Just trying to get a head count here. Who's an atheist and who isn't, and why?? Tell me your story, I'm all eyes.
I was raised in a religious family. I was brainwashed to listen to church authorities and blindly accept and obey whatever they said. But I studied the scriptures in order to help me convert thinking people, and discovered that the prophets were false, the scriptures were full of contradictions, and many scriptural stories were scientifically unsound. For years I studied both sides of the issue -- the religious side and the scientific side of the argument. The evidence pointed toward atheism. There are no gods. Religion is a scam based on mythology. I am happy to be free from such a scam.
I'm an agnostic atheist, and I the main reason I do not believe in the vacuous claims of theists, is just that. There is nothing they can point to that supports their claims, and you can really see how pathetic it is when they start "arguing" 'then where does love come from?' or 'how can you tell right from wrong if you don't believe in god?'
They say absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but if the very people who proclaim a particular hypothesis is true can offer NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER, that says something. Especially if they have been trying for thousands of years.
Frankly, the "holy scriptures" are strong support that there are no gods as well. 1) it is internally inconsistent; if a supreme being really sent it down to us because it's important, then why let human writers screw it up and render it useless? 2) No one really follows it. 3) it was given a small brutal desert tribe instead of the whole world. 4) It doesn't tell us anything useful. (and don't tell me it tells us to be charitable and loving; that would be the dumb non-argument I mentioned above)
I feel tired of answering this question over and over. Please read the posts.
My answer (below) was copied and pasted from yesterday.
You won't get a head count. Not all members read or reply to posts.
Many atheists roll their eyes, thinking: "Not again."
Atheist. My feeling is that the idea of God is a human invention, and not a very good one. Better to rely on our own collective human intellect and reasoning skills, to solve the problems we face in the world, rather than leaving it to an outside supernatural power to come to our aid.
If there is some supernatural God watching everything going on, and not doing anything to help us out, he surely would be expecting us to learn from our mistakes and help ourselves.
I am an atheist who was once a believer. My journey from believer to atheist took a little over a decade.
Actually reading all of the Bible, and learning more about how it came to be, caused me to realize it is not the word of any god; and that the god described in it is too human--and too contradictory--to exist.
Learning more science caused me to realize that there is no evidence for a god, of any kind; and that there is no need for any kind of god for the universe to behave as it does.
Proud to wear the scarlett letter 'A'. Recently seen a clip of Bart Erhman who stated that he is an atheist agnostic. He defined his position this way: atheist-no belief in a god. Agnostic-no knowledge of a god. It seems to me that if there is no evidence for a god then there is no knowledge of a god so no belief in a god. Hence the logical position is atheism until such credible proof is submitted to the contrary.
Im an atheist, i became one at fourteen. I stopped identifying as a Christian at thirteen but i still desperately held onto my faith for a year because i didn't want to let it go and i thought that it was a ''phase'' that i would outgrow. I identified as an agnostistic for a while but i eventually let it go completely, i realized i had no good reason for being a Christian and that their was no substantial evidence. Im much happier now that i don't have the constant threat of hell hanging over my head and that i don't think that my non Christian friends are going to hell unless they convert.
I am. My parents were abusive and I did the only thing a 5 year old knew and that was pray. Although I never felt anything that people described as god and it never felt "real" to me, I still prayed for a new family. I prayed to find out I was switched at birth. I even prayed for death. I prayed for any way out that I could. I was a good kid by all standards (though ADHD made me a lot to handle) but I always felt that I was praying to nothing. I eventually stopped paying but I still had to fake it otherwise I would get beat by my parents.
To get me to be still at church my parents would let me bring my own books. I brought encyclopedias of the animal kingdom. They often talked about evolution and provided evidence, meanwhile the church would claim evolution was fake and had no evidence and often stated that the piltdown man was proof of science being fake (nevermind that science is what exposed the fraud).
I have always been very introspective. I would lose friends if I told them what cult I was in. I knew that it was for a reason I couldn't change and I didn't think that was right. Additionally I noticed that happens all the time for race and sexuality etc. I found it absurd that anyone would hate someone for something they couldn't control. I noticed that the church was doing it all the time. I never agreed with it but I had to sit in silence or I would get beat.
All of the previous things added up. So I held the agnostic position for my teenage years and a portion of my 20's until I finally realized that god has never been the answer to anything. The idea that a cognitive being would put together an indifferent and massive universe just to support the smallest percent of area that the life on our planet occupies, seemed incredibly stupid. So I took the final step and I began to proudly wear the badge of atheist.
At age 13, I became an atheist when I realized the Bible is just a book of stories written by men. Like Grimm's Fairy Tales.
I chose rational thought, not magical beliefs.
Michigan had a hard winter when I was 13. Bored and restless, my little brother, 10, and I read the World Book Encyclopedias. I was inspired by rational philosophers Descartes and Spinoza, who were bravely anti-theist (anti-God), anti-church and anti-clergy in the 1600s when heretics were burned at the stake. They had to go into hiding.
Their writings inspired the European Age of Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries. It stressed reason, logic, criticism and freedom of thought over dogma, blind faith, and superstition.
Coming from a xtian background, my reasons for becoming an atheist are twofold. First, no xtians I've ever talked to accepts the entire babble. They all think you can pick and choose what applies and what doesn't. How could a supposedly perfect, inspired scripture be wrong in so many ways? Second, the amount of harm done by religion or in its name (rape, murder, genocide, slavery, sexism, racism) far outweigh any good ever done by religion. If there were a loving, all-powerful deity, there's no way it would have slept through the Holocaust.
Most of us have already answered this question ad infinitum in multiple threads. Even so, while you may get some interesting anecdotal information, you will get nothing resembling a head count. Most of us will say, if we even happen to notice this post, "oh THAT again."