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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Thank you Loren, Coming form you the word smith of Atheist Nexus I am again humbled

Loren, Do you have quotes of your own----i.e. devised by yourself----that you can send to me in the next 24 hours? 

I may be able to include some in my atheist book of quotations that I shall be sending to the e-book publishers on Wednesday. They can be on any subject involving religion, faith, myths, etc., provided that there is an atheistic sentiment to them. 

Thank you Erica

I usually like to joke and say that it all happened last year when Rush Limbaugh said that any woman that accepts contraception that was alledgedly paid for with his tax dollars should post sex tapes on the internet for him to watch. That remark accidentally made me visualize Rush Limbaugh jerking off to internet porn.  The second that image appeared in my head, my faith in God disappeared.  LOL

In reality it happend when I was 13.  I was a member of the Lutheran faith before I was an Atheist and I was preparing for my Confirmation, the point in every Lutheran's life where children stop going to Sunday School and start taking Communion.  I had a lot of questions about the bible that my pastors couldn't answer.  For example, I asked if God didn't want Adam & Eve to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledg why'd he put the tree in the Garden of Eden in the first place?

They answered saying things like that God was testing them or that if I read the bible clearly, it said that the Tree of Knowledge was already in the Garden of Eden when Adam & Eve were introduced there.  But these just raised further questions, such as if God is all knowing, why would he have bothered to test them if he knew what the outcome would be?

I didn't have the loads of scriptural teachings along the line you did, as I was something between Hindu and Wiccan when I was last a theist, but I felt free and relieved.

I'd changed religions several times, through going back to my Wiccan upbringing. I found lots of things that tried to tell me what to do, and in all cases I found that whatever they were saying was not right in all circumstances. Moreover, I found that no matter what the name of the religion, and how severe or non-severe the consequences, I found no one who really did follow what they claimed to believe.

I kept searching to find the "right" way of looking at the power of "all there is" in the universe. I found lots of philosophy, some beautiful poetry, some not-so-beautiful stories. I found tales of people getting into some sort of altered state of mind or consciousness and having some profound, but private, revelations made to them... things which were untestable as far as their truth or falsehood. Some of these had some similarities, although they are explainable through culture, teaching, psychology, and even neuro-science. I found an utter lack of any evidence for any of it. There seemed to be a lack of an all-knowing, all-powerful, benevolent being who wanted the best for anyone - let alone everyone.

No matter, regardless of religion, it's not a matter of being able to do whatever "I" liked. There's a matter of how whatever it is that I'm thinking of doing may effect an identifiable other person, or the world as a whole.

I tried, and while trying to convince someone else of the importance of religious observances, I became profoundly aware of the nonsense I was coming up with. In short, they were futile, empty rituals that yielded no results.

I stopped. As I thought about it more, I realized how much time I'd wasted on believing, or trying to believe, or studying some theology or other, or trying to do something that would "please" the main character of a bronze-age or stone-age story - which was made-up to make the world seem more controllable to those primitive people. Science makes the world more controllable, not completely so-far, but it keeps learning more. Much can be derived by mathematics (my particular forte), and that can show the veracity of something too - and other ideas which can come out of what is known, to further knowledge.

I just feel bad about how much time I wasted on this useless trash, that could have been spent elsewhere. In my own case, it wasn't any worse than other things I could have done for my own entertainment, like reading western novels of studying macrame knots, but it felt like something was being accomplished. If I were going to read to accomplish something, I could have learned more about math, or science, or done more with computers (my livelihood for a number of years).

I see the other things on the underbelly of religion - all of them - which seems to be undermining science and technology which really has and will further humankind, and make our lives better in numerous ways, but instead pushes to go back to how things were in an idealized, glorious past, which never really was. ALL religions contain that idealized past as a time of grace, and promise its return in the future. That's pure fiction, but many people lose their lives to those who think that there is something about that person that is holding things back from God's future grace - a return to a time that never was, through magic performed by a being that seems to be nothing more than a fictional parent or king.

I'd go easy on the pork.

'Sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know, cuz I wouldn't eat the filthy mofos.'

Samuel L Jackson - Pulp Fiction

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZA_Tl1kvlQU

Oh, my, what a different view than Christopher Hitchens in a chapter of his God is NOT Great. There is no reason to go easy on the pork as long as you drain the fat.  If pork is so bad, why are its innards so DNA-compatible with those of humans?

It's not pork by itself that's so bad.

My guess is that some pork in Old Testament times was infected and caused trichinosis.  The resulting condition could have easily persuaded tribal leaders to ban pork.

What on earth persuaded them to circumcise boys?

Since it gradually left me, losing my faith was not as devastating to me as some whose stories I've read.

Another factor is that I was not Christian. This emotional attachment to "Jesus" is deeply rooted in even nominal Christians. Well, so it seems to me. Apparently it is something like the equivalent of turning one's back to a once-beloved blood relative.

As a Jew in the United States I realize that many of my fellows do not take seriously the idea of "god". And yet, some look at me askance when I plainly state what seems to be true for them as well as me. They don't seem to want to consciously deny belief though comfortable within themselves.

In any event, I don't feel lonely, outcast, or otherwise negatively influenced. I'm at peace with my atheism.

A two-part question: "How did you FEEL [emphasis added] after leaving your religion..." and "...after becoming atheist?"

For an instant (maybe two or three instants) I FELT rebellious, then frightened, then confident enough in my ability to get the information I would need to make a decision, and finally FREE and AWED. After fifty years of happy agnosticism, I pitched it for atheism.

I recently wrote a memoir, which I titled "Evolving to Atheism." I won't lay it on you.

I felt like i could walk on water.  When i realized that none of what i was taught was true, i started questioning everything, and life seemed much simpler/explainable. I started to look at what people believed and had the urge to debate them, but i know that southerners wouldn't take it so well. 

Did you try it, as did an American politician recently on a visit to the "Holy" Land.

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