Why I am an atheist – Mitchell Hayden

I consider myself lucky that I never really had a faith to lose. I was raised in a Christian family, but I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t questioning the things I heard in church. I made the firm decision to reject any organized religion in third grade when the leaders at my first and only Awana meeting told me (and most of the other children) that we would burn in hell for eternity if we continued to read Harry Potter. Luckily my family is not so ridiculous that they’d keep me in such an environment, and I was free to never have to go back. From that point until late into my high school career I considered myself a Deist. Just because organized religion was awful didn’t mean there wasn’t a kind loving god right? I was happy to think this until I began identifying as a skeptic. Even after my mother also rejected organized Christianity there were still a multitude of woo filled beliefs to contend with. The more educated I became the more I began to doubt all the things I had grown up with. “The Secret,” “Angel Therapy,” tarot cards. It didn’t take long for the idea of a god to follow the other foolishness down the drain. I’m now a proud and active atheist. There was a time when I thought leaving all the comforting ideas behind would be hard, that their absence would bother me. The exact opposite is true. The more I see how harmful those ideas are, the more sure I am I’m right. I could never go back to supporting beliefs that would keep people miserable because they think that their actions will lead them to a salvation that doesn’t exist.

Mitchell Hayden

Why I am an atheist – JB

I’m an anti-theist.  I used to be an atheist but I realized that it did not describe my true feelings.  And let’s face it somewhere between theist, atheist, and anti-theist it’s all about your belief system.  I grew up Mormon in the deep south.  My family are multi-generational Mormons active in both their faith and church leadership.  I left my religion at the age of 18 as I watched friends of mine coming back off their missions.  Young men and women who had been brainwashed and inculcated into the hyperbolic microcosm that is the mormon religion.

[Read more…]

Why I am an atheist – James Yakura

Because of Santa Claus.

Yes, this is going to take a bit of explaining. I was raised by parents who encouraged creativity and curiosity, who had shelves upon shelves of books on all walls of the house. And I had access to books as well: science fiction, fantasy, nonfiction. I remember quite clearly reading and rereading a science encyclopedia aimed at young children. I remember regular trips to the museum in Denver. I remember learning about how science worked by observing the world, and rejecting a belief if what was observed did not match the belief.

[Read more…]

Why I am an atheist – Ruthy McCoy

I wouldn’t have called myself an atheist during my childhood, but I certainly was un-churched and if someone had asked me about my opinion of god I would have shrugged my shoulders and said “I don’t know.  Maybe”.  But my friends believed in him and he seemed important to them, so I decided to test his existence by asking for him to show me a tornado because I had always wanted to see one.  I mean, he was supposedly all powerful and such, so that shouldn’t be such a difficult task, right?  I lived in Colorado where tornados were fairly common and I found that even under what should have been easy circumstances to produce a tornado (inclement weather), god could not do it when I asked.  I mean, god, god, you couldn’t even give me a god damn tornado when it was like all windy and lightning-ing and thundering everywhere?  Pathetic.  And so I decided there was probably nothing out there.

[Read more…]

Why I am an atheist – Helen Nicholls

As a young child I used to wonder why I existed at all. The thought made me dizzy. I considered the only answer I knew, that God had created it but it was not satisfactory. I also thought about death. I remember the moment I realised that one day I would die and that when that happened my consciousness would ceased and I simply would not be. The thought overwhelmed me and made me feel sick. I clutched at the easy answer; that I would go to Heaven. In order to believe that I had to believe in God as well and so I did. It wasn’t a conscious decision. It is only with hindsight that I realise that it was the fear of death that made me push away all my doubts.

[Read more…]

Why I am an atheist – Inflection

When I was very young, my Dad combed my hair.  I don’t know why; perhaps I was hilariously bad at it.  But it meant that we had a few minutes one-on-one in the morning before he went to work and I went to daycare or the like.  We would talk about whatever was on our minds.  It was on one of these morning that we broached the subject of first cause, or, as a young child would put it, where everything comes from.  He explained about the Big Bang and the Primordial Point.  I don’t remember the words, but the image in my mind is vivid.

[Read more…]

Why I am an atheist – Nick Chackowsky

I was a “moderate” Christian (Lutheran, then Anglican) on and off for many years, but the more I learned about the history of religion and the nature of the universe, the more mental gymnastics I found myself going through, much to my cost. Okay, I can believe X if by X I mean Y. It was one of those moments at a Good Friday service a few years ago–Okay, I can accept that I’m a hopeless sinner if by hopeless sinner I mean… what?– that forced me mid-service to pick up my vestments and exit the choir, to which I haven’t returned.

The other issue I just could not reconcile, gymnastics and all, was theodicy: explaining how a good, wise, and powerful god could allow needless and vast pain and suffering. I’ve never heard an explanation that made sense! The misery of billions, human and otherwise, testifies to the absence of any god like that.
And so, rather painlessly and much to my gain in mental health, I’ve renounced god, the church, and all their empty promises.

Nick Chackowsky