A large number of religious people seem to have a hard time grasping how anyone can be an atheist. If you’ve ever seen those questionnaires for atheists a lot of the questions circle around the theme “how could you not believe?”
Guys, take a step back and think about which of the options is the harder pill to swallow.
This shock and awe at a person’s capacity to not believe in supernaturalism has led several religious to create some bizarre rationalizations for atheism. These explanations often belittle the intelligence and reason of nonbelievers. This way insecure religious individuals can feel better about themselves by disregarding the mental validity of those that disagree with them.
Here are five of the worst ones I’ve heard in my 10+ years without a god.
5) It’s just a phase
This one is low on the list because it is sometimes true. When I was a teenager many of the more “hardcore” atheists I knew burnt out and became Jesus freaks. It happens.
But, it doesn’t happen to everyone. I decided I didn’t believe in god when I was young, and even though the reasons I had then weren’t as good as they are now it obviously wasn’t a “phase.” It’s demeaning and insulting to disregard someone’s journey into a new way of thinking as nothing more than a passing fancy.
Besides, any fervor in a belief can be a phase, especially Christianity. Worse still, Christians seem to go out of their way to make it a phase with “extreme” youth groups.
“Yeah let’s have hardcore Christian bands! Let’s go to skate parks and rap about the bible! I’m gonna grow my hair out and get a bunch of Cross and ‘Jesus is love’ tattoos!’
Mmm, yes, clearly those are the actions of a person who has put deep thought into their faith and doesn’t use it to pretend they have a personality.
4) You just don’t realize the good god can do for you
I swear some people think church is the cure for any kind of depression. These are the people who believe just because you’re not always jumping up for joy and wearing a big dumb smile you must be a troubled person who needs god.
Obviously I’m only an atheist because I haven’t yet seen all the good spirituality can do for me. Once I have that rock under me my life will be so much better!
If I was unhappy my depression would not be alleviated by desperately throwing myself into a lot of unfounded promises and getting on my knees to worship.
Religious say they find their strength in god. This baffles me. Nearly all religions are subservient in nature. It is often a philosophy of accepting helplessness and throwing your lot in with some all-powerful and/or incomprehensible entity. I don’t want my confidence and courage to come from dependence. I reach into myself and pull resolve from there.
To all those “religious therapists” out there, I promise you people find plenty of happiness without god.
3) You haven’t witnessed a miracle yet
I can’t believe some people actually say this. I mean, wow.
No real atheist is going to be converted by a “miracle.” Believing in a “miracle” is believing that serendipitous circumstance has a divine element. It takes confirmation bias to buy that. Obviously anyone who is won over by a miracle had some doubts about their atheism anyway.
People really stretch the definition of miracle anyway.
“That underdog sports team won a championship! Somebody call the Vatican, it’s a fucking miracle!”
“JESUS IS ON MY TOAST! Nevermind that no one actually knows what Jesus looked like! That’s him!”
“You didn’t fall off that cliff even though you tripped a little while walking by it? THAT’S A MIRACLE!”
That’s a really dark miracle. If you believe god interferes in life enough to save one, what does that say about all the people who die from some freak accident?
I swear, the answer better not be “it’s part of a plan.” As I’ve said numerous times before, that’s a really shitty, evil plan.
2) You’re too arrogant to believe in god
Because all atheists are full of themselves and only idiots believe in religion right?
Yeah, trust me, I don’t consider being an atheist your entry stamp into MENSA. Likewise, despite what you may see and hear from loudmouth atheists on TV, we don’t consider believing in god a sign of stupidity. You’d have to plug your ears and close your eyes to believe that. I highly doubt anyone considers C.S Lewis an idiot.
That’s why I don’t believe in trying to ridiculing someone into atheism. A real atheist isn’t converted by feeling pressured to look intelligent.
I did not switch because I felt like believing in god was dumb. Believe it or not, we aren’t all egotistical jackasses.
1) Evil exists, so you deny god does
This is the one I hate the most. It makes my fucking teeth grind.
There is an air of pretension to this reasoning the others lack. It is said with closed eyes, a cocky smirk, and a shake of the head. It makes atheists look like intellectual pretenders who disregard religion because “bad” things happen.
Worst of all, a lot of religious people think atheists have this rationale.
I have never in my life encountered an atheist who uses such a flimsy, pathetic, and downright childish argument.
Belief in the supernatural is all about mental work arounds that fill the gaps in scripture. If you wanted to believe in god, you can easily work out a reason why bad things happen with a benevolent god. Just about everyone who goes to church has.
Now, I don’t buy those reasons because in the same way you can rationalize why god would do bad things you can also reason out why he shouldn’t.
“God allows for tragedy so we can grow and be stronger from the experience.”
“But couldn’t god just have made us that strong in the first place?”
“God makes us all differently. Because you have free will you might make choices that bring you away from where god needs you to be.”
“Do I really have free will if god is manipulating me into a new kind of person?”
“You can still choose not to be the person god plans for you to be.”
“So god brought tragedy to my life on the off chance I’ll be the person he could have made me into in the first place?”
It’s just a battle of make believe and the person with the bigger imagination wins.
Atheism isn’t something a person turns to out of bitterness. There are a lot of reasons people stop believing in the supernatural, and the ones who stick with it all have valid reasons for abandoning faith. It’s not something to be changed with a quick pitch.
Just as the religious don’t want their beliefs ridiculed, atheists don’t want their intelligence belittled. Do not disregard an atheists’ lack of belief as a simple choice or stubborn denial. There’s far more going on in there then you may realize.
It’s certainly none of the ridiculous bullshit listed above.
BONUS REASON) You hate god
Oh man, this one is hysterical. A common trait of villains in Christian movies, these people aren’t really atheists- they just pretend not to believe god because something bad happened in their past.
“I prayed, but my mommy died anyway. Now I hate god!”
No, nope, no way, never. These people do not exist. Jesus, you must really think little of atheists if you believe they don’t know what atheism means. We did not lose our faith because believing in god is so painful we must deny him.
Don’t think some Christians believe this? Pirate God’s Not Dead and suffer through 100 minutes of discriminatory bullshit.