I am finding something to be very annoying when I make it known to a believer that I am an atheist.  The person will typically assume that I became an atheist due to me being angry with god or life.  The most recent episode occurred at my job when a co-worker asked me if I was catholic.  I stated no and told this person that I was an atheist.  This person looked at me and stated, "Oh something bad must have happened in your life."  In other words, I must have had an experience which caused me to become ANGRY with god and this in turn caused me to reject him.  This is not the first time a person has reacted to learning that I am a non believer with "oh you must be angry with god".  I find this to be such a condescending reply!  In my opinion, they are basically saying that my beliefs could only come from an irrational and emotional response and there was no way I could come to my belief through reason and clear thought.  In this latest case, I told the person that I am fortunate to have lived a pretty good life overall and my current life is great as well, so I had no reason to be angry (other than with his condescending remark).  I told him I came to my conclusion that there is no personal god through reason and critical thinking.  He just smiled at me when I stated this as if amused by my answer.  Why do so many believers find it so hard to accept that someone can reject the belief in god due to evidence-based reasoning and critical thinking?  I know I am not the only deity denier that experiences this silly reaction from believers, as it is a well-known among atheists that we are stereotyped as an angry and miserable group of people.  I guess I am just starting to experience what other atheists have been experiencing for a long time.  

So let me set the record straight.  

I am an atheist due to the overwhelming scientific evidence in geology, paleontology, and biology that we are the products of a natural process that does not require a god.  

I am an atheist because the bible and other holy books are full of stories which show their god to be anything but all-loving, all-powerful, or just, and who condones genocide, rape, murder, slavery, and many more immoral acts.  It is pretty obvious to any honest person that these holy books and gods were created by humans, not the other way around.  

I am an atheist because I do my best to base my beliefs on evidence-based reasoning, critical thinking, and science.  I reject the notion of faith as it is useless.  How can anything that encourages belief without evidence, belief without proof, or belief in the unknown be of any use to anyone?  Faith is not a virtue, it is something that should be shunned and banned from our lives.

I am an atheist because I would rather say, “I don’t know” than depend on wishful thinking (faith)  or make the general statement “God did it”, when I encounter a mystery or the unknown.  

I am an atheist because all the unnecessary suffering in this world leaves no logical room for a just, loving and all-powerful god.  

My rant is over, but I want to mention that my anger is not with all believers.  It would be hypocritical and dishonest of me to get angry with the stereotyping of nonbelievers if I did the same toward those who worship a god.  I know believers who respectfully disagree with my beliefs without labeling me as angry or immoral.  I can only hope that their ability to disagree respectfully with those who hold a different belief system will rub off on their condescending and annoying brethren.  

George Kiely

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