Is there anyone that was an atheist who is now religious?

(73 Posts)

I know plenty of people who are religious from upbringing, and plenty of people who are atheist despite a religious upbringing however I don't believe I know anyone who is now religious with an atheist upbringing.

I know some whose family were religious but they lost faith and have regained etc but is there anyone who had a completely atheist upbringing who is now religious? If so, what changed?

I am agnostic.

filee777 Sat 05-Oct-13 20:17:49

I have always been agnostic but I think I might be loosing that and turning atheist.

hermioneweasley Sat 05-Oct-13 20:19:23

I do hope not. My big fear after drugs is the DCs getting religion. DS is very much a militant atheist at the moment - he even refused to go into a coffee shop called "heaven" today grin

Filee what has made that change?

I am more of an atheist agnostic (if there is such a thing!) but I have always argued that I see no evidence of a higher deity but then I also cannot prove there is no god iyswim!

filee777 Sat 05-Oct-13 20:31:07

I think as I get older I have got less... Dreamy?

I think my eternity is in my children and that religion/god etc is just one giant cop-out to avoid the realities that we are responsible for the awful state we have put this planet in.

CoteDAzur Sat 05-Oct-13 20:35:12

OP - What exactly do you mean by "atheist upbringing"?

Ours has amounted to not teaching them of the religious myths. We never had to tell them not to believe. Unsurprisingly, children who are never told about gods and religions tend not to believe the whole thing when they find out about it all at a later age, ime.

BrawToken Sat 05-Oct-13 23:09:07

Good question?

Im not really sure - I had a mixed upbringing as one side v atheist and the other agnostic but hopeful. I guess I mean atheist upbringing to mean no contact with religion ie no church even at Christmas.

I thought it unlikely but wondered whether some may have had a spiritual awakening ala Saul/Paul or if someone might've been brought to a faith through a relationship etc?

BlueSkyandRain Sun 06-Oct-13 20:08:19

I wasn't brought up as an atheist, and as a child I was more agnostic than anything, but we never went to church. My dm never spoke about beliefs of any sort as far as I remember. My df did chat about it sometimes, he was agnostic. I became a christian when I was 21. It probably looked a bit Saul/Paul-like to my mates at uni; although my decision was something I'd considered for a while. Ime it's not unusual though; I can think of quite a few friends who became christians whose parents weren't.

What led you to that at uni?

niminypiminy Sun 06-Oct-13 21:48:33

I was brought up as an atheist, and am now a Christian. I've always been drawn to Christianity. Various things, mostly (looking back) peer pressure kept me in the atheist fold during my twenties and thirties. But by my forties I was self-confident enough not to care that my family, friends and work colleagues would think I was mad or stupid for being a Christian, and came out of the closet.

There are quite a few of Christian children of atheist families about.

Neitheronethingortheother Sun 06-Oct-13 21:54:43

Me too. My dad is atheist. My mam a non practicing catholic. I grew up thinking that people who believed in God were weak even though my Dad discouraged that kind of thinking. I converted to mormonism 8 years ago.

SunshineMMum Sun 06-Oct-13 22:38:04

Mum lost her faith when her Mum died when I was four and Dad is a strident atheist. I distinctly remember saying prayers to a God I didn't believe in until a kind of awakening at 18. I was confirmed at age 41 and although I have currently left the Church, my faith is still intact.

Neither, my family weren't religious at all not staunchly atheist but they certainly disapprove of my conversion to 'Mormonism' around 15yrs ago now.
Hope you enjoyed conference.

fizzoclock Mon 07-Oct-13 10:53:38

I think it's more common than you think. I guess as an atheist/agnostic you might have met so many Christians? I'm a Christian and church goer and I know quite a number of atheist-Christian conversions. My own father for one, the minister at my old church, a pair of doctors at my current church etc.
C S Lewis is a famous atheist-Christian convert. He went to church at boarding school but decided he was definitely an atheist at 15. He found his Christian faith in his early 30s. Surprised by Joy is his autobiography if you're interested.

No I know lots of Christians grin

I'm interested in what made a change if from complete atheism, not relapsed iyswim.

(Dh's family are very involved with the church)

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs Tue 08-Oct-13 05:24:59

Yes I was an atheist until I was about 14 or 15, when I first heard about the prophesies made about Jesus in the Old Testament. They are just so detailed, and so completely fulfilled by the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, that i couldn't deny their truth any longer, and if Jesus really was the Son of God then God himself must exist too! And my faith grew from there really.
However I would describe myself as being in relationship with God, rather than being 'religious'. Religion is more about traditions and rules etc, whereas my faith is more about the heart.

1919 Tue 08-Oct-13 06:50:53

HomeisWhereTheHeartIs That's a strange logic/ line of reasoning to understand.

I'm an atheist and have been for as long as I can remember. My parents never really mentioned religion although I was 'exposed' to christian worship in school. I've always valued reason, critical thinking and truth over blind faith (and all faith is blind) and as I have not yet found sufficient evidence to support belief in a God, I will not accept it as truth. I am agnostic in this respect but I do think that it's reasonable to claim that the existence of a God is more implausible than it is plausible.
Whilst I admire some of the traditions of Christianity and find this element of religion attractive, I cannot forsee a time where I would not require evidence to believe such an extraordinary claim.

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Oct-13 09:36:35

Home - So, you believe because two ancient books agree? Now why didn't i think of that before smile

There is a third book in that series - more recent, also very detailed. Why aren't you Muslim? (Sorry, not meaning to be prying but very curious)

TheArticFunky Tue 08-Oct-13 09:59:36

I was an atheist. I told people I was agnostic because it felt like the polite thing to do. Telling a person with faith that you don't believe a word of it feels like you are dismissing their beliefs.

I'm no longer an Atheist. I have faith now. I keep it to myself because I don't really want to have to explain my beliefs to everyone. Dh (Atheist) believes that religious people are very weak - I have had enough disagreements with him about it I don't want to have to defend myself to others. Besides I think that faith is a deeply personal thing.

1919 Tue 08-Oct-13 10:13:33

TheArticFunky - I understand your desire to keep your beliefs to yourself however I cannot see the problem with outwardly disagreeing or dismissing religious beliefs in the same way that one might disagree with taste in music or clothing. I do not think that we should be so wary of causing offense that religious, ethical and moral beliefs are considered taboo and not discussed thoroughly.

madhairday Tue 08-Oct-13 12:30:29

Not me but know loads of people who this applies to. My dad was very staunchly atheist and is now a vicar grin, I have a friend who was atheist and thought Christians were the biggest losers out, feeble minded, ignorant, all of it, and she is now also a vicar. It's much more common than you may think.

I was brought up in a Christian home after my mum and dad became Christians, but decided for myself as a teenager after going through an agnostic phase.

MrsWolowitz Tue 08-Oct-13 12:39:37

My DH wasn't brought up in a Christian household and had no contact with the church. He became a Christian at 31.

My Grandpa became a Christian at 60! He was incredibly intelligent (think maths professor with an IQ in the top 5% of the country), he was nobody's fool and had was very weirdly wise.He had lived a wild, quite 'hedonistic' life and suddenly became a Christian. We were all shock and baffled but he ended up becoming a preacher and maintained his brilliant humour and down-to-earth nature. He was an inspiration to many, church- goers and people who aren't churchy at all.

It's through seeing his passion and logic and quiet peacefulness that I became a Christian. I'm not going to come back to this thread as I'm too scared if anyone picking apart the above post as he died not long ago and I would be too sensitive to read any [ hmm] posts about his Christian faith.

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs Wed 09-Oct-13 09:49:14

Have tried to reply but it disappeared. Sorry if I'm repeating myself.
Basically learning about the Messianic prophesies was the beginning of a gradual journey from atheism to faith. They (along with other things) helped me to form an answer to the question - "who is Jesus - mad, bad or the Son of God?"
So I came to faith through Jesus, and THEN came in to a relationship with God the Father. However I know lots of people believe in first God, and only later do they start to think and learn about Jesus.

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