I spent several decades of my life as a fervent evangelical Christian. The first time I doubted my faith I was thirteen years old. I didn't understand why God allowed horrific suffering. So my father bought me a book about basic Christian apologetics, which directly addressed the problem of evil, and I was satisfied. For many years I read only apologetic literature by the likes of Lee Strobel and Ravi Zacharias.
Bad, bad idea.
Here's Mark Manson on the concept of epistemic humilty:
Knowledge is an eternal iterative process. We don’t go from “wrong” to “right” once we discover the capital-T Truth. Rather, we go from partially wrong to slightly less wrong, to slightly less wrong than that, to even less wrong than that, and so on. We approach the capital-T truth, but never reach it.
If you are unwilling to step outside of your assumptions and reconsider everything, you've locked your feet into place. You cannot move. You cannot evolve. It's a form of fundamentalism, really. Confirmation bias - seeking out only those things that agree with you - is a toxic, costly fault that's built into the human brain. Like gravity, you have to exert energy to fight it. But if you don't fight it, you might just waste years of your life believing in magic.
Eventually I snapped out of it, thanks to a year long process of thorough reading. I delved pretty deeply into the philosophy of religion, read widely on the problem of evil, the historicity of the Gospels, evolutionary theory, epistemology, the problem of the mind, and so on. Luke Muelhauser, formerly of Common Sense Atheism, pointed me towards some amazing books, debates, and papers. I'll always be indebted to him - this person I've never met (incidentally, this is why I've linked to him on my main page).
In conclusion: if you don't want to waste years of your life, challenge your assumptions.
people I admire
Bret Easton Ellis