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Leaving Religion

I have often written about the psychological reasoning for the born again experience and the path in which many religious people take towards losing their religion. But today I want to talk more about the trends involved in the exodus from religion.

There are two pretty interesting trends that I have noticed in regard to the rise in atheism. The first and less significant trend is that in today’s society many religious people are actually not all that religious. Mainstream religion is fairly secular. This is a category that I fit into. My parents were religious believers, but they really didn’t let it affect their lives much at all. Aside from synagogue on the holidays and making me go to Hebrew School three times a week, religion really didn’t motivate our lives. My parents valued education and science over faith and tradition most of the time.

Many atheists grew up in a similar type of environment as I did and so it is only natural to continue to value science and reason. Of course, once the value of science and reason is focused toward religion, it becomes obvious that such superstitions is… well exactly that, superstitious.

More often then this scenario however are the atheists who are brought up in the super fundamentalist families. They see first hand the craziness which is religion. Often times they are indoctrinated into this craziness themselves and even go out of their way to debate and discuss religion with atheists. But at some point they begin to have doubts and they start to take the long road of educating themselves and thinking critically about their own beliefs.

The thing is that the starting places for these two scenarios pretty much account for the starting place of all believers. The difference really is the willingness to learn and think critically about religion.

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