The Insatiable Atheist

I wonder if other people who are new to atheism go through a time when they just can’t seem to learn enough?

It’s been almost a year since I became an atheist. I remember thinking at the beginning of that year that I’d have a lot to say about the ongoing experience (it’s why I started this blog). Well, it turns out, I’d rather spend my time sucking in information (philosophy, science etc) from others.

I’ve never before had such intense curiosity about the universe I’m so fortunate to live in. Actually, that’s not quite true – I haven’t had this sort of curiosity since I was a child.

It really is quite marvellous.


  1. I’ve been an atheist for several years now, and I have to say, the passion for learning does not diminish over time. I finally managed to finish The Origin of Species the other day. It’s not the easiest prose to read, but I was determined to do it, and it was definitely worthwhile. What have you been reading?

  2. or wordHI Frodo ,Im nearly 40 and share your views. I reckon I was sort of enlightened when my kids started asking about homework, I realised that the same school I went to had not EVOLVED much with atheism and science. The secondary school still feels the need to issue free copies of the new testament to children, I have three copies now, I sadly read these word for word and what a read it is, if you get my point. On a serious good book would be anything by Richard Dawkins. I also recommend THE RAGGED TROUSERED PHILANTHROPIST BY ROBERT TRESSELL . EXCELLENT READ.

  3. For me, the insatiable curiosity came first. It has never gone away either.

  4. Michelle says:

    I’ve been an non-believer for about two years, and an admitted atheist for a year and a half.  I felt the exact same way when I threw off my fundamentalist beliefs.  I devoured “The God Delusion” in a weekend and went on to read “The End of Faith” and “Letter to a Christian Nation” by Sam Harris and as many books on science and evolutionary biology as I could get my hands on.  I still read as often as I can, but I have a newfound passion for education that I never had as a Christian.  I honestly was content being ignorant and I’m glad I finally started to ask questions about my faith.

  5. I started questioning my faith when I was pretty young. I was in 4th grade, about 9 years of age when I stopped believing and starting questioning everything I was told about religion and an afterlife and god; basically just the universe in general. I’m 20 now and I can tell you that it never stops.

    I’ve spent almost every spare second of my time the past ten years learning about the universe and religion and philosophy. I’ve read and studied the Koran, Bible, Torah, and many Buddhist works; as well as numerous textbooks, informational books, and science books all in my spare time. In fact I’m probably one of the few college students that could tell you more about quantum field theory and string theory than I could about alcohol.

    It’s enlightening when you realize you are not being held back by a god you have never seen or heard before. It sparks a curiosity like nothing else I’ve felt and makes me love and appreciate life more and more every day.

    It’s hard to really appreciate your life in the present when you believe it goes on for eternity.

  6. I’ve found something very similar.  I tried reading the Bible and my faith just started slipping away.  I then started with the God Delusion and have been pouring through books ever since.  

    I’ve also been printing off and reading a bunch of Robert Ingersoll’s essays, Wikipedia articles on logic and reasoning, and pouring through blogs.

    My mostly complete reading list:

    I’m not sure if my need to read will slow down but it sure has not yet and it’s been about 1.5 years.

  7. I think you’re on to something.

    After my realization that I was not, in fact, a Catholic any longer, and had become an atheist, the universe unfolded almost immediately.

    No longer was I required to accept dogmatic non-explanations about the nature of the universe which “God had created”. The result was a sudden interest in science, philosophy and a plethora of other subjects. It is an incredibly compelling and insatiable drive for knowledge that has continued (in fact, escalated) over the years.

    I’m glad you’ve shared this experience. I can only hope that we both continue escalating in our thirst for understanding in an incredible universe.

  8. Yes. I spent so many years trying like hell to believe in God, and then also Jesus Christ as Lord, that it’s a relief and a pleasure to read things that make sense to me regarding religion.  Free of the demand to figure out how to believe in God, I’m able to enjoy learning about what things really fascinate me–the natural world, and ethics.

    I’ve definitely been on an “atheism binge” as I seek out others, so not to feel as isolated. I’ve enjoyed stopping by your blog, as I enjoy having you share a similar experience.

  9. Yes, I have enjoyed learning in a way I haven’t in many years. I have read so much this year, I get a twitch if I don’t get my weekly fix of library! I am 40 as well and deconverted about a year ago. In some ways my study has been obsessive, trying to find some elusive comfort from anxiety or something, but it has been a joy too. I think having part of my thinking self in <b>Park</b> for 18 years has a lot to do with it.

  10. So true. I can’t seem to get enough of the Science Channel, Atheist books and books on CD (I almost never listen to the radio anymore) and blogs.

  11. As a theist (possibly christian), I have never been able to get enough of science at the micro level and on the nano level.  Frankly, like Anthony Flew, it only strengthens my resolve that there is truly a creator and how incredible this creator really is in relation to us. 
    If you came from the school of catholicism I can understand your detachment.  It would give that up as well but not my faith in God.

  12. hey, im only 16 years old, but neverless i am constantley wanting to learn more. im just about to start “god delusion” by Richard Dawkins. i am facsinated at atheism, i was shocked to see how many they were and how many famours people in our history were too.

  13. Jonny Whitaker says:

    I think you guys are all full of shit. If you dont believe in god, you have a hard life ahead of you. Do you think we just appeared out of nowhere? Or maybe scientific bullshit happened and thats how we were composed? You guys need a reality check, because Jesus Christ is the lord and savior. Maybe you should read up on that!

  14. Jonny,

    Come on now, tell us what you really think!  Like you, I skimmed the site content and posted some flippant comments.  Then I read Three Things You Should Know Before Challenging An Atheist’s Unbelief and realized many atheists have put a lot of time, thought and research into forming their convictions.  You sound like a newer Christian, full of zeal and still fairly young on the sanctification curve.  I suggest you read Three Things and Galatians 6.1 before you post again.  I appreciate your passion, but you have to consider how you’re words will (or won’t) be received.

  15. Atheists,

    I could see how Jonny’s comments could actually be used to strengthen the case for atheism.  If you consider Christ’s teachings concerning the severity of Eternal Judgment, try to reconcile that with His Love and Mercy, and then consider that He’s chosen to use His church as the instrument to rescue souls from damnation . . . one might say, “Hey God, if you’re so Compassionate, why didn’t you come up with a better plan of salvation?”

    When I was about 17 I lost an unbelieving friend to cancer.  Not knowing for sure, but fearing she might not have made Heaven, I asked God through tears of grief why He made Man if He knew the majority would perish (Mt 7.13).  The very next thought that entered my mind was, “Because of you.”  You see, through Christ’s sacrifice God has made a way for all of us to be reconciled to Him.  But it’s our choice, He won’t force any of us to love Him.  In fact, it’s only when we see how sinful we are that we can truly appreciate Christ’s death on the cross and its meaning for us personally.  Proverbs 21.18 says, “The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the unfaithful for the upright.  God doesn’t want anyone to go to the hell He created for Satan and his demons.  But He gave us a free will to choose whom we would serve.

    So regardless of the shortcomings of the church, God has made a way for all to be reconciled to Him, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jer 29.13

    For what it’s worth, I’d like to apologize for the wrongs committed by the church that may have been a stumblingblock to you’re faith in Christ.
    Hope you all have a nice weekend.

  16. Oops “your(sp) faith in Christ.”

    It’s midnight and I’m tired.

  17. Ed,

    You are only christian by pure coincidence.  If you were born in Iraq you would be preaching about Allah.  If you were born in India you would be preaching about Ganesha.  Your belief in jesus is nothing more than a coincide; doesn’t that give you pause?  Your chosen “faith” is purely due to geography.

  18. Ed, 

    Oops, that was coincidence, not “coincide;”

    I am willing to bet that your chosen “faith”, like most christians, wasn’t even chosen but rather indoctinated at a young age. 

  19. Hey Brian,

    You make a good point.  If I was born someplace else, I’m sure whatever belief system I would have been taught, I would have initially pursued.  I did however throw off my parents Catholocism when I found it wasn’t relevent enough for me.

    I can recall exactly when my faith began.  I was in a Catholic church, 5 yrs old, bored stiff and fidgeting with my 4 yr old brother, when the priest said, “Let us pray.”  With everyone’s head bowed, I peeked up and thought, “Wow God, you can hear everybody’s prayer at the same time and you don’t even get confused!  I don’t know what You want me to do with my life, but whatever it is, I want to do it.”
    Like my parents Catholicism, if I was raised Muslim, Buddhist, whatever, I’m sure I would have been dissatisfied with a dead religion and continued to seek meaning and fulfillment which I’ve found in my relationship with Jesus.  He’s the Bomb.  (I probably shouldn’t say bomb and Muslim in the same post lest I raise the suspicions of Big Brother.)

    Jesus is alive.  This world is sick and dead.  Jesus came that you could have His Life.

    If you’re like most atheists Brian, you probably tried to believe in God at some point but perhaps couldn’t reconcile your life experience with what you were hearing or seeing at church.

  20. Allow me to clarify something lest I offend any Catholics out there.  Like any denomination, there are some good Catholic churches out there with good priests that do a good job edifying the local church.  By the same token, there are many where religious works, form and tradition become a substitute for walking with God.  Yuck!

  21. Brian,

    In case you’re interested, I just came across this brief account of a terrorist, born & raised in Beirut by a strict Muslim family, recruited into the PLO and trained in assault camps in Libya and Afganistan.

    The course of his early life was definitely shaped by his geography but changed 180 degrees when he encountered unconditional Christian love and a personal visitation by the Lord Jesus Christ.

    My compliments again to 40yroldatheist for designing such a well-organized, easy to navigate site.

  22. Ed,

    First of all switching one christian religion (catholicism) for another christian religion is NOT changing religions.   Second, what makes your invisible sky king any more relevant than someone else’s invisible sky king?  THis is what I really hate about religion.  Everyone things their dude is “the bomb” and everyone else is wrong and needs to be “saved”.  Their religion is a “dead religion”.  How arrogant of you.  This holier than thou attitude is common among christians and is very distastful.

    I find it humorous that you think that if you were raised and surrounded by Hindu’s that you would one day wake up an have an epiphany and want to be a christian.   You would want to substitute your polytheistic religion for a monotheistic one.  Well actually christianity IS polytheistic, so maybe that part of it wouldn’t be a stumbling block.

    The fact that your sky king can hear everyone murmur to him at the same time should raise doubt with you, not enchant.

    You say “this world is sick and dead”.  If your guy is omnipotent, Why hasn’t he fixed the world already?  What is he waiting for? 

    Take note from one of my favorite bible passages as I have.  Corinthians 13: “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”  

    Religion is a childish thing.  When I became a man I put it behind me.  I recomend you do the same.  Time to grow up. 

  23. Ed,

    For what it’s worth, I am a rehabilitated Catholic.

  24. 1. The country you are born and/or raised is a big determining factor in the religion you adopt.
    2. Your parent’s religion tends to have the same impact.
    3. Peer pressure plays a considerable role for those who move to a new country.
    4. Ed, the point you seem to be missing is that your claims about God/Jesus are pretty much the exact claims a Muslim would make. This only reinforces points 1 to 3 above.

    There is a quote by Stephen Roberts: “When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

  25. I would also add that you cited just one case of conversion. It is certainly not convincing to me (and I suspect the Muslim community) that your faith is impressively powerful.

  26. Hey Guys,

    I still have some bills to pay tonight but I’d like to comment on a couple of your points.

    First Brian, yes, technically I didn’t change religions, just brands (like Chevy to Cadillac) so I’ll give you that one.  However, and this leads us into your second point, I made the switch because I found a “much better ride” (for me) in the other church.

    So what does make Jesus the ultimate Sky King?  Excellent question.  Where you believe all religions are the same, one is as useless as the other, I maintain that within the Christian Churches there is a true religion and a false religion.  If you recall the Parable of the Sower from “the old days” (Mt 13, Mk 4), you’ll remember that after He spoke the parable, the disciples asked Jesus, “Why do you speak to them (the multitude) in parables?”  His answer was, “Because unto you it has been given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it has not been given.”  Then Jesus went on to explain that parable as being the most important parable and the key to understanding the rest.

    The lesson here is that for God’s Word to be relevent, to make sense, and for you to understand it so it will bear fruit in your heart and enrich your life: you first need to hear it from an annointed minister, and second, you need to sit down and prayerfully study what you heard in the presence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  That is when the bible changes from a dead letter to living soul food.  It’s awesome!

    So why were the disciples given the understanding the crowd wasn’t given?  Because they were disciples, they didn’t just hear the Word and go on their way.  They followed after Jesus and sought Him for understanding, and they received it.  Jesus said when He left that He would send His Spirit to lead us and guide us into all Truth.  So if you’re ever inclined to put this to the test, check out the aforementioned scriptures together with the Gospel of John 16.13 (not the epistles), Acts 17.11, Prov. 4.7, Isaiah 55.  Ask Jesus, if He’s real, to make His Word come alive to you.  If He did it for His disciples back then, He’ll do it for you today.

    Any person trying to be a Christian, going to church but not spending some alone time with Jesus as a disciple will find Christianity just as dead, laborious and frustrating as any other religion.

    If you guys will bear with me, I’d like to comment on your next points tomorrow.


  27. Hey Guys,
    Busy day.  Ok, before we get to your next point, let me just say that if you decide to check out Is 55, there’s some symbolism there that appears confusing but is actually pretty cool when you understand its meaning.  If you’re curious, I’ll provide references that will explain the meanings of those symbols (waters, wine, milk, bread, etc).  Suffice it to say that the first few verses echo the Parable of the Sower where our hearts can be satisfied and refreshed if we’ll listen carefully to His Word.

    Ok I think I at least partially addressed the arrogance and holier than thou comments.  Christians aren’t superior, in fact, we’re inferior.  That’s how we became Christians, because our lives were messed up in some way or another, or we were seeking meaning and fulfillment, and we cried out to God for His mercy and grace.  And He delivered!

    As I explained yesterday, it’s not that I’d wake up and have an epiphany and convert to Christianity.  Rather, my search for “something more” would have driven me to evaluate various religions.  And hopefully, I would have found someone to explain to me that the Gospel is a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and that He would make His Power available to me to overcome the challenges of life.  And that in my new life with Him, I’d be a partner with Him working to bring hope, healing and comfort to a lost and dying world.

    If you’ll permit me, I’ll wrap up my answer to your comments tomorrow.


  28. Ed,

    >>Ok I think I at least partially addressed the arrogance and holier than thou comments. 

    Not really.  You referred to other religions (Muslim etc.) as “dead religions” and you referred to the god of your religion as “the bomb”.  How is this not arrogant?  If their religion they have faith in is dead, how is yours not by superior?

    >Christians aren’t superior, in fact, we’re inferior. 

    See above.

    >That’s how we became Christians, because our lives were >messed up in some way or another, or we were seeking >meaning and fulfillment…

    You said you were in a Catholic church at 5 years old above.  Was your life messed up before age 5??  This is why you “became Christian”??  You were most likely indoctrinated at a young age.  Christianity wasn’t a choice you made.  You could have just as easily have been born into a Muslim or Hindu family.   This is an important point that I think you are missing.

    >As I explained yesterday, it’s not that I’d wake up and have >an epiphany and convert to Christianity.  Rather, my search >for “something more” would have driven me to evaluate >various religions. 

    Are you doing this now??  Are you searching for “something more”?  If not, why not?  (I know the answer and it has to do with being arrogant — see above).

  29. Truly you could over-generalize the whole “arrogance” theory. 

    The “Bomb” theory in a nutshell:  Anytime a person has an opinion and is passionate about it, and chooses to share that passion in an open way. 

    Ed is sharing his experience .. there’s nothing arrogant about that.    Just like The40YearOldAtheist sharing his experience about coming to atheism is not arrogant.
    And from this writer’s experience, I have to echo Ed that changing “brands” can be life-changing.  I know it was for me.  When I figured out that God was all about relationship, and not about a person to quietly visit on Sundays only while wearing scratchy clothes … then, life changed for me.  As a Christian, I get really frustrated with the “how does God let all these bad things happen?” argument.  It’s Earth, people, and we’re humans who get to make choices.

  30. Good evening Brian,

    >You referred to other religions (Muslim etc.) as “dead religions” and you referred to the god of your religion as “the bomb”.  How is this not arrogant?

    I think I see where you are coming from.  Correct me if I’m wrong but your reasoning is probably something like the following.  You consider different people groups and their different religions and figure there is some innate need in the heart of man to believe in something or someone greater than himself so we’ve got all these various religions.  And the problem is that inevitably, one group begins thinking they are superior or are compelled by some mission to proselytize the world.  Then it escalates when they spawn some radical militant nut jobs that start killing other people in the name of their religion.

    You make a good point and have identified one of many major problems in our “sick, dead world”.  You know it’s 1:00 in the morning my time and I’ve got to get up for work in several hours.  I want to have time to develop an adequate response. 

    Please look for my post tomorrow.

  31. Beverly,

    Ed referred to his ‘god’ as “the bomb” and to other religions that mean just as much to other people as “dead religions”.  What he has done is stated that his religion is superior to the others.   How is this not the very definition of arrogance?  It is one thing to be passionate about something (I have no problem with this) and it is another all together to feel superior.   I have found that this ‘my religion is superior attitude’ is not uncommon among Christians and I find this distasteful as I stated above.  This superiority complex is most likely common among other religions as well, but I can only speak for christianity because this is the one I am exposed to most often. 

    You bring up “As a Christian, I get really frustrated with the “how does God let all these bad things happen?””. 

    You mean like plain crashes, 911, murders?

    I get frustrated when Christians label all good things that happen as “miracles”.   What they are doing is attributing all the good things to god and all the bad things (plain crashes, 911, etc.) to well, it was gods will.   This is called “counting the hits and ignoring the misses”.

    You wrote “It’s Earth, people, and we’re humans who get to make choices”

    Choices?  What about ‘Gods will’?  I thought he had a plan for all of us?  Isn’t he omnipotent and omniscient?  If he is all knowing wouldn’t he know the choices you were going to make before you made them?  If he loved us, why would he knowingly let bad things happen?

  32. Beverly,

    For me, the arrogance is in making claims about one religion (in this case, the various strains of Christianity) at the expense of others (in this case, Islamic faiths). To call those other faiths “dead” and yours “alive” and compare them in the other ways Ed has had a history of doing here, is arrogant. There is absolutely no more evidence that suggests Ed’s faith is more valid than any other faith. And, as a matter of logic, that not all these competing faiths can be correct at the same time, I discount all of them.

    That’s one reason I am an atheist. The problems of evil and suffering are other arguments that I think are particularly damning to religion – no one has ever (in my mind) adequately answered those problems (Lee Strobel fails miserably).

    All of the mental gymnastics that are required to believe in a personal god are astounding. In contrast, when you entertain the idea that there is no god – or, at the very least that if there were a god, it is a deistic type – the world suddenly makes lots of sense. We live on a cooling rock with weather patterns affected by our cyclic sun, and it is up to us to make the world better. The only problem of course, is that we aren’t very good at taking responsibility for the suffering we can take responsibility for.

  33. Ed,

    Nicely stated. 

  34. Oops

    That was supposed to be 40 Year Old Atheist.  Nicely stated.

    I still need coffee.

  35. Brian, Atheist and hello Beverly!
    Let me first say that I’ve enjoyed the dialogue.  Let me take one more crack at replying to your comments and then I’ll leave you guys alone.

    First, for me to be arrogant, Webster says I have to have “an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions”.  I don’t believe I’ve been overbearing or presumptuous but rather, polite.  I don’t believe I’m superior to you guys.  But, as far as the superiority of a personal relationship with Jesus vs. any other religion including “religious christianity”?  No question, there is no comparison.  It is the difference between life and death.  Notice I didn’t say I was superior, but that living your life with the God Who created the Universe living inside you is way cool!  How could I apologize for that?  That is the hope of the Gospel.  But it’s not because of me, but rather in spite of me.  i am not better than anyone else, His promise is to anyone (Jn 14.23).

    It’s unfortunate that you guys will undoubtedly lump this concept of New Life in Christ in with dead religions and say it’s all the same, because it’s not.  The only evidence I can offer you would require you saying a simple Atheist’s prayer like, “God, I’m not sure you even exist, but if You do, please open up Your Word to my understanding so that I may know You.”  Furthermore, you would need to have some hunger.  You’d have to want to know God.  And if you have any unforgiveness in your heart, that could hinder God from manifesting Himself to you.

    I empathize with the mental gymnastics comment.  It took me 2-3 years of study and prayer to get my mind around some of the tougher concepts like eternal judgement but it’s not as tough as you might think.  There is a momentum and excitement that builds as you discover the secrets of the universe and His Kingdom, as you can already attest to (in the physical world, that is).

    Before I go, let me take a crack at the human suffering question.  I don’t presume to have all the answers but at least I can offer you my perspective for your consideration.

    The first concept that has to be understood is that God is Love.  He is a good God.  Like they say in a black church near my home:

    Pastor – “God is good!”
    Congregation – “All the time!”

    He does not want any of His children to suffer, be sick, be hungry . . .  He wants His children to be blessed, prosperous and healthy and enjoy the good things of life.  (3 John 2)

    The second concept is that He has given man the freedom to choose to obey Him or not to obey Him.  In the Garden of Eden Adam was forbidden to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Notice, it wasn’t the Tree of Evil, or the Tree of the Knowledge of Evil.  The fact is Adam already had knowledge of good and evil.  God said he could eat of every tree in the garden except one, that was good.  For Adam to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was evil.  Why?

    By eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil Adam was essentially saying, “God, I am rejecting your counsel to me of what trees I should or shouldn’t eat from and I’m going to decide what is good or evil for me.”  Do you see how by eating from that tree, Adam was asserting and acting on his opinion of what was good and evil.  He rejected God’s counsel and authority, disobeyed His Law, and sinned.

    The third concept is that just like our civil goverments designed to preserve law and order, this is God’s Universe, and His government is no different.  There are consequences to breaking His Law.  Sin separates us from God’s presence.

    Fourth, Adam had been given dominion and authority in the Earth (Gen 1.26-28) and when he yielded to the Devil’s temptation, he assigned that authority to the spiritual outlaw Satan (Ro 6.16).  At that point, he became the god of this world (2 Co 4.3-4), the Earth became cursed, and sin, sickness disease, poverty . . . became part of man’s world (Romans 5.12-21).

    Fifth, in order to satisfy His Justice which required the sinning soul to die, God instituted a system of  substitutional animal sacrifices, which would be a foreshadowing to the sacrifice of Jesus, the Spotless Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the whole world.  Before His sacrifice, we were held hostage as Satan’s servants.  Now, through Christ’s atonement, our ransom has been paid, we’ve been redeemed, and we are free to serve the Living God, the One Who gave His Life for us.

    Sixth, God wants to fix the Earth, and He is in fact fixing it.  But He won’t override the will of man.  He works with those who are willing first to fix themselves by learning to walk with Him and obey Him.  Then He empowers them by His Spirit to serve others.

    Seven, You probably won’t believe a word I say because . . . Jn 5.40.

    Take care,


  36. Atheist,

    Thanks again for allowing me to articulate my point of view.  I think I’m going to go find some sinners now, they’re easier to convert.

    With your permission, I’ll check back from time to time to see how you’re doing.


  37. (Texts and emails are often misinterpreted because voice tone and inflection are lost.  So lest I’m misunderstood, allow me to rephrase, “I think I’m going to go find some sinners now, they’re easier to convert:)”

    I’ve enjoyed the banter.  Ok . . .now  you can rip me apart.

    All the best.

  38. [It’s kind of hard to see what I “rephrased” because of the font.  “I think I’m going to go find some sinners now, they’re easier to convert :)”]

  39. There we go!  Yet another example of fine website design.

  40. On behalf of all christians, I apologize for jonny whitaker and all of his ilk. jesus did not run around telling atheists that they were “full of shit,”–not as I recall. He told a lot of pharisees that THEY were full of shit, however.

    There is no question in my mind and never has been that atheists suffer from a void anymore than anyone else, or that you are less kind, or caring. In fact probably the opposite (see every religious war since the beginning of time.) I will never try to convert anyone to my belief system. I honor all that is holy within you, and support your beliefs.


  41. Kadlekins says:

    Hey everyone,

    I’ve been an Atheist for about 6 years of my 18 year old life thus far, and it’s going grand. Sorry to change topics, as the current one is fascinating to read, but I just wanted to add that the desire to learn as much as possible is, in my opinion, a common  Atheist characteristic. I think it relates to the fact that religious people have, what as my mentor Richard Dawkins says, placed virtue in ignorance. Atheists have a different mind set then religious people, if not simply because we believe that our days are numbered. My girlfriend is a very devout Christian, and I often wonder why she bothers learning or doing anything, because she believes that she’ll go to heaven for eternity. What’s the point of doing anything on Earth if you’re planning on living forever in paradise?

    Church is an ignorance farm, in my opinion, because as long as the preacher throws “jesus” or “holy” in front of what they say, everyone will accept it as true. Questioning also seems to be a hazardous thing to do in most churches. They need people to conform in order to strengthen their belief. History shows numerous instances of people doing things they normally would be too afraid to do, like murder 6 million jews, but did anyway, because they were supported and surrounded by people with similar beliefs. I’m not suggesting that all religious people want to commit mass murder, but the point stands that no one of us can be as stupid as all of us. =) Church is, quite simply, a giant circle jerk of faith.

  42. Kadlekins says:

    Oh, and Johnny, I can’t help but call a bullshit on you for opening your idiotic post with “you guys are full of shit” then drop the “jesus is the lord and savior” bomb. Priceless.

  43. ed sounds to be very brainwashed. there is no chance in reaching religious nutters when they reach that level of denial. always quoting the bible as if it is evidence of their correctness.  i have exuberant elated feelings of joy and zest for life when studying math equations, but i don’t claim it is some super natural being talking to me. yet xtians always give these feelings as evidence of  a creator in their life.

    i guess ignorance is bliss.  shift key is not working.

    “a life unquestioned is not a life worth living”

  44. Michael R says:

    Ed, you defined arrogance as: “an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions”. That is, indeed, the correct definition. You fall short in your claim, however, that you are not arrogant. You denounce other religions in favor of your own, despite the fact (fact) that there is no more evidence to support yours than any other major religion currently being practiced. Denouncing other religions as “dead” is most certainly an assertion based on a mistaken belief in the superiority of your own. And while you certainly are not overbearing, you definitely are making a lot of assumptions about both the validity of your own religion and the invalidity of others. The root of “arrogance” also means “to assume”. In the absence of any evidence to support your assertions about God and Christianity, all you can do is assume. Don’t be so sure of yourself. That, my friend, is arrogance.
    Furthermore, in my long experience as a practicing Christian, I can tell you first hand that the Christian faith all but demands you arrogantly assert your beliefs. It is your DUTY as a Christian to do so. What led me on the path to turn away from Christianity, and then later all religions, is the despicable, insipid arrogance of its practitioners. I really felt disgusted by the mind-numbing inanity of it all, and could find no solace in “the good book” which was full of all manner of indescribably ignorant drivel. I actually felt ashamed and angry that I had ever been so foolish as to buy into such an obvious scam. Then my anger dissipated when I realized ancient cultures were just grossly ignorant, and made up these myths in an attempt to explain the world around them in the absence of science. Atheism has changed my life for the better, in ways I never would have expected.

  45. Michael R says:


    You have exuberant, elated feelings of joy and zest when working math equations? Welcome to Earth! What planet do you hail from?
    Math was never my strong point. I always had to find mental shortcuts to cheat my way through it. I couldn’t write out a solution to a word problem, but I could think it out, ploddingly. I have a disordered mind.
    I digress. A life unexamined is, indeed, not worth living. I like that quote too.


  1. […] tremendous joy in being freed from religion. Not only that, but since de-converting, I have had an insatiable curiosity about the world, as well as an ever-increasing concern for our planet and the life on […]

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