Atheists; were you born "so made that you cannot believe."

In the words of Blaise Pascal, the ones who he addressed his famous and flawed wager to were the ones who couldn’t believe, “so made” as he put it.

I know we have a lot of atheists on the boards - did you ever have a faith in a deity or did you never believe a word of it?

Personally I can remember as a kid really believing in God - an interventionist God to boot who answered prayers, so I was no “so made”.

I believed when I was a small child.

I was a born again snake handling, speak in in tongues, Pentecostal southern Baptist from the hills of Tennessee. That is until I left those hills, joined the Army, saw parts of the rest of the world, and got many different points of view. I got an education and came to realize the absurdities of the whole thing. I became an Atheist in my late 20’s. My family still prays for me to come back, I’m now 62.

God made me an Agnostic

Believed what I was told by the church. Even ‘felt the spirit move’ a few times in my teen years at bible camps. But my curiosity got the better of me. I searched for answers at various churches for years and only found more questions and inconsistancies until one day I dared to wonder if maybe, just maybe, what I was being told wasn’t true. Disbelief ensued.

I think it’s an unfair question. Yes, I had some level of faith in a deity when I was little, because I didn’t know any better. I also believed in Santa Clause and The Tooth Fairy.

I didn’t *become *an atheist; I *realized *I was an atheist.

I’m an atheist. I was raised with no religion (and no particular belief or concept of God, though no particular unbelief/disbelief either), but I clearly remember believing in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, so I’m definitely capable of believing in supernatural figures.

As a child, I was sent to Sunday School, but more so that my parents could have some peace and quiet on a Sunday morning, I think.

I had quite a few religious friends growing up, and I was always fascinated by their rituals, e.g. praying before a meal.

I went to a few different churches when I stayed over at friends’ places. I loved it for the singing although there was one church where the attendees were waving their hands around a lot and I remember feeling a bit scared there.

I don’t know that I ever actually believed as such. Once I reached my early teens, I had decided that I was atheist.

I’m an agnostic, raised in a nurturing environment that encouraged not giving a rat’s ass about theology and anti-theology.

At the risk of being too literal, I think two points should be considered here: you can’t comprehend these ideas until you’re at least a few years old, so how can we really say how we’re made? And how much does belief even count if you’re raised to believe and haven’t yet given the ideas real scrutiny? But taking the “made” thing less literally, I think it was pretty much impossible that I was going to end up believing in anything religious. My parents tried, but they’re fundamentally irreverent people- my mom in particular. They didn’t really believe in any religious doctrine themselves, and they tried to raise us in that tradition for cultural reasons or to avoid letting down their parents, and that’s the way an adult would negotiate that kind of situation and there was no way that children were going to just absorb that contradiction. Irreverence is very central to the personalities of their children as well. So once I met an actual atheist I gave up on the whole thing pretty quickly, and then my middle brother did, too. My parents fought us on that issue for a couple of years and then gave up and admitted they didn’t really believe either. It’s hard to imagine how else the whole thing could’ve turned out. I wouldn’t say it’s about how I was made as such, but it might’ve been an inevitable product of where I came from and how I was brought up.

I can’t remember when I believed in God. Maybe in Sunday school when I was little, but I never thought the stories about God were any different from stories about aliens or Davy Crockett – just stories and not a real person.*

We were never very religious. We went to synagogue for Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah and Purim (for some reason, it was supposed to be fun for kids; it wasn’t where I went). But there was no insistence in any belief that God existed. I just thought the whole concept amusing.

*Yes, I know there was a real Davy Crockett, but I knew the Disney version was not history.

“If God had wanted me otherwise, he’d have made me otherwise!”

If there is a God, he gave me a questioning mind and a seeking spirit and the iron will to follow only the path that feels right to my soul.

Less judgey, more lovey, I say!

I’m essentially agnostic right now. I was raised Christian, and went to church fairly regularly, though was never particularly religious. My wife and kids regularly attend our church, and I go occasionally, though generally just Easter and Christmas. Over the years, I’ve come to see the many contradictions and odd assertions in the Bible as explanations for the people at the time for what they were seeing. Most of those we just don’t need a spiritual explanation for.

I don’t think any organized religion around has the ‘truth’ at the moment, though I don’t really feel that there’s nothing. I do think it’s far more likely that we just blink out when we die, but I’m not 100% on that, and while that may just be hope, I don’t necessarily fear it if it’s not. I have the sense that there is ‘something’ beyond what we are, but I don’t know in what capacity. I find God in music, in my children’s smiles and laughter, my wife’s embrace and the natural beauty in the world. Whether that’s by design or happy accident of the universe, I don’t know, but, at least as how it relates to my experience, it’s a form of magic.

This was more or less the same experience for me (though instead of Judaism it was Methodism). Even at Sunday school, “God” wasn’t really spoken of much. It was more Jesus and his ways and how we should all try to be good people like him. I was raised on myths and folklore bedtime stories early and saw it all in the same camp as fairies and witches and so on. Nice stories that warn you about the pitfalls of life, but not actually real. I can’t even say I remember really believing in Santa Claus as a kid.

I voted “other,” because I’m a theist who doesn’t believe in the Judeo-Christian God.

When I was little, I believed in God. I’m still a theist, if a heavily agnostic one, but I gave up monotheism when I was about 12, and stopped treating the Bible as a sacred text a few years later.

I have a vivid recollection of the turning point.

There was a little girl named Donna, who had strabismus and wore a patch. who lived next door until I was five. One day, my mother left me in the care of her mother, while she went out on an errand. At about 2 oclock, Donna said we have to take a nap now. I’m like What’ a nap? I had the concept of a nap explained to me, my 5-year old mind cycling through the WWII-era equivalent of WTF.

Fast forward about a year, we moved to another house across town, Donna and her mother came over to visit my mom. Donna is in the swing in the back yard and casually mentions that Jesus is watching us. Who’s Jesus? Donna’s like He’s up there, pointing vaguely at the sky. WTF. Naps, and now Jesus?

The beginning and the end of the Gospel according to Donna. I mean, like, I’m 5 1/2 going on 6 – and she expects me to believe this shit, just because she’s already 6?

I was raised with religion and Jewish culture, but never believed in a god, even as a small child. I never believed in the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, ghosts etc either. I think I was jus hard wired that way. My parents never talked about god much, if at all, even though we went to synagogue and observed holidays etc. I still go to synagogue and observe religious holidays for myself and with my kids, and they don’t believe either, and never have.

I was a Christian till sometime in my teens. I was raised as a Christian, taught to burn “sinful” books and pray for the Apocalypse.

I was not particularly religious as a youngster, although my parents made me go to Sunday school and occasionally to church (which is all they ever went, occasionally). I remember listening to sermons as I got older and thinking that there were a lot of things in there that didn’t make much sense (maybe our pastor was just bad ad sermons).

I like to think that, as children mature they become more rational, and so as my rationality matured I became more atheist. I made it a conscious decision when I was 13.

So I opted for “Atheist, I want another choice.”

I was raised a Catholic in an area that is predominantly Catholic. I believed in the Catholic religion. Or maybe I could more accurately say I accepted the Catholic religion. It was the water this little fish swam in.

Later I became more exposed to other religious ideas that I hadn’t been raised in and I naturally didn’t embrace these religious beliefs. But at some point I realized I didn’t believe in Catholicism any more than I believed in these other religions. My Catholicism was a habit not a faith.