For quite a while now, I am an atheist. I do not believe in gods, soul, afterlife, heaven and all good things that come with it. However, I also do not believe in demons and hell, which torments the minds of many men of faith. I can say that not having a religion has its good and bad sides. It would be comforting to think that there is a higher power that protects me and that my life has a greater reason. Yet, I no longer carry the weight of having to please a God I never saw or felt; I do not worry anymore if the people I love will be saved in the afterlife; and most importantly, the ethical battle within me between what I really feel and what religion tells me is over.
I was raised in an Evangelical family. Going to church on Sundays was mandatory, and it was like that even after losing my faith. My doubts about Christianity began early in life, with my first readings of the Bible. While reading Exodus, I could not understand why God killed so many children to free the Israelites from Egypt. The Pharaoh was “evil”, but why to punish those who were innocent? The older ones immediately tried to calm me, saying that God took all the children to heaven. This explanation shut me up, but the doubt certainly did not leave my mind.
Another idea that troubled me was about hell. If a child died before baptism, would he go to hell? Would a good person of a different religion be condemned? And my uncle that never went to the church? These thoughts were terrifying for me.
At the same time, I was very interested on Greek and Roman mythology. I read many books about the legends of gods and heroes, the creation of the world and the great flood. These stories were so similar to some of the Bible passages. Indeed, mythology had been a religion one day. So why was it so strange to think that Zeus existed, but God...