A Facebook friend just posted this about her decision to deconvert to atheism:
“I left my faith in April and had this cathartic experience, started dating an atheist and spending money on stuff I wanted without feeling bad that it wasn’t going to the church or to charity. My finances and my relationship are all well, but after the freedom wore off, I’m finding myself really depressed. I wasn’t in the faith my whole life; I actually had an atheist upbringing and only practiced fundamentalism for about a year. But I was involved in church and campus ministry and things like that. I’m agnostic right now and I know I don’t want to be. Whatever I believe in I want to actually have decided on it, but I’ve been procrastinating on doing the research. I’m tired and irritable all the time, I can’t concentrate enough to read, and any content about God makes me anxious and I can’t handle it for more than 15 minutes or so a day, hence why I haven’t been too active in the comments of my previous posts. I miss praying. I’m afraid I’m wrong. I can’t get my mind to bend around any view point, it’s all so confusing and it feels like I’m too dumb to pick a religious identification. None of this is fun anymore. “- JS
It IS disorienting when you leave your faith, whether it’s the only faith you’ve known all your life, or you’ve just been in it a few years. But luckily the answer is easy. You can believe whatever you want. It’s always been that way. You don’t PICK or DECIDE your beliefs. You believe what you have become convinced is true. Stay with what makes you comfortable. Pray if you feel like it. Go to church if you want to, but maybe find a church which matches your current “take” on religion. There are ALL flavors of churches out there. You might try the U.U. (Unitarian Universalist) church, as it is accepting of all people, from atheists to believers of any and all religions.
My advice is to believe what comes naturally to you, but continue searching for truth. As you’re more and more convinced that your investigations are revealing truths about the world, you’ll naturally believe more in the newly revealed world; and leave the old beliefs behind. I firmly believe that the more you commit to searching for truth, the more you will gravitate toward atheism. It has happened just that way for millions of us. It wasn’t a “decision” we made; it was the natural result of an honest search for truth.
The only things you need to remember is:
1) DON’T go exclusively to religious sites for answers (any more than you’d exclusively watch FOX news. 🙂 )
2) Don’t take anecdotal (personal stories) as evidence. Real, testable, repeatable evidence MUST support the story. Evidence is everything.
3) BE SURE to study the scientific answers to the claims of your current religious beliefs. Seek information from all sides and examine that evidence with a skeptical mind. Truth has nothing to fear from investigation.
For the 3rd point, I’d like to recommend you watch The Atheist-Experience videos where real believers call-in to talk to real atheists (and have been for 20 years). You can even search for the shows that cover the specific topics you’re interested in. The videos can be found here: http://www.atheist-experience.com
One of the best produced, and thorough, de-conversion videos I have ever seen, was done by a YouTuber named Evid3nc3, called “Why I am no longer a Christian” It is 9 videos (however there are more) broken up into 10 minute segments, so you can watch them piecemeal if you’re overwhelmed by atheist information at this time. You can find the videos here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOmSYHzeoNA&list=PLA0C3C1D163BE880A
The main thing to remember is to take your time! There is no rush. Education is sometimes a slow process. So, “keep your feet” as the hobbits would say and enjoy the journey.