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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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.
I was a Christian. I didn't go to church or anything, but I usually prayed before I went to bed. The problem was that I'm also smart (IMHO), but I just tried to ignore all the paradoxes, mainly because people I trusted had told me it was true since early childhood. But then I decided to make up my mind: Either become atheist and free myself from all the paranoia I had about God watching my every move, or become a sing-song happy Christian. I read the Bible, the God Delusion, arguments for and against, and I prayed to God every night and said: "Hey, if I don't get any response from you soon, I'll assume you don't exist."

Guess what happened.
My doubts started at the end of eight grade. My catholic grade school would not send my transcripts to the catholic high school I wanted to attend. They said that because my family did not put enough in the collection plate, they would not send my transcripts. At the time, my brother was in Vietnam and my mother was having a mental breakdown because of it. My father had just suffered a heart attack and was unable to work. My father borrowed $234.25, gave it to the church and my transcripts were sent. I realized the church just wanted the money. We were the people the church should have been collecting for. We were the poor. I stilled believed in god but not the church. It was one day, I was sitting in my back yard looking up at the stars and it just came to me, “there is no god”. How could anything create the vastness of the universe? A black hole can have the mass 3 billion times that of our sun and yet people are starving to death on this planet. If god could create the black hole, why couldn’t he feed his people? Also, Jessica Lundsford. A 9 year old girl taken from her bedroom, raped and sodomized for 3 days then buried alive. What kind of god could allow that to happen? If that is part of his divine plan, that is one sick fuckin plan. After I declared to myself I didn't believe, it was like I "woke up" and boy was the light bright. I appreciate the beauty of our planet and universe a hell of allot more now. I think I’ve been unsaved.
never really believed but i actively started to disbelieve when i was subjected to the cruelty of adults in catholic gradeschool and the idiotic catechism teacher told me to just shut up in religion class and she was the most irrationally mean and two-faced person i had met at that stupid school.
i still went through the rites of communion and even got confirmed when i was younger ans still "in the closet" just so i could be a godparent to future cousins (whose parents still believe in the church)

oh and i distinctly remember asking my mother and later the catechism teacher about how weak minded people are if they need the threat of hell to do good. lmao... i honestly was around 7 and the parables and bible stories and adults' convoluted threats of hell to get me to behave already didn't seem right?
Science half way, the other half would be the contradicting nature of the Bible. As well, as complete fanaticism from many people in the world.
I was Christian and when my pasteur stated talking about when his people started worshiping other idols or just not worshiping anything he got angry.So i replied with Who and he said god and i asked who is god and he said its what is in our hearts and its who helps us along when we are going through a rough time,So i read the bible and saw how ridiculous it was and how intolerant Religion is so i tried bhuddhism and i tried Hinduism and it wasn't for me so now i am a Non believer,
So keep it up Christians you are driving away your own followers one sermon at a time
When I was a Christian, I was never really into the bible, but I still blindly believed. About 10 months ago, I seriously began doubting and started calling myself agnostic and sort of deist for a few months. After logically thinking about the concept of god and breaking it down, I came to realize the existence of gods or goddesses are very unlikely. I been officially atheist for about 4 months now or since September.
i was at least 5 years old at church one day when i knew i wasn't a believer and in the youth group or whatever it is where the kids all play and learn about 'god' together, we were handed coloring books and told to color jesus and his halo around him. i don't remember what i was thinking, but i knew it felt wrong, so i refused to color.
aside from this, i've been very happy with my agnostic/atheist life, am very grateful my parents have been open and basically had the same views as mine (my dad is a bit more religious than anyone in my immediate family, which basically isn't religious at all). my mom has been wonderful in saying that she'd take us to different churches, get us different books (us i mean my siblings and i), have us go to whatever youth groups to explore what religion would be right for us (as long as it wasn't catholicism, haha), but she said it is ultimately up to us to choose what we want to believe in. funny enough, my brother, sister, and i are all intelligent people and are all agnostic/atheist (hopefully that won't change either, seeing as that i'm the oldest and am set in my nonbeliever status, my brother is too involved with sports to care, and my sister is just like me except she's very serious about her catholic boyfriend and that concerns me). my family is who i turn to when ignorant people talk about god and piss me off, and i'm so lucky and grateful i have them.
but life hasn't been easy growing up this way, especially in a small town. i was chastised not only for NOT going to church (and when we would go it was a form of punishment followed by a reward for eating out for breakfast/lunch if we behaved well, haha), but not believing (i never stated my beliefs to anyone so they had automatically assumed i was a nonbeliever (albeit correctly)). for some reason all this being tied into the fact that my parents mainly voted democrat (how the hell did people find that out?!?! oh yea, small town with small minded, judgmental people) and i was judged on my political beliefs as well.
i remember the first time getting criticized for something was in 5th grade when the word evolution was first mentioned and i asked a scientifically based question (at a 5th grade level of course) and was yelled at by another child, IN CLASS, saying i was going to hell b/c god created everything and there was no such thing as evolution (i think the boy was punished at least for yelling at me).
and there were other instances growing up where this happened, 2 of which i remember more clearly b/c i was in HS and had a cognitive thought process. one was that my best friend became a born again christian (baptist) and was always nagging me to go to AWANAs (whatever the hell that was) and youth group and church with her b/c she wanted to save my soul. unfortunately i ended that friendship (i couldn't stand the religious crap and it made me sad b/c aside from that she was an amazing friend and person).
another was my senior year of HS when two of my friends cornered me in biology class and said "we heard you don't go to church" and i said "yea, but we're in school so we shouldn't discuss this" and i was in the middle of doing a cell culture! and they proceeded to push me further by saying "and we heard you hate our president (bush jr @ the time)" and i was like, "i have my own political beliefs, and hate is a strong word". i left it at that, and from then on, those two boys took every opportunity they had to harass me and put me down. i never once criticized them for being so close minded and other things i could've torn into them for. and they were 'loving, god obeying christians'. makes SO much sense to me for the way i was treated.
i'm so glad for college and that most 'christians' who attend are at least some what sane, or keep their mouths shut on their religious beliefs (and hell, they disobey so many of their rules in college, maybe that's why they don't say anything!). i've met some great friends who are also agnostic, but i can deal with the religious ones i have b/c they're not fanatics. i am very concerned i will lose one relationship, one of my best friends from HS who i've known for almost 10 years now is becoming a 'born again', and i can't stand her daily religious postings on facebook and i don't know how to deal with it b/c she's an important person in my life (and i'm supposed to be in her wedding!!). serenity now, serenity now!!!!!
so yea, just a post about my life and when i knew about my nonbeliever status. i've never really gone into detail about it or given it much thought so it was nice to spill the marbles. i hope that anyone who struggles with being in the minority in this country can find solace in the website and know that there are more people who share your non-beliefs than one would think.
When I was about 8 years old god answered my prayer for a Rainbow Brite, it got me thinking why he wouldn't answer my nightly prayer to keep my father out of my bedroom at night. I was raised by an Assembly of God preacher family and went to a private Baptist school for 4 yrs. There were too many questions that the adults wouldn't answer, so I questioned from early on. Even though I questioned, and looking back secretly didn't believe, I was so indoctrinated that I wasn't a good person unless I went through the motions of a believer. When I was 19 I got pregnant and had my 1st daughter. About the time she started talking I hit a self inflicted emotional crisis, not for years of sexual torture by my father or the assault that resulted in me having my daughter; it was over religion! I cannot possibly recount how many sleepless nights I had looking at my new born thinking I was good enough for her, she didn't deserve a mother who couldn't even believe in god. Then it was a struggle of what do I teach her? I could not believe in god, but if I was wrong did I have a right to deprive my daughter of being saved? Nothing I've been through has ever caused more grief than having my daughter's 'soul' in my hands and being afraid of making the wrong decision. I'm angry at the time I wasted when I could have been resting up to play games with her, all because of the indoctrination of guilt for those going by the wayside.

I'm much older now and more confident and comfortable with my belief that the god business is a huge marketing ploy of nothing more than horsesh*t! In the end I chose to be open and honest with her about everything (age appropriate of course). I'm very anti religion, but I don't harp on that with her. If she asks my feelings, I tell her. When she asks a question or wants to talk about what an xtian friend told her, we get out a bible look it up and discuss it. I pose questions back to her designed to make her feel comfortable thinking for herself, and confident to hold to commonsense when others are not. Now she says she feels sorry for her xtian friends for not having the opportunity to be able to think for themselves.

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