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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You can't force yourself to organize your life around a ideology if it doesn't make sense..I came to a point when I
simply thought to myself "You know what,i would be better off without it".If God is suppose to be a struggle to
connect with i'm left wondering is it actually any form of god actually there listening to what we're thinking,what
we're going through.If he loves you,by the way why isn't god a woman? if god loves us,he should take us into heaven if a such place exist(almost certainly doesn't) but still i don't think anyone of us is doing anything wrong with being skeptical,critical.I think we held the intellectual high ground and integrity in this.
Lars- if you decided you would be better off without religion, then surely you disbelieved it before you made the choice. No one could make a choice to choose eternal suffering. You simply didn't believe it based on the evidence, realized it, and decided to act on it. That would be my interpretation of the process anyway. The difference between those who believe and those who don't lies somewhere in between the ability and the willingness to investigate the claims of faith.
Doxastic volunteerism is intuitively assumed by most people, but as you point out, we have no control over what convinces us. We can influence our beliefs by exposing ourselves to specific information, but ultimately we do not choose our beliefs. Nobody does. Beliefs are also influenced by desire. The meso-dopamine feedback loop is triggered every time we gain satisfaction from a thought, reinforcing it (causing the synaptic connections that makeup the network of that thought) to be reinforced by rendering the neurochemical reception in those synapses more efficient.

All of that is proof that the abrahamic faiths can not be true, because according to the bible and quran, apostasy is the one unpardonable sin. I have no choice to be an apostate (nor does anyone else) so the idea that we have freewill and will be rewarded/punished for what we do with that freewill is utter nonsense. Either god predetermined me to go to hell, or it's all bullshit. I tend to think the latter is likely.
That's excellent. can I post that on my Facebook page if I quote you? Better yet, I'd love it if you posted it on my wall.
No, its not a choice. For me, it was the realization that I was always atheist and had been subconsciously fighting it since the very first lie was force fed to me as a child.

Funny how that indoctrination shit works, ain't it? Same deal here. I defended it even as I doubted it. If only I knew then what I know now. I'd not only be an atheist sooner, I'd totally would have gotten laid more.

C'est la vie.
Saying that atheism is a choice is like saying that tuberculosis is a choice. It can be avoided unless it's physically imposed on you or someone tricks you into getting it.
Unfortunately most religious people are infected with religion as children, during the years when they really want to believe in a simplistic make-believe world.
It's all explained here:
1) If you've never been religious, atheism is not a choice. Not really.

2) If you used to be, then starting to question your beliefs is the only real choice you make. And it might just be one the best decisions you ever make.
I never felt I had any choice in my obligations towards acknowledging the truth. I may have fooled myself many times, but I can no more make a choice about belief than I can decide to love or not love someone.
Atheism isn't a choice, it's the status quo from birth. Believing anything else is a choice.


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