From Agnostic to Atheist

I’ve talked a lot about my deconversion story and how my Christian college turned be from being religiously apathetic to a full blown atheist. I’ve talked about a philosophy class that made me consider my naturalistic worldview and start reading about the topic, but constantly slipping my mind has been the story of how I became a weak atheist before stepping foot in that classroom.

I believe that we have all experienced this phenomenon once or twice: we think of a significant story from our lives, and when trying to tell it, there’s always some piece that we skip over and forget. This is that piece of my deconversion story.

The class that I mentioned in my college deconversion post I took spring semester of my sophomore year. I’ve always considered that class, specifically the term paper and the research I did for it, to fully sway me towards being a thoughtful atheist. What I have apparently forgotten, though, is my memory of sitting in that class every day (an 8 a.m., mind you) and completing my readings about worldviews, thinking of how the Christian worldview was so off to me, and feeling so satisfied reading about naturalism and being able to finally pinpoint where I fell on the worldview spectrum. So as you can see, I was an atheist/naturalist before this class, and all the class did was allow me to fully recognize that.

What, then, took me from my apathy and skepticism in high school to my atheism in college?

I remember two specific instances that sent my skepticism to an all time high and sparked my interest in finding answers about God’s existence. The first is this: I remember sitting in my dorm bed, during the fall semester of my sophomore year (before taking the philosophy class) on my phone. I must have been wondering what reasons people had (in addition to my short list at the time) for not believing in God, and I stumbled upon a website. GodIsImaginary.com gives fifty “proofs” on why God doesn’t exist. I made it through only a portion of them, but they gave me plenty to think about.

Looking at it now, years later, it’s easier to see that this website isn’t all that convincing, but for someone looking to collect reasons not to believe in God, it had my attention. It points out things like similarities between Christianity and ancient religions, unanswered prayers, and the bible’s contradictions and lack of evidence. Although this website didn’t completely persuade me, it was the first step in the direction of my more serious research.

The second instance that sparked my interest in atheism started on Facebook. I saw on the “Trending News” that a woman had used “religious reasons” to persuade a DMV to allow her to take her driver’s licence photo with a colander on her head. Apparently she was, Facebook said, a Pastafarian. Initially, for some reason, I was bothered and angered by this. What kind of idiot convinced the state that they worship pasta and need to wear a strainer on their head?

As angry as I was, I was intrigued by Pastafarianism. I think the reason I was so mad was because I couldn’t tell if the woman was claiming to actually worship spaghetti or if she was making fun of religious people such as Jews and Muslims who wear head coverings. I ended up Googling it, and I found the website for His Noodliness, the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

I was perplexed. Although the website never explicitly said it, I eventually figured out that Pastafarianism is a satire of religion. I slowly changed from believing it was immature and silly to believing it was absolutely genius (…and immature and silly). I was beyond impressed that the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster had managed to convince some governments that it should be acknowledged as an official religion like Christianity, thus permitting its members to wear their religious headgear/cookware in state ID photos. The church was careful enough to make itself so similar to other religions that ultimately, it would be unfair if it weren’t taken as seriously as they were.

Comparing the FSM to Christianity helped me to see how similar they are and how silly religion actually was. Specifically, this video showed me why God seemed about as good as an answer to my questions as flying pasta.

GodIsImaginary.com and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster may not convince anyone of God’s nonexistence on their own, but these two websites had a big influence in my journey to atheism. In combination with countless other reasons, these two factors add to my belief that the truth of any organized religion and the claim that God exists at all, are highly questionable.

21 Replies to “From Agnostic to Atheist”

  1. Didn’t realize your comment on my post was sarcastic lol… enjoyed reading your perspective here. I know you’re pretty set in your mindset but here is a good clip that you can watch if you want!

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  2. I love this. The CoFSM originally started as a protest against teaching creationism in the schools (“We want the same amount of time for teaching our silly religion as they get for theirs.”) but it has grown into so much more. I’ve been ordained Pastafarian clergy for years now – you can get an ordination online. I love that it prods people into looking at religion, especially their own religion, in new ways.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think that that’s actually the point. It’s not a real religion but it has enough similarities that it’s convinced governments to recognize it as such.

      What made me see them as similar was the video that satirically showed the absurdity of a deity holding gravity together and creating our universe.

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          1. You’re presupposing the existence of something you call logic yet this article was about how you’re a naturalist. How do logical absolutes exist in a world made of only matter?

            And yes, God is perfectly logical because He’s ultimate source of all logical absolutes. Again, before we have any conversation that holds to logical standards and patterns we need to see how it naturalism or materialism were true there would be logic, which I’m sure you don’t believe to be made of matter.

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            1. “You’re presupposing the existence of something you call logic ”

              Logic isn’t a thing that exists. it is a philosophical label that humans have devised and apply to arguments that meet a specified criteria.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. I’m finding through this conversation that I’ve been just as juxtaposed as the next penguin who lives across Saturday right by the color blue which is often times hotter than several sound bites.

              I’ve created my own criteria of logic and this comment makes perfect sense according to my criteria.

              Good day

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    2. No, she put a colander on her head, leading people to go see what this FSM thing is all about. And it turns out to be completely silly, but in exactly the same ways that other religions are silly. You are just used to yours, so you don’t notice the silliness, until you try looking at it as an outsider would. It’s meant to prod you to look at religion in a new and different way.

      And nobody has died for Pastafarianism! That’s a feature not a bug. His Noodliness does not command such absurd barbarities. Why would you brag about having a religion where such things are glorified?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Creating a satirical straw man of God made of Italian food, and then proceeding to place cooking utensils on one heads in government photos indeed makes people look silly, but it isn’t Christians or theists my friend.

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        1. And believing in magic crackers or talking snakes is totally serious? “Pirates are god’s chosen people” is silly, but “a particular middle-eastern bronze-age nomadic tribe was god’s chosen people” is serious? Everybody’s religion looks silly from the outside. But when you are so used to being on the inside, you can’t really see it. That’s the point.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I’ve read a few of your posts, and I plan to read more about your conversion to Atheism. You mentioned that you weren’t finding evidence for Christianity, so I wanted to share this article in two parts with you:

    https://www.gotquestions.org/seventy-weeks.html

    https://www.gotquestions.org/seventy-sevens.html

    I would love to see you write a blog post explaining why you find this prophecy unconvincing. In addition, you mentioned the naturalistic worldview and philosophy, so I simply must recommend this outstanding book for your consideration:

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    1. That page is a classic example of retrospective application. The text in Daniel is unspecific so you are forced into guessing interpretations if you want to verify anything. Which means that confirmation bias is a major risk.

      Phrase like “Most scholars believe that we are now living in a huge gap between the 69th week and the 70th week. ” demonstrate just how fuzzy this interpretation process is. This ‘gap’ is undefined and unpredicted and will end when those vested in seeing a validating come across an event that they think matches.

      With such blatant vagueness the question should really be, why does anyone take it seriously enough to write that web page?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much for reading the articles. I think the prophecy is way too detailed to be considered retrospective application. It seems to me that you are making way too much of the gap between the 69th and 70th week. In addition, you are completely ignoring the precision with which Christ fulfilled the prophecy. Think it over.

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  4. “Comparing the FSM to Christianity helped me to see how similar they are and how silly religion actually was.”

    Regarding the “The God is no different than the Flying Spaghetti Monster” concept:

    3:57 — 6:02:

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