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"Faith is not a good reason to believe in any one thing. It's a bad reason to believe in everything. Faith is not synonymous with any one idea; it is synonymous with any strongly held idea, true or not. But one thing faith is not synonymous with is a logically justified idea."

What is Atheism?

Clearing Up Misconceptions

"Atheists believe there is no God!"
To say that I, as an atheist, know there is no God or Gods would be unjustified. I do not know that there is no God or Gods, because you cannot prove a negative. I do, however, believe there is no good reason to assume a God or Gods exist. All the scientific evidence ever documented says we live in a reality that is utterly Godless. Not that there are no Gods. There is a difference. For instance, I can say that I don't believe in a God with the same certainty that I can say I don't believe in Unicorns. I have seen no evidence that Unicorns exist. Despite all the literature contesting to the existence of Unicorns, there is no good argument to suggest that Unicorns do exist. All the scientific evidence in the world points to this being a Unicorn-less reality. But I have no proof that unicorns do not exist, simply no proof that they do. But you don't believe in Unicorns do you? Why not? There's just as much reason to believe in them as there is God. And by your own logic, Unicorns must exist!

"Atheists are just self centered, egotistical and arrogant!"
Christians believe that an all powerful God created the Heavens, the Earth and all universe. Then created humans special, and made the Earth for man and the animals to serve man. That this God allowed man to name the animals and live in paradise. That God made a special companion for this man so that man would never be alone. They believe that this God sent his one and only son to Earth to die for the sins of man, even after man disobeyed God... Atheists believe this never happened... Who's being arrogant and self centered now?

"Atheists are immoral because they don't have God to guide them. Without God there can be no morality. He has given us our moral standard and Atheists reject it."
If this were true we would expect to see a world where most immoral people were atheists. The prisons would be over run with atheists! Instead, we see that prison populations in America are mostly made up of "Born Again Christians" who unfortunately need to be reborn again and again and again because they apparently never get it right. This claim about Atheists lacking a moral code does not fit any observation of society. It's just a baseless claim with no statistics or reason to back it up.

"Atheism is just another religion too!"
Religion means to have a belief in a deity that utilizes faith and regulates conduct... Atheism has no belief in a deity. It has no need for faith and it rejects all defective faith based reasoning. It has no doctrine to regulate our conduct. The only thing required to be considered an atheist is that you do not currently subscribe to a God belief. It's not a doctrine or a dogma, simply a qualifier. There is no atheist pope or supreme leader. No atheist is above criticism, not even the most famous atheists. Atheism is not synonymous with evolution, abiogenesis or the Big Bang Theory of cosmology. Atheism is a rejection of unjustified theistic beliefs, not necessarily an adoption of scientific theories. Atheism is not a positive claim that there are no Gods. It's a negative claim that denies existing God claims. Atheism is not a religion any more than "OFF" is a TV channel.

"Atheists are responsible for some of the most horrible crimes against humanity! Hitler and Stalin were atheists and they killed millions of people!"
First, even if Hitler and Stalin were atheists, the crimes they committed against humanity were not tied to atheism. Like I said above, there is no atheist doctrine or dogma. There is nothing in atheism to lead an atheist to commit any kind of action. Where as the Bible says ..."If a man lies with another man as he does with a woman, it is an abomination and they shall surely be put to death."... It makes it somewhat easy for a Christian to go from this passage to rationalizing the wholesale murder of homosexuals. Atheism has no teaching, no verses, no doctrine, no dogma... There is nothing to interpret into actions of any kind. Second, if anyone says that Hitler was an atheist, I'm going to call them a liar. Because you're either lying about what you know about Hitler, or you're lying about knowing about Hitler altogether. Hitler was at most a God fearing Catholic, and at least a sloppy Protestant. Everything Hitler did was due to his fascism and his religion. Two systems which go hand and hand.

"Atheists have faith there is no God. Atheists require more faith that there is not a God than I require that there is a God!"
Atheism utilizes no faith. Atheism rejects faith based assumptions and reasoning. Faith is what a person applies to their beliefs when they lack logic. All the scientific evidence ever discovered points to this world being entirely God free. Logic points to there being no known God or Gods. There is no logic for a God and therefore only faith can be used to believe. Atheists have faith there is no God in the same way you have faith there are no Fairies. You don't have faith there are no fairies, you simply don't believe they exist.

"Atheists only deny God so that they can live a life of sin with no regard to God's judgment!"
First of all, atheists do not believe in sin in the same sense theists do. To us, sin is a thought crime. Many of the sins described in the Bible are rules to restrict thought and not conduct. Second, we are against crime, but crime is not necessarily sin. Third, how would someone think that by denying God they can escape his judgment? The Bible clearly says that if we deny God we get the harshest judgment of all. We are not morons. We know the risk we're taking, and despite what you may think, the risk is minimal.

"The Bible says that only fools say there is no God!"
If I were to write a book that expressed ancient religious beliefs that I knew would eventually become unpopular, I'd make sure to add in a couple phrases that said people with opposing ideas were fools. That would make my followers less likely to listen to influence outside of my own. The true fools are those who do not think for themselves, do not research their deeply held ideals, and do not care if what they believe is really true.

"Most of the world believes in some kind of God. How can so many people be wrong?"
At one time, a vast majority of the people in the world believed the Earth was flat. The popularity of that concept did not make it true. Eventually, science proved the world was a sphere, and it took centuries to get everyone to accept it. It's also extremely important to remind you that people didn't think the Earth was flat because science got it wrong. They thought it was flat because the Bible said it was and the church executed any scientists who said differently.

"I have nothing to gain by being an atheist! If I believe in God then at least there's a chance I go to Heaven if he is real. As an atheist there's nothing to gain whether he exists or not."
This argument is known as "Pascal's Wager." It's basically the same as the old Lotto motto "You can't win if you don't play" which is right in some ways. Except it forgets something important... Which God is the one you should bet on? Imagine Pascal's Wager as a huge roulette table. Instead of numbers being on the squares, each one has a different specific God belief. One says "Baptist Christian", one says "Moderate Muslim", another says "Catholic Christian", and so on... There would be close to 30,000 squares! Now imagine you have a handful of chips and on each chip is written one of your characteristics, your qualities, and your hopes. One says "Intelligence" another says "Pride" and so on... Now you have to choose a square to bet on. If you get it wrong, you will most likely be sent to burn for an eternity in Hell. If you're right you get to go to Heaven. The odds of choosing the right one on chance is 1 in 30,000... Then you have to hope that the real God doesn't care about you betting on his existence. There's a chance he will banish you to Hell just because you were trying your luck and not actually utilizing any faith or logic. Where is atheism in all this? Atheists are those who decide not to play and take their chips to cash out. We don't have to play, especially when the odds are so bad and there's no logic to help us choose the right square.

"Atheists are nothing more than materialists and naturalists. Their view of reality is very narrow."
On this point, I agree. But here's why... If there's no reason or evidence to believe there's anything beyond the material and naturalistic world, then yes, I will be both a materialist and a naturalist. Not all atheists are naturalists but I argue against those ideals as well. For instance, some atheists still believe in an after life or life force while not believing in a God. They may not be naturalists but they're still atheists. I disagree with the belief in the existence of anything that cannot be supported. But that's just me and anyone else who's rational. Finally, let me explain why realistic views seem so narrow. It's because reality is narrow. There is only one reality, one truth to existence. There is not more than one ultimate truth. For instance, 2 plus 2 equals 4. It does not equal 3, it does not equal 5, or 6, or 7, 8, 9,10... and so on forever. There is an infinite amount of things that 2+2 is not, but there is only one thing that 2+2 actually is. Reality is narrow. If there's someone who is willing to believe something when presented with logical evidence, but has a view of reality that is seemingly narrow, that person is being logical.

"If we follow what you're telling us and do away with our religion, what do we use to replace our religion?"
I'm not trying to sell you something despite religion, I'm trying to sell you a point of view without religion. As an atheist you will see the world without religion, not through some new point of view. Religion simply gets in the way.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on the Foxhole Atheist Blog do not necessarily represent those of Atheism or all Atheists, seeing as how Atheism has no tenets, dogma or doctrines. So Suck it!