As weird as it is, I think it was the attitude of my former "fellow" Christians that started me on the road to doubt. Even though I've got a bachelors in Physics and have generally held a belief in evolution and big bang cosmology for most of the believing stage of my life, it really wasn't science that brought up questions(cognitive dissonance at its best). I think I've always generally never had a connection with anyone in any church I had ever attended. Mainly since most Christians, especially in the south, are non-intellectuals. But I think it really started when I began listening to extreme metal. I couldn't understand how anyone could look down on something that I loved so much and felt so natural to listen to. I can't tell you how many people have told me that its "the devils music"(even though most of the lyrics are socio-political).

Of course later on I did my research and discovered how ridiculous my former beliefs were. So who or what started you on your path to disbelief?

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I did believe when i was younger, but yeah, santa and the easter bunny raised the initial question marks on god.
Maybe that's why my Christian parents never told me about Santa or the bunny...
I was introduced to a heavy dose of religion when I was about 12 yrs. old vis-a-vis the American Baptist church. What I got from it mostly was how "unworthy" of "God's love" I was. Oh, I tried my damndest to be a good Christian, rededitcating my life to Christ on several occasions. However, shortly after leaving home and joining the USAF the serious doubts started to creep in (the DEVIL doing his dirty work, no doubt!!). After a few years I became an agnostic and a few decades later it hit home, "Hey, I don't believe ANY of that shit!". So today, I'm an atheist and I'll most likely remain one until they stick my carcass in a box an drop it into the ground!
I was a skeptic child growing up despite being in Christian schools until I was 16. I barely recall an event my mother tells me every other Christmas. I was around 5 or 6 and asked her how could reindeer fly? No other non birds could fly...She said Santa feed them magic popcorn. I did not ask anything else, but I was not thoroughly convinced.

I never thought heaven and hell were real places, church bored me to no end, and the teachers never answered my questions without the usual "He works in mysterious ways bullshit." So the schools and churches made it quite easy for me since they were dumb as a brick.

It was not until last year though that I became an open, active, concerned atheist. After going through depression off and on for years, I ended up sending e-mails back and forth to a guy in Florida. When he was able to deduce my lack of self esteem just from letters on a screen, I knew I was not as bad off as I thought and started to download any book I could find. The first "atheist" books I read were " The Atheist Bible" and "Letter to a Christian Nation" which set me on my way to happiness. I stumbled upon Daniel Florien's Unreasonablefaith blog and he had a link for AtheistNexus, the rest as they say, is history.
The suffering of children first made me doubt.

Reading the bible sealed the deal.
If could pin point the moment I started to question it was when I first saw that image of a starved African child with a distended belly and a vulture watching it.

I could not stop from asking, 'How could a loving god allow this?'

When I read the bible looking for an answer I found that not only did God allow it, but he even caused it and other horrible things to happen to children. From there it was a long painful spiral to rejecting the whole of religion -- all religion.

I share your contempt of the 'rapture' story. How could a loving god not only allow his creations, whom he supposedly loves, fall victim to a pit of endless suffering -- AND create that pit for them. It just doesn't make any fucking sense. God cannot be both vengeful and benevolent as the Book of Revelation tries to argue.
Your free will comment made me remember this(I think there's two more parts):
I started with something simular I ask that with a ALL-Knowning God that knows past, present and furture, then why should he judge us when we die for god knows what we would have already done. and i did not accept the free-will.

that was my start on becomeing atheist
For me it was listening to a woman give a talk to the whole congregation in church about how an underage, young woman tempted her father to have sex with her because she wore immodest clothing and so it was really at least partially her fault that he had sex with her. Now, technically speaking, that doesn't necessarily disprove their version of God, but it sure got me taking their claims seriously.
Whoa, that's really horrible. For someone reason, I think women rape-apologists are worse than men; maybe I expect as women for them to understand what it's like to be physically weaker and aggressively pursued by someone (in the case of this girl, by someone who had legal and financial control over her). Glad it sounded immoral to you.
Internalized sexism is pretty sad.
For me, it was a lot of things that happened at once.

A teenage friend of mine got pregnant and married the father and set aside her hopes of going to college. I couldn't help but think that if that was what God wanted, he was a big bastard.

I started watching Discovery Health programs about intersexuality and birth defects of various kinds. My dad often says that when I was a kid I'd go around saying, "God don't make no junk," and here I was seeing things about children born with half a brain and dying within hours of birth. What kind of point was God trying to make there?

Hurricane Katrina happened. What sort of "loving" God would do that to his creation?

Finally I just got tired of hearing people say "God has a plan" and decided NO. God did not have a plan, and if he did, it was a really badly executed one.




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