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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Reggie, he is basing his belief on faith. He is therefore impervious to truth.
are you saying i am?
yes I am.
Im saying that you always have a choice whether to hide behind faith or realize the truth, in what way am i at all using faith or even condoning it.
You didn't say "you can choose to lye to yourself even after you find the truth and now convert to atheism"? That is saying that theism is the truth and atheism a lie. If that isn't what you said your account has been hacked. If it is what you said but you meant what you just said, I suggest being more careful with your choice of words. But as I said, I am trough responding to you and this is my last post to you on any subject.
maybe I did miss type_ I didn't mean to contradict myself at all. I am just saying that if you ar weak minded you would choose to hind behind faith but intelligent people accept the truth.

ithink that is a good place to stop. I think we have come to an an agreement or atleast an understtanding
well there you are right, because there is no other option for the kid, so it is not a decision. The kid simply hasnt been exposed and simply isnt smart enough to create another option.
Atheism is not a choice. Just like you cannot refuse the movement of a car during acceleration and then make a choice about whether its speed is 0 or 50 km. Obviously the 0 km speed is wrong. I have been told by my christian friends that as long as I confess my sins, I can go to a magical place called 'heaven' where nobody is bad. where is the humanity in that. If we lose our ability to make choices based on our own morality, we are no longer human. That is a fate worse that death. Death = Death.
To have faith, you need to take little or no evidence and then make a decision using that. Faith in this christian god I find morally wrong and I refuse to be associated with such a group of people. Just as you cannot (or should not be able to) kill a child for your own pleasure, I cannot belive in their god.
I love Atheism. Without fear of my not real demons, I can appreciate how fragile the world is.
The definition of morality is not by the divine, but by our experiances and genes.
I chose to examine my beliefs with the intention of finding a religious path that was right for me. Instead, that examination led to atheism. I definitely wouldn't say that I "chose" to become a non-believer. It was terrifying to lose my faith and I constantly prayed to God for an unmistakeable sign that he was there and wanted me to have faith. Yeah, not a choice in my eyes.
For me, "becoming" an atheist was a very long process. I was raised by theists and surrounded by evangelicals. All my life I was told of Jesus and God and blah blah blah. It was something that just was.

In that same regard, I was also told that boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy marries girl and boy and girls have babies.

Jesus, and the chain of love, were facts in my youth. As I began to come out of the closet as a queer man, I also began to contemplate the other "truths" I was taught growing up. I didn't "believe" in all the Biblical mumble-jumble, but, like coming out gay, you just couldn't tell anyone you were an atheist.

For example, as I tippy toed out of the heterosexual closet, I declared myself "bisexual" believe it would be easier for my friends and family to ease into...

When I tippy toed out of the theist closet, I declared myself agnostic.

Choice? No. It's just the way it is. If we had to have an explanation for everything, we would create a god.
I experienced the same thing! I took a lot of philosophy of religion / religious studies courses at college trying to find something I could believe in. I tried sitting in a church by myself when I felt upset or sad, hoping that I would feel safe like I did when I was a child. I don't think it was a choice for that reason...I am proud that I really read up on many possible options but at the same time, I sometimes wish I was blissfully ignorant!
My knee jerk reflex is that it's not quite the same for everyone. That some people are born with characteristics that will inexorably lead them to being religious or being an atheist. For instance, did anyone have that friend that could not stop asking questions when they were young? Future atheist right there. Then the other friend who accepted simple answers without further questioning? Probably a theist by nature. I don't mean for these examples to be considered absolutes, I just think nature (genetic makeup) has a heavy hand in this as well.

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