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When/how'd You Realize You Didn't Believer In The Stuff


BillAlex
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I was about 15 when I realized I thought religion and the idea of a deity was hogwash. I wasn't raised religiously, so I'm not an ex-anything, me or my parents weren't churchgoing, god-loving, typical bible-brandishing people who put god into every thing they do. We didn't really mess about with religion at all. However, if someone had asked me if I believed in god I would have said yes because when I was younger I just thought it was something people do. People eat, people sleep, people God.

 

Then when I was 15 and I made a Facebook and under religious preferences I was going to put Christian but then I stopped, and I thought about it, and ended up thinking, "Goddamn, this makes no sense. This is coming from the same people who thought the earth was f******ng flat!" So I put atheist instead and that's it. No one acts any different to me because I don't act any different to them...unless they try to god me up.

 

So, now, I want to know, when did you realize you didn't believe it.

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Fully, about a year ago. After I decided I wanted to be educated on the subject and not just buy into the religion bc everyone else did.

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I was fortunate to have not grown up in a church-going, bible-reading family, either. So no indoctrination to recover from. But like you, I just said, "yep, I believe in God" whenever asked. Best to be safe. But I was young so I didn't give it much critical thought until 23, when my good friend started talking to me about God and love and Jesus. Then I dove right in. Five years later I am completely free of it.

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I never even really thought about it, I'd see it on billboards and stuff, and I'd see bibles and whatnot, but I wouldn't even stop to think about it, it was just a thing.

 

Then when I got older I thought more. And I figured out that the idea of god(s) is as dumb as the idea of Santa Claus.

 

Thankfully, I'm in college right now (in Mississippi, no less) where the population of actual bible brandishing god fiends is low enough where I can avoid them, although they do have bible handouts sometimes.

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First doubt I can remember...age 7 or 8.

 

Then came a decade of trying desperately to convince myself, with periods of varying success. Then came a few years of "drifting away" but still believing to varying degrees.

 

And then last November, age 25, one morning I just realized I was an atheist.

 

Never was comfortable with it, it never did fit. But during my whole run I sure never thought I'd wind up here.

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When I was 14, I read a book that said salvation's ultimate purpose is to make people praise God for saving them. The fate of people's souls was not a top priority, and I had always believed the opposite. I had been having doubts, but quitting had never occurred to me until I read that. Actually, apostasy was not a choice--my faith snapped and then I knew I didn't believe it anymore.

I was high for a while, thinking I could do anything (legal) I wanted with no consequences, until the old "believe in X or die" worries came back. It took me a while to decide maybe I don't need religion, any religion, at all.

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So you were able to get out of that 'it's not god, i must not be good at understanding' phase, that's good.

 

I have seen(although not knew personally) people who cling to and come up with all manner of crap to hold on to it. That 'you can't understand god, you're only human' makes me laugh

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I was 38, but for the previous few years I was having huge difficulties with the idea of original sin and Adam and Eve. I took a seminary course on Romans, and came away without any satisfactory answers.

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Looking back, I was so close during my teen years, but it would have to wait until mid to late 30's before it all fell apart. I read the Bible through in a year because I thought it would be good for my faith. Instead, it was the beginning of the end. I can't say that there was a moment in time when I knew it was over, as for me it was a process over several months of intense study and my last prayers as a Christian were for God to lead me to the truth.

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Been having doubts for awhile, but some things posted on exchristian.net really make me think. Like the deuteronomy verse about if a woman is raped she has to marry the rapist and total difference between the new and old testaments with one being pro killing and genocidal. Also, as McDaddy pointed out: How many christians do you see actually bearing fruit.

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1 year ago at age 32. I started Genesis as a Christian wanting to take my faith more seriously and finished Revelation (actually didn't even finish the old testament before reaching the conclusion) as an atheist.

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I was about 15 when I realized I thought religion and the idea of a deity was hogwash. I wasn't raised religiously, so I'm not an ex-anything, me or my parents weren't churchgoing, god-loving, typical bible-brandishing people who put god into every thing they do. We didn't really mess about with religion at all. However, if someone had asked me if I believed in god I would have said yes because when I was younger I just thought it was something people do. People eat, people sleep, people God.

 

Then when I was 15 and I made a Facebook and under religious preferences I was going to put Christian but then I stopped, and I thought about it, and ended up thinking, "Goddamn, this makes no sense. This is coming from the same people who thought the earth was f******ng flat!" So I put atheist instead and that's it. No one acts any different to me because I don't act any different to them...unless they try to god me up.

 

So, now, I want to know, when did you realize you didn't believe it.

 

 

In exactly the same way as you, under the same circumstances. I was never really a Christian per se, but on Christmas Eve we went to the local episcopalian church and said prayers and following along to some irrelevant and context-less passage in a totally incomprehensible book they had there.

 

What a crock of shit.

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Was never a christian with a hard-on for jesus but just kinda sat on the fence for a good while. After living in Japan for several years and visiting numerous shrines it just clicked one day that their gods were no more real than anyone else's, that we're all born ignorant of any god, that a lot of it depended on where you were born and how you were raised, and nothing supernatural or divine was involved in bestowing a person with a faith. That was about 20 years ago.

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I'm not sure how, but I was 13 or 14 when I realized I no longer bought into the stories. I just didn't. It took me quite a few years to come to terms with it and be open about it though.

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Though it wasn't until earlier this year that I came to terms with the fact that there is almost certainly no god, I had already begun to despise christian culture the year before. It wasn't much of a loss anyway, as I only took my faith seriously enough to get pissed when atheists said bad things about gawd (because I knew they were true), not enough to pray and read the bible every day or make an ass out of myself trying to witness to everyone.

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Officially left about 4 months ago, but having been doubting for a couple of years. The Straw the Broke the Camels Backs was definitely my college's 2 quarter writing course, themed "self and society". We read all the religious books for the "self" portion of the class, including "Existentialism" by Jean Paul Sartre and The Epic of Gilgamesh, which shares a similar flood story to the Bible (and is probably where the bible got it from). The society section included books like The Communist Manifesto and Civilization and Its Discontents, but the most influential was "On the Genealogy of Morals" by Nietzsche. Everything he wrote about just clicked with me, and I knew that I couldn't go on with Xianity. So I didn't.

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I don't really have a "moment" when I didn't believe. There was never a really big epiphany. Losing my faith was long and gradual like continental drift.

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There was never really a "moment" though there were a few months in my life where I voraciously consumed as much knowledge as I could, so I suppose that could be my "ah ha!" moment. But throughout my life there was always this..."itch" in the back of my mind. A bunch of strangers crowding together on the same day of the week to sing together to an empty room always seemed off to me. Things about the Bible, the OT, the contradictions in the NT stuck out to me, but I always seemed to bury the feelings of dissonance. I think what, ironically, started me on my road to de-conversion was reading a book recommended by a ton of Christian friends, "The Shack". I remember reading it and thinking, "this is disgusting". It's a book written to try and justify the evil and suffering we find in the world. I thought to myself that this is a giant emotional plea, where the author is trying to dress up an ugly topic (pedophilia, rape, murder, torture, grief, guilt) into a neat little package where God is portrayed both as Aunt Jemima (God the Father), a hippy carpenter (Jesus), and a zen Asian woman (Holy Spirit). I found it to be stupid, offensive, and childish. It forced me to confront many of my own beliefs. There was a ton of other things like my college education, a few friends coming out as gay, my family becoming more fundy etc...but when I reminisce I always remember there being a small, "itch" in the back of my brain, even when I was trying to be sincere.

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At 15, I had a crisis of faith, and picked up the bible, because the answer was there. Well, it was, in Genesis 3. I got so pissed at that chapter, I punched the book across the room and renounced Abraham's god. Thank Netjer that was before all that baptism nonsense my sister was pushing for.

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for me, the de-conversion is linked to the failure of my marriage and all the bullshit I had thrown my way by the "loving family of the church of god." The final straw came about a year of so again when I was given a "prophesy" about god seeing me like "a tin of beans in a supermarket, that god was going to take home and heat up on his cooker."

 

This was the moment that I started to think that people were just making all sorts of shit up in their heads as they went along. I then started to think that if people in Northern Europe can make stuff up in the 21st century, were they doing the same in 1st century Palestine? I found several de-conversion sites and spent many hours on here until last Christmas when I finally let go.

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for me i was indoctrinated as a child. I was always a critical thinker but generally swept religion's implausible arguments under the rug. Better safe than sorry, right plus god would sort out the details for you in heaven. For me it started with getting in touch with my emotions and psychology. as I got in touch with my emotions (how I felt and why) I became aware of what made me feel like I felt. Once I learned this the "holy spirit" practically vanished. Then god little by little became more and more un-necessary. The whole process took two years. It snowballed from sweeping it under the rug to gradually becoming an information monster learning the in and outs of everything there is to know about christianity. It was completely different viewing it objectively and once you step out of the bubble you can't go back in.

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When I left the Church 11 years ago I still thought I was a Christian, just not quite the same type of Christian. I don't know why, but I never sought out another Church, and just gradually fell away. For a long while I was very confused about my beliefs, but about 3 years ago I read something about Humanism and realised that was what I believed and that I was probably an atheist. It's taken a close bereavement to prove to myself that I no longer have any spiritual belief whatsoever.

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I think I really started doubting after 2 years of nightly prayer and nothing ever came from it. I was in my teens and my family was severely lower-class just making ends meet. My "friends" told me perhaps my prayers were too selfish. We were just scraping by, and asking for help was selfish! God, get fucked!

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I think it's terrific to ask this question. It's eye-opening even for me to see the differences in how we got to where we are now.

 

I've been deconverted longer than you've been alive, I think, Bill :) I was raised Catholic and worked my way through various Protestant denominations as I headed closer and closer to what I saw as "the original Church teachings," and even married a fundamentalist preacher/youth minister midway through college. All kinds of shit happened to make me doubt that God was real or that the Bible was true--my husband was a liar and manipulator but everybody said he had the Spirit all in him and treated him like he walked on water; I could clearly see that the Bible promised that ALL prayers would be answered in the affirmative, but that they really weren't; Christians didn't act any better than non-Christians; when I actually read the Bible God seemed less and less infallible and more and more man-created and cruel; oh and that Problem of Evil. I took a lot of history classes thinking I'd learn more about Jesus, and discovered that there's no evidence whatsoever that Jesus even existed, much less that he was divine.

 

It all snowballed from little tickle at the back of the mind, tiny doubts that I ruthlessly quashed, niggling concerns that I ignored, till one morning I woke up on a Sunday amid a quiet mental avalanche and realized with crystal clarity that I didn't have to go to church anymore, that it was pointless even to pretend when I had better things to do with a gorgeous free morning. I divorced the lying shitbag husband not long after and took up Communism, baby-killing, and witchcraft AND IT WAS AWESOME. Oh wait, no. I became a productive member of society, lived more honestly than I ever had in my previous life, and traveled and loved with wild abandon before meeting just the right man. And learned to drive a stick.

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and even married a fundamentalist preacher/youth minister midway through college. All kinds of shit happened to make me doubt that God was real or that the Bible was true--my husband was a liar and manipulator but everybody said he had the Spirit all in him

 

 

Curious if your ex was a "true believer" behind closed doors? Since everyone thought he was such a great, spirit-filled Christian and all... I ask because recently Ihad lunch with an active church member, and she talked about God using me for this and that. I told her I no longer believed, which is why I haven't been in church for the past two months or so. Later on, she told me "there is a disconnect between nonbeliever and believers, because the Holy Spirit isn't present in in the nonbeliever's body." Had I not told her, she would have thought the Holy Spirit was there and alive. It angers me to be told I can no longer have "real" relationships without God.

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