Why I'm an atheist



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Grono

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Look, let me get this off my chest before I start: I don’t have a problem with religious people… inherently. In fact, I legitimately tried to be religious for many years before I finally started to embrace my atheism. Now, let’s start with the dictionary definition of an atheist: a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in a god or gods. If I was a miso theist, THEN you can be free to call me hateful of you or your god. It’s impossible to hate what I reject of even existing. The specific brand of atheist I am is an agnostic atheist, meaning that, while I reject the existence of your God, I am all for the idea of one, even going as far to say that I personally would be ecstatic if you could prove their existence with hard evidence. Atheism is not the claim that there is not a god, it’s rejecting the claim that there is one. Let me start with how I actually became an atheist.

For years in high school I tried to be a Christian. I remember frequently reading my electronic King James Bible during my learning center class when I was thirteen after finishing my homework, and for about a year after that I stopped entirely. Sure, I had lots of religious friends and family members, but I was born Christian, not raised as one. My dad frequently went to church as a child, and my mom did a couple of times, but they decided that they would stop going to church once they got their own place, and I went to church maybe a total of 4 times that I can remember. In my junior year of high school, I had a great friend named Jon Brown, a guitarist, euphonium player, and singer, who invited me frequently to his youth group, then named Sanctus, and, after much deliberation and procrastination, I decided to start going to Sanctus. I made great friends with many pastors there, yet I felt completely out of the loop. The only Christian media I got into was the pop-punk band Relient K, and I didn’t feel like much of a Jesus-freak there, and felt singled out for it. However, everything changed my first year of college, when I accidentally stumbled upon a video called “Atheist’s Watch Ray Comfort’s ‘Evolution VS God’” by The Bible Reloaded, and I quickly binge-watched EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEIR MOVIE REVIEWS AND I COULDN’T STOP. Hugo and Jake instantly climbed close to the summit of my favorite youtubers, below the nostalgia critic, todd in the shadows, and a few others. After some time, I also went on to follow Logicked, The Amazing Atheist, and The Armoured Skeptic, along with UNPopular Culture, The Quran Reloaded, and Armoured Media as well, and I realized that the reason I was drawn to these videos so often was because I agreed with so many of their opinions. No matter what religious beliefs I was previously raised to hold before, I realized that I didn’t believe this fairytale story of how the earth was created anymore. It didn’t make sense to me once I started to think about it. Look, if you believe that Jesus is the Messiah, if you believe that Mohammed was the last prophet sent to mankind, hell, if you believe in the Egyptian or the diddlying Mesopotamian gods, I don’t care. The problem is when you push me to believe what you believe and then look at the evidence against your position and you say “you want evidence for [a] god? Look around you!” when, in fact, looking around you at the evidence that’s brought to the table would make it so that your faith is the only thing that can hold onto your religion. And that’s alright. Some of the world’s greatest scientific minds, such as Charles Darwin, dedicated their findings in order to show the world the glorious workings of god, and lost faith in him due to the findings; of course, many held, or hold, their beliefs still after findings like that, but it is something to think about.

Now, I was always taught a more allegorical version of the bible, where the story of Noah and the great flood was simply a story to remind us of God’s wrath and the importance of faith, even when no one else is there to share your faith. Now, I don’t believe those things anymore obviously, but I came across the idea of biblical literalism in my studies, and I’ve got to say that I’ve never been more intellectually insulted in my life. People telling me that evolution isn’t true because God created the universe (which doesn’t even diddlying make a lick of sense), people telling me that since dogs don’t turn into alligators that they couldn’t have possibly evolved, people telling me that the speed of light “used to be much faster than it is now” despite the lack of evidence backing up that very same claim. People like to stick with science until it starts to piss in the same well as their beliefs, just like a kid throwing a fit when he finds out Santa isn’t real. How is God any less far-fetched than Santa? He’s just the grown up version of a strange fake man that somehow has the power to watch 7 billion people at once and that has judged billions before. People go so far to claim that their imaginary sky-daddy is real that they go and try to redefine the words that their opponents use in order to try to turn them against them, shown by countless Christian youtubers consistently misrepresenting the definitions of atheism, skepticism, and agnosticism, coming up with such strange (and, quite frankly, mildly amusing) claims such as “atheists are those who worship the devil” and that “all morals come from religion. If religion was absent, then atheists would be free to do whatever they wanted, and you know they would.” And, quite frankly, that last statement is quite diddlying insulting, and I would appreciate it if people stopped saying that atheists would do that shit just because they don’t believe that no ethereal sky-monger is watching their every move. If anything, Christianity is something to watch out for; they, along with many other religions, believe that anything that they do wrong will be forgiven by their god, and all they need to do to be forgiven is to pray. At least atheists have the balls to take matters into their own hands, admit what they’ve done wrong, and deal with the problem like an actual diddlying adult instead of sitting around hoping that some invisible person in the sky will fix everything instead of dealing with it themselves in their own way.

There is seven things in particular that I have wrong with Christianity (how fitting of a number), and they are, in particular:

1. The widespread belief in Biblical Inerrancy
2. The widespread belief in Biblical Literalism
3. The public flouting of so-called Creation “Science”
4. Young earth creationism
5. The influence of commonly shared Biblical Infallibility
6. The use of Theological Legalism in order to smite “out-of-line” believers
7. Flat earth Creationists

I will spare you all the slog of having me go over all of these, since we’ll be here all night, and some of these are very extreme opinions that not a lot of people share, such as flat-Earth Creationism and so-called Creation Science held up particularly by religious conservatives and less-so by the more contemporary believers. I just wrote these down particularly just so everyone knows that I did spend quite a bit of time researching and pondering the things I didn’t like about Christianity in general.

Now, you might be asking “hey, isn’t there other things about other religions that you don’t like?” Well, yes, absolutely! I hate the Old Testament much more than the New Testament, so the Jewish belief system is not on good terms with me. I hate the fact that Mohammed married a six year old and diddlyed her when she was nine. That is diddlyed up, inexcusable, and indefensible in my opinion, even if it is not considered a taboo in certain cultures. I do not see how the current state of Islam is supposed to mesh into Western Culture like people think we should do, they’re just incompatible at the current state. The Middle East and the rest of the world have been extremely disconnected for a very long time, and, with the way that the Sharia law and other such things are working in The Middle East at the moment, there’s no way that we can start to mesh together. Now, granted, I have nearly no knowledge of Islam comparatively with Christianity, so my views aren’t complete and fleshed out, so my research isn’t quite done yet on that part.

On that note, a lot of you probably feel two main things right now: you’re uncomfortable or you feel vindicated. I’ll end this on the note that I do not hate those who have faith; in fact, I still love to go to church. It’s, for the most part, peaceful, and me and my old pastors get along very well. I just don’t happen to believe in any of it.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed reading this article, and please comment below and let me know how you feel about this topic!

EDIT: I should make it clear that I'm an Agnostic-Atheist. Not because I am spiritual, but because I don't think anyone could truly know the real answer until after death.
 
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Bufferino

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I think your reasons for not believing in Christianity is very legitimate. Nice post, Gronodon!
 

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Your experience is very real and happens to a lot of people. I do not consider myself religious even though I was heavily raised with Greek Orthodox doctrines growing up. It was simply not in my nature to believe in an ideal designed to control human behavior, a phenomenon that not even psychologists/sociologists fully understand to this day. While I have a liking towards the spiritual and faithful aspects of religion, it simply was not enough to warrant full participation from me. It was simply put, a closed, asphyxiating experience that halted my learning instead of allowing room to grow, so I dropped it. So I applaud you for finding you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with changing from what parents may have originally planned from us as long as it does not hurt anyone.
 

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Its odd, I have a lot of the same problems and issues you have but I was an atheist and now I'm a happy muslim.

I believe that all things spawn from a single point of origin, not just physical matter but meta physical, even thoughts and conceptual ideas.
For me religion is a means of keeping me spiritually healthy, it helps exercise those instincts those emotions and I believe they are important not just for lifestyle but for science as well because it allows us to process information that is otherwise quantifiable.
I think picturing God as a literal person or a human being just with powers is a mistake, but I believe that when the bible or quran describe God with human emotions such as being all loving or merciful it is a way for people to spiritual connect to it.
Other issues I wanted to point out, I don't have a problem with evolution, the way I see it people are not defined by flesh and blood but by their humanity so I believe the creation of the soul or the concept that allows humanity is special. Also the world being created in 7 days as opposed to billions of years, doesn't have to be earth days, without planets a day is just a cycle so its like saying the creation of the universe could be comprehended through 7 stages.

I think the problem is people demand proof or physical evidence but its impossible to describe every detail of how the universe was created because we have limited tools, physical resources and limited our imagination is in comparison, so the best that can be offered is to exercise that instinct to understand and peruse creation i.e. why in the bible God is described as a father figure in my opinion. Great scientists like Galileo never saw science to contradict the concept of God but simply to understand it.
 

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Personally, I don't really understand how someone can come to the conclusion that there is no god is not real and in turn, further that notion by saying belief in is a "fairytale", when the best way we know things is completely inadequate to prove his/her/its existence. Furthermore, chill out with the insults bro. "Sky daddy", you say you find it intellectually insulting to believe in the god of the bible or god at all, but in THE SAME POST condescend towards others for believing in God? Does that make any sense to you? Personally, I don't care (all that much) about you being one, and I am not trying to attack anyone; I am going to have love for everyone regardless, but if you are going to be one, don't say that you have a problem with others being anti-intellectual, or deluded, or don't call your self a logical person, and in the same breath (word...) say that others believe in fairytales, when there is literally no evidence to support the notion that God or a god doesn't exist. Furthermore and as a friendly note, the best method we have for explaining the workings of the universe and our world can't explain the notion of a supernatural being that may preside over it, which if you unpack it, even slightly, is almost incomparably different than some fat guy that delivers presents to all children in the world over the course of one night...

And the fact you are seemingly try to push that idea, puts you in the same boat of delusion you claim to have a problem with.

As far as (typical) Christian bias against atheists goes, people are ignorant, everyone is ignorant, it shouldn't be a surprise. I've experienced it myself in the form of blatant racism. If you don't want people to be ignorant, educate them in consistent manners. You do not educate people, however, by saying they believe in delusions or fairytales. A lot of what I see in this post is you trying to exalt yourself or rather the belief that you are affiliated with over others, merely because you don't like them.
 

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I grew up in a very traditional north american christian ideology. By that I mean; the bible was accepted as literal fact, and most of the families direction came from preachers off the television screen. Unfortunately, I was a very snappy, argumentative child and teenager, so I butted heads often growing up. Especially when science and biblical origins began to become incompatible. I simply discovered and grew for myself, and I get along splendidly with my mom now. As an adult all these things seem silly. I respect every religious variation, and I've never found it a source of discomfort.

I do believe there is a difference between religion and spirituality, of which I am a very spiritual person, I believe in meditation, and a healthy mind and spirit is simply healthy for you. Beyond that, I also acknowledge and witnessed events that are incomprehensible and unexplained, of which I note there are aspects of this world I do not understand, and none of us will until that time comes.

As long as your happy.
 

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Personally, I don't really understand how someone can come to the conclusion that there is no god is not real and in turn, further that notion by saying belief in is a "fairytale", when the best way we know things is completely inadequate to prove his/her/its existence. Furthermore, chill out with the insults bro. "Sky daddy", you say you find it intellectually insulting to believe in the god of the bible or god at all, but in THE SAME POST condescend towards others for believing in God? Does that make any sense to you? Personally, I don't care (all that much) about you being one, and I am not trying to attack anyone; I am going to have love for everyone regardless, but if you are going to be one, don't say that you have a problem with others being anti-intellectual, or deluded, or don't call your self a logical person, and in the same breath (word...) say that others believe in fairytales, when there is literally no evidence to support the notion that God or a god doesn't exist. Furthermore and as a friendly note, the best method we have for explaining the workings of the universe and our world can't explain the notion of a supernatural being that may preside over it, which if you unpack it, even slightly, is almost incomparably different than some fat guy that delivers presents to all children in the world over the course of one night...

And the fact you are seemingly try to push that idea, puts you in the same boat of delusion you claim to have a problem with.

As far as (typical) Christian bias against atheists goes, people are ignorant, everyone is ignorant, it shouldn't be a surprise. I've experienced it myself in the form of blatant racism. If you don't want people to be ignorant, educate them in consistent manners. You do not educate people, however, by saying they believe in delusions or fairytales. A lot of what I see in this post is you trying to exalt yourself or rather the belief that you are affiliated with over others, merely because you don't like them.
I agree that there are better ways to go about convincing people that their beliefs are wrong. I do disagree with one part of your statement though. You say there is no evidence that God does not exist. I think this is a problematic view. There is plenty of evidence that God, in the form espoused by most of the major religions does not exist. They resist any form of rationalisation and logical thought. Furthermore, it is not the obligation of atheists to prove that God does not exist. It is for religious people to prove that he does. If you hold a view that some metaphysical creature created the world and loves us all and tells us we need to live our lives in a certain way (or we'll be punished) then the onus is on you to prove that is the case. Not for others to disprove it.

I might hold the view that a master race of aliens first created the earth and laid the groundwork for the evolution of humans, which is as unlikely as the creation by an all-powerful yet somehow shy deity. If I held this view, the burden of proof is on me. It is not for others to disprove it.
 

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I'm an athiest because when I think really hard about it, and dig deep, I just don't feel like there's a god. Then again, if there is a god, I can fuck with that.
 

BlackOsprey

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For myself, I like to refer to Pascal's Wager: the risk of a nasty afterlife outweighs any advantages gained otherwise.

Yeah, I'm pretty frustrated with the religious system that's been built around the concept of God, but I might as well be saying that I'm just frustrated with humans, like always. It hasn't really caused me to abandon the notion of a God or spirituality in general, because I can experience both things without needing a hierarchal system and an army of hypocrites to reinforce it.
 

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I agree that there are better ways to go about convincing people that their beliefs are wrong. I do disagree with one part of your statement though. You say there is no evidence that God does not exist. I think this is a problematic view. There is plenty of evidence that God, in the form espoused by most of the major religions does not exist. They resist any form of rationalisation and logical thought. Furthermore, it is not the obligation of atheists to prove that God does not exist. It is for religious people to prove that he does. If you hold a view that some metaphysical creature created the world and loves us all and tells us we need to live our lives in a certain way (or we'll be punished) then the onus is on you to prove that is the case. Not for others to disprove it.

I might hold the view that a master race of aliens first created the earth and laid the groundwork for the evolution of humans, which is as unlikely as the creation by an all-powerful yet somehow shy deity. If I held this view, the burden of proof is on me. It is not for others to disprove it.
I was not trying to be dodgey from the burden of proof. I was just saying no one knows, so why act as though others are deluded because they believe one way, as opposed to having a lack of belief. Albeit, I was being a douche and I regret that, but still. Furthermore, the question can't be answered.
 

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well honestly I believe that the reason I'm athiest is because of the fact that there is no logical proof to the concept of an omnipotent being controlling my destiny... because I always believed that there are choices to be made and those choices affect your destiny. in that aspect I'm like han solo at the point before the death star in star wars episode 4. but I realise there are forces that can affect my destiny outside of the choices I make/made. So I am certainly spiritual but I'm not religious. that's why I'm athiest
 

Grono

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Personally, I don't really understand how someone can come to the conclusion that there is no god is not real and in turn, further that notion by saying belief in is a "fairytale", when the best way we know things is completely inadequate to prove his/her/its existence. Furthermore, chill out with the insults bro. "Sky daddy", you say you find it intellectually insulting to believe in the god of the bible or god at all, but in THE SAME POST condescend towards others for believing in God? Does that make any sense to you? Personally, I don't care (all that much) about you being one, and I am not trying to attack anyone; I am going to have love for everyone regardless, but if you are going to be one, don't say that you have a problem with others being anti-intellectual, or deluded, or don't call your self a logical person, and in the same breath (word...) say that others believe in fairytales, when there is literally no evidence to support the notion that God or a god doesn't exist. Furthermore and as a friendly note, the best method we have for explaining the workings of the universe and our world can't explain the notion of a supernatural being that may preside over it, which if you unpack it, even slightly, is almost incomparably different than some fat guy that delivers presents to all children in the world over the course of one night...

And the fact you are seemingly try to push that idea, puts you in the same boat of delusion you claim to have a problem with.

As far as (typical) Christian bias against atheists goes, people are ignorant, everyone is ignorant, it shouldn't be a surprise. I've experienced it myself in the form of blatant racism. If you don't want people to be ignorant, educate them in consistent manners. You do not educate people, however, by saying they believe in delusions or fairytales. A lot of what I see in this post is you trying to exalt yourself or rather the belief that you are affiliated with over others, merely because you don't like them.
Sorry, it took me a while to get to a response to this post (I've been gone for a while). I did sound a tad bit salty about my atheism in my post, but that was mostly because I never had an outlet to express it before and, honestly, I have a lot of opinions about it that I can never talk to anyone about, so they might have come out more vehement than they were in my head. Despite that, I don't think anything I said was necessarily insulting towards religious people (despite the fact that I said intellectually insulting, of which I do apologize if you are, indeed, a true biblical literalist), I'm just talking about how I myself find the idea quite ridiculous. I don't really see a problem with me calling God a "Sky Daddy", as it's just a cute pet name I have for the concept, and I'm sorry it seemed condescending. Honestly, i like religious people, for the most part; while many of my religious friends don't know I'm an atheist, I enjoy their company quite a bit as they enjoy mine, and we usually have a good time together. I love being a Christian while I was one, despite the fact that nowadays I might not agree with the belief necessarily, and I don't have a problem with people who are religious. Sorry if it came across that way.

Despite that, I don't think the bible is more than a highly elaborate fairy tale or story, such as the story of Santa Claus, the Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey and other comparable works, and other such religious or non-religious works that associate mythical beings with supernatural powers. The only reason someone would say that Santa Claus isn't anything like that is because adults know that they're the ones putting the presents under the trees, and since we don't know, and can't know, what happens after death, then it could be true. I'm just saying that this is why I'm an atheist; if you think I'm pushing it, then don't listen! That's fine! You seem religious, live a happy life! I want you to live a happy life! But why are you aloud to practice your doctrine and educate people on your doctrine, but an atheist like me is forbidden from doing so because it's "taboo" or "immoral"? What makes atheism so much more toxic than Christianity other than the stigma behind those atheists? Lastly, I clearly don't think my opinion should be able to push all other opinions out of the water (maybe I should have clarified that I'm an agnostic-atheist), but, then again, just because we can't know for sure doesn't mean it did happen. Pascal's wager is fine, but if I don't believe in it then I don't believe in it. No God is going to be fooled by my fake belief, so why try to mask it?

I just want to leave you with the idea that I believe that Christians have the burden of proof, since they (and by they a lot of the time I mean biblical literalists) claim extraordinary claims such as the arc being able to carry every single land animal, people living past 900 years old, the earth being 6000 years old and dinosaurs living at the same time as man, and other such claims. It just doesn't add up scientifically, and when you claim the fantastical, you need evidence to back up that claim. That's where my flag sticks in the ground, and I'd hope that you'd respect my opinion as much as I truly do respect yours.

EDIT: Well said, Osprey. I can't personally connect with that myself, but it is interesting to hear a point of view like that. I'm not spiritual, but I respect that wholeheartedly. Don't just blindly listen to the horde of believers that tell you what is and isn't right.
 

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I figure what matters most is that you lead a virtuous and fulfilling life, regardless of whether or not you believe in higher powers, spirituality, postmortem judgement, or an afterlife. Religion, for some of us, is what we can look to for a hint on how to go about doing that. If you've decided to try to find the way on your own... that's perfectly respectable too.
 

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I understand. I, too, was raised to be a Christian, but could never feel it for myself. For a long time I believed that my family and church community must have some connection with this God that I don't have, and that someday I would, too. So I held onto their belief. However, no connection with any God ever came for me.

It took a while for me to finally recognize I am an atheist. For in doing so, I had to learn to knock away many beliefs I had been indoctrinated into, and I had to learn to "distrust" how I had been raised (I put "distrust" in quotations because I don't want to make it seem like I think anyone that raised me to be a Christian were liars. I'm sure they are/were all sincere). I think what really brought me down to a path to realizing I was an atheist was taking history and learning about current events. I had this very naive view that being Christian means being 'good'. When I saw the atrocities of history and learned that sexism and homophobia was and is justified by Christianity, it shattered that image. And in fact, it did more than that. Perhaps it was the way I was raised, or perhaps it's just that I fit into those categories which Christians have demeaned (but that can't be, it had to be a combination) but it really shattered everything. I was raised to such a happy sunshine and rainbows version of Christianity I was unaware that such texts that were used to justify these horrible beliefs even existed.

Now a Christian could come in and try to argue with me all day about the validity of the "interpretation" of those verses I've understood, but I think it would be pointless because that's not why I'm an atheist, that's just how I was able to break down the barriers and see that my belief in God wasn't my own. My lack of belief in deities is not based on the immorality of the Bible. It's based on the fact that I see absolutely no reason to believe in any deity.
 

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I understand. I, too, was raised to be a Christian, but could never feel it for myself. For a long time I believed that my family and church community must have some connection with this God that I don't have, and that someday I would, too. So I held onto their belief. However, no connection with any God ever came for me.

It took a while for me to finally recognize I am an atheist. For in doing so, I had to learn to knock away many beliefs I had been indoctrinated into, and I had to learn to "distrust" how I had been raised (I put "distrust" in quotations because I don't want to make it seem like I think anyone that raised me to be a Christian were liars. I'm sure they are/were all sincere). I think what really brought me down to a path to realizing I was an atheist was taking history and learning about current events. I had this very naive view that being Christian means being 'good'. When I saw the atrocities of history and learned that sexism and homophobia was and is justified by Christianity, it shattered that image. And in fact, it did more than that. Perhaps it was the way I was raised, or perhaps it's just that I fit into those categories which Christians have demeaned (but that can't be, it had to be a combination) but it really shattered everything. I was raised to such a happy sunshine and rainbows version of Christianity I was unaware that such texts that were used to justify these horrible beliefs even existed.

Now a Christian could come in and try to argue with me all day about the validity of the "interpretation" of those verses I've understood, but I think it would be pointless because that's not why I'm an atheist, that's just how I was able to break down the barriers and see that my belief in God wasn't my own. My lack of belief in deities is not based on the immorality of the Bible. It's based on the fact that I see absolutely no reason to believe in any deity.
This is what made me realize I was worshiping something I wasn't agreeing with: I felt that every time I read the bible I had to justify an atrocity or "interpret" a passage to mean something that it didn't say, or simply cherry-pick the parts that I liked and say that I didn't agree with those parts or that I believed in different values for their parts. For example, my pastor told us that, while it says that sleeping with other men is a sin, that we all loved one of our youth leaders the same for being gay, even if he did live a life of sin under the lord; the thing is, I didn't even agree it was a sin at all! So, what was my answer then? Was it just "oh, of course it's a sin, because the bible says so. And everything in the bible is true"? No, not for me at least. Just the constant cherry-picking, interpretation, and allegorical analysis of the bible made me realize that is simply didn't adhere to my value system in many ways, and I just simply didn't want to comply to it.

I guess that's what led me to confusion and agnosticism, what led me to agnostic atheism was the bible reloaded with Hugo and Jake! check them out if you want some really good humor and some really deep analysis, Radiance! And for the christian or other religious viewers of this post, you might find enjoyment in seeing out their point of view! I'd suggest, if you want to get into the nitty-gritty of some of their beliefs and how science is applied to atheism, their video on "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" is excellent, as well as the website created to counteract that documentary, expelled exposed, is a great read (not created by the bible reloaded). I'll post links below for anyone interested.

Welcome to Expelled Exposed | Expelled Exposed: Why Expelled Flunks

[video=youtube;qCRnr-QrjPI]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCRnr-QrjPI&feature=youtu.be[/video]
 
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