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← What leads some to never accept religion at all?

mfothergill85's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by mfothergill85

I fall into the above mentioned camp of never really enjoyed the process of church (protestant, modern, not sure what denomination). I never really fitted into the mindset, I never really felt anything all the people that had felt God felt, and I never really heard God speak like other people described it.

And I found the forced social aspect deeply false and superficial. As I grew older towards teenagerdom I really began to question whether the story made sense (why would God actually need to do X in the manner that is described in the Bible, why if we are judged on our own understanding as fallible humans do our beliefs actually matter?) I stuck with it firstly to not disappoint my parents, I even got onboard the creationist bandwagon because I really felt I needed "evidential" justification for my beliefs. Somehow the idea that we just happened to exist didn't fit in with Christianity, so it had to be wrong for my beliefs to be correct.

At the same time a lot of my Christian teenage peers were hitting puberty too and becoming more and more hypocritical with regard to their beliefs. (Sex before marriage and support of homosexual behaviour was also at odds with my brand of beliefs.) The trouble by age 18 or 19 was that I FELT things should be a certain way, morally, and that my religion was the guide, but I knew logically it didn't make sense to put sex on a holy pedestal, nor the holding of any one dogmatic viewpoint the way forward. The worst part was that I FELT that if I doubted, there was less chance of heaven, and a real chance of hell, so I couldn't abandon it. I spent 19 - 23 with my head in the sand.

I foolishly ignored my religious feelings, but thought that if I left the church and didn't do anything religious maybe, in the hope if I ignored the deep-rooted indoctrination, it would go away. It didn't and through a few early twenties years of anguish I finally read the God Delusion last year and it changed my life, I realised I could leave religion behind, that I didn't have to fear for my afterlife, and try and do what "God wanted" which always seemed to be at odds with contemporary morals and common sense.

After that religion stopped preventing me from being the person I wanted to be, and holding the values I wanted to hold. I am deeply anti-theistic now, because I resent the psychological cage so much. Religious beliefs stop you from thinking rationally and clearly because you don't feel like you are allowed to. I feel it is my duty and a kindness to help people out of the terrible pit of religious belief they have either been thrown in or unwittingly fallen into.

Mon, 27 Feb 2012 12:16:30 UTC | #922410