It seems likely that for as long as there have been humans capable of conscious thought, things have been believed and doubted. I’ve read that more than five thousand gods have been believed to exist in this or in some alternate reality. That is approximately one and a half gods for every Sunday I have been alive. I could have worshipped a new god each week.
We have attributed various natures to gods and disputed others to the point of war with each other over the same god. I know people who see the universe like a god. New age logic, but okay. Some view nature that way—godly, if not supernatural.
I do not ascribe to any form of God (MS Word insists that g must be upper case) as I understand the concept. Obviously, I practice no associated religion. I did for many years. It took me a while to shake loose of all that. For the most part, I consider all religions to be a problem on their own. But I also have concluded that there is no god (add or subtract any religion). Could I be wrong?
I do believe there are planets, solar systems (or things like that), galaxies, and a universe, or cosmos. I believe exercise is good for me. Religion is not.
Consequently, I settle for the label of atheist, but I do not particularly find that term useful for many reasons. I think I am more of a non-believer than a dis-believer. There are all kinds and levels of atheists. I am one who is willing to say there is no god. Even though that is what I think is the case, saying so serves no apparent purpose. So, I only do when I feel like causing a ruckus.
I was watching a fictional TV show were a married couple found trouble in that she is an ultra-religious Christian of the bible thumping, God’s Plan, evangelical variety, and he is not. He is more of a None, or nothing, than atheist. But I could infer he is atheist or non-believer. None of this was secret when they decided to marry. But my real-world story first.
My grandmother was (Irish) Catholic. Grandfather was (Welsh) Presbyterian (of some sort). Around the turn of the last century, when they married, such mixed religion/denomination marriages were generally forbidden by the Church to Catholics unless certain prenuptial legalities were agreed to, in writing.
While grandfather could have converted, he did not. But all children of such a union must be raised Catholic, even if the Catholic person dies. They had two children that lived. My grandmother died when my mother was about four years old, and her sister was ten (ish). Both children were raised into adulthood as practicing Catholics, even though my grandfather subsequently married a Lutheran woman, and the children of that union were raised to be life-long Lutherans. All were of some Christian denomination.
The validity of which religion was right or wrong was, to my knowledge, never an issue. In my personal experience, the non-religious person usually agrees to children being raised according to the wishes of the religious person. My wife once said someone told her the one with the strongest faith gets to decide. I could say the one most delusional. But, hey.
Yet, what struck me about the TV episode was when the religious person told the non-religious one that he did not respect the validity of her Christian beliefs. He did, but certain circumstances required discussion and decisions and she resisted (of course). The playing field was never level. At no time did he ever claim that she should reciprocate and at least accept (if not respect or agree to) his lack of religious belief. She got pregnant, but it all worked out in the end because the child died.
I confess to never having this problem other then a few people pulling back in their relationship with me when they discovered my views. I think my atheist/non-belief view is creditable and logical. I know many, if not most, people disagree with me, to which I say, of course. But do they see my opinion/conclusion in the same way they want me to see theirs?
Many, if not most, people who claim to believe in a god consider their god’s nonexistence inconceivable. Again, I say, of course. Given the rigorous demands of most religions, I get that. But they often do agree with me regarding the unbelievability of the other 4,999 gods.