I'm an atheist because, to quote HItchens, it is the 'only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance' . But, as I view myself as both rational and pragmatic, I sometimes ponder what if any advantages atheism brings me as compared to the religious. What are the benefits, personal and/or social, and what are the drawbacks? 

     Rather than expound on my own thoughts at this point, I'd like to hear what others have to say. Please give me your thoughts, musings, discoveries, etc. And thank you in advance.

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We don't "take on" Atheism and wear it like the latest trend of clothing, or status symbol. Nor do we make a choice in the matter. When I declared out loud that I was an Atheist, it was only because I realized that what I once believed had no basis in reason.

Imagine if you believed that a strong magnet can fall through a copper pipe just as fast as an acorn falls from a tree...

Well, you then come to find out this is NOT the case, do you still insist upon your position even if you have seen otherwise? If the sky is blue do you insist that it is red?

I have personally found that being an Atheist has empowered me to be a stronger, better person. Letting go of my religious beliefs was the best thing that has happened to me. There is no down side. I may not have felt that way (say) a few months ago, but....I just hadn't realized the value of True freedom until I actually got to experience it! Lol

copper is not a ferrous metal....but I do understand the point you were trying to make....

Do you know what happens? :)

I delight in the discovery of new (weird) things. We did this yesterday in my physics class so it was fresh in my mind. But, you get the idea :)

I'm thinking it must induce an electrical current, which costs the magnet's kinetic energy. I didn't know this could also happen inside a pipe. I'm also guessing that it only works if each end of the pipe is connected to something that can translate the current into some kind of work, like heat.

(In any case, there's more than just a mysterious/unsolvable godditit/anti-science explanation!)

Now that was an answer that I wish I had written.

That is a powerful answer. I am raising up my hands once more. Even if  my wife is so angry with me for my stance, I know that at least my two youngest daughters will one day stand with me in the freedom of choosing whether they would embrace the concept of gods or not.

I believe cognitive dissonance accounts for the millions of headaches that plaque American religious culture. They don't know why they get them [headaches] but their subconscious has a good idea. ;^ )

When I was in Iran I had to pretend I was Christian. Saying I was atheist resulted in such shock from my friends and a never ending barrage of questions it became difficult to socialise (most wouldn't stop being my friend...they just avoided me for a week or two because for them the experience was like seeing a dead body for the first time). It was simply such a social bomb to say I was atheist that I only told my closest friends and only when they were ready to have a reasonable conversation. Note that rarely did they every talk much about Islam unless I asked.  What religion are you is a question much like what's your name. If I said Christian, the conversation ended and we could socialise and become friends. There is absolutely no advantage to being atheist in Iran except, if you are silent about it, an ability to be more objective when viewing religious behaviour around you.

In Belgium, France, Germany, Spain...it's generally the opposite. It's surprising to hear that a friend your age is very religious. They often hide it from people in embarrassment. Disbelief in the Christian god is very high and those who do believe barely do and don't care (in my age group). The advantages are many.

That dead body analogy rang a bell with me. When some people discover you are an atheist, it's almost exactly like seeing a dead body. They see a body without a soul.

Oh no! I see those everywhere!

And it's funny because we can say the same about some of these very people...who are half dead...waiting for an afterlife (that will never come).

Advantages:
No splinters on my ass from sitting on pews on sunday
That's $10.00 I can spend at Dairy Queen instead of tithing
Can actually learn to love people genuinely instead of because god said so.
Can watch porn without thinking to myself, "I'm going straight to hell"
Masterbation; "spilling your seed on the floor"-an abomination - Is now guilt free!
I now mow the lawn, trim the hedges, and de-weed.... ON SUNDAY!!!
Can finally stop trying to use science to explain heaven, hell, purgatory, eternal life...
The joy of not having to believe that my ancestors rode dinosaurs and played with them.
Freedom...

Disadvantages:
No longer have a quiet place on Sunday to do my shopping list.

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