I have noticed that Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris both cite 9/11 as the fuel to the fire of their current passion for atheism. I also often cite this as one of the biggest seeds of my frustrations with religion.

 

I wondered if anyone else had a big turning point that either largely help you realize that there is not a god or gods, or made you more "militant".

Tags: fire, fuel, spark

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Logic led me to atheism.  Honesty prevented me from denying the truth of my conclusion.  The attempts by the religious to force me to believe led me to the conclusion that religion was evil--a conclusion that has only been strengthened by further examinations of religion.

 

http://goodatheistarguments.blogspot.com/2010/09/why-atheism.html

 

http://goodatheistarguments.blogspot.com/2010/09/religion-is-dishon...

 

http://goodatheistarguments.blogspot.com/2010/10/is-religion-evil.html

Yeah I have to credit logic and philosophy. I was raised non-denominational christian, baptized and all that shit, even though I didn't really have a freaking clue what any of it meant, just that there was this threat of burning in hell for eternity if I didn't do it etc..But it never really meant that much to me, except for the fear part, I even remember not being able to sleep sometimes because I was imaging demons swarming all over the house in the night.

 

But then I read Descartes and that was the beginning of the end. The whole "radically doubting" everything, and really thinking about the question of epistemology: How do you know that you know what you know? Followed that path to logic, reason, empiricism and Science.

 

Finally though, it was really thinking about the model of reality from quantum to universe, and finally getting a clear grasp on the mechanics of Evolution, that led me to just full out realize that I was, in fact, an atheist.

For me it was growing up with a bit of a personal attachment to the atrocities in the nineties in the Former Yugoslavia. Former neighbors killing each other over their different gods, not even showing each other the civility of the Geneva convention in the process.

Also, some of the worst people I have ever stumbled across have been religious. It seems to be harmful to character and honesty. 

I was born into a mormon family and I seriously thought we were "playing" god. You know, like jumping on the furniture because the floor is hot lava.

When one of my sunday school teachers told us that when we die we wait in line for endless hours to hear all of the sins we've ever committed, I thought, "ok I've got better things to do today" and that was it for me. I think I was 11 years old. I've honestly been to too busy and satisfied with my life to ever ponder my decision or regret it.

The congress inserting "under "god"™ in the pledge when I was in fourth grade.  I thought (I was a precocious anti-authoritarian brat) that it was a pretty poor god who needed the whores of congress to force me to say its name.

When I was 2, my dad die in a car accident.  Everyone told me that he was "in heaven".  I was very happy for him, but everyone else was very sad.  I can't say that this was my moment, but I will say that I could not understand their reactions to such a great thing.

 

I know that they would all say (and have) that they were sad for themselves, not for him. Maybe, my love for him was more selfless then their's, but to this day there is a part of me that thinks they didn't believe what they were saying.  I still think that, if I believed with all my heart in god, I would be happy for my loved ones that went to heaven.  I like when good things happen to the ones I care about!

 

I guess I could have come to the conclusion that they thought he didn't deserve heaven, and were lying to me.  I didn't think of that until just now.

 

I can't say that I am "militant", but I will say I have been questioning for a long time (I am now 40).  I call myself Agnostic.  I know only two things about the "afterlife".

 

1. I don't know.

2. No one else does either.

 

I can relate to this.  I refer to myself as an "open-minded atheist."  I don't begrudge anyone his/her beliefs--whatever they are.  My position is that I am definitely NOT a theist (thus I'm an atheist), but I don't pretend to have any answers and refuse to follow anyone or any dogma that asserts that he/she/it does!  
I halfheartedly identified as Catholic until a few years ago when a co-worker asked me if I really believed in God. I laughed and said "No, of course not!" and he said "Then you are an atheist." It was pretty undramatic. I only became a "militant" atheist when I started reading more about it and became aware that church/state separation in my country isn't quite as separate as I had thought.

"evil flourishes when good people do nothing"

 

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My brother coming out as an atheist helped a lot. He used to have fiery debates with my theist mother sometimes at the dinner table and I would just hang around and listen. I thought it was fascinating.

Well, I was pretty well indoctrinated, although I always struggled with authority and several other parts of xtianity, so it took a while. There were a few sparks, all happening within the same general timeframe (a few months) that had fairly equal influences and really forced me to look hard at what I believed: 1) Watching Cosmos. We didn't "do" science... it was dangerous, you know. So I'd never seen Carl Sagan or read any of his stuff (except seeing Contact). 2) Penn & Teller's Bullshit. 3) A very simple list of "characters" in myths (including Jesus) who shared the same history (immaculate conception, birth celebrated on Dec. 25, execution, resurrection, etc.). In short, realizing that much of what I'd been taught had been borrowed from other religions.

I'm not sure if I could be classified as militant about my atheism. I am pretty angry still, though and don't tolerate a lot. Being an atheist coupled with my already less typical political views puts me in an even smaller minority. I do get bent out of shape when people try to sneak religious stuff into everyday life or insist that this is a "Xtian country" etc.

15 years ago I was going to an Assembly of god church I had my kids participate in all the activities,one of the sermons the "pastor"was making jokes about confession and had jokes about all the other religions I later found out he was having an affair. I walked out kids in tow. I started questioning all religions I have tried most ,even Krishna at one point. They are all a bunch of cheats and liars. I became an RN and that is when the science of it came in. Good question.

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