It was never really a shift for me though.
I was raised Methodist, which had an easy God concept. More metaphorical than anything else. They were focusing on being good and doing good things here on earth because it’s good.
Experimented with different religions, all around the Christian realm, Vipassana Meditation, some Osho later on. In the middle for about 5 years, I was Eastern Orthodox Christian. Full force into it. Was in a monastery for a short time.
Even there, when puzzling the Triune concept and having it “click in” during prayer, it was comprehending a system to me, same as when quantum mechanics processes ‘clicked in’ as a teenager when studying black holes and QM for a high school paper.
[I was going to be a theoretical physicist – kinda glad I didn’t ’cause this was 1990, and I would’ve been stuck doing ‘string theory’ for years].
Anyway, did I *ever* ‘believe’? Not in the way that people think of belief. I never knew what “faith” meant. Still don’t. It’s kind of a meaningless word to me. Always was.
It was always psychological to me. I could see pragmatic benefits to prayer and the like. I experienced them.
I’m agnostic because I see God as metaphorical for unknown processes and systems. The source of intention is cognitive and I don’t believe in the Platonic realm (never did) – so there’s no place I can say that a platonic God *could* exist: YET at the same time, there’s more than I don’t know about the Universe than I do, so I can’t also say there might not be some sort of animating ‘something’ that operates on the level of valances and such.
For all I know, some of what QM is describing *is* God. I don’t know.
And that’s the thing: I don’t know. So I leave it open.