ANSWERS: 47
  • Well, I used to be an atheist but have since changed to agnostic. The reason for this is that I need evidence for me to believe in something. God has NO evidence at all. However, as has been pointed out here on AB, no evidence does not mean it does not exist! I now say I am agnostic as although I do not believe in any God I also do not rule out the existence of any kind of God like being.
  • A divorce and the behaviour of a supposedly "christian" ex-wife, which led to several suicide attempts which led to counselling to unravel a rather nasty childhood which led to a questioning of everything I'd ever believed which led to thoroughly unsatisfactory answers from even the wisest of church elders which led slowly to the conclusion that whatever god or gods we currently have, they're man-made, not the other way 'round. There might be some superior being around somewhere, but all current evidence is totally unsatisfactory...
  • Umm... for me, it was just a sudden realization when I was thirteen years old. I was gay, in the closet, and too smart to be fed a load of crap anymore. It just made sense that not every religion nor just one religion could be "right".
  • the ignorence, and hatred religion seems to brew up
  • I never believed there was a god. I wasn’t raised religious. My family never even mentioned the word “god”. I have a lot of aunts and uncles, so I had tons of cousins. We grew up seeing each other almost every day. Most of my family never went to church. I had a preacher uncle, so his kids went constantly. Another aunt and uncle sent their 4 kids to church every so often. They never talked about belief around me… not even the preacher uncle. The only thing I knew by age of 7 was some Jesus songs sang from the church bus as my cousins were returning home. One day my mom told me that my cousin’s church was having a fun-day. There would be toys, coloring, singing those Jesus songs, snow cones, and other kids. She said some of my cousins and some neighborhood friends were going, so I shouldn’t be nervous and I’d probably have fun. It was pretty fun. When it was time to color the church lady gave us bible story pictures and told the stories as we colored. That would have been totally ordinary except she told us the stories really happened. I thought there was something wrong with her because she was an adult who didn’t know the difference between make-believe and reality. No other child seemed fazed by it. I suddenly didn’t feel so safe there. I never spoke about it, but I told my mom I’d rather not go again. When I was 9 my teacher began to teach us about the old gods of polytheism. I laughed and began asking how those people could have been so foolish to believe all of the miraculous things these gods supposedly did. The teacher seemed very uncomfortable with my questions and the other kids weren't amused. I felt the same feeling I had in the church 2 years earlier. By the time I was 18, I knew bits and pieces about Christianity, so I figured I’d check it out. After all, there had to be something to the bible since it was so popular. I was a little excited to get a bible and maybe discover something amazing. Well, I read it. I was amazed alright. I was amazed and confused. Why did people believe this stuff? Did they really even believe it? I had always been interested in what makes people tick, so I had a new interest… what causes people to believe? Every other description of God I've heard just doesn't ring true. None have evidence and the world just makes more sense without a god. So, I never really decided I don't believe. I was never a believer and nothing has given me a reason to believe.
  • Who needs an event? A deity is illogical
  • I didn't become an atheist (I'm technically agnostic, but that's just semantics), I've always been. At one point, when going to Sunday school, I realized that the people around me actually believed the stories we were reading. It's best to avoid such delusional people.
  • Well there are a few reasons. Firstly what causes war is religion. Secondly, seeing apes up so close and realising just how phenonomeonely (Sorry - can't spell it right) similar we are. Also, I knew a friend who prayed everyday for her sister in hospital to stay alive and she died just when she was showing signs of an amazing recovery. What kind of God just decides to take people who haven't had a fair chance to experience life yet? How can some higher, fabulous being allow millions of people world wide to be malnutritioned...POVERTY? Sorry but for a 'God' that is all loving and caring, why the hell would he let babies drown, good decent people die and take the lives of loved ones for no reason? Even taking the lives of people who pray to him everyday and show dedication to their religion and to this 'God'.
  • My dad didn't consider the topic worthy of discussion, but my mother was a religious zealot and I was inflicted with the whole Roman Catholic thing from a really early age including parochial school for 12 years. My childhood buds & I were altar boys, but we were "only in it for the money"(!), supplimenting our returned bottle deposit receipts with collection basket pilfering (yeah, I know). The worm really turned on a "last straw" concept (or "event", A.i.) in the 4th grade (9yo?) when we were actually tasked to believe that the angry German nuns were *all married to Christ*! Full tilt & WTF? even inna 9yo consciouness! By 16 I purchased & read Camus' The Stranger, leading to other works of this ilk, and with the counsel of my buds, the world started to make some sense to me. I was actually so preoccupied with this quixotic quest for certainty in (mental) life that instead of persuing a more pragmatic education, I ended up with a B.A. in Philosophy at 20. That & 50 cents used to buy one a pack o' smokes! My whole life at times still seems to revolve around somehow reconciling the unreconcilable, if you will. Witness: my answering this question! Thanks, ma!
  • There was no magic bullet, it was a combination of factors. Broadly speaking it would be learning about philosophy and to question. I started to question no-one gave me decent answers, indeed initially some almost rebuked me for daring to ask (not many as my family are all like me but some people). That raised suspicions. Also I had learned about other religions and the question of "why is one true and not the others?" started to really nag at me. But it was a combination of mnay factors.
  • The Myth of Sisyphus by Camus. Didn't really change my opinions so much as justified them, and showed me that it is possible to be a joyful, upbeat atheist. Also a class called Science and the Modern World, which illustrated how theories and memes are formed, and what makes a good theory. It taught me how people skew their own perceptions to accommodate their beliefs.
  • the fact that the bible is a mongerer of death, destruction, and hate, not to mention sexism. Also I started to think logically, and hmm, no god.
  • seeing all the hate and killing done in the churches and gods name and all the hypocrisy and bigotry by the followers of organised religion in the last 2000 plus years ...and its only getting worse each and everyday
  • About the time I figured out that Santa Clause was impossible: a billion kids, hundreds of thousands of miles, flying reindeer, not getting stuck in chimneys, one man and a little sack for toys....all in one night?
  • I am not an atheist, I just dont believe in God. I am a christian really. Last year, I was reading the new testament, and Jesus kept calling his father God. It was an epiphany, a revelation that struck deep into my soul. How could Jesus even call His Father the G word? It made no sense to me. His father had to have a better name. Maybe it is a Hebrew word. What word was interpreted to get to even theos, the greek word for God. Oh, capital T Theos, sorry. So I challenged christians, and for the most part everyone believes God's name is God. Thats when I realized Christianity might be fake. My research ended with Elohim for a name. And the tetragrammaton which is untranslatable. Yahweh, Jehovah and all of the forms are not the name. So I wondered about the personal relationship all born again christians are said to have. Where is the Name in all of that. No one knows The Name. No One. Not one person anywhere. God is not the name. Its a symbol for a name no one knows. But every christian believes God is His Name. Therefore, anyone who believes in God is delusionary. They have lost contact with reality. They are living in a faith bubble. One would think it has to be an absolute. But it isnt an absolute. Because there is something about the heart of a christian that transcends symbolism and makes it real.
  • Step by step (sort of): Gods are boring.(sort of apatheist) Gods are useless.(Apatheist) Maybe I'm wrong.(agnostic-ish trying to believe) Wait...(agnostic leanng towards atheist) This is nonsense!(atheist) Oh well, to each his own. (politically-correct atheist, ugh) Wait...(politically-correct atheist leaning on antireligion) That is wrong!(antireligious atheist) After that I settled (so to speak) on agnostic atheism because gnostic atheism is mirroring the stupidity of gnostic theism.
  • there wasn't any event at all really, I have never been in the least bit interested in any of it and have always found the entire subject of religion utterly boring and incredibly dull. I have zero interest in it and have never felt any different.
  • Being a christian led me straight to atheism after I was aware enough to take a look at what my actual beliefs were supposed to be.
  • It was my english teacher who by questioning my beliefs made me realise that there are other possibilities. I think this happens to every body, i mean though we always have many questions about things we believe in (personal god, ghosts, etc) but it seems that we never put so much effort in finding the answers until someone else asks the same questions and demands answers. There always have to be someone else who force you to think in different ways. That person can be your brother or your teacher or a friend.
  • Just got sick of wasting my time at church.
  • Maybe something happened to them that would convince them that there isn't a God... like a death?
  • People can become an atheist for many reasons. It could be a result of anger, frustration, resentment etc. due to some unpleasant experience, relating to a church or religion (although its not likely you'll get an atheist to admit it). Another could be the individual's inability to rationalize the concept of God. We all have a tough time with that, even the clergy have difficulty with the logic. I don't think we can reasonably fault, any person for that, because I don't believe anyone can fathom infinaty or omnipotence and omniscience, we just can't corral those concepts in our minds, so we can see them clearly. The belief in God, in my opinion, is reliant upon reasonable probabilities and faith, not the rationalization of impossibly imagined concepts. Many atheists are just trying to be rational, with out applying the unknowns to the equation.
  • Frustration mostly...So many attend church and hear the same things over and over again and then are told what they do is wrong and a sin. What they are actually being told is more "church dogma" (church rules and laws) rather than the truth of the Bible. I believe this is one of the main reasons young people become dissatisfied and quit going to church. They like to have fun but in most instances the church tells them it is wrong to enjoy their young lives and to keep those hormones in check when God never said that! I no longer attend church because I am tired of listening to so many lies taught from the pulpit about the Bible and are only church dogma. Too many preachers would rather tickle the ears and keep their upper class clicks happy than tell the truth. If you want proof of what I am saying then email me and I will supply all you need. Remember God loves you and His Son Jesus died and rose again for you. All you need do is accept that free gift and you will find much happiness.
  • They most probably found out that the bible has 130 versions and used their common sense not be believe in any of them.
  • Well they already didn't believe in thousands of religions. Shucking off one more isn't too hard to believe.
  • probably because after we study the bible closely, we realize what a load it is.
  • Because he never answered any of my prayers.
  • Much like George WTF Bush is the biggest recruiter of terrorists the world has known, the Bible is the biggest converter to atheism religion has known. Anyone that reads that filth with an open mind will convert to atheism immediately after puking their guts out
  • I think maybe because they were hurt/damaged badly in some tragedy..someone they loved dearly was taken from them..in their anguish and despair, they struck out. That's all I can think of.
  • The Bible seems to be the number one creator of atheists in the world. This is because it is just completely ridiculous, and any reasonable person can see that after checking it out, especially in this day and age when science can explain things that were formerly attributed to God. Even I, having attended Christian indoctrination schools for nine years, became an atheist.
  • I think most athiests are religious in some way or another before converting. There's always exceptions to the rule, I have known a few people that were always athiests since I knew them when we were children but for the most part I think it would be safe to say a lot of athiests, including myself, at least gave religion a try and it didn't suit them, they found inconsistancy or no answers to their life questions, as for me it was all of those things and more. My mind just doesn't function in a faith based way.
  • it's a personal thing, some lose faith, some may have never had it, others just "lack proof". myself, i don't think religion has it right. i think there's "more to life" than what we can see it as, but i don't put all my 'faith' into a single set of rules that were written down by man almost 1800 years ago. i do agree with some parts (basically the live a good life bit), but i'll fight you tooth and nail on the nit-picky stuff like "no masturbation, no same-sex couples", that is all propeganda the catholics put into religious doctrine to keep the number of followers up for the crusades. picture if every time you got aroused you had sex, chances are high of your wife getting pregnant, which means another catholic to fight the holy war....yeah, i'm gonna stop now before i really start ranting. :)
  • Beliefs are fluid and subject to waves of hope and currents of disillusionment.
  • I reached the age of reason and it was all over. I believed in god and the bible because my parents had me indoctrinated in it at the same time I believed in the tooth fairy, easter bunny and santa claus. Kids will believe anything they are told and have reinforced constantly. Then I began thinking on my own. There's no evidence not any. It doesn't make sense. Too many logical paradoxes. Too much contridiction with known facts. I'd have to let go of all reasonable thought to the point that I might as well be lobotomized.
  • For someone who 'doesn't exist', Jesus gave a pretty good explanation: Matthew 13:3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; Mat 13:4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: [snip] Mat 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
  • One reason is because they find out that no one knows God's Name. God is just a substitute word for a name no one knows. People worship a nameless GOD. People are so confused about the name of God that they think God is God's name. Then they say it doesnt really matter if God does or doesnt have a name. This is supposed to quell further questions about a question no one wants to consider. The Muslim insist God's Name is Allah. which is really just Arabic for God. The Greeks had hundreds of Gods. They even have a topic called Theology, meaning the study of God. Christians think it means the study of the God of the Bible. Jesus is Greek and Christ is Greek, therefore Jesus Christ is the name of a Greek God. Jesus is really Hebrew in Origin, So the hebrews used the YHWH to create Yahweh and Yeshua. It is enough to make anyone who has a head on their shoulders to say that All Religions are fake. Muslim and Christian. At least the Egyptians called their God, RA.
  • Organized religions are as honest and trustworthy as the government IMO.
  • Social pressure. Additional knowledge. Disenchantment with church.
  • I can just speak for myself but I believed for 35 years. after all that time of unanswered prayer and waiting on this God to bring me happiness and peace and provide for my needs, all I kept getting was heartache, pain, death, etc. When I reached out for real answers all I got was Christians who judged me and told me it was my fault because I had sinned and I brought it on myself, etc (depressed people are full of Satan, etc). When I questioned why my prayers were not being answered.. I always heard.."God answered..he just said no or wait" LOL YET The Bible says he will give you what you ask for and need.. it's all contradictions. I felt like I was constantly being JUDGED for every little thing that I did or said and there were never any real answers.
  • Look at the world around us, look at what is going on wars, hunger, homelessness, murder... etc. I know if I was a powerful GOD who created the universe I would put end to the evil doings on this plant. Oh the catholic priests let not forget them.
  • Statistics. Christianity is one of the most popular religions in the world, so it's only logical that it turns out a lot of atheists.
  • Usually because of something that's happened to them like losing a son or daughter maybe a wife, the list has no end.
  • Sorry! Double post
  • Because if you look around you you find no God exists or if He does he's pretty sick to let all the atrocities caused by nature go ahead
  • If children are forced to adopt a given religion by their parents, then those with a healthy sense of adventure or an above average intellect are quite likely to explore other religions (including Atheism -- the belief that there is no God) once they have free will. It stands to reason that the more sheltered an existence enforced by parents or local society, the more likely that an intelligent person will discard the dogma. In the US at least, it is quite common for Christians to impose their own religion onto their children (or even other people's children), and not uncommon to attempt to restrict knowledge of other belief systems. For example, much of the internet filtering software used at home and in schools block access to non-Christian religious websites or to sites that promote values that are perceived to be against the so-called "Christian agenda".
  • Well you're born agnostic and the majority would be atheist when confronted with the choice. It is only because you are force fed godaganda from an early age when it is easy to be misled that we have any theists at all.
  • My experiences in the church and my studies of the Bible led me to investigate science and atheism. I was a Born-Again Christian for 21 years and a pastor/teacher for 3.5 years. Over the course of that time I witnessed blatant disregard of the scriptures and contradictions in the Bible beyond counting. When I lost my home due to a lengthy hospital stay, I asked my fellow believers to help me. Not one of them lifted a finger to find me a temporary home, where I could get back on my feet again. This only furthered my belief in the hypocrisy of the church. When my prayers went consistently unanswered, I finally concluded that God wasn't there. I picked up The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, and the rest was history. I have yet to hear an argument that smacks of truth more than science and pure logic.

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