I would like to hear different people's answers to this question. What caused you to become an atheist and what prompted your shift in views? I'm simply curious. 

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Would you care to elaborate upon your views?

My brain wouldn't let me be otherwise!

Inconsistencies in religious dogma, no evidence for god, no need for a god, etc.

It is sad, to me, that people believe and continue to perpetuate these, and similar ideas, once they become adults and can think for themselves.  I "believed" such nonsense because I was force fed this crap my whole life - I am so happy to be free from these ideas that I think are completely delusional in hindsight. 

  • The Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church I-IV
  • Article I—Of Faith in the Holy Trinity

    There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body or parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the maker and preserver of all things, both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there are three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

  • The Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church V-VIII
  • Article V—Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation

    The Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.

  • The Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church IX-XV
  • Article IX—Of the Justification of Man

    We are accounted righteous before God only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by faith, only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort.

  • The Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church XVI-XVIII
  • Article XVI—Of the Sacraments

    Sacraments ordained of Christ are not only badges or tokens of Christian men's profession, but rather they are certain signs of grace, and God's good will toward us, by which he doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm, our faith in him.

  • The Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church XXIV-XXV
  • Article XXIV—Of Christian Men's Goods

    The riches and goods of Christians are not common as touching the right, title, and possession of the same, as some do falsely boast. Notwithstanding, every man ought, of such things as he possesseth, liberally to give alms to the poor, according to his ability.

 

My (very mild) childhood indoctrination never took. Thankfully I've never been forced to believe like many children are - particularly in the US as far as Christianity is concerned (those stories are just pure horror). But I've learned the theology and the stories when I was young. I went through the motions, but none of it ever really made sense to me. I could never conceptualize what god is supposed to be. The doctrine of the Trinity certainly didn't help. The holy ghost just turned everything into complete gibberish. So things like praying were pretty absurd. And all the rituals in church were meaningless to me. I only did it because that's what you were expected to do.

I also learned a lot about paleontology and astronomy at an early age. So when being confronted with the idea that god created Earth, I knew even at age 8 or so that it wasn't true. It's only been recently though that I've become more serious about this and really identified as an atheist. Much of that has to do with religion's disgusting involvement in politics and education. Before that I didn't really give it much thought.

The most convincing argument I have ever seen for atheism is a careful reading of the Bible. After that particular indoctrination was torn down, it was a short trip to rejecting all religions.

I became Atheist around 5 years ago after researching Biology and how they can trace our past though DNA,  and studied different time dating methods scientist use and how there's so many different ways to determine how old the earth is. Then I researched how the earth was formed and how long it took to form. However I guess the biggest thing I observed that changed my mind was the dark side of the moon and how many thousands of times it has taken on asteroid and other collisions, and then imagine how many times the earth has been hit, and what effects it would have had on our planet, that would of changed the direction of evolution each major hit. Then after excepting the fact there is no God or God's and remembering everything I was taught, told, and read for the past 40 years was just plain crazy, and made no since what so ever. Talking serpents, Noah's ark, Sodom and Gomorrah, Jonah and the big fish, warlocks, witches, Aaron's magic cane, slavery, the way women were treated, stoning women for not being virgins, and never could comprehend Christ returning on a flying white horse. So I went with what was most logical and decided I would go with logic over faith. And my mind just felt so free, and am now able to see and appreciate life for what it is and how lucky we all are to just be here. One day each of us just happened to be the fastest and strongest swimmer at the right time, we wanted to survive and evolve more than the other sperm did, and we made it, that's how evolution works from the strongest sperm to embryo to human and thinks to the internet and technology I believe were going to evolve at a rate never before observed in the history of our rock we call home. If we can all start using the internet for knowledge and exchanging ideas across the globe, we could turn this hell into a great place. However that being said I don't see things changing anytime soon, So I guess for now I'll just put my faith in hope that one day we'll change for the better.

  

I was raised an atheist.  I sought out God and religions as I grew up, but when looked at from the outside, they all seem arbitrary and equally absurd.  To me it just makes sense that humankind makes up religion.  Also, I have not seen or read any convincing evidence to the contrary.  So here I am, as atheist as can be.  

I was raised as a Catholic. I can still remember my first holy communion - absolutely nothing happened. No feeling of being with god, or anything spiritual. That was the first nail in the coffin.

Even as a child I had an interest in science, and used to argue with the priest a lot, who was a real fundamentalist, burn in hell Catholic. Eventually, he got so fed up with me that he went into a total meltdown in front of the congregation, accused me and by inference my family of being bad catholics for raising such an undisciplined and unbelieving child. That was nail two.

Spend my teens and twenties going from one religion to another, not as a blind believer but as someone who wanted to see if they had anything to say about the world. Had a look at just about everything going. Well, all I acquired was a handful more nails for the coffin.

By the time I had left university, I had pretty much given up on religion - it had nothing to offer me and I could see the amount of strife and trouble religious belief was generating in the world. Science on the other hand was different. I'd gone into a scientific career (first astrophysics and then into IT based R&D). The scientific mindset and worldview, to me, gave me answers to the questions we all encounter as we grow and age.

I suppose the only religious aspect that has carried over is aspects of Buddhism. I find the Buddhist concept of mindfulness very useful, as it makes you stop and think about what you are thinking about.

For me, religion is just a way to delude oneself. I truly feel sorry for those who have a religious mindset.

I think therefore I am.....an atheist. Only joking!

  I never shifted. I always WAS a rational, thinking, intelligent person, even as a kid.  I always knew that religion was a delusion clung to by fearful, ignorant grown-ups, including my parents.  What I didn't understand was why they believed in Santa Claus, especially since he didn't promise to make them live forever.  When it was finally revealed that they DIDN'T believe in Santa, after all, I wondered why they persisted in believing in something even MORE preposterous: a magic, old, white man who floated around in the sky without a sleigh or reindeer to carry him as he ominously waved his hand and orchestrated all things earthly.  At first, I thought they were lying, as they had about Santa.  But then it gradually dawned on me that the world was full of similarly benighted believers in gods and other supernatural nonsense.     There are three reasons I don't believe in God: 1) It's nonsense; 2) there is no evidence; and 3) I don't need to, since I'm not afraid of death.  To put it simply, I am an atheist because my brain functions in a logical way that won't permit me to be anything else.

I think I always was. I never believed the stories that were told in Sunday school. I kept them in the same category as the stories of Odin or Mars. The people of history believed in their religions as much as people believe in their religions today. They were wrong then, so what makes them think they are right now?

This was going thru my brain throughout my childhood. That plus all the inconsistencies. Nothing added up.

I was born/raised in a very devout (extended) family, in a Christian country (Philippines). The families' religion is a christian sect called "iglesia ni cristo (church of christ)". This sect always challenges the belief of roman catholics, especially with their interpretation of the bible. Since I was a child up to my teens, I was a devout, defending "our" belief against roman catholics, born again christians, and other christian sects/denomination. Then came a time when I questioned everything. And every answer goes against God, but still I remained on "his" side for a while but I guess it's inevitable. I was asking myself silly questions like, "why is God cruel?", "If there's a god, then it's not the god described in the bible", "why don't he just make us good so we can all go to heaven...", "why did he let judas betray jesus?, does this mean that there should be someone bad so somebody else can be good?", "Only members of this church can be saved? how about those cavemen who lived before religion existed?", "Is adam and eve dinosaurs?(nah kiddin' :D)", "if this is God, then why does he do this yada yada...". There was a lot of questions in my head and silly those questions were, those were questions they cannot answer. They would answer "free will", "fate", "bible should not be interpreted literally", "God's will" etc. That's the time I've gone "anti-god"(but christians still looked at me as anti-christian, they don't see the difference). I read what I can read about other theist religions, but didn't change my mind: God was created by man, a figment of imagination. Sometime after that, I decided NOT to waste any more of my time for something not that important :D

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