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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My experience was very similar.

My dissent started around age 8 when my parents had me baptized. I thought something was wrong with me for not being able to understand why religion seemed to make sense to everyone but myself. The baptism process eventually clued me into the notion of original sin and sin. I couldn't figure out what good a rule set is that is so comprehensive that it is impossible for anyone to actually follow and fundamentally goes against our basic nature. Well of course I figured out that it was a form of control, a way to hold things above each person's head.

It could also be a measure of how well indoctrination will take on each person or how independent they are. Some people are more than content being told how and what to think, others are repulsed by it. My parents had a habit of answering questions with "...because I said so", this has always made me cringe. I notice many people even have to go through a "rebellious" phase where they learn their parents aren't correct about everything.

Part of it also seems how each person learns: I learn through a recursive system of derivation, if the base axiom fails or does not exist then I can't accept the premise. Even now I have significant difficulties following rules or procedures if I can't properly derive a purpose.
I was born into a moderately religious house hold. I was raised by a single mother who had to support three kids, so she never had time to take us to church. She never enforced any religion on us, though she would sometimes say the usual things Christians are known to say when it comes to morals. Other than that I had a very moderate up bringing.

In this environment I was pretty much free to come to my own conclusion about how I felt about religion in general. I know not everyone gets to live in such a free environment so I guess I would say in the right conditions it is a choice, but in most situations it is something instilled from birth all the way to adulthood.
You choose to believe what you want. But you make those choices based on either education on the subject, and what you feel. Some people make too many decisions based on what they "feel". To me Atheism wasn't a choice. It was a knowledge.
I think we are all born atheists. It's usually the parents or some other authority figure that comes along and puts bad information into those young gullible minds. For me, it never took. No matter how bad I wanted it to. I only wanted it to so I wouldn't freekin fall asleep or die of boredom at mass and maybe to please my parents. I knew it was bewel she-ut (that's the way southern people say it) the whole time, and I was sooo tired of this crappy fairy story.
No such luck for me. I was forced to go to mass and Catechism (catholic sunday school) until I graduated High School, so I was reeeheeally bored for a long time. Atheism for me, was never about choice. It's just something I have always been. I remember getting fairly ill when I was asked to let go of my common sense and intellect to faith. My mind and thoughts are my most prized possessions. I remember thinking....I'm not giving that up. I would rather go to hell thank you because my mind is mine and mine alone! No one can tell me what I'm supposed to think. For that reason I have always really been atheist. Now what I did choose, was to be open about it. That is definitely a choice. That's probably the hardest part of the whole thing, and the greatest thing I have done to date.
Atheism isnt a choice it is enlightenment
It wasn't a choice to me. As a kid i grew up going to a church every once in a while, but it never made any sense to me, and it was boring. After about 14 years old, i looked into it, and realized the reason biblical things didn't make sense were because it was senseless...heh..then it just went on from there with mountains of information confirming my suspicions toward concepts of gods.
btw, a child's mind isn't able to understand the complexities of religion, so they just mimic mom and dad. I read a blog on how the author said indoctrination is a form of child abuse. In the article a great point was made. "...a religious trap can be built very easily and without snapping jaws if you have the patience to let the child grow inside the trap."
Please link the article, I would very much like to read it.
>>It is a well known phenomena. To many who end up in religious sect they prefer to be with the sect leader instead of being free in society.

Interestingly enough this same behavior continues into the political spectrum. Here in the US the organizations that are representative of religious individuals tend to lean towards overtly fascist policies.
tiz a Constitutional, forefather, fore-explorer(s) of this land;
tiz a " freedom.

besides we're all born atheist. think about that one or tell that to some folks
A freedom -I think you have hit upon a truth, my friend

If nothing else -the tree of life gave us freedom, and the realization of all that entails, both good and evil.

Born atheists? I would like to believe that. But are our parents not our first gods? Is that not where we learn to enjoy the luxury of our gods?

And in the end, when we are disillusioned by all, realizing they are all just stumbling idiots like ourselves, is this not finally when those of us with spines truly (and honestly) become atheists?
I like vanilla ice cream, I chose to eat it because I like it. I despise shrimp...therfore i chose not to eat it.

It's the same with Atheism. I could chose to follow the doctrines of a religion and go to church just as I could chose to eat shrimp. But I cannot chose to like it, I cannot chose to believe in it.

You can chose to ignore the truth, but once you know the truth all else will remain a lie.


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