Atheists Share What Made Them Originally Question Their Beliefs

Religion, faith... God. There are so many things to discuss after after expressing those ideas. Wars have been fought.... are STILL being fought over religious faith. Many people are steadfast in the belief that God is among us and will save us; that keeps believers in comfort on the daily. But there are many who challenge the thought that a higher power exists. And some at one point were very involved in their faith of God, but, things change.

Redditor _Johnytheanarchist asked the atheists of Reddit to share... What's something that's made you question your belief? _There is always a turning point when you ask yourself... is this me?


My church telling me not to question my belief or their teachings.


Redditor _extrohex responded in solidarity. _

I'm a Muslim and I can totally agree with you that people should be able to question their religious scholars about the religion they are in. Even in Islam many 'scholars' tells you not to question anything and just believe. There is a story in our Holy Book Qur'an where even the Prophet (I don't remember which one, Abraham or Moses) asks Allah (Allah literally means The God and not muslim God) to show him how you give life and death. Allah asked him that does he not believe? He said I do believe but to be stronger in faith. Now this is huge. However these 'scholars' tells you to not even question simple things and even some elders in the family. Hence people just move away from their religion.

Majority of the scholars in Islam encourages questioning but only few says that just believe and don't ask.


My parents are Christian. What made me really question it all was the concept of "prayer chains." _What a prayer chain is basically whenever something bad happens to someone (they get hurt, they get sick, lose a job etc.), a person will pray for them and then call the next person on the prayer chain, who then prays for them and calls the next person. The idea is roughly _"the more people praying to god asking for help for the person the better."This is a noble idea, if you don't think too hard about it. But, if you are like me and think about stuff harder than the average Christian; what this basically means is _"God will help people more if more people care about them."_ So, if you are dying in a ditch and no one knows your name, god doesn't care about you.


When I was a teenager my parents got divorced and the church we were members of told both my parents they weren't really welcome to be involved anymore. It seemed totally counter to the stuff they were teaching us, and was definitely the moment where i first thought, "wait, what? what the hell is this place?"


I used to be a member of Campus Crusade for Christ (sometimes called Cru or CCC) It's a Christian men's organization popular on many college campuses, and it's basically a cult.

I went to a Methodist school and it wasn't super christian or anything, an ordinary college really. But Cru was something different, it had a lot of respect among campus management because local pastors it was Christian, but a bad reputation among students who weren't into that stuff.

I still remember it vividly - Freshman year, first week of college, going to the organization fair because I was excited to join some kind of club or something. I guess I looked lost or alone, and someone who wasn't with any of the regular clubs approached me and started talking about this men's club, being that I was a practicing Catholic at the time I decided to try it out. First meeting they talked about nothing other than masturbation and how evil it was. After several meetings, I'll admit they had me feeling really bad about myself, convinced I was just an awful and depraved person.

They wanted to control every aspect of my life - only associate with other members of Cru, always let Cru know where you're going and who you're with, you had to show your laptop's browser history (and it had better not be cleared), at each meeting, and definitely no association with women for any reason. And for a while, I actually did all this. Well eventually I snapped out of it, realized I was being manipulated and brainwashed, stopped going to their meetings.

I didn't start calling myself an atheist until many years later, but in hindsight my experience with Cru was the first time I saw religion as being harmful.

And in later years I realized, that's how they prey on naive and impressionable kids, they get em in before they've had a chance to make other friends. I was exactly the gullible fool they were scouting for. The president of the club was only a student by technicality, he never graduated and just takes the minimum number of classes to be considered a student. He just stays in college to run that club, and was in his 30s. I don't know if he was being paid to do this, or was a creep, or just completely brainwashed.

In my later years of college, many of us experienced cases of losing friends to Cru. Once they joined that, you wouldn't hear from them again unless they left the club. From what I hear, it also runs into money after a while, like a lot of money, and it works kind of like a pyramid scheme.


Walking on water, miracle cures, burning women at the stake for being progressive (witches), the world is 5000 years old, my aunt was not allowed to take communion due to her divorce. Basically the constant one sided BS. I'm sure these stories worked to control the population like a government, back when they didn't have the answers. I'm sure Jesus was a good guy, but he didn't sacrifice himself for me, he was killed.


I was always an atheist, but I went through a rough patch after college and I started going to a nearby church with a friend of mine. I never did buy into all of it, but I did start to see the draw of the community aspect of it. To me, it was like a good group therapy session, where you thought about your life and your choices a lot in the context of other anecdotal stories that just happened to be from the bible.

In the end, I stopped going and never really found religious views in it. However, I can definitely see why people love the community aspect of belonging to a church and getting to know people at your church. They become a little family to you. That part was very appealing. Made me think twice about questioning why people go to church and why people are so drawn to religion because I can see why they were drawn to that part of it very clearly.


From Christian to Atheist:

When I realized that I could come up with better, more moral and loving solutions than the all knowing God of the universe. For instance, when the Israelites were told to kill all the men, women, and children of an enemy nation, I couldn't help but think about the "radical love" (that was the title of a book I read once about how the love of Jesus should really change our life... like selling your possessions to give to the poor kind of change) that Jesus displays and see the disconnect between saving people at all costs and killing them (and punishing the Israelites who failed to kill all the people). Why couldn't the Israelites adopt the children? Or find a non-violent solution altogether? God can't do that?

From Atheist to "doubting."

What causes me to doubt my atheism is the idea that God isn't who he is portrayed as in the Bible. Maybe God never commanded those horrible things but the people who wrote about him did? Of course at that point, I'm basically creating God myself, picking and choosing the aspects that I think make up a God that I don't see much evidence for in the first place. That's when I realized that I really just wanted a sense of community, over-arching purpose, and spiritual connection to people. I was drawn to Catholicism through its rich and long history (I never had that as an evangelical!), it's connection to the saints, it's connection to people around the world, and it's connection to people who have died. I would be lying if I said I wasn't still drawn to that idea of connection.

But then I remember the ridiculousrules, the idea that the all powerful God of the universe can't heal an amputee but will punish me for masturbating, and I remember that I can't fall in line again. At least not easily or happily.


"Believe in me or burn and be punished for all eternity." Doesn't sound like a very loving father


There is no belief. It's a lack of belief. And there has never been a single piece of evidence that any of it is real. Watching people constantly thank some invisible man for helping them in their daily lives while children die of cancer is ridiculous, and keeps it all in perspective.


Even from a young age, I never understood why people believe in God. I would ask questions, but never got any answers. After a while, I came to understand that there were no answers.

Image by tookapic from Pixabay

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Image by jacqueline macou from Pixabay

They say one man's trash is another man's treasure - and sometimes that saying is pretty literal.

Lots of people build entire businesses picking up cool stuff on bulk-pickup trash day, and upcycling it into something even better that people are willing to pay for.

Sometimes, you might even end up with something pristine and usable right away.

Reddit user JampackedAlborn1976 asked:

What is the most valuable item that you have seen somebody throw away or have found in the garbage?

And for real ... some of these people scored BIG TIME. Like big time. Like really big.

Like Refrigerator Big

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"Our current refrigerator is a double-door one with exterior ice and water dispensers. We got it for free, with absolutely no problems whatsoever. It's just a few years old."

"How we got it? My dad (civil engineer) was doing some work on someone's apartment when they said they had bought a new modern French door refrigerator and that they were just going to discard their current refrigerator."

"My dad simply asked if he could have it.. and they said yes." - SauloJr

Immigrants In Action

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"I immigrated to the US from Brazil when I was 12. And every Saturday, my mom, stepdad, sister and I would go out at night to upper middle class neighborhoods the day before trash pickup to rummage through the garbage they were putting out."

"We found perfectly good TVs, VCRs, microwaves, couches, lazy boys, tables, books and comics, etc."

"I couldn't believe these Americans were throwing out like that. We furnished our entire house with that stuff. The entire Brazilian immigrant community in my town did it. We were flabbergasted." - PhillipLlerenas

With A Note

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"My wife yelled at me that someone put a big TV outside with a note on it. Walked across the street and it was a brand new Samsung 37 inch HDTV."

"They were actually renovating the apartment building and got an upgraded TV. Even had the remote taped to it with batteries, I guess I have really nice neighbors here in NYC." - MadLintElf

Life Hack!

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"If you want high end stuff out of the garbage for free, follow these steps:"

"Pick a city with a large university in it. If it's a school well known for its law programs, or medical, or engineering, all the better."

"Search for luxury apartment complexes that market themselves towards students. Look for things like included shuttle service, pools, fitness centers, etc. The more expensive and swanky the better."

"Figure out when finals week is at the end of Spring semester."

"Dumpster dive at those luxury apartment complexes during that week and the following weekend."

"Very wealthy international students will arrive in the US, fully outfit an apartment with nice furniture, big TVs, audio systems, gaming consoles, you name it, and when the semester ends they just junk it all because they aren't going to fly it back to wherever, and it's too much effort to spend the time selling when they do not care about the money."

"It's a smaller scale phenomenon a little like all the luxury cars abandoned at the airport in Dubai." - whattothewhonow

Literal Gold Treasure

valley of the boom david kim stanley GIF by National Geographic Channel Giphy

"I found a gold coin at goodwill for 5 bucks. It was in a case with someone's name and company name."

"It was their gift from the company for retiring. I assume the family threw it out when he died not knowing it was solid gold. It was in a in a thick solid plastic case that had to be cracked opened."

"It literally said 1 oz fine gold on it. I figured 5 bucks was worth the risk it not being real."

"It was a South African KRUGERRAND 1 oz coin. Everyone was just too busy to read it lol."

"Bought it and took it too a pawn shop and sold it for a couple grand." - streetmitch

The Best Day Of My Life

Will Smith Wow GIF by 1LIVE Giphy

"When I was a kid, I grew up right outside the Los Angeles area in the suburbs. My stepdad was a garbage truck driver for the city of Beverly Hills."

"I swear in the late 80s and early 90s we'd have so much basically brand new stuff (still in boxes) brought home on a regular basis."

"I'll never forget one day in particular. My stepdad came home and was like 'get ready, come to the car, I'll need your help.' So I go down there and in back seat of his car he had a few large black garbage bags."

"We haul them up to our apartment and he's like 'go ahead, open them.' Inside was what I could only describe as an 80s kids trove of treasures."

"One bag contained just about every Ghostbusters and GI joe toy you can imagine, they were played with but had every little accessory, there was a bunch the playsets and everything."

"In the other bag was pretty much every LEGO of the early 80s sets, still in their original boxes. I was a big LEGO nerd but was totally thrown off by the old school space ones because they looked nothing like the 90s space sets. I think they even said "NASA" the minifig's chests."

"That was like a random day in July, it felt like Christmas. I was 9 years old and it was basically like the best day of my life up to that point." - Zombgief

Who Throws Away Money?

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"A jar full of quarters."

"Annual spring cleaning projects happen in a lot of towns where anyone can put almost anything on the curb and it's taken away for free. It's to stop open dumping or stuff being dumped in ditches."

"Sometimes people deal with estates from winter by just dumping all their grandfather's stuff on the curb for the cleanup to get the house empty immediately. Most often they don't even bother to look at what they are throwing away."

"In 2012 on north road in Akwesasne I found an estate pile that I shuttled back and forth with my bike trailer getting lots of older tools like a scythe, hammers, saws, screwdrivers and wrenches, a 22 rifle with 100 round of ammo, a bunch of ar15 magazines, cast iron cookware, oil lamps, a hand crank food mill with all kinds of accessories, a black raven axe head (worth $100 easily since they are a collectable), and a quart size mason jar full of change mostly quarters."

"That was spring and the sheriffs office did a gun buyback in the fall where I took the mags and got $20 each for them (30 round mags suddenly illegal under the safe act of fall 2012. The buyback was a local political move). I still got the 22 and picked off a lot of woodchuck with it in my gardens." - Bogtrotterso1980

Filing Fever

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"I own a small company which is located directly in front of a state funded program facility. The state decided to have this office shred all of their files as they were going to switch to electronic data (exclusively)."

"We found two of these old rotary filing cabinets outside of their office. They're worth almost $3k each!"

"They just placed them there and we saw them and asked what they planned on doing with them. They said, 'Hmmm.....either donate them or trash them.' The state told them simply to get rid of them."

"We jumped at this and took the two into our already tiny office because there was no way in hell that we were going to let these gems go. (We do use paper files, unfortunately)."

"They wanted to give us two smaller ones but seriously, our office is very small. I made some phone calls and they were picked up immediately by other office workers/friends." - GlitzBlitz

This Sucks - In A Good Way!

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"In the 1990s my moms work had a really nice high end Hoover that stopped working. They threw it out."

"My mom took it home because my dad tinkers and repairs things easily. Turns out since it was a bagged vacuum all the dummies had to do is REPLACE THE BAG."

"Like it never occurred to them to do the most easy and basic step. My parents were excited to have a really upgraded vacuum. Maybe like $500ish." - schweddyboobs

Tiffany's Trash

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"My dad found an old stained glass window laying out by someone's trash. He thought it would look cool hanging in our cabin, so he stopped and grabbed it."

"It sat in our garage for a few years before he looked at it more closely and found "Tiffany and Co." branding on it. He got in touch with some stained glass window dude who figured it was worth about $40k fully restored, so my dad sold it to him for somewhere around $30k." - throwaway_stopdrink

Have you had any awesomely trashtastic treasures? Let us know!