This is a general discussion how, when, and why they became a non-believer/skeptic/atheist/agnostic etc.

I have been a skeptic almost my entire life, however when I was very young I took everything on faith (I had to, I had no basis for comparison.) In kindergarden my teachers and parents told me about gnomes and fairies and Santa Claus and the Tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny and God. By the end of first grade or the beginning of second grade I started realizing that what they were saying made no sense. There was never and evidence to lend credence to what they said. I stopped believing then in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, gnomes, and God. Since then it has been a non-issue. They simply don't exist as far as I can tell. The Universe is a such a wondrous and amazing place I find it sad and pityable when people are so intellectually lazy as to ascribe this amazing place we inhabit to some benevolent over seer who seems incredibly interested in our tiny little insignificant (on a cosmic scale) planet. People tell me its depressing to think about our insignificance on a cosmic scale but they forget that on a human scale (which is all we can truly comprehend) we are significant so our inherent insignificance is insignificant.

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oops... i guess the topic is expanded to how/when/why did you become an atheist and philosophy did that lead you to?
We were occasional church going Catholics but for me that never took. I just didn't see any importance in it and it confused me (mass, communion etc.). I guess I don't have whatever gene it is that causes humans to look for a higher power ;). But, I definitely wasn't a natural skeptic. I've believed some things that make me cringe now. It wasn't until college that I even gave it a thought and then I think I felt like I had to believe something but still I was never religious. I guess I wasn't strong enough to really think for myself. I'd been a de-facto (apathetic) atheist for years until my oldest son, nearing school age caused me to think carefully about what I wanted to teach my children. So it was really only about 2 years ago (I'm 42 now) when I started becoming more aware of all the crazy things people believe and I finally would call myself and atheist and skeptic. I'm somewhat wistful that it took me this long to get here but I guess better late than never. As for what philosophy - I think, naturalism.
Naugh405: People tell me its depressing to think about our insignificance on a cosmic scale but they forget that on a human scale (which is all we can truly comprehend) we are significant so our inherent insignificance is insignificant.

I have never understood why it should be depressing to think we are all alone in the universe (should that even be true). I wonder if it's just this desire to leave your mark, to be remembered once we are gone. I see nothing but awe and possibility when I think about the universe and infinitely lucky to be a small part of it.
It means your existence rather have no meaning rather than being alone. The essence being if our existence has no meaning, why then do we exist? For some reason people must justify their existence, it wasn't just "chance" that gave birth to you.
I was born into Catholicism (just like the mafia lol) where I was expected to just follow what is being taught and if I question anything that they (my family, teacher, priest, etc.) cannot answer logically, they told me that my faith is weak. I think it is normal for a person to be curious, it does not necessarily mean weakness of faith. Even when I was a kid, I wanted to know how and why things happened. For a long time, I really tried to believe what they were telling me, even if I knew that it did not make any sense. After all it is religion, not science right? Proofs not needed. As I grow older, I realized how people throw the word god for their own purposes. As Hitchens said, god did not create us in his own image – it was the other way around. I have seen people use god and the bible to justify their intolerance and hate to anyone that does adhere to what they think is not right, other than their own beliefs: gays, Jews, Muslims, atheists, etc. If god truly created us in his own image, then we are exactly what we are supposed to be, all different. I don’t know what god (if he/she/it exists or cares) wants, but really, it does not matter. For me, the real purpose of life is to help each other and ourselves. It makes sense to do it for society to be productive and one does not necessarily need god or religion in doing something good.

And that's how a little girl grew up to be an infidel. Bow.
Like you, I believed in the stuff adults told me as a kid, but I never had a very strong belief. I was in a catholic school. I found my self about Santa Claus (funny story: I was with my mom and brother in a mall, in xmas time. I saw a woman with a wrapped gift, writing in a sticker "from: santa claus, to:name of kid". I was like "why does that woman lies...she's not santa!!!". I then asked my mom, and she couldn't lie anymore). I remember when we had our first communion; like all my classmates, I was excited (I was 10), but when the time came, I felt nothing at all...it was so weird for me, I thought I would feel something magical, but nothing. I was always very curious; I used as a kid to read the encyclopedia for fun, and I did question most things. When I was about 12 o 13, my parents started fighting a lot; I thought they were going to divorce, and I was desperate...that was the last time I ever prayed. My school is very liberal, and there is space for any belief...I had no pressure at all for praying or even believe in god. In about a year, when I was 14 o 15, I realized I was an atheist, and not only that; that I had never really believed in him. Through out my teen years my atheism grew; I came to solve the questions that, I thought, couldn't be answered without religion, and to be able to discuss this issues with believers in a good way. With that, I became a much more secure person; I love to be able to solve stuff by myself, by logical reasoning and/or researching, to know that I'm able to do that, and to have a strong point of view of the world.
I think I have always been a very critical kind of person, and that's what makes me unable to accept religion, with all the flaws and stupidities it has. But I don't have anything against it...most of my friends, family and my boyfriend are believers, in one degree or another (I think most of them say are believers, but they're not)
awww... Santa got busted!!!
Here's a part of my bio that explains my experience:
...
I questioned religion more as I hit puberty and knew that my natural attraction to other men was not in my control like I had been taught.
You like what you like and that's that.
I was being taught to hate myself.
The idea of teaching that natural feelings are wrong really opened my eyes and made me decide that I would live my life in quiet and go to church as I was told until I was able to get away.
...
My fall from grace came when I started college.
I was introduced to the world, traveled internationally and slowly things made sense to me. Just a simple look at history, mythology and genuinely learning how contorted the ego is made a big difference in my life and perspective.

So now, I'm a secular humanist. I accept atheist as a label and I'm also described as antireligion.
All is fine with me.

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