I am writing an opinion piece and would like participation in this informal survey. I know the question is fundamentally wrong, but it is to help keep the selection narrow:
How were you convinced you to become an Atheist?
(Select the most applicable single answer)
A) A billboard
B) A book
C) A miracle
D) I’m not an atheist
E) I don’t know
F) I wasn’t convinced, it was a realization of who I was
G) A specific person (not an authored book)
H) I was mad at my god(s)
I) I have always been an atheist
J) My god is an atheist, therefore I am an atheist
K) By physical or verbal threats
L) I signed a contract and now I’m stuck being an atheist
M) I had to become atheist to marry my spouse
N) Atheists are cool, and I wanted to be like them
O) Other (please explain in one sentence)
An addendum. I'm wondering if others had found the change, or part of it, traumatic.
Getting down from the agnostic fence required only an easy jump. Climbing onto the fence fifty years earlier, after twelve years in Catholic schools (for which I do not thank my dad) required me to make a lot of new brain connections. When my mom told me I was going to college because I was too lazy to find and keep a job, she broke the connections that 12 years of Catholic dogma had made.
It hurt, and knowing she wouldn't have said that unless my dad had agreed, I threw them out of my life. After three years I made an uneasy truce. One day, her manner very different, she told me a woman she had met in PTA had congratulated her on my graduation. My dad's offer to loan me money for a year of graduate school surprised me; it may have been his way of making amends.
Telling myself that parents have to earn honor was a part of my breaking with Catholicism.
I) I have always been an atheist
Interesting question, though some of the options to choose from are weird. (And I realize these later answers aren't relevant to the original intent of writing an article!) I never really felt very religious, except for two periods in my life. When I was a young teenager, I found a bunch of friends in a church, and got very involved with them, so I mostly went along with them, and was "saved." (Though I wasn't allowed to join the church, which was a Baptist church, because I refused to be immersion baptised, because I didn't believe in it!) I eventually fell away from it, and tried really hard my freshman year in college to believe. I had new friends who were believers, and I wanted to join them. I went to church with them and did some reading, really trying to understand God and Jesus, really trying to believe and to understand, but it just didn't feel right to me.
Eventually, my brother actually did a lot of studying, and basically wrote this thesis (on his own, not for school or anything) that pretty much convinced me of the Jesus myth, and I quickly became an agnostic. I was pretty anti-religion anyway, by that point. And the more I got to know myself and what I really thought, and the more I learned about everything (science, the world, society, psychology), the more certain I was that there was no God, and that it's all human-created due to societal and psychological need. And I've continued in that vein, to the point where I'm extremely anti-religion now and pretty vehemently and proudly atheist! I love to learn more than anything, and I want to know everything. And that includes knowing the truth about reality. I'm a complete materialist, and most of that has come to me mostly by instinct. But now I'm learning more about it, thanks to writers like Sam Harris and Michael Shermer. And I'll never go back. It's just not possible. And I'm thankful for it!
Oh, so I guess my answer, then, would be B & F! To make a long story short (too late!).
My answer is "O". Religious ideals kept falling short of the mark for a guy with an inquiring mind.
F is closest, I guess (over a period of a few years, just questioning the things I was told). Of course, some of B helped: the book being the Bible
The main problem with this survey is some of the answers are so damn funny that it's difficult not to select them. J-L in particular (^_^)
The answer is other "O".
Understanding Science at school and ability to reason logically. Of course, it took me quite some time to gather the courage to defy the religious rules and call myself an atheist.
F is closest, but without the implication that being atheist is the core of my identity.
Then O: Its the only thing that makes sense to me, compared with everything else we know about the world.