Woah, you had to live in the dark ages of atheism? Congratulations on keeping your sanity.
I wasn't really raised religious, but I was probably around 8 or 9 when I started realizing that Christianity was a load of crap. That led me to my Buddhist phase, until I acknowledged to myself that I didn't know anything about Buddhism. After questioning my previous assumption that everyone has a religion, I began my life as an atheist... except I had never heard the word "atheist" until I was 17.
So if you want to be technical, I was 17 when I declared myself an atheist.
brainless christian - 1992 - 1999
Skeptical christian - 1999 - 2002
Methodist (Don't ask) - 2002
Skeptical christian - 2002 - 2007
Agnostic - 2007 - 2008
Atheist - 2008 - present
I thing i just got a high score or something.
I am a closet atheist for 18 years. I am still waiting for that day I can "out" myself.. am in no rush, though. :)
I think I was lucky in that sense, I never really was a xtian. Too much bs.
I was 8. Well I did not know what atheism was then but anyway I said there could be no God or gods at 8.
Age 67 was when I declared to myself that I was an atheist. Two more years before I came-out to my family.
It's still embarrassing to admit it took me that long to see the truth. The only reason I can see is that I was thoroughly brainwashed as a child into the cult of Mormonism, and the fear of satan and hell kept me believing for 67 years.
I had doubts as far back as I can remember (age 8), but I put them on the back shelf. The doubts started coming off the back shelf and flying around my brain strongly at about the age of 50. I stopped going to church, but still had lingering fear that satan might be deceiving me.
I finally overcame my fear enough to study evolution (a big no-no in Mormonism). I found evolution much easier to understand than I thought I would, and it became obvious that's how life came about.
I watched several hours of Richard Dawkins lectures on evolution, and read The God Delusion. Dawkins was the one that finally convinced me absolutely that there were no Gods. I now have no belief in or fear of hell, satan, or death.
Spud, that is a really moving story. I feel like sharing it with some of my family members, particularly my kids of course. Glad you came around.