Why I am an atheist – Sunday Afternoon

I am an atheist because I see no effects of God, god or gods in my interactions with the world.

This of course requires some explanation.

Theist: Have you looked?

S.A: Yes.

Theist: I mean, really looked?

S.A: Yes

Theist: I don’t believe you!

S.A: I do experiments for a living.

My job is to work out what is going on in the physics of magnetic recording for hard disk drives. I take experimental magnetic disks and heads, put them together and attempt to understand the sources of observable changes. If God/god/gods wanted to communicate with me through fucking up my experiment in a recognizable way, they have had ample opportunity to do so. However, all fuck-ups in my experiment have had a recognizable source – me.

Conversely, all bright lights of understanding have occurred through discussion and argumentation of observations and hypotheses with colleagues and always have a physical basis. No God/god/gods are tapping me on the shoulder saying “Excuse me, I did that!”

Before doing recording physics, I was an astronomer. Again, I did experiments to try to understand the sources of observable changes and again, all the fuck-ups in my experiments had a single source – me.

Before I routinely did experiments for a living, I was a theist. For the last 17 years God/god/gods have had daily opportunities to point out their existence to me. That there has been no demonstration of that existence, I live and work as though they don’t exist. This is why I am an atheist.

Sunday Afternoon


  1. says

    However, all fuck-ups in my experiment have had a recognizable source – me.

    Now that’s a philosophy I can relate to.

  2. r3a50n says

    However, all fuck-ups in my experiment have had a recognizable source – me.

    For any theists that see things differently, i.e. that any fuck-ups must be because of God, how over-inflated must your ego be? To go first to God instead of applying Occam’s Razor and realizing the the simplest explanation is that the fuck-ups occurred because you are an imperfect human is an uncritical and lazy cop-out not to mention egotism at it’s ugliest.

    If it hadn’t been for rational people throughout our shared history that refused to accept the God hypothesis and kept searching, kept asking questions despite being persecuted as infidels, we might still be stoning people to death today for heresy*. And that would be just fine and dandy to the church.

    Thanks for your skepticism and for writing this.

    *It is entirely likely that there are still people in some of the more isolated and less advanced places on our planet that do still get stoned to death today for heresy.

  3. cag says

    As a retired computer programmer I used to get plenty of overtime fixing my own “features” (they’re not bugs, they are undocumented features with incomplete implementation). The devil did not make me do it.

  4. Sunday Afternoon says


    I love the blatant simplicity here. Thank you for sharing it.

    Thanks, and thanks to PZ for doing this series. Given the popularity of the submissions, the number of years should be incremented by 1. Nothing else has changed.