Christian question buffet.

Today we get several questions by J …..

Name: J
Message: As a Christian, I will readily admit that I have faith (as the Bible defines it: “..the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1)

I cannot prove to anyone the existence of God.  In fact the whole idea of being a Christian is to have faith in God without having to prove He exists scientifically or otherwise–and that being a personal decision devoid of coercion.  Though there is some science, history, and fact in the Bible, it is not a book on such topics.  I personally see the need for God and His Bible in my life and in society.

I respect the decisions, philosophy, and path that atheists choose, though I may agree to disagree with them.  Here are my questions to atheists (if I may ask more than one):

-Is religion needed in the world?
-Can atheism become a religion?
-Do you have to have faith to be an atheist?
-Can an atheists prove that God doesn’t exist?
-What’s more beneficial, being an atheist or agnostic?
-Where do atheists get morals?
-Why is it wrong to murder?

Respectfully, J

Those are a lot of questions J. Most have already been answered and you can use the handy search box on the upper right side of this page to search for them. In the mean time I’m going to give you short and to the point answers that can be expanded upon in the comments if you need more info.

Okay? Here we go…

Is religion needed in the world?
I hope not.

Can atheism become a religion?
Religion is the politics of mythology. Since atheism has no such mythology, I would say no. (Read more here.)

Do you have to have faith to be an atheist?
No. Don’t confuse faith with reasonable expectation.

Can an atheist prove that god doesn’t exist?
Can you prove that I don’t have an invisible intangible dragon living in my garage?

What is more beneficial? Being an atheist or an agnostic?
Being both. They are not mutually incompatible. (More here)

Where do atheists get morals?
The same place everyone else does. (More here)

Why is it wrong to murder?
If you don’t know the answer to that you should ask yourself why your god would create you without being able to understand why murder is wrong on your own.

And there you go. Feel free to ask follow up questions in the comment section below.

Why do atheists deny gods existence?

Mik’la asks..

Message: I will never understand why there are atheists around. There IS evidence that God exists. Just look at the change in a person’s life after becoming a christian. They are billions of people who’s lives has been changed completely. There was this man who was taking angel dust from before he was in high school. He was kicked out of his parent’s house when he was 20 because he was always getting in trouble. He smoked marijuana from age 20 to 30. From age 30 to 40 he smoked cocaine. From 40 to 50 he smoked heroin. After attending dozens of rehabs (all of which failed ), his father persuaded him to go to a christian rehab. There he went from atheist to agnostic to christian. He finally quit this horrendous addiction to drugs after years of trying. He decided that he wanted to help other people like himself and became a counsellor for those addicted to drugs. That is amazing evidence for the existence of God. Look at what He did with that man. Why are there still atheists around? Is it because no one has ever told them the truth or is it just that they are lying?

Hi Mik’la. Thanks for this question. I’ll do my best to answer it questions for you.

First of all. Before we evaluate any claim. The first thing that we need to do is define the type of claim. In the case of theism the claim is that a god exists. This is a claim of existence. The next thing we do is we look for a criteria, or in other words a method, with which we can evaluate the claim. When it comes to existence, the only valid criteria is the objective one. For a claim to be objective, it must produce the same results every time. For example if I hold out a rubber ball to you and say to you, “This is a rubber ball” and you understand that a rubber ball is a spherical object made out of rubber, you will naturally accept my claim. Then, you can turn to another and do the same, and so on, and so forth. You can do this over and over and each person will say “That is a rubber ball”. However if I were to approach you with my empty hand held out and told you that “This is a rubber ball” you would see that not only is there nothing in my hand, but that the nothing is neither rubber, nor a spherical object, and it becomes easy to dismiss my claim because it can not be objectively evaluated. We use this criteria every day to determine what exists and what doesn’t exist. It’s how we know when someone has a mental illness and claims that they see elves or pixies or tall 6 foot invisible rabbit named “Harvey”.

Keep in mind that there is not one thing that you know to exist, that doesn’t fall in to this already established criteria. Not a single thing.

So now we know how to tell if something exists or not. The next step is to evaluate the claims around its supposed existence. Most theists like to point at change that people make in their lives as proof of their gods existence. They will claim that because a person prayed to a particular god, and that because they felt that their prayer was answered, that this proves that their god exists. The problem with this is that it doesn’t actually prove which god is the real one? For every story that you hear of someone having their lives changed by Jesus, you can find other correlating stories of how someones life was changed by Allah, Vishnu, Elohim, Zeus, and so on. At this point you the believer are stuck with two choices. You can either claim that there are many gods, and that each person was just as right as you are for your claim of Jesus, or you have to say that all of those other gods are false and that only yours is right. Wait though! What happens if they make that same claim? Now you have thousands of different god beliefs, with their miracles and their scriptures all making near identical claims. How do you decide which one is right if all of them are claiming the same type of subjective evidence for their gods existence?

This only become a problem if we accept subjective evidence as valid towards a claim of existence, and it’s precisely why we don’t. The moment you accept subjective evidence as a valid claim of existence, then there becomes little to no difference in your claim that a god exists, and the claim of a schizophrenic who says that he see’s goblins.

So no. It isn’t that atheists are lying or that no one has ever told them. It’s that the evidence that theists produce for their gods, isn’t really evidence. There’s a great quote that sums it up perfectly…

“I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” — Stephen F Roberts

I hope that helps you to understand. Thanks again for the question!

Teenage atheism

This week we received two email with very similar themes….

Name: Dylan
Message: I’m 15 years old and I’ve been an atheist for about 1 1/2 years openly. I had been brought up in a baptist family and went to church for a year or two. I opened up to my parents about 3 weeks ago and they challenged me with such questions as “Prove he doesn’t exist.” I fought with them for a few hours and then my father claimed I was just uneducated on the subject and was just “talking out of my *ss.” I went to church for a year and learned much about God and decided that he didn’y exist. They now want me to go back to church to learn more about him. I do not wish to go back and sit through and hour of gibberish. Is there anyway that I can get out of church in a way that my parents can respect? If I had a logical reason my father will have to agree for he is a man with a respect for knowledge. I just wanted to ask if there was any way to get out of church, either with the U.S. legal system or even with just a good argument. Thanks in advance.

And this one….

Name: David H
Message: Hey im 13 years old and I’ve accepted being an atheists but i have 2 problems . 1. I have a fear that devil might exists i have tried getting over that a lot of times but its just stuck to my head what can i do? 2. My parent wont accept or let me be an atheist and I know I have right for my decisions  what do I do what do I tell them ??

Hi there Dylan and David. I hope you two don’t mind if I answer your questions together. It’ll save me some time. David, don’t worry, I’ll get to the first part of your question towards the end.

First the bad news. You both are minors. That means that until you are on your own and independent, your parents are responsible for your well being, both mental and physical. This means that they have to try to help you become a decent person. For a lot of parents this means installing a sense of faith in a god by giving you their religious values. I know it’s easy to believe that they are trying to suppress you and force you to believe what they believe, however keep in mind that being a parent is a sometimes scary thing. They have a lot of hopes for your future. They want things to go well for you, and having a god on your side, to them, can only help. In other words, they are doing the best they know how, and for right now, you don’t have a choice in the matter. This means that if they want you to go to church, you go to church.

Now obviously they can’t force you to believe, and to some degree they know that. What they are doing is gambling on your lack of life experience and hoping that if they keep pushing you in the right direction, that eventually you will see things the same way they do. Try to not be to upset with them. They just don’t know a better way. They feel pressure from their own past, their community, and society as a whole to indoctrinate you into their faith. If you keep this in mind, and try to understand that they have the best intentions for you, then the rest of what I will tell you will make sense and help you to show them that your lack of faith, isn’t going to ruin your life.

First, be more then they think you can be. Show them that being an atheist doesn’t make you less compassionate. It doesn’t make you less moral. Show them this by BEING more moral. By BEING more compassionate. If you’re acting like some brat who sits around and plays games all day and doesn’t do his chores, then how can you expect them to believe that you can make the right choices for yourself if you can’t even keep your room clean? I’m not saying you have to be a perfect child, however a little maturity can go a long way in this matter. How can they think less of you, if you are doing more then they expect?

Next, show them some respect. I understand that you may no longer respect their faith, but don’t allow that to be the cause of your disrespect for your parents. Fighting and arguing will only push them to push you in to their way of thinking, If they want you to go to church, then go to church. You can still, if asked, talk about your lack of belief, but do it in a respectful way. Do a Google search for the ” Socratic form of argumentation ” and teach yourself how to ask the right questions of your parents in order to get them to understand where you are coming from.

There are no laws that protect the religious rights of minors. There is no magic argument that will convince your parents that you are right. At your age your parents aren’t looking to see what you know, they want to see if you can put what you know in to practice. So show them.

Oh and David, here’s a great post by SmartLX on fear of the devil. Check it out.

I hope that helps !

Don’t we need a god to save us?

Susan asks: Seeing all of the bad things that happen in our world, how can you not pray to a god to save us from all of this?

Jake answers: Because we’re doing fine enough on our own. Yes there are plenty of problems in the world. Hunger, violence, disease, finances, but compared to 100 years ago, we are as a species doing much better then we have in the past. People are living longer, there is less violence, people have access to information like never before, and so on. People pay to much attention to the news whose job it seems to be to report even the most insignificant negative story in order to get ratings.

In truth, religion like the news, is dependent on things being bad as well. Why else would you need a savior unless the world was quickly decaying into chaos? Why else would you need clerics to tell you how to live your life unless it was because people are to immoral to figure it out for themselves? Like I said in my post about overcoming adversity without a god religions job is to tell you that things are bad, that humans are weak petty things and that unless you have a sky daddy looking over you, you’re going to suffer. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When was the last time you heard a preacher talk about how great things are? How even though there’s hunger, we still feed (and yes I know, throw away) more people then we ever have in the history of mankind? When was the last time you heard a priest talk about how things like the flu used to kill millions each year or how only a 100 years ago the average life span was 25? How about how most countries don’t have child labor or how women across the world now have more rights then they ever have? I’m not saying things can’t get better but the truth is there are people out there coming up with solutions to world problems more then at any point in history. It’s not religion that is making things better, it’s science. Science has given us agriculture, medicine, technology, and more. It’s individuals who studied and used the scientific method to come up with solutions to problems, and you know what ? There’s no reason to believe that science wont continue to make things better. So ask yourself, why doesn’t religion tell us these things?

The simple answer is because they need you to believe that things are bad. Religion doesn’t want things to go well for humans because if people realized they didn’t need to be saved from an invisible devil who tempts us to do wrong, or from ourselves, they might also realize that they don’t need religion.

How do I overcome adversity without god?

Barclay asks: God has helped me get through some terrible times in my life. I’ve lost both of my parents when I was young, beat cancer into remission, and I win over alcoholism daily. I couldn’t have done any of these things on my own or without the help of my lord and savior. Why would you want to try and take this source of strength away from me or anyone else?

Jake answers: Welcome Barclay. You’ve touched on a very dear topic to me, one that I have written about before on another website. So instead of writing a new post, I’m going to repost my article here and hope that it adequately answers your question.

You are stronger then you think.

One of the things I hate the most about religion, and theism in general, is this idea that without a god to help us along, we would fail. You see this attitude with people going through addiction rehab. They claim that if not for their god, they wouldn’t have been able to get off of whatever substance that they were abusing. They ignore the doctors, the medicine, the support system, their own inner will, and give the glory to their god.

Imagine for a moment that you have a child who has just made an achievement in their life. It doesn’t matter what it’s for, graduating, winning a race, top of their class, whichever. Now imagine that your kid, when asked how he or she achieved this goal, ignored all of the hard work and effort that they just put in, and claimed that Spiderman helped them ? That if it wasn’t for Spiderman, they wouldn’t have been able to do it. It would be a gigantic ” WTF? ” moment wouldn’t it ? You and most people out there would think your kid was either crazy or at the least delusional. Yet replace “Spiderman” with “God” and practicaly no one blinks an eye.

Now, the obvious thing here is to point out that just like Spiderman, god isn’t real. That’s not what I want to get at though. What I want to write about today is the underlying message about how a person thinks of themselves. A persons sense of value. In the case above, the person who gives all of the credit to their god is essentially saying that they don’t believe in themselves. This is what bugs me. People not believing in themselves.

Here is the truth, of your existence as well as my own. The truth is that so far through out your life, you have found ways over, under, around, through, between, out of, every single problem that you have ever had, and that there is no reason to believe that you wont continue to do this in the future, Did you get that ? Read it again. Read it a third, a fourth, and a fifth time. Read it until you memorize it. This is your true strength. Not a god. It’s you. You are stronger than you give yourself credit for. You have more will power than you allow yourself to believe. You can over come any and all adversity. The great thing is, you don’t have to do it alone. There are people out there who have trained for years to help you. If you are strong on your own, imagine how much stronger you would be with people who have trained to help you understand just how strong you can be ? These people are scientists, doctors, nurses, therapists, psychiatrists, social workers, etc. These people are standing by right now to help you. Don’t allow anyone to tell you that you can’t over come your problems. Don’t allow anyone to tell you that you are weak, and that without a god your are helpless. That’s a lie. Theism cheats people of their true strength. It robs them of their own sense of will.

You aren’t weak. You aren’t a sinner. You aren’t unworthy. You are stronger than they want you to believe. Let go of that crutch and walk on your own. Use the tools available to you and learn to believe in yourself. Imagine how much better the world would be if all of the time and energy put in to praying for help, was instead used to help ourselves ? You can do it. You are stronger than you think.

I hope that answers your question.

If love exists why can’t god?

Klaus asks: why is it necessary for one to have proof that God exist for him to exist. We can’t prove love exist for us to believe it’s real. So why can’t that be applied to belief in God?

Jake answers : Hi Klaus. Thanks for the question. I’ve heard your question many times before, and on the surface I can see why it would be a compelling question for some people. I hope that I can show you that the answer isn’t as compelling as you may think.

This is really two questions. The first is “Why is it important to prove god exists?” and “Love is real and we can’t prove it so why can’t the same be said of god?” Lets take the questions in order.

Why is it important to prove god exists? The same reason it’s important when one claims anything exists. It’s a claim of objective existence. I could make thousands of claims of things existing, but if I have no proof of these things, what would compel a person to actually believe in them? If I call out to you and yell “A car is about to hit you!” but you’re in the ocean with no cars around, why would you pay attention to my claim of impending doom? People make many claims about god. That he will reward you, punish you, etc. Why would anyone pay attention to these claims if there is no actual proof?

The second question is what is called a “category error”.

These fallacies occur because the author mistakenly assumes that the whole is nothing more than the sum of its parts. However, things joined together may have different properties as a whole than any of them do separately.

In other words, the question is comparing something that exists as an idea like love, with something that is said to objectively exists as in a god. It’s the word “exists” that throws you off. Love is an idea, a subjective interpretation of an emotional amalgam of experiences and perceptions. It exists only as thought put into action. What you see as love may not be what others see as love. It’s a subjective idea that is dependent on interpretation.

God however is said to exist as a being independent of our perception. It’s not dependent on our subjective interpretation of it. When a person asks “Do you believe in a god?” they aren’t asking if you believe in the idea of god, they are asking you if you believe that such a being exists. This is different from someone asking “Do you believe in love.” because love has no real existence outside of the mind. It’s like asking “If you believe that fear exists, why don’t you believe in Batman?” You wouldn’t consider this question a valid way to show Batman’s existence. Comparing the two, fear to Batman is the same as comparing love to god.

I hope that answers your question. If you or others have further questions, feel free to ask in the comments section below.

Respecting beliefs?

Morrey asks: My friends say that when I challenge them about their religion that I am disrespecting their beliefs. Yet they tell me all of the time that my beliefs are wrong. Why do they do this?

Jake answers: Great question Morrey. Lets take a look at what I think theists are really saying when they ask that we as atheists respect their beliefs? How do you respect a belief? What is respect?

There are many definitions for the word ” respect “.

1. a particular, detail, or point (usually preceded by in ): to differ in some respect.
2. relation or reference: inquiries with respect to a route.
3. esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability: I have great respect for her judgment.
4. deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment: respect for a suspect’s right to counsel; to show respect for the flag; respect for the elderly.
5. the condition of being esteemed or honored: to be held in respect.
6. respects, a formal expression or gesture of greeting, esteem, or friendship:Give my respects to your parents.
7. favor or partiality.
8. Archaic. a consideration
9. to hold in esteem or honor: I cannot respect a cheat.
10. to show regard or consideration for: to respect someone’s rights.
11. to refrain from intruding upon or interfering with: to respect a person’s privacy.
12. to relate or have reference to.
So when a believer says that they want you to respect their beliefs, which definition are they referring to ? Take a look again at the list. Notice 10 and 11?
10. to show regard or consideration for: to respect someone’s rights.
11. to refrain from intruding upon or interfering with: to respect a person’s privacy.

I think this is what believers are referring to. They want you to show regard and have consideration for their beliefs and to refrain from intruding or interfering with their beliefs. In other words, treat their beliefs as if they were your own and don’t try to change their minds. Seems simple enough right?


When a theists tells you that you are a sinner, are they respecting your beliefs?
When a theist tells you that you are going to hell, are they respecting your beliefs?
When a theist tells you that homosexuals shouldn’t have the same rights as heterosexuals, are they respecting the beliefs of homosexuals?
When a theist votes to take a womans right to control her reproduction, are they respecting the beliefs of women?
When a theist demands that their scriptures be taught in public school, are they respecting other religions or those with no religion?
When a theist demands that the laws of the country follow their religious teachings, are they respecting those who aren’t a part of their faith?

So, why is it that believers ( not all mind you, but in my experience most ) demand respect of their beliefs, but don’t give the same respect to others? The answer is in the 4th definition of respect.

4. deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment: respect for a suspect’s right to counsel; to show respect for the flag; respect for the elderly.

In the mind of the theist, they have a truth that you and I don’t have and that truth sets them above everyone else. They are privileged. They are blessed. They are the chosen of god. They are his will on earth. To the theist, they aren’t judging you, they are simply correcting you and showing you the right way. Sometimes they will say, ” If I saw that you were about to get hit by a bus, wouldn’t you want me to tell you to get out of the way? “. It’s an act of kindness. It’s an act of love.

The same doesn’t apply to you and I though. You see, we are the fallen. We are the sinners. We are what’s wrong with this world. If only we all had the truth of their god, then the world would be able to live in peace. This is how many theists see the world around them. This is why you need to respect their beliefs, but they don’t really have to respect yours. It’s because you are wrong, and they are right.

There’s more to it than that though. You’re also not supposed to take this privilege away from them. You’re not supposed to get them to question their beliefs. You’re not supposed to show them the errors or contradictions in their belief. If you do, you are a servant of evil. You are testing their faith. You are trying to trick them. I’ve seen some theists ( not all mind you ) who believe that even trying to study and understand their faith would only lead to doubt. So they sit happily ignorant of what they believe in order to be safe.

So what does it mean to respect a belief then? If a belief is being challenged, is it being respected? Should beliefs just be left alone? Consider the equal rights movement of the 60’s. What would have things been like if people like Martin Luther King didn’t challenge the beliefs of the establishment? Did he disrespect the beliefs of those who saw him as inferior? In my eyes, all beliefs should be challenged. If belief is defined as the confidence to the truth of something, how can one truly have confidence without comparing and contrasting their belief, even going as far as to falsify it? In this sense leaving a belief alone would be disrespectful. I want all of my beliefs challenged. Especially the ones that I have the most confidence in. For years as a believer I thought that I had all of the answers because I had never really challenged them. It wasn’t until I challenged them, that I began to understand how ignorant I was and how much my unfounded beliefs clouded the world around me. How much it damaged me. It took me a few years, but at the end, I’m glad that I found the courage to take a lifetime’s worth of belief, and give it the respect that it deserved.

What does everyone else think? How do you show respect for a belief? Answer in the comments section below.

How do you deal with doubt ?

Adam asks:
Since you became an atheist, have you ever doubted atheism? Yes, that’s a funny combination of words.
Do you still keep it in your head that there may (with a reasonable probability) actually be a god out there, we just don’t know yet? Or has that thought ever crept in? If so, please share your thoughts, and how you moved past them to be in the state you are now.

Jake answers:
The simple answer is, I’m not sure of anything. I always leave room for the possibility that I may be wrong. Sometimes, I have experiences from which my old theist way of thinking kicks in and I ask myself ” Is that god? ” Then I realize what’s happening and I ask myself, ” Why would that be god? ” and I come back to my senses.

I think everyone needs a healthy dose of skepticism. I try to always look at things as objectively as I can. Obviously I don’t always succeed ( who does? ) though I try anyway. This is why I’m an atheist/agnostic. It’s the agnostic side that keeps me in check, even about my atheism. Since agnosticism deals with knowledge, it reminds me that I don’t ” know ” unless I have evidence, and even then, I could still be wrong. Some things of course I don’t need to doubt. Like Santa Claus, or Jesus. There’s enough contradictions in the stories, along with enough evidence to show how the stories were created to know that Santa and Jesus can’t be real. So it’s not hard to discard them. However, there could be a god out there that I’ve never considered, so I leave room for the possibility, despite the low probability.

The point is, keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out. Keep searching, but remain skeptical.

Let’s throw the question out to the comments, as atheists, what do you do with doubt ?

Religion vs. Philosophy: Asatru worship ?

Ryan asks:
Hello, I am a 15 year old and I am a strong believer in a faith called Asatru. Asatru is the pre-christian religion of the Germans and Norse, so yes, Thor, Odin, Njord, Freyr, Freya. I believe their names and anthropomorphism is only used in place to understand the forces they control, like Thor = Thunder etc. As an atheist, would you say its wrong to believe in something irrational like this, but at the same time I don’t impose my beliefs on others nor do I really think my religion is universally applicable to everyone, because honestly, do we know whats out there? Btw, Asatru, is generally more ethically focussed (Google 9 Noble Virtues for more info) and the faith has a large population of atheists who use it as an ethical base.

Jakes answer:
Hi Ryan. I think what we need to do here is distinguish the difference between a religion and a personal philosophy. For example, I may be an atheist, but I am also philosophically a buddhist. I try to practice the 4 noble truths and to be mindful. Since buddhism doesn’t concern itself with gods or the afterlife it’s not in conflict with my atheism. The same can be said for those who follow the 9 noble virtues. Religion is generally defined as a system of worship ( the politics of mythology if you will ). Asatru in my understanding is more of a personal philosophy which anthropomorphises the elements and attributes of man as a way of understanding the world around us. ( please correct me if I am wrong ) In my eyes this is completely different from those who believe in a personal god, and believe that said god dictates to them how they should live their lives. Asatru, like buddhism asks you to discover for yourself by looking inwards and understanding your impact on the world. The abrahamic religions demand worship and obedience and tell you that your impact on the world isn’t as important as personal salvation in the afterlife. These are two different mindsets and are incompatible. From what I understand Asatru is even against proselytizing.

So I understand why atheists turn to Asatru. I have several friends who practice it. I get it. I don’t see a problem with it.

Age of non belief, christian friends, and family religion.

Jasmine asks:
At what age did you decide that you believe there was no God? When people try to convert you, what feelings do you encounter? Do you have any Christian friends, or have you completely removed yourself from anyone with any label near to that? Were you born into a Christian family, or were you born into an Atheist family and are just believing what your folks told you? How do you argue that atheism makes more sense than Christianity?

Jakes answer:
These are questions that I often get from people who are trying to understand why I am no longer a christian. I hope that I can answer your questions satisfactorily. Let’s take them one by one.

At what age did you decide that you believe there was no God? I lost my faith around 23. Technically, I don’t believe there is no god. I lack belief that there is a god. Now I know this might sound like the same thing at first, but it really isn’t. Let me explain it like this, let’s say that I have no active belief in a god. I am at 0 beliefs in a god or gods. You come and tell me about your god. If I accept this belief then I am at +1 beliefs in a god. If I do not accept your belief then I have not gained anything and remain at 0 beliefs in a god. For me, this was a 23 year process. So now, I am at 0 beliefs in a god. Now on the other hand, I do believe that the evidence people give for their gods are false. Since the only valid evidence for claims of existence must be objective and verifiable, and since no believer has ever produced such evidence, I believe that their evidence is invalid. Do you see the difference?
When people try to convert you, what feelings do you encounter? That depends on what I’m being told. My feelings can range anywhere from pity, to humor, to indignation. I pity those who believe without understanding what it is that they believe. I find it humorous when people present evidence that they wouldn’t accept themselves if the word “God” wasn’t attached to it. I feel indignation when a believer tells me that I am evil for not believing.
Do you have any Christian friends, or have you completely removed yourself from anyone with any label near to that? I have a few christian friends. I had more but people find it difficult to remain believers around me. I’ve deconverted most of my family and friends. I didn’t have to preach to them or anything like that, I just answer their questions much like I’m doing now with you. Eventually, they see the truth for themselves.
Were you born into a Christian family, or were you born into an Atheist family and are just believing what your folks told you? I was born into the LDS faith. My family were all LDS as well. I served a 2 year mission at 19 in the Dakotas and sat as a counselor in the bishopric after. I was a very strong believer. It wasn’t until I was 23 that I met a buddhist monk who taught me about objective thinking and began my journey into non belief. It took me about 2 years before I lost my belief in a god.
How do you argue that atheism makes more sense than Christianity? The same way a person argues that not believing in Santa Claus makes more sense than believing in Santa Claus. When you grow up, you realize that the story of Santa Claus has no evidence and includes impossible things. The same thing happened with me and the idea of god. I studied it, found it lacking, and stopped believing.

Well I hope that answers you’re questions. If not, feel free to ask for follow ups in the comment section below.

Answer by SmartLX:
Oo, oo, I want in on this one.

At what age did you decide that you believe there was no God?
Jake’s already nitpicked the specifics of the question, so…I honestly don’t know. There was about a 15 year gap from age 11-12 onwards when I barely thought about it, but when I did think about it at age 26 I realised I no longer believed. My faith had faded completely in the intervening years, so I had a drama-free deconversion.

When people try to convert you, what feelings do you encounter?
– Nostalgia, because people talked to me like that all the time in Catholic primary school.
– Deja vu, because whatever arguments or appeals they use I’ve probably already received them on this site at some point.
– Engaged, because if I do get something new to think about it’s great fodder for the site, or at least my own research.
If I get angry or upset in a situation like this, it’s not simply because I’m being proselytised but because the “witness” is going about it in an emotionally confronting or manipulative way. It still doesn’t work, but it puts a damper on my day.

Do you have any Christian friends, or have you completely removed yourself from anyone with any label near to that?
My wife’s Christian. About half of my family still is, and half of hers, and of course many of our friends. Australia’s far less religious than America, but that’s not saying much. We all get on, and there are plenty of non-adversarial discussions on the subject. I don’t go sword in hand 24/7.

Were you born into a Christian family, or were you born into an Atheist family and are just believing what your folks told you?
Catholic mother, atheist father, raised Catholic and believed what I was told until I found out Dad is an atheist (he only ever said so about twice) and therefore not everyone believes what I did. I think that started me on the road to disbelief, or at least skepticism.

How do you argue that atheism makes more sense than Christianity?
By essay, usually. My best attempt to do this directly is right here.