How did you become an atheist?

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I was born into a secular household, I was never a believer. I did get forced into reading the bible at school, though, but I never really got the connection between 'being forced into reading some book about God' and 'God exists'. To me, it was fiction, even at an early age.

Rastelin:
All the way up to I was around 11 or 12. Then some bell in my head kept tingling, telling me something did not add up. But I stopped praying long before that. Was only lip service.

Makes sense, most people's experiences with this seem to be of a gradual transition (some people even take decades, not just a few years).
As for the Bible studies, I'm surprised they even taught you all of that. Some only teach the "good" stuff. A lot of the weirder or worse bits people often have to read for themselves.
Yeah, 'twas definitely risky to include that.

Skeleon:
As for the Bible studies, I'm surprised they even taught you all of that. Some only teach the "good" stuff.

That's the thing. They only focused on the nice stuff in the bible. I however read the parts they did not want us to pay attention to. Which spawned a lot of questions. Hell even the family priest came home to us to talk to me. Like I was possessed or something. "It may seem brutal, but I should not judge the actions of god" he said. But I rather though I ought to. At that point I was the "odd kid". No surprise though. In a community that is build up around a church, this was expected.

Brandon237:
My family has always been scientific though (my dad has a degree in biology, so this would be obvious), so things like evolution and dinosaurs my parents just taught me as fact.

Well you had that. The worst of my family believes dinosaur fossils where Satan's way of deceiving mankind.
How do you reason with such a mindset I ask. You simply don't. They are such an embarrassment for me. Be glad your parents are rational people.

adamsaccount:
I went to a catholic school and most of the priests seemed like cunts to me, never got molested though. I resented being forced to pray every morning and saw it as indoctrination from the start. Now I do believe in a god, but am an atheist in that its not a christain god and I see all the evils that religions have perpetrated.

If you belive in any god be it the Christian or Roman gods you're an atheist.

On topic, I treated god like santa, at first it was true cos why would my mum tell me a lie? Then as I grew up, I was like "oh, there is no god", which is a little stupid. Then as I grew older and heard others debating the issue, I decided to do a little thinking about it.

Mainly around the "all loving, all knowing and all powerful" spiel, now if all 3 of those things are correct how is there still evil, how have there been so many dictators? If he knew there was suffering and could stop it but didn't, then he is not all loving. If he he knew and couldn't stop it, he isn't all powerful or did he just not know about it? So if they are all true, one has to be false.

That started me off looking for other stuff like that, until I was like "there is too much stuff not lining up here, this must be crap".

I am now of the opinion that the Christian god maybe crap but there could be a god or gods, it could be a mixture of all our religions or none or one got it spot on.

Until science says either "we have been over everything and there is no other possible explanation other than god" or "without a shadow of a doubt this is how everything started...." we will never be sure. It won't happen in the 2000's, maybe the year 3000 but I think that's what will happen

Well maybe i didnt put it the best way, its kind of like a cross between fate and good and evil

Easy. I grew up in Massachusetts. We have churches, but in public, the only signs of religion come from the lunatics wearing billboards and shouting that we must repent or we'll all go to hell.

Lovecraft. I blame Lovecraft.

Well, that and an old lady I used to know. She always used to tell me about how God loved us all, but then one day went on a rant about how God would send you for hell for being 'naughty'. I said that made him sound mean, and she said that I'd go to hell for those kind of words. Didn't talk to her much after that.

Then, Lovecraft, and I realised it's far more likely that if there is a 'god' or at least god-like being he probably doesn't care about us. Weird thing is, I've only got more idealistic after this.

Like most rational people, I always doubted, but because I was raised religious, I felt _bad_ about doubting, since I couldn't 100% to infinity decimal places prove there wasn't a god with pure logic and I thought that was what they standard of proof should be because that's what the religious people around me told me it should be, even though they never applied that standard to anything else.

What happened to me later was the usual, I got an education in basic logic and the principles of science, which actually taught me about real standards of proof. When I realized that the lack of existence of anything like the Christian god was proven with far more certainty than things like Gravity or Momentum, because more people had spent more time examining it (and making excuses for it, there's a reason Christian philosophy is called "apologetics" and laughed at by everyone else) and once I realized the sheer amount of time some pretty talented people had wasted on what, in retrospect, is a pretty dumb question in the first place (why would you assume the world has a guiding intelligence in the first place? That's pretty stupid if you've paid even the slightest attention to the world.) I stopped feeling guilty about it and let it go.

I have written about this a couple of times here already so here is a brief synopsis:

1) Raised by Christians with Parents who were missionaries for my childhood (until I was 20 years old).

2) I left high school devout holding many of the fundy/evangelical views.

3) Was heavily involved in my local church for the next decade as a preacher, worship leader, bible study leader and member of several leadership commitees.

Then things changed....

4) I began to stop taking the bible literally as I learned a bit about science and history. But I was still a christian.

5) I began to realise the multiple internal discrepencies in what the the bible teaches and records as "true" events. But I was still a christian.

6) As my doubts multiplied I noticed that the apologists I used to turn to had no answers to them. They usually didn't got anywhere near the major criticisms of the bible from philisophical, historical and scientific grounds. That was all it took.

7) One night I was preparing for a sermon and realised I didn't believe any of what I was preparing was true. I made some half-assed excuse to get out of preching then quit the commitees and worship leading team. I was not wanting to announce my change of "faith" in the open - but I knew I could not continue to be involved in things I thought were false.

I didn't become an atheist, I been atheist since I remember, since my parents witnessed my first independent thought they said that there was no god in my thoughts. My parents and my community raised me as a free individual, no forced religion from culture or parents.

I was born with free mind, to see the world as I want. To find the facts of reality myself. And I found them, I saw that there was no god - only causality, only echoes from past that define the now, and nothing more.

There is no God in my world and everything I witness is part of my world. And when I seize to exist so does my world. Your's will keep on going and so will the reality, but my world will not.

I was born not knowing about or believing in any gods, so that was the first time I became an atheist.

Then I was a "Catholic" in name only because I was forced to go to church and do that kind of crap like communion, but they had good snacks there and it's how I got addicted to BBQ shapes so whatever.

Then I decided I didn't want to do that anymore and got a job so I could buy my own BBQ shapes, so stopped being a Catholic in name only and continued not believing in anything.

Quite the story.

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