Why I Became An Atheist

Image courtesy of Stockvault.

“Atheist” has always been a loaded word for me. I’d grown up being taught to distance myself from such people, to not trust anyone who didn’t even try to believe in the supernatural. The few interactions I’d had with open atheists generally reinforced this view, though now I understand more why that happened. Regardless, after I lost my faith, atheism wasn’t the first thing on my mind.

I had just admitted my faith was lost, and I was surveying the damage.
Some people can abandon a faith with few problems. My journey wasn’t so smooth. Years of mental gymnastics and excuses for what I thought was great had finally caught up to me. About three decades – all of my remembered life – had been spent shoehorning Christianity into reality.

And now the shoe didn’t fit.

Acknowledging that I was wrong meant I had to question everything else I believed. Was I wrong about other aspects of the supernatural? Was I wrongly ignoring other faiths? What else was I blind or oblivious to?

Those aren’t easy questions to answer. The next few months did give me some insight. Faith looked more and more hollow every time I was around it. Other faiths didn’t jump out at me as having the right answers. Worse, they required some of the same lies that I told myself when I was a Christian.

At some point, I realized my beliefs needed to be fair. I couldn’t give one set of beliefs a free pass that I couldn’t give anything else. My assumptions had to be uniform and strictly controlled. Part of this was to protect myself against future exhortations to believe in the invisible. Another part was to shore up my dwindling confidence in my senses.

The process took a while because I was still afraid of the dreaded “atheist” word. Everything seemed to be pointing towards no belief in any deities. I had to at least try to avoid it.

But agnosticism offers no refuge.
It came back to honesty and fairness. In a strictly philosophical sense, I could appreciate that there wasn’t any way for anyone to really know if there are deities out there. But that sense appeared to be a thin veil over every fantasy rather than just one.

There was enough evidence that I became familiar with to make a decision. Cosmology and astronomy gets time from the Big Bang to now without much fuss. Evolution gets life to its current diversity. None of these things require people to like the idea or even be around for them.

Deities only became an issue when people became an issue. Outside of that, there’s nothing showing dinosaurs worshiped gods or trilobites believed in ghosts. The supernatural only makes sense within the framework of human experience.

Moreover, agnosticism felt like I was conceding too much. Part of that was my anger, I admit. Now, though, it’s a reflection on how agnosticism is frequently used to avoid standing up for oneself. It should not matter if someone is agnostic or atheist or theist or gnostic. But the use of the terms devolve into exchanges where people have to beg everyone to admit ignorance. That’s not how I wanted to spend my time.

Image taken from here.


After all was said and done, I had to admit that I didn’t have faith in any supernatural deities.
I didn’t feel great about it. I remember capitalizing the word “atheist” when I started blogging. It was a nod to the fact that I didn’t feel on equal footing. There was still an element of shame in being honest with myself and what I believe. Yes, another vestige of Christianity rearing its head.

Over the years I’ve become more used to it. The fear of the term exists, but only to the extent that others have a negative reaction towards it. I can’t control that reaction, but I also can’t let that reaction control me.

I don’t believe in deities. Sufficient natural explanations of time and matter do a good job of explaining how people got here. Without gods. If that wasn’t enough, there are more natural phenomena of people starting cults and other fringe beliefs. They show a pattern of social belief, of groups forming around something that isn’t real.

Put both of these things together, and the likelihood that nothing is out there increases quite a bit.

13 thoughts on “Why I Became An Atheist

  1. That’s the key point: it is not “just” that you do not believe in anyone’s god, but that you do not believe in any supernatural beings at all. The hit to their god is just collateral damage.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This line sums it up perfectly related to other people’s reaction to the term “atheist”–
    I can’t control that reaction, but I also can’t let that reaction control me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The atheist label certainly conjures up negative connotations for many. Now that I think about it,why do we need a term for people who DON’T believe in a God?I see it as more of a default position.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good post and you summarize the deconversion process well. When I abandoned Christianity I didn’t gravitate to any other religious belief systems either. They all require you to suspend reasoning in the same way Christianity does. It’s like Christianity but with a different God and some different rules.

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  4. It’s nice to hear the view of someone that is became an atheist as you call it. I’m not trying to fight with you or anything, I’m just wondering which arguments do you see that convince you that there is no God?

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    • If I may (I don’t think SB will mind), I would like to turn your question around and ask …

      Which arguments do you see that convince you that there IS a “God”?

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      • I’m not trying to convert y’all or anything unless you actually want to discuss the issue. I was just wondering what his reasonings are. Since I’ve known several atheist(my father being one as well), they have all had one or two reasons that stuck out the most for why they don’t believe in a God.

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      • My apologies. It’s just that nearly every believer who visits a non-believer’s blog are there for one primary reason and that’s to “convert” them. Or at least make a strong attempt to do so.

        Since you indicate this is not your motive, I’ll leave it to SB to respond to your question. 😉

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      • Of course I would love for any one of y’all to accept Christ, but I don’t believe this is the best medium by which to ‘convert’ people. I believe it is better to have a relationship with the person before even attempting to bring them to Christ. Since you are here though, could tell me your reasons?

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    • Hey there!

      I wouldn’t say arguments provide the basis for why I don’t believe in deities. Rather, it’s a bunch of different phenomena which tend to point in that direction. For example, all religious evidence relies on some sort of testimony or personal explanation. People are making up new religions all the time – think of the Branch Davidians and Heaven’s Gate cultists, to name two. There are no artifacts which point to religious worship outside of those left by people. Physics, cosmology, chemistry, and biology all have working theories which go from the beginning of time to now.

      These are just the first few examples that come to mind.

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      • Thank you for your reply. Of course I have my own answers as well. I just wanted to hear your reasons. If anyone ever has any questions for why I believe what I believe, just comment on my page with your questions and I’ll answer them when I can. Of course we both have to be respectful in doing so. I hope you have a great day.

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