My name is James, I'm 23, and I've just recently got the nerve to admit to myself what I've always wanted to. I don't believe in god. woohoo.
since identifying myself as an atheist, I have felt so much freedom, kinda. My story goes like this:
I have always gone to church: southern baptist to be more specific. Twice on Sundays, and on most Wednesdays. My whole family, on both sides, are religious and mostly baptist. I never had a chance to learn or believe anything else. Before I got to learn about things in school like evolution and other such anti-christian topics, I was given the tools, the answers, and the support to not believe the truth. It was always just so normal to take the bible literally. Many people who are atheists from the beginning may not understand that kind of indoctrination. Everybody i looked up to believed whole heartedly (it seems).
So fast forward to about a year ago. I stilled believed, but I had pretty much quit attending church. I just thought it was a waste of good sleeping time (especially after a night of drinking).
Well I started smoking pot. I only mention this because I feel it had a major influence in me wanting to increase my knowledge. It sparked my interest in many things including nature, philosophy, and the meaning of life, etc.
Also, it's what began my questioning of conventional wisdom (maybe not the cannabis itself, but the lifestyle). I started doing some researching on the net and reading books, something I had never been interested in before (I'm almost ashamed to say). Carl Sagan's Cosmos was among the first I read. I had no idea (no idea about alot of things)that I love Astronomy. I also read about my (then) religion. Well, it didn't take long for me to realize that what I'd always secretly thought was actually true. It's all bullshit.
Admitting to myself that I was atheist was actually quit easy. Given the facts and an ability to use logic and reason, I couldn't deny it anymore.
I've not "come out" to any of my family, only to a few friends. This explains the long post as I have so much to say and so few who would listen. I don't know how my family will react (although know it won't be easy for them to accept) so I'll just keep quiet until I'm totally independent. They are paying for one last semester at college.
But now I've found this site and I'm excited to just be able to interact with other like-minded individuals. It's a breath of fresh air. It makes me more optimistic about the future. The more support we can give to each other, the more we can help others realize truth and enjoy a life in complete freedom. Okay I guess I'll start digging around the site now. peace.