Hello, TA community,
My name is Frank, and I just thought I'd introduce myself to you all; I've only registered yesterday, but it has been almost a year since I've fallen away from my Roman Catholic upbringing and considered myself an atheist. I am a graduate student studying molecular biology (specifically, cell & developmental biology), and I have held an interest in science for most of my life. In addition to the reasons that I've listed when I first registered (e.g. disillusionment with the church, doubting the bible), the coup de grâce was my inability to reconcile scientific reasoning/evidence with religious dogma.
The decision only came through considerable reflection, though -- leaving the church was not easy for me. I was born into the faith (as I imagine many of you were with respect to your former religions), and I've had considerable religious instruction through my years growing up (both through school and through my own private study). While I've had doubts about aspects of the church's teachings, I ignored them for the most part and moved on; it wasn't until my senior year in high school, when my theology instructor had us look critically at the Bible and question our faith (with the intention of getting us to reject the superstitious slant that many of the rituals adopted amongst the congregation where I grew up), that I revisited a lot of my old doubts. It started with questioning the Bible and the Catholic rituals and eventually progressed to questions about the efficacy of prayer and the nature of god. Nonetheless, I still considered myself a Catholic until the end of my first year in graduate school -- when, in a last-ditch effort to salvage what was left of my faith, I attended a religious retreat that was aimed at people who needed to restore their "anchor of belief." After three days of quiet introspection and re-examination, I arrived upon my decision to leave the church -- thus leaving my anchor at the bottom of the sea to pursue greater horizons of thought :)
That said, I'm looking forward to getting to know the community! Cheers!
Heyo! Welcome to TA. I just joined a couple weeks ago so i'm kinda new too.