A general question and plain noseyness.
What made you become an atheist, agnostic, non-believer or whatever?
I was never anything else.
I had a father who was atheist and a mother who was 'vaguely christian' but not a church-goer. BOTH of them trusted their children (my 3 sisters and me) to make our own decisions.
Oldest sister - strongly religious, preaches at her local churches.
Middle sister - vaguely christian but not a church-goer, like our mother.
Youngest sister - solidly atheist, but not as vocal about it as me.
Me - howling atheist.
The four of us all love each other dearly, and all four respect the views of the other three.
I don't think I "became" anything other than honest.
What is it when you force yourself to believe in a talking snake and donkey, fish with a man living inside it for days at a time, dead people coming to life, human sacrifice, and blood magic?
I call it delusion.
Honestly no one believes this shit, they joined a tribe and say it's true to fit in.
Screw that tribe.
The other religions aren't any better, but honestly they aren't worse either, even Islam, all BULLSHIT.
In my early 30s, starting to questioning I was taught as a baptist. My family cramming that sect down my throte . I did try other sects to see if that would make me happier and briefly it did. When, my mother implied that I would go to hell if I became an catholic was the last straw. Plus, how religious people treat the gay community. So, 3 and half years I was tired of the bs and started my journey of enlightenment.
Probably the initial thing was preschool Sunday school class at the fundamentalist Christian church my grandparents would drag me to, whenever they could.They started with Genesis, which is full of one inhuman atrocity after another. By the time they got to Abraham and Isaac, I was so horrified I was having nightmares. I am not sure my not-so-religious, but fairly indifferent, parents were aware just how traumatizing I found all the stories, lessons, and threats of hell; but at one point my father did have the presence of mind to tell me, "These are just stories. You don't have to take them literally." I clung to that little shred of disbelief like a lifeline until I was old enough to openly reject the whole business.
I was “raised Catholic”, although not very devoutly . I distinctly recall the moment at age seven, before my first communion, when I realized, “this is a bunch of baloney”. Of course I (mostly) did as I was told until I left home at seventeen. When I reached high school, I was told to “go register for Catechism class”, which I did not do…but it gave me 2 & 1/2 hours every Tuesday evening to do whatever I wanted. My children are baptized “for the grandparents”, one Catholic and one Lutheran, and my daughter even made her first communion…because she wanted to. My son attended a Catholic boys high school, as a non-Catholic, where he had religion class weekly. I feel that exposure to religion helped both make their choices intelligently. Neither is religious, but both are moral. And if I am being honest, I should state that I did tell my children there was a Santa Claus, but never said there was a god.
I was very young when I figured out religion (the entire church/god fairy tale) was not founded in reality as the stories they preached often did not agree with logic or the truth of the observable world. The fantasy story about the star that led the three wise men to Jesus cemented my "this book (and religion founded on it) is demonstrably not based on reality" observation. I figured religion was nothing more then a another tool old people used to control children.
It began in my early teenage years when I sought answers to basic questions and none of the answers that I ever received resonated within me.
Belief or non belief are not merely confined to religions for it seems to me that we as human beings hold all kinds of unexamined beliefs which we may regard as a truth but upon closer examination we may discover that nothing could be farther from a truth.
What made me identify as an atheist was assuming the popular notion that religious mythology was intended to be taken literally, which made no sense to me after about 14 years of age.
What made me abandon the atheist identity was realizing that the mythology made perfect sense when understood figuratively, as originally intended.
Never was in the faith thing. But if you want to know what made me not merely an agnostic atheist, but a hard working anti-religion agnostic atheist. Then that is because in the UK, many schools are still religion based, and at school I came close enough to religion to see at first hand the corruption, dishonesty , cruelty and bullying that it leads to. And since I had been raised secular that came as quite a shock.
Since I was a little girl receiving communion, I always felt odd about worship, etc. As I grew and matured, I tried so hard to believe. Finally I simply stopped going to church. But then one of my siblings shared the same feelings and introduced me to atheism. All I knew about the scarlet letter “A” was Madelyn O’Hara (s) and I had been convinced she was a radical. So I wanted nothing to do with A. My sibling gave me links to Hitchens talks and several books.
And another Athirst was born!
I hated wasting time on non-factual content, the difference in character being highlighted by going to school and learning about real things. Eric Hoffer's The True Believer and Twain's Letters from the Earth helped. I read the NT and spotted the evolution of the synoptic gospels, looking every bit like the various forms of genetic mutation I had learned about.
I was raised in a non-religious household, and I never heard or saw any evidence that would make me a believer. Instead I saw a lot of people who thought they were smarter than me telling me how to think, which no one wants to hear. I began to realize that faith means you don't want to know the truth.