I am a new Atheist... The weight has finally been lifted.

Hello!
My name is Derek and I have recently became an Atheist. I grew in the mountains of Virginia which is heavily submerged in religious beliefs. I was raised as a Christian and started questioning the Bible and the stories. At a young age I was filled with questions that didn’t make sense to me… The answer was always “Satan is deceiving you”. I then began to learn about Paganism and how closely the Christian holidays were connected as well as many other things. For 3 years I fought to try and make myself believe that I was still a Christian, but nothing worked… It just doesn’t make any sense to keep following. I honestly feel like weight has been lifted off my shoulders!
Derek

Hello! My name is Derek and I have recently became an Atheist. I grew in the mountains of Virginia which is heavily submerged in religious beliefs. I was raised as a Christian and started questioning the Bible and the stories. At a young age I was filled with questions that didn't make sense to me... The answer was always "Satan is deceiving you". I then began to learn about Paganism and how closely the Christian holidays were connected as well as many other things. For 3 years I fought to try and make myself believe that I was still a Christian, but nothing worked... It just doesn't make any sense to keep following. I honestly feel like weight has been lifted off my shoulders! Derek
Welcome to the club, Derek. Many atheists have experienced the same phenomenon. Lois

Your story sounds similar to mine. It takes time over come that brainwashing, but when I finally rejected religion it felt like I had gained my sanity. Welcome to the forums.

Hola. For me it was a love of dinosaurs and science in general. Even as a little kid I thought, “But the people digging them up have their bones right there. Why does the guy in the robe keep telling me they’re fake?”

Hi Derek,
Welcome!
Here was my path to Atheism, which I found very enjoyable, enlightening and, eventually, freeing.
This got me started:http://billmoyers.com/series/joseph-campbell-and-the-power-of-myth-1988/
You may know of Bill Moyers- he’s a southern Christian and a fantastic interviewer.
That interview Really opened my eyes.
But they needed more opening.
Then, I read “Cosmos” by Carl Sagan.
That completed my escape from Supernaturalism.
Now I really enjoy movies and books that have supernatural themes, but I know they are fictitious.
That’s an encapsuled version of my journey.
But just prior to finding the Bill Moyers interview (of Joseph Cambell), I was perusing info on Wicca and the history of The Green Man in Europe.
It was captivating, but I now realize was myth.
Keep on learning!

The similarities are sometimes amazing. Reading Sagan’s The Dragons of Eden opened my eyes and led me to drop out of seminary halfway through my first semester.

The similarities are sometimes amazing. Reading Sagan's The Dragons of Eden opened my eyes and led me to drop out of seminary halfway through my first semester.
Sagan's writings seems to have paved the way for many rationalists. The 2nd Sagan book I read was The Demon Haunted World- Science as a Candle in the Dark.

Great book. I lost count of how many copies I have given to friends. Turned my best friend’s daughter into a rational thinker. She’s taken to picking up copies in used book stores and giving them away.

Thanks for the warm welcoming and replies! Since my family has found out, they have acted somewhat different…which was expected. My Aunt picked me up today and for the FIRST TIME, she had Christian music playing in the car. As if she was trying to “save me from going to hell”. I truly believe majority of Christians aren’t Christians because they love God, but because they are scared to burn in hell.
The scare tactic worked!

Well not only that, but it’s quite comforting to think that there is something that is totally in charge that can explain outrageous suffering and uncertainty. So it’s really difficult for some people to accept that real bad horrific things happen often just because that’s how things are.
One thing we humans can do is to try to reduce suffering as much as we can and not expect it to happen by just wanting it to happen or praying.

I truly believe majority of Christians aren't Christians because they love God, but because they are scared to burn in hell.
That plays into a lot of people's minds. I know some Christians who believe in god because they cannot find meaning in life without a promised afterlife, and one who believes in god because she worked in a children's oncology center and couldn't keep her sanity without believing the children who died would go to heaven. But I agree, a lot of Christians believe because they are afraid of Hell.

Many of them believe simply because they were raised to and cognitive inertia keeps the belief alive. Whether or not they actually believe it deep down or are afraid of hell is irrelevant. They persist in their belief simply because it’s easier than the often challenging path of introspection, questioning and criticism it requires to shed such belief.

Hello! It just doesn't make any sense to keep following. I honestly feel like weight has been lifted off my shoulders! Derek
The weight is the beliefs and values of those who are weak and need a savior from the world that....god created. These are not your friends but are your DNA. See them as physical claiming to be eternal becasuse they are weak and rely on myths of gods who are eternal. Find, live and love YOUR life. Awesome response! It has been quite a ride coming out and stating "I'm done" and that I'm an Atheist. I've always said, show me proof! Show me proof and I will be the first to admit I'm wrong. Intellectuals have no problem admitting they're wrong. People that are based off "faith" take it personally.

To those who are unfamiliar with the magic contained in a mathematical universe.
These excellent clips may give you some direction into the world of science.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQElzjCsl9o
and
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOtAFiI39_I
Enjoy…

Hi Derek and welcome.

I can relate.

I started on my path to atheism after reading books by Bertrand Russell, starting with Why I Am Not A Christian. I recommend any of his writings to the new atheist or potential atheist.
Lois

Hi Derek glad to hear you're questioning the supernaturally entwined stories that originated in the oral tradition of prehistory. Continue to question atheism. Sometimes the main contribution of atheism seems to be propagating the inutile god argument. I think atheists argue the opposite side of a nonexistent coin.
That sounds like a "deepity? http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Deepity Am I wrong? If I am, could you please explain exactley what you mean by "the oppoite side of a non-existent coin", please?
Hi Derek glad to hear you're questioning the supernaturally entwined stories that originated in the oral tradition of prehistory. Continue to question atheism. Sometimes the main contribution of atheism seems to be propagating the inutile god argument. I think atheists argue the opposite side of a nonexistent coin.
But atheists do not argue in the currency of a "divine super-natural" at all. There is nothing wrong with an argument in the abstract, such as the mathematics of "natural universal functions".
AMH said, To make an argument against something that did not exist in the first place is atheism’s claim to existence
Is that what they call "alternative facts"? I never make an argument against something that did not exist in the first place, unless a Theist makes the argument that something does exist, which never existed in the first place. Ad nauseum.......... But I am open to constructive suggestions. What alternative argument would you suggest? p. I like Tegmark's "mathematical argument, because we know that mathematics exist both in the abstract and as expressed in our reality. .