Why I Am An Atheist

The prompt from Patheos: Explain why you’re an atheist in under 200 words.

Challenge accepted!

I’m an atheist because I appreciate honesty and questioning, something religions discourage.

I’m an atheist because I like to follow the evidence where it leads, which is away from any notion of God.

I’m an atheist because, if you imagined a world without a God, it would look remarkably similar to the world in which we live.

I’m an atheist because I’m an equal-opportunity denier when it comes to gods. I treat the Christian God no different from the Hindu Gods, the Muslim God, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

I’m an atheist because I’ve seen what religious people are capable of doing with their faith, and it frightens me.

I’m an atheist because there’s nothing a person of faith can do that a person without faith cannot.

I’m an atheist because I don’t need false hope to get me through the day.

I’m an atheist because it’s the only rational position to take.

Would anyone else care to respond?

You can read other responses from atheists here and here.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • C Peterson

    I am an atheist because, like every human being, I was born that way. I remained an atheist because I had the good fortune to avoid childhood indoctrination into religious beliefs. As a physicist, I have a deep understanding of the natural world, and see that it simply makes more sense without invoking supernatural explanations. As a reader of history, I see that theism has only caused pain and misery. As a humanist, I recognize the inherent strength of a deity-free moral system.

    It is impossible for me to imagine myself as anything other than an atheist.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hugh-Kramer/1217598709 Hugh Kramer

      I don’t think it’s fair to say theism has caused only pain and misery. What I would say is fair is that history demonstrates that, as a guideline for a just and moral society (or even as a guideline for just and moral individuals), religion is not merely grossly inefficient, but frequently counterproductive. We can do worse without it but it’s time to admit we can also do better.

      • C Peterson

        Well, perhaps it would be more clear to say that theism (and it’s truly evil cousin, religion) has created huge amounts of pain and suffering, and has provided absolutely nothing of positive value that couldn’t have been provided at least as well by non-theistic mechanisms.

        Theism and religion are overwhelmingly of net negative value to society, and have been for thousands of years. Certainly, they offer nothing that would remotely make me consider adopting them (assuming that it was even possible for me to somehow consciously change my fundamental belief systems), and that’s really the point.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    I’m an atheist because the only way I can make sense of any god is with the view that they are man made. Then they make sense. When I try to view them as real, over and over again I have to suspend my thinking mind (i.e. ‘have faith’). We have the ability to reason. It seems foolish to suspend this faculty in order to believe something for no other purpose than that we want to believe it.

    p.s. are they going to ask the other blogs “why I’m a theist”?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000626052643 Gaby Abed

    Stealing this. :)

  • Jas.

    Because I’m 34 years old, for Christ’s sake.

    • Brian Sullivan

      For Christ’s sake indeed.

  • Kelley

    I’m an atheist because every religion I have observed thinks that theirs is the one-and-only true portal to salvation which means that none of them are!

    • Tterry

      And you know that there are more than one because??

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        More than one what? Religion? Portal to heaven? He didn’t say there was more than one way to heaven. Various religions, including yours claim to have the only way to heaven. You can’t all be right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hugh-Kramer/1217598709 Hugh Kramer

    Who needs 200 words? I am an atheist because it’s the reasonable thing to be. Now if you’d asked me why I’m a methodological naturalist and a secular humanist, that might have taken longer.

  • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

    I consider the formation of belief to be an involuntary process. We may choose to expose ourselves to information, but we can’t choose to be convinced of its truth or falsity. So, from my perspective, most of these explanations are invalid.

    I’m an atheist because I recognized my hypocrisy as a Christian. When I actually took Christianity seriously, I found its claims to be unsupported by evidence. I became unconvinced.

    • Tterry

      I am a Christian so please show me this evidence.

      • Tterry

        or lack there of

        • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

          “To answer, I need you to be more specific. I don’t know what you’re asking.” — m6wg4bxw

      • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

        To answer, I need you to be more specific. I don’t know what you’re asking.

      • PietPuk

        Please give us your evidence that your god exists.

    • 3lemenope

      The formation of a belief may be an involuntary process (and I mostly agree with you about that), but surely the sustaining of a belief over time becomes partially voluntary, especially as a person starts to reflect upon it.

      • Tterry

        “but surely the sustaining of a belief over time becomes partially voluntary, especially as a person starts to reflect upon it.”

        You are assuming people come to the same conclusions and have the same opinions as you on every subject a person might come to an even greater strength in their religion after reflecting upon it such as a Buddhist meditating.

        • 3lemenope

          I’m not assuming that at all. I’m only saying that once a person starts thinking about their own beliefs, those beliefs gain the character of having been partially chosen.

      • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

        I suppose it depends on what you mean by sustaining. I’m not sure, but I’ll give it some thought.

  • qtip

    because there is no credible evidence for god

    • Gus Snarp

      Yup. That about covers it, although everything Hemant said expands nicely on it, at the core there simply is no evidence for god(s).

  • Jim Christensen

    My response? A lot of assertions that aren’t argued or backed up.
    Fail.

  • indorri

    I became an atheist when I realised many of my reasons for believing in gods were not good reasons. It took me a while because I was emotionally attached to belief.

    I remain an atheist as I continue to learn about sound reasoning and explanations that I previously attributed to supernatural reasons.

  • Vend Tana

    I’m an atheist because when I was five years old a girl at school asked me if I believed in God. I’d never heard of him so I said “No.” She ran off to tell everyone else at recess, and then no one wanted to play with me.
    That is when I decided I wanted nothing to do with this “God” sonofabitch.

  • Rain

    Because religion is stupid. I wish I had noble highfalutin “smarty-pants” reasons like everyone else does. But nope, religion is plain stupid.

    • Tterry

      The fact that you dont indulge the idea is ignorant and foolish. After anything is possible

      • sunburned

        Anything is possible just not very probable. The fact that people indulge significant amounts of effort in the improbable is what keeps lottery commissions and religious institutions in business.

        • nanobot

          I agree whole heartedly .

      • Rain

        After anything is possible

        A bold assertion for sure. Very impressive! One of the best assertions I’ve ever seen.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    I’m an atheist because I started asking questions and the more I learned the less religion or the belief in a God made any sense.

  • corps_suk

    I only need 1 word:

    Reality, I am an atheist because of reality.

    • Tterry

      God can exist in reality dumb .

      • Glasofruix

        Got proof?

        • Tterry

          No but you claim he cannot without proof.

      • corps_suk

        God doesn’t exist in reality, just in imaginations.

        • Tterry

          Got proof?

          • corps_suk

            Yup
            Question is, do you?

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Because reality matters.

    Because logical, concise, evidence-based thought can only make the world a better place.

    Because I care about making the world a better place by ridding it of superstitions that harm people.

    Because ghosts and gods and spirits are silly and not real, and thinking they are warps people’s brains into accepting claims without demanding adequate evidence to back them up.

    Because when people accept claims without demanding adequate evidence, it becomes immensely harder to make the world a better place since people won’t listen to the evidence about what works and what doesn’t, instead substituting what they want to be true for what is actually happening.

    Because religion gives people the excuse to do awful things “in the name of God”.

    Because most of the people I’ve met who want to diminish liberty are highly religious. The ones who see women, non-straight, non-cis, non-white people as “less-than” are almost all religious, and they cloak their bigotry in God.

  • Chris B

    I am an atheist because:

    If any god gave us both free will and the capacity for reason, that god would have to expect us to use those abilities to evaluate its existence. When we do, we find no credible evidence for that god’s existence. No reasonable god, and certainly not a benevolent one, would give us those abilities and then torture us eternally for using them.

    The world becomes a much simpler place to understand by throwing religion out. Occam’s Razor tells us that is the more likely correct path, and that is the one I choose.

    Also being omnipotent and omniscient leads to a paradox. An omnipotent god can create a being which it cannot understand. An omniscient god cannot. So nothing can be both omnipotent and omniscient.

    And my favorite, Epicurus’ Trilemma:

    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
    Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing?
    Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing?
    Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing?
    Then why call him God?

    • Robyman4

      An excellent summation! It is indeed absolutely ludicrous for any “creator of the universe” to bring us into existence with minds capable of endless varying thought patterns, and eternally punish those whose decisions aren’t compatible with the mind of this unfathomable being.

  • Tak

    Because I am well educated. Because I have an understanding of logical reasoning. Because there is no evidence to support the belief in any deity. Because religion is harmful in so many subtle and not so subtle ways.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.kievlan John Kievlan

    I am an atheist because, if there is a God, he/she/it clearly neither wants nor needs belief nor assistance. I have a job to do here on this planet. If God has a job as well, I’m sure this infinite being is up to the task. Perhaps we’ll meet one day…and then, I’ll believe.

  • http://twitter.com/TominousTone Thomas J. Lawson

    Because it’s 2013.

  • Georgina

    I am an atheist because my indoctrination didn’t take.

  • Good and Godless

    I can admit to myself and others when I am “wrong” instead of living the lie.

  • Jon Peterson

    I am an atheist because (like C Peterson, no relation) I had the good fortune to avoid childhood indoctrination. When I first encountered religion in middle school, it only managed to prompt questions that nobody has been able to answer with theism. I’ve always considered myself a logical person, and when a person’s position is built upon fallacies, inconsistencies, provable falsehoods, and in some cases bigotry, it does not present a compelling argument to me.

    While I am in no way an anti-theist, I cannot believe without concrete evidence that would pass peer review, and theism consistently fails that simple test. Unless that changes, I will proudly remain an atheist.

  • Slacker Jesus

    I am an atheist because it had the shortest line at career day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nobidon Don Wood

    As we learn how the universe actually works we no longer have any need to make up stories that oversimplify and don’t match the observable facts. Unfortunately some out dated ideas have their hooks in too deeply to wipe them away quickly, but their lack of practical purpose will eventually leave them behind as scientific progress continues to accelerate!

  • Tim

    I can sum it up quite easily: even as a child I had serious doubts in the stories in the bible. They just didn’t match up with what I would read was scientific fact. While I was technically raised catholic, my mom did me the favor of not indoctrinating me. I’m pretty sure SHE is an atheist too, but remains to this day terrified to admit it. It was only within the past few years however that I started using the word “Atheist” to describe myself. I thank the magic of the internet, and finding out tons of other people felt how I do for finally verifying that I am not alone/crazy.

  • gg

    I’m an atheist, because unbeknownst to me, my mother was an atheist and refused to indoctrinate us, leaving it to our father. I’m an atheist because even as a small child, ‘god’ made no sense. And finally, I am an atheist, because at the age of 11, unlike most ‘christians’, I actually read the entire bible…cover to cover..and THAT sealed the deal.

  • Barefoot Bree

    I am an atheist because the programming never “took” with me. As a child, it never made any sense that this all-powerful being would absolutely demand that we little ants fall down and worship it. The stories in Sunday School were simply fables to me, at the same level as Aesop and Greek myths. (I had the good fortune to grow up in a liberal Protestant sect; I think I was an adult before I realized that there were others out there – adults, too – who really did take those stories literally.)

    And I’m an atheist because I never once “felt the presence of God”. If a believer asks me today, I tell them “If God does exist, he’s never bothered to make my acquaintance.” Nor are there any other credible signs of God’s existence in the world today. When the best believers can do is point to a bit of pareidolia – Jesus in a tortilla! – all I can do is facepalm. If a god worthy of the name God really did exist, the evidence would be so overwhelmingly obvious that every single person would have no doubt. The existence of all the gazillion different religions, let alone the countless numbers through history who have not believed in any of them, points to the opposite conclusion.

  • CanadianNihilist

    Because I have a brain larger than a walnut.

  • Claude

    Because I’m apparently incapable of belief in gods.

  • Austin

    I am an atheist because, not only did evolution give me a brain capable of reason and scientific inquiry, evolution also gave me the ability to use it.

  • Tterry

    I am a believer in the christian God, and I am just curious at how you people think No God is MORE rational than their being a God. Many of you have said that you are atheist because you can think. At the very least an educated person would call themselves agnostic. You all seem to have closed your mind to the subject of it being a possibility. I am just curious if i am misreading you all.

    • Carmelita Spats

      “Us people”? Lordy, why the Christian God and not the Raelian intelligent designers?

      http://www.rael.org/home

      I dismiss your god in the same way you dismiss all other deities. Your pastor didn’t tell you that it is possible to be an agnostic atheist…Look it up. I am also closed to the possibility of leprechauns, fairies, vampires, unicorns and warlocks. The Abrahamic Sky Fairy goes in the pile with all other imaginary friends. Burden of proof: the ball is in YOUR court because YOU are making a tremendous claim. Bring evidence of an incarnational-trinitarian-atoning-resurrecting -ascending- soon- to-be-returning-god.

    • coyotenose

      Absolutely everyone is agnostic, because no one can know with absolute certainty; it isn’t a useful term. The vast majority of atheists are open to evidence. There simply isn’t any. You might as well claim the existence of invisible, intangible unicorns, because the argument works exactly as well for them as it does for Yahweh.

      Apologetics are not evidence. They are barely even arguments, because they are just petty word games. Lewis is extremely well refuted.

      Claiming that people who don’t automatically accept ideas that lack even a shred of evidence is at best disingenuous. Or do you sit around forever “agnostic” as regards the idea that Zeus, leprechauns, and those Scientology aliens are real?

      • Tterry

        Everyone might be agnostic at first sir, but the difference between an agnostic and a christian is that a christian believes in a an absolute truth based of faith. My faith is based on logic. The bible is historically accurate you can make outrageous claims that it is not, but as i mentioned later it has the most manuscripts of any other historical writing. This is how the accuracy of historical writing is determined…archaeology is the bibles best friend :P and i am sure you all have great come backs to that so lets hear em

        • b s

          “The bible is historically accurate”

          Please tell us what parts of the first 5 books of the bible are historically accurate.

          “…it has the most manuscripts of any other historical writing. This is how the accuracy of historical writing is determined”

          So does having a million copies of Harry Potter make it more accurate than only having a thousand?

        • Glasofruix

          This is how the accuracy of historical writing is determined

          Nope, historical writings are accurate when they cross check with other writings and when the existence of their authors is clearly proven. Not the case of the wholly babble.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      You’re not using the same definition of ‘atheist’ and ‘agnostic’ that most of us are. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism#Implicit_vs._explicit

      That said, there are a lots of very smart theists out there who have brains and can think. I would argue that they’re still being irrational about religion, but it’s obvious that people can be generally smart and rational and still believe in God. And people can be atheists and believe in some other unfounded craziness like vaccines cause autism, or the climate isn’t really warming, or humans are the result of alien genetic engineering.

      So I think the “because I have a brain” is a bit rhetorical, and over a cup of coffee most of us probably would tone it down a bit. We tend to let loose in our own barber shop.

      Edit to add:

      You all seem to have closed your mind to the subject of it being a possibility

      No, but it is an extraordinary claim that would require extraordinary evidence. Like God talking to everyone on the planet at once. If it’s just me, I’d think I’m just losing it. But if everyone got the same message, then I’d be inclined to think God is really talking to us.

  • Tterry

    Just wanted to leave you all something else from C.S. Lewis

    “Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative
    mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of
    thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for
    physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way,
    this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if
    so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a
    milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map
    of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust
    the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an
    Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in
    thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.”

    • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

      I love presuppositional apologetics. It practically refutes itself.

    • 3lemenope

      Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of
      thinking.

      The notion that functioning intelligence is something that could be selected for and preserved as advantageous for an organism’s fitness through the evolutionary process just didn’t occur to him, I guess.

      • Tterry

        Read above

        • Glasofruix

          FSM, you are a thick one…

    • http://www.facebook.com/travis.myers.102977 Travis Myers

      In order for this argument to work, you would have to somehow show that a universe with a God would be more likely to give rise to brains that think logically than a universe without God. But if you say that our brains think logically because they were created by a God who thinks logically, then you just bring up another question: why does God think logically? If the answer is “just because”, then you might as well have skipped a step and just said that we think logically “just because.” But evolutionists have a better answer than that: it’s because our brains were selected to be useful in the environment that they were placed in.

      • Tterry

        All animals have brains, and dolphins have brains roughly the size of ours, however they do not think logically as we do. It is not our brain that give us the ability to produce logic, but our human consciousness that produces the ability to think. While you may be able to tell me how thought occurs you still cannot explain its existence as opposed to us merely acting off instinct and learned behaviors as we should. The Bible tells us God set us above all other living things on the planet. Humans are the only logical thinkers on the planet, therefore the bibles claim holds true. And therefore logical thinking can exist through my God

        • Myrmidon

          “As we should”? I’m curious where you got this idea.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Many animals can use logic. In fact some apes outperform humans on some cognitive tasks. I’ll give you we’re better at it, but dolphins are better at holding their breath.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson
            • Myrmidon

              Haha! So cute and cool. Thanks for the link.

          • Tterry

            And what happens after that? The ape gets a treat. It is a learned behavior. Not logical thinking. An elephant has a better memory than a human. Still an ape cannot be taught what gravity is or friction and understand it as a human. No matter how you sling it. No animal has the ability to think as a human.

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              It is behavior that humans cannot learn, but apes can learn very easily. That’s the point. No, chimps don’t have the general cognitive ability of humans, but if you don’t think they can use logic, then you don’t know what logic is. Crows can also solve quite complex problems and fashion tools. Not by being shown, but by figuring it out on their own. We humans like to think we’re the center- the purpose, God’s special creation. But just like we now know that the earth isn’t the center of the Universe, we know that we are just one of millions of species, most of which are already extinct.

              Here’s another data point- if we’re specially created, then how come we are more closely related to chimps than chimps are to gorillas? We can use molecular genetics to determine the approximate age of the most recent common ancestor of any two species. Try it out: http://timetree.org/ It’s pretty cool. And no, it doesn’t mean God doesn’t exist. But it does mean you’re either going to have to drop your literal interpretation of Genesis, or you’re going to be denying science as plain as Jupiter’s moons that proved that the earth is not the center of the universe.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              To be fair, humans don’t understand gravity yet either.

              And we really have no idea about the cognition of dolphins. We’re just learning to communicate with them because they can learn human-talk, but it’s very high and squeaky and fast so we need machines to translate for us. We’ve taught several dolphins human language thus far. The only downside is the trainers can’t pretend they don’t understand when the dolphins ask for fish now :) . Dolphins also understand the consequences of their actions. We were trying to train dolphins to stick bombs onto boats with their noses, for the purpose of drug boat interdiction and possibly warfare. The dolphins performed the task well. Then one time a practice boat with wooden dummies was set up. The dolphins were hugely distressed by the wooden “humans” in the water and refused after to stick any more bombs on boats after that, no matter the fishy bribes offered.

              I wouldn’t expect any other animal to think as a human. I do think it’s possible dolphins, at least, have achieved sentience. They’d just think very differently from humans, being aquatic instead of terrestrial.

        • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

          Different animals have different skills that give them evolutionary advantages that increase their chance of survival. For humans it has been intelligence and our ability to alter our environment. What makes you think this must have come from God, and not just evolution? And how can you claim the whole bible is true based on one example? Does the fact that reindeer really exist prove the entire Sant Claus myth is true? Your arguments are illogical.

          • Tterry

            Sir or madam, the claims i made where only regarding the statement to which i was referring not the only ones i base my faith on. I am merely showing you all that my religion fits in with your scientific views…and that it is a logical possibility

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              The Matrix is also a logical possibility. I have an acquiescence who is convinced that aliens came to earth 10s of 1000s of years ago and altered the genome of some apes to make humans. He’s got all kinds of evidence to back it up.

            • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

              Um… Excuse me, but if your religion includes the belief in a God then it doesn’t fit with my scientific views and it is not a logical possibility!

    • coyotenose

      You may want to use that Google button to check out the numerous times that this and every other word of apologetics that Lewis wrote have been debunked.

    • RobMcCune

      In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of
      thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for
      physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way,
      this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought.

      False dichotomy. The brain is the product of natural selection, meaning that it’s functions helps people survive. The process refines what works and removes what doesn’t. The idea that without purpose from a magical man in the sky the brain is ludicrous.

      But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London.

      Given people actually buy this line of reason is proof enough that humans are fallible. People are quite often wrong about… well just about everything and anything.Even educated and logical people don’t achieve anything close to perfection. Humans have struggled with logical and mathematical problems for centuries. So much for putting stock in the simple musing of a dismissive Englishman.

  • 3lemenope

    A theist on another site a while back asked folks for five reasons why they were atheists. I replied:

    While I have never been a theist, I certainly came to cement my atheism as I grew up around some reasons, including but not limited to:

    1. The immensity of the universe and comparative insignificance of Earth, and the concomitant unlikelihood of any hypothetical creator deity giving a damn what we eat, with whom we copulate, or how we treat one another

    2. The remarkable efficacy of science in explaining observable phenomena, especially efficacious when compared to its competitors in the narratives of all past and present religions

    3. The banality of the so-called supernatural, bearing as it does all the hallmarks of having sprung from human consciousness, rather than any superior intelligence

    4. The remarkable similarities across many variables of religious and non-religious people, suggesting that religion is not a necessary or sufficient condition for morality, success, fulfillment, or any other facet of human life

    5. I like my days of rest to be actually restful

  • Tterry

    3lemenope,
    Remember that I believe in the Christian God so point 1 would be that he does care what I and with whom I copulate and how I treat people just like most parents do with their own children because he tells me he does

    Point 2: Just because it can be explained scientifically does not mean it was not made to work that way by God(although I’ll say it doesnt mean they are God as well). Understanding how complex the world and even our own bodies work will show that things have to work in a specific order, and if that order is strayed from it would be catastrophic. For example, tiny mishaps in cell division lead to cancer. The fact we dont all have cancer is a miracle on it own

    Point 3: A good point but where does human consciousness span from for if it is just the chemicals in our brain firing between synapses then you sir are no different than a cock roach or an ant.

    Point 4:A very good point and only one I can argue from my religious point of view by saying that Lucifer is on Earth and that idols are his way of deferring people away from God.

    Point 5:lol

    • Carmelita Spats

      “The fact that we don’t all have cancer is a miracle on its own”…Oh. My. Science. I have a student with cancer. She is seven years old. Your gawd’s intelligent design sucks a$$.

      • Tterry

        I am sorry for your student I’ll pray for her.

        • Myrmidon

          Just so you know, when you say things like this it tends to sound rather like, “I’ll make myself feel helpful while in fact doing nothing”.

          • Tterry

            It might sound like that to you, but at least take the time to understand that I truly believe it makes the difference, while you may not and you could be human and respect that

            • Myrmidon

              No, i do understand that very well. But reality dictates that you are, in fact, doing nothing. Thank you for your sincerity, but maybe you could make me a sandwich instead? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feXnZZ2o5ys

          • Tterry

            And can you prove that in fact my God will not comfort that girl in some way simply because he loves me and i sincerely want him to help her?

            • Tterry

              or even because he loves her.

              • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

                If he loves her (and exists), she wouldn’t have cancer!

                • Tterry

                  Not true. Not according to the bible. There are reasons for sickness and death even if we can’t see them. What makes people think, the terrible creature we are, we deserve any better. According to God if he is real he should kill me and everyone else were we stand right now for missing the ride to heaven the first time around

                • Myrmidon

                  “I love you. Here, have AIDS. Trust me, it’s a good thing.”

                  Your god is fucked up.

                • Tterry

                  You have no basis for your arguments kid. You are just stating bad things in the world which proves nothing other than evil or bad things exist in the world. And they do not discredit the bible which means they do not discredit god

                • 3lemenope

                  Calling people whose age you do not know “kid” is insulting. Heck, even if you did know their age, dismissing them as “kid” is still insulting.

                  FWIW, there is a difference between merely “bad things” and needlessly bad things. There are large sets of ills that can be explained away one way or another as possibly having another purpose, but there is a stubborn set of ills that do not seem to serve a unique or explicable purpose. Their existence is a powerful challenge to the idea that there can be, with the world we see, an all-powerful and knowledgeable God that is good in any meaningful way.

                • Myrmidon

                  Your patronizing language doesn’t do anything to address the fact that the god of the bible is a prick.

                  Maybe you didn’t see Chris B’s earlier post about the Epicurean paradox. I’ll copy and paste it for you:

                  Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
                  Then he is not omnipotent.
                  Is he able, but not willing?
                  Then he is malevolent.
                  Is he both able and willing?
                  Then whence cometh evil?
                  Is he neither able nor willing?
                  Then why call him God?

                • Tterry

                  First off if we are going to assume objective evil exists, one has to assume God exists, otherwise
                  the unbeliever has no objective standard or measure to determine what
                  is evil and what isn’t. And if evil as we define is not objective, but
                  only subjective, then it isn’t really evil necessarily because defining
                  what is evil, and consequently, what is good, becomes reduces to
                  opinions, majority vote, and pragmatism. Assuming there is evil always
                  means having to assume there is good. Now that we have that cleared up my God is the God of the bible, so for all of you who dont know christians believe that when Jesus was here on earth and died that was supposed to be the end of suffering, but because the jews didnt accept their savior we were left on earth and satan was allowed to roam free. God allows satan to work so he is willing and able to stop evil, however he is not malevolent for this because a good God would wait as long as possible to spare as many from despair as possible nor would he put heaven at risk of sin by allowing us to enter before we are made pure. So my religions logic still holds for me. I believe the supernatural because i believe the bible I believe the bible because of logical evidence such as the Tel Dan Stela and the pool of siloam

                • Myrmidon

                  re: evil. Yes, in the hypothetical it is assumed that IF god AND IF evil THEN paradox.

                  I don’t really care how you justify your faith. It’s still unsupported by evidence. Feel free to elucidate on your ‘logical evidence’.

                • Tterry

                  You brought up the Epicurean Paradox as an argument, which is also know as the argument of evil so…if you didnt want to hear an opinion that is logical but different then yours on the subject im sorry

                • PietPuk

                  Believing in one or more gods is not logical.

            • Myrmidon

              The burden of proof does not lie on me to prove that your claims are NOT true — it is on YOU to prove that they are. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              We can show that prayer works about as well as placebo. Which is why prayers for tangible things like amputees’ limbs to grow back never result in anything verifiable.

            • PietPuk

              You fucking asshole. Your god can help her by not giving het cancer.
              You really are a thick, delusional piece of shit.

    • RobMcCune

      For example, tiny mishaps in cell division lead to cancer.

      Good point since people use all the DNA god gave them and there is no useless junk whatsoever the whole thing must go off without a hitch. Once an error occurs there are absolutely no means of correcting it, and the error must without exception lead to uncontrolled division. Good thing god is around to make sure none of that happens, otherwise cancer might actually be a disease…

      Oh wait… on multiple accounts.

      • Tterry

        Disease does nothing to contradict my God but thank you for your input

        • 3lemenope

          You misunderstood his argument. His point is that, contrary to your description of us being generally cancer-free as miraculous, it actually isn’t much of a miracle at all. All multi-cellular life has figured out the trick of regulating replication to avoid malignancy, it’s one of the tricks that makes all multi-cellular life possible. The mechanisms involved aren’t incomprehensible; mostly, they just instruct cells that are malfunctioning to commit suicide so they can’t divide improperly. The genes that code for humans, like those in pretty much all other known lifeforms, are crudded up with leftover junk, and so there isn’t much elegant about how in reality the process of life muddles through at the cellular level, nor sign of a designer with any sort of a plan.

        • RobMcCune

          You made the bizarre argument that god is the reason there is only some cancer in the world. I pointed out that there are natural things that deal with errors in cell division and pointed out that it’s an absurd argument to say that god’s order does something until it doesn’t. Context is key.

          • Tterry

            And you seem to be assuming that just because we can observe these things they are not of God. My point was that our bodies work in cycles that cannot stray from their path or bad things happen, difference between us sir is i dont believe these things are random. Which to me is far more logical than believing that they are just the natural order of things.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              Are you saying that God gives people cancer sometimes, because things don’t happen without a reason? If so, your God is a super giant jerkface.

  • Tterry

    I want to take a second to post thank you for being polite throughout our discussions and not hostile

  • http://www.facebook.com/garret.brown.7 Garret Shane Brown

    I am an atheist because I do not see any proof of a god. In the end, morals, what we were born as and the destructive nature of some theists doesn’t matter. What it all comes down to is what the evidence for a god is, and as it turns out, human ignorance is apparently the only “evidence” god has.
    I am an open atheist and an anti-theist because of the harm from religion. The harm from religion alone though does not make a good argument against theism. The harm from religion only makes a good argument for someone to be less religious when that person’s religion makes them do an immoral act.

    • Tterry

      Could you please elaborate more on how religion is harmful preferably the christian religion

      • http://www.facebook.com/garret.brown.7 Garret Shane Brown

        I didn’t realize this was a debate, I thought it was a “take a short minute to explain why you’re an atheist in less than 200 words”.
        However, if you would like to know how the christian religion is harmful, 1) read the bible, and 2) read the blog posts on this site. Your question was very general so I don’t really know where to begin, but homophobic, against women’s rights and anti science are pretty good places to start.

        • Tterry

          First off the religion is not anti science. I practice it devoutly, but hey here is a shocker for all you folks you are my church. Do you know what christians really think a church is? People who come together and discuss god. I am on here because I really want to understand where atheist come from to learn their point of view. I have read the bible I am not sure how that shows religion is harmful 2 i am in the process of that. 3) My religion is not anti science so i dont know what youve been told but it was incorrect. Homophobic womens rights all that…I dont believe Homosexuals are going to hell. Some people claim that is the christian view but it is not. God merely states it is an abomination, but so is lying and murder and everything else it is merely sin. Even if Homosexuals are born instead of it being choice it is still because sin is merely in our nature. But if you think of that as our religion then we as christians have totally failed

          • Myrmidon

            A few thoughts.

            - I’m curious as to how you ‘practice’ science ‘devoutly’.
            - If you have read the bible as you say, and yet you do not see the harm done (e.g. the wholesale slaughter of men, women and children [well, except for the virgins, the Israelites could have them for sex]), then you must have skipped a vast amount of text.
            - You are saying that a person’s sexual orientation is ‘merely’ sin, i.e. ‘merely’ something that sets them apart from your god. Would you have them live their lives in chastity, denying them the sexual pleasure that humans and other animals enjoy? Would you ‘treat’ them to ‘fix’ them? I’m curious, when exactly did you decide that you were attracted to the opposite sex?

            Your very words betray the harm religion does to humanity. You have, in fact, failed: failed to explain the universe in accordance with reality.

            • Tterry

              Humans are actually the only things on earth that experience sexual pleasure, everything else does it for procreation only. Did I say because they were gay they were set apart from my god no i did not. I said they were sinning. Did i say they were goin to hell for that no. Just because my religion says something is wrong doesnt make it harmful. It merely means that God is telling you that its not a good idea. Its your choice whether to trust him or not

              • 3lemenope
              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                Not only do other animals use logic, but they also enjoy sex. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82GUjPConiE

              • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

                you can stuff it, honey. i’m not doing anything “wrong” by being who i am. you can take your god and shove it, ok? because it’s not real, and a book of made up fairy tales from thousands of years ago has no bearing on me or the way i live my life.

                i suppose you never eat shrimp, or wear cloth of mixed fiber, and if you’re a woman you sit silently in church? do you stone adulterers? i bet there is a lot in your holy book you choose to ignore, like so many of the rest of believers. you’re all a bunch of hypocrites and it’s one of the reasons why logical people mock you and your beliefs.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Since ‘sin’ is by definition something prohibited by religion, I could not care less what someone considers ‘sin’. Muslims think it’s a sin for the wimin folk to be alone with a man who isn’t related to them.

                  It’s not that I don’t ‘trust’ God, it’s that God is something people made up to get other people to do or not do things. Kind of like when I was a kid the adults told me there was a boogyman in the basement to keep me from going into the basement.

                • Tterry

                  Um, I am sorry that offended you by calling you a sinner, but if it helps I am one as well and dont think there is anything wrong with you never said I did. I do eat shrimp I cuss I have premarital sex. None of these things discredit me as a christian. You claim my book is made up of fairy tales but it is just as logical and rational a choice as yours.

                • Myrmidon

                  No, it isn’t ‘just as logical and rational’. Don’t even pretend that it is.

              • Myrmidon

                You are completely wrong about everything in this post. Maybe after seeing the evidence others have shared, you would like to change your opinion?

              • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                Actually, both pigs and dolphins have orgasms. They also have sex for pleasure, not just procreation. So what was your point again? That pigs and dolphins sin because they like sex?

                EDIT: Oh yeah, and a lot of species of monkeys. Bonobos are the usual example.

                • Tterry

                  They are biologically hardwired to perform sex at certain times whether it be through pheromones or behavior….Humans choose when to have sex because it is something we do for fun animals do not do it for fun or pleasure merely as instinct,which in the cycle of life is only for procreation, their urge for sex is based on a response to stimuli…ours although i will say our sex drive can be in response to interenal and external factors of our environment as well such as a woman subconsciously dressing more promiscuous when she is ovulating…Ive seen a monkey masturbate with a frog on youtube, but it is still just a behavior as a response to something else.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  If humans have sex at times when the female is not ovulating, and if humans masturbate, then how is that different from animals doing exactly the same thing? We’re just as hard wired as they are. We respond to stimuli just like other animals do.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Sorry, I’m a monkey/ape Nazi. Bonobos aren’t monkeys, they’re apes, just like us.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Sorry. I’ll keep that in mind next time. Thanks for the correction!

              • Jas.

                My girl dog humps my boy dog. She’s not doing it to make a baby.

          • http://www.facebook.com/garret.brown.7 Garret Shane Brown

            Not sure how it shows religion is harmful? You didn’t read very carefully then (1 Timothy 2:11-13 is one example).
            Your religion is anti science because the bible supports creation, a “flood that covered the earth for 40 days” and other ridiculous stories, and holds them to be true.
            Some claim that is a christian view? You just proved it is by saying it’s a sin. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and anyone even saying it’s some sort of sin are discriminating against gay people.

            • Tterry

              http://www.earthage.org/EarthOldorYoung/scientific_evidence_for_a_worldwide_flood.htm
              There is some evidence of a worldwide flood. No i am merely stating a fact sir. Sin is defined by the bible not society. Lying is a sin. Everyone on earth is a liar therefore everyone on earth is a sinner. Does that mean i am discriminating against liars now? No i am merely stating facts. Did i say it made them a lesser person than me for being a sinner no i did not did i say it made them less capable in any way of gaining entrance to heaven no i did not so i do not see how it is considered harmful. Besides my religion has nothing to do we these things i dont care if there gay or worship satan i love them all the same and want nothing but to see if i can show them what i see

              • http://www.facebook.com/garret.brown.7 Garret Shane Brown

                http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html#CH400-CH599
                Pretty sure this covers most of the things your article covered, and I don’t feel like going through over-used, already debunked claims.

                The fact that you think homosexuality is a sin and that that is defined by god is evidence of harm from christianity. Thank you for providing such a good example of a christian asshole.

                • Myrmidon
                • http://www.facebook.com/garret.brown.7 Garret Shane Brown

                  Thanks for the additional source! I haven’t heard of the NCSE before, but I’m certainly going to check them out.

                • Tterry

                  I dont see how you think me calling something sin is mean?

                • http://www.facebook.com/garret.brown.7 Garret Shane Brown

                  You’re kidding right? You’re telling them that what they’re doing is an abomination (direct quote from the bible) and lumping them in the same category as thieves. If I ever had a gay child, I’d be damn proud of them for being open about themselves and I wouldn’t make them ashamed of how they were born.

                • http://www.facebook.com/garret.brown.7 Garret Shane Brown

                  Okay, we’re going in circles here. How about this, do you support marriage equality for gay couples and do you support anti-discrimination laws that would make it illegal for an employer to fire or not hire someone based off of their homosexuality?

              • Myrmidon

                You don’t seem to understand that you are saying that people who are not straight are, by their very nature, transgressing a divine law.

                • Tterry

                  And God still loves them the same as he loves me so why is it a big deal?

                • Myrmidon

                  You obviously don’t get it. I’m not going to keep looping the same words around in an effort to get it through to you. If you can’t understand why your words are harmful, it’s probably because you have such a terrible view of humanity as a whole.

                • Tterry

                  Sir you obviously dont get it. You stated that it was harmful for my religion to state that homosexuality is a sin. But it calls the whole world sinners…..It is merely laying out a law, homosexuality is a sin. I am sorry that if being called a sinner like everyone else in the world hurts your feelings well then thats like saying me calling you human is harmful…its dumb and illogical.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Take a look at which sins you think about. If you ignore the sin of divorce, but not sin of a man lying with a man as he would with a woman, then why? If you oppose the legal recognition of same sex marriage, then do you not also oppose legal recognition of divorce?

                • Myrmidon

                  Like i said, you have a terrible view of humanity. You see humans, including yourself, as somehow intrinsically broken and wrong. I feel sorry for you.

                • Tterry

                  Not broken. Lost. You seem to think I have a negative view sinners..and that is not that case at all

                • Myrmidon

                  So you think A and also Not A.

                  I think we’re done talking.

                • PietPuk

                  Prove it.

              • baal

                ” No i am merely stating a fact sir”
                Use of ‘sir’ like this is a sign of a troll. So are your endless posts and lack of addressing the content of the points people are making to you tteerryy.

          • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

            You and your specific church may not be anti-science, and you may not believe that homosexuals are going to hell, but that doesn’t change the fact that the vast majority of religions and churches in the world are anti-science and consider homosexuality a sin. One example of good that a church does, doesn’t make up for all the awful things so many other churches do. Like it or not, you are going to be grouped in with the Westboro Baptist church because you are all Christians, while I think everyone would agree some Christians do some good in the world, on the whole, I don’t believe that the good outweighs the harmful effect of all Christians combined.

      • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

        I think reading some of the other posts on this blog would fill you in pretty well on that. Hemant spends a lot of time discussing specific instances of harm done by religion.

        • Tterry

          It is the interpretation and understanding humans take that does the harm

          • 3lemenope

            So are you saying that God wrote instructions that were not clear? Why would he do that?

            • Tterry

              I am saying humans make mistakes.

              • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

                Yes, and one of the big mistakes humans make is following religions that tell them people with black skin are cursed by the devil, and homosexuality is a sin punishable by death, and women should only be caretakers of children and must hide themselves so they do not lead weak men astray, and that the world has not been affected by to horrendous amount of pollution we spew into the air, and that it’s OK to kill “savages” that don’t believe in your God, and that we should not believe logic and reasoning to try to understand the world, and that sex will be a magical, wonderful experience only if we wait until we are married to do it, and that God punishes us by sending maniacs into schools to shoot innocent children… And so on and so on…. So your argument is that none of this is religions fault? It’s all people misinterpreting religion? And I guess that’s because you know the only true religion and everyone else is wrong? Do you realize how absurd that is?

              • b s

                Tterry
                “I am saying humans make mistakes.”

                And because of this, god sends us to hell to suffer unbearable torture for all eternity.

        • Pseudonym

          The plural of “anecdote” is not “data”.

          Let you think I’m going to go all religious apologetics on you, I assure you I’m not. Citing specific examples of harm done by religion is just as relevant as citing Stalin or European nihilist anarchists.

          Yes, I’m sure you have a terribly good reason why that wasn’t a good comparison. That reason is almost certainly irrelevant.

          To make the case that religion is more harmful than the alternative, you have to look at all the evidence, not just the parts that make your case. You have to take into account that the average religious person tends to give far more of their time and money to charitable causes. You have to take into account all of the charities, shelters, hospitals and so on run by predominantly religious organisations. You have to take into account all of the religious art produced over the millennia.

          That all of this could be done by the non-religious doesn’t change the fact that most of it hasn’t and isn’t being done by the non-religious, both in absolute numbers and in proportion.

          I’m not saying that the case couldn’t be made that religion causes nett harm. I’m saying that the case has not yet been made.

          Having said that, the case that religion causes nett good also hasn’t yet been made. The most you can say at the moment is that religion has been used both for great good and for great evil, just like every other tool in humanity’s toolbox.

          • Tterry

            I still dont get how you can blame religion as the harm when it is really human error not the religion that is in error

            • 3lemenope

              Tterry, religion is a thing that humans do. Whether or not there is a God, that still remains true. And humans have done some seriously messed up things with religion. If there is a God, it additionally bears asking why he puts up with people misusing religion and multiplying misery rather than sorting it all out.

              It also bears asking why such a God never has more moral imagination than the people who worship him; much like, why does God perpetuate slavery–even give rules for its proper continuation–when slavery is one of the most awful things that one human being can do to another? It would be simplicity itself to slip “thou shall not enslave another human” in between the bit about shellfish and the bit about tattoos. Instead, he gives regulations encouraging the practice, and argues against its abolition through even the New Testament.

            • Pseudonym

              Tterry, the underlying question here is: What is religion?

              I take the line (with 3lemenope below) that religion is fundamentally something that people do. This is important to keep in mind, because a lot of people around here have the incorrect notion that religion is fundamentally something that people believe. Seen this way, religion is neither factually correct nor factually incorrect any more than the wearing of hats is correct or incorrect.

              Religion can either be done well or done badly. In practice, both happen. If someone acts badly in the name of their religion, then that person’s religion is done badly.

              • Tterry

                Religion is defined as details or beliefs as taught or discussed. So therefore, my religion are my beliefs as discussed within the bible. However, you claim that if we act badly in the name of our religion then that persons religion is done badly. In the Christian religion we are expected to act badly whether we want to or not…so our actions cannot tarnish our religion for it is separate were as other religion man attempts to reach god the christian religion is Gods attempt to reach man.

                • Pseudonym

                  Religion is defined as details or beliefs as taught or discussed.

                  It is not. “Religion” is that it’s an umbrella term for a collection of related socio-cultural phenomena. Like all such words, it’s a prototype category, and so is “defined” with a general statement which includes a bunch of stuff which isn’t “religion”, plus a reference to prototypical examples. Something is a “religion” if it closely resembles something that we already know is a religion.

                  Many religions are not defined or characterised by beliefs, but by practice.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson
        • Tterry

          Um, all of her problems are with humans, and how they go about things none of that has anything to do with God.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            Well of course none of it has anything to do with God. We don’t think God exists. It would be kind of silly for us to have any problems with something we don’t think exists. Atheists have problems with many of the ways in which a belief in gods manifests itself in human behavior.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

            which god, tterry? there are so many. why are you so sure you’ve picked the right one?

            a long time ago, your god was understood to be one of many, even the original believers in YHWH understood that. there are literally billions of people on this planet who worship other gods than you, why are they wrong and you are right? most of the book you invest so much authority in has been rewritten and translated and doctored, very few people have actually read the originals (assuming there is even evidence for them, which is debatable).

            there are countless religious books out there. you’re an atheist, except for the one you like best. the bottom line is that the proof for all of them is the same: there is none. if you can accept that is true in the case of Zeus or The Great Spirit or Inanna, you shouldn’t have that much of a problem in taking the next logical step. but that’s the problem with you believers, you fear logic and run away from it whenever it challenges your fairy tales.

            • Tterry

              Yahweh and Ba’al and the yule log if you know all about that then you also know that as far back as we know of the Israelites they havent been eating pork…..as described in the bible….

              • baal

                Pigs grow well in a desert? Also, you do eventually need to cite to something other than the bible. It’s riddled with inconsistencies and errors.

                Also please note I make it a point of point comment whenever Ba’al gets a mention. It supports the notion that you can summon Him (baal) merely by speaking (typing) His Name.

  • Anon

    I am an atheist because I don’t think some imaginary deity or it’s followers have the right to influence or judge my life.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    i’m an atheist because i’ve studied religion in great detail. all religions make extreme, ridiculous, absurd claims and contradict not only reality, but one another. i love the study of religion because it is a wonderful way to understand human creativity. but the simple fact that there are many, many more than just one is proof enough for me that they are made up by human beings for purposes of advancing some humans over others.

    my favorite atheist argument has always been “everyone is an atheist, except for their one religion.” because it’s true. 3,000 years ago, “everyone” believed in Marduk, or Thoth, or some other long dead god(s). hopefully, 3,000 years from now, humanity will have embraced reality and science enough to dispense with religion altogether. religion is not necessary and most of the time only makes things worse for one or another group of people in the name of something invisible.

    • Tterry

      Lol you need to touch up on your history

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

        you really don’t want to go there with me, honey. you’re the one who is so deeply in need of a little more study. i have a degree on this topic, from a real school where i learned a great deal about ancient religions. including the ones that are the roots of yours. just because you don’t know anything about other religions doesn’t mean the rest of us are as ignorant.

        • Tterry

          lol go back to school then honey.

        • Tterry

          lol go back to school then honey.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

            i’m sure you can point out my error, being the expert that you obviously think you are. or are you one of those believers who is reduced to snide jokes when it becomes clear you have no logic based argument to make?

            • Tterry

              What is it that guy said earlier that it is not up to me to prove your statements false but to you to prove to me that they are true.

              • PietPuk

                And we are still waiting for any evidence proving your god is real.

                • Tterry

                  Pretty sure there is a post on this website about how you cannot disprove God or prove God so in a sense it comes down to faith either way. I ha

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  If I tell you that I’m actually God, and I’m checking on your faith, you can’t prove I’m not. But I doubt if you’re going to believe me either.

                  It’s kinda like that.

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                It’s hard to provide evidence if you won’t even point out exactly what it is that you disagree with. Nothing chicago dyke said is remotely controversial. I could understand if c.d. had said “Jesus was married and had kids”, but that there were many other religions that predate Christianity hardly seems questionable. You know, the bible isn’t only the ancient written document. There’s also this thing called The Egyptian Book of the Dead. And written versions of the Mahabharata date to about 2500 years ago, although the story probably dates much older than that.

  • Marcy Rex

    I am an atheist since 10 years old (now 45) because even though adults knew everything and could debate circles around my little kid logic, I still recognized hypocrisy and the falseness of the argument. Congrats on winning every debate, you’ve lost your target audience. Silence did not mean agreement, only acquiescence until age of emancipation.

  • http://twitter.com/TychaBrahe TychaBrahe

    I am an atheist because although I tried to fit in by subscribing to a religion (in fact a number of different religions looking for something that felt right) suspending disbelief was just way too much work.

  • LesterBallard

    Because I want to rape and murder and plunder all I want. And I have. I truly have. And when I get caught, I’ll become a Christian and all will be forgiven and I’ll be in Heaven with Jesus.

    • Tterry

      Lol i am christian and this made me laugh a lot lol

      • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

        And this is why I dislike most Christians. I don’t think it’s funny to joke about rape, murder and plundering.

        • Tterry

          Then you have a different since of humor congrats.

          • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

            I saw your other comment before you removed it. I find it absolutely repulsive that you think it’s OK to rape and murder because God will forgive you later. I engaged you in conversation because I hoped you might be willing to answer some of the questions I have about why people believe in God, but I am not willing to converse with someone who would write such a thing, even if it was written in jest.

            • Tterry

              I havent removed anything? Any comment i made is still there, and i dont think that it is okay? I just believe God would forgive someone for it if they truly sought forgivness. And I am horrified that you would take the fact that i think sarcasm is funny and twist it like that…..

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              It’s more likely an artifact of the way Disqus loads things.

              • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

                Ah… You are right, Rich, Tterry’s comment is back. I thought for a moment he had some remorse about posting something so vile about his fellow Christians, but I guess I was wrong. I must say, though, he has certainly done a fine job of illustrating the absurdity of Christianity! It almost makes me wonder if he’s really an anti-Christian nut case instead of the Christian nut case he appears to be!

        • Tterry

          And what i thought was funny was the sarcasm and the truth behind the statement because thats how a lot of people even christians think, although it isnt how we should be

  • AnyBeth

    Rare reason, but true:
    I’m an atheist because of brain damage. I awoke no longer “feeling” God and no longer “understanding” what I thought I knew before. Emotional link to my indoctrination severed, I could see what I’d been taught was at best nonsense and at worst disgusting. I do not and possibly cannot believe in any god. I can only conclude that if there is a god, said god wants me to be an atheist.
    Were it not for the brain damage, I may have remained a panentheistic Christian with basically humanistic ethics, but I have remained an atheist for nearly 5 years since because I have found no reason to believe in any god and much reason not to.

  • Tterry

    Im am hopping off once again thanks to everyone for not being to to rude to me. Let me just say this…if millions of people ever disappear from the planet please grab a bible the next seven years is all youll have left to come to terms.

    • Rovin’ Rockhound

      Well, if millions of people disappear from the planet following the same script put forth in the bible, then we’ll have some concrete evidence that there might be a god. Then, based on Hemant’s second point, many atheists would consider that the god of the bible might be real. Until there is some real, measurable evidence, though, we’ll follow the current path. There is no evidence for any notion of a god, and therefore we don’t believe that there could be one.

      • Tterry

        And if i told you that I believe it will happen it your life time what would you say?

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

          that idiots like you have been making that claim for over 2,000 years. and unsurprisingly, wrong.

          • Tterry

            The Bible gives us a time frame, although it is impossible to know the exact day and hour because if i am correct the rapture is based on a specific number of people becoming believers, and that can vary because humans have free will but it clearly states that the generation that saw the rebirth of Israel would be alive to see the rapture. In 1948, Israel was reborn. In biblical terms a generation normally refers to about 70years. that means at the earliest 2018. I truly believe you should use your intelligence to at least form an opinion on the end times as it relates to the world today. Isaiah 17 is close i believe as well as psalm 83

            • Miss_Beara

              The words “intelligence” and “end times” do not belong in the same sentence. Nobody intelligent can make a claim that the rapture is a true thing and will happen in 2018.

              • Tterry

                not in 2018 there you go taking words outta my mouth. I said by the earliest 2018

                • Miss_Beara

                  It isn’t going to happen. Period. 2018 or the year 3000, it is not going to happen. It is not real.

                • Tterry

                  It could be my friend

                • Drakk

                  And more likely it isn’t.

            • Rovin’ Rockhound

              I will use my intelligence to form an opinion on the end of times as it relates to the world today: It will not happen. There we go. It’s a fairy tale. There will be no rapture. It didn’t happen the previous 100s of times it was promised, and it will not happen this time.

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              I went to sleep trying to work out how we could actually wager this, since if the rapture does come, it would be hard for you to enforce my end of the bargain. But here’s what I came up with:

              I’ll donate $25 to the charity of your choice. I do withhold the right to veto for a 2nd choice just in case you want me to donate to some Anti-Gay Ministry in Uganda. But any actual Christian charity that feeds people or provides shelter, even if they also proselytize, is fine.

              So we’re starting off with the assumption that’s you’re right, and the rapture will occur by Dec 31, 2018.

              So if it doesn’t, not only do you owe me back the original $25, but you owe the $25 I won, so you have to make a $50 donation to the charity of my choice- Foundation Beyond Belief. Since Hemant is on the board, I’m pretty sure there’s a link right on this page. And if FBB isn’t around in 5 years, then MSF (médecins sans frontières) will have to do.

              So what do you say? No rapture, $75 ($25 of mine and $50 of yours) gets given to charity. If the rapture occurs, $25 of mine will still be given to your charity. Want a different time frame? I’m cool with that- just let me know.

          • Tterry

            And you dont have to be so harsh dyke i am merely expressing my opinions ?

        • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

          I would say that I don’t believe it will happen in our lifetime. I wonder which one of us will be right?

        • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

          chicago dyke beat me to it. Yeah, it’s par for the course.

          • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

            Yes, her answer is better that mine!

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          If I told you I believe monkeys will fly out of my butt within the next year, what would you say?

          • Tterry

            Id say youre gonna need a lot medical specialist and surgery to pull that one off :P

        • Rovin’ Rockhound

          Hey, if the guy really exists and what the bible says is true, then let him show himself and his actions in such a clear way that we can no longer say that we have no evidence of his existence. I am not opposed to changing my mind, but it will only happen if there is irrefutable proof. But we expect evidence that is quantifiable by independent, unbiased observers. Making millions of people disappear instantaneously from all corners of the world, booming voice from the sky heard by all in all languages, showing up in corporeal form to the UN General Assembly… those could be acceptable.

          • Tterry

            You wouldnt hear the voice if you didnt believe already. Silently like a theif in the night. However, believers will hear him call them. I know it sounds nuts guys…but i honestly believe you will see millions disappear if you dont oh well youve earned the right to laugh at me for ever i suppose. Claude look at the world today in relation to isiah 17 and psalm 83 you will probably get to endure those as well as ww3

            • Rovin’ Rockhound

              Well, then that’s useless. You can’t hear the voice unless you believe in the voice. You can’t see the flying, fire-breathing, invisible dragon that I keep in my garage unless you believe in it. It’s really cool, but it could eat you. Too bad you don’t believe in it. It might still eat you. Or not. Since you can’t really know if it exists, since there’s no proof.

              • Tterry

                you will still witness the millions disappear the lord just wont call out to those who “never knew him”

              • Drakk

                Your omnipotent god can only talk to people who believe in him?

                That’s some pretty shitty omnipotence.

                • Tterry

                  And you seem to think you would know better than an omnipotent being?

                • Drakk

                  I definitely know better than an imaginary one.

              • Tterry

                We are also talking about end times when he calls us to heaven so like i said why should you get a call from someone you dont even acknowledge exist lol make no logical sense to me?

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson
              • Tterry

                You realize that evolution and big band does not contradict the christian religion?

                • b s

                  Well, I would say evolution does. How exactly does the concept of original sin fit in with evolution?

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Well I’m glad you agree. But so far you seem to be holding out a generally young earth creationist view. I’d be happy to hear I’m wrong about that assumption.

                • Tterry

                  You are actually wrong in that assumption sir. “In the beginning God created the heaven and earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face
                  of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. : Other translations tell that the face of the earth was chaos, e.g., the Living Bible translation writes: the earth was a shapeless, chaotic mass. After these verses, the Bible describes six days of creation, from light
                  till animals, plants, and humans. Adam and Eve were created the sixth
                  day of creation. There has been much dispute whether these days of
                  creation should
                  be interpreted as ‘real’ days, or more like periods of time; people in
                  favor of the latter point, often use the text that states that for God,
                  one day is like thousand years. The Bible describes a line of
                  descendants of Adam and Eve, and if we add ages of these people, this
                  can lead to an estimate of the age of the earth of somewhat more than
                  six thousand
                  years. Such an age is in strong contrast to what many scientists say
                  about the age of the earth: a few billion years.Genesis can also be read as follows.

                  -First God creates the heavens and the earth

                  -Then something happens the text does not tell us

                  -After this the earth is without form -chaos darkness

                  -Then the text tells us how god visited this darkness and turns it into something good

                  However the bible actually doesnt state much on the age of the earth, seeing as how it has a different purpose.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Well it’s good to know you’re not stuck on 6K years. I suspect we’re still worlds apart on human evolution though.

                • Tterry

                  Ty for not being an arse about everything Rich.

                • b s

                  “First God creates the heavens and the earth

                  -Then something happens the text does not tell us

                  -After this the earth is without form -chaos darkness

                  -Then the text tells us how god visited this darkness and turns it into something good”

                  Well golly, if this just doesn’t scream 100% scientific accuracy.

                • Tterry

                  It doesnt scream accuracy i didnt claim that it did geez you people love to bash me for a difference of opinion..My claim was that it does not contradict the age of the earth as determined by science, and i proved that by simply showing you that it never states the age of the earth nor does it say that it is 6000-10000 years old …so there you go sir that will be my last respones to you bs you are just being hostile now.

                • b s

                  Difference of opinion is chocloate vs vanilla ice cream.

                  Saying you think millions of people will suddenly disappear because somehow weeks=years in a 2000+ year old story is delusion.

                  Saying you think the bible is scientific because one interpretation doesn’t explicitly conflict with a 13 billion year old universe, also delusion.

                • Drakk

                  Yes it does. The order of creation as described in Genesis is wrong. The earth was not created first, energy in the form of radiation was, followed by subatomic particles and later light elements such as hydrogen. Earth and other rocky planets did not form until after many stars had gone through nuclear fusion/supernova to create the heavier elements.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              Oooh, I get it. I have to believe it before I believe it. Wait. What? Let’s try that again.

              I’ll only hear the voice if I’m listening. Well, I’ve listened. I didn’t hear anything. You say I didn’t listen hard enough? Sorry, I listened as hard as I could. No God-voice pouring through my soul or whatever metaphor you want to use. And thief in the night is a horrible example- most thieves are trying not to get caught. So God is hiding from me and I have to go find him? That seems like a lot of work for me to find an omnipotent non-physical entity who could just snap his (metaphorical) fingers and provide the necessary evidence.

              • Tterry

                Um sir read the text again we are talking about the rapture if it hasnt happened yet why would you think you would hear something

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  How do you know it hasn’t happened yet? The criteria for getting to Heaven are so vague, maybe it has and we just didn’t notice the ten people or so disappearing …

        • Miss_Beara

          People throughout history thought it was going to happen in their lifetimes. They thought they had absolute certainty. Wrong, of course. This lifetime is no different than previous lifetimes.

          • Tterry

            There is always the possibility that i am wrong. However, i can only do my best to make an educated guess if the facts didnt appear as of right now politically to be lining up i wouldnt say in this lifetime, but as far as my understanding goes people who alive in 1948 will still be alive when the rapture takes place

            • b s

              And as far as Jesus’ understanding went, his generation would not pass away before the end either.

              • Tterry

                Please support this claim with evidence.

                • PietPuk

                  Please support the existence of your god with evidence.

                • b s

                  “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” (Matt. 24:34)

                  “Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.” (Mark 13:30)

                  “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:32)

                  Sounds like Jesus pretty explicitly says “THIS” generation, the generation he was speaking to, the generation that has been dead and gone for quite some time now.

                  Unless you want to claim your bible is not evidence. I will agree heartily with that.

                • Tterry

                  Learn of the age of grace sir.

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          I’d say you need some damned good evidence to make that claim, considering it’s been made, oh, seventy bajillion times before. Harold Camping, anyone?

          • Tterry

            the rebirth of Israel is a prophecy in the bible..have you heard of the 70 weeks of daniel. A week in the bible doesnt normally refer to an actual week but a week of years so one week= 7 years. 2000 years ago 69 of these weeks happened but then the Israelites where removed from the promise land before the 70th week notice that that is seven years the length of the great tribulation. We are in the Age of Grace now in which people are allowed to be saved from the great tribulation. North Korea and Iran just made a scientific pact meaning that north korea can now teach iran how to make nukes meaning syria in its civil war might within the next few years gain nuclear arms. If they use these arms on Damascus Isaiah 17 is fulfilled.

            • b s

              “A week in the bible doesnt normally refer to an actual week but a week of years so one week= 7 years. 2000 years ago 69 of these weeks happened ”

              Let’s see. A week isn’t a week, so obviously creation took longer than a week, unless of course it meant literal days, so it only took a week. So when Jesus was in the tomb for 3 days, what was it actually, 3…years?

              Then some of these weeks…um…years happened 2000 years ago, then around 516 (69*7 + 33, assuming Jesus death is the starting point), something suddenly happened to stop these years…weeks.

              And a treaty between two countries signifies the restarting of the countdown, we should expect the rapture in 7 days? Weeks? Years? Parsecs? (sorry Han)

              WOW, it is so incredibly obvious, I just don’t understand why absolutely everyone with half a brain can’t just read the bible and come to this exact same conclusion. Brilliant!

              • 3lemenope

                [Nerd Nitpick] Parsec is a unit of distance. [/Nerd Nitpick]

                • b s

                  Yes, that is why I put in the reference to Han Solo.

              • Tterry

                Lol…days are days 70 weeks how ever equals a week of years which equals 70 years. The time for end times stopped because the Israelites were removed from the promise land. The rebirth of Israel signifies that the age of grace is almost over…however you are no longer having a discussion merely looking down at me for having a different opinion than you.

                • b s

                  No, I am looking down at you for being totally delusional.
                  70 weeks = a week of years = 70 years, but above 1 week = 7 years. But if 1 week = 7 days and 1 week = 7 (or 70) years, why would not 1 day = 1 (or 10) years? Simple conversion really.

                • PietPuk

                  Now I am sure you are just trolling, nobody can be this stupid.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              Um, actually, a week in the Bible usually refers to a week. I’ve read the histories too- they’re mythological, politicized histories. The prophecies are all localized, dealing with current political issues in the little bitty region they were made. It takes an amazing amount of twisting, tearing, and ignoring the text to come up with the nonsense you’ve just spouted.

              And you sound happy about it! WTF is wrong with you? Nuclear war or even just the use of nuclear weapons is horrifying, and you’re all happy-bouncy that “the End is near!” Never mind that lots of people would die horrible deaths so that you could go to Heaven. That’s just … ugh. Just yuck. What a horrible theology.

              • Tterry

                Lol once again you are making outrageous claims about my character based on you twisting my own words. And no it would not take a lot of twisting because the words are clear as day. You can sit here and hate on me for my beliefs it really doesnt bother me they are just as logical as an atheist any intelligent person would understand that much at least

              • Tterry

                And no it does not i am sorry but weeks in the bible numerous time refer to periods of 7 years nice try though

            • Myrmidon

              What in the actual fuck are you talking about?

        • http://www.facebook.com/park.james.102 Park James

          I would respond the same way that you would respond if I told you that i believed Muhammad was going to come back to earth on the horse he rode to heaven on and smite Christians. I would awkwardly pause and change the subject.

          So… how’s your NCAA bracket doing?

        • baal

          I would say that we have been on the 7th day for 2000+ years. (i.e. the sun will go nova before the second coming).

    • Rovin’ Rockhound

      Well, if millions of people disappear from the planet following the same script put forth in the bible, then we’ll have some concrete evidence that there might be a god. Then, based on Hemant’s second point, many atheists would consider that the god of the bible might be real. Until there is some real, measurable evidence, though, we’ll follow the current path. There is no evidence for any notion of a god, and therefore we don’t believe that there could be one.

    • Drakk

      If.

  • Miss_Beara

    I am an atheist because when I was 8 I started not to believe in imaginary things. Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, God, Ghosts. I grew up. I told my grandma that I didn’t believe in god when I was twelve and I never looked back.

  • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

    When I was 10 or 11 years old I went to a folklore conference with my dad. One of the things I did there was attend a lecture on the value of folk tales. The point of this talk was to explain why people have alway used stories to teach lessons and why stories do not need to be literally true to be important, and in fact, the magical nature of some stories that teach lessons is a crucial part of teaching that lesson and making it more memorable. I can remember this talk very clearly because, to me, it suddenly made the whole world make sense. It explained Santa Claus, the East Bunny, and all the weird bible stories my mom used to tell us. They were all just stories, important stories that we can learn from and maybe improve our lives with, but they were never meant to be taken as literal truths. I didn’t begin calling myself an atheist then, and at various times in my life I have dabbled in religions and and explored what it means to be spiritual, but since then I have never been able to accept the idea that the bible and other religious texts aren’t just collections of folk tales. I could be much more accepting of Christians, and possibly become one of them, if they could accept that the bible is a collection of stories, and not the word of God. I’ve always been mystified as to why more people don’t see things this way, it makes so much sense to me. Jesus didn’t really rise from the dead, we are just supposed to learn something from the story about him rising from the dead. It also makes it more reasonable to pick and choose what parts of the bible you want to follow (as almost all Christians do). Since the bible is essentially a folk tale, some of its meaning may have been lost or altered as it was passed down through generations and some parts are just simply not applicable to our modern life anymore.

    • Tterry

      If the bible was just a folk tale it wouldn’t be the most historically text today by far….once again…..the bible has the most manuscripts out of any ancient writing…therefore is considered just as or more accurate than any other historical text..

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        Sigh.

        Even within a single book, there are multiple copies, no two of which are alike. To compile “Luke” they had to piece together multiple copies of “Luke” and try to reconcile inconsistencies in the various copies. The story of “he who is without sin cast the first stone” for example, is not in any of the original versions. It appears in later copies, probably originally as something a transcriber added in a margin, and someone else later added to the main text.

        If you want something with a little more accuracy, try the Qu’ran or the Book of Mormon. Both are the direct word of God, not something written by men, supposedly inspired by God- but so poorly inspired that the people making copies couldn’t do them accurately.

        Oh, and take the Easter Quiz. Please. http://www.easterquiz.com/

        • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

          I got them all right! :-)

        • Tterry
          • b s

            Thank you for that, I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            Muslims have any of the same arguments for the Qu’ran, as to its scientific accuracy. They’re actually wrong on most counts, but as long as they think the that Qu’ran correctly depicts the stages of human embryology, they won’t be swayed by the truth.

            Your link contains a lot of real stretches and hindsight to fit the scripture to today’s understanding.

            1)

            There is now considerable debate in the scientific community over recent genetic studies which indicate that all men have a common father and all women have a common mother.

            No, that is a complete misunderstanding of scientific understanding. Pyle has no clue what ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ and ‘Y-Chromosome Adam’ mean. None, Zip. With that as a start, I’m not expecting much from the rest of it.

            However, let me point out that we’re going for the bible being inerrant, right? Pointing out a few examples where it’s right doesn’t cut it. There are plenty of places where it’s not right.

            2) Even if the bible correctly describes plate tectonics, that leaves you with an age of the earth problem. We can measure continental drift, and working backwards, we can tell that Australia separated from Antarctica about 80 million years ago. Which, coincidentally, is the age of marsupial fossils found in Antarctica.

            3) Stars are innumerable Ok. Seems pretty obvious to anyone looking at the milky way without light pollution.

            4) Ever notice that the bible describes pigs and sheep and donkeys in pretty good detail? But dinosaurs are just ‘behemoths’?

            The cosmology in 5-7 are vague enough that it’s only in hindsight, knowing how things actually are, that we can force out the meaning we want. If the bible was really that clear, there would have been no need to sanction Galileo.

            These are all really a stretch. And even so, the question isn’t “is the bible right in a few places” it is, I think, is the bible inerrant?

            • Tterry

              2) i commented on the age of the earth earlier please go find it. My belief is consistent with science.

              4)Do you think people with no high powered weapons or even cars were sitting out in the jungle and decided hey!! lets really take in the beauty of this animal that could rip me to shreds…..i dont think so much easier to call it a beast or behemoth.

              And i have found no wrong information in the bible as of yet nor has anyone provided me any information only misinterpreted verses

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                4) right, because people wrote the bible, not God. Tell me, are Dinosaurs ‘clean’ animals?

                You won’t find any wrong information in the bible because you interpret the bible as you wish. Whatever evidence anyone provides, you will somehow twist the bible to fit it because you’re starting with the assumption that the bible is correct. You’re stuck with that conclusion, so everything else in your worldview has to fit that key piece.

                And even when Christian Scholars interpret it differently from you, you can dismiss them as ‘wrong’. When you’ve got God behind you, you can dismiss anything that bothers your worldview as ‘wrong’.

                And any other word of God is simply ‘wrong’. Any non-canon text, the Qu’ran, The Book of Mormon, all wrong. And you can even back that up with the bible predicting that there would be people out there who would claim to know God’s word, but would be ‘wrong’.

                You can even justify the bible condoning unspeakable acts, because whatever God commands must be good. Children born into slavery remain slaves for life. Rapists must pay the victim’s father, and then marry the victim. Animals slaughtered to ‘atone’ for sin. A man’s family killed, the man tormented and tortured, just so God can prove to Satan how obedient this man is. Like a man making his dog sit in pain to show how obedient the dog is.

                You know, there is an alternate view in which you don’t have to do all these logical back flips. The bible was written by men, and various parts reflect the cultural norms and understandings of the times in which they were written.

      • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

        I’m not saying that the bible isn’t a tremendously important piece of historical writing. You seemed to have missed the point I was making about the lecture I heard. The point is that folk tales ARE important, they are incredibly important, but the amount of truth contained in them has no bearing on their importance, and that, as with most folk tales, magical elements are added, on purpose knowing they are not true, to better explain the importance of the lesson and make the story more memorable. This was surely done with bible stories, just as it was done in thousands of other cultures. No one disputes the fact that there are some historically accurate things in the bible, but that does not make EVERYTHING written in the bible true. My question to you is what makes you believe the folk tales in the bible as literal truths, but not the Navajo creation myth about Mother Earth and Father Sky? My realization that all those stories have value, but they are still just stories is what led me into atheism.

        • Tterry

          You realize the bible states the earth is round…far before it was known by scientist…explain that logically cause i cannot…There is reasonable evidence scripture mentions dinosaurs in genesis and job(-thought to be oldest book of bible)

          • b s

            It talks about the “circle of the earth”. A circle is a flat 2D object. The bible also talks about corners of the earth, pilars holding up the earth and satan taking jesus to a tall mountain to view the entire earth. Any idea where this mountain is so I can go there and see the entire earth at once too?

            • Tterry

              Read the passage as a whole not in context and you might get the true meaning. He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like
              grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads
              them out like a tent to live in. Yes a Circle is a 2D object however a tent and canopies have depth therefore it is describing a sphere no just a 2D circle

              • b s

                So really it doesn’t matter what shape they would have called it because you can spread it out and drape it over something then it suddenly has depth. That’s not interpreting the answer to fit what you want it to say in any way, is it? I could say square, but actually mean “in the shape of the statue of liberty” because I could throw a really big blanket over it.

                • Tterry

                  Ok obviously you need so help with this so I am not trying to insult your intelligence but lets break down the verse for you He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, so its 2D form of its shape is a circle, He stretches out the heavens like a canopy ok that means in all direction so now if we were drawing a picture wed pretty much have something similar to the unit circle until he adds that it is like a tent meaning we have and x y and z axis taking us from the unit circle to a sphere….you cannot argue this i am sorry….

                • b s

                  Obviously I can argue this. Go sit above a basketball and tell me if you can’t tell it’s a sphere and not a flat circle. Or does god not have any depth perception? Do you think that people at that time would have been able to understand the difference between circle and sphere? Why not describe it as such instead of having to perform all sorts of mental gymnastics? And stretching out like a canopy to me also implies a flat plane. Go stretch out a blanket and see what you get. Put it over a flat circle, you get a flat shape. DRAPE a blanket over a sphere and you get a sphere, but why not call the circle a sphere then? Even if you place a canopy over something, it can be a different shape. I can go draw a circle in the sand and pitch a tent over it. It does not become a sphere

                  And you still haven’t explained corners of the earth, pillars of the earth and the mountain where I can see the entire earth all at once.

                • Tterry

                  Lol I am not going to repeat myself i just gave you a logical breakdown of the passage explained to you how it describes a sphere you are a fool.

                • b s

                  ” logical breakdown”
                  Yes, that sums it up nicely.
                  When you get a chance, go on over to your local university or college math department and give them this explanation of what a sphere is. See what they think.

          • Drakk

            The model of a spherical earth dates back at least to Plato, and possibly all the way back to Pythagoras. Try again.

  • Keulan

    I am an atheist because there is no evidence for the existence of any gods.

  • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

    Math.

    Details are left as an exercise for the student, using Robbins Algebra, ZF set theory, and the “axiom” that evidence has complexity recognizable by von Neumann ordinal degree of Turing hypercomputation. Alternately, show the contrary, and that the system resulting is non-isomorphic to a submodel.

  • Theory_of_I

    I’m an atheist because belief in a deity makes so many people stick their fingers in their ears and loudly repeat “lalalalalala” if they happen to hear that their deity is myth and nonsense… I can’t bring myself to be that silly.

  • PietPuk

    I am an atheists because I do not believe any gods exist.

  • A Portlander

    I’m an atheist because I was exposed to the Classical mythologies at a VERY young age, and by the time anyone made an honest effort to turn me into a Christian, I could see the myths for what they were. I remain unconvinced by any religion because none of the arguments that have been posed to me stand up to the most cursory examination.

  • Ellie

    I am an atheist because when I look around the world, I see no evidence at all. Not to mention it makes absolutely zero sense to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Kailoa Kailoa Pulupēikemele

    I am an atheist because I am an Ontological Naturalist. I am an Ontological Naturalist because I believe there is, at least, a strong inductive case that “Life, the Universe, and Everything” are reducible to arrangements of matter/energy in space/time.

    • Tterry

      so basically random chance>..>

  • Friendly guy

    I’m an atheist because I don’t believe in the supernatural.

  • Mary

    I am an atheist because I stopped believing religious teachings about women that made me feel weak and in need of a man.

    I am an atheist because I stopped believing in religious teachings about people that
    made me feel wrong, weak, and in need of salvation.

    I am an atheist because, despite what I was taught, I think that people choose good and neutral actions more often than they “sin,” and self-interest is natural and necessary for survival.

    I am an atheist because I realized that using my time for action is more effective than using it in prayer.

    I am an atheist because I know how small I am, in comparison to the universe and all those who have come before me, and I am okay with that. I don’t need to be a part of a larger-than-life story. I don’t need to live forever. A meaningful moment full of love is as good as forever to me.

    I am an atheist because religious explanations of suffering are twisted. If there is an all-powerful being watching children die, terrorists strike and storms afflict, then he is evil and I don’t want to spend eternity with him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=645690699 Rachel Holierhoek

    I am an atheist because as a young teen I could not reconcile the contradictions of my (inherited) faith with my reality. I am an atheist because in my quest for honest answers, I researched religions and history and doctrines and read the bible and I still could not reconcile reality with the assertions of any of the religions. I am an atheist because when I first became a parent as a then full-fledged agnostic I realized that if I operated as a parent as this God-the-father operated, I would beat one of my children to absolve all of the others of their misbehavior. Parenthood truly brought atheism to me. How could a Creator God ignore, neglect, and abuse his children so? And then I realized: it didn’t because it didn’t exist, and if the god depicted in the Abrahamic religions is real: then he is simply not good enough for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/park.james.102 Park James

    I am an atheist because of bible camp. On the first day, the goal of all the instructors was to prove why every religion except evangelical Christianity was incorrect, and we went through religion after religion, making fun of silly beliefs. That exercise ended, and we were all supposed to conclude that while the idea of multiple gods was silly, or the idea that the garden of Eden was in Jackson, MO didn’t stand up to serious skepticism, the idea that God impregnated a woman with himself, killed himself and rose himself from the dead for humanity’s sins made sense. Basically, they effed up by allowing me to ask questions, and I soon realized that all religion was almost certainly false.

  • Dainn

    1. I am an atheist because I have not found any reason to believe the claims of the existence of anything supernatural, nor can I even imagine a way to test for such.
    2. I am an atheist because I like watching Sunday football live.

  • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

    Can I change my answer? I think my first response may have been over 200 words anyway, and after reading all these comments again I’ve come to realize that I can answer the question in a much simpler, more direct way.

    I am an atheist because of people like Tterry.

  • Alicia Hansen

    I am an atheist because I don’t think any god exists, nor have I ever thought they did.

  • Kylar

    One word: science

  • KFrench

    I’m an atheist because it’s so hard to tell whether people like Tterry are trolling or actually believe such ridiculous things.

  • http://twitter.com/Panmankey Jason Mankey

    I enjoy your blog, and there are many instances where I find myself in complete agreement with you. However lines like “I’m an atheist because I appreciate honesty and questioning, something religions discourage,” is insulting. Not all religions discourage such things. I realize you have to keep it under 200 words, but would it have killed you to add the word “some?” While many terrible things have been done in the name of religion, a world free of faith will still have greed, racism, envy, jealousy, etc. Atheists are just as likely to be rotten people as those who practice religion.

  • Victoria Laughlin

    I am a Pagan because it is a faith that encourages questioning, especially in my particular tradition.

    I am a Pagan because I have prayed to the Old Gods and Goddesses and gotten real results.

    I honestly don’t feel like countering the rest of your statements. Atheism is absurd to me because it seems to me that atheists have nothing to live for except trying to “convert” others to their “religion.”

    Blessings,
    Victoria

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.highland55 Chris Highland

    This is strongly stated and may not lead to trustful collaboration with people of faith, but sometimes we just need to say what we really think. I was asked by Patheos to respond to “Why I Am a Freethinker” (my preferred term). Here’s what I wrote:

    As a former “person of faith” who no longer has a “faith tradition” I am sensitive to the divisiveness of labels–they don’t stick to me very well any more. Usually when people ask if I’m an Atheist I reply that I’m a Freethinker. I am not Anti-Faith or Anti-God. I’m Pro-Good and Pro-Reason. I have friends, family and colleagues who are people of faith. I’ve devoted most of my life to helping others as a chaplain, a teacher, a writer, a social worker, doing what is needed, alongside others who think compassion and justice require secular collaboration rather than sectarian toleration. To be a Freethinker is to simply conclude that there is a point when one’s beliefs are irrelevant–how we live is important.

    I was raised on “The Scriptures,” then discovered there are many Scriptures, the greatest of which is Nature. John Muir, one of our Secular Chaplains, knew this trail well. Why make up a Super-natural when Nature is completely enough? When the great sanctuary becomes the limitless classroom, the mind is set free to explore, to delight, to wonder. I never “lost” my faith; I dropped it out of my pack.

  • WillfullyIgnorant

    atheism is illogical

  • Zach

    I totally agree I am a very black and white type person. I’m super logical. The bible to me is like Harry Potter only Harry Potter doesn’t cause genocide. I don’t agree with Christianity or agnosticism because I don’t believe in being on the fence. If you have enough intelligence to question Christianity then being agnostic just seems like you’re afraid to come out and say there is no God. Read a science book or something

  • 2smart4religion

    I cannot believe how long all of you let this mean spirited, sarcastic, passive aggressive piece of garbage troll you. Tterry, you are a pathetic, childish hypocrite and you should be embarrassed. So should everyone else for continuing such an absurd conversation. God is not real, grow up. Or at least practice what you preach if you’re going to feign superiority based on nonsensical superstitious beliefs.

  • AmRestorative

    This is why I’m an atheist, but it’s 30 times over the limit. Whoops! http://amrestorative.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/part-iii-on-why-i-remain-an-atheist-2/

  • nanobot

    I am an atheist simply because no scientific evidence of god exists. I also keep an open mind and if the is scientific proof that god exists I will be flexible.

  • John Atheist

    Atheists are more than “no gods” label
    We come in many shades.

    http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b544/computerpi007/Blue_Earth_by_sequency4_zps1f2367de.jpg

  • Christiane Hinsch

    I am an atheist because I am neither submissive nor superstitious.


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