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In Three Sentences or Less - Why Did You Become An Atheist?


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Initial post: Dec 20, 2011, 8:41:24 AM PST
I'm not looking for lectures or essays here. Just a few sentences to pinpoint exactly why you became an atheist. This may give all of us some common ground, that could lead to some intelligent and rational discussion.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011, 8:47:32 AM PST
I became an atheist when I realized that:

* humans have worshiped thousands of different Deities
* we have no good evidence that any of them actually exist
* meanwhile, the more we learn about how the universe works, the more we find purely naturalistic explanations... and no sign of the existence or the necessity of the "supernatural."

Posted on Dec 20, 2011, 8:55:29 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 20, 2011, 9:19:07 AM PST
I base my decisions on evidence or lack of evidence (As most people do with everything, but that seems to go out the window for Christians once it comes to religious belief). Belief in supernatural events (i.e. virgin births, people coming back to life after they have been dead for 3 days) is not reasoned, logical or reality. The lack of concrete biblical evidence that is outside the Bible for verification or corroboration versus the mountains of scientific evidence in all fields of science (biology, chemistry, genetics, microbiology, anthropology, paleontology, geology) that runs counter to the biblical stories which pale in comparison to the actual evidence that should lead someone to conclude the biblical account is a 1st and 2nd century Middle East myth.

Posted on Dec 20, 2011, 9:13:56 AM PST
dischism says:
I didn't *become* an atheist; nobody has ever shown me reason to believe in deities.

Posted on Dec 20, 2011, 9:16:54 AM PST
I didn't *become* an atheist.
There just wasn't enough of interest in *Christianity* to persuade me to stay in the club. The reasoning just was not persuasive, nor was it backed by sound thinking, or in other words, evidence.
Now, decades later, nothing has changed. Nothing exciting except to argue faith with the likes of MM, and certainly no reason to think that there is anything supernatural in our world.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011, 9:18:50 AM PST
Ronald Craig says:
(But keep the argument short. Anything longer than a few sentences and she just skims. tl;dr! LOL)

Posted on Dec 20, 2011, 9:19:57 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 21, 2011, 2:01:13 AM PST
I did not become an atheist. I was born an atheist (like everyone else). My parents indoctrinated me into the catholic faith but it only worked until my late teens when I started using logic over emotion.

Posted on Dec 20, 2011, 9:26:16 AM PST
Christians do not believe in the deities of the Muslim faith, the Mormons or the past Greek and Roman deities such as Zeus, Apollo etc... Therefore, Christians are atheistic toward all other belief systems and know in their minds that they are myths. Well, as an atheist, I just take it one step further and do not believe in any of the deities including the Christian deity. They are all equally full of baloney.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011, 9:40:58 AM PST
Ronald Craig says:
(Ach! Not the ones who don't eat pork. Unless it's turkey baloney!)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011, 9:45:22 AM PST
I don't recall ever actually believing in any sort of God -- if I did it was when I was younger and my parents told me that there was a God and I simply accepted what they said -- but I certainly have never affirmatively believed in God based on my own analysis and investigation, so I can't say that I -became- an atheist so much as that I never was a theist (none of us actually believe in God at birth, it's a belief that we either develop or don't develop as we grow up).

I have never seen any reason to believe in any sort of God -- there are thousands of gods to potentially choose from, and there's pretty much the same amount of evidence that one exists (none) as does another (none), so which god do I choose -- and, anyway, I tend to be skeptical and not believe that things are true until I see some sort of evidence for it.

If I were to believe in any sort of God or gods, it would be the Greek/Roman deities because at least they were a lot of fun -- you know, turning yourself into a bull to pick up women and the like -- while the vast majority of the commonly worshiped gods today tend to be self-contradictory, inconsistent, vicious, vindictive, violent, arrogant, nasty, hypocritical, and worst of all, generally boring.

(I apologize for the long sentences, but it's a tad unreasonable to expect people to explain their beliefs or how they came to them in just three sentences).

Posted on Dec 20, 2011, 9:51:05 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Nov 28, 2016, 4:49:42 PM PST]

Posted on Dec 20, 2011, 10:54:57 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 20, 2011, 10:58:41 AM PST
Thank you all for your explanations. Very interesting reading, and I feel I understand atheism a little better now.

"Why did you become a Christian?"
I was raised by hard-working Mid-western parents of immigrant stock. My mother had been raised Catholic, but left the church when a close relative, dying of cancer, committed suicide and was denied a Catholic cemetery burial.

So I was trotted to a variety of Protestant churches throughout my upbringing. My mother reflected the European philosophy that children could only learn morals from church teachings. Although it wasn't lost on me that my father only went to our church for the Christmas Eve Children's Pageant, which I was usually in.

Over the years I followed my curiosity into New Age themes and read a lot of books. Today I am a Deist who respects all the Great Prophets, from Mohammed to Jesus. And I believe that the Bible is true as both a Moral Behavioral Code, and as a highly compressed and simplified Historical Account.

But I also believe in reincarnation and religious tolerance.

Posted on Dec 20, 2011, 11:01:49 AM PST
S. Kessler says:
I never felt any belief in God but learning about the Holocaust from my Auschwitz-survivor mother pretty much capped off whatever thoughts I might have entertained about whether there being a God could ever make sense. That there is no God (or any other gods) then made sense.

Posted on Dec 20, 2011, 11:14:37 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 20, 2011, 11:24:42 AM PST
S. Kessler -

Yes, I can certainly understand how the horrific events of the Holocaust could make one wonder about the reality of God.

To my understanding, mankind always has Free Will. Without it, mankind wouldn't grow or learn. God doesnt dictate but points the way. It is up to the individual to take responsibility for his actions and thoughts. But the Good and Bad in a person's life will be rewarded or paid for in future lifetimes.

And true evil is never forgotten. Israel is even now arresting very old concentration camp guards, based on the success of the one they extradited from the U.S. and just successfully tried.

I remember my shock reading a book on Auschwitz in high school, before the subject had been broached in any class. To me, it was an unbearable evil perpetrated by Man versus Man, not by a unseeing/uncaring God.

But even then, the Jewish faith buoyed many in their darkest hour. I remember reading of Jews lined up before a pit to be shot, and the children were naturally hysterical. Someone suggested they all hold hands and sing Jewish religious songs. They did - and died with all the dignity denied them by the Nazis.

On a more upbeat note, Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish friends and acquaintances!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011, 11:58:39 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 20, 2011, 12:00:52 PM PST
Iain says:
Dear Marilyn Martin,

I read the Bible.
That's when I realized I was an atheist.
Reading the Bible made me understand why.

Iain

Posted on Dec 20, 2011, 12:08:40 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 20, 2011, 12:10:12 PM PST
I became an atheist at a very early age because I came to realize, on considering the matter, that religion is nonsense, because gods are purely inventions of the human mind functioning at its worst.

Posted on Dec 20, 2011, 12:26:31 PM PST
Dean says:
Because the Biblical account of human history is not only nonsensical, but patently unjust, perverse, and contradictory. It reads like the psychotic fantasies of men who spent too much time fasting in the desert, getting sunstroke, and eating too many mystical herbs.
Because Christian dogma is just plain silly and irrational on the face of it. There is no logic or any consistent moral strain in it.
Because the concept of invisible all powerful gods creating the universe, manipulating history, and toying with humanity is obviously a purely human delusion. The belief in invisible beings and life after death is a delusion, much like the belief that one can fly by flapping one's arms. In the former case, one is a "Christian", in the latter case one is taken into custody and medicated.

Posted on Dec 20, 2011, 12:30:16 PM PST
Although reading the Bible was the catalyst for my agnostic position, it certainly did not end there- I then read not only the theologians, but what the historians and scholars had to say about these matters.

But it was more than anything the Bible itself that made me realize that what I had been raised to believe was basically a myth.

Since then, I am as happy as I ever have been (if not more), and feel about the same as a person would who came to realize that Coetzalcoatl does not exist, and is therefore not going to waste life's precious time and resources toward attention given to a non-existent being.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011, 12:34:53 PM PST
MaryAnn H. says:
"I never felt any belief in God but learning about the Holocaust from my Auschwitz-survivor mother pretty much capped off whatever thoughts I might have entertained about whether there being a God could ever make sense"

I, too, had a Holocaust surviving mother. She raised me Christian for "protection". Very early on I decided that a god who would allow the Holocaust to occur was either malevolent or impotent and I had no use for either.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2011, 12:23:19 AM PST
Allan says:
''... because gods are purely inventions of the human mind functioning at its worst. ''

Not necessarily so. Our mythographers had among the finest minds and most had the best of intentions.

But it was Soma which created the deities.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2011, 12:30:29 AM PST
Chuck says:
Plenty of good reasons to believe here. www.reasonablefaith.org Please let me know what you think. also www.rzim.org - see, articles. 'Let my people think' and 'Just thinking' This person is very gracious, intelligent and kind.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2011, 12:32:11 AM PST
Chuck says:
please see, wwwreasons.org astrophysicist very intelligent like you sound. and another one www.icr.org all scientists in their respective field.

Posted on Dec 21, 2011, 3:51:34 AM PST
I grew up in what I guess would constitute a christian household...father read the bible (in between beating us and making our lives a misery)and mother sent us to bible school (to get us out of the house and away from father I presume). At the age of 20 or so I converted to Islam based only on the flimsiest of understandings of it (didn't help that I was married to a Muslim and living in his country, was very isolated and lonely and felt I needed something concrete to keep me tethered to soul). In the first 10 years I was an ardent muslim, learned it all, argued for it, made excuses for its less than appealing parts etc...then discovered that the unsettling questions I had about it wouldn't go away. Kept niggling and irritating like a bad tooth. Got to the point I couldn't ignore it anymore and got down to the business of looking deeper, reading "outside the accepted box" of islamic discourse and generally opening my catatonic brain to the fact that it was all pretty much fairytale stories with no logic or proof to support them. Of course, this meant that if the god of islam didnt exist, then in all likelihood he didn't exist in christianity etc either because they are one and the same...figments of man's imagination and desire for power and control. I abandoned islam, apostasized as they say, and have never looked back. Wasn't easy to do while living in an islamic country but it had to be done to save myself from the downward spiral the religion was sending me into. Of course, once you allow your mind to be opened to the possibility that this or that "fact" about your religion may be false, then there is no choice but to evaluate all "facts"...and find them wanting...in all religions. Sorry this wasn't 3 sentences but hard to explain with such restrictions.

Posted on Dec 21, 2011, 4:21:56 AM PST
Lao Tzu says:
Leeann Fleetwood says: various

Lao says: A very interesting story. Can you mention what about Islam gave you the most emotional concern? I ask because it is often emotions that kick start us into new behavior. What specifically happened, or what did you think of, that began your serious questioning, after your "ardent" period ?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2011, 4:45:40 AM PST
Lao says: A very interesting story. Can you mention what about Islam gave you the most emotional concern? I ask because it is often emotions that kick start us into new behavior. What specifically happened, or what did you think of, that began your serious questioning, after your "ardent" period ?

Lee Ann: My first glimmerings of doubt concerned the need for women to cover against the sexual advances of men...yet god (allah) says we are all accountable for our own sins. However, ordering women to cover tends to remove the onus of responsibility on men and place it squarely on the shoulders (or bodies) of women. Not in the least fair or equal...and yet one of gods 99 names is Most Fair. hmmmm.... Over time more and more "islamic practice" proved to be just arab cultural norms instituted over time as religious and islamic. I would choose a subject and then investigate and find its beginning...its religious context...and then discover it was something mohammed needed or wanted to happen for personal reasons..and then walah...god saw fit to give him exactly that. How convenient for mohammed.

I might also add that hadith and islamic history themselves point a very poor image of this "perfect" example of a man that all should emulate. Stories I was not aware of in the beginning (nothing in english being available so much back in the early 80's when I first converted). Once I was able to get my hands on these various Islamic sources (I assumed being that they were written by muslims they would actually solidfy my belief...not set fire to it) the walls came tumbling down rather more quickly. In other words...I did not leave islam due to anything nonmuslims had to say as proof..as commonly believed (they turned me away or whatever)...I left it based on what muslims themselves had to say about it.

It also didn't hurt that by and large muslims tend to view mohammed as the source of islam..the one to fawn over and "worship" and hold up to some sort of devine standard...and defend against all attackers (cartoons etc) and yet don't get too upset when god is ridiculed or slandard for whatever reason. This led me to believe that mohammed is the true god of islam and God god is just a means to and end to get him the validity he needed to obtain the power he wanted...and it went from there. I might add that while I jumped into islam without much thought...I didn't leave in the same manner. It is truly an indoctrination that seeps into every pore of your mind and body. 5 years after leaving it I can still feel the odd hackles rising when I hear this or that...Im not immune yet to getting the odd rise out of me when I hear something patantly false about islam (yes I agree it is all false generally speaking, but there is actual falseness and just blatant lies about it).
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