Are you an Atheist? What got you there?

For many people losing faith can be a traumatic experience.

The Humanist Codex is looking for stories of how people lost their faith. What happened? How did you cope with it? Was it a good thing, a bad thing, or just another step on the road of life? How did your friends and family handle it? Were you concerned about ethics without God? What were your biggest hurdles?

We’re looking for stories – essays between 2000 and 5000 words. If you have a story you’d like to contribute, would love to hear from you!

The Humanist Codex

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Steve Ray WebbThe Atheist CodexPat Mc GinleyFrank NapoliJoanna Beazley Richards Recent comment authors
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Karl Spence
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John Dowell
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It was easy for me. At about 12 yrs. of age I found sitting through Mass was longer than I wanted to go without a cigarette. 🙂

Paul Coomber
Commenter

As a kid I was always asking questions. Who created god? What was he doing before he created our universe?
If you believe in god but don’t follow his rules, and I don’t believe in him full stop, What makes you better than me in his eyes?

Karl Spence
Commenter

All atheist are only atheists temporarily until they die then they sadly go to hell.

Bruce Underhill
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The Humanist Codex You won’t get an answer to that and if you did it would be something like… “it says so in the bible” or “I just know, that’s how”. Religious minds have only one shape, and it is as circular as their arguments.

Karl Spence
Commenter

You’ll see Bruce, heed my warning because it’s too late when you die.

Karl Spence
Commenter

That’s because when I answer your still won’t believe so you may be destined to everlasting torture in hell unless you start believing in God.

Bruce Underhill
Commenter

Russel’s Tea Pot had a lot to do with it. The reasoning was that if I was not ready to accept the existence of a tea pot orbiting the sun, why would I believe in a God I can’t physically confirm the existence of. Then there was this quote I found and that cemented it. Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?
— Epicurus, philosopher (c. 341-270 BCE)

Joanna Beazley Richards
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To me it is just common sense. There is no reason to believe all the theistic stuff. No evidence, just wishful thinking!

Frank Napoli
Commenter

Pretending is fun !

Frank Napoli
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First it’s Santa Claus then it’s Jeeziz………….same rational thinking.

Pat Mc Ginley
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Thanks for offering help for the many beleaguered atheists – especially in overwhelmingly religion-dominated countries, like the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, etc. Counteracting the powerful, wealthy ‘creationist’ movement, and politicians who use religion as a powerful tool of control, etc., is a mammoth task, especially since atheism vs religion is played on a very-unequal playing field. Atheism has only got facts on its side. No powerful, wealthy vested interests. But, thankfully that’s more than enough for us.

Pat Mc Ginley
Commenter

The Humanist Codex Thanks for your positive reply. Sorry, but, as a pensioner with limited funds I can’t help financially. But, very willing to help in any other way. Thanks again. And every success with your efforts.

Pat Mc Ginley
Commenter

Plus, one thing I find – unfortunately – with leading atheist websites is a very definite reluctance to confront the political reasons for the enormous hostility regarding atheism especially in the U,S. Until this thorny issue is acknowledged and then addressed, there’s little chance of real change i.e the fact that religious institutions are vital pillars of society, It all goes back to Emperor Constantine who set the template for church/state mutual back-scratching. This results in a deafening silence from religious leaders on blatant injustices e.g. laws which benefit the rich at the expense of the poor, unjust wars, etc. Obviously, a bit too near the knuckle for atheist activists – already under constant attack – to address. But, too vitally important to ignore, in the long term.

Steve Ray Webb
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In my experience and reading, people are, almost with exception, atheists for psychological reasons rather than logical ones. Psychological ones are not trivial and still important to address but it is important to recognize the difference.

Steve Ray Webb
Commenter

I’m a recently retired scientist who also has a divinity degree. When I read the reasons that people give for being an atheist they are, pretty much without fail, reasons that have been addressed countless times in the theological literature. And when I talk to these people individually I find that their ‘logical’ reasons are just a cover for psychological ones. I realize that psychological reasons can be extremely important and difficult to answer but there is no reason to disbelieve in God on the basis of science and logic.

Steve Ray Webb
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I further encourage people with serious doubts about God to send in their questions and comments to GotQuestions.org. You will be answered by people like me who will give you a thoughtful educated answer and not just quote Scriptures at you.

Steve Ray Webb
Commenter

I obviously can’t write pages in this kind of format but if you will send highly specific questions to the above website and ask that they be directed to ‘Steve the scientist,’ there is a good chance they will reach me. GotQuestions will treat your email anonymously thru a firewall (I will not know your individual email address) and they never send spam or share your email address. They honor confidentiality above all else. Give it a try!!!

Pat Mc Ginley
Commenter

Steve, you’re either hopelessly deluded. Or, much worse. Deliberately disingenuous. How can the Bible – based on a 6,000 year-old Earth and ‘creationism’ i.e. totally anti-science – be accepted by any rational person? For example, how can the Biblical account of early human history be reconciled with the fact that most people of European or Asian ancestry have between 0-4% Neanderthal DNA due to the fact that some humans migrating from Africa – the birthplace of human evolution – mated with Neanderthals? The vast majority of atheism is based on logical reasoning between ancient books vs the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution, etc. Your pathetically blatant attempts to offer alternative reasons to introduce introduce uncertainty won’t work with the vast majority who are not motivated by the solid evidence. Get real, Steve!

Steve Ray Webb
Commenter

The Bible does not teach a 6000 year earth. One of the problems with people who criticize the Bible is that they do not honor a mature understanding of it (I authored a book on this exact subject). Bertrand Russell, widely considered the most famous philosopher of the 20th century is a classic example. He wrote a book about why he was not a Christian but all his main points were not what mainstream Christians actually believe. Anyway, as said before, FB is not a user friendly way for me to write a lot of pages. Give me a try thru GotQuestions.org. You will not be signing up for anything, receiving any spam, or contributing money to them. I have been working the science and theology side of this for over 40 years. I might surprise you. Make your questions as specific as possible and I will tackle them one at a time. Once again direct your questions to ‘scientist Steve’ or you may be receiving a reply from a different person. What do you have to lose?

Dave Fisher
Commenter

I think I was born an atheist. Neither my parents or grandparents were at all religious. Sure they paid lip service to it, but neither subscribe to or believed in religion. I made a stand very early during my first year at infants school.. This brought me into conflict with the teachers & school, culminating in my being canned for refusing to believe in god. When I told my mother, she & my father were livid, and literally stormed the school. from then on I was excused all religious education, including prayer & hymns at assembly. I don’t think of myself as atheist but more as a bon religious pagan, how I believe we were before the religion gene became distributed through the gene pool.

Nev Richards
Commenter

How about listing the stories of Atheists who became genuine Christians too. There are lots of them.