Understanding Atheism

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Even in our modern world, many people are shocked to find that some people have rejected the notion that there is a god.

Understanding why someone chooses atheism is not a simple answer. Reasons vary from person to person. For some it could be at the hands of their parents teaching or religion not playing a role in their childhood. One topic that has plagued philosophers and theists alike is how can great many things wrong.

Churches rarely mention passages of the Bible that show god condoning atrocities.

God himself commanded the pillage, rape, and murder of the Midianites found in Numbers 31:7-18. You can find similar stories in Judges 21:10-24, and Deuteronomy 20:10-14. It does not make for an impressive argument that god is a good and loving deity.  The Bible talks about god’s law when it comes to the rape of a woman in Deuteronomy 22:28-29, it states that the rapist must pay the victims father and then marry the victim.  There are hundreds of passages in the Bible that condone murder, rape and other reprehensible acts, the Bible is supposed to be the word of god so we have no choice but to assume that this is acceptable in god’s eyes.

The contradictions found in the Bible

There are many contradictions found in the Bible also that cause people questioning to sway towards atheism.  The Ten Commandments tell us not to murder, commit adultery, or covet our neighbor’s wife but the passages listed above directly contradict those commandments.  People who become atheists tend to be skeptical and rational, it being there natural process the question the world around them.  They feel jaded and mislead by their former churches and religion, they would rather dismiss religion than have faith in something with so many inconsistencies.  Atheists find it freeing to live outside the confines of faith and superstition and to view the beauty of the world from a more scientifically based standpoint.  They consider atheism to be a more accurate and reasonable view of the world and how it came to be.  Satisfaction does not come by simply accepting that a deity created them and the world they want facts, to understand how we all came to be not just a prettily packaged answer in the form of dogma.  Many atheists live by the theory of Occam’s Razor summarized as that when trying to understand something cutting out the unnecessary is the fastest way to the true explanation. Why add deities to the mix if they are not necessary?

Everything mentioned can be reasons why someone has chosen atheism and there are so many more possibilities.  It can be difficult for a devout Christian to except someone’s atheism, as their faith is a major factor in their life.  This is not to say that having faith is a bad thing but it is a personal choice. Your faith might be the foundation upon which you build your life. If belief in god sustains you and gives you strength and happiness then it is a good thing.  Just because someone chooses not to believe or science contradicts religion or you cannot absolutely prove your god exists is not a reason to give up your faith unless you feel it is the best decision for you.  The definition of faith is believing that which we cannot prove. Choosing what to believe and what not to believe is a very personal matter.  If you are a Christian and meet an atheist attacking their views and putting them down will not get you very far, you are simply strengthening their belief that religion and religious people are hypocrites. A Christian is commanded by their god to love their brothers and sisters, not just their blood relatives but also all the people of the world whether their share your belief or not.

Atheism is frightening to some people because it brings up things we would rather not think of.

Many people hold a great fear of death, no one wants to die especially if there is no afterlife, the thought that we just cease to be and fade to black is terrifying to most.  Atheists confront that fear head-on and learn to accept that that just may be the case and they become comfortable believing that this life is all there is so live it to the fullest. That does not mean that atheists behave unmorally or just do whatever they please with no fear of consequences. Atheists have morals just like religious people, it does not take a deity to teach us to treat people with respect and act in a civilized manner, and people who commit criminal acts come in all colors, shapes, sexes, and religious or non-religious beliefs.  You may never quite wrap your head around why some people become atheists and that is perfectly fine our differences are what makes the world an interesting place to be.

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