The title is pretty self-explanatory. I had just assumed that after my research and falling out, I chose to be an Atheist. The other day I was speaking to my brother, and he said that to him Atheism wasn't really a choice. And in a way it's true. I don't think I could ever force myself to return to Christianity or believe the things I was taught. I'm kind of stuck, really. So, what do you think? Is atheism a choice?

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Same here, I see it as the natural way for humans to live. Religion is a choice.

Unwillingness or inability to believe something is never completely a choice, in my opinion. However, if you accept that someone can believe something simply because they decide to, and on no other basis than that, then you could certainly argue that the reverse is possible.
Since everyone start out as an atheist and is only religious cause they were brainwashed..I say it is not a choice.
the minute you are given the choice between believing and not believing. It becomes a choice, because you are giving an option.
Your statement that you have a choice when presented with a choice (which by definition is true) aside, I think you're missing an important point here. Generally when we say that we must choose we have multiple options to choose between. Should I take the red pill or the blue pill? A conscious decision to believe in a deity is more like a decision to have 1 more piece of pizza when you're already full. It isn't really a choice so much as an attempt to ignore what you know.

The act of believing something, or not, is not a choice dichotomy. People generally don't believe something just for the hell of it, as I said previously. They usually have a reason which compelled them to believe, unless they were simply brainwashed.
I suppose it depends on the person. I'd say that if atheism is a choice, then it is a weak one. The colour of shirt I might wear today is a choice. I look at what's on offer, (on the clothes hangers), dither and decide. But do I choose to see that the sun is a yellow circle in the sky, (go with me on the analogy - I know its not exactly a yellow circle)? In that regard - to the sun's appearance - I have no choice. I can't get out of bed one day, and say: 'OK, today I'm going to choose that the sun is a blue and pink striped candy ball'.

If all the evidence or lack of it tells me that this universe is godless, then that's not a choice, it is an inescapable conclusion*. I do make a choice about what is good enough evidence in such an important set of questions about how this universe came to be here, how we came to be on it, and whether I'm obliged to behave in a certain way or not.

It is only after I have decided what constitutes good, acceptable, falsifiable, solid evidence, that I then can look at what the evidence is either way, and discover what the inescapable conclusion might be.

* Being an inescapable conclusion is subject to modification in the event of new evidence coming to light. I support the scientific method for deciding on what is acceptable as evidence and truth. In that method, all knowledge is always tentative, and subject to alteration if shown to be wrong in some way. However, this does not permit any old b*llsh*t to be allowed, on the off-chance that it might be true. As I said, in my present state of mind, and with the current scientific status quo, atheism is an inescapable conclusion.

On the other hand, to become a religious believer would require me to accept a lot of inconsistencies, incoherencies and just plain stupidities, IMHO, so theism is inescapably illogical. To accept it, I'd have to make a choice which would deny my self and my standards of acceptable evidence, logic, common sense etc. etc. Again, its the standards of acceptable evidence, logic, common sense etc., which come first, then the conclusions follow. I can't choose atheism off the rack, like a shirt off the clothes hangers.
Beliefs are states of your brain, like emotions; you don't choose them.
Acknowledging that you're an atheist is a choice, though, and to some people it seems that if they don't admit it then it's not true; so, they'd say "Fuck yeah it is.".
Because of my cultural upbringing it was the worst of the worst to say I'm atheist, u might get away with murder but not atheism.Even the word was enough to give you goosebumps.So a choice I never had it was more a state of concious.It made so much sense.
But now I feel like if atheism is attacked I have to make a stand.I didn't have to tell my family I was an atheist it was pretty obvious,since childhood.So my money is on another level of conciousness wich is not easy to gain.
I have never believed in a god, although the idea of armageddon scared the pee out of me when I was young and it was hurled at me on a daily bases. Religion is very important to me from an historical and psycological standpoint, its effect on all of us through the ages. I prefer (or choose, if you will) to remain open minded and exercise free will at every opportunity. Everyone has there own personal definition of atheism, or what it is exactly they do not believe.

Keep your eyes and your mind open and continue to search. Your questions, as well as your answers, will evolve.
I don't think I "choose" to believe or disbelieve, I am convinced or I am not. I cannot choose to believe in something I don't find plausible... I tried to for years and could not.
Good morning and happy Friday,

Could you please expand just a bit on the correlation between 'choice and free will' and 'religious dogma'? I'm a little lost as to what one has to do with the other, or perhaps I completely missed your point.
OK -I'm with you and your explaination is very well thought out. Where would that leave us in the case of choosing food from a menu, clothes from a catalog, cars from a car lot, colors, flavors, movies, etc. These must fall under your catagory of 'some choices'?

Most definately agree that free will and choice are questionable which no doubt gets back to the original question of whether or not atheism is a choice.

I would like to think, as I stated, that I do have free will. Perhaps that is my ego believing I am more in controll than I really am.




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