When I was in my 20's I was looking for answers about my life and why I never seemed to be at peace. I talked to preachers and anyone that would talk to me about the dark reality of human nature (Why seemingly decent people could hurt children for example) one preacher I spoke with about my disbelief asked me right off the bat "if I had been molested as a kid" I told him yes and he immediately said that was the reason I turned my back on God. He was wrong but I never forgot his way of thinking..ive heard it in different ways from others since then..i don't believe it and never will. I was already aware to some extent of the problems I had with a god before. My first memories are of sunday school lessons and my doubt. So to answer my own question- I do not believe that my rough childhood lead me to turn my back on religion but it did lead to the critical thinking at a young age that ultimately lead me to what I feel is the truth (That there is no god) I can be a loving caring person without God and probably more so..so how did any bad experiences lead you to your ultimate truth?
I was repeatedly sexually, physically, and verbally berated growing up. Those experiences were what led me away from religion; after all, how could a loving God stand idly by while I suffered at the hands of adults who were supposed to be my protectors? However, critical thinking and logic is what put me over the edge--is what showed me that a deity does not exist.
I had a rough childhood, which set me up to accept more mistreatment. Hence religion and a bad marriage ensued.
I got sick if the abuse.
I think it simply made me too tired to take any more and I moved on. I had to.
Onwards and upwards.
I ain't taking no shit anymore.
David, your comments about the reaction to that Pharisee's judgment of you for having been abused makes me angry on your behalf. It is such a cheap shot. Many many children are abused. Most remain religious, so his assumption explains nothing. If you had told him "no" to his question, he would have fished for another experience to blithely explain your coming to sanity...or what he surely considered your loss of holy Truth, with a capital "T." Parents divorcing, death of a family member, being bullied, struggle academically, family financial hardship, and on and on. Nearly everyone has gone through something. And ass-wipes like this guy would grab at any of those excuses just to dismiss the possibility that, just maybe, you came to a logical conclusion based on principled reasoning. It is quite obnoxious on that guy's part.
Not childhood, but my nephew's murder pushed me from agnostic to atheist. So many incipient comments about how "things happen for a reason." Just no. There is nothing divine or preordained about it. The only logical conclusion is that there is no plan, and therefore, no divinity.
There wasn't any one particular experience. More like a long procession of people behaving in a decidedly un-Christian manner, such as when I worked for a bishop who was verbally abusive and threatened me with things like, "I WILL make you cry." I tend to be absurdly loyal so I blamed myself for not being good enough well into my twenties. And a good part of my thirties. Sometimes I battle it still.
My bad experiences regarding religion or a belief in God weren't stemmed as much from childhood as much as from adulthood. However, growing up, my mother hit on priests. But as an adult, I was married to a man who was a Church of Christ member, which is basically like a cult. Since we had both been married before, we had to be voted into the church, even though he grew up with this religion. After twelve years of trying to follow all the church rules and my exes rules, I left the marriage and the church and never looked back!
Nope, other than a couple heartbreaking breakups, some depression, and some poverty during college, I've honestly lead a fairly charmed life.
I turned away from because it was morally bankrupt and a lie, not because I was "mad at god and rebelling"
From repeated observation and non-scientific sampling, I am left with the strong impression that traumatic experiences more often than not tend to induce people to cling tighter to religion. Then it is the pious, self-righteous, judgmental reactions of the supposedly loving Christians toward other people's suffering that can lead the others to start questioning, thinking more critically as these hypocrites illustrate just how hollow their claimed paradigm is. Once skepticism is introduced, the growing awareness of simple facts does the rest.
Yes. I attended Church. At 4-ish, I was having nightmares that were just horrific. All of them were biblical in nature. This went on for several weeks and my parents pulled me from church.
As an adult looking back, I'd say someone in bible class was a wee bit too sulfur and brimstone for the youth.
I have never seen any good reason to go back.
I always felt like it was weird, silly, and unbelievable... at age 10 and 11 my parents had me in a Catholic school because the public school outside the base we were stationed at was not accredited with the state. The Catholic school was. I was stunned at how many things about the Catholic religion were tweaked different compared to the Baptist upbringing I seen. I mean stuff like purgatory I had never even heard of as a Baptist, yet it was mentioned almost daily in Catholic School back then. I really had a sense of "How are these religions getting all this different crap out of the same book?"
Lived in Italy for 4 years after that and it becomes clear the Catholic church is a financial machine. And not a very friendly one either. One day I'll tell the story of the Catholic Orphanage I worked at as a Boy Scout overseas, for some kids Eagle Scout project. Grim, grim, grim. First time I saw my Navy Pilot dad cry.
That was as a kid... where it seemed stupid and ugly.
As an adult Ive learned to hate it. My parents retired to a small town where my mom grew up. They started attending church regularly and my mom even started playing piano. My dad has slid slightly right wing, and now mumbles anti-abortion stuff from time to time. But my mom... She has gone from saying stuff like...
"See that little girl walking down the street? I feel so bad for her. Her mom is in jail for drugs. Apparently she is here in town living with her old step dad who was married to her mom back when she was like 3 to 7 yeara old. Now 13 and he's the only family she sort of has, and he's a drinker. I pray for her."
And after a few years it became...
"See that girl? She's the new little slut in town
Her mom is in jail for drugs, and all the other relatives are dead. Somehow she is living with the guy who used to be her stepdad when she was little bitty. He has his other kids every other weekend, and he's always drunk. He's probably raping her and its just a matter of time before she gets shipped off for selling meth!"
My mom has literally gone from being concerned about all people to openly despising most of them. And its not old age. It's fire and brimstone hateful Baptist rhetoric rolled out every Sunday.
Not something bad but something good. When I was very young I figured out that I valued truth over fiction and after analyzing church (fiction peddled as truth) stories I discovered Faith (assertions based without evidence) claims were not consistent with realty. This taught me to question all faith based claims.
It didn’t make any since to me. The fact that an all knowing god set up two innocent man and woman then punished them for what exactly they were predestined to do. Another thing that baffled me was the whole Hell thing. That probably has to be one of the most disgusting things any human could come up with. An all knowing god would already know in advance which people would be going to Heaven and Hell so what exactly since would it make to just go ahead and allow the ones he would already know is going to Hell to even be born just to send them to Hell when their time comes to be born then die someday?
Reading the Old Testament..so much rape, stoning ,pillage, human sacrifing, and general smiteing that it struck me as very strange as a child...and as an adult..so full of contradictions and hypocrisy...all seemingly encouraged and sometimes perpetrated by God or who ever he happened to be directing his will at the time. Just dreadful nonsense....
Yes, something did happen when I was young that turned me against : the frontal lobes of my brain became fully developed! But not to make light of your question ( which is a good one), there seems to be a pervasive message coming from many in the religious community that trauma, damage, or at least some sort of confusion took place somewhere along the line that made people "turn their back on God." It's that patronizinly beatific smile you receive when being spoken to by someone who clearly believes you are misguided and in need of saving. I'm sorry about the real trauma you experienced and even more sorry that the messages you received from some were that you were clearly broken and in need of fixing as a result of that trauma, which must only have added to your sense of isolation. But kudos to you for developing your critical thinking skills and forging a rational path to peace of mind for yourself!
Well, many things, good & bad happened to me as a child, but none of it had anything to do with my atheism. I loved Science Fiction & Fantasy (still do), but I early on realized the difference between fiction & fact, or at least reality! Tho I didn't become active for years I just stopped believing the "story". It made no sense to me. The actions of the nuns & priests in Catholic school didn't help bolster their claims, either, but that is not what led to my unbelief. I just could not reconcile the narrative with what I observed, & the more I observed & the more I learned, about anything, the more this was so.