I would like to start by explaining my upbringing. I was raised by two Christian parents who I love very much and that my “conversion” to atheism is not an act of rebellion in any way shape or form. I am an atheist primarily because upon closer inspection of the things I grew up believing in didn’t hold up to be true.
As most young children do, I believed in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, and later discovered that these ‘beings’ were just made up stories to make childhood seem magical. I don’t remember the specific time when I found out these things weren’t true, but I remember feeling underwhelmed by the simplicity of the situation, my parents had placed the money under the pillow, the presents in the sock and the marshmallow eggs hidden in various places around the house.
As I grew older I was told of stories in the bible, the genesis creation account, Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, The Tower of Babel, The Jews in captivity in Egypt and the story of Moses and the list goes on. I believed all these things much in the same way I believed in Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. I believed them not because I had discovered their veracity, but because I was told they were true stories. At around the age of 14 I was given a book by my auntie called “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” by two Christian authors by the names Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, this book was the beginning of my passion for Christian apologetics. I essentially became a religious fundamentalist at the age of 14 which scares me in hindsight. By the age of 18 I had read probably almost two dozen apologetics books (some being very large), my brain being the sponge it is I soaked it all up. I also spent a considerable amount of time watching creationist videos on VHS, DVD and on the internet.
It was around the age of 17 when I began to start realising some of these stories I had been told to have been true were not so true. The first bubble to be burst was the idea that the earth was young, so I turned from a young-earth creationist to an old earth creationist. Other stories soon followed; those of Noah’s ark, Adam and Eve, Moses in Egypt and so on. By the time I had finished high school I no longer believed many of the tales which I had been told so emphatically as a young nipper were the word of god.
The very act of searching through the bible trying to find ‘excuses’ as to why other parts of the bible weren’t true was tiring to say the least. I became a closet agnostic around early 2008, and over the course of the year my morals and beliefs slowly morphed their way into what they are today. After much consideration, reading and deep thought, in early 2009 I no longer considered myself an agnostic, but an atheist, not believing in any supernatural forces inside or outside the universe. My passion for Christian apologetics had turned into a passion for knowledge, and the search for truth, which I will continue till the day I die.