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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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.

I say let the dirty south do whatever they want...let em try to split from the union again. lol sorry southerners.

I gained an extra day on the weekend.

 

I guess that's true for those that actually went to church on sundays, while still being a part of a religion. I wasn't one of them, so I've always had a full weekend. Is that all that has changed for you? At least is something you can enjoy.

It has changed only the way I view others and common language. Little things like "Thank god" irk me a little inside, especially working in the health care industry, I saved your life, dumbass, not an imaginary person. Everyone knows I'm an atheist, and being in the south it can be comical to watch everyone look at me like I'm the one that's unintelligent for championing facts and science over a fabricated story. It really is amazing! You notice just how immoral people around you behave on a regular basis, but think that you are evil because you don't buy into their bullshit.

I'm going on my 10th year as an atheist, it took me almost 3 years to go from witnessing door to door to standing in the rain in front of friends calling their "god" a pussy if he didn't strike me down with lightning all the while laughing at them for being so gullible. LOL I need to move out of the south, out of America actually, it is going to be a theocracy if the idiots have their way!

It seems there were two different interpretations of the question:

i) What has changed in the individual answering the question since coming to atheism?

ii) What has changed in culture/ society with regard to atheism over the decades?
I had in mind the second one when I started this discussion, but I don't mind people answering the first one too.
So, I guess there's not much progress after all if the increasing number of non-believers only gives believers more strenght and will against the former.

The increasing number of non-believers is in my opinion progress. I think/hope the only thing that has changed in terms of the believers response to the increasing number of non-believer is how loud they are and how defensive they've become. They'll get their way for a while (Cuz they are loud) but I think the pendulum will swing back towards being more reasonable. It's just going to suck in the meantime... (or I'm completely wrong and we'll end up in a theocracy in which case I'm outta here. )

 

I think in the time I have been an atheist in my location (Oregon) over the last 10 years it has become easier to be an open atheist. Even my racist conservative creationist christian tea-party relatives still invite me to attend family functions with at most a few jokes hurled in my direction.

I was young and excited when I became an atheist over 30 years ago. It felt like coming out of the dark ages, and I thought the whole world would awaken along with me to the simple truth that religion is just primitive superstition. It didn't happen that way.

 

I still love life and the enlightened perspective that my atheism helps provide, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. But it has been disappointing to see that this enlightenment is out of reach for so many. Progress has been painfully slow, and it even seems to be going backwards for large segments of the world's population. I felt like I was fortunate to be born in the age of reason, but with time, humanity doesn't seem so reasonable anymore. When I became an atheist, we were landing men on the moon, and science was capturing the world imagination. Then it seems we, in America at least, pulled back from reason.

 

Still, I think when you look at the numbers, atheists and agnostics are actually increasing.  Maybe it just doesn't feel like it because the irrational make so much more noise!

It felt like coming out of the dark ages, and I thought the whole world would awaken along with me to the simple truth that religion is just primitive superstition. It didn't happen that way.

 

That's exactly how I felt when I finally realised that there is no god and I wouldn't even want to be one. I felt so good in the first few days but at the same time I was amazed that it's all so clear and a lot of people are still going in the opposite direction. I got over that after the first month, but I still can't believe how easy it is to see the truth and how easy people miss it.

I know! It seems like it should be so obvious to everyone, but yet it isn't. The snake oil salesmen have much power!

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