The term atheism originated from the Greek atheos, meaning ‘godless’ or ‘impious’. An atheist is a person who either passively believes that no God exists or who actively asserts this belief. Diagoras, the 5th-century Greek philosopher is known as the ‘first atheist’. Atheists believe that there is no higher being or higher power who either created us or has the ability to greatly affect our lives.
Belief vs. Disbelief
Atheism is not a belief system, but rather a lack of belief. It is the absence of an -ism.
A-theism = absence of theism = lacking a belief in god(s)
Atheists are people who have no ‘religious flavour’, no creed, no Church, no community, no Pope, no common doctrine. All that atheists have in common is disbelief.
The Atheist Clarion Call
In the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th-century with the spread of free thought and skeptical inquiry, prominent atheists advocated the supremacy of human reason, criticized religion citing harmful aspects of religious practices and doctrines.
The Atheists Creed
Sociologist Karl Marx called religion the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
The several traditional arguments used to prove that God exists; like The Argument from Design, The Ontological Argument, The First Cause Argument fail to convinces atheists.
The atheist argument against God is that the universe appears so cruel and unjust. The prevalence of evil and the existence of a benevolent God is inconsistent. Their argument goes like this:
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he must be powerless.
Is he able to prevent evil but not willing? then he is must be malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then why this evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
Atheism denies the supernatural by definition. He is a figment of our imagination, a father figure to protect us from this frightening world. They believe that there is nothing beyond the natural, physical world, no supernatural creative intelligence lurking behind the observable universe.
Religion works like a pain-killer, that sedates the patient and does not cure the sickness. Since religion is just a psychological fantasy, human beings should abandon it so that they can grow to respond appropriately to deal with the world as it is.
They believe that death is death. At death time your body and brain stop working. Your conscience does not exist anymore. What makes you a person has stopped functioning. Death is the absolute end of personal existence. We are made from dust and we will go back to dust.
Atheists reject a Supernatural First Cause of the Universe. Atheists imbue a natural cause ‘matter’ with all the same creative powers, intelligence and attributes that theists apply to a supernatural first cause ‘God’.
Atheists do not believe in miracles. To them there are no miracles, just probability. They seek evidence. No atheist has ever witnessed a bona fide miracle.
Free thinkers claims and ideas are based upon the standards of reason and logic rather than traditional beliefs and religious dogmas.
The road to atheism tends to be very personal and individual, based upon the specific circumstances of a person’s life, experiences and attitudes.
1) Peer influence.
2) Convenience and desires. No one wants hurdles or limitations to their personal pleasure.
3) Inappropriate information.
4) Unfortunate experiences. Many have had personal hardships, or a harsh religious upbringing or education and as a consequence may retain an unhappy feeling towards belief.
5) Intellectual laziness.
6) Stereotyping. The average layperson may get a negative feeling toward all belief without inquiring into religious teachings.
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” – Psalm 14:1; 53:1
Myths, Misconceptions, Outright Falsehoods about atheists and atheism
Atheism is Anti-Religion and Atheists Want to Ban Religion From Society.
Disagreement is Not Intolerance. Atheists think religion can be harmful and are arguing for change.
Atheism is a Denial of God That Requires Faith
Disbelief is not the same as denial. It is the absence of belief.
Atheists Choose to Disbelieve in God:
It is claimed that people become atheists to avoid taking responsibility for their sins. For atheists, it’s not your preference that determines what you accept as true – it is evidence. Atheism’s position is that we must seek truth no matter how ugly or painful it is.
Atheists Lead Meaningless Lives of Despair Without Love or Beauty as they have no ideals, no beliefs and no goals whatsoever. However atheists too are living meaningful and happy lives. A recent study by the University of Chicago shows that children who are raised in non-religious households are more altruistic, generous, giving and kinder than those being raised with religion.
Atheism is a Product of Rebellion and Pride: Christians cite religious mythology to substantiate that rebellion against family, your church, society and divine rules is the origin of all evil in the world.
Atheism is Not Incompatible with Morality: It is said atheists people don’t like God because they don’t like moral constraints. Atheists are as moral as religious theists. From a scientific standpoint, morality, is a product of our brains. Humans are naturally equipped to discern right from wrong. Morality and moral codes are not restricted to what holy books or gods tell us.
A Drop of Reason In a pool Of Confusion
Atheism requires a leap of faith.
“He who decides a case without hearing the other side,
even if he decides justly, cannot be considered just” — Seneca
Emerging Global Convergence.
Humanity is entering a post-atheist era featuring a global convergence, a form of universalism, of people with an open-minded, pro-science, pro-spiritual outlook.
Einstein’s dictum that: ‘All physics is metaphysics’ is a source of inspiration to many seekers of spirituality. It is said where science ends, spirituality begins.
A legitimate conflict between science and religion cannot exist. Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.
The great convergence has begun. People everywhere are focusing on what we share, not what divides us. We need not think alike to love alike.
Einstein stated: “I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.
Most of the great founding fathers of modern science like Galileo, Kepler, Pascal, Boyle, Newton, Linnaeus, Faraday, Cuvier, Kelvin, Lister and Mendel were convinced that the evidence of intelligent design in Nature indicated the existence of an Intelligent Creator at work.
Some people complain because God puts thorns on roses, while others praise God for putting roses among thorns.
A person once asked a prophet, ‘Where is God’? The wise man answered, ‘Let me first ask you, Where is He not?’
If God were small enough to be understood, He would not be big enough to be worshiped. God exists whether or not men may choose to believe in Him. Atheism is a crutch for those who cannot bear the reality of God.
Good luck on your journey !
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