I had a vaguely Christian upbringing. We never went to church but I had heard about the “true” meaning of Christmas etc from my Lutheran Grandmother. My mother taught me that there is no such thing as The Truth and that I should keep an open mind but think about everything. And that even if someone believes something, that doesn’t mean it’s right. And thank goodness she did.
I decided the jesus-god-trinity thing was evil when I was 8 and a babysitter gave me a precious moments bible. It was heavily sanitized but I was upset to read about all the animals that died because of Noah not taking them on the boat and all the kids god killed because of god making sure that Pharaoh did not let people go. I read it in one sitting (very heavily abridged bible) and asked the baby sitter ‘why?” She got very upset and used the words my mother had taught me were a flag for deception. That the bible was The Truth.
I flirted with paganism for a while as a teenager. I knew magic didn’t work, I just thought of it as another way of interacting with the world using a personification of nature.
When I was 21 I thought I had it all figured out. (I was an idiot about most things at that age). I figured that humans had created all the gods and the only thing that had power was the belief in god, and that power was not supernatural. I also figured that if there was a creator being, it was something the human mind would not get and they probably did not give one fluffy @$!# for humans.
I was agnostic for many years until I returned to University to study archaeology when I was 29. I listened to many of the other students complain about competing views in the field, they figured everyone should just split the difference and compromise. I thought they were being idiots for not realizing that what is most supported is what should be accepted, not compromise to make people happy. Then I encountered a born again, bible thumping (but not reading) Evangelical Christian and a Firm Atheist in the same class. Another Christian tried to make peace between them by suggesting that they can both accept Intelligent design at least. The Atheist looked at them both and just said “Bullshit, there is no support for intelligent design and compromise is not intellectually honest.
Light bulb moment 30 years in the making, I was compromising inside my own mind being agnostic. I had learned enough to know that there is no evidence or need for a creator being. So if I was to be intellectually honest, to accept only what has firm evidence, I could not accept things that had no evidence other than a happy fluffy feeling. I have adopted a new life philosophy that has served me well since then. Intellectual honesty and an open and questioning mind is a hell of a lot more fun and will lead to far more adventures than compromise to feel better or blind faith coupled no skepticism.