Share your de-conversion story
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30-06-2013, 12:27 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(27-06-2013 11:00 AM)sTv0 Wrote:  I'm doing what I can.

Wow. Thank you for this post. I mean. Just thank you.
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30-06-2013, 03:38 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(28-06-2013 11:15 AM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  August, 2012.

And how did I know the martyrdom of the saints took place? It's in the Bible. The same Bible with all those documentably false stories...

So I began a search for historical evidence to support the martyrdom of the saints in the first century church, the believers who would have known for a fact that Jesus did or did not rise from the dead.

And I knew, I just knew from the get-go what I was going to find.

Nothing. Not a scrap of historical evidence that the events recorded in the book of Acts took place. In fact, I found reasons to doubt the very existence of Jesus, never mind who he was. His birth, I learned, took place in two incompatible years (for Americans, I like to draw a picture of someone being born during the presidency of Richard Nixon and the Vice Presidency of Dan Quayle: a difficult proposition, considering those two time periods did not overlap).

The last belief connecting me to Christianity was gone. As atheists like to put it, I had finally gone one God further.

Fantastic! And well-written! Thank you for sharing! Your story moved me emotionally and I am comforted to read that others are reasoning it out for themselves! Bravo!
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01-07-2013, 09:26 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
My story is like many of yours. I was raised in a very religious family. My step father, who raised me, is a protestant preacher and pastor of a small church. At the age of 16 I finally broke down and prayed the salvation prayer during a week long revival. I made it to the last night. It was hell. So, being a newly formed man of God, I was totally convinced of my salvation and was glad to be one of the few. Problem was my dad had doubts about my salvation. He constantly questioned me about if I felt saved and asked if I had a testimony. I didn't. I was a high school kid with no life other than school and the farm. I didn't have anything to testify about. And so, I began to question myself. As I prayed and studied, never getting an answer, I gradually began to think that it was all a bunch of BS. My fate was sealed when I began college and took a class called "Origins" in which we studied various creation stories and religions from around the world. This class peaked my interest and I began to study religions of all kinds. The more I looked the less I saw. I am proud to say that I am now squarely on the atheist team. I see disappointment in my father's eyes but that seems to come with the territory.

"Your mind is twice a valuable as your body. And your ears are twice as valuable as your mouth. People will pay you based on which you use." - A very smart old lawyer
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01-07-2013, 10:02 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I was raised a Catholic, but my parents were never devout. My grandmother was a different story, but I escaped that hot mess when I was 7 by leaving her in another country. Don't worry, she was living with our wealthy relatives.

I tried the church thing and that didn't work out. I was truly a believer, but I always hated the church. Aside from the ghastly boredom, I was always disgusted with the amounts of gossip I heard and the amount of showboating that went on: ladies wearing the most expensive outfits in their closet. Typical Korean church culture though. I also ALWAYS hated the lines drawn between the various Christian sects. Methodist Koreans would ask what my religion is and then gasp after I answer with "Catholic." They would then lecture me about how it's sinful to worship Mary lawl.

Anyway, I digress...

I'm 31 now, been married since 2010. I was a believer all the way through the birth of my first child. Lost my religion in 2011. Yup, I'm still fresh and still dealing with the aftershock. How did this happen? How did I go from signing the cross and kissing the torture device jewelry every time I drive to posting on this forum? Well, I landed a desk job in 2009. When everyone else was listening to music while they worked, I rediscovered my childhood love of astronomy. I would just pump astronomy content through my headphones. That was the seed. The more and more I listened to astronomy, the more and more I thought about my world-view. Then some time later, my curiosity got the best of me after I heard Neil DeGrasse Tyson talk about religious beliefs. I remembered this show called "The Atheist Experience" that someone posted on another forum. At that time, I just brushed it off like any other believer. Well, I started listening to it. Then that led to my discovery of Christopher Hitchens. Which led me to Dawkins. TTA fell somewhere in between whatever. Then the train just kept rolling.

One podcast after another, I would listen and listen. With each listen, I agreed more and more. Then out of the blue, one day I just took a good look at my belief and realized... I was hanging onto this belief out of fear.

I can go on and on with my story as I'm still dealing with my de-conversion. I came out to my believing wife shortly after I de-converted. I'm currently at the point where all my close friends know about it. My sisters know about it, but my parents don't. I know my parents won't care and I suspect they don't believe either. I realized that I have never heard either of them ever talk about heaven after someone died. It was always along the lines of, "They lived a full life." I still have many friends that do not know, but I know some of them suspect it.

Oh, and I don't call myself an Atheist. I say, "I relate with that group." I've heard the arguments for uniting under a banner. I still disagree. Plus there is a negative stigma surrounding the term. But as soon as they make a word for not believing in unicorns, call me Atheist! Until then, I'm just a person without religion.

“We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.”

-Neil deGrasse Tyson
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02-07-2013, 06:34 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I might have posted this before, not sure... Either way, here it is:

I lost religion over approximately 3 years, starting in my junior year at college and really coming to a conclusion 2 years later. As I transitioned from an insular Christian fundamentalist upbringing to a more secular environment (college), I found myself becoming more and more uncomfortable with mainstream Christian beliefs (such as hell, condemnation of certain behaviors as "sin", etc). This discomfort made me question whether or not I was simply lacking in faith and understanding of why such things were wrong or if I could somehow reconcile my beliefs with my sense of ethics. How could I honestly believe that so many around me that were otherwise decent people deserved to be tortured for eternity? Muslims, Hindus, etc. were no longer a passing thought, they were real people that I had met and talked to. Growing up, I really hadn't met many people that didn't share my beliefs - let alone hold beliefs that completely contradicted my own. It's easy to condemn people to hell when they're just caracatures in your mind, it's a lot harder when you fully realize that they are real people with dreams and passions like myself and who just as fervently believe their own religion is the truth.

These moral/ethical questions caused me to examine my beliefs, which was a very long and difficult path. At the same time, I began taking courses that touched on the topic of human origins, which made me learn about evolution for the first time. I had been told plenty about evolution, but none of the things that I was told were accurate. They were the typical creationist strawmen and lies, painting evolution in a very silly light. For example, they proposed that evolution states that fish grew legs and waddled their way onto land - in a single individual, as a goal-oriented process. The watchmaker argument was especially persuasive to me back then, as I had no idea what I was talking about, but it seemed *obvious* that anything as complex as humanity *had* to have a designer... To be honest, the fundamentalists have it somewhat right when they say that evolution threatens their faith - it was a big part of my rejection of Christianity. Once I knew that the evidence for evolution was overwhelming and creationism couldn't possibly explain the evidence that exists, I had to deal with the problem of the Bible's infallibility. If the Bible contains some factual errors, such as in Genesis, why am I to believe that any of it is accurate? If Genesis is metaphorical, how am I to determine if the story of Jesus' resurrection is also metaphorical? On what do I base my faith if the Bible is just another flawed, human-written document? Unlike many Christians, I couldn't rationalize something like that away. Instead, I turned to the rest of the Bible to determine what else might be inaccurate.

Most of the Old Testament began to take on a very different light - how could I square such atrocities with a loving God? The New Testament didn't fix that either, since if God was the same being in both the Old and New Testaments, he wasn't worthy of worship. I examined all of the arguments in favor of Christianity from the apologists and just kept coming away disappointed - is this the best that Christianity has to offer? The Ontological Argument? Do Christians really have to stretch logic so far as to argue in circles in order to defend their beliefs? Ultimately it came down to a lack of proof - I had no reason to believe any of the claims about God that Christians made other than what the Bible said. Because the Bible had become fallible in my mind, I couldn't hold on to that as evidence. I just had to let go. It took a long time to deal with that process, as I still had the lingering effects of indoctrination, such as the fear of hell, but ultimately now I am much happier for it. Y'all helped a lot, since I was in the tail-end of the process when I first joined here. I changed/developed some of my ideas about many topics while reading arguments and responding, as a lot of the time I simply hadn't given it much prior thought. I didn't know what Calvinism was until I read KC's posts... Free will and a host of other debates have also been very interesting processes for me. Evolution of course is one of the ones that I've gotten to know the best, as it's really a pretty simple theory in concept with a large and concrete set of evidence to draw upon (quantum mechanics, on the other hand... arg)
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03-07-2013, 11:38 AM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I like read all these new stories.
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03-07-2013, 01:09 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
Yep, this thread rocks!

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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03-07-2013, 03:50 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
(20-06-2013 05:04 PM)xieulong Wrote:  You guys have such interesting de-conversion stories. My walking away from the faith was so dull; I read the bible, thought it was bullshit and gone!

Simple and to the point. Excellent story!

Diety Free in Dixieland
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03-07-2013, 08:06 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I was 11 and sitting in a sunday school class...I was press-ganged into going, it wasn't voluntary. Anyway some nun with a face that looked like the backside of your balls was up front droning on about jesus or some shit when I noticed that the girl next to me was crying. The phrase "bored to tears" came to my mind and I felt like joining her.

Anyway sister mary numbnutz finally noticed the kid crying and asked what was wrong. The kid said that her dog died the night before. The nun made some "I'm sorry" sounds and started to go back to her boring-ass jesus shit when the kid asked, "will I see my dog in heaven?" Naturally the nun says "no, heaven is only for people." which caused the kid to burst out sobbing and run out of the classroom. I recall thinking "that was classy - would it have hurt you so much to just say "yes." Anyway, that was when I began to realize that these people, far from being god's representatives on earth, were rather useless as human beings.

It has been all downhill from there.
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06-07-2013, 10:06 PM
RE: Share your de-conversion story
I was brought up a believer in Christianity. I have a big family, and they are all believers. I have some cousins with connections to Churches which do quite scary things....including, at least in my past, picking up poisonous snakes (I don't keep up).

I lost my heavenly reward during college. I majored in psychology and philosophy. This led to large amount of introspection.

I became aware of all the reasons for the beliefs which I held as part of my studies and personal thinking in response to it. I examined the system of rationality I could not abandon and whittled it to the barest bone.

I developed a mental garbage can...and I made really good use of it.

I eventually married an atheist and this was one of the best choices, and perhaps one of the only good choices I have made in my life.

People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.

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