How did you feel after leaving your religion and becoming atheist?

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.

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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.

I felt about the same as you did, free from all the guilt of not doing the religion and free to do activities or work in the time I would have had to go to religious services. I'm a lapsed Jew and my parents sent me to religious classes at their synagogue and the classes taught a higher level of Judaism than what my parents did so a vacillated between feeling guilty for not doing orthodox Judaism and just going along with what my family did or didn't do and in college I had to go to Hillel (a Jewish college organization) and Chabad (a sect of Hasidic Judaism) often and to weekday afternoon/evening services in addition to 2-3 hour long Saturday morning service and the Saturday afternoon/evening service, all in order to avoid feeling guilty for not doing it, so I would feel that I was doing my sacred duty to keep the Jewish traditions. I came out as an atheist in October 2009 but was still afraid to talk to non-Jewish girls or go to non-Jewish event until August 2010.

Now I am well familiar with what is wrong with religion and I say Judaism and probably religion in general also, is a system of bizarre, inherited, maladaptive, abusive, time-wasting, obsessive-compulsive behaviors and beliefs, a mental disorder people inherit and sometimes modify a little and have to do and pass on to other people in order to avoid feeling guilty for not doing it.

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