My story is nothing special, really. As a child, I was raised Methodist, although my immediate family was not very devout. They believed in God, but did not regularly attend church. In fact, as a kid, I was the only person in my family who actually wanted to go to church, so my father took me. I did have some other family members who were pretty devout Methodists (grandparents), but their influence on my religious beliefs were pretty minimal. Their heavy-handed approach didn’t work well with me.
So as I grew older, into my teens, I began to look at things with a more independent mind. I began to think logically, rationally, and VERY analytically. It is my nature to be analytical. It was at that point that I began to question the existence of God. At that time (my teens), I was not able to find any logical reason to believe in God, and I was well aware of the atrocities in the Bible, so I began the journey into skepticism, agnosticism, and agnostic atheism.
I am not a “strong atheist” (one who believes with absolute certainty that there is not God). In fact, I think the notion is absurd. I don’t think it’s possible to say that something doesn’t exist. Theists have made it impossible to prove God does not exist, by devising a God whose omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience, makes it unprovable. Unfortunately for them, the “argument from ignorance” does not work with me. Therefore, I am an agnostic atheist. I can also be described as a “de-facto atheist” (Richard Dawkins coined this in The God Delusion), or a “weak atheist.” In other words, I do not believe in God, because no evidence has supported God’s existence – however, I believe it is possible that a God exists. I just think it’s incredibly unlikely and virtually impossible to prove.
Fast forward a couple of decades, and here I am. I generally keep my atheism to myself. To my knowledge, maybe ten people know my true beliefs, but no one in my family. That knowledge is contained within a a small handful of friends and significant others.
Over the course of my dating and marriage history, I have never been with an atheist, until now. In the past, significant others have responded in varying ways to my beliefs (or lack thereof). Some were accepting, some tried to convert me, and one dumped me because of it (allegedly). But the woman I am with now is an atheist, and she is amazing. Even though she is not an outspoken atheist, I truly believe that she is the reason I am really starting to learn about who I am, and the reason I began exploring both sides of the atheist-theist argument. Because of our shared beliefs, I have done extensive research and even better understand the arguments for both sides of the debate. Through my research, my convictions have only strengthened.