I have a question for those that haven't been part of any religion or haven't believed that there is any god for at least 15-20 years. What has changed since you decided to stop being part of a religion and made up your mind that a god does not exist? Can you see any major improvements? Are we actually making any progress at all? I just like the opinions of people that have been free of religion for several years to see what has actually changed in a bigger interval.

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Well, our new governor (Alabama) in his inaugural speech today said  that if we aren't brothers and sister in Christ, he's not our brother or sister.  So, I guess things here in Bama ain't gotten any better.
For me, losing my religion was a long drawn out affair.  I actually think it happened in stages.  By the end of it I found myself rather disoriented I think, but that dissipated long ago.  I think the biggest changes I perceive are in how society views atheists.  It used to be that when I said I was atheist, people just said something stupid like, "Yeah, but like Christian atheist?"  Atheism itself seems to have become far more mainstream, and with it society has had to start to deal with us way more than ever before.  I'm interested in seeing where this process goes.

"Yeah, but like Christian atheist?"

 

People have actually said that? WOW!!!

I think that a lot of people only used to think of atheists as what I like to call 'disillusioned Christians' or 'Church Haters'.  Many theists just can't imagine that anyone truly believes there is no god, they can only think of it in terms of being angry with god at the moment.
It don't help that so many people proclaim themselves Jewish atheists...
Well, I haven't been an Atheist for 15-20 years yet. But I can already comment on the question of if we're making any progress. I think that is a definite yes! In just the past decade or less it seems much more common to hear of someone being an Atheist, we actually advertise or existence, stats on the number of non-believers in countries is going in out favor (albeit quite slowly). But on a personal level, I think that even though coming out Atheist can still be social suicide, that result isn't as common or exaggerated as it used to be. I also enjoy conversing with others about theology, and I feel that I have done my small part to show some theists that we are good people too, and that Atheism can be a well reasoned destination rather than a knee jerk reaction. That may be the best place to make inroads. Dispel misconceptions, then educate from there.
Is it enough that they know that we are good too? Shouldn't they know that they are bad? Or at least some of them, the ones that actual run the show? I find it odd that we're the ones trying to prove ourselves worthy of their acknowledgment. Not we, other non-believers, because I'm not trying to prove anything to anyone, especially to people I have no respect for.
I see it as baby steps. If they think we are intrinsically evil, they will never listen to what we have to say. However, once we are accepted they may be more receptive. I certainly wouldn't say that they are all bad. Like you said some are, but not all. However it is their belief that can be viewed as bad or as the very least a crutch that is holding themselves and progress back.

From what you've said, I can state that you're among the luckier ones, that had gotten over the god problem pretty early, and that had support from someone close (your mother).

 

 

There is less fire and rebellion to becoming an atheist, which can be a bit dull, but perhaps it is making it more accessible for those who are losing their faith.

 

When I finally realised that I can't believe in (a) god anymore, it didn't felt like I was doing something rebellious at all. It was very normal and right, and it felt like I was supposed to do that a long time ago. The main feeling was relief. So I guess you're right, it is a bit dull, especially after a while. But that doesn't mean it's necessarily a bad thing. It slowly becomes something normal, natural, just another part of you.

I cant answer this question because even though I have been an atheist the proper amount of time, I am only 29.  I have been atheist since before I knew the word.  I have no idea how things might be different if I grew up believing and then lost the faith later in life.
Well, it doesn't matter how old you are, if you can notice a difference, or that it is no difference between now and ten years ago in how you deal with the world and with other people and how other people deal with you and other atheists, and with the world.

From a similarly zero religiosity background, frankly the only change I have experienced myself is the entry of my atheism into the political sphere.

 

-I used to think religion could be a personal affair, I now see that as false.

 

-I used to abide by the mantra "freedom of religion" and now feel that's an oxymoron.

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