Our first story this week is a short one from Hope:
I grew up in a very religious household. Ever since I could remember, I was always told that I should forever love and believe in god. At around 12 years old I started to doubt god’s existence. I would waver between a nonbeliever to a believer – mainly because the thought of hell terrified me. After a while I realized that there’s no point in practicing a religion I did not believe in nor agree with, so I decided to become a complete nonbeliever. Other factors that led me to becoming an atheist were the hardships and bigoted members that being in a catholic family. put me through because of my sexuality, and I have a lot of grudges with the way religion works in general.
Here’s another short one from Phillip, a brand new atheist:
Hi my name is Phillip and I am pretty new to being an atheist. I didn’t have straight forward path to how I believe. I was semi-raised in church growing up but I really became a christian around the age of 15. I was happy for a while just going through life, relying on faith. As I grew older I began to question everything, probably as most teenagers do. I questioned how what I believed could be the one, right way when there were so many other people out there with many other religions. I walked away from the church about two years later and didn’t take a look into religion until about five years later. But to no surprise to myself, I couldn’t cover my eyes again. I always relate my experience to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. After struggling over the course of the past year I finally came to the conclusion about a month ago that I’m an atheist. I haven’t been in situations where I’ve told a lot people about my beliefs but I’m sure I’ll come across them eventually. I’m sure I lose and gain friends over this decision but at the end of the day we all believe what we choose. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to tell my story!
And finally, a more in-depth explanation from @mabam70:
I was quite religious when I was a child. I liked going to church even when my parents didn’t want to. They still had to get me to the Sunday School every Sunday. I read my Children’s Bible (a version of stories from the bible adapted for children with pictures) that every child gets if they are Baptized. Even though I liked the stories in it, I found some strange things when I compared the stories I read in my bible with the stories I found when looking for other neat stuff in the grown-up bible. My children’s bible was only small bits and pieces from the “real” bible. The real bible had so many things that I found distasteful. I asked about that in my Sunday school and they said “well, we don’t have to read everything, only the things that are nice” or something in that direction, don’t remember the exact quote. So when I kept on asking about other stories and why this or that happened I was also basically told to forget everything that is in the Old testament because that was other times before Jesus. So, the older I got the more I questioned the message from the Bible, I started questioning why not all Christians could be in the same church if they all read the same book, I questioned why there were other religions, like Islam, Jews, Buddhists and so on. I found no answers and no one in the church system seemed to be willing to answer them either. When I came to the time of my confirmation, I decided that this was the make or break moment. I immersed myself in religion, studied everything, studied contradictions and asked myself “is god really necessary?”. I discussed with my parents and got the news that they weren’t particularly religious, and only called themselves Christians because “well, we don’t believe but it’s cultural”. I had many conversations with my confirmation priest. She agreed with me that my views on why god was not necessary and that there were really no good reason to believe in God unless you have had a personal revelation was logical. She told me that she felt warmth coming from her belief in God, but that she could not blame me for wanting proof. I went through with my Confirmation, knowing that I was now Agnostic. The more life happened, the more I learned about the world. I saw less and less need for a God or Gods, I also saw less and less reasons to believe in a God. I came to the conclusion at age 30’ish that now I am an Atheist. I no longer believe there is a God or Gods. I no longer believe supernatural things exist. There are no Ghosts, Unicorns or Gods. There is no Santa and no Tooth Fairy either. Magic does not exist. It made me feel better in the end. There is no need to feel bad because your prayers are not answered. It is hard to get answers from nothing. People who say that prayer works; The mind can play tricks on people, they pray and then answers the prayer themselves with a solution to their problems. That is how the mind works. Visualize the problem, mull it over and suddenly “Ah,there are my car keys!” I hope my ramblings have not bored anyone. And if I have offended anyone with anything I have written my response is “pull up your big boy/girl pants and stop whining, they’re only words and my thoughts”. My only regret is that I didn’t come to the Atheism realization much much earlier in my life. Then I might have been more studious in School to learn more about our universe and the laws that governs it.