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Why are you an atheist?

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posted on May, 15 2009 @ 03:47 AM
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reply to post by Astarfaraway
 


Father of Jesus, love's reward
What rapture will it be
Prostrate before thy throne to lie
And gaze and gaze on thee!

I had to sing that in my school chapel choir when I was about ten.

'Cripes,' I thought, 'heaven sounds duller than ditchwater. Nothing to do for all eternity but stare at God... I'm out of here.'

My journey away from faith began there.

You're looking for character cues on ATS? Unless one of your characters is a paranoid fantasist, this is probably the wrong place. As a source of plot ideas, however, it's absolutely amazing.

If my own experience and the others detailed above don't float your boat, you might consider the paradigmatic example of Charles Darwin, who clung to his faith despite the evidence of his own studies, until the death of a beloved daughter drove him away from religion.

Your character could have had something happen to him - the death or disappearance of a loved one - that convinces him that God is either cruel, heedless or nonexistent.

One of my best friends was caught in the 2004 Asian tsunami. He survived and his behaviour through the succeeding days of chaos and desperation was that of a hero. Literally dozens of people owe their lives to him. But when it was all over he'd lost the staunch Christian faith he'd had before.

It happens a lot.




posted on May, 15 2009 @ 04:04 AM
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I don't necessarily identify as atheist, but rather as agnostic. Close enough for government work I suppose.

While I'm open to the idea of some higher intelligence in one way or another governing nature, I see no evidence to support this in the world around me. I see trees, animals, insects - nature's creation. I also see cars, streets, homes - humanity's creation.

I don't feel like I need to answer at the end of my life for actions I've taken during my life, and because of this I refuse to live my life according to the antiquated ideals of religious zealots who died centuries ago.

Biblical life has no relevance to modern life beyond that it represents a historical period in the history of mankind.

In the next few centuries I genuinely believe that organized religion will become rarer and rarer, until it eventually disappears. And the world will surely be a better place.

Perhaps in a thousand years, humans who have advanced technologically beyond anything we can currently imagine will look back at humanity's history of praying to assorted Magical Men in the Sky and laugh at how foolish we were.

Call it a dream for the future.



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 10:35 PM
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Sorry it took me so long to get back here...I'm going to read all the posts now...just got done this week with finals (in optics/electricity/magnetism in physics, c++ programming, and discrete math...they were all pretty hard tests, I'm worn out)...
But thank you again everyone who posted :-)



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 10:48 PM
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Originally posted by berenike
Possibly a person sees holes in their particular religion's theories / dogma, notices the hypocrisy of those who claim to follow it.

Once you've fallen out with the religion you were brought up in it's very easy to ditch their idea of god.

Possibly, you might think the ancients were too ignorant to present a viable God. They couldn't understand the world around them so made up stories to explain it and now that we have more knowledge their idea of god seems infantile.

You might think spending eternity in hell is an unjust punishment if you only have a few decades of life to live.

You might object to the idea of a heaven that will accept repentant christian sinners but reject more saintly persons of other religious persuasions.

You might object to the lack of logic and the idea that you have to have faith rather than proof.

These are just ideas - it's not my intention to offend anyone.


berenike, thank you, very good points you make...
I especially like your last three points.

Hell...this is one thing that drew me to Jehovah Witnesses, since they give proof in the bible that the theory of hell is false, that we will either live forever on a paradise earth or be dead forever...

And this: "You might object to the idea of a heaven that will accept repentant christian sinners but reject more saintly persons of other religious persuasions." That is a very important consideration, never really thought about this...makes made very glad I decided to do this thread, to ask people their opinions...

And your last point...yes, does seem illogical that only faith, without any proof, should be the main criterion...makes you think too...



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 10:50 PM
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Originally posted by PopeyeFAFL
Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

Thank God, I'm atheist.

Seriously, you might want to listen to this debate:

"Debate: Christopher Hitchens Vs Dinesh D'Souza" (keep going for all parts)

www.youtube.com...


Thank you, I'll take a look at this video when I get done reading the other replies.



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 10:58 PM
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reply to post by RubberBaron
 




As I became even older, I started to think more explicitly about this, after reading and viewing some media that was critical of belief. It was at this point that I came to the explicit conclusion, that I shouldn't believe things on blind faith, that I should always try and investigate and decide for myself, based on evidence, the value of these claims.

I struggle to call myself an atheist at times, to me the term means something a little too strong, almost a belief in itself, that a God doesn't exist, which under my philosophy is also a no-no, as I can't prove that. I prefer to use the term agnostic, or the term that Dawkins uses, "de facto atheist".


Wow, very interesting.
I especially respect that you feel you should not believe things on blind faith, but should always try and investigate for yourself the truth in these claims...I can appreciate this, as I feel I am a truth seeker myself...I want to know the real actual truth...and so I keep seeking and praying for this truth...



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 11:01 PM
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Originally posted by PopeyeFAFL
Or as Pierre Simon de Laplace said to Napoleon:

The most famous exchange between these two men occurred after Laplace had given Napoleon a copy of his great work, the Mecanique Celeste. Napoleon looked it over, and remarked that in this massive volume about the universe there was not a single mention of God, its creator.

Laplace replied "Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis".

Carl Sagan also give that small demonstration (if you can find a flaw in that logic, let me know, I see none):

www.youtube.com...


Why not save a step?


Thank you, I'm going to check out this video soon too...



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 11:07 PM
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Originally posted by dtice
I don't consider myself an atheist persay. But there is one thing I do know, we have to delude ourselves in order to believe in anything at all. Cause there just isn't any real knowing until ya know. So I can definitely see where the atheism comes from. Its all about proof. But in my mind, what difference does it make in the infinitesimal amount of time we have here, assuming the atheists are right that is, how we choose to delude ourselves? It is all just a matter of making ourselves happy. That is all it comes down to. I think the athiests are just happier erasing that "mystery" from their lives. But I don't believe there is any right or wrong to a delusion (belief) as long as it doesn't infringe. The atheists will all know eventually (along with the resat of us) and then it will all be a moot point. My guess is their surprise will be palpable.


Hmmm...good point...so atheists may just be happier erasing this "mystery" from their lives...
I would say that is one opinion, but each person who is an atheist will have an opinion that varies from this, possibly, but thank you though :-)



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 11:16 PM
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The universe is too vast for me to know everything in it. If there is anything out there that cares about humans, it's never made its presence known to me or to anyone I know, so I find just no reason to believe. I’ve also read the bible ( wanted to see what I didn’t believe in), but that experience just left me wondering how anybody could believe it.



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 11:38 PM
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Originally posted by epitaph.one
I am an atheist because people call me an atheist. I wouldnt call myself one.

[color=lightblue]--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I find it foolish to believe there is a god. we are not special, we are not some little pet project, being looked over, being loved. Its selfish to think so.

[color=lightblue]--------------------------------------------------------------------------

We dont believe the sun is 17 miles away and the world lies in an infinite ocean of water.

Yet - there are still people that believe a sister theory from the same minds that created the above statement.

[color=lightblue]--------------------------------------------------------------------------

religion is nothing more then an outdated theory on who/what/why/where/when. its is a theory nothing more, nothing less.

religion gives people 2 things.
hope and hate.

you do not need religion to tell you to be nice to each other, to love one another, to take care of one another. if you do...please stop breeding. I mean seriously - stop for the sake of the human race.

[color=lightblue]--------------------------------------------------------------------------

thats the simplified version.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I used to be a jehovahs witness. I was never baptised, still had christmas, still had birthdays and all that great stuff.

One day...around the age of 11 or 12 i came to a realization of what they were actually telling me, and they believed this stuff. Then i pretty much said...

"you..you believe what? hahha. im done with this." and haven't gone back to it or any religion.

my father was alright with it, he decided to stop it all since us kids said we were done with it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

mild trauma ...nope so that generalization has nothing to do with me.


[edit on 12-5-2009 by epitaph.one]


I think your reasoning is intelligent and direct...

If you get a chance, could you please tell me more details of what you determined was laughable (not believable obviously) with JWs? I'm really curious to know this...

I think you are fortunate to have resisted the great control JWs can harness around members...even though they diminish a lot of fear, by elminating the hell aspect, they seem to then go ahead and double-dose the fear weight in other areas...like the "unforgivable" sin that if committed will prevent you from ever being forgiven by God (and this sin was nothing major like murder or something, but just not believing certain parts of the bible or lacking faith or something...I never learned all the details)...crazy, though Jesus told us to forgive many times over, in other words to never stop forgiving...go figure...



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 11:44 PM
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Originally posted by noonebutme
reply to post by Astarfaraway
 


Hmm, interested post.

I'm definitely not a religious person. And I don't believe in a sentient being or 'God' as it were, but then, I don't think I'm a pure atheist as such either.

I only believe in energy and Life and that we're all part of the same thing, if that makes sense.

I don't think this energy/Life has a coherent consciousness or intelligence that is attributed to the likes of religious gods or deities -- as in, ones that are self-aware and 'judge' and set down rules and so forth. Or give such contradicting rules and information that is sure to confuse every culture of mankind that they eventually devolve into bloody wars and battles over whose God has a bigger willy!


To think you could spend all eternity in either hell or heaven based on the events in an odd 70-ish or so years of mortal existance, in a universe that is already billions of years old with billions more to go, just makes no sense to me. Our physical lives are so infinitesimally small in comparison that to have to spend eternity in either heaven or hell because of what you do now, is akin to flipping a coin -- so much riding on such a small amount of time.

And the universe is filled with things like math and physics and geometry and chemistry and other '-istry' type things that make sense. 1+1=2, gravity, acceleration, atoms and molecules, photons and pencils and cups of coffee. There's too much 'rational logic' for me to believe in something that acts like an irrational, puritanical child that throws His/Her/Its toys out of the pram whenever someone does something it doesn't like, so then destroys them and their city. Oh but by the way, here's freewill -- have fun.


That's what lead me, early on, to disbelieve in a supreme being in a religious context and simply believe in energy and Life, and we're all part of the same thing. We all come from it and we all return to it, regardless of our deeds in this mortal realm.

What happens after this, well, I dunno. But I have been tempted in my life to hit that giant 'Reset' button, as it were, to see what happens....



Thank you, noonebutme, very informative...

You bring up some very good points, as I am a top fan of physics (I'm trying to minor in it now...:-))

I don't have all the answers too, that's for sure, but I know something's going on behind the screen...



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 11:46 PM
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Originally posted by etherical waterwave
CONVERSION TIME!!!

Okay, I believe in a God, and I call it my God and he made me in his likings, okay, I am just, trustable in any way, logic which makes sense, joyeouss, full of life, correct, in short just great.

This is my God, so if you claim here to be an atheist their might be something reeeely wrong with you here.

x x --x--


LOL, good one!



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 11:55 PM
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Originally posted by MatrixProphet
reply to post by Astarfaraway
 


Good for you for authoring a book. I am a non-fiction writer but always thought it would be neat to write fiction. Maybe I have one in me?

I did a thread quite a few months ago here, where I gave reasons why I thought atheists are atheists and received a lot of posts. You may want to check it out to see the many responses and insight as to where everyone was coming from.

I believe in a God or Gods, but am against religion (incl atheism), and think it is very important to include the angle of God, or The Gods, as being scientists, and perhaps we are more of an experiment. I detach from the; "God loves everyone" theory.


MatrixProphet, thank you, I will check out this thread, sounds like I could learn even more reading your thread too :-)

Writing fiction is hard work, but can be very rewarding. I believe that yes, of course, you have one in you. I would say to first read a few books on how to go about writing fiction, since, I didn't do this the first time I wrote a novel (which I published online) and it would have helped me so much...especially since I don't tend to read a lot of fiction myself, usually just reading nonfiction...creating characters and putting together a non-boring story (one of THE most important aspects, to keep the reader at the edge of the seat non-stop), as well as using the best descriptive, non-lengthy words (you want to write at a 7th or 8th grade reading level for fiction) is best helped through some guidance...
You should write that fiction book!



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 11:57 PM
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reply to post by Toughiv
 


Thank you, I'll keep this in mind.



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 12:01 AM
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Originally posted by DaMod
Yup I think it is about time I do my science of god thread. I've been kind of putting it off because people will go in there and start talking about a sky fairy. Such a backwater view on both sides of the spectrum. We think we got pegged with how many books? Nobody even thinks that we might be completely wrong about what or why god is. Especially since the word 'God' has been used on the side of too many "evil" men. Anyway I digress before some retard comes in here and starts calling me an idiot. Cheers!


Hey, you're no idiot because you seek the truth...we need the truth, the truth will set us free...that is most important...explicit or implicit lies cannot reveal what's really going on...you know?



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 12:10 AM
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Originally posted by ravenshadow13
reply to post by Astarfaraway
 


Because.

1. It seems those who are religious cannot come to a consensus on which religious interpretation is the reality.
2. There are too many coincidences between religions for me to believe that they are more than a human's reasoning for why they are alive and where they came from.
3. The Bible is a piece of literature written by a human.
4. We can never know the answer. Why live your life for a religion when you'll never know if you're right?
5. Hell has been used too many times to scare people for it to have any meaning left.
6. Many religious people have taken their beliefs into politics. And that's wrong.
7. People of one religion often, for some reason, feel a strong hatred for those of one or more other religions.
8. Religion has been used as an excuse to create wars, or wars have been created as an excuse to fight over religion.
9. We are far too similar to divide ourselves on an issue as abstract as religion.
And my favorite...
10. Evolution seems pretty much 100% from my research. I honestly don't think that dinosaur bones were put there to fool anyone. I think it's impossible to deny evolution. I think it's impossible to place a young age on the Earth. I think that form, function, and survival of the fittest has been proven more times than necessary for people to get the point.

And as a bonus for any Judeo-Christian beliefs-
I don't think people can live to be over 200 years old ever. I don't think that a flood was God's doing. I don't think Jesus rose from the dead and I don't think he was the son of a deity. I don't think women came from a man's rib and I think it's kind of awful that people reduce women to that. And I don't think that snakes or bushes can talk.


Thank you, ravenshadow13, I appreciate your honesty and clear reasons.
I have to tell you though from what I have researched, evolution has numerous flaws...but that is just what I have researched (I have also been informed, though I cannot prove it, that alien entities know evolution is not possible and that they themselves have either had a hand in earth *evolution* or know of those who have...yikes...)



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 12:18 AM
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Originally posted by Welfhard
For me it was a long transition over several years.

When this began I was a regular in a Presbyterian church as were most of my friends and I truly believed it was where I was supposed to be. But as time went on, I started to see the apathy and hollowness in people and in their lives. The only thing people went to church for, it seemed, was to compare clothes. I left the church and grew to hate it. I went from church to church looking for a true place to be and nowhere had what I was looking for. No one was genuine so I became an unaffiliated christian.

Then things became more complicated at school in 6th form biology. Evolution? At first I naturally just tried to pick holes in it, but I can to really appreciate how beautiful and awe inspiring of a system it was. Genetics were particualarly riveting.

So genesis is wrong, I concluded, but it brings about a rather troubling issue. What else is wrong and how can I be sure what is right. I can't. Eventually as I learned more about the bible, I ended up chucking it outright.

Eventually I had to ask myself why I believed in a deity at all. I had been indoctrinated as a child. In the end I had no justification for believing.


Welfhard, I'm sorry you couldn't find what you were seeking in a number of churches...that is unfortunate...I have found this myself, many times...I am now churchless, yet still searching...I hope to find and settle within a peaceful, uplifting church at some point...

And I understand the path you took, and how it led you to where you are...



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 12:25 AM
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Originally posted by Astarfaraway
Welfhard, I'm sorry you couldn't find what you were seeking in a number of churches...that is unfortunate...I have found this myself, many times...I am now churchless, yet still searching...I hope to find and settle within a peaceful, uplifting church at some point...

And I understand the path you took, and how it led you to where you are...


The path, I think, is unimportant. The thing is that I came to a very penetrating question, one that made me rethink my entire perception of reality. "Why do I believe what I believe?"

I couldn't answer because this religion was pushed on to me by religious parents and a church. I have to make my own decisions, not have it done for me, that's taking advantage of the trusting nature of children. I can't be kind about this.

[edit on 17-5-2009 by Welfhard]



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 12:25 AM
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Originally posted by Malfeitor
The use of logic within the confines of individual religions almost made me an atheist. Take any "holy" book and apply logic; its fairly easy to find holes which disprove the entire basis of the religion.
The only reason I'm not atheisitic is because I choose to attribute this to human flaw; I think it is beyond mortals to understand the mind of any God, be there one or many. Ergo, I believe all religions are based on the limited understanding and perception of what humans wound up writing the books.
I've chosen to seek God, or gods, in my own way; if there is some divine planner out there, I logically must be following the path he/she set before me. The only faith I have is that I'll wind up where I'm needed, sooner or later. However, you can see how my viewpoint could easily make an atheist; remove my optimism, and you have a bonified atheist.
The simple recipe: Take one theist, apply logic, remove optimism, and stir for one day. Presto! You have an atheist.


Malfeitor, thank you, and I very much agree with your statement, that all religions are based on the limited understanding and perception of what humans wound up writing the books...yes, this makes a lot of sense, and I believe is THE MAIN reason there is so much doubt, confusion, and distrust in a creator belief...we have been misinformed or worse, lied to, by those in the past with certain agendas...



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 12:39 AM
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I think I'm starting to add too many of my own posts here, I'll try to reply to several at one time...




from Salamandrax

I'm an Atheist, wasn't raised in a religious household nor did I have any serious trauma as a child.

It's just that the bible is all over the place and contradicts itself every few pages, and the other religions aren't much better. Buddhism is nice I guess but you don't have to believe the rest of the nonsense just to justify being a generally nice guy to people you meet.

These two demotivational's pretty much sum it up.

Atheism and Christianity


Yes, I agree that the bible contradicts itself...one site that has helped me a lot to realize this, though I really do not like the name of the site, is www.evilbible.com
And I'll go to those threads too, though I think I'm learning tons here, but thank you...




Originally posted by Astarfaraway
reply to post by Miraj
What has always bothered me is all the encouraged mass killings, especially of innocent babies and children, in the old testament...no love in this, no forgiveness in this...why did it happen?

Exactly.. I can't accept a creator that want's his supposed creations slain for very bad reasons. Much of the Old Testament is morally un-acceptable. I don't buy this belief either, that the omni-scient God suddenly shifts his tone and re-incarnates to save us all, and preaches love and peace. I like the Jesus character.. He's a great guy, he really is.. I just don't buy into the bible's claims.


Yes, I think Jesus was great too...
And as I mentioned above, if you go to that site, you see some major problems...



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