Asking about atheism

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Nat Khalinsky's picture
Asking about atheism

Hello guys, I am a 16 year old from Australia, I would currently call myself a Christian but I join because I want to find out more about about all this religious stuff and want to learn what both sides say. So something I would really like to know is why you are an atheist? I don’t really want to hear ‘there is no evidence’ I’d rather hear stories of if you were theist and why made you change your mind.
Looking forward to asking more questions and discussing more about this.

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ZeffD's picture
Welcome Nat K.

Welcome Nat K.
"I don’t really want to hear ‘there is no evidence..’"
Well, there's not much more to say, on my part. I was 'raised in the faith', i.e. indoctrinated into Roman Catholicism but I need evidence and reasons for what I believe. I don't need reasons for why I stopped believing Santa, god or fairies exist. There is no evidence they do exist. Simple as that. Sorry if you don't want to hear that.

By the way, I accept the label if you like it, but I don't call myself atheist. I don't believe your god exists and I don't believe witches exist either. Both are unsupported by reason and evidence, whether you like to hear that or not.

Terminal Dogma's picture
Sorry but for me personally

Sorry but for me personally the lack of evidence to support the claims in the Christian Bible was the main reason to abandon my faith.

Other reasons like the contradictions and poor morals displayed were also major factors.

David Killens's picture
Hello Nat, welcome.

Hello Nat, welcome.

Unfortunately, the ‘there is no evidence’ is a fundamental part of me, and it cannot be casually dismissed or ignored. Basically, that is the reason why I now consider myself an atheist. We do not need to indulge in the small details of evidence, but it has to be understood that a lack of evidence can lead to a lack of belief.

So if we have now reached an impasse because you refuse to deal with ‘there is no evidence’, then there is no reason to continue this conversation.

Sushisnake 's picture
Hi Nat.

Hi Nat.
I'm Australian, too. I was originally a cultural Christian- Catholic stripe. The diversity of religions ( 30,000+ Christian sects alone) made me realise not all of them could be right, but all of them could be wrong. Actually reading the bible made me conclude ( with relief) that the biblical Christian god's existence was simply unbelievable. I took a second look at other religions, but there was no compelling evidence for their god claims, either. Once you dismiss one religion's god, it's really easy to dismiss the others. The hardest one to dismiss is the one you were raised with.

Blue Heron's picture
It was a long process for me.

It was a long process for me. That is, it took years for me to admit to myself that which I knew was true all along. Inside most Christians there is an Atheist or Agnostic screaming to be set free. All you have to do is look at the attitudes of our society. It is admirable to be a good, Church-going Christian where I live (Eastern U.S.). You must profess belief in an incredible super natural event (the resurrection) to be a Christian. However, if you were to say that you met Jesus in person, or saw the Virgin Mary, or had a divine vision, or insisted that God told you to do something, you'd pretty much be considered a nut-case these days. The Movie "Heaven is for Real" demonstrates this perfectly--everybody believes; but not really. All that being said, the final straw for me was living in Germany, visiting the Nazi Concentration Camps, and seeing reminders in all major cities of Jews ripped from their homes and sent to death camps (they call them stolperstein or stumbling blocks). This was evidence enough for me that God either doesn't exist or is incapable or unwilling of intervening in human affairs. Either way-He's irrelevant.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Nat

@ Nat

"I’d rather hear stories of if you were theist and why made you change your mind."

Many ofus were never "theist" so it was was not a necessary change. What happened in my case after years of study and searching for answers I discovered to my satisfaction that there no answers, and all religions were flawed.

CyberLN's picture
Welcome to AR.

Welcome to AR.

I have never been a theist.

Alembé's picture
Hi Nat,

Hi Nat,

Why am I an atheist? I went on a journey of discovery. You can start your own too. I suggest you research the history of the rise of the ancient Hebrew warrior god, Yahweh. Check out his buddies and equals in the pantheon of gods, for example, his wife Ashera, also Baal of the golden calf.

Perhaps you can sort out how Yahweh (aka Jehova, God, and Allah) was able to create the heavens and the Earth when he was just a minor god in this pantheon, subservient to the great god EL (as in IsraEL)?

Enjoy!

(Edited to correct spelling of "Baal.")

Qu@si's picture
"why you are an atheist?"

"why you are an atheist?"

god turned me into an atheist..

amen.

Tin-Man's picture
@Q Re: "God turned me into

@Q Re: "God turned me into an atheist. Amen."

Dammit, Q! Glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read that. I would have spewed it! LMAO

Qu@si's picture
i don't get this millennials

i don't get this millennials nowadays. i thought they're smart, finding new innovations and something like that.

but who can blame them, its the norm that they grew-up with, and how they lift the family traditions..
and they don't want their families to condemn them. who does?

"I would have spewed it"
yeah you didn't spewed it good for you, but what is that on your ear T-man? something leaking..
jesus fucking christ..!!! i see that you've lost another nut screw again!....tsk tsk tsk.

Cognostic's picture
@ Nat Khalinsky "I want to

@ Nat Khalinsky "I want to learn about both sides."

Hi Nat and welcome to the site. There are not 2 (both) sides. There is only one side, yours. You may not understand this yet but please try to follow along.

Imagine for a moment that you and I are out one night looking at the stars. You look up at the stars and tell me, "You know, there are an even number of stars in the sky." (God is real) I look at you curiously and ask, "How do you know that? Did you count them?" "No, I just know. It's ancient wisdom that I read in a book." Then I look at you and say "I don't believe you." (I don't believe the stars are even or God is real.)

NOTE: I did not assert that the number of stars in the sky is odd (I did not assert God is not real.) I said nothing at all about the stars (or God). I simply did not agree with you. This is the same as the relationship between atheists and Christians. The Christians are the ones with a "SIDE." The atheists are only asking them to prove their point. "How do you know and why should I believe?" (How do you know the stars are even or God is real and why should I believe the same thing.)

What the Christians give us are hundreds upon hundreds of really bad arguments for the existence of their God. (As do all other religions which is why we no longer believe in all the past gods and why you probably don't believe in Shiva, Vishnu, Zeus, Baal, or any of the other 35 gods mentioned in the Bible.

So there is only one side... "Your side." And the atheists are asking you, why should we believe?

(Okay, with all that said, there are Anti-theists who are also atheists because they do not believe. They are a sub category of atheists. Sometimes called "Strong Atheists." These atheists, like the Christians, make an assertion. They say (Back to my analogy) "The number of stars is odd.? (God does not exist.) However: PAY ATTENTION. they rarely assert that they are 100% sure. They will tell you that all the real, valid, measurable and real evidence is against a god existing. The anti-theists are making an assertion. To them, the Christians logically make the assertion, "You can not disprove a god." This is true. God is a non falsifiable proposition. It can not be proved or disproved. However, antitheists believe the majority of evidence lines up against the existence of this god just as it lines up against all the other gods. Christians engage in "Special Pleading" and make the assertion "Our god is different than all the other gods. Our god is the one true god." But they do this without good evidence.

Neither claim has sufficient evidence to be called true. I personally believe the Anti-theists are correct. About 99.9% correct. That leaves the Christians a very magical .01% of possibly being correct. It takes only a very small leap of logic to make the assertion that God probably does not exist. It takes a whole lot of faith and belief to assert that a god does exist. And here is the big problem. "THERE IS NOTHING A HUMAN BEING CAN NOT BELIEVE BASED ON FAITH."

The people flying planes into the world trade center did so on faith. Buddhists who set themselves on fire did so on faith. Japanese who once committed suicide by cutting themselves open did so on faith. Aztecs who cut out the hearts of victims for the gods did so on faith. There is no position at all that a person can not hold based on faith. Faith is not a path to truth. Faith has never been a path to truth.

Atheists only ask the question, "What do you believe and why should I believe it too. "

Steeeee's picture
The 2 sides are theists and

The 2 sides are theists and nontheists. Wtf do u mean there's only one side. How could there be argument with one side.

Cognostic's picture
There is not an argument.

A "Theist" is a thing, a non-theist is everything else. There are 10 people in a room and one of them "Becomes A Christian." The other 9 did not become non-Christians. Only the Christian changed. Only the Christian has a position. The 9 non-theists do not have a position. All the they want to know is "Why should I believe too." When you give them bad reasons they are justified in rejecting them. That does not put them on a side. Only you are on a side.

There is not an argument. There is an inquiry. Only one side is making a claim / assertion. "God exists." Either you believe the claim and are a theist or you do not believe the claim and you are a non-believer, this is all atheism means. It's like being a stamp collector. Either you are a stamp collector or you are not a stamp collector. People who do not collect stamps are not arguing with people that do. "You do not need facts or evidence to not believe a claim; or to be a non-stamp collector; especially when wild magical claims with invisible flying sky men are being made by the theists. The atheists / non-believers are not magically put on an opposite side of an issue for not believing a claim.

(Unfortunately this is what Christians do as they are an in-group/out-group faith. You are either with me or against me. This is the Black and White fallacy in action. NO! There is a position that is completely neutral. It begins with simply not becoming a theist. Not taking that step to separate yourself from the group. It's called atheism. )

If I tell you that I have an invisible non-corporal dragon in my garage, are we having an argument? Can't you just tell me "I don't believe you?" Why in the world would you argue with me? Wouldn't you just ask me to prove it? And when I could not prove it, would you not be completely justified in not believing my claim. You do not need to convince me that I am crazy or that my dragon is not real to simply not believe me. You do not need to believe my assertion (side). There is only one assertion and so only one side.

What Christians do is called "Shifting the burden of proof" so that it looks like an argument.
They do this by making a second assertion, "You can't prove there isn't a god." This is true because God, like the invisible non-corporal dragon, is a non-falsifiable claim. You can't prove that I do not have an invisible non-corporal dragon in my garage any more than I can prove your god does not exist.

I do not need to prove your god does not exist to not believe your assertion. You have not proved your assertion. There is only one assertion (one position), yours. I am only waiting for the evidence. There is only one side.

Greensnake's picture
Cognostic,

Cognostic,

Nice posts! I don't recall seeing it better put.

Many atheists (my definition of the word) also take a side for certain definitions of God, which is what probably confuses a lot of people.

Cognostic's picture
Yes, The God of the Bible for

Yes, The God of the Bible for example is self contradictory and thereby self refuting.

Steeeee's picture
Even if one side is making

Even if one side is making claim and the other is just rejecting that claim, there's still 2 sides. Like I could say "Santa is totally real guys!" and you could say "um no.... There's no evidence. Prove it to me.". There are 2 sides there to that conversation. It's silly to play rhetoric games. Don't try to be a smart ass. Who does it help?

Greensnake's picture
Steeee,

Steeee,

That's an important philosophical point in the area of epistemology! You should be careful about implying that someone is a "smart ass." It might just be a reflection of your own ignorance! The answer, of course, depends on how you define "side." Cognostic is defining "side" to mean something like a reasoned position, a claim backed by arguments (whether good or bad). In that sense many atheists don't have a "side."

When someone says "Prove that God doesn't exist." the natural reply is "Prove that fairies don't exist." By that thinking, God and fairies are equally credible! What works for one works for the other.

David Killens's picture
@Steveeeee

@Steveeeee

I consider it a conversation. One person makes an assertion, the other challenges that assertion. The next step should be the one making the assertion making a rational response instead of stomping off in a huff.

So ... let us have a conversation

Cognostic's picture
Give it up! You are just

Give it up! The claim is not being rejected, a god may very well exist. The person is being asked for evidence of the claim. The evidence is not accepted as it is not actually evidence. There has to be evidence before it can be rejected. "Because I had a gooey feeling is not evidence. " If you think there is some evidence present it. In the mean time, go back and read the previous posts. They are clear enough for everyone else to understand. You don't get to claim someone is on another side just because YOU want to be CONTRARY.

Talking with you is like going to the Monty Python Argument Clinic.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLlv_aZjHXc

THERE ARE NOT TWO SIDES.

Cognostic's picture
@ Nat "I don’t really want

@ Nat "I don’t really want to hear ‘there is no evidence."

The biggest reason for the existence of atheists is the fact that there is no evidence and the evidences that Christians attempt to give are generally really poor attempts at rationalization.

If you think you have some evidence. please post your opinion. You might want to use the debate room. Also. It would really help if you just cite your best evidence, one thing at a time." If you do the whole, jump around from point to point thing, the threads will be extremely long. So what evidence do you have and why should we believe?

Sheldon's picture
Hello, and sorry, as I am an

Hello, and sorry, as I am an atheist because no one can demonstrate any objective evidence for any deity or anything supernatural.

If you find this frustrating perhaps you could tell us what you think evidences your belief in the christian deity? What we usually get are logically fallacious arguments, or subjective anecdotal claims, but it's always useful to re-examine our ideas and beliefs.

arakish's picture
Well come Nat Khalinsky;

Well come Nat Khalinsky;

At least you are on the right track. Unlike most (almost all) Absolutists, you seem to have an open mind. You are asking. Well, let's see if my answer is any good for you. Probably not.

I have at least always been an onerous skeptic. My father taught me that when I began asking him questions. And to this day, I shall forever love his answer.

He took me to the "study" room (which we always had as I grew up) and then showed me the one wall. That wall was literally covered (not totally, but at least two-thirds) with three sets of encyclopedias (one actually dated in 1887, one in 1924, and the third was a more modern World Book Encyclopedia set)). The entire collection of National Geographic from the very first issue to the current one (in the very early 60s at that time). There were also about 40 to 50 college textbooks by dad had saved. Basically, the wall was 7 feet tall and 18 feet wide and was completely covered with encyclopedias, science and mechanics and engineering books, National Geographic, and a myriad of other books and magazine collections.

When he showed me the wall, he simply said, "Go find the answer." The BEST DAMNED LESSON EVER!

Once I had my daughters, my dad gave me all of that wall of books and magazines. Of course, since I had already started my own collection, the Wall of Why (my name for it) had to be enlarged to include more than one wall, becoming the Walls of Why. Like my father, I have always been a very strong supporter of the philosophy, "teach your children that it is more important how to think than to be told what to think."

Thus, even starting at the age of 4, I was searching for my own answers. When I turned 5 my mom made me read Sir Arthur C. Clarke's novel, Childhood's End, and write a report on it. What kind of mother tortures her child like that?

Now, for the story why I became an atheist and not just an onerous skeptic. It was the very first time I was forced to attend church by my mother (who is a devout Absolutist) when I was only 5y 10m old. The very first Sunday Sermon was about the ideology of Original Sin. Although I never said it aloud, my first thought to the preacher was, "Are you really that stupid?" Or, similar. Even from the "get gone," I was instantly turned into an atheist (although we were called Unbelievers or Doubters at that time). In fact, in SENCland, "atheist" was a term that was not heard until sometime in the 1990s. Yeah, do a Ripley on that.

This part may not be to your liking, but it is how it went down. Most of this remained as suppressed memories for 45+ years until I came to these forums and had other atheists to talk to. Trying to be succinct.

Thus, I have been an atheist my whole life. After what I had suffered at the hands of the Absolutists: psychological terror, corporal punishment, isolationism (called "time out" now), emotional degradation by being called a godless heathen (amongst other nastier names), and ultimately into actually being raped, molested, and beaten half to death by the older children (never the priests, but their appalling children), and good old fashioned ass-whoopings by my mother, sometimes my father. After suffering this for four years, I copitulated and "pretended" to be saved and become a believer (memorizing huge chunks of the Bible so I could spew its filth with the best of them). Even got baptized.

Does This Child Preacher Understand the Words He's Yelling? — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kttVCbTrDLw

Three years later, I reached the Age of Minority. That is what it was called in my father's traditions. The age of 13 when a child is considered to be a sub-adult and capable of deciding some things for themselves. This included whether I wanted to go to church or not. Guess which I chose? However, I still had to "pretend" to be a believer due to my mother until I joined the US Navy. Finally, I was an adult and could tell all the Absolutists to go hmph themselves.

Then I got married, had daughters, lost it all, and now I am just a cynical old fart. However, I still try to keep an open mind, give the benefit of doubt, since I am also a scientist (a volcanologist at Yellowstone).

Ultimately, you can call me an equal opportunity atheist, anti-theist, anti-religionist. Anti-religionist would be the best title for what I am. I despise all religions. IMHO, Religion is Humankind's worst enemy.

rmfr

P.S. — Sorry for ranting. I do tend to do that...

Sapporo's picture
I firstly became an atheist

I firstly became an atheist for moral reasons - I became convinced that a moral god does not exist.

Later, I appreciated the truth that the supernatural features that make "god" a god are unfalsifiable.

I see no reason whatsoever to believe in gods, nevermind worship gods.

watchman's picture
@Nat.........

@Nat.........

" I don’t really want to hear ‘there is no evidence’ I’d rather hear stories of if you were theist and why made you change your mind."

I'm sorry Nat..... Atheists tend not to "testify" as you seem to want .......

and the question of "evidence" ,that you seem to want to avoid ,is in fact vital....

Read the so called holy texts , read what they actually say , not what a priest ,pastor, rabbi or Imam tells you they say.
Not only is there no evidence for the existence of any deity but what evidence there is points to fraud ,lies ,fabrication ,manipulation ,disinformation and misdirection.

You cannot find your path by reading the journeys of others..... only you can tread your road.

chimp3's picture
Mainly I stopped believing

Mainly I stopped believing the believers. Nothing else stepped in to replace their assertions.

Kataclismic's picture
Everyone is an atheist. We

Everyone is an atheist. We just take it one god further than most.

Charvak's picture
I initially believed that

I initially believed that religious leaders would manipulate religious doctrines to spread discord and so I studied as many religious texts as I could (more perused than study).
I read the Gita, Purana (Hindu texts) Quran, Bible, went on to research a few mainstream mythology and even obscure ones ranging from the common norse and greek to Japanese, aztec etc and found one thing common in them all.
They were all ridiculous.
Read a few of them or just one of them and I can assure you there will be a lot in there to question, from their morality to science. its hard to ignore the nonsense and you could try to justify the improbable to the impossible but eventually, if you are pragmatic enough realisation will dawn on you that maybe (or in our case; most likely) its all "BS"

LogicForTW's picture
@ Nat's original post

@ Nat's original post

I will keep this short as you have not replied back.

You use the same tools to define and be succesful in your life that you should apply to well everything, including your particular religion. Do not your particular religion be the only thing that you do not use your valuable and indeed, critical life reasoning skills, (such as crossing a busy street.)

Anyhow: my own story of how I got to atheism:

Read your particular religious book. From beginning to end, but try not to go into it with any particular bias one way or the other. If you find this difficult, find a different religious text, say the quran, read that and the lens you view it with, (why the quran is incorrect) use as practice to read your own religious book.

For me, after reading the bible cover to cover, (no skipping sections!) It was very apparent to me that the bible is not at all divine, very much written by people long ago and heavily edited in a desperate attempt to keep up with the latest times. And w/o a bible to underpin your entire religion everything else falls apart real fast for the religion.

If reading the entire bible from cover to cover is too onerous of a task for you, perhaps consider that it your religion really is not all that important to you anyways.

the universal's picture
I personally do not have a

I personally do not have a problem with the Bible but just because I do not believe in a god does not mean that the Bible is wrong, incorrect and something that is bad or promoting anything wrong or harmful to people.

I just see a book about a Hebrew people who equated serving other gods equivalent to doing things that hurt yourself and others and serving the god of the Bible was equivalent to doing things that benefit and preserve lives and protect families and children.

I am more like the atheist who looks to the Bible and sees how it was important for the Hebrews to follow its rules and guidelines in order to remain healthy and respectful to one another and other nations around them who would live peacefully. However, the Bible is a good book to reflect upon and continue to study how in today's modern times it shows how to live safe, family lives. But I believe that many of my fellow atheists realize that the world has changed.

Today we have advanced technology but because of our own self-destruction we have created many problems and the Bible simply was a book about how to stop the problems that existed at the time the book was written.

The Bible is focused on family and upon the preservation and respect for children and i really respect that. As an atheist, I would not suggest or need prove that god does not exist by lying about the Bible, making all atheists look like complete foolish clowns.

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