I stumbled upon this site and I am a Christian turning into an atheist. I am torn between believing and not believing because almost all around me believes in God. In fact I have a twin brother is the exact opposite of me. He is a Baptist (Born Again).
It's really scary because I have not yet revealed it to anybody around me so I need some help to understand to get through all this.
“I am torn between believing and not believing because almost all around me believes in God”
Why be torn? Because all around you believe- is no reason to believe.
If all around you did not believe – that too would not be a reason to be an atheist (not believe).
What others believe/not believe is irrelevant. You believe/not believe something based upon your logic reasoning of what the truth is likely to be. You obviously have doubts to the validity of Christianity. My advice - I wouldn’t start spilling the beans on your possible atheistic views until you are confident and concise in what you believe to be the truth. Understand firmly what atheists are. You should know more about their religious beliefs then they do. By doing so you will gain the confidence to precisely counter any argument they present you.
I think confidence plays a key role in making your come out journey easier. If all your family and friends honestly believed in Santa Clause- would you be torn or distraught about coming out? No, of course not. You are confident that you could defend your hedonistic view that Santa isn’t real. This site offers overwhelming mounds of information from the atheist viewpoint. We won’t tell you that you have to be atheist or you will suffer the consequences. We say that – yeah.... we’re probably right on this whole no god thing.
I think many of us here know first hand the internal struggle that you are feeling. My boyfriend has even said something similar in terms of not wanting to be excluded from his friends and family back home. I have found, that while their initial reactions were not easy, we have not been shunned as a result. We are still very much loved and a part of our families and communities. In the meantime, technology makes it possible for you to find community and support here. You can check out the stories in the Coming Out Godless? What's Your Story group for more anecdotes about what others have been through in similar situations. Welcome and Good Luck!
Hey i went through something similar. But don't fall into the idea that you are alone. Everyone has come to a point in their life where they question their own beliefs and realize that their parents faith or friends faith has nothing to do with their own. They can encourage you to believe what they believe, but in the end it is up to you to chose either way. Its the object of faith that counts, not the amount of faith that you have.
So if you are doubting god's existance, tell him. If you started your beliefe with a prayer (as many do), you might as well end it that way too. Pray and tell god exactly what you dont believe about him, tell him why you think that there is a better way to go throug life. Ask that if he is real that he would show himself to you. if he does exist, he'll answer, and if he doesnt, then none of it ever mattered anyway and you will have the peace of mind that you gave it your best shot. If you are trying to live or life as a christian sometimes and not others, its gonna drive you insain ( i know it did for me).. you have to pick one or the other. its doesnt really make sense sit on the fence
And please talk to peopel. christians around you have the same doubts. you are not the first. ask the hard questions that you have, it cant hurt.
do not tell anyone your thoughts on this unless you are an adult. as a minor you can just be easily written off as young and naive. as with most things knowledge is power, so learn all you can. ask questions. lots of questions. oh and don't pray. its useless... just stick around here you will be fine.
In my experience having a social support structure is the most predictive factor in determining whether or not a person completes a deconversion. If you are intellectually inclined to deconvert I'd recommend finding a local atheist support structure.
Hi Tantan, join the crowd...I think most of us are in the same boat as you are to varying degrees...my extended family are VERY religious, and I've just recently been "enlightened" so to speak, of the nonsense of the Bible stories. I don't know what awakened me, but I think a contributing factor was some "Jesus freaks" at work that were "talkin' the talk, but not walkin' the walk" of what I deemed to be true followers of Jesus. In short, they were phonies...and actually believe the ENTIRE UNIVERSE is only 6,000 yrs old...!! Anyway, one of my family members accidentally saw a posting I made on what I "thought" was a members only facebook page, where I let it all hang out about my Agnosticism, and she was incredibly supportive, and just full of love...she said she was proud of me, and that it was very brave of me to express my inner feelings like that...I don't think we have anything to worry about if our family members truly love us Tantan...so try not to lose too much sleep over it...:-)
Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fantasies. To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child mind accepts and believes them, and only through great pain and perhaps tragedy can he be in after years relieved of them.
This quote came to mind when I read your post. I have nothing to add myself as I was brought up in a relatively secular family. The problem with atheism is that you never find mass-consensus. Even somewhere like here it's just little bits of consensus. It can be a lonely path.
I know what it means to lose your faith when everyone around you is a believer. When the fundamental contradictions become obvious to you, there is little you can do to 'keep the faith'. On the other hand, giving up on it means being ostracized from the only world you know.
One downfall of Atheism is that you don't automatically gain a social circle by joining 'the congregation'. There is a great online community, and some wonderful local organizations - but Atheism isn't about full social immersion. This can leave you feeling really cut off from the intense social inter-connectedness of a church/religion.
The only thing I can suggest is that you continue to think it through, and discuss your thought online where you don't need to 'come out'. If/when it becomes impossible to deal with family without revealing your true thoughts - well you can cross that bridge if/when it comes.
I am in complete sympathy with you. I was raised in a Catholic family. My mother, sister and I all sang in the choir, my mother guided people through communion, and we went to all the pot-lucks. I began to question my faith at the tender age of 13. I was terrified. I had begun to study paganism (which I soon after rejected as well). But I kept thinking 'This is witchcraft, this is sin'. I wrote a letter to my mother, saying that I no longer wished to attend church, and left it on her pillow after she had gone to work in the morning. I almost threw up all day, worrying.
Later, speaking to my mother on the issue, she said that THAT letter was harder for her to read then me coming out as gay. She said it wasn't because she feared for my soul, or that she thought I was a heathen...it was because we had shared that time together, it was something we did as a family.
My moral is- It is a scary situation, but you may find understanding where you didn't think you'd get it, and conversely you may find hate. All you can do is keep reading, keep learning and stay on the path that feels right for you. The path to reason is not an easy one at all, and you may lose a few friends along the way, but you will also gain a few. It's a hard adjustment, this 'coming out'. I know, I've had to do it...twice. Hah. You'll find a loving community here that is willing to answer all your questions. Good luck.
Thank You for all your comments, my apologies for not replying sooner, I had a hard time accessing the site and I don;t know why. Anyways it is tough for me because I am the only one different from anyone else in our community when it comes religion and God.