What is your religious background

A group of agnostic and atheist fapstronauts to get come together chat about recovery.

  1. Just wondering what was your religion before becoming atheist/agnostic and what made you leave that religion.
    Mine was islam although I left it very early in my life 12-13 years.I was always interested in science and learning new things and one day I read a book by a muslim scholar that was supposed to disprove the evolution.It did the opposite and after I read that book I left my old religion.
    How about the rest of you?
     
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  2. Neurostudent

    Neurostudent Fapstronaut

    I was raised Christian, but became an atheist when I was 16 - 17 years old after a year of being agnostic. I was raised in a very small community and didn't even really know that people didn't believe in God until I was 13. I had believed in evolution though for as long as I could remember, which caused several debates between my mother (who is extremely religious) and I. One thing I will say about my mom is that she's extremely intelligent and loved to debate ideas despite her religion. That definitely gave me the skills and mindsets that led to my atheism.

    Around 15 years old I went to school in a larger city and started talking to people who were atheists and it definitely became a point of tension where I would argue for the side of religion. Around this time I also started going to r/atheism which was full of memes and at first it was just to laugh about the funny shit extremely religious people did, but over time I was exposed to a lot of the arguments against religion. This is what made me agnostic.

    I'd say the deathblow to my religious belief though was when I was reading the fantasy series, "the Wheel of Time," and was exposed to all the different theories about the Dragon and the Creator. Great books by the way, you should definitely read them. They're also making a show. Anyway, the series really drove home how religion could spread and change and warp into something completely different over time. I saw the same parallels in every religion.

    At that point the only thing keeping me from being an atheist was fear. I remember laying awake one night just staring up at the ceiling and this wave of anxiety overcame me. I had been raised to believe that the devil was real, that demons could possess you and drag you to hell. Part of me was absolutely terrified that all these thoughts I was having would condemn me to hell, and yet I couldn't shake the fact that God just probably didn't exist. I remember whispering to myself, "God isn't real." For those of you who were raised atheist or just raised not to believe in demons, you may never understand how intense of an experience that is. I was legitimately afraid at 17 years old that the devil would appear at the foot of my bed and take my soul to hell. When it didn't happen there was nothing more to it. I was an atheist.
     
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  3. Thank you for telling your story it is nice to see how other people developed their identity
    I heard about these books and have some basic knowledge about them.I will definitely read them when I find the time.Thanks for the recommendation.
     
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  4. Diderik

    Diderik Fapstronaut
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    I was b------d C------c as an infant and raised in the C------c f---h until 12 years old, when I walked into the kitchen and sheepishly declared, "Mom, there is no g-d. I'm an a-----t." She and I had a nice talk in which she expressed that I was free to believe what I thought was true, and that she loved and accepted me. She wanted her kids to be C------c, but she accepted those of us who no longer believed.

    I did not leave the C------c c----h officially until age 45, in 2015. I thought it was going to be hard, but I found it very simple. I mailed my bishop a letter saying I was in my right mind and was an a-----t, that I did not want to be a part of what the Catholic church stood for, and that I went to the Center for Inquiry as an a-----t. I got a letter of defection back about a week later. It was the best day of my life.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
  5. Diderik

    Diderik Fapstronaut
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    I did not practice C---------m since age 12, although technically I still belonged to the c----h. I wanted friends, so at age 26, I joined a c--t (not cunt) called the International C------s of C----t at the same time. Now I was a C------c cultist who just called himself non-denominational C-------n. We did not believe that we were in a c--t. It was bad; you should have seen the weird practices like dating exclusively people who were in the same c----h and devoting many hours every week to services and devotional times with mentors called "Discipleship Partners." They were not partners; they told you what to do, who not to date, how to act, and what to think, all based on the church leadership dictates (albeit not a direct order, it was more questioning until you got tired of justifying).

    When I was 38, I finally left the c--t, once again an a-----t. I could not believe how much time and effort I had wasted during the peak years of my life, just falling for lies. I joined another c----h to play in their band and I was sure to tell them upfront that I did not believe in G-d. I only joined for the community. This was a much more normal, healthy church. I left it about five years later, in 2013 at age 43. It was then that I bought my first a-------c book, edited by Christopher Hitchens, called The Portable A-----t. It was awesome. I had trouble reading long books, so I got this one because it consisted of short, maybe 5-page excerpts, essays, and articles by various a------s.

    Since 2013, I have read probably 10-20 a-----t books. I buy them used so that I can get them cheap and read them multiple times. This is the best chapter in my life, along with ages 12-26 when I was first an a-----t (but then I was technically still C------c, so it was not quite the same-- I did not realize how much it would mean to me to leave the c----h).

    Now at 50 years old, I have been an a-----t for a total of more than half my life.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
  6. peregrine-sloth

    peregrine-sloth Fapstronaut

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    I grew up in a non-religious household, but I thought god existed when I was younger. I saw the word "God" every where: On coins, dollar bills, in the pledge of allegiance, and every body I knew that wasn't family spoke about god in a matter of fact way. So I believed as well, sort of, but I had no idea what I was at the time. I thought I was a christian for believing in god because I was 10 and had no idea what religion actually was. When I was about thirteen and started learning just how big this universe was and how little we knew about it, and the fact that I had just learned that many ancient religions no longer had any believers, I kind of put two and two together. I stopped believing in god, more because I realized just how little god meant in my life, and the fact that everybody was also up there own asses with respect to god. (I'm from Utah, Mormons take their religion very seriously here, and have a holier-than-thou mentality with anybody that isn't also Mormon.)

    But yeah, I grew up in a non religious household, thought god existed because it was stated everywhere by everyone, and then I grew up enough to start thinking for myself and realized, "nah, no it isn't."
     
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  7. Diderik

    Diderik Fapstronaut
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    A huge majority of US citizens think they are ‘supposed to’ believe in God. Young kids who have not learned reality versus fantasy get taught the false god, and if not shown critical thinking or introduced to other ideas like the ‘death’ of many god-beliefs, they often grow up believing in him.

    I had the good fortune of atheistic older brothers who taught me how (not what) to think.
     
  8. Diderik

    Diderik Fapstronaut
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    I---m has a death penalty for apostasy. Did you get any threats for leaving?
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
  9. Escapist17

    Escapist17 Fapstronaut

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    I was raised Christian, in that vague Church of England way. I was a true believer though, until about 17, when I went through a de-conversion process which took about a year or so, and was heavily influenced by Dawkins & Hitchens et.al, as well as the YouTube atheist movement which sprung up on YouTube around that same time.
     
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  10. Diderik

    Diderik Fapstronaut
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    @Escapist17 It is great to hear your story. Thanks for sharing it! Hitchens and Dawkins inspire a lot of nascent a------s (no, not assholes), myself included around 2013-15 when I read them finally.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
  11. KSE_[1]

    KSE_[1] Fapstronaut

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    I am a former Christian turned Neopagan. I still haven't chosen a path. I like atheists and agnostics though, they're very down to earth.
     
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  12. Diderik

    Diderik Fapstronaut
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    <censoring mine>

    When I became an a-----t, I pushed back against r------n for about ten years. Now, I am married to a C-------n. She and I see eye-to-eye on r------n, actually. She does not like any organized r------n she has ever encountered, and neither do I. She believes in her own version of a g-d, and she does not try to convert me; nor do I try to deconvert her.

    My wish for you is when you do choose your path, that you are kind and gentle about it, not pushy like I was for the first decade of my a-----m this time around (I was an a-----t earlier in my life as well, and then became a C-------n for 12 years before coming back to a-----m for good). We will have a lot kinder influence on people with grace than with aggressiveness. Dawkins and Hitchens are great, but remember that people have real feelings, and they will push back if you push on their religion, so even if you are trying to persuade people, your best bet is to be nice. That is what I learned: Don't be a dick about the path you choose. This, of course, is not to say that you would act as I did. It's a warning just in case.

    I hope everyone is well and happy today. Have a great one!
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
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