In the last few years I have become an increasingly vocal atheist.
Over these years I have been amazed by how many other atheists and agnostics I have met. Most of them don't talk to other people about it but once they find out that I am they open up and start saying things like "how can people believe things like that?".
I feel really good that I can be a sympathetic ear and a good source for rational thought and scientific knowledge.
The only thing I struggle with is the occasional "You're an atheist" How can you be sure there is no god?".
Now online and when I have a bit to think about it I can answer easily but when I am confronted with the different arguments that the different people bring I seize up.
I really need to work on my responses to the common questions more.

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Comment by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM on March 30, 2009 at 9:57pm
Ask them how many of the Bible Gods they believe in? Do they believe in Yahweh/Jehovah? What about his father, the Caanite god El? And what about his brothers, the Elohim? What about Baal, one of Yahweh's brother gods?

Ask them which god or gods divinely inspired the first chapters of Genesis. The correct translation of the first words in the Christian Old Testament are "In the beginning, the gods (the Elohim -plural) created the earth." The original story of creation came from the Epic of Gilgamesh, a document which significantly predates the book of Genesis.

There are two creation stories told in the book of Genesis: one originating from the tribes in the south of Israel and one originating from the tribes in the north of Israel. One uses the word "El" and the other uses the word "Yahweh" to identify god.

In Caanite mythology, El was a god who fathered many sons. The sons competed for followers and got rather heated about it. El solved the problem by assigning tribes to each of them. Yahweh, who was one of his sons, got Israel. The other sons (such as Baal, who is also mentioned in the Bible) were given other tribes.
Comment by Lorien on March 30, 2009 at 9:39pm
Those scientists that believe in a god are delusional. Delusion spawns happiness. I sometimes wish I was delusional to be happier but I can never go back. There is no god and I bet NO ONE can prove me wrong!
Comment by Matt Petree on March 30, 2009 at 8:06pm
I would kind of argue with atheism being the "only" answer to the questions when you have an education in the sciences. There are many scientists who believe in a god and are quite happy about it. I don't know how but they do.
Atheism is my personal answer. It is the accumulation of my knowledge of science, history and biological processes, including how the brain works.
We can only try to educate people and point them towards reality and rationality. If they reject what we say and show them there is nothing that can change their minds. It's a sad and unfortunate but part of life but some people are so entrenched in their beliefs that they don't really care about anything else.
Comment by Lorien on March 30, 2009 at 7:30pm
Yes, I have the same problem and experiences. Atheism is so obvious that it is the ONLY answer to the questions when you have an education in the sciences. It is so hard to put those years of learning into a short response. It takes time to learn. The trick is to get the believer to start to ask questions and get them to desire to seek the answers themselves. That is the hard part.

We need something that makes the faith belief snap in their brains. The older the person gets, the more difficult that becomes.

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