When I left Christianity, I immediately thought of myself as an atheist. Is it "an atheist" or "a atheist"...I've seen it both ways?

After time, I started to call myself an agnostic atheist and generally leaned towards just calling myself an agnostic, because, well, I can't prove one way or another, if there is or is not a god. Part of the reason I think I tended to say I'm an agnostic, was because it was easier on the ears of those who were my belieivng theist friends.

It's taken me four years to come back to realizing that when push comes to shove, I'm an agnostic atheist but the short answer is, I'm an atheist because I don't believe in or worship any god(s).

I think for those who were once Christians, the transition to finding a new label (because it seems the world must have them) can be a very difficult one, scary even.

Any thoughts?

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Replies to This Discussion

Bloomer,

It only took me about 2 weeks to publicly out myself as an atheist. I use the label agnostic atheist in this manner - agnostic (a statement of knowledge) and atheist (a statement of belief). In other words, I cannot prove or disprove any supernatural being, but I have no belief in one.

Cheers...
I am kind of an all or nothing guy sometimes :-)
I spent ten years of "hell on earth" trying to reconcile discrepancies in the Bible before I would admit to myself that it couldn't possibly be God's perfect and holy revelation to humankind. By the same time, I also realized there probably had never even been any god.

I called myself an agnostic for a year or two before admitting I had really become an atheist.
Your words echo my experience. From 2001 until 2009 I wrestled with the discrepancies. It got so bad. I studied the bible, reading it over and over, trying to understand the logic behind it. And the more times I read it, the more I realized that it is *not* God's perfect and holy revelation to mankind. I stole your words there, but it really is how I was convicted that the Holy Bible was not Holy after all.

Then, I began to believe that YHWH wasn't the real God, but there could be another God. So I walked down the "agnostic" road for a few months until I listened to Richard Dawkins' book "The God Delusion." What a fantastic work! Anyway, that book is what allowed me to admit that it's okay to not believe in a deity. In fact, once I stopped believing in God, everything just came together and began making sense.
It has taken me 18 years I just realized it when I noticed that I had never understood even as a child how God could die. Along with other contradictions in the Bible, college was just the place where I could come to terms with that. But I still have not told my friends and family
Welcome Devin...
-=begin English lesson=-
It is most definitely an atheist, rather than a atheist. If the word starts with a vowel sound, it goes with an. The only time there's debate is when not everyone says the word the same way, e.g. Americans don't pronounce the h in herb, and the English do, thus both an herb and a herb can be correct, depending on who's speaking. I've never heard anyone start the word atheist with a consonant sound, so there's no question.
-=end English lesson=-

It took me several years to go from Christian to atheist, but not because of problems with the label. When I left Christianity, it wasn't because I was convinced there was no god, but rather I just didn't think the Christian god was worth worshipping. It took a lot of reading and thinking about other religions and philosophies before I came to the conclusion that it was all crap. Once that happened, it was just a matter of learning what the word atheist means and then I knew I was one.
I've always said "an atheist" because of the vowel sound. I'll continue. :)
Thank you for the English lesson. I was cringing when I saw "a atheist" but then again, I'm a fan of "Eats Shoots and Leaves".
I went for a few months with the idiocy of "spiritual but not religious" before I finally let go of the last tendrils of theism. I had no problem immediately identifying myself as an atheist once I allowed myself to acknowledge the reality.
It took me about three years after leaving my job as a pastor to be able to say I was an atheist. I wrote about that process here.
It took me approximately 20 years between that first seed of doubt to the first time I told someone that I am an atheist. It felt liberating.

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