At what age did you realize you didnt believe in God?

Do you remember what went through your head, and why you decided you thought there was not a God?

Posted: April 24th 2013


I was 25 when I realized that I did not believe in Christianity. However, I was troubled about it for many years before I finally realized that.

Posted: December 29th 2014

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SmartLX www

“Realise” is exactly the right word, and I was 26.

I read an article about Dawkins and thought seriously about God for the first time in more than ten years. I realised I had no belief left, my Catholic faith having long since faded, so I adopted the descriptor without hesitation.

Posted: May 3rd 2013

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flagellant www

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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John Sargeant www

It was a development for me, from a very religious childhood in the Jehovah’s Witnesses – leaving as a teenager I became a skeptical agnostic. Organised religion seemed more likely to be man made than divinely authorised.

Going to university, and reading Bertrand Russell ultimately made me comfortable saying to myself i was an atheist as I agreed with the points in “Why I am Not A Christian”. Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” to be public about that and my experiences.

These things took time, as I came to terms with the faith i had, reasoning for myself and reading philosophy for the first time.

Posted: April 29th 2013

See all questions answered by John Sargeant


Most atheists are agnostic with the focus on not having god belief rather than insisting there is/are definitely no god(s). Many just don’t bother with the god concept as it is basically useless and does not explain anything of import.

Before turning seven years of age, I had thought god as being some vague extension of my parents. Pascal Boyer brings out this connection, that gods are just a familial extension on the fantastic level of the supernatural. At the age of seven—the so-called age of reason and am I proud that I did use my reason — I was told to memorise the tenets of my parents’ faith, that is, Catholicism. I did not have much trouble with god making me, but I had no satisfaction with it being always here and not being made by another entity which was inconsistent with the whole designer 'logic’. Therefore, I had no reason to believe in this particular god. If it was always here, then the universe could just as well always been here. At that moment, I realised I needed to exercise caution in believing what others believe.

As I grew up, no reason appeared to believe in any god(s), while there were almost countless reasons not to believe — the main one being god is so clearly a concept created from humanity’s imagination. Not all gods can be true, but all of them can be false. The latter explanation is clean, lean, and useful and with which I can live.

Posted: April 29th 2013

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