Today it is exactly one year since I came out as an atheist to my friends and family via a blog post. Needless to say, my outlook has not changed a lot since then, but has been defined and refined quite significantly. I've learned a lot about a large range of topics from science, to ethics, philosophy and religion. I thought today would be an appropriate time to rehash my explanation for why I am an atheist.
In my original post I mentioned that one of the biggest factors in my deconversion was the realisation that many of the stories I had been told growing up turned out to be based on myths and fables, while this is still true it has very little effect on my atheism. This continues to be one of the many reasons why I am not a Christian, but I have yet to explain why I'm not a Theist or even a Deist.
The main reason that I don't believe in gods is that I simply haven't encountered any satisfactory reasons for why I should believe in them. On top of that, I am yet to see any empirical evidence that doesn't point towards a naturalistic explanation. Every single gap in scientific knowledge that has been filled in the past gave a naturalistic explanation. Every single year we gain more knowledge about the natural world, and every single discovery without fail has had a natural explanation. Every supernatural claim about the functioning of the universe has been refuted and scientific knowledge has completely replaced religious supernaturalism in this realm. If there are gods somewhere, they are extremely good at hiding, and they made an excellent job of creating the world to look as if they didn't exist.
So with the flaws of traditional religion aside (i.e. that it's completely based on myths, fables and man-made superstitions), I see no reason to believe in any kind of transcendent beings. I don't believe in souls, I don't believe in demons or evil spirits. I don't believe in ghosts or gods. I don't believe in prophecy, prayer or prostration. I don't believe in anything beyond the natural world, because no one has ever brought forward anything that could be regarded as evidence that any of these things are real or effective.