I know there are Atheist threads already, but this is more for Theists of all kinds or people on the fence than it is for Atheists.
Feel free to ask anything you'd like about Atheism, Agnosticism, how we view other religions/beliefs, our own beliefs/goals, or any related issues and I'll post back in a timely manner with my opinions and maybe some source material depending on the questions. Please no hate messages, flaming, trolling, try not to make it personal, and ABSOLUTELY NO THREATS, I'm willing to have a reasonable discussion/debate and I'll make every effort to keep my responses logical and reasonable, but I will absolutely flag you if I see any of the bold, even if you're arguing from my point of view.
The following is what I consider to be my "religious" background, feel free to skip and start asking questions if you're not a big reader, but I'll refer you back here if you're asking something about me.
Like all of you I was born an atheist, but my parents did me the service of not undoing that by filling my head with nonsense and wishful thinking. I was raised agnostic, by which I mean religion never entered the picture as either a positive or negative. My parents took one of the absolute best parenting positions possible and decided not to throw that stuff at me until I was ready to understand it, and I mean really ready to understand it, not when I was old enough to read the same stuff with a for kids spin on it. I learned all about the different religions of the world around the time when a few of my friends started having Barmitzvahs, but this was also a critical time for the entire country (if not the world) to look at religion, because I happened to be that age around 2001 when the World Trade Center attacks occurred.
So for me there was an additional terrifying concept in the mix: all of a sudden people that I didn't even know were all that different from each other were hating each other because of something some entirely different people did. This is were my perverse fascination with religion first sparked, and I say perverse because religion is something that fascinates me, but also disgusts me near every time I encounter it. For years after I kept the label agnostic while I studied various religions. I read through my Bible, Old Testament, parts of the Koran, and The Book of Mormon, Taoist and Buddhist literature, Hindu scripture (probably the coolest to read up on) and the myths and belief systems of civilizations which no longer exist including Theogony and Works and Days by Hesoid, which explains the ancient Greek deities and creation story. But a funny thing happens when you read through all this conflicting ideology: you start to realize how silly it is that people take it so seriously. For a while after that I even actively sought my "spiritual" side through less conventional ways. I experimented with drugs, music, nature, letting go of social concerns, escaping the burden of possession, vows of silence and chastity, meditation (which I still do, though not in a "spiritual" way), worshiping my own mind and body, and just worshiping the nature of creation for its intensity and scope.
That's about when I decided to do away with Agnosticism and start calling it what it is: Atheism. Atheism, of course NOT meaning that I am of the opinion that no deities have ever or do currently exist, but meaning that I do no see any compelling reason to believe any of deities posited to have existed. And if you think about it, every religious person who's ever existed takes a stance of Atheism with regards to every religion they do not subscribe to; you see no compelling reason to believe in Scientology, Mormonism, 7th Day Adventism, and I just take it one step further by including your particular brand in that list.
Alright go ahead. Ask away.