This was a long process and it’s more of an answer to a ‘how?’ than a ‘why?’ question.
I was brought up to go to Sunday School, in the late 40s, by my parents – my Father in particular – so initially I just accepted things I learnt there. I was never threatened with hell (the stick) and I obviously wasn’t convinced by the mention of heaven (the carrot). Believe it or not, though, when I was taught about Adam and Eve, at the age of about six, the teacher told the class that the Genesis story was just a myth. She said ”We believe in evolution, now.” This made a lot of sense to me. I had noticed the similar planform of many animals and I was already troubled by the obvious question “If God made everything, who made God?” Science fascinated me and, as I studied Physics and Chemistry, I found the excitement of real understanding.
Ever since I could remember, I found the concept of prayer difficult to take; I had various ill, elderly relatives for whom I prayed very hard but they still died anyway: not for me the experience of having my prayers answered by a benevolent god…
So you see, there was no sudden conversion: just the drip-drip of things that didn’t make sense (apart from evolution, of course). In my late teens, I came to the conclusion that gods were imaginary but I still vaguely entertained the possibility that there might be something in this god business after all. Then, one day – in my twenties, I think – I suddenly realised that I had dumped everything: son of god, afterlife, prayer, the lot. I could now be as certain as possible that I no longer had any remaining religious notions. I have given no thought to ‘god’ since, except to speak out against the concept when the need arises.
Posted: April 30th 2013
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