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When did you realize you were atheist?

Hello,

I have been an atheist since I was 8 years old. I was in church, the congregation singing a song of some sort, and I remember thinking to myself "this sounds like a cult". From then on, I felt religion was silly.

While I've never hidden my atheism, I have never met others who shared my view. People who "see where I'm coming from", but never anyone who has shared my views. I recently discovered the Atheist Experience videos on youtube and am thrilled that there are actual atheist communities out there. I had no idea.

So my question to you is founded in curiosity. When did you become atheist? Was it a sudden realization, like what happened with me, or was it a result of heavy meditation? I suppose that now that I have finally found a community of like minded individuals, it would be nice to hear your stories. Perhaps we can even discuss why some of us come to these realizations seemingly randomly, while others live their entire lives completely deluded..ahem...devoted.

Thanks and cheers,

Liv

Liv,

I don't know too many atheists who had an epiphany moment. I think the reason for that is that we are steeped in theist culture and it often takes considerable thought to untangle one's self from it.

I hope others respond to this, but in the mean time, you might enjoy reading the testimonials of various atheists in the ACA:

http://atheist-community.org/testimonials/

These are stories of how 8 different people have come to figure out they're atheists.

To be honest, I actually had such an "epiphany moment" but I call it the "tiny spark of clarity". It was incredibly simple now that I look back at it.

If you read the main religious books of earth's biggest monotheistic religions (islam and christianity) you will see that the main monotheistic deity, described there, can be incredibly violent. For example the old testament is dominated by the "eye for an eye"-mentality. But that's not all. Read the story of Korah, Dathan and Abiram for an example of what happens to people who dare to disobey this deity. The deity, described there, never tried to reeducate or resocialize or simply reason with these people. Instead it just killed them in a *very* brutal and disgusting way.

Hmm, maybe I should warn you not to read these books carelessly ! I think these books can "injure" a human's mind, if you just accept everything, what is offered there at face value. I sometimes think that it would be nice to have versions of the bible commented by atheists, which could be sold to the general public instead of the uncommented versions. :-)

Anyway ... the main monotheistic deity, described in these books (qur'an and bible) is predominantly really brutal. But the official doctrine of islam and christiany is that this deity is love, forgiveness and so on. So how can this deity be love and forgiveness on one side but also excessive brutality on the other side? This is something I really couldn't reconcile in the end. I used to believe that this deity is love and forgiveness but in the end I realized that I almost subconsciously choose to ignore the violent parts of the bible and the qur'an. In a sense I created myself my own personal benevolent deity based entirely on altruism and a calm rational behaviour in almost any situation. In a sense I wasn't a "true christian" or "true muslim" anymore. I committed a "cardinal sin" by creating myself an idol to pray too. When I realized this, I decided to stop pretending to be a religious person and became an atheist. Because the alternative would have been to "go back" and accept the whole message of the bible and the deity described there. I just couldn't do that.

Around age 18 I stopped being a Christian, and slowly "evolved" over the next 2 years from Deist, to a Agnostic Deist, to an Agnostic, to finally an Atheist....

I was never hardcore religious when I was a Christian, and could count the times I went to church growing up on one hand.

No word of a lie. Since I was born.

There has NEVER been a time I have believed in god. I understand that many americans here will reply with their loss of belief, since this is how they grew up, in a very religious country.

My parents were not religious (although my mom was pushed into 'sunday school' at church) Nor did they ever speak of religion, either good or bad (due to the well mannered way in which they were brought up, without religion).

I've replied here to just make clear to everyone that no one is born religious. Therefore a similar topic could be made where you began being a believer. Pretty sure for many (in the US no doubt) its about 6. ie Before that you were atheist. You didn't believe in any god.

My view follows: Religion was created by adults because: 1. Its actually scary to know we all will die one day > For everyone! 2. To control others > It worked! 3. To help children > That's right. It was just a story to keep children (including teenagers!) to be nice to others, etc. I say this is a good idea too, BUT they forgot to tell them the truth when they got older! 4. To comfort others, in time of need > ie No need, no belief, LOL

That's about it. By the way since I'm now older I've realized it is BEST to inform your children that religious belief is ridiculous. There's just no choice in the matter. Steer your children away from religion, especially if they are girls. For obvious reasons.

In the beginning MAN made god in his own image.

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