Why do people become atheists, that is the question. 1. Let's presume we all encounter the same things in life, that we experience the world in a similar fashion. 2. There are 4 stances we can take regarding the existence of the 'supernatural' in our daily lives: A) that of mysticism (the belief that there is an additional dimension to life, to which we all belong and through which we can come face to face with the 'divine'). B) that of religion (the supernatural is fully independent from me, autonomous, personalised in the figure of God or gods). C) that of agnosticism (there could be an additional dimension to life, but I'm not sure). D) that of atheism (there is definitely no such thing as a supernatural dimension; there is no God). 3.Thus, the difference between religious affinities is primarily a matter of interpretation: do I, or do I not, call this experience religious? And if so, is it a sign of God? 4.These questions cannot be answered scientifically. It is possible to speculate about them, but no definite answers can be given. If this is true, then on what grounds do people opt for atheïsm? Is it a radical rationalism that drives them to acknowledge only these things which are rationally approachable? In that case they would miss out on a significant portion of life: the metaphysical, the unconcious emotions, the spiritiual, the mind, the transition of death and the afterlife.. or such simple things as love, happiness or meaning... the things we call 'irrational'. In my opinion it's no coincidence the vast majority of the people turn atheist in their teenage years. That's the age when they become critical (which is further fuelled by education). It is also the age of rebellion, both against their own father ánd the Father in heaven, as well as the 'conservative' elements in society like the church and the elderly. Another element that comes into play is the feelings of guilt caused by the clash between external moral systems and the agressive and sexual tendencies within. Naturally, these motives apply mostly to boys, which might explain the apparent lack of female atheists. Girls do show some signs of resentment and anger towards their parents and society as a whole, but it is less focused on their father and on moral. Boys tend to view God primarily as a lawgiver and thus as a moral guide, while girls tend to have a more affective relationship with God (and are thus less likely to feel His moral pressure and hence there is no explicit need to become a(nti)theïst. Many adults, particularly later in life, turn to religion again, or at least, value it higher than adolescents do. Those turning to atheism on rational grounds may think they do so on 'scientific evidence', but this is not true. Science has absolutely no evidence of the non-existence of the transcendental sphere. The real motives might perhaps be more in line with: - The need for complete (rational) control of their own life. - The natural inclination towards resistance, towards overthrowel of the father and the authority in society. - The distrust of feelings (and the subsequent shame of being an 'emotional' person). - The distrust of pseudo-science (and everything beyond the scope of science). - Hostility towards the church or believers (terrorists and the like). - The desire to rid oneself of the burden of moral restrictions (particularly those related to sex, anger, jealousy, etc. etc.). - Jealousy of believers (turning agnosticism into outright rejection). A similar list can be made about religious people and perhaps even about people with mystical preferences. The only rational alternative to atheism seems agnosticism, as it leaves the possibility of both the existence and non-existence of the divine. However, one might question it's practical value.. Is there still enough ground left to consider oneself an (unbiased) atheist?