Why you became an atheist

Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2011 04:17 pm
Existential Potential said:
"I suppose I'm an atheist because I find religious thinking to be inherently oppressive. To define ourselves as "sinful" does little more than alienate us from our own nature, and instills a fear in ourselves, of ourselves."

I share his view, even with regard to Buddhism in its "religious" aspects. I have been involved with Zen Buddhism for over 40 years and I've never had to accept or reject its "classical" notions of Karma, chain of rebirth, or Reincarnation. Indeed, I've always suspected that the five masters whom I have known (and worked with) did not consider such notions relevant to the task of spiritual development (liberation, enlightenment, satori, kensho, etc.). But in this respect the Mahayana zen form of Buddhism is exceptional and probably the reason it has been embraced by philosophically minded Westerners.
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