This is a split board - You can return to the Split List for other boards.

How do you remove all religion from your brain and become an atheist?

#1animeapePosted 5/18/2013 2:51:16 PM
I don't know what process I need to undergo to remove every visage of Christianity from my mind, and to become an atheist. People believe that it is as simple as renouncing the faith. And for some, it is because they weren't deeply religious to begin with. But I was raised Christian. So it is harder for me.

Even though I don't have a strong desire to go to church. I regularly doubt the existence of God. I no longer want to feel the sense of compunction when I do things that are strictly prohibited in the Bible. I'm tired of only believing that God exists because I don't want to incur His wrath, and be damned eternally to hell. And I'm tired of trying to grow spiritually in a God that I can't see. Despite this, I still can't manage to completely break free from this albatross because my mother has warped my conscience over the years by forcing her morality on me. Even when she's not around me, I still feel guilty when I consider doing things I know she doesn't approve of.

For those of you that identify as atheists and also were raised in religious households, what did you do to remove all the religion you were raised to believe from your brains so you could finally get to the point where you could declare you were atheists?
---
A human life remains of consequence not because of what we leave behind, but because we act and inspire, and arouse others to action and inspiration... - Goethe
#2lastheroPosted 5/18/2013 3:15:13 PM
Honestly, if it's going to happen, it'll just happen. There was no magic trick that just made it all go away - those beliefs didn't instill themselves overnight, and they won't go away much faster.
---
X-Men: First Class RPG - Welcoming all new players!
[http://s1.zetaboards.com/New_Mutants/index/]
#3sumostickfigurePosted 5/18/2013 3:27:16 PM
To be perfectly honest, I became an atheist some time after losing those compunctions; for me, I lost attachment to the values of the religion prior to coming to disbelieve in the existence of god and whatnot, so I never had to go through some period of feeling guilt for doing things proscribed by Christianity after having stopped being a Christian. Given my inability to really relate on this issue, the best advice I can suggest is to look into some separate philosophy of life that you can grasp onto so you won't feel guilt any time you do something that you were previously taught was wrong.
---
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face--forever.
http://i.imgur.com/Vgmi3.gif
#4SuibomPosted 5/18/2013 4:22:41 PM
[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]
#5Moorish_IdolPosted 5/18/2013 4:44:06 PM
It takes a long time. Most people raised in Christianity who have later deconverted from it (either to atheism or to another religion like myself) take several months at least before they feel confident. It took me personally around two years before I felt confident enough to stop calling myself Christian.

And it will occur in phases -- you won't go from Christian to Atheist; you'll probably go from Christian, to irreligious Christian, to Spiritual, to Leaning Atheist, to Atheist. Also don't be surprised if you have a phase of anger sometime after your deconversion (what is commonly known as angstheism).

The important thing is to understand why you are deconverting. If you have doubts, read about possible solutions to those doubts (in apologetics, or ask other Christians); also, look for support for your doubts (who else has the same doubts as me? why do doubts occur in some people but not others?). I want to stress how important this is -- if you are truly going to be comfortable deconverting, you need to have support for your new position otherwise it'll remain a conflict in your mind and you'll never be comfortable with it. You have to educate yourself as much as possible until either your doubts are settled and you remain Christian, or your doubts are confirmed and you deconvert.
#6TheBlackCat13Posted 5/18/2013 4:51:17 PM
animeape posted...
For those of you that identify as atheists and also were raised in religious households, what did you do to remove all the religion you were raised to believe from your brains so you could finally get to the point where you could declare you were atheists?

For me it was a 3-step process. First, I realized I was being a hypocrite. I was claiming to be a fan of science, to base my understanding of the universe, of nature, on science, but for a large group of fundamental questions I was really tossing science out the window entirely because it didn't fit my pre-conceived notions. It took several years of trying to ignore this issue before I finally decided I can't live with the guilt any longer.

So I started doing research on the subject. Reading the arguments and evidence for and against the two sides. From what I saw one side had much better arguments and evidence. This took about another year.

At this point I felt I had about as good a grasp of the two positions as I was going to, but I understood that a lot of people based their position on faith and religious experiences. Although I hadn't had anything like that up to that point, I felt that it was something important to take into account.

So I decided to give it another 6 months. That would put me into January the next year. I would be spending Christmas with most of my extended family (who are, or at least were at the time, all religious), attending Church, and so on. I figured if nothing happened during that season it probably wasn't going to.

January came around, nothing had happened, so that was it.
#7Polish_CrusaderPosted 5/18/2013 5:17:12 PM
That feeling that you feel is the holy spirit. It is convicting you. Do not reject him. Why do you want to reject something that you know is true and so good for your body and soul?
#8mercuryinkPosted 5/18/2013 6:21:33 PM
Like, I don't get it. Are you asking that they bulldoze all the local churches so that absolutely nothing could ever remind you of your childhood? Cancel Google's Xmas doodle? Because it's pretty hard to escape the ideas instilled in you at early life, even if you consciously reject them. You could, with years of subconscious effort, block them out, but most people reserve that for truly traumatic experiences.
---
Some people are proof that G-d exists; evolution would have prevented them.
New Jersey Devils -- Stanley Cup Champions -- 1995-2000-2003
#9mrplainswalkerPosted 5/18/2013 6:26:33 PM
This is such a strange topic. If you currently believe, then why would you want to purge belief? And if you don't, then why ask in the first place? It's not a conscious decision.
---
Failure to at least give this show a chance gives anyone you see the right to punch you in the face.
- Spiritclaw on Battlestar Galactica
#10JonWood007Posted 5/18/2013 6:49:13 PM
You don't. You;re beginning to realize it's bullcrap, but you still fear God and/or hell even though you know logically they don't exist.

It takes time to remove this stuff from your psyche. I've been an atheist for a year, was doubting, but not willing to take the plunge for months before that, and it's not as simply as turning off a switch. I'm still not completely over it, but it gets easier with time. You may have issues if you have a strong religious presence in your life from your parents though.
---
Desktop: Phenom II X4 965 | 8 GB DDR3 | GTX 580 | 1 TB HDD | W7 | 650W Antec | 1600x900
Laptop: A6 3400m | 4 GB DDR3 | HD 6520g | 500 GB HDD | W7 | 1366x768