Reasons Why I am an Atheist & Reasons That AREN’T Why I’m an Atheist

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I hear these comments ALL the time in regards to my atheism:

“You just want to sin.”

“What bad experience caused you to become an atheist?”

“You must be deceived by the devil!”

“Why are you so angry at God?”

“You must never have been a REAL Christian.”

“Why are you being so rebellious?”

None of these could be farther from the truth. The reason for my atheism is that I’ve looked at the evidence, genuinely considered both sides, and came to the conclusion that the existence of a deity is not supported by the evidence. Plain and simple. When people say things like the above, they miss the entire point and make rash assumptions about my motivations and intelligence.

“You just want to sin.”

This is an insult to my intelligence. Do you really think I’m stupid enough to think that I could get away with sinning just because I said God doesn’t exist? It also assumes that I secretly still believe in God, because otherwise sin isn’t an issue to begin with.

“What bad experience caused you to become an atheist?”

Some people start questioning their beliefs when they go through a difficult experience but it’s very important to note that this is NOT always the case by ANY means. It certainly wasn’t the case for me. Millions of people change their beliefs without any difficult experience involved at all.

Even when a difficult experience IS involved, often it’s just the trigger that made them start to think, it’s not necessarily the cause of the disbelief itself. For example, when someone prays for a loved one to not die and they die anyways, it can cause them to wonder if prayer really works. After researching it and examining the evidence, they may conclude that it doesn’t. To write off our change of beliefs as a desperate response to trauma is offensive and erroneous in the vast majority of cases. It also seems hypocritical, because many Christians start believing when they go through difficult times.

“You must be deceived by the devil!”

This makes a lot of major assumptions:

1. There is a devil and he is capable of invading someone’s mind against their will.

2. Me changing my mind about something indicates demonic possession rather than a conscious decision.

3. That all my prayers for guidance and truth during my early stages of doubting were met with demonic possession rather than guidance from God. Apparently God answers prayers for guidance by allowing people to become deceived by the Devil.

“Why are you so angry at God?”

I’m not. I’m angry at people like you for making such ridiculous and hurtful assumptions and judgments about my journey out of Christianity. In fact, I’ve written an entire blog on why many atheists are angry, and not one of the reasons is directed at a deity- they are all directed at people’s actions, attitudes, teachings. https://lillyblack82888.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/angry-atheists/

“You must never have been a REAL Christian.”

This is one of the most offensive statements of all, and it is the most indicative of a Christian who is afraid of any challenges to their belief. If I could genuinely experience ‘Jesus’ and then also genuinely stop believing, then what does that say about their religion? Not much. This is scary for them, so instead of facing it they try to discredit me. If I wasn’t ever REALLY a Christian to begin with, then my deconversion is nothing to be worried about. This is also a cult-ish method of preserving the religious group: Demonize those that leave so others will not question or leave too.

“Why are you being so rebellious?”

Is it rebellion to seek truth? Is it rebellion to desire to base my life on facts and not fiction? Is it rebellion to point out oppression, bullying, bigotry, and sexism when I see them actively hurting people? Is it rebellion to stand up for what I believe in and be myself?

Rebellion is defined as “the action or process of resisting authority, control, or convention.” So when you call me rebellious for becoming an atheist, what you’re really saying is that I SHOULD base my beliefs on what OTHER people tell me to believe, instead of deciding this for myself.

This also coincides with the idea that atheists are just atheists to be “cool” or for the sake of defying social convention. While this may be the case for a small handful of people who just like to be controversial for the sake of causing disagreements, it is certainly not the case for most atheists nor is it limited to discussions on religion. People do this on every topic imagionable, just look at YouTube comment threads.

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