Why I am an...
Sacramento Freethought Website welcomes your tale: "Why I am an...(atheist, humanist, taoist, naturalist, sapian, etc...) If you want your words included in this page, please send them to me, Pat Kelley and use " Why I am ..." as the subject. If you're daring enough to send a small picture of your lovely mug I'll include that as well! (Try to word as succinctly as possible no more than 1000 words anyway.)
I was a Christian for over 25 years... then I started questioning instead of "just believing."
I could probably list a thousand reasons for being atheist now that I have been for about 10 years or so, but I will limit it to these:
All the alleged "Holy Books" I have read, especially the Bible, are full of mythology, presumably intended to be taken as fact. Examples: Any rational person knows the sun did NOT "stand still" or move backwards! and that no one ever "walked on water," etc.
During my decades of prayer, not a single one was ever answered.
The savage brutality of many of the biblical stories reflect the mentality of the relatively primitive people who wrote them, not the sentiments of an alleged "loving god."
As for origins, saying "God did it," is not an answer - it merely adds an unnecessary element to the question.
One of the most fundamental precepts of science is that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. The universe obviously exists and is made of matter. Therefore the universe itself is eternal (in some form) and had no need of a creator.
The other "Big Question" religion purports to answer is what happens when we die. Different religions have different answers - all wrong. There is no big mystery here. What makes you YOU, is the functioning of your brain. This is amply proven millions of times over in science. When your brain ceases to function, YOU cease to exist. It's just that simple. You don't "go" anywhere when you die, just as the hole in the donut doesn't "go" somewhere when it's eaten, or the flame of a candle doesn't "go" somewhere when it is extinguished.
When one has acquired the education, intellectual honesty, and psychological strength to face the truths of the universe head-on without hiding behind "I believes," one will be an atheist.
Temy R. Beal, Publisher/Editor of SOAR
Why I am an Atheist
Hi yall, I was born during the depression in southeast Mo. My step father was a farmer/preacher. He had never been ordained or even went to college.no matter,the lord had called him to preach. We had to walk a mile down sa dirt road to the little church nestled in the woods.
On the farm it was a long time between pay days and the stipend the chuch paid him to preach about $5 a month depending on the collection plate helped pull us through. My step dad was a vicious cruel man who always carried the bible with him even while he was plowing in the fields.
We atten ded Sunday school,morning and evening services,prayer meeting on Wednesday choir practice on Thursdays.We always ask the blessing before we ate and if we forgot and picked up a morsel before blessing we got the hell slapped out of us.
When I was 16,he and my mother had to go to Kentucky for a funeral for a relative. I should have know better but I thought I could get away with it so I skipped prayer meeting and went to basketball practice instead. When he found out he beat the hell outa me and cracked one of my ribs. In those days people were not as sensitve to child abuse. He even bragged to the Dr. and said "long as he is in my house he's going to church."
At that time I began planning my escape. I had heard that one could join the Army at 17. My opportunity came when one summer day in August 1949.Only my step dad in me were in the field I was chopping cotton and he was plowing. Ever once in a while he would yell at me that I wasnt chopping fast enough. I waited till he was at the far end of the field. I climbed a fence cut through the woods till a came to a gravel road. I then hitch hiked into the county seat Kennett,Mo.
I still remember the fear as I felt any minute he would notice me gone and would catch me. When I got to the recruiting office I hit another snag. To join at 17 you needed your parents signature. Fortunately my real father who I scarcely knew lived in Kennett. I found him and he signed for me. I had often wondered how a man could be that religious and that evil. He also sexually molested my 2 sisters.
I really be came an atheist while studying engineering at University of Maryland. The book of Genesis contradicts every thing we know about science. I could not understand why the Gods(plural) were threatened by the Tower of Babel,why they did not intervene when the Eiful Tower, The Tokyo Tower or the Empire State building was built or sattelites were put into orbit.
Strange as it seems ,all my brothers and sisters are today hardshelled Baptist not daring to question...
Why I am an advocate for Reasoned Spirituality.
Even from childhood, I was unable to accept the anthropomorphic mystical representations that are inherent to religious belief systems. Although such beliefs are, logically, not to be taken literally; and are merely symbolic ways to communicate concepts of morality to people who are unable to grasp the complexities of abstract reasoning: I found it difficult to tolerate the fact that so many individuals required magical solutions to life's challenges. Atheism did not appeal to me, due to its tendency to focus only on negativity.
Many atheists do not simply express a non-belief in god/gods; but adopt a contrary, and frequently superior, attitude toward theists. To belittle the beliefs of others, without providing these people with a valid alternative which fulfills their need for purpose and hope for the future; is incompatible with my altruistic nature.
The fact that atheist organizations are basically manifestations of the same pack dynamics that cause the formation of religious groups, only with a "faith" in the non-existence of God; conflicts with my desire to reason independently. Agnosticism was not an option: concluding that some things can never be known is defeatist; concluding that you are unsure of a conclusion is paradoxical.
These points led me to adopt Reasoned Spirituality: a discipline that is neither theistic nor atheistic, but a pantheistic philosophy that shares aspects of the two ends of the spectrum. It is important to tolerate the beliefs of all people, provided they cause no significant harm to others, because every individual has differing mental capabilities, and consequently, each requires a different manifestation of the reasons to lead a moral, honest, and rewarding existence.
To decide that everything is the result of the actions of a deity/deities created in the image of man, or to conclude that the universe is basically a chaotic grouping of molecules, are both beliefs that ignore the science our remarkable species has created. To me the philosophy seems the only logical alternative.
Why I am an atheist
I am an atheist because, I had searched and searched in my youth for spirituality, through Xtianity, eastern philosophies, looking up at the stars, praying etc... It all really started when I took a Western Civ class in Jr. college back in the 70's with professor Porges. He was a cool old man with a corn cob pipe. When he got into religions and taught how we went from monotheism to polytheism it started to hit me that gods were man made. Of course it was a lot more involved than that but that's what sent me on my journey.
What I have found in my search is that there is nothing there. Spirituality, to me, is more to do with adrenalin rush than outside influence. You get excited about something and your adrenalin makes you high. I can do that by going out and breathing deep fresh air, or running... of course I'm gasping and wheezing all the way. Also, there is far more evidence to disprove an existence of omnipotence then there is to prove it. In fact, I have never seen any real proof of an existence of anything bigger than us out there, besides nature and the universe that is. I believe in things that are tangible, faith in something out there is not tangible. If god exists and loved his children so much then (s)he should stop all this pussy footing around, un-confuse everybody, stop the devisiveness and show his/her bloody ass. (Sorry, I get carried away). Some people think I'm pissed at god, no, I'm not. I can't be pissed at something that does not exist. If you look around at all the beliefs in god, he/she/it is usually what the person or culture decide they need him to be which is proof positive to me that god is man made. I also believe in logic and reason and a supernatural being that won't show itself does not fit into logic and reason.
Also, I don't believe Christ ever existed. There is absolutely no historical evidence, written documentation of such a man other than the bible and I don't believe the bible is a good account of history. It would take me forever to explain but there is an excellent site at http://www.truthbeknown.com/origins.htm . These things I've known for years, long before the net but it was a good find for me, easier than remembering it all.
I also have a major big problem with all the atrocities committed in the name of deities and how if something existed and it didn't do something major to prevent these things happing in it's name then I couldn't be a party to it even if it did exist.
Why I am an atheist
After many years of studying various religions and searching for "truth" ; after years of living on this planet and observing nature ; after thinking about these things rationally, my mind unswayed by the beliefs, opinions and teachings of others, I have not seen any reason to believe in a deity.
I don't think it's a bad thing to believe in the supernatural- faith can be a very beautiful thing that leads to beautiful actions. However, all too often, religion only serves to cause strife and division, wars and bloodshed, pain and hatred.
There are good principles that can be gleaned from various religions. However, these principles are common sense. Don't harm others (you might be harmed yourself). Value others (you will be valued).
Some ask me "why don't you believe in god?"
I ask "why should I?" I can treat others with respect without a belief in a deity. I can control myself and not harm other without a belief in a deity. The only thing religion really has to offer is fear of a hell or some other punishment. I will not be controlled by fear. A "loving" god would not want to control me with fear. I don't believe in a god- why should I believe in his hell? It doesn't make sense to me and I think that my life is better served concentrating on making others happy and healthy and enjoying myself.
That's why I'm an Atheist
Why do people become atheists?
Why I am an agnostic
I would consider myself an agnostic because that is the system that seems to work best for me in my day to day life. As a very young child (7 or 8) I made the actual, conscious decision not use any preconstructed belief system as I was determined to "write my own system" and do it my own way. I was raised as a Presbyterian but it was very casual and there was no insistence, in my home, that this was the right or only way to live.
I was very curious about 'magic' and did a lot of reading on the subject as a child. This trend developed as a grew older and I began to read about and experiment with all different kinds of systems...Christianity, voodoo, Hinduism, astrology, tarot cards, i-ching, etc etc and I basically discovered that none of them really worked for me but I would occasionally find an idea or concept that seemed "positive" and I would add it to my own little palette.
College time gave me an opportunity to alter my consciousness via the use of various substances and through these experiences I found that I did have some sort of "spiritual" feelings inside me but they were extremely nonspecific and the last thing I wanted to do was jam my experiences into some premade system just so I could belong to a group.
I found, in my 33 years, that I know very little about what's going on in this world/reality/universe and the more that I "let go" and didn't try to figure it out, the better things went for me. It was my first taste of "real magic" and I have discovered that, by letting go and simply putting out positive vibes (emotions, words, ideas) that the universe just seems to "click" for me and everything just works out right.
So basically, I don't know anything, don't understand anything and can't prove anything....but I can't disprove anything either and I think that is the core of what being an "agnostic" is, for me anyway.
Contents of the Sacramento Freethought Web Site