How old were you?
What was the first question you can remember having that put the first real doubt in your head?
What was the moment when you made the final decision to fully de-convert and be open about it?
I de-converted at 14 officially. And, my pregnancy/rape/abortion was the reason I came out about it.
The first question that put doubt in my head was: “Who is God’s mom/ who created god if god created everything?”
I’d say that’s a pretty powerful reason to speak up. As I’ve said before, I’m terribly sorry you had to experience that.
To keep things fair to the pro-faith side, what part of Faith (whatever your denomination may have been) made you WANT to believe? A better way to put it is, what part of faith did you hold onto the longest?
I wanted to believe that there was someone out there that wanted to take care of me the way my father hadn’t. I wanted to believe that there is something after all of this suffering.
Now. I identify as an Atheist… but, you know there is a little part of hope.
Most Atheists started out faithful. In his book “The Baptized Atheist”, David Smalley’s very first chapter openly states “I Wanted To Believe”.
It’s a hard realization and it’s not easy, but thankfully it does get easier, the more we learn just how much of that power we invested in the idea of a god is right in our own hands.
I remember always feeling really funny and unnerved at Christian events or get-togethers. And this will sound really strange, but the thing that put the thought in my head… was the comic “Johnny the Homicidal Maniac”. Some weird guy in my ceramics class in high school forced me to read it. There’s a scene where Johnny ends up in Heaven, but everyone is just.. sitting there. Doing nothing. For all eternity. Because they’re “perfect”. And I realized… if Heaven existed, that’s exactly what it’d be like. The final decision to de-convert came after many discussions with my already Atheist boyfriend. He lost his faith when his father died when he was 13. I’m now 24, and my parents still don’t know because it’d break their hearts…
I have an experience something like that.
My mother explained to me what Heaven was like when I asked her. I was 14 and skeptical. She told me that Heaven was perfection, that there was no pain, no shadow, no sadness. There was only perfection and Light, and angels eternally raised their voices to glorify God.
I remember asking “So in Heaven all we do is shout “Glory!” all day and there are angels that only exist to sing to God?”
She said “Yes”. A part of my mind decided that day that it didn’t like Heaven very much.
I was about 16 and a close friend died of cancer just before his 11th birthday. I had been a bit churchy up till that point, a jehovas witness. After that happened I really started to question everything. I was too stupid and or ignorant to question much of it before then. After I questioned the idea of a god that would create a place like this many things didn’t make sense to me. I was and am sure that the god spoken of in the bible doesn’t exist and if that god does exist… Will not worship or love it regardless of consequences.
When I was about 16 (so only like 3 years ago), I had my first doubts. I was raised by highly logical people and I began to wonder how they could believe in a great, magical, invisible being when science basically explains everything we need to know.
I have never been preachy or anything in my life, so luckily it’s not noticeable that I don’t ever talk God with my parents now. However, my issue is that I don’t think I could ever tell them. They love me and think that everything good is “God’s plan”, and that being a believer solely makes someone a good person. They’re so nice and logical and yet so emotional at the same time.. I just can’t imagine the whole new level of sadness and disappointment I would cause them to feel if I told them. I also would rather not spend the rest of my days debating such things with my father, as I know would happen.
So, to wrap this post up, I began to believe that there could not possibly be a God about 6 months after my first doubts.. and unfortunately, I need to keep it a secret when I’m at home. At least for now.
Those are all really rough answers, I really feel for all of you. Let’s take things in a more positive direction; how has your life improved since you realized that you didn’t believe in God?
Well I have more free time… no church on Sunday! . I don’t know that there was a real improvement. As if to say that the life of a person who does believe is worse. There are benefits and draw backs to both sides depending on the individual. I always look to find the answer that fits life the best. Some people are happy with an answer that works… I want the best answer. Agnostic works best I find so that is what I follow… I don’t study religion I study life.
One of the drawbacks is that social interaction takes a shot. A lot of religion involves a great deal of being social, which is a good thing; family and friends and almost everyone we could know can be tied up in religious services and events.
So when some of us came out as atheists, we lost the entire foundation for social interaction. That can absolutely be construed as a drawback.
For me, the social interaction was made up for when I started finding other atheists.
After I changed my views those who were still JW’s didn’t shun me. I am still friends… like family with them. Oddly enough it is welcomed for JW’s to be friends with non-believers. What really bothers me is when a JW commits a major sin they are ostracized as punishment. This happened when my cousin got a girl pregnant before marriage. I was able to hang out with him and all of our mutual friends but he wasn’t allowed to speak to any of the JW friends we had in common. Kinda crazy.
I can see the point you make where religion is social but there are plenty of social groups. Consider this one! And here we aren’t making demands of you or telling you what to believe… quite the contrary actually.
Precisely. That’s why I like atheists. We don’t have any established social conventions except “be kind to each other”.
How has your life improved since you decided there wasn’t a a god:
More free time.
You two are geniuses.
I’d like to add that –
I have realistic expectations of myself and others.
I have found a moral code that works for me and decreases judgement I feel on myself and others.