Journeys to Humanism: Believing in Good for the Sake of Good

Journeys to Humanism,’s regular series, features real stories from humanists in our community. From heartwarming narratives of growth, to more difficult journeys, our readers open up about their experiences coming to humanism.

Benjamin Bishop

I was raised in a Christian home, as most in the United States are. I prayed and read my Bible every day and truly believed everything in the Bible was the word of God. For me, life was a gift of God and my life was meant to serve him.

However, throughout my walk in Christianity, I would experience doubts. I would question ideas that didn’t make sense, but each time a doubt arose, I pushed it away, telling myself that I just needed to have more faith.

Then, in 2016, a man ran for President that completely challenged my beliefs in the Christian god of love. This man ran on a platform of pride and prejudice, and it was this unfortunate moment in U.S. history that helped me to see what Christianity in America really was—a religion that focused on helping self and not on helping others.

I lost my faith in the Christian church, but I still believed in god. I would attend services for the sake of my kids, going through the motions, sitting in the pew on Sundays, singing the songs, and praying the prayers. I would question how so many Christians could support a man like Trump. They would say, “It’s not about the man, but it’s about what the man is doing,” but even that didn’t make sense to me. The man I saw did not represent the Christianity I followed, but yet, so many chose to follow him.

It took me five years to eventually stop believing in god as well, and in 2021 I became an atheist. Some might think that is a long time to go from leaving the church to then leaving my belief in god, and they are right. When you are raised to believe something is true, and then discover you have been following a made-up story, it is the equivalent to discovering that your whole life has been a lie. Existential crisis is the appropriate phrase and this is exactly what I was experiencing for five years of my life.

I remember telling god that I no longer believed in him. I told him that I had lost my faith in him and that if he was real, then I needed him to reveal himself to me. I told him I was leaving. I told him, if he really cared for me, then I needed a response. I was greeted with silence.

I began devouring books on science and evolution. Books by Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, and Yuval Noah Harari. Reading these books was like having a sheet removed from my eyes. I had a spiritual experience of discovering a miraculous world all around me based in science and in fact. Finding out that the universe essentially came from nothing to become what it is today was more miraculous than believing that it was created by a god.

Humanism was the next natural step in my journey. Believing in good for the sake of good and choosing to live my life to impact the world that we live in, leaving it better for future generations, is how I choose to live now. I still believe that life is a gift, but now I choose to use my life to leave this world a better place for future generations.

We all have our own stories of how we came to be humanists, and we want to hear yours! Fill out the form here to be featured in this series.