I was a devout believer for many years. I watched Zeitgeist and started thinking. :) Then I saw a funny George Carlin video (Religion is Bullshit) and started to realize how silly many of my beliefs were.
The other big factor: All of the suffering and disasters around the world. If there is a god, He is not a loving Father, at best he just doesn't care.
Finally I read Hitchens, Dawkins and Sam Harris: My mind was made up. I'd been duped for 40 years and I'm glad I finally saw the light.
What aspects of Christianity do you find "silly" ?
I think a better way to phrase the question is:
"What aspects of Christianity do you NOT find to be silly?"
I would have an extremely difficult time answering this question. The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is a sense of community. Most Everything else is basically silly.
Please elaborate if you feel so strongly on the matter.
Just because you believe something as 'factual' doesn't mean you 'feel strongly' about it.
Some people don't argue their points based off how strongly they 'feel', but how rational and justified their position is.
What you could do is list 10 things that you find to be not silly about Christianity and then I would tell you if I think any are not silly, how about that?
I've been an atheist since the second grade, which is when I first considered whether or not god existed. The only "shifting" I've done is between Marxism and Existentialism. I don't understand why Objectivism gets dismissed so easily by so many Atheists; Objectivist arguements seem strong to me, I disagree with Objectivists but I'm afraid they may be correct.
Would you care to elaborate upon your views?
Elaborate? Atheists are concerned with the real world, which inevitably leads to discusions of politics (but not just politics). I suggest you look up:
Marxism: Platypus1917.org, the Socialist International, Democratic Socialist of America, Max Shachtman: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shachtmanism , New Democratic Party of Canada, Euston Manifesto, Martin Glabermann http://marx.org/archive/glaberman/index.htm
Existentialism: Simone de Beauvoir (more important than Sartre IMHO), Jean Paul Sartre
others: Christopher Hitchens, Bertrand Russel, Bernard Sanders ("Independent" Senator for Vermont), Victor Serge, In Defense of Politics by Bernard Crick.
That's all the elaboration I am prepared for today. Get to work and read.
My brain wouldn't let me be otherwise!
Inconsistencies in religious dogma, no evidence for god, no need for a god, etc.
It is sad, to me, that people believe and continue to perpetuate these, and similar ideas, once they become adults and can think for themselves. I "believed" such nonsense because I was force fed this crap my whole life - I am so happy to be free from these ideas that I think are completely delusional in hindsight.
There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body or parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the maker and preserver of all things, both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there are three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Article V—Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation
The Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.
Article IX—Of the Justification of Man
We are accounted righteous before God only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by faith, only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort.
Article XVI—Of the Sacraments
Sacraments ordained of Christ are not only badges or tokens of Christian men's profession, but rather they are certain signs of grace, and God's good will toward us, by which he doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm, our faith in him.
The cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the lay people; for both the parts of the Lord's Supper, by Christ's ordinance and commandment, ought to be administered to all Christians alike.
Article XXIV—Of Christian Men's Goods
The riches and goods of Christians are not common as touching the right, title, and possession of the same, as some do falsely boast. Notwithstanding, every man ought, of such things as he possesseth, liberally to give alms to the poor, according to his ability.
We believe in the one true, holy and living God, Eternal Spirit, who is Creator, Sovereign and Preserver of all things visible and invisible.
Article VI—The Sacraments
We believe the Sacraments, ordained by Christ, are symbols and pledges of the Christian's profession and of God's love toward us.
Article IX—Justification and Regeneration
We believe we are never accounted righteous before God through our works or merit, but that penitent sinners are justified or accounted righteous before God only by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Article XIII—Public Worship
We believe divine worship is the duty and privilege of man who, in the presence of God, bows in adoration, humility and dedication.
My (very mild) childhood indoctrination never took. Thankfully I've never been forced to believe like many children are - particularly in the US as far as Christianity is concerned (those stories are just pure horror). But I've learned the theology and the stories when I was young. I went through the motions, but none of it ever really made sense to me. I could never conceptualize what god is supposed to be. The doctrine of the Trinity certainly didn't help. The holy ghost just turned everything into complete gibberish. So things like praying were pretty absurd. And all the rituals in church were meaningless to me. I only did it because that's what you were expected to do.
I also learned a lot about paleontology and astronomy at an early age. So when being confronted with the idea that god created Earth, I knew even at age 8 or so that it wasn't true. It's only been recently though that I've become more serious about this and really identified as an atheist. Much of that has to do with religion's disgusting involvement in politics and education. Before that I didn't really give it much thought.
The most convincing argument I have ever seen for atheism is a careful reading of the Bible. After that particular indoctrination was torn down, it was a short trip to rejecting all religions.