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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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Steve, you are right.

I have seen/ read of atheists saying they are spiritual. For the life of me, I don't know what they mean and I think, just as Mrs. B says, it is not a good use of time.

Be yourself, and independent as difficult as it may be at times....

Because of your Catholic upbringing you know more about (Western) phylosophy than I as a secularist. Those thoughts don't cross my mind in the same way as they do to a theologian. 

There is a radio program called Philosophy Talk that you may be interested in listening to.

I don't see phylosophy as religious based - it's morally based - religion may be a guide, but tends to be an anchor draging down free throught.

The philosophy I know, I have had to painstakingly read on my own. I had only one class in philosophy in the university and it was just for a semester.

People who disavow the religious beliefs of their families and communities must suffer with some excommunication.

My father always warned me to keep my mouth shut about religion.  As much as I did people tended to know that I didn't believe whatever religion they held on to - that wasn't a problem when I lived and worked in areas of diversity.

Living and working in small towns where the residents may not have traveled far, or known people from different backgrounds was difficult.  Secularism was seen as criminal. 

I said "God Dam It" at a meeting at work one time and was accosted by a coworker who told me not to use the Lowered name in Vain. I replied that using the Lowereds name in vain doesn't mean using curse words, or vulgar language. Using the Lords name in Vain  means taking credit for acts of nature.

To which he replied, with a strange look on his face - Technically, you are correct, but "We" still don't like it.

The guy who corrected my language said another time that corporal punishment (spanking his grandchildren) teaches them to behave. My reply that if you learn how to talk to them they will behave without taking a willow branch to them.  He preferred the willow branch.

No wonder people who grow up in such an environment live with insecurity, fear, and monsters under their bed.

I have been lucky this far. I work in an office where one's beliefs don't matter. As long as one does their work, no one has issues with you.

Sounds like a good place to work, Onyango.

My husband didn't have issues in any of his workplaces over the years either. In those days, religion was in the places of worship, not the workplace.

Well it is, my CEO is atheist. My other bosses have kept religion out of the workplace. We are in the office to practice architecture not pray

Exactly the way it should be.

It seemes that change during the Ronald Regun administration with his backing from the Christian Coalition. It became worse as a Civil Servant working for the Milatary during the G.W. Bush administration when Prostelytizing was promoted.

I complained to the Military branch head about prayers at Potlucks which was ignored - so I quit attending them.

During arguments about saying prayers in school in the 1960's and 1970's religiounists told students they could leave the classroom while prayers were being said.

Is there any wonder that lead to ostracism?

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