I believed in the Christian god when I was younger because I was influenced by my parents. As a young child I was scared by the idea of Hell. I slowly began to question Christianity and religion. I thought "How does one ever know if they picked the right god?" Or "Why should I believe everything from a book made 2,000 years ago by an invisible god in the sky?". I knew I disagreed with many parts of the bible. I also realized that if a God did exist, he was a horrible, evil monster who loved to see his people suffer. I slowly left religion. Once I had, I felt like I woke up. I was no longer in a childish world where you had to believe in fairy tales to get to the "afterlife", and never accept reality. I felt free, and I could be myself. I no longer would have to give up happiness to follow anything. I am an atheist and I am happy this way.
Not really. When I thought I believed in god, it was like a child believing in Santa Claus. You grow up and you realize he's not there anymore and you realize he never was there. It was just a lie your parents told you. I stopped believing simply because I don't see god. When I look out my window, I don't see god. When I see a roach get crushed, I don't see it going to heaven. I see it just dying. I also feel this is the only life I have. I stopped believing in god simply because I have no reason to believe in one.
I believed in god because I was raised into believing in god. Now I'm 14 and honestly don't know if I believe in god. I don't think I believe in god because how do people even know there is a god, how do they know if he is good.
I believed in god as a child. Then I read the bible, and thought "that was a horrible book". Then I looked around, and it just hit me. It was a moment where I went "There's nothing up there, it's just me". It was the most beautiful moment ever.
I gave my life to Christ years ago then turned my back on Him because the way I seen was, it was too strict, but I was involved in an Aoostolic Pentecostal church where they live mostly by laws and standards, it wasn't until I left the church and found the True God through the Assemblies of God.
Sure I was a dedicated Christian into my 40s. Loved going to church from childhood on. Taught Sunday school, volunteered to counsel at church camps, read the new testament once a month for years, spent years in fellowship with Lutherans, Pentecostals, evangelicals, Mennonites, Orthodox Christians and lengthy stays at a monastery, served on parish councils and considered my relationship with my savior Jesus my #1 importance. Throughout it all I loved reading and studying about the "early church". That led to studies of first century and previous secular authors; the earliest Christian authors; a study of pre-Christian religions and led me to have to honestly admit to myself that Christianity is just a continuation of the so called "pagan" religions of the day. So I had no experience that caused me to "fall away" or "back slide" other than learning the foundations of religion. I'm much happier as an atheist and much more at ease knowing there are no angels, demons, god or devil trying to influence my life. And knowing this life is the only one I have and the only one I'm responsible for is a great relief along with knowing I answer to no one except my own sense of right and wrong as I inherited in my empathetic human nature.
Yes, I believed in god once, for I was raised in a Christian family and taught that he was real. I had never really thought about religion though, and when I did, I realized that I had been atheist for a while, but was trying to convince myself otherwise. One day, a little more than a year ago, in my first hour class(I was in eight grade, and the class was Spanish) a girl who sat at my table turned to me out of the blue and said "You know I'm atheist, right?" All I said was "That's cool" and the subject was dropped, and class began. But it had gotten me thinking. By the end of the day, I realized that I was an atheist, by first hour the next day, I had realized that I was subconsciously trying to convince myself otherwise. Before, when I would think about how the universe was made, I'd go with some idea of the Big Bang being the incident when god created everything. But I acknowledged that I didn't really believe that, and I was only telling myself that because I knew nothing else other than Christianity. I took some one with beliefs that went against the social norm to get me to learn the truth about myself. Please read comments for the rest.
I never really believed much in the bible. I thought it a book of metaphors as a teenager. As I got older and studied the history of Christianity, it all fell into place. It was not an "Aha" moment, but a gradual realization that everything I'd been fed on religion was not true. I had been believing halfheartedly from fear, and once I took religion out of my life I was a lot happier.
I was Catholic and like Mythologyfan98 I had never REALLY bought into it, I tried to convince myself it made sense. To do that I decided to research Catholicism and then religion in general, starting with the Abrahamic faiths, then Greek, Sumerian, all the way east through Hinduism, Buddhism, Tao, Shinto, and throughout history, Egyptian, Aztec, tribal beliefs, etc. What I found made me realize my gut instinct was correct all along, religion was a man made concept. There are many reasons it came to be, from the human need for an "Alpha" figure and our ability to project through empathy emotions and motivations on the world around us as Ravenevan noted. The need to explain the power of nature, the hope that we are special and that we and our loved ones never really die. and many, many more. I have since found the light of truth, free from the dogma of separation and prejudice that religions promote, I am my own self now and the journey has given me an insight into the nature of who we are as a species, for that I can thank religion because without it I would not have had the questions it caused, and without finding the answers I would still be one of the blissfully ignorant.
I used to be Christian. At 13 I started asking inconvenient questions my priests and the other adults in my life couldn't properly answer, so I spent several years studying- philosophy, history, theology, archaeology, science. My study made me realize there is no good evidence for any god, and much against specific gods or religious claims.
Nothing I have seen, heard, discussed, or read in the 14 years since I became an atheist has changed my mind, but only reinforced that gods are the creation of men.