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Did you have an atheist epiphany?
I did I was about 8 years old and I was figuring the world out.
I figured out that Santa Claus was a myth, the same logic to God.
the adults in my life the people that I knew and trusted, look me in the eye and said very slowly God is real Santa Claus is falls
of course the first words in my mind was why?
they're both magical
they both have Supernatural powers
they both care about me
what was the philosophical difference between the two?
after a little bit of soul-searching I came to the resolution but the natural world was pretty awesome and there was no need for the supernatural.
if you had an atheist epiphany I'm very much interested in your story

m16566 7 Apr 30
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6

Almost 20 years ago, I started reading a book: 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail: The Secret History of Christ & The Shocking Legacy of the Grail'. It was fairly long, quite boring and over all should not have kept my attention. For some reason, I kept reading. I knew what the authors were stating as their hypothesis intellectually, but at some other level, I kept rejecting the premise. I kept holding onto the fact that I was a 'Christian'. As I neared the end, the authors began to draw their reasoning together into a unified thought. It literally was an "Ah, ha!!!!" moment. A line drawn in the sand. I had been having doubts for many years, but this shattered the iron grip hold on me that Christianity had. I suddenly no longer believed. I spent several years after that occasionally wondering "But what if I am wrong"? That eventually faded.

LOL. So you don't believe the descendent of Christ lives in that priory in France!

@brentan I actually don't even have an opinion about it. I just know that I saw the possibility of a different way to look at things and that in itself was was broke the spell.

As I responded earlier I believe that social engineering is a big part of the Bible as we know it I read that book and found it fascinating, just like a juror presented with evidence we have to decide what the preponderance all the evidence indicates. . what we know from Jewish Society Christ would have been married and had a trade. By the time he was 16.
Christians often say that Christ was a special case. but why. if the Lord Yahweh wanted to demonstrate an ideal man's role on Earth what he has not been fruitful and multiply

why is it that history or the Bible doesn't indicate Christ name at Birth.
or maybe Jesus Christ is simply a construct to give the Jews a Messiah that was peaceful so they would stop fighting the Romans

@m16566 The idea was that Christ would be a father to those who became born again. They would be the fruit of his sacrifice.

6

Actually, at an early age I had more of an atheist "Apissed-off-many":

  • Pissed off at being dragged to church every Sunday to hear a lot of nonsense.
  • Pissed off at being told I couldn't eat meat on Friday and for no good reason. (Funny, though, as now I don't eat meat.
  • Pissed off at being dragged to "Confessional" every few months to confess sins I had to make up.
  • Pissed off at being told in reply to reasonable questions about God, Jesus, history and common sense, that I was "too young to understand" and that I would "understand when I was older." They were right. I did understand. I understood it was all crap!

I had an "Apissed-off-many" alright. Never looked back.

5

I don't think I ever believed. I just did what was expected of me. As soon as there was no material reward for church attendance, I quit going altogether. I've always been amazed, even as young as 8, that anyone buys into an idea that is so obviously wrong.

Being exposed to church lowered my opinion of my parents. Over night, my mom turned into such a phony and my dad just went with her.

4

We are all born atheists.
Indoctrination didn't work on me.
I always knew all of it was false.

4

At age 13, I became an atheist when I realized the Bible is just a book of stories written by men.

I chose rational though, not magical beliefs.

"I don't believe in an invisible being who resides somewhere beyond the clouds," I tell Jehovah's Witnesses. That shuts them up.

Religion does serve a legitimate purpose the stories were designed to societies together and on the right track if you think about them in the context of the time it's clear what their purpose and intent was. writing was the new medium very few people could do it. it was a simple matter to apply the social engineering of the time to the existing folklore and then say it was the word of God and therefore I'm refutable if you think about it it was quite the racket

@m16566

Religion was created to control people. I do not need a book or imaginary god to have morals, honesty and kindness.

Being a good person is a daily choice, a series of decisions. I choose to be kind, honest, appreciative and grateful.

Since age 18, I have been a Democrat, environmentalist, and volunteered to help people and protect the Earth.

4

“...but the natural world was pretty awesome and there was no need for the supernatural.”

I agree 100% except that the natural world is EXTREMELY awesome to the point of being mind-boggling. The concept of the supernatural is pretty empty IMO. Trying to divide reality into natural vs. supernatural defies logic. There are aspects of nature that we can not detect or understand, but to label that as “super” doesn’t work for me.

I don’t remember having a sudden epiphany. I think I am a born sceptic and contrarian. What I actually try to do is resolve conflicting concepts by taking a broader view. The fact that religious organizations teach ridiculous things about God does not falsify every concept of God. For me the God concept represents something beyond our ability to comprehend. Since “God” is incomprehensible it makes no sense to form beliefs about it. The word is a label for the unknown.

The concept that makes the most sense to me is non-duality where subject and object are one. Universal Consciousness is like that. I lean toward the idea of universal consciousness.

"God is a label for the unknown".

Excellent!

@brentan “No one infers a god from the simple, from the known, from what is understood, but from the complex, from the unknown, and incomprehensible. Our ignorance is God; what we know is science.” ― Robert G. Ingersoll 

in science we have a certain standard of proof which separates Supernatural from the natural I'm not going to describe the scientific method here you probably know it but that's what I'm referring to

@m16566 There are ways of finding out if Santa Claus is real. The God question is not so simple.

4

No. An epiphany is a sudden realization. I spent several years de-programming myself.

3

At six or so, I wandered behind the altar and saw it as a facade, and the idea took hold that the whole thing might be the same. Later, I read...and read...my library now has three feet of atheist reading...

Good question...spare candles and supplies were behind this one. There was nothing much on the altar...six unlit candles.

3

No gradual science background

3

Yes, one day I was thinking about the whole thing and all at once all the pieces just sort of fell together, It was as if everything that I knew from science became crystal clear and it all worked and fit together flawlessly, whereas religious teachings only worked if you tried very hard to make it work. In this moment I saw religion for what it was, because in the scientific narrative there are hints about why religion should exist, and in the religious narrative there is no explanation. I knew exactly where the boundaries of my own knowledge were, what I did know for certain to be true and useful and what wasn't necessarily true or useful.

3

I did.... I discovered "Why I am not Christian" by Bertrand Russell when I was a teen

3

No epiphany for me. I just never really bought the god thing. Had to go to church on occasion and was aware that many spent much more time on religious things but, by the time I was able to give it any real thought, just wondered why they believed in a god. Maybe I always thought it was a choice. I sure never felt it was for me.

3

No. It took me years of searching before I could absorb the fact that all of the people I loved and trusted were wrong. I finally comprehended the big lie when I was in Junior High School.

Thus began my meandering quest for morality absent a deity. I had no role model or authority figure to explain it. I gradually came to understand that morality is based on empathy and self-respect. If someone could have explained that to me, I think it might have saved me from years of amorality.

Empathy and self-respect. That's what we need our children to understand.

3

Sadly no. Like anything else I ever learned, the process was very slow.

2

From the time I was five I owned and read my own Bible, which I did frequently, cover-to-cover.

I noticed that the Hebrew god was a cruel, revengeful, blood-thirsty being and that Jesus wasn't exactly consistent in his kindness, either, when one considers his parables about people being slaughtered for not accepting his sovereignty.

I also noticed that my missionary parents and all the other devout Christians I knew, didn't read the Bible at all, skipping over most of the misogynistic and cruel teachings, to cherry pick a few "nice" passages to promote.

I kept thinking there was a god, though, because answers happened whenever I "prayed." Eventually I noticed that things happened for ANYONE who "prayed" - even unbelievers, and even for things that weren't approved by the Bible.

I then noticed that my prayers for things that turned out later to be very bad for me, still happened.

Eventually, the hateful, bigoted, racist Facebook memes and behavior of childhood friends, my fellow Haiti MKs (missionary kids), convinced me that the entire religious thing was a LIE.

Yup..that was 2016, and I'm now 66 year old. Thankfully, I'd stopped going to church decades before and wouldn't read anything religious, so at least I had been wavering about dumping religion before Trump appeared, and his "Christian" followers convinced me.

2

Slow process for me too. I was programmed with great effort and likewise had to undo the brainwashing fairly gradually. I did have a somewhat sudden disappointment and lapse of faith when I was maybe 12 and taken to a huge contemporary Pentecostal revival where kids are speaking in tongues. I wanted the gift of the spirit so badly and went to the front to try to join into the alien language translation fun. At some point I decided it wasn’t happening so I’d start faking it a little to prime the pump. The youth pastor that was with me said there ya go, you’ve got it and I realized that that’s what everyone else is doing too: faking it.

I now believe that there are some odd things about ecstatic experiences and charged mindsets that truly are involuntary, but it’s not because a ghost is talking through you. Who knows what the hell theyre on about but it ain’t that. I’d like to think the aliens are using the most gullible of us as radio transistors for a little innerplanetary puppetry. What a hoot.

2

I think I've always known or not known as the case may be. Although, for a long time, I thought I was supposed to believe and really tried.

You almost have to this Society puts a lot of pressure on everyone to believe

@m16566 Mostly, I'm surrounded by believers. I will talk about my lack of belief if asked but mostly I keep it to myself. It doesn't feel safe to advertise.

2

Santa may fall out of the sledge , but he is not a real person . He is false .

1

Sounds familiar. Fortunately, such (sick) adults in my life were not related. Those who were I apparently owe more than realized at the time... They allowed me to discover life unencumbered by ..bullshit. Neither of my parents, neither set of grandparents, or great-aunts & uncles having played a part in my life. Good genes?

Varn Level 8 Apr 30, 2019
1

But I know the Easter Bunny is real, I have evidence.

1

Two. 2002 and 2011.

2002 - Boston archdiocese scandal

2011 - EF5 tornado killed people in a church but spared me when I was two miles away.

1

I remember when I was a kid and heard that there were different religion outside of Christianity. It was then that I figured that they were all probably not true. My family didn’t go to church or do any kind of religious stuff, so I would not describe the realization as an epiphany.

0

Mine has been a methodical process resulting in a epiphany like moment. I’ve always loved science and considered myself rational. Any time I went to a church, I rolled my eyes in disgust and disagreed with the logic of the message. It didn’t jive with my rationale. In the past few months I’ve read a few books, listened to debates and lectures; and what I knew just became more apparent. When I weighed the evidence against my programmed ideology, the truth won out. No one ever listened to my prayers or pleas for intervention. The knowledge I gained on my own from education, self-reflection, and life experiences revealed more to me than an ancient, racist, sexist, homophobic, insane book of fables meant to control people. The slow learning and deprogramming process culminated in a “duh” moment, an epiphany if you’d like, a few weeks ago as I was driving to a meeting. I ironically said, “You’re not there.” I guess breaking the chains of habit will be a continuing struggle. This has not been an easy journey, but freeing and enlightening nonetheless.

You are not alone in your struggle often times I've said to people that if I could snap my fingers and really be a Christian I would be. it would be so much easier to jump in with the mobs of sheeple. I have a mind that seeks reality and that's the way it's going to be if you ever need support seek me out I'll always have a joke for you

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