It seems like some of the people who define themselves as "strong atheist" were never "real believers" in religious gods, while others started out as strong believers. In some cases, they were strong believers in especially rigid sects. I'm curious about what led people to not only lose faith but also become what they define as "strong atheist". In my own case, the loss of faith was due to reading the Bible. Being raised in a fundamentalist Baptist background, I was taught that either it's ALL true, or it's not - that we couldn't pick and choose. I started out as a strong believer in the Bible and the Baptist church. Then literal readings of the Bible led me to realize that the internal contradictions could not ALL be true. So I lost faith, completely.

The "strong" atheist part was due to excesses and psychological and physical brutality that I see in religion, and the lies and hypocracy that I saw in both my original church and in the powerful leaders on a more general national, and international, basis. Even stronger with recent events, in the US and in the Middle East.

What leads others, or most people, to "strong" atheism, as opposed to just not beleiving?

Tags: atheist, strong

Views: 351

Replies to This Discussion

I see, fellow humans slaughter each other for their superstition, women mutilated, and children indoctrinated. Any person with a scratch of dignity would call him/herself a Strong atheist.

May god b-less
I'm a strong Atheist because I've got no other choice...can't stomach this nonsense anymore. America is under seige and if we don't stand up, they are are going to keep ramming Jesus down our throats until all our freedom is gone.
Keith,
This is close to my motivation as well. For half of my live I've been staisfied with just being godless. Then the religious right started dominating the press and the political process. Even now, with a big loss on their side, the President has to at least give them more say than they should probably get. Stay strong.
It's my attitude toward all things that puts me in "strong atheism". There's no need for a god in any thing I've encountered or in which I've participated, but that only leads as far as a weaker atheism. But without that, the next phase couldn't take over: The religiotarded nuts that talk "god god god" all the time are wholly opposed in their practice to my philosophy. Like a reaction that gets catalyzed in an acidic environment, the rate of my rejections of religious notions increased greatly due to the environment I'm in.

I find it necessary and even fun to actively reject god-concepts. I am pushed further into my atheist-slot by collisions with religion. God is like many other things that are like god. God is unnecessary and an extreme waste of effort for absolutely no return. It is absurd to put in effort for no reward. Even with a well-established habit, all it takes is not doing that one thing that you keep doing to achieve a slightly less suboptimal life.
Jared,
Your comment about the effect that religiousity has on your atheism, is the same with me. If not for the religious fanatics and the respect that they are accorded in the press and politics, I would be a lot more laid back about it.
Stay strong.
what made me a strong athiest was realizing that there was a lot of suffering and evil in this world, cancer,famine, babies born handicap etc. It aint right, even if we give the belivers the benefit of the doubt their god would probably evil, jealous, all knowing, snob.
Lourenco,

This philosophical response tells me that your atheism is compassionate and thoughtful. In the minds of the religious, their god is merciful, loving, and kind. In reality, if he is as their Bible describes him, he's cruel, childish, hateful, malicious, and as you say, evil, jealous. He plays with human beings the same way that a child plays with ants and catepillars.

My argument is that atheism recognises that we have only one life, one world, and one chance. If we screw it up, we have only ourselves to blame. So strong atheism to me means, treating other people the way that I want to be treated (I know, that's in the bible too, but that's not the majority of the book), taking care of the people and world around us, and not accepting any bullshit from the religious.

Keep strong, and I hope that you will continue adding your thoughts and experiences to A|N.
I'm a strong atheist for all the aforementioned reasons. Reading the bible made me a strong atheist...seeing the misery caused in the name of god made me a strong atheist..witnessing the hypocracy first hand...on a daily basis makes me a strong atheist. Oh, yeah....and there's that little problem I have with authority figures..lol
Unholy
Ah, the Bible. How many of us started out as beleivers, and deconverted due to that amazing book?
The hypocracy is a big motivator for me, too. It's everywhere!
I've never believed in God or religion. My mother took me to Sunday school as a child, but when I was 7 I informed her that I didn't believe in any of it and I didn't want to go any more. She stopped taking me.

We weren't a religious household. I think she just thought she was 'supposed' to take us to church, but she was pretty easily talked out of it and now says that she believes in God, but not religion.

The entire concept of God has always seemed completely ridiculous to me. Unfortunately, I grew up wondering if there was something wrong with me because I didn't have the capacity to believe in this stuff. I read the bible at age 10, hoping that would convince me. It wasn't until I was in my late teens that I became grateful for my disbelief. As I became more aware of the atrocities carried out in the world in the name of religion (especially against women) I began to wonder how any self respecting woman can support or believe in any of it.

Now, in my 40's, I am thrilled to live a life based on reality and am raising my children to do the same.
My mind was poisoned by The Bible when I was very young. I was given it by a kindly aunt and due to my parents being a couple of magnitudes less intelligent than I, there were no books in the house(except Mills and Boon crappy romances). So I started to read it. The next few years were absolute mental torture. I was a sinner- bound for Hellfire for all eternity. Terrifying for someone so young. I believed the self-contradictory nonsense and did until I was 10 or 12. It took science (physics, biology and chemistry lessons) to rid me of the mental knot. Carl Sagan`s Baloney Detection Kit won through against the odds.What gifts he left humanity, and he died for no-one`s sins.
So, now I have gotten over it (I think), I have come to realise in the last few years that billions and billions (geddit?) of people have had the same experiences as me, that their lives have been tainted, and others still are being fed and indoctrinated with the same mental poison. I thought of myself as atheist, but that wasn`t enough. It had to be anti-theism.
I now challenge religion wherever I come across it. People say that I should not do so, but I MUST. I explain that it is an affront to human knowledge, dignity and intellect- not to mention MY knowledge, dignity and intellect- and that they (other atheists) should take the same position. There are plenty of atheists in the UK, it`s just that most are non-confrontational. They all agree with my viewpoints, but are simply too lily-livered to actually say or do anything about it. Maybe it`s just apathy.
I am told to "keep quiet" around believing relatives. I am told that I am wrong for saying such "controversial" things. My cousin said, "I hope your kids all grow up to be religious- that`ll teach you". In the face of this very upsetting remark, I replied that it was a vicious thing to say, and that it was no better than me wishing cancer upon his. Anyway, enough was enough. I made my stand. I said that I was doing the human race a favour by challenging religion, and that by those standards, I was "a f*cking HERO!". A little over the top, but an anger took over. He avoided me for months and I felt guilty, even though I knew I need not. We WERE very close.
I am, and will continue to be, a STRONG ATHEIST, sowing the seeds of doubt and challenging religion wherever I come across it. Militant Islam and the American ACE educational system have gained real footholds here and it terrifies me. We need more Strong Atheists, and my recruitment drive has renewed vigour- my children are made to pray at school and have gotten into trouble for refusing to. My youngest got into trouble for telling her teacher that God was no more real than the tooth fairy. I was shocked, but proud, as I had never broached the subject with her.
So- I am gonna take the fight to the enemy. I am fed up with defending my position and think it`s time the boot was on the other foot. And I`m gonna put it there.
Peace,love and happiness, and RIGHT ON, Jacqueline Sarah Homan!
I think I feel so strongly because I'm sick to death of these idiots having any input whatsoever into the way the rest of us run our lives. They seem incapable of not telling other people how they should live their lives.

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