I was raised in a christian environment. My mum and grandparents are the only family I have. All of them tried to get me to be as good a christian as possible, even though they werent. My mum was and is still the hypocritical kind that goes to church every sunday, but during the week she's just a poor struggling sinner.
So i went as far as to sabotage her alarm clock so we wont be able to go to church. I absolutely hated it since I was 5 or 6 years old.
Its just i never felt that "Jesus cares for you and hears your prayers etc" story.
Then at 17 she didnt force me to go to church anymore. At one stage I actually convinced myself that I have to be an extremist. Tried that for a year, didnt work. Didnt get any closer to "god".
So a few short weeks ago, I started questioning my so called religion, started googling all the religions and by accident (or pure luck) i found www.evilbible.com. It was written by an atheist. On this website she explains why she is not a christian, the contradictions of the bible and why the christian god is not fit for worship.
I double checked everything she said and realised she was right. And at that moment I decided I am an atheist.
Id say it was like a - oh my, everything i ever believed was a lie! - moment. Wasnt such a huge surprise, but at last my suspicions had been confirmed.
there is no god
I didn't have an "aha" moment, but I can trace back to when the first big chink in the armor of religion appeared.
When I was 8, my mom gave birth to twin sisters, but unfortunately one didn't make it. That is a whole lot for an 8-year old to digest, but one of the things that always stuck with me helped plant the seed of atheism. I don't know where I heard it, or from who, but someone said that my stillborn sister would not be allowed into Heaven, since she was not baptized. Well, what an unjust crock of shit that was, even in the mind of an 8-year old boy!
Ever since, I vacillated between wanting to believe, thinking I should believe, not believing, and pretending to believe. It feels so good to now be unwavering in my nonbelief, and to identify other religious injustices as what they are: complete rubbish.
I definitely didn't have an 'aha' sort of moment. For me it seemed to come in about 3 stages. In the first stage I found that I just couldn't cognitively rationalize the conflicting dogma offered by religion - so it seemed to me that if god existed at all then the religions of humankind had nothing to do with him.
In the second stage I just couldn't rationalize the existence of god. It just seemed that if all these religions had just grabbed their own dogma out of the air, and even outside of these religions there just seemed to be no source of guidance from this god, then who was god? Maybe there is some entity that exists outside of our physical realm and can see all we do - but it (or they) doesn't communicate with us so the entire theory of a god is just a fairy tale, like the boogy man or Santa Claus, just a cultural bugaboo fabricated to coerce us into behaving.
Stage 3 is sort of ongoing but it starts when you realize that all superstition is contrary to intellect. From an early age we are told things about broken mirrors and the number 13 that just help to cement bigger superstitions like theism into our minds. For me, to truly be an atheist, all forms of superstition have to be removed, and I think I've removed most of them, but sometimes I still fall prey to Murphy's Law.
It was a slow proses for me. I was an atheist for a long time before I finally admitted it. I spent a lot of time calling myself a "Deist" or an "agnostic". But at some point I had to admit to myself that I didn't believe in any kind of a god.
That moment came to me at, of all places, my grandmother's funeral. My family was never very religious and I don't recall her ever once talking about God. But there was a service anyway at the retirement home where she died.
Most of the service was fine up until the Pastor started talking about the story of Lazarus. About how Lazarus was "asleep in death" until Jesus came and woke him.
The question popped into my head at that moment. "Why?"
presumably Lazarus was a good man, he was a friend and follower of Jesus. I would assume that he would then go to heaven after he died.
So there he was, after a long life of faithful service, standing in the glory of God... And then Jesus came along, ripped him out of paradise and dragged him back to Earth.
It didn't make any sense. Did Lazarus owe Jesus money? Was Jesus showing off? Whatever it was it seemed like a total jerk thing to do.
The answer that came to mind was that it was just an allegory. It didn't really happen. It was just a story to tell people that death is not the end and that we can have eternal life through Jesus. Which is what the Pastor was telling us.
But if it didn't happen what's the big deal? So Jesus couldn't raise people from the dead? Or he did but only metaphorically?
All this stuff had gone through my mind many times before. But this time I was hearing this total nonsensical garbage from a pastor standing in from of a grieving family. The whole thing hit me right there. It was the final nail in the coffin of any hint of religion in my mind.
Later in the service he led us all in the affirmation of faith. I Sat there silently.