That’s not an experiment »« Where are all the Free Inquiry readers?

Why I am an atheist – Andrew

I am an atheist,

  • not because I am angry at God.

  • not because I’m rebelling against organized religion.

  • not because I enjoy sinning.

  • not because I’ve been brainwashed by college.

  • not because I’ve been possessed by the devil.

  • not because I like offending people.

  • not because I’m any less of a good person than I was.

  • not because I’m just going through a phase.

I am an atheist because the for 17 years I heard “You just have to have faith,” and I finally realized that I don’t.

We only have one shot at life, and I decided I wasn’t going to waste it. I don’t need religion or god to be a good person, to be happy, or to find meaning in life. In fact I am a better and happier person, and I’ve realized there is no meaning to life beyond what you give it yourself.

Andrew

Comments

  1. zb24601 says

    When I am told “You have to have faith” I respond with, “No, I don’t have to have faith!”

  2. says

    “Not because I’m going through a phase”.
    I hate it when family members telling me that with age I’ll grow out of atheism; that I’ll gain experience that will change my mind. It’s supremely annoying.

  3. douglaslm says

    I have heard “Your just angry” or “You have just been hurt” so many times. I do not understand where this line of reasoning comes from. If someone out there can explain the logic behind these statements I would appreciate reading it.
    Also, I have been told “If you just believe in (insert belief here) like I do then you would understand”. These people just do not get that I do understand their point of view very well and have rejected it all. And I do not want to be brain washed the way they are.

  4. says

    kariokie said:
    I hate it when family members telling me that with age I’ll grow out of atheism; that I’ll gain experience that will change my mind. It’s supremely annoying.

    My family finally stopped telling me that when I passed 40 without a single conversion in sight. (That’s also about when they stopped telling me, “You’ll want children someday, sweetie.”)

  5. r3a50n says

    “Faith,” which is defined as “belief in something for which there is no evidence” is a concept that I wholly reject. I have faith in nothing, which is what makes me an atheist.

  6. joe321 says

    Great post Andrew!

    I can relate to all the points in your list. As well, “Not because I am being stubborn.” This one has been annoying me a lot recently, implying that I am really a theist but that I am too stubborn to admit it.

  7. kagekiri says

    Yeah, you know, I finally came out atheist to my parents on Friday, and it’s funny how the vast majority of these were thrown at me by my parents with little prompting.

    “You don’t have a purpose, you must not have character, you’re just doing this to hurt us, you’re wrong and haven’t experienced enough to know anything, now you won’t have a purpose, you’re applying logic where logic doesn’t work, you’re angry at God, you’re angry at us, you can’t be an atheist, you’ll come around eventually, I’ve seen evidence of the spiritual and YOU’RE the one ignoring evidence/you’re calling me a liar/you’re distrusting me/you have no reason now to love/honor me…”

    GAAAh.

  8. robster says

    Faith! they all lurve faith, like it’s a positive thing. As written above, faith is the belief in something for which there’s no evidence. It’s a nonsense belief. Faith is a negative thing and is something that one should not consider. Having faith is a bit like wearing a red t-shirt with “I’m an idiot” written in big white letters on the front.

  9. says

    Andrew, that’s the best “Why I am an atheist” so far. I hate that stupid list of theist crap. Its very irritating and you have captured it very well. Looking at the other comments maybe we should build a list of replies to each item?

  10. yankonamac says

    Excellent points, all of them Andrew. Thank you.

    My mom lobbed some of those at me when I came out to her fifteen years ago; she tried to keep up the fight for a while until the Republican Church became so odious and overbearing in our area that even she was driven away from it, which gave her pause to consider. She still tries to have faith, but doesn’t, which makes me sad for her. She feels guilty and can’t bring herself to love the person she is and enjoy the fact that her intellect and judgement are no longer hobbled by religion’s doublethink.

    I recall her saying everything atheists do is evil because you can’t do good without God. I retorted that, in addition to that claim requiring a circular argument, atheists do good because they themselves want to do good, which is far more noble than doing good because you fear punishment from some imaginary dickheaded father figure. We didn’t talk much after that except in shouts.

    Faith, like virginity, exists to be gotten rid of.