I'm guessing many here walked away from one religion or another. What religion did you walk away from? Did you look at other religions, if so what ones? What made you settle on Atheism?
I walked away from Mormonism, and didn't look at other religions because they all appeared to be man-made. After studying evolution and reading Richard Dawkins, It became obvious they were all man-made fables.
I was a reform, ie relaxed Jew. But enough of one that my husband needed to convert since he came from a family where only his father was jewish. Once I started thinking logically, doing research and realizing how silly it all was, I started to listen to others. Didn't seem like anyone had answers. CLICK!
I went to Catholic school and baptized into that religion but my family did not adhere to the dogma. I believed with unvoiced and unanswered questions for a very long time. I started to rebel when I realized that I was the one solving or suffering with all of my mundane problems. No matter how hard I prayed or cried nothing was solved until I solved or accepted the problem. I thought what kind of god would allow a child to suffer so. I realized that the only person who could help me was me. So I said screw god he did not deserve my attention or worship and proceeded to work my will on my life. For good or bad it helped me to take charge of my life and accept my life for what it was. I drifted around a while looking into the eastern religions but they also had dogmas that did not jibe with life. I think the only religions that seemed to be the best adapted to life was Buddhism and Taoism but I just feel that Atheism just makes life cleaner and simpler. I believe in KISS philosophy and Athesim suits this well.
I reared myself as a Methodist .I come from a back ground of Methodist/Pentecostal.Pentecostalism was very influential in my life.
I just read "God and Sex" "The God Virus"may be lost in the mail.If,it doesn't come soon I will reorder.
I think of myself as a Spiritual Omnivore/Cultivator.I like Humanism.I read The Tao Te Ching by Derek Lin.
I just want to belong,be a part of and make a Difference.
"I" isn't being used here as being self0centered.
Get to know me and U may learn to like me.
I was indoctrinated at a young age (ripe for the picking). i understand this today is one the most common ways to recruit new blood. RC is what happened to me. It's taken many years for me to unravel the brainwashing I was subjected to! What I discovered is studying and reading the history of man completely destroys the ancient myths of religion. My moment of awakening was at a meeting when I herd the term, yah no man god is just a metaphor. Cool, ummm what is a metaphor? That is what started my journey 5 some years ago. I love my life today.
I began my Christian life in 5th grade when I was 11 as a Baptist. My faith didn't become extremely important to me until I got into 8th grade and my brother convinced me to change the radio station we listened to from country to contemporary Christian. Around 11th grade is when I started to consider myself nondenominational. It wasn't until my first semester of college until I started to change my views again, this time to being in line with a group I later found out was a destructive cult after being in it for 6 months. I wasn't sure what to consider myself for the next couple days, but I was still a Christian and felt liberated. Then I quickly got into the house church movement for about 2 months.
One day while I got out of the house alone, I started to think about how many times I've changed my religious views. A ton of questions about my faith started to flood my mind, and I couldn't answer any of them. It was scary at first, just then starting to doubt everything I held dear, but it was something I just couldn't ignore. After some research, I found that answers to my questions were lacking, and I became agnostic on the spot. This lasted for 13 days until my brother talked me into converting back. Of course, this lasted only a month, and I was agnostic again.
It took a little over a year before I changed my views again, and a few friends convinced me to give Christianity another chance. This time I adopted a more moderate form of Christianity, and this lasted until May 2011. My girlfriend at the time (now ex-girlfriend) and brother were having a religious argument. My brother tried to argue that Old Testament laws apply to Christians today, and my girlfriend tried to argue against it. This showed me a glaring contradiction, and I began to doubt again. After some research, I found no way to reconcile their opposing points of view as their arguments were all biblically correct. So I decided to settle this once and for all. Reconverting twice was ridiculous enough. I chose to tackle what might be the very foundation of Christianity and researched messianic prophecy supposedly fulfilled by Jesus. My research has led me to the conclusion that not only did Jesus fail to fulfill these prophecies, but also that Christians have been distorting scripture to support their ideas. I've been an atheist since.
Continue to Grow.Best of Wishes on U R Journey.
I walked away from Adventism. That started from a conversation with a stranger over the similarities and differences between Adventists and Mormons. I was so unsettled by this conversation, that I felt compelled to study the critiques of Adventism from the outside for the first time. (The outside, being the concerns that other Christians had about Adventism.) That was a good 6 month in depth investigation, at the end of which, we met with our pastor to explain our thoughts, and submitted a formal letter resigning our church positions. We left as Christians, but no longer as Adventists.
I was delighted to now have the opportunity to "church shop" for the first time in my life. I read up a little bit on the basics of the various denominations, and decided we would start visiting non-denominational churches that didn't delve too deeply into doctrine. We went with the church that our kids liked best. At first, it was so much fun to belong to a large, thriving, hip congregation. They had a dynamic youth group, a modern band on stage, you could attend church in your jeans and drink coffee during the service. (Adventists don't drink coffee at church functions, as their prophet spoke against it.) But it soon became apparent that although it was a larger, more grace filled box, it was still a box.
Then started a review of religions outside Christianity. Crap. The similar roots were now so obvious to me - even in Buddhism, that I realized being churchless was our best option. I was always the family member encouraging us all to attend anyway.
My teenage son admitted he had already realized he was an Atheist. My husband remains Agnostic. Our two younger daughters were hit the hardest (they were 10 and 14). They were sad and confused for awhile, having been uprooted twice now. They didn't know what to believe. I still took them to their youth groups, (I had continued to do the same after we first left Adventism), but after the summer break, there was a renewed commitment by leadership to recenter the group on the bible, rather than casual game playing, and they announced that they were done. They were fascinated with Wicca for a bit, and are now secular. I'm not sure if they think of themselves as atheist or agnostic.
Occasionally I'll attend a Unitarian church, and my oldest daughter will join in on one of their collegiate socials, but that's about it. We're not members.