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When did I become an atheist?

January 24, 2011

A friend of mine asked me when I became agnostic.

Like all people, I was born agnostic. But I don’t consider myself agnostic; I consider myself an atheist. Becoming an atheist did not happen overnight but was a long process, just as one doesn’t become an adult overnight but over time. I became an atheist when I decided to be honest and admit to myself that I couldn’t reconcile the supernatural claims of religion with my experience of the world, when I admitted to myself that I couldn’t believe anyone can resurrect from the dead, walk on water, live in a whale, hear my private thoughts, gain strength from his hair, have a virgin birth, be commanded by an invisible spirit to kill someone, be cured of blindness from spit and mud, command demons into pigs, be turned to salt, stop the sun, hear talking donkeys and snakes, and on and on. I became an atheist when I came to value evidence over tradition, authority, revelation, or feelings. And in my transition, I’ve learned to care more about what is best for people than what is best for a god.

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