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I appreciate that this site is 'Agnostic' and not atheist, but I'm interested to know how and why people here who are atheists decided that there was no 'god'. Was it a general feeling that took some time to convince them or was it more of an incident or an event that convinced them?

Silvertongue 7 Feb 9

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For me, evolution makes more sense. All that bible shit did not, even tho I have not read all of it. Plus, IF there is a god, he's an asshole. There is too much sadness in the world, hunger, poverty, the list goes on. I saw a quote: "To read the bible is to be Christian, to understand it is to be Atheist" . Words I live by.


First, I am agnostic. I trust science and science is still discovering so not all the facts are known. Then, I am atheist because of the approximante 4200 religions defined at present, not one has presented proof that compels me to believe or accept it as true.


Atheists don’t “believe there is no god”
Atheists do “lack a belief that there is a god”
May seem like just semantics, but I assure you, it is not

Yes, semantics; I thought it was the opposite.

It’s like a xtian telling me their god is real, and me not buying their story. I’m just not believing anybody’s claims. @Condor5

Well obviously you’re a gnostic atheist. I’m just using the terms ‘atheist’, ‘theist’, ‘gnostic’, and ‘agnostic’ properly. I’m not telling you what to think. I don’t really care what you think, either. Definitions dictate usage. @Silvertongue


There is no evidence that there is a god, certainly the god of the bible does not exist, not the god of any religion known to man as existence precedes human history.
It is impossible to prove the non existence of anything, so that does not prove there is a god. There are many things I do not believe in but can not prove they do not exist, but this is not proof that they do. Bottom line, when there is proof of a god I will believe in one, until then. Nope.

As a coda, all the attempts I have seen to fit god into a scientific and rational world view have resulted in the rather sad "God of the Gaps" argument. And every year there are a few less gaps, and the ones remaining are smaller.


It's simply that I see no reason to believe in nonsense. The idea of an omnipotent god is preposterous to me. I'm of the opinion that people believe in god because they are indoctrinated to do so, and fear facing reality.


There are and have been many gods—the idea of which some find comforting, as being one-of-a-kind seems awfully lonely. But the god factories have, for the most part, been closed down and consolidated. An agnostic might say, “I know of no such deities, past or present, and what’s more, I have no way of knowing of their existence, much less their attributes.” The atheist might say, “I have seen no evidence to convince me of the existence of any of these deities, and so I have no reason to believe they exist.”

May one who claims to have no way of knowing if there is a god, hold a belief in one? Perhaps, but it would seem unlikely, and thoroughly inconsistent. Similarly, might one who lacks a belief in a deity claim to have knowledge of such? Hardly! And so this divide between agnostic and atheist seems trivial, until we remember how despised the label ‘atheist’ remains, in certain quarters. And so the agnostic may very well be a closeted atheist—like me!


There are loads of gods. But gods are created by man, not the other way round.


For me, it was education that cemented atheism. More exposure to modern and ancient religions, psychology, and empiricism showed me how little difference there is in religion and how it came about to begin with. I realized I didn't need religion to be happy.

Dove Level 3 Feb 10, 2018

I am an atheist because theists have not met their burden of proof.

Had theists not made that claim, then I would have no concept that a god exists as I see no evidence for a god anywhere around me. If a theist wants me to believe in their god/s then they need to provide the evidence that it exists. Not believing that a claim is true does not mean that I believe that the claim is false.


In my case, it began as a quest to better understand God. I was raised Lutheran, indoctrinated at a young age, and the remainder of my family to this day is quite active in their respective churches. In fact, several of my relatives are ordained ministers within their particular denomination.

Me? I was the kid in grade school who carried The Bible everywhere, proselytized to other kids on the school bus, and earned the nickname "The Preacher." In my early teens my parents sent me off to Lutheran catechism, and I eventually took of the flesh and the blood of Christ. It was around this time that I began my quest.

I read The Bible, cover to cover. I read it again. I read a paraphrased version that my eldest sister had, called "The Way." I read it again. I asked questions -- and I had a lot of them. My quest to better understand God was making me more confused! The questions I asked attempting to resolve my confusion led to answers that were very unsatisfying. Often times, the answers I received were akin to:

-The Lord works in mysterious ways.
-God is above logic and reason.
-We must not question such things.

The more I learned, the more I doubted the truth of what I had been taught all along, and the more questions I had. There was one question in particular I asked that resulted in my getting scolded for even asking it -- "How do we know that Mary was a virgin?"

I eventually came to realize that all of humanity's gods, including the Christian god, all fell into the same category -- that being mythology. Nobody believes in the Greek gods anymore, but at the time people truly believed they existed. Nobody believes in the Norse gods anymore, but at the time people truly believed they existed. Same with the Roman gods, the Egyptian gods, and all the others throughout history. The gods of today are no different, and at some point in the future no-one will believe anymore. Some other god or gods may take over, but the gods of today will no longer be worshiped. The quote from Penn Jillette rings true with me.

So it wasn't really a "decision." It began as a quest to better understand God, and I do. I just didn't expect it to lead me to where I am, which is atheism.


Quite simply, the more I listen to the stories and beliefs of believers, and stories/ myths of the bible
and religion, along with growing evidence of many Sun Gods/ ancient religions almost totally influencing the modern ones........the more ridiculous it all sounds .

Virgin birth? 2 of each animal in an Ark? Die and go to heaven? ....etc. etc. All based on belief and very little evidence + much contradiction.... When you add it all up UP, it comes out to a MINUS

Also growing evidence and knowledge of the Earth and Cosmos tells me it's time for humanity to acknowledge the evidence, and to grow up and move forward

So to answer the question it wasn't a single thing that made me throw up my hands....

twill Level 7 Feb 10, 2018

It isn't a decision you have to make, I never decided there was no god, and obviously there is one for very many people, just I guess I didnt need one.

Ignatius Loyola said give me a child till he's six and I'll have him for life! I think that has some truth in it .

Hitler said something quite similar.....Like " I already have your children, what do I need you for?"


I am not atheist because of what I know. I am atheist because the questions I pose are not answered to any satisfaction by anyone from a theist bend. Meanwhile naturalism has made great strides to secure the comfort and safety of millions. Granted there are examples of misuse to counter the steps forward but I attribute that to our failings as a species. Work in progress.
One the things that religious thought reinforces is that of privilege and hierarchy. (eg. the chain of being.)
Banking on the supernatural to solve any problem or answer any question is the worst form of gambling at worst and mere woolgathering at best.


I am agnostic. I doubt the existence of god. I can not speak for the atheist.


I was in my 30s and 10 years sober from booze and drugs when I realized that I never believed in a god. Actually I was in a religion that I had to get on my knees and pray ???? and one day I asked myself what was I praying ???? to and the answer was nothing.


For me, took some time. Kept looking for some sign that there was a god, and decided that it was all made up by mankind. A way to answer some of the mysteries. And a way to power over the masses. Now if you just give us 10% of your earnings, we can get you to heaven. And the kicker for me, god is watching everything I do. Me and the other inhabitants of our planet.


Simple. I was brought up protestant in rural America. Religion did not make any sense. It conflicts with itself. The least moral were the most religious. I looked at catholic church. Same issues with better hats. I realized that I didn't believe a lot of nonsense like other religions, ghosts, psychics, con men and evangelical preachers. That's when I became agnostic.

This progresses through the years always reinforcing and never giving any doubt that religion was a scam. As an agnostic and having a great affinity toward scientific principles, I have a realization. Gods are the hypothesis first. Claiming that there is a god, like Abraham did would not be able to withstand today's world. Most people believed in many gods at the time. I think that it is safe to say that most people today would question anyone who believes in any of those gods. But they did because they were superstitious and they were afraid. Gods then like now offered a simple explanation for everything. If you didn't know then a God did it. But the key is that someone had to either claim a new god or witness a new one. Well, where's the proof? The insinuation might be that they have always been there but that's not the case. Almost all have an origination story. Even if they don't it's implied. They are arguing that their god is better than another, more real or more powerful. The burden of proof is on all religions. Today it may seem like an atheist has to support their case but that is not how the original beginning of the religion began. There was no scientific method or really any rational way of vetting new ideas. If it sounds good, then they would try to promote it to the masses. It was an emotional guttural vetting process. The best sounding idea wins but it did not have to prove itself. Y

So now I see that it does need to be proven to be believed. Merely having others believe is at best a starting point not a proof. For lack of a better explanation, you can forgive the ignorance. People like to have explanations but we don't always need much proof. Magic tricks are a good example. You only need a few people to believe to make it seem real but they are all tricks. People also want to believe. But today we know so much more about the universe. We know that there is a universe and we are not the center of the universe. A higher level of proof is needed. ANY. Or it just doesn't count. Some evidence like the religious texts only count if they are substantiated. There has to be real proof or it didn't happen.

It is true that I don't know for sure that there are no god(s) and I acknowledge that. But the burden of proof is on the one making the claim and in this case it is that there is something because you have to have a god to make a claim that there is one.

CK-One Level 6 June 11, 2018

It is easier to spell agnostic!


". . . Convinced them?" Your question is backwards. EXAMPLE: I have an invisible flying toaster on top of my invisible winged pink unicorn that orbits between the earth and Mars. It is my saviour and gives me moral guidance as to what I can do with my life. It demands that I spend my money and time to worship it. If you don't buy my toaster unicorn story, to paraphrase your question. " What incident or event happened to convince you that my invisible flying toaster is not real?" - - - Hope that helps you better understand your question. To answer what I think you should have phrased as (why do you not actively believe in a god (which god there are hundreds to choose from): When I was very young I came to the conclusion that the entire church/bible thing was a game adults played to try to scare and control young children because the entire concept was just too stupid to be real for one of many examples: "A star over Bethlehem leading wise men. . ." , ah, no! As a first grader I realized a star's position would yield insufficient parallax to guide anybody to a single town or structure. I thought every 3rd grader on up was find this problematic. Later when I went through "conformation class" I routinely found multiple contradictions in the bible. Thanks to my input, every one of our "bible study" classes closed with our counsellor, when confronted with my referenced contradictions, ending his lesson with a confused "I don't know." When our (spiritual guidance counsellor) began his talk about the "holy trinity" I began my response with "Well, that's just stupid" followed by a long list of reasons the entire idea was very stupid. Our (Spiritual guidance counsellor) ended that session with, "OK, you're right this is stupid but this is what they want us to tell you." I was born an atheist (lacking a belief in god). For a short time I entertained the idea of the supernatural (but managed to scientifically (testable experiments) demonstrate my core supernatural belief was in error) but it wasn't until years later (the summer between my 5th and 6th grade) I decided to devote a great deal of time and resources to access the best career choices. I mentally explored many choices including a preacher. I carefully accessed the role of a preacher, what he/she did for/to the community and was somewhat surprised to conclude the role of the preacher was not, as widely accepted, an honest and honourable position in society but constituted a career that was the very definition of reprehensible. As the years passed, I was exposed to many cases that demonstrated the ill consequences of religion (in my case Christianity) on societal health and in and several examples, the death of a young people. I define my self as atheist, (lacking a belief in god because I have never encountered any testable evidence to support the positive god claim) and as an anti-theist, (one that opposes theism as I have witnessed many ills as consequences of theism).

@Silvertongue You are a bit confusing. . . Are you honestly apologizing for framing what you now realize was your ridiculous loaded question (implied a god must exist so something must have happened to you to not believe)? I can understand you apologizing as the nonsensical nature of your (god) assertion was clearly illustrated by my flying toaster analogy. Or have you completely missed the point and are attempting to be sarcastic? Yanks? I live in the North and from my perspective, Yanks implies someone from the South. If you are from Europe, yanks indicates Americans. If your are attempting sarcasm it sounds like your use of yanks is an ad hominem attack. If this is your intent, you have demonstrated yourself to be a rather sad individual which leads me to ask you, what do you have against Southerners or Americans? (aside from electing Trump) and I had not part of that mistake, I don't mind Southerners or Americans.


I regard myself as an agnostic atheist. Agnosticism / gnosticism is one's knowledge position regarding gods, Atheism / theism is one's belief position regarding god(s). They influence each other but vary independently.

I don't claim to "know" there is no god -- in fact I'm an old-fashioned agnostic in the Huxlian sense there -- I not only don't know, I don't think it's knowABLE. Because invisible beings and realms are inherently non-falsifiable, no defensible knowledge claim can be made for OR against them. On the other hand, as an atheist, I see no valid reason to afford belief to such things. There is not just a little, but no evidence I see in their favor. So I do not believe.

This also belies the typical theist line that atheists are "arrogant". They argue that you'd have to have been everywhere and everywhen -- basically be god yourself -- to say there is no god. Well, I don't say that. There might be a god hiding under a rock somewhere. I just feel that there's no practical distinction between hiding, absent, indifferent, and non-existent gods. How would you tell them apart? God offers no explanatory or predictive power concerning outcomes in experienced reality. God concepts tend to muddy the waters on any topic -- rather than clarifying. Provides heat rather than light. God concepts are not "necessary entities" to understand the world.

As to incidents vs gradual awakening to atheism -- that is very individual. It was a mix for me. Put concisely, religious faith (believing the unsubstantiated) failed to either accurately explain or predict my experienced reality, so I found a better epistemology that worked for me in that regard. I don't like surprises. They were everywhere for me when I was a believer because I constantly had to reconcile the promises of god with actual life. Now, surprises are down to a dull roar. I am far happier this way.


I think you appreciate that wrongly, This site is named agnostic but I think there are many variants on what they are here. I don't really go by any of those terms. As many people would agree with me that the statement that God does not exist also requires proof! It is upon the claimant to prove his claim. I started asking questions to my priests, teachers, parents, other people, and no one had a good answer. There simply was and is no proof. simple. My model of the world is evidence based, scientific if you like. Evidence is perhaps better defined as proof beyond a reasonable doubt, as there is no such thing as 100% certainty in any proof.

I can't agree that non-existence of something requires proof. Are we required to prove that leprechauns don't exist?


9 years old and four years of Non-Stop abuse containing constant prayer and during a two-week lockdown with no entertainment via television, Radio, board games or books discovered that I would never be alone and was determined to be a childhood schizophrenic and to make things worse I'm asexual so all that twisted up into one package is literally the proof in the pudding and not only that I think Thor and Zeus were more interesting to me as a child and I could only imagine how awesome their Sunday School would've been .


Hi Silvertongue, First, there has to be a definition of this god. Everything I’ve ever read either directly or second hand, has established that the god of religious people and their books are simply put, fiction. If there are “supreme beings” out there somewhere that actually has some influence or control over our world, then they (it, her, him, whatever) is far superior to the god/gods of mankind! How any intelligent and scientific minded person could read any of the “sacred text” completely and still have any doubts about it being total fabrications, is beyond me. Personally, I was born an Atheist. Aren’t we all? Of course there were many adults pressuring and encouraging me to join the “flock”. It was hard to reject the urging of parents and others that you were taught to respect. But, when a legitimate question was asked, the typical lame responses were: You can’t question gods word or god works in mysterious ways, etc. Along the way, I put considerable effort into studying the various religions and getting to know the people. The common denominator was that they were all folks that had been brain washed as surely as Patty Hurst, after she was kidnapped and held hostage. Most of them are good people as long as religion stays out of the equation. For instance, as a child, I had been warned to watch out for those xxxxx’s and those zzzzzz’s! But, hey! I went out and married one and she wasn’t anything like the terrible person described during my childhood. I have no doubt that we would still be together if it wasn’t for cancer. And, a cure would have probably been discovered centuries ago if it hadn’t been for the roadblocks set up by religions. I could go on and on but, you get where I’m coming from by now.

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