Please tell me why you care so much about being atheist. It seems the ammount of energy you all put into it... could go into other things... I want to see some good debate and conversation on this one. Im a christian and hey am really intrested in learning more about atheism but I am not sold... I am open to new ideas and all but how do you just stop dead and just all of a sudden wake up? (as in turn into a atheist)
Why do atheists hate God so much, if he doesn’t even exist? Or is hate to much of a leap? You tell me. You'll are the atheists.
Oh and tell me how you all think we got here on planet earth.
BTW I want to learn what real atheist are all about... thats why I am really here.
Thanks for taking an interest. Here are my responses, by category.
First off, I agree with Ian. It's rather difficult to actively hate something you don't believe in.
In a nutshell, here's what the majority of my time and energy goes into, in no particular order: 1) full-time IT industry job; 2) 7-months pregnant wife; 3) 1.5 year old toddler; 4) full-time college classes. Next semester I am taking 16 semester hours; 5) homework, studying, final projects, et al; 6) I'm an avid reader; 7) the occasional video game is nice; 8) it's nice to see friends once in awhile; 9) I like to write--this takes time and mental energy.
However, that doesn't make me any less passionate about my views as an atheist.
A tidbit about my moral views, since it fits into the scope of your desire to learn more about atheists. Generally, I abide by the golden rule. It doesn't take a divine epiphany to recognize the value in treating others in the manner you wish to be treated.
My becoming an atheist was both gradual and immediate in different ways. I was a born-again from 1993 to 2002-2003, when I lost faith. During that time, I attended and volunteered in church productions and services. I also attended a Christian high school for two years from '96 to '98. During that time I was, frankly, indoctrinated both religiously and politically. After leaving the school and eventually graduating, I got to experience the world a bit and discovered that what I had been taught about non-Christians and liberals/liberal ideology was a flat-out lie.
It was a very depressing period, as any worldview disillusionment can be. Eventually I lost my faith by rational means (later by empirical means and a non-Christian understanding of science) and was able to view how fundamentalists and even more moderate Christians tended to view and treat people. I read more of the Bible, this time not ignoring the more horrid aspects of it. Add to that the violence regularly endured and inflicted by other religions, a la 9/11...
Needless to say, it wasn't a very pretty picture. At some point after I lost my faith, I began thinking about the consequences of there not being a god. I guess you could say I went through a bit of a mourning period upon realizing I'd never see my dead loved ones again, or that this, indeed, is my only shot at living a fulfilling life.
Still, I avoided the "atheist" label (opting for "agnostic" or "secular") due to the negative connotations Christians falsely attribute to atheism. Around 2006 I basically accepted that I was an atheist, but didn't don the title until earlier this year, instead calling myself "humanist" when describing my worldview (which still applies).
So if you're under the impression that atheists hate God, you've got it all wrong. I'm particularly hostile towards religion itself, because I look at my own life and how many years I wasted as a result of it, mixed with a shot of bitterness over the realization I'll never ever have that part of my life back. My anger towards religion is a direct reflection of the damage it has caused me. That's used to be the case, anymore.
Nowadays I'm more driven by reason than by emotion. What I discovered is that when all the evidence is added up, God simply doesn't have a leg to stand on. As a mode of lifestyle, I think it's far more important to focus on getting along, easing suffering and making life better for those who have to live it than pretending to speak to invisible things that we cannot see, hear or touch while treating others who don't believe in the way I do like they're subhuman.
I think that Atheism means something different to everyone associated with it; for some it's a statement of disbelief and for others it might be a statement of disassociation with a Judeo-Christian culture. This culture has been the vehicle for expressing a narrow minded group's prejudice and judgment on every segment of society that has found itself to be unique and/or different. In a secular (read the constitution) country where freedom has supposedly been fought and died for, Christianity has become the most unique contradiction to ever exist; it is not a culture of love and tolerance but an ugly cult of hate and prejudice. Why do I put energy into being an Atheist? It's an attempt to rid the world of all faith based cults because they ALL teach their children the worst kind of values.