Has anyone else been an atheist as long as they remember?

I only ask because most people seem to say they are converted from a religion, or at least went along with it in some way until they reached an age at which they started to actually think about the practicality of religion. I never remember believing in god and was actually kicked out of bible school when i was about 8 because I couldn't get anyone to answer me when asked how people could believe in something they had never seen, or known and when not getting the answer I was looking for said I didn't think they were right. They probably thought I was possessed LoL.
I have often wondered if this was due to having a rough childhood that made me question authority at a very early age or if it was a more common occurance.


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I remember memorizing the Lutheran catechism as child and listening to the Bible stories. I also remember thinking that the stories were like Aesop's fables: little morality tales, but not truth. I was very good at memorizing the catechism, even though I did not believe the words: all they asked was for me to memorize, not believe. Of course a crisis happened when confirmation loomed: I was actually expected to say that I believed all these things! They couldn't be serious! So the question became whether I was going to be true to my beliefs or disappoint my family. It was a serious moral issue for me. Fortunately, changes happened in the family and I could ignore church after that.

I do not remember ever believing the religious stories. It's possible that I did at one point, but I don't recall it.
Well, there are people who have been atheists for their entire life, but I think that is a small minority of all atheists. It´s very interesting for me what you are saying. Were you raised as an atheist? I mean were your parents atheists? It sounds very strange for me that an 8 year old child acts so critical. If you have not been raised as an atheist (the fact that you went to bible school points to that) then I really admire you! You must have been a very intelligent child (and I guess you are still intelligent because you don`t believe in god ;-)

I come from Austria and I only have one friend who has really been an atheist for his entire life because his parents and even his grand parents were atheists and they never indoctrinated him with any religious believe. For myself, I am a typical atheist who was raised in very strong religious roman catholic indoctrination and found out the truth when I reached the age of reason (speaking with George Carlins words ;-)
Yes my family was very religous, at least my father was. My father had fallen into full fledged schizophrenia by the tie I was born so I would learn from the rest of the family things like "No you didn't deserve to be locked in the closet for the entire day because dad was mad you woke up to early and wanted to sleep". I think that may have had something to do with it. Making me able to question authority as long as I could remember and making my own decisions. I literally learned to read when he would make me read the old testament at night before I went to bed. I never "blamed" religion though, so it wasn't like a backlash again christianity. in fact as soon as my mom realized he was too far gone for help (thought medication for his problem was a government conspiracy to control him), when i was about 5 or 6 she left him and we didn't have anything to do with him anymore and I wasn't forced to go to church anymore. (Except holidays, like the one when I was 8).
I don't think it's a small minority in Australia, most people don't go to church and almost none of my friends are religious. I'd guess quite a few would say that they've never believed in a god. I know I haven't. Interesting question though, I shall start asking around and get back to you.
I, too, do not every remember believing in any god, or any of those stories.

I was raised in a reform jewish family, so religion was not a very large aspect of our lives. Nevertheless, it was still expected of me that I would believe in god. Yet, when I was 5, I told my mom "I don't believe in god, I believe in Science" right in middle of a Yom Kippur service. :D

However, I don't recall myself having a rough childhood. I think it's just because I started thinking critically at a young age. The existence of God seemed...well stupid. It violated almost every law of science that there was!

I wish I was kicked out of sunday school as well, but nooooo, my parents just HAD to bring me to that damn building sundaily...at least I stuck around for the Bar Mitzvah. *ka-ching!*

Anyway, it's nice to know that there are others who also never remembered believing in God yet also came from a religious background...it seems as if most people deconvert in their teenage years.
At least you got presents out of it LoL.

About converting later on.. I think had my mother, who raised me, forced her beliefs on me the entire time It may have delayed the process, but I doubt it. Still it's pretty interesting to think about.
I'm quite happy that no one ever brainwashed me too. All of my explorations of religion were on my part. The REALLY funny thing is that my adventures in religion pulled my MOM in and she is still held firmly in place by it. My realization of what I had done to her prompted me to end experimentation with all organized religion, as I had seen enough. Luckily I managed to pull my buddy Mike out with me, even though they had ordained him as a minister at the time.
Holy cow! You are one influential guy, you better use your powers wisely young apprentice!
Neither of my parents was religious, and I've always put biblical stories in the same category as the greek and ancient egyptian myths my parents read to me when I was a kid. As I got older and came into contact with religious people I had a hard time wrapping my brain around the idea that THEY ACTUALLY BELIEVED THAT CRAP!!! My father pulled me aside one day and said to me "look, you never argue with a man about the woman he loves or about his religion." That turned out to be very good advice. I still have difficulty believing that religious people believe what they claim to believe, and I have never been anything other than an atheist. I have always known that there is no god; there's only us, looking for explanations for natural phenomena and a meaning for our own existence.
I've told this story when answering another question, but I'll repeat it here.

Mum sent me to Sunday School when I was four and in the first lesson we were told that an angel came down from heaven and told Mary she was about to have a baby. I wanted to know more about the angels. How did they get here from heaven, I wondered.

The teacher said they could fly - and showed me a picture - but I wasn't impressed. It just didn't seem right. I asked more questions until the teacher told me to be quiet and listen to the rest of the story.

I also remember the first time I heard that Jesus walked on water. I recall looking hard into the teacher's face, trying to figure out whether she really believed this rubbish, or did adults just tell lies to kids as a matter of course.

I went to Sunday School for eight years and never believed a single word they told me.

Like you, I was kicked out several times for being cheeky. I wasn't trying to be cheeky though. I was just asking questions.

Of course, at that age, I never had any real arguments against the bible and knew absolutely nothing about the philosophy of religion. I just did not believe in miracles and that was that.
It's interesting to know others have had similar experiences. Like I mentioned earlier, I had previously thought my case was due to having been given good reason at an early age to question authority, but now I see common sense is just built into us from the beggining. Thanks for the responses everyone.
Wasn't there some research done regarding this? I remember hearing of something called the "God Gene", but I never really looked into that.




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