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QUESTIONS ABOUT BEING AN ATHEIST

Hopefully this will help you understand what it's like to be an atheist and understand more about me. This is a sequence of 63 questions. You won't be able to get them all in one sitting, I'm sure :-)

1. What experiences have you had when you told your family, friends, co-workers, etc, that you were an atheist?

My parents did not like it too much. In fact they're still trying to deal with it. My brother is also an atheist so it went over well with him. My co-workers never cared.

2. What caused you to make the final decision to become an atheist?

I remember getting pissed off at my mom's religion. I started looking on the internet for stuff on atheism, and once finding it, decided it was a much more rational position.

3. Have you had any moments of doubt about being an atheist, and what helped you to overcome them?

I've had a few, but whenever I'm in doubt, I pull out George H. Smith's Atheism: The Case Against God and it alleviates all doubt.

4. The old "no atheists in foxholes" bit is about to come around again. How many of you went into service as atheists and came out atheists even after a deadly battle?

I've never been, and hopefully never have to, participate in the army.

5. When you became an atheist, what emotions did you experience?

I honestly cannot remember.

6. What is your favorite book(s) on atheism?

By far George H. Smith's Atheism: The Case Against God. Thomas Paine's book The Age of Reason, although he is a deist, is also very good reading.

7. Which atheist do you most admire?

Hmm... that's a tough one. He was not an atheist (deist, rather), but I like Thomas Jefferson.

8. Do you follow some kind of philosophy along with being an atheist?

So many it would be hard to name. See some of them at my morals page.

9. Were you raised in an atheist family or did you decide on your own?

My own.

10. How old were you when you realized you were an atheist?

Let's see... I'd say about 8th grade at the age of 14.

11. What started you to think about atheism?

My best friend was an atheist and was able to answer questions when I asked him about it.

12. Did you have a bad experience with your former religion that caused you to reject it and become an atheist?

My mom was a complete bitch about her Jehovah's Witness religion. The people there refused to answer my questions. I decided to go to a place where I can get answers, and I found it.

13. Are there any passages in the Bible or any other holy book that you consider to be worthwhile?

I've only read the Bible, but I'm sure there's something in another holy book worth mentioning. I remember reading something I liked out of the Dhamapada, but I can't remember what it was.

14. Did you become an atheist from the internet or would you have become an atheist sooner having seen the internet?

It was all the information on the internet that in the end caused me to deconvert.

15. What is your political philosophy?

You couldn't find a worthy name for my political philosophy.

16. How would you draw the line between the rights of an individual vs. society's right to make restricitive laws?

The government is here to protect people from each other, not people from themselves. I draw the line there.

17. What helps you remain an atheist?

Constantly hearing bullshit from Christians keeps me going.

18. Do you, as an atheist, listen to any sort of religious or religion-based music and why?

Sometimes I don't know what my favorite bands advocate when it comes to religion (except for Bad Religion, who you know are atheists). Some of them might have religious overtones, but if they do I don't recognize them.

19. Have any atheists renounced their former religion?

Oh I'm sure they have.

20. How does an atheist teach children about God?

Depends on which God you're talking about and what God they are asking about.

21. Have you publicly declared your atheism?

I guess because of this web page I have. I have also done that in school during some of my speeches.

22. Have you ever been outed as an atheist by anyone?

No.

23. Do atheists who hide their lack of belief bother you?

Nope. I can understand why they would want to hide it.

24. Do you get annoyed when people scapegoat secular humanism as an instigator for modern problems or do you laugh it off when considering the source?

Hey, if I wanted to, I could scapegoat them. But I won't stoop to their level.

25. Do you, as an atheist, watch TV evangelists?

Hahaha. Sometimes I watch TBN. Those churches they have there are full of crazy people who raise up their hands like they're riding a rollercoaster. You can't help but laugh. However I have watched the 700 Club before, and that show just pisses the fuck out of me. I can't stand how people actually believe that obvious lying sack of shit.

26. Were you married in a religious ceremony? If so, how did you feel about it.

I'm a little too young to get married.

27. Have you ever, after becoming an atheist, have to go through religiuos ceremonies?

My mother forced me to attend church even after my deconverting. That was until at the last memorial of Jesus I drank the wine (grape juice) and unleven bread so I could get disfellowshipped (only the annointed people there get to consume it)

28. If you were going to be religious, which religion would you join and why?

I don't know. Buddhism and Baha'i don't seem too bad.

29. Do you all want to be atheists? Are there any atheists who are unhappy about being an atheist and want to believe in God but can't?

Oh there probably is. I can't say I'm one of them.

30. Do any atheists parents want to keep religion away from their kids?

Never known any. I'm sure some do though.

31. Have you, as an atheist, had any supernatural or paranormal experience?

Sometimes it seems I have, but I can't explain it either supernaturally or realistically.

32. Has anyone lost a job after being an atheist?

Nope.

33. Are any of you atheists members of a organization, society or "church"?

Not anymore.

34. (not applicable)

35. What do different atheists do during religious holidays?

I participate sometimes.

36. Do you fear death?

I fear more about how I will come to death, not actually being dead.

37. Have you been religious before?

At one time I was very religious.

38. Is there any religiuos concept you would like to believe in though you don't think is true?

I think it would kick ass if you were able to be reincarnated.

39. Have you experienced things which you could not understand and science could not explain? How have you dealt with these, being an atheist?

Everyone has had experiences like these.

40. Have any of you considered cryonics?

No.

41. Have you ever tried to except a god but failed?

No.

42. Were you a follower of a religion? If so, which one?

First I was a Catholic, then when my mom converted to Jehovah's Witness I went with her.

43. Are any of you in a relationship with a theist? If so, how do you handle that?

Actually there is one girl I'm interested in right now that is a Christian. She and I can both see past religious issues. I once dated an atheist, and that did not work out at all.

44. Do you consider religious indoctrination to be child abuse?

It depends how it is taught. If it's taught as the single only truth, it wouldn't be right, but not neccessarily child abuse.

45. Do you to live forever?

Hell no!

46. What level of toleration do we expect to see from atheists and theists?

I'd like to be able to wear a shirt saying I'm an atheist without being persecuted for it. I don't do that to Christians.

47. Do you have a religious name such as Christopher or Faith?

Actually, my middle name is Christopher and I have no desire to change it.

48. What is your meaning of existence?

To be successful in life and die a happy man.

49. What have you done to advance atheism?

I don't feel I need to produce more atheists.

50. Did you become an atheist due to anti-theistic feelings?

At first, but then I became more rational about it.

51. As an atheist, what do good or bad do you think religion does for people?

I think that religion can be used for good or bad. Fundies do not use it for good. People who use it because it gives them hope and don't force it on others is what religion is good for.

52. Will you raise your children as atheists or skeptics?

I will teach them to question things. If they join a religion, that's their decision, not mine. I will not be like my parents.

53. Who are your favorite writers and what are your favorite books?

See question #6.

54. What do you think when the media blames someone's lack of religion for their criminal actions?

Countering them with someone's use of religion that causes their criminal actions. It's stupid and isn't worth considering when talking about crime.

55. Has anyone asked you to be a godparent?

I'm not old enough for that.

56. What do you do if you're asked to a religious ceremony?

I probably don't go, unless it's a wedding or something like that.

57. Did sci-fi play any part in your atheism?

I don't think so.

58. Have you ever considered going back to your old faith?

Oh god no!

59. As an atheist, who are you? Why are you here? Has atheism effected your political outlook?

I am who I am. I'm here because I desire to live. Yes, atheism has effected my political outlook.

60. As a theist, did you ever commune with God? That is, did you believe you could speak directly to him on a regular basis?

For some reason I never did think prayer helped me at all. In fact, it didn't.

61. Why are you an atheist?

Because I don't find religion to hold a monopoly on the truth. It's a clearly rational position.

62. What do you like or dislike about specific religions?

I admire Buddhism and Baha'i-ism. Taoism isn't bad either. I do not like Islam or Christianity very much. Judaism is ok.

63. How many of you became atheists after the age of thirty?

Not old enough for that yet.


These questions were taken from the alt.atheism FAQ

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