Personal Experiences
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
31-05-2010, 09:09 AM
Personal Experiences
We all know and discuss on the forums how science, history, math, logic, and scholars prove religion wrong and that it plays a role in why we are atheist. I want to know of personal experiences that you all have had that helped to drive you to being an atheist. For example, Yahweh never answered my prayers, never helped to save some of my relatives, and childhood dog, from dying of cancer. I could go on but I am more interested in what you all have to say.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
31-05-2010, 12:17 PM
 
RE: Personal Experiences
I've always had a love of science. My hobby when I was in college was astronomy. I purchased my first pair of binoculars when I was in my first year of Marketing. I still have them (Bushnell 10x50). I would go out as frequently as I could and, using guides like Terence Dickinson's NightWatch, I would challenge myself with finding northern hemisphere constellations and other sky objects.

It didn't stop there. I started reading more and more astronomy books, and eventually read the book that probably set me on the course to Atheism: Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot. It was this book that taught me that it is wrong NOT to question things, to wonder what our human potential really is, to strive to be better than I was at that time (and forever more).

The fact that 'god' did not answer my prayers, the fact that my son was born with a cleft lip, my grandfather dying, etc. also contributed to my Atheism. If 'god' were the loving, compassionate being most theists make him out to be, then asking for world peace should have been no issue for such a supreme being.

Also, I may not be the only person on this planet that would say so, but I think 9/11 also played a big part in my Atheism. When you see what lengths religious extremists would go to to make their point, you start wondering if religion itself isn't the biggest problem in the world today. If those hijackers were NOT promised 72 virgins in heaven, along with martyrdom, would they have done what they did?
Quote this message in a reply
31-05-2010, 07:12 PM
RE: Personal Experiences
I never really had an experience that "drove" me to atheism. I just never believed.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
01-06-2010, 07:22 AM
 
RE: Personal Experiences
Pretty innocent here. I was raised in a very wishy-washy Catholic family. What I mean is that we went to church every week and on Holy Days (basically not just Easter and Christmas). I was babtised, confirmed, etc..., and even into college I continued attending church regularly. However outside of Sunday church was rarely spoke of. We didn't say grace, or ever read the Bible, and I was never urged to say my prayers at night. Church was just a community "thing" . Damn near the whole town was Catholic and everyone you associated with in life you saw at church. Most social fuctions were church sanctioned they were like a community group. So for me church was community. I from day one LOVED the theatrics of the Catholic mass. I made my parents sit front and center so I could see pagentry. I would live for Good Friday mass, what a show! I enjoyed the imagery too. I was an alter boy of course. There was even one particular priest who was very special to me. He was the first priest in my life to utilize a wireless mike for his homilies and walked all around the church with it. He didn't homilize dully about the "lesson" of today's scripture. He would vividly describe the time period in which the gospel was written, who the audience was, and what the author was trying to convey to his audience. It made a hell of a lot more sense after that. He was the Youth Group leader (there wasn't one before him) and he listened to Pink Floyd. He was a gentle soul, believed deeply, and was very intelligent. However as all priest do in five years he moved on, and I grew up. If I had been trapped in that town for the rest of my life I can garuntee you I'm still a Catholic right now, but with no strong belief system, just going through the motions. However I did get out and went to Graduate school here in Columbus, Ohio. When all the community was stripped out of "church", when it was just church it lost all its luster. I was in a big diverse city now, and I was working with great people from Iran, the Phillipines, India, China, France, and Peru. It took many years to go from apathy, to actually doing some study, and then on to atheism, but I got there. I'm still new to it all, and way more apathetic than anything, but when pressed I'm an Atheist.
Quote this message in a reply
02-06-2010, 11:29 AM
 
RE: Personal Experiences
It is really interesting stuff. I have read your stuff. I am appreciated to share your valuable experience. It is useful for others when same circumstances occurs. Keep your confidence in any bad situation which help to out from it which I learn from my past experience.
Quote this message in a reply
03-06-2010, 01:02 PM
RE: Personal Experiences
This is somewhat not relevant, since I was already a rather stanch atheist at the time, but when I first got into the religious debate(when I around 12) I found out that the best argument for god is that you can “feel him”, since all other arguments can be rather thoroughly invalidated. I decided to invite god into my heart, as they like to say. In the absolute most humble and sincere way possible while still retaining enough skepticism to avoid blind faith and accepting anything as “proof of god”, I asked god to show himself. I looked for anything that would be considered proof of god. I saw the pretty trees and shiny stars, and knew that they can be just as pretty and shiny without god. Turns out god is very good at Hide-and-go-Seek, cause even after a week I couldn’t find him Undecided

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
17-06-2010, 12:52 PM
 
RE: Personal Experiences
I was a victim of the saying "There are no christian children, just children of christian parents" (not 100% if that's accurate, but close enough, right?). My stepfather was a born again christian for the third time, so we all went to church every sunday. I did truly believe there was a god, because like all children, i also believed in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, etc., and my parents encouraged it. but when they told me the truth about them, I asked, "Does that mean there's no god either?" they were quick to tell me he was real and not ask about it anymore. But it didn't make any sense to me. Why would they encourage these other beliefs, then tell me they weren't real, and not expect me to question god? I mean, their powers were pretty far out there, just like god's.
Around the age of 13, I started thinking of the concept of time and what was before the universe, so I started asking questions. First to my stepfather, because he was hardcore about religion. I asked him where god came from. he said he's always been around. my arguement was that it didn't make sense. there has to be a beginning to everything. everything has to come from something. He didn't agree with that, so my punishment was to read aloud from the bible every night for a couple hours before I was allowed to go to sleep. This did not help my belief in god. It only raised more questions, because then I asked why the dinosaurs weren't in the bible, his response was "god gave an angel, named Lucifer, the job of creating life. He did a horrible job, so god killed them, condemned Lucifer, and did the job himself." I knew I wasn't getting anywhere with him, and I was tired of reading out loud every night, so I went to our pastor at our church and asked the questions. He never answered my questions, or even attempted to answer them. His response was that I needed to pray more, and he told my stepfather that I needed to be disciplined more. So I started to realize that if you asked questions in religion, you'd be punished with more religion.
When I was 15, I still believed in god, but was skeptical. The final straw that made me believe there wasn't a god, was when I prayed to god for something (can't really remember what it was, probably something stupid), and I never got it. Then I said out loud, "I'd sell my soul for (whatever it was)." I waited for the devil to appear, but nothing happened. I didn't get what I asked for. I told my mom and stepdad what I did, and they said god was busy. But if god is this all powerful, all knowing omnipotent being, how can he be too busy to respond to my prayer? He must not be that omnipotent, or must not exist. I told my cousin about that I was starting to doubt the existense of god, and that was the first time I heard the word "Atheist." It felt great knowing I wasn't the only person who felt this way, but I quickly learned in school to not bring it up. Kids can be so cruel, especially when you're probably the only Atheist in a small town, with no one to have your back.
Eventually my parents divorced when I was 16. My mom wasn't hardcore about religion, but she's a believer, so we didn't ever go to church. My stepdad tried making me go to church, but I started staying the night at friends' houses, where he couldn't find me. I eventually told my parents I was an Atheist. My stepfather tried to punish me, but I cut him out of my life. I've maybe seen him three times in the past 8 years since I told him, and he still tries to use scare tactics to convert me. My mom went into complete denial, and to this day, still refuses to believe that I'm an Atheist. When I remind her that I don't believe, she just nods and changes the subject, but if someone else tells her that I don't believe, she'll argue with them and say that it's bullshit.
Sorry to go on for so long, but when I tell a story, I like to tell a story Big Grin. There's more to it, but I feel this is enough to explain how I got to be where I am today
Quote this message in a reply
17-06-2010, 01:19 PM
RE: Personal Experiences
Welcome, salty! Glad to have you with us. And there's nothin' at all wrong with stories. Big Grin

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: