All Atheists Have A Voice; personal stories of coming to atheism and troubles in doing so
Bernhard (Bernhard Wannemacher@Kinglouis57)
finally as promised here is my story. I have to apologise for the long delay, but everydays life took it’s toll!
First a little about myself. I am 60 years of age, german, a biologist, self employed, happily married for 34 years, father of a son, living in the countryside with 4 cats (more to come?) and a vegan.
My story is, as I guess, probably more or less the story of most atheists, nothing spectacular.
I was born the son of a former padre of the Capuchin order. My father left the order when he married my mother.
As a logical consequence I was raised in the Christian faith. During my childhood and even up to the age of about 20, I never questioned my religion. Like most Christians I got the opinion, that the Bible cannot be taken litteraly, but of course there has to be a God (the Judeo-Christian one).
Later on that changed to “some God”, because, you know, the Bible is bullshit but there must be someone in charge!
When I started studying biology and learned about evolution, that was the final nail in the coffin. I finally realized that everything can/has come into being, without a creator. And suddenly this all made perfect sense.
Nevertheless it took me another 5 years to realize that I actually was an atheist. I left the church together with my wife (in Germany you have to formally declare, that you will no longer be a member of one of the Christian denominations, which results in no longer paying “Church-tax”. Usually as a member of the church an additional 10% of your total tax dept is kept by the government and transferred to the various denominations).
And for about 20 or so years I was the kind of atheist: “I don’t believe this shit and that’s it!” I didn’t care about wether others where believers or not (except my wife, who happened to be an atheist too). And despite the fakt that in Germany it is no big deal to be a heathen, I was of the impression, that I was part of a small minority.
That changed with the upcoming internet, youtube, facebook and so on, when I learned that there are lots of others like me. I started watching different youtube channels (exp. The Atheist experience) and became interested in being able to have a discussion with believers without losing it because of some shitty argument like “it’s in the Bible” or something. I actually started reading the Bible for the first time in my life, just to learn what it really says. And I learned about the “standard arguments” of Christian apologetics and how to rebut them. And of course the 4 horsemen of atheism helped a lot!
Today I am absolutely open about my atheism. I don’t proselytise (“you still believe in Jesus? Don’t worry, I can fix that!”), but I also will not be silent when folks utter their usual nonsense (planecrash; 200 casualties, 1 surviver: “praise the Lord for saving this life!” – no, fuck the Lord for killing 200 in the first place!). I have atheist bumper stickers on my car and pins on my clothing. So everybody can know how I think about this issue.
All in all I can say, becoming an atheist freed my mind; it made me a better person, because I had to question my beliefs and develop my “own” ethics. I had to find actual arguments for my beliefs not only accept what I was told by others or the society.
And in one final move it made me become vegan as a logical consequence of my humanistic wordview: do unto others as you would have them to do upon you! Actually the only phrase in the Bible that is ok with me!
So the 3 best decisions in my life are:
1. marrying my wife
2. becoming an atheist
3. becoming vegan
This is more or less my story.
I would be glad to learn that it was helpful for your purposes!
And I really appreciate that you asked me in the first place!
So many thanks for your interest and all the best wishes for you and your family!