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Why I am an atheist and reject religion
When you’re an atheist you get a lot of assumptions and questions from theists when they meet you. A lot of those assumptions are made by theists because I get the impression some of them (especially theists raised as theists from a young age) can’t see a functioning world outside the bible.
The most common questions I’ve gotten are:
1) Where do you get your morals from?
From life experience, from how I’ve been treated by others and from how I would like others to treat me. It’s all very simple, I say to myself “Would I like this done to me?” and from my ability to feel empathy.
Personally I can’t see how anyone can get their morals from the bible (or any holy book) considering the amount of murder, rape and incest within its pages. Some theists tell me “I get my morals from god”, the god character who suppousedly flooded an entire planet because he was pissed off? The god character who killed all the first born children in Egypt? It scares me when theists say “I get my morals from god” because they are basically saying “I follow the morals of someone else, I can’t decide what’s an acceptable way to treat someone so I refer to a book. I need direction on how to treat others”, from a mass murderer I might add. They are basically saying they can’t think for themselves and they lack empathy.
Some theists can get quite offended at the thought that atheists can be nice people without god. That we can treat people fairly and nicely without being told to or it doesn’t take belief for us to be good. Which can be a kick in the sides for a theist because we don’t need what they need to be good.
2) Why are you so unhappy?
This one annoys me. Why assume I’m unhappy? Would the theists who says this be unhappy without a belief in god so they assume everyone who lacks belief is? I’m by no means unhappy. I have had a great education, I love learning, I have interests and friends. I have a great family and support network. Are theists lives so miserable that the only way they’ll be happy is following “god’s will” so happiness to them equals being a servant to another? Or does having their lives dictated to them by a book make them happy? Or does the thought of someone even a supervisory controlling parental figure make them feel special? So many questions.
3) If there’s no god, how do you get out of bed in the morning?
Well I use my arms to prop myself up and swing my legs over the side of the bed and stand up. Again not believing in the god character does not make me miserable.
4) Why do you hate god?
This assumption is based on their belief that a god exists. I don’t believe that a god or gods exists so how can I hate something that isn’t there?
5) If you don’t believe in god, why do you talk about it so much?
Because religious fantanics in various religions are attempting to gain dominance over the government, education and how societies operate based purely on the assumptions that their religion is the correct one and that their beliefs should be the beliefs of everyone around them.
6) Deep down you really want to believe.
This annoys me because I don’t like when someone tries to tell me what I need or want based on their subjective perception of what I should do. Your opinions don’t apply to my life.
Religion has successfully:
- Stunted or stopped the basic education of millions by either prohibiting education or homeschooling them with misinformation.
- Assisted in the spread of AIDs and STDs by way of misinformation about condoms and promoting abstinence only education.
- Placed in poverty, danger or killed countless women by banning access to safe abortions and killed abortion doctors.
- Placed in danger or killed women and/or blamed them for occurrences of rape especially in Middle Eastern countries where women are blamed and made to effectively cover their entire bodies, due to men not “being able to control themselves” and committing rape.
- Attempted to change government policy to marginalise, discriminate and take away the rights of those communities they feel “not worthy” (For example: The LGBTI community).
- Knowingly enabled child abuse by priests.
- Religious moderates/apologists who don’t speak up against the atrocities that are perpetrated in the name of religion, directly contribute to them. By not speaking up and attempting to stop them, they are allowing it to happen.
- Religions stunts scientific and medical advancement in favour of a book written thousands of years ago by sheep herders who all died before 30 from disease and didn’t speak English (so how do you know it’s been translated correctly?).
- Religion abuses children by using emotional abuse to control them. Terrifying a child with a place of fire and torture if they don’t obey is no less than abuse.
- Religion is used as a scapegoat for committing murder (See: The Salem Witch Trials, 9/11, countless killings in the bible, the Crusades etc).
- Religion disempowers women and young girls. By treating them as nothing more than breeding machines or slaves to men (See the Quiverfall movement and child marriage in Islam).
- Religion shames and disempowers women for being women and for having a sexuality.
There are too many contradictions and logical flaws in the various holy texts for me to take them seriously and since a percentage of theists don’t read their holy texts nor agree with it or follow it literally – I doubt they take them seriously either. Don’t even get me started on the Book of Mormon.
Reasons that some theists have told me they believe:
1) God of the gaps. The god of the gaps argument is basically “I don’t understand, therefore god”, not only am I content with not having all the answers – god is a quick inaccurate answer for those who need answers without research or evidence. I don’t need god to provide answers.
2) I’d be lost without god. Seriously? You have so little direction or ambition in your life that you need to follow a book full of contradictions written by illiterate sheep herders in the desert to survive? When theists say this, all I hear is “I can’t be bothered thinking for myself so god can do it for me”. Take some responsibility.
3) If you believe in god and pray, your life will turn around. See my “prayer makes you lazy” post for my response. Change requires action not palming responsibility off to another person/entity.
More articulate reasons to not be religious:
Top 10 Reasons Not To Respect Religion
Top 10 People The Bible Tells You To Kill
God Is A Terrorist
The Bibles Contradictions
Horror Stories In The Bible
What The Bible Says About Rape
Islamic Child Brides
The list goes on.
Books to check out:
Ali Ayaan Hirsi – Infidel
Arthur Goldwag- The New Hate: A History Of Fear And Loathing On The Populist Right
Christopher Hitchens – God Is Not Great
Darrel Ray – Sex & God: How
Religion Distorts Sexuality
David G McAfree – Disproving Christianity
David G McAfree – Mum, Dad, I’m an atheist: The Guide To Coming Out As A Non-Believer
Greta Christina – Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That…
Kathryn Joyce – Quiverfull ~ Inside The Christian Patriarchy Movement
Phil Zuckerman – Society Without God: What The Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment
Richard Dawkins – The God Delusion
Sam Harris – The End Of Faith
Sam Harris – The Moral Landscape
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