Most if not all theists believe atheism to be a choice. To them it is something you can choose to accept or reject. Therefore, to the typical theist, if you become an atheist, you have chosen to be one. If you leave atheism, then you have chosen to leave it. While this second argument is most likely true. The person who decides to abandon atheism for theism has most likely made a choice. The person who becomes a theist has usually made a choice. [except in the case of young children raised as theists, who are almost always too young to make this choice.] However, is it true that a theist who converts [or more accurately "deconverts"] to atheism, really chosen to be an atheist? I don't think so.

 

For me, I certainly did not have a choice in becoming an atheist.

Although I am now quite happy as an atheist... when I first lost my faith, I wanted SOO BADLY to go back to it.

Being raised as a typical theist, I held the erronious belief that if I simply went to church and prayed hard enough, then Jesus would answer me and turn me back to him and away from my sin of "rejecting him." - Amazingly, I was so badly brainwashed at this time, that I didn't realize that I didn't choose to become an atheist, that it just happened, I thought that "I was being sinful and turning away from God, or God was "testing me."

So... I went to church and prayed, and begged, and sang praises, and through my heart and "soul" into trying desperately to find my way back to Jesus.

Certainly I tried hard enough, but the "light of God" never touched me, I was outcast.

 

So, does one "choose" atheism...

I doubt it.

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As for raising children, I would recommend for atheist parents lost in how to raise their children [not saying it's you Doone, just some probably are lost] the book, "Living in the light" from the American Atheist Store.
It's $12 and apparently offers some nice tips.
http://atheists.org/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPat...
It wasn't a choice for me, atheism makes sense, the supernatural does not.
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People may make decisions that lead them to a belief or an unbelief, but ultimately there is no choice in it as far as I can see.
I don't think that people choose their believes, however they choose whether they want to be critical thinkers or not. You can either decide to question the inherited believes and find your own, or you can just follow the crowd and enjoy their approval.
Once you choose the skeptical way there is no control over the end results, you don't decide what will make sense to you.
That's why most theists hate listening to atheists, because they force them to face their hidden doubts. By shouting and insulting atheists they are actually trying to silence the little voices in their heads that keep telling them that what they believe in is nonsense.
The goal of this page http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/RELIGION-IS-EVIL/116143208424783 is to "Help Enlighten the world to the fact that Atheists are the only truly moral people you know!"
Atheism isn't a choice.. it's a conclusion.

Great post. Thanks for sharing.
Hey Misty:
That sounds like a great slogan!
Well said!
I was born into a freethinking famly my first exposure to religion was at 16. To make my girlfriends family happy I attended her church and I gotta say, thier is no way I could believe that stuff. I tried , it just seemed so silly. Choose atheism? naw, I was born that way.
There is a quote (not mine) that sums up atheism for me. It goes "Atheism is just the end result of criticly examining religious claims ,applying reason logic and an open mind" .

( if someone knows who said that send a reply eh! )
I don't think its a choice at all. My family was never very religious and I was never indoctrinated into any religion, so atheism was a conclusion I just reached naturally without any interference. (my parents never really talked about God much, and they stopped forcing me to say bed-time prayers when I was seven. Never had to go to church either. I was free to think for myself, which I'm very grateful for). If religion wasn't introduced at such an early age and people were mature enough to understand it when is was introduced, I think alot more people would be atheists.
The illusion of free will is fueled by a general ignorance about causes. When you understand just a wee bit about the natural world, the god delusion vanishes. Atheism is a forced move in design space per our peer Dan Dennett. It's also a good trick if you want to know what happens next.

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