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If you were once religious, why are you not now?

Admin 9 June 19
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9

Reading, experiencing the world, studying history, science, and comparative religions.

8

I evolved. I threw away all the Catholic schooling, biblical stories, and became educated. After years of reading and writing and critical thinking, I just couldn't believe anymore. I take a very logical approach to life, and the world around us. Religious stories, and god just don't fit into that evolution.

You pretty much just posted what I was going to say, so I will just concur with you! πŸ™‚

That was eseentially my experience, as well.

7

I discovered evidence-based reasoning (the "scientific method" ).

God bless Dawkins, Hitch etc. πŸ˜‰

6

I went to a catholic high school and had to take a "World Religions" class. It was the first time I was exposed to any belief system outside of the one I was indoctrinated into. Initially, I started to see similarities between various versions of principle stories which I found curious, but after learning how many millions of people followed each of these different teachings, it really made me question what gave my religion the right to say it was the correct one to follow. That was the initial nail in the tire, the rest of the air seeped out slowly over many years as I became brave enough to fight my fears of "what if I'm wrong" and to hurdle Pascal's Wager. I am now comfortably atheist and no longer afraid of being challenged by theists (and very grateful to live in North America where I can be comfortably and openly atheist without fear of being killed for it).

I remember this line from the song Russians by Sting, "we share the same biology regardless of ideology." and from that rock band Scorpions, "we live under the same sun."

5

My father was the youth minister of our church when I was a little boy. He tragically died of colon cancer when I was almost 4 yrs old. Thirteen years later, I was asked to write a youth sermon for "Youth Sunday" and I wrote about my father and how his death affected me growing up. The sermon was so well received that little old ladies were crying in the aisles and telling me they remembered my father and how I needed to follow in his foot steps and become a pastor. The church offered me a full scholarship to go to the seminary. In 175 years, they had never had a member of the congregation become their pastor. My father was to be the first, but he died before he could finish his schooling. I became involved(at 17 years old) on teh Church Board of Directors, I ran activities, and even gave talks to the elderly group. I gave a youth sermon once a week and mentored with our current Minister. I had the entire support of this very large and prestigious church. Nine months into my experience I began seeing what "church people" were like during the week. Deacons back stabbing each other and Board Members plotting against one another. This church had A LOT of money and everything was a fight. I became very disillusioned. I had seen the true nature of these people and it made me sick. I left. I went to a Presbyterian Private college and studied religion for a time. The more I studied about the history of religion, the more I saw what a bunch of crap religious institutions were. Knowledge is power. Science and History are the true understanding of our world and society.

I also saw the back rooms of my religion and I was a rising star in it...and I couldn't stand it. Im out now.

5

Hey everyone, I'm Malaysian, 34 years old. I was born as Muslim. I was once very very religious. But my life was very bad. I was hallucinations. I was sick!. Mental sick!. I can't get alive. Everyday I stressed, sad and want to die. I got serious money problem. People said that maybe someone did black magic or spell to me. I really suffered. No sollution. So I started find question where is the god?? Hahaa. Really my mind said there is no god. I don't want believe any supernatural power or something magic or setan or devil. This all non sense. Now my life is more better. My finance becoming better. No more hallucinations. Im more healthier. I don't need a god. I must live in reality life. OUR LIFE INSIDE OUR MIND. Now I'm alive!!!

5

Because I started using my brain.

Me too!

5

I was raised Catholic. There is a lot of voodoo involved in Catholicism. By the time a Catholic reaches his teens, the nonsense is apparent. The pressure to conform exerted by family, friends and the community are the only thing that hold the church together.

I also asked questions and spoke to others about religions. One rabbi told me about Lilith. According to this man, Lillith was offered the position of the First Woman but turned it down because she didn't want to be subservient to Adam. Then she left and Eve took her place. By the way, never ask a nun about the virgin Mary and artificial insemination. Totally pisses them off. And, don't ask about Mary Magdelaine being married to Jesus. Was finally asked to leave catholic school after these two incidents. They don't want you to think, just follow.

4

I was looking for answers and couldn't find them. My "friends" would become agitated and ignore my questions or criticize me for asking. My husband told me I was embarrassing him. He filed for divorce over the sheer embarrassment. I then saw how mean religion (and mine was pretty fuckin mean) is and I have kept this scripture with me: By their fruits, you shall know my people. Who cares if it isn't true? It makes perfect sense. I used logic to create my own answers and found that all (my) Truth was a combination of Occam's Razor, empirical evidence, and easy for a child to understand. There's no fuckin way that any outside entity could know my experiences.

Goat Level 5 Dec 21, 2017
4

My mom, who passed away last year, was in the hospital in 2005 due to liver failure. She was on the transplant list and was in a medically induced coma. My brother, a devout Catholic, asked her parish if they could pray for her during Sunday service. The priest looked at my brother and said that they would not unless my parents gave a good donation to the church because they had been lax in attending for quite a few years. My brother ended up paying and they prayed for my mom.
I became disillusioned with the church, along with years of questioning their exclusion of people who were LGBT, single women, women who had abortions, etc.
Meanwhile, science and medicine were saving my mom. The doctors and nurses took care of her, without any conditions. They saved her and she was able to be with us for ten more years because of them - because of science.

That was what made me walk away from all religion.

In science we trust. It really is a beautiful thing. Thanks to them, amputees can have some kind of hope of having the closet thing to a normal life, right along with the millions of other people, who may be suffering physically.

4

When the revelations of how the christian brothers abused all under their watch was reported, this had a profound effect on me, I had a horrible childhood, thanks to my parents, but, I realized that my father, having been one of the poor unfortunates to have suffered their brutality, had an excuse, sort of. I read of the atrocities carried out by these monsters; I can only imagine the horrors he must have suffered in those "schools". What opened my eyes, was how the catholic church handled the ensuing law suits, and how those responsible were never punished, I was utterly disgusted with their actions toward the unfortunates, many of whom chose to end their lives rather than live with the nightmares.

4

I honestly had a long path with religion. I was raised Christian (Lutheran). I got a long with very few people in the church though and was a bit of a snot as a result. I then became Wiccan until the end of high school or so. After that, I read the Bible and studied the arguments FOR the existence of god and found all of that wanting. It was more seeking and not finding that started me on the path to atheism.

4

I read the Bible from beginning to end using the application of logic, reasoning and critical thinking.

4

Just opened my eyes to the truth with no fear

4

There isn't any proof

3

A slow build up of so many things. The final straw for me to walk away from church was the third time I'd been to a new church after a very long search for a church home. And the pastor could only remember my necklace - which said 'pray', not me. I had been trying to force it for so long. And that moment was just so eye-opening. They were fanatical about helping people in other countries (all well, and good), but couldn't remember the repeat visitor that lived in their own community. It just spoke volumes and epitomized my whole experience as an adult in the church.

Lanie Level 2 Oct 14, 2017
3
  1. Had fundamentalist Baptist Christianity intolerance shoved down my throat growing up.
  2. I became a scientist.
3

I was raised in a very strict Christian household. Both of my parents are ministers. Growing up I was taught not to question things. Well, I’m high school I started questioning because I realized that I am bisexual. So, in college I decided to take a couple of courses on religion. It opened my eyes. I realized that there was more than one way of doing things and that no way was right or wrong. As I got older my faith faded. I tried to hold on to it for a long time. It felt comfortable. But, I eventually let it go.

For the most part I keep my beliefs to myself because my family is very religious. But I’m getting tired of hiding. I’m getting to the point that if people cannot respect the fact that I do not believe (even though I respect the fact that they believe) then they don’t need to be in my life.

Dealing with people that use religion as a guise for their hate is tiring.

Thsnks for sharing that. I can relate to much of it, the disconnect between teaching and my own sexuality, the stifling religious upbringing, the hipocrisy of it and the hate masquerading as morality and piety.

I don't carry a placard declaring my atheism but when asked, I outright answer that I am an atheist. The look on some of their faces makes it well worth it.

3

When I was in graduate school I thought it would be neato to use all of the research resources available to me at my university to get a better understanding of my intense faith. It didn't take much reading of scholarly accounts of biblical history for cracks to form. I tried to be generally agnostic/spiritual just to maintain ANY faith but that didn't last. It became tiresome for me to try to hold on to the supernatural when the actual world in front of me was more than enough.

3

I have a brain!

Growing up I was brainwashed! when I got old enough to think for myself, I came to my own conclusions.

2

I reached the age of reason. Religion is for the weak minded

2

I excelled in math and science more than I did in literature and art I suppose. In all seriousness I was never taught about religion until my mother married my step-father when I was... 8 or 9. I was 'saved' in their bedroom by praying with them. Two decades later and I'm happy to say, if his god has a plan, he's a dick. So many deaths in the family, good decent people. I've watched my cousin bury his elder brother who died in a house fire, his father of a heart attack, his eldest brother ODed, and his mother accidental OD, the last three of those within the past 5 years, adding to those last 5 years was our grandmother and grandfather who both just got old. I've watched my brother suffer through Huntington's and while he's still here and functional, I know he doesn't have much longer left. That's just the personal tragedies, on a global scale? I can't begin to think about how sick and twisted this god must be to have it all planned out.

2

My doubts began when the churches became political and fought against standard and accepted scientific reality and facts. They will lie or say anything that can to promote their disturbing agendas. I've seen too much pain and sorrow develop through these damning teachings and reactions. I could write a book . . . . believe me.

2

It just stopped making sense.

2

After praying for protection over and over again during my two tours in Iraq, me and my team were constantly getting attacked, trucks were getting blown up, etc. By the third time my truck was hit by a roadside bomb, I kinda gave up on believing that god was real

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