Recently, one of our regular commenters on this site told me the reason I am not a believer must by due to abuse I had at the hands of my parents or others. This conclusion is somewhat amusing because it is so commonly made to people like myself.
Once it came up at a gathering of Freethinkers. It struck a cord with people there because many had been told that by Christians.
Somehow in the logic of believers, when they ponder why there are nonbelievers, the most logical conclusion is nonbelievers arrived at their status, not through an intellectual process, but by an emotional one. Belief is the more rational route, they seem to reason, so it had to be an irrational emotional.
They do not apply the same reasoning to themselves. That is, they do not conclude they are believers because they had an abusive experience with atheists.
On the day we Freethinkers discussed this, no one in the room recalled their previous lives within the faith as unpleasant. To the contrary. They recalled mostly fun times and good memories as practicing believers.
What many describe is one day simply being unable to believe the tenents of the faith. Now, they may have encountered unpleasant people along the way, but they are among both believers and nonbelievers.
For myself, I recall mostly pleasant memories of my decades as a practicing Christian. The doubts just kept coming.
Come to the Red River Freethinkers Conference, Sept 24. Great speakers. A great debate, “Theism vs Atheism: Which is the more reasonable view.” August Birkshire, Pres. MN Atheists vs Ronn Johnson, Northwestern College. www.redriverfreethinkers.org