Saturday, January 22, 2011

Why are you an atheist now?

In a nutshell, truth became more important than faith. I asked myself "In what do I believe, and why?" The more I applied my own logic and research, the bigger the cracks in the wall of my beliefs became, until it completely fell down. As an athiest, I no longer believe in any god(s). It's as simple as that, though the process sure wasn't quick or simple. I'm still the same person, just free of superstitions!

Are you in the least bit sorry or having any second thoughts about having made your atheistic decisions public on Facebook?

No. Even though my arrival at atheism took over a decade of personal searching and consideration, my decision to "go public" on Facebook, though difficult and not lightly done, is not something I regret. I feel I've done so without purposefully offending or hurting anybody.

Wouldn't you rather believe and have the hope of eternity? If it's not real, then oh well, you lived a good life. If it is real, then you'd be so glad you were a part of it.

I've recently learned this argument is called Pascal's Wager. I reject it for many reasons, but the main 2 are these:
What if one picks the wrong god in which to believe? And since I believe that religion is harmful, devoting one's life to a god is more than a waste of one's precious life, it can hurt one's self and a lot of others.

What about all the evidence - there's more to prove God and Christ than not.

No, there's really not. But being an atheist means that I'd be willing to change my beliefs if you or anybody else can present good evidence or a good enough reason to believe.

What about what you're teaching your children just through your beliefs?

Note: Atheism is more a lack of belief in God/gods, not really a "belief". I've tried to raise my children to think for themselves, be kind and reasonable, function positively in society, and make good, intelligent choices. If they choose to believe, they make that choice for themselves, and not for me or anybody else.

Decisions are hard to make and always have ramifications. What will yours be?

My decisions, first to identify as atheist, and then to "come out" on facebook, were very hard to make and sure weren't arrived at lightly. There are years and years behind each step.
I imagine the ramifications will be both positive and negative: positive because I'm now living free of lies and false guidelines, but negative because I'm aware that my lack of belief will hurt or upset some of the people I care about.

What if you are wrong?

Think of it this way… what if Christians are wrong about Islam? Or wrong about Jehovah's Witnesses? Or Mormonism? Or Catholicism? Think for a moment how you feel about those other religions, and how sure you are that they are misled. How sure you are that they are wrong. When you realize how you feel about any religion that contradicts your own, you can then understand how I feel about Christianity.

How can you prove there isn't a God?

I can't, but I can reasonably conclude there isn't. However, I don't have to prove a negative. For instance, I don't have to prove unicorns don't exist to you, do I? As reasonable people, we can conclude that since there's no good evidence for their existence, they probably don't. If somebody insists they do exist, I'd expect them to know they need to show me good enough evidence before I'll believe it. Likewise, if anybody comes up with good enough evidence for me to believe in supernatural beings or the Christian God of the Bible, I'll believe.

How do you distinguish between right and wrong or is there a difference?

It's an odd and interesting question to me, because it seems that many religious people somehow believe that once one turns away from religion, one no longer has morals.
To which I can't help but reply, "Wait... what?!"
Though I no longer believe in the concepts of good, evil, and sin, I still know the difference between right and wrong. Choosing to do wrong will result in hurtful or bad consequences to others/myself, etc. That's why I choose to do right. And even though I now believe that my choices only affect this life, that's more than enough reason to keep doing right, it's as simple as that.

Have you also accepted the theory of evolution to be true?


Did you explore any other religions or just atheism?

No. After realizing that Christianity is false, it wasn't a leap to realize that all religions are. Nor did I explore atheism; it was more a matter of admitting to myself that I was one, because the word itself had a negative connotation for me. I'm sure it was becaused I was conditioned to think so.

Have you been balanced in your search?

Definitely, especially having grown up a believer. For me, atheism means simply "I do not have a reason to believe in supernatural beings/things." This doesn't mean I'll never change my beliefs. But as of now, I personally have no reason to believe. The truth is more important to me than faith.

But without God, how does life make any sense?

Realizing that this is all there is makes it ever so much more precious and amazing to me. I'm so lucky to have been born in this age and into such comparative wealth, I want to live, love and learn all I can.

What about Lee Strobel's books The Case for Christ, The Case of a Creator, The Case for Christianity, etc. (at his website Have you heard of him?

Yes, I've heard of him and have seen his "documentary" The Case for Christ. It was unimpressive. I have to question his claim of being a journalist, because his sources were all so biased. As far as I could tell, he didn't interview a single opposing source; all of his "experts" were Christian scholars. I can't help but conclude that this fellow is just out to sell books to Christians... sorry if that sounds overly critical, but I was just expecting more from the title.
Also, there's an excellent rebuttal / review to his book The Case for Christ here.

It sounds like you’ve already made up your mind. Have you?

Yes. But that doesn't mean that I wouldn't change my mind. Since I'm interested in the truth, I'd certainly consider any good evidence that gods/God/etc. exist. I have not come across any.

How does your family feel about it?

So far I'm not sure about what every family member thinks. Since I'm not interested in pushing my viewpoint on anybody, I'll probably wait until they seek me out to ask about it, and I'll engage in discussions with anybody who's interested.

When and why did your views change?

It started sometime before 2000 - and my views slowly changed over the course of a decade. My search for the truth wasn't prompted by anything other than my own questions.

Do you ever remember sincerely believing in the Lord or have you always "known" you were not a Christian and just going through the motions?

Yes, I had sincere belief.

Do you consider that what Christians call salvation not real and therefore the day you gave your life to Christ was not real?


How long have you been an atheist?

I'm not sure. At least a year or two - which would be since approximately 2008 or 09.

What troubled you the most about The Christian faith and led you to turn from it?

It was the simple matter of asking myself "why do I believe all of this?" By "this", I mean the Christian Bible and its teachings of God and Jesus, and the concepts of heaven/hell and good/evil.
There are too many scientific, historical and geographical errors in the Bible. The God in it is petty, childish and cruel. There isn't even any good evidence of an actual, historical Jesus.
When I realized I simply had no good reasons for believing, I stopped.

Do you teach this to your children or allow them to serve God if they want?

I'm very honest with my children about my personal turnaround. They also know I'm always open to any discussions (on any subject) without fear of being judged or lectured. If they choose to serve God (I'm assuming you mean in the Christian sense) I'd certainly ask them questions about it, want to discuss it, and share my own experiences with them. Try to imagine how a Christian would feel if their child converted to scientology or <insert cult>. This is pretty much how I would feel. However, I've raised them to be intelligent and rational, and ultimately I'd never disallow them from making any decisions about their beliefs.

Since you've done this, have you had a sense of peace and freedom like one would have the day one gets saved?

I cannot personally compare the two, since I no longer believe I was ever "saved". So any emotions I might have felt were based on what I imagined I was supposed to feel. Now, I definitely have peace and freedom.

When one becomes an atheist, does one officially denounce Christ/God as one's Savior?

I have no need to "officially denounce" anything. The exception would be to make a personal statement to friends and family who might still identify me as a Christian.

When you become an athiest, do you - like when you became a Christian, have a "day of un-salvation"? Or is it just a mind thing?

I can't speak for anybody except myself. But for me, no. It was a very gradual process, and if i have to choose between "un-salvation" or a "mind thing", it would have to be the latter. Since I no longer believe in salvation in the Christian sense, I have no personal need to"undo" anything.