Most reasonable atheists are deistically agnostic.
That is to say, we acknowledge the meager possibility of there existing some form of deity, but will not act upon such a speculation until enough evidence exists to compel us to.
After ascertaining possibility of a deity, the process to convert us from atheism to any religion, would be:
Confirm the existence of a specific deity
Confirm the demands of said deity
Agree to the demands of said deity
We’ve only met the lowest prerequisite of there being a possibility of a deity. I will not act upon any religion until I know beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt that 1) The specific Deity most certainly exists, 2) It is utterly confirmed that the demands of me are made by the deity and not some non-deity making shit up, and 3) That I can in good conscience agree with said Deity’s demands, that I am wholly capable of following said demands and that it is wholly beneficial and without any downsides.
So far, no religion has been able to fulfill any of these requirements, thus I remain practically an atheist.
Of course, then comes the question of Pascal’s wager: “What do you lose?”
Let’s set the issue of there being a million other religions aside, instead let me ask you this.
Suppose I told you that you had to snap your fingers every time a car passed by you on the sidewalk, and after a ten thousand cars are met with a their required finger snaps, you will become immortal. And maybe I tell you that you won’t find precedent, nor antecedence, because you’re the “chosen one” and it will only work if you do it.
After all, it is possible. The doctrine I provided does nothing to contradict reality because I specified that this was an exception. And a finger snap is such a small action that costs you nothing, it might even develop to be a fun habit. So, what do you lose by not doing the finger snap every time a car passes you by?
Well, brain power, energy, finger skin, other pedestrians looking at you weird, taxis mistakenly stopping for you, and that it is plain unnecessary just to name a few.
See, human knowledge is small, and relative to our minor knowledge, there are a practically infinite number of unknowns and possibilities and we cannot afford to act on those that are unfounded.
And even if a particular religion were true, it would be like if you unsafely jumping off a particular building at a specific time were the only way to activate your inner supernatural abilities, but you had no evidence for such an ability other than the mere “possibility” of it (in fact I implore you to try it right now). And even if you actually jumped off a building and actually became superman, in retrospect it even though it may have been the best thing you could do but it certainly would not have been the correct action to take because such a bet has such astronomically miniscule odds that only a complete retard or suicidal maniac would think to test it. And to call such a feat the essence of ridiculousness would be an understatement, thank reality that nobody has ever been able to get away with tempting fate to such lengths.
Think those alien cults where believers hypothesized that suicide was the only way their souls could be beamed up an alien ship which would whisk them away from our doomed Planet Earth, as a reasonable person would you bet your life on the mere possibility of that actually being true? No.
“Ah”, you say, “But Alien cults need you to kill yourself. That’s a huge price to pay for losing.”
Right, as if there are no costs to your religion. Ask those Catholic Africans who got AIDS because they believed the missionaries who told them Jesus hates condoms. Ask those gay Christians who had their sexuality repressed in order to not be considered abominations. Ask a regular Christian who has to give up every Sunday just to go to church where they are pressured into paying a donation tax, and then wonder why they are in financial difficulties. Ask a kid who had his childhood robbed of contemporary entertainment, ask a little girl who didn’t receive proper sex ed, ask the extremists who are offended by blasphemy and their victims of religious terrorism. Ask any woman whose vagina follows arbitrary rules ascribed by non-gynecologists, in fact ask any society that had its civil liberties brutally diminished because of some doctrine, mind you this isn’t a “turn off the light when you leave the room” cost, it is REAL and TANGIBLE poverty, social dysfunction and medical epidemics that are on the line here.
The fact of the matter is, that for something of such astronomical unlikeliness such as jumping off empire state to activate your inherent superpowers, and religion, even 1 second is too much time spent, and even 1 cent is too much money to pay, and while the rewards may seem too incredible to be true (which they are), they are never worth the risks and costs, ever.
And that is why it is unintelligent to act upon unsubstantiated claims, such as those made by religion. Bush had more justification for the Iraq war for fuck’s sake.