How I Became An Atheist
I was recently asked by a Christian how I became an atheist. I wrote about my experiences with paganism last week, but I didn’t really explain how I fell away from it.
I used to be a believer. I was not a Christian, but I did believe in a great many supernatural things. I was 100% convinced that God and spirits existed. I spoke to them every day. At the time, if you told me they didn’t exist, I would have thought you were an intentionally closed minded person who would see the obvious if they just opened their eyes and looked around. I thought people didn’t see the truth because they didn’t want to.
There were a great many things that convinced me of God’s existence. I eventually found out there were flaws in the brain behind every single one of them. I learned that we can’t trust our own experiences, and I learned all the reasons why that is.
Losing your faith is not a quick process. It can take years. For me, it took 7 years. First, I learned how a certain experience I’d been having (astral projection) could actually be explained another way. At first, I wasn’t convinced I was wrong. However, the very idea I could be wrong at all disturbed me. I didn’t know what to think at first. Eventually, though, I accepted that the experience was not real.
I ended up having to have this realization many, many times over the years, because my faith was built on many, many experiences. One by one, throughout the years, the truth of my experiences fell away. There are only a limited number of flaws in the brain, but there are an infinite number of experiences you can have that can fall victim to them.
Now that I know my beliefs were not true, it pains me to see others going through similar experiences. When I was a believer, it was awesome. It was like I knew more than everybody else. But once you realize it’s not true, you wish you had known that all along so you wouldn’t have dedicated your entire life to it.
I feel like a fool for ever believing any of it.