I originally posted this question in the Atheists who love Science! Forum. The feedback has been great and sometimes a little comical, so I decided to also post it in the Athiest Humor forum to share the fun.

I am writing an opinion piece and would like participation in this informal survey.
Wanted to include most of the reasons people use to pick a religion, or think influence people to pick a religion (since many now claim atheism is just another religion). It does sound silly when they are reversed to be reasons of religion abandonment (for perspective).
I know the question is fundamentally wrong and the answers seem silly, but it is to help keep the selection narrow and to prove/disprove my hypothesis:

How were you convinced to become an Atheist?
(Select the most applicable single answer)
A) A billboard (or sign)
B) A book
C) A miracle
D) I’m not an atheist
E) I don’t know
F) I wasn’t convinced, it was a realization of who I was
G) A specific person (not an authored book)
H) I was mad at my god(s)
I) I have always been an atheist
J) My god is an atheist, therefore I am an atheist
K) By physical or verbal threats
L) I signed a contract and now I’m stuck being an atheist
M) I had to become atheist to marry my spouse
N) Atheists are cool, and I wanted to be like them
O) Other (please explain in one sentence)

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Replies to This Discussion

I think J.  The dumbass left out the part that he puts into everyone, which makes them know that God exists.

If I have to pick one answer, I'd say F.


But like a lot of people I'm sure, it's not as clear-cut as that. It was a mixture between being mad at my god (after my allegedly just god let or made two close family members suffer for years and die from cancer); reflecting about that, what my religion taught me growing up, and about religion(s) in general, and consulting the Bible, other holy books, and arguments against.


If it weren't for all of these I don't know if I would have become an atheist. But because other people (including people in my family) were faced with similar circumstances and aren't atheists, I think it obviously had to be me gradually coming to realize the truth more than any one other thing. God just doesn't make sense.

O) It was the different types of christians using the same holy book that gave me the clue that told me their god wasn't real.
O) Other.  My parents very simply did not tell me what to believe; I chose the default choice.  Then George Bush became president and I realized that it was the only sane way to go.
When I realized that Santa was just a story I assumed (with a child's logic) that all the other mysteries that were invisible were also just stories – the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Ghosts, God. Nothing has ever convinced me otherwise. A few Sundays in church when I was older convinced me what a waste of time that was. Then when I was 17 I got access to the complete works of Robert Ingersoll– that gave me a moral and ethical reason to be an Atheist.
I'll go with G my dad is an atheist - F - I kind of worked in out on my own and B a few books I read on the matter or rather opposing the matter... my dad was pretty scary and did do a bit of physical and verbal threats so perhaps I'll pick K also... oh and M - I couldn't have deal with reality if I hadn't finally got to the bottom of reality because he is just so living in la la land... oh and N too... : )
G) A bible study's worth of people. I made a valid dissenting point on the rediculous notion of actively trying to find out what god wants you to do with your life even though he has a perfect plan for you already that noone can mess up supposedly (doubly rediculous now). They looked at me like i was stupid. I looked at them like they were stupid. That was pretty much that.
F/I?  I wasn't "raised" to be an atheist, so it wouldn't be fair to say I was as a very small child, but I was never anything else and I was probably 10-ish when I really realized that I didn't believe in any god paradigm I was familiar with.
Wow, impressive vocabulary on a 10 year-old.
F. Around the beginning of my Junior year in college I realized that religious claims hadn't made sense to me in some time. Occam's Razor applied.
G) The straw that broke the camel's back for me was an atheist co-worker who first introduced me to the "problem of evil".




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