Share your de-conversion story
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17-08-2015, 12:59 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(08-08-2015 10:56 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  We're not judging you for your personal journey, Q... just for blatant dishonesty in facing evidence when it is clearly presented to you. If your religion makes you happy, then I am happy for you. Simple as that.

On the other hand, when the ideas of someone's faith are ones that combat scientific understanding and/or seek to impose the "will of God" (however that particular cult/sect chooses to define it) onto others, either through legislation, willful deception, or social pressure, then we have a combat situation.

Last thing: please don't claim to be "a former atheist"... from what I can see there, you were at best an "Ijustdontgiveafuckist", the faith-stance of my brother. Smile

How do you know what I was two decades ago? For someone who claims to have gone through a painful and lengthy deconversion process, you both lack sympathy and are particularly judgmental. I've been treated more nicely in public debates than by you.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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23-08-2015, 09:33 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I was never much of a believer. My mother always taught us that god existed, but that the bible was full of shit written by people who thought they knew what god wanted. The most important thing was the ten commandments (and she had her own interpretation of all of them)

Her version of the ten commandments were like this:

-Don't worship people or things.
-Don't use gods name to further your own causes
-Don't work all the time
-Respect your parents
-Don't murder
-Don't rape
-Don't steal
-Don't accuse people of something they didn't do
-Don't want something just because someone else has it
-Don't create false idols for other people to worship

One day, when I was much older my younger sister started asking questions. "Why would god allow a book to be written with rules that he didn't set?" and my mom gave the standard "Free will" answer along with "Well, god doesn't interfere."

My sister basically said "The bible can't be inspired by god. Because the morality is culturally centered. Any god would have to have timeless morality. If the writers of the bible were wrong about everything, then how do we know that they weren't wrong about the existence of god?"

And I thought she had a fair and good point. I realized we were trusting that god exists based on something someone we already considered unreliable had believed.
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23-08-2015, 09:40 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(23-08-2015 09:33 AM)Ash Wrote:  Her version of the ten commandments were like this:

-Don't worship people or things.
-Don't use gods name to further your own causes
-Don't work all the time
-Respect your parents
-Don't murder
-Don't rape
-Don't steal
-Don't accuse people of something they didn't do
-Don't want something just because someone else has it
-Don't create false idols for other people to worship

Those are much better than the ones they keep trying to display everywhere.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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28-08-2015, 06:05 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
One night several years into our marriage my husband blurts out, "I am an atheist." I was so in shock I couldn't speak. I didn't claim to be really christian at the time but I had grown up pentecostal so the word atheist alone had a negative vibe. I set out on a path to prove to him that God was real and the bible was legit. I am not proud of the way I acted in those 6 months. I accused him of hating God, hating his parents denomination, etc. After I did some research into the bible I realized most of the stories were made up obviously. In my indoctrination I didn't realize that certain stories were told in piece, others completely left out of normal conversation, and tons were spun to make look amazing. After I had this information, there was no way I could un-learn it and I had to accept that I was an atheist.
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01-09-2015, 09:12 PM (This post was last modified: 01-09-2015 09:19 PM by smileXsmileXsmile.)
Share your de-conversion story
Keeping it short and easy to read:

I was brought up catholic and believed in the bible until about age 12. I then struggled with the concept of free will. A few years later I ditched the bible as truth, and thought I was Jewish, which turned out to be deism. I then started to struggle with why a god would allow vast starvation and poverty (amongst other things). Then I realized I fell into the agnostic p.o.v.; can't possibly know. Then I realized that, by logic, I must be an atheist. I was hesitant to identify will the label "atheist" until about 20. At that point I was like, fuck it, "Atheist" is an accurate label, despite the negative misunderstandings.

"If you cannot explain it simply, you don't understand it enough" -Albert Einstein
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19-09-2015, 11:19 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
My mother and father both believe in a higher power. My father is a fairly tolerant xian but very "I'm right they're wrong" at the same time. Mom's parents were so fanatical they gave 60+% of their income to the church and left my mom and her brothers to fend for themselves as teens in a small town. They just moved and left them behind. Mom is a believer but she doesn't know what she believes in. I was raised going to church every other weekend when my dad had custody and no real mention of religion from mom, so I believed, got warm and fuzzy at church and accepted christianity.
When I was 13 my sister and I had a mutual friend, I will never forget her, I had a kid's crush on her and we became very close. She began having issues walking, then her legs stopped working. She had 3 decent size tumors on her spine that were interfering with her controlling her legs. The rest is hard for me to talk about but long story short over the next 18 months she received chemo and radiation and had the tumors removed only to have them come back, and very aggressively. She died new years eve 94/95, the cancer and the steroids they had given her had changed this lovely girl I knew. I will never forget the open casket though I don't usually think of that when I think of her. She was swollen from the steroids and unrecognizable to me. I wondered how an all powerful god could punish an innocent girl like her or allow her and her family to go through this. She found god through her trials and died "knowing" she was going to go to heaven. Meanwhile my sister and I were questioning what we had been taught and as a side effect dealing with her illness/death started to get into pot, alcohol and serious drugs. This lasted quite a few years and luckily both of us dropped the drugs before becoming adults and have worked hard and been lucky to do well in life. Again, I will never forget that girl, she was the beginning of my questioning what was wrong with the world and over 10 years later I came to the conclusion that there was no god, no higher power. No metaphysical reasoning to why things like this happen, science and research can explain most if not all legitimately. While my family and hers and many others prayed and prayed for this girl to be saved with nothing but more pain and suffering to be shown for it. There is more to my deconversion but this is where it started my questioning and has had a profound effect on my life to this point. I have been able to be happier and more sure in my decisions. Been able to raise my children without holding threats of a all consuming hell that they will go to when they die if they aren't good. I have had more than my share of tragedies in life but because of one poor unfortunate young teenage girl I am able to keep things in perspective and make the best of life through whatever circumstances are thrown at me.

The more we know, the more ignorant we become in the absolute sense, for it is only through enlightenment that we become conscious of our limitations. Precisely one of the most gratifying results of intellectual evolution is the continuous opening up of new and greater prospects.
Nikola Tesla
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19-09-2015, 11:59 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
My story isn't one of de-conversion, its about how I came to identify with myself as an atheist.

My dad is an atheist. He always questions religion. He asks the JW's: "How come you don't believe in blood transfusions?" and says: "Just stay away from that lot (religious people) and you'll be right."

My mum believes in a higher power, but even she doesn't know what that is. She doesn't believe that Jesus was a real person. She will talk to the JW's and accept their literature for reading, though, but I think she's just being nice.

So I grew up in a pretty liberal household. My high school friends and I were a bunch of misfits. I never judged anyone for their beliefs. I was sent to a Catholic all girls high school, because my mother simply thought that that school was best (irrespective of religion). I suspect that she thought it a good idea for me to learn about the different world religions. As a result, I had to take Religious Education classes and attend mass every few months. I loathed it. I remember once during a mass, I was so bored that I decided to get up and take the wafer that the Priest was offering, just so that I could taste it. One girl said to me: "Have you been baptized?" I told her that I hadn't. '"You can't have a wafer unless you've been baptized!" I thought that idea was stupid. Who was she to tell me what to do? And why would this God or Jesus care anyway, when they supposedly love me no matter what? I ignored her and ate my wafer anyway (and for the record, it tasted gross).

I only really started questioning my beliefs when I got into university. I lived in an apartment with 4 other young women, 3 of whom were Christian: one fanatical, one devout/traditional and one liberal. They all attended church every Sunday and had groups of students or church-goers around to regularly discuss the teachings in the Bible. They constantly encouraged me to go along, as well. I tried to tell them that although I wasn't sure about the existence of God, I wasn't really interested in learning about it at this point in my life because I'd had enough of religion after Catholic school mass. I wanted to learn about such things when I became older and wiser. But they kept insisting, so I relented in the end.

I went a couple of times, but it still didn't interest me. Granted the services were more relaxed unlike the traditional Catholic kind. I remember once attending a service at a "new age" church, where people were throwing their arms up and their heads back in ecstasy as they prayed to their lord. I felt a strange rush of euphoric energy throughout the church, which I gathered was the supposed "holy spirit." It freaked me out. I told my Christian friends about it. They explained that your "first time experiencing Jesus" was always like that. I thought they were nuts. I never went back.

I remember the most liberal of the girls explaining to me how the others were trying to get her to continue to go to church and how she just didn't have the time due to university commitments. I said: "Look, if your God really does love you and you love him back, I'm sure he's not going to question your love just because you can't go to worship every Sunday. It doesn't mean that you love him any less." She said: "You're so right - thank you!" I didn't understand how that was so difficult to determine - it seemed like the most logical answer to me.

Fast forward a few more years. I had changed houses and was living with 2 girls, both of whom were non-believers. Suddenly, to my amazement, not only one, but both of my housemates converted into Christianity within the space of a fortnight. Both of them had devout Christian friends, so I knew that they had been having a lot of discussions and that they had evidently instigated it. They both went to church and had friends constantly coming around to talk about the Bible. They asked me if I wanted to go as well - I went once - but it was just the same again. I was bored and uninterested; I didn't feel as though I needed a God and a Holy Book to tell me how to live my life when I was perfectly happy as I was. I watched how my friends changed. One of them became more judgmental of others and of the world around her. She also wanted to keep her faith a secret. The other kept telling me how "it feels right", "it just makes sense" and "it answers all my questions." I felt like they started to judge me, my actions in the house and they made me feel unwelcome.

I then moved into another house, one of my housemates of which called himself a Satanist. He was full of shit though. He used to tell me stories of how he took advantage over the helpfulness of the Mormons and made them wash his car and mow his lawn numerous times whilst he sat around drinking beers. He also scarred the JW's by answering the door half-naked in a heavy metal t-shirt and proclaiming that he was a Satanist. He thought that all of this was hilarious.

It was at that point that I started seriously asking questions and came to the following conclusions by myself:
What is the meaning of life? To create your own meaning.
What is your purpose in life? To give myself a purpose.

I then started listening to random Atheist vs Christian debates on YouTube, and I was finding that I the more I watched, the more I naturally agreed with the atheists. They seemed so rational and sane - and like me - they questioned everything. I also started to watch atheist podcasts on YouTube, mainly from Matt Dillahunty and the Atheist Experience. It was at that point that I identified as an atheist.

The final nail in the coffin was meeting up with an old friend of mine who said that he "had spent a year running away from God, but was back with the church now." I told him that I was now an atheist but was planning to read the Bible anyway. He said that was awesome, installed a Bible app on my phone and told me that I shouldn't read the Old Testament and instead start with the Book of John. I decided to ignore him. What gives him the right to cherry pick the information in his supposed Holy Book? Isn't that going against the word of God?

I'm now reading the Bible in its entirety starting with Genesis, picking up a copy of The God Delusion and I've joined this forum Big Grin

Oh, and if there is a God, I don't want to go to a heaven that welcomes those who commit unfathomable atrocities (such as genocide) after they "repent their sins", but demonizes those who act with kindness, yet are unsure of his existence. I figure that in hell, I'll be in good company Big Grin
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21-09-2015, 09:52 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
Hey rosierachel, I too downloaded a bible app to my phone, but instead of reading it all the way through, I listened to it.

If you have the YouVersion bible app, I really would suggest that you listen to the NLT (new living translation) version. It is very easy to understand and so entertaining! It sounds like a funny satire, because the content is incredibly absurd and bizarre throughout, but the reader continues narrating with this happy upbeat voice. Sounds like an SNL skit. Just be ready for a lot of face palming!

Here's a sample:

https://www.bible.com/bible/116/deu.21.nlt

Happy listening!

"Why hast thou forsaken me, o deity whose existence I doubt..." - Dr. Sheldon Cooper
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21-09-2015, 11:58 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I was born.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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04-10-2015, 06:03 PM
How I became an atheist
I was raised Baptist. I went to a church (it was technically non-denominational, but it was most similar to a Baptist church), and I believed. Then I started thinking about it more, and I thought, "Well, being a Baptist might not be right. But I'm still definitely a Protestant!" Then I thought some more and thought, "Well, there's no way to be sure which parts of the Bible are literal and which are figurative. I'm non-denominational now." Then, the more I heard about arguments from atheists, agnostics, and other freethinkers, the more my faith was challenged. My breaking point was me realizing, "There's no way to prove the existence of a deity, so why should I be a theist? But there's no way to prove that God doesn't exist, either, so I'm an agnostic." Then I kept switching from agnostic to atheist and vice verse and back and forth and back and forth. I kept changing my mind. Eventually, I decided that I was an atheist, and that happened over a year ago, so I think I'm pretty solid. I'm not sure, of course, but I think so.

"Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived." -Isaac Asimov
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