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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Like many others, there was something of a process that led me away from the Catholicism of my upbringing. One of the key moments I recall in cementing things was getting booted out of comparative religion class (which was interesting, but I digress) for "making the other children question their faith". It occurred to me, sitting alone in "independent study", that any "faith" that cannot stand up to questioning is probably not worth spending much time on.

As part of that same incident I recall driving a classmate to tears by simply asking "why" to every statement she made. I.e. - "we're not supposed to eat meat on Fridays" "Why?" "because the bible says so." "really? where?" "uh... I dunno".

Given all that time to sit & think about stuff, it very quickly became apparent that belief in fairy tales was not necessary to make it through my day. I'm comfortable saying "I don't know" to such weighty questions as "why are we here?" and "where did whatever the hell blew up to make the big bang come from?"

Most importantly, though, years down the road, I realize that the time and money wasted on foolish children's stories was much better spent on the things that matter - friends, family, leather couches, etc.
Some of my Christmas cards have the Flying Spaghetti Monster nativity scene. They're going to be darling. :P
i got sick of the jesus wafers at church!
I was raised as an Episcopalian, with a largely Roman Catholic extended family. In high school, I fell in with a crowd of Southern Baptists who were most assuredly turning me into a dominionist. When I went to college, I got away from them and slowly, with the help of a pagan friend, realized that my faith and beliefs were based on fear of punishment, rather than on actual conviction. Over the next few years, I explored many different religions and finally became very confused and decided to wipe clean and figure out WHY I believed in any deities at all, and after I had my reasons, only then would I go into which one(s) I believed in.

Well, I was left with the realization that I had no reasons, no legitimate ones anyway, for belief in gods. Over time, I found that I had more reasons NOT to believe in gods. I really just came to the conclusion that "I want God to be real" wasn't a good enough reason to say that God WAS real. I identify now primarily as a humanist, secondarily as an agnostic atheist, and possibly even as a non-theistic ietsist. Basically, if someone were to present actual evidence that was strong enough to convince me of God's existence, I would re-evaluate my opinion, but as it is, I think there are far more important things in life than what someone's pastor says.
The reason I do not believe in any of the purported gods is simply because there are no real ones. They are all in the mind.
I learnt about Father Christmas when I was 6, and that was the end of unsupported beliefs.

P.S. Never baptised. Never circumcised. Hurrah to my parents.
As seen on a T shirt:

The four stages of life:
- Believing in Father Christmas
- Not believing in Father Christmas
- Being Father Christmas
- Looking like Father Christmas
I was never exposed to any religion as a child other than mild cultural exposure to that peculiarly British and basically neutered form of Christianity that is the Church of England.

If not for the mild frustration that there was no good TV on Sunday mornings, and having to look solemn and bow my head during prayers in school assembly I would have had nothing to do with it at all.

The very idea that beardy old men in frocks had anything useful or relevant to say about the world never even occurred me.

It was only when I grew older that I realised that many people claimed to be able to extract some meaning or deep truth from the bible. All I could ever see was contradictory impenetrable iron age drivel in an uncomfortably small font.

Without the childhood indoctrination behind me the insanity of unsupported beliefs and wilful rejection of reality has always been screamingly apparent.
I was not raised with religion. The first time I encountered the concept of god was in a book I was reading. I had to ask my mom if people actually thought god was real or were they just pretending? It never occurred to me to ask if god were real.

The first time I was exposed to a religious ceremony, a wedding I attended at around age 9, I felt as if I were a National Geographic reporter recording a strange primitive ritual.

For me, being an atheist has pretty much been about god not being real.

I was extremely fortunate to have been raised by parents willing to let me make my own choices about religion.
My little story 
I was raised as a fundamentalist, tongue talking Christian and was on the fast track to go to Bible College to become a minister. Until the fateful day I discovered physics. Physics, chemistry, and math all came very easily to me and seemed pretty much like “common sense.”

When I went to my pastor to inform him that I would be going to a regular university and studying physics instead of my previous plan, he told me in no uncertain terms that science and religion were opposed to each other and I would be setting foot on the road to Hell if I followed through with it. His words made me think hard about my beliefs and I realized he was correct. So I ditched the religion.

(I hate when Christians make the assumption that we are not one of them because we haven’t been exposed to a god’s love, etc. I know an insane amount of information about the Bible and their god.)

My first foray into atheism was a call to the East Baton Rouge Parish library. I asked the librarian if she had any books on atheism and you would think I’d just stabbed her mother. “Incredulous” does not begin to describe her attitude. (I would like to shout out to all of the recent authors who have put SO many new books on the market about religious deceit.)

When my mother realized I was drifting further away from religion, she informed me that I could stay in her house until high school graduation, but that was it. I drove to my graduation with my car packed. I tried to put myself through school but the government still considered my parent’s income as my income and the financial aid just wasn’t there. When I couldn’t stay in the dorm (holidays and summers) I lived in my Ford Granada and turned tricks to try to pay for the next semester, but after two and half years I gave up. Many years later I went back to school, but decided it was too late to try to break into the science field so majored in business instead.
It just never made sense not to be.
I was once a methodist whilst in my teens. I was never really that religious. I tried to be a decent human being, but outside of church functions, I just didn't think about god very much. Toward my late teens, I gained an interest in the bible as a historical text. Noah's Ark, the Holy Grail, the Tower of Babel, the life of Jesus, Sodom and Gomorrah, etc. These things were being investigated by experts, REAL experts! I was enthralled with the idea that biblical stories and god's miracles could be explained through modern science, further validating my beliefs. As I learned more about science and christianity... and real life for that matter, I realized that these biblical stories were so ridiculous, that I was embarrassed that I had believed them for so long.

Somehow, I was still a christian even after I regained my common sense. I began wondering about prayer, the soul, and other metaphysical concepts. I realized that not a single one of my prayers had been answered in the last five or so years, unless of course I prayed and then actually worked towards my goal. Then my prayers came true... go figure. In a melancholy mind state, I read the entire bible hoping that I would understand how to live according to god's plan. Much to my dismay, I found god's actions in the old testament revolting. I concluded that god was an ass and all we as humans could do is worship him and feed his unfathomable ego, or suffer eternally for offending him. Life suddenly had no meaning. I hated god after this for creating such a cruel paradigm. I was a misotheist. Then, like magic one day I awoke and thought "why do I believe any of this crap?" Suddenly I was free! Afterwards, I began reading more about atheism and philosophy, and religion in a purely historical context. I learned so much and I haven't turned back sense.
me i dont even consider my religion or what ever to be aethiest, humanity has titles/ lables for everything and this lable fit the best.
i was raised christain and i still live by the morals and value's but i mix it in with the way of science and just common scence and intuition... with intelectual thought process, there is no lable for this so far so go figure....
Aethiest: A person who believes in not believing in a god or higher power
easiest way to put it everyone thinks something about where we came from just idiots such as people who believe in god did the same thing that i mentioned above, humanity has labels for everything, so
God: The creater of all
my definition
God: Another label to an unanswered question....
darwinism: a belief in evolution
my definition
Darwinism: another label to and unanswered question, but with logical thought

you get the jist...

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