Does anyone want to give their story?

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Sam's picture
Does anyone want to give their story?

Hey everyone, since being on the site I have had a couple of chats with atheists, some of which need to stay anonymous which of course should never be a thing in the 21st century. I run a blog in which I aim to hear from atheists from around the world and I would love to hear from those that want their story told. I understand the self promotion and advertisement policy here however I cannot find a better way to contact those that are closeted atheists and I am confident many members of this site would be delighted to speak up, maybe even for the first time.

I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to chat with other members of this site from wherever that may be, I do also hope that this post is acceptable!

Update* Due to this being seen as exploitative/possibly selfish on my behalf I will leave it be. I am sorry if anyone was offended by the post.

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MCD's picture
What story? I am an atheist.

What story? I am an atheist. I don't believe any of the god claims I have heard because there is no good evidence to believe any of them are true. Again, what story are you referring to... because everything else in my life is outside of the scope of what I would care to share on this website??

Sam's picture
Well why put effort into such

Well why put effort into such a response? Thank you for your time regardless.

MCD's picture
So you asked for a response

So you asked for a response and I responded and now your response to my response is why did I bother to provide a comprehensive response. What? Take that chip off your shoulder.

Pitar's picture
I think the OP is expecting

I think the OP is expecting some grandiose, or marginally remarkable, Atheist Exodus from the land of perpetual pontification. I don't have one. I left theism before I became a teen and due to the tolerance for such a thing in my neck of the woods I dropped all religious focus and moved on without so much as a whimper from anyone who remained behind. Nothing has changed since except the emergence of the internet and forums like this one that indirectly tally atheism's growing numbers.

If I could observe a common theme qualifying the move from theism to atheism it would be one of discarding the manifold contrivance supporting hopes of immortality. At this point it's just plain pathetic.

Sam's picture
I'm not looking for some

I'm not looking for some superhero-esque tales of escape from religion, just simplistic introductions from those around the world that I would not be able to hear without the good old Internet :)

mykcob4's picture
@Sam

@Sam
You have a problem. It is the fact that most atheists don't have an extraordinary story of how they came to reality.
For me, I came to that realization to find out I was always an atheist. It's not like being gay. You don't fight with what you are until you give in to you gender reality. Everyone is born an atheist. You have to be indoctrinated into a faith. So what you fight is a social stigma, not an inner conflict. In the USA it has never been illegal to be an atheist, although it seems like it, but you aren't under threat of death or jail time.
So I guess you need to find atheists that have to be underground or hidden from their society to get the compelling stories that you want.
I don't know what you personally get out of it. A blog seems exploitive at best. And yes you are actually violating the forum guidelines of self-promotion.

Sam's picture
Again, I haven't asked for an

Again, I haven't asked for an extraordinary story! Your response is very Christian in the sense that you are putting words into my mouth. And as you said, you have to be indoctrinated into a faith, meaning no one is born atheist. No one is born rejecting theist claims ;)

Thank for your time.

Endri's picture
*cough* I'm 15 and I've never

*cough* I'm 15 and I've never actually found myself believing in a God, and I'd highly suspect I believed in him when I popped out of the vagina.

mykcob4's picture
Atheist is a term that theist

Atheist is a term that theist made up when they made up their god. By definition, everyone is born an atheist.

MCD's picture
You wrote: ''no one is born

You wrote: ''no one is born an atheist''. In reality, everyone is born an atheist.

Nyarlathotep's picture
SamAnd as you said, you have

Sam - And as you said, you have to be indoctrinated into a faith, meaning no one is born atheist.

Well speak for yourself; I wasn't born believing in god.

Sam's picture
But you weren't born

But you weren't born rejecting religious claims? That is my point :)

MCD's picture
This is silly. When I was

This is silly. When I was born, I neither accepted or rejected religious claims. Duhhhhh

SecularSonOfABiscuitEater's picture
Why don't you provide your

Why don't you provide your story. It would probably serve you better to do that so you'd have the ultimate example of what you want from the rest of us. The back and forth about what it is you want and don't want is not helping . You may want to reference a thread that is still active right now in The Atheist hub, Called who are you? That one was written in a way that made people more comfortable with their responses.

The Pragmatic's picture
- "you have to be

- "you have to be indoctrinated into a faith, meaning no one is born atheist. No one is born rejecting theist claim"

What you're saying is: Atheism is a faith.
But to me it is a lack of faith, the absense of faith. The default position is non-belief. Then you have to be taught to believe in whatever gods others wants you to believe in.

chimp3's picture
I am anonymous by choice. I

I am anonymous by choice. I could easily use my real name ( and species ) but in the 21st century I find it easier not to.

Truett's picture
Okay Sam, I'll bite. Here is

Okay Sam, I'll bite. Here is an abbreviated version of my story:

I became an atheist at the age of 50. I had been a Southern Baptist Deacon, conservative Republican, NRA member, and supporter of people like Ted Cruz. So in other words, I was a misogynistic, nationalistic speciest who prioritized the fictitious life to come over this life.

I've been in the tech sector on the business generation side, so I was/am well traveled and work with execs from across the country. I have a BBA from one of the nation's largest business colleges. Still, I was under the impression that there was an unseen order to reality and that god was real. I could tell that the Bible wasn't literal in most ways, but I none the less thought it was true in a deeper, more profound way.

Early in the Summer of 2015 I happened to see a walking-with-dinosaurs type program about the early days of the dinosaurs as life emerged from the Permian Extinction. Included in the program was a dog-like creature called Thrinaxodon. It was a mammal like reptile that appeared part dog and part lizard. The circumstances of its existence couldn't have been worse; it and the few other life forms that made it through the Permian Extinction are arguably the most abused specimens in the history of life. Just about all life on earth died, and these guys barely made it.

The program made the point that all mammals are related to Thrinaxadon, but that isn't what hit me. What hit me was how unkind and unfair the whole thing seemed for this dog like creature (I love dogs). A cornerstone of the Christian faith is that people don't know god's ways but he is in control and makes all things work together for good. The Permian Extinction makes a mockery of that belief. No plan could include the needless suffering of so many animals 251 million years ago. The fact that it was a dog type victim allowed the whole thing to filter past all of the mental barriers of my religious delusion.

This event was one of the two moments that created the epiphany needed to dismiss all supernatural belief. I pursued more insight, which included David Attenborough's "First Life" BBC program. I then wanted to hear debates with leading Christians, and in the process I came to know Christopher Hitchens via Youtube debates. His reasoning and mockery were extremely effective on me, and as a proof point to one of his arguments he mentioned Lawrence Krauss' work on something-from-nothing. I followed up on this and listened to Krauss' arguments and that was it. I was finished with faith.

Here is the reason that Krauss' work is so important: Existence. I don't mean our existence, I mean existence in general. Most educated Christians believe in god and at the same time recognize that we aren't the center of the universe, that demons don't cause illness, and that Noah probably didn't have an ark with every single creature. They, like me, were raised our whole lives believing that there is this unseen but incredibly important dimension to life. They, like me, look for the kind of evidence that we rely on for every other decision in life, but we don't find it except in a few spots. Those spots are in the current unknowns of science, especially the origin of life from non-life and, more importantly for many, the mystery of existence itself. It was destabilizing to me to realize that there are really good working hypotheses about how the first self replicating molecule evolved. That left existence.

If god is the creator, which is arguably the most common description of god in the bible, then he had to create something. If he didn't create the universe, then he isn't a creator and the bible is wrong in every conceivable way.

Lawrence did two things at once. First, he described a plausible means by which something can come from nothing. The other thing was within my mind; in reading what Lawrence Krauss hypothesized, I could see that, whether he had it perfectly correct or not, the final answer will be scientific. It will not be supernatural.

I am embarrassed by what many of my fellow atheists must think of me right now. It is silly to go so long in life without making that connection. Still, that is pretty much what happened. I knew the bible thoroughly. I taught adults the bible, I read it over a dozen times cover to cover, and have some knowledge about ancient Hebrew and Greek. I was personally instrumental in convincing hundreds of people that Christianity was true. I was deeply convinced of the truth of the bible and Christianity. I was perfectly wrong.

When I realized that I had been so gravely mistaken, it was the most pivotal occurrence in my life. My positions on every front had to be reconsidered, my family had to know, and I had to come up with new meaning in life. Because of a matter that was in the news in that time frame, which was the Kentucky clerk who wouldn't marry gays, gay marriage was the first to be considered. I changed my position on gay marriage, abortion, capitalism, the nation-state model, morality and ethics, animal rights, and many other things.

I think the single hardest thing was something that someone who has always been an atheist might not understand. I genuinely thought that if there was no eternal life then there was no real meaning to life. It is so silly to me now, but I had that deep conviction for decades. There is a lot to discuss on this point, but I'll leave it alone to keep this short. But this issue was the single heaviest anchor that bound me to the Christian faith.

I abandoned the Republican party and volunteered for Hillary and local Democratic politicians. I am now a secular liberal progressive humanist. My immediate family has been split on this whole issue, and I saw some members vote for Trump. My extended family almost entirely voted for conservatives, and best I can tell everyone in my community voted Republican.

Becoming an atheist for me was like waking up. Imagine a person who wears kaleidoscopic eyeglasses. The person sees everything that a non-theist does, but it is categorized and set on edge in a way that distorts its place in reality. All the images and colors of the world are the same, but they are mistakenly segmented and disassociated from each other in a way that severely distorts reality. Imagine that visual analogy applying to just about everything. I didn't have to relearn things, but I had to resort the whole lot.

A few luminaries of the atheist world were especially helpful to me, and they are Christopher Hitchens, Lawrence Krauss, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins. Youtube was the best medium.

I was really hoping to make this a short piece, so apologies for the length. I am so very glad to be free of that delusion and I deeply appreciate this forum for me to hear from other atheists. I am from a ranching background in Texas, and live now in the mountains of Arizona. I currently live in a Mormon community, so I am absolutely drowning in mysticism. That said, a community of fellow atheists is like oxygen to me, so thanks a million for being here and for reading this.

Sam's picture
Thank you, I really

Thank you, I really appreciate the time taken to give your perspective and I enjoyed reading. Do you see a difference in religiosity between Arizona and Texas? I have experienced Texas, and can imagine it is considerably more religious than many other States. I currently only have Sheldon Cooper's character on The Big Bang Theory on TV to confirm this!

Truett's picture
Texas is deeply religious,

Texas is deeply religious, much more so than Arizona. It is instructive to look at a Texas denominational map. About 2/3 is Southern Baptist and the other 1/3 is Catholic. The Catholics are fundamentalist, and of course the Southern Baptists are, too. Arizona has so many transplants that it is much less dogmatic. Except for Northern Arizona, which has a super high saturation of Mormons. Yikes. What Texas has in numbers, Northern Arizona makes up for in batshit crazyness.

Sam's picture
I remember seeing billboards

I remember seeing billboards in TX with pretty religious messages, such as 'They are commandments, not suggestions' which I felt was pretty intimidating and much more in your face that I am used to in the UK. Ps, can I post your earlier post onto my blog? I really appreciate the time given to provide it. I haven't spent more than a few days anywhere in the states other than the lone star state which was for a year, so my perception may be a little distorted when I try to compare with other places I have been. (I travelled up the east coast)

Truett's picture
Yes, Sam. Feel free to my

Yes, Sam. Feel free to my story in your blog. Perhaps it will be instrumental in helping someone else. We are living in a modern Greek tragedy were billions who long for meaning and purpose are invisibly trapped in history's most meaningless, purposeless enterprise. Billions who long for kindness and justice have mistakenly devoted their lives to the cruelest, most unfair philosophies on offer. Billions who truly value morality and compassion are currently championing sadistic actions and unethical belief systems. Our religious neighbors of every faith have fundamentally misapprehended the nature of reality in their effort to know the mysteries of existence. We atheists, particulary those who are humanists, watch in heartbroken horror as good people devote their lives to harming others and themselves. We care about them and we're looking for ways to help. Maybe this will help.

Sam's picture
Well, I sure do hope so, and

Well, I sure do hope so, and thank you. This is why I write, as I can build up such a desire to want to talk to those blinded by religion and let out any frustrations I have gained in the process. I have realized that doing so on social media (mainly Facebook) falls on deaf ears, and is a platform where people are not willing to discuss such matters. You seem very passionate about it, you should do the same!

Stories of Theism's picture
Hey Sam. I am working on a

Hey Sam. I am working on a series of posts called Stories of Theism.

Here is part 1:

http://www.atheistrepublic.com/forums/atheist-hub/stories-theism-part-1-...

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