Please Share The Experience That Confirmed You Were an Atheist/Agnostic
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24-05-2013, 12:30 AM (This post was last modified: 24-05-2013 12:47 AM by Peanut.)
Please Share The Experience That Confirmed You Were an Atheist/Agnostic
*"Split" from http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid312772

I was writing in the other thread and then I realized that I didn't have a moment that "solidified my belief in God." I think the other thread was a good one, but I didn't have anything to contribute, as I don't think I ever actually BELIEVED in a God.

Consider

I have mentioned it before about how my family was a "special occasion Christian" family. We never really did ANYTHING on a regular basis involving church or prayer or anything. It was always just a "God bless you" here and a "it was a miracle!" there. (All said by other people in my family, NEVER me.) I don't recall even saying, "God bless you" or even "bless you" when someone sneezed. I just never even thought about religion unless someone brought it up. It didn't rule my life.

Ricky Gervais talking about when he was eight and realized that he was an atheist. (It's one of my favorite videos.)




Having said all that I have, I think the day I realized that God just wasn't real was when I was a Sophomore in high school. The day I was sitting at my desk, listening to the awesome teacher, Bill, talk about "niches" in ecosystems and I had this sudden, random urge to ask him if he believed in God. I never did ask him, and I also have ADD, so you can kinda see that my thought processes were all over the place. But I "answered" my own question:

"No, I don't believe in God. It's impossible because I see dinosaur bones."
OR
"Yes, I do believe in God. Let's not talk about this in school, though..."

It was just this huge revelation and realization and I felt rather uncomfortable. I finally realized that schools and religion don't belong together and I also wondered how science teachers could be religious and believe in God.

*I still have never asked him that question. I'd rather it be private. (And he's one of the coolest teachers I've ever had. Usually, the science teachers are the best...)

When did you realize you no longer believed? (or conceded that you don't KNOW there is a God?)

"It was life, often unsatisfying, frequently cruel, usually boring, sometimes beautiful, once in awhile exhilarating." -Stephen King
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24-05-2013, 12:59 AM
RE: Please Share The Experience That Confirmed You Were an Atheist/Agnostic
Atheism tends to be a slow process. I think few people have a "moment". Some do, but it doesn't always work that way.

For me, the "moment" came when I realized what Atheism actually is. I accepted that it was merely a lack of belief in God(s), and I then examined what I believe. "Do I believe in God(s)? ...No. Ergo, I am an atheist." I had been an atheist for a while - again, it's a process - but understanding the definition was when I acknowledged and embraced it for the first time.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
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24-05-2013, 01:03 AM
RE: Please Share The Experience That Confirmed You Were an Atheist/Agnostic
I can remember, as an eight year old, being told that everyone who wasn't baptized as a catholic was going to hell. Three seconds later I knew that was bullshit and that god didn't exist.

I wasn't brave enough to protest when I was eight. I am now.
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24-05-2013, 01:05 AM
RE: Please Share The Experience That Confirmed You Were an Atheist/Agnostic
I had many little moments. I didn't begin really adding them up until I was older.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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24-05-2013, 01:15 AM
RE: Please Share The Experience That Confirmed You Were an Atheist/Agnostic
(24-05-2013 12:59 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Atheism tends to be a slow process. I think few people have a "moment". Some do, but it doesn't always work that way.

For me, the "moment" came when I realized what Atheism actually is. I accepted that it was merely a lack of belief in God(s), and I then examined what I believe. "Do I believe in God(s)? ...No. Ergo, I am an atheist." I had been an atheist for a while - again, it's a process - but understanding the definition was when I acknowledged and embraced it for the first time.

I totally get what you're saying...I think I hesitated for so long because I really didn't want to believe it was true -- I'd been lied to and lied to myself.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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24-05-2013, 01:27 AM
RE: Please Share The Experience That Confirmed You Were an Atheist/Agnostic
(24-05-2013 01:15 AM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  
(24-05-2013 12:59 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Atheism tends to be a slow process. I think few people have a "moment". Some do, but it doesn't always work that way.

For me, the "moment" came when I realized what Atheism actually is. I accepted that it was merely a lack of belief in God(s), and I then examined what I believe. "Do I believe in God(s)? ...No. Ergo, I am an atheist." I had been an atheist for a while - again, it's a process - but understanding the definition was when I acknowledged and embraced it for the first time.

I totally get what you're saying...I think I hesitated for so long because I really didn't want to believe it was true -- I'd been lied to and lied to myself.

That's very true as well. There was a measure of hesitation on my part; mostly from guilt. "What if God is real and I accept that I don't believe in him? How is that going to turn out for me?" That went on for some time. Which, ultimately, is why it's so hard to point out an exact moment for me. I don't know when I became an atheist, just as I don't know when I became an adult. It was just such a gradual process that I eventually accepted that I was no longer a believer, without actually knowing when it had happened.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
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24-05-2013, 02:27 AM
RE: Please Share The Experience That Confirmed You Were an Atheist/Agnostic
I never have believed in God.
I never use to think other people did too when I was younger. I always believed that people believed the same as me that it was just a story, sort of like a big joke like "be nice or God will punish you hahahaha".
It wasn't until later that I came to realize that people were serious, that they were serious about believing in this invisible man in the sky. That's when I started to realize how fucking retarded the world was.
Then it wasn't until I came here, to TTA, that I realized truly how fucking retarded the world was and even to this day I am lost for words at the... stupidity.. of people that share this planet with me. It truly blows me away and I can't wrap my head around it, still.

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24-05-2013, 02:36 AM
RE: Please Share The Experience That Confirmed You Were an Atheist/Agnostic
The experience which confirmed my being an atheist?

*looks at Dictionary definition of the word 'atheist'*

"Huh. That's what it's called..."

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
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24-05-2013, 04:03 AM
RE: Please Share The Experience That Confirmed You Were an Atheist/Agnostic
I really can't recall whether I ever truly believed in God or not, nor can I recall when I felt certain I did not believe in God, but I'm thinking it was sometime in mid to late high school.

(24-05-2013 12:30 AM)Peanut Wrote:  I finally realized that schools and religion don't belong together and I also wondered how science teachers could be religious and believe in God.

Many theistic beliefs pertain to unobservable events, so for some people science neither supports nor refutes their beliefs.

Also, religion and school belonging together is a matter of perception. Yes, we may see problems with it as evidenced by peoples' religious beliefs skewing their perception on other matters, but if people can logically organize their "beliefs" and "knowledge", then such problems can be avoided.

(24-05-2013 01:03 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Three seconds later I knew that was bullshit and that god didn't exist.

Don't you mean you believed god didn't exist?

(24-05-2013 02:27 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  that they were serious about believing in this invisible man in the sky.

Are you ignorant to the fact that many believers don't believe God is an invisible man in the sky?

(24-05-2013 02:27 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  That's when I started to realize how fucking retarded the world was.

"Fucking retarded" as opposed to people who make broad and vague generalizations?

(24-05-2013 02:27 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  Then it wasn't until I came here, to TTA, that I realized truly how fucking retarded the world was and even to this day I am lost for words at the... stupidity.. of people that share this planet with me. It truly blows me away and I can't wrap my head around it, still.

I'd suggest you try recognizing there are far more people in the world than you've ever been exposed to.
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24-05-2013, 05:42 AM
RE: Please Share The Experience That Confirmed You Were an Atheist/Agnostic
(24-05-2013 04:03 AM)fat cat Wrote:  I really can't recall whether I ever truly believed in God or not, nor can I recall when I felt certain I did not believe in God, but I'm thinking it was sometime in mid to late high school.

(24-05-2013 12:30 AM)Peanut Wrote:  I finally realized that schools and religion don't belong together and I also wondered how science teachers could be religious and believe in God.

Many theistic beliefs pertain to unobservable events, so for some people science neither supports nor refutes their beliefs.

Also, religion and school belonging together is a matter of perception. Yes, we may see problems with it as evidenced by peoples' religious beliefs skewing their perception on other matters, but if people can logically organize their "beliefs" and "knowledge", then such problems can be avoided.

(24-05-2013 01:03 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Three seconds later I knew that was bullshit and that god didn't exist.

Don't you mean you believed god didn't exist?

(24-05-2013 02:27 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  that they were serious about believing in this invisible man in the sky.

Are you ignorant to the fact that many believers don't believe God is an invisible man in the sky?

(24-05-2013 02:27 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  That's when I started to realize how fucking retarded the world was.

"Fucking retarded" as opposed to people who make broad and vague generalizations?

(24-05-2013 02:27 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  Then it wasn't until I came here, to TTA, that I realized truly how fucking retarded the world was and even to this day I am lost for words at the... stupidity.. of people that share this planet with me. It truly blows me away and I can't wrap my head around it, still.

I'd suggest you try recognizing there are far more people in the world than you've ever been exposed to.

Re "Don't you mean you believed god didn't exist?"

No. I knew. At that moment it dawned on me that god was nothing more than the fictitious product of people trying to control me. If god was real he wouldn't be so narrow-minded. And I was only eight.
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