Hello, I'm new. what made you leave religion?

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aminotmerciful1's picture
Hello, I'm new. what made you leave religion?

I left. because, I felt like I kept asking questions and never getting straight answers. I asked people all the time. why does God let kids starve,let people discriminate and why was Hitler born? they never gave me a solid answer. so, I left Christianity.

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Travis Hedglin's picture
I don't think there was any

I don't think there was any one single thing that made me leave it, and I am not exactly sure exactly when I stopped believing. It didn't suddenly happen during a miraculous mid-morning bowel movement, there was no specific or special moment when I decided it, nothing like that. When I was young, I was brought up in a household with two adults who never finished High School, and believed every word of their bible, even though they themselves had doubts and confusion regarding much of it. When I started High School myself I was convinced by family and friends to become part of the debate team, which meant I had to learn the basics of logic and how to research a subject, and everything was fine for a while. One day I ran into another Christian of the Old-Earth variety, and realized much of what I had been taught growing up was simply indefensible, either logically or materially. It became apparent to me that what I believed was wrong, and I needed to find a better position.

It was during this time that the church that I was attending suddenly fired the current pastor, a wonderful man who had helped many people, for being too old to draw in a larger congregation and fill the pews with youth. I, of course, became quite disillusioned with the organizations called churches at that point; to the point that I have never went back to one unless it was a wedding or funeral. I struck out on my own, with bible in hand, to try and square my beliefs with the reality that I found myself in. Eventually, I started researching the history of the church and the bible and was astonished to find that not only was much of my bible forged directly by the church, but even that the parts that weren't directly created by it was revised by it. There are no copies beyond revision, no originals with which to compare, and no valid basis to consider my book anything better but a compilation of fantasy short stories by different authors. Faith shaken, I became a Deist.

Convinced that there had to be a god, and that he had been badly misused by humans, I set about trying to destroy all the false religions that I perceived plagued humanity. In the course of it I realized that I could not actually know if there was a god or not, and called myself an agnostic for some number of months before I ran into a simple little question:

"Do you believe in god(s)?"

I was shocked, I didn't immediately answer it as I had so many times before, I actually considered the question. What is god? Is it the sun? Many people in the past thought it was, and though I am fairly certain the sun exists, I don't believe that it is a god. What, then, do I actually believe in? After a long while of listing things I did believe in, such as love or family, I decided that precisely none of the things I believe in are a god. I am a man who believes in a great many things, many of them emotional or intangible at the least, but there was something I absolutely didn't believe in: GOD. It turns out, after many years of trying to square my beliefs with reality, I had inadvertently started believing in reality, and abandoned the tumultuous and baseless beliefs I had started with.

Who knew, even if you stop clinging to god, it can't cling to you. I don't need a god anymore, I outgrew it, and I hope that the rest of humanity eventually grows out of the puny gods they have created for themselves. We created god in our own image thousand of times over thousands of years, but it NEVER grows, because the creation can never grow greater than the creator. We have grown past god, we no longer need it or really use it, it is just a blankie for those still too scared to live on their own.

El Mariachi's picture
This is such a well though

This is such a well though piece that almost coincide with my story.
But the coincidence is not the reason I love it.
I love the honesty and rationality.
Thanks for it.

ImFree's picture
I never felt fully

I never felt fully comfortable with many of the outlandish stories in the Bible. I remember being told about Adam & Eve and the snake at the age of five and thought it bizarre. The final straw was when I took geology in college and studied the age of the earth and the fossil record. 4.5 billion years minus 6,000 years were too many years for creationists to account for.

Pitar's picture
I was conscripted into the

I was conscripted into the religion of my parents against my will when I was very young. I did not understand the notion of a god, especially in the manner it was promoted to be, at a time when my father was a nuclear bomber pilot possessed of a spirit to kill for his nation in direct conflict with the teachings of the religion he avowed. That was irrational even to a 7 year old. Suffice it to say that my parent's prima facie acceptance of their spiritualism was lost on the logic of a juvenile non-delinquent. After that period of time, formulating my own assessment of what I later dubbed The Life/Death Conundrum, I settled my mind into a grasp of why man needs god in his life and how I would live mine without one, and without that part of my fellow man's respect and sense of community for me knowing my godless persuasion.

Whatever. I got over it.

hermitdoc's picture
I was raised to believe in

I was raised to believe in god but never really got the story, so even as a young kid, I had doubts. Then one time a friend took me to his baptist Sunday school and I was told that anyone who ever played with a Ouija board was going to hell. That bothered me because I had once played with one that I found in my grandparent's attic. Not surprisingly, it didn't work as advertised, but I did play with it and I found the notion that simply playing with a thing would be enough to send me to hell even though otherwise I was a good kid laughable.
As I got older, I started studying science and that pushed me over. In science I saw reproducible, tangible explanations for how nature works, so I dropped what little faith I had and moved on.
I am now a physician and surrounded by christians. It shocks me how people who are obviously smart and knowledgeable about science can believe such hogwash. This site is great for me because I can feel at least some connection with people who think like me. Also I have learned so much from you all and I feel better prepared to debate if need be.

Nyarlathotep's picture
When I was a kid, one of the

When I was a kid, one of the local ministers said that if you watched "The last Temptation of Christ" movie, you would go to hell; no redemption/forgiveness would be possible. It would be funny if people didn't believe this crap.

Χρήστος Νικολαϊδης's picture
The movie was mediocre. Read

The movie was mediocre. Read the book. It's beyond superb.

Aman Mgtow Pro's picture
hate from religious people,

hate from religious people, exposure to diversity and more awareness of our world

Always1895's picture
I went to a catholic primary

I went to a catholic primary school, went home one day and decided to read the Bible. The contradictions and parts about slavery,homophobia and genocide convinced me it's not something I would like to associate myself with.

Ghada Ismail's picture
why was Hitler born ? why

why was Hitler born ? why have all the tyrants been born? but you didn't ask your self why did God created you . you are a white hearted person ,why did God create good people ?
God doesn't order people to do right or wrong .simply God gives you the choice to be good or bad,the God told you that there is heaven and fire after death .heaven for good people and fire for bad ones,and God doesn't prevent you from doing bad things until he looks in your heart and if your hurt is white and good God will guide you to the right .God says in Qur'an (God guides the ones he wants).
But if the person's hurt is closed with evil God leaves him to do whatever he wants and in our life at specific moment God stopped him and punish him unmerciful punishment and keeps him to be punished with unstopped torture at the day of judgement.and the history is full of stories for tyrants and bad people who faced God and his messengers.God order us to be tolerant while watching tyrants in qur'an as God is watching with us leaving the bad people doing the most until god catches them with no mercy.in addition to an important rule in Islam which is (if you see something wrong ,you should changed by your hands if you can't so change it with your tongue if you can't change it with your heart)and changhing by heart is what you do so your heart is muslim because you condemned the bad deeds of Hitler as being muslim means surrender to goodness.
about the question of starvation why didn't you ask why people make some people sleep with full stomach .in fact God doesn't do bad things to people whom created by his sacred hands who could he make people and then make them die of hunger .in fact all the bad things are made by people not by God only God lets them do so ,and I think that you know that there are some powerful countries in our world that benefit from the poverty of others in order to steal the poor people's fortunes they even can control the world's atmosphere and I assure you that if those poor people refused the control of others and tried to stand up again God will help them and makes it as easy as possible for them to rise from poverty and hunger.
I know that you have more questions and I advise you to read Qur'an to try to find all the answers you need.

maming's picture
i bet you never doubt your

i bet you never doubt your believe you just straight took the injection from your parents. if your lack of evidence believes makes happy good luck!

Sheldon's picture
"But if the person's hurt is

"But if the person's hurt is closed with evil God leaves him to do whatever he wants"

Would you stop a child being raped if you could? I certainly would, but your deity does not, even letting endemic child abuse continue for many years in the RCC letting priests abuse children in their care again and again. If that's divine morality you can keep it, luckily it is all a complete fantasy, unlike the child abuse by catholic priests which is all too real.

Cognostic's picture
Ha ha ha ha ha @ "God doesn

Ha ha ha ha ha @ "God doesn't order people to do right or wrong ."
(Theme from the Godfather playing in the background.)
God: Long time no see. Sit down, sit down.
Human: Um.... you wanted to see me..
God: Yea, I got a deal you can't refuse.
Human: Okay? Do I really want to hear this.
God: I told you, you can't refuse. Look, you either do as I say and I will give you cake and ice cream or you don't do as I say and I torture you forever in a pit full of fire in Hell. The choice is yours.


Duncan Espenshade's picture
I didn't like being christian

I didn't like being christian when I was a kid. I was terrified that I would do something wrong and forget about it and then never ask forgiveness. As a third grader I didn't like the idea of being tortured forever for something wrong I did. My mother went to catholic school and we used to go to church ever Sunday. But as we moved away from our old state and our old church my mom started drifting away from religion.

First of all she had never been a devoted christian to begin with but as my older brother got older, (I should mention that my older brother is very obliviously gay) my mom no longer felt like we should belong to a religious group that believed that my brother should suffer for all of eternity for being happy with another man.

So my mom stopped sending me to church and I was completely terrified. I didn't know until I was older that my mom left because of how the church had treated homosexuals. I just assumed she was to lazy to find a new church. For months and months I silently panicked, believing that if I didn't go to church something terrible would happen to me.

But after about 6 months I realized that despite the fact that I had "sinned" hundreds of times since we had left the church (I was a shitty kid) that nothing had happened to me. I slowly began questioning the religion that I had grown up with. Eventual after about a years time I had gone from a hardcore terrified Christian, to semi-terrified confused child, to a slightly scared agnostic child to a downright atheist.

I don't remember any of the good parts about Christianity. I don't remember the "Loving your neighbor" bullshit. I only remember how terrifying the thought of being tortured forever was to a 8 year old boy. I'm glad I'm not a christian any more.

rebekaht's picture
I was brought up in a low-key

I was brought up in a low-key Christian cult by my parents who homeschooled me and my brothers in fear that we would be exposed to non-Christian ideas and beliefs if we went to school. My parents encouraged critical thinking and exposed us to a lot of 'does that makes sense' when it was convenient for them and then seemed a bit surprised when we started questioning right back. For years I shoved all my thoughts of 'that makes no sense' aside, afraid to question too much and lose my faith. When I was 28 and deeply disenchanted with the strictures of religion and the lack of love and mercy I was seeing amongst my fellow Christians, I went to see a therapist for anxiety and while talking about other things finally admitted I didn't think I wanted to be a Christian anymore. This sparked a long investigation into religion and belief that ultimately brought me to the realisation that no proper answers out there really sufficed and I no longer wanted this for myself.

My baby brother has since followed in my footsteps which annoys my parents no end. I appreciate the freedom I have found outside religion and it never ceases to amaze me that my mother expects me to be a hopeless wreck.

justtiredofitall's picture
It was a gradual process, I

It was a gradual process, I watched richard dawkins and sam harris and a few debates. They really opened my mind.
But after it happened, i was filled with anger. I'm still trying to deal with this anger. It feels like everyone else is blindfolded, just don't see the logic and don't want to see the logic.

It is very tough to live in a world filled with sheep, and everywhere you see people talking about religion, in every single sentence. As if religion has answers to everything. I feel that pakistani muslims esp live in a vaccuum, never allowed to think critically, asking too many questions is frowned upon.

It took me a while, but i also watched David wood's videos. These were also related to islam. I feel so sorry for any muslim trying to defend their religion, they don't know the ugly parts at all. Their faith is so fragile that they can't even read or hear any criticism and it's really sad.

Sheldon's picture
That's called theodicy or the

That's called theodicy or the argument from evil. Look it up, there's some interesting ideas. Of course you're right to be sceptical at the idea of a perfectly merciful deity designing and creating a world where suffering is ubiquitous.

Centuries before humans created christianity a man called Epicurus gave an answer to the argument from evil. I think it's remarkable and is as salient and compelling now as it was when he wrote it.

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. 
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. 
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? 
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

Aswin Swaminathan's picture
Hey all.

Hey all.

I am new to this site and forum. I am from India. I cannot remember when exactly I became an atheist. I am not sure if that is even the right term. Anti theist should be more appropriate. I come from a very orthodox Hindu family, so it was not that easy to come out of the religious box. I guess somewhere around my college days, I started reading a lot and asking questions about whatever religion says and what religious people think/believe. It seemed extremely obvious to me that religion was man made and quite poisonous throughout history. I chose to never go by anything but science, logic and reason. I am pretty much a minority in my family if not the only one with such a predicament. It is good to be a part of a like indeed community and hope to have a good time with fellow atheists here.

David Killens's picture
I grew up in a relatively

I grew up in a relatively isolated island of white Anglo Saxon protestants. My father was a Mason, my mother was in the Eastern Star (basically Masonic beliefs where women could join). Sunday school on Sunday mornings until I was old enough to sit in the pews during the Sunday service. We had many children's biblical books liberally scattered around the house to read, such as Joseph and the Robe of Many Colors.

That to me was like a sand castle. But when I left home the tide started to come in, and the waves slowly began to erode that sand castle. For most of the time there was never any one event I can point to where I had an epiphany. But the tide kept coming in, and the waves continued their constant erosion, where finally all that was left was a beach devoid of any signs of that sand castle.

When I was old enough to really posses independent thought, the first opinion on religion I formed was that our church was more of a social club than a place of worship. I began to think of my denomination in a different light. And as this train of thought developed over the years, organized religion became sillier and sillier in my eyes, until I completely rejected organized religion as a tool that kept the masses in line and quiet. So when I left home I stopped going to church regularly. I can think of only two times I willingly participated in a church service.

I did not reject spiritualism, I sincerely sought out some logic or sign that there was more to life than just my meat body. I examined many different religions, spoke to many on this subject, but never found solace. I still thought about the bible, and embraced the WWJD (what would jesus do). But over the years the WWJD belief morphed into "do the right thing" instead. This is where I created my own set of moral standards and practices.

Then came the internet, and I was one of the early adopters. Suddenly I could roam to BBS's and IRC. Chat rooms soon followed, and that constant exposure to other's ideas further eroded my search for anything spiritual. The nail in the coffin was when I started viewing such YouTube videos such as "The Atheist Experience". I had finally found the concrete arguments that solidified the fuzzy concerns I had up to that point.

And ever since then, I feel like a slave that has been emancipated. The fear and anxiety has vaporized, leaving me with joy in my heart and a happy tune on my lips. When I say "life is good", I believe it completely.

arakish's picture
Wow! A resurrected thread.

Wow! A resurrected thread. But I'll answer.

I was NEVER a theist. I was always an atheist. Me dad even said to me once, "Your mind is like a computer. If it is irrational, it fails to compute."


Kataclismic's picture
My Roman-Catholic father told

My Roman-Catholic father told me dogs don't have souls. Only a person without a soul would say that.


Attach Image/Video?: 

Grinseed's picture
Being told at age 10 by a

Being told at age 10 by a church minister that animals had no souls and hence could not go to heaven was the very first seed of doubt planted in my mind that eventually led to my slow fall away from faith. It sounded, looked and felt wrong at a very basic level. Inhuman in fact. I never returned to that church. My first act of defiance against religious dogma, no pun intended.
As I grew older I learned God, Jesus and Mohamad just don't like dogs. What the fuck's wrong with them?
I love dogs and I treasure the relationship I have had with mine and more especially the unique relationship between our two species which while not a miracle is astounding none the less.

SeniorCitizen007's picture
I was born in London in the

I was born in London in the middle of WW2. My parents were completely non-religious. God was never spoken of. The main "fear" they had concerned the Germans ... I also picked on their fear of Germs ... and got the two words confused. Shortly after the war we visited someone who had a television. A war film was being shown ... there on a tiny screen were Germans ... I felt extremely alarmed when I saw them. If Germans/Germs could shrink so small maybe they could get small enough to get inside me and make me ill/kill me! The alarm and fear I experienced was, maybe, similar to that caused when infants are subjected to "fear of God" tactics by adults?

alpha480v's picture
I was once a Christian. Then

I was once a Christian. Then I got interested in science and engineering. I wanted to know how things work. Religion no longer had any good answers. Only contradictions. Carl Sagan was the first scientist whose writing I discovered. The vastness of the cosmos, all the wonders that have been discovered, and still will be, by science.

Cognostic's picture
Too much sex. I kept meeting

Sorry for the double post. I am going blind and I have hair on my knuckles so I can't see he keyboards.

Tin-Man's picture
What made me leave religion?.

What made me leave religion?.... Hmmm... I suppose it was when I learned that adult Sunday school classes did not serve cookies and Kool-Aid during classes. I hung in there as long as I could, but I finally could not take it anymore. It they were not able to provide at least basic refreshments during a class, then how could I ever expect them to be able to save my soul? Such a disappointment.... *deep sigh*...

Oh, speaking of cookies, many months ago before I joined this site I had always heard the rumor of, "Join the Dark Side. We have cookies." So one day I finally decided to give it a chance and I joined the AR. And for the benefit of those who are thinking about crossing over to atheism and joining this site for the cookies, be advised I STILL HAVE NOT GOTTEN MY COOKIES! It was all a big LIE! Oh, I got several different excuses, in case you were wondering. "Oh, sorry about that, Tin-Man, but somebody already ate them all." (I suspect it was Cog and Nyar, but I can't prove it.) Then there was, "We ran out of cookie dough and the last order we made has been back-ordered." And my favorite excuse so far has been, "The whole cookie thing was only a metaphor not meant to be taken literally. Plus, you took it out of context." Obviously, I was incredibly disappointed and fairly well upset about having been mislead by the cookie promise. Sadly, however, by the time I realized the deceit, I had already been sucked in and totally brainwashed by the evil-minded heathens that plague this site. So, for all my fellow cookie lovers out there who are considering becoming atheists and joining this site, BE WARNED! Do not fall for the treacherously scheming lie of "Join the Dark Side. We have cookies!" campaign slogan! Yes, it may be too late for me, but you can at least save yourself!.... *looking over shoulder quickly in a startled manner*.... Oh, no! They're coming for me!... *turning back with look of terror on face*.... Run! Run now! Get out while you can! Save yourse-...... *screen goes blank*.... *static noise*.....

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Dear Readers,

Dear Readers,
Tin Man has expressed the fervent wish to go to "Atheists Reset Camp", a fine place by the lake where he can contemplate his errors and learn to call cookies "biscuits" as the rest of the English speaking world do.

As to his claims of sexual abuse I am sure it wasn't me errr,..... anyone in the hierarchy of Atheist World View. We shift around far too regularly to be caug....ummm...anyway its false facts and the product of an unhinged mind...and also other hinges.

Tin Man will be returning son, in a better frame of mind and he will confirm everything I have said, or left err....ummm...unsaid including that innocent pastime of the pigs nose and the Bonobo. That game has been banned (in public) for the time being...so that clears that up. Back to my mission of subverting innocent christians and hopeless muslims everywhere...

Edited for spelling and to remove blasphemous content.

....only kidding...blasphemy is an offence for the retarded and the fascisti religioso.

Tin-Man's picture
*camera on*... *me sitting in

*camera on*... *me sitting in simple wooden chair with plain white wall behind me*.... *bleary-eyed with exaggerated fake smile*... *staring straight into camera*.... Uh, hello to all my won...der...ful, uh, atheist bro...thers and... sisters out there... *squinting hard past camera*... *angry-tone voice gives muffled command from behind camera*.... Look, I'm sorry, but the writing on those cards is terrible and very small and I don't have my glas-... *camera off*... *brief pause*.... *camera back on*... *me in same place but wearing glasses*... *speaking in a 'robotic' monotone*... Hello to all my wonderful atheist brothers and sisters out there... *waving enthusiastically with fake smile*... And a warm and special welcome to those out there who are considering joining our happy little group of friendly and caring fantastically super-duper cool people here at the AR. The cookies here are really, really yummy delicious... *perplexed look*... *suddenly speaking to person behind camera*... Seriously??? Who wrote this stuff?... *angry command barked by person behind camera*.... *me jumping back in seat startled*... Alright, alright! Sheesh! Just asking... *back to 'robotic' monotone*... I am Tin-Man, and I come to you today to offer my sincerest apologies and to ask your forgiveness for my in...a...pro...pre...ut behavior the other day. I am very ashamed for having suggested the fabulously good people of the AR do not have cookies. I was wrong for saying that. But thanks to the perfectly expert advice and counselling by certain AR members who shall wish to remain a...non..ee...mus, I have now seen the error of my ways. I really like it here. It is a fun place. I love the cookies. They are delicious. Please join us, and you can also have cookies... *looking at person behind camera*.... Huh?... Oh.... And Old Man wanted me to tell you he has never never ever touched my private parts as far as I know..... *sudden confused look*... Wait... Wha-... *camera off*.... *static sound*....

Cognostic's picture
FFS - Look at that Tin Man

FFS - Look at that Tin Man run. He does this every fricking time we approach him with a bag of cookies. Hey Tin! Get back here! Oh hell with him. More cookies for me. Hey, Old Man, want a cookie? Sheldon? Anyone? Help yourself, Tin Man doesn't want his.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Cog

@ Cog
* in a posh english upper class accent* "Oh, my deary hairy little friend. A biscuit? How kind!" Yes , it seems our metal chappie seems a bit adverse to the delights of an aristocratic buggering...still, never mind, as I was saying to the Prince the other day, you colonials are all bloody nuts...no...no...thats a trigger word is it not? no...NO....


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