew” what God was like. So what did that knowledge tell us about him? How reliable were these personal relationships when it came to establishing the truth about God?
Some of us, on the basis of our relationship with God, knew him to be loving, compassionate, generous, always reaching out to us, pitying our mistakes rather than condemning them. Others, on the basis of their relationship with God, knew him to be angry, jealous, punitive. […]
We all knew we were right, and we all based that knowledge on the personal relationship we had with him. How could any of us possibly be wrong?
What was striking about these observations was that those of us whose personalities led us to embrace the world and other people in a spirit of openness, generosity, warmth and tolerance “knew” that God did the same. And those who lacked the confidence for that, and consequently saw the world as threatening and evil and bad, “knew” that God saw it that way, too.
This is why subjective experience cannot tell us anything about God. Knowing what kind of god someone believes in tells us a great deal about that person — but nothing whatsoever about the truth or otherwise of the existence of any god at all.
The rest here, and worth reading.
(via The Dish, yet again. Thanks, Mr. Sullivan.)