Hi everyone. I’m Krisime Stokhastes, a mid-forties husband, father and ex-Christian, now atheist, from Australia.
My journey toward atheism started about five years ago. Prior to that, I believed unashamedly that Christianity was the only legitimate religion and the Bible was my religion’s God-given instruction book. Everything in it was the Truth with a capital T. I enjoyed correcting fellow Christians regarding their understanding of the Truth and atheists in regards to their total lack of comprehension when it came to that same Truth.
I loved listening to unbelievers expound upon ‘discrepancies’ and ‘contradictions’ in the Bible, and then showing them the error of their ways by pointing out such important concepts as context, interpretation and literary style. I had read the Bible cover to cover more times than I could remember. Nobody was going to stump me!
Around five years ago, just for fun, I started looking at the Bible from outside of the framework of Christianity, how it looked in isolation from the world around it. I discovered scientific inaccuracies, nothing serious mind you, all easily explained by delving into the original Hebrew and Greek writings. I was taken aback when I found that some God-endorsed instructions could be seen to be immoral or misogynistic if taken out of their cultural and historical context. I was stunned when I discovered there were actually some discrepancies and contradictions that I could not explain satisfactorily to myself, let alone to others. I was beginning to have doubts about the Bible’s authority as a book of Godly instruction.
There was no need for trepidation though! There had to be many Christians more proficient in amalgamating all of that extraneous noise back into one coherent Book again. And there were indeed. The only problem was they were doing it with so much fluff that they were not really making the Truth of the Bible any clearer as much as hiding the problems under a big pile of verbosity and rhetoric, some of it meant to purposely confound or outright deceive the questioner.
That is when my faith took a tumble. Finding there were problems with the Bible that I could not intellectually put right was bad enough but I could not believe there were Christian organisations individuals out there that were teaching lies and through their actions encouraging fellow Christians to do the same in order to attempt to cover up those problems.
I ended up completely losing my Christian faith and dabbled in other religions for about a year but found the same problem with all of them. I could not even get into any of the New Age stuff! Then I started bumping into various ‘free thinker’ web sites and then a few atheist sites. Through those sites I discovered that it was critical thinking that got me out of my faith based hidey-hole. It is a skill not taught or discussed, to my knowledge, in religious circles.
So here I am, a full-blown born-again atheist. My main interest now, as far as religion goes, is to get the word on critical thinking out to as many of its adherents as possible. I’d like others to feel the freedom of not having to worry about an invisible (imaginary) deity looking over their shoulders, ready to send them to an eternity of suffering as punishment for some perceived evil-doing; to feel the freedom of living in the moment instead of worrying about what happens after they die; to be able to take in verifiable knowledge on all manner of subjects and not have to worry about it conflicting with what is written in a millennia old book penned by men that could have no idea of the truths now being discovered everyday by mankind.
I think the easiest way for me to do that is through religious forum sites but I would like to get a little practice in a friendly environment first. That is why I have joined up here. I will most likely just spend a lot of time reading some of the posts on here (I think it is called lurking?) before I get involved in any discussions. I am looking forward to getting to know all of you through your posts and learning from you.
Welcome to the site! And congrats on your deconversion.
Thanks Scott. Deconversion is an apt term. I'm a little embarrassed to admit I never thought of myself as a convert to Christianity until relatively recently. Everyone is born an atheist.
The more you read about other's stories about how they came to be atheists, the more it sounds like a deconversion process. You shouldn't feel embarassed about it. You should be proud you got out.
i love hearing stories like yours. for some of us, conversion to Atheism comes easier and sooner. for others, their beliefs were likely drilled in hard at an early age, which is difficult to break from. interesting that you mentioned "critical thinking" as your main reason for conversion. i recently wrote a blog post on a similar subject, concluding that critical thinking is the main difference between Atheists and the Religious (http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/are-atheists-smarter-tha...). check it out, and feel free to comment there. may be a good subject for you to cut your teeth on.
welcome to the site!
Thanks Matthew. I'll have a read of your blog.
'I’d like others to feel the freedom of not having to worry about an invisible (imaginary) deity looking over their shoulders, ready to send them to an eternity of suffering as punishment for some perceived evil-doing; to feel the freedom of living in the moment instead of worrying about what happens after they die; to be able to take in verifiable knowledge on all manner of subjects and not have to worry about it conflicting with what is written in a millennia old book penned by men that could have no idea of the truths now being discovered everyday by mankind.'
...spot on !
Thanks Napoleon. Atheism is quite liberating!
HI There! So nice to have you. I also lurked here for a while before I was comfortable posting anything.