17 Reasons Why Atheists Say They Don’t Believe in God

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By Jonathan Trent

There are many accepted reasons why religious people follow their God, most notably in sacred religious texts. Yet atheism can very much be a personal journey, with individuals having their own reasons for lacking belief. We’ve listed 17 of the most common reasons atheists don’t believe in God.

Lack of Proof

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One of the biggest reasons many people don’t believe in God is the lack of tangible proof. Belief in God is very much based on exactly that: belief. And while that’s enough for many people of faith, for most atheists, an absence of physical evidence of God’s existence is enough to lack belief.

The Idea of a Benevolent God Allowing So Much Suffering

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Most atheists struggle to understand why a so-called benevolent God would allow so much evil and suffering in the world. While many religious people are under the belief that it is mankind’s free will at fault, most atheists will agree that just the presence of so much evil in the world is enough to question.

Contradictions in Religious Texts

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According to American Atheists, many religious people believe that “God cannot be the author of false meaning” yet this is contradicted by discrepancies in religious texts. One example is in Genesis, “I have seen God face to face”, yet in John 1:18, it says “No man hath seen God”.

Unanswered Prayers

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Many atheists may actually have been believers at one point in their lives, but through a series of unanswered prayers, lost their faith. Those who have gone through struggles in their life and found no answer to prayers for guidance might then begin to doubt the idea of a supportive God.

God Choosing to Stay Hidden

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A lot of skepticism can arise from a God who chooses never to show himself. Atheists feel confused about the idea of a God who wants to connect and love his followers, yet chooses to always stay hidden. For atheists, lack of tangible presence is enough to question.

Influence of Upbringing and Society

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Some atheists may be raised in an atheist household, or only socialize in atheist circles. In the same way that heavily religious households can raise religious children, the same can be said about people raised to believe in no God.

Lack of Fear Over Dying

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It can be said that many religious people have a fear of dying. So much so that the belief in God is very much to alleviate the fear that nothing comes after. Most atheists agree they’re not afraid of death, and believe that life ends when the body dies.

Preferring Science to Explain Natural Events

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The Internet Encylopedia of Philosophy outlines the religious belief that “miracles are made possible by hidden potentialities in nature that are placed there by God”. Yet while religious people believe natural occurrences are also parts of God’s plan, atheists believe they’re simply that: natural.

Evolutionary Psychology and Cognitive Bias

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Atheists think that religious people believe what they want to believe: namely, that there is a God. Therefore, they’re biased to see God’s work in everything around them. Atheists are more inclined to feel skeptical towards the idea that everyday occurrences are divine doing rather than human psychology.

The Fact There Are So Many Religions

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Every religion teaches that there is only one God and that no other God should be accepted. Yet there are so many religions in the world, and so many different Gods, that atheists often take the lack of consensus to be lack of any One True God.

Diverse Cultures and Identities

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Religion teaches that God created man in his own image. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam believe that Adam and Eve were the first humans and that all humans came after. Atheists therefore argue that there can’t be so many different cultures, skin colors, and identities if every person was a product of Adam and Eve.

Historical and Cultural Contexts

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Due to the beginnings of religious beliefs, most atheists consider the historical and cultural contexts of when religions first began. With modern-day teachings, atheists concur that religious thinking is outdated, despite the fact it made more sense at the time it was written.

They Believe Humans Are Responsible for Their Own Morals

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One main teaching of religion is that you should behave morally to abide by God’s teachings, and be rewarded in the afterlife. Atheists don’t believe that: namely, they believe that every individual is responsible for their own morals and ethical behavior.

Evolution versus Religion

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Harvard Business Review explains that, according to Charles Darwin, humans were not put onto earth, but rather an evolved species. This is one of the main debates between atheism and religion. Many atheists believe in the theory of evolution: that it makes more sense for humans to have evolved, rather than been created by God.

Challenging Human-like Descriptions of God

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Many religions depict their Gods as having human qualities or features. A lot of atheists question this, often finding it contradictory that God created Man in His own image, yet his own image is so commonly interpreted differently across different cultures, and often with a mix of human and otherworldly features.

Many Atheists Prefer Scientific Thinking

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A high number of atheists explore more rational and scientific thinking to come to their own conclusions regarding God. Many find a more logical explanation to be more comforting, as it presents critical thinking and evidence-based reasoning over faith.

Atheists Favor Human Autonomy

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In addition, atheism favors the idea of having control over your own body, thoughts, and actions. Atheists feel more comfortable being in charge of how they live their life, rather than divine influence. Oxford Academic outlines how there are still differing opinions among atheist scientists, with some believing science is only one possible explanation.