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Why Are You An Atheist? (Be Civil)  
User currently offlineQANTASforever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1906 times:

Over the years I have reached out to a number of religions and have been completely unmoved by any of then. My parents have different religions, my father was Lutheran and my mother is a Lamaistic Buddhist. My wife is a Roman Catholic and insisted on our children being christened as catholics also.

I have come to the realisation that I do not need a religion. I will respect other's rights to believe in any religion they wish, but I don't think I could ever believe in a high power, a god, or a messiah. After reading a bit of history about religions and how their modern practices came about I am even less inclined to devote myself to a religion.

Basically - how did you come to the conclusion that you were an Athiest?

This thread is in no way meant to degrade those who choose to believe in a religion!!

49 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineYukimizake From Japan, joined Mar 2004, 529 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1898 times:

Quoting QANTASforever (reply 0):
Basically - how did you come to the conclusion that you were an Athiest?


Common Sense 101.



'Opfer müssen gebracht werden (Sacrifices must be made)' - Otto Lilienthal
User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4599 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1890 times:

Easy... Christian Youth Group killed it for me. Hypocritical, hypocritical, hypocritical... and when I asked what I thought was a legitimate question about that book, the answer was a blabbering of speech that didn't answer the question. Also, when I got the "if you don't go to Church, you're not a real Christian" speech, I decided that the whole thing was bullshit and moved on.

Each to their own though, I have no disrespect for those who are big on the church or whatever.

Trent.



I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offlineQANTASforever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1877 times:

I can understand that ClassicLover.

I was once told that the Aboriginal serpent that appeared on the Harbour Bridge one new years was a symbol of "the evil nature of the Aboriginal religion" ..... by a minister.

QFF


User currently offlineNosedive From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1866 times:

Quoting ClassicLover (reply 2):
Easy... Christian Youth Group killed it for me. Hypocritical, hypocritical, hypocritical... and when I asked what I thought was a legitimate question about that book, the answer was a blabbering of speech that didn't answer the question. Also, when I got the "if you don't go to Church, you're not a real Christian" speech, I decided that the whole thing was bullshit and moved on.


Well no need to say the same thing twice, but the fact there may be a God who allows so many to die in senseless acts scares me as much as thinking it's all random...


User currently offlineBill142 From Australia, joined Aug 2004, 8434 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1860 times:

I don't visit church very often, probably once a year at Christmas as that's something my family has always done. I'm christened as an Anglican, but there is just so much conflict, in terms of what is religiously right or wrong and what is right from one religion to another.

Sometimes I wonder if a lot of the trouble in the world is based upon religion and religions not respecting the rights of other religions and forcing their beliefs upon other.


User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1816 times:

In 1992, when I was 6 years old, my 11 year old brother (and only sibling) died suddenly from a previously undetected heart condition. This is the event that led me down the path that makes me who I am today, in more ways than just religion, but I'll stick to just the religion aspect, since this event also set my "change" in motion.

At the time my brother passed away, my family belonged to a conservative Jewish temple, and for the next several years I attended temple and went to Hebrew school like a good Jewish boy, not really mature enough at the time to develop the thoughts that later came to my mind.

When I was about 9 or 10, my parents decided to drop membership at the conservative temple (which was located within walking distance of our house), and switch to a reform temple that was a good 15-20 minute drive away. from the conservative However, by the time I was about 12 or so, and starting preparations for my bar mitzvah, I had started to have my doubts about religion and God, mainly dealing with the question in my mind of "If this supposed 'God' is someone I am praying to/giving my respect to, why did he turn my life upside down by taking away my brother?" Additionally, I thought about all the time I had spent at temple in my religious studies and attending services, and I realized, what exactly was I supposed to get out of all of this? The emotional wounds of my brother's death weren't being healed by prayer, and mentally, I wasn't feeling profoundly changed because of my Jewish faith. I didn't tell anyone about my thoughts at first, because I have always been an independently-minded person, as well as a somewhat private person, but I knew that that would have to change.

About 6 months before my bar mitzvah, I finally got up the nerve to tell my parents what I was thinking. I also told them that I didn't feel comfortable getting bar mitzvahd in something I didn't believe in. The response I got was: "Well, OK, you don't have to get confirmed or anything, but please get bar mitzvahd, if not for yourself, then for your grandparents" (My maternal grandparents are the most religious people in my family, my mom was actually raised in an Orthodox Jewish household, but later in life, before I was born, my grandparents switched over to conservative practice because it no longer became practical for them to practice orthodox judaism...)

The result of that discussion was final: I was going to be bar mitzvahd, whether I liked it or not, but I didn't have to do anything afterwards, religious-wise. That was the one concession I was able to get out of my folks, was that they weren't going to make me go to Hebrew High School and get confirmed... I was still unhappy with the end result of that talk, but felt I had no choice. I was in no position to argue, and there wasn't much else I could do in it. Clearly my parents weren't taking me terribly seriously, which was nothing new (I was a bit of a dreamer when I was younger), but this time I really was serious about it.

Alas, when push came to shove, I had my bar mitzvah a few days after my 13th birthday, and have still had a bad conscience about it ever since. Amazingly, my parents still did not respect my beliefs, for when it came time for the High Holy Days later that year, as usual, my grandparents came into town to go to services with us. Before they came, I had another argument with my parents about this, the end result being "your going, whether you like it or not"...I was angry, but again in no position to object, and I went, of course not speaking any prayers or doing any required movements.

As I developed into my teen years, my thoughts carried on a step farther. I thought to myself "I am already convinced that God does not exist, otherwise my brother should be alive and kicking today, so if God doesn't exist, then what explains how the world runs and who/what controls things?"
I found the answer to this to be fairly simple: Science.

My belief today is that science explains the things that "God" was supposed to be responsible for in the world; how the universe was created, how people came to be, why my brother died, etc. While we may not have uncovered the science behind all these questions, I have no doubt that sometime in the future, as science evolves farther and farther, the unanswered questions will be answered. Do I expect this to happen within my lifetime? No, though it would be nice, but I believe it will happen sometime in the future.

After my bar mitzvah and the high holy days affair, I brought up the subject of my atheist switch constantly with my parents, as I wanted them to really understand and respect my feelings. At that time around the age of 14 or so, my relations with my folks were pretty tense for a variety of reasons which are irrelevant to the rest of this, so nagging them about this, which was something I felt (and do feel) very strongly about, might not have been the best thing, but after a few months of nagging, I got them to agree with me, however I was censored from telling any other relatives about this, for fear of crushing my grandparents' hearts.

The rest of my teen years passed fairly uneventfully, except for the interesting note that when I was about 16 or 17, my parents dropped their membership from the reform temple, and did not join any other temple, which I found highly interesting, and makes me wonder if my parents are having some sort of religious doubt as well, but in the interests of keeping the peace with my decision to go atheist, I haven't yet brought this up with my folks, even 3 years later (its still a touchy topic when I have a question for them related to this).

So here I sit today, almost 20 years old, and a happy and content atheist. I have no regrets about my decision, but I do foresee some problems in the future when I do get engaged, whenever that may be, as that will be when my family will find out about this, and I have a feeling that might not be pretty, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.




Quoting ClassicLover (reply 2):

Each to their own though, I have no disrespect for those who are big on the church or whatever.


Ditto...In real life, I keep my atheist beliefs largely to myself (like I said in an earlier thread, I don't go around wearing a shirt saying "I'm an atheist; let's debate about the existence of God"), and I have no problems with others being religious, its not an issue in my daily life at all.

Sorry for dragging this out so long, I can't seem to sum stuff up quickly (like I intended)...

Greg

[Edited 2005-03-02 08:50:44]


Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineUTA_flyinghigh From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 51
Reply 7, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1807 times:

I respect religious people (as long as these do not attempt to convert me) but I will need to see tangible scientific proof of a deity before I believe in such things.

Up to now, it has rather been the opposite.

UTA



Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
User currently offlineAerorobnz From Rwanda, joined Feb 2001, 6900 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1804 times:

as I said in the Pope Gay thread....

" I do reject the Bible and what it represents, so naturally I don't give creedance to a God or the doctrine contained within. I've stood on both sides of the religion debate, and decided that it has no place in my life, beyond being a necessary stage in my development which I have since progressed from. I like to be able to think without the constrants of having to conform to an ideal. For me the best way to do that is clear the board of any pre-existing barriers like Religion. I can never reach true objectivity, but I can try and reach a level where no one set of doctrine controls the direction I must think."

I also believe that the creation of the universe and the subsequent trial & error in creating life on Earth indicates that God paid no part in it. If he had played a part in it, it would negate everything in the Bible anyway. It is inconsistencies like that which indicates that God is a solely manmade invention that was made up to explain our existence when we didn't know the answers, or the questions
to ask to get the answers. I do think that a Jesus type character existed, but that he was nothing more than someone who knew how to manipulate people to do his bidding. A charismatic leader that was made to look better and more truthful by being Crucified. Martyrs always become famous. It seems silly, but the Life of Brian to me in some way explains how Humans have made him into the 'Son of God'.


User currently offlineQANTASforever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1792 times:

USAFHummer -


I want to thank you for sharing that very personal story with us all.
It is very thought provoking and I'm sure many people here have come to a similar realisation as a result of some tragic events.

Also, I'm very sorry to hear about your younger brother - though I'm certain he is not and never will be forgotten.

Quoting USAFHummer (reply 6):
I have no regrets about my decision, but I do foresee some problems in the future when I do get engaged, whenever that may be, as that will be when my family will find out about this, and I have a feeling that might not be pretty, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.


This was a source of concern for me as both my parents were very religious as is my wife. In the end because my religious beliefs were non-existent and my wife's were so strong, I agreed to participate in a catholic wedding ceremony and a civil service as my wife's national traditions dictate.

But you're right, you will have to just work things out when they come. But you'll find a way - and if your family truly love you they will participate in your life and it's important moments such as marriage etc.

QFF


User currently offlineSolnabo From Sweden, joined Jan 2008, 847 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1787 times:

To make it short......I dont belive in fairytales that was written 2000 years ago!

Period!!

Micke//SE  Innocent



Airbus SAS - Love them both
User currently offlineLY7E7 From Israel, joined Jun 2004, 2232 posts, RR: 19
Reply 11, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1780 times:

Common sense and getting to learn the fundamentals of the development of the major religions.


2 things are endless: ignorance and space
User currently offlineAerorobnz From Rwanda, joined Feb 2001, 6900 posts, RR: 13
Reply 12, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1776 times:

Quoting LY7E7 (reply 11):
Common sense and getting to learn the fundamentals of the development of the major religions


Yep, learning all about religion development seems to have been an important step for most of us...


User currently offlineQANTASFOREVER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 1768 times:

Perhaps it's just that we refuse to believe that the Grand Canyon was formed by the flood in Noah's Arc.

QFF


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31573 posts, RR: 57
Reply 14, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1765 times:

I have friends who are Atheist & We get along just fine.I always believed in something controlling Everything,& my experiences have convinced me of it.
But there are a few Friends who dont.
Guess we keep Religion out of our Topics & things work just fine  Big thumbs up
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineBN747 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5477 posts, RR: 51
Reply 15, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1753 times:

Good post Aerorobnz!

Brought up within a religious household and grew up reading most of the bible... the cracks began to develop with the association of people of different faiths followed by,

...serious debates with believers and nons..

..applying a little common sense (the Inquisition to WWII to the recent Tsunami)...

...finally, long after school, a revisiting of history and everything I was taught. revealed that the history was bogus and whitewashed and so was religion. If 'approved' authors were allowed to shape our minds about our society/nation and the world. Why not religious authors... and when the fingerprints of man began to appear all over the 'god-inspired' bible... it becomes apparently clear that the 'god-inspired' part came long after the damage/flawed (text) was written.

And even today, religion (makers) attempt to morph and merge religion with science in a bogus attempt to give it (religion) a new lease on life. It is, what it is... the bible cast it's die a long time ago... it's too late to attempt to change it's flavor accordingly to each new emerging and changing generation.

Examine the history of man and his use/abuse of power and the same blueprint will flawlessly match the characteristics of bible. The only difference is mans' very unique and distinct track record (or snail trail) starts way before the Bible authors could pen the 1st page...after all... they had to get their ideas from somewhere...!

I don't push my beliefs on anyone and I respect the same. But if someone opens their mouth about religion around me... they'll wish to 'god' or wish like hell that they did not.

BN747



"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
User currently offline787 From Italy, joined Jan 2000, 292 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1749 times:

"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible." -- Thomas Aquinas

I just love that quote. I just love it!



787 Italia - Io, il comandante dell'aria
User currently offlineLevent From France, joined Sep 2004, 1718 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1747 times:

In my opinion:

- religion leads to war
- religion excuses people from their responsibilities

Two important reasons not te be religious myself


User currently offlineTACAA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1742 times:

Quoting Levent (reply 17):
Two important reasons not te[sic] be religious myself


I believe in one God and I'm religious also but, to be "religious" and be an "atheist" are two different things.

[Edited 2005-03-02 13:16:56]

User currently offlineQANTASFOREVER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1727 times:

Quoting 787 (reply 16):
"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible." -- Thomas Aquinas

I just love that quote. I just love it!


Atheists aren't after an explanation, we are after proof. Of course to the converted one need not provide such proof.

Quoting TACAA320 (reply 18):
I believe in one God and I'm religious also but, to be "religious" and be an "atheist" are two different things.


Quite. Although I'm not entirely sure of the point you are trying to make.

QFF


User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6604 posts, RR: 11
Reply 20, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1727 times:

Are we talking agnosticism or atheism?

Agnostic - don't know if there is a God
Atheist - actively believes there is no God.

I'd say I was an agnostic rather than atheist. I think we just don't know or understand enough. My feeling about religions is that there is just too much human intervention and interpretation in the pursuit of self interest. The basic message of all religions is pretty much the same, so why is there so much friction? People with their "better" God?

But, millions can't be wrong, can they, or are they brainwashed/indoctrinated mugs? Is belief a human condition? Is there a dog/cat/fish/flea heaven/god??



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 1710 times:

I came to my beliefs after examining the basic premise of several religions and deciding that all were basically trying to explain the fundamental question of where we, as humans, came from, and what our place in the universe is. I also read Thomas Paine's Common Sense as a teenager. Rationalism and science - to me - offer a far more persuasive paradigm to seek an answer to that question.

My father is an agnostic, and my mother has this innate respect (I call it fear) of all religions, so I was never forced to adhere to any one religion. I did, however, attend Anglo-Catholic schools all my life, attend Mass virtually every morning, and was on at least one school choir. I was respectful of these institutions, but the religious fervor left me totally unmoved and unconvinced of their deeply helf beliefs.


User currently offlineBrettbrett21 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 436 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1681 times:

Quoting Solnabo (reply 10):
To make it short......I dont believe in fairytales that was written 2000 years ago!


I could sit and write about my opinions for hours literally, but I think this statement hits the nail on the head!

Solnabo....welcome to my respected users list!



i'm so excited i wish i could wet my pants!
User currently offlineFDXMECH From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3251 posts, RR: 35
Reply 23, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1674 times:

- religion leads to war.

Was Hitler or Pol Pot religious?

- religion excuses people from their responsibilities

Like what?



You're only as good as your last departure.
User currently offlineJasepl From India, joined Jul 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 40
Reply 24, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1669 times:

Come to think of it, religion's never been enough of a factor in my life for me to even be an athiest.

I was brought up to "be good. Everything else will take care of itself." Seems to have worked just fine.


25 Mir : As far as organized religion goes, I do my best to stay out of it. When I'm with my family during the Jewish holidays, I'll take part in them, but it'
26 QR332 : About religion and wars: Thats bullshit. We are human: we will always have a natural aggressivness, and if its not for one issue, it is for another. I
27 XJRamper : You know what I found in my study of world religions? At the surface they are vastly different, however, once you look into it, they are pretty much t
28 Knoxibus : Still how many dead because of religious issues???? Preaching is one thing, doing something for it is another one.... And think about these nice missi
29 TACAA320 : Just use your "common sense".
30 FDXMECH : >>>Religion = fear, I remember from my catechism: "you must follow God's path or hell", "we are on Earth to suffer", blah blah blah.
31 ConcordeBoy : Actually, what you just described is Agnosticism, not Atheism.
32 Gigneil : The same reason I no longer believe in the tooth fairy, or Santa Claus, or that the world is flat. N
33 Pilottj : Think about it, if you are 'GOD', you know everything, can do anything. Would you present your message to a little cryptic book that is constantly mis
34 CXA330300 : You were never stuck in a Hebrew school with teachers frothing at the mouth. If you were, you'd be atheist too. They nearly made us write a letter to
35 Aerorobnz : That said, I am going to let my kids decide for themselves, I would be no better than organised religion if I enforced my atheism upon them - I will g
36 L.1011 : Well, I'm not an Atheist, I'm a Deist. (see my thread Let's Talk Religion for more info) But what turned me away from organized religion (I was raised
37 Texan : One side of the family has a line of Southern Baptist preachers, the other side is Roman Catholic. Family reunions turned me off religion :P Actually,
38 Bernard Shakey : This is exactly how I feel as well. Since we're all in a sharing mood, here goes nothin... To me, organized religion is Wal Mart. It's a corporation.
39 Post contains images Lehpron : You mean 'what made you become' or 'when did you first' or 'how did you come to realize'. Asking why can incite violence.
40 QANTASforever : Well no, the kind of answers I was after were: "I am an athiest because..." "I became an Athiest after..." You are dealing in semantics here - "what
41 TACAA320 : Popular lore, movies, and children’s stories hold that in 1492 Christopher Columbus proved the world is round and in the process defeated years of
42 Lehpron : There is no because, there is no why, things happen for a reason. I know that sounds funny, hear me out: When people make claims against their named
43 Post contains images DeskPilot : I suppose I'm agnostic in respect that I don't necessarily believe in the beliefs put forward by religions, but I can't fully disprove them either. I
44 Sprout5199 : Well, Im not religious, I wasn't brought up in a religous family, Thank God. However I have prayed at times. But I do belive in an after life,Why else
45 TACAA320 : May I know your definition of "Religion"? Thanks,
46 Post contains images Leezyjet : Why Are You An Atheist? Because I think that religion is a load of rubbish. Why not worship the Harry Potter books for example ??. It's just fiction t
47 TACAA320 : May I know why? Just some "arguments" please. [I'm respecting your position as "atheist", but trying to realize if many in here are really "agnostics
48 KiwiNanday : There is no scientific evidence supporting the existance of an omniesciant being. Also, the bible states that we are to keep watch over the world, an
49 TACAA320 : Of course. That`s because religions are based in "faith".
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