Share your de-conversion story
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02-08-2016, 02:46 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
This probably isn't exactly a "deconversion", but many here would probably consider it as such.

TL;DR version:
I became a Christian after reading the teachings of Jesus, which I found to be inspiring and insightful moral views. I ceased caring whether or not God (or Jesus) exists after I came to better understand the idea that morality doesn't necessitate any such beliefs or vis-versa.

Longer version:
In the 7th grade, I was grounded from doing anything for the entirety of summer vacation due to my poor grades. I got bored. I picked up a Bible and read it. I had grown up going to church my whole life, but I had never understood why people cared about religious things at all. Reading the Bible was my way of investigating. After reading the book of Matthew, I understood what it was all about.

"But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing"
"For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
"Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."

The first two quotes here struck me as brilliant moral lessons. The second two struck me as clear challenges of what the church teaches. There were many more such verses which I didn't include. From these things I determined that Jesus was a great, morally upright teacher, and that the church had forgotten its roots. I thus made it my mission to return the church to it's roots and make the teachings of Jesus central, rather than the useless "bible stories" I'd gotten growing up there. I wanted the whole world to share my passion for this great man's teachings.

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"

And so I did. Anytime I could talk about it, I did. I sucked at it, but I kept at it until I didn't suck. I sought out people who would attack Jesus' good name in order to build up a defense against them and refine my own arguments by fire. I wound up here doing just that. In this process, I increased my capacity for logic beyond that of anyone I knew of similar age. I learned through painful defeat how important it was to avoid fallacy. And in learning logic, I also came to having to admit that there are good atheists as well as good Christians. Even further, I admitted that being a Christian, believing in God, evangelizing and touting Jesus as I had done, didn't make me or anyone else a better person. If believing God exists doesn't make you a better person, then why care if anyone does? This is the idea which ended my evangelism. I never stopped believing in God, I just stopped caring if He exists because I had come to understand that it's irrelevant to everything I had previously thought it was crucial to.

So now, when people ask me "Do you believe in God?" I ask "Why do you ask?" or I say "I don't see why that's relevant." My honest answer to that question is now "I don't care" because any other answer doesn't have any meaning to me.
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11-08-2016, 11:23 PM (This post was last modified: 11-08-2016 11:28 PM by izel.)
RE: Share your de-conversion story
My parents are very liberal, both well educated and know most of the religious text is BS. My best friend's family is from the black sea region (Rize) and they're very religious, and I primarily became religious because of her, not because I had to but because I always hanged out with her and spend a lot of time with her family.

I attended an Islamic primary school with my best friend, which was gender-segregated and where compulsory Islamic and Turkish classes were taught alongside regular subjects. At the age of 8, I started attending Imam Hatib (learnin to read Arabic) classes out of my own volition, my grandmother had always encouraged me to learn the Quran because she’s terrified of hell and believes that only reading it in Arabic counts and Hafizs (those who have memorised the Quran) are allowed to bring some family members along with them to heaven, but no one forced me to do it. I went to the mosque every day after school - and sometimes before school. I had essentially convinced myself at the time that my faith made me superior.

When I started secondary school, I left the Islamic place and attended a regular government school. This was actually my first real exposure to non-Muslims. I had been somewhat sheltered for the first decade of my life. I was quite shocked when I found out than non-Muslims are just regular people, not these evildoers who will bring me to the “wrong” path the Imams and Islamic teachers warned me about.
For me, it wasn't enough to just practice the rituals. I kept going to my Hifz classes and I voluntarily signed up for other Islamic classes at mosques and Islamic organisations. My parents have 0 Islamic books so I was limited to a single version of Islam.

I always had to know more, and above all I had to know why things were the way they were. The more I learned, the more I realised that there was something wrong with the religion. So much hate, sexism, homophobia and intolerance in the Quran and Hadith, the fact that the prophet I had always loved and considered the greatest human being of all time had done so many horrible things, the scientific inaccuracies and the contradictions, and perhaps most importantly, the philosophical problems with religion in general (not just Islam).

I brought up my concerns to the ‘Alims (Muslim scholars) I knew, but they always gave me unsatisfactory answers, told me to stop asking questions, or ended the conversation with “Allahu a’lam” (“Only Allah knows”). I considered becoming a Quranist, but I could not live with the cognitive dissonance and I decided to leave Islam. I essentially became an apostate out of a desire to be a better Muslim. That was nearly 4 years ago.

Even though I had left, I keep pretending to be Muslim. I still follow a lot of traditions such as festing and using words such as Inshallah, Bismillah and bunch of other old habits that is just stuck with me. When you’re pretending to be someone else every day of your life, it becomes harder and harder to draw the line between the real you and the fake you. I sort of became a pathological liar. I only come out as an Atheist to people I don't know, tourist mainly. Between that and this forums keeps me sane for a while, but this pretending is slowly destroying me inside and warping my perception of reality.

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15-08-2016, 11:24 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I already spilled most of mine in my introduction topic, but I'll give the Reader's Digest version (btw do people even get that reference anymore?)

Anyway, lifelong conservative CoC member from a very religious family. Went to church faithfully for about 30 years, then about 5 years ago doubts and issues I had started to finally make me not want to go. I trailed off until last year when I stopped. I'm still in the closet to my family other than my wife, who is 100% supportive and isn't 100% atheist but she kind of doesn't care and definitely believes Christianity is bullshit.

As far what really made me drop the God act, it wasn't really one thing. As AronRa has said, it was a slow process full of small issues and milestones. For one, I can honestly say I don't think I've really ever liked going to church. I've always hated church music, hated church singing, and generally hated sitting through sermons. If the speaker was good I could tolerate it, or if I knew them it would be better. I sort of liked classes and studies better because at least you could talk but I never liked how you could not ever really be completely honest, even though it was claimed you could be. That's horseshit, the unspoken pressure to nod and smile along is very real. I never liked actually participating in church services, as I said I hated singing so I never was a song leader or anything, and while I did give talks, I hated doing it. I'm pretty introverted as well, so constantly having to go to a place with a lot of people that I really had little in common with (or simply didn't like at all) and pretend to be happy was very taxing. And what's funny is IMHO a LOT of people are like that and church leaders know, so their solution was to constantly preach that you needed to do more and get the fuck over your not liking it (which happened to be their solution to pretty much every problem). But funny, when I would give talks, I never would actually put much effort into them, I would basically make one that I knew everyone wanted to hear (i.e. God is great, you're not) and afterwards I'd be told how great I did. And mine sounded just as good as the other schmucks who at least claimed they worked hours on. Looking back, I can easily see how someone could make it as a preacher and not even really try that hard.

So basically, I didn't like it, which was a huge issue, but I put up with not liking a long time. What pushed me out was the increasing issues I had with things preached concerning political issues like gay marriage and the constant bashing of science. As I said in the other thread, no matter how much they tried, I could never work myself up to be "offended" by homosexuality or gay marriage. So when I'm constantly told it's the worst thing ever, and I don't buy it, eventually you get sick of hearing about it. And then when they start parroting sites like Answers in Genesis and I do my own research and realize at best they are wrong about evolution/etc. and at worst they are deliberately lying, there's only so much a person can take.

When you finally realize all the skepticism they tell you to have about other religions can 100% be used against your own religion, that's when you find yourself losing the religion.
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15-08-2016, 11:45 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(15-08-2016 11:24 AM)ResidentEvilFan Wrote:  I already spilled most of mine in my introduction topic, but I'll give the Reader's Digest version (btw do people even get that reference anymore?)

Anyway, lifelong conservative CoC member from a very religious family. Went to church faithfully for about 30 years, then about 5 years ago doubts and issues I had started to finally make me not want to go. I trailed off until last year when I stopped. I'm still in the closet to my family other than my wife, who is 100% supportive and isn't 100% atheist but she kind of doesn't care and definitely believes Christianity is bullshit.

As far what really made me drop the God act, it wasn't really one thing. As AronRa has said, it was a slow process full of small issues and milestones. For one, I can honestly say I don't think I've really ever liked going to church. I've always hated church music, hated church singing, and generally hated sitting through sermons. If the speaker was good I could tolerate it, or if I knew them it would be better. I sort of liked classes and studies better because at least you could talk but I never liked how you could not ever really be completely honest, even though it was claimed you could be. That's horseshit, the unspoken pressure to nod and smile along is very real. I never liked actually participating in church services, as I said I hated singing so I never was a song leader or anything, and while I did give talks, I hated doing it. I'm pretty introverted as well, so constantly having to go to a place with a lot of people that I really had little in common with (or simply didn't like at all) and pretend to be happy was very taxing. And what's funny is IMHO a LOT of people are like that and church leaders know, so their solution was to constantly preach that you needed to do more and get the fuck over your not liking it (which happened to be their solution to pretty much every problem). But funny, when I would give talks, I never would actually put much effort into them, I would basically make one that I knew everyone wanted to hear (i.e. God is great, you're not) and afterwards I'd be told how great I did. And mine sounded just as good as the other schmucks who at least claimed they worked hours on. Looking back, I can easily see how someone could make it as a preacher and not even really try that hard.

So basically, I didn't like it, which was a huge issue, but I put up with not liking a long time. What pushed me out was the increasing issues I had with things preached concerning political issues like gay marriage and the constant bashing of science. As I said in the other thread, no matter how much they tried, I could never work myself up to be "offended" by homosexuality or gay marriage. So when I'm constantly told it's the worst thing ever, and I don't buy it, eventually you get sick of hearing about it. And then when they start parroting sites like Answers in Genesis and I do my own research and realize at best they are wrong about evolution/etc. and at worst they are deliberately lying, there's only so much a person can take.

When you finally realize all the skepticism they tell you to have about other religions can 100% be used against your own religion, that's when you find yourself losing the religion.

Feels great to throw that crap off, doesn't it? Not feeling the need to keep what lies I told to which people straight is probably what helped me deprogram myself.
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19-08-2016, 02:45 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(15-08-2016 11:45 AM)Fireball Wrote:  
(15-08-2016 11:24 AM)ResidentEvilFan Wrote:  I already spilled most of mine in my introduction topic, but I'll give the Reader's Digest version (btw do people even get that reference anymore?)

Anyway, lifelong conservative CoC member from a very religious family. Went to church faithfully for about 30 years, then about 5 years ago doubts and issues I had started to finally make me not want to go. I trailed off until last year when I stopped. I'm still in the closet to my family other than my wife, who is 100% supportive and isn't 100% atheist but she kind of doesn't care and definitely believes Christianity is bullshit.

As far what really made me drop the God act, it wasn't really one thing. As AronRa has said, it was a slow process full of small issues and milestones. For one, I can honestly say I don't think I've really ever liked going to church. I've always hated church music, hated church singing, and generally hated sitting through sermons. If the speaker was good I could tolerate it, or if I knew them it would be better. I sort of liked classes and studies better because at least you could talk but I never liked how you could not ever really be completely honest, even though it was claimed you could be. That's horseshit, the unspoken pressure to nod and smile along is very real. I never liked actually participating in church services, as I said I hated singing so I never was a song leader or anything, and while I did give talks, I hated doing it. I'm pretty introverted as well, so constantly having to go to a place with a lot of people that I really had little in common with (or simply didn't like at all) and pretend to be happy was very taxing. And what's funny is IMHO a LOT of people are like that and church leaders know, so their solution was to constantly preach that you needed to do more and get the fuck over your not liking it (which happened to be their solution to pretty much every problem). But funny, when I would give talks, I never would actually put much effort into them, I would basically make one that I knew everyone wanted to hear (i.e. God is great, you're not) and afterwards I'd be told how great I did. And mine sounded just as good as the other schmucks who at least claimed they worked hours on. Looking back, I can easily see how someone could make it as a preacher and not even really try that hard.

So basically, I didn't like it, which was a huge issue, but I put up with not liking a long time. What pushed me out was the increasing issues I had with things preached concerning political issues like gay marriage and the constant bashing of science. As I said in the other thread, no matter how much they tried, I could never work myself up to be "offended" by homosexuality or gay marriage. So when I'm constantly told it's the worst thing ever, and I don't buy it, eventually you get sick of hearing about it. And then when they start parroting sites like Answers in Genesis and I do my own research and realize at best they are wrong about evolution/etc. and at worst they are deliberately lying, there's only so much a person can take.

When you finally realize all the skepticism they tell you to have about other religions can 100% be used against your own religion, that's when you find yourself losing the religion.

Feels great to throw that crap off, doesn't it? Not feeling the need to keep what lies I told to which people straight is probably what helped me deprogram myself.

Internally yes, I feel much better. But externally still havind to deal with family members who can't understand and all is pretty bad.
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19-08-2016, 03:22 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I was reading Exodus, after my son was born, thinking I needed to pick and get us to a church to be a good mom. I remember thinking, almost like a voice that wasn't me was speaking to me in my own head (that was the tone, obviously I no longer believe that can happen), "What happens when the President screws up and God comes for my firstborn?"

I realized I love my kid WAY more than I thought I loved god. Then I rebelled against god, because rebellion is the only moral response to the God of Abraham (thank you Nate Phelps), then I realized through some research and accidentally coming across some Aron Ra lectures on youtube that it was over completely and there was no reason to believe in a god at all.

But I'll forever be thankful to evolution for the natural, predatory, territorial, violent response I felt go through my system (yay adrenaline) when I still thought god existed and realized he was dangerous to my baby boy. I'm a moral being because I would fight back against a God to protect my child. I'm an atheist because there is no one to fight.
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26-08-2016, 05:19 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
Humans are deceived daily and will continue to be.
I was brainwashed as a child by my parents and other adults who were also indoctrinated while young and gullible. From infancy a never ending circle of deception was my destiny.
Before I could eat baby food I was being trained to recondite reams of scripture. Inculcated with the lies of Moses, Noah, Jesus, and all of the Christian bible fantasy. My poor hapless child mind never stood a chance against pentecostal preachers acclamating a constant trope of dogmatism from that coriaceous bound amphigory while my parents shouted AMEN! I was threatened with the horror of hell fire and enticed with the eternal bliss of wondrous heaven. No child can withstand this barrage of horse shit.
All children really need is to be nurtured in love but instead they are spoon-fed Allah, Jesus, and Moses.

Almost my entire life was needlessly wasted on shame and guilt for what I now know is the ridiculous lie of SIN.
This is why I despise religion and rail against it so vehemently.

No atheists books or videos were necessary. The key to my escape was already in my mind and always present in my thoughts. That horrible book held me in thrall but when I turned on skepticism and analytical thought the nonsense was evident. Too much genocide, filicide, homicide, and infanticide etcetera ad nauseam. The father of jesus was a monster, a bloodthirsty caveman god, a malevolent deity not worthy of any consideration.

Now I utterly refuse the human sacrifice of jesus.
Any god that requires the torture and murder of its only begotten son to atone for a man made disease called sin is pathetic.
You want me to believe that sin came about because somebody ate the wrong fruit from the wrong tree because a talking snake convinced them to?
NO!

Those of us who have escaped this nightmare are obligated to help our evolutionary brothers and sisters see the glorious lights of reason and logic.

JohnnyJacksonBrooks





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26-08-2016, 06:29 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(26-08-2016 05:19 PM)johnnybrooks Wrote:  Humans are deceived daily and will continue to be.
I was brainwashed as a child by my parents and other adults who were also indoctrinated while young and gullible. From infancy a never ending circle of deception was my destiny.
Before I could eat baby food I was being trained to recondite reams of scripture. Inculcated with the lies of Moses, Noah, Jesus, and all of the Christian bible fantasy. My poor hapless child mind never stood a chance against pentecostal preachers acclamating a constant trope of dogmatism from that coriaceous bound amphigory while my parents shouted AMEN! I was threatened with the horror of hell fire and enticed with the eternal bliss of wondrous heaven. No child can withstand this barrage of horse shit.
All children really need is to be nurtured in love but instead they are spoon-fed Allah, Jesus, and Moses.

Almost my entire life was needlessly wasted on shame and guilt for what I now know is the ridiculous lie of SIN.
This is why I despise religion and rail against it so vehemently.

No atheists books or videos were necessary. The key to my escape was already in my mind and always present in my thoughts. That horrible book held me in thrall but when I turned on skepticism and analytical thought the nonsense was evident. Too much genocide, filicide, homicide, and infanticide etcetera ad nauseam. The father of jesus was a monster, a bloodthirsty caveman god, a malevolent deity not worthy of any consideration.

Now I utterly refuse the human sacrifice of jesus.
Any god that requires the torture and murder of its only begotten son to atone for a man made disease called sin is pathetic.
You want me to believe that sin came about because somebody ate the wrong fruit from the wrong tree because a talking snake convinced them to?
NO!

Those of us who have escaped this nightmare are obligated to help our evolutionary brothers and sisters see the glorious lights of reason and logic.

JohnnyJacksonBrooks





Wow. If I might ask, how old were you when you started your critical thinking journey and snapped out of the fairy tale stories?

And regarding the snake, one has to realize that according to the silly story god must have made the snake too. I mean, the snake didn't have any Adam and Eve snake parents did he? Consider So god must have made the damned snake too. And seeing as how this god is omniscient, he knew what the snake was going to do in advance, the little devil......not the snake, god.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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27-08-2016, 08:23 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
Wow. If I might ask, how old were you when you started your critical thinking journey and snapped out of the fairy tale stories? [/quote]


I had stopped serving gawd in my twenties.

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28-08-2016, 01:54 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I remember so well when my best friend told me I was on my way towards atheism. I was terrified. "Atheist" is a word you say with a bad taste in your mouth, at least in the community I come from. They are seen as bad people, enemies of the religious, haters of God.
And already because of that my journey was not easy and it took me a long time to get here. I was indoctrinated into the church as an infant and remained there until my early twenties. As I became a teenager I was quite a fired up Christian, actively speaking at youth meetings and leading people in prayer.
But I was always troubled by the idea of satan and hellfire. I was especially scared of committing the unpardonable sin. From what I heard from my parents was that if I insulted the Holy Spirit, I would become sort of like a vegetable - a human with no feelings or emotions who would have no salvation. I do find that idea scary even today.
I started having my doubts around 2007 and escaped to a Bible school in Denmark to become the fired up Christian I had once been. But instead, I became more liberal there, accepting gay people and such which my parents never had and probably never will.
Still, I did doubt and question which lead me to do research online. There I met several people, including my best friend Daniel who is a very passionate atheist. I was living with Christian roommates at the time, who neglected me for no real reason. I just didn't fit in and was treated like an idiot. Eventually around Christmas time when my room was somewhat messy because I had an exam session to worry about, my roommate told on me to get me thrown to the streets. And then after a week I was invited to The Jesus Conference. The joy!
This was one of many things that made me sick of Christians and I decided I didn't want to be a part of that community anymore. Living in another city in general and going to a university where I was taught to think made me go away from church - the roommate drama just sped up the process. First I was just nonreligious, but over time I discovered some atheist channels, mainly the one Hemant Mehta has. That man just makes so much sense! I started to watch his videos and over time found others such as the Thinking Atheist. Before I knew it, I had started to not believe myself.
It's been about two years now. Sure, it is hard because I have to hide my unbelief from my religious family and friends and I had to move to another country so I could be free of such pressure, but I've never been happier. I don't feel my current friendships are conditional and I feel it's alright to live like I want to. It's especially great that I can write what I want, because as a religious person I often felt my writings were too dark and godless. So did others apparently, because I can clearly remember being told that one of my plays wasn't godly enough. Now such things simply don't matter anymore.
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