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Question for atheists

Benshapiro
Posts: 3,963
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7/18/2014 12:02:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Have you at any point in your life believed in God? If so, what was the turning point when you decided he doesn't exist?
Oryus
Posts: 8,280
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7/18/2014 12:07:09 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Yes.

It was a slow process beginning in elementary school when I started reading the bible on my own. I stopped believing in the Christian god about 6th grade. Then I stopped believing in any kind of "higher power" whatsoever around 16-17ish. Can't really remember.
: : :Tulle: The fool, I purposely don't engage with you because you don't have proper command of the English language.
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Saska
Posts: 33
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7/18/2014 12:27:25 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Yes, when is was in Catholic elementary school. I had many questions that no one (priests nor teachers) could answer my questions and as I got older I realized that they couldn't answer them for me because there was no satisfying answer for me. I didn't become a full out atheist until I was in University, but by high school I had pretty much determined that Christianity was not possibly true.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,095
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7/18/2014 1:16:28 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/18/2014 12:02:12 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
Have you at any point in your life believed in God? If so, what was the turning point when you decided he doesn't exist?

Yep. I am a preacher's kid. (A former preacher's kid, anyway) Once I became independent, I transitioned from Baptist to Episcopalian. For a time, I was a lay Eucharistic minister for all of the services my church provided. I considered (briefly) becoming a priest, and I even assisted in one exorcism.
I eventually came to the conclusion my relationship with the almighty was one sided, and perhaps completely explained by conversations with myself. Any miraculous stories (none of which were mine) could be explained by nothing more than statistics. This realization occurred when I was 35, and it took another 3 years for me to admit I could be wrong about God. I wanted to believe (and still do), but desire is not a sufficient reason to believe. I finally admitted to myself, there was inadequate evidence to embrace the Christian God as an obvious conclusion. As an atheist, I have been completely underwhelmed by the barrage of anecdotal evidence, arguments from ignorance, and confirmation bias theists submit as compelling evidence.
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Beastt
Posts: 5,135
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7/18/2014 3:08:10 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/18/2014 12:02:12 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
Have you at any point in your life believed in God? If so, what was the turning point when you decided he doesn't exist?

I was raised a theist and never even doubted what I'd been brought up to believe. That continued until I was 33-years old and going through a situation, for which every person involved was going to suffer for the apparent outcome. So I did what I'd been taught to do - I prayed. I prayed more deeply, more sincerely, and more genuinely that at any other time in my life because this was of the utmost importance, and for more than simply myself. There were three others whose lives stood to be destroyed.

Within a week, the situation had gotten worse. So I prayed more. I prayed almost constantly. And then the situation got even worse, and then worse still. That was 22-years ago and I'm still living every moment with the negative consequences of those events. I've lived with them each and every day since.

Most theists who hear this story immediately suggest that I'm angry with God but my sense of reasoning never even tipped the scales in that direction. It seemed obvious that if God existed, he was benevolent and since my prayers would have brought the best outcome for everyone and harmed no one, God simply didn't exist. At first I just walked through the possibility, not really taking it as probable. But the more I thought about it, and the longer I endured the difficulty of the situation and saw the lives of other people involved beginning to decay, the more I realized that it actually made far more sense than the beliefs with which I'd been raised.

But I still held to my beliefs and certainly wanted them to be true. So I decided the only reasonable thing to do was to take a half step back, observe reality as objectively as I could, and at some point in the future, apply myself more fully to trying to decide what I believed. I still felt that given enough time, I would find adequate reasons to return to my former faith. But about a year later, I reluctantly admitted to myself that I was an atheist. And the word carried so much negative baggage that I was slow to accept it. But the more I viewed the world through atheist glasses, the more sense it all began to make. There were moments when I was in complete awe how easily, completely and consistently the atheistic view made sense, where the theist view offered only the common platitudes and excuses, "the Lord works in mysterious ways", "God helps those who help themselves", "The Lord's ways are not our ways", "perhaps it's a blessing in disguise".

Theists use these excuses to avoid examining the inconsistencies between their beliefs and reality. But when you stop making excuses for the apparent poor performance of God, you realize that the absence of a God makes far better sense. People like to insist that I read atheist books, watched atheist movies and visited atheist websites. At the time this was occurring, very few people even had access to the Internet and I never even thought to investigate the web as a source of information. The decision was made on my own. And while I do have siblings, I wasn't anxious to share my new-found beliefs (disbelief) with them, for fear of rejection. When the time finally came to mention it to my brother, I was shocked to learn that he had gone from devoutly interested in religion, to essentially the same conclusion I had accepted. And over then next 10 months, I found that both of my other siblings had arrived at essentially the same conclusion. And none of us really discussed this with anyone else while going through the transition. It simply became gradually more and more apparent. And the more we all examined the evidence (and/or lack, thereof), the more astounded we were at how atheism explained what religion never could.
"If we believe absurdities we shall commit atrocities." -- Voltaire
heisnotrisen
Posts: 126
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7/18/2014 3:14:58 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/18/2014 12:02:12 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
Have you at any point in your life believed in God? If so, what was the turning point when you decided he doesn't exist?

Zeus. He looked badass but I was 14 at the time. 10 years later I have no reasons to be compelled that a god is existent amongst us.
muzebreak
Posts: 2,781
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7/18/2014 7:20:10 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/18/2014 12:02:12 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
Have you at any point in your life believed in God? If so, what was the turning point when you decided he doesn't exist?

I guess you could say I did. The turning point for me was when I first read the definition of atheism, and realised that it was even possible to not believe in a god. I spent a few days thinking about it, before I realised I had no good reason to believe in a god, so I stopped.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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7/18/2014 7:24:14 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/18/2014 12:02:12 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
Have you at any point in your life believed in God?

Yup

If so, what was the turning point when you decided he doesn't exist?

When I decided to apply my standards for other things in science and reality to God, and found him an untenable belief. My Christian beliefs were eroded a long time before this though, including the Genesis (& Creation) stories, Jesus etc. My deistic beliefs were hardest to let go.

I was never particularly swayed by evidential evil arguments, even though they appear sound. There was always somewhere for God to wiggle out of it.
irreverent_god
Posts: 1,378
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7/18/2014 8:24:01 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/18/2014 12:02:12 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
Have you at any point in your life believed in God? If so, what was the turning point when you decided he doesn't exist?

I was raised in the christian faith. When I asked how noah got all the millions of animals on the ark, my mother answered, "god did it." When I asked why an all-powerful and all-knowing gawd always required things to die and bleed, my mother answered, "We haven't the right to question gawd's authority or justice." When I stated that killing one's own son for the redemption of sin was stupid and that punishing children for mistakes made by their parents was just stupid, my father answered with the back of his hand. I have despised religion ever since.

I was nine.
Logic and Reason are the precursor to Justice.
Faith and zealotry are the precursor to Folly.
Brendan21
Posts: 294
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7/18/2014 9:48:20 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/18/2014 12:02:12 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
Have you at any point in your life believed in God? If so, what was the turning point when you decided he doesn't exist?

Similar story as the others for myself. I was raised Catholic but my parents are cafeteria style Catholics, which means they basically pick and choose what they believe, but still atleast believe in the Eucharist, which at the time for me was what being Catholic meant. I always remember questioning my faith but coming up with the answer that God is real when I was younger and I was basically doing this to comfort myself, but around 7th grade I really started to ask questions that didn't have satisfying answers. I changed from Catholic to Calvinist, then to Deist, then to Atheist and finally I settled on being a realistic agnostic.
I still remember the feeling when I realized a Christian God wasn't there; sheer terror that I was alone, but after time I realized that just like everyone else, I was and I wasn't.
slo1
Posts: 4,330
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7/18/2014 3:14:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/18/2014 12:02:12 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
Have you at any point in your life believed in God? If so, what was the turning point when you decided he doesn't exist?

late teens, but I started suspicion when I first heard of Abraham and how God asked him to kill his son. While all the other kids were oooing at how much Abraham loved God because he was going to do it, I some how knew that was not love but a bunch of bs.