The Five Stages of My Atheism
Faruk Ateş

Wonderful to read through, with similar experiences having played out in my own life. One divergence in our stories comes during the first stage:

I didn’t learn that atheism was ‘a thing’ until sometime in junior high or high school. Before that point, I had been raised in a family that wasn’t particularly religious while most of my classmates and teachers attended church at least twice a week. I hadn’t much faith or belief in a higher power because both of my first stepfathers had physically and verbally abused my mother and I, which of course led to the rejection that a higher power would allow us to suffer — would allow me to have scars on my feet at the age of 4 from walking across broken glass after my stepfather started throwing dishes at my mother.

The actual thought process didn’t fully express itself until I was a little older. It was definitely there, however; every time someone tried to get me involved with a church group, I felt a major disconnection between myself and everyone around me.

A year of college and I dropped the militant phase. I realized that whether or not a higher power existed, I was wasting my life being angry over the harmless ways other people were finding solid ground in their lives. Who was I to criticize them for finding that rock when I was flailing wildly? There was a point where everything clicked and I accepted that a higher power’s existence — or lack thereof — had zero impact or importance to my life but I had no right to try and deny that importance for others.

And like you, I think I got a little closer to being a non-asshole adult.

At least until ‘which pizza is the best pizza’ discussions occur…

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