As weird as it is, I think it was the attitude of my former "fellow" Christians that started me on the road to doubt. Even though I've got a bachelors in Physics and have generally held a belief in evolution and big bang cosmology for most of the believing stage of my life, it really wasn't science that brought up questions(cognitive dissonance at its best). I think I've always generally never had a connection with anyone in any church I had ever attended. Mainly since most Christians, especially in the south, are non-intellectuals. But I think it really started when I began listening to extreme metal. I couldn't understand how anyone could look down on something that I loved so much and felt so natural to listen to. I can't tell you how many people have told me that its "the devils music"(even though most of the lyrics are socio-political).

Of course later on I did my research and discovered how ridiculous my former beliefs were. So who or what started you on your path to disbelief?

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I started doubting when I started seriously reading biology and science when I was much yonger. I actually tried to discuss my concerns with a priest. He told me not to read. It would "destroy my faith", he said. That guy did more to destroy my faith than any book. His answer was so shocking to me that I could no longer take people like him seriously. I kept reading and came across Dawkins' The Selfish Gene. I found that book so compelling as an explanation for how we became what we are that I went on to read all of Dawkins' books. Then, along the way I read Dennet and Harris and Hitchens. I read about the origins of the bible and other religious books. Finally I couldn't believe I had once even entertained the idea that all that religious crap could have any truth to it at all. It was scary at first to realise that I was not here for a purpose. That this was the only life I was going to get. But it was also liberating after a while. No guilt about sex or fear about death & hell. I was free to live in a way that brought fulfilment. I was free of the cognitive dissonance that had plagued me as a rational being. I realised it was up to me to make this life the best I could because there would be no second chances - this was not a rehersal for anything. I realised I could be a morally good person without religion. I came to realise that it was enough to be good just becasue it was good to be good. I also saw the extent to which religion is really about power and control and its own self perpetuation. I now feel so disgusted with religion I almost want to vomit when I see those idiotic street preachers or those Southern folk doing silly jigs and going gaga in their churches. Crazy stuff. And priests molesting children. middle eastern lunatics flying panes through buildings. It's all so pointless and wasteful. Thank goodness I left religion. I wish our whole species could leave it. The world would be a better place and the likes of me could get on with our lives unmolested by fanatics.

Rob
Well, at least that priest showed you "the light". The biggest weapon organized religions have is the relative ignorance of it's followers. Christian clergy don't call their believers "a flock" for nothing. Just like sheep being rounded up for slaughter they blindly follow along to their doom.
I wasn't brought up to believe any particular Christian sect. I was not baptised and I never went to a church until my older brother conned me into going to one to see my little nephew do something in one when I was a teen. As I got more into history I could see that humans committed all kinds of crimes in the name of their beliefs w/o having any proof that what they believed was true. It seemed stupid. The clincher was Sept. 11, 2001. How anyone could logically think that the horrors of that day were sanctioned by some man-in-the-sky is just so absurd that I became a vocal atheist on that day. Add things like the Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition, The Crusades, the Islamic military conquests of the Middle Ages and on and on and on and I realized that no diety with any sense would allow such insanity to go on willingly unless either A. He/She/It doesn't care at all about us or B. it doesn't exist.
Im not really sure i ever went through a period of doubt. to be honest im not sure i ever really believed. i mean my mother is religious but my dad always seams to just go along with it as though it is simply a cultural thing, as a matter of fact he used this as a justification to me on more than one occasion in my youth. In terms of me realising im an atheist, allthough at the time the word wasnt in my vocabulary, i guess it was my grandfather, also an atheist it turned out though i didnt know this at the time, who probably set the whole thing in motion. he is a firm believer in logic and the nessessity to question everything and he would always encourage me to think about everything i was told or did so one day when i was asked by my school teacher did i believe in god after only a moment of reflection i realised i couldnt and that was that. i was probably an atheist before that but i guess thats when i realised it. I was still a cultural christian until my mid teens even while i was openly an atheist , as evidenced by the occasional church reading which i justified to myself as an expression of my love of public speaking.
Ours was a Xian family, but a 'holday christian' sort, xmas, funerals, weddings, that kind of thing. I was sent to an anglican primary school. We were required to attend a church service on Friday mornings. The good thing was, i got the impression that the minister, who never seemed to actually do anything, sounded very unconvinced of what he was spinning. You can tell when people are bullshitting. The minister had a nice big house in a nice 'burb, a cruisy job that really required no talent or expertise, except for speaking in public, so why upset the apple cart. Christian or any religion, it's all sooo obviously silly, it amazes me that anyone would be loony enough to subscribe to it.
for me i was raised to be episcopalians and as i continued on with life i was always using pure logic to do what i wanted to do and as i grew more intelligent i just came to a conclusion that there is nothing after this, we are flesh and bone, the outcome of physics and the laws of nature. i guess my biggest hurdle was understanding what could have made something out of nothing. of course i don't know that answer still but i know it couldn't have been any form of consciousness. still sucks thinking that everything will be lost to me but id rather suffer that thought than be under a delusion of any kind

all the nonsense in the Bible (like Noah's ark). and praying (which never worked)

Well, it started with talking snakes. Then progressed to how were Adam and Eve to populate the planet without incest. Next came how big a boat do you need to put two of every plant and animal on earth with enough food and water to last 40 plus days.  Then that Jonah and the whale thing and Moses and the Red Sea thing.  And on and on.  Now why don't snakes talk today?  I know.  God has a reason and we are not to question.  Come on now.  Even children are not dumb.

When the internet was new, I quickly realized that people would believe anything they read. I was already skeptical, but that is when I started to really examine what I had been brainwashed with and it became quite easy to see it was all a bunch of hooey.
A few years ago, knowing that Christians think of Mormons and Jehovah's witnesses, etc as cults, and they have thousands of followers with little evidence to their benefit Add in a couple of thousand of years, lack of good historical documentation - I just couldn't justify it. I realized I felt the same, in fact I felt more "free" not believing.

I never did doubt actually... That is the key reason why I am still amazed that I was ever able to escape that brain washing cult religion. I really hate Christianity now. But anyway... I just wanted to know more about... I guess why things were the way they were, but from a more religious perspective I suppose. All religious websites were biased of course. I already knew all the arguments on Christian websites. So I quickly moved to atheist websites. I was not worried because of how strong my beliefs were. I figured all the arguments would be crap anyway. Well... that is when all the wonderful thinking started. Little bits and pieces of my life started coming together to unveil the truth I know today.

Even though I'm a college dropout, it was a professor (Anthropology 101) who said "If you believe in Adam and Eve, there's the door (pointing at the door)"

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