The few times that I've had a chat about my atheism, I usually get a response like the one above.
"Well, seeing how you were in a cult- I can understand why you're an atheist now," just dismissing the bulk of the reasons I have for my disbelief.
I think what is particularly awkward about someone telling me this is- it's part way true- ONLY PART WAY THOUGH. However, they stop listening after I explain to them that, "yes, being in a cult was an impetus to my search" and they fail to hear the rest of what I'm saying and believe that I went from point A to point F and just skipped all the steps and months of research in between out of some kind of anti-jw tantrum. This is the process I went through to arrive as an atheist. It was a long road of honest questioning and testing my own ideas and long time beliefs.
1) Started doubting the truthfulness of the religion I was in.
2) Left the religion as an agnostic confused about what is true and what is real.
3) Researched how to find out what is true and what is real.
4) Put everything I had ever considered true and real to the test.
5) Dropped the lies and fantasies and accepted only reality.
6) Identified as an atheist.
So, while it is true that if I had been in some other religion, say the Catholic religion I was originally a part of, I may have never been spurred to question what is really true. This is only part of the path, though, and by dismissing the other steps a person NEEDS to take to realize that god most likely does not exit- all the hours, days, weeks, and months of research and education about what we know to be reality- is an insult at the least. As an adult, my atheism is not an emotional reaction like that of a hormonal tween, it's a realization I've come to after using my thinking abilities to test things out.
This is my full response. However, as I've stated before, most believers ignore the other 80% of the steps I took to realize my atheism and belittle my acknowledgement as nothing more than an emotionally charged attempt to lash out at the cult.
How do you respond when someone tells you this?