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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I grew up in a Baptist household, but I was never convinced from the start. My father was a preacher & he use to simulate the act of catching the holy ghost which looked like he had a seizure moment which was bullshit. My mother raised me as a single parent & she was never was big on religion. She use to tell me to choose if I wanted to believe in a god or gods or not. My grandmother forced me as a child to be baptized & once she realized that I never went to church or paid my church dues I ask her to stop paying them for me to discontinue being associated with her church. What makes me a strong atheist in which I also trust that all atheist are strong atheist is the fact that I have been & will always be an empirical individual who uses deductive reasoning & the scientific method to explain any and everything that I had questions about. I personally feel religion should only be referenced as the history of explaining how primitive men & women thought processes were during the bronze age of man used to explain phenomenon that they could not explain until the tool of science freed us with the power of knowledge using empirical evidence. If it was up to me if humans did not use the practice of using the scientific method & common sense in their daily lives. There should be penalties & punishment for using any religion to live by before the facts of empirical evidence.      

Religions make hating a virtue. The evil people are clearly defined, god hates them and so should you. Doing what I can to help to eliminate the needless hatred and the needless suffering engendered by religious myths is my gift to the future. Just like the people in the past payed it forward so I can have what I have today I will do the same for my descendents.  We seem to have gained a large amount of ground in a short amount of time.

I am a strong atheist because there is no rational reason to believe that ANY gods exist.  Most of my basis for this is the Null Hypothesis, and though absence of evidence may not be in the strictest sense definitive evidence of absence, it makes a strong suggestion to that effect.  I add to that the fact that, whenever we discover the causation for a phenomenon which has been under study, the answer has NEVER been "magic."  Given that, introduction of any form of supernatural being at this point would represent a severe discontinuity to the current paradigm.

Yeah, it COULD happen.  No, I don't think it ever will.

The love of my life was an atheist, so he made it easier to accept all my doubts. 

Can one be a strong agnostic? Yes.

Can an agnostic after 52 years be a weak agnostic? Hardly.

After those 52 years I told myself, "Oh to hell with it!" and to an audience of about 12 people I knew, I said, "I'm an atheist, and when I die I'll be a few chemicals in the ground."

Whether agnostic or atheist, the noisiest are the weakest because the noise builds a needed wall. So to the noisy of either persuasion, I wish you success.

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