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How I Became An Atheist

Updated on July 9, 2014
Purple atheist atom
Purple atheist atom | Source

How I Became an Atheist

Unlike many other atheists, I do not claim to have been born as an atheist. Nobody is. The reason for this is because babies cannot for one second conceive what a deity is. They don't understand the concept of god, disbelief, or even that there's a discussion taking place about the subject.

I am an atheist simply because there is no evidence convincing me of god's existence. And while philosophic discussions about the existence of god can range from interesting to maddening, none of it has or ever will convince me.

If I were to see concrete evidence of any god's existence, I'd immediately start to consider the fact that there may be a god. I'll need a lot of evidence to be convinced, but that would be a start.

As of right now, there is no such evidence. Maybe some day there will be, but I highly doubt it.

Sam Harris Explains Atheism

What Atheism is Not

I'm sorry to burst anyone's bubble--atheist, agnostic, or theistic--atheism is not a religion, a lifestyle, a faith, or even a philosophy.

Atheism is not a belief system. Not a philosophy. Not a way of life. Definitely not a religion. Other ways of life can form because you disbelieve in god, but the actual disbelief isn't a lifestyle.

Atheism and anti-theism often get confused. Atheism is not anti-theism. I suppose, in some manner, anti-theism could be considered a philosophy or belief system. Anti-theism is the opposition to theistic religions. It is the rejection of religion. It is the rejection of scripture. It is the belief that religion is poison, as the late Christopher Hitchens would say.

What atheism is is the simple rejection of the belief in gods. It's actually quite simple.

Sometimes, this is how I think the faithful view atheists.
Sometimes, this is how I think the faithful view atheists. | Source

Ridiculous Stereotypes I Have Come Across

When it comes to stereotypes about atheists, this is where I get a little heated. The things people have accused me are startling, hilarious, and even infuriating.

  • If you don't believe in god, what is the purpose of your life? Well, I create my own purpose. I love to live, that is my purpose. I want to travel, love, enjoy life, and appreciate each day as much as humanly possible. I just don't need scriptures or heavenly beings to guide my existence.
  • Atheists are immoral. Where do you get your morality from? My only response to this question is to ask a question of my own: Do you need a holy book to tell you it's wrong to murder and commit heinous acts?
  • Atheists are Satanists! Satanists exist, I'm just not one of them. Satan is from Christian scripture. I do not believe in Christianity, therefore I do not believe in your devil.
  • You think you're a monkey. I don't, but I do know I'm a part of the great ape family and that we all share a distant cousin with each other, and with monkeys.
  • You are an evolutionist! Well, yes, I do believe in the scientific fact of evolution. But evolution has nothing to do with a disbelief in gods.

Please think twice before asking these weird questions or making these asinine presumptions. If you open a discussion with thoughts and statements such as the ones detailed here, you're not trying to be understanding. You're just being obnoxious and asking for scathing, irrational discourse.

Atheism is Not Anger Toward God

I hear this one a lot. That I'm angry toward your god. I'm not, and there are a few reasons why.

  • I don't believe in your god, therefore I can't be angry at it.
  • I do have anger toward theistic scriptures, but this has nothing to do with a disbelief in all gods.
  • I find god(s)--every last one of them--to be a man-made construct. So if there is anger, it is directed toward certain believers--particularly the ones who take barbaric scriptures literally.

So, you see, there is not any anger directed toward your imagined god at all. But if you say something like "homosexuality is a sin" or "women belong in the kitchen" because your religion says it's okay, I'll get angry at you for being a raving bigot. Religion should never be used as a crutch or cloak for your own bigotry.

Deniel Dennett - Atheism

Atheism is Simply The Disbelief in Every God

Don't take it personally. It's not just your god I don't believe in. I don't believe in any of the gods throughout human history, including Norse gods, Native American gods, East Asian gods, African gods, and Island gods.

You know, the same way a Christian doesn't believe in Hindu gods. Or the same way a kid stops believing in Santa Claus once he or she grows up. I'm sorry, I just can't make my rational mind believe in things there is no evidence for. Especially when it's ripe with magic and impossible tales.

Atheism is simply a disbelief. No different than disbelieving in elves or fairies.


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    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Blake, your profile indicates this hub was published six weeks ago, but I must have missed it. While it appears to be more an examination of atheism than your actual personal story (as suggested in the title), it's still a good read, and an awesome hub. I'm glad I finally found it!

      I most especially agree with your observation regarding babies and atheism. I always cringe a bit when I hear fellow non-believers proclaim that atheism is the "default" philosophical position, using babies as an example.

      To be sure, "lack of belief in a deity or deities" is the technically correct definition of atheism, but I find it's often actually more practical and more specific to define it as a CONSIDERED lack of belief (as in having examined the evidence and found it wanting).

      It's true that babies lack belief in God, but in the context of a baby's understanding, such a claim doesn't really have any practical meaning or relevance. It's like saying that babies don't have belief in differential equations. It may be technically correct, but it just sounds sort of silly.

      Voted up.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Blake......This is a continual cluster F--k within me. Having been severely poisoned throughout my youth (basically until age 20-something) I haven't a damned clue what's really going on in this head of mine. THIS is a real issue for a woman like me who feels she's always had an incredibly strong grasp on who she is.........

      For the past few years, the closest I have come to feeling "safe & comfortable" is adhering to a common sense quote by Marcus Aurelius, the last of the 5 good Roman Emperors 161-180 AD.

      "Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, they will not care how devout you have been but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods but they are not just, you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."