Hi,
So this is my attempt at a blog. I figure a good place to start where a lot of people seem to begin is why I'm an atheist and what I believe exactly.

I was raised in a household by fairly open minded Christian parents who went to church in childhood but never took me to church. We celebrate Christmas and Easter as a family but otherwise religion was rarely discussed in detail in my home. I think I will always celebrate these holidays simply because they have a lot of family meaning to me even though i don't have any believe in the religious meaning behind them. I try to do this in the most respectful way possible.

This will largely be framed in terms of the development of feelings that Christianity didn't make sense to me simply because that is the background I have. This developed into a greater sense that other religions also didn't make sense to me for largely the same reasons.

I do remember when I was little praying but not really understanding why a God with a plan would need to be swayed by verbalized prayers particularly if since he was all knowing he would know what I was going through, thinking, and feeling. I had trouble with the idea that a God would care about one sports team praying for an outcome harder than an other... it seemed presumptuous to pray for the downfall of someone else.

Some of the things asked of us in the bible such as punishments for sins that weren't really noted by people nowadays confused me. If the bible was the word of God why were people picking and choosing which parts they were choosing to live by?

I had trouble with the idea that some great all knowing wise being would be so absorbed in the small behaviors of individuals. So many things asked of human beings in the bible seemed vain and petty. It seemed less likely that man was created in God's image but that god was created in man's flawed, power driven, and patriarchal image.

I didn't understand how someone could decide that one religion was right over all others in the world. There were so many explanations. It seemed like mankind all over the world was trying to understand why they were there and how everything worked. Religion seemed like a perfect way to establish perfect order. What better way to ensure good behavior of the masses than to tell them that an invisible man in the sky is watching them and will damn them to a fiery eternity if they mistep even if no mortal man ever knows?

The lack of evidence on top of this was the worst. I prefer to believe explanations that seem far more likely.

At a young age I then came to the conclusion that religion in general just wasn't something I could place any level of faith behind. There were too many inconsistencies.

However, I personally am not comfortable saying that I believe there isn't a God. That takes a certain level of faith, however tiny, and while, "You can't prove he doesn't exist," is a horrible argument too often used to try to "disprove" or at least argue against atheism, I don't want to risk being fundamentalist in any direction. I don't want to risk being as close minded as so many people I am deeply offended and frustrated by. I never want to force my beliefs on someone else. I do however enjoy conversations on the topic if the other person is open to it.

I am an atheist not an agnostic (at least not in terms of being uncommitted to a particular world view). I have an absence of a belief in any form of deities. While I can't say it isn't an incredibly remote possibility I certainly don't believe there is a God.

That's a pretty basic outline. Hopefully I'll find something I think I should write about here soon. Thanks for reading my ramble.

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Comment by Dan Robson on May 26, 2009 at 10:18pm
Well said. I've been browsing around various blogs looking for a way to articulate my own story, this seems to sum it up in many ways for me. My experience was that praying didn't actually do anything. When Santa didn't bring me the things on my list and the tooth fairy didn't show up after I didn't tell anyone I lost my tooth, it wasn't much of a leap for me to think that praying didn't do anything either.

What ultimately did it for me I think was that I just can't believe that there is an afterlife. I think the term "afterlife" is a natural human response to eventual and inevitable mortality, and religion springs up as such. When I was able to let go of the hope that I would have eternal life after death, I was freed to appreciate the world through a new set of eyes.

Welcome to AN, anyway. I'm glad I read this blog.

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