I met up with an old friend when I visited home last at a coffee shop. We grew up together and yes we went to church together (he stayed involved I made the decision at about 10-12 years old that I couldn’t believe in it) Anyway he asked me because he’s always trying to me and get me to believe, “what was that defining moment you decided that to you didn’t believe in god.” And I replied, “Are you absolutely sure you want me to answer that.” He says yes of course. Mind you he’s a pastor and still is. So I proceeded to tell him why I don’t believe and I said
Look it’s hard for me to figure how in the Bible it says we are created in God’s image. And that he created all this that we see. He put us on this earth to glorify/worship him yet also giving us the ability to think for ourselvesand also tempting us in the “perfect” world with this one stupid tree. First off isn’t it weird we were created just to worship someone who has angles and what not already doing that the Bible says. So he wanted more things to worship it? Like that sound hinky to me. And that if he knows everything and knew that we were gonna eat the apple and man would fall from his grace. Then why did he do that? Then I said I’ll just skip over the two people populating an entire plant. But back to the fall from grace thing. I said so now he creates a religion to worship himself and for the people who believe in him he tells them the only way you get to party with me is to make people believe in me and worship me or they will die and go to hell because they aren’t doing what I wanted them to do in the first places which was just worship me.
So I looks at my friend (and yes there’s more reasons than that I just mentioned but this would be so long) and I say man so this whole human experience was just created to worship a being that already has things worshiping it and that because he didn’t like what he had it created more beings just to worship it lol doesn’t that sound a little selfish? Lol
So sorry for rambling but I’d be curious to see why some of you all decided to start thinking foe yourself and disconnect from religion.
I can't define an exact moment when I became an atheist. It felt to me like a natural part of growing up. I guess I was lucky as a teenager to be exposed to a variety of viewpoints amongst my friends and family. My maternal grandfather was a lapsed catholic / atheist / communist but my fathers family were evangelical Christians and that was how I was brought up.
As a teenager I went to church and prayed hard but never once did I feel the presence of God. I looked at the other people in the church who flaunted their love of God in embarrassingly over the top terms and yet, behind their overtly pious veneers they were often nasty, small-minded self-satisfied people who used their faith as a bludgeon in order to belittle others. By the time I went to university I had endured enough hypocrisy and was never a regular church goer again.
At university, I took a class in Philosophy of Religion which I took top marks for, despite the fact I argued FOR the religious point of view and my lecturers were atheists. Nevertheless I had concluded by the end of that year that there was no evidence for God so I identified as agnostic.
In the years since then I have gradually arrived at the confident belief that there is no God and therefore I now classify myself as atheist. I can't identify a particular event which triggered this realisation but it has come about via a long process of studying science, observing the world and the people in it. Sometimes the most compelling argument for the non-existence of God is the behaviour of those who most devoutly profess belief in Him!
When I put my Bible down after finishing reading it from beginning to end for the third time. That also made me think of the bad behavior of several people at the last four churches I had been a member of and how the pastors and other members of the church don't care about that misbehavior.
Tried believing, never really felt quite right, but went to church sometimes...it wasn’t a regular thing growing up. It was more a moment of “there is no way there is a god and if there is, it is an asshole god” type of thing when our firstborn was diagnosed with a rare chromosomal anomaly that mean the she would be stillborn or live about 5 minutes at the longest, then had to live with her still kicking in the womb for 3 weeks becaise all the hospitals are church affiliated and they considered early induction to be tied in with abortion (doctor and specialist got strings pulled finally) and this diagnosis happened 2 weeks after 9/11/01...
I spent my entire childhood being bullied, assaulted, and publicly humiliated by 'devout Christians.' My incredibly Catholic grandmother spent my mom's entire childhood in an abusive drunken rage while the other 200 something members of my family just stood by and watched. I was done with religion before I was out of elementary school.
There have been so many family members using religion as a shield for their hypocrisy that as a young teenager, I started backing off. It just got worse and worse. Then I started paying attention to the world around me and started thinking for myself and that was all it took to turn me agnostic. Then a verbally abusive control freak of a husband ( divorced for a long time now) was all it took for me to say NO one will ever try to force their way of living, thinking, believing on me. And that is what organized religion is.
Church - When the pastor gave a long winded sermon about men being unable to control their desires and women asking for it by wearing yoga pants.
Religion - I slowly realized that the inconsistencies in religion couldn't be reconciled. That God was as flawed as any of us and most certainly was not the "same yesterday, today and tomorrow". I found it unbelievable that a omnipotent being that sends people to hell for not worshipping him would provide such a flimsy method of spreading knowledge of his existence though a book put together by a council of angry old men in the 6th century.
Among the variations on standard Christian theology is the concept that humans are made "in the image of God" is that this can be reflected to mean that God is the image of man; that humanity and the rise of intelligent life are God's way of reproducing, and that eventually we'll reach a point where we transcend our descendants literally become effectively deities, and able to create new universes.
That theme, transcendence of elder civilizations, is a common one in sci-fi, as is the idea that Jehovah was some kind of space alien who took an interest in us for a while, and then got bored and wandered off or died or something. Legends and stories are kind of fun in a way sometimes I find.
Early twenties; when I had first become adult and part of maturing and thinking for myself rather than accepting received wisdom handed down from my parents.
The key epiphany for me I think was realizing that by definition there can be no supernatural; if there were or could be gods ghosts spirits demons angels elves unicorns whatever then these if real would be natural; and on some level understandable and part of our physical universe even if my particular understanding of it was no more than that of a single ant trying to understand the motivations and actions of a human.
An anthill however as a group intelligence might have more chance ☺
We were in youth group, basically where kids go when the main sermon was going on so we wouldn't annoy the elders. We went to another room and as we bowed our heads my younger brother said, out loud, "This is the same carpet our grandma has!" I lost it. I thought it was so funny and the youth group didn't find it quite as amusing. Right then I knew my brother and I weren't cut out for this lol.
In college I attended an all-day Baptist seminar. As I sat there it suddenly came into my consciousness that I was at odds with everything that was being taught. At that point I was absolutely finished with Christianity.
I will always be religious in a way, sort of like Albert Einstein:
“Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious.”