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At what age did you first have a skepticism about the existence of gods?

Coolynn 4 Feb 13

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I was born without the god gene. You take it from there.


Six years old. I couldn't figure out how a jolly fat guy in a red suit was going to fit down an exhaust pipe 3 inches around. The rest sort of snowballed.

okay, so technically, Santa wasn't a god, agreed?
He was a saint, which is entirely different, but still with super powers, iguess....


I only remember having skepticism

me too


I am so envious of anyone who was raised within mainstream religion and yet can truthfully claim they figured this out before age 18 or so. I wasn't able to allow myself to entertain the possibility until my 30s. And then only because my life continued to unravel despite believing / thinking / doing all the "right" things.


Before I questioned the existence of God, I questioned whether he was righteous. I remember getting in trouble for arguing with the Sister at our church that Judas was the real hero of the Jesus story.


From my first moment of thought on the subject. I thought Sunday school buybull stories were some kind of boring alternative to cartoons to keep us amused as these mean men yelled at our parents on too loud loudspeakers in the next room.


I was thirty something, and my friend asked me if I believed in god. I said yes but not the god of the Bible. It wasn't a very long conversation, but it planted a seed and I took it from there. It may have been easier for me to give up the belief because I wasn't raised in religion. My family didn't go to Church, or pray for anything that I remember. The only time I went to Church was when I spent the night with family or friends, so my Church experience was limited, and I never heard or read about being born in sin, or that I could go to hell for any reason, so I didn't have any of the usual fears when I gave up the belief. The only belief that I didn't want to give up was life after death. THAT one was hard!


I'd say around 15ish 16ish


When I split from home in 1977 shortly after turning 16, I went to stay at a commune where, on the first night, it was brought to my attention how King James edited the Bible to conform society to his will. His way of editing was to incinerate the parts he disagreed with and rewrite the parts he found useful in such a way that appeared patriarchal. When I thought about it, I realized that there's no way anyone will ever know what was in this religious book because it was thrown in the fire. This was the beginning of the end of my upbringing as a Christian.

The King James Version is based on the Textus Receptus, the body of known surviving Hebrew and Greek manuscripts at the time. While it's true that James acted as patron for this translation and doubtless influenced its emphases in small ways, it would have been impossible for him to "incinerate" parts he disagreed with because the Textus Receptus was a body of work that was known to scholars of the time and the KJV would have been "outed" as an incomplete translation. It would have lost all credibility as an accurate and complete translation. Everything about the translation process aims for a scholarly consensus as to both completeness and accuracy.

In addition, subsequent translations that often are more used today, like the New American Standard Version, have been based on even more complete original manuscript collections put together since the 1600s, typically the compilation by Westcott & Hort and often with later discoveries incorporated.

Perhaps what your friends were telling you was a somewhat garbled account of how the canon of scripture was decided, and how that canon differs between the modern Catholic and Protestant Bibles. In fact, early editions of the KJV included the extra books present in Catholic bibles and absent today from Protestant ones; protestants settled that debate a little after the initial release of the KJV. And those were Old Testament additions; the canon of the New Testament has been consistent since Athanasius defined them in AD 367. The debate was not political or patriarchal, it was theological, and had its roots in the fact that there were two different Jewish Torah canons; essentially, the protestants adopted one and Catholics adopted the other.

There's a whole discipline of textual criticism that establishes, contrary to what an astounding number of my fellow atheists believe, that modern Bible translations are based on substantially complete and uncorrupted manuscripts, even if they're not original. A handful of passages that are identified as fraudulent, like the final verses of the Gospel of Mark, are widely acknowledged as pious frauds even by fundamentalist theologians. So we can have pretty good confidence that there isn't a substantive corruption problem with the texts we have at our disposal.

This does NOT validate the notion that the scriptures are divinely inspired and/or preserved. It simply reflects a long-standing scribal procedure for keeping errors from creeping in and multiplying. This tradition was labor-intensive and time-consuming / expensive but because of the interest in the scriptures and the accuracy of them, the effort WAS expended and it actually worked pretty well.

As atheists, we don't need to ignorantly disparage the provenance of holy writ; it's so full of internal and logical inconsistencies and errors and fabulist fantasies that it's clearly the work of men. We don't need the additional assistance of textual corruption to establish that the scriptures are BS. We don't help our cause when we repeat false claims about the reliability of the text. It may be intuitive to think that's in the mix, but it is in fact for all practical purposes NOT in the mix.


I think around age 7, when you find out that Santa Claus nd the Easter Bunny isn't real,is when i started to doubt the other fantastic stories my parents were telling me.

However, they were my parents, so I wanted to try to believe what they did.

In high school we were studying Greek mythology about the same tiem that in church we were reading the old testament. It became pretty obvious (to me anyway) that the stories in the old testament were just myths too.

I too studied some theology in HS and found it to be all the further evidence needed to form a long-standing opinion. We're very fucking sophisticated bugs. But - we have love - and in that - I do believe.


About 10 years of age


I had religion forced down my throat, ultra religious family, never skeptical just never believed from as far back as I can remember. Always seemed so stupid - and the older I get the more comfortable I am with that view


Around 9 or 10


I believe it was 16 or 17 when I was asking my youth pastor about noahs ark and rainbows andhow there had to be prisums of light before there had to be rain before and sometimes you see them at waterfalls- what made this one different


As early as I can remember.


When I was a kid we would go on vacation to the mountains of Northern Georgia where my dad was raised. Hardcore Southern Presbyterian. We never went to church all year long until we would go there for vacation every year. Then all of a sudden, we're supposed to go to this church where we would be screamed at that we were all Sinners and going to hell. I remember sitting there is a little kid thinking that the only thing I have done wrong was not eat my peas. One year we went down there and I had had enough I was probably about 10. Well everybody started getting ready for church, I ran up the side of the mountain and sat down. I could see them through the trees but they couldn't see me. They yelled for me, honk the car horn yelled again. I just stayed where I was. My dad actually stuck up for me, which was a surprise. My aunt wanted to find me, and my dad told her to go to church and leave me alone. She left, dropped everyone off and came back and I was still on the side of the mountain waiting to see what was going to happen. My dad actually got mad at her and yelled at her told her to go to church. I waited a while after she left that time and then I came down. I never had to go to church again. It just seems ridiculous even to me as a little kid that no matter what we did we were all going to be going to the fires of hell. BS if you ask me

The most hypocritical part of all, was that my grandfather was abusive and probably fathered half the county. Go figure


Maybe 6?


I remember really reflected on it at 10. I came out as agnostic/Atheist at 12.


I was 9 when I found out about the solar system and the universe. The star chart did not show heaven anywhere. That was a pretty big clue that Bible School had it wrong.


About 13.


For as long as I can remember I have never had a "Faith"...never needed one...If you cannot believe in yourself and question the religion thing others are trying to tell you that you know to your very core are absolute bollocks, I have read better fantasy books...because at least they say that its a work of

hahha...'better fantasy books'...


As soon as I was old enough to start thinking and questioning, for me that was 8 or 9 years old. Even the most basic bible stories and 'facts' didn't seem to stand up to even an 8 or 9 year old's scrutiny. And it all grew from there but it has taken a few years and a lot of reading to reach the conclusion my instincts told me many years before.


I think I was 6 or 7, but didn't know I could claim agnostic until I was 12/13. And I used agnostic only because I was afraid to tell my family that I was certain there were no imaginary beings like gods

I agree with Dragoria's description;..'a fantasy book' It was just too ridiculous to me that a man could have his rib removed and make a person. Or part the frickin' sea....that sounds like early mansplaining....

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