How did you come to be an Atheist?

leroy
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How did you come to be an Atheist?

How did you come to be an Atheist?

I think it would be interesting to find out how you became and Atheist, did you come from a religious background and what happened to bring you to your current position or have you always been an Atheist.

I would also be interested in knowing if you consider yourself a weak, strong or just Atheist.


Insidium Profundis
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I was born an atheist and

I was born an atheist and kind of stayed that way. I was a weak atheist at one point; now I am strong.

An open mind is like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded.


leroy
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How did you come to be an Atheist?

Insidium Profundis wrote:

was born an atheist and kind of stayed that way. I was a weak atheist at one point; now I am strong.

Thanks for your response.


MattShizzle
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I just realized in my teens

I just realized in my teens I disagreed with religion on almost everything (abortion, euthanasia, womens rights, gay rights, etc) and that the Bible had a lot of silly things in it. Was never really religious, but did believe. By 16 I considered myself agnostic. Decided I was an atheist late May of last year.

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Lord Rodders 125
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I'm a strong atheist.

I'm a strong atheist.

My parents didn't really try to bring me up religiously, other than once in awhile telling me to say my prayers before going to sleep (which I never did, I couldn't see the point to it). They never took me to church, either. I'm the sort of person who doesn't really say much in conversations, and as a kid, if religion ever came up, I probably just didn't say anything because if someone asked me, I really wouldn't know what to say. Up until recently I wasn't even sure if I was supposed to be one religion or the other, like I said my parents never much about religion. I never thought much about why things were, or how some supernatural being must be in control of everything, but rather I saw science in school and saw that science worked, so I guess I didn't need much more explanation than science.

I've only went to a church once or twice (spent the night at a friend's house, and apparently it happened to also be 'bring a friend to church day'), and it was as boring as I had heard from basically everyone else I've ever heard talk about it.

However, in recent years I started to really consider ethics and things like gay marriage, and saw how it was tied to religion. When I wondered again what my religion was, I saw that I really didn't have any (I wasn't really even acquainted with the term 'atheist', so I just 'didn't have a religion'). Eventually then after searching around some, I decided that I felt entirely that no supernatural beings existed due to many logic things that made no sense (why nobody believes in the Greek or Roman deities, how God could be all-loving and let bad things happen), so probably sometime last year I firmly decided that I was an atheist.

Kind of an odd story, but I guess since my parents weren't very religious, I was on track to go in that direction too.


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Thanks for the replies

Thanks for the replies Mattshizzle and Lord Rodders 125.


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I was raised in a very

I was raised in a very strict Southern Baptist home and believed in god for about 18 years. I always had questions for my parents and Sunday school teachers, but the answers never satisfied me and questions were always discouraged. My parent's home schooled me during the latter part of elementary and all through middle school, so all of my information was monitored. I was eventually enrolled in high school and when it came time to learn about evolution or sex, permission slips were sent home, but I wasn't allowed to participate. I never really had the freedom to see the other side of things until about 5 years ago when I enrolled in college. What I learned in biology class pretty much contradicted everything I knew. I was completely shocked, but excited. I wasn't angry at my parents or anyone else, just really sad. I felt like I had some sort of secret that no one else knew. For the first few years, I mostly dealt with my transition internally and read everything I could get my hands on. I was hesitant to use the term atheist at first, because of it's negative connotation. But, that's what I am. I'm not going to get into sub-categories like weak or strong. None of that matters to me.


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I was raised in the deep

I was raised in the deep south in a more or less fundamentalist environment, where everyone at least professed god belief. When I was a teenager, a friend invited me to go see this preacher who was supposed to be some kind of super-motivator who specialized in "rallying the troops," so to speak. During his speech, he said one of the most logical things I remember hearing in church. He said, "If you call yourself a Christian, and you haven't read the Bible cover to cover, you're no better than someone who claims to be a heart surgeon but never went to medical school."

This affected me deeply, as I had always just drifted along with what they taught in church, so I read the Bible cover to cover... twice.

After reading it, I realized how many errors, inconsistencies, and blatant falsehoods there were. This shook my faith deeply, and I became sort of a middle of the road agnostic-Christian-theist, believing that there was a god, but that Christians had obviously fucked it all up, and hoping that by trying to be a good, spiritually conscious person, maybe if there was a heaven or hell, I'd end up in the right place by virtue of making a "good faith effort" at figuring it out.

My ex-wife was the one who patiently sat with me and listened to my arguments for faith over reason, and then patiently explained why they were irrational. After a couple of years of reading, studying myth, and more importantly, studying logic and patterns of argument, I realized that there simply was no way that this whole "god concept" could be correct, and that "faith" is a nonsense word that describes belief despite evidence to the contrary.

I "came out" as an atheist when I was twenty-five, and then began to become more and more involved in actively promoting atheism when it became obvious to me that the religious right was trying to essentially take over the government. I know you didn't ask this question, but I don't actually believe that religion can be discredited in my lifetime, but I do work actively to keep it out of government on all levels. In other words, my main goal as an atheist activist is keeping the church and state completely separate.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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I was raised in a family

I was raised in a family that was Catholic on one side and Protestant (Presbyterian) on the other. I went to church rarely as a child, until when I was around 9, my mom and step-dad (A Lutheran) decided that we would start going to church, a Lutheran church. I was mostly bored by the whole experience, although sometimes I liked to sing.

At Sunday school I asked too many questions, and eventually I just stopped going. They didn't really want me there anyway.

I never believed, not in any substantial way. I talked about God, but the idea was vague and more like a big parent or leader thanh any supernatural being. When I was old enough to comprehend, too any sufficient degree, what people were claiming when they talked about God, I held some very vague new-age-like ideas that I could call pantheism. But I really never believed in a supernatural God.

I eventually called myself an agnostic. Later, I discovered atheist sites and started talking with people and started calling myself an atheist.

I could say, and not be completely wrong, that I've always been an atheist and I jsut needed to understand what that meant to identify myself as such.

Shaun

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I remember for some reason

I remember for some reason when I was little how I pictured God. Does anyone remember the "Burger Thing" from Burger King commercials in the late '70s/early '80s? For some reason that's how I pictured him. LOL!!! Anyway, I forgot to mention I'm a strong atheist.

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I was raised with no mention

I was raised with no mention of religion. The only things I can remember about them mentioning it is correcting misconceptions about religions I had, and going to baptisms for my cousins.

The environment in Sweden where I grew up is very secular. In fact, if you are some sort of practicing christian, you are looked upon as some sort of wierdo. "Are you christian because you're ugly, or ugly because you're christian?" is quite the popular phrase among kids.

When I was 8 or something, I remember reading parts of Genesis, and it said a bunch of people were living until they were 900 years old. "Oh, this is some sort of fictional story" I thought. Now it amazes me that millions af adults can't figure out what I realized at 8. Imagine my surprise when I later realized that people actually believe that stuff.

Now, I'm a strong atheist. I have as long as I can remember answered "atheist" when asked for religion.


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My journey was different in

My journey was different in the fact that my mom was very open to ideas of beliefs. I was initially brought up in the Catholic church until around age 6, when my mom left it due to her not agreeing with the bulk of the teachings. For years she had followed blindly because it was part of her family traditions.

She than began to explore all sorts of beliefs, from santeria to baptist and eventually to a new age christian based church. It was a mixture of eastern beliefs with christianity called 'Unity'. I spent most of my years there, but it was very relaxed, open and non judgemental. I spent time in retreats that were basicly hippie communes. Very loving and open environment. No nudity btw Sticking out tongue

By this time I was just believing in an adhoc system of things that felt conviently into my worldview. I was more of a deist really for many years until I found people on the internet. IG was a huge influence. After listening to debates, studying and inquiring within, Atheism became the position that represented my beliefs (or lackof). I am still a closet Atheist. My mom doesn't really know where I stand even though we have discussed it a few time, I've never professed my atheism to her. My mother in law is a staunch southern baptist, a wonderfully kind lady who I love tremendously. Knows not a clue of my lack of belief and I really don't know how she would feel about it. It would send shockwaves to say the least.


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I've always been an Atheist

I've always been an Atheist despite attending 2 church of England schools in this godless country of mine.

I'm a agnostic or weak atheist when it comes to the general definition of god, but I find myself being a strong atheist with regards to all the descriptions and claims made by theists I've encountered.


leroy
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Hey thanks for all of your

Hey thanks for all of your responses, I appreciate understanding were you all have come from and the thought processes that brought you to this point.


Alex14
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I was raised in Puerto Rico

I was raised in Puerto Rico and although I wasn't raised very religious I did my comminion and conformation. And I believed in God and all that stuff. I remember once I was asking why God was letting the world suffer so much and all I got in return was 'you DON"T question god". Then one time in my town the first gay pride parade was gonna happen so I wanted to go (i was like 13, i never saw anything wrong with that life style) So my older bro was taking me and my mom to see the parade. I saw this pretty flag with colors on it. So, I asked what did that flag represent. My brother then tell me that it was the "fag" flag. Yes, it sounds as though i was sheltered (i kinda was, my Catholic family did not talk about those things. It's not bad but it shouldn't be talked about, that's thier thinking) Anyways, i thought the f word was kinda mean. On our way there I saw this group of people with signs and they were saying it was a sin to be gay. I didn't understand why. My mom taught me that God didn't jugde so I was kinda puzzled and sad. Once I moved from PR to NY (3 years ago) I was exposed to more. Three months later I was homeless with my family and I would pray and people would tell me to keep the faith and I tried I really did but I just kept getting madder at god. I started to wonder if I was just talking to my ceiling at night. I'm currently going through therapy and people still kept telling to keep the faith. But it just didn't work. So all that I've gone through plus what is going on in the world made me question everything. And anyways, i agree with the theory of evolution and with other things that religion don't necessarily agree with. I only prayed when I was troubled and I never liked the bible. So, it was as though I half belived. Or I just believed in a sky dad but nothing else connected to him or something. Anyways, I've recently decided I'm atheist (seriously like a month or so ago) mostly because of this site. I've been reading alot. Researching every link that Sapient and others post whenver they debate a theist. And I gotta say I feel better. I guess because I'm not putting faith in something that may or may not be there. Instead I'm putting it in something more secure e.i myself. Kinda corny and loong sorry. Smiling 


melchisedec
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Alex14 wrote: I was raised

Alex14 wrote:

I was raised in Puerto Rico and although I wasn't raised very religious I did my comminion and conformation. And I believed in God and all that stuff. I remember once I was asking why God was letting the world suffer so much and all I got in return was 'you DON"T question god". Then one time in my town the first gay pride parade was gonna happen so I wanted to go (i was like 13, i never saw anything wrong with that life style) So my older bro was taking me and my mom to see the parade. I saw this pretty flag with colors on it. So, I asked what did that flag represent. My brother then tell me that it was the "fag" flag. Yes, it sounds as though i was sheltered (i kinda was, my Catholic family did not talk about those things. It's not bad but it shouldn't be talked about, that's thier thinking) Anyways, i thought the f word was kinda mean. On our way there I saw this group of people with signs and they were saying it was a sin to be gay. I didn't understand why. My mom taught me that God didn't jugde so I was kinda puzzled and sad. Once I moved from PR to NY (3 years ago) I was exposed to more. Three months later I was homeless with my family and I would pray and people would tell me to keep the faith and I tried I really did but I just kept getting madder at god. I started to wonder if I was just talking to my ceiling at night. I'm currently going through therapy and people still kept telling to keep the faith. But it just didn't work. So all that I've gone through plus what is going on in the world made me question everything. And anyways, i agree with the theory of evolution and with other things that religion don't necessarily agree with. I only prayed when I was troubled and I never liked the bible. So, it was as though I half belived. Or I just believed in a sky dad but nothing else connected to him or something. Anyways, I've recently decided I'm atheist (seriously like a month or so ago) mostly because of this site. I've been reading alot. Researching every link that Sapient and others post whenver they debate a theist. And I gotta say I feel better. I guess because I'm not putting faith in something that may or may not be there. Instead I'm putting it in something more secure e.i myself. Kinda corny and loong sorry. Smiling

 Another boricua, awesome Smiling I was born in Caguas, spent a few years living in Gurabo. As far as atheism goes, I'd suggest you check out some of the old infidel guy shows and infidels.org. Take care.

 


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Alex14, you are hot and a

Alex14, you are hot and a babe. I would love to surrender to your hottiness!


Alex14
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Thanks for the suggestion

Thanks for the suggestion melchisedec! I'll check that out. And thanks MattShizzle Embarassed


boingo82
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I was born atheist, and

I was born atheist, and raised by an ex-mormon atheist mom, and an ex-lutheran dad. (I thought he was atheist, but I think he's going back lutheran now. Don't know exactly.)

Like many atheists I tried praying about a dog, when I was 9 or so. Never got the warm fuzzy holy spirit feeling or anything.

 I am now what you'd call a strong atheist. I am anti-christianity and believe that these irrational beliefs are extremely harmful. I generally disbelieve in supernatural things.


Vastet
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I've never been a theist.

I've never been a theist. There was a time that I was more agnostic than athiest, but the longer time goes on the more I recognise how impossible religion is.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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I was raised to be a very

I was raised to be a very arrogant and very proud Jew, which I was for many years. After arrogant and proud Jews in my town graduated from Sunday School around 7th grade, sometimes their parents would force them to attend something called "Hebrew High School". Mine were such parents. There were three synogogues in the area, one Reform, one Conservative, one Orthodox (with varying degrees of insanity between them) which took turns hosting HHS events. When I was around fifteen or sixteen years of age (can't remember exactly when it was), the Orthodoxy hosted an event which, to say the very least, disillusioned me a bit.

Following that my faith in Judaism began withering to pieces, and I eventually left it in favor of Deism, not yet ready to sacrifice my belief in a personal God, but certain that organized religion was not where I wanted to be. Over time, however, through the collected efforts of Richard Dawkins, the late Douglas Adams, and Penn & Teller, I began examining the issue of God rationally, on grounds such as probability, and comparing the religious explanations to the skeptic refutations. By the time I'd finished reading "The God Delusion" I was more or less a closet-Atheist.

I "came out" to my family recently. The results have been disastrous.

"No end justifies the means of lying."
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leroy
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MattShizzle wrote: I just

MattShizzle wrote:

I just realized in my teens I disagreed with religion on almost everything (abortion, euthanasia, womens rights, gay rights, etc) and that the Bible had a lot of silly things in it. Was never really religious, but did believe. By 16 I considered myself agnostic. Decided I was an atheist late May of last year.

 

I remember for some reason when I was little how I pictured God. Does anyone remember the "Burger Thing" from Burger King commercials in the late '70s/early '80s? For some reason that's how I pictured him. LOL!!! Anyway, I forgot to mention I'm a strong atheist.

 

This seems to be the premise of many atheists, they have an idea of what they want God to be, of what they think God should be, and then they deny his existence when God doesn’t line up the way they think he should be.

 

How do your beliefs differ from what you’ve read of God’s position on abortion, euthanasia and womens rights MattShizzle?

 

When you were 16 you finally figured out that God didn’t look like Burger King and you became an agnostic, that is funny.


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Lord Rodders 125

Lord Rodders 125 wrote:

I'm a strong atheist.

My parents didn't really try to bring me up religiously, other than once in awhile telling me to say my prayers before going to sleep (which I never did, I couldn't see the point to it). They never took me to church, either. I'm the sort of person who doesn't really say much in conversations, and as a kid, if religion ever came up, I probably just didn't say anything because if someone asked me, I really wouldn't know what to say. Up until recently I wasn't even sure if I was supposed to be one religion or the other, like I said my parents never much about religion. I never thought much about why things were, or how some supernatural being must be in control of everything, but rather I saw science in school and saw that science worked, so I guess I didn't need much more explanation than science.

I've only went to a church once or twice (spent the night at a friend's house, and apparently it happened to also be 'bring a friend to church day&#39Eye-wink, and it was as boring as I had heard from basically everyone else I've ever heard talk about it.

However, in recent years I started to really consider ethics and things like gay marriage, and saw how it was tied to religion. When I wondered again what my religion was, I saw that I really didn't have any (I wasn't really even acquainted with the term 'atheist', so I just 'didn't have a religion&#39Eye-wink. Eventually then after searching around some, I decided that I felt entirely that no supernatural beings existed due to many logic things that made no sense (why nobody believes in the Greek or Roman deities, how God could be all-loving and let bad things happen), so probably sometime last year I firmly decided that I was an atheist.

Kind of an odd story, but I guess since my parents weren't very religious, I was on track to go in that direction too.

I can understand some of what you say, when you grew up you finally begin to realize that some things had no merit, some things are merely fairy tales like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy and such, that’s good, I can understand how bored you were in church and your statement that you “never thought much about why things were”. But when you started thinking about why things were you came to the harder questions like “how God could be all-loving and let bad things happen” That question does not answer itself, it’s not simply brushed away as an oxymoron. You could say the same thing about early scientific findings, many of the solid thinkers of their time thought the sun and planets revolved around the earth, that was science and to believe anything else would be laughable. Can you admit that you may not have correct of sufficient data to make a proper determination concerning the God of the Bible?


leroy
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Christen wrote: I was

Christen wrote:

I was raised in a very strict Southern Baptist home and believed in god for about 18 years. I always had questions for my parents and Sunday school teachers, but the answers never satisfied me and questions were always discouraged.

In other words the God of the Bible didn’t line up with your young idea of what God should be.

Christen wrote:

My parent's home schooled me during the latter part of elementary and all through middle school, so all of my information was monitored. I was eventually enrolled in high school and when it came time to learn about evolution or sex, permission slips were sent home, but I wasn't allowed to participate.

Kudos to your parents, some of the most well educated young people come from home schooling, and that’s not an easy job. Your parents tried to shield you from a lot of misinformation and in doing that they may have fed you to the lions so to speak.

Christen wrote:

I never really had the freedom to see the other side of things until about 5 years ago when I enrolled in college. What I learned in biology class pretty much contradicted everything I knew.

Biology does not contradict the Bible, the science of biology just deals with many but not all of the aspects of life, biology does not address the origin of life in a way that satisfies all but the most dogmatic atheists.

Science has yet to give us the tools to measure the spiritual world, so a denial of this aspect of our universe would be short sighted.

Christen wrote:

I was completely shocked, but excited. I wasn't angry at my parents or anyone else, just really sad. I felt like I had some sort of secret that no one else knew. For the first few years, I mostly dealt with my transition internally and read everything I could get my hands on. I was hesitant to use the term atheist at first, because of it's negative connotation. But, that's what I am. I'm not going to get into sub-categories like weak or strong. None of that matters to me.

I would suggest you keep reading everything you can get your hands on.


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My so called atheism snuck

My so called atheism snuck up on me. I guess it started with me wondering why we followed some of the laws of the OT and not all. Then it was conversations about fate and personal responsibility. Eventually I started looking into wiccan and Native American deities. Well those deities just didn't seem any more or less real than the christian god. That's when it jumped up and smacked me upside the head. THERE ARE NO GODS. Eureka!!

I didn't want to loose my belief. So many people believe it, it must be true...right???? I just couldn't accept what christians were calling proof. Then the in your face lack of evidence... first they found a line of Egyptian artifacts running across the Mediterranean sea, then it turned out to be false. The finding of Noah's Arc on some mountain, but nothing was brought back for me to see. They found Jesus' death linens, but so many people were disputing that, and then I discover they were dated to the wrong time period to be Jesus'. This is all BS. It boggles my mind that people actually swallow this without even giving thought to it. Here, I have some cow manure on a spoon ...open wide!

We must favor verifiable evidence over private feeling. Otherwise we leave ourselves vulnerable to those who would obscure the truth.
~ Richard Dawkins


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1. The Bible is riddled with

1. As a child, church was so very boring.
2. Talk about god has al\ways seemed rather silly and unbelievable, especially when I was young and being bored to death over it.
3. Growing up with threats of punishments here and in the hereafter for questioning god stuff showed me clearly that god people and their conceived god had nothing to do with love as they claimed.
4. The older I get the more absurd religious ideas and the concept of god becomes, and the more retarded believers seem to be. So much so that I feel embarrassed for those professing their beliefs.
5. Having learned about science, especially physics and biology and seeing that there is no need for a god for natural processes to occur.
6. Debating with religious people and realizing that they have no real arguments, at least no plausible arguments.
7. Living a productive and very enjoyable life completely void of religion or any other such spiritual guidance.
8. I have yet to see any credible evidence supporting the idea of the existence of a god.
9. Thinking things through such as when people pray for the dying yet everyone still dies. Obviously praying does not work yet believers believe it does in spite of the evidence before them.
10. God talk and religion is so very, very boring.

God had no time to create time.


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I find this thread a bit

I find this thread a bit dishonest. It sounded like it was an atheist who wondered how the rest of us decided on being atheist, and then after a few weeks shows his true colors.

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KSMB wrote: I was raised

KSMB wrote:

I was raised with no mention of religion. The only things I can remember about them mentioning it is correcting misconceptions about religions I had, and going to baptisms for my cousins.

The environment in Sweden where I grew up is very secular. In fact, if you are some sort of practicing christian, you are looked upon as some sort of wierdo. "Are you christian because you're ugly, or ugly because you're christian?" is quite the popular phrase among kids.

Growing up in Sweden it sounds like you’d grow some serious prejudices about God, you wouldn’t want to be tagged ugly even if you believed in God. Could those preconceptions be carried into adulthood, they sure can.

It’s my understanding that many prejudices of skin color and race are taught at a young age, using this same tactic, the young kids don’t want to be ostracized for playing with the black or Chinese kid so they join the group, they start believing that if you're not white you're less of a person, they start believing that these people are ugly or dumb and less valued. When they get older they naturally lean towards substantiating these beliefs and not even considering any other evidence.

KSMB wrote:

When I was 8 or something, I remember reading parts of Genesis, and it said a bunch of people were living until they were 900 years old. "Oh, this is some sort of fictional story" I thought. Now it amazes me that millions af adults can't figure out what I realized at 8. Imagine my surprise when I later realized that people actually believe that stuff.

Why is it inconceivable to you that people could live to be 900 years old? Would it be just as hard for you to believe that some trees live for 2 thousand years when the tree in your back yard died after 30 years, I guess it would be to an 8 year old mind.

What surprises me is that I’m finding out that many atheists have come to this conclusion at a very early age it’s like coming to the conclusion that atoms must not exist because I can’t see them with my Captain Crunch magnifying glass.


leroy
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Klarky wrote: I've always

Klarky wrote:

I've always been an Atheist despite attending 2 church of England schools in this godless country of mine.

I'm a agnostic or weak atheist when it comes to the general definition of god, but I find myself being a strong atheist with regards to all the descriptions and claims made by theists I've encountered.

So if a theist claims there is a God, your strong atheist answer would be there is not a God, and is that a belief based on facts or faith?


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MattShizzle wrote:

MattShizzle wrote:
I find this thread a bit dishonest. It sounded like it was an atheist who wondered how the rest of us decided on being atheist, and then after a few weeks shows his true colors.
My father used to whip me for refusing going to church then i was a child honnestly:

This is that that made me atheist. I had enough.

God is love ? My ass. 

God had no time to create time.


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Alex14 wrote: I was

Alex14 wrote:

I was raised in Puerto Rico and although I wasn't raised very religious I did my comminion and conformation. And I believed in God and all that stuff. I remember once I was asking why God was letting the world suffer so much and all I got in return was 'you DON"T question god".

 

There is an answer to questions like these, they are not answers that are easily digestible to a very young mind. It looks to me like many people that claim to be atheist base there conclusions about God from conversations and questions that they have had at a very young age.

Alex14 wrote:

Then one time in my town the first gay pride parade was gonna happen so I wanted to go (i was like 13, i never saw anything wrong with that life style) So my older bro was taking me and my mom to see the parade. I saw this pretty flag with colors on it. So, I asked what did that flag represent. My brother then tell me that it was the "fag" flag. Yes, it sounds as though i was sheltered (i kinda was, my Catholic family did not talk about those things. It's not bad but it shouldn't be talked about, that's thier thinking) Anyways, i thought the f word was kinda mean.

 

Yes that sounds mean, I’ve heard they call Christians ugly in Sweden.

 

Alex14 wrote:

 

On our way there I saw this group of people with signs and they were saying it was a sin to be gay. I didn't understand why. My mom taught me that God didn't jugde so I was kinda puzzled and sad.

 

The Judeo Christian God does judge, Jesus came to the world to save us from that judgment by paying consequences of our actions.

 

Alex14 wrote:

 

Once I moved from PR to NY (3 years ago) I was exposed to more. Three months later I was homeless with my family and I would pray and people would tell me to keep the faith and I tried I really did but I just kept getting madder at god. I started to wonder if I was just talking to my ceiling at night. I'm currently going through therapy and people still kept telling to keep the faith. But it just didn't work. So all that I've gone through plus what is going on in the world made me question everything.

 

God doesn’t promise nothing but sun shining days, flowers and lollipops, many Christians go through very hard times with loss of everything including their young children, believing in God is not a get out of all pain and discomfort club, its not a get rich program, it’s a belief in the creator of the universe.

Alex14 wrote:

 

And anyways, i agree with the theory of evolution and with other things that religion don't necessarily agree with.

 

I missed the part where religion doesn’t believe in evolution, is that in the bible or did your mom tell you that? If you take evolution to the extreme by saying that humans came from some primordial goop, shocked by a bolt of lightening (with about 5,000 other processes happening that would make winning the lottery as easy as putting a penny in a gumball machine and having a ball of gum come out), shazamed into a single cell organism grew legs walked out of the ocean and started eating bananas and swinging from trees and typing stuff on the internet, your right the bible doesn’t teach that type of hyper evolution.

Alex14 wrote:

I only prayed when I was troubled and I never liked the bible. So, it was as though I half belived. Or I just believed in a sky dad but nothing else connected to him or something.

 

There is lots of things I don’t like, that doesn’t mean that’s reason enough to think they are not true. You don’t like the bible so you chose not to believe it, that’s not a belief from fact that’s a blind belief.

Alex14 wrote:

 

Anyways, I've recently decided I'm atheist (seriously like a month or so ago) mostly because of this site. I've been reading alot. Researching every link that Sapient and others post whenver they debate a theist. And I gotta say I feel better.

 

Well there you have it, if you feel good that’s all that matters, your atheist belief is a feel good belief.

 

Alex14 wrote:

I guess because I'm not putting faith in something that may or may not be there.

 

That sounds more like an agnostic statement than an atheist statement.

Alex14 wrote:

 

Instead I'm putting it in something more secure e.i myself. Kinda corny and loong sorry.

 

It’s not corny at all Alex14 it’s very typical of many atheist/agnostics. They make themselves out to be a god of sorts when they don’t like the God of the bible and don’t agree with the way he does things. They think that their finite brains have all the information and have all the right answers, the better way to do things.


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If you want your child to become Atheist...

... send them to Catholic school all of their life.

 Yep.  I endured the "hell"-on-earth which was K-12 + undergrad + 1 graduate school of pure Catholicism.  I was even a choir girl and did all of that churchy-goodness jazz. However, until about 2 years ago, I finally started to grow up and question things instead of accepting them "on blind faith" (i.e. bullshit "theories&quotEye-wink.  I have Penn & Teller to thank for that.  Because, without them, I'd probably still be quite the delusional, "spiritual" person I was for the majority of my life.

 I had been a huge fan of the guys since the early 1990's but never really understood their views on Atheism (translation: I was too lazy-- and afraid-- of what I may find out).  Then, at quite a low point in my life while I was questioning the existance of a god-head, I started to do some actual research.  I figured, "Penn & Teller are brilliant men.  Perhaps there *is* something to this whole Atheist thing... hrmmm...."

 A few months later... boy oh boy did I feel like a grade-A dumbass.

 All that time.  All of those years... wasted... on fairytales.  It was very hard for me to deal with.  I still wanted to believe because my god-head and faith were my coping mechanisms for the rough spots in life.  So, in short, I was the worst type of Atheist; the type who knew there was no god but still wanted to believe in one for comfort's sake.

 I actually became quite depressed over this epiphany of sorts.  It was very hard to change my ways and not be ignorant to the truth and stay delusional.  I think that's why so many people choose not to research and "go there"-- because they wouldn't be able to handle it and bedlam would ensue.  Just imagine if all of these religious extremists actually took the time to look at the facts *sincerely* and something actually did click in their minds... it would be utter chaos.

 Anyway, that's my story in abridged format.  I now try to appreciate life for what it really is and believe in the power of humanity and each other, not some imaginary friend in the sky.  If only I had had parents who raised me that way to begin with, would I feel that the majority of my time, feelings, and efforts were not wasted and on such a superifical level over the years.


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MattShizzle wrote: Alex14,

MattShizzle wrote:

Alex14, you are hot and a babe. I would love to surrender to your hottiness!

I got the idea from her name that she’s only 14 MattShizzle, are you one of those internet perverts that I’ve heard about?


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boingo82 wrote: I am now

boingo82 wrote:

I am now what you'd call a strong atheist. I am anti-christianity and believe that these irrational beliefs are extremely harmful. I generally disbelieve in supernatural things.

So as a strong atheist you believe that there is absolutely no God right? Did you come to this conclusion based on evidence, if so I would like to hear it, if not you live by faith a faith that’s a blind stance that you grill theists about.

As a strong atheist you would have no problem with the beliefs of other strong atheists right, after all there is no set moral values that we should all live by, it’s survival of the fittest. Can you then pass judgment on any one else for what they believe or do?


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leroy wrote: boingo82

leroy wrote:

boingo82 wrote:

I am now what you'd call a strong atheist. I am anti-christianity and believe that these irrational beliefs are extremely harmful. I generally disbelieve in supernatural things.

So as a strong atheist you believe that there is absolutely no God right? Did you come to this conclusion based on evidence, if so I would like to hear it, if not you live by faith a faith that’s a blind stance that you grill theists about.

As a strong atheist you would have no problem with the beliefs of other strong atheists right, after all there is no set moral values that we should all live by, it’s survival of the fittest. Can you then pass judgment on any one else for what they believe or do?

You like making assumptions. In fact, your whole post is based on assumption, and I disregard it as such.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Vastet wrote: leroy

Vastet wrote:
leroy wrote:

boingo82 wrote:

I am now what you'd call a strong atheist. I am anti-christianity and believe that these irrational beliefs are extremely harmful. I generally disbelieve in supernatural things.

So as a strong atheist you believe that there is absolutely no God right? Did you come to this conclusion based on evidence, if so I would like to hear it, if not you live by faith a faith that’s a blind stance that you grill theists about.

As a strong atheist you would have no problem with the beliefs of other strong atheists right, after all there is no set moral values that we should all live by, it’s survival of the fittest. Can you then pass judgment on any one else for what they believe or do?

You like making assumptions. In fact, your whole post is based on assumption, and I disregard it as such.

oh that really hurts my feelings.Cry

lets just see if my assumptions are correct when boingo82 answers, it's my bet that he will not claim these athiestic points because he wouldn't be able to defend them.


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I'm proud owner of a vagina

I'm proud owner of a vagina and breasts. Not all atheists are men.

 

Your "points" were unimpressive, but I'll address them anyway.

leroy wrote:

So as a strong atheist you believe that there is absolutely no God right?

No, I believe that the chance of "a god" is infinitesimally small, and the chance of "Christian God" is nil.

Quote:
Did you come to this conclusion based on evidence, if so I would like to hear it, if not you live by faith a faith that’s a blind stance that you grill theists about.

I have no faith. There is no faith required in having a non-belief in God. Do you have faith that there is no Santa? Or does the evidence show that his existence is extremely unlikely, so the default position is non-belief?

Quote:
As a strong atheist you would have no problem with the beliefs of other strong atheists right,

There is no "strong atheist" book, and I can't say I'd agree with beliefs of other strong atheists any more than I'd agree with all beliefs of anti-circ activists or all beliefs of liberal libertarians. Do you agree with ALL Christians (or people of your particular faith) on every topic?

Quote:
after all there is no set moral values that we should all live by, it’s survival of the fittest.

There are no set moral values in Christianity either.

Quote:
Can you then pass judgment on any one else for what they believe or do?

Hell yes! Any of us can. Who doesn't?


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boingo82 wrote: I'm proud

boingo82 wrote:

I'm proud owner of a vagina and breasts. Not all atheists are men.

Okay.

boingo82 wrote:

Your "points" were unimpressive, but I'll address them anyway.

Your initial post didn’t give me much to work with

boingo82 wrote:
No, I believe that the chance of "a god" is infinitesimally small, and the chance of "Christian God" is nil.

At least you’re not in the absolutely non existence of God camp.

boingo82 wrote:

I have no faith. There is no faith required in having a non-belief in God. Do you have faith that there is no Santa? Or does the evidence show that his existence is extremely unlikely, so the default position is non-belief?

The existence of Santa is easily disproved the existence of God is impossible to disprove. I would surmise that it would take a greater faith in believing in the no existence of God.

The existence of God being extremely unlikely is a bold statement, can you give me your scientific tools used in making this extreme assumption of the spiritual world?

I would say it’s far more unlikely that we crawled out of the primordial ooze.

 

boingo82 wrote:

There is no "strong atheist" book, and I can't say I'd agree with beliefs of other strong atheists any more than I'd agree with all beliefs of anti-circ activists or all beliefs of liberal libertarians. Do you agree with ALL Christians (or people of your particular faith) on every topic?

That’s my point, so why do atheists lump all Christians into the same box with their simplistic straw man arguments?

boingo82 wrote:

There are no set moral values in Christianity either.

Sure there are.

boingo82 wrote:

Hell yes! Any of us can. Who doesn't?

What is your bases for this judgment is it just a matter of pressing your personal belief system onto them.


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leroy wrote: Your initial

leroy wrote:

Your initial post didn’t give me much to work with

Neither have either of yours. 


Quote:
The existence of Santa is easily disproved the existence of God is impossible to disprove.

Go ahead and prove that Santa does not exist then. 

Quote:
I would surmise that it would take a greater faith in believing in the no existence of God.

You would be incorrect. There is no faith involved. 

Quote:

That’s my point, so why do atheists lump all Christians into the same box with their simplistic straw man arguments?

Please provide examples of where I did that.  

Quote:
boingo82 wrote:

There are no set moral values in Christianity either.

Sure there are.

Um, I know you are but what am I? What kind of answer is "sure there are". Speaking of not giving one anything to work with... 



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leroy wrote: In other words

leroy wrote:
In other words the God of the Bible didn’t line up with your young idea of what God should be.

No child is born with an idea of what god should or should not be-it's taught. And no, the god of the bible didn't line up with the idea being sold to me. The loving, benevolent god I was being taught about in church was only known through very selective reading. However, I continued to read beyond the convenient, well chosen passages and became discomforted about many concepts and events that took place throughout the bible, like the flood and Job. I was even more disturbed to see Christians around me get all warm and fuzzy about the same stories. Christians pretend to take the moral high ground on just about every issue, but how do they justify associating themselves with such a malicious, sadistic being?

Quote:
Kudos to your parents, some of the most well educated young people come from home schooling, and that’s not an easy job. Your parents tried to shield you from a lot of misinformation and in doing that they may have fed you to the lions so to speak.

Like who? My parents chose to home school me, because they did not want me exposed to violence, sex, drugs or any other information that went against the values they were trying to instill in me. What is ironic about that is they encouraged me to read a book that contained all of the above. Christians go to great lengths to shield their children (and themselves) from science, reason and logic because they realize that the smallest bit of information available these days will completely shatter their beliefs.  

Quote:
Biology does not contradict the Bible, the science of biology just deals with many but not all of the aspects of life, biology does not address the origin of life in a way that satisfies all but the most dogmatic atheists.

The bible does a good enough job of contradicting itself, but science has also disproven many events that supposedly occured in the bible, starting on the very first page. Most theists are looking to give the credit of creation to their god, so anything that deviates from that would obviously be unsatisfactory.

Quote:
Science has yet to give us the tools to measure the spiritual world, so a denial of this aspect of our universe would be short sighted.

So, for now, you rely on your faith to measure this world you've seen? Where is the evidence that this spiritual/supernatural world actually exists?

Thankfully, science has given us the tools to treat and medicate those who suffer from visual and auditory hallucinations a.k.a. dementia.


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I beat God at poker and

I beat God at poker and since he didn't have enough money on him he said I could be an atheist if I wanted so here I am.

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.


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Debating Christianity with

Debating Christianity with Atheists turned me into an Atheist. Thanks all you great debaters!Laughing

I hope I can debate it with Christians and change them. 


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I was a christian, read the

I was a christian, read the bible, debated with atheists, but eventually I started to doubt God's existance. Everything in the Bible started to sound like fake stories to me. Then, like 2 years ago, at 15 years old, I became a weak atheist until I found the RRS myspace page.

And I've turned into a strong atheist.


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Leroy wrote: The

Leroy wrote:

The existence of Santa is easily disproved the existence of God is impossible to disprove.

boingo82 wrote:

Go ahead and prove that Santa does not exist then.

I asked for a puppy for Christmas and didn’t get one, I asked my Sunday school teacher some hard questions about Santa and got some weak answers, I asked my mom why Santa didn’t give me a puppy and she said ”YOU DON’T QUESTION SANTA!!”

Hey wait a minute that sounds like the same proof atheists have for denying God!

Leroy wrote:

I would surmise that it would take a greater faith in believing in the no existence of God.

boingo82 wrote:

You would be incorrect. There is no faith involved.

“Um, I know you are but what am I?” Right back at ya

leroy wrote:

That’s my point, so why do atheists lump all Christians into the same box with their simplistic straw man arguments?

boingo82 wrote:

Please provide examples of where I did that.

I will as soon as you do it.

boingo82 wrote:

There are no set moral values in Christianity either.

Leroy wrote:
Sure there are.

boingo82 wrote:

Um, I know you are but what am I? What kind of answer is "sure there are". Speaking of not giving one anything to work with...

Christians base there moral values from their knowledge and understanding of the will of God as read in the Bible, the teachings of Jesus and His examples, the church and their own consciences in accordance with these.

If you need specifics read the bible, it will wall to wall answer your questions in specific details.

Now if you would be so kind as to answer my question?

leory wrote:
can you give me your scientific tools used in making this extreme assumption of the spiritual world?

Leroy wrote:

…Can you then pass judgment on any one else for what they believe or do?

boingo82 wrote:

Hell yes! Any of us can. Who doesn't?

Leroy wrote:

What is your bases for this judgment is it just a matter of pressing your personal belief system onto them.

And when you have a spare minute could you explain how a belief in a non intelligent designed origin of life would take no faith (something that is believed especially with strong conviction) based on mathematical probabilities of forming even one functional homochiral polymer?

The probability of forming one homochiral polymer of N monomers by chance = 2–N. For a small protein of 100 amino acids, this probability = 2–100 = 10–30. Note, this is the probability of any homochiral polypeptide. The probability of forming a functional homochiral polymer is much lower, since a precise amino acid sequence is required in many places. Of course, many homochiral polymers are required for life, so the probabilities must be compounded. Chance is thus not an option.


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I was raised "catholic" I

I was raised "catholic" I put that in quotes because I guess you can say I was loosely raised catholic. Both of my parents came from catholic familes, they went to catholic school. My dad's mom is very religious in catholicism. But as a child, both of my parents werent really into practicing much except for the basic going through the motions rituals as the rest of my relatives did such as getting us baptized and sending us to sunday school so that we could make our communion and confirmation. Though my dad was an atheist really, and I think my mom believed but just was not a religious person.

 

Anyway, so my parents never took us to church on xmas, NEVER. We sometimes went on easter, but that stopped when me and my sisters complained about having to sometimes go on easter when we didnt go every year and we never went for xmas.

 

Every sunday my mom would drop us off at sunday school then go back to bed and my dad would pick us up when we were done. They never went to church, EVER! But yet they forced me and my sisters to suffer through it each and every sunday. I HATED it! I was miserable there!  I remember when I had to sit through sunday school class that I never believed any of the ridiculous stories in the bible, they were not logical, not plausible. Adam and Eve living in the garden of eden? Then they had 2 sons and suddenly their sons had wives, where did the wives come from if Adam and Eve were the very first humans? The noah's arch story I especially scoffed, that was preposterous. And Moses parting the sea? PLEASE! And then the violent part of the bible scared the shit out of me, and it didnt make any sense to me at all that if there was this "loving" god why he was going around slaying the first born son in every family and so forth. None of this ever made sense to me. I just remember never believing in any of it, and I was pissed that I had to sit through that torture every sunday for like what 8 years or something? But I knew that my parents made us do it to please grandparents and other relatives. 

 

I never spoke up in sunday school class though and questioned all of these ridiculous "truths" I was very shy when I was little so to speak up and question things that I was being taught were truth and I should believe I wouldnt dare due to my extreme shyness.

 

And now as an adult, more and more it doesnt make sense that there is a god and I just dont need to believe in a made up higher power to give my life meaning and to get through life because I believe in myself.  


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Leroy, I would highly

Leroy,

I would highly recommend you read this article http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/abioprob.html regarding probabilities.

Furthermore, this thread is more "How did you become an atheist?", not "Are you an atheist? Well you're wrong."

I was raised sans church. My mom was a recovering Catholic (boarding school and that fun stuff) and I think is more of a deist while my father has always been agnostic/pantheist. I spent a good portion of high school shopping for a religion but I think I was atheist then.


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Well, I've an interesting

Well, I've an interesting story to tell if you've the time. 

 I was sent to Catholic School for 1st through 7th grades, then again for 9th and 10th grades.  During the first iteration, I was force-fed Catholicism for most of my schooling career.  In the 3rd grade or so, I was absolutely fascinated by two fictional characters - Commander Spock, the Vulcan science officer from the classic Star Trek and Doctor Egon Spengler, the theoretical nuclear physicist from Ghostbusters.  I became fascinated at how no matter what the situation was, those two men could solve any problem using science.  One particular quote comes to mind, voiced by the then Captain Spock as of 2293 - "Gas...  Gas, Captain.   Under impulse power, she expends fuel like any other vessel.  We call it plasma, but whatever the Klingon designation, it is merely ionized gas."  To which the crew of the Enterprise goes ahead and shoves a photon torpedo up a bird of prey's ass.

I started seeing a problem with the illogic inherent in the Catholic Church at about the 4th grade.  I began asking logical questions about faith and the Church and god.  Got sent to the pastor who pretty much told me to stop asking questions and just believe what they were throwing at me.  Naturally, I couldn't do that.

So I failed theology class every single year after that but unfortunately, they forced me into that whole 'holy communion' and 'confirmation' bullshit.   So yeah, I'm ashamed to say I was physically there for the ceremonies, but miles away logically.  After that, I continued failing theology until I got kicked out of my Catholic high school for doing a theology report on how the entire Catholic Church was nothing more than a moneymaking scheme and a control tool for the simpleminded.  My family still doesn't accept the fact that I am an athiest, trying to force their bullshit on me still.  And then they get all pissed off when I argue with rationality and logic on my side.  Go figure.  

 So, yeah, that's more or less my story.


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TheSarge wrote: they

TheSarge wrote:

they forced me into that whole 'holy communion' and 'confirmation' bullshit. So yeah, I'm ashamed to say I was physically there for the ceremonies, but miles away logically.

Hey TheSarge, you're telling my story - except it was Methodist. Every Sunday. Sunrise Service on Easter. Birthday Breakfast at xmas. I hated it. If I said I didn't want to go to church on Sunday morning, I got "If you can stay out late on Saturday night, you can get up and give an hour to god on Sunday." What those two things had to do with each other, I'll never know.

TheSarge wrote:
how the entire Catholic Church was nothing more than a moneymaking scheme and a control tool for the simpleminded.

My "discussion" was with my mother when I stated that I thought most people who went to the church in our small town were hypocrites because they weren't there for the intended purpose, they were there for their weekly social hour.

Discussion ensued and my mother kept grasping for a way to make me think I should go to church. Finally, in desperation, she said, "But don't you want people to know you're a good person?"

Case closed.

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.


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I went to a catholic

I went to a catholic school, where I studied the Neanderthals and other early stages of Man, and in the next class I had to sit and read Genesis, while the teacher would speak to us that he believed that Eden still exists.

 For some strange reason that made me question my beliefs. 


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leroy wrote:Vastet

leroy wrote:
Vastet wrote:
leroy wrote:

boingo82 wrote:

I am now what you'd call a strong atheist. I am anti-christianity and believe that these irrational beliefs are extremely harmful. I generally disbelieve in supernatural things.

So as a strong atheist you believe that there is absolutely no God right? Did you come to this conclusion based on evidence, if so I would like to hear it, if not you live by faith a faith that’s a blind stance that you grill theists about.

As a strong atheist you would have no problem with the beliefs of other strong atheists right, after all there is no set moral values that we should all live by, it’s survival of the fittest. Can you then pass judgment on any one else for what they believe or do?

You like making assumptions. In fact, your whole post is based on assumption, and I disregard it as such.

oh that really hurts my feelings.Cry

lets just see if my assumptions are correct when boingo82 answers, it's my bet that he will not claim these athiestic points because he wouldn't be able to defend them.

Really? That wasn't my intention. You must have a very weak ego. My intention was for you to stop making assumptions if you're going to ask some questions.

JeremiahSmith wrote:

I beat God at poker and since he didn't have enough money on him he said I could be an atheist if I wanted so here I am.

I love it. Laughing out loud

leroy wrote:

I asked for a puppy for Christmas and didn’t get one, I asked my Sunday school teacher some hard questions about Santa and got some weak answers, I asked my mom why Santa didn’t give me a puppy and she said ”YOU DON’T QUESTION SANTA!!”

Hey wait a minute that sounds like the same proof atheists have for denying God!

Apparently you haven't been paying much attention. Let me summarize for you.

Laws of physics say matter and energy, while interchangeable, cannot be created or destroyed.

Noone has proven this law false, or even come up with a scientific theory as to how it could be.

God claims to have created matter and energy = physically impossible.

Such claim is backed only by a book written by men a couple thousand years ago when we still thought the world was flat. There is no corroborating evidence, save possibly other texts also written by men.

This claim appeared when said book and texts appeared to back it.

God = impossible.

Prove me wrong.

leroy wrote:

leroy wrote:

That’s my point, so why do atheists lump all Christians into the same box with their simplistic straw man arguments?

boingo82 wrote:

Please provide examples of where I did that.

I will as soon as you do it.

Why do christians always lump all atheists into the same box with their simplistic scripture?

Oops, I just made an unwarranted assumption. I wonder how that happened.

leroy wrote:

And when you have a spare minute could you explain how a belief in a non intelligent designed origin of life would take no faith (something that is believed especially with strong conviction) based on mathematical probabilities of forming even one functional homochiral polymer?

Because I'm just believing in life that I can see, and know that if there is any probability whatsoever that life can form in the sheer vastness of the universe, it's bound to happen at least once. Besides, every probability study I've ever seen has been fundamentally flawed, and anyone who applies them has no tie to science. You're believing in something with no probability, and basing the rest of existance on that probability. If the probability of life spontaneously forming is low, the probability of a super being that knows and can do any/everything not only having always existed, but existing outside space/time is infinately smaller. God is thus not an option. Thanks for opening the probability window though. I love throwing it at believers.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


ShawnMilo
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Well, I became an atheist in

Well, I became an atheist in my mid-twenties -- only a few years ago. I was raised without religion at first, then in Christian churches for a short time. During that time, I was "saved." After that, I had no religious support around me, from around age seven. No atheism -- just no friends and family who ever talked about religion or a god.

During those years, I read the entire bible, prayed, and tried to follow what I had been taught about being a good person.

Years later, after reading some things like "The Selfish Gene," and learning about how religion has been the cause of mass murder throughout history, I had doubts, and began leaning towards atheism.

However, it was extremely difficult to call myself an atheist, or even strongly consider being one -- because of the fear the church loves to instill in young people. They like to teach you to be "god fearing" and make sure you know all about hell, and why you don't want to go there.

Eventually, I very uneasily called myself an atheist; even when you know it's irrational, that fear is difficult to dismiss. Over time, simple logic, such as the fact that there's no evidence for any god -- at all -- so the burden of proof is on the person who claims to know there is a god, made me realize how foolish it all was.

These days, I consider myself an evangelical atheist. If I know someone is religious, I will discuss it with them in a friendly way. I ask questions, make logical arguments, and attempt to enlighten them. If anyone says "prove that god doesn't exist" or "evolution is only a theory," I know that they are a complete waste of my time. But some people listen.

Now that I'm an atheist, it's an extremely refreshing and rewarding experience. I don't murder or rape. Not because I'm afraid of hell, but because I think those things are wrong. I get plenty of wonder and awe out of the complexity and sheer unbelievable size of the universe. Nothing is lacking in my life other than fear and shame.

That said, I'd like to say two things about religious believers. One is my signature -- my own words. The other is this: Skeptics are willing to change their minds, and will provide specific, reasonable, unchanging guidlines for what evidence would be required. Religious people will not do so. They enter with the closed-minded idea that they're right and will not even consider an opposing view, they demand evidence that any honest person (theist or atheist) must admit is impossible, or they will move the goalposts every time new evidence is introduced (once they have given up claiming it is false).

Shawn

If you believe in a god, it's because of something someone else told you.

If you're an atheist, it's because you made a conscious decision based on reality.