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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My story is a bit different from all of yours. I was actually on a path of integrating Judaism, and Buddhism. I sought out books to make sure that Buddhism didn't create some kind of a conflict and during this journey questions arose with my own personal psyche. I started to question the Old Testament when I was learning Hebrew. Oh, and when I started reciting a prayer in Hebrew that thanks God for slaying the babies of our enemies that hit the nail on the proverbial head. I knew that a truly loving God would not kill or destroy. He would not ask us to slaughter out own unborn children.

After this I began a search and was led to a movie by Brian Flemming. While geared toward Christians it forced me to question the Original Testament even more. Ten books later and a few podcasts, including one by Stephen Uhl, who was a former Catholic Priest eventually led me to Sherwin T. Wine, who created Humanistic Judaism last century. Humanistic Judaism was created for those Jews who had no belief in God but want to retain a link to the cultural and historical part of Judaism which is important to all Jews.

Anyway, I hope my reply wasn't too long or boring for all of you. If one other Jewish person can be helped by my story so be it.

Oh, and the link to The God Who Wasn't There can be found here.

http://www.thegodmovie.com/

Peace,

Mark
Ok, this may sound funny, but when I was a kid I figured no one believed in god anymore because we had been to outer space and there is no heaven there. *lol* Boy was I wrong! I went through a period of "belief" (I believed but felt uncomfortable regarding religion). It wasn't until a few years ago in undergrad that I realized I was agnostic, and then I finally admitted to myself that I am an atheist. Ah, it feels good to say that.
As a child I went to church with my grandparents .I must admit I did have my moments of doubt but felt like I wanted to be a good Christian.It wasn't until I reached my mid-20's that I was searching through the tv channels and seen a show on public access by American Atheist and a woman name Madalyn Murray O'Hair.I turned the volume low so my family wouldn't hear what I was listening to.I couldn't believe what I was hearing.I didn't like these people.They were going to hell.I would watch the show many more times just to poke fun at them.I started to study the bible more and I was seeing what American Atheist were
pointing out and I could see the contradictions.I started to think it was never a god that made these religions but men.I started to see religion as a means of control over the masses.
By my early 30's I started to consider myself an atheist.I very happy today not to be a follower of the cult which is religion.
I began reading the bible more thoroughly and found out that there were errors, verses of hate and violence and started to doubt.
Even though I grew up in a Catholic family with pretty devout Catholic parents I always, in the back of my mind, questioned the practices and how illogical they seemed to be (like its a big sin to eat meat on Fridays during lent as one example), but continued to go with the flow regardless. I attend catholic high school, as well as a catholic based university. Ironically, it was here that I truly took my first step to Atheism. The Catholic university required you take a set number of religious credits and so I took a course called "The Letters of Paul" during my sophomore year. This course examined his writings in the New Testament and revealed to me how Paul was the one to basically found and push Christianity to the masses (not some divine being called Jesus). As I never before really examined how Christianity got its start, this realization really hit me that it was invented and spread by men like any other religious belief, ie Greek mythology and Scientology that the general populous overall consider ridiculous today.

Needless to say this new realization combined with my prior doubts pushed me over the edge to break free from the need to practice a religion. I then went agnostic (a 3 to 4 on Dawkins' belief scale) for the next 8 years. Then back in February of this year, when I was casually asked what my religious beliefs were, I decided to look into what it really meant to be "Agnostic". I realized after this search, that I actually was an atheist (and not alone!), but was just afraid to admit it (due to the negative stigma that term is given in the catholic community I think). Ever since then I have accepted this as my stance on the subject, which has really changed my outlook in other aspects of life for the better!
Hear, hear. Atheism kicks ass :) I'm always intrigued by long agnosticism. I jumped from creationist to atheist in about 48 hours. "Do not pass Go..."
I was quite the superstitious catholic, although the Catholic label was more because that's the religion I grew up in than belief in their crazypants dogma. In practice I was a superstitious Deist. The doubts started when I started getting interested in neurobiology and neuropharmacology, because a lot of my "paranormal experiences" had beautifully demonstrated biological explanations. Having shaken off the paranormal aspects of my belief, I started my "Is there a god?" search. And then I came upon a blog called Pharyngula, where a bunch of sarcastic atheists handed my ass back to me ;)
After a year of going back and forth reading and trying to figure things out I went to my husband (who's been an atheist since childhood) and told him 'I think there are no such things as gods" and he replied "welcome to reality".
How nice to have an atheist spouse ready-at-hand once you deconverted! I always feel so badly for people who realize there's no god and live in fear of telling their believing spouse.
It started w/my 1st dinosaur book and a set of bible stories for kids. Then afterwards the bible and the claim that it has the answer to EVERYTHING. A claim i tested and guess what it was not even close because the so called answers were either too vague and is subject to the individuals interpretation.
For me it started when I was ten. I was raised in a Christian family, went to church, Sunday school and a Christian school. Up to that age I pretty much accepted the things they told me. I never encountered something contrary to my faith.

But I have always liked history, so one day I read in a history book that Jericho maybe didn't have walls around the time the walls were suppose to have fallen. When I talked to my Christian teacher about it, I got a bullshit answer. So I investigated it further and found more historical facts from the Bible that were not supported by anything but the Bible. That didn't make me an atheist overnight, but it did start to make me think about it and to question things.
When i was going through a rough patch, i caught myself praying, and asked myself "what's going to happen if i don't pray? Let's try it." So i began my trial experiment of no praying. Well, the trial is still going, and self reliance was my new religion.
Mine is very simple, the day I was "saved" I felt nothing. Not more different then I was when I was still learning of those teachings.

From there it's history.

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