What was your path to Atheism?
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05-05-2017, 08:12 PM
RE: What was your path to Atheism?
(05-05-2017 05:44 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  Some of us seem to be born natural skeptics with extremely good bullshit detectors. Why this is so, I cannot guess. Maybe it's genetic?
I wasn't born yesterday and I'm not dumb ... I manage to earn a good living as a software architect. But I was born with a terrible, nay, near nonexistent bullshit detector. I have ginned one up, but it has required much practice and repeatedly barking my shins on the shoals of reality.

It must be a genetic roll of the dice. In part, it has to do with your need to please (and perhaps, your need to trust) authority figures. Others here, like me, said it never occurred that the adults in their lives during their childhood would lie to them, or even that they could be THAT wrong. I have always thought that a child should be able to assume they are in the hands of competent caregivers and mentors who work very hard to give them good guidance, and to be wise and disciplined themselves. After all, parenting is a serious responsibility.

The hard reality is that most people aren't that self-aware, that introspective, or that ambitious that they would apply themselves assiduously to the hard work of gathering evidence and following it impartially wherever it leads. Religion has always offered people the easy way out by just telling you what is supposedly true and promising you the moon if you'll just accept it without question.

Our parents made it up as they went, or, more often, outsourced their imagination to others. Who knew? I certainly didn't.

Once you take them off that childish pedestal and forgive them (and yourself) for being human, you can see more clearly.
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05-05-2017, 08:29 PM
RE: What was your path to Atheism?
(05-05-2017 08:12 PM)mordant Wrote:  Others here, like me, said it never occurred that the adults in their lives during their childhood would lie to them, or even that they could be THAT wrong. I have always thought that a child should be able to assume they are in the hands of competent caregivers and mentors who work very hard to give them good guidance, and to be wise and disciplined themselves. After all, parenting is a serious responsibility.

A variety of the above is when you are taught certain religious ideas at such an early age that you think they are your own ideas, since you can't remember where you got them otherwise. Such was my experience, when I believed at the age of six that I had an immortal soul. I must have learned this from some Sunday school teacher, but since I thought it was my own idea for many years, I spent a much longer time trying to confirm it for myself through mystical studies than I might have otherwise. I finally had to abandon the idea in the face of what I learned about brain science.
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05-05-2017, 10:30 PM
RE: What was your path to Atheism?
I think I fall into the "never adequately convinced" category. I was familiar with the Bible well before I knew what churches and religions actually did, and it came as quite a surprise to learn about the concept of worship. I never saw the Bible stories as particularly relevant to the real world, with the sole exception of Matthew 25:35-40 ("I was hungry and you fed me...")

I tried to be religious at various points in my life, but it never took. The epiphany that led directly to my current stance as an agnostic atheist was the question "Would I testify under oath in a court of law that {name of god} was real?" The answer was an emphatic no, and here I am.

I'm sorry, but your beliefs are much too silly to take seriously. Got anything else we can discuss?
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05-05-2017, 11:36 PM
RE: What was your path to Atheism?
I've always been one Smile

Religion was never mentioned to me by my parents, in either a positive or negative light. I was left to come to my own conclusions. I was surprised to learn there was a word for "not thinking there's an invisible man in the sky listening to me".

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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05-05-2017, 11:43 PM
RE: What was your path to Atheism?
Grew up a devout Southern Baptist, evangelical Christian. Every word of the Bible literally true. Read it through twice in two translations and took the "Precept Upon Precept" course in a third. As part of my apologetics training, I was taught how to disprove all the other religions of the world.

However, I was also a big fan of science fiction, and discovered a deep interest in real science. Once I realized how wrong the Creationism I had been taught was, and that my teachers were so mistaken about that, it didn't take me long to turn my critical analysis weaponry on my own beliefs...I realized that the claims of the New Testament, which depended on a literal Genesis, were unsupportable. Since the Jesus character clearly thought the Genesis stories were real, he couldn't be God. None of the human claims about deities held up under examination, and I was too honest to pretend otherwise.

So, as Douglas Adams once put it, "God promptly disappeared in a puff of logic."

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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06-05-2017, 05:41 AM
RE: What was your path to Atheism?
(05-05-2017 10:35 AM)hyperhealer Wrote:  Well? I'm curious. Were you always atheist? Did you grow up religious and have an epiphany? Eager to see your responses.

Everyone starts out an atheist. I just had the good sense to stay the course. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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06-05-2017, 05:49 AM
RE: What was your path to Atheism?
(06-05-2017 05:41 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(05-05-2017 10:35 AM)hyperhealer Wrote:  Well? I'm curious. Were you always atheist? Did you grow up religious and have an epiphany? Eager to see your responses.

Everyone starts out an atheist.

Lies. Everyone starts out primate. It's not even a useful lie as it implies natural automagically better. As my Gwynnies has been told, it's not.

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06-05-2017, 06:22 AM
RE: What was your path to Atheism?
I had always been an atheist, but I didn't know the word existed until I was in my 40's and watched a few episodes of The Atheist Experience.

From that point on, I adopted the label of Atheist, because it matched what I had been my whole life.

On a side note, I was also surprised to discover that people were creationists. I thought that idea died out long ago when I was a child.

Again, it wasn't until I was in my 40's that I discovered just how gullible the general public was.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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06-05-2017, 06:56 AM
RE: What was your path to Atheism?
(05-05-2017 11:43 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  As part of my apologetics training, I was taught how to disprove all the other religions of the world.

It is amazing how rational theists can be when looking at the claims of other religions.

As for me, I was never a believer. I got dragged to church and Sunday school as a kid but never paid much attention. I was already a fan of other mythologies and of science books and could see the difference in the way the claims were supported. The mythologies were all "this happened" and the science was all "this happened and here's the evidence we base that on". Christianity never stood a chance.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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06-05-2017, 02:36 PM
RE: What was your path to Atheism?
(06-05-2017 06:22 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Again, it wasn't until I was in my 40's that I discovered just how gullible the general public was.
I didn't fully figure that out until my 40s but the difference is that I also had to figure out just how gullible I had been!

That is not a pleasant experience, when you were socialized to think you don't suck as much as everyone else, because of your special-snowflake status with god.
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