What makes a person atheist?

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What makes a person atheist?

#1

Post by dorkmaster » Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:21 pm

What makes a person atheist? I have one friend who fell into the God doesn't exist because good people suffer argument, and another who is militant for an unknown reason. An answer from a current atheist or former atheist would be good.

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Re: What makes a person atheist?

#2

Post by neo-x » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:41 pm

I used to be an atheist but believe me there is no logical reason for being an atheist, it is ignorance and rebellion. you can read an article I wrote on my blog

"Human Suffering: An Atheist’s excuse for denial" I must mention that I don't go easy on atheism(my whole blog is about debunking atheism) but I hope it helps you and you may see what I am saying.

here is the link to the post http://johnadavid.wordpress.com/2011/04 ... or-denial/
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


//johnadavid.wordpress.com

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Re: What makes a person atheist?

#3

Post by waynepii » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:47 am

dorkmaster wrote:What makes a person atheist? I have one friend who fell into the God doesn't exist because good people suffer argument, and another who is militant for an unknown reason. An answer from a current atheist or former atheist would be good.
Atheists generally consider the concept of god to be a myth - ie an idea some (in the case of god(s), many) people share but for which they consider the evidence presented insufficient to find the concept believable.

Most atheists received a conventional religious upbringing but gradually became aware that religion appears to have serious shortcomings, inconsistencies, and simply things that didn't make sense to them. At first, their doubts may have just related to the specific religion in which they were raised. Many have tried other religions looking for one that doesn't have shortcomings, is consistent, and makes sense to them, but eventually concluded that the idea of religion in general is a myth.

I suspect the reason that your friend doesn't believe in god is much more complex than simply because "good people suffer" (or even "that bad people don't"). He (or she) probably has many more reasons - perhaps:
  1. How is a god capable of designing and creating everything having "always existed" (or having been created "from nothing") a more logical (or probable, or simple, or ... ) answer to "where did everything come from" than several gazillion megatons of dust and gas having always existed (or coming into existence from nothing) and coalescing over billions of years resulting in the present universe?
  2. Why have there been so many different gods and religions over time?
  3. Why are there so many different gods and religions NOW?
  4. Why has god's word (aka "morality") changed over time and across different cultures?
  5. Why does EVERY religion (and religious text) require interpretation by humans?
  6. Why did an omnipotent god use humans to write his holy texts? Which of course, resulted in the texts being written (only) in the then current languages thus requiring human translation and interpretation to be understood at later times and in other countries?
  7. Why has god's "job description" been significantly reduced over time? (eg healing the sick and injured, avoiding or mitigating disasters, ... )
  8. etc.
  9. etc.
  10. etc.
In short, why does religion have so many human "fingerprints" all over it?

"Why do good people suffer?" was likely just the one issue that he/she thought was most likely to result in the desired amount and direction of the subsequent discussion.

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Re: What makes a person atheist?

#4

Post by B. W. » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:06 am

Being a former atheist, what caused me to become before becoming a Christian can be summed up as:

1-Bitternenss

2-Need for a scapegoat

Bitterness was about life in general and from that the need to have a scapegoat to justify my former bitterness concerning life.

That was the reason for me back then for becoming an atheist. Not all atheist have the same reasons I had but the most militant do carry a chip on their shoulders. I see the same former bitterness I once shared in them and in their shared devil-may-care platitudes.

The bitterness kept me bound and blind to the hopelessness there was for the meaning and purpose of life without the Lord’s salvation. This bitterness is not easily defined other than a disdain for God as well as my own human weakness and total inability to produce a real purposeful lasting effective change in the world around me. It was easier to focus blame on God for this, and Christians too, than produce any change within myself.

For the atheist – they can produce no lasting purposeful positive effect upon mortal life, in that, is what debates with any should focus on.

Jesus Christ does produce lasting purposeful positive effect upon a person who his really his own.

Be Blest ya all!
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Re: What makes a person atheist?

#5

Post by Reactionary » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:15 am

waynepii wrote:Most atheists received a conventional religious upbringing but gradually became aware that religion appears to have serious shortcomings, inconsistencies, and simply things that didn't make sense to them. At first, their doubts may have just related to the specific religion in which they were raised. Many have tried other religions looking for one that doesn't have shortcomings, is consistent, and makes sense to them, but eventually concluded that the idea of religion in general is a myth.
I'll have to disagree - most of the atheists I know have little to no knowledge about Christian theology. Their "doubts" could be solved simply by looking up a Christian website such as this one. But that's not the point - the point is that they don't want to believe. It's a combination of ignorance and rebellion - as Neo-X said, plus an extensive use of psychological defence mechanisms, primarily denial and rationalization.

They don't want to be held accountable for what they do, so they try to deny the existence of God in every possible way. However, that's a sort of a self-delusion (I started to love that word, guess why). A mature person needs to face the facts and deal with them, and the facts, I can safely say, point towards the existence of God. Personally, I obey the moral law (most of the time) although I'd like if some sins weren't sins, but there's nothing I can do about it - that's just the way it is. I learned that lesson when I was a kid - I didn't like going to the dentist's so I tried to postpone that event for as long as I could, but soon I realized that moment would eventually come, sooner or later. The same analogy applies here - we'll all eventually have to answer for our works to God - tomorrow or in 50 years (hopefully the latter), but the point is that it will happen. So, being self-delusional won't help at all.

As for their anger and militancy - They hope that their mockery of your religious views will shake your faith and make them more confident that there is no God. That's inefficient, because even a Christian apologist may lose a debate, it still doesn't affect the state of matters. They try to convert people because the more atheists there are, the more confidence they feel - however, the truth is objective, not subjective.
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." Matthew 7:6

"For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." Romans 1:20

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Re: What makes a person atheist?

#6

Post by dorkmaster » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:06 pm

Thank you everyone. I appreciate your taking the time. God bless

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Re: What makes a person atheist?

#7

Post by MarcusOfLycia » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:08 pm

Reactionary wrote:I'll have to disagree - most of the atheists I know have little to no knowledge about Christian theology. Their "doubts" could be solved simply by looking up a Christian website such as this one. But that's not the point - the point is that they don't want to believe. It's a combination of ignorance and rebellion - as Neo-X said, plus an extensive use of psychological defence mechanisms, primarily denial and rationalization.
This is something I've noticed as well, but there is an interesting subpoint to make on it. The most militant of the atheists that I know say that they were Christians. I don't know them well enough to confirm it (in fact, one who claims to have been a Christian I barely knew but never would have thought of him as a Christian - I always thought he was an atheist). They claim they've got more knowledge about the Bible and Christianity than Christians, and yet they say worthless things that have been debunked even by other atheists because of how poor their theology is.

What I've found amazing and would like to investigate more to see if there is some Spiritual dimension to it is this idea that 'former Christian's seem to not remember a -thing- about what they knew about Christianity when they called themselves Christians. Its like they've forgotten! This has been the case with several I know, though admittedly it isn't probably a universal thing.
-- Josh

“When you see a man with a great deal of religion displayed in his shop window, you may depend upon it, he keeps a very small stock of it within” C.H. Spurgeon

1st Corinthians 1:17- "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel””not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power"

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Re: What makes a person atheist?

#8

Post by Proinsias » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:13 pm

Richard Dawkins

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Re: What makes a person atheist?

#9

Post by ThePerverse » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:33 am

I was atheist because.. I dont honestly know for sure..
It was a bitter mix of many factors, including science, skepticism, all the atheist people, and incredible as it sounds, The very fact that so many people are atheist and are Convinced that God does not exist.

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Re: What makes a person atheist?

#10

Post by neo-x » Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:14 am

You guys know why I became an atheist, it was a self defense mechanism and it might sound ridiculous or funny to some but here it is nonetheless.

I was five when I first came in contact with hauntings, yes my house had something in it. Whatever anyone may call it but I used to see shadows of people walking, on my wall. Then to top that I started seeing an old man walking around the house at night with a cane to support himself. Then there used to be a headless dog that would walk in and out of rooms. Though nothing ever touched me but I saw it all. My toys would start playing automatically, in front of me. And when my parents used to place them back in their shelves they would scold me for it while I had never touched them in the first place. There used to be in our house an old storeroom on the second floor, it was opened once in 4-5 years, anyways, from beneath the door, I could see someone standing on the other side of it. But the feet i saw from beneath weren't human feet, it was close to what a large duck's feet would look like with large nails in between. Then there were the scratches on the mirrors. After this the table next to my bed would be rapped and thumped loudly each night while I short of breath would lay on my bed almost paralyzed. My sleep was lost, and what little was left was plagued with nightmares. I told my parents, my cousins. but no one took my complains very seriously, it was called, child fantasies and whatever. They started putting a bible under my pillow and wooden cross with me while I went to bed. They told me to pray which I did and tried but nothing changed. in fact these activities happened more and more often. And all of this continued till I was 8. At first, I started arguing with God about why wouldn't he help me, then it became a fight, than i started imagining God as some one who doesn't care for me or love. And in the 3 years, my belief in God evaporated.

My lack of sleep made me frustrated, very stubborn, kind of child, prone to show rage and anger, even throwing things at my parents or relatives, trying to hit them if I could, cursing my elders, priests, clergy men all alike. In part I realized that I needed to assume that there is nothing, if there isn't a god, who never helps me, then there is no devil and this is all my own fears. yet I knew this was not true. because one night something, a woman so to say, came down to bed and lay with me, I was horrified, terrified and I wouldn't even dare look at her face, but she had long hair that shined even in complete darkness.

After this my parents took me to doctors even had a lot of church people come and pray for me but nothing happened, nothing changed. And in spite of all that, my education never suffered, I always took very high grades, I was an excellent student despite all of my rage and angry behavior. But I had no solution to these problems.

So one day I decided to end it, I declared to myself that I was the bigger fool that there is no God, no devil, no spirit, no after life, no heaven, no hell and no soul. It took me some months but eventually I became immune to all of this, I trained my self to not to be afraid or divert my thoughts and that is how I became an atheist. And after some time all of this stopped. I was happy and so my dis-belief in God became more concrete. How I came back to God is another story not relevant here.


Yes I know it sounds like a winter night children horror tale but it was real. And it destroyed 13 years of my life.
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


//johnadavid.wordpress.com

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Re: What makes a person atheist?

#11

Post by Silvertusk » Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:56 am

Thank you for sharing that testimony Neo. It sounds very scary. I saw certain things when I was a child but fortunately they were not scary. I used to see sparkles of light at night times that use to fall like rain and made incredible patterns of such beauty. But they stopped happening as I got older. I have wild theory that when we are young our perception is more naked and not filtered by our Brains - so maybe we see things with the innoncence of a child - i.e. as we are meant to see them. But sometimes we see the bad things as well. Eventually our Brain filters most of them out. that is my theory anyway. Jesus said that we should be as children...

Maybe God was answering your prayers and now has made you the person you are today with a real drive and focus and zeal for him now as evidenced by some of your writings. But whatever happened I am glad the Holy Spirit brought you back.

God Bless

Silvertusk.

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Re: What makes a person atheist?

#12

Post by Reactionary » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:57 am

Silvertusk wrote:I have wild theory that when we are young our perception is more naked and not filtered by our Brains - so maybe we see things with the innoncence of a child - i.e. as we are meant to see them. But sometimes we see the bad things as well. Eventually our Brain filters most of them out. that is my theory anyway. Jesus said that we should be as children...
There is some truth in your theory. When I was younger, I remember that I looked at some things differently in a positive way, more innocently, but at the same time more clearly. Everything was in its place. I never doubted or questioned God, I just knew He was there. That belief is still wired in my heart, but I struggle to hear it - my mind is "contaminated" by the high pace of adult life which came so abruptly and allowed doubts and atheist thoughts enter, and I recently realized how trivial were the things I used to worry about not that long ago. I was a very happy person, yet I wasn't aware of that fact. I wish I could somehow revive that positive feeling I didn't appreciate, but I don't believe it's possible any more, unfortunately. :(
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." Matthew 7:6

"For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." Romans 1:20

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Re: What makes a person atheist?

#13

Post by Silvertusk » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:10 am

Maybe that is what heaven will be like where we will recapture that child like wonder for eternity.

Silvertusk.

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Re: What makes a person atheist?

#14

Post by Reactionary » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:34 am

Silvertusk wrote:Maybe that is what heaven will be like where we will recapture that child like wonder for eternity.
If that indeed happens, I won't complain. :D
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." Matthew 7:6

"For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." Romans 1:20

--Reactionary

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Re: What makes a person atheist?

#15

Post by MarcusOfLycia » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:11 pm

I know its slightly off-topic but it goes with everything you guys have been talking about... I was asked recently what I thought the 'greatest human emotion' was. There were lots of answers other people had, but I'm still stuck on awe/wonder. How could there possibly be a better emotion? I can't think of a better place to be... and I expect heaven to have plenty of awe. We'll be in the presence of God forever! In the presence of Him!
-- Josh

“When you see a man with a great deal of religion displayed in his shop window, you may depend upon it, he keeps a very small stock of it within” C.H. Spurgeon

1st Corinthians 1:17- "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel””not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power"

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