When and why did you go public about your disbelief in god?

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When and why did you go public about your disbelief in god?

1. I have always been publicly open about my lack of belief in god right from the time I stopped believing:
18
72%
2. I stopped believing long ago, but only went public in recent years because of the more favourable environment created by the rise of ‘popular atheism' in Ireland:
1
4%
3. I stopped believing long ago, but recently went public for other reasons [please leave a comment to explain]:
4
16%
4. I was rapidly converted from theism to non-belief by the writings/films/websites of people like Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, Dennett etc:
0
No votes
5. I was rapidly converted from theism to non-belief by other means [please leave a comment to explain]:
2
8%
 
Total votes: 25
inedifix
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When and why did you go public about your disbelief in god?

Post by inedifix » Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:41 am

I think it's fair to say that the number of people who are publicly declaring their disbelief in god, has increased in Ireland in recent years. Particularly since the publication and popularity of books like The God Delusion. To many theists out there, this looks like a sudden rash of atheist “converts” seemingly popping out of nowhere. An alternative view is that many “closet”, or previously quiet, atheists have been "coming out" and/or getting more vocal, because of the favourable environment and public awareness created in Ireland by so-called 'popular atheism' writers like Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris etc, and by the emergence and growth of websites like atheist.ie.

So, which of the above broadly/best describes you?

Notes:

1: For the sake of keeping this poll simple, I’ve used the terms non-belief and disbelief in an effort to include the broad spectrum of people on this site who have come to the conclusion that there is no god, but who may describe themselves variously as atheists, rationalists, humanists, naturalists, hard agnostics, secularists, unherdablecats, something else entirely, or combinations thereof. My apologies if you're on the weak agnostic end of the spectrum - this poll is not really for you.

2: My apologies for using the term 'popular atheism'. I don’t particularly like it myself, but I’ve used it because it's brief, and we all know what it means.

3: This is an open ended poll.
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Re: When and why did you go public about your disbelief in god?

Post by dugges » Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:12 am

I'd be between 3 & 4. I already was beginning to have doubts about religion but reading The God Delusion finally made me realise how flaccid religious beliefs were, and it tackled all religion. It took about a year to fully deconvert. Before reading that however, I was looking at other religions, especially at the New Age woo. I regret bringing the book "The Secret" into the house, because I get it referenced in conversation all the time, and when I say it's nonsensical I get the old - "Well You bought it"
Name that logical fallacy anyone?
But I digress, I didn't necessarily become public, but I became a Militant Atheist at the time of the Blasphemy Law, which also prompted me to join an atheist organisation.


As far as I'm aware, Atheist.ie was set up on the back of The God Delusion to get Atheists to meet up.
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ctr
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Re: When and why did you go public about your disbelief in god?

Post by ctr » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:40 am

option 1
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Re: When and why did you go public about your disbelief in god?

Post by nozzferrahhtoo » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:58 am

I guess 1 is the closest for me, but I am slightly different in that I NEVER believed it, not once. We had bible reading in school every morning and so on but I always just thought of it as story time. It was not till around 12 that I suddenly realised "Hang on people BELIEVE this stuff???"
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Re: When and why did you go public about your disbelief in god?

Post by Bik » Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:36 am

nozzferrahhtoo wrote:I guess 1 is the closest for me, but I am slightly different in that I NEVER believed it, not once. We had bible reading in school every morning and so on but I always just thought of it as story time. It was not till around 12 that I suddenly realised "Hang on people BELIEVE this stuff???"
Same as that. It always seemed too far fetched for me as soon as I started to think about it. I may have stopped believing in God before I stopped believing in Santa :D
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Re: When and why did you go public about your disbelief in god?

Post by Rev j.jones » Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:58 am

I ticked 1, remember being about 4 or 5 and I really wanted something, I asked my grannie about it and she said I should pray for it, I can remember as clear as day I never even cosidered getting down on my knees as soon as the words were outa her mouth I said to myself "forget it, thats a waste of time"

when I was making my confirmation, I slapped casey back, I'll admit it was a tentative "slap" but I did reach out and touch is face with the flat of my hand.

for years if i was in company I didn't know I would say what I believe would offend you ie. your fucking mental, or sure if I said a prayer I'd probably burst into flames.

watching how the world is imploding on religious beliefs and how the education system has been affected has made me militant especially the education part of it. we are here to reproduce, religion means we are reproducing stupidity.
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Re: When and why did you go public about your disbelief in god?

Post by Feardorcha » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:03 am

I was on a horse riding to Damascus...

But seriously, I won a prize for an essay "Why I am a Catholic" in Leaving Cert year and remember feeling very hypocritical as I had written it by thinking how the Holy Brother would see it, and not myself.

After school I had the good fortune to fall into bad company where we discussed Marx, Darwin, Einstein et al between rioting and generally making life hell for the Establishment.

Then there was sex. The Church's restrictions on the hormonally burgeoning young adult is like trying to hold back the sea with your hand. The burgeoning won.

The Establishment also won, of course, but I, and the friends of my youth, have used every opportunity to upset them. If we can't have Liberty on the barricades, we can at least jiggle their elbow as they sip their Chateauneufdupape.
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Re: When and why did you go public about your disbelief in god?

Post by chemicals » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:08 am

Like a lot of posters here I never really believed it from an early age - most of my friends did not believe either ,I was shocked when I went to college and actually met someone who believed in it all :shock: . I assumed people went to church for social reasons and because it was the done thing etc. It took me a long time to accept that young people could truly buy into it this drivel ,I still find it hard to believe in fact .
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Re: When and why did you go public about your disbelief in god?

Post by Logorrhea » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:32 pm

chemicals wrote:Like a lot of posters here I never really believed it from an early age - most of my friends did not believe either ,I was shocked when I went to college and actually met someone who believed in it all :shock: . I assumed people went to church for social reasons and because it was the done thing etc. It took me a long time to accept that young people could truly buy into it this drivel ,I still find it hard to believe in fact .
Yeah I'd second that though I went for Option 2. I'm sure I believed as a child, as I did in Santa but I'm not sure when I started disbelieving. Probably around 12+.

I'm not sure if the likes of Hitchins and Dawkins actually converted that many people, they just made a lot of people realise that religion was more dangerous then a lot of us believed and so more people should speak up about the negatives.
Last edited by Logorrhea on Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: When and why did you go public about your disbelief in god?

Post by Beebub » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:42 pm

I'm a 1. But I also think I never believed. I remember as a kid being in Mass looknig at all the folk bowing their heads and closing their eyes at the 'important bits' and thinking that maybe one day when I was older and understood things better that it would come to me and I too would be bowing my head for real. But it never came and by the time I was a teenager I just didn't care. Although, Dawkins' book did make me care a bit more about religion being forced down my throat. However I had no kids when I read God Delusion. I think I'd be as angry as I am now about the whole education fiasco with small kids whether or not I had read GD.
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