How I Became Agnostic (and started researching unbelief)

Posted By on June 17, 2019

hello I'm Sally I'm a graduate student at Durham University and I'm agnostic I've been watching videos here for a while and I thought it would be really fun to do a project on YouTube atheists for my study of religion class even though a theism is the absolute opposite of religion it still situates itself in the conversation with and in contrast to religion so I'm interested in the community of atheists that is formed on YouTube so I wanted to say a little bit about myself and my own journey to agnosticism I usually call myself agnostic although when people learn that I'm studying religion and they automatically assume that I'm going to join the clergy I do like to say that I am an atheist who's studying religion and they're always kind of like that's a bit weird but that does happen sometimes so I was raised in the Unitarian Universalist Church and when I was 8 my sister died and my mom became a very devout Buddhist in this Tibetan Buddhist tradition I followed her into Buddhism and I myself was a devout Buddhist from the time I was 8 until I was 16 I even lived with my mom and two sisters in a monastery for a while so I had a religious upbringing but it was very alternative when I was 16 my mom left that Buddhist community to start her own Buddhist sect she didn't stop us from continuing to practice the Tibetan Buddhism but it felt sort of weird to practice a different religion from my family while I was still living at home so I kind of abandoned the meditation and the practices that I was doing so without really deciding to I stopped chanting I stopped meditating I learned things about the guru that made me distrust religious leaders and move away from organized religion but I kept reciting mantras on my mala so the Buddhist rosary and when I went to college I brought my Buddha with me my best friend in college was an evangelical Christian and she tried really hard to convert me we would talk and debate for hours because I've always been really interested in religion but the more she told me the less Christianity made sense what I couldn't understand was how somebody so kind could live their life believing that the people that they loved if they're not Christian that they're going to go to hell that was just really shocking to me when I was 18 my mom was diagnosed with cancer and given a few months to live I don't think it even occurred to me to pray for her to get better just because she seemed so sick it seemed really impossible that that would ever happen but when she died part of my grieving was that I didn't feel her presence at all anymore there was just absolutely nothing she was completely gone and I didn't even dream of her I was kind of a spiritual seeker for a while after that although I disagreed with too much in each religion for any label to really fit me in my last year of college I lived with an even more evangelical Christian than my best friend was she was practicing abstinence with her fiance who she was going to marry after we graduated she didn't believe that women could hold leadership positions in the church and she and her fiance were planning on becoming missionaries in Africa I was opposed to all of those things so I read a lot about religion I read The God Delusion and I watched debates between religious people and atheists online and documentaries like the Bible told me so I read how Jesus became God by my favorite biblical scholar the agnostic our airman and I pretty much just became a heathen I started doubting everything supernatural like the virgin birth or the resurrection or whether how existed as well as reincarnation and karma and whether Jesus or Buddha were listening to or would answer prayers I kind of envy people who have faith although if I was religious I would definitely be a heretic because I just have my own point of view on everything and I can't sort of force my beliefs to fit those of any specific religion and to make myself grow against my own sense of reason so now I'm studying religion because even if you're not religious I don't think that any person lives a life that is unaffected by religion to me it's one of the most important things to try to understand so that's me please comment below or message me if you would like to be interviewed for my research I'd like to learn about how you became an or an agnostic and your experience being in the Atheist community on YouTube I'll be doing interviews over Skype I look forward to hearing your stories thank you bye

Posted by Lewis Heart

This article has 5 comments

  1. I have spent the last 30 years studying just about every religion out there and found that all some very similar things in common such as we have to believe in a higher power that we are supposed to fall down and worship because if we don't we will be punished for all eternity and in that sense then we are not given free will or choice we are being forced into something that we may not want to be involved with. Being raised in the church and never having my questions answered to my satisfaction is what started me on my path, I figured I would find the answers on my own, and the more I studied the more questions I had and the answers were never straight forward they were always riddles that we are supposed to intrepid for ourselves or take someone else's interpretation of what it means and they are no more enlightened than any one else. They just get paid to say what they think that it means and we are all supposed to just believe what they say. The religious leaders of the world have not been leading but instead have turned religion into big business and I doubt they actually believe what they are teaching at all they are just doing it for the money, I did meet a guy once in a field that was sitting under a tree, and he asked me to sit with him and rest. As I sat down he offered me a sandwich, said his wife made them for him for his trip, I declined the offer and told him I was not hungry and that I could eat when I get home. As I sat there for a few minutes in silence he asked me where I come from, I stated that I was walking home from work, he smiled and said "no I mean where do you come from?" I wasn't sure what he was asking. He then said, "We are all of the same energy, the same breath, the same sight. What you breath in today was breathed out by another person, animal or plant a million years ago, and what you breath out will be breathed in by something else a million years from now." So I asked him what he meant by that and he said, "everything is trapped on this planet and can not escape, we were put here to stay, and since energy can not be created or destroyed it can only be converted the put a bubble around this world to keep everything in now matter what form of energy it is, then they made sure we were trapped for all eternity by putting a radiation belt around our world so even if we did learn how to fly we would still be trapped here." I decided it was time to get up and go on my way, but that has stuck with me for years, and it makes a lot of sense, Why would a loving all powerful god not want us to come in search for him? Why would such a powerful being want to trap us on this world and not let us explore and see what other wonders he has created out there in the universe>>? Just more questions and still no answers at all. The more we open our minds the more questions we have, Have Faith they say, just believe and he will reveal himself to you, I always say when he reveals himself and answers some of my questions that can not be answered by science then and only then will I have faith that there is something else out there, maybe not a super natural being but something like maybe a race of beings that are far more advanced than we are.

  2. Excellent video. I look forward to seeing more from you. I was raised in a Catholic family. My path toward atheism began while reading the bible. Ironically, I began reading the bible to get closer to god. The bible made me question my religion, because I found the description of god, and god's words, to be immoral. Why would a a god drown the whole World? Why would a god ask a man to sacrifice his son? Noah and Abraham were failures. They could have shown courage for doing the right thing by refusing to participate in immoral acts, such as killing, or participating in killing, of their fellow human beings.

    I began studying all religions. I, too, practiced Buddhism, when all the theistic religions failed to convince me. I still meditate on a regular basis, but I have no religious affiliation. I consider myself an atheist. I think of myself as a conscious experience that the Universe is having. When I die, the conscious experience I'm having will end. All the memories of me will be gone. But I am something more than that, anyway. I am consciousness. All that needs to happen is for something to come along and put forth the effort of awareness, and there I am again.


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