Has anyone else been an atheist as long as they remember?

I only ask because most people seem to say they are converted from a religion, or at least went along with it in some way until they reached an age at which they started to actually think about the practicality of religion. I never remember believing in god and was actually kicked out of bible school when i was about 8 because I couldn't get anyone to answer me when asked how people could believe in something they had never seen, or known and when not getting the answer I was looking for said I didn't think they were right. They probably thought I was possessed LoL.
I have often wondered if this was due to having a rough childhood that made me question authority at a very early age or if it was a more common occurance.

Scott

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My parents never raised me with any religion and I am grateful for that. I considered myself an agnostic before I decided I was an Atheist around the age of 22.

Although I considered myself agnostic at one time, I still did find the concept of god(s) ridiculous at times. I remember I was around 14 or 15 and I tried praying to a god I was not sure existed. I felt ridiculous doing it even though I was doing it in private. I continued to think that maybe a god could possibly exist until one day I realized that the concept just doesn't make sense to me at all.
Hey Scott, I didn't even know about religion until I was in grade school. When my aunt came to visit she tried to drill it into our heads, but at 8 years old, I'd caught on to stories grown-ups told about Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny, so I figured it was probably just another trick. No conversions here - just raised with no religion.
Growing up my parents never took us to church or even brought up god much. I would sometimes go to church with my friends but I always felt uncomfortable. I think its safe to say I've never believed in god. I can remember times growing up when I tried to because everyone around me did and I thought it was the "right" thing to do.

Once my Grandpa got cancer my parents started going to church. They forced me to go for awhile but they eventually gave up after me and my brothers complained about going all the time. (all 3 of us are atheist)

never been in a religion and i stopped wanting to be around age 13. my mother raised me in scientific though my whole life. nothing but pbs and discovery channel all my childhood. i havnt changed my mind or discovered a scientific reality that i never had, though the realizations within science are infinitely unwraveling to me, evolution was always the way it was for me. my mother left my spirituality up to me, and ive dabbled in many, looking for divine revelation in ancient texts that acually corrolates with recent scientific theories and i have found nothing. the only "religion" that ever made sence to me was paganism, and i would hardly call it an organized religion. but the philosophy of neo paganism is completely open to the laws of nature and isnt trying to pull a veil over the eyes. i am committed to reality in all its wonders and horrors without handing over its causation to an invisible, sentient being.

and its not as empty or cold as the religious hold it to be. i am insignifigant in the face of all the wonders we have in the rational world. my heart flies sitting under the canopy of the hayden planetarium or having a heated debate over the philosophy of time in the realm of memory or having sex or other such stimulating, humanly persuits. the only real thing that is cold and lonely about atheism isnt the knowledge that there is probably nothing after one dies, but the isolation of living a life among the delusional. people whose thinking hasnt evolved past the "god/tooth-fairy did it" explanation of non explaining. its like having a really nice, civilized loft inside a dysfunctional mental institution. and thank you dawkins/hitchins/dennet for the courage to stop apologizing for referring to the religious like the child minded people they are. 

Yes! My mom is a Bapist, and my dad is a (non-practicing) Rastafarian. My siblings are all Christians as well. I remember the very first time going to church at about 7 or 8 years old- I was BOOORED OUT OF MY MIND!! I literally slept through the whole thing! Further, I never quite understood the bible as it just seemed like a convoluted fairy tale of sorts. Whenever my dad sat down and tried to read it to me, I'd fall sleep like clock work!! I recognized immediately that I clearly had no interest in reading or learing about the bible. As I grew up, I'd force myself to sit down and read it, but never made it pass the first few pages. I learned of the biblical stories/ scriptures largely through my parents and other adults. As I learned about them, they just didn't seem plausible. Yet and still, I tried to "keep the faith" because I was told to do so. I tried to pray, but never understood why I needed to or how to pray. My last sincere prayer was said in elementary school. Since then, it's all been an act, in order to satisfy my parents who wanted us kids to pray over dinner EVERY DAMN NIGHT. Or to satisfy/ keep the peace with other religious folks. However, the older I got, the less and less "faithful" I became. I didn't see how "God" could allow such atrocities into the world, or why "God" was seemingly so misogynist and tyrannical. And I certainly NEVER understood why "God" was so interested in controlling everyone's sex life. Thus, I coined myself as "Non-Religious" in an effort to escape all organized religion (as they all seemed relatively the same with a few acceptions), but still felt forced to "keep the faith", so I held onto the notion that "something must be out there". Right?! Wrong. Now, in my adulthood, I've realized that my own logic and science provide the real answers. Hard work and perservance yield results. And my support system (friends, some family) keep me grounded. Not "God" or "His Blessings". I recently began reading about and researching New Atheism. Instantaneously, I knew I was home and found myself agreeing with the authors. I am now officially an Atheist.

Both sides of my family were pretty religious. My maternal grandparents were from Scotland, and raised 5 children as Roman Catholics. My father was one of 8 children, born in Italy, and raised solely by his very stern, Catholic mother. Despite their combined religious backgrounds, I was never brought up as Catholic. I went to church up until I was 5 years old, but my mum only took me out of what I think was habit. Her mother had died of cancer when my mum was 16, and this is what caused my mother to lose her faith. My dad has hated the Church since he was a child. He went to these terrible Catholic boarding schools in Italy where they were were mistreated and abused by the monks (or nuns, for his sisters), like literally fed molding food. I think he is spiritual though. He doesn't talk about it very much.

 

When I was 6, I remember talking to another boy the same age as me on our way to school, and I mentioned something about God. He stated "I don't believe in God." I'll admit, I was aghast. I don't think that it had occurred to me that some people didn't believe in God. I think that I thought there was a god much like I was convinced there was a Santa Claus. I'd never really cared much for going to church, and today I wouldn't  count myself as believing in anything back then. In church, all I ever really did was play around with my younger sister, crawl under the pews and try to read Peter Rabbit books.

 

I questioned things a lot when I was younger. In grade 5, a Catholic friend of mine invited me to go to church with her one Sunday. I was feeling bold, and I asked her how their could be a god when there were little babies in Africa starving to death. How could God let that happen? Her response was that they must have sinned. Well, needless to say, that was it for me. When I was 12 I discovered the word 'agnostic' and felt that that was something I could define myself as, since I didn't want to tread on any toes. But once I hit high school I wasn't really satisfied the whole "not committing to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god" definition of agnosticism, and decided that atheism was much more my cup of tea.

Whoops, didn't realize what a wall of text that ended up being.
I always assumed the Bible was analogous to aesop's fables when I was a kid. I will say I became more atheistic as I grew up, but I was always a skeptic nonreligious. It never even occurred to me that people would kill, die, judge and hate on the basis of blind faith alone. I was horrified when I learned of the atrocities committed by collective idiocy and gullibility, and I have been fighting it ever since.

I envy those who have no memory of ever believing in a cross dwelling sky god or damning viscous violent tribal deity.

 

How embarrassing for those of us who did. I REALLY believed.......for shame.

As long as I can remember for me.

So, around 10 years of age atheist power!

 

 

 

99% of my family are religious people, so of course i grew up going to church; the basic christian church up to my early teens and then believe it or not, a pentecostal church for about a year.  At about 16 I started realizing that it was all bullshit.  I spent the next 25 years in disbelief of everything religious but I didnt really go public with my atheist view until a few years ago.  I just thought religion was bullshit, but i had no idea how right i was until i started reading atheist articles and watching videos from other atheists.  I have been reading Sam Harris ( the end of faith) recently and I have to say he makes some of the best points i have read in regard to the negative impact of religion on human progress. I too had a rather rough childhood, authoritarian parents etc, but i don't think it had anything to do with my atheism.  I like to think religion smells enough like bullshit to identify it as such regardless of ones upbringing.  cheers, Dave

Here's a hint: Second grade the nun would grab a kid at random out of the rows of chairs, put her grips on the child's upper arm and shake the livin' Frank out of the child until it was a whimpering pile, wet itself on the floor. I watched this half a dozen times (before it was my turn) and thought that the nun must have been an evil robot. Yeah. (After a couple parents got wind of this, the nun was "retired" and replaced by another strange woman in the lord's service.)

I don't remember the grade I was in, early on I suspect, when the nun introduced the idea of superstition being a sin. She said things like "a rabbit's foot wasn't lucky to the rabbit" and such. I thought about it for a while and knew by then not to ask what the difference was between the rabbit's foot being lucky and eating a piece of dried bread whatever being Christ joining up with my body. (I think about that now and wonder at how Freudian it sounds.)

Then one of the brothers in high school got me for a chat one day after classes, proposing that, since I didn't have a girlfriend (Holy Frank! I was 14 fer Frank's sake!), I obviously had a calling from the Lord and should otter focus on becoming . . . You get the picture. Mean guy too, that bro. Then senior year the German teachin' priest called me into his office with the same suggestion. Weird. My German grades went down after I refused to even consider it.

Raised bilingual (tri- actually), I got interested in conlangs. Make up a language. Got me thinking about making up a religion. Too bad L.Ron beat me to it.

So, no, I ain't been an outright atheist since whenever back. But I had always had my doubts, each of which early on caused me great spiritual anguish &c at confession time. When I finally turned my back on all of it, it took a while for me to realize the depth of freedom I felt. As I have become more open -- as I came out of the atheist's closet -- I have realized how wide that freedom is. And how much it brings others to consider what doubt about the dubious means.

I don't worry about the how long back it was that I began to disbelieve. I just don't now & that's fine by me. I do wish that my parents hadn't had to waste so much of their hard earned money on what I feel is and will always be a cut-rate education. It was such an egregious waste, all of it.

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