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”