Here we go...

welcome everyone!

So here's me - Aleks, orignially from Croatia, but moved to Austria about 17 years ago, so I'm pretty much assimilated here. Like most European countries Austria is pretty neutral... no big fundis here. Both Austria and Croatia are catholic countries, but the Muslims are taking over - which is a pain in the arse, I gotta admit.

Anyway, so that's me. Living in Vienna, surrounded by pretty intelligent fellow human beings (and some dumb-ass-believers... very annoying e.g. when politicians admit being delusional).

I'm 23 years of age (by tomorrow), and just joined the atheistnexus.

About how I became an Atheist:
well, I think it's best described in my profile...
I was raised by Atheists, was never indoctrinated, so I consider myself lucky in that perspective. Maybe a disadvantage here: I really never understood the need for "faith". So I really do have a hard time understanding what it is like... I was simply born and raised without Santa Clause, the Easter bunny and/or God. My parents used to tell me the truth about everything... from the very beginning. And I never felt like I missed something.

I actually even felt incredibly sorry for the pupils in primary school, when they cried, because they found out that their parents were lying to them about e.g. Santa. I never really understood, why you would do this to your kid in the first place...

So, err... that's it for now. If you have any questions feel free to ask ;)

I'm curious to read your stories!

Cheers,
Aleks

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Replies to This Discussion

Hey there, fellow Europeans :) thought I'd drop a line here too. Well, I'm from Finland, I'm in my twenties, and I'm a student. Although a majority of Finns belong to a church, I think most are pretty relaxed about it, some to a point where they are members of the church because they've just always been that way and don't really care one way or the other ;) My folks are Christians and I was brought up as a Christian but religion was never enforced on me, really. I did have a very spiritual phase somewhere in my early teens, and yes, I'm now greatly ashamed, but what does anyone know at that age? ;) My mom was still a bit upset to find out I had resigned from the church, though, but I think we've gotten over it. I guess that's my religious background in a nutshell.

- D
Hey, I'm Finnish too! :P
And thus my story is pretty similar. Religion here is more about going to the Church at Christmas because it's part of the tradition than being a devout believer.
I just never really believed in the stuff.
My parents are a bit more religious than me, but I don't think they were very upset when I quit the church. ("Just don't tell your grandmother...")
Most of friends, as well as my sister, are strongly secular and atheist/agnostic.

Lately I've become more interested in atheism and evolution as a result of the rise of creationism, religious violence and the like.

So, not a very dramatic story by any means :)
Not really got a story to tell..... I guess you could say I has a totally secular upbringing. My parents certainly didn't 'raise me as an atheist'. I'm not sure what they really believe.... we almost have a strangely inverted system (compared to what I hear/read about some other people's situations); I think my parents know that if they admitted they were religious, they'd get a serious telling off.

I don't think they are, though!

Still, according to my brother, our first school was very christian. Thinking back, I guess it was..... but I never noticed. I had much more important concerns than the fantastical adventures of Jesus. Like my Lego. I liked Lego a lot.

Went to church a few times with the school (my parents never took me to church). I just found it boring. Boring, boring, boring. What a horribly pointless thing to put us all through.

My more serious interest in atheism started fairly recently, when I started reading blogs and looking at science sites (I'm a biologist, and was more than a little stunned to find that real, actual people still buy that creationist stuff).

Also I started getting older so became more aware of politics and the problems caused by religion in politics.

That's it really!
Ok, so I'm from Poland, and Poland is a very religious country. Luckily my parents aren't very devout or anything like that, so when I told them about my deconversion, they weren't too shocked :)

I started having doubts in my early teens, and since we have religion as a subject in our schools, it was a perfect opportunity to discuss those doubts with a priest. Every single skeptical question I had for them was met with either disbelief that someone would dare to question religion, or some half-baked answer that really didn't answer anything. That didn't go well with me, and I started reading Dawkins, and that made me drop religion for good.
The Story of My Disbelief

taken from my blog at http://beinghuman.blogs.fi

I have repeatedly pointed out the importance of the indoctrination that is done in the early childhood in transferring the religious beliefs. This is in a pivotal point in Richard Dawkins work.

My lifetime of atheism is certainly in some part based on the fact that I have not been subjected to any religious indoctrination in my early childhood.

I grew up in a family where the relationship with religion or church was quite indifferent. In both my parents families there was a strong tradition of activism in the Social Democratic movement which can in part explain this neutral attitude towards religion, even though both my grandmother’s were devout Christians.

I did not however receive any atheistic teaching or even had any knowledge of its existence in my childhood. My parents had very typical Finnish relationship with the religion. They followed the traditions, but they held a definite aversion towards any preaching or even religious way of thinking.

I doubt that a crucial thing in my own development was the thing that I never received teaching in religious matters before reaching the regular school-age, which is six or seven years in Finland. My mother was a housewife and so I never did go to kindergartens that are giving religious teaching in Finland, nor did I attend any Sunday school.

I suppose that the religious teachings received later in the school had much less impact, when there was a definite lack of the religious teaching most people receive at an age when they are not able to think for themselves at all.

Our family was on the other hand not against religion in any particular way and so I attended the regular religious teaching given to almost all children in the Finnish schools.

Even so, I remember thinking that the stories in the Bible were just another collection of bedtime stories, and I remember slightly wondering why this kind of series of clearly made up stories is taught in the school.

This early wonderment changed however to active resistance in the early teen-age. I can’t really say what caused this change. I only soon found out that I did spend the hours reserved for religious teaching thinking about arguments against these patently false and unhistorical assertions that were given as facts in this class.

The history part may have been crucial in my development, as I did nurture an everlasting love for history from the tender age of nine or ten, when I did first read the 600 pages of Pocket World History, admittedly skipping the dull parts dealing with culture. After that I read practically everything in our local library that had anything at all to do with history.

I did not receive any direct atheistic influences in the real life, but the clear antireligious tendencies in the modern world literature must have made on impact also on me. Besides history I spend my spare time mostly by reading contemporary American and Latin American literature. From the older literature especially George Orwell’s earlier works had a great impact on me.

I remember clearly that my first antireligious thoughts were formed when I realized that Christianity condemns to oblivion also those who have not had a physical opportunity of even hearing about its teaching.

I must admit that in high school I was the favorite pupil of our teacher of religion. He represented a very modern view of Christianity and she had great appreciation for the fact I had even thought about this kind of things in any way. My classmates were clearly only extremely bored by the whole thing with religion.

My views were maturing during these formative years and in my 18: t birthday I severed my formal links with church for good. In Finland a child is not allowed to resign from the membership of the state church without his or her parents’ permission before the age of 18, but I did at very moment it was possible.

After high schoo
Hi there. Thanks for joining. It's good to see a number of Europeans from various countries joining the group.

Hopefully we can build some links!
I don't have much of a story and I was brought up in a really non religious home. It was not hard for me to question different things about religion. I was taughtto use my brain and to use reason, that being so religion became a non entity in my life and there for non belief. I have been an Atheist for over 40 years now and don't feel I have missed anything
I'm not too sure if I count being here. I am an American living in Dresden, Germany and have been for the last 5 1/2 years. I am looking to connect with some like minded people on "this side of the pond".

My story? Grew up Lutheran, converted to Fundamentalism, then put my brain back in my head and realized it was all a bunch of crap.
Welcome to Europe (yup, I just welcomed you with a 5,5-years-delay ;-) ). And yes, you're fine here. Everyone can join, even those who live outside of Europe, but are Europeans, or those who are neither, but simply interested!

Good to have you with us rationalists ;-)

Cheers,
Aleks
Well, i won't say too much since i have a brief explanation on my profile. Basically - i was raised by two atheists but i never knew they were atheists until i was in my teens; by the age of ten i had made up my mind that i was an atheist after listening to several discussions and debates. Up until then i had never known that there was any other possible explanation from the 'explanation' that i was TOLD in school.

I remember being told in primary school, the story of Jesus, Mary and Joseph etc - and was never ever told that this is not definitely what happened, but was told it as fact. I always found myself asking why that was the case after i had learned that it wasn't necessarily the case. I'm certainly glad that i learned the opposing views at a young age and if i ever have children, i will make sure that whatever school they attend doesn't get away with teaching my kids any religion as if it is fact; they can teach it as belief, that way my children can learn about many different religions knowing that they are only beliefs. No way are my children going to be told that they are going to hell if they misbehave; i will tell them that there are going to be bad consequences for bad actions, but no way will i inflict such emotional abuse as fearing them into believing!! No way!!

I'm lucky that i live in the UK because we are a very secular nation - although i am also very annoyed at how religion is taught in schools here - i want to bring this issue to the attention of our government. There is not enough done in the name of secularity in this country anymore - everything is done so as to not offend the religious community, but in the process, our secularity is under threat but that is being ignored. It is time that us Europeans took a stand against this recent problems, which i am pretty sure are not happening solely here in the UK.

Oops - once again i said more than i had planned hee hee!!
I was about 8 when I realised that for me God was no more real than Santa...
Atheist from southern Italy, here popular forms of Catholicism and superstition are pretty strong. I received Baptism and Eucharist without thinking about it (deh, I was 10), luckily I came out of it pretty early and avoided Confirmation (which here is quite common around age 14 or 15, not much of a "pondered decision"). I "settled" my philosophical position when I was 18-19, and been an atheist since. Now I'm 22.

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