Growing up in pre-2000’s, pre-household internet England, I, like most others, was indoctrinated into a very rigid Christian framework of interpretation. Although my family didn’t place much emphasis on religion and weren’t ‘a family of faith,’ the school system had us praying, singing hymns, praising the Christian God and all the rest of it.
Throughout those years, there were many times when the adults around me would say things about the world (and my place in it) that didn’t seem quite right. Being a kid without much information to work with, I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why, but I got this creeping suspicion that there was something wrong with what I was being told. There were a few incidents like this, and they were a thorn in my side and accumulated over the years to come.
They were cracks in the worldview that had been given to me, and later on in life served as the basis not only to begin to reject it, but also a need to discover the truth.
When I got to my teenage years, three things happened that led to a rejection of most of the beliefs that I’d been indoctrinated into: 1 — I started to discover my rebellious tendencies, 2 — we got the internet at home, and 3 — I started yearning for alternative concepts to fill the gaps of that which I was beginning to reject.
This led me to Atheism, and its appeal was largely its hard-hitting rejection of Christianity and its basis in telling simple, earthly truths. What I mean by that is that it seemed to offer natural explanations of things, as opposed to the traditional religions which relied more on supernatural, mythological explanations of things.
Atheism seemed up to date, whereas Christianity struck me as monolithic remnants of a world that I could not recognise around me. It simply was not relatable, and the people in the Christian stories seemed to live in an entirely different world to our own. Their stories were closer to the stories of Santa Claus and The Toothfairy than actual explanations of how the world works and how to live in it, which is part of what I was beginning to yearn for. I took it as a point of growing up to shed the childhood myths and legends and to seek natural, functional insights about the world around me.