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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In college I was given an assignment to argue on the side of the atheist. I came up with how ridiculous it was to think you were created by an ALL POWERFUL god, without asking you whether you wanted to be created or not, then given the choice to either love him or burn eternally in hell (the last part he sadly can't control.) I couldn't get it out of my head and I never had. Why would you create something you love if more likely then not they'd end up eternally suffering. Comes off more like a 16 yr old girl who has a baby because she feels lonely then an all loving god....
Great question. For me, it took about ten years before first questioning (when a child in our cult died from medical neglect) till I disbelieved (after watching the Optical Illusion/Milk Jug video on YouTube, and visiting the site WhyWontGodHealAmputees.com.

In between those two events, I was never close to Christians because they were sanitized and fake, and looked down on me. I also got married (*shudder*) and had my son. My son convinced me Original Sin was a sham. When I went back to college, I realized evolution is true (d'oh!). I also spent a lot of time with Muslima and discovered that - while I didn't believe a word of the Koran - their attitudes and beliefs were so similar to Christians! Finally, in history class we studied early American cults, and my classmates' reactions to odd fringe religious sects made me realize I belonged to one. I googled my cult that night. Within a couple months I was an atheist.
Have you heard of Scrupulosity? It's a form of OCD that centers on religious rituals, beliefs, and obsessions. Not fun.
I was raised to be a future cult leader. I think everyone's religious indoctrination experience is different. Even in the same family, my siblings weren't affected the same way I was. (One's an indifferent atheist scientist, the other a fundamentalist christian homemaker and small business owner.) I'm writing a book and blog about my journey, and hoping it helps other people getting out of cults or extreme religious belief.
Not sure I can narrow it down to one specific event. I think it was more of a culmination of different things. My household wasn't overtly religious, hell I don't even really remember going to church alot before the age of about 10 to be honest. My dad worked weekends, and my mom didn't do anything. When she started getting sick she seemed to go to church more, but she had always been sick with lupus since she was a teenager. Anyhow the people at the church convinced her to stop taking her medication and just "trust in the lord" and it got her killed ultimately 7 years later. It lead her to be in the hospital in the first place initially and was downhill ever since.

Now mind you my mother was very physically abusive towards me. So this certainly did not help the god angle. And as I got older, I became more inclined into the philosophical arguments that would come later. For a long time I just simply knew I was not a Christian and that was all. For a while I did search for some kind of spirituality learned about Judaism, Islam, Shinto, Buddhism, and Hindu. And they all left me with a feeling that something was not quite right. For a long long time I thought something was wrong because I found myself incapable of belief.

Till I found atheism all the answers started to make sense and I started reading more about 2 years ago. And it was very painful, still is talking about this around famil. And they don't accept it and they are still trying to nudge me to become a Christian but I know that is not going to happen anytime soon, I just wish they would stop and leave me the hell alone about this.
Sorry your mom fell prey to "faith healing" but glad you're not being abused these days.
I remember the first time I read the bible and asking mom and dad after reading the tower of babel, "god was worried that people would build a skyscraper to heaven?"
Yes! I feel you. I remember being quite perplexed as a child kneeling down reading this out of my dads insanely huge family bible.
Studying history, just a passing glance and the atrocities done in the name of religion are endless, also learning about other religions and the evolution of religious doctrine.

Know them all...Believe in none.
I never really believed that everything in the bible was true, and we never really went to church. I was raised non-denominational christian, but my mom was against every sect of christianity saying that they were the one true way and everyone else was going to burn in hell. Added to that I'm pretty sure my dad is a closeted nontheist.
Ha, my parents thought every denomination was wrong, but that WE were the special chosen ones. So close to normal, and yet sooooo far.
I'm not really sure to be completely honest. I remember praying a lot when I was a kid for various things that never happened. That was probably it. Quite sure I was skeptical even before then, but not in any noticeable way. It took me years to reach true atheism. I was agnostic and searching for god for most of my life. If nothing else I believed in belief and was so scared of death (eventual non-existence) I attempted to find proof of some sort of an afterlife. Philosophy (Camus and Nietzsche had the most influence) coupled with my already existing love for science really put the final nails in my belief in belief. Religion is at its core pessimistic.

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