Your unbelief. How did you get there?
I was raised Evangelical. Most of my family are still true believers.
Seeds of doubt were sprinkled in my life, over time, but my world view remained Christian until only a few years ago. Compared to my family, I am probably on the far end of the devoted/skeptical spectrum. I think, due to some recent reading, that some people are biologically more disposed to accept religion than others. I might be lacking that gene.
Anyway, my previous tour in the Middle East with the US military did a lot to open my eyes. Seeing kids raised to be good muslims caused me to reflect that I was raised to be a good Christian, along with implications of that. Based on geography, I could have easily been raised muslim. Or hindu, etc. It's arbitrary, in that sense.
My step-father's death, shortly after that tour, did something in my brain. He was such a wonderful Christian. The best possible example. Smart, generous, loving. He got all good out of Christianity. He was a scientist. Nuclear Physicist. In his spare time he actually discovered the only working treatment for CFS/ME, at least at the time (2012). He looked in to solely because a friend suffered from it. It took him 15 years. I haven't checked if the medical community has made any progress since. Anyway, he was such a juggernaut of the faith for me. I think his death removed a mental road block. Like, while he was alive I didn't want to challenge some of his ideas. For instance, he could give a pretty convincing argument for Intelligent Design. Since his death I've been able to read some books, watch some videos and figured out that it is pretty easily debunked.
In the wake of those events I found myself approaching questions more skeptically, instead of devotionally. When practicing devotion, such as when reading the Scriptures, you constantly try to reconcile what you are reading with reality and what you really feel. As a skeptic, you go with whatever makes the most sense.
I started looking in to the origins of Christmas and Easter. Not sure what kicked that off, but, in the past I remember doing so, through devotion, because I wanted to cease any non-Christian practice, such as paganism. Well, in my skeptical search, I found that almost all of those holidays come from earlier religious practice. This led me to read a book called Christian and Pagan Creeds: Their Origin and Meaning. This book first caused me to wonder if Paganism were more true than Christianity, since it is older and closer to the root of the history of religion for man, until I started looking even further back, to Totemism, Naturalism, etc. Eventually, once I was able to accept evolution, from other studies, I concluded that once upon a time, man didn't even have the mental capacity to process religious ideas. Therefor, it had to be bullshit, and be a product of the modern human mind, some way, somehow.
Anyway, not sure that was a clear as it could have been, but that is somewhat of my path.
my family has religious people in it, not many of them are to pushy about it tho. we celebrate holidays but its never had any religious tones to it, it was always just a big family get together. good food, catching up, some arguements(because we have everything fron german to english to irish to cherokee to african american and probably a lot more, and some of us fit the stereotypes about our loud and arguementitive cultures, lol) maybe a game of football. we used to have an uncle who dressed up as santa, but thats about it. and that was more about smiling kids than beliefs to us. so i was never told this is what you believe. i was interested in different peoples beliefs from a young age tho, i loved, and still love,myths from greek, norse, roman, aztec, incan, native american, and probably a bunch more ancient cultures, and i liked seeing where they went with it over the centuries. i never really was religious i guess...i suppose i just came out of my mamma this way.
My parents raised us to believe that religion was sort of like Santa Claus and we never discuss it with anybody else just in case they might believe it and we don't want to hurt their feelings....They also taught us to be careful about other forms of brainwashing....good upbringing, and I passed it on to my children which they passed on to their children.
The more I learn about science, the more I see how ridiculous the whole concept of religion is. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are simply life forms on a floating piece of rock that happened to be in just the right place at just the right time. I don't understand astronomy or physics, but I'm much more willing to believe what a scientist says over what a pastor or priest or rabbi or whatever says. At the end of the day, the scientist can provide proof that what they say is true. The religious leader can only tell me that I had better believe what he tells me or else.
Another part of it was what I've learned about the Bible. Growing up, I attended a Lutheran school and we were told that the Bible was written by men who God basically dictated to. Since then, I've learned that in fact the Bible is a compilation of several different books that were reviewed by a bunch of guys who chose to include the books they liked and excluded any that they didn't agree with. Not exactly a divinely inspired process.
What really did it for me though was when a friend of mine from college informed me that he no longer believed. This guy became a born-again while we were in school and while we stayed friends, I got irritated with his Bible-thumping more than once. Now he's a cop in Milwaukee and he told me that after the things he's seen, there was simply no way he could believe there was an all-loving, merciful God that would let people endure such suffering. And that's just Milwaukee; things are even worse in other cities and countries.
I woke up when I kept seeing the highest church officials, those supposedly closest to god being horribly corrupt. Add that to so called christians who are active in their churches and who act non-christian in the real world. Add the evangelicals support of a morally bankrupt president. Add the millions of people in the world who believe their religion is the only right one. They all know millions are wrong but why can’t all be wrong?
For me, it was a rebellion. I was raised in a children's home which operated on a very Christian ethos, prayers every morning before breakfast and then immediately after breakfast, we all had to recite one of the 10 commandments, church on Suday was mandatory but once I reached 13 years of age, I just let rip, I stated that I wasn't going to go to church anymore, I had no interest in listening to some old bloke spouting on about some other bloke who had supposedly performed all of these miracles and yet there was nothing to see that could prove it.
I was actually beaten with a stick for saying that the Old Testament was bollocks, yes, I did use the word BOLLOCKS and the principal of the home, a Victorian hard liner who believed that children should be "Seen and not heard", "Know their place" and "Respect their ELDERS AND BETTERS", well he took umbrage at me using the word but he was like the headmaster from the Pink Floyd movie "The Wall" when I used the word in a blasphemous manner, he just whacked my arse with a stick until it bled, suffice to say that from that day on, it would be impossible to get me to go to church ever again.