The first few weeks of Atheism

Having accepted that my Christianity was unsalvageable and that I was on the road to Atheism (https://confessionsofayec.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/suddenly-i-realised-that-atheism-was-the-only-choice/) I found myself going through all sorts of mental hoops.

I have already mentioned (in the post linked to above) how my moral compass fluttered a bit while I accepted that my morality was part of me and not as a result of the Christian Holy Spirit dwelling within me. I challenged my morals in various thought experiments to see what I thought I was capable of. It was an odd time while I moved from my existing position to theoretically allowing myself to do anything I wished and back again.

After a couple of weeks of this, I decided firmly that how I was already was how I liked myself and so nothing was going to change there. It didn’t matter if the morals I abided by were truly me or if some I had adopted as a result of years of Christian indoctrination. Trying to separate one from the other would be a pointless task anyway.

Unexpected Relief

This moral settling process took a few weeks and during that time I also experienced an odd sense of relief.

Having made the decision that there was no god after all, I wasn’t expecting there to be much of a change within me and I certainly didn’t expect there to be a deep response within me; in my soul so to speak. I was going to describe the change as emotional, but that would be selling it short, it was more than that.

The sense of relief was unexpected and took me by surprise and so it would be a while before I recognised it for what it was. Identifying what that relief was from would be harder still.

Was it relief from an oppressive religion of the type I have read about on many atheist blogs? Not really, I never felt my Christianity was oppressive and I don’t think I’d describe it as such now.

Was it relief from a binding set of rules and the fear of failing the impossible standards that are set? Not really, I never consciously felt that fear and still I object to that description of Christianity because its frankly not my experience of it.

Was it relief from the rituals associated with any form of Christianity? A little bit, yes.

Was it relief that enabled me to look at the natural world and be able to appreciate its beauty fully for the first time and be able to acknowledge it with a “Wow! That is the result of random chance through Evolution and there is no designer involved”. A bit more of that yes. In fact, I am now finding myself finding greater wonder in nature than I did as a Christian. A revelation has still surprises me today when I think about it.

If I thought for longer I could no doubt increase the list of possible candidates for the source of that relief. The truth is that its not from one source, but rather several different sources. Abandoning my Christian faith has meant a lot of changes in the reasons of why things are important to me and the relief I experienced is the result of the change of each of those.

Besides a sense of relief there is also a feeling of liberation.

Again, I can’t explain why there is a liberated feeling. Liberation implies freedom from shackles, either physical or metaphorical. My Christian life has been one of much proclamation of liberation from the shackles of sin and yet I find myself feeling liberated having ditched my Christianity.

I’m still not clear on all the reasons for these feelings. All I can say with certainly is that they were not expected.

I have decided not to dwell on the puzzle of the source and instead enjoy the result.

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2 thoughts on “The first few weeks of Atheism

  1. “I am now finding myself finding greater wonder in nature than I did as a Christian.”

    Me too! It surprised me as well. The I appreciate nature and the Earth way more now than I ever did as a Christian and it has made me want to learn more about it and take better care of it.

    Also I felt the relief as well. Leaving Christianity just seemed to free up space in my mind as silly as that sounds.

  2. Pingback: Coming Out – part 2 « Confessions Of A YEC

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