Why are you an atheist? Share your story!

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UndercoverAtheist's picture
I'm an ex-muslim living in

I'm an ex-muslim living in Egypt and raised in Dubai. I've seen the true horrors of Islamic rule in majority muslim countries. Sexism, homophobia, fascism, and classism are fed to the masses on a daily basis and under the protection of absolute religious authority. I owe the internet alot, If I hadn't been exposed to this vast universe of minds and discussions I'd probably be some backwards muslim fundamentalist now. To answer the question I'm atheist because Islam is an oppressive religion to those who are not "believers".


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Dragon's picture
I was Christened as part of a

I was Christened as part of a family that attended Church on some Sundays and most holidays until my sister screamed repeatedly as a child (this was when I was still a very young). I grew up not knowing much about religion just that we did 'it'. It was around aged 7-8 that I really realised what was going on: weekly my school did the Lord's prayer and we would visit the local Church around Easter and Christmas.

I began noticing that it was odd and I never really enjoyed it (except when you got food for it, I liked apples). Deciding that it wasn't for me, over the next few years I came to the conclusion that there was nothing behind it and I shouldn't believe it. I still said the Lord's prayer and can probably still remember most of it about 10 years on now (see the end) because it was what I was told to do. My family never really questioned it as they... Actually, I don't know whether my parents believe or not... Well just goes to show how you don't need to make a point either way. But they didn't really push me at all.

After this, moving into secondary school, I became aware of politics, feminism and other stuff. I don't take part in any ceremonial thing like prayers just staying silent out of respect. Now I just take the position of "Have you actually thought about that at all?" on most topics which is just another thing that came from disconnection with faith. Anyway here's what I can remember from them drilling a prayer into me aged 7-10:

Our Father who art in Heaven
Hallowed by thy name
Thy Kingdom come
Thy will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven

Give us this day
Our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us

That's what I can still remember... Wish they did this with something useful...

Eshwaren Manoharen's picture
I started thinking. The rest

I started thinking. The rest is history.

Damini Bhattacharya's picture
Hello this is my first post.

Hello this is my first post.

When I was a child, the concept of God was very frightening. He would be there to check up on me all the time, if i am lying to mum and dad. God was powerful, he can bring me gifts if I prayed with my heart. Then one day, i was sexually abused by a person (who was a family friend). I was 7, i had no idea what was happening to me. I told my mom about the incident after some days and she did nothing. While growing up, I tried to blame "God" for what happened to me as a 7 years old and no religion would let God take the blame. It was a man's cruel intentions. I found it very frustrating. So I digged deeper and deeper. Alas, after years I had the answer to my questions. Without "God" every equation made sense. Without God, it was me who needed to make things right. Why is it that God is always taking the credit for something good I did and not for something bad the rapist did? Seems like God, isn't real. Its just some bullshit fed to you and people eat it up. When you apply rationality its just someone with a great PR team and nothing else.

jamiebgood1's picture
You are so beautiful inside

You are so beautiful inside and out.
You went through something you shouldn't have happen to a kid. The worst part of your story to me was that you were brave enough sweet girl to tell your mom. I'm so sorry she did nothing. You are wise to know that life makes sense without god. I hope you can keep finding that strength inside you because it will do so many greater things that god could ever have done. Thank u for sharing. :)

LogicFTW's picture
I do not know if this thread

I do not know if this thread is being buggy again, but welcome to the boards Opopopu. Sorry to hear about the abuse as a child, but that was a brave thing to share, and I can certainly see why it would lead to the proper questioning of god, yes, it all does make much more sense when you take god out of the equation.

ylu01's picture
So Hi, new to the site here.

So Hi, new to the site here.
I grew up in China, which is a communist place. I was never introduced to religion, I just was not aware of the issue. When I came to Canada, my parents met some friends. They would gather every Sunday to play ping pong at a church. I was a kid then, didn't know anything about anything. I was involved in a few Sunday School or so, then my parents stopped going. It would be a long while since I went there again, the teacher was like "where have you been, it's been a while". We don't go there anymore because we moved.

Ever since, I was never involved into religion, or atheism. It was until I got into university, where I got into a habit of playing youtube videos on a second monitor, that started slowly into atheism. It started from a recommended video on the topic of "Justin Bieber sucks", I went there, it was made by a guy named The Amazing Atheist ( on youtube, and Thanks TJ ), or now known as TJ Kirk. He talked a lot of sense, or made sense to me, and made a lot of videos on atheism. I slowly went to more and more youtube videos debunking bible claims etc, and one day in the comments section, somebody said they spend time here instead, so I decided to check this place out.

jamiebgood1's picture
Hi Waffleguy

Hi Waffleguy
Glad your here. A lot of good people on this forum. Except Justin Bieber rocks:) lol
And lucky you get to live in awesome Canada.

yeswanthbadugu's picture
I am from a Hindu family

I am from a Hindu family (hardcore to be frank). Like every other kid, I used to have doubts regarding the religion.But my mother used to shut my mouth saying that it was an ancestral rule and I should not dare to even question its validity.This made me move on in my life without any doubts in my religion.
In my 8th grade, I was again thrown into doubting my religion because of its misogynistic approach in the society...for example, sati which means burning the wife with dead husband (just like game of thrones, but more screams), child marriage, dowry, caste system, rape etc., this again made me confront my parents who shut my mouth again.

after three years...
We had something called IIT (Indian Institute of Technology). It is a prestigious issue for a student to enter the university and parents get more excited to make their kids enter the University, even the kid does not like studying engineering. I wanted to be a theoretical physicist .But in India, you have study engineering/medicine or you are a disgrace to the family.
I was made to study 18 hours a day and I was thrown into depression, I sought God for my pain but couldn't. I thought something was wrong with this religion and Gods.
I couldn't get away with depression and studies. I tried to commit suicide. But I could not. This made me question God again. This time more seriously.

This made me read many scriptures in Hinduism but it was all BS. Then I slowly started to drift towards atheism.

One day I asked a priest if God exists. He felt so threatened and gave some reasons, but I gave some contradictions. He threw me out of the temple. I asked everyone around me but they all felt the same way as the priest...then I understood that they do not respect God...they fear him.

You think that sexual harassment by pastors is a big thing. But many 'god-children' here have a human-trafficking racket, drug business, at least 10 murder cases, Rs.1billion in black money, 20 rape cases (minimum numbers here), even though they are exposed..they get more popularity and devotional attention than before and our gods seem to get along with it

In a religion of 330 million gods, not one had helped my depression, not one had helped my mom who suffered from cancer (she recovered just because of the doctors and she says it's the grace of gods), not one helped others to get through caste-system, not one condemned honor killings. These thoughts made me an Atheist.
Here's a pic of a typical hindu room for praying and puja...


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desi.mulhid's picture
The concept of afterlife was

The concept of afterlife was very flawed. I was told that we all will be young in heaven and living together happily together. But I know my father since he was at least 40 so how will I know him if we both will be young? How will he be my father if we will be of same age?

Then somewhere I read that we will be having same age in heaven where we died in this life. Making this true, how old people who cant even walk will enjoy in heaven? How about infants/toddlers?

About me? I am an ex muslim/atheist, 27, married and living in pakistan. Fortunately my father wasn't much religious and used to follow a very minor sect of islam that rejects all the extremist content from Hadith (90%of islamic extremist content comes through hadith) saying that hadith were at least published 250 years after the death of Muhammad so they have no credibility. For Quran, this sect use to translate/interprete the extremist verses into something good thus making islam the perfect religion. I also use to follow same sect which still in my opinion is far away from extremism unlike the Wahabi ideology which is root cause of islamic extremism. I was ok with islam until I started defending islam on facebook debates/comments. Then I realized I was 1st in the race where I had no competitor. Social media specially facebook helped me in leaving islam. I was 1st offended then I researched then I left Islam

Typhoon's picture
I am in the fortunate

I am in the fortunate situation that my parents are non-religious. Furthermore, I live in a country (Germany) where religion is not very important to most citizens. I was born atheist (just like every other person on Earth), grew up atheistic and never had any contact to any religion or religious people until I learned about the various different religious beliefs in school. But then I was already able to think for myself and knew it's all just fairytales. I was totally SHOCKED when I learned how many people in the world actually follow these irrational, backward cults. I believe that without religion, the world would be a much, much better place.

ttamkooz's picture
god made me an atheist

god made me an atheist

ive gone round and round in my brain for years now on how to start expressing my journey and where i am today.

there have been many drafts that have since been tossed in the trash, each leaving me unsatisfied. always back to the drawing board; over and over again. i even wrote a piece and showed it to a few people just to mentally push through but, alas i still wasnt happy with it.

so i let it go. we had some family stuff sneak to the forefront of life and so i gladly put that damn thing on the back-burner.

but as the great ‘smee’ from the movie ‘hook’ once said, ‘lightning has struck my brain!’ and so now i know and now we will begin…


to any and all of my family and friends who read this i want to say that i am still the matt you have known before, just minus the belief in a deity. i actually hesitated for the longest while to use the term atheist because of what it typically conveys to those in the christian community and i did not want you to think of me like that. so please believe me when i say that i am still the goofy, bald, loving and sometimes too pudgy guy youve always known. i wont mock you because you still believe and im not out to convince or convert you. this is just my story and i will share so i can be free in my own mind and hopefully regain a sense of honesty within myself.

my story:

most of you who read this will know me and my background but for anyone who doesnt, here are the cliffs notes…

-born and raised in a pentecostal christian household. went to church every time the doors were open.

-i ‘walked away’ from god and rebelled in my teens. eventually, i got re-saved and ended up working part-time & full time in the church in multiple capacities for 8-9 years off and on.

there were actually two events that i now look back and see were crucial in my departure from faith.

event #1

so one day im in my office at the church when a member comes in balling and talking about the problem they are experiencing in their marriage. as i sat and merely listened to the horrific story and watched the excruciating pain they were feeling at that very moment i had an awful epiphany; i thought to myself, “what can i possibly say here?” the list of scriptures usually accessed by my brain in these types of situations was now being rejected by my conscience. every single one, now all of a sudden were not good enough. they just seemed….false.

event #2

at the ripe ole’ age of 32 i became a dad. it was and continues to be my favorite role in life (sorry honey-im sure you’d say the same 8!). but as amazing as it was it unknowingly caused me to read the bible through the eyes of a father and this turned out to paint quite a disturbing picture of yahweh. i honestly couldn’t believe that i was never able to see it this way before. i mean im not talking about the many obscure stories that only atheists and apologists read, i am talking about the big ones baby. what in the world happened to my brain that i was able to read and hear these stories for almost 30 years and see anything but horror show that it is?

so as i set out on a journey to read my bible. i read with a new set of eyes. stories that once conveyed hope, faith and victory now portrayed very, very different things. now not only did i read the bible, but i read everything i could get my hands on. books and blogs by bible scholars, pastors and apologists but nothing was reading like it was supposed to.

a few years of this along with many hours of discussion with 2 trusted friends. one a pastor and the other a fellow christian in deconstruction. these were simply a safe place to voice new found emotions, ideas, frustrations and whatever else happened to be brewing inside my soul on that particular day.

if asked, both these guys could attest to the fact that i tried to rebuild more than once, but at one point or another it would all be wrong and id have to knock it down, assess and try to put it back together again.

and then, one very seemingly ordinary night i came home from one of these discussions. everyone in the house was asleep and it was dark and quiet. as i stood in my kitchen getting a drink of water it occurred to me; i no longer believe and that was it.

there would be no more deconstruction.

there would be no more rebuilding.

it was a thought slash feeling from deep down that told me it was over. and i felt a very real sense of loss. the kind of loss like a loved one had passed away. i felt my brain scrambling for an argument, but there was nothing.

nothing but the loss.

i wasnt swayed by a bunch of scientific facts or a speech by dawkins or hitchens. i read the bible and now i am an atheist.

and i will say that a few years past that moment of realization, i am happier and more at peace than i ever have before in my life.


this has obviously been a streamlined version of what occurred over something like 5 years. it is my goal to just put it out there for me and whatever happens, happens.

i imagine i will get a little bit of every kind of response with news like this and im at a place in my life that i am fine with it. i cant remember my life being any better than it is right now. my wife and my kids are amazing, my family is bigger than ever and remains strong, and my confidence in being who i am has probably never been higher.

i dont know when or even if i will post again (probably pretty randomly) but i will respond to those who write back to me on this post.

thanks for reading and may the force be with you!

LogicFTW's picture
Thanks for sharing. I always

Thanks for sharing. I always try to seek that moment when people suddenly switch, and start seeing things with new eyes. Sounds like for you it was when you became a father, everything after that was just letting go of many years of time and effort and indoctrination.

I feel like subconsciously for a long time the brain realizes something is wrong with the story, but so many people are trained to shove that subconscious thought down. For me I realized I do not have any fears about being wrong about atheist, the more I think on it, doubt does not creep in. The more I learn and ponder the more I realize atheist is the correct, if a bit uncomfortable answer.

BryanStephen's picture
I'm only 15 but the roots of

I'm only 15 but the roots of my atheism are quite foggy. (it's quite sad really)

My parents call themselves Christians, and believe all the christian stuff, but we never went to church frequently. I guess im lucky, because i think that if we had gone to church frequently, i might have been brain washed. I did beleive in god and jesus and stuff until around the 8th grade.

I was however a tad bit skeptical before that. I kept questioning religion and god but was ultimately "religious" up until the 8th grade. I wasn't really religious though. I just beleived in god and that was the extent of it. But then when i was near the end of my time in nc the first time i lived there, I reallllyyyy questioned god and came to the conclusion: He doesn't exist. I would pray and stuff before that but only when i was having a hard time in life, and like others said, it felted forced and fake.

Then i moved to a fairly liberal state, Minnesota. The people there were SUPER eye opening. There were alot of atheists (not really, but those were the only people i associated myself with so it felt like alot of people). I finally had someone to talk to about atheism. It felt good and further cemented my place as an atheist.

After that i moved back to north carolina, which i actually kind of prefered even though there are like, NO atheists at my high school, because i really like to debate people personally. Plus i just feel like i can do more good among the blinded than among the people who are already atheists. When I first got back to nc, I wasn't like a die hard atheist, but more so still teetering on the edge. More recently though, Ive been watching alot of atheist youtubers, which really is what made me a true atheist.

I will be heading into sophmore year when school starts up again, and I eventually hope to start an atheist club at my school, although I don't know when, seeing as how none of my ENTIRELY christian family knows that im an atheist. Hopefully ill work up the courage to do so, but right now, I just feel very isolated in my non-belief

Joy Chakrabarti's picture
I come from a Hindu Brahmin

I come from a Hindu Brahmin family and underwent my threading ceremony. I've even officiated at naming ceremonies, Saraswati Pujas, etc.
In grade 8, i started to turn agnostic, as i began investigating the notion of 'God'. Hindu God was far harder to reject than Christian/Islamic God, because well, Hindu God is far more relative & complex. Most Hindu textual concept of a single God, aka 'Brahman', is that we are all part of it. Ie, think of it as the whole phenomenal existence is a living God, you are a 'cell' in the vast and infinite body of 'Brahman'.
Not to mention, its easy to reconcile the notion of the polytheistic Gods in hinduism as ' ancient pre-ice age civilization/aliens'.
TBH, its plausible but i always came to 'there is no proof'.
I also came to fundamentally identify with the Buddhist principle of 'God is irrelevant' and i still think that today- that God is irrelevant.

This was me, an agnostic from the age of 13 till 28/29.
Then i started to realize that while I can be agnostic towards the Hindu ultimate God, the God of Islam/Christianity/Judaism is logically impossible. There cannot be an infinite anything at T=0, where T is the ultimate phenomenal existence time. Violates the definition of infinite. That turned me atheist towards the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God. Haven't quite figured out if its worth being atheist towards the Brahman though but definitely an agnost in that sense.

LogicFTW's picture
I find it fascinating the

I find it fascinating the various ways people arrive to atheism. For you it was the idea that infinite can not equal zero, if I read that correctly.

For me, the "god" idea was never very plausible, and then when I actually look I discovered a mountain of evidence for atheism and none for gods.

Joy Chakrabarti's picture
More or less. What i mean,is

More or less. What i mean,is that infinite is, by definition, beyond finite. Something has to be finite, at some point, before it becomes infinite. Its easier explained with differential calculus, where y is the infinite, t = time, then dy/dt cannot be infinite when t =0. Ergo, God cannot be infinite 'anything' at the very beginning, because infinite anything cannot exist at the very beginning. This violates the definition of infinity itself. Ergo, at the very beginning, God must've been finite. Ie, even if it took 1 trillionth of one trillionth of a second for God to become infinite, he still wasn't infinite at the absolute start. And if God was finite, it was not God by Biblical/Koranic definition, so the definition of God according to Jews, Christians and Muslims, is logically inconsistent.

I find value in the statement 'absence of proof is not proof of absence' as theists like to say. But what theists love to ignore, is that for something unproven to be considered possible, it has to be logically tenable at-least. For example, we can 'believe' there are aliens, even though we have zero proof for it. Why ? because the possibility of a planet with life in this universe not named Earth, is logically tenable. God, as Judeo-Christian-Islamic theology defines it, is an untenable concept.

When it comes to the Hindu concept of the Brahman, where the entire universe is a part of a living God, where the Galaxies are organs, star systems are cells, we are the DNA kind of example, so far, i've encountered no absolute logical error in that supposition, but it has absolutely zero proof for it. So if we define God as Brahman, then i'd say I am an agnost.

Seeing atheism/theism from a pan-religious perspective is much harder than just sticking to one school of religion as a counter-point. This i learnt as i transitioned from being a Hindu brahmin Indian to an atheist/agnostic Canadian.

LogicFTW's picture
I ascribe to the infinite

I ascribe to the infinite nothing theory, but given an infinite amount of time of nothing, even the extremely unlikely occurs, and that is "something" and near as scientist can tell, that was the big bang.

Kind of like winning the powerball lottery 10 times in a row seems incredibly unlikely, but given infinite amount of money, it occurs quite easily.

publicab12's picture
I have not believed in any

I have not believed in any religions in my entire life(40s).no one in my family belives in God.
when i was attending high school here in South Korea ,two teachers were christians.
they used to preach during almost the whole time of class.sometimes,they began class when
the ending bell of class rang.

one was a biology teacher.
He said you have to study the evolution of life in order to enter a university,although
the hypothesis about the evolution of life is wrong.

I would not be much annoyed by people's religions unless it concerns morality .
how can sane people think God in the Bible is morally right?

if someone kills one person.s/he is called a killer.
if someone kills 100000 persons or more.he is called a hero(for example,Genghis Khan in Mongolia
is a national hero,Hitler was a hero or better one for Nazism followers)
if a great being kills and almost exterminates human race on Earth.
he is called loving,perfect God.

if a punishment exceeds a certain degree,it begins to become immoral.
for example,
In 2 Kings 2:23-24 Some kids tease the prophet Elisha, and God sends bears to dismember.

if we measure immorality by how much a punishment exceeds a reasonable degree.
in the human history,no one(including fictions) is more immoral,merciless and unloving than God.
Hitler(or Satan in the religious texts) deserves to be called a generous and loving one,compared with God ,
even though Hitler was enormously immoral and merciless.

God is infinitely immoral and merciless,because God gives infinite punishment for a finite fault(nonbelief)
of course,nonbelief is a virtue,not a fault.

even if all the miracles,histories ,people in the religious texts is real.it does not mean that God exists.

the splitting of the moon in the Quran,stopping of the sun in the sky
in the Bible does not mean God's existence.
even the creation of a universe does not necessarily mean God's existence,

The universe is as small as a dust ,compared with multiverse scientists are studying these days.
God in the religious texts could be just a higher conscious being than all the animals(humanity,elephants etc.) in the universe.
in the scale of multiverse,God in the religious texts would be a tiny creator who can create the universe.

it is not necessarily to be the Absolute to create the universe.
even if i saw a great conscious being creating the universe,I wouldn't automatically consider that being as the Absolue,God.

There are two ways to destroy a religion.prove the non-existence of God or prove the existence of God.
All the belivers of God believe the existence of God,but once the existence of God is proved.
it is no longer a religion.it become a truth and knowedge.
people knows God exists.So God can't pick out whom to send to Hell or Heaven by faith.

God surely knows how to prove his own existence.
Nonetheless,he keeps the truth to himself.
if someone finds out the truth and spreads it.
the person deserves the cruelest punishment because God's plan of Heaven and Hell shatters.
I wonder what punishment would be given if Hell is already an unbearably terrifying and most torturous place.

Anthropology7's picture
Welcome UV teM, it is good to

Welcome UV teM, it is good to meet you and you make some very good and interesting points. Many of the thoughts you explained I have had myself over the years while on my journey to becoming an atheist. Very long story short, I grew up in an insanely strict religious household where I was put through physical, emotional, and mental abuse and was forced into Christian counseling and told I was going to hell when I finally got up the courage to tell my parents at 15 that I did not (and never did) believe in god. Due to this background I have pondered many of these issues over the years. In particular, your views on what a god would even mean, and why he would be worthy of worship when the portrayal of him would mean he would be a mass murderer at best. The only member of my family that I still have any contact with at all is my father. It is always tense, he will visit me maybe once every month or two and more times than not he feels he has to try to get me to believe even though he knows it never ends well. I finally asked him awhile ago why he would want me to believe in god anyways when if there was a god I would have some very choice words for him and would not find him worthy of worship anyways. It is irrelevant because I do not believe but long before I landed solidly on being an official atheist I realized that it did not matter because i would never worship their god, or any god for that matter, even if they did exist. I also had to call my father out on the hypocrisy of how I was raised and how I found it interesting that it never even occurred to him that I might not grow up to be a Christian. He is the one who taught me to stand up for my beliefs no matter what anyone said of did to try and deter me and that standing up for you beliefs is what a good person does. All of the sudden I was being damned to hell for doing exactly that.... it never occurred to him that the beliefs that I would be standing up for would not be Christian beliefs. I enjoyed reading your post.

CyberLN's picture
Hi Paleo. Welcome. Where

Hi Paleo. Welcome. Where are you studying?

Anthropology7's picture
Hello CyberLN, thanks for

Hello CyberLN, thanks for asking. I am currently nearing the and of my Bachelors at Ashford University. When I am finished I will be off to whatever school takes me on for my PhD and Masters in Paleoanthropology. It is very high competition so I have to be willing to go to whatever school will take me on. Here is hoping for somewhere warm!

Arizona Barnes's picture
So I became an atheist when I

So I became an atheist when I was 13 and at first it was because I hated church and I thought it was boring. When I tried telling my mom I didn't believe in god she slapped me in front of my friends, my grandmother did the same thing a year later. Then when I was 15 I asked my mother if I could go to therapy and she said "if you had a relationship with god you wouldn't need therapy", no I wouldn't need therapy if you were actually a good parent. So it was mostly my family that pushed me away from religion which lead to me actually thinking about how unrealistic religion is and how if God was real then he's a real dick bag. Once I was extremely sick and I had a fever of 102 degrees F and my ears were infected and my fucking grandmother still made me go to church and she wouldn't even let me sleep through the pastor's loud ass babbling, I was about 9 years old when this happened.

TheKamikazeKid's picture
So this is my first post. I

So this is my first post. I just joined. I wanted to post why I became an atheist.

My mother raised us intelligent. That's not to say she didn't have a religion. She had converted to a Wiccan after being raised Christian. My father, also raised Christian, diverted due to the racist nature of the religion and being tormented growing up despite his common faith.

Having been raised in a way that my mother allowed us free thought and worldliness most others don't get growing up we learned acceptance, or that is, never learned the closed minded nature most raised in religion are. I gradually realized that when I prayed for things to get better that didn't mean they would. We struggled and things got ugly but I persisted. I got a job at 14 and supported myself and my family. I created every bit of my own destiny and owe nothing to some figure and it's followers demanding I chain myself to the ideals of a sort of emotional, mental, and physical abuse that comes with "believing" in garbage that is religious text.

Magnus Daniel Deck's picture
I didnt go to a religious

I didnt go to a religious school or anything like that, my mom sent me to a church group for kids after school at least once a week, id sit there and question them on every topic usually because i didnt understand why x sin was worse than y sin in that section of teaching, finally one day i had enough, it was on the topic of homosexuality (i have two gay godfathers who are both pretty good people) and they were talking about how much of a sin it was and how bad it is to be gay, and i just said to the teacher im done, if two of the nicest people id ever met(at least to me) were to be sent to hell for who they were, id rather risk joining them in hell than hating them. Long story short, im now an openly bisexual, 18 year old whos about to enlist and is an athiest, and im really glad i left religion as a kid


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Anthropology7's picture
Welcome Shaggylonewolf, I

Welcome Shaggylonewolf, I could not have said it better myself. I an very happy for you that you were able see the prejudice for exactly what it is. All of the prejudices involved with being raised in Christianity as well as the hypocritical behavior of my family, who are all very strict Christians, were the things that kept me from ever becoming a Christian myself. I got in trouble for questioning everything and calling them out on these things all the time as far back as I can remember, so I know exactly where you are coming from. I am glad you were strong enough to walk away, not everyone is. Never be ashamed of who you are!

Nolan Tucker's picture
I was a practicing Christian

I was a practicing Christian for eighteen years. For most of this time, people never really questioned my beliefs, especially since the clear majority of my peers shared my faith.
My beliefs weren't really contested until senior year of high school, when an atheist classmate challenged me to prove God's existence. I couldn't provide sufficient proof and my arguments were half assed. So, being the pouty teenager that I was, I stayed within the boundaries where I wouldn't find cognitive dissonance.
The second time my beliefs were challenged was in the first semester of college. A peer of mine out of the blue, asked why I believed and argued that my holy book wasn't infallible due to the constant rewrites and redactions over different rulers of millennia. Again, the cognitive dissonance kicked in.
During the winter of that same semester, I came across a refutation of Pascal's Wager, which was one of the core arguments that held my belief in place. I couldn't counter this refutation. So I thought to myself, why do I believe in God? I really couldn't come up with an answer. I spent hours that night breaking through the dissonance of having and not having an afterlife. Eventually, I came to terms with it, and that night I became an agnostic atheist. My parents, being devout Christians themselves, had a hard time dealing with this, but they too accepted this.

Anthropology7's picture
Welcome Nolsterbuckr, It is

Welcome Nolsterbuckr, It is good to meet you. I am glad to hear that your family was accepting of your decision. It is too bad that they had a hard time with it, but unfortunately when you come out as an atheist to a Christian family, them ultimately accepting it even if they are not happy about it is usually the best case scenario. I was not as lucky, but I still do not regret my decision to be honest about who I am. It was a gradual transition for me as well, even though I was never really a Christian it still took me a long time to completely shake off what I was raised with and I had to give it time to make an honest evaluation after I was away from my family. I hope you find yourself happy with your new life and I wish you all the best.

Anthropology7's picture
Hello everyone, I am new here

Hello everyone, I am new here and I am hoping to connect with other like minded atheists. I have no one where I am now that I can discuss such things with so I thought it might be good to get to know some others in the community so it does not feel like I am fighting this fight for reason all on my own anymore! I was raised in a very strict Christian household. Everything was evil, dancing, playing cards, thinking for yourself, questioning anything that either the bible or my parents told me, everything. I lost count of the times I was told I was going to hell long before I was old enough to know what they even meant by that. My parents are also extremely prejudiced. They hate everyone who does not agree exactly what they do (so everyone, myself included), other races, religions, sexual orientations, anyone who thinks for themselves or disagrees with them in any way. They are the extreme by far.

Growing up I was made to believe that something was wrong with me. I faked it for awhile when I was a kid, but it was my parents behavior and hypocritical actions that first made me realize that I was not the one with the problem because I could not believe in god. I do not consider myself to have ever been a Christian, but I was not sure what I was at that point. I just knew that whatever they were was not me. To make matters worse it was in my nature, as a future scientist, to question everything. I was constantly in trouble because I was incredibly curious by nature and always wanted proof for everything. When I finally told my parents, during a heated argument, that I was not a Christian when I was 15 I was forced into Christian counseling and told that there was something wrong with me and I was going to hell unless I changed my beliefs right away. This was followed by a short phase of hating all Christians for awhile before growing up and realizing that they have the right to their beliefs, what they do not have the right to do is force their beliefs on others and judge and hate everyone.

For years after that I looked into several other religions to see if they were a better fit for me, but none were. After that I spent many years just saying, I do not know, and I do not need to. I was leaning towards atheism at that point but I was unwilling to commit solidly to anything until I was sure I was away from my family's influence completely for a long time to make sure that I was not swaying either way due to the way I was raised. Recently finally realized one day, without really even intending to make a call that I am without question, solidly an atheist. I have felt this way for quite some time now, I just recently committed to a solid position on the subject. I have been studying Anthropology for a couple of years now and will soon be entering a PhD program in August of 2019 (once I find the right one and get someone to take me on). I have now enthusiastically devoted my entire life to studying human evolution through the study of Paleoanthropology (studying the ancient pre-human and early human skeletons). It has been a real struggle working 50+ hours a week to keep a crappy apartment roof over my head while completing 30 - 31 credit hours a year to make it there. I am determined to make a difference in this area and hopefully ensure that no one else ends up lost and disowned by their families like me if I can help it. The evidence of human evolution is overwhelming and it now astonishes me that anyone can still question it. I want to do whatever I can to add to this evidence and maybe eventually there will be nothing left for even the most serious of extremists to argue anymore.

I hope to get to know you all, I am insanely busy, (on a week vacation at the moment before starting a new job next week at the moment) but I think it is important for me to find a like minded community so I want to do my best to keep up with everyone. My contact might be a little sporadic for that reason. If anyone knows a professor looking for a woman wanting to get her PhD in Paleoanthropology in a couple of years to take on let me know as well! I am still looking at programs to take my next step. I look forward to conversing with you all in future!

CyberLN's picture
You said, "If anyone knows a

You said, "If anyone knows a professor looking for a woman wanting to get her PhD in Paleoanthropology in a couple of years to take on let me know as well! I am still looking at programs to take my next step."

PM me with your CV. I know someone to whom I will forward it.


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