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Magicjax

"What happened to make you stop believing?"

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Posted (edited)

Have any of you atheist been asked this question when someone finds out you don't believe in god?

I don't generally talk about my religious views with people. Mainly only here in this section of UM and with friends that are also atheist. But on occasions it does come up and it's very common for people to ask me something along the lines of, "What happened to make you stop believing in god?"

There seems to be this misconception that a traumatic event has to take place for someone to stop believing in god. As if the act of no longer believing is the result of anger or fear. Some seem to think that something had to cause them to not like god and as a result disown god. Like a parent might disown a child that turned into a murderer or something. So in a way they think that atheist still believe in god but something happened to them and they blame god and say they stopped believing as a way of expressing their anger.

This strikes me as silly because it's more common for a person to "start believing in god" from a traumatic event. We hear about it all the time. The drug addict "finding god" or "being born again". The loose of a loved one causing someone to turn to god as a way of coping with their loss because of the idea they're in heaven now instead of gone.

In this line of thinking we should be asking any Christian "what happened to make you start believing in god?"

For me and I'm sure there are many that have a similar experience as I did. I really never believed. Oh, I tried to believe in god. I tried to believe because the society I live in taught me that god makes you a good person. You have to believe in god to be happy, be loved and avoid eternal hell. I tried with all my heart to believe this because I was suppose to. No, I HAD TO BELIEVE IN GOD!!! This is what the world told me. But inside I always battled myself with this. I never really believed in god. I just tried very hard to and kept my doubts to myself. When I stopped trying to believe and just realized I really have no reason to believe in god other then what others seem to feel is a necessity to be happy. So I just stopped trying and the result is that burden being lifted from my life.

I have a friend that I found out also doesn't believe in god and his feelings about it are pretty close to mind. And he feels the same way as I just mentioned above about never really believing in god but use to try to. Well about 4 years ago his father died. About six months later his mother died. Then another six months after that his brother passed away. A family of 5 went down to a family of two in just a year and a half. You can't get much more of a traumatic time then that in a life.

I consider him one of my best friends but he lives a few hours away so we only hang out in person 4 or 5 times a year. The last time we hung out a few weeks ago we talked about religion. It started as a recollection of the time thus total stranger came up to me after I did a magic show and told me that I should join her church to rid myself of the evil spirits that allow me to perform my magic. But that opened the topic of religion. I thought about all he's been through in recent years so I asked him if all those losses made him change his mind about religion.

He said that a part of him wishes it was true because it would mean he'd see his parents and brother again. But he still doesn't believe in god. This lead to him telling me some stories about the people he lost. Most if which where very funny stories and he laughed a lot.

He had just seen them again. He relived those moments with them and in a way he just spent time with them again. In a way this is more profound then the thought that we'll see those lost loved ones after we die. Because we don't have to wait, don't have to die and don't have to wonder if we will see then again.

Trauma doesn't cause people to stop believing in god. It's often what makes people start believing in god. Because its an easy patch to fill that void of the unknown and unanswerable. I know this isn't always the case. But I'm sure trauma had turned more people toward religion then against it.

Edited by Magicjax

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Posted (edited)

Traumatic events often have a way of changing our outlook on life. Sometimes it may lead to God, sometimes away. I'm often asked what caused me to become a Christian. Though it's probably more correct to say that people ask me "Hey PA, how did you become a Christian". What we answer with is what Christians call our "testimony", the key events in our life that led us to believe what we currently do believe. For some, it's often "I grew up in a Christian family and always believed in Jesus, so I'm going to tell you about the day that I fully committed my life to Christ". For me who grew up as a (mostly) non-Christian, I outline the key events that led me to put my full trust in Christ.

Whatever the case, when the question is asked, I don't automatically expect that there's a traumatic event involved in the conversion (or in the case of atheists, a deconversion). It's just a general question as to how we came from one state of living to another state. In Christianity, we are encouraged to work on our testimony, to ensure that if anyone asks us we are prepared to explain in the space of about 1-2 minutes (absolute max) what we believe and how we came to that belief (though there are also longer testimonies, the short testimony is for use in casual conversation if anyone ever asks - no one wants to listen to a ten minute rant about our beliefs). Not all Christians do this, but some do. I don't know if atheist's regularly think about their non-belief and work out ways to explain to someone why they don't believe. For a Christian, "I've always believed" is not really good enough (though some people who never think about their beliefs do just that). In terms of an atheist, when a Christian asks "Why don't you believe" (or even "what stopped you believing"), I think they may be expected an atheist testimony. Even if the answer is "I never really believed", a minute or two to explain one or two events that stick out as evidence of atheism (not necessarily traumatic), maybe an account of the specific time when you stopped pretending to believe in God (if you grew up in a religious family) and announced out loud that you did not believe in any creator being. Or maybe an explanation of the things that you did to find God (read the Bible, pray, whatever) and how that didn't work. Without knowing your specific situation I can't really give more detail, it's your personal testimony, not mine.

But I would venture that when a Christian asks an atheist why they don't believe in God, they're looking for a short atheist testimony, not simply a comment that says "truth be told, I never really believed in God".

Just a thought to consider :tu:

~ PA

Edited by Paranoid Android

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Posted (edited)

I've actually asked this question of myself when I first 'really' realized I was atheist. After looking back through my life I came to realize that I don't think I ever really believed in God. As a child I had a religious upbringing and I believe I believed in God, but I can't actually remember a time where I felt deep down inside that it was real. I always felt rather silly when I was told to pray or talk to God. After a while I never really thought about it and, until college, when someone asked me what I believed I told them I didn't know. It was in college that I first heard the term agnostic, which I realized at that time, was what described me. After several more years of research, learning and experiences, I realized I had become an atheist.

Edit to add: I didn't see PA's post before I started writing mine and it gave me a good little chuckle because my second sentence is exactly what he's talking about. :P

Edited by I Am Not Resisting

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Well, to answer the thread title question, but going against what you've written, it was a form of trauma that caused me to question what I had been taught from birth. It was seeing the way my mom would shove religion into every aspect of life, a constant teaching that the world and its people are evil because they go against Christianity. Then leaving me out of things I should experience in life as a kid up, out of fear that I would be led astray from Christianity. Then when she kicked me out of the house while I was still in high school for staying the night at my girl friend's house, it was the straw that broke the camels back.

Just saying, there is a reason a lot of theists think as they do about atheists, what you stated in your OP. It's not all of course that disbelieve in a god that came to their disbelief through these means, but many do. So those people you talk about and their thoughts on this aren't necessarily wrong. Just not always right.

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Well, to answer the thread title question, but going against what you've written, it was a form of trauma that caused me to question what I had been taught from birth. It was seeing the way my mom would shove religion into every aspect of life, a constant teaching that the world and its people are evil because they go against Christianity. Then leaving me out of things I should experience in life as a kid up, out of fear that I would be led astray from Christianity. Then when she kicked me out of the house while I was still in high school for staying the night at my girl friend's house, it was the straw that broke the camels back.

Just saying, there is a reason a lot of theists think as they do about atheists, what you stated in your OP. It's not all of course that disbelieve in a god that came to their disbelief through these means, but many do. So those people you talk about and their thoughts on this aren't necessarily wrong. Just not always right.

Was the religion JW? I only ask because another friend of mine had a mother that was JW and she did some of the things you mentioned. Such as kicking him out of the house because he dated someone that wasn't a JW. he never had a birthday. I even witnessed with my own eyes when I joined my friend at his grandfathers funeral. His mother had shunned him since he stopped fallowing her religion. At the funeral (her own fathers funeral) she still refused to talk to my friend (her son). It was terrible to witness. But my friend says he still believes in god. Just can't stand the JW ways.

So I was just curious because what you said reminded me of my friend.

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This same question could be asked of those who did not stop believing but just started believing a little different without any radical conversion but through moderate growth alone. People in general have much more in common than one would initially suspect. Although it would seem these moderate growers would understand an atheist better than the atheist would understand anyone of any religious orientation. It is even if they kept it to themselves, and might have even appeared to be non-religious to those around them, the moment an atheist found out they would consider them differently.

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"It started as a recollection of the time thus total stranger came up to me after I did a magic show and told me that I should join her church to rid myself of the evil spirits that allow me to perform my magic."

I'm sorry, I read that part and my mind nearly exploded. Just... the ignorance... ug... If you're going to push your religion on someone at least be intelligent enough... no no no as much as I want to, I will not rant about it...

Back on topic, I can't recall a moment where I just stopped believing. As a child I was sent to church, Sunday school, Bible school, all that. But even when I was very young I always questioned it. I remember when I was probably around ten years old asking my grandmother "If God made us, who made God?" Her answer "God just exists honey, that's why it's called faith" really didn't satisfy me. Over time I just decided none of it made sense.

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I was raised Lutheran Christian but it was never a huge part of our lives. My parents really only went to church with us kids and it was a few times a month maybe? I think after confirmation we went only on holidays. My parents ever really prayed at home. My dad told me recently that the only reason he made me go to church because I was baptized and he made a promise (not sure if it was to God or the family) that he would get me confirmed. I think they were just “going through the motions” of Christianity.

Personally I never really “felt” anything. I asked for Jesus into my life and prayed it I never got my eye opening experience. I like to think I tried. After I joined the military I was having a hard time in basic training, so like many I turned to religion. I got a set of rosary beads there. Not knowing anything about them I wore them. This p***ed off a guy in my flight and he was screaming at me because of how offensive that was to him. It really turned me off to Catholics because I did not mean any harm; I was simply trying to find comfort. After that I started going to some Mormon services because a guy in my flight was Mormon. I had learned about them in an intro to world religions class in school. I went there until basic training ended.

After basic training, in tech school, I was a white rope. A white rope was basically a Chaplin’s assistant. I also made a promise to myself that if I made it though this whole training part of the military I would go to church every week. I was finally crushed when I found out I would be going to Europe and not staying close to home.

This is when things changed for me. I cannot remember the exact details but something very severe happened with the Chaplin on base (for the second time with a different Chaplin.) I do not remember what it was but he got kicked out. I then had bitter experiences when I was trying out other churches in the area. At one of the ones I went to, on the first day, the pastor called me out and asked if I sin. Then he tried to convince me that it is possible to live a life free of sin. I got real irritated and never went back.

Now it was time for a deployment…on my first deployment, a day before Christmas, my g/f broke up with me through email hasn’t that story been told 1000 times?) I also worked mortuary…we re-iced bodies, broke fingers for finger prints, saw parts of bodies or bodies with no heads all while smelling burnt flesh. You try not to think about it but it gets to you when you see on the news who the people were that you were processing. When I got back to my base in Europe I was a different person and this is when I totally gave up belief in God. This was my logic…

At this point I am only believing in God because I am scared what happens after I die…

But if I am only believing because I am scared, I do not really believe and if God is how people describe God, he will know when I get up to heaven that I did not really believe…

So if my only reason was fear, it was not worth it to believe. I decided I was not scared anymore and declared myself an atheist…

Like most atheists do at first I kind of acted out. You know every time there was a prayer in the military I was complaining about how they were forcing religion on me when we are supposed to have a freedom of religion in the military. I also started learning evolution and astronomy.

That is the first part of my story I guess but things changed again…

The next part of my change took place in college. I started with classes in science and history. History led me to philosophy and religion. A class about the study of religion and about Darwin’s theory turned me from atheist to agnostic. I gained more respect for religions and understood them but at the same time I also learned that evolution does not disprove a god. I came to the conclusion that we cannot know if there is a god or if there is not but I was able to decide which gods were not true. I tried joining the atheist group on campus but they were some of the worst people I have ever met. To this day I feel much more comfortable around religion people. They seem so much more respectful to me…

So that is my story…that was a lot longer than I thought it was going to be. Thanks for reading.

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I was atheist once. It just made more sense than religion. Then with more time, age, and study it was atheism that no longer made sense...

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Posted (edited)

Was the religion JW? I only ask because another friend of mine had a mother that was JW and she did some of the things you mentioned. Such as kicking him out of the house because he dated someone that wasn't a JW. he never had a birthday. I even witnessed with my own eyes when I joined my friend at his grandfathers funeral. His mother had shunned him since he stopped fallowing her religion. At the funeral (her own fathers funeral) she still refused to talk to my friend (her son). It was terrible to witness. But my friend says he still believes in god. Just can't stand the JW ways.

So I was just curious because what you said reminded me of my friend.

No, she is a typical Baptist Christian. Just very radical. I was only student in school who wasn't allowed to take sex ed class, wouldn't be allowed to go to any friends houses because "they weren't christian", wasn't allowed to have a girlfriend until I was old enough to marry, the list goes on and on. Really aggravating stuff. I invited her to my high school graduation, and she declined. Haven't talked to her since; 9 years later.

Edited by _Only

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Posted (edited)

But I would venture that when a Christian asks an atheist why they don't believe in God, they're looking for a short atheist testimony, not simply a comment that says "truth be told, I never really believed in God".

~ PA

Sometimes it really is as simple as that. Boring, I know.

I have no testimony to explain why I don't believe in God. I don't remember a time that I ever did. My parents were catholic and we went to church. Some of my earlier memories are of sitting there during the interminable mass and wondering if everyone else there really believed all of it.

Edited by Arbenol68

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No, she is a typical Baptist Christian. Just very radical. I was only student in school who wasn't allowed to take sex ed class, wouldn't be allowed to go to any friends houses because "they weren't christian", wasn't allowed to have a girlfriend until I was old enough to marry, the list goes on and on. Really aggravating stuff. I invited her to my high school graduation, and she declined. Haven't talked to her since; 9 years later.

Sorry you went and I assume are still going through that to some degree. Even though I haven't experienced anything to that degree myself. I could see it in my friends face at that funeral when his mother ignored him.

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I truly hope I do not offend any religious folk here, but the truth is, the more I read the Bible, the further away I was pushed from religion as a whole. Then some religious history and comparative religion studies later, I came to accept what I always felt deep down...

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I'm agnostic, not an atheist, but I'm bound to get asked this question at some point since many religious people probably equate agnostics with atheists anyway.

I went from a being someone who didn't really care all that much about religion/thinking of it as more of a cultural experience, to someone who thought about it a lot (due to my interest in philosophy).

I knew (and still know) a lot of ignorant religious people who spouted a lot of BS, and that's what drove me to be an agnostic with atheist leanings. I actually have an early memory of having read about the big bang in a children's science book from the library when I was a kid. A Christian girl in my class was spouting off about God and I told her that "God didn't create the earth, a big explosion did". She told me "God will punish you for this!" I heard a lot of nonsense like this from religious people growing up and began to think of religion as something stupid people who didn't understand science believed in.

Of course, later, I studied religion from various points of view, which influenced me into being a more in the middle agnostic, perhaps even with theist leanings. Through studying religion, I learned that not all religious people are idiots, and that the true message of most religion gets covered up by crazy fundamentalists, who by doing the things they do make their own religions look bad.

I think being agnostic is the best way to go. An atheist who claims they are definitely right is no worse than a religious person who claims they are definitely right.

I'm still not sure if I lean atheist or theist. My main problem is this: Most atheist philosophies don't put all the puzzle pieces together for me. The religious philosophies do, but then I find it incredibly hard to believe the picture they create.

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I'm agnostic, not an atheist, but I'm bound to get asked this question at some point since many religious people probably equate agnostics with atheists anyway.

I went from a being someone who didn't really care all that much about religion/thinking of it as more of a cultural experience, to someone who thought about it a lot (due to my interest in philosophy).

I knew (and still know) a lot of ignorant religious people who spouted a lot of BS, and that's what drove me to be an agnostic with atheist leanings. I actually have an early memory of having read about the big bang in a children's science book from the library when I was a kid. A Christian girl in my class was spouting off about God and I told her that "God didn't create the earth, a big explosion did". She told me "God will punish you for this!" I heard a lot of nonsense like this from religious people growing up and began to think of religion as something stupid people who didn't understand science believed in.

Of course, later, I studied religion from various points of view, which influenced me into being a more in the middle agnostic, perhaps even with theist leanings. Through studying religion, I learned that not all religious people are idiots, and that the true message of most religion gets covered up by crazy fundamentalists, who by doing the things they do make their own religions look bad.

I think being agnostic is the best way to go. An atheist who claims they are definitely right is no worse than a religious person who claims they are definitely right.

I'm still not sure if I lean atheist or theist. My main problem is this: Most atheist philosophies don't put all the puzzle pieces together for me. The religious philosophies do, but then I find it incredibly hard to believe the picture they create.

Most definitely...there are zealots in every sect of life. The religious folks who take the "shove it down your throat" approach have it all wrong if they are trying to truly change or influence someone's views. Same goes for the snotty atheists who look down their noses at religious people as if they are less intelligent or weak/deluded.

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Sometimes it really is as simple as that. Boring, I know.

I have no testimony to explain why I don't believe in God. I don't remember a time that I ever did. My parents were catholic and we went to church. Some of my earlier memories are of sitting there during the interminable mass and wondering if everyone else there really believed all of it.

Our world view is shaped by our experience. It's not "boring" if it is just as simple as that. You see, in expanding on your own experience you've incorporated your atheist testimony into the simple statement of always being atheist (or not remembering ever believing) - "Some of my earliest memories are of...."

Just a thought,

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I truly hope I do not offend any religious folk here, but the truth is, the more I read the Bible, the further away I was pushed from religion as a whole. Then some religious history and comparative religion studies later, I came to accept what I always felt deep down...

Hi flynismo,

I don't think anyone here is going to be offended by your statement. I will say that my experience was the exact opposite of yours. I didn't grow up in a Christian family, but the more I read the Bible (around the age of 20'ish) the closer I came to God, so I converted to Christianity. It's always interesting how two people come to exact opposite experiences after reading the exact same thing.

Anyway, welcome to UM, I hope you enjoy your stay here, and hopefully we'll see you around the forum more often :tu:

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I've always questioned things. I'm still looking for evidence. I might never 'pick a side' and that's fine with me. But the moment I realized that I didn't know was when, after my mom told me that god would take away my pain and protect me, two kids in my Sunday school class were picking on me repeatedly and ruthlessly.

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Posted (edited)

Hmmm. Well, I've had three belief systems. First Islam, then Christianity, and now my own non-religious spirituality. I don't think I ever believed in Islam. It just didn't make sense to me and seemed to be merely "do this and don't do this or you'll go to Hell." But I still believed in Allah, although after the 9/11 attacks I completely abandoned Islam. In a way, the attacks simultaneously destroyed and saved my life.

After that I was a Christian, more or less. At that age I didn't have much access to Christian books and such, and I simply believed in God and that Jesus was my savior. But my life kept worsening and I couldn't see it getting better anytime soon. Of course, I didn't know about patience and perseverance then, but my reasoning as a child was "if bad things keep happening to me, then God is either unable or unwilling to help me", and so I stopped following God, but I still believed in him, and because of that I hated him for letting me suffer. I didn't think about him much after that, and before I knew it I stopped believing in him altogether.

Then I found myself an atheist. A typical hateful, amoral atheist. I was fine with abortion, carefree ssex, insulting religious people, you name it. It was one of the darkest times in my life, but thanks to science (the unborn are living human beings, sexual promiscuity is emotionally damaging [at least to women], etc.), politics (mainly the concept of inherent human rights), and quite a few spiritual experiences that I dismissed as nonsensical, unscientific delusions at first but later had no choice but to accept, I managed to climb out of the dark hole known as nonspiritual atheism. :P

Edited by Parsip

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No, she is a typical Baptist Christian. Just very radical. I was only student in school who wasn't allowed to take sex ed class, wouldn't be allowed to go to any friends houses because "they weren't christian", wasn't allowed to have a girlfriend until I was old enough to marry, the list goes on and on. Really aggravating stuff. I invited her to my high school graduation, and she declined. Haven't talked to her since; 9 years later.

My parents werent christian (well maybe nominally) but they told me Id have to leave home if I smoked (cigarettes) at home. I was about 15 at the time. my reaction was differnt to yours, perhaps because i had alays been treated with love respect and very fair disipline . I accepted their right to have house rules, and the requirement for me to live by them. I also accepted that I was on a very good wicket at home. So i stayed and only smoked away from home.

Their rationale was also clear to me. I had 3 younger siblings. Both my mum and dad had already given up smoking to provide good role models, and I did not have the right to influence my younger siblings.

I was over 18 before i was tempted to have sex with a steady/serious girlfriend .We snuck off to my parents beach house, and on the way we hit a kangaroo and totalled the car.

When I had to make a clean breast of things my parents explained they had known all long what i was doing, because they had noticed the key to the shack was missing. The disappointment they expressed in my choice of behaviour was so upsetting to me, that i never cosidered going behind their back, ever again. I cant conceive of anythng that could have separated me from my parents. But i have cared for many adolescents who were kicked out of their homes.

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Hmmm. Well, I've had three belief systems. First Islam, then Christianity, and now my own non-religious spirituality. I don't think I ever believed in Islam. It just didn't make sense to me and seemed to be merely "do this and don't do this or you'll go to Hell." But I still believed in Allah, although after the 9/11 attacks I completely abandoned Islam. In a way, the attacks simultaneously destroyed and saved my life.

After that I was a Christian, more or less. At that age I didn't have much access to Christian books and such, and I simply believed in God and that Jesus was my savior. But my life kept worsening and I couldn't see it getting better anytime soon. Of course, I didn't know about patience and perseverance then, but my reasoning as a child was "if bad things keep happening to me, then God is either unable or unwilling to help me", and so I stopped following God, but I still believed in him, and because of that I hated him for letting me suffer. I didn't think about him much after that, and before I knew it I stopped believing in him altogether.

Then I found myself an atheist. A typical hateful, amoral atheist. I was fine with abortion, carefree ssex, insulting religious people, you name it. It was one of the darkest times in my life, but thanks to science (the unborn are living human beings, sexual promiscuity is emotionally damaging [at least to women], etc.), politics (mainly the concept of inherent human rights), and quite a few spiritual experiences that I dismissed as nonsensical, unscientific delusions at first but later had no choice but to accept, I managed to climb out of the dark hole known as nonspiritual atheism. :P

Atheists are not typically anything other than non-believers. Its mildly offensive that someone would think atheists are amoral and I'm not even atheist. How is sexual promiscuity emotionally damaging to women? Why isn't it damaging to men? My best friend Jade has had a lot of partners and she is one of the happiest most vibrant people I know. It's great that you are happy now, but calling atheists amoral isn't any different from insulting religous folks. Sure, I dissagree with a lot of things religous texts say, but I wouldn't insult someone for their beliefs- unless they were being a jerk about it.

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I consider myself agnostic, and saying I believe in god isn't quite right because while I believe in some kind of force out there, I don't believe in the very defined and personal deities of most religions.

The turning point for me wasn't about whether or not I believed in God or even whether or not I believed the words of Jesus, it was about religion itself.

I grew up in a family that was religious seemingly only out of fear. My mom pretty much never went to church but clearly always felt guilt for not going, and growing up she and her siblings went through a time period when their parents became born again and suddenly everyone in the household had to abide by very, very strict rules. It was all-but book burning. They relaxed but the guilt and fear stuck with every single one of them, and they all express it in their own ways. As I was growing up my grandmother would constantly ask my mom if I had been saved, my grandparents always talked about how various things were evil and I grew up thinking that every other religion was the equivalent of devil-worshippers. Buddhism was a big target for my family, oddly enough. I heard a lot how the buddha was a false god and so on.

So as I'm coming into adulthood I can't help my insatiable curiosity about all other religions, and started researching what it was that each believed. They all, in their own way, expressed the "golden rule" as a main tenant. I found that several talked about types of rebirth and reincarnation as well. That was when I began formulating the idea that each religion may have its own methods, but the message is essentially the same. It was years before I made a real break with the Christianity of my upbringing, to the point of realizing that though I agreed with much of what Jesus said, Christianity itself just felt wrong to me (as does every religion). Through the course of going to various churches I'd been exposed to people talking in tongues, to the cadence and trance inducing music of revivalist ministers, and people telling BS stories to scare kids into praying. As was mentioned by someone else, praying was always weird to me.

It was a long drawn out process and there was no single event that made me change my mind. It was little things over the years that added up less and less and less that brought me to now, being agnostic and though I still follow the words of Jesus and Buddha and others like them, I reject any of the religions that have sprung up around these people. To me, religion is flawed because of groupthink. It influenced religions in the past, it influences people today, and for some reason I have always been outside the group mentality. I never meshed with the rest :D shocking I know!

The most important thing to me is seeking the truth. I will go so far as to deliberately pick apart my own thoughts and beliefs, breaking them down to try and figure out the psychology behind my ideas and establish what parts of my beliefs are genuine beliefs and what parts come from a need for something. So I guess a better way of saying it is I am always of two minds, two different egos constantly pecking at each other and trying to find the balance in between where real truth lies. The 3rd side of the story, the impartial side which has nothing to gain by spinning the story.

Also in regards to some comments in the OP: I have actually met some atheists who are atheists because their parents stuffed religion down their throats as kids and they rebelled against it. They tend to lash out at the religious unprovoked and have a chip on their shoulder against god and religion as a whole... but they are a small minority. I just wanted to say that it does happen, and people who've known atheists such as this may think most atheists are this way... kind of like thinking most african americans love grape soda. Maybe they do, maybe they don't, but making an assumption based on a label is unfair.

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Posted (edited)

Then I found myself an atheist. A typical hateful, amoral atheist. I was fine with abortion, carefree ssex, insulting religious people, you name it. It was one of the darkest times in my life, but thanks to science (the unborn are living human beings, sexual promiscuity is emotionally damaging [at least to women], etc.), politics (mainly the concept of inherent human rights), and quite a few spiritual experiences that I dismissed as nonsensical, unscientific delusions at first but later had no choice but to accept, I managed to climb out of the dark hole known as nonspiritual atheism. :P

If this was you as an atheist, you clearly weren't doing it right.

You're not describing an atheist there. You're describing a tw4t and an @rsehole. And before you say it, I realise that they're not necessarily mutually exclusive.

I get the impression you're still quite a young fella. Seems to me you just took some time to find what was right for you. Maybe you'll change again as you get on in life. Have you tried Scientology yet? :P

Edited by Arbenol68

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No!!! Not Scientology :w00t: Any church that would take Tom Cruise can't be right :P

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So I guess a better way of saying it is I am always of two minds, two different egos constantly pecking at each other and trying to find the balance in between where real truth lies. The 3rd side of the story, the impartial side which has nothing to gain by spinning the story.

I know just what you mean. Except it often creates more doubt in me in leaning toward either side, and I just end up not able to stop it from spinning each way. :lol: But I think that's just me.

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