Hi, its good to be here. For me the journey to atheism was not an altogether pleasant one. My life has not been made easy by religion, making it hard to understand why I clung to it for so long. I am my fathers oldest and illegitemate child, my existance was an embarrasment to his ex-nun wife and so I was not permitted a relationship with my siblings.As a consequence my life was emotionally/financially/socially very impoverished, and to some extents still is. When my father died 4 years ago it affected my profoundly, with him died every chance of being part of his family. I was not allowed to the funeral, I had no closure and many un-answered questions. His death triggered my atheism, at first I saw it as a temporary 'loss of faith' and fought against it. It seems incredible to me now that I had managed to keep believing in god for so long, I was at the time doing a biology degree, I had read and loved The Blind Watchmaker and The Selfish Gene, I found the theory of evolution beautiful, elegant and utterly sensible. But there you are, thats how indoctrinated I was. It took about 2 years for me to be able to embrace being an atheist and accept, with love, that my father had, unwittingly left me this one gift.
One of the aspects of atheism that I still struggle with is the knowledge that no wrongs will be 'righted'. What happens here is 'it'. If some one has a tortured, terrible life, thats it, there is no other. The day this fully hit me, a few months after my father died, I heard a news report of something horrible happening to a child. I wont go into it but I had to pull my car over and I just cryed for such a long time. It was not having that buffer of comfort that believing in god gave me. Sometimes I wonder if I might not have been better off before. And yes, I do realise that this knowledge is important in bringing about change, not accepting things because you believe 'things will be better in the here after'. And of course I am aware of the terrible things done to whole countries in the name of religion and the choices removed from people. But for me, a mum in my 30's who is not about to go off battling for others rights and quality of life, it can be a bit uncomfortable. I am however bringing my children up to be warriors, my eldest son is just starting a degree in genetics aftter spending 6 months working in a hospital in Ethiopia, where he plans to return. All things considered I would take the truth over dellusion if had the choice again, but it would have been better to have just been spared the indoctrination and dogma to begin with.