How I Became An Atheist
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.
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.