Were you always one or were you once a believer and how did you become atheist?  

I know this is a common, rather overdone question, but what I want to know is what was the turning point for you if you were once a believer?  

I was never a strong believer, more like a follower. The bible had no real influence on me; I always felt it was mostly symbolic, anyway.   Nevertheless,   I had the programming.   God was a part of my psyche.   I spoke to him all day long.   it was like having an invisible friend who was always there.

Then my daughter came home from college and began to speak to me about her atheism.   We had open discussions.   I examined my own beliefs and began to realize that they were based only upon what had  been taught to me and tried to figure out why I was so reluctant to challenge them.   I couldn't let go of god but I didn't know why.  

The turning point for me was realizing that guilt was the only thing that kept me believing.   I was brought up to fear hell, brought up to fear god's wrath. My daughter explained to me that it was a built in, practically fool proof  system of keeping people in the fold.   If you refuse to open your eyes out of fear,  you can never escape.  Intellectually, I knew she was right but letting go was still difficult.   I continued to investigate the sources of my beliefs; looking for some concrete reasons for it to be true, beyond what the nuns taught me as a child.   I could find nothing substantial.   I finally decided to reject the belief despite the frightening feelings that brought with it.   It was difficult at first and I felt lost and abandoned, but as time went on, I was ok with it.   Now I feel more than ok, I feel like a weight has been removed from my shoulders.

 I look back and it seems incredible that I ever believed all that nonsense in the first place.   I remember questioning as a child and then having to try to rationalize what they told me to make it work.   Even when it didn't, I took it in and accepted it, until the lie became "truth".   Then I grew up and did the same to my children.  

 It took my oldest to have the nerve break the chain.  I am very proud of her for trusting her own thinking and questioning authority.   She founded the atheist club in her university and its going strong for five years now with many members.  

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I picked up Atlas Shrugged. I never looked back. (I know, considering there was an Ayn Rand hate fest another thread I'm not expecting brownie points for that being my deconversion of choice ;p).

Boo! Hiss!

I kid, I kid.

But seriously. Boo and hiss. ;-)
I replied to your objections. Let's do this. My shiba will kick your shiba's ass.
I have two Shibas! Your Shiba will have to kick twice the amount of ass as my Shibas. I think I win based on economics. ;-)
Four times. 2/0.5 = 4. Unless your dogs don't divide the labor equally.
Well, I think one of my dogs is a Socialist and the other is a degenerate. How does the math work out on that?
Well, to be honest, my dog is a bit a fairy. He's not fighting anyone. He'll probably just offer a back rub and a cuddle session. He's 13 now... so he'll just curl up in a ball on a couch.
Let's face it, our dogs would probably just engage in a genitalia licking session. Perverts.
My name is Christ,
Jeasus H Christ---
My mother was a virgin,
My father is god,

I am invincible,

I was crucified (don't mention the 10,000 Spartans who were also crucified),
Pity on me,
I rose to heaven,
worship me,
pray for forgiveness.

Silly story.
Maybe Christ is a symbol for the dead Spartans.
Best I could do with the Christ myth.

Sort of a Humpty Dumpty story.
While I've yet to claim myself an atheist, I've always been a religious skeptic throughout my life. Tried going to churches a couple of times in my youth and even tried to take on Buddhism, in a later part of my life to follow my parents' footsteps. However after a few years I realised that they all didn't make any sense to me and I decided not to follow my parents when they converted to Catholic because I just couldn't believe in them.

It's never been an emotional struggle for me to accept this view of life but, of course like most of us here, it has been a challenge for me to explain to people that I simply do not have a religion.
Maysia, you might be like many of us here. You might realize that you were an atheist long before you knew it. It comes down to a simple question: do you believe a god or gods exist? If not, pass go, collect 200 atheist dollars.


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