ANSWERS: 64
  • Not at all. Mostly science is the contributor, and they lead very fortunate lives.
  • Not sure...atheists and Christians alike all face hardships, but I don't think these underline what you become so directly, even though it might for some. I think it may change the way you deal with things, but not necessarily always change how you see everything. :/ Good question though.
  • Heck, everyone gets pissed on from time to time.
  • Aren't you being a bit condescending and presumptous on this question? How would you then explain someone who is born and raised and Atheist and remains so all their life because they see no evidence of anything other than the world that surrounds them?
  • I think what makes an atheist is someone who hasn't dug deep enough to see that our science at the moment cannot prove or disprove the existence of God.
  • I don't think there is a general rule to go by with people. God touches those who honestly seek him.
  • Not at all. I'm an atheist because of the complete and total lack of evidence suggesting the existence of deities.
  • Nope. I think what makes an atheist is looking at the world and not seeing evidence of a supernatural deity. Unfortunate things happen to people every day, and they don't all of a sudden uproot and become atheists.
  • Not at all, it seems to be more not seeing what everyone is raving about.
  • I think they are more logical thinkers, that need to see facts in order to believe things.
  • Have you ever read the story of Job? He was a believer...and all kinds of stuff went wrong for him. I know of Christians who have had really horrible things happen to them, yet they still believe - either in spite of it, or because of it. I also have friends who are athiest, who just simply don't believe...not because anything has gone wrong in their lives, just simply - they don't believe.
  • Very good question- the answer is yes a lot of the time. In my case the answer is no. I was able to figure out as a kid that all religions were stupid and made up by people. there are a lot of homosexuals who figure it out cause they realize that their religion is against them. they think "would a real god hate homos" and since they r gay they say no. other bad things happen to people and they think"this god thing is a big bunch of bullshit".
  • No..Yes..No..Yes...I don't know:)
  • I think, for me at least, it is because I question. I question things that I read in the bible, or things I have been told. And no one can give me an answer I can accept. Since I cannot accept the answers, cannot believe them, or have them raise even more questions that I cannot get answers to, I find myself unable to believe in God. I'm just logical enough to not accept a circular argument (God is real because the bible says so, and the bible is the word of God). If someone could truly answer my questions, to my satisfaction, without using the bible to prove their point, I'd believe.
  • I think that a lot of unfortunate things happen to all sorts of people, not just atheists in particular. Aethists may just have a different spin on it. Some religious people may blame it on a higher being, others think fate or destiny was involved. Things happen to everyone -- how you look at it is what determines if it is good, bad, fortunate, or unfortunate.
  • That can go two ways. Because of circumstance I have questioned my beliefs but in truth I would not have survived without my faith and the Churches help.
  • Was Job an athiest?
  • I can't really answer any better than Keysha did, but I personally, as an atheist, think that all of these religious fanatics are the ones to have experienced misfortune. They're brainwashed from an early age and then live out their lives in constant fear... Amusing, yet only vaguely on topic: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/4141765/Atheist-buses-denying-Gods-existence-take-to-streets.html
  • no they chose to be atheists thats there way of thinking and there way of living and thats their road
  • Hell no! I know 12 year-old atheists with nothing terribly devistating in his past. Atheism is a belief because of the truth we have found in our own life from what we have taken from the facts presented to us.
  • Sounds like a nice rationalization! ;-)
  • I think a lot of ppl are "atheist" for lack of a better word.
  • I don't think so. Misfotunes don't make atheists. Atheist are thinking people. I respect them for that. Only they are sticklers for proof for everything. Which I can't provide. I have only abstract ideas.
  • Do you mean reality?
  • Not in my experience. I have discovered "atheist" is another name for Freethinker.
  • One can be born into a home where religion is non-existent and either follow that or find something in which to believe. If a series of unfortunate events changes one from being a believer to an Atheist, I think that is a less likely scenario. If you rail at God and refuse to believe in Him, I think deep down you really do believe and are disappointed. Sometimes people grow up in religious homes and then develop other views of life..they may question many things and get no logical (to them) answers. I think it is a process that people go through and that it has to do with how your mind works as much as anything else. Some very smart scientists are quite religious...so I don't buy that science/religion argument. :) Happy Wednesday! :)
  • I don't think so. Some grow up in an environment where religion was not stressed upon and they themselves find no need for it and they are doing so good in life that its convenient for them to be atheist. Others, just don't want to believe that there is someone other than them who controls the puppet strings.
  • No. I think everyone has trouble, but atheists have decided to go with what they can know, not what they are required to take on faith.
  • Im sure in some cases it is because of some negative religious experience? but is that any worse than some Christian praying to a God that they have been generationally taught to fear rather than love just because?
  • not at all i dont have any harder a life than anyone else but im athiest
  • No, they are just better at accepting the harsh realities of life.
  • Reading the Bible made me an atheist regarding the God of the Bible. Studying logic did the rest. Science contributed by showing me alternate explanations for things I previously thought could only be explained by a Creator God.
  • If religion is such a comfort, wouldn't you expect people who suffer a lot of misery to be more likely to be religous?
  • There is no link whatsoever between unfortunate things in a person's life and their ability to see that the holy books are just books. In fact, I would say that many atheists have actually had the good fortune of a good education. There is a close correlation between the religiosity of a country and the average IQ of the people in that country. It might be concluded that atheists are - on the whole - smarter than religious people. http://hypnosis.home.netcom.com/iq_vs_religiosity.htm
  • I'd say the connection is tenuous and insignificant, but not the other way around. In other words, if you took all the people that have always had it rough, you'd find that as a result waaaaaay more became more religious than those who became less religious. It seems to me that when things go wrong people step up their religious convictions, not abandon them. After a natural disaster strikes, survivors always thank God. He very much enjoys thanks and worship, so doesn't the disaster happening in the first place kinda make you suspicious of His motives? I got off track. Put me down for a "no."
  • probably
  • No, you could have had a wonderful upbringing and and life in general but were just taught by your parents to think a certain way. I believe in God and Jesus but I also believe if you're a good human being and an athiest you will still go to heavan because I don't think God would fault you for the wrong lessons you were taught growing up, to not believe. This is just me. Many Christians would disagree. I think God looks at your heart not your attendance at church.
  • Good lord, NO! :-) Atheists tend to be rational, free thinking people. They don't believe in gods because there is no more reason too than to believe in the Tooth Fairy. The Biblical god is just one more in a long line of deities who have come and (mostly) passed into history like Thor and Zeus and Quatzicotel. +5
  • THE WORD ATHESIA CAME FROM PREACHERS THAT COULD'NT GET CERTAIN PEOPLE INTO THEIR CHURCHES TO LISTEN TO THEIR FAKE STORIES AND PAY THEM TAX FREE MONEY AND LATER GET THEIR CHILDREN INTO THEIR SCHOOLS TO WARP THEIR MINDS AND PLAY WITH THEIR BODIES. THE PEOPLE ATHESIS ARE PEOPLE THAT BELIEVE IN GOD IN THEIR OWN WAY, WITHOUT A CEILING AND TODAY THEIR FAMILIES ARE MUCH HAPPIER. HAVE A NICE DAY. MIKE
  • No, it tends in fact to be the opposite - religious people are often damaged or traumatized in some way.
  • I was born that way.
  • Nope. I think it seems to be the opposite. For example, all the extremely poor people that "have nothing but my relationship with god". A lot of people turn religious once they get locked up in jail for a substantial amount of time also.
  • While I have had wuite a bit of unfortunate happenings in my life, those only served to draw me closer to God. Recently however, I have struggled with His existence. As I sat in church last sunday, I was overwhelmed with the idea that everybody there had been duped. I realized that none of it made any sense and I felt nothing but relief for no longer having to wait for God to get involved. I felt empowered to handle my own life and accept resposibility for the consequences that I chose for myself. I am no puppet. See questions that I have asked. http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/1212401 http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/1212403
  • I have led a pretty sheltered life. I am an atheist, even though I went to church on sundays as a child. I find the idea that atheists are formed by a deprived life pretty offensive.. I'm an atheist after looking closely at my 'native' religion (that's christianity - protestant.), and concluding that it was self-contradictive and futile. I'd say that your idea is actually quite the opposite - atheists tend to be the ones free to look at both sides equally and without bias.
  • I do not think that is necessarily the case. Both good and bad fortune may bring people closer to god, or farther away. Whereas agnostics seems to leave themselves open, theists and atheists have developed some conviction. Is it easier to believe in something that may exist beyond sense perception, or to affirm that nothing exists beyond sense perception? Does the universe have an edge? No wars have been fought over this question yet. Personally, I think an atheist is like a person who, having tried to throw away a boomerang, has to decide how often he's going to trash it.
  • No. It's just the simple act of maturing in an honest person's life.
  • That may be true in some cases, but certainly not all. In my opinion...and it's only an opinion, a person chooses to be a Athiest because they have a very logical way of thinking. If something defies logic to them, they tend to discount it. It is probably very difficult, if not impossible, for someone whose mind works this way to simply have faith in something that there is no concrete proof of. Although I am not an Atheist, I can understand why some people are...even those of the greatest faith have their moments of doubt.
  • for me it was like the last straw. my view has always swung back and forth, as i know not everything is provable, but science had the answers as to which religion did not, but the idea of no god really scared me. then lets just say a lot of shit happened, and the idea that a god would allow this to happen scared me more. the way SOME religious people treat other of a different religion (terrorism included) made me hate religion in general. and this fear of god had turned into a hatred (my thinking at the time was "how could you let this happen asshole"), but i did not want to hate him so i thought ALOT about the existence of god, most of which is really hard to explain and through this i cam to the conclusion that there was not god.
  • While it may be the case, I would say it is not the norm. In my case it was learning about the universe and gaining tools to evaluate what I was seeing.
  • Its certainly unfortunate that people begin to think critically and develop rational thought. Versus accepting fairy tales and superstitions. How unfortunate.
  • Not in my case. It was a personal elevation beyond unquestioning belief.
  • Not at all, Christianity was what helped me become an Atheist and it had nothing to do with anything unfortunate, studying the Scriptures made things very clear!
  • I don't really know but what I do know is I was on the fence about this at age 7 when my Mom passed away. It was either hate God or not believe. Not very good choices for a 7 year old mind.
  • unfortunate things? you seem to have the idea that atheists are somehow negative or unhappy.. i can assure you that this is absolutely not true!!! i have gone through every possible phase with believing and not believing, and let me tell you, now that i have been honest with my self about the likely hood that one of these jack and the bean stock type religions is possible.. i have meaning in my life.. loving school and education in general is more fulfilling than lying to myself about my religion being able to beat up yours. once we set these comfort blankets aside we will enjoy true happiness.
  • no. but nothing truly interesting has happened to make someone believe in a god.
  • I was brought up with Christian values and what drove me away from religion is that some people that try to guilt you into believing in their god as opposed to teaching you to be a better person and to treat others the same way you would like to be treated. If I did follow one religion, a religious person from a different religion would guilt me into not believing in their god, and so on and so on. It doesn't end. I don't believe I deserve to feel this guilt if I treat others well, don't lie, and don't harm anyone else. So for me, I feel those people that represented that religion ruined religion in general for me and now I'm searching for my own answers.
  • Nope. I've had a pretty fortunate life, actually. I think many other atheists will tell you the same. This goes back to the idea that someone becomes an atheist because they become angry at god and turn away from him. I think many believers have a hard time comprehending that we really, really, really don't think there's anything out there to get angry at. The Bible portrays the Christian/jewish god as a jealous father, and nonbelievers as rebellious children, so this confusion is understandable. We are portrayed as "denying" god, a sort of pretending game that we play in order to spurn him. But, and this is important, an atheist DOES NOT BELIEVE there's anything out there to rebel against, deny, or spurn. So it's kind of irrelevent whether a person has had a fortunate life or not. Not every person who's had a charmed life is going to be religious, and not everyone who's had a crummy one is going to be an atheist. Actually, I think it turns out that most people who have gone through terrible experiences use religion as a support, because it implies that there is a next life out there where things will be made right for them. But that's a whole other topic...
  • Nah, probably what makes an atheist is not believing in God. But hey, I can only speak for what's happened to ME.
  • Nope, I sure don't. I know people who were raised athiest. Maybe some people denounce faith because of it, but everybody has their story.
  • I'm an atheist for many reasons, none of them IMHO were unfortunate. Simple logical thought and a willingness to think for myself is all that I required. - There is no reason for any specific god to exist, yet many religions all claim that their god is the one true god. They can't all be right. The funny thing is, long ago, I might have been more willing to believe in a god, if all religions accepted other faiths as equally valid. - Long ago, most religions began as persecuted cults, with their believers perhaps hiding in catacombs. Even today, there are crazy cults around. 100 years from now, some of those cults will be respected religions. None of that makes their beliefs at all sensible, merely that they did not kill off their members quickly. For example, a cult that has its members drink poisoned Koolaid tends to die out quickly. A cult that tells its members to remain fully celibate also tends to be short lived. On the other end of the spectrum, a cult that convinces its members to go out and be missionaries for their faith tends to spread those beliefs. Eventually when there are enough members a cult starts to look like a religion. A cult that encourages its members to contribute large quantities of their wealth or income to the "church" tends to become wealthy. Wealthy cults turn into "religions" more rapidly than poor cults. - I don't need faith in a god to make me do the right thing for my fellow man, to make me a moral person. I don't need threats of going to hell to make me behave either. I don't need or want to be forgiven for something I've done. To paraphrase Penn Jillette, as an atheist, I want to do things right the first time, rather than constantly being forgiven for my mistakes, forgiven for my sins in the eyes of some arbitrary god. - Many people attribute their reasoning for the existence of their god to the very presence of life on this earth. The fact is however, evolution is entirely adequate to explain our presence on this earth, as well as all of the species found in nature. There was nothing unfortunate in any of my thought processes. Simple logic was entirely sufficient.
  • Uh, no. I'd say it's lack of evidence for any deity, logic, scientific knowledge, and the ability and willingness to think for oneself.
  • No, Well that wasn't my reason for becoming an Atheist.. My reason was common sense and logic, and the fact that i'm not easily brainwashed.
  • Only if you consider education to be an unfortunate thing.
  • I became athiest ones i was able to think for my self and i learned how much good science gives us and how many restraintes religion has.

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