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.
Hey! I can walk on water too!
...So long as it's frozen solid.
I can do it in summer. My feet sweat.
I took elements of my religion with me. There were many things in my religious training that apply to atheist behavior as much as a Christian, Jew, or Muslim. I do not have to believe in God in order to appreciate the human wisdom (as well as folly) of the believers who set their faith down in writings, but one must distinguish between the thoughts of an intelligent, compassionate mind and hallucinations about pork, beards, and shellfish.
For some reason the biggest thing I took away from religion was a sense of purposelessness. I suppose that is understandable when someone grows up being told that this life is temporary, difficult, painful, etc... and all we have to do is work towards the kingdom - where it will all go away. This life is something to get past, nothing more. In fact it is a terrible thing to have to suffer through it without a relationship with Jesus.
It would be unfair to say that this is all Christianity has to offer or teach, but it is the natural conclusion of its teachings. This was particularly hard for me early on - I had a 20 year handicap in the search for meaning.
I'd say that I'm over it now, but such thoughts still creep up into my consciousness and it takes constant effort to keep them at bay.
yeah, I pretty much agree with everyone here, it was as if the perverbial 'blinders' were taken away and I could see the world for what/how it actually is. I can also say I learned alot more about science and history than as a theist. Rationality I reccomend it lol.
The first thing I felt was a feeling like a blindfold was removed. I had just been shunned by my Wiccan "friends" and decided to read "The Demon Haunted World". That book was what did it. In fact I had put off reading that book, maybe for that reason. I realized all the "unexplained supernatural phenomena" had a simple explanation. I hadn't really believed witchcraft worked...I just wanted to be proved wrong, and wanted to fit in.
I felt a little vindictive. Atheism was part of that. Paganism is still a "trigger" for me. I'm uncomfortable with how a lot of pagans, when at parties of people in overlapping cultures, assume that everyone there is pagan or wants to be pagan, and proselytizes just as much as any Bible thumper.
In my experience coming out, sometimes people have the most energy and enthusiasm at that point. I was a lot more excited about atheism. Now I'm still glad I am who I am, but I've chilled out a little. I know that there are irrational people and jerks and people who treat things like religion in any group.
For me it was being released from a life of fear. No more wondering if the moon was turning to blood, thus harboring the beginning of the apocalypse; no more feeling watched over when I had sex outside of marriage; no more trying to imagine the fiery hell furnace that I was sure awaited me; no more guilt about not going to church; no more images of demons under my bed; no more fear of ghosts; no more fear of death; no more fear of not measuring up to a demanding god; no more worry about "what people at church would say"; no more wondering if I was getting it right; no more wondering if I was praying to the right god.
It is such a relief to be able to say "I don't believe in that. It has no control over me." It has given me more self-confidence than any Tony Robbins (*cough*asshole*cough*) seminar could ever give. I think because of my realization that the ultimate authority figure has no hold on me, I am able to question all authority figures. I question my doctor, my accountant, books, anything in written form, stupid emails, facts that sound weird and facts that seem sound. There is nothing sacred anymore, as far as I'm concerned.
And I enjoy life so much more.
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.
A good way to put it, Liz.