Against all odds we are atheist. What in your life do you think led you to be an atheist? Was it an emotional event or some combination of things learned. Can it be determined what is necessary to program an atheist? Is it a matter of deprogramming false beliefs? This knowledge could enable profound changes in our collective world views. We could all be on the same page. What do you think?

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I would say a combination of things.  First, I have never seen evidence for God and someone saying I should have faith in his or her God seems like a sales pitch to me.  Secondly, I was bullied throughout school and I really don't like the way religious people bully other people who have differing beliefs.

I was never brainwashed to begin with, and I'm an adult, so I don't have imaginary friends. Also, I can see from the terrible things that go on in the world that if there is a "god", it's useless or a sicko.

I tried to find relief from family violence that was based on traditional gender roles and abusive behaviors. Being a believer didn't provide me with the "fruits of the spirit". I rebuked religion and all its trappings and found life is better without all the dogma, traditions and values.  

Mine was a slow evolution which started with an interest in the work of Robert Heinlein, evolved through some gainful experiences with meditation, but ultimately came up against the reality that I simply cannot fool myself worth a good damn.

I'm an engineer and with that comes the "baggage" of being a pragmatist who lives and dies on good data and hard evidence ... and eventually the evidence (or lack of it) won out.

OK, I am ready for a Robert Heinlein read, iBooks has dozens, at least, by him. Which one should I start with?  

Stranger in a Strange Land. Job; A Comedy of Justice. The Puppet Masters.

Good choices, all of those, though all of his work has virtue, both in the understanding of the nature of the universe and the nature of humankind.  I would add a sentimental favorite, Time Enough For Love, and for multiple reasons, including the following:

The more you love, the more you can love -- and the more intensely you love. Nor is there any limit on how many you can love. If a person had time enough, he could love all of that majority who are decent and just.
-- from The Notebooks of Lazarus Long

     The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

     Number of the Beast

     The Cat Who Walked Through Walls

  Also, any anthology of his short stories is wonderful.

Thanks Larry, Loren and Tony. Let the adventure begin!

I say we are all born atheist and like so many peers are corrupted as time goes on. My deist like family spared me from that shit. Now here is where im looking. So many of my atheist peers dont want children and I myself am re looking at that idea. The mental illness has a habit of procreating or forcing it I dont know the exacts. What I dont get is the excessive dislike for children, as if they dont improve as time goes on. As for your deprogramming, good luck. You can lead a horse to water

As stated in earlier posts, I lost my belief in god at an early age. The reading of the bible helped with the loss; The story of Job-very disgusting, especially for a kid. When jesus told the gentile woman seeking a cure for her daughter that those of her kind were not fit for scraps from his table I decided he was not worth worshiping. I am considered a gentile. Why would I worship someone who hates me? Anyway, that stuff ran through my mind as a kid. As I grew older more solid reasons took hold. Carl Sagan's series Cosmos pretty much solidified my disbelief in pie-sky gods, among other silly beliefs.

I, personally, have basically always been an atheist. To be sure, I had my Christian phase, but I never could really quite bring myself to believe it fully. I recommend to you a good book by Michael Shermer entitled, "The Believing Brain". If you haven't already read it, it may answer many of your questions. It is a very good and informative explanation of why people believe anything, and the knowledge contained in it comes from 30 years of research.

Always be aware that atheism is not the belief that God does not exist, rather it is absence of belief in god(s), it's a subtle difference that many theists do not understand. That's why most theists call atheism a religion. They think we believe that there is no God, as opposed to the truth that atheists are without theistic belief.

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