Just wondering how many of you escaped religion on your own,by study and observation, and if any of you had someone to help guide you. I educated myself, I didn't know any non-believers.
I was raised in a very narrow< conservative home_pentecostal_and was constantly in trouble for questioning things that made no sense to me> i am still the black sheep and going to hell in their little world__as i became educated and my circle of friends outside the church grew so did my knowledge and disbelief
Facing a (then) fear of eternal damnation for leaving my faith is probably what kept me a believer for so long. I finally couldn't accept the hipocracy, lies and ignorance of religion anymore. I couldn't see it as a loving thing anymore. It was too condemning and judgemental. I chose love. And science. Religion didn't fit in. I'm a happy agnostic now.
I realized in 5th grade I didn't believe in God. I spent the next 10 years researching other religions, trying them out. My parents are atheists but never spoke to me about it. They wanted me to come to my own religion by myself with no assistance. It was tough, but when I started to realize I was atheist my mom started asking questions to make me think about my beliefs. In the end I decided I was agnostic and she then told me about her atheism
As a lifelong non-believer, these comments pain me. I was brought up secularly, as I have raised my children, and the only belief system that was impressed upon me, was critical thinking. I never had to "escape" or hide my non-belief from anyone. I truly find it foreign having had to grow up with that burden.
I didn't know any nonbelievers at the time I started questioning and doubting. This was before there were online support communities for ex-Christians. It was a trying time, to say the least, but I continued to educate myself, and the more I did, the more convinced I became that god, and especially the Abrahamic god, was a human construct. I was a lone wolf, you might say, and after deconversion, I was so happy to see that others had very similar deconversion experiences. I no longer felt alone.
I never knew anyone who explicitly said hey, this is all horseshit. But now that I think back, there were plenty of people, trapped in an ethnic cultural religion loop, that I came upon over the course of my past years who felt the same way that I did. And many others who talked with me and let me cut my atheistic teeth, though that was never the emphasis of the discussions.
There were too many inconsistencies for my liking with the religious belief I was raised in although the indoctrination ran deep, especially the encouragement not to ask awkward questions or the constant reminder that often "God is beyond our comprehension" when it came to awkward questions. There wasn't any real help from outside as, with a lot of religious belief, social contact with outsiders, sinners, backsliders etc was actively discouraged.
Once I had had abandoned my beliefs, stopped attending and ignored the pleading from family members I met others who helped me understand that there were others like me and that it was fine to be an atheist.
Being raised Assembly of God, mine is both. The only emotions I experienced in that church were fear and disgust. As young teen I drove my sunday school teacher crazy with questions concerning religion. She actually told the preacher that I was possessed by the devil. At 16yrs old, I'd had enough.
I personally did not know any non believers as well. I entered college with the earnest intent to try and understand God, with hopes that I could perhaps find some common ground between different traditions to get a full picture of what God really is. By the time I got my degree in religion, I was completely disillusioned and was puzzled at how religious thought is still so prevalent. It was like learning the truth about Santa Claus as a kid. I had to fake being religious the last year of the program just to avoid catching too much flack from the faculty and just move on with my life after graduation.
I myself came from the Mormon religion but before I joined I was lacking in belief as I should have listened to my inclination to be atheist and honestly I should have been atheist years ago but the sort of fellow that I am I give things a try and still having a few atheist friends which at the time I didn’t let that dissuade me in any way I was a hard headed Christian and I found out for myself that God is not real just from all the bullshit that they spew at any church “ pray and god will give it to you” so I did all of that and jumped through all their hoops only to find god Is not real that it is and always has been a way to control the masses throughout history i have noticed a lot of atrocities through history have been from Christians damn am I glad I came out as an atheist.
Pretty much escaped on my own. My beliefs had been eroding over the years when I largely decided that even if there was a god, you couldn't really connect to him/her/it through organized religions, which are all about controlling people and taking their money. Then a friend of mine whom I just met a few years ago would post a lot of stuff from an atheist group on Facebook and the more I looked at it, the more it just made sense.
All on my own . I went to Catholic elementary indoctrination. The nuns wanted to host a debate. Did the pope have the right to draw the line of demarcation in South America separating the Spanish and Portuguese interest. I was in 7th grade. I volunteered to take the no side. I think I lost unanimously. And all I remember thinking in 7th grade is who the fuck was the pope to give away other people's land. I never looked back. I was done.
My father’s family is Pentecostal, my mother’s is catholic and Methodist. While they consider themselves believers, they never took us to church growing up. So I went to church with my friends who were Jehovahs Witness, Jewish, you name it. By the time I was an adult I realized religion is subjective. Nobody knows positively if there’s a god or not and I don’t want to waste my time trying to figure it out. I don’t want to waste time going to church, etc only to find out it was pointless. My family (with the exception of my son who agrees with me) thinks I’m crazy and going straight to hell for it.....whatever.
I went to Saudi Arabia to work in 1980 as a non practicing Christian and came back two and a half years later believing that it really didn't matter to me whether god existed or not (strange idea?). Since then I have migrated to the view that the existence of god can't be proved or disproved; but if religion gives harmless comfort to some people then why argue with them. The people I would take issue with are those who are encouraged by their imaginary friends to hurt others.
I started having doubts when I was 9 or 10 as I read the story of Mary being forced to carry a baby as a virgin. I thought "What if that happened to me?"...my family would be so upset!"...well, as I became a dedicated science student ..all of the discrepancies exploded!