ANSWERS: 52
  • I went to church, Sunday school etc. because I was told to. I didn't think about it at all; I did it because it was one of those things one does, like going to school. At about 16 I started thinking about it, and realized that I didn't believe a word of it, and so became agnostic. After about thirty more years of thinking about it and occasionally inquiring, I decided I am an atheist.
  • Consider this: Mother Theresa in her last years said she felt an absence of God. Maybe that is what changes people from believers, if it can happen to M theresa it can happen to anyone.
  • I grew up attending church. I was a believer by default - I didn't know until sometime in my teens that I had a choice. I realized I was an atheist after many years of exploring the options. I don't think I ever believed though - I never made a decision to believe and I never had a faith. I'm curious about your uncle. What has he said about his decision?
  • I do believe there is a "higher power" but not the Christian one or any other religion created by humans. I guess that would make me Agnostic. But when you think about it, wouldn't it seem much more likely for the Universe itself to be "God" instead of a human figure? That way every being in the galaxy can relate to it, whearas only people who believe in the Bible can beielve in the Christian God. Tao Hwung has spoken.
  • I became one when I was about 12, I think. When I really started thinking hard about it. It seemed logical to me. I had "believed" all my life, until I started figuring out what terms like "atheist" and "agnostic" meant. I guess I used to think that being a Christian was the only way.
  • My mother was raised Catholic, and tried to teach me about Wicca and Paganism as a child. When I was about 13 years old, I began asking questions of the church and many other religions, and started investigating on my own. After years of battling with beliefs (A battle which I still deal with today, to some extent), I came to the conclusion that the likelihood of God is very slim, and that religion is absolutely unnecessary and destructive.
  • Terms "atheist" and "agnostic" mean different things to deferent people, this link may help… http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/humftp/E-text/Russell/agnostic.htm
  • I am no longer an atheist, but had a similar journey as your uncle I suppose. I was born and raised Catholic, and as I gre into my teens began drawing away from the church and eventually became an atheist. I did a lot of research from both sides trying to find the ultimate truth and the deeper I got into my studies I eventually realized that when it boils all the way down to the beginning that something had to have come from nothing at all at some point, which eventually lead me back to my faith. No scientific explanation can explain something actually appearing from a complete vacuum, and in basic terms understand that it had to be created to be something. Just my thoughts, hope it helps you with your search for answers.
  • What was your yahoo screen name?
  • I was forced to church 4 times a week for about 5 years, went a couple times myself voluntarily. I never did believe, and my non-belief was reinforced after doing a module in philosophy of religion, and doing my physics course/degree.
  • I Never really believed, as a kid we did not go to church but I sometimes went with friends and stuff on sleepovers. As a teen I found myself becoming very spiritual and explored and studied MANY religions very seriously and for a long time, but everything I found seemed a little fairy-taleish to me, and I never found a religion that seemed true or fair or even right to me. Then I realized what it was about religion that attracted me in the first place and I've learned to live my life with those things I like without having to include things that do not work for me, like "God"
  • When you're a kid and your family is religious, and you want to be a GOOD kid, then you have to be religious too. So I was, and I was serious about it. Went to a Lutheran grade school, summer camps, youth group retreats, church every week, prayer every night. The more exposure I had to the real world, the more I had to pull away from the church. What helped that along was that the church I was in got more and more politically strident, and that pretty much pushed me out. When the pastor is telling you gays aren't welcome in the church, and your friends are gay, then pretty soon you conclude that you aren't welcome either. So I was religious but not churched, for a little while. I wanted to study religion on my own, so I started reading the theology and philosophy and history, but that only brought me further away. Reading about the history of the church is a REALLY fast way to become disgusted with it. So then I was "spiritual" for awhile. I didn't want to call myself an atheist for a long time, because I had always been told that atheists were bad people, that they were broken for not being able to "just have faith". I finally came to admit that to myself in my mid-twenties, that I no longer believed and didn't want to pretend anymore. So now I call myself an atheist, though I'm well-versed in the Judeo-Christian tradition.
  • I'm the son, grandson, nephew & cousin of Methodist ministers. In college & seminary, I came out as a gay man & began to understand that religious faith is based on fear-soothing fantasy rather than on reality. I now consider myself an atheistic/agnostic student of naturalistic Buddhism (without supernatural karma or reincarnation).
  • I was raised by a religiously Anglican family. I was taken to church every week. I was taught to love God and Jesus etc. At the age of 13 I got more and more confused about the fact that science is coming up with explanations for events that gods and spirits have been used to explain, life for one. For the next 4 years I was VERY confused. Then I learnt about a scientific explanation for ESP and what not, thus tilted the see-saw! Since the age of 17 I have disbelieved in gods and the immortal soul. Side note: I don't think I ever actually believed but believe that I believed. I can never remember feeling an inner warmth of any kind from being in a house of God yet professed in His existance.
  • I went to church a lot. I believed in it about as long as I believed in Santa.
  • Well when I was little, I blieved in God - mainly because of Religious Education classes etc. But when I reached 12, I knew what I did and didn't believe in. I'm glad I wasn't Christened or anything either - My mum wanted me to make up my own mind about my religion when I was older. But anyways. Yes I did believe for a few years when I was little.
  • I'm agnostic, and I was never raised with blind faith. I was raised to think for myself, and I was given a bunch of philosophy books and told to make up my own mind.
  • I used to believe, but oce my eyes opened to the bigger world, I never went back
  • I was indoctrinated into Christianity when I was a young child. Once I was 11 and passed 6th grade I started to think..and realized there was something wrong with this. After doing some research I just decided that I wasn't going to believe in something with absolutely no proof that requires 10% of my income. If I went out and protested for "The blue lama" instead of "christ" I'd be thrown into a mental institution. Whats the difference? Theres no proof for either one. Oh let me add this in, a little comedy ya know ;).
  • Nope, I've never been a believer.
  • I never believed, not really. I tried.
  • I was raised as a Catholic but after a few years I noticed that the whole resurrection story and the religion itself seemed alittle odd. There were contradictions here and there and the story of Jesus's resurrection, in my point of view, could have been conned by an eccentric Jesus fan that wanted to please his master. I mean Jesus could've arranged a guy to dress up like him and drill holes in his hands and his sides so that he could approach the Apostles and convince them that he was a messiah so that he could start a religion. THAT is the motivation I see when it comes to created the religion. Also do look at what the church has done to the gays, Jews (Spanish inquistion and maybe even had alittle help in the Holocaust. look at the propaganda within the Holocaust. Propaganda against the Jews made them look like pigs, Nazis made Jews look like pigs. Reasons why Church made Jewish people look like pigs is due to their desire to convert the Jews of Judaism unto Christianity by humiliating them. Didn't work) heretics, atheists, Muslims (Crusades) Besides you get in trouble when you speak your mind in that horrible place anyway and to me the freedom of speech is the most important freedom I have so I am going to use it and the Church will do nothing to stop me! HA!
  • they tried to brainwash me in primary school but my IQ is higher than room temperature so i knew it was all bull.
  • for probably the first 10 or 11 years of my life, i just assumed there was a god but never really thought about it; in 7th grade, though, i think i became more agnostic, and now in 8th grade, i am a full on atheist
  • I was born and raised in a Christian family. At age 12 I realized that I didn't believe and I was so ashamed of myself. All the adults at Church and seminary classes were telling me that those without faith have aimless lives and I didn't want to be like that. So I tried, for years, to believe in the faith. The last thing I wanted to be was a black sheep to my family and to live an aimless life. Well... by the time that I was 18, I had enough of the religious B.S. and threw my hands up in the air. The bible says that if your start out with the faith of a mustard seed then it'll eventually grow. If you knock, God will answer. If you seek, you'll find. Well -- I had been fighting for my religiosity for years and I couldn't force myself to believe. I'd argue that belief isn't a choice. (That that disagree... I challenge them to believe in the Tooth Fairy. I'll even give them ten seconds to do it... and no, I'm not comparing god to the tooth fairy. I'm merely saying that belief isn't a choice). When I left the faith, I was clearly brainwashed and all the people I knew kept telling me to give the church "another chance," when I had already given the church about five "last chances". They'd bombard me with questions that I had no answers for but felt obligated to give an answer. So I said some really stupid things. I was so disoriented... People kept telling me that I needed to just "wait" and my prayers would be answered. But I had "waited" ever since I was 12. And they'd compare my situation to Job (which isn't smart, because Job was treated by an obviously unjust deity that made deals with the devil LITERALLY. Yeah, even in mythology making deals with "the devil" equals SCUM). The only thing that I knew about Atheism was what was taught in Sunday school -- and with me living in the Bible belt, I didn't feel as though there was a more reliable destination to get answers and straighten out my brainwashed mind. Using a Church to learn about Atheism isn't a good location. Because they're obviously not going to be just about their assessment of Atheism and Atheists. It took me a year to find out that they had a pseudo definition of Atheism and even of Agnosticism. For a while I considered myself Agnostic... then an Agnostic Atheist. And today, I consider myself Ignostic. (But atheistic as an adjective because it functions as a carpet statement that includes Atheist, agnostics and Ignostics as an Adjective). It took me years to step out of the brainwashing.
  • First of all, your uncle did not get anything out of this practice of going to church and serving as an altar boy. Why? What did he do, just show up each week? Was he in the company of men who were just going through the motions of priest? It's hard to find God in many churches, that's for sure, but just giving up because of one experience, albeit many years of the same, does not guarantee anything. You guys are looking for God in all the wrong places. Look inside yourself. Ask God questions about where He is and test Him. He will answer you.
  • I have never been a Christian. But I have read the bible, and the Quoran, and bits from a lot of other religions. There is much of value there, and also some crap. The sad thing is when people take some of the crap and turn it into the most important thing about their religion. Like rev.Phelps and gays, or the old southern parsons and the story of Noahs son Ham who laughed at Noah and got his descendants (all negroes) condemned to slavery, or suicide bombers, or JVs rejecting blood transfusions, or ... regards JakobA
  • I was raised Catholic. Became a baptist under my old man, and entered Mormonism as a teen. During my adult years I investigated many other churches and religions, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc. My conclusion? They're all bullshit.
  • Grew up catholic but I am not sure if I ever REALLY beleived in God though. My motivation to go to church and pray changed over time before I decided I was an atheist. First, when I was young it was what everybody else was doing. That lasted till I was ~12 years old. After that I identified myself as a christian mostly for the social benifits. Then after earning an engineering degree and reading alot about science I realized that I don't beleive in God.
  • I believed when I was younger because I really wanted to but now I'm agnostic because I still like to have a little hope.
  • I had an upbringing similar to your uncle's. I was an altar boy, went to catholic school where I was warned about learning too much about religion, and even considered becoming a priest at one time. I didn't follow the nun's advise and learned about the religous contradictions, learned science, and learned that priest are not allowed to have sex and weren't paid well. I tried different churches, even Mormon, and Wicca and decided that I prefer logic and science to myth and magical thinking. So gods, saints, and magical thinking were crowded out of my mind by science and math. I am grateful to my science teachers and still afraid of nuns.
  • I'm no longer an atheist, although I went through an atheist phase. Here is a little food for thought. Even if you are raised in a Christian home and go to church every Sunday, you hear about God once a week in church and if you are lucky, maybe in the few minutes you get to spend with your family each evening. You hear the message of atheism (even if they don't call it by name) 6 hours a day, five days a week in school. Who is getting more "air time?"
  • Yes i was religious, my parents brought me up in church since i was born. I had very strong beliefs and i went to church 3 times a week, sometimes more if there were revivals, of course my parents made me go till i was about 17yrs. old but i still strongly believed in it. Untill recently i started reading alot of stuff, watching alot of videos and really studyin and thinkin hard about it and i just came to the conclusion that it was all nonsense and i wasnt going to waste my life anymore always worryin that i could die at any minute and go to hell because i wasn't saved! Religion can cause some real psychological trauma for children and luckily i was open minded enough to explore the other options and i think i made a good decision. I only hope to help others do the same.
  • I was raised Christian, and believed because I didn't know anything else. When I was 17 I formally left the church. I still believed the general Christian story because I never botheredt o think about it much. In my mid 20s, I started to think about it. And reading about it. At that time I started to realize how silly the idea of god is. I was 28 I started using the word "atheist" to describe myself.
  • i have never believed. my mum says she doesnt know for sure, but my dad said he never believed. i was raised to qustion things and not take things on face value, to make my own decisions. i decided that an almighty god surely would not allow part of the world to go starving to death riddled in disease while another part of the world lived in luxury. i just think too much is wrong with the world, with shitty things happening to good people for it to be ruled by a 'fair and caring' god.
  • I only occasionally went to church with my mother when I was younger, and I didn't really believe it then (thought it was rather creepy, actually), but I didn't really think about the subject and of myself as an atheist until a year or two ago, when I started reading and watching presentations by scientists like Richard Dawkins.
  • It was Noah's Ark for me. I thought everyone just thought it was just a parable, then when I heard that people actually believed it happened, that was the deal-breaker
  • For me it was a gradual process to the only logical conclusion.
  • Logic, common sense, rationality etc. But even as an atheist, I think I should just call myself an agnostic leaning towards atheism, because even though all the empirical evidence favors no god, it's still not correct to say 100% that there is no god. But I'm 99.9% sure it's only us (as well as whatever may be on other planets) in the cosmos.
  • Religions are: 'pieces of shit claiming monopoly over assholes'!
  • I was born to atheist parents and raised atheist throughout my childhood. Tried out Christianity in my late teens, but found it didn't work for me. Switched to paganism, that didn't work for me either. Now back to atheist and happy. :)
  • Most likely it was Mad Magazine. Really. Mad magazine and books like Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnagut taught me as an adolesent to question society and our preconceived notions of it. Heady stuff for an impressionistic 13 year old - Mad Magazine and Vonnegut. Later I moved on to The Harverd Lampoon, ( aka - National Lampoon ), Monty Python's Flying Circus, and of course the fantastic "Hitch hikers guide to the galaxy series by Douglas Adams,and that seemed to set my entire outlook on life that I still have today. My outlook? Frankly I see life and humanity as a big farse - that we humans are nothing more then accidents of virtual cosmic impossibility - and that we are still in the evolutionary process and may actually get someplace worthwhile if we don't kill ourselves off first though violence or being burred in our own societal excrement. In short - life is a cosmic joke - and each one of us is a different "punchline" to that same joke. We may get better in time and exist until all the stars burn out - or we may all die out rather quickly as another one of life's evolutionary "dead ends", but at any rate here we are now so enjoy what little life you have left and make the most of it. Anyway - these "it's a miracle" self creating God beings don't fit in to my philosophy....indeed they don't fit in anywhere in reality, ( could you imagine Superman as being real fellow?), - If you can't, then how can you imagine something a billion times more powerful then Superman as being real? It defies logic and everything we know about life and the universe...and it makes our being here on this planet really sort of a sick joke performed by a cosmic mad-man, or insane God-creature if you prefer. I gave up God when I realized he was an impossibility - he's an interesting fairy tale and nothing more.
  • Even as a child I found the whole religious thing just bizarre.
  • A whole lot of things. The biggest? The difference between what they claim and what actually happens.
  • I turned to atheism because i started to question the "absolute rule" of the church. As i was looking from the outside of religion i found that they were all idiot for wasting there time ps: if there is a god and he is as powerful as he they say then he would not be interested in the loyalty of simple creatures like us, we would have no value to him in anyway, and the thought that he would just shows how egotistical the human species is.
  • there was an atheist an agostic and a christian who arrived in hell-the atheist was there because he denied god-the agnostic was there because god had denied him the christian was there for believing all atheists and agnostics should go to hell
  • Rev. Lovejoy preaching the parable of 'Jobb' in 'The Simpsons!' * Atheism is the natural default condition of man. Every man-child is born innocent AND atheist. before their brains ‘washed’ --and minds raped-- by religious blackmail of faith, when the children are dependent, defenceless and most vulnerable. Sometimes this is done with superfluous evangelist ‘spiritual’ rubbish, sometimes by deadly ‘jihadist’ poison instilled in Madrassas. * 'Reverting to atheism' by 'discarding the burden of faith' is a natural process, ideally starting at the age of 12, when a person evolves ‘grows up’ and ‘grows out’ of childhood superstitions, like tooth-fairy, Easter bunny, Santa Claus, Tom & Jerry, angels, spirits, jinn, vampires, werewolves, elves, gremlins, imps, ogres, demons ...and gods! [They all were AWESOME when one believed in them!] * “Wakey, wakey, rise and shine! More and more people are achieving this during their lifetime, if not as early as at age 12! Some fortunates of the newer generation are escaping the brain-wash mind-rape, too.
  • Being told by my aunt to pray for my dad when he nearly died. The whole idea of religion seemed so redundant at the time.
  • When I was extremely young, perhaps seven? My friend took me to his church and I immediately detected some degree of bullshit. It really bothered me that people built this monolithic structure which must have cost a fortune, when it could have been used to donate to charity, which they supposedly supported. But all in all I think I finally lost my faith completely when I saw the Westboro Baptist Church. Those guys do a great job at bastardizing religion.
  • Religion was just too baffling, confusing and befuddling. When the concept of atheism finally settled into my brain it felt like a sense of relief. Like cleaning house after years and years of accumulating clutter and junk.
  • I was raised in a moderately Christian "world". When small - I simply took the stories as basic truths. As I got older I began searching for a more meaningful understanding of god, a relationship with him and all that. Ultimately after seeing the ridiculously huge faults of Christianity I wandered through a few other religions only to find them equally lacking - just dressed up in different colors. But I find your reply interesting. A Jewish friend of mine talked about it being ok to question, argue, fight with and even disbelieve in god in Judaism. He himself was not practicing, probably a hair's breadth from being atheist but had a very active relationship with god. Kinda funny, no? I think I I'd been brought up like that I may never have looked for the deeper meaning and stayed sorta vaguely religious and maybe observant of the rituals and holidays. +5
  • Catholic Grade school can do it too. It's just a reaction to the wrong teachers at the very wrong time.

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