What event, book, lecture, or insight 'made' you and atheist? HMM?

 

While he was sick with cancer my dad once cut my religious comments off by saying, "I don't believe in that stuff."   It was like a thunderclap at the very moment he said he didn't believe.  I no longer believed.  I had essentially been given permission to leave god.  I had flirted with it before but it was just too far a leap for me.  His moment of honesty gave me permission.  After watching my parents suffer from cancer several times I had no more doubts that there was no god.  I'd always been distressed, especially as a child, that god would let so many people suffer for no apparent reason.  Watching them suffer and watching everyone pray and work to make their last days better clinched it.  How could a loving god do this?  If god was so sadistic it wasn't worth worship even if it was real.  A lot of it is luck from cradle to grave.  No one is looking at you from heaven.  I could finally have some privacy. 

 

Before he died he went back to his childhood beliefs and I feel they gave him comfort and strength.  I do not look down on him for this. He gave me the gift of freedom first.  Thanks Dad!

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Comment by Shannon on February 17, 2011 at 4:18pm

Joseph-  The intellectual lazyness is nothing compared to the amount of time and effort scholars put into justifying all this stuff.  I always think of how much more good all these pastors (at least the decent ones) could do as social workers, medicos, therapist, and teachers.  But no- they're just preaching the 'word.'  What a waste.

 

Stephanie- I got into a fight with a Sunday School teacher who told a kid that her dog wasn't going to heaven.  I just couldn't believe that.

 

Mike- Burn In Hell!  I wonder why there isn't a horror movie made about that.  "Drag me to Hell" was a movie about good people being taken to hell by evil forces.  It's a good example of my feeling that Christians actually fear the devil more than they love god.  How many people would be Christians if there was no devil to punish them for eternity.  Or if god would protect you from being punished for your bad deed as long as you were in his club.  God is culpable.  The Devil is what keeps most people Christians.  That and the joy of knowing you're better than so many other people.

Comment by Mike Haynes on February 17, 2011 at 1:53pm
It was a very slow transition for me. I was brought up in a Baptist household. If the "fire and brimstone" scare tactics hadn't have been used on me, I probably would have become an atheist at the age of 8. All of my questions were shut down with a warning against questioning god's will, god's word, god himself, etc. and how I would burn in hell for it. In my teen years, my mother died, and my father loosened up a bit, so I didn't have to go to church all the time. I was still fearful of hell though, and never got any answers to my questions. In my 20's I decided to read the entire Bible myself to figure things out once and for all. After the first few books of the Old Testament, I pretty much figured I was doomed. Then I started reading the New Testament in the hopes that Jebus had really made things better for me. Nope. I was doomed. Well, since I was doomed, I figured I might as well start investigating those questions again. In a short time I had decided that Christianity was a pretty bat shit crazy nonsense. It took me several years after that, however, to accept that there most likely was no god of any kind and no afterlife of any kind. It sucked. I'm 47 now and I adopted the "Atheist" label for myself about 5 yeas ago. Yep. I took me about 20 years to shake myself of all the brain-washing indoctrination. It was about that time that I finally understood anything about evolution and that it wasn't the misconstrued nonsense that I had been taught it was. I really enjoy my life now and will never turn back.
Comment by TNT666 on January 5, 2011 at 1:43pm
I think we're all, in the strictest sense, "made atheists" it's just during youth and school years  people are brainwashed into falsifying natural data and turning it into "mystery". Some people regain their original senses to realise that mystery and illusion are mere trickery and tools of control. I am so turned off by god people I can't even begin to describe...
Comment by Joshua Billingsley on January 5, 2011 at 12:58pm
I was born without any faith. I have never had the urge. I listen to the stories of people and they are all so filled with drama and such emotion. My mother believed in angels (but not) and God (but not) and so on. Perhaps I was just lucky to have never been indoctrinated into the supernatural.
Comment by CDB on January 5, 2011 at 6:55am

@ T Rose....

what the hell is normal? (sorry i dont know what word to use yet in place of hell)

I did religion, new age, spirituality etc etc ad nauseum....  Hell(there i go again) I even got up before dawn to go hang out with some other freaks for the "harmonic convergence" in the 1980's at some point.

Point is we struggled, searched and thank "sweet baby jesus" we found our way home to ATHEISM

Comment by T Rose on January 4, 2011 at 9:46pm
Shannon. I know I shouldn't be embarrassed but I am. I'm not sure why. I was very delusional and believed despite all the evidence to the contrary. I simply ignored all the times I was wrong (about half the time) or that prayer and meditation didn't work (about half the time) and focused on all the "confirmation" the 50% of the time it did work. Since I was never into religion even though the rest of my family was, I got real into the new age bullshit which, I think, is even wackier than religious stuff--and I guess that's where the embarrassment comes in. I wasn't even "normal" in my spiritual beliefs!
Comment by 1311 on January 4, 2011 at 9:11am
I became an Atheist by reading the bible and going to church. I was raised very fundamental christian by my parents and I would always get in trouble for questioning the bible and god. I was labeled the black sheep of the family cause my thinking was not right. To be honest, I'd rather be the black sheep and make my own way than be a white sheep and follow blindly what everyone and the bible says.
Comment by Shannon on January 3, 2011 at 10:11pm

Mosh-  There's no there there!  : )

 

T Rose-  Do not for a second think that it's embarrassing to say it took 44 years to become an atheist.  Some people never see the light.  Having been raised and continued to believe all kinds of crazy religious and spiritual stuff- it's really hard to break away from a mindset that almost everyone holds and almost no one examines or even allows to be examined.

Comment by MoshingTick on January 3, 2011 at 9:58pm
I can't say it was one thing that 'made' me an atheist. There was a long road of self reflection on what I believed or didn't and asking myself why I believed things to begin with. For many years I really wanted to believe that God existed and that I could find a home with the faith my parent's raised me in (Christianity). But I just didn't feel anything. I'd look around in church and see all these people swaying, tossing their hands up in the air, having obvious emotional experiences... I just never felt any of that. And for a long time I thought I was the one who was messed up or that Satan was attacking me (pick your flavor of the day). Eventually I just came to the conclusion that there wasn't anything there. But that was with 12 years of analyzing things. My parent's are still fundamentalists and are not happy about my deconversion.
Comment by T Rose on January 3, 2011 at 6:40pm
It's a little embarrassing to admit it took me 44 years to actually be able to admit to myself that I was an atheist--kind of like how it takes some people a long time to admit they're gay. I really clung to the belief there was a higher power up there and karma and other supernatural things that were "real" because I had so much "proof" of it working (i.e. I'd use spirit guides to lead me to lost stuff, I'd "send energy" regarding a situation and it would end up going my way, etc.).

I've always loved to write and one day I started writing a book that consisted of a daily letter to God. I realized how foolish, pathetic, and slave-like I sounded but I pressed forward writing for about two weeks. Then, one day, I decided to look for possible publishers and found the website GodIsImaginary.com, read through it and watched some videos. I decided to give non-theism a try and see what would happen if I stopped praying and sending out healing energy/vibes, etc.

Turns out life went on and I still had good and bad things happen to me at the very same rate as when I was "spiritual but not religious". I self-defined as "neither spiritual nor religious" noting that life had not changed one iota and then, after about a year, I realized live had changed for the better because things were going my way more than not because I was now putting more effort into reality as opposed to the fake supernatural so things were moving and shaking in my life.

So, what "made" me atheist...it's hard to sum up in a sentence. I guess it was the "experiment" I did to see what would happen if I ceased all spiritual stuff that really convinced me.

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