Why I am an atheist: my response to a Patheos challenge

I got a message from my contact at Patheos saying:

For March/April, participate in the “Why I am a…” Blogger Challenge! We invite all of our contributors to respond to the challenge by contributing with a response on why they are committed to their faith group in 200 words or less.

Well, here it goes:

I’m an atheist because I see no reason to think there are any gods. Because I think it would be silly to call myself agnostic about the Greek gods because I can’t technically disprove them, and I see no reason to treat the Christian god, or the Muslim god, or the Jewish god, or even the idea of a deistic god any differently. Because every claim of the supernatural we investigate carefully turns out not to be real. And because I can’t believe that an all-powerful, loving god could allow children to be tortured to death.

I’ve read a great deal of religious apologetics, and I find the belief of many religious believers that there are powerful intellectual defenses of religion which at least deserve respect for their sophistication to be entirely without basis. Religious thinkers may impress each other with their arguments, but there are good reasons why they are mostly not taken seriously by the academic mainstream. Religion has simply lost the argument—indeed it did so long ago.

Hmmm… you know, that’s a pretty good advertisement for my current book project.

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