Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Atheism; Is it a choice?

I've often wondered whether atheism is a choice or not; certainly one can choose to no longer take part in their parent's religion, or the religion they were in. But was that person predisposed to eventually become an atheist? I think the answer is most likely yes; I'm sure I speak for many of my fellow atheists when I say that the idea and practice of religion just doesn't click with me at all, and it never has.

In the movie Angels and Demons, based on Dan Brown's novel of the same name, Tom Hanks's character tells Ewan McGregor's character this quote:

     "Faith is a gift I have not yet received."

I can entirely relate to his plight; the ability to believe in something like a god would certainly reduce my stress level. My view on faith is bittersweet; I envy the faith of religious people, but I am also glad I don't have it. I find myself unable to believe in something for which there is no evidence; and that I frankly don't believe exists.

I do not regret my atheism. People of faith can pray to their chosen deity, and be filled with hope and the knowledge that their problems are in the hands of their god. Personally, I know prayer doesn't work, and if it appears to, it is only because of coincidences. I believe it's always better in the long run to take responsibility for your problems and work on them yourself, instead of giving them up to God.

In closing, while my life might be easier if I was a person of faith, I regret nothing about my lack of belief. To me, it seems entirely obvious that religion is false; it seems so blatantly untrue, so unbelievable. I can only imagine that this is how faithful people feel about NOT believing in what they do; I empathize with them. Assuming the basic principle that God (any god) is only an element of our psyche, then faith and lack of faith are both just as good for your psychological welfare. Faith allows you to have hope even in the most dire of situations; lack of faith allows you to have faith in yourself.
Personally, I prefer the latter.



  1. Faith is a hope and a prayer, literally. Can one have faith in the fact by praying to their god, they will not fall off a cliff? I doubt it.

    Remember, if these god believers, and I will direct this toward Christians, were to have faith, then they would be able to drink the poison of a snake and take a sting from a scorpion without any ill effects - for it is written.

  2. My personal opinion on atheism is simple - it is the default in which we enter this world.

    Religion is taught, atheism is default.

    The god concept, which it is just a concept, is ingrained into those that are most vulnerable - children. The teaching of religion is no more than brainwashing at the simplest level. For if one says it enough with conviction, it must be true.