Ex-Christians Only
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03-04-2017, 02:25 AM
RE: Ex-Christians Only
Learning about human psychology and how suggestible humans can be completely shattered my certainty. It opened the door and allowed me to question my own religious experiences. It took a couple of years of intense questioning, but I think it would be fair to say that my skepticism towards religious experiences was the big catalyst for my deconversion.
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03-04-2017, 02:34 AM
RE: Ex-Christians Only
(03-02-2017 07:11 PM)DoubtingThomas Wrote:  Ex-Christians only:

I know I asked a similar question before, but what was the first fact or piece of information that triggered your journey to atheism?
For me it was when I accepted evolution & the Big Bang

> For me, it was reading the Bible. I made the same observations as Richard Dawkins: "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully." Consider
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08-04-2017, 09:46 PM
RE: Ex-Christians Only
Going to a prayer vigil at a church right after 9/11, desperately searching for some understanding of why it happened, watching other people take comfort in feeling the presence of god, and not feeling a damn thing.
I hadn't been away from church forever, and had never been deeply religious. That was my last attempt at being a "better Christian"
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10-04-2017, 07:36 AM
RE: Ex-Christians Only
The Ken Ham/Bill Nye debate which lead a Google search where I found Richard Dawkins.
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10-04-2017, 08:49 AM
RE: Ex-Christians Only
Actually caring whether it was true and then reading. A lot.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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10-04-2017, 08:51 AM
RE: Ex-Christians Only
It wasn't really one thing, it was a long process of chipping away. But I can highlight some things that definitely moved me forward:

1) My wife, who converted not long before we got married and didn't grow up in the conservative, bible-literalist evangelical church I did. So while she tried, there were things she just didn't "get". After about 5 years she said she wanted answers and we decided to not only study it ourselves but asked our church to do classes. It was stuff like why drinking alcohol was wrong (something our chruch strictly taught), why dressing "modestly" was important (swimsuits were a no no), etc. And after going through the classes, I realized....the bible didn't have those answers. For a denomination that strived on "we only do what's in the bible", most of it was all opinion and interpretation. That made me pretty angry for a while.

2) A later study at a different church was about Genesis and why the creation story was 100% true. It was pretty much just a bash science event, and the breaking point was someone pointed out that since Eve wasn't shocked at the serpent talking that "animals talking must have been normal". I almost fell out of my chair when I heard a grown, supposedly educated man say that out loud. But also realized if I bought the creation story, I had to believe that too.

3)What would be a final nail in the coffin, a few years back my church had a heavy attack going on homosexuality (mostly because I'm pretty sure 1 or more members are/were in the closet). The sermons were not only pretty much hate speech, but they were full of just plain wrong information.

Those are 3 of the big events over the course of about 5-10 years that chipped way. Watching YT videos and listening to podcasts just made it easier.
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30-04-2017, 09:49 AM
RE: Ex-Christians Only
I let go of what religion teaches Christianity is corruptted with paganism and teaches incorrectly what it really says in scripture, they use god and jesus which are false namesn. So stated to research a restored version of bible and started to use correct name he gave us and now let the scripture teach me not a man that interprets it and give an opinion as a teaching and as a fact
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30-04-2017, 10:36 AM
RE: Ex-Christians Only
(30-04-2017 09:49 AM)intenzfrost Wrote:  I let go of what religion teaches Christianity is corruptted with paganism and teaches incorrectly what it really says in scripture, they use god and jesus which are false namesn. So stated to research a restored version of bible and started to use correct name he gave us and now let the scripture teach me not a man that interprets it and give an opinion as a teaching and as a fact

Huh Laugh out load Men wrote the scripture in the first place.
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30-04-2017, 11:03 AM
RE: Ex-Christians Only
(03-02-2017 07:11 PM)DoubtingThomas Wrote:  Ex-Christians only:

I know I asked a similar question before, but what was the first fact or piece of information that triggered your journey to atheism?
For me it was when I accepted evolution & the Big Bang

Took me almost a decade to go from Catholic, to agnostic theist, to agnostic atheist.

The first question was asked by a ironically, a carpenter and I was a laborer on a construction site. He asked me, "What if Jesus was just a man?"

I wanted to believe growing up, more because I wanted to fit in. But in the back of my thoughts none of the fantastic claims made sense. It was the first time I ran into someone who verbalized their skepticism.

But even then it took me a while. The next big nail was seeing a museum exhibit at the Smithsonian in DC. It showed how Hindus and Buddhists had mixed, so the statues overlapped in details mixing the two religions. That was the first time I thought, "If it can happen like this, then maybe no religion was original".

So at that point I was an agnostic theist, or a deist, still wanting a god to exist but not buying into any book or club anymore.

In college I met my first all out atheist, and when I spent time with him, that was when it all clicked. I knew at that point it was merely my wishful thinking and all man made.

BUT, still, having had a lifetime of seeing people react to doubters and skeptics, I kept it to myself and my girlfriend at the time. My mom thought it was a phase at the time. But she never thought I was evil.

I really opened up and sought out other atheists online right after 9/11 after reading an opinion that went nationwide out of Chicago written by an atheist Nurse expressing her concern that atheists were not part of the morning process.

That is when I got on line and did a search for atheist websites, and found the now defunct "Atheist Network" started by Jake and "Infidel Guy" Reggie back in 99 prior to me every knowing about them.

THAT is where I really began learning about all the scientists, and bad arguments theists make. The first couple days I was paranoid that maybe I was joining a cult and if people found out I would get in trouble. But that paranoia was gone in less than a week.

Ever since I have been reading and learning, and I have no fear debating theists, and my advice if one might feel stumped, don't throw up your hands and say "they got me". If you are not sure, bounce what they say off of other atheists. What you end up finding out, is there really is nothing there.

All religions argue the same things in the end.

1. I got it right.
2. My holy writing says.
3. We have a history.
4. My holy person says.
5. We are moral( not understanding our goodness is in evolution).
6. We have made discoveries.
7. Science doesn't know everything.
8. Science points to my club/writing.

There is not one religion ever that does not have followers that argue these things.

Once you accept the age of our species as being older than any religion, much less written religion, once you accept the age of the planet as being 4 billion years old, and once you accept the universe as having 100s of billions of galaxies and is 13.8 billion years old, it is quite obvious "all this" was not put here for humans, and that humans merely invent those things.

But I would not focus on just Christians. Atheists have left every religion bar none. We exist in India and have left Sikh and Hindu, we exist in Asia and have left Buddhism, we exist in the Arab states and have left Islam. "Atheist" is not a skin tone or nationality either.

You are born with your facial features and skin tone, you cant leave those things. But all it takes to leave a religion is to simply realize you don't need it and you don't buy it anymore.

Poetry by Brian37(poems by an atheist) Also on Facebook as BrianJames Rational Poet and Twitter Brianrrs37
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01-05-2017, 09:09 AM (This post was last modified: 02-05-2017 08:00 AM by Aractus.)
RE: Ex-Christians Only
(03-02-2017 07:11 PM)DoubtingThomas Wrote:  Ex-Christians only:

I know I asked a similar question before, but what was the first fact or piece of information that triggered your journey to atheism?
For me it was when I accepted evolution & the Big Bang

I don't think it's that important how we got here. Have a look at this video of Imam Tawhidi, an absolutely wonderful person, who is at odds with most people in his religion.

He wants to take the bad things out of his religion and keep the good. That's not unlike what Jesus wanted. What actually happened of course was Jesus became the catalyst for spawning a whole new religion - it didn't reform Judaism the way he envisioned. Anyway, my point is Imam Tawhidi is such a wonderful person, and his religious beliefs don't alter that.

Same thing with atheists, no one is automatically a better person as an atheist. So the important thing for me is not how I got here, it's who I am and ensuring I better myself. That's why I became an atheist. I see a lot of people who transitioned from religion and they redirect their shortcomings (for lack of a better word) in other ways.

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