Answers from an Atheist Part 2

Q:  What do you think is the “final straw” that causes most atheists to become atheists?


A:  I always like this assumption – that there was a “final straw.”  I think for most atheists there was no defining moment where they were like “Oh hey this god stuff is bullshit.  I am done with it.”

Sure I do think there are some people who have things happen in their life that are so drastic and life altering that they literally do lose their religion.  This is especially true when they would have been considered good christians and who prayed and asked for god to help them and nothing happened.  When you are told that your prayers will be answered and they aren’t you tend to think its a bunch of lies especially if it happens over and over.  So you either have to believe you aren’t good enough for god to answer your prayers, you didn’t pray enough or that there is no god listening.

I didn’t have a “final straw” moment.  I did have a moment where  logical things I had seen that drew me towards Mormonism became the logic that pushed me out the door.  Sometimes I think I should have the missionaries over to discuss this and see what they have to say about it.  Even so that moment didn’t make me have a sudden disbelief in god though it did provide a loophole in which to take a look deep inside myself.  It still took a few years before I was able to actually define the feelings I had been having about god.

Its incredibly hard to be raised to believe in this god  in a country where everyone seems to believe in it too and have doubts.  I truly believe there are many people out there who say they believe in god simply because everyone else does.  Peer pressure is incredibly hard to overcome.
I think that more likely Atheists’ “final straw” is more a coming out – when they are finally fed up with hearing things like “it was in god’s plan” or “god is good” or just any of the other things that are thrown out on a daily basis by well meaning Christians.  So then they post it on facebook , or tell their family and there is a relief to be able to be who you are and openly (maybe) not believe in what everyone else seems to believe in.

Becoming Atheist is a process of introspection and logical and reasonable thinking over time but coming out as an atheist is the “final straw”


6 thoughts on “Answers from an Atheist Part 2

  1. I like the “coming out” analogy here. For all of my atheist friends – heck, for all of my friends who changed faiths/religions/etc too – they describe a period of disillusionment and then a “coming out” in sharing their adherence to a new/different faith (or lack thereof).

    My question… I often hear Christians describe Atheism as a faith system just like any other. The reasoning goes like this: “You can’t prove veritably that there isn’t a higher being, so aren’t you operating by faith too?” What’s your response to that?

  2. OK a question has finally come to me: What do you believe happens after we die? Do we have souls which live on somehow somewhere (with or without G-d, of course)? I ask because I believe our souls are eternal but I don’t have a traditional belief of judgement then getting sent either to Heaven or to Hell…I don’t believe in Hell! Even though I DO believe in G-d, I feel that He made us and loves us and Hell just doesn’t make sense to me. What DOES make sense to me is that after we die, we live on with all the others who have passed before us. No big judgement (perhaps some time before certain people join in…call it “cleansing,” “healing,” “purgatory,” whatever you want), just “Hi and welcome–here are the answers you guys have been arguing over, so that’s that and let’s move on” to put it extremely simply…

    • Well, you have set up this afterlife in your head and you have absolutely zero reason to believe it to be that way. Seriously, what reasons do you have to believe as you do? What facts? What evidence?

      If you were to sit down and think this through you’ll find that you actually have no credible reason to believe any of that.

      You believe in souls – why?
      You believe souls are eternal – why?
      You believe that this life is merely a precursor, stopping point, testing ground or something – why?
      You believe that after this life we’ll get all the answers – why?

  3. I know for me it was definitely a transition and there wasn’t one definitive moment. I went from being a devout Christian to thinking maybe God wasn’t as active in our lives as they say to thinking there was a creator but he doesn’t meddle at all to not believing in anything. There was a moment where I “came out” to my husband but I had kind of felt that was for a while before that. I still haven’t come out to the rest of my family and friends.

    After going through so much trying to conceive and having a miscarriage, I feel like if I hadn’t crossed the point from believer to nonbeliever before I would have now.

  4. It took many years for me. A seminal moment was when I got brave enough to say to god, if you’re real show yourself. Nothing happened. In a couple of days/weeks when the fear of death subsided I knew that my feard were unjustified and so were my beliefs in a god.

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