What inspired this discussion?
What inspired, or fomented, it are the claims I’ve seen here that some were born atheists.
Why so impossible a claim?
Were they wanting to be among the first to board a metaphorical train?
Okay, claim away, and take a seat in a metaphorical first class coach.
For the rest of us, coming to atheism is a personal journey.
Something else inspired it too, an essay by a Chris Reeve titled Science Is A Personal Journey.
More to come. In the meantime, what say you?
I wasn't born a believer, but my mother and, when we were around her, my grandmother were busily remedying that. And I took to it early on.
I did vary from the pattern in one way. About age ten I decided that, if there was a loving god, then there couldn't be a hell. I stuck with that apostasy from then on, but I clung to the rest until decades later, when I started critically examining what I believed. Bit by bit, it fell apart in my hands.
My present status is that, when it comes to the religion I was taught, I reject it.
My key reason? God says "Hey, Abe (Abraham), you and Ike (Isaac) meet me at Sacrifice Rock. And bring the knife." Then this perfect being tells Abraham to kill his son as a sacrifice to this god thing. No way. So I became an atheist where Christianity is concerned.
On there being some magical wisdom floating out there and making the universe happen? I very much doubt it, but I'll be an agnostic where that's concerned.
Note that this position took me decades to reach, and could be subject to change in the future.
But I don't expect it will.
Issue of whether one can be born an atheist depends on how one defines atheist. If one's definition requires abnegation or positive denial then one can not be born an atheist.
The significance of the assertion...i was born an atheist...is belief requires indoctrination.
It's as simple as this: Either you believe in a god or you don't. In my definition, if you don't believe in any gods, you are an atheist. If you DO believe that a god or gods exist, you are a THEIST.
It requires some learning and a level of understanding to be able to say: "I believe in god X". When you are born, you cannot do that, (say that you believe), in fact with the level of learning and understanding a newborn has, I'd say it's impossible for them to believe, and not just because newborns cannot talk. In that analysis, newborns are atheist by default.
Don't get me wrong, because it's not saying much to call a newborn an atheist, except that he/she is * not a theist *. By the same token, a newborn is not a chess player, a golfer, a liberal voter etc. OK - so what? Well it's just a fact, according to the way I view NOT being something.
Being an atheist does NOT necessarily mean that one declares that NO GODS EXIST, though in many cases it may do. Just that in the case of newborns, I don't see how it can be. They just don't believe, any more than I do, though for different reasons.
There are a few categories of atheist: default, agnostic, hard, apatheist etc.
Gila, you seem unwilling to say a newborn doesn’t know, or has no knowledge.
I don’t see the world as a binary place. There is a gray scale.