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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

Someone on a forum asked me when I became an atheist. I thought that was a strange question because I never had religion. I was born an atheist.

In curiosity I see that people come from many different religious backgrounds who apparently dropped their religious beliefs.  Is it possible to drop the religious background one was raised with and become atheist?

If so how is the religious baggage left behind?

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I didn't have much moron baggage to get rid of, because it never really ''took'' with me.

The biggest thing I had, & still somewhat have, is the lousy image of myself that dear ol' mummy & daddy  saddled me with, as well as my cold, indifferent, unloving upbringing. Religion was easy to dump in comparison.

Kudos to you.

I wonder how often children are at odds for not believing the religious failth their parents push upon them.  That must be difficult and cause a lot of conflict.  It takes a brave person to be able to go against their parents religious beliefs.  You have a lot of courage for doing that.

I read a book Ayann Hirshi Ali wrote. She said something to the effect that even after dumping her religion she wasn' able to get over the fear of hell.

Teaching "The Fear of God," eternal damnation and hell is child abuse.

Are people who were raised with fundamentalist religious, or even moderate religious parents able to shun the fear of hell?

Perhaps the best way to tell if you are an atheist is that you don't pray.

I cant remember ever being religious it was always something vague in the back ground. Even though I come from a Anglo-Catholic background and went to a church of England school and was dragged to mass twice a week, it all seemed all rather stupid and unbelievable even from an early age. And as I went through my schooling it became more and more unbelievable and I finally became an Atheist in my teens.  

England has more non-believers than the U.S.. I wonder if parochial schools such as the U.K. has that teaches religion academically provides students with a objective way of viewing religion with a broad based understanding.

I wonder if religious schools in the States are preachy without historical, or political reference. 

I met a guy who was in the Navy that had a bunch of Jesus, and other christian symbols tatooed on his arms. He said he was home schooled and thought everyone believed in the same brand of Christianity he was raised with.

He said after being in the Navy and meeting people from outside the inner circle of people he was raised with he realized that his parents were full of hooey.  He told me he felt betraid by his parents. He said that after he got to know other people with different beliefs and traveled the world that he was no longer a believer.

I felt sorry for that guy - He will have to carry the religious tatoo (scarring) and explain it to others in the bigger world. More than likely he will wear long sleve shirts the rest of his life.

Imagine if he was captured while serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, or other another predomenantely Muslim country.

The two established churches in the UK[Church of England and the Church of Scotland] are not the most dynamic of Christian churches. Happy clappy they are not.  

What's the difference between the Church of England and the Church of Scotland?

Maybe I should have watched more of the TV show "BlackAdder" to understand it.

I just found an agreement between the two churches from 24 December 2015.

I'm ignorant about these churches as I am about most religious beliefs.

I just read

Calvanists in the U.S. were and are radical religious fanatics.

...The Church of Scotland has no compulsory prayer book, although it does have a hymn book (the 4th edition was published in 2005). Its Book of Common Order contains recommendations for public worship, which are usually followed fairly closely in the case of sacraments and ordinances. Preaching is the central focus of most services. Traditionally, Scots worship centred on the singing of metrical psalms and paraphrases, but for generations these have been supplemented with Christian music of all types. The typical Church of Scotland service lasts about an hour, and has been characterised jokingly as a hymn-prayer sandwich, in which everything leads up to a climax in a 15-minute sermon near the end. There is normally no sung or responsive liturgy, but worship is the responsibility of the minister in each parish, and the style of worship can vary and be quite experimental. In recent years, a variety of modern song books have been widely used to appeal more to contemporary trends in music, and elements from alternative liturgies including those of the Iona Community are incorporated in some congregations. Although traditionally worship is conducted by the parish minister, participation and leadership by members who are not ministers in services is becoming more frequent, especially in the Highlands and the Borders..."

Prayer music is used to hypnotize religious practioners. From what I've seen it's quite effective.  Even the military uses chants to build cohesion in a unit.

I understand that the Anglican Church of England with the King James Bible makes the King the direct representative of God.  I'm probably incorrect about that as I am about most religious orders.

Are both the Church or England and the Church of Scotland official religions that receive tax dollars?

I read a post from a Norweigan (in another web site) who said rather than having baptisms they have cerimonies for secularism and use the churches for social meetings rather than religious meetings. Perhaps a Norweigan that follow this group could expand on that.  With all the historical small churches throughout Norway that's a good way to keep the community together.

I wonder how many preists, preachers, or what ever they are called are atheist and consider their work to be more psychological, or spiritual (what ever that means) than religious - I.E.  meeting god and going to heaven b/s.

The Queen is called the supreme Governor of the C of E But she has no real powers just a hangover from the past. I think Norway has just disestablished their state church or it could have been one of the other Scandinavian countries. Either way I wish we in England could do the same. Its odd even though most in England wouldn't call themselves religious they see the C of E as a bulwark against a growing Islamic influence. Its an odd situation to be in for us Atheists.

Abrahamic's all believe in the same god.

It seems to me like a family that doesn't get along.

I was brought up Catholic. 

Yes, it is possible to let go of the religious beliefs and become an atheist. 

I don't think many are able to get out of the religious trap.  There has been some research about a "God Spot" in the brain. The research kind of said some people have a large god spot, while others don't. That research is weak. Even if it isn't one has to be independent to leave the religion their parents and community have.

How were you able to do it Onyango?

Of course, not many leave their religious ways behind. Most of the time the change is horizontal; a catholic becomes a protestant or vice versa.

I think the research was misinterpreted. It is not god spot, rather that we are prone to assign agency to things. Platinga is the one who argues that we have a god shaped hole in our hearts or something of that kind.

Thinking. Reading. Interaction with others. But one has to be exposed to the possibility of being godless. If everyone around you believes in god, the idea that it is possible to be godless does not even cross your mind. 


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