As a counterpoint to the last article, here are five really good reasons to withhold, deny, or otherwise abandon one's belief in a God.
"I'm Not Convinced by the Evidence I've Been Presented"
God, in most traditions, is undetectable, unmeasurable, essentially untouchable by any empirical means of knowing. Despite this, believers give a multitude of reasons to not just believe, but know that God is real. One of their favorites is the design argument. "Look at how complex that bird is, how could it have come about by itself?" they ask. Unfortunately for them, their objection to a godless universe disproves their very concept of God. The design argument is self-refuting. Under their rule (something that is complex cannot exist without a designer), God must also have a designer, who in turn has a designer, ad infinium. But this is not their belief. After making the design argument, they immediately make an exception for their conclusion, based on...well...nothing other than the fact that their argument doesn't work if they don't make that exception. Seems kind of circular to me. Whether it's the design argument or something else, the underlying reason for most belief lies in emotion and personal experiences, which are fine and have their place, but unfortunately aren't very good at discovering objective truth.
"I Strive to Apply Consistent Standards of Evidence to All Claims"
One problem theists tend to have is overreaching skepticism when it comes to claims they don't wish to accept, while at the same time applying almost no skepticism to claims they already believe. Some will insist that global warming is a myth, and have hours of "research" into the subject, objecting to every mistake a climatologist might make, and then turn around and insist without any study that the gospels were actually written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They will spend so much time quote-mining scientists like Darwin and Gould to "disprove" evolution, but refuse to consider the possibility that the earth might even be a little bit older than 6,000 years because their big black book of stories told them so. Atheism, when properly applied, is the result of brutally consistent skepticism, holding all claims to the same standard of evidence, regardless of their popularity or emotional appeal.
"The Burden of Proof is on the Believer"
If someone were to tell you that Bigfoot lives in his closet, would it be reasonable for them to expect you to believe until you could prove him wrong? It wouldn't be reasonable at all. God claims are no different. If a believer wants to convince you, it is his job to convince you, not yours to convince him not to.
"I Want to Believe as Many True Things and as Few False Things as possible"
This phrase was coined by Matt Dillahunty. We all believe things that are false and we all believe things without having a good reason. It's how we're "wired." We evolved to assume safely, to see danger where it isn't as opposed to not seeing it where it is. But it is hard to argue against the idea that the decisions we make get better the more accurate the information we have. It's not enough just to believe true things and disbelieve false things, we need to understand why we believe the things we do and don't believe the things we don't. We need to care whether or not our beliefs are true. There is no good reason to believe in a god. Thus, someone who cares whether or not their beliefs are true isn't just going to say "well, I'm going to believe it because it makes me feel good."
"Secular Morals are Superior to Religious Morals"
If it weren't for the enlightenment and the rise of secular thought and philosophy, would we have stopped burning witches? Over the last few centuries, religious institutions have been de-fanged and de-clawed by secular outrage. It has become the gold standard that all religious beliefs are judged against. It is why a Methodist feels morally justified condemning the Westboro Baptist Church for picketing the funerals of soldiers, even thought the WBC followers probably know the Bible far more than he does. Religious morals simply don't change fast enough to keep up with evolving society. Too often, archaic rules create needless suffering in the name of religious purity. Gay children are suffering needlessly today because 3,000 years ago a nomadic herding culture needed to keep birth rates up. Secular morality allows us to investigate and question our morals continuously, tweaking and even changing them according to the needs of our society. If one were to compare it to systems of government, religious morality would be a totalitarian dictatorship, with absolute rule over the lives of its subjects, and positive change happening very, very slowly. Secular morality on the other hand is like a modern Western Democracy, self-correcting, with positive changes happening in less than a generation. Though this doesn't directly disprove the existence of God, it does disprove most earthly definitions. Plenty of people have been killed, maimed, and tortured in the name of religion, but, as Sam Harris once wrote, "There is no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too reasonable."