When I left islam and realized all other religions are a load of bull crap and became atheist It was one of the best feeling i had i felt free from guilt and can do anything you want like accepting facts , sexual desires are ok , eating pork etc as long as your not hurting others. What about you what was how did it feel and what about your story ? Sorry for my bad English since it's not my first language.
Nice topic Ibrahim.
My own exit from fundamentalism was gradual, and so long ago I don't remember all of the details any more.
As others state it was liberating.
I was amazing to know that I had full responsibility for my life. Not just in religious rules but all aspects.
It was like I someone had removed a hood from over my head, letting in light, and air, and vision, and hearing.
I gave me a chance to discover how others became who they were.
That inspiration resulted in living a life, far different from what it would have been.
Instead of eating pork, I would up vegetarian, but that is my choice. You have yours.
You are right about sexual liberation. And dietary liberation. And thought liberation.
I learned that, having one life, it was my responsibility to make it matter.
I am more forgiving of others. We are only human.
Enjoy your life Ibrahim! Make it count!
I had a feeling of freedom (from fear of wrath and the chains that had held my mind), clarity (I realised how much I had twisted my own mind to make religion fit) and pride (I was not a useless sinner who could not get anything right without god's help, my achievements are my own).
It was a little scary, because there is no plan, no powerful being looking out for me, on god to call on in a time of need and I had to be responsible for my own fate.
Then I realised what I could do and achieve with that responsibility and all I had to do was step up and accept it.
I just woke up one day and realized theism hadn't made sense to me for the past two years. I just discovered that I was already an atheist. Just an acknowledgement of wholeness and authenticity which I'd achieved somewhere deep in my brain, then making a minor adjustment in thinking to accommodate it.
I'd have to echo the other posters' feelings of freedom and relief. But my exact feelings were closest to yours, Ruth. I had drifted farther and farther from my "born" religion, flirted with some others, but nothing fit. But I hadn't "said the word" to myself. That took a few years, but when I did, I realized that I had let belief go years ago. It was, if I may say so, graceful :)
A good way to put it, Liz.
Kalliope, I don't know you but i'm happy for you. Welcome to our world.
I think I was sad, really. Then angry, not only at myself, but at those whose critical thinking skills I respected, leading me to conclude that I was wrong about them or that I was right and they have to know they're peddling nonsense. I was shunned by my faith for divorcing my first wife (we had no kids; it was no one's flipping business but our own). I had people telling me my second marriage was adultery by Christ's definition (who asked him?).
But I was sad to realize that I had wasted so much time studying and devoting myself to the understanding of a conflicting mess of fairy tales served up as holy truth. All the time I spent trying to figure out if Noah's Flood was true or false, worldwide or regional, could have been spent training a telescope to the sky or really getting a firm grasp of the truly awe-inspiring process of evolution by natural selection.
The worst thing about believing a fiction is the opportunity cost: you waste time doing something useless that could have been spent more wisely doing something constructive.
"...the opportunity cost...."
Thank you, TCS, for the reminder. I wasted much time and energy trying to comply with Catholicism. My healing required me to see that the time and energy Catholicism demanded had been doing something constructive for Catholicism: making me easier to control.
BTW, I minored in economics and your using the term 'opportunity cost' moved me to look for its first use. In Wikipedia I found this: The term was coined in 1914 by Friedrich von Wieser in his book "Theorie der gesellschaftlichen Wirtschaft." My mother spoke German but she didn't pass her knowledge to her kids.