"Maybe combine letting the students know you won't tell them and that what you believe doesn't matter, with questioning their own beliefs and how to search for a logical explanation. Show them how to critically think about the matter…"
I was raised christian, like many atheists I meet. I avoid the conversation of atheism with most people I know because I get tired of the absolute inability to comprehend where I'm coming from. So when necessary I'll usually just announce or re-announce it to end the conversation of religion.
However, I still remember the moment in time that it clicked and I felt it to the deepest place in my brain, there is no god! No higher power, nothing judging, or making decisions for me or others! This is not a sad story as most religious people would see, this is a story of an amazing turning point in life. Of cutting out an imaginary middle man, and truly connecting with others and the world. Trailing and endless pursuit of knowledge that has opened so many doors.
Why are you here?
I'm an atheist and rarely meet others who see the same as me. Its nice to have that such basic in common with others.
The religion you left
Why you left your religion.
Many reasons. Most people I know who still consider them selves religious don't hold strong to it in every traditional sense. They question and find the things they like, keep that, and discount others.
Lets say I saw a lot of problems early on, and slowly but surely found my way to atheist by age 20. After I had a couple years of not knowing or caring enough to think about it. One day after discussing the fundamentles with my atheist brother, it clicked while I was driving to work. I had about three seconds of shock, and then it soaked in and I had accepted it. Its never crossed my mind as a possiblity since then.
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