I decided to go ahead and formally introduce myself to the community-so, HEY everyone! Nice to be on here :) I'm 20 years old, and can honestly say that my life up until now with religion has been TERRIBLE. Until january of this year, I was a very convinced fundamentalist Christian (surprise-surprise ;). I was convinced that Jesus Christ was lord and savior, the earth was 6000 years old, and that the earth would be ending soon. I know, I know, foolishness. But I never actually asked myself the real important questions: Why do I believe that a god exists (besides the fact that my mother, her mother, etc. all believe and passed it down to me)? What real evidence was there that there was some floating deity out there (besides all those unverifiable and unfalsifiable subjective experiences of being "re-born")? And how could I prove to those atheists that a god did exist when he wouldn't even answer my questions when I asked him (schizophrenia?)? Well, I decided that if I was going to put up any kind of fight, I would need to know my opponents (Plus I had already started having my doubts about god).
After only a few weeks of going through a few websites (www.whywontgodhealamputees.com
, ect.), a few forums, and listening for the first time to Hitchens, Dawkins, and others, I felt like a complete idiot (which I had been). I hadn't even chipped the tip of the iceberg for what science and reason had to offer, and I already felt like a fool for believing the utter crap that I had been made to swallow since I was young. Before I researched what atheists had to say I had made a pledge to myself that because I wanted to be a scientist, and one that followed the evidence with as unbiased an opinion as possible, the evidence for the probability of no god or gods won without hardly a fight. As a christian, I was soooo confused with how I was supposed to reconcile god's supposed all-encompassing and all-merciful love with his unyeilding, "justified" wrath. It got so bad that I was constantly asking for forgiveness when I believed I had sinned. Daily, and multiple times at that. I was too nervous and scared to wait until the end of the day to say my prayers. And I still offered up a prayer at night and in the morning, along with my daily devotional.
Besides that, how was I supposed to love someone with my whole heart, unselfishly, who I had never seen? All I had was his book and a vague assurance that "he's always listening". I read my bible almost everyday for at least 3 years, more than many of the people in my family who claim to be christians. I probably know more too. I made one really bad decision that will probably stay with me for at least a few more years, because I seriously thought that god was watching over me and helping. I can honestly say that religion is NO help at all. And when it came down to it, my family blamed me for the mistake (rightly so since I was so naive) and not god, because god is so perfect. I would like to clarify that I didn't stop believing in god because of my mistake, but it did disillusion me a great deal, which kinda opened me up to atheist arguments. I didn't stop believing until I was actually convinced by the arguments, along with the lack of evidence of a god in our world. So that's my story in a nutshell. I just felt like telling it, so thanks to everyone for reading :)