What was the turning point, in your life, that helped you become an atheist?

Mine was simple. I was diagnosed with my brain tumor on my 13th birthday. At the time, my parents forced me to go to church and this just made me so angry. And over the years, I was never comfortable being who I was, because the whole concept of atheism was taboo..I never would accept the god BS, fully, because I knew it was a lie and people used it to control me. Being a disabled person was really tough enough, without adding in more stuff to cause grief to my life.... But then, something happened... at 30 years of age, I got to spend 6 months in 4 comas, when my shunt (a valve in my head to drain fluids) failed. This absolutely showed me that there is no god and I was not angry anymore, just frustrated with people, who blindly follwed the religious lies.

 

Now, I am putting together a new advocacy agency, to help people, who are disabled and people, who are disabled and homeless. It is estiated that there are 10,000,000 disabled people in this country and it is estimed that there are 350,000 people, who are disabled and homeless.

 

My agency is called "Journey Thru Storms".

 

My web address is  www.journeythrustormsadvocacy.org

 

Please visit and give your thoughts.

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A middle school science class. I learned all this cool and interesting stuff that had nothing to do with God. So I did a bit more research on science and I really liked it. It wasn't long before I discovered evolution and, blah blah blah, atheism.
Your organization sounds great. We need more secular organizations to step up and do the social work that churches have traditionally had a monopoly on.

The turning point for me was simply moving out of my parents house.
I had a 'vision' and took up religion with a fervour, then became an atheist all in the space of High School. My parents never pushed it on me but I took on the law that we (still to this day) have to hold a religious assembly in schools every day and got my picture in the local paper.

Religion never bothered me that much until a few years ago when I became 'anti-theist' and I am hoping to start protesting in churches soon to get my point across. Catherlic ones should be a pretty soft target.
@Yiggoto:
You took on the law? Brave guy. Good on you. ;-)

For me, I started having doubts about the truth of Islam, having been exposed to highly intelligent Atheists at work, and thought to myself: why should I constantly have to workaround reality to match my religious dogma. Even after trying hard, it looked extremely silly. Then it was time to get married and it dawned on me that getting married and having kids would make leaving Islam a whole lot more complicated. I knew I had to be honest with myself and bite the bullet. After doing lots of research and brooding over what to do, I left.
Seeing just how shitty my spiritual community really was, and being shunned by them, gave me the freedom to realize the beliefs were bullshit and I was trying and trying to believe them just to fit in.
mine was moving out of the west coast and going to the east coast. West coast was full of mega churches and it was easier to be in a bubble of delusion, and the east coast represented a more conservative view of church, and people led normal lives outside of sundays...drinkin and cussin with the best of 'em...so I was able to see people outside the church were not simply anti-god automatons.
I don't know exactly when I discarded the probability of god's (as religious people commonly describe it) existence. My first two years of high school I was struggling over whether believing in god was a good thing (belief in belief, as Dennett calls it) or not.

I lost belief in belief after attending a Christian summer camp. I asked my camp counselor about other religions and she told me, quite straightforwardly and coldly, that all other religions were fake and all its practicers were going to hell. The fact that she was okay with billions going to hell showed that there was no way that religion was a good thing, a moral guide to society.
For me it was a process with no one, single point of revelation. I always questioned as a child the many paradoxes in Christianity - even in the laid back, low church Episcopalian variant - but I didn't want to be outcast for it so I fought my own questioning.

Somewhere around age 25 though did come a definitive point where I stopped trying to conform and began the deconstruction process.

That point was the Nicene Creed. "I believe in one God ... I believe in one holy Catholic and apostolic church ... I believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins ..."

For all the trying-to-believe-in-fairy-tales it was the ego and exclusionary nature of this creed that I could take no more. Especially being that as Episcopalians we pride ourselves on being so enlightened, so everyone-is-a-child-of-God-and-equally-loved, and yet our principle creed still came down to "We have the truth and you don't." "We are God's favorites and you aren't." "Our sins are forgiven and yours aren't."

I just couldn't wrap my mind around the idea that an evil person who happened to be baptized in just the right way gets the gold star while a good person who is a Hindu or Muslim or Atheist gets the shaft.

That freed me up to start my deprogramming, which did go pretty quickly from there.

Meantime Bradley ... I get what you mean. Asperger's Syndrome isn't a 'disability' in the traditional sense and I didn't even know as a kid that I had it. But I knew something was off, that I was having a tougher time fitting in than most and that was a big part of my reluctance to further alienate myself by not playing along with the whole religion thing.

Am homeless as well, so I guess I fit right in with your group! It would be great to see a private charity or advocacy group that doesn't hold religion over your head as an implicit requirement. Of all the soup kitchens/food banks around here almost all of them are religion-based.
I was on the fence for most of my life, but when I saw just how uncaring believers were during Prop 8 *despite claiming to love everyone, and "supposedly" caring for their fellow man* I just got sick of acting like I sort of believed something that was so evil. I'm too the point now where religion just disgusts me, and I see very little good that could ever come of it. It keeps people stupid and in a little bubble.
I just got sick of acting like I sort of believed something that was so evil.

Well said. Kind of sums up one of my many turning points.
It's difficult to pinpoint. I was raised Christian, but always knew that I was just following along. Most of my life when the real questions arose, I was for all intents putting my hands over my ears and going La La La.
It was not until I met my second wife, whom I knew would love me regardless of my beliefs, that I had the courage to admit that I did not believe.
I am still something of a coward, because I am afraid to announce it openly. I have thought if I changed my Facebook religious status, how fast will my list of friends diminish?
It is something of a wonder to me how a person who professes belief can engage in any sort of behavior including infidelity, and racism and still be accepted, but a faithful loving person who admits atheism is not only shunned, but reviled and attacked by the children of "God".
So I do fear for my family, my business and even my grades in College were I to admit my lack of belief.
welcome Bradley, and congratulations, you found the one true atheist forum!

I was a very late atheist - 48 years old, however, I was never very religious. It was a pretty easy conversion - a few good books (Dawkins and Harris) as well as Julia Sweeney and I was in, and I'm very glad about that.

again, welcome.

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