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.


Views: 1185

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I had a somewhat similar experience, some of the talks in grade school were "lively" and my confirmation was under protest. But the difference is that while my father is a moderate xtian my mother and most of her side of my family is atheist.
Well, Bridgette, given your other rather insulting and completely off-base insinuations about Brother Richard, I hope this isn't another barb targeted at the Executive Director of this site. Skepticism is always advised, but assembling sufficient evidence on which to base an opinion is also a rather valuable tool. Surprisingly, even without your help, we've been pretty good at ratting out the fakers on here - without having to stoop to maligning those de-converts who are genuine.

I can assure you that Brother Richard isn't making money out of Atheist Nexus - it's costing him money and time away from a business that does bring him an income. At this stage, Nexus makes barely enough to pay for the upkeep and maintenance of the site. Richard's representation of the site at various atheist conventions is sometimes financed by targeted donations, but these often fall short of the amount needed and he has to top it up himself.

"Trust only your skepticism" is, frankly, a stupid comment and one more fitting of a conspiracy theorist than a rationalist. You can trust scientific theories that have been tested and proven, just as you can trust people who have been tested and proven. Richard is one of those people.

Take a deep breath, Bridgette. Not everyone is out to get you.
It was compulsory for me to go to (Anglican) church every Sunday but always felt it was irrelevant to life and a complete waste of time. I vaguely remember my conversion away from believing in Father Christmas (=Santa Claus), but it was a condition in our house that as long as you didn't speak out against him then you got presents. I think I must have used this model for my approach to religion- despite weekly church attendance, belief in religion and gods were never discussed in our house. This made it very easy not to believe, but not easy to discuss it with anyone.

I remember aged about ten being chastised by teachers for not shutting my eyes when 'grace' was said before school dinners and for not singing the hymns in school assembly. By then I had adopted these two things as my acts of rebellion against all this nonsense.

By the way, I went to a normal state school in England, where there is no separation of church and religion. Despite my admiration of the USA's secular constitution, I notice that the British system has resulted in a society where religion is largely ignored and is generally viewed as a minority pastime. I fear that if Britain were to adopt a secular constitution then things might change for the worse. Probably not a topic for this discussion though.
My parents would tell you today that they believe in god, but fortunately they didn't mention that fact during my childhood. So I was allowed to be a natural child, an atheist. In 1967 I was 5-years-old and my father was sent to Viet Nam for a year. We went to live with my grandmother in North Carolina and my mother worked full time. At some point she sent me to "Vacation Bible School" perhaps on the advice of my grandmother. I vividly recall thinking, "These people can't really believe this story.....can they?" I was only 5.
I was raised an Atheist by my mother (who unfortunately is rather offense with her comments about the "brain-washing" religious "freaks"), but my father's side of the family is entirely Episcopalian with many of them going to college for theology. As you can imagine this causes quite a few familial issues. It's strange really; my father all but gave up his religion when he married my mother (as far as I can tell), but I've still read the bible; I know the basic stories; I live in a primarily Baptist community and all my friends try and tell me to go to church with them; my father's side of the family tells me to go to church or else I'll wind up in Hell. And yet I've stayed a firm atheist. I think it's because I've seen that prayer does not save lives. I think it's because I saw my sisters try and be Christian for a while and then quit when they realized that it just didn't make sense to them.

I have never once really believed in God--in any god really. When I was very, very young I prayed to Him once, but that didn't work out so well so I stopped. I went through a Buddhist phase when I was younger, but that was just because a teacher told me I had to believe in something. I have never gone to church, nor have I wanted to. The Bible makes no sense to me, nor does the Koran or the Torah. I've noticed the contradictory nature of religion for as long as I can remember (I've always been a bit of a cynic).

Which is why I always think it's weird when people say "Oh, you're just an atheist because that's how you were raised." I think I've always been one at heart. Although it might just be because I can't stand my father's side of the family so i always try and do things differently then them.
I didn't always know I was an atheist, but when I learned what atheist meant, I realized I have been one for as long as I can remember. I never really thought miracles could happen, though I thought some of the were pretty awesome. Never got thrown out of sunday school or anything, but my family wasn't excessively religious and we rarely went to church.
Not having a church of our own, my mom, for a while, took us kids around to many different denominations for Sunday school. As early as i can remember, I was thinking it was all b.s. Matter of fact more than one SS teacher asked that I not return. I wasn't disrespectful, I just wanted logical explanations to the fables (7 day creation, rising from the dead, Red Sea parting, etc..) they were teaching as fact. I had already debunked Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and just threw religion in with those childish trappings.
I cannot ever remember having faith. I think that when I was very young, before I was teenager, I may have thought that God was all that was good in the world. Whatever that means. Like I said, I was very young. LOL By the time I was in my 20's, and my brain had grown more, I was able to think abstractly and logically about such a belief, and quickly decided it was a bunch of mumbo jumbo. But, I was not burden with any indoctrination.

Thankfully, my parents never brain-washed me to believe or to not believe. Growing up, around the dinner table, claims that were asserted were met with a follow up question; "how do you know that"?

EccentricSM, You were kicked out of bible school for asking for a shred of evidence? Sadly,that doesn't surprise me in the least. Maybe they were scared by an 8 yr old. :)
I haven't been an atheist all my life. However i've never belonged to any religion either.
I think my mother is religious while my father isn't. But nevertheless we never talked about any religion or lack of that at home. Basically a neglected area. But if there ever were any religion then it would have been christianity.
There were some times I thought of a god creating certain situations when i was smaller, sometimes it just seemed too convenient I thought. But thats pretty much it, I never followed any sort of tradition, prayed or anything. I never went to any religious institution voluntarily, I always felt uncomfortable in a church.
So as I grew older I began to research the religions and rapidly became an atheist. Nothing more to it, my case is probably one of the more luckier ones.
I was atheist when I was being carted off to Sunday school, church, and even a parochial school. Even as a little girl (4-5), I picked up on the misogyny oozing through the facade, and it pissed me off. I never heard a sermon that made a lick of sense, and I went to a lot of them. They'd tell me that I was supposed to worship YHWH because he was a jealous God, but my mom and my grandparents and everyone else was telling me that jealousy was wrong. But God is right and he's jealous...? Dying for my sins? Huh? Somebody was wiling to die because somebody else told a lie to yet another person, not even the one willing to die? Really? That's a stupid thing to die for.

Religion made no sense to me.
My heritage is Jewish (like Ahmadinejad!) but I never believed that there was a god - it never seemed real. As I grew older I was able to understand my lack of belief better and formally be an atheist. So, the answer to your question is, yes - I have been an atheist as long as I can remember, and as long as I've been able to understand the meaning of that position.


David wiener
My father is an atheist, my mother is an odd mix of pseudo-Voodoo and hippiism(?). I went to a Roman Catholic Church as a child (at least on lent, when my mother suddenly became Catholic). I haven't gone to Sunday school since my brother told the visiting bishop that he refused to be a cannibal or vampire. Our local priest showed him the host was just a cracker. Besides my mom, my maternal grandmother is the most religious member of our family. She is Buddhist and thinks the fattest monk is the leader because he eats all the food. She brings them beef stew. Back to the point, I can summarize when I realized I wasn't a catholic as follows: I was shocked to learn at the tender age of 13 that people prayed for real.

So yes, I've been an atheist ever since I started believing religion was real. Learning about YEC in college only intensified it.




Update Your Membership :




Nexus on Social Media:


© 2018   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service