14.89% Stupid or incoherent answers by religious leaders to simple questions.My deconversion was a process and not an event, but I would probably point to stupid answers by religious leaders and to the conflict between science and the Torah as the primary causes of my leaving Orthodoxy.
14.89% Science contradicted their religious dogma.
12.76% Contradictory dogma.
?% Exposure to atheism. [Kieran seems to have omitted the number here.]
10.63% Reading the Bible.
8.51% Hypocrisy of the Church.
8.51% Prayers went unanswered or person came to believe he was talking to self.
8.5% The existence of other religions.
The first major pang of doubt that I remember is when I asked the smartest rabbi I knew -- and one with substantial secular education at that -- what the firmament is. His answer? The stratosphere. But well before that, I had learned that rabbis could say things far stupider than that, and sometimes things that were racist or just plain offensive.
Then I started to notice a pattern. The "more Orthodox" the Rabbi, the less likely he was to, for example, believe in evolution or an ancient universe and the more likely he was to say things that are clueless and/or downright offensive. Clearly, "less Orthodox" was the right direction. But for all their efforts, the "less Orthodox" rabbis I knew and knew of coudn't come up with a coherent world view, just an uncomfortable compromise between Orthodoxy and reality, with a little fudging here and a little looking-the-other-way there. Every time I could tell they wanted to be factually correct or morally progressive but couldn't quite do it, it was because they were trying to stay within the bounds of Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy itself was the barrier.
(Via Friendly Atheist.)