So I 'came out' about my atheism recently to my parents, and they took it extremely well (I don't think they were that surprised, really), but the first question they asked me was "When did you know?". And I honestly just said some really vague answer. I can't remember a specific moment when I said 'Aha! I get it! I'm an atheist!'. For me, it was definitely a slow and deliberate process leading to atheism. But I was curious as to how others on T/A came to be atheist (this is assuming the majority of you were raised in religious households). Did anyone have an 'Eureka' moment, or has it been a process for you guys, too? I'm just curious; I don't personally know any other atheists, so my knowledge is pretty limited in this area.

I think this may have been covered in another discussion already, so I apologize if it's redundant. Thanks! :)

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No real ah-ha moment here, either. I'd been moving away from Christianity fairly steadily as I learned more about the worth, and progressed through deism to a general lack of belief which really just seemed to be a natural state of affairs. I didn't start really caring about terminology until I started getting fed up with overly religious folk (Hello Republican Right) trying to force their religious beliefs and behaviors on everyone else.
It took me 30 years to come to the conclusion.  I traveled back in forth between faith and doubt but I stayed with doubt much longer every time.  We were not taken to church....we were, forgive me...home churched.  My father would read my favorites to me, Noah's Ark being the most favorite.  The idea of saving animals from drowning appealed to me, but I was always confused as to why all the rest of the animals and people would have to die.  It was a very confusing story to me...I guess that was what intrigued me.  My parents followed the basic "Christian" principals...be good to others, be charitable and to speak kind words and so on.  I have since come to believe that these principals do not belong to the Christians alone.  I found Carl...Carl Sagan.  I read "The Demon Haunted World" and that pretty much settled the debate that had been going on in my head for years.  If you have not read this I recommend that you do.  I think you will find a kind of comfort in it, I found more comfort in this book than anything I have ever read in the bible.  That is not to say that this book is a kind of bible, not at all, but a very eloquent and concise description of how I have been thinking all these years.
Never an aha moment for me. I loved science at an early age and religion never really took hold. I actually understood what atheism was by 12 so since then I've just been strengthening my conclusion. It was quite weird for me actually. It was as if the atheism came first out of common sense then the evidence that discredited religion came after.

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.

Well, I was researching lots and lots of religions, and one by one, I gave up on each one of them, until one day I was reunited with a long lost friend, who told me about his atheism. I went home, went on the internet, and came across ThinkAtheist here, and read a lot of peoples arguments and blogs and decided, "Holy shit! This makes so much more sense! Fuck religion, it's all a pile of bullshit. I'm an atheist!" So, yeah, I guess you could sort of say I had a "Eureka" moment, but after having gone through a whole ton of religions first.

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.

 

Wow!!!  That is fucking rad.  LOL
Yeah, no 'Aha' moment here either. I whittled away at every little string of spirituality and excuse I could muster before realizing that there cannot be a supernatural creator.
No "aha!" moment. I just find the teachings of the church to be insufficient in giving me an answer as to the existence of a divine being.

For me it came rather gradually. Day-by-day thing. 

The more I learned, the more atheist I've become.

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