So for the first time in my life, I was asked: do I think God exists? And for the past month and a half my answer has always been. I don't know and I will never know. But my gut feel is leaning toward no. So I suppose as of today I am officially an atheist. During my days of ignorance and lack of openness and analytical thinking I told myself I wouldn't stop believing. But these past couple years have slowly changed everything. Ironically, my confirmation program at church is what made me start doubting. Why is it ironic? Because that program is supposed to make people more religious but really, it made me less religious instead. My sponsor wouldn't be happy with me whatsoever but there isn't anything I can do about that. So my question to you all is: when you first became atheist, how did you feel? How did you cope? I've been living a relatively atheistic life for about a month and a half but advice/thoughts are very much appreciated :)

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Comment by Kristine R. on March 9, 2010 at 7:43pm
Thank you everyone for your insight!
Comment by Garrick McElroy on March 9, 2010 at 5:53pm
The internet helped me cope. I didn't think there were many people the same as me, then I get on the internet and WHAM-O! A million billion atheists. It's probably going to be easier since you discovered this place so early on. There's a lot of really helpful people here, and most of us are willing to talk with you and help you through difficult situations you can't talk about with other people in your life. This is a great community if you need any help.

As for how I felt when I became an atheist, I felt great. I was finally able to quit thinking about WWJD? in every situation. I started thinking for myself and was able to really live the way I wanted to live. It was great, and it still is.
Comment by Tom Thompson on March 9, 2010 at 12:25pm
Good for you Kristine. Your confirmation here is just as important as your confirmation at church, even the result isn't quite the same.

Self awareness is an important part of being an ethical, happy, person. I felt strangely elated when I admitted to myself that wanting to believe there is a god doesn't make it so and that I didn't need to suffer from all the fears that religion had saddled me with. Living in doubt is no more enjoyable. Making that decision will let you move past the question and begin to determine what you will do next.
Comment by Matt on March 9, 2010 at 6:03am
Hi Kristine

Confirmations have that effect more often than you think. My wife was raised a catholic, and was a solid believer until religious teaching showed her that she was actually nicer and more forgiving than the god they were teaching her about, and that made her actually think about a lot of things she simply automatically assumed were true before.

Be proud! Now you do good because you believe it is good, and you trust your ability to determine what is good and what is not. You live life as a life, not as a preparation for an afterlife. You live it for yourself, not in servitude to some super-being. The things you believe now you believe because you can see reasons to believe in them. And if you happen to be wrong, or simply never looked closely at things you nevertheless believed you can simply change your mind and admit you had the wrong end of the stick.

Atheism is a far, far more honest view on life than a religious view. Enjoy it!
Comment by LarryW on March 9, 2010 at 4:06am
Hi Kristine and welcome to Atheism.

I do not presume to speak for anyone else. I have considered myself an Atheist for about 8 years. The previous 30 years, I had my doubts as to whether there was a God, but now I am convinced, at least in my own mind, so I am comfortable with that.

When I first thought of myself as an Atheist, I was obviously concerned about what family and friends would think. Then I realized that, if their is no God, or supreme being, that I must answer to for my feelings, words or actions, then I have only myself to blame. Once I accepted that responsibility, which took several months, I can truthfully say I became a better person. Now that I do not have that doubt in my mind, and have accepted that responsibility, it makes it much easier for me to accept a Godless lifestyle. Everyone is different so the path you take is up to you now, not the one someone else wants you walk. All you can do is "be the best person you can be".

Best wishes...

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