Image via WikipediaWhy are you an atheist? When someone learns of your atheism for the first time, I think it makes sense to expect that the why question will soon follow. It is a fair question, especially for those of us who live in areas that are especially hostile to atheists. The thing is, this question can catch one off guard because providing a complete answer can be a lengthy exercise. I'll give you my answer below, and I'd be interested to hear yours too.
The brief version of my response would be something like the following:
I am an atheist because I find the existence of gods to be so implausible that it makes more sense to me to assume that no such beings exist.In elaborating my response more fully, I would try to address the following points because it has been my experience that many people are confused about some of them:
- Being an atheist simply means that I do not believe that any gods exist.
- When I say I am an atheist, that does not mean that I am 100% certain that no gods could ever exist; it just means that I do not happen to believe that any do exist.
- I am an atheist for the same reasons that you don't believe in other gods: there is no evidence that they exist, and you recognize that it would be nuts to believe in something so far-fetched without compelling evidence.
How about you? How do you typically complete the "I am an atheist because" stem when it comes up?
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