What specifically happened that made you turn into an atheist/ nonbeliever?
I asked the counselor at a bible camp “how do we know there is god”, when I was 8. The response was “ you just know”
I found that woefully inadequate and my doubt only grew from there. Left the church at 13 and became agnostic, evolved to atheist in early 20’s.
When I was around 9 growing up in a very poor country I prayed a lot for miracles, but nothing happen. I thought to myself if I was a god I wouldn't let anything horible happen to people. God's supposed to help people! Now as an adult I do see the psychological reason why some people need religion.
I was targeted, harassed, mentally and emotionally abused, and set up to fail by my boss when I worked for a christian organization. Under their whistleblower's policy, I reported the abuse (with documentation) to a superior and asked for protection. I was almost immediately retaliated against and forced out. I wasn't the only person seeking help from this bully. There were two others who came forward asking for help. Both are still working for the organization, and so is the bully boss who is still targeting, harassing, and abusing people. When I was retaliated against and forced out, all but one person turned their backs on me. No one would talk to me. I was ostracized.
This is a christian organization that markets itself as a "caring, christian community." I don't believe in anything spiritual, but if I did, I would say that in this organization I came face to face with the devil, and experienced hell.
This organization is incredibly wealthy and part of the Southern Baptist Convention. They are greedy scum who are sexist, discriminatory, egotistical, and FAKE.
I moved out of my mother's house, no church around (or I did not knew where it was), so I stopped receiving the emotional feedback from religion, so slowly the rational side took over and I could start thinking straight.
Was not exactly a turn, was more like a sustained fight between rational and emotional until the first day I could say that I did not believe...
In 6th grade I questioned a priest regarding eating meat on friday being a mortal sin. I asked him what is the job of the church? He didn't know what I was getting at, so I said isn't it the job of the church to get us to heaven? He agreed. So why is the church making up rules that will send us to hell? "How dare you" was his response. I've been an atheist ever since. And happily so.
The "sacrament" of confession. That I needed to tell some guy in a dark room how many times I rubbed one of out I'd go to hell , that made the adolescent me start to reconsider the nature of sin, and once you pull that first thread it all starts to unravel. It all came together when I heard this answer from a personal hero of mine, Linus Pauling. They asked him what he believes, he said "I believe that all complicated phenomena can be explained using simple scientific principles." That resonated with me, and still does 45 years later.
When I was 13, Michigan had a long, hard winter. Drifting snow covered the first floor of the house on the lake side.
Bored and restless, my 10 year-old brother and I decided to read the World Encyclopedias. Reading about rational philosophers Descartes and Spinoza fired my mind.
I realized the Bible is just a book of stories written by men.
At age 13, I became an atheist. I chose rational thought over magical beliefs.
Also hypocrisy. I was appalled by Christians who removed their Sunday manners with their Sunday clothes.
An idiot preacher told me that after I was saved my life and the lives of those around me would all change for the better. I learned very quickly that it would not fix my Dad's alcoholism, make my grandfather well, stop kids from teasing me about being the bootleggers daughter and a myriad list of other things. Thanks to the Carnegie Public Library I stopped reading dog and horse stories and started investigating other solutions and religions. I eventually realized I had no control over fixing anything but me.
All I know is I was like 12 sitting in bible school learning about the great fall and suddenly I was like "um I don't actually believe in this" and got up and left and never went back.
The harassment, abuse, assaults, and hatred I got for it only further cemented my stance.
Nothing special happened. My Christian faith evaporated slowly over a period of three to four years, mainly because I kept asking questions and I found answers that did not fit well the religious worldview, which at the end of the process simply did not make sense any more.
When I was growing up religion was never really brought up in our house so I didn't really think about it at all. I guess maybe I thought we were non practicing Christians or something since everyone else around us was Christians. In middle school biology class our teacher (who was actually a tech ed teacher who was asked to teach biology because I guess they were short on teachers or something...) assigned us the very ridiculous (in my opinion) assignment to write an essay on whether or not we believed evolution was real. We had never been asked to write a similar opinion essay on any of the other concepts we had been taught and I remember turning to my friend next to me and asking "what the heck is going on with this assignment, it's weird?" and her turning back to me and saying that she thought evolution was made up and that God did it all. In that moment everything solidified in my mind, it was all bs. That assignment really backfired for that teacher whose aim was, I'm sure, to discredit the theory of evolution. I was nonreligious all along but that was the moment that it was solidified.
It was my priest actually in our one on one cathesism classes. I had many many questions about religion and the Bible.
I stumped him on the last one, about Cain, what happened after he got kicked out of the Garden and where did the people come from?
He said Cain found the Nubians. He went on to say, "that's where faith comes into play." I was chastised for my eye roll.
I left the church unconfirmed. That was in 1965, when I was 15.