I first started to question religion at the age of ten when our lovely black maid, who looked after me in the school holidays, wasn't allowed to enter the church to pray because of her colour.
When I came to England at 15, I studied the various types of religion and they all seemed to have one thing in common. They ruled their flock by fear and seemed to revel in wars. I came to the conclusion that I'd have no truck with that sort of God so I became an atheist.
As I grew older, I realised that there must be a power which rules the earth. Nature, for example, has so much order in it. It protects the species, it culls a specie if it overpopulates, and even tries to cull man by disease, wars and famine.
I then heard of Deism, and to me, this began to make sense. The Deism website states:
Deism is knowledge of God based on the application of our reason on the designs/laws found throughout Nature. The designs presuppose a Designer. Deism is therefore a natural religion and is not a "revealed" religion. The natural religion/philosophy of Deism frees those who embrace it from the inconsistencies of superstition and the negativity of fear that are so strongly represented in all of the "revealed" religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. (These religions are called revealed religions because they all make claim to having received a special revelation from God which they pretend, and many of their sincere followers actually believe, their various and conflicting holy books are based on.) When enough people become Deists, reason will be elevated over fear and myth and its positive qualities will become a part of society as a whole. Then, instead of having billions of people chasing after the nonsensical violence promoting myths of the "revealed" religions, people will be centered on their God-given reason which will lead to limitless personal and societal progress!
This began to make sense to me, after all, there must be some force that controls the world, and makes things work like clockwork. Even the excesses of man must have been taken into account, although I find it difficult to understand how nature will handle this. After all disease, wars and famine are certainly now working.
I'd be interested to see comments here by atheists, on their feelings once they have a look at the above link.