October 14, 2008

New Meme: Can You Remember The Day That You Officially Became An Atheist?

Can You Remember The Day That You Officially Became An Atheist?

For this question I am using the standard definition of atheist: Answering the question "do you believe in God" with a NO.

I can't remember. I can't even remember if it was before I was married or slightly after. By the way, I was 29 when I got conned into marriage. I honestly can't remember what I believed in when I was in my early 20's, outside of the usual occasional late night worrying about what happens after death, and that the end of my consciousness (soul) was the most probable outcome.

Do you remember the day you officially became an agnostic?

Again, my answer is no. Probably in my teens. I think it had to do with a combination of the fact that religion answered nothing definitely, but science answered lots. Coupled with the vastness of the universe, existential literature I was exposed to in high school, and just the thought of the life of bugs (why God would create insects that would live for a day (to mate and die), and where does God draw the line when it comes to afterlife? Humans? Our beloved pets? Highly intelligent mammals like chimps and dolphins? Insects?

How about the last time you spoke or prayed to God with actual thought that someone was listening?

I can pin that one down a bit. I remember when I was in my teens, praying for a family friend who was diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, God chose to ignore me.
Maybe it was because I was asking, "if you exist, can you make it so that Mrs. X survives her cancer." In other words, I was still agnostic when I last prayed.

Did anger towards God or religion help cause you to be an atheist or agnostic?

No. I was never very religious, so it really didn't affect my thought process.

Here is a good one: Were you agnostic towards ghosts, even after you became an atheist?

My honest answer is yes, for a little while I think. But I don't believe that ghosts are possible anymore, probably because I've become more of a militant skeptic atheist type, reading lots of science stuff and all in the last 5 or 6 years.

Do you want to be wrong?

Of course I want to be wrong, but I'm not, and I'm as sure as sure can be about it.

I'm going to be brave ambitious here, in my tagging of five bloggers: Deep Thoughts, Atheist Revolution, Friendly Atheist, Stardust Musings, and The Atheist Blogger.


  1. I remember the day, I was still in school and started thinking about the belief in the power of the symbol of the crucifix. It just came to me that this was an irrational belief and therefore God doesn't exist. The realization that there is no mystical power that influences our lives was the first step to atheism.

  2. I guess by "officially" you mean when did we rediscover our atheism.

    As we know, every child begins life as an Atheist. Theism must be learned. Atheism is the "default" setting.

  3. I have had this discussion with a lot of people in a few groups that I have been in and very few people actually have a moment where they stop believing.
    The people I've met usually fall into two groups. Some never believed the stories they heard, and just went through the motions that were expected of them. Most people I've talked to had a gradual change from believing in a religion to believing in a god, to believing in belief (see Dan Dennett) to disbelief.

  4. I remember the day, but not the date - I was around 14 and I was reading a book about Einstein that was explaining relativity and the ideas about extra-spatial dimensions (yes, I was a nerd). In a very Aurthur C Clarke moment, I realized that creatures in higher dimensions would appear to us as ghosts or gods or something - "Any advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic..."

    That meant that all seemingly supernatural creatures were just more evolutionary advanced from higher dimensions (14 year old mind remember).

    Thus I was never an agnostic - I jumped straight from (literally) choir boy to atheist in one leap.

    So, the last time I spoke and prayed with "god" was probably the Sunday before that day. By the time I was 15, I was a full out atheist - I didn't even believe the extra-dimensional people crap, because of the lack of proof.

    Did anger play a part? Yes, of course - I was a teen at the time of the Iranian Hostages, Jim Jones, Omagh, and the various Arab Israeli conflicts. Seeing all of that, plus the actually reading the Bible and seeing the hypocrisy of people, and the problem of evil is what got my mind wondering in the first place.

    I never was into ghosts, but I was into aliens. Not any more, but at least aliens weren't "supernatural" - I thought perhaps there was a scientific explanation but the lack of evidence and the impossibility to fit what we know about physics lead me away from that.

    Do I want to be wrong? No. Because that would mean that our creator is the horrid vengeful beast described in the Bible and is not worthy of worship even if it existed. I'd rather the Buddhist idea of reincarnation be real than any Judeao-Christian idea of God and a supernatural afterlife.

  5. I don't believe you when u say that was a special day to remember. The truth is that you were born pagans. And probably your parents too.

  6. It was a journey that began the day I stopped being a Christian.

    I was watching the church channel talk show, "Praise the Lord," I think sometime in the late 1980's and the guest was Ollie North.

    Ollie admited he lied to Congress about Iran-Contra and also said he did it in the name of a "higher power." The hosts fully agreed with what Ollie had done.

    Lying in the name of god, somehow I missed reading the fine print in the Bible after the part that says: Thou shall not lie.

    That talk show was the beginning when I began to think and study and in turn rejected Christianity and its magical beliefs along with the belief there is an invisible friend in the sky.