It seems like some of the people who define themselves as "strong atheist" were never "real believers" in religious gods, while others started out as strong believers. In some cases, they were strong believers in especially rigid sects. I'm curious about what led people to not only lose faith but also become what they define as "strong atheist". In my own case, the loss of faith was due to reading the Bible. Being raised in a fundamentalist Baptist background, I was taught that either it's ALL true, or it's not - that we couldn't pick and choose. I started out as a strong believer in the Bible and the Baptist church. Then literal readings of the Bible led me to realize that the internal contradictions could not ALL be true. So I lost faith, completely.

The "strong" atheist part was due to excesses and psychological and physical brutality that I see in religion, and the lies and hypocracy that I saw in both my original church and in the powerful leaders on a more general national, and international, basis. Even stronger with recent events, in the US and in the Middle East.

What leads others, or most people, to "strong" atheism, as opposed to just not beleiving?

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Because atheism is the only logical conclusion.

When I prayed, nothing ever happened. I can remember going to church with my great-grandmother when i was about 3 or 4 and asking her where "god" was? If he didn't have to be there, why did we? She just brought more raisins and Ritz crackers to feed me and keep me from talking. I continued to attend random churches in So Cal throughout my childhood and teens. It never seemed convincing. I once tore a bible to pieces while I argued with my mother. She protected that book the way she protected her bottles or Brandy, and snatched what was left away. I told her "See?! I'm still here! Nothing happened! It's fake!" I was usually made to go to church with her husband and "their" child. She got to stay home. I couldn't understand why I had to go to HELL every Sunday. As an adult, I tried again. Didn't see a difference. The majority of my friends and family are christians and what-not. The harder I try to get them to use simple logic, the more they thank god (in all caps) just to spite me. I make a point to reply with a bit of truth (Vicious anti-religion posts or quotes). Childish? Hell Yes! But very satisfying, and I've opened up a couple of my friends eyes in a matter of days. It is offensive to hear "god bless...", "sending prayers", "god is good", "thank the lord" ,etc... So I feel its just fine to insult religion with facts and my opinions of those who are too damn closed minded and stupid to see the world for what it is. It pisses me off. I feel like an extremist, but I'm just passionate about the truth. It's been said, "the truth shall set you free". Yet people want to remain bound by the restraints of religion. I just don't get it. And like Steve said... "atheism is the only logical conclusion"

I was raised as a third generation atheist, in a household with three bookcases full of youth and adult encyclopaedias, classic literature and poetry and some good fiction, and huge stack of NatGeo magazines to read and ogle on the toilet! My first books were Alice in Wonderland and Edgar Allen Poe's Gold Scarab and Murder on Rue Morgue at age 7, along with my entire youth encyclopaedia. Those readings confirmed for me there was no room for god in our world, and made plenty of room in my mind for horizontal thinking. In my entire 45 years, I spent approximately 2 weeks wondering if there might possibly be a god, around age 14, after months of a group of friends pressuring me. It was a very slim doubt. After those 2 weeks I called one of those friends and terminated our friendship. I said if you guys are that dumb I don't need you in my life. It's been a bit of a curse, in some ways. I spent my first university years in biochemistry, but got tired of nerdiness (wasn't my style, I'm a hedonist), and so tried out humanities. But I could not take the mindlessness I was seeing there, founding entire theories on clouds and vapour and subjectivity (business, languages, philosophy), with a complete and utter lack of understanding of anything material and concrete on the planet. I was so depressed after that. I eventually returned to uni to pursue studies in physiology/toxicology/ecology.


So ya, I've been an atheist since birth, and a strong atheist for 45 years minus 2 weeks. It also means I cannot stand any conventional political parties. The only political party that even comes close to rationality and science based policies are "green" parties, and since they've never really held any position of power, they haven't yet been corrupted. parties, powerless, "haven't yet been corrupted."

YES! The Greens, if they want voters, have to offer evidence that they won't quickly become as corrupt as the Dems and Repubs.

One piece of evidence they can offer is support for the DIRECT initiative and referendum in the 32 states whose voters do not now have them. These voters are the prey of the predators they elect to public office.

Tom, I like the idea of bringing to light the importance of DIRECT initiative and referendum! 

By being around religious people at work who forced their ideas, traditions, conformity, and practices on everyone else.




1 john 4:16 put in some 1 cor 13:4-5 then sum it all up with exodus 20:4-5. That is about the short and skinny of why I stopped believing.


4:16+ 1 cor 13:4-5 + E 20:4-5/1 = 0






IMO, strong atheism as a reactionary stance to religious behavior is not *true* strong atheism, and it's not the place to be. And I feel that those that are there should evolve and not stay bitter.

Strong atheists in the strictest sense of the word live it, eat it, breathe it, and most importantly *study* it. They understand logic. They know what a Venn Diagram is. And they appreciate how much better life can be in the full knowledge that god(s) do not actually exist.

What leads them to it? Education. I know it did me. I am quite certain that a deep appreciation for and understanding of science and mathematics is directly related. But that's something that I don't think can be taught very easily at all.

One does not need to be have ever been religious to become atheist, many like myself, were simply never indoctrinated to begin with, did not have religious parents. So strong atheists need not have "studied" anything. I have seen zero evidence for anything supernatural, therefore I am 100% atheist, a strong atheist, because the mere thought of considering imaginary beings to be real I consider a lunacy. I had to search for the meaning of a Venn diagram, and I do not plan on wasting any precious minutes of my life studying the lunatic religions. Religiosity is but an artifice of the human psyche... one is born atheist, until outside adult forces distort the young mimicking mind. It is my atheistic and questioning nature that pushed me in the direction of sciences.


And this is the reason I don't use the word atheism, because the definitions actually don't mesh with the real world, everyone has their own applications of the various definitions available in different publications, all of them manufactured by the 95% of humans who are religious and do their best to discredit atheists.

One does not need to be have ever been religious to become atheist,

Agreed, and I didn't say that one does.


many like myself, were simply never indoctrinated to begin with, did not have religious parents. So strong atheists need not have "studied" anything.

My parents were religious, but I was never indoctrinated in it (although attempts were made to push it on me when I was in my 20s, strangely enough).  I consider myself to be a strong atheist not because of that fact, but simply because I am a strong atheist.  There are those that were raised under similar conditions and end up being indifferent about the subject.  My companion is that way.  So was I until I actually invested some serious time and effort studying logic.

To be a strong atheist doesn't require study: if we are to accept Wikipedia's definition, all it takes is to maintain that "There is no god" is a true statement.  I was just trying to say that I've found it to be typical that they are well-versed in logic.  And it seems to me that the firmer the grasp of that subject (not religion), the stronger the stance of the atheist.


And this is the reason I don't use the word atheism,

I count derived forms of the atheos word family being used no less than 8 times in your response.


because the definitions actually don't mesh with the real world, everyone has their own applications of the various definitions available in different publications, all of them manufactured by the 95% of humans who are religious and do their best to discredit atheists.

"Without deity," the direct translation of the aforementioned Greek / Latin root fits rather well and is quite defensible against attempts to discredit, in my experience.

A Spiritual Journey

My parents “had to get married” very young due to my approaching birth and someone remove the skin from the end of my penis for religious reasons soon after I was born. At six weeks I was blessed and given my name, as I grew I was taught that I was “Chosen” by god and to be prejudice towards others that were not “chosen”, I was told to not hang out with people that were not Mormons (unless I was trying to convert them). I was taught words like “bum fucker”, “fag”, spick, and “half bread”. I was taught that black people were being punished for not taking Jesus’ side in an argument in heaven. I was told the world was coming to an end in my life time and I needed to prepare for “the second coming of Jesus”. I was surrounded by Mormons and Mormon thinking. When I was 6 years old, right after my second brother was born my Mother and Father were married in a Mormon Temple in Logan Utah and me and my two brothers were sealed to my parents at that time. The next 4 kids were “Born under the Covenant” and the boys were circumcised. I was baptized at the age of eight by my father who soon after became unworthy and was not able to baptize my siblings.

While growing up my mother went to church on and off for a few years but, my father worked on Sundays so he did not attend church services very often. We kids were forced to go to church where the other kids and my teachers would tell me my parents were going to hell because my dad worked on Sundays and my mother and father did not come to church or pay their 10%. For a short time we tried to have “family night” (like all good Mormon families) but, my father would always be asleep or coaching little league, My mother and I tried to read the bible to my brothers a few times during “family night” and that is when I started to think and question the bible and or god, I think I was about seven at the time. I was afraid to tell anyone about my thinking and wondered if I was going to hell because of my thoughts. The girls in “The Mormon Church” were told not to date me unless I was planning to go on a mission for the Mormon Church and I was not going. My mother and father wore the magic underwear and me and my wife to be would not be sleeping in magic underwear.

My family 6 generations back are Mormons. My mother is only half Mormon; my father is all “Jack Mormon”. So, 3 of 4 of my grandparents were of Mormon descent, my family were Mormon Pioneers and for 3 generations polygamist. My grandparents were not “active” in any Church but; the 3 sets of Mormon grate-grandparents were very active in church activities and paid their 10% to the LDS Church. My father’s mother and father were inactive Mormons as was my mother’s mother. My mother’s father was from Nebraska and not Mormon. All four of my Grandparent were full blown alcoholics or had drinking problems sometime during their lives. They were “Great Spirits” if you will.

When I went to church the other kids, my Sunday school and Seminary teachers would say that my parents were going to hell because they did not go to church or pay their tithing. Sometimes I told my mom I went to church when I did not because church made me feel bad about my family and church is was stupid.

I thought I was going to hell for thinking about sex and I thought God was watching me masturbate so I tried to stop. I was exposed to very heavy guilt that was unnecessary for children to go through. When I was 12 years old the bishop as me if I masturbate (WTF) I don’t know what I said, but I was shocked. When I was about 13 a janitor at “the church” followed me up a ladder in the church gym and grabbed my junk.

I was a Mormon Cub Scout a Webelos and then a Boy Scout (for only a couple weeks) I passed the sacrament when I was twelve. I went to “seminary” in 9th 10th and 11th grades because it was an easy class and all the girls were in seminary. Then in 11th grade in March of 1976 my son’s mother and I ran away to California for a few weeks. In 1977 I married that same girl and had a son that we had circumcised then when he was 6 weeks old in the Mormon Church he was blessed. I believed in god but did not go to church since I was about 14 years old. I believed in an afterlife but, not like the Mormons do. I was baptized at the age of eight and 10 years later I was a blasphemer, married with a son. We had him circumcised and blessed so other kids would not make fun of him in the locker room.

Sometime around 1983 I stopped believing in a personal god (most days) but, was afraid to say so out loud in case there was a god for a few more years. If there was a god I hated him who wants to be in heaven wile your friends and family are burning in hell. God loves you but, he will burn you forever. You heard it before sounds like my dad.

I have tried many “spiritual paths” over the last 30 years including Bill W.’s own form of “spirituality” (faith healing) I faked it but I never made it. I have prayed in all the big famous churches in Manhattan including St Peters. Here are a few of the spiritual quests I have been on; Mormonism, Baptist, Catholic, Buda, Hinduism, Zen, Mediation, Yoga, Unitarian, Agnostic, ad infinitum.

I have come to the conclusion that man made god.

I have prayed thousands of times for god’s help for me and/or my son. I have prayed alone and in groups, I prayed with church groups, Zen groups, 12 Step groups and alone even from the tops of mountains. When I was a boy I asked God to make my father stop beating my mother and the rest of our family including me. When I was a young adult God would not remove my father’s mental illness and he would not stop the judge from giving my son back to his mother.

Religion hurt me and my son and if you don’t believe that just look at me it I am a nut case.

A much smarter man than I has said; “Many of my fellow atheists consider all talk of “spirituality” or “mysticism” to be synonymous with mental illness, conscious fraud, or self-deception.”

The dream is over: God does not answer my payers, and god does not answer your prayers.

I must believe in me. The dream is over. .God is a concept:

I am a polyatheist there are millions if not billions of gods I do not believe in. I believe an Atheist loves his fellow man not some fake god. I believe a hospital should be built instead of a church.



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