What was your route to atheism?
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02-02-2010, 07:47 AM
RE: What was your route to atheism?
I've always been an atheist and I'm not aware of a single member of my extended family that believe in God.

The significant point for me was not realising that I didn't believe in God but realising that nearly everyone in my school DID believe.

We were always taught scriptures on a Tuesday in middle school but it never even occurred to me that the stories of Moses talking to a burning bush, Noah putting all the animals in the world on a boat, God creating man from dust etc. were actually true and that people believed these things actually happened.

I realised I was the only one in my class when I got into a discussion about the stories with 3 friends and said something along the lines of, "But, you know the stories aren't true, don't you?", which rapidly descended into an argument between me and them discussing whether there could really have been a talking snake.
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15-02-2010, 05:54 AM
RE: What was your route to atheism?
I'll be more specific in another post. For now only time for a single word: TRANSUBSTANTIATION
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15-02-2010, 12:01 PM
RE: What was your route to atheism?
(15-02-2010 05:54 AM)Frank_K Wrote:  I'll be more specific in another post. For now only time for a single word: TRANSUBSTANTIATION

Oh, I hear that.

"Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."
- Terry Pratchett
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21-02-2010, 03:10 PM
RE: What was your route to atheism?
I was raised in a non-religious household. My parents would be considered atheists, though they simply don't seem to care. They always dodged the god question, never giving any answer. I was raised in a small red neck town in Arizona, extremely Christian. The townsfolk rubbed off on me somewhat, so I was loosely a christian growing up, only going to church when I wanted to visit my one of my friends on Sundays. Most religious teachings came from people handing out Jesus fliers at the fair.

I was put in a small computer based charter school starting in the 6th grade. It was there that I became a define atheist. To get me use to the computer program used, I did a little practice test, where they would show a shape or color, and I would have to Identify it. Simple questions that I learned in kindergarten. The a question that spurred thoughts. "True or false: Language is a gift from god." It seemed out of place, since the last question was asking me to click the green square. I thought about it. I spent ten minutes just thinking. Finally, I decided that regardless of whether or not god existed, we would have still devolved language. So I clicked false, and got the question wrong.

Although my logic was somewhat flawed, and it wasn't a direct answer to the existence of god, it caused me to continue to think. This was when I was 12, and I hadn't ever even heard the word atheist. But as I continued to think, I grew. By the time I was 15, I was a very certain and even devote, if you will, atheist.

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
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23-02-2010, 03:05 PM
RE: What was your route to atheism?
There was never really a 'route' for me. It always felt natural. I can remember when I was 8, maybe 9 years old, sitting in a hosptial waiting room waiting for my sister to be born and leafing through a 'kids' bible, IE pretty pictures of angels, trees, clouds, and thinking how stupid it all seemed. I never felt wrong about it, and made it as clear to my parents that I didnt believe in a God as I did that I didnt believe in the easter bunny. They were supportive, being unreligious themselves..They always let me chose my own path, never shoved their opinions down my throat in any way, and for that I'm grateful, because it's what made me the man I am today. As I got older I started to do some reading up on it, I didnt want to be someone who believed but didnt know why... the more I read the more I felt disgusted by the hypocrisies, brutalities and general poor taste exhibited in the Bible. Atheism was, and is, a natural path for me, and I cant imagine my life any other way.
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23-02-2010, 05:17 PM
RE: What was your route to atheism?
I was born into an evangelical AG family (4-5th generation through both biological parents and my stepfather) and the church I was raised to attend was one that did all the crazy shit under the power of the 'holy spirit' like: speak incoherently and call it 'speaking in tounges'; roll around on the ground laughing uncontrollably for hours; fall backwards into the arms of the ushers (aka 'catchers') seemingly in a state of comatose until they 'awoke' later jabbering about their spiritual experience; proclaim fantastical visions and prophesies 'god' put into their imagination; have faith healing meetings where people would complain of a sore back or bum knee then shout hallelujah after the pastor or traveling minister laid hands on them claiming it was a miracle their pain went away (all the while people with serious medical issues suffered and died like the rest of humanity), and more. Not unlike the church Borat goes to if you've seen the movie. To say the least this church was nuts, no matter how nice the congregation acted toward each other. Oh ya, did I mention that both my dad (deceased) and my stepdad are/were pastors!? Its tough being an atheist PK (Pastor's Kid).

Growing up I went along with it and tried to join in because it was all I knew and was indoctrinated so well by my parents. But around 7 or 8 I began to wonder why I never really felt this 'power' all the adults were talking about and acting like they were under the spell of (all the while I was acting like I had felt 'god' to fit in). By my early teens I had settled into this facade of religiousness to appease my parents though I didn't actively question and or try to justify the doctrines of Christianity until around 14, at which time I found that they were contradictory, hypocritical, and false. When I was 15 didn't know of the term agnostic atheist but in retrospect that's when I began to think like one since I knew the god of Christianity wasn't real, realized no one can know for certain if there is a god or not, and acknowledged that I didn't belief there was one.

I had to maintain the charade of religiosity to keep from being disowned from my family, whom I love, (and since I knew my mom would be devastated if she found out and I didn't want her to live her life crying her heart out wondering about the state of my 'immortal soul') but, over the years, so far, both parents decided the don't-ask-don't-tell stance over my theological beliefs works best for them, which is a reflection of how they are able to justify the beliefs of Christianity to themselves. I now only attend church services about once a month to appease my parents and keep the congregation off my dad's back about his potentially heathen son, for his sake not mine, I could care less what those superstitious, holier-than-thou hypocrites think about me.

Entering into college has been liberating in a sense that I'm no longer surrounded by Christian fundamentalists and have the freedom and independence to read great books that eloquently put into word what I believe and disbelieve, all the while stumbling upon thought-provoking questions I had yet to consider. Great books such as Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion", Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot" and "Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark", Christopher Hitchens' "God is Not Great" and many others.

Side Note: My fathers church is labeled as an Assemblies of God but only to take advantage of the tax benefits, my dad and most of the congregation consider themselves nondenominational but their beliefs and actions mark them as evangelical revivalists (possibly trying to instigate the next Great Awakening in the U.S.)

Sorry if this was long, I like to write and I have a lot to say Tongue.
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24-02-2010, 01:28 AM
RE: What was your route to atheism?
Hi there,

Atheism doesn’t give answers because atheists don’t know. I accept that and keep wondering.

Religions don’t know the answers either, but that doesn’t stop them from giving arbitrary answers and daring us to argue.

I’d rather have no answers than know that the answers I espoused were poorly supported and effectively indefensible. That’s part of why I became an agnostic en route to atheism.
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