I’m an atheist because…

Dec 17, 2012

A few weeks ago, still fumbling to spread my unaccustomed Twitter wings, I wondered aloud what had led certain categories of religious people to forsake their faith. This touched off a rather exhilarating free-for-all, in which ex-believers from many faiths condensed into 140 characters their own reasons for becoming ex.

After the first few days, the trickle swelled to a torrent, most beginning with the clause, “I’m an atheist because . . .” I re-tweeted many of them for a while, but the sheer volume of re-tweets vexed some of my Twitter followers. So I decided to stop re-tweeting and shift the action to RichardDawkins.net. I would set up a thread on that website where people could continue, in the comments section, to regale us with their – to me fascinating – diverse reasons for being atheist. The thread would also constitute a permanent record of the “I’m an atheist because . . .” tweets.

I didn’t know how to retrieve all the old tweets – Twitter is a notoriously ephemeral medium – so I asked the experienced Miranda Hale how, and she very kindly volunteered to do it herself, using Storify. The RDFRS web team (Niels Liebisch specifically) then helpfully stepped in and wrote some code to limit the comments on this particular thread to 140 characters to maintain the Twitter convention.

Please marvel at the diversity of the 346 tweets by scrolling through them below. And please volunteer your own “I’m an atheist because . . .” in the comments section.


Written By: Richard Dawkins
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