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Sigurd
Thursday, July 23rd, 2009, 12:41 PM
Exactly what it says on the tin: What experiences in your life led to your decision to reject the notion of divinity? Which arguments moved you to reject that concept? How did your views in that area mature to your current perception thereof? Etc. Etc. Pp.

velvet
Thursday, July 23rd, 2009, 01:36 PM
Actually it was more the absence of experiences.

People kept telling that God is good and wants all the best for his people and that he loves everyone and so on.
Reality though is quite different from that paradise vision, and there simply was nothing divine about the people's existence, but only suffering and death.
I thought, if God exists and he wants all good for his people, then he wouldnt allow wars and all the suffering.
And then the next problem, there is no way to communicate with (the christian) god. You simply are forced to believe in something completely unprooven. Some naive questions in that direction when I was seven or eight or something was the seed of doubt, that ended in the conviction about his non-existence shortly after. The answers just didnt make any sense and were quickly unveiled as lie and fantasy.

So the existence as atheist was just normal for me. I decided that I neither need the commandments of an imagined god nor the believe in his existence to be a happy human being.

That though didnt leave a complete spiritual void. I'm pretty sure that there is some more between the sky and the earth, but I'm likewise sure that this has nothing to do with the picture the christian belief paints. The spiritual experiences that I made were of a quite different nature, even when I cant describe them exactly. I didnt provoke them, they just happened to me, so I wasnt prepared. But they only came half from the outside, a better desciption would maybe be that something for a moment manifested outside of me which had its origin within me. Well, as said, cant describe that.

The term atheist for me refers mainly to the christian god, which I reject including all its commandments and concepts. Wether real or unreal in its source, the manifestations of this belief are very real, but they are alien and more hostile than friendly, more envying than granting, more evil than good in their nature.
Along with my own maturing and becoming a social being my argumentation against christianity is mainly a socio-psychological one. I'm pretty sure that the religious manifestation of it causes serious psychological defects in humans, due to its nature-denying concept.


Probably I'm on the borderline between atheist and realising the divine, and probable ways to it in heathenism. At least I would have less problems with accepting a pantheon than an envy little desert demon. Not least because the pantheon seems to be more in line with the partly quite different experiences I've made. And this pantheon seems to be in favour of the strength and powers within humans and does not try to suppress them. But the same way I have mainly followed my feelings (it just felt all wrong was first and then followed the logical investigation) when becoming an atheist, the same way I must follow my feelings when becoming a full heathen. I dont think that this is fully a conscious decision alone.

flemish
Saturday, July 25th, 2009, 05:58 AM
I'm agnostic, so I do believe in the possibility that there's a god or whatever. The reason I tend to doubt the existence of a god or gods is because of all of the crap that goes on in the world. What creator who cares about their creations would allow war, poverty, disease, etc. to go on at the rate that they do in our world?
Also, if there is a god, why did it wait until 125,000 years ago to create us after creating the universe 10 or so billion years ago? I think theists should ask themselves why they believe in something so irrational. If there's a god/creator, who created it(the god itself)?
The reason I'm agnostic and not atheist is due to my fear of death. Every living thing fears it, and I guess for most people believing in life after death makes passing away seem less frightening. For me hoping there is a god is kind of like wanting to believe that wishing upon a star will actually cause that wish to come true. It's just a hope.

Freigeistige
Saturday, July 25th, 2009, 08:56 PM
I have experienced an extreme lack of evidence in the midst of a search for the correct religion. Since I reject all assertions with no evidence (such as leprechauns), no religion fit my definition of true or even likely.

In my studies of history and science, I have noticed a trend. The scientific method has been humanity's guiding light, and has given us almost every advancement we enjoy. The scientific method has proven itself invaluable to the collection and application of knowledge, and to dismiss it in favour of something that feels good I feel would cloud my thought processes.

SpearBrave
Saturday, July 25th, 2009, 11:39 PM
So far I am of the church of whats happening now, meaning show me what you have done lately? The christian religion has had nothing happen for 2,000 years and if anything did happen there is no real proof.

I do believe there is something I just do not Know what that something is.

CambridgeGreen
Monday, July 27th, 2009, 06:04 PM
I observed many religions are actually derived from primitive beliefs. Therefore, I strongly believe that intelligent individuals shall not believe in god, as nature would be very unforgiving for those who misinterpret them by primitive beliefs instead of logic. We are living under the realm of nature, not gods.

Wulfram
Monday, July 27th, 2009, 07:59 PM
I observed many religions are actually derived from primitive beliefs. Therefore, I strongly believe that intelligent individuals shall not believe in god, as nature would be very unforgiving for those who misinterpret them by primitive beliefs instead of logic. We are living under the realm of nature, not gods.

Logic would be the conclusion that we have no evidence to prove that there is or isn't a god. To believe or disbelieve are equally without logic.
Folks, none of us has a clue as to what is really going on (or isn't going on), any attempt at an explanation is nothing more than intellectual flights of fancy.

Neophyte
Monday, July 27th, 2009, 08:12 PM
I observed many religions are actually derived from primitive beliefs. Therefore, I strongly believe that intelligent individuals shall not believe in god, as nature would be very unforgiving for those who misinterpret them by primitive beliefs instead of logic. We are living under the realm of nature, not gods.

You could just as well believe that the natural laws were created for a reason and see them as the de facto commands of the gods. ;)

Sigurd
Monday, July 27th, 2009, 08:31 PM
You could just as well believe that the natural laws were created for a reason and see them as the de facto commands of the gods. ;)

Yup, as a somewhat analytical type of Heathen, I found much of scientific explanation with the concept of Orlog, the Natural Primeval Law which is immutable.

Essentially, this notion of Orlog does not contradict with science, as anything that is found to be a law of nature, is obviously within the whlole concept. :P

Freigeistige
Monday, July 27th, 2009, 10:07 PM
Logic would be the conclusion that we have no evidence to prove that there is or isn't a god. To believe or disbelieve are equally without logic.
Folks, none of us has a clue as to what is really going on (or isn't going on).

It agree with you that I cannot say that deities do or do not exist. However, with a lack of evidence altogether on their behalf, I experience a lack of theism, which is the meaning of 'atheism'. While we cannot answer the question of the origin of the universe, simply making something up with no evidence to support it only inhibits our search for the actual origin.

I do not replace an uncomfortable unknown with an unsubstantiated story for my own peace of mind, as this would prevent any further search. This is why I subscribe to no religious beliefs.



any attempt at an explanation is nothing more than intellectual flights of fancy

Actually, many attempts to explain it are legitimate scientific theories, and they are tested thoroughly and not accepted until proven. This is not intellectual folly, this is our best chance at understanding the world around us.

CambridgeGreen
Tuesday, July 28th, 2009, 11:29 AM
You could just as well believe that the natural laws were created for a reason and see them as the de facto commands of the gods. ;)

I tend not to question about the origin of natural laws which have been proven by rigorous deductive approaches, and I do not see them as the de facto commands of gods, or "created" by gods. I assume natural laws are actually the conclusions drawn from experiments conducted by humans, thus they are part of our understanding towards nature. We, human beings discover the laws, seek relationships between various objects, and eventually we have a better understanding of our environment.

Gods are postulated by humans, in an attempt to explain the origin of natural laws illogically, i.e. with logical fallacies.

Stormraaf
Monday, August 24th, 2009, 02:31 AM
So I don't call myself an atheist anymore, but many of you came to know me by that persuasion, and I haven't posted much about the transition before. Herewith my experience with atheism to fill in some of the gap.


What experiences in your life led to your decision to reject the notion of divinity? Which arguments moved you to reject that concept?

My parents' plan was to raise me a Christian. However, like Velvet, the seed of doubt was planted in me at a very young age, say 8 or 9, so the root reasons for my rejection of Christianity were naturally child-like and simple. Concepts like not questioning what I'm told about God and godly matters, or loving God above all else, reached me in a very hostile and malevolent manner. If I had the same vocabulary back then I have now, I would probably have described the religion imposed on me as a "doctrine of fear I may not question" (today I'd call it a "doctrine of fear based on lies").

Obviously this left me very receptive for anti-religious arguments as I got older, even though entertaining such notions in the social environment I grew up in was a cloak-and-dagger affair, and even though I were at later times still very much convinced I were a "good Christian" and kept on studying Christianity. Alas, the deeper I went, the less I felt at home with my parents' and brothers' faith. Over time I eased into an intellectual approach for rejecting Christianity (and yes, rejecting the notion of divinity), which provided me with a more accommodating frame of mind for rejecting religion than simply being uncomfortable with it. The arguments that won me over is similar in nature than the absence-of-evidence ones mentioned in this thread, although I approached it from a different angle. To me it rather seemed that the world and our reality are indicative of God not existing, which goes further than a mere absence of proof:


The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference. - Richard Dawkins

I eventually found the cold, mechanistic view of our existence as described by the physical laws of nature alone, and in rejection of any notion of divine purpose or plan, much more preferable than clinging to religion. Reading up on the purely scientific approach was both the driving force behind my growing affinity for strong atheism and my encouragement to rid myself of the Christian label. In no other experience in my life has it yet been more appropriate to invoke the metaphor of a weight being lifted off my shoulders. Though I view Christianity as a largely foreign imprint on the European soul now (in hindsight), it was therefor not the reason I ditched it, embracing atheism.

My doubt and delay in my approach to Heathenism was not due entirely to my becoming accustomed to a denial of the divine, but also to my associating the beauty of the self-replicating molecule as the building blocks of life and other such scientific poetry with strong atheism. I no longer consider it the sole property of atheists, though. I too consider myself an analytical Heathen, and find no real friction between my beliefs now and what academic training (and reading Dawkins) has instilled in me. The anti-religious notions I nurtured still holds, largely because I don't approach Heathenism as an organised religion.

Overall my intermediate atheistic period was a fun time, considering the many like-minded individuals I came into contact with while at University. I do not feel drawn back to it, though. The void was there because I threw of the yoke of Christianity, a very necessary step, but in itself it couldn't make me what I'm meant to be.

Reich des Waldes
Monday, August 24th, 2009, 12:27 PM
I believe I first classified myself as an atheist/agnostic at 14, though before this point I had some serious issues with the teachings of Christianity. I can remember being about nine years old and I had just gotten in a huge verbal and physical fight with one of my friends. After being grounded to my room my mother came up and said, "In the Bible it says that we should love our enemies." I remember being slightly dumbfounded by her statement. Even at that young of an age I can remember feeling the need to grind my enemies' bones into dust. (Suffice to say that I unfortunately had not seen Conan: The Barbarian yet or I would have quoted one of Conan's more memorable lines to her ;))

I had other problems with Christianity at a young age as well. The whole 'why do bad things happen to good people' really bothered me when I was little. It bothered me that there was supposedly some 'Heavenly Father' who loved us unconditionally but couldn't seem to be bothered with changing the outcome of what happens on Earth. Then later on the idea that anyone could receive eternal paradise didn't really seem fair... I was never one for egalitarianism.

You could say that at the beginning I rejected Christianity on an emotional level. Not much later I was turned onto the writings of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer by a friend which led to my rejection of Christianity and any concept of the divine on an intellectual level. I feel that the Judeo-Christian concept of the divine marginalizes the power of human potential and accomplishment; things I value very highly. I think I could sum up my 'beliefs' on the divine as: it/they simply does/do not matter. Belief in external entities which cannot be proven to exist seems rather foolish to me. However, belief in the concept of deities as archetypes of what humans could become is something else. ;)

Le Tour-Noir
Friday, September 11th, 2009, 02:19 AM
I've never really believed but I first realized I didn't truly believe in the supernatural at around 15. I do have a great respect for the northern tradition though and try to live by it's Germanic principles and respect nature.

runder
Monday, December 14th, 2009, 12:50 AM
Although my parents took me to church as a child, I don't think that I ever really believed in God. Religion never resonated with me. I mentally lumped God and Heaven in with things like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, and the belief in those things all faded at around the same time. I never felt any religious experience, and my dealings with church goers lead me to believe that they were mostly hypocrites. I was 12 or 13 years old when I told my parents that I didn't believe.

Sindig_og_stoisk
Thursday, August 12th, 2010, 03:59 PM
I was raised in a family where nobody really cares about religion, so I have always been free to make up my own mind about what to believe. And this I certainly did.
In late puberty, I all of a sudden developed an intense interest i religion, reading countless books and webpages. (at roughly the same time, I developed an interest in politics and history as well, so I guess it was just part of entering adulthood for me). Even though I knew and partially agreed with the merits and principles of atheism, I felt that I "had" to embrace some religion, to be part of something. I eventually settled on Zen Buddhism, as I believed it to be more of a "philosophy" and did not require any rituals or commitment on my part. In hindsight, these are of course poor criteria for a religion, so let us simply write that of as the simple-mindedness of youth;) I was a solitary practitioner, never visiting Buddhist Temples, never talking to other Buddhists or even professing my beliefs to anyone.
Even though I somewhat enjoyed meditating and pondering Zen philosophy, my already half-hearted commitment eventually dwindled away and I became de facto atheist. If I had not done so back then, I certainly would have after hearing about Tiger Woods, who managed to remain a pious Buddhist while doing drugs and cheating on his wife.

My next stage came several years later, when I all of a sudden decided that the root cause of the troubles besieging Western Civilisation was nihilism and materialism caused by us no longer heeding our Christian traditions and rituals. I decided that atheism was for Socialists, and that I as a Conservative I was obligated to embrace my Protestant Christian background and take it seriously. I began praying and reading the Bible daily.
The only way this helped me was by aggrevating my left-wing acquaintances, who were of course taken back by this. The Christian religion itself was(again in hindsight) entirely unfullfilling for me. Again, I was only a solitary practitioner, never visiting a church or meeting other Christians.
Eventually even these beliefs had to go. I had gradually been losing my new-won faith but the final decision came when I finished reading "Atlas Shrugged". This rekindled the atheism I had probably always had. I struggled to incorporate Christianity into my new interest in logic, the scientific worldview and rationalism, but I eventually had to acknowledge that I was an atheist yet again. I have since read books by Hitchens and Dawkins, confirming my belief that this where I belong.

It occurs to me that atheism is the "natural" choice, which is probably why I kept slipping back into it, despite my efforts. Anyone acknowledging the scientific method, the empirical world view or similar notions, eventually has to acknowledge the inherent contradictions and absurdities of the Judeo-Christian(+Muslim) worldview and doctrines. Attempting to preserve faith and science in seperate spheres is simply intellectually dishonest.

hyidi
Sunday, August 15th, 2010, 10:50 AM
The term atheist for me refers mainly to the christian god,
I am an atheist,but a I support the Christan religion over any other religion.

BritishLad
Sunday, August 15th, 2010, 11:04 AM
I was never really religous anyway but when I went on Richard Dawkins.net to search for info on my ancient (pre-Dinosaurian) ancestors I became and agnostic-athiest (won't believe until god is proven).

hyidi
Sunday, August 15th, 2010, 03:04 PM
I failed to mentioned why I am an Atheist.

My dad side was never born christan,on my mother side all were born christan.
My father decided that none of his children were going to be religious,so my mother agreed...we (brother/sister & I) were born Atheist-no religion.

Northern Paladin
Thursday, August 19th, 2010, 05:45 AM
Born a Catholic, I became an atheist during my teenage years and early adulthood, however, I realized that it started dragging me into the chaos of multiculturalism so I returned to the church.

Wynterwade
Thursday, August 19th, 2010, 06:03 AM
My parents are deeply religious so naturally, I was a hardcore Christian growing up. (I always questioned religion growing up but my parents always told me answers like- well they probably calculated years differently and that's why moses was 950 years old). I spent most of my childhood making only a small but close group of friends because I didn't like how most people cussed openly or talked rude which always caused me to freeze up around unchristian behavior. I avoided girls that kept flirting with me because I viewed it as unchristian behavior. Christianity is about living for god and not living for your selfish desires- and that's how I wanted to live my life.

But then in high school, I started to notice that the smartest kids in school didn't believe in anything- which shocked me.

Then in college I took Biology where our teacher talked about paradoxes in the bible and how other religions around the middle east were near identical to Christianity but with one or two huge differences- just like all the other mythologies. When he read the list of the most intellectual societies and the percentage of Christians in them; 1%, 0%, 0%, 0%, 0%- I was in shock.

Then I felt a huge hole in my soul where Christianity used to be and I to this day don't know if I'll ever be able to fill this hole again. I've spent way to much time reading quantum mechanics, astronomy and the m and string theories but I just never feel satisfied like I did when I was Christian.

But Even though reality and science are dull, learning that life will someday end forever, has really made me value my life and strive to achieve things I would have otherwise avoided. I'm glad I'm not going to live my entire life based on a lie.

hyidi
Friday, August 20th, 2010, 12:13 AM
I became an atheist during my teenage years and early adulthood, however, I realized that it started dragging me into the chaos of multiculturalism I am an white Atheist and I do not worship Multicultural world,I'd despised it.;)

nordfrisk
Friday, August 20th, 2010, 12:33 AM
i think religion is culture. much of world culture and regional cultures are influenced dramatically by the religion. what would italy look like with no christianity?? I think that because we have believed in some sort of "superior being" or "God" since the begining of time that there ought to be a reason. atheism rejects all of humanities beliefs from the begining of time. I think millions of years of spiritual observations and beliefs of humans is more accurate then a bunch of smartass atheists who think God(of some form) doesnt exsist soley based on the fact that they believe Gods should give them whatever they wish for. I also find it very strange how God created us Humans in his image and it seems acurate because no living being has ever matched us. we are less animal than any other animal. we are something different. we are the sons of a great thing in my oppinion. science is correct but religion never disproves it. The Bible (all religious writen texts) are mostly corrupt because they have been mistranslated and been rewriten by men in power. no offense.

hyidi
Friday, August 20th, 2010, 12:38 AM
atheism rejects all of humanities beliefs from the begining of time. I think millions of years of spiritual observations and beliefs of humans is more accurate then a bunch of smartass atheists
I took offence to this!:-O:thumbdown
As an Atheist,I stand up for Christianity over any other religion.

nordfrisk
Friday, August 20th, 2010, 12:45 AM
I took offence to this!:-O:thumbdown
As an Atheist,I stand up for Christianity over any other religion.

believe however you want. it is a free world. but i don't like how atheists think that "proof" is what they need as if its some lightning bolt from the sky or some magical conguring of christ that means that God or some sort of God/ higher being exsists. just because you wish for a ferrari doesn't mean God will give it to you. i respect atheists decision as long as they respect others. it seems most atheists i meet are extreme elitists and think that because they have been "enlightened" means they are all high and mighty and always correct.

VitkiValkyrie
Wednesday, September 1st, 2010, 03:38 PM
Nordfrisk, the way you view atheists is often the way atheists view christians! Your words showed the same attitude you accuse them of having.

nordfrisk
Wednesday, September 1st, 2010, 05:18 PM
Nordfrisk, the way you view atheists is often the way atheists view christians! Your words showed the same attitude you accuse them of having.

i have no problem with atheists. its everyones right to spirituality and prayer. if you do not believe, it is simple, do not believe. i am just saying the moment an atheist says i am wrong for believing that is the time i get frusterated. im not saying anyone here has done it. im just saying in real life it bothers me. cheers.

velvet
Wednesday, September 1st, 2010, 05:38 PM
As an Atheist,I stand up for Christianity over any other religion.

Ehm, why?

Sindig_og_stoisk
Wednesday, September 1st, 2010, 09:52 PM
Born a Catholic, I became an atheist during my teenage years and early adulthood, however, I realized that it started dragging me into the chaos of multiculturalism so I returned to the church.

That sounds a bit like the young version of me! But what you must remember, and what turned me back to Atheism, is that even if Atheism was the sure path to multiculturalism and Catholicism was capable of protecting
us against it( both highly doubtful claims in my opinion), it still would not mean that the precepts of Catholicism was true and certain.

Should you not as a Catholic believe that it is the only true religion and that God really exists, the Earth and life on was created in six days only a few thousand years old, and eternal damnation awaits those who are so unfortunate as to never having heard of Jesus, and those who remain unconvinced by the at times poor work of missionaries?

Professing belief in Catholicism because it aligns with your social and political agenda and not because you sincerely believe in its teachings is hypocritical.

The same things that moved you to Atheism are still there. The evidence unrefuted, the doubt still lingering. And they always will be, regardless of how benificial you consider Catholicism in combating multiculturalism.

Ăğele Wiğercwida
Thursday, September 2nd, 2010, 04:26 AM
Hmmm, am I an atheist though? That is the question!

What is Atheism? Is it simply the rejection of the traditional gods of the past because one feels they serve no purpose? Well, archetypes serve important roles in the formation of the person. Archetypes are innate, universal prototypes for ideas and may be used to interpret observations. A group of memories and interpretations associated with an archetype is a complex, e.g. a mother complex associated with the mother archetype. Jung treated the archetypes as psychological organs, analogous to physical ones in that both are morphological constructs that arose through evolution.

Jung also outlined what he called archetypes of transformation. Not personality constructs, they are situations, places, ways and means that symbolize the transformation in question. These archetypes exist primarily as energy - and are useful in organizational development, personal and organizational change management, and extensively used in place branding. As with any archetype, image takes priority over language. In a personal exploration of the Self, archetypes play an important role in the process of individuation.


Some atheists reject religion/spirituality on a scientific basis. But even something as the scientific method which is the basis for science itself can be seen as a superstitious practice if one uses science to describe it.


Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.

Which is not too different to superstition and religion. It can often be a hit and miss thing, but we still adhere to it.


In 1948, behavioural psychologist B.F. Skinner published an article in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, in which he described his pigeons exhibiting what appeared to be superstitious behaviour. One pigeon was making turns in its cage, another would swing its head in a pendulum motion, while others also displayed a variety of other behaviours. Because these behaviours were all done ritualistically in an attempt to receive food from a dispenser, even though the dispenser had already been programmed to release food at set time intervals regardless of the pigeons' actions, Skinner believed that the pigeons were trying to influence their feeding schedule by performing these actions. He then extended this as a proposition regarding the nature of superstitious behaviour in humans.

Skinner's theory regarding superstition being the nature of the pigeons' behaviour has been challenged by other psychologists such as Staddon and Simmelhag, who theorised an alternative explanation for the pigeons' behaviour.

Despite challenges to Skinner's interpretation of the root of his pigeons' superstitious behaviour, his conception of the reinforcement schedule has been used to explain superstitious behaviour in humans. Originally, in Skinner's animal research, "some pigeons responded up to 10,000 times without reinforcement when they had originally been conditioned on an intermittent reinforcement basis." Compared to the other reinforcement schedules (e.g. fixed ratio, fixed interval), these behaviours were also the most resistant to extinction. This is called the partial reinforcement effect, and this has been used to explain superstitious behaviour in humans. To be more precise, this effect means that, whenever an individual performs an action expecting a reinforcement, and none seems forthcoming, it actually creates a sense of persistence within the individual. his strongly parallels superstitious behaviour in humans because the individual feels that, by continuing this action, reinforcement will happen; or that reinforcement has come at certain times in the past as a result of this action, although not all the time, but this may be one of those times.

From a simpler perspective, natural selection will tend to reinforce a tendency to generate weak associations. If there is a strong survival advantage to making correct associations, then this will outweigh the negatives of making many incorrect, "superstitious" associations.

So I don't think religion/spirituality is a bad thing or harmful to a persons dignity as Dawkins suggests, but I also don't think that static belief in an unearthly power is completely valuable. Combined with science and psychology, a religious/spiritual life can be intensely fulfilling. I suppose that is why I am an Atheist, because it allows me to explore my psyche without restrictions. Does that make me an agnostic? People who call themselves agnostic tend to say "oh well, there may be somebody up there looking out for us but we can never prove it either way".

Whereas I say self-knowledge is a fulfilling pastime for humans. Through experimentation we can come to understand and express ourselves in new ways and push forward for intellectual evolution. Through the pursuit of science we can come to know supreme truth more and more. There is a scientific basis for religion and spirituality, so while not adhering strictly to an irrational belief system, I will seek to understand the reasons behind it and even indulge by occasionally suspending my reason in order to experience something.

SaxonCeorl
Friday, September 3rd, 2010, 07:35 AM
I didn't so much reject the notion of divinity, as I never accepted or believed in such a notion in the first place. I wasn't raised in a religious environment, and whenever I was curious about the reasons for or origins of various phenomena, my Dad told me the scientific reasons behind them. So for me, science has provided a rational answer since I was little. The only frustrating issue for me was what came before the Big Bang, but it was more of a mildly annoying frustration rather than something that disrupted my feelings toward life. I've always been quite the Epicurean and am too busy focusing on worldly self-enjoyment to be worrying about grand notions of origin that I'll never figure out anyway.

My grandmothers are quite religious, and one of my earliest vivid memories was an attempt by one of my grandmothers to explain Jesus to me when I was about 3. She explained to me that Jesus Christ loves me and that he loves everybody, no matter what. Being the very logical three year old that I was, I found it tremendously illogical for this Jesus fellow to love everyone no matter how bad they might be.

Today, I am very, very interested in the idea of absurdism as explored by artists like the playwright Samuel Beckett and the writer/philosopher Albert Camus. I don't believe there is any objective 'point' to life, but that it is natural and instinctual for human beings to attempt to create meaning and value in their lives. My personal philosophy is somewhat akin to Albert Camus' ideas in his essay The Myth of Sisyphus. I accept the things I find 'important' and 'valuable' in my life for what they are: things that keep me happy and entertained until death, nothing more or less. This philosophy may be troubling for some people, but I am very happy with it.

Rassenhygieniker
Friday, September 3rd, 2010, 07:53 AM
believe however you want. it is a free world. but i don't like how atheists think that "proof"

Exactly, God has better things to do then prove his Godliness every 20 minutes to people who are too weak minded and weak willed to hold any sorts of beliefs free from their own individualistic dilemas.

Basically Atheists are selfish individualists who would go:

Woe is me! Why would God not help ME? If he doesn't help ME it means he doesn't exist!

Fyrgenholt
Friday, September 3rd, 2010, 08:27 AM
I believe one of the, if not the, most primary concerns in human life is the quest for wisdom and the acquisition of knowledge, whether that be through spiritual exploration, scientific questioning or anything else for that matter.

I grew up in a non-religious family and as such become intensely atheist and even anti-religious to a certain degree, but you live and you learn and you grow up. Initially I questioned religion and it's significance, but sooner or later I found myself questioning Atheism and it's significance, too.

I think symbols, meanings, spirituality and so forth have an important role in the human psyche and further, I believe Christianity played a hugely important role in the development of Europe.

Mouse Shadow
Friday, September 3rd, 2010, 10:44 AM
Like everyone else I was born irrelgious. :)

On the first day of primary school after recess which had preceeded learning the Alphabet and Numbers, -> classic <- Jesus came into class.

Yep! Classic Jesus! He wore a white tunic, had the beard, looked like a skinny hippe, in that he didn't look healthy.

He started preaching about god was great and all knowing and that he was everywhere and infinite.

As I already knew what the word infinite meant, I couldn't believe some weirdo was saying that something 'couldn't die'. That failed my logic test and I immediately crossed my arms in a huff and disengaged from his speil. I looked around the classroom to see if anyone else was as disgusted as I was at his presumptions, but no one was angry like me. I wondered, 'why are they still listening?'. And it shocked me that no one was taking a firm stance like me and switching off.

He kept going on about how he loves us all, and is everywhere and in everything. And I thought how could the invisible-nothing-man love me more than mum, and show it? His ideas just smelt of waaaaay out there bizzareness.

At that point I was livid, well as much as a kid in grade 1 could be. I was at the back of the class for that lesson, had I have been up the front, I would have let Jesus have a piece of my mind.

Anyway, I've never 'believed' before and I firmly never believed after that. If Jesus couldn't prove his case no one can. :)

kuehnelt
Saturday, September 4th, 2010, 05:02 AM
Although my parents took me to church as a child, I don't think that I ever really believed in God. Religion never resonated with me. ... I never felt any religious experience ... I was 12 or 13 years old when I told my parents that I didn't believe.

This describes my experience, minus the churchgoing and the 'coming out', but I did strike a firmly atheistic stance at 12 years old. Nobody ever seriously argued the case with me, and when people did support Christianity they supported it very badly; moreover, I kept coming up with better atheistic devices and arguments.

I was embarrassingly anti-Christian for a time - on the level of the faddish atheism of the last few years - and only moved away from that when I found some libertarian(!) influences that cast Christianity in a positive light. These were: a speech about the origin of liberty by Tom Palmer of the Cato Institute, which emphasized the Church's role in Europe's evolution into many small powers instead of great regional powers; Isabel Paterson's God of the Machine (http://mises.org/books/godofmachine.pdf) - that's a link to a PDF of the book; some works of Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn and Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

I've still no reason to believe in Christianity - and if I've no reason to believe in that then I think its modern competition isn't worth speaking of - but I don't like to call myself an atheist for the same reason I didn't want to put libertarian under 'politics' in my profile. Atheists are obnoxious jerks who grow to become their own caricatures of their enemies. Libertarianism amounts to "don't violate property rights", with all the details and deep theory coming to no more than "no, really! Don't do it!" - but libertarians will tell you that you must also not have borders, welcome drug use, throw confetti at the gay parades, etc.

TypicalRebel
Sunday, September 5th, 2010, 08:40 PM
Nietzsche+Zeitgeist+Some other reasons...

Marsthorneito
Monday, April 18th, 2011, 09:33 AM
If on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 can be considered gnostic theism and 10 gnostic atheism and everything between to be a varying degree of skeptical or credulous agnosticism then I'd say I was a 6 and started moving up to 8/9ish, I don't deny the possibility of deities I just find them as probable as Bertrand Russell's celestial teapot. That's not to say I didn't always go to church, I grew up technically catholic but seeing as how there weren't many Catholic churches where I grew up my mum just used to take me and my brothers to Anglican churches(my mum was catholic but my dad was Anglican, both lukewarm Christians at best), anyway, I wasn't getting adequate answers from the clergy so I decided to get some straight from the source and I couldn't believe I was supposed to be a "Christian" after reading that - the only thing keeping me Christian really, was my ignorance of it. After that I just stuck to information discerned from the empirical methodology of science and reasonable argumentation from philosophy, i.e., social contract theory, which I had been exposed to from an early age thankfully... I actually started reading and thinking about things a fuckload more after that.

runder
Sunday, April 24th, 2011, 06:56 PM
Exactly, God has better things to do then prove his Godliness every 20 minutes to people who are too weak minded and weak willed to hold any sorts of beliefs free from their own individualistic dilemas.

Basically Atheists are selfish individualists who would go:

Woe is me! Why would God not help ME? If he doesn't help ME it means he doesn't exist!

This is funny coming from a Catholic. Aren't you the one who is so desperate to cling to Catholicism that you try to pretend that the long dead Jewish carpenter who you worship was actually some kind of Aryan superman? And you're calling us weak minded?

The Catholic Church is one of the most destructive forces in the world. It is complicit in turning the U.S. into a third world country. It is one of the primary supporters of the illegal Hispanic invasion, and it actively tries to shame and white parishoners who speak out against illegal immigration. All Christianity is corrosive to some degree, but Catholicism is the worst. It knows that it is swiftly becoming a third-world religion, and it eagerly sacrifices the U.S. in order to increase its membership, take in money, and provide fresh meat for the corrupt priests.

Give me a clear-eyed athiest over a Catholic multi-kulit fellow traveler any day.

chrisjqb
Thursday, May 12th, 2011, 04:48 PM
Exactly what it says on the tin: What experiences in your life led to your decision to reject the notion of divinity? Which arguments moved you to reject that concept? How did your views in that area mature to your current perception thereof? Etc. Etc. Pp.

My mother originally was Lutheran. She became Roman Catholic to marry my father. This convinced me that religion is not based on reason.

Beornwiga
Sunday, May 15th, 2011, 12:11 AM
(German speakers critique my declension in the title? - still learning, and I wasn't sure)

I've been an atheist since I was maybe eight or ten years of age. When I was little, I would ask everyone around me whether or not they believed in God, and my mom (parents split up - never asked my dad because he was irrelevant) would always simply say 'I don't know.' She forced my brother and me to go to Sunday school though, and we hated it. The little time I spent there gave me a basic enough knowledge of the Bible to know I thought it was crap. Interesting crap, but crap nonetheless. I still, at this young age, believed in God, but didn't enjoy how he domineered my life. Eventually, we convinced my mom to stop taking us.

I had a friend down the road who also didn't believe (or he barely did) and whose parents forced him to go to church every Sunday (they never went for some reason). He asked me if I would go with him so he wasn't so bored there all the time - and this church was freaking crazy! Some of the people were nice, but most of them had the most inane things to say about God and the universe. It seemed as though they were blindly following - no questions asked, God had to exist and he would punish all non-believers.

(Later on, when I told my mom what I believed, she admitted to being atheist. She forced my brother and me to go to Sunday school because she wanted us to be open to other ideas. Funny the amount of openness in atheism, innit? She likes to brag, 'Somehow, by telling my kids the truth all the time, I managed to raise three rational atheists.')

When I began to openly confront Christians around me about their ideas, they only presented me with hatred or skepticism at my own beliefs, without ever listening to what I had to say. As I live in a very 'conservative' part of America, I was literally shunned just for being an atheist. Accused of evils I hadn't done and didn't condone. People hated me, and I didn't feel that hatred was very consistent with the idea of Jesus :)

Something about the fundament of God just seemed incorrect. It seems an incredible goal, but I wish to someday prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that God does not and can not exist. I've had thoughts that come close to doing so, but I always forget to write them down, and it can be incredibly hard to rethink them. 'All intelligent thoughts have already been thought; what is necessary is only to try to think them again.' - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. I'll get there someday.

Anyway, I considered over the years many religions and philosophies besides atheism, but none of them held sway in my mind. I was always interested in Wicca, but never really got into its ideals too much. I thoroughly enjoyed the idea of being Buddhist, but after some pondering realized that I couldn't do it, mainly because A) it called for never hurting a living animal, and B) it called for being peaceful and calmly passive in all endeavors. I couldn't fulfill the first because I too much enjoy eating meat and would never be able to consider myself truly Buddhist so long as I didn't adhere to all its ideas; neither could I fulfill the second, because I'm too passionate a person in my endeavors - people deserved, according to their actions and deeds, to be treated differently. To quote Gaahl: 'Equality is stagnation.'

Recently I've thought about considering myself ┴satr˙, because its raw passion and ironic warmth appeal to me. I love the Ăsir and Vanir and so many of the ideas in Norse Paganism. The only thing I have trouble with is the supernatural aspect (any scientific mind should). I can justify the 'gods' as simply being humans of higher power and significance, as they are, in essence, ▄bermenschen. But other aspects of their power don't fit in with reasoning *shrugs*. I still consider myself an atheist, because I accepted long ago that, besides that of the atom, there is no true higher power responsible for creation and existence, and I haven't fully rationalized ┴satr˙. Life bears no prescribed meaning, we create it individually.

So that's basically the why and how of it, without any of the why and how atheism has to be more true than theism. Unlike some, my atheism didn't evolve out of a certain amount of traumatizing events that told them God didn't care. Though I had my fair share of those, my atheism grew independently of it. Life bears no prescribed meaning, we create it individually.

random
Wednesday, July 20th, 2011, 11:10 AM
i stopped believing in santa when i was 8 and consequently deducted that god must not exist and religion must be a human construct, and later put together all the details :3

FormalRS
Tuesday, June 26th, 2012, 10:32 PM
In the west of Scotland, specifically in and around the Glasgow area where I come from religion can cause a great many problems. Tensions between Protestants and Catholics still exist, it's an extension of Northern Ireland's troubles.
The negativity that surrounds it just plain turned me against it and through science and logic I took on the belief that there cannot be any form of "higher power".

Ingvaeonic
Sunday, July 1st, 2012, 06:15 PM
I came to the conclusion in my early teens that I could not believe in something that had no empirical evidence for its existence.

flemish
Tuesday, July 10th, 2012, 01:33 PM
I slowly became an atheist as I grew up. A combination of having an interest in science(including natural history), and growing up in the South where you have some stupid, self-righteous, born-again people helped me realize that it's highly likely that there's no god or afterlife.

GewaltigeAufgabe
Thursday, July 12th, 2012, 10:08 AM
I started questioning religion, and its numerous inconsistencies very early on, thanks to the power of the gift of critical thinking. I may only credit my parents for having taught me how to use critical thought.


Ever since, I have enjoyed many a laugh on topic of how ridiculous religion is.

hyidi
Thursday, July 12th, 2012, 12:57 PM
I find that 'Atheist' is a new tradition to the christian / catholic western world.

My mother born catholic in 1948, so was her brothers and sisters 1942-1950's and my mothers parents 1912/17 and grandparents 1880's. My mother went to church every Sunday directed by her parents, but she grew up as Atheist. When my mother grew up and started her own family she had no intentions of christening her children' myself and my brother and sister, we were born 1979/81/83. My father born 1948 in Britain and he's family were not born Catholics but Atheists' he's parents born 1920's My niece born 2006 and two nephews 2009/2011 all religion, Atheist. So Atheist became popular after WWII.

Where did Atheist come from?

Jens
Monday, July 23rd, 2012, 04:01 PM
Read the bible. God isn't very loving. If he is, the bible is a lie, which means there is no point in believing in the first place. That and believers seem to have the easiest time rationalizing evil acts, so that can't be right.

Ishild
Saturday, August 11th, 2012, 08:12 PM
Read the bible. God isn't very loving. If he is, the bible is a lie, which means there is no point in believing in the first place. That and believers seem to have the easiest time rationalizing evil acts, so that can't be right.

Yes, a wrathful, violent and vengeful god. But that would explain a lot if we suppose he exists, don't you think; that he made man in his own image. It would account for twisted human nature.

It's also interesting how he transforms into a peaceful passive god in New Testament.

Bible is full of contradictions and dubious messages. A logical person cannot believe in any god, because belief is an irrational sphere.


Where did Atheist come from?

From common sense and free thinking - both uncommon until end of WWII. Atheists probably exist since religions themselves do.

Olavss°nn
Saturday, August 11th, 2012, 10:21 PM
Bible is full of contradictions and dubious messages. A logical person cannot believe in any god, because belief is an irrational sphere.

Perhaps there's more to existence than what a rational mind can perceive? :)

Hilderinc
Sunday, August 12th, 2012, 03:09 AM
From common sense and free thinking - both uncommon until end of WWII.

I daresay those have actually become much less common.

ablutive
Sunday, August 12th, 2012, 08:41 AM
I don't understand why deciding Christianity is false seems to act as a direct path to atheism.

But I guess if that is the faith of your childhood you have nothing left when you reject it. My parents not being Christian I never got to have that kind of crisis of faith.

Ishild
Sunday, August 12th, 2012, 11:12 AM
Perhaps there's more to existence than what a rational mind can perceive? :)

Maybe. But belief is just that: belief. No proof for the claim behind it. Human mind and knowledge are limited and that's exactly one of the reasons why it's at least to say silly of someone to claim god does exist. The tools and abilities we're given aren't all that much and are far from perfect but that's all we've got and we'd better put it to good use. Not in believing, but in exploring and discovering; in knowing.
And I wouldn't part mind in rational and irrational mind, as it seems you imply, but I'm speaking of rational and irrational use of mind.




I daresay those have actually become much less common.
I daresay people generally got more freedom and choice, but don't use it.
All sorts of resources and knowledge are more-less freely available via internet, yet people chose not to enlighten themselves.

Sawyer
Monday, August 13th, 2012, 12:11 AM
On the rationality - would a rational nationalist socialist, if back in the Third Reich, choose to save Hitler over his close family if ever a situation occurred? Trying to approach everything rationally doesn't work, our instincts are usually emotional, hence 'irrational'.

Sehnsucht
Monday, August 13th, 2012, 12:28 AM
Because the idea of an omnipotent god and afterlife are ridiculous. And I was never raised Christian, never went to church, never baptised. It was Infant school that tried to brainwash me with myth, prayer and hymns. Schools should be secular.

Klaus
Monday, August 13th, 2012, 09:08 AM
Ich wurde wie JEDER Mensch - so auch Du - als Atheist geboren.
Kein Mensch wird mit irgendeiner "G÷tter" - Vorstellung oder gar mit einer fertigen "Religion" geboren.
Die Wahnvorstellung von der realen Existenz unsichtbarer Figuren wie "G÷ttern", Geistern oder anderen Phantasiegestalten wird anerzogen, wird infiziert.

Auch wenn ich in einem sehr "christlich" verseuchtem Umfeld aufwuchs habe ich schon als Kind alle "Glaubens"-Dogmen hinterfragt und von den Erwachsenen irgendeinen BEWEIS fŘr die reale Existens irgendeines "Gottes" eingefordert.
Vergeblich.
Was es nicht gibt das kann man nicht beweisen, auch nicht herbei-"beten".

An alle "Theisten" :
Der A-"Theist" mu▀ nicht beweisen das es keinerlei "Gott"-heiten gibt.
Er behauptet ja keine.
Nur wer etwas behauptet - wie die Existenz unsichtbarer Geisterwesen wie "Gott"-heiten - mu▀ beweisen das seine Behauptung richtig ist.
Und bisher ist nicht ein Einziger der Millionen "G÷tter" die der Mensch sich schuf in seiner Phantasie empirisch bewiesen worden.
An "G÷tter" kann man also glauben wenn man seinen Verstand ausschaltet.
Beweisen kann man sie nicht.
Es gibt einen Trost :
Es ist in vielen Fallbeispielen nachprŘfbar :
"Religion" ist heilbar.

(Ich hoffe, das das ▄bersetzungsprogramm den Inhalt sinnvoll wiedergibt )
(I hope which returns(states) the translation programme the contents sensibly(meaningfully))

I was born like EVERY person - thus also you - as an atheist.
No one becomes with someone \"gods \" - image(performance) or even with ready \"religion \" born.
The delusion of the real existence(life) of invisible figures like \"to gods \", minds(ghosts) or other imaginary characters is instilled, is infected.

Even if I in very much \"like a Christian \" to contaminated sphere grew up I already have as a child everybody \"of faith(confidence) \" dogmas questions(scrutinises) and from the adults any PROVE for the real Existens of someone \"of God \" called.
In vain.
What it this does not give one cannot prove, also not here \"pray \".

To everybody \"Theisten \":
The A-\"Theist \" must not prove there is no \"God \"-heiten.
He maintains none.
Only who maintains something - like the existence(life) of invisible mind beings like \"God \"-heiten - must prove this is right his(its) assertion(statement).
And up to now one only one of the millions \is not "gods \" the person created in his(its) imagination empirically been proved.
In \"gods \" one can believe if one switches off his(its) mind(reason).
One cannot prove them(it).

There is a consolation:
It is checkable in many case studies:
\"Religion \" is no destiny(fate).
\\\"Religion \\\" is remediable(remedial).

Kiel
Wednesday, August 15th, 2012, 08:22 AM
I simply noted that there is no scientific evidence for the existence of god. There could be a god, but there's no scientific evidence for it and therefore no reason for a rational person to believe it. If scientific evidence for god becomes available in the future, then we'll have to reevaluate things, but I don't think there's much chance of that.

Any evidence that people say indicates there is a god is usually something that cannot be tested and it is therefore worthless.

Certain events that occurred in biblical times once thought to be of devine origin, can now be explained as meteorological, astronomical, or geological phenomena.

Sindig_og_stoisk
Wednesday, August 15th, 2012, 08:42 AM
I don't understand why deciding Christianity is false seems to act as a direct path to atheism.

But I guess if that is the faith of your childhood you have nothing left when you reject it. My parents not being Christian I never got to have that kind of crisis of faith.

Of course it really is not. You could easily believe in A God or in One God without believing in Christianity. That is what Jews, Muslims, Zoroastrians, Sikhs and at least some schools of Hindus do. Not to mention Deists and Pantheists.

However, rejection of the Christian creed and rejection of the very idea of a God does go hand in hand and it is treated as two aspects of the same problems in most of the so-called "New Atheists" books.

The modern, critical historical look on the history of Christianity quickly reveals so many inconsistencies and troublesome messages that it is an obvious next step to investigate the philosophical underpinnings of the very idea of a universe intricately created and carefully monitored by an omnipotent and omniscient Creator.

After a historical and archaeological investigation of Christianity follows a philosophical and cosmological investigation of the very concept of God.

Ingvaeonic
Wednesday, August 15th, 2012, 09:50 AM
There is no empirical evidence to support the existence of a god or gods. Fullstop. This is the conclusion I came to in my mid-teens and in 40 years I have seen, and I have had, no reason to change it.

Olavss°nn
Wednesday, August 15th, 2012, 12:57 PM
Maybe. But belief is just that: belief. No proof for the claim behind it.

You generalize way too much. For one, which perception of god, the sacred, the divine (or whatever) are you talking about? There exist many. The problem with atheism is that it really only can deny the existence of one particular kind of "god". It cannot debunk all religious expressions, worldviews or perceptions. What do you mean by "proof" by the way? If a "god", the sacred or the divine could be "proven" by scientific measurements, how could this thing (when looked at isolated, at least) in any way be divine? It would just be a function of the natural world, not anything transcendent., for example. The problem with this kind of scientific "evidence" is that its methods are all aimed at cutting things up in components and functions. Scientific method is a very useful thing, but it can't explain everything, and neither is it the only valid method of perceiving the world.
Please define "belief", by the way. Who said that you need to "believe" blindly in a ready-made doctrine or text to not be an atheist? Perhaps there exist experiences that are beyond simple "belief", and more about direct experience and conviction.


Human mind and knowledge are limited and that's exactly one of the reasons why it's at least to say silly of someone to claim god does exist.

Which god? What is this god? Does it need to be the simple figure with a long white beard living up there in the sky? Another problem with many atheists is that they have too simple an understanding of these things.


The tools and abilities we're given aren't all that much and are far from perfect but that's all we've got and we'd better put it to good use. Not in believing, but in exploring and discovering; in knowing.

Why do you view it as granted that scientific explanation is the only tool we humans have to understand the world, existence, life, the universe, being?


And I wouldn't part mind in rational and irrational mind, as it seems you imply, but I'm speaking of rational and irrational use of mind.

Why can only one particular use of the mind be used to help us reaching various understandings of life? There are many things that are important to our understanding and perceiving of the world and our existence which can not be classified as "rationalism." Why be so one-dimensional?


I daresay people generally got more freedom and choice, but don't use it.
All sorts of resources and knowledge are more-less freely available via internet, yet people chose not to enlighten themselves.

Why should only external things be sources of enlightenment and truth? Perhaps we can look into our own being as well?