For me i didn't become an agnostic , I just realized that I've always been an agnostic before... In fact i didn't even know that I'm agnostic, I didn't believe any superstitious as a child, i didn't believe in ghosts and other supernatural being.. I think i'm just lucky that i find science to be more interesting than joining religions.. I also got open minded friends they are very open in discussions even though some of them are indeed religious.. Evolution is introduced by my uncle since i was 8 year's old, in fact some of my relatives don't have any religion.. I guess that kind of thing kinda impacted my views on the world..
I was a questioner starting at a young age, but had a devout belief in God/Jesus as a Catholic until I was 9 years-old. I was a logical-thinking child. I did not understand how just one group would go to heaven and other good people would go to hell. I could not understand the claims about God being all-knowing, hating evil and all powerful, but let child be abused from parents even if they prayed for it to stop. In college all the science that I learned supported my view that if there was a power higher than a human, it was humans as a group. It also did not help that I went to Catholic school, and saw "The Scary Dying Suffering Jesus" every day at church and before school. Really, a dying suffering dude, at a place for children, it is very odd when you think about it.
I also remember walking the long walk to school from church in long cold winters. The girls wore flouncy skirts with just tights and were not allowed to wear pants like the boys, after I while,Then, I also figured something was not quiet right with the whole church situation but could not name it. My lack of belief, as another person stated, became deeper as I was able to think abstractly as a child.
When it comes to me, thanks to my history teacher I started to doubt in God's existence. All those religious wars, Inquisition, the fact that clergy for centuries had a monopoly on education, made me think that religion is a man-made thing. A whip made by a privileged group of people to control the rest of the society. Religion is nothing else than politics, it's just a tool of propaganda. God is man's alter ego.
when I was 14, I had a science teacher who spent more time on the scientific method than on the actual discoveries of previous science. he would bring it up all the time, show how it related to shit like dating choices, learning to skateboard, everything, as well as showing how it developed the science that we do know when the lessons were about established facts and theories. He just hammered it in.
I started looking at everything through the lens of the method, and the logic behind it, and started seeing massive discrepancies in my religious beliefs and the bible, and the things I'd been told about my religion. I kept digging at it.
I immediately became skeptical of mainstream christianity, like within a couple of weeks of starting the journey. I started looking at fringe christian groups, the hippy groups, and that didn't pan out, so I started looking at other religions, at that point still trying to hold on to some kind of spirituality. Nada.
It took 4 years of exploring a lot of beliefs and systems, but by the time I was out of high school I was an Atheist.
I was about 5 or 6 when I admitted to my family I didn’t believe in Santa Claus. They were pretty forthcoming about it. I figured if Christmas celebrated Santa and Jesus that if one didn’t exist the other couldn’t exist either (oh the logic of a child). I kept that connection secret because I thought I wouldn’t receive any presents if I didn’t play along
It wasn’t until a few years later that I figured out what an Atheist was, better arguments for my position, that there were more people like me and that I could be a good person without a celestial overlord. Some of us are just so made that we can’t believe!
One day in my late 40's I just woke up to realize that I didn't believe in the Christian dogma. It was shocking to me. I felt like the rug had literally been pulled out from under me and I was falling and. falling down the rabbit hole like Alice. I had been a believer I think, hook , line and sinker all my life. The accumulation of things along the way finally made it through my intelligence and blew the fog away. Free at last.
My path to atheism was very different. My family (including my extended, very large family) consisted of Irish Catholics. We went to mass regularly, said grace, etc. However I thought it was all wrong at a young age (probably at about 8-10). I have always been a very avid reader and read the bible (both old and new testaments). I also read many other things. I read everything with a very CRITICAL eye. Religion quickly made no sense to me. It was very obviously made up to control people.Science and the natural order of things did make sense however. So, I very deliberately became an atheist. I kept it to myself (mostly) but by my late teens I just put it all out there. Still do!
I was born and, after a few years, started to hear stories about a magic wizard who lived in the sky. I assumed right from the first time that these were just stories like Jack and the Beanstalk, Winnie the Pooh and all the other stories I heard. The dinosaurs I saw in books, though, were real - there were whole museums full of fossils to prove it. So in other words, I was born an atheist; it came as quite a surprise when I found out some people believed the sky wizard was real too.
Well, since NO child is actually BORN religious, only to parents or a parent who MAY/ not be religious, the child is usual forcibly introduced to religion whilst it is still too young to realise it is happening.
Yes, I'm sure there is at least someone who will disagree with my above comment, however, in the 164 child births I have personally assisted as a Mid-Wife, I have never once witness a new-born emerge from the mother wearing ANY religious insignia what-so-ever, crossing itself or offering up a prayer in any shape nor form.
I was born into a family where my Father was an Atheist and my Mother came from a background deeply involved in some very ODD variation of the Seventh Day Adventist type belief system, i.e. no using electricity, etc, on Sundays, etc.
She made great efforts to ensure that I was sent, every Sunday to 'receive' religious 'instruction' but my natural curiosity, fostered by my Dad, won out every time and without exception my asking questions, etc, got me EXPELLED from Sunday Schools and from School Scripture Classes.
I still have almost EVERY signed letter of expulsion that I was ever given to take home for my parents to read, expelled from every church including the Catholics right through to the Methodists, Lutherans, etc, etc.
Of course every expulsion got me a verbal tirade,and often physical punishment from my mother, but my father would simply say to me, " Keep it up my boy, you are learning to THINK for your self, ask questions and expect answers, that is the best way to really learn." That is something I passed on to my daughter and she continued it on relentlessly no matter what.
Started asking questions at Sunday school that were not answered, was discouraged from asking those questions and told that I should not question gods plan and\or reasoning!
Thankfully even though my parents are Christians, they encouraged me to think for my self and never criticized my questioning everything!
I am 50 years old now. When I was around 7 or so I stopped believing in Santa Claws, and then within a few days after that I stopped believing in the easter bunny. I always had doubts about hayzeuz and god and the bible, but I am a very slow learner, so I did not fully recover from those beliefs till I was around 39. Strangely enough, my "fall from grace" started when I was around 12 years old and discovered masturbation. I had always heard how sinful that was, and that always sounded totally asinine to me. For any god to make something feel sooo fantastic, and be totally harmless to others, and make that be an evil sin that is punishable by the possibility of eternal damnation, would be just about the most evil thing any god could do, so that caused a wedge between me and christianity that slowly grew over the years. I started to believe more and more that even if that god is real, he is evil and deserves neither love now worship, and only hatred (if he were real). There was still that fear of hell if I did not believe, that was an obstacle for many years to give up on him completely, but when I finally got over that hump, I felt a great weight off my conscious, and my life was much happier after that, except for still being a miserable old cripple.
I was raised Presbyterian but never did believe. At age 17 my church group sent me to Alaska to help build a church. They did not know I was not a believer--they just assumed I was.
Had a 18 year old partner and we lived in a fishing village and ate fish every day. We worked 6 days a week and then church on Sunday.
One Sunday I was too exhausted to go to the church. This made my partner quite upset. He thought
I had a duty to go to church. So, after some argument I blurted out "I am not a believer!" Right then he blindsided me and hit me in the head. I was bleeding profusely and no continuation of the fight.
Later my partner was sent to another place and I stayed in Petersburg Alaska. [this was long ago even before Alaska was a state. ] I was told I was not to work on the church any more and instead was to read the book of John. I was happy to do this. So, I read that book but also read parts of the Old Testament. And then I was very sured there was no Christian God of love.
I’m pretty sure I always was. I had doubt very young in childhood and didn’t even know the words agnostic or atheist.. let alone their definitions. The whole religion thing made no sense from the start. The evolution from agnosticism to atheism took a bit longer.
It was part of my cultural baggage, being raised Catholic in a traditional, Polish Catholic family. Church on Sundays, and eight years in a Catholic school (a really good, progressive, humane one without any of the stereotypical abuses). As I reached the "age of reason," however, I began to think for myself, and also did some traveling to places with other cultures, plus had an older sister whose books on philosophy I borrowed. The old ideas just became unconvincing and nonsensical as my horizons broadened, and have remained so ever since. Boom!
I began to feel twangs of empathetic dissonance seeing good and decent people who happened to hold different beliefs from me as totally unworthy of going to hell ... a good God wouldn't judge so harshly, I thought. That may have been the beginning of my rethinking of the attributes of God. But it was the problem of evil that broke the spell entirely, and opened my eyes, for the first time, to a life without God.