I went to a private Catholic School for 12 years. In High school, we got more in dept with the study of religion but none of the reasons for positions were based on evidence. Many of my teachers/priests would form different opinions based on the same passage from the bible and everyone emphasized faith without providing evidence. So I suppose you could say studying my religion is what drove me from it. I also was forced to go to a teen-religious group weekly and people there excelled at picking and choosing lines from scripture to apply to their faith while ignoring other lines that didn't fit their view of their religion.
That being said, I got a great education, all of the priests/nuns were decent people, and I have friends who kept their faith through highschool and some who like me chose to leave it.
Bachelor of Theology from Multnomah, missionary in Europe, evangelical for 46 years: it all ended 4 years ago when thinking about the logic of Hell and how it relates to an all-loving God, started frying the circuits in my brain. Before my brain became toast, I threw my faith overboard, and thankfully my head was restored to it's normal functioning. And since there was no hell, there couldn't really be a heaven either, and thus no Personal God or Savior you needed to save you to or from either. I've been set free, HALLELUJAH!!!
Etienne, I don't read novels but your experience certainly does suggest one. I wish you well.
I have doubted the existence of God for most of my life even as a child. I was born handicapped and that just didn't seem to agree with the idea of a good God (reminds me of a poster I saw that said, "Intelligent design ? Tell that to all the children born with mental and physical handicaps"). I had my religious period in my teens, but it was not long lived. Over the years I've studied and researched the matter, and today I am a strong atheist. I never entertain the idea that any god(s) might possibly exist.
Anthony, you wrote "I never entertain the idea that any god(s) might possibly exist."
In this discussion you've entertained the idea at considerable length.
I can honestly say I have no idea. My mom is a rather pragmatic Catholic, she never told me what to believe...she just said I had to go to church until I was confirmed, so with that and some instances at church had the most influence. Then just not going to Church for a long time loosened whatever ties I still had to the Church, though I still identified as a Catholic for the longest time because..well.. everyone belongs to a Church, right?
Then I made a friend, and her husband is an outspoken Atheist. I mentioned Intelligent Design and he would have a rebuttal, one time I picked up and read part of Carl Sagans book. And I stopped thinking about religion, I just didn't worry about it. I felt it was just appropriate to speak out against bad things, no matter what shield it hides under. God was just a figment of the mind. So then I found out what the word Atheist meant, and took that title. So, yeah.
My children found GOD to be merciful, honest and caring.
Yes, 'Good Old Dad' has always been there for them!
It was because of Sister Angela from Ireland who was my teacher in 4th class at the age of 10 years. Sometimes when I was naughty she would belt me on the bum and legs with her leather strap but when I was good she was nice to me.One day in class I was sitting at my desk with my catechism open and Sister Angela said that we would go to hell if we did not attend mass at least every Sunday and holy days of obligation. This scared me at first because I had already heard of the eternal fires of hell, I thought I might have to attend mass every day to make sure of my salvation. However, thereafter I thought about what Sister Angela said critically and I began to doubt it's truth.I was an agnostic child and if Jesus was real then I was cool with him anyway but I was concerned about getting 'stiffies' in class especially if Sister Angela told me to stand and come to the front of the class.
Damn, Napoleon! If Sister Emile, who I had for 8th grade, looked anything like Sister Angela, I might have stuck with it. Unfortunately, Sister Emile looked more like a decrepit version of Batman's mother. And just as freaking mean!
What Started me on my Discovery of Disbelief was hanging around Church and Preachers Way to Much. I would always read and dabble in atheist books. I always thought in my head that they had a point. The Black Church is so full of hypocrites and they operate like a dictatorship my way or Hell. There is also alot of Manipulation that occurs in the black church and it leads to alot of confusion and division. So I guess what started me on my path to disbelief is my disbelief in the structure of the church and then I started to question the God of the church and why he would allow some of the monsters that there is in the pulpit preaching the bogus lies and filling people with hate every sunday.
I didnt want to be apart of something that exploited people in such a way and caused them to view everything that they didnt understand into SIN OR THE DEVIL. So I guess what caused my disbelief was the notion that if you thought differently or if you werent afraid of change or if you didnt live your life with the NAIVE STUPID SIMPLE ELEMENTARY beliefs that they tell you to have that you are a problem or that you ask to many questions. In my personal view all things should be examined and brought into question and my Disbelief GREW FROM MY QUESTIONS and the BOGUS BS that is told to people every sunday in churchs all around america.
God trying to destroy us all a couple of times, and then deciding to come to earth as his own son so we could kill him in order to believe in him, and if we do that, then we can have eternal life and live in Hebben with him was a good start! A year ago I decided that it all made no sense.