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 was in Catholic school starting in the first grade. A nun told us you had to be baptised as a Catholic to get into heaven. I asked where babies go who died before that. She said there was a special baby heaven. It started there.

I was seriously considering becoming a priest when I was sixteen. But they made the mistake of seeing to it that I had a great education in science, math, literature and critical thinking. Hoisted by their own petard!
I never was a theist of any kind. As a child I doubted the christian concepts almost the instant I heard them. Especially the concepts that precluded dinosaur bones(without evidence), as I was very much into them, and had actually seen/felt them in museums.

George Carlin and Michael Shermer............those bastards...jk lol.
Wel to be more this specific michael shermers book "how we believe" :)
I was a lukewarm Christian when had an epiphany of sorts, a sort of reverse epiphany. An old high school friend of mine, Andy, and his sister had recently joined a church and become very religious. On the pretext of showing me photos of their trip to Australia, they invited me over and tried to get me to join their church.

Andy's sales pitch was in essence that if I accepted Jesus into my life I would eventually get to heaven, and that would be very pleasant. If I did not accept Jesus into my life however, I would eventually get to hell and that would be very unpleasant.

I was surprised and shocked. That was his best argument. That was my religion being reduced to promises and threats. Was I supposed to join his church out of fear? Or as some sort of insurance policy? I felt I was being threatened and even blackmailed. Threatened with physical violence after death, how ridiculous!

Andy said some other ridiculous things, for instance that in the second world war, Switzerland, our home country, was not invaded because it was such a good fearing nation, and that Yoga was the work of the devil. Obviously my friend has at best not done his research, or at worst had become a nutcase. I could not agree with anything he said.

But Andy was right about one thing. All that could be deducted from the bible. I realized I could not honestly call myself a Christian and yet not believe the things Andy believed. I started a period of soul searching that lasted several years, on and off. I read all sorts of books on religion, slowly making my way from Christian to atheist.
i was raised a catholic, went to catholic schools from age 6 - 18, was even an alter boy when i was about 11/12. But i think it was around the early teen years when i started to think about it heavily (because if it is all true i would really be into it, it's a fairly serious topic . . )

It doesn't take too much reasoning to figure out that the whole thing just doesn't add up. Also, of the many religions in the world with all the devout followers, there was no reason mine alone should be the right one. And the more you question the devout followers who are actually the ones teaching and indoctrinating children, the more vague answers they give and you realise they don't really understand what they're going on about.
Since birth, I've always been a doubter. When I was a child, I asked a lot of why questions. Whenever I encountered something superstitious or religious from people, I bombarded them with questions. When they gave me an answer, I asked more questions about that answer, and my questions never ended. My search of the truth never ended. I remembered all the unanswered questions and seized every opportunity to find the answers.

My relatives got frustrated by those questions and bought me science books. I read science books even before I started the grade school. During that time, I got all sorts of people trying to pull me into a religion. I always ended up choosing science.

I guess I'm different from most people in the world. Most children naturally accept things they are told; I, on the other hand, question everything I am told.
Basically whenever a childish prayer went unanswered, that's when I was at my most doubtful; and thanks to my religiously apathetic/agnostic parents, my doubts were never placated by apologetic bullshit like: God works his mercy/miracles through other people or God works in mysterious ways.
Nothing is greater and more supportive of your questioning the church then when you get thrown out of youth group or Catholic school for asking questions. I actually asked a question then was given a half quote to explain my question but i finnished the verse and told the Priest that didn't even fit the question if he read the whole chapter and he got mad and i got expelled. They tried to trick me several times or didn't know better themselves but i had finnished reading the bible and had a million questions by the times i was in 6th grade.
I found myself questioning everything at an early age was exposed to the idea that every one only tells you what they can use to manipulate or control your reality in a manner in wich they seem fit. yet when you acted like you were alseep or listened threw the walls you found little half pieces of the trueths and lies told on a daily basis buy parents, family, and sociol structure like schools work and so on . i struggled to not believe when everything and every one pointed in that direction and being a person who was tought to take the position of no self worth and low self esteem it was tough to give up imaginary loving beeings.
The earliest doubts I can remember centered around the different sects, translations, inspirations, and interpretations of a book that was supposed prove god. Unfortunately, I was successfully taught to ignore my doubts and gullible enough to accept a great many flawed arguments. I dropped out of college before finishing my biology degree and married. Decades were spent just coasting on the belief that my church elders had it all figured out and god loved me.

The multiple kicks in the pants started with Hillary Clinton, the church started in on how women should not be placed in power. Then came Prop. 8 and the church proclaimed... well, I wont get into it. Increasingly, church was pissing me off more than allowing me to comfortably doze. Was this what I wanted my kids to believe? Very close to these, the church became aware of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. I can't remember the sermon but the deacon said he didn't recommend anyone reading the book. Naturally, I bought a copy and read it.

I hated it, then I thought about it, then I hated it some more, then I started exploring topics online and with other books. I re-educated myself on argument, critical thinking, and the scientific method. I combed the church newsletters and articles, and knew that I could no longer align myself with the organization. Dropping all religion and the concept of god took a little longer.

Today, instead of snoozing through life, I immensely enjoy stuffing my brain. I'm a little scattered in my approach but I am truly happy.
That's an amazing long journey to atheism. Wow.

I'm curious. What were the specific translations, inspirations, and interpretations you had doubts earlier in your life? If you remember, please let me know. I love collecting those.


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