I grew up in a quasi-religious (Christan) family. My mother want to church occasionally dragging my sister and I along then depositing us in Sunday School. I learned that Jesus and God loved us and took care of us, but when I questioned where God and Jesus were (the one being invisible the other dead) the answers just didn't ring true or logical.
Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you were a sensible lad.
As I grew away from church I began to wonder why someone would allow themselves to be killed to save me, didn't make sense nor did the bible itself.
Right, how can someone else pay for YOUR sins? I don't think they're transferable.
So left to my own devices I began to question the very existence of God and all that was supposed to follow from him. Eventually I gave the whole thing up. I was on my way to becoming an atheist. Then along came this forum. I was delighted, joined and posted a few times.
Starting small and getting to know the place is the proper way to get a good start in a forum.
Now after reading thru a number of posts and doing more thinking, it dawns on me that I am not an atheist but contrary to the "black or white" theory I am not a theist either.
You put the odds of God being real at exactly 50%?
I no longer have problems with religions; what anyone wishes to believe is OK with me. I've no quarrel with a God(s) nor am I angry at "Him" as some believe drives atheism.
I don't have a problem with religion per se either, so long as it stays within its constitutional bounds and doesn't advocate barbarity. Those people who think that drives atheism are wrong...I'm no more mad at God than I am at Sauron. But I would be a bit apalled at Sauron believers who tried to promote the bad bits of Sauron worship, and might point out Sauron as they are depicting him is not a good person. If their version of Sauron is harmless though, more power to them.
In my space-time continuum the concept of "God" does not exist, therefore I cannot be an atheist (or theist for that matter).
Since we're all in the same space-time continuum, I'm pretty sure the concept exists. If it didn't, you would automatically be a nontheist, you just wouldn't know it.
If, in the future, someone comes up with concrete evidence of the existence of God, I, then, will have to rethink my beliefs.
That's the position of 90% of the atheists on this board, I think.
As an aside, it seems to me that many people (though not all) on this forum, are antagonistic toward any and all religions but especially Christianity.
That would be a product of most posters being Americans, I think, a country notorious for the degree to which Christian fundamentalists try to insinuate themselves into an officially secular government, and where decades of intermingling of the religious right and political right have produced a particularly toxic mixture characterized by open hatred of homosexuals and religious minorities. Christianity affects or has affected many of us personally in our day to day lives in ways that other religions don't. Fun fact: atheists in India complain mostly about Hinduism.