Were you always an atheist? Were you at one point in time a Christian, Muslim, Jew, etc.? What made you stop believing?

I'm sure we could all give voluminous answers to why we don't believe in a personal god including, but not limited to: Personal, philosophical, scientific, historical, etc. reasons; which are all perfectly valid. But I want to know what spurred you to question your former beliefs and become an atheist.

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Hey people. Just joined the site. :)

My story is nothing special really, but here it goes.

Both of my parents are/were catholic so that's what I was semi-raised as. I was baptized at the ripe old age of 2... My dad who passed away last year, was raised catholic but he didn't seem to be very devout at all. He never went to church or even talked about his faith as far as I remember. It's definitely possible he was a closet atheist/agnostic himself but I guess I'll never know the truth. My mom on the other hand is more involved in the church.
As a child she made me go to church once in a while but as I got older she let me decide on my own. While I did believe in God, I despised going. Catholic masses are extremely dull compared to other christian sects, especially for a young child to sit through. So I pretty much quit going. My mom didn't mind as long as I believed in Jesus. I was never big on prayer either. When my mom asked if I prayed before I went to bed I would lie and say I did. Praying always felt so pointless and moronic. Yet I still talked myself to believe in god out of fear.
It wasn't until I was about 15 when I finally accepted reality and identified myself as an atheist. I vaguely remember the moment it hit me. I was a freshman in high school and I had just left my biology class, which I did exceptionally well in. We were covering evolution. I realized how much more sense it made than the creation story. Along with that the other inconsistencies of the bible started to become clear. That was almost 5 years ago. Although it seems more like 10.
It was only recently (less than a year ago) I told my mom I was atheist. This was really hard for her to accept. Emotionally she wasn't in a good state with my dad dying just recently. She blamed herself for not... I guess, brainwashing me more. However the more I talked to her about our beliefs the more she began to accept mine. I even got her to question her faith quite a bit.
So right now I'm just living life, not worrying about pleasing some old bearded man in the sky. It feels much more rewarding to be a good person for it's own sake rather than hoping I'm good enough to get into heaven and stay out of hell.

 i found the whole church experience distasteful growing up.I think I wanted to believe at one point but just could not. Not believeing scared me as a as a kid.

 I was in church when I realized it was all bullshit. The preacher ranting about hell helped in that regard. i realized what he was saying was impossible.

I was born into a Christian household. I was a firm believer and fundamentalist until I was 15, but I didn't really make it known that I'd become an atheist and stop going to church until I was 17. I'm now 20 and nearly six years sober. :)

It started out being a a general skepticism in The Bible, which of course is no mystery as to why I turned from it. Then I began to wonder if the believe in god(s) itself held any merit, and I just didn't see any reason to believe in it based on the lack of evidence.

From a personal standpoint, I've tried many other religions, and the only stance that felt completely true to myself was atheism. Having been through and studied all of the major religions, it's really the only position I could ever be in.

As for myself, I went in stages from liberal Christian theist, wavering Christian/Agnostic, Pagan, and finally Atheist. The conflict of what's condoned in the bible while assuming a good god was the author never sat well with me, especially when I quit just running with the fables provided and read some of the book outright. Paganism held an appeal because it made sense to make the earth sacred, because it's what we all rely on to provide sustenance. Manna was as tangible as ambrosia, after all. However, the necessity of involving magick, which was also unsubstantiated, made me kind of uncomfortable. Energy never worked quite as the Cunningham and Starhawk tomes would declare. And the reliance on invisible deities (admittedly the only ones still generally worshiped), romantic as pagan ones are, also itched at what was my rational brain center. At this point Richard Dawkins had just made a splash with his BBC tv series, Root of All Evil and the bestselling God Delusion, which helped greatly in wafting away what remained of my superstitious stupor.
The simplest, and most apt, answer of why I'm an atheist is simply that I couldn't be otherwise.
The biggest mistake xians make is our reasons for deconverting. Since the babble is parable-ridden I thought maybe they would understand this, my personal story in parable.

My name's Numan.

I got a letter from a big company president, Rod, saying I was hired. It was a tough job, requiring me to go against my ownnature at times, but to work hard and I'd succeed.

I was to make a great deal, but here's the catch, I wouldn't know how much until payday. I was suspicious, but Rod said every Numan had a payday, only no Numan knows exactly when.

Still skeptical, I read on. Rod assured me that there was a company manual everyone in my department, the church of Rod, knew about that would answer nearly every question I would have and a supervisior who knew the manual inside out. Plus, if I wished, I could use the intercom and talk directly to Rod. There was a seperate division, the crapolics, that had their own vice-prez to talk to Rod.

I went to work and soon had questions. The questions mounted and my co-workers just smiled and did their jobs, which consisted mostly of not pissing off Rod. I consulted the company manual, and it raised more questions than it answered. I consulted the department super, and he just kept telling me Rod was a great boss and I should just have faith in him.

My co-workers didn't seem to notice that the intercom didn't work. In fact, they seemed to be quite satisfied to talk into it and then walk away. I pushed the button in every possible way, and pleaded with Rod to answer even on of my questions, but to no avail.

Then I saw the answer. There was no Rod. The various department bosses may have thought there was, and certainly had the workers convinced, but I couldn't make myself believe that a decent Rod would run a company like this.

So I quit.

Several of my former co-workers, and even people in other departments, told me Rod would find me and kill me, either now or on payday. Others said I'd really never worked for the company or I would have never quit. Still others say Rod will pay me anyway since I once worked for him.

Since I never saw or heard from Rod myself, I have serious doubts, but I'll find out on payday. Or not.
Well for me it was quite simple. I was a born again Christian as a young man in my early twenties (I mean who isn't in the State of Indiana). Then I decided to go to college.  That simple.  When exposed to basic scientific models and concepts I began to understand how truly wonderful the natural world is. Religion no longer made any sense as it clearly provided no answers to even the simplest facets of nature. However I did have an enormous curiosity and even as a teenager had a set of Time Life books on science and evolution (still have them, published, I'm sure long before you were born!) so I guess I had some native intelligence. Anyway, I believe if an individual has at least a combination on native intelligence, curiosity and access to higher learning, superstitions would soon become a thing of the past.

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