For those of you that were devoutly following & committed to your faith as an adult, what fact, experience, or thought, etc. started you on the path away from your faith?
For me, a dramatic mind shift had to occur first, including questioning many of my assumptions. And that took me over a decade to process because my psyche couldn’t handle or “see” certain things honestly until many many layers were peeled back first.
I was just worn out trying to make myself believe in fantastical nonsense. I woke up one morning and said, "F*ck that." That was that.
At age 13, I became an atheist when I realized the Bible is just a book of stories or fables written by men.
Michigan had a hard winter that year. My little brother, 10, and I read the World Book Encyclopedias together. I was inspired by rational philosophers Descartes and Spinoza, who were bravely anti-theist (anti-God), anti-church and anti-clergy in the 1600s when heretics were burned at the stake.
Their writings inspired the Enlightenment, a European intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries that emphasized the use of reason and science to advance understanding of the universe and to improve the human condition. The goals of the Enlightenment were knowledge, freedom, and happiness.
As a child, I didn't believe Bible stories; they were like Aesop's Fables to me. My parents never went to church. They were calm when I announced I'm an atheist.
"That's fine honey," Mom replied. "I became an atheist in nursing school when I realized a woman cannot be turned into salt." She laughed.
The sausage sizzle at the bingo hall. Better mustard than at the Catholic and Methodist halls.
Several things. First was actual knowledge of what is in the Bible. By the age of 15t I had read the Bible from cover to cover three times. Each time I read it, the more I realized that much of what was in the Bible could not be factual, and that much of it simply did not make sense.
Second, as a teenager, I did not like the feeling of being sinful for having normal human thoughts and urges. To me, that was not right.
Third, growth of knowledge and reasoning kills led me to be analytical about religion, its precepts, and its effects. Finally, there was personal growth in mental and emotional maturity.
A lot of the crap in the bible that I was forced to read in Catholic school did not make sense to me when I was eight years old. By the age of twelve I was in a class learning about ancient history and the different cultures and religions. I believe that was year when I really stopped believing in religion and I was somewhat of an agnostic. When at sixteen I read about Doctor Leakey and his discoveries, and about Darwin and the origin of the species. I learned about advanced chemistry and physics and astronomy. I then became a full fledged atheist. Critical thinking and logic opened my mind and I made my own conclusions.
Critical thinking is definitely a big part of it. for me, too I had a lot of it, even at a young age, but I had this huge blind spot in one area where I wasn't applying it because of my intense religious experiences and how deep I got into my faith. But persistence won, thankfully.
I wasn’t looking for atheism. I was disenchanted with the churches I went to, particularly the hymns they wanted me to sing. So I thought: I can read! I’ll read the Bible myself. Well, it was t long that I was confused and went looking for explanations. I ended up in old book stores in the philosophy sections finding books about aliens and Biblical prophesy. Again it wasn’t long into these books that I realized most of that was also BS, interesting BS. Some time later I got into Egyptian history and writing. That pushed me into Sumerian, Ancient Greece, Persia, Hindu, Buddha ...etc. I didn’t realize I had studied my way out of a religion until I was sitting in a little church 6 months after my grandfather died, when it all came crashing down. I ended up in the bathroom in tears. When you realize you really aren’t going to see your grandpa again, you go through a second mourning. But there is no way to go back.
Yeah.. That must have been difficult. I remember bawling uncontrollable for a long time when I lost my faith without anything to replace it. When it all comes crashing down at once....you can't prepare for that.
One was the idea of heaven....singing hosannas 24/7/for eternity? No, thanks. Second was reading the babble...just nasty! Third was "original sin"....making me liable for Adam & Eve....WTH?!
My mother was a closet Atheist. It was a surprise at my mother's funeral, where my brother who was a pastor who spoke on how his mother is in heaven and over looking us from heaven.
My speech at the funeral was about my mother is an Atheist and how she loved us 3 kids well and equally here on earth. That did not make me popular at a predominantly Christain crowd.
What do I care, I can't live a lie. I was never a religious person, it simply made very little or no sense to me.
That's brave, man. And needed. More lies doesn't help us understand the lives of those who have passed. Truth can be uncomfortable. And I can't live a lie either.
My brother even tried to steal my mother's financial inheritance from me. I scared the crap out of him when, I told him on what I would do to him in court. My Brother knows how sticktoativeness I am, and he snake slithered away.
I was never a believer. As a child, Sunday school made no sense. "Jesus loves me this I know, for the bible tells me so?" Really? Don't know the guy and he doesn't know me. "Onward Christian Soldiers, marching as to war." Really? Yet the religion professes to be about love. "God demands that you worship him. Really? For an omnipotent, omniscient being with fabulously broad knowledge, why is he so needy as to have a bunch of humans worship him? I simply don't get it.
My agonizing journey that began with leaving organized religion to realizing I am an atheist also took over a decade. Learning more about the Bible caused me to realize that it is not the word of any god and that the god described in it cannot exist (because it is too contradictory). Learning more science caused me to realize not only that there is no evidence for any kind of god, but also that there is no need for one. To add a god/consciousness with self-awareness, will, and volition unnecessarily complicates things--especially if one claims to know the will of such a being.
When I watched my world going to hell in a hand basket, when as a good little child I prayed and prayed for the starving in Africa to be helped so that the children had what they needed. Then I became a teenager and started to think why does all of this bad happen, if he is omnipotent why does he allow this to happen why am I following this rubbish.
Education, the contradictory stuff in the bible.
Monsignor Kelly. Quite a side show. Claimed he’d be seated at the right hand of God and would either have to speak for us, or against us as our pastor. Exit stage right.
"Shrub" is George. W. Bush, called the Village Idiot by the late, great Molly Ivins. Correct?
Correct. I miss our great liberal women of Texas. Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, and Ann Richards.
I was never devout as an adult, but throughout all of early childhood n early teen adolescence I was holding onto my indoctrination, attempting to be an apologist. Eventually I just learned and experienced too much to be able to reconcile it. Many contributing factors that included Intense bible study; Reading diverse opinions and meeting people from other corners of the world with the advent of the internet; judicious use of psychedelics, yoga, introspection; studying history, science, and philosophy; and meeting and performing with musician friends of many different backgrounds during my college experience in general all had a lot to do with it. It’s impossible to absorb those experiences, learn from them, and still hold onto the customs of an ancient middle eastern death cult.
I woke up one morning and was running through in my head the things i had to do that nweek bible study meeting prep work door knocking prep for door knocking and i though why I looked at my lifenand realised how intrictly my life was entwined with religion again i said why and statrted over a number of years to try and disentangle myself from it and flee. As i was married and we had a daughter it wasnt easy i did not want my daughter to be in the middle of me and my wife so it took years to drift away.
Thanks for sharing. Entwined is a good word. Because to disentangle all those strings is very complicated and difficult. And having a wife and daughter while you're trying to unwind everything makes it that much more challenging.
@MichaelJay I was a jw i worked with another jw so to just throw my hands up in the air and say i have had enough would have had dire consequences. I was trying to keep my maraige together to(we are now seperated) so i just went with the flow for years it resulted in me getting sucidal. I did feel ike a charecter in a John LeCare novel
Years of research, reading and study before the internet and my TBI
I tried a few different brands, but there was always something that just didn't seem right. Then I spent a few years researching the Bible and the history thereof. Only half a dozen letters of Paul are by the same author, everything else is fiction. There is also no historical proof of anything in the Old Testament. There are no remnants of the great kingdoms of D or Saul, archeology showing they were likely no more than tribal chieftains So I walked away from the whole mess..
I grew up in the '70s, the era of feminism. At the time, our parents took us to Catholic church, and I wanted to be an altarboy! But I found out girls can't BE alterboys, and, being a fervent supporter of equity, I was disillusioned. I also couldn't seem to find this "God" they were all talking about. I researched other religions throughout adulthood and have concluded that they're all just there to provide certainty in an uncertain world. I believe in a kind of "All That IS" sort of deity, that we are all connected as some level. It's more of a spiritual thing; I abhor organized religion.
It was a process involving good education, questioning life and events with others including family and friends.
Uh-huh. Comparative religion is the undoing of many believers.