Ex-Christians Only
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01-05-2017, 10:23 PM
RE: Ex-Christians Only
The first thing I remember questioning was regarding gay marriage. I was taught to spout out that it was evil and all this other nonsense, but in my head that didn't make any sense. I think that's where I began to seriously question. Once you start looking for flaws in religion, it isn't hard to find them. I went from religious to agnostic to atheist over a long span of time. I'd say I started wondering in middle school and really solidified my disbelief around 20 or so. Coming out of indoctrination was a long thought provoking process. But I couldn't be happier now.
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14-06-2017, 02:17 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

Honestly? I don't even know.
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14-06-2017, 02:55 AM
RE: Ex-Christians Only
A lot of things and particularly when my catholic friend convinced me that ORTHODOXY IS THE TRUE RELIGION.
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14-06-2017, 09:23 AM
RE: Ex-Christians Only
(14-06-2017 02:55 AM)sea_tiger Wrote:  A lot of things and particularly when my catholic friend convinced me that ORTHODOXY IS THE TRUE RELIGION.

Do huh?
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03-02-2018, 08:50 PM
RE: Ex-Christians Only
When I was about eight, I was living with my grandparents. My grandfather was the minister of the church in the center of our little town. I remember, one Sunday, people bowing their heads in prayer and proclaiming that the gods of other religions were idols, and I remember wondering, how can you assert that? What makes our god any more valid than anyone else's? If there were evidence to support one god over another, wouldn't everyone be worshiping the same god? The last question certainly sheds light on my naivety at the time, and admittedly, I probably didn't think all of this in as many words. It would take some time for the importance of this moment to fully become apparent, but I tucked it away for further contemplation, and I'm glad I did. I think it was from that moment that faith required a conscious effort to maintain. In a way, I was questioning the existence of god before I was questioning the existence of Santa Clause. That's not a joke; I was absolutely certain there was no way my parents would have got me an N64 for Christmas.
Another important moment in eroding my faith would come when I was fourteen, no longer living with my grandparents or attending their church, and attending protestant confirmation classes. To this day I can't believe the pastor sat us all down and told us this, but he told us about the history of the bible, something I had not bothered to consider before: how it had been passed down by word of mouth from generation to generation, how it had finally been transcribed, translated, edited, had untold amounts of context added and omitted. This was not the end of my belief in a god- not yet- but it certainly marked the end of my ability to take the bible seriously.
I would later go on to reject confirmation, more out of rebellion against my parents than for any intellectual reason, but it's a decision I have never regretted. Over the years that followed, I simply stopped caring about religion, but the subject was briefly revisited when I read Under the Dome by Stephen King, which would reignite my interest in pondering what, exactly, a higher power might be. I eventually concluded that if a higher power existed, there was no reason to assume there was only one, no reason to assume that they created us, that they noticed us, or cared about us any more than we cared about the individual lives of ants. It is thanks largely to Mr. King that if you had asked me five years ago, I would have told you I was agnostic. But, it is thanks to my devoutly Catholic wife that the final nail in the coffin that contained my faith was driven, and that I finally began to call myself an Atheist.
When we met, I made the attempt to reconsider religion. I tried praying, I tried not just going to church but actually listening (which was possibly the first time I had done so for an hour straight under a church roof). Frankly, it just didn't take. Having been forced to take religion and the concept of a god seriously for the first time, not just because I was dragged to church every week as a child, I realized I could not do so and remain intellectually honest with myself. it was then that I finally came to terms with Atheism.
Of course, this didn't stop us from continuing our relationship and eventually getting married- not without a few rough patches- but that's another story.

A Catholic, an Atheist, a Muslim, a Jew, a Hindu, a Baptist, and a Pastafarian all walk into a bar. They chat, drink, laugh, and have a good time. There's no joke to be had. It's what happens when you're not a dick.
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03-02-2018, 09:08 PM
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

As I recall it was something on the order of "little bible knick knacks that don't quite add up." Through my upbringing and programming I took for granted that though OT stuff was exaggerated, NT stuff was rock-solid history but when I started to peel back some layers...well, it falls apart pretty quickly.

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03-02-2018, 09:10 PM
RE: Ex-Christians Only
Sexy J love your sig. Very clever.

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03-02-2018, 11:42 PM
RE: Ex-Christians Only
The realization that nuns weren't only not very smart but that they weren't very nice people, either.

I was 11 at the time.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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04-02-2018, 04:56 AM
RE: Ex-Christians Only
For me, it was a bit of a culmination of multiple factors, the main one being every time we moved (military family) what I was told to believe by various members of the various churches we attended changed. Plus I alternated between public, private, and home schooling, so subjects like Biology, Astronomy, and Zoology became very confusing because I was being told conflicting things with every move (i.e. evolution vs ID vs Old Earth Creationism).

This was very confusing as a kid, so I decided to seek my own answers because I felt I couldn't trust my teachers anymore. Thank Cthulhu for the internet, and my HS Biology teacher. It slowly dawned on me that I'd been very sheltered and indoctrinated as a kid. Suddenly the world was enormous, not this little Christian place. And it was all there for me to explore!

At around the same time I read the Bible entirely, because I found it odd that I hadn't already. I learned very quickly I was only ever taught about the good parts.

Atheism and skepticism came along soon after.

Ignorance is not to be ignored.

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04-02-2018, 07:31 AM
RE: Ex-Christians Only
The first doubts were when I was much younger. In elementary school, I found out that there were other religions - actually, many many other religions, and also many other gods. They all claimed to be the only true and correct one. We no longer worship ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, or Norse gods - what if, in 1000 years, our future generations look back at this time period with the same laughable criticism as we look at those other ancient cultures' gods?

There was a couple situations in late elementary school in which I was blamed for something that happened at home, and to this day I deny responsibility. My parents, however, prayed about the problem and the "Holy Spirit" told them that I was to blame. In both situations, I was punished for the incidents, and for lying about it. I did neither.

Since then, I had always had problems with absolutely proclaiming truth about any religion, but still kept the facade up until I was in my late 20's and started doing some SERIOUS research. Connections with Pagan, Egyptian, and other Mediterranean religions around or before the time of Christ were probably the most damning towards my view of Christianity. There were many other issues with my family's particular form of Christianity.

I have done much more research since then, and find fault with Biblical "science," arguments from ignorance, claims without evidence, apologetics, Pascal's wager, the Kalam Cosmological Argument, the Ontological argument, and many others where religion falls flat on its face to defend the indefensible.

Although it was hard to let it all go, I finally dismissed religion in its entirety in my early 30's. It still affects me, as I cannot seem to let it go. It will likely be a lifelong journey, and my newfound purpose (or "calling") in life is to help others break free.

Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.
--Mark Twain
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