A platform for those of us who identify as Atheists, dedicated to atheistic discussion. Any topic semi-related to atheism (or theism) is welcome, but please, NO BELIEVER BASHING! BE NICE! Same goes for theists with questions about athiesm, we’re actualy very kind and friendly, regardless of what you may have heard, so let’s all agree to be happy 🙂
Welcome! Share your enlightenment story!
- This topic has 9 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 8 years, 10 months ago by Anonymous.
December 20, 2013 at 10:42 pm #1484
First off, WELCOME 🙂 It’s so wonderful to see that there’s a sub community of free thinkers/skeptics/atheists/godless heathens, whatever label you identify with, among us asexuals! So, now that there are nearly 20 of us, I thought i’d start up a sort of welcome thread for us to all say hello and share our story of how we became free from the bindings of religion. I guess it’s only natural that i start, so here goes, i guess 🙂
So, i suppose i should start with a little background. My family never expressed their religious beliefs openly with me and my sister when we were children, although i’m pretty sure their at least skeptical about religion. I can’t really remember my parents teaching us anything at all about religion at all actually, i think they wanted us to find our own answers. Religion just wasn’t (and still isn’t, for the most part) a concern at all for my family. I thimk that i may actually be the only one who gave it any thought, lol. Also, I live in Canada, which compared to the US, is very much so a secular Country (not officially of course, but in practice). So, really my story isn’t that interesting in the grand scheme of things, haha. I unfortunately have no dramatic story of rebelling against religious authority in the name of rationality, or anything like that, which is a good thing i suppose in a way 🙂
However, i do think it is worth mentioning that i only recently, say within the last 6 months or so, started learning about atheism. I learned all the things about religion that made me despise the lunacy and harm it spreads around the world like wildfire. But that is a topic for another day 🙂
In regards to my “enlightenment,” You might find it interesting that I became an atheist as i was exploring my identity as an asexual, so perhaps that’s why i felt compelled to start up this group on this website. Perhaps some of you can relate to that? Anyway, that’s the jist of my story. I’m sure that you guys have much more compelling stories than mine, so I’m looking forward to reading them!December 24, 2013 at 2:18 am #1497AnonymousInactive
I’ll guess I’ll put my story down, though I don’t find it that exciting. Thanks for making this group btw, James! It’s nice to see other aces with the same/similar outlooks.
First off, I’m accepting of other religions. I believe they can be fairly important to people. Religion can help people cope with the world around them (life, death, war, ‘unexplainable occurrences” etc). Imo, some people just inherently hate things they don’t understand… maybe that’s why some wars have started. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but I feel like people should be entitled to their own religion as long as they aren’t harming any other living being. Whatever helps people get through their days man :D!
Anyway, my atheist story: I grew up Christian in a very religious family. I still get told by my grandfather every time I speak with him to pray to God>.>(I haven’t told him I’m atheist b/c it’d hurt him so deeply.) My mother and sister have gotten upset with me on the matter to the point where they almost cry. It’s difficult at times, but I feel like everyone should be entitled to whatever religion or non-religion they want without outside pressures. Science and logic rule most of my brain nowadays, so that’s probably how I reached the conclusion of being atheist. I still enjoy going to church services for the cultural experiences and the sense of community. If I find an SO, I feel like it’d just join them in their religion b/c I’m so indifferent to the matter. I guess it all depends though XD. (sorry for the length)December 24, 2013 at 2:51 am #1499
Thanks for sharing your story! And it was shorter than mine, btw, haha
In regards to the first part, I also feel that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs as long as they’re not hurting people. However, the problem I find with religion is that it DOES cause a lot of harm and spreads prejudice and hipocrisy too 🙁 sad how it tends to work out that way.December 24, 2013 at 3:40 am #1500AnonymousInactive
No I completely agree with you about religion causing many problems:/ But on an individual level it can help people. As a large group it creates more problems though. Well at least that’s the way I think about it… It is causing a lot of problems nowadays though especially with LGBTQ rights. And it caused many genocides >.> yey happy convos!December 25, 2013 at 9:33 am #1506AnonymousInactive
Well my previous religion is Islam and I can tell that religion is not the only way to find answers about life!
And I couldn’t find answers in that religion or any religion so I decided to find answers by myself.March 9, 2014 at 6:37 pm #2007EmilyParticipant
I’m not necessarily atheist, but I’m confidently agnostic and I love talking about religion to anyone with an open mind. I grew up Catholic, starting early in private school and switching to catechism when my parents enrolled me in public school instead. I realized in eighth grade as I was about to be confirmed that I had no reason to believe in anything I’d been taught up until that point and that I never genuinely believed in any of it to begin with. It was really life-altering because it was so sudden, and eighth grade in general was just a really dark year. I was just realizing that I had no idea who I was, what I actually liked, what I actually believed, because my whole life up until that point was taking in what other people gave me to take in. That’s just what growing up is, that’s how you develop the basis of who you are, but at the time I was only bitter by the perception that nothing I thought was my own. So that year was filled with confusion and denial, because though I knew there were many flaws in what I’d been taught to believe, it was all I thought I’d known my whole life and accepting that change is painful. The following year was better; a transition between bitterness and acceptance. Since then, I’ve been very okay with the fact that no religion is certain and aware that I don’t need it, instead believing in music, art, words, nature, friends, family. It’s okay that my mom gets more religious every year, because that and her children are what give her purpose and relief. It’s really not individual religious practice I find problematic, because people should believe in whatever makes them feel full, whether it’s in the reassurance of a supernatural creator or in the simplicity of friendship. What I don’t like though is organized religion, because while claiming to bring people together, I think more than anything it tears humanity apart, whether completely intentional or not.
I just started college this year and took a philosophy class for the first time and just talking about the arguments for and against religion is interesting. If anyone wants to talk about anything that has them caught up, that’d be awesome. Topics like this are great with open-minded people because they can go into so many directions.September 2, 2014 at 6:52 am #3183Tal SpekParticipant
Hello. I am Tal and I am not truly an atheist.
I was raised by atheist parents, but until I was four, I would talk about god in a theistic manner because I was taught to believe in kindergarten. Then I shook that free, which made for over a thousand different conversations and arguments with my religious grandfather. I was an atheist.
Then I stumbled across an Asimov’s “Nine Tomorrows”. Reading “The Last Questuon” made me question my resolve, and in a short while I became agnostic.September 2, 2014 at 9:33 pm #3189
To those of you who say you aren’t necessarily atheist: all that atheist means is “lacking a belief in any god/gods” so if you don’t believe in any god, then congratulations! You’re an atheist. Also, agnosticism isn’t really the middle ground between theism and atheism. Those two things are belief claims whereas gnosticism/agnosticism are claims about knowledge. For example, I’m an agnostic atheist, because I cannot prove either way whether or not a god exists, but I do not believe personally that such a thing exists. Just to clarify 🙂
If you’re on the fence it might be more accurate to say you are questioning or whatever. That’s just my suggestion however, sorry for the lengthy clarification 🙂September 14, 2014 at 8:58 pm #3303Kyra LewisParticipant
Glad to see an atheist group on this site! 😀
My story isn’t anything fancy. I was raised Christian… sort of. We didn’t really discuss the notion of god, didn’t go to church, but we celebrated most of the standard holidays. I did once go to Cathloic mass, but it was the most boring thing I had ever experienced and I fell asleep after a while. Until the age of 10 I honestly didn’t know what religion I was “supposed” to be, so when my grandmother said that we were Christian, I agreed with it without much thought.
Around the time I was twelve, I was exposed to Jesus Camp and the Westborough Baptist Church. I knew, even then, that this did not represent what Christianity is all about, but I have always been very conscious of what groups I associate with in terms of my personal beliefs. I didn’t want to be in any way associated with that, so I made the personal decision to become a Deist very quickly. I still believed in god and prayer, but I couldn’t bring myself to be part of religion anymore.
When I was around 14 or so, I started thinking about the concept of belief. I was an agnostic by 13, I believe, but I can’t be too sure about it. I went through a deep depression due to the emotional abuse my mother heaped on me at the time. I don’t exactly bear a grudge for this– she was struggling with her own depression and her husband (my father) becoming deathly ill with Leukemia– but it made most of my teenage memories unclear, clouded, and made me constantly question them. However, I remember my decision to abandon the belief in god quite clearly. I was going home after a week at my grandmother’s, and I looked up at the sky, asking myself if I could honestly believe there was something up there, watching and managing every life in this world and deciding it’s fate. I just… couldn’t. I started watching various atheist youtubers after that to see if I could find a bit more information on this new decision I made, and I found myself very quickly realizing that this is what made logical sense to me. It was like a missing puzzle piece that suddenly fit into place, and it only seemed to make more sense as time went on. I’ve been an Atheist for 6 years now and I don’t regret it in the slightest. In fact, I’m happier. I feel more in control of myself, my life, and my choices, which is something I don’t get to experience much in my home life.
Thank you for making this forum post. 😀 It’s good to get this all off of my chest.November 6, 2014 at 11:40 pm #3773AnonymousInactive
It’s really cool to read all these interesting stories of conversion, so to speak. I never really thought to ask someone about what led them to atheism.
I wasn’t raised with any strong religious ideals, my family never went to church and we never discussed Christian doctrines in depth. I said my prayers with my mom before going to sleep, and she read a couple of stories from the children’s bible to me and my brother, and that was about the extent of our relationship with religion. I associated those experiences as something connected with my mother rather than a higher power. I actually questioned the existence of a god as a small child. I’m not sure how the idea that god is always watching was embedded in my head (maybe schoolmates?), but it freaked me out that some omnipotent being in the sky was apparently watching over me 24/7, but at the same time, it didn’t seem very realistic or possible.
In 8th grade, I had to read the book “Night” by Elie Wiesel about his experiences in the Nazi concentration camps, and he wrote something questioning his faith in God. I’m not sure what it said exactly, I’m not even sure if I interpreted what he’d meant in the right way, but that line and the book as a whole were enough of an impetus for me to stop believing.
Immediately after that, I identified as atheist, but my mother was like “Oh, you’re just atheist because Jenn on Dawson’s Creek is atheist.” Not true at all, it was merely a coincidence. I didn’t even identify with or like her character, but I digress. I’ve never asked her about it, but maybe she was a little disappointed. She doesn’t seem to care now.
A couple years later, it felt too extreme for me, so I started identifying as agnostic under the false impression, as James pointed out, that it was the middle ground between theism and atheism. But then I learned what atheism really was and now identify as an atheist who finds religion interesting from an anthropological perspective.
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