Why are you an atheist? Share your story!

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Cognostic's picture
I don't know about the "Truth

I don't know about the "Truth about the world." There is a whole lot I just don't know. But I have learned the TRUTH ABOUT RELIGION.

PersianSting's picture
I grew up Christian. My

I grew up Christian. My father is a retired pastor. So imagine, every Sunday, I had to go to church. I honestly believed. I even got baptised in my 20s. Yet, soon after that, it just hit me. This whole book doesn't make sense. Everytime I questioned, I got blurred answers which made no sense whatsoever. I've been an atheist now for a year and 6 months. It's so liberating to think for yourself and being a good person because you want to be and not because you're threatened with the fiery pits of hell. It felt like a load off my shoulders. There's no way I can ever go back to being a theist. It's like a magician and his magic trick. Once you see the illusion, you can't unsee it. I'm new, by the way!

arakish's picture
Welcome PersianSting

Welcome PersianSting

Come right into our little corner of godless heathenism. The temperature is comfortable 15,023°C. Ask your dad.

Remember, look before diving in. It is "at your own risk." And sometimes the theists will play a prank and drain the pool.

Have fun. Peruse the boards.

rmfr

Tin-Man's picture
PersianSting... Hmmm... I

PersianSting... Hmmm... I like that name.... *nodding head in approval*... Welcome, welcome to our humble little den of godless rascals. Come on in and make yourself at home.

I totally agree with you in that once you see through all the smoke and mirrors, it is practically impossible to get caught in the delusion again. It is even difficult for me to remember how I once believed some of the things I did. And it makes me feel sad for those who are still trapped in that "House of Mirrors". Glad you managed to escape. Good to have you with us.

Diotrephes's picture
PersianSting,

PersianSting,

Welcome to the arena. It is always good to have fresh blood and new ideas. Don't be afraid to express your opinions. The worse that will happen is that someone will laugh at them but then you can laugh at theirs. We are never in total agreement about anything even when we agree so don't take anything personally.

Bad Santa's picture
Welcome, welcome PersionSting

Welcome, welcome PersionSting!! (love the name too...)
This place is full of eh... atheists (dhaaaaa...) but also theist, whatever-eist, snake oil pelddlers, loonies, real geniuses and strange characters....

Look!!! there is even Santa here (although on a bad side).. so jump right in, as Arakish said "the water is warm".

You will always find support, good knowledge and a lot of humor here.. (...*but watch for a few characters like Tin-Man when he starts offering eggnog or Arakish inviting everybody to the pool when it's only frigging 15 degrees Celsius, I'm from North Pole and OLD, and I need at least 26 degrees C *...)

"Sting" in your site name, I understand but I'm really curious about that "Persion" part??... (any reference to Persia???)

Diotrephes's picture
Bad Santa,

Bad Santa,

"Welcome, welcome PersionSting!! (love the name too...)"

It may be time to get an eye exam.

The name is PersianSting.

Tin-Man's picture
@Dio Re: Bad Santa's

@Dio Re: Bad Santa's misspelling...

Hey, Dio, it's not really his fault. He's still suffering the after-effects of the eggnog. He'll be alright in a couple of days.

Diotrephes's picture
Tin-Man,

Tin-Man,

"Re: Bad Santa's misspelling..."

I only mentioned it because someone went off on a poster a while ago about misspelling someone's name. My keyboard has several missing letters so I have to buy them by the box.
https://www.memecenter.com/fun/4174457/bad-luck-clint
,

18Gingasoldier's picture
I was raised Catholic.

I was raised Catholic.
I was baptized and went to catechesis from maybe 5 - 10 years old but I was never a full blown Catholic until maybe 2016, after a very unpleasant experience. No one really pushed me to be very religious after catechesis ended, but I decided to believe in the Bible to protect myself from that unpleasant experience in 2016.
After 2 years of being a faithful Catholic, I had another bad experience that led me to question my faith, so I looked online. I left the Catholic faith and considered Hinduism, a much more interesting religion with far more accurate philosophy than anything Christianity could offer.
Two to three months later, I became an atheist, after having done more research.

It’s been almost 7 months since then.

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Grinseed's picture
I heard becoming sn atheist

I heard becoming sn atheist was a great way to meet chicks. It isn't. But I have learned how to think critically and if a chick doesnt like that then I'm too good for her. Pretty critical eh?

Thorstein Stahl's picture
I always felt strange about

I always felt strange about god/faith. I respected few traditions for a time, even believing a little. Since I'm the kind of person who prefers most of the time to be patient and analyze things before taking a decision, I waited and I asked myself different questions over time. Slow and steady steps. And the questions gathered, but the logical answers contradicted the old religious ones. The trick is to wait and to be bold. To dare. Why most living things must feed on something that is/was alive? I fucking love tigers, for example, but I feel sorry for the dear.
If I, with my limited mind can conceive a far more better world, how could an omniscient/omnipotent being made a mess like this? It's either a blood god who enjoys the suffering of its creation, or no there's no god. Why do innocents suffer? And so on...
Even if "a god" like that exists, I wouldn't accept it.
I begun to put distance between myself and religious people, who chose to live in their "old boxes", despite the latest scientific discoveries. Science gave us so many answers, why not dare to move forward?
There is no logic in religious traditions, no logic in religious customs. No reason in faith, unless it's about faith in yourself. All I saw around me was fear, manipulation, lack of responsibility. And I hate fear. I hate knowing people live in fear, manipulated and belittled by their traditions and superstitions; the hypocrisy, the praying who won't do shit, the endless expectations and lack of action. And these priests, clerics, these despicable humanoids, who prey upon the weak or innocent minds... they should be in jail.
And so I shed my old skin, a skin hampered by the lack of logic, reason and the lack of empathy that faith in such supreme being is.
There are no angels, no demons, I'm responsible for whatever the f*ck I do.
I think somewhere in 2012 I bought "God is not great". It was a delightful surprise for me. I found there few of my own thoughts and questions, it made me want to ask more.
To ask yourself questions all the time - I think this is the way of having a free mind.

Skeptical Kevin's picture
I grew up in NC, so a lot of

I grew up in NC, so a lot of people encouraged me to become a Christian. I never really had any faith, though. I was willing to accept the God of the Gaps idea, but my first stumbling block was that I couldn't come up with an objective reason to select any particular denomination of Christianity over another. Each of them had their own ideas, but no objective reason why their ideas were better.

I wavered as a "don't know, don't care" for a while. I dabbled in Buddhism for a bit. I liked some of the teachings, but I always knew that reincarnation and karma we're BS.

At one point, I realized I'd heard from lots of Christians and Buddhist sources, but I had done zero research into atheism. So I started with Dr. Dawkins. He led me into Dr. Harris (highly enjoy Sam Harris) and then into Hitchens... My visceral reaction to Hitchens was "Wow this guy is an incredible ass... But he has so many good points..." (Love Hitchens too. RIP sir)

It was Ricky Gervais who pushed me over, embarrassingly enough. In some interview he asked "Why is it that we all agree fairies definitely aren't real, but God might be real?" And that's when it hit me like a ton of bricks of cocaine. Realized he was absolutely right. We have equal amounts of evidence for the existence of God as we do for the existence of fairies and it is inconsistent to claim one of those is real (or might be real), but the other definitely isn't. Since I was not prepared to accept fairies as a possibility, I accepted that I was an atheist.

That was about 3 and a half years back. It was a very powerful moment for me. And then a few months ago I came out to my friends and family on social media, and that was also a powerful moment. After that, I began listening to more debates, I got into the Atheist Community of Austin, I joined this forum :)

It has been an extremely positive experience overall. And I'm grateful to all the wonderful atheist role models that are around (including everyone here)

Cheers!

WrongVerb's picture
My glib answer is that just

My glib answer is that just like all human beings, I was born without belief in any god, and in nearly 50 years I have yet to be given any reason to think otherwise.

Pirate Jack's picture
So many great answers here

So many great answers here already. I really can’t think of anything to add. I know that once I accepted the fact that I was atheist, it was a great relief. Not having to worry about why so much made absolutely no sense. A wonderful moment for me!

J. R. Eldridge's picture
I was raised as a Christian,

I was raised as a Christian, going to a Church of England school and attending Sunday School at the Salvation Army. At one point, there were no other kids at Sunday School except for my sister and me, so we did Bible studies with the aim of becoming Junior Soldiers. I always had a lot of questions.

We moved to a new town when I was 9, so we couldn't attend the Sunday School anymore, but we started to be visited by Jehovah's Witnesses. I took a big interested in what they had to say, and hearing an alternative view about the Bible just raised more questions. I started reading the Bible for myself, and by my early teens, I saw more and more issues and I just couldn't believe anymore.

I ended up becoming a Pagan, because I still had this vague idea that there was something. Eventually, that 'something' become more and more nebulous until I had to question whether I actually believed in it at all. It turned out that I just wanted to believe. By my early 20s, I was identifying as an atheist.

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