To anyone who stopped believing....(121 Posts)
Why do you ask? Is this a personal experience?
It's just curiosity. Wondering what it was exactly that made people change their minds. Was it one thing/experience in particular? Or many?
For me it just all seemed illogical. If god is so great and amazing then why did he give my kids life long disabilities? What was the point of hurting innocent children? Why not go for the evil people on this earth? For my religion i thought how does fasting for a month show your allegiance to god? Why does covering up your body somehow make you a better person? Why is it assumed that men are these sex crazed monsters who will think of sex if they see a womans hair? Thats a shitty attitude towards men. And if women are such temptresses why did he create us?
Because it all sounds like claptrap bullshit??
Religion is a social construct, invented by humans in order to control people through fear.
Firstly a teenage virgin who gets pregnant? Yeah I've heard that before too!
The earth is about 6000 years old and that dinosaurs were put here by the devil to test us.
Nobody who wrote the bible was alive when Jesus was alive. All stories about Jesus were written over 100 years after he had died.
Walking on water.
Parting the sea.
Noah and his pretty big party boat.
But the thing that REALLY pisses me off is people who think that praying works. Pray for a nice day, pray to find my keys, pray for a family member to get better, pray for the food on the table... But fuck all those starving people, children who die every single day because of dirty water. No... They don't matter. What matters right now is that you need to find your keys.
Apparently God can do whatever he wants, so why doesn't he do it? Because he's not there. It's not real.
I'm the same as you, brought up a chapel girl, went to Sunday school every week, even became a Sunday school teacher at about 11 or 12. And I think I was about 13 when I started questioning, and probably wasn't until my early 20s that I just stopped believing altogether.
Now, the more I hear of religion the more I can't believe that educated people can just have unshakeable faith. To me it's so obvious that there's nothing else, the same as to those who believe know that there absolutely is.
I have more than a suspicion that I'm right, but if I am, I'm not going to be able to come back to prove it.
I once got banned off a Facebook group for sleep paralysis for saying that I was atheist and didn't believe that it was a demon that was coming into my bedroom at night. Had some pretty amusing messages in my other's box too
I'd just like to add that I am really pleasant to those with religions, I'd never slate their religion to their face unless they were willing to have a debate about it. I truly think it's lovely if people have faith, but I don't and don't feel that I miss out on anything because of it. In fact the opposite.
What I don't like is people pushing their faith (or trying to) onto me, at my front door, outside shops etc. I don't try to turn random people into atheists, so don't try to turn me, it won't work. And no offence to anybody who does go out to preach God's word, but I find you really annoying. For those who have a religion, how would they like it if I started knocking on their door telling them they have an imaginary friend?
I never believed, I don't think, despite a catholic upbringing and religious primary with church three times a week. I just never did, it didn't seem rational to me.
Then I did a philosophy degree and I fathomed why I didn't believe - some rational argument for what I thought anyway.
So the philosophy degree did it, but it was never really in me.
I don't there was any thunderclap moment where I stopped believing, it was more a gradual realisation that I didn't. I remember talking to Dad about it, not long before he died (he wasn't a believer either) and going to church a few times after his death, hoping for some, great comforting reverse, but it didn't come.
I think once you are out of the religion mindset, it's very easy to wonder how the hell any educated person can believe in it. Once your mind is opened you can't really go back. Well I can't anyway!
There was a lot of different things that made me stop believing. Not that I was ever fully committed, but I was brought up in a Christian household and just it assumed it to be true, and carried on going to church semi-regularly until a few years. Although everyone in the church was absolutely lovely, I always felt uncomfortable and never understood. I thought 99% of the bible was boring and confusing. I didn't like the hymns. I didn't like being told when to stand up and sit down and chant along mindlessly with everyone else. I thought it was odd that we were told not to question anything. When praying I felt like I was talking to myself although tried to convince myself God was listening. I didn't like being told God loves me the way I am, yet never feeling good enough? How do you know which religion is the right one, why do good people get sent to hell for all eternity just because they aren't religious, how do you know what the bible says is true, why do christians focus on certain parts of the bible yet ignore others?? So many questions!
But I think the straw that broke the camels back was when I saw the effect that religion had on my daughter, who was about 7 at the time. She started talking about hell a lot, became fearful, and I knew then it was wrong. They were trying to scare her into believing, the same thing they had done to me. And so we stopped attending church and I told her the only thing that matters is that you try and be a nice person, and hell isn't real.
I totally think everyone is entitled to their beliefs, and people need to do what makes them happy. I just wish more people would question what they are being told to believe.
Sorry for the ramble
Bizarrely after everything I took RE A Level. I hadn't done it at GCSE but I was casting around for a subject and the philosophy side of it was hugely interesting (hence my eventual degree). However what surprised me was that I found the NT studies part really interesting too. It was all about looking at the bible as a historical document, and that was fascinating.
I can appreciate religion. I love churches, I always go into my local cathedral when I'm in town, I visit churches abroad and I like the candles and magic element. I even wish I believed! I really just don't, never have believed, it just isn't in me.
I love history too though so I think a lot of my interest is more about the history than anything else.
I didn't have a choice in my faith as a child. Although not an overtly christian household there was a general assumption that god was real and jesus died for us.
We had to recite the Lord's prayer every day at school ( a non faith state school).
There was no blinding moment, just a growing feeling that it was all a pile of shite at best and a destructive force at worst.
I have remained an atheist since the age of 14 or so.
I think once you are out of the religion mindset, it's very easy to wonder how the hell any educated person can believe in it. Once your mind is opened you can't really go back.
Exactly this OP!
I wish I had faith. It sounds lovely.
I was raised in a religious household and really liked our church and all the bible stories and the supportive atmosphere. I still find going to church very restful.
Shame I don't believe! I "woke up" at 14 with a long dark night of the soul when I suddenly realised it was all bollocks. But it wasn't a happy time. I had panic attacks about death for years afterwards.
I think life is easier with faith and wish I could just conjure it up. But it doesn't work!
espeth- no it doesn't work.
My sister is a baptist preacher.
There was a time in my life when I was desperate. My husband had died of cancer, leaving such huge debts against our home that it repossessed. I was homeless, hearbroken and feeling bereft.
Despite being an atheist I was desperate. My sister had me on the floor begging for forgiveness and begging for the holy spirit
Do you know what happened? Nothing. In fact life got worse.
No holiness, no help.
My mother was a member of a christian church.
My father became terminally ill when I was 14. She was in a bad way. The church told her that if she prayed hard enough and was a good enough christian that he would not die.
He died. My mother blames herself, and even after years is still seeking forgiveness for causing his death.
At nine years old I saw our local priest refuse my brother first communion (or even a blessing) because he was disabled. My mum was devastated. I think I just thought "oh that's how it is is it?" And that was it.
Some of the worse bloody hypocrites I've come across have been church goers.
Never believed a single day in my life, not even as a child.
The whole story is clearly so ludicrous that I still find it hard to understand how people believe it all.
As I child, I used to ask people why they believe in stuff they can't see. Have they ever seen God? How do they know he exists? Can it not all be just a story? How would they know? Etc.
I was life of the party
banished to my room when my parents had guests
Pearly that's awful, I hope your mum manages to realise that it wasn't her fault. It's this sort of religious brainwashing that is so damaging to the vulnerable. They should be ashamed of themselves for giving her false hope, and for what they've done to her. It's false advertising and they shouldn't be exempt from trading standards laws IMO. for you and your mum.
I refused to join Brownies as a child because of the oath to God, I must have been 7 or 8. Like others here I have no memory of ever believing and I hold openly atheist views when with my children, both of whom at 10 and 6 say they believe in God which I find interesting. I have two friends who are religious, Catholic and C of E respectively and I do wonder how they square their religious beliefs with their otherwise rational approach to life but we never discuss it.
I couldn't believe a benevolent god would put me and so many others through such truly shit childhoods, and allow utter cunts like the bullies in my class to lead such, as I saw it then, charmed lives. ( I accept now they may have had their own ishoos blah di blah but that doesn't make me very sympathetic to them, even now, and I wasn't even one of their main targets).
Then as I got older I just realised I found the WHOLE THING ludicrous - it just didn't, none of it, match up with any common sense at all. So when I was about 11 I just locked myself in the bathroom so they couldn't take me to church, much to the disappointment of my family, and I never went again, other than to the odd funeral or wedding (but I avoid those too if I can).
My mum always said I would go back to religion one day as people do when they are dying. But I almost died more than once and trust me, there was not a single glimmer of a thought of religion.
My dad was an upstanding Christian but was also an utter cunt. My mum was an upstanding Christian, and not a bad person, but her blind, unquestioning devotion to whatever priests would say meant I lost respect for her as a woman.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Logic and history. The more I looked at it, the less sense it made and the more sense alternative explanations made.
I'm sometimes sad because I did love the ritual and music and culture of the who churchgoing thing. But oh, some of the evils perpetrated in the name of fiction...
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