Why are you an atheist

Into statistics? Curious what everyone else thinks? Then start a poll here.

If you are an atheist, what is the biggest reason?

There is no credible evidence for any god
32
84%
The problem of pain and evil
0
No votes
Organized religions are all messed up
2
5%
I don't like the idea of there being a higher authority
1
3%
Other (specify)
3
8%
 
Total votes : 38

Why are you an atheist

Postby Percival » Sun Dec 06, 2009 8:56 am

If you are an atheist, what is the biggest reason?
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Re: Why are you an atheist

Postby NH Baritone » Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:43 pm

We are allowed to choose only one reason?

I can come up with several:

+ Lack of evidence
+ Success of scientific naturalism
+ The universe's indifference to life
+ The inefficacy of prayer
+ The indistinguishable natures of religious faith & superstition
+ The narcissistic qualities found in every religious faith I have ever seen
+ The failure of believers to behave in any more ethical manner than the general population
+ The pervasive, overwhelming tendency of believers to accept the faith of their parents

There are many more, but I'm writing this from my cell phone, and thumb-typing is tedious.
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Re: Why are you an atheist

Postby marcuspnw » Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:59 am

Percival wrote:If you are an atheist, what is the biggest reason?


The jokes. We have better comedians on this side of the pond and no
topic is "forbidden".
Another day, another step closer to the answer. How many more steps do I have I wonder?
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Re: Why are you an atheist

Postby spongebob » Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:11 pm

I agree with NHB; it's difficult to name the biggest or most important reason. All of the reasons mentioned so far on this thread are legitimate and work together to form a logical framework for non-belief.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

:spongeb:
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Re: Why are you an atheist

Postby crazylegsmurphy » Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:16 pm

There wasn't an option for, "all the fine ladies!" so I went with the first one....
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Re: Why are you an atheist

Postby BigIdeaSeeker » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:19 am

I'm an atheist (specifically toward Jahweh) after two decades of evangelicalisms because I allowed myself to read through the Bible while asking any and all questions for the first time in my life. It just made sense that a creator of the universe would not throw rocks at children.
If it is accepted that a god exists, it is more plausible than not that that god is not Jehovah, Jesse, Allah, or Ganesh.
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Re: Why are you an atheist

Postby Milkgap » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:31 pm

This seems like an appropriate place to make my first post.  It would probably be wise for me to read around the forums a bit more, but what the heck, I'll just dive in.

If there was an "all of the above" option, I might choose it, but none of these are really appealing to me on their own. 

Option 1 is the most all-encompassing, but I would say its "not convincing" as opposed to "not credible".  Also, for me what is more relavant to the question is that the evidence against an existing god is very convincing, including options 2 and 3.

Option 4, or at least the basic idea of it, is the one I would most like to choose but I can't do so in the way it is worded.    I didn't have much of an idea of whether this poll was written by a theist or an atheist until I got to this option.  I would personally word it more like "I find it repulsive to have morality dictated to me from an ill-defined authority."    But even in that form, this isn't so much why I am an atheist as much as it is why I care about it.
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Re: Why are you an atheist

Postby mitchellmckain » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:07 pm

I voted "organized religions are all messed up" as the best reason for me to be an atheist, even though I am not an atheist. I wanted to see the results of this poll.
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Re: Why are you an atheist

Postby humanguy » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:27 pm

Because over the years I've become quite convinced that gods and religions are no more than human inventions, made up stories. Of course there's no evidence of god; you may as well go looking for evidence of the Loch Ness monster.

Also, I'm suspicious of the whole faith/believing business. It's too damn easy to believe in things, and much more difficult not to. Why do the easy thing, when the difficult thing offers real rewards, not empty promises.

I suppose it all comes down to how choose to live our lives and how we choose not to. I choose to live a sceptical life over a believing life.
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Re: Why are you an atheist

Postby znk666 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:05 am

-Lack of evidence
-Logical fallacies in all holy books
-Refutable by logic in general
After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands.

-Friedrich Nietzsche
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Re: Why are you an atheist

Postby mitchellmckain » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:45 am

humanguy wrote:Also, I'm suspicious of the whole faith/believing business. It's too damn easy to believe in things, and much more difficult not to. Why do the easy thing, when the difficult thing offers real rewards, not empty promises.

Not believing things is more than difficult -- it is impossible. People deluding themselves is the easy thing and thinking that they don't believe anything is one of the biggest delusions of all.


humanguy wrote:I suppose it all comes down to how choose to live our lives and how we choose not to. I choose to live a sceptical life over a believing life.

Skepticism is only tool. Tools are non-living things, and so to choose skepticism as your life is to choose non-life. Objective observation is fine for scientific inquiry but life requires subjective participation. If you are not a scientist then there is no "objective observation" in your life, just a whole lot of pretending.
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Re: Why are you an atheist

Postby humanguy » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:55 pm

mitchellmckain wrote:
humanguy wrote:Also, I'm suspicious of the whole faith/believing business. It's too damn easy to believe in things, and much more difficult not to. Why do the easy thing, when the difficult thing offers real rewards, not empty promises.

Not believing things is more than difficult -- it is impossible. People deluding themselves is the easy thing and thinking that they don't believe anything is one of the biggest delusions of all.


humanguy wrote:I suppose it all comes down to how choose to live our lives and how we choose not to. I choose to live a sceptical life over a believing life.

Skepticism is only tool. Tools are non-living things, and so to choose skepticism as your life is to choose non-life. Objective observation is fine for scientific inquiry but life requires subjective participation. If you are not a scientist then there is no "objective observation" in your life, just a whole lot of pretending.


I hope that made you feel better. I was answering Percival's question, not speaking to you.

Also, you're wrong. Saying that scientists are the only ones who can have objective observation in their lives is just about as self-importantly stupid as it gets, and saying that it's impossible for someone to suspend belief only makes you look like an intellectual rube.

Just because you need to believe in something doesn't mean that everyone else does. Perhaps you need you get out more.

Come to think of it, there's another reason that I'm an atheist: people like Mitchell Mckain!
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Re: Why are you an atheist

Postby mitchellmckain » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:09 pm

humanguy wrote:I hope that made you feel better. I was answering Percival's question, not speaking to you.

True. Sorry if you were not prepared to defend your comments to non-atheists. It is true that this is not the atheist section but it was addressed to atheists, so perhaps I was out of line.

humanguy wrote:Also, you're wrong. Saying that scientists are the only ones who can have objective observation in their lives is just about as self-importantly stupid as it gets, and saying that it's impossible for someone to suspend belief only makes you look like an intellectual rube.

uh huh. Yeah right. :roll:

humanguy wrote:Just because you need to believe in something doesn't mean that everyone else does. Perhaps you need you get out more.

Wrong. I just don't buy such hypocritical exemptions and special pleading. Life requires choices and it does not wait for proof. Thus we decide what to believe. No exceptions. No exemptions. No homo-superior.

humanguy wrote:Come to think of it, there's another reason that I'm an atheist: people like Mitchell Mckain!

LOL, It might serve my ego to think that I am so influential, but of course I don't believe this for a second.
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Re: Why are you an atheist

Postby humanguy » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:18 pm

mitchellmckain wrote:
humanguy wrote:I hope that made you feel better. I was answering Percival's question, not speaking to you.

True. Sorry if you were not prepared to defend your comments to non-atheists. It is true that this is not the atheist section but it was addressed to atheists, so perhaps I was out of line.

humanguy wrote:Also, you're wrong. Saying that scientists are the only ones who can have objective observation in their lives is just about as self-importantly stupid as it gets, and saying that it's impossible for someone to suspend belief only makes you look like an intellectual rube.

uh huh. Yeah right. :roll:

humanguy wrote:Just because you need to believe in something doesn't mean that everyone else does. Perhaps you need you get out more.

Wrong. I just don't buy such hypocritical exemptions and special pleading. Life requires choices and it does not wait for proof. Thus we decide what to believe. No exceptions. No exemptions. No homo-superior.

humanguy wrote:Come to think of it, there's another reason that I'm an atheist: people like Mitchell Mckain!

LOL, It might serve my ego to think that I am so influential, but of course I don't believe this for a second.


Ha! Mitch, you're incredible, you know that?

I've got it!

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Re: Why are you an atheist

Postby gary_s » Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:15 am

mitchellmckain wrote:
humanguy wrote:Also, I'm suspicious of the whole faith/believing business. It's too damn easy to believe in things, and much more difficult not to. Why do the easy thing, when the difficult thing offers real rewards, not empty promises.

Not believing things is more than difficult -- it is impossible. People deluding themselves is the easy thing and thinking that they don't believe anything is one of the biggest delusions of all.


Mitch, I think you missed his point. I interpreted Humanguy's comments as Delusion being what he was addressing.

Skepticism is only tool. Tools are non-living things, and so to choose skepticism as your life is to choose non-life. Objective observation is fine for scientific inquiry but life requires subjective participation. If you are not a scientist then there is no "objective observation" in your life, just a whole lot of pretending.


Again, his point appears to have escaped you. Skepticism is a tool, sure, but the point is that some of us choose to live a life where skepticism is the primary filter we use to protect ourselves from the nonsense of the world. Yes, it is a choice and it is a way of life to engage in this way. Some people lead with belief. Some people lead with skepticism. And I agree with HM that objective observation is not just for scientists; you are exaggerating this point because there are plenty of ways for people to get objective information about what matters to them. You just have to work a little harder.
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