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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Yes, I have always been an atheist. I know at least since first grade. I went to catholic school and I remember learning about the book of Genesis. I had a teacher that said that the book of Genesis wasn't necessarily true but just "stories they used to explain things." I was probably the only 6-year-old in that class that was paying attention. Looking back I'm surprised she said that at all. I'm not sure how much that one thing she said did to my thinking but I never believed in a god. It took a while for me to come out as an atheist but I've never believed in god. I went through a phase where I wished I could believe but I don't care how alienated I have to be I'm glad I don't believe in god.
I often see atheists saying things like "I'm a lifelong atheist" and I wonder what the message is that lies behind it. I'm intrinsically more intelligent than you lot, I'm a better atheist, better grounded than anyone else? No of course not. I'm sure it's merely a factual statement, perhaps an expression of identity.

There could be disadvantages to being an atheist from your earliest days. You could be a rigid personality, unable to consider a range of alternative theories and ideas. You could be a very concrete thinker, able to argue the non-existence of God and the illogicality of religion, but unable to see the value of religious freedom in a democracy. A rough childhood might have made you a defensive thinker, unwilling to stray far beyond known boundaries in philosophical discussion. I'm sure there are advantages as well.
My mom never discussed any sort of God with me, though she talked about angels all the time, so when I was put in a private school I was somewhat ridiculed by my peers because I was quite confused about the fact that everyone believed in something for which there was no proof. In high school the tables were turned when more and more people began to realize that they could think for themselves and the church and family didnt necessarily have to dictate their beliefs.
I've been an atheist as long as I can remember in the sense that I've never believed in "god". I was raised a Methodist, which from my experience is a pretty moderate form of Christianity. I went to Sunday school and "church" every Sunday and participated in the youth group. I remember thinking that I didn't really believe in god like the "old people", but something would change and I would suddenly have my faith affirmed. That event never came. Sometime later, I stumbled onto an "atheistic" video on YouTube and started watching more. Then I found atheist blogs and started reading those, that was when i started categorizing myself as being an atheist. Later I came out to my(very liberal, almost deist, although still Christian) parents without much fuss and If someone said "an overtly religious comment" I would ask them how that was rational and we would get into debates over the subject and eventually most of my friends found out that I didn't believe in god. Some I lost, some I kept and some I gained. Overall I’m extremely glad that I realized my “atheistic” side and that I’ve been able to “be out of the closet” about my atheism.
I was an athiest as a young person, then was converted by a personal experience (a near-death experience). I was religious for a while and now have had another personal experience that has awakened my conviction that god's a fraud and he just ain't there.
Yes for as long as I knew what atheism was I've been one.

My parents sent my sister and I to Sunday school when we were young but I think that was just to get us out of the house.

There were even a few times that we went to church for Christmas eve services but all I did was sit back and feel sorry for all the brainwashed people who believed that shit
I was brought up by non-religious parents so yes pretty much as long as I can remember. I even recall being at infant school (so around 5 or 6) and being screeched at in an assembly when the head teacher was doing the prayer routine. It appears I was the only one who didn't have my head bowed and eyes closed. That made my rebellion stronger:)

When I was around 7 i was taught by a heavily religious teacher who did actually "convert" me for a week or two. But i snapped out of it when he made us all hug each other and hug him in one of the classes. I'm not saying there was anything sexual in this but I just didn't feel comfortable. So yes a non believer for 33 years minus 2 weeks.

Now i'm married with kids I have stood my ground on our children being christened. The way i see it is probably the same as my dad. if my children want to learn more and develop a religious faith, then that is fine but it has to be their decision. The idea of me enrolling them in a religion via some ceremony without them really understanding repulses me. Had a slightly tough time with time with this one as the old "religiously run schools are the best, so you are denying your child a decent education" card was played. Which is... understandable to a degree but also a crying shame that this is still the case. Also makes me sick that christians actually force this and you MUST attend church X amount times for your child to be accepted. Why oh why do they want a flock of non-believers who are just there fir the education package? Seems like a short sighted view on growing numbers in my book but hey ho.
I wasn't always, but I was always questioning and scientific. I didn't question, for the longest time, that the famed Mr. Yahweh was a real entity. Although, looking back, some of the things I said could be interpretted as the words of a closet atheist.

I was exposed to a god-concept, and, as it seemed from the way it was presented that it would please my mother if I'd believe this stuff, I swallowed the kool aid. I only got exposed, though, to consumer christianity and to a god-concept. The issue of this "Jesus" fellow was beyond me.

Christmas was explained as "blah blah blah Jesus was born blah." I wondered, though never said, 'cause I was friggin four when this was explained "Who is Jesus and why is his birthday important to my family?"

If somebody'd've said "Jesus is this guy who died for your sins." I'd've thought "What are sins?" and even if I knew that, next would come "It didn't work; I still have them."

I could understand celebrating a birthday,--Christmas--but Easter was another piece of W.T.F. "Jesus died on the cross." "What's the cross? And you still haven't answered me from last Christmas about who Jesus is. And why do I get candy 'cause he died?"

So, basically, I was raised as a non-Jewish Jew for a while, wondering why the fuck all these other people who also call themselves christians go and do these insane things like walking through a church with these random palm leaves they found... where? ...In the ditch? We're in fucking north carolina; there are no bloody palm trees!

That, and when I was exposed to "devotional music" and crap, I always was thinking when the advertiser'd say something like "Yessir, these songs really show a strong devotion to God." I'd think... "How can you know that? God doesn't say anything. Ever. He just does stuff for your (or not) because you pray for it." When they'd answer with "Blah blah the bible blah" I didn't realize at first, but did later, "That's a book. God doesn't write books. Even if the things in it are true, how do you know that? We don't even know who wrote it. How can we know it's trustworthy?"
My parents never took me to church, although I occasionally went with friends; I actually visited quite a few denominations that way. I remember a friend being quite shocked when I told her I never went to church; she was appalled that I had taken communion (hey I didn't know, I was 9!).

I asked Mum later and she told me I'd been christened. Years later she was defensive about it; she said they only did it because it was the expected thing to do. I think she was a bit defensive that she didn't feel she had the option to refuse when she was a young mother in the 70's.

I discovered that atheism had a name the same way I found out where babies come from; from reading one of the books in our living room. For babies it was "Where did I come from?", for atheism it was my grandfather's copy of Bertrand Russell's, "Why I am Not a Christian."

I remember hearing people telling Bible stories and thinking to myself, "You think that Red Riding Hood is fake but this is real? You're an idiot."

So yes, I've been an atheist all my life, even when I didn't know that was the word for it. Reading Dawkins was like a revelation because it was a treat to read someone who could say everything that I'd been thinking, so much more eloquently than I ever could.

It was a very comfortable way to grow up. I have never once questioned my morals, my motivations, or my purpose in life.
I can remember when I went into service (1000 years ago), they asked me what religion I wanted on my dog tag. It stumped me, so I just said the first one I could think of. Coming from a non religious, but not Atheist family, religion just never interested me. BUT, I was still brainwashed enough to be worried about a Celestial Dictator who just might be watching. It wasn't until I found Christopher Hitchens that I said "YES" that is what I was thinking all my life.
I can remember laying in bed as a very small child thinking..."if god created us, then who created god?" This line of questioning use to actually "hurt" my mind, because I could see that it would go on and on forever, and I just couldn't "see" that far. Because of the bed and the house, I know I was younger than five. At that age, however, I don't think I knew that I was, or was not an "atheist".

I do remember believing in Santa. But, I grew out of that soon enough!

My parents started attending a Lutheran church when I was 9. Church was something we all endured, but I loved singing in the choir. My parents hated getting up early for church and dropped out after a year. I ended up going by myself for another year with a neighbor just to keep singing.

I was in seventh or eighth grade when I informed my parents over Mexican food at a neighborhood restaurant that I was an atheist. There was a little arguing, but their hearts were not in it.

In my 30's I converted to Judaism (Reform)....yes, as a vocal, "out" atheist...because I was interested in social activism, and was hoping to find a community of like-minded people (i.e. people that I could relate to but who didn't worship Jesus!!!!!) I found a community dedicated to continued education and questioning religious authority. No one ever asked what I believed, but rather, what was I doing! Today I "feel" culturally Jewish, but have decided that it is improper to give so much money to an organization that indoctrinates children (and adults) in a monotheistic religion. So I am pulling away from the synagogue and have become active in local and national atheist and humanist groups. Unfortunately, they do not (yet) have choirs! I miss the singing.
I've never believed in a god of any kind, even though I was brought up in an essentially Christian environment (but not very rabid about it). Even when I left out the nastier bits about God (all those endless killings, and the gross unfairness of God picking sides), I still couldn't believe. It wasn't that theists did bad (or good) or that atheists did good (or bad). It was the very idea of a god of any kind at all -- even if I tried to strip it down to nothing but some of the "new-age" sorts of theism/deism. A belief in any god, it seems to me, requires the following at least:

He must be infinite -- but with some specific (i.e. finite) characteristics (else why a separate name or identity?)

He must be unbounded -- but somehow distinct from His own creation (else why a separate identity?)
existing -- but not having been caused to exist (that would lead to a logical dilemma)

He must be omniscient, omnipotent and good -- yet somehow constrained (externally/internally?) from creating a world without suffering (or perhaps not omniscient, or omnipotent, or good, or any of those -- theodicies are boring -- but see Note below)

He must be intelligent -- yet unlike any intelligence we could understand (scriptural myths notwithstanding)

Nope! Can't get there.

Note: Theodicies are a consequence of supposing that God is somehow, perhaps even in an unknowable way, "a person." But what if god, rather than being characterized in terms of knowledge, power, and goodness, is defined in some more metaphysical way - for example, as the ground of being, or as being itself? Good, the theodicies go away -- but so does "God" as an object of our concern. Being, or the ground of being, requires no more of our attention than a beautiful summer day, or the smell of new rain in the woods. Much appreciated, thank you, but what else?

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