Atheists

Posted: October 23, 2011 in Religion
Tags: , , , , , ,

There is one word which gets used far too often in today’s society with far too little thought behind it’s meaning. Atheist. Or to be more specific the phrase “I’m an Atheist.” is what gets at me because it’s become ‘cool’ to be an Atheist and so the meaning has been lost.

An Atheist is, in the broad sense, the rejection of the idea that there are deities or any kind of greater being. This could be anything from God to Karma. Almost all of my friends would probably consider themselves Atheists, but let’s face it, there’s a bit of agnostic in all of us. Whether it’s hope or simply curiosity we all want something to believe. So this is the main problem I have with most self-proclaimed Atheists. I could go through all my friends one at a time and they’d each reveal some kind of belief. I have friends that believe in Karma, others that believe in true love, some believe in ghosts and the rest are probably just hoping that death isn’t the end. Or if it is, then at least they hope it will be a nice end with some kind of pat on the back from someone saying “You did good.”

I think that I fit best under the title of an Agnostic Atheist. This simply means that I don’t believe in the existence of a deity but I also believe there is still a lot left to discover in this world and that there is probably a lot that we will never find out because it is beyond our comprehension so I don’t rule out the possibility that there is more to life than we currently know. I see the idea of God as just a quick and easy answer to life’s mysteries. We know so little about our world, and virtually nothing about the universe that it is in, so to come to the conclusion of God just looks to me like giving up on learning.

We can’t see sound and we can’t feel light. We only know radio waves are there because we’ve created technology to show us. The same goes for microwaves, x-rays, gamma rays and all those other rays. There’s a huge list of things that we only know about because we created instruments to harness their power. How much else is happening around our heads right now that we have absolutely no idea about? What other kinds of things are happening in space or on other planets? We don’t know. And that is why Atheism is, to me, just as closed minded as religion.

Before I sign off I’m going to leave you with a question to think about and to bang your heads over. Bring this up with your friends next time your in the pub together and see what crazy places the conversation takes you.

Does it make sense for an Atheist to not believe in something that doesn’t exist?

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Comments
  1. Noel says:

    If I understand your question correctly, I think the answer is that it does make sense, the same way that a Christian does not believe in the easter bunny. Being atheist is concluding that God does not exist, which is as ignorant as a religious person does not believe that evolution is real.

  2. unkleE says:

    I think you might ask a different question: Does it make sense to devote so much energy opposing something you believe doesn’t exist?

    Some atheists say that religion is very dangerous and needs to be opposed. But if that is the motivation, why not oppose the supposed evils directly (e.g. oppose sexism) rather than oppose them second hand?

    So, does it make sense to devote so much energy opposing something you believe doesn’t exist?

    • Adam Stewart says:

      Another good question. It is argued that some peoples devotion to the Atheist way of life could be constituted as a religion. I think the word that causes problems is ‘believe’. Atheists believe that there is nothing to believe. How can you believe in not believing in something? Or can you?

      You’re other point was very good too. I see problems all over the world but things can only be changed politically. We’ve seen in Saudi Arabia recently that women have been given the right to vote and run for office. This was a political change, not a religious one.

      • unkleE says:

        “How can you believe in not believing in something? “

        I think the word ‘believe’ can be used in different senses – e.g. in philosophy it means something a person thinks (e.g. a scientists believes the big ban occurred), whereas in popular thought, it may mean more like something that cannot be proven.

        So perhaps the above statement might be re-stated as: <i”How can you think that you shouldn’t conclude anything that hasn’t been proven?”

  3. Joe Jones says:

    Personally I would oppose religion for the reasons others have offered, It does cause evil in the world. But it’s important to oppose the idea that allows people to behave the way they do, i.e. divine sanction. If we removed the idea of divine belief then the people who commit evil ‘in the name of’ disappear as well. They may still commit evil, but the condemnation is easier to come by.

  4. “We know so little about our world, and virtually nothing about the universe” and interestingly, we know even less about our brain. Perhaps it would be a cop-out to suggest that our expectations of knowing or concluding huge topics (such as religion) with anything more than myths and ideas is unreasonable and unrealistic when we know virtually nothing about the very tool we use to comprehend these things to begin with.

    Atheism isn’t the “direct rejection of absolutely everything that brings the slightest bit of happiness or satisfaction to anyone and they are actually a bunch of cold-hearted, stone-souled wankers.” *and breath*. It is the rejection of theism (a belief in God). It literally means “without god – a (without) theism (god)”. That doesn’t necessarily mean atheists reject other ideas or potential discoveries.

    Besides, conceptions of atheism are 2-a-penny and since their foundation and basis is the rejection of religion, they don’t have scriptures to adhere to and so there is no set ideology. Finding two atheists who share identical beliefs is virtually impossible.

    Great article though, what a conversation starter!

  5. atheism is the rejection of a religious claim

    it is not a claim unto itself

    although, it needs to be – and that claim is that there aren’t any deities

    and no one, in all of human history, has been able to prove otherwise

    although the plethora of religions indicates how much money and power there is to be made and had in claiming to be god’s toady.

  6. unkleE says:

    “Personally I would oppose religion for the reasons others have offered, It does cause evil in the world.
    I think this is too simplistic. Non-belief has caused lots of evil too (let’s not bother to argue which has caused the most, it’s an unanswerable question). So have capitalism, and communism, patriotism and politics. Let’s just oppose evil wherever it comes from.

    “But it’s important to oppose the idea that allows people to behave the way they do, i.e. divine sanction. If we removed the idea of divine belief then the people who commit evil ‘in the name of’ disappear as well. They may still commit evil, but the condemnation is easier to come by.”
    I think this is too simplistic also. People find ways to justify their behaviour no matter what. When the Catholic church was the most powerful force in Europe, power-hungry people joined it and used it to further their own ambitions in ways quite contrary to the teachings if Jesus. When communism held power in half of Eurasia, power-hungry people used the state to further their own greed in ways quite contrary to the teachings of Marx & Lenin. Getting rid of religion, or socialism or politics won’t change anything, and will remove what have been (in some cases) forces for good as well.

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