What is your reason for being an atheist?
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Dude, we are *so* over that, for the last friggen time.
Myself, I would like there to be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the sewers, fighting crime under the supervision of a giant mutant rat. As a matter of fact I believe there are, so that means I'm right. Go ahead, prove me wrong. Prove to me that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles don't exist.
There's plenty of documented proof that Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo do exist, and have made quite an impact on society. So, therefore I *must* be right. Right?
I see no reason why you guys get your imaginary characters, and I don't get mine. Dude, I've got the comic books and they are pretty darn clear about the story of these 4 pizza scarfing saviors. It's as much proof as you've got for christianity, except the author isn't dead yet. Give it 50 years.
Firstly, can you justify your claim that God is imaginary?
Secondly, we *do* have good reasons to believe that there aren't mutated turtles that are ninjas (which are not good; ninjas were thieves, samurai were good) fighting crime in sewers.
Jesus wasn't all that great either, if you read your Apocrypha. So, list your reasons why you don't think that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles exist. I've actually been to that giant sliced pizza place in the comics, and know the manhole cover from which they erupted! How is that not proof enough for you heathens? Give me your proof that they don't exist. I didn't ask for "good reasons" (whatever bs you think that is), I asked for *proof*. Furnish it promptly, or stfu.
As to why your god is imaginary, I'll propose for giggle's sake that it's a game of odds. Humans are not even close to capable of understanding the true origins of the universe at this time, at least not in the detail that some theists claim to know. If there is a creator, odds are that bears no resemblance to anything humans have hypothesized thus far. that's just odds, based on the millions of possible things that could have happened up to this point - the odds that anyone can pick one, and have it be the right one, are pretty much nonexistent. Perhaps that's why you guys like to believe in miracles, I don't know.
Shock of God asserts: "Mind you, the absence of evidence does not constitute the evidence of absence."
Actually, in many cases it does. Yes, you could accurately say that absence of proof is not proof of absence, but evidence is categorically different. Evidence merely contributes to belief.
In fact, absence of evidence is pretty much all we have to conclude that there aren't elves, fairies, leprechauns, Zeus, Isis, and lots of other entities with no objective existence. Can we say definitively with 100% certainty that leprechauns don't exist? No. But we can be rather confident that they don't due to absence of evidence, having thoroughly explored the places they were said to live. In this case, absence of evidence is indeed evidence of absence.
I can't find any horses in my bathroom, and I checked all the drawers, the medicine cabinet, the hamper, under my toothbrush - all over. Absence of evidence can be, in fact, evidence of absence.
If we try every method known to science to find life on the moon and fail on every attempt, this is strong evidence (though not proof) of the absence of life on the moon. The more we try, the stronger this evidence, but it will never rise to the level of proof. Conversely, if nobody looked for life on the moon, or if we had inadequate tools, the absence of evidence would be of little value for a conclusion.
The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.
And there *is* good evidence that all of the creatures you listed do not exist.
Question, SoG...would you think it wise to use your 'absence of evidence does not constitute the evidence of absence' in a court of law? If so, then I sure wouldn't want you in the jury if I were innocent of an accused crime! If not, then why is it appropriate to use for the existence of god(s)?
So what? You may as well believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or aliens on the far side of the moon controlling events on Earth via undetected means. From the evidence it's clear that these aliens really hate poor people, especially poor Christians who live in flimsy housing in the American south and midwest.
Because to me the bible is just a made up book based off even older stories. It doesn't match up with reality and personally I find the god more arrogant and immature than a two year old throwing a temper tantrum. I've never believed in god, and I was raised in either a lapsed or atheistic household, just as I am doing for my son. When he is older I will explain that others believe it, and if he wants to eh can, but I will also point out the contradictions and the bad in it, too.
God supposedly knew all yet didn't realize what would happen with Lucifer, and Adam and Eve (and Lillith if you have that particular flair of bible). A supposedly all loving and all forgiving god (one who also knows EVERYTHING that will happen, which basically eliminates free choice) wouldn't send people to hell to suffer for eternity based off how he made people, and knew they were made. Unless he is more like a child with a magnifying glass, playing with the ants and burning them for fun.
I don't need a reason to be an atheist, anymore than I need a reason to not believe in ghosts or ESP or astrology. But I would need a really good reason to spend time engaging in any religious activity. So far no one has given me a good reason, just some a lot untestable assertions, and the comment that everyone else is doing it. Well, everyone else is not doing it. The fraction of non-believers in the US is increasing daily. I have spent a life in software startups and very few of my colleagues have been religious. Among the creative elite, religious belief is an oddity.
Because I've never been provided with a reason to be a theist.
I was an agnostic for a bit as a teen, when I concluded that if there was a God then I didn't like him very much, but that matured into actual atheism very quickly.
When I was a bit younger so up to about a year ago I was a happy Christian believing in god and heaven, I read the bible and believed almost everything in it. Than I started questioning why god was doing certain things and started realizing how god always wasn't just.
People talked about god putting us on the planet for a reason than I had a friends dad commit suicide leaving his mother him and his sister. I thought "was that gods intention for him to kill himself and leave it all behind?" If it was how is that just to put a family through that, having gone through it before. Than I realized that no illogical being would do that especially not some great "God" figure.
So I gave up the book and my belief and turned to the proof and became athiest
I'm glad to say I was not a typical church-goer or really participated in Christianity at all. As a small kid, I believed these stories simply because I was a kid and gullible. The god my mother described was a loving god who taught us these great values of life and how to live.
Now I find it laughable that my mother needs to believe that Jesus is the one to follow because of his teachings. This goes for any fiction book with any fictional character who expressed a theme through creative writing that conveyed a moral to live by. That doesn't imply you must worship said fictional character, which Jesus is just as well. That's where I stand on Jesus, for the most part.
Of course, when it comes to all of the bible stories with Adam & Eve, Genesis, Noah's Ark etc., they are all fictional stories. That's it. With most fictional stories, mind you, are going to be non-fictional facts within, but the main storyline is made up. If I am going to get anything from the bible, it is that God is a douchebag.
Anyway, the main reason for me being an atheist, and the main reason for the majority of people for being an atheist is that there is no evidence for God that would give me reason enough to believe he exists. The Bible is a 2000 year old story copied thousands of times in different languages and interpreted in all different kinds of ways. Keep in mind the Bible was also written by people who weren't eye witnesses to these events, and there is no physical evidence that any or most of such events in the bible ever occurred.
Last thing, the deist approach to God where he started the universe and let it expand and go about it's journey or whatever it's doing now and never interfered again is, in my opinion, flawed. It doesn't have to be some all powerful being out there that started everything, but if it was, why call it god, something that is often confused with a theist God, when it could have been the Big Bang. The Big Bang could have been this 'God' hypothesis that started this universe. The way I see it, with my puny mind, it will be almost impossible to prove or even have a glimpse of what happened before the Big Bang or before this universe began. All we know is that something had to put this universe into motion, expanding vastly outward. It could have been a God, or it could have been a Big Bang. The only difference is we have some sort of evidence for the Big Bang.
12 years of Catholic school led me to atheism, but not as a rebel, but because of the critical thinking and logic skills the quality Catholic education provided me. The nuns, priests and brothers equipped me with the ability to reason through the catechism classes I had to take along with the math, science and social culture classes.
And who told you that we don't belive in God
From my side as an atheist your God is exist but he is very week since the Islamic god trying to clean the earth from your God followers and your god can't do any thing to protect his follower or him self or his holy bible
I think there is a very much of stupid Gods in somewhere from this univers jealous from each other but they can't do any thing they just useless and week .
So oir mission as atheist to catch your God and send him to a prison since all gods only they was pushing the poor people to fight and kill each other
Not only your master God also evrey single tiny God on earth
Our mission to send him to jail.
So the correct question why you still following this son of a gun
I invite you to become atheist and to try to become smart for once in your life
Athist it is not religion it is freedom
I'm gonna start off by saying I was a muslim few months ago. Actually I grew up as one. I'm 18 years strong now and I've acquired enough of knowledge to think with my own head I guess. First of all, why God doesn't exist is really simple. I accepted this claim few months ago when I turned towards atheism. Why is it simple? Well if he'd really exist than not all would be this poor, sick, backward etc. In the end line, he would not make me an atheist because, it's irrational that God makes his beings atheists if he "obviously" exists.
Though some might say my claims are poorly based they're not as I have a lot of scientific proofs that God doesn't exist. Now I'll switch to my personal story about coming to revelation that there is no God. Year and a half ago, my dad died. It really was a tough period for me and I couldn't get over it. He was a very, very, very religious guy. He used to spend three or fours hours a day praying to "God" and he was really convinced that the help is underway. He got sick around, 4 years ago, I'm not really sure. He had some serious heart problems and had one of those "dead or alive" heart surgeries. He pulled through saying "God" saved him etc. Of course, doctors saved him and all the technology that was at hand, I mean, honestly, if he had this surgery 30 years ago, he'd die.
He went back to normals, back to job, back to family, you know how it goes, but he was really exhausted by everything. The surgery was one of those heavy ones and doctors said it'll take him few decades to be back to normal so they told him to retire. (through some government disabled program here in Bosnia, I'm not sure how it works) But he refused saying that he feels "God" settled inside of him, he feels stronger than ever etc. I know he way lying. So, two years ago his heart had enough and again started giving him trouble, but it just made him more religious than ever. He also forced, not just me, but entire family to obey to this so called "God", to pray five times a day, to pray before we get to bed, after we get up from bed. It was really painful, not just seeing him go through all that but also it was painful being forced to do something u have no faith in. Of course, he did not make it through second operation simply because he wasn't following instructions previously given by the doctors that told him to stay calm and retire. His false "God" gave up on him even though he was a true and honest believer.
Now, with this story, I dare to challenge any theist, believer, muslim, christian, jew, buddhist, anyone to prove me the sheer existence of God. Not only through my own life story, but also through scientific facts, that speak for themselves. Because, in the end line, if your "God" exists and we can't really "find" him, why would he give us the science?
Hmmm, It's not that I need a reason for being an atheist. It's that I would need a reason for believing in a god, any god. The default state is 'atheist'. I was born an atheist!
I love the simplicity and the clarity of your question. My straight answer of how I am an atheist is simply because I have not been raised to be a believer. I am baptised but not confirmed. Maybe I should reject my baptism but that was a name giving ceremony perfotming a common social ritual in the early 1960's. Many parts of me yearn to make that leap of belief to be a believer because those that have faith I see as having qualities and exhibit qualities that I cherish such as kindness , humility, an otherness that I do not always see in non followers. The desire to have an existence beyond my mortal limits also troubled me. However I realise now that I do not have to subscribe to a set of beliefs which challenge my credulity to display those qualities which I think are important for human endeavour and improvement. My existence beyond my physical life is only important insofar it leaves an imprint on those after me and if I can encourage kindness/bravery/selflessness amongst those around me and after me then that legacy will be my soul and that I realise is enough for me. It does not worry me now that I will be unacknowleged by those I have never met and those born after my death. I would like people to think "yeah,he was OK" and that will be enough. The lack of mysticism and magic in atheism is replaced by the sense of wonder at the vastness and complexity of people, the world and universe. It is spiritual for me that every atom of my being is derived from the big bang which I believe in not because I understand the physics behind it but because why would clever intelligent people say the universe was created that way, when it is so much easier to say that it was made by an omnipotent force called God. I am not a Christain hater and I do think that many of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth contain universal truths. His sayings of "a rich man can pass through the eye of a needle more easily than enter the kingdom of heaven would have been a collossal mindshift for the elders and worthies in Palestine of 2000 years ago as much as would be for the tele-evangelists with their riches today. His offering of the other cheek when an insult was given is similarly revolutionary and changed the thought that forgiveness is a more productive approach to revenge and blood feuding as still goes on today. I have problems with him saying "He who is not with us is against us" and "render unto Caesar that which is Caesars", which is why I cannot believe that he was the son of God in possession of universal truth. The words of Christ are inspiring but so too are the words and lives of others. Charles Darwin refrained for many years from completing and publishing the Origin of Species because he knew that what it espoused challenged the basis for his genteel class of society from which he came from and being man predisposed to anxiety and doubt he was by natural inclination reluctant to confront his own social class. The fact that he did publish in the end is an example of bravery in overcoming his own personal doubts ( albeit being pressured by the appearance of Wallace's work reaching the same conclusions ) which in the end showed the fruit of a lifetime spent studying barnacles and the breeding of domestic fowl and other birds. I am sorry this is long winded but I am of the realisation that you do not need to swallow the whole creed to be a good person. I used to feel guilty about picking the "good bits" from Christianity and other religions without regard for the hard bits ( namely suspending belief to acknowledge an all powerful God ) , but I do not feel so any more because religions have always taken the good bits and ignored the hard bits from those belief systems that have come before them from Animism to Zoroastrianism. With love and respect.
I prefer being realistic and pave my path myself rather than walking on trails formed by others, unsure of where it takes !
If everything in the Genesis are true, then your God just let you sin and go against Him. Why? it is stated that in the Bible that God provided everything, then he prohibit the man to eat the tree of knowledge in which the fruit can give us the power of moral reason, then since he prohibit that tree from us, then your God did not allow you to have proper reason, we just living out of instincts. Then you Christian, God just did not stop Adam and Eve to eat the fruit because God respects human freedom? Then he letting us sin and carry that original sin that our supposed first parents? In the first place, he must not create the tree of wisdom/knowledge if He does not want us to disobey Him? Since he let this things to happen, then your God is controlling our destiny which of course just a result of our good and bad decision in our life.
I used to be a Christian, but the more I studied the Bible the more contradictions I noticed, and that opened my eyes to the fact that it is possible that this isn't true. Then it was like a veil was lifted from my eyes. I saw things as obviously false that I used to pretend were no issue. Also, I read "God is not Great" by Christopher Hitchens. That was the first time an atheist presented me with a question I had no answer for. I am a very logical person, so once I saw that there were two contradicting ideas, I chose the only one that made sense. The bible is false.
The first two chapters of Genesis give two very different versions of the creation story. One of them has to be false. There are many numerical errors like how old Ahaziah was when he began his reign in Jerusalem.
2 Kings 8:26 says "Two and Twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem."
2 Chronicles 22:2 says, "Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem."
If all scripture is inspired of God, and these two things contradict, then one or both of them is false. If even one of them is false, it falsifies the claim that all scripture is inspired of God and that God cannot lie. Therefore there is no reason to believe that the Bible is true.
Hmm... I'd like to see this question flipped. What's your reason for being theist? for those that are, of course.
Personally it lacks all appeal, but I'd like to see how you guys answer.
Personally I just think Atheist are sexier. Yeah brains are sexy, Said it!
The lack of evidence proving god's existence. I believe in facts. For instance, I believe Jesus existed because there is evidence proving he was real;however, I don't believe he rose from the dead nor do I believe he was god. Also there are so many contradictions. For instance, he is suppose to be all loving and caring yet he sent bears to kill 42 kids for making fun of one of his servants? That doesn't sound like a very loving god to me
I think the best way to answer this question, is to ask you a simple question. Why don't you believe in Santa? Your answer to that question should also answer you question about why people are atheists. (Although non-Santa believers don't need a special name to describe them. We just call them normal.)
For me, personally, I was actually fifteen when I came across a page online for Atheists. I thought I would read about how "stupid" it was and became engrossed. Everything that never made sense to me about Christianity, as it turned out, didn't make sense for a reason. For me, it wasn't so much an "event" or "trauma" as I think you're looking for but an enlightenment- I started learning things and, based on new information, changed what I believed. Hope this helps!
I'm not sure why people wonder 'what happened in our life that made us an atheist'. You see, for most of us it's not that something happened and turned us into an atheist. For myself in particular it'a a matter of intelligence. If a sane and rational person sits down and really thinks about religion this is what he gets; an entity that lives in the sky, answers prayers, promises everything if you just obey his word or burn in hell if you don't...well it is ridiculous. It is quite similar to the whole Santa Claus story. Santa watches all the kids all over the world, if you behave you get toys at Christmas, if you don't behave then you won't get anything. Atheists believe in science and what can be proved and the bible and all its stories simply can not be verified and neither can a God. :)
Good question, in a sense...
It is a good question because it shows how reality is filtered by "normality". The reality is that, although it is possible, in theory, that a or many "gods" exist, it is extremely improbable. The normality of a believer is to "know" that there is a god because, imho, mostly and in most cases, of the education the believer received. Now, because a believer "knows" that there is a god, it is normal for him to question the "beliefs of a non-believer" but it is, in reality, still wrong.
The process of thinking, implies that, if you don't know something, you may believe something. Knowing implies using a sum of facts to reach a conclusion with great certainty. When you don't have enough elements you can't know for sure, but that won't stop you from believing something, it's just the way we are and it helps us progress. In the case of a religious person, often, believing is replaced by "knowing" for various reasons, because "it has to be true", because my most important sociological groups taught me so and I am part of them, because I need it to be true, and so on.
Believing in a god mostly comes from conditioning, a conditioning that makes the belief a normality. If we take 4 primary sociological groups in which a child usually evolves like, family nucleus, school, friends and neighborhood, and in all those groups the notion of religion exist and is enforced (softly or radically) on a child, chances are the child will believe. He will believe because his normality of being in a very religious medium seems to be the reality of things. But if one influential element can bring doubt, the normality is shaken and becomes a matter of choice.
That's why, imho, OP asks his question. OP's normality is to believe or "know" that there is a god and a slight element of doubt brought by an external or maybe internal source makes him curious and ask what is, for him, a good but still, in reality, erroneous question.
My short answer is that, you don't actually need an event in your life to not believe, you may need one to stop believing, and you most certainly need one to start believing. Conditioning is the key here. My normality is to not believe because I have no logical reasons to do so. OP's normality implies he should, at best, question the "aberration" of not believing instead of questioning the validity of his own non proven beliefs. Imho, questions like : why do I believe, why should I believe, why do I have to believe, why does my group want me to believe, should come before : why don't you believe. Because, with a serious and logical string of deduction you will, actually, realize that the last question is moot.
I tried to be concise and as clear as possible but, English being my third language my answer can seem quite limited, thank you for your understanding.
Nicely stated mrkhaan.
The reason I became an Atheist is because the older I got the more I realized that the Bible was written as pure fantasy...How can a reasonably intelligent person believe in the virgin birth or resurrection.. What about the earth being six thousand years old when we now know that dinosaurs roamed the earth millions of years ago......Also why should religion tell us what to eat and what not to eat..and that Gays are sinners and should be stoned to death....What about the Christian right dictating to all women that conception is the beginning of human life....and a woman aborting her fetus in the first trimester is actually MURDER.....I could go on and on....Statements like these are so false I can't imagine how anyone can believe them......