An Ultimate Guide to Atheism

So, what does an ultimate guide to atheism contain? Considering the word really only has one definition (and it certainly isn’t a religion) how can any sort of guide exist at all? I suppose I should clarify that this isn’t a guide for ‘how to be an atheist’. Rather, it’s a snapshot of atheists as individuals. Over the years, I’ve written many articles about my personal experiences with religion and atheism, as well as tried to dispel some of the more common myths associated with non-believers. Here I present them in a single reference guide for anyone interested in learning more about atheists. Or, perhaps you’d like to discuss the finer points with me, in which case I welcome any and all debates in the comments below.

Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why
Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why

As taboo as atheism is, it can be difficult to voice it to friends and family. This book gives a thoughtful account of how to do it in certain situations, coupled with helpful stories of those who have already come out.

 

Why You Should Watch Cosmos

While this first article isn’t directly about atheism, I felt it was a good way to represent an early stepping stone for atheist thought. The newest iteration of Cosmos (hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson) is a show about science, both big and small, that represents what we’ve learned over the years about our world and the universe. Not only are the concepts presented in a clean, concise way, they are accompanied by beautiful ‘mythologized’ renditions of famous scientists. If you’re an atheist, there is a good chance you’ll enjoy this show. And if you’re a theist, this show will help you understand where we are coming from.

Literature, Atheism, and God

Every atheist has a unique story for how they came to the conclusion that there is no god. For me, it leaned heavily on my study of literature. Both as a lover of fiction, and as a writer of fantasy. This article chronicles my logic while simultaneously praising when religion gets things right (like in the instance of a non-profit charity). More of a personal rant to give you a window into what kind of atheist I am.

My Life as an Atheist

More detailed that the previous article, this one chronicles my beliefs from beginning to end. Following a thread of logic born from fictitious holiday characters, enhanced by my teen angst, and solidified by my time in college. This includes some of the push-back I’ve received over the years from theists, and where I’d like to see things go in the future.

Some Facts about Atheism

While this was not my first article about atheism, it was my first attempt to answer some of the most common questions aimed at atheists. For example, where do atheists get their morals from? How can evolution randomly assemble complex organisms? And why are atheists so mean? You’re free to disagree with my answers, or use them for your own debates.

The God Delusion
The God Delusion

Arguably the most famous atheist, Richard Dawkins's book is an interesting examination of belief in god, even if you don't agree with his interactions with believers.

 

Some More Facts about Atheism

In my second ‘facts about atheism’ article I address the concept that atheists have ‘faith’ god doesn’t exist. As well as some of the questionable advertising of atheist organizations and whether or not atheists ‘hate’ god.

Even More Facts about Atheism

And, in my most recent ‘facts about atheism’ article I tackle whether or not atheists think they have all the answers. I go on to examine what kinds of evidence we use to form our conclusions and the moral implications of atheistic dictators. I also answer one of the most commonly asked questions of atheists: why do we care what Christian’s think?

In Defense of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

There are a number of examples atheists point to when making arguments about theism. Often it’s the pantheon of Greek gods, or sometimes its lesser magical creatures like unicorns. Though, none seem to draw as much ire at the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM), and I can understand why. Designed as an extreme parody, aimed at creationism, the FSM can look pretty insulting. So I decided to examine the concept from a literal perspective (where it came from/what it means) rather than joining in on the narrative that he is real. I did this in the hopes that the core of the parody could be discussed without condescension getting in the way.

Short Fiction: A Conversation with God

You might be asking yourself one of two questions. First, why would an atheist write a piece of fiction called “a conversation with god”? And second, why would he include it on a list of articles about atheism? The answer to both is unique to my brand of atheism (see “My Life as an Atheist” above). Which is to say, in my mind, god exists as a literary character, one that has been employed again and again through time. My short dialogue piece isn’t as polished as something like ‘The Shack’, but I would certainly argue that it’s the same device. A device that suggests; man has always been the voice of god because man created god the character.

As I say in many of my articles, my goal isn’t to convert anyone. My goal is to paint a portrait of atheists as humans. With the same hopes, dreams, morality, and trustworthiness as any theist. Part of accomplishing that, I believe, is sharing my personal story and casting it out into the wind.

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Comments 8 comments

FatBoyThin profile image

FatBoyThin 15 months ago from Kinneff, Scotland

As Raymond Chandler might have said (if he'd written a book about an atheist private-eye), "I like the way you think, sugar," said Marlowe, crossing himself, just in case her check bounced.

Good arguments, solidly thought out, can't fault a darn thing. Voted up.


no body profile image

no body 15 months ago from Rochester, New York

I appreciate the friendly tone of this article. My focus on Scripture as the sole rule of truth and practice has drawn exasperated tirades out of non-believers, most of which were meant to be hurtful. I know most people who are atheists think a fundamental Bible believer is perhaps needful of a crutch or is deluded into thinking that a God is necessary, but we see the non-believer as not knowing they need the same "crutch." So most of the time we stand at opposite corners of an argument that really is a bout over whether the God in the center (whether an idea postulated or is real) needs to have any credence at all. Each person has to be persuaded in their own mind. So for the most part I don't comment on atheism because after all the dust settles we are never moved from our first positions. All I would say is that if God does exist to say He doesn't seems a bigger blunder than saying He is and being wrong. Bob.


M. T. Dremer profile image

M. T. Dremer 15 months ago from United States Author

FatBoyThin - Thank you for the compliment and the comment!

no body - I'm in complete agreement about the opposite sides being virtually immovable. I've seen debates go on for page after page without any end in sight. Which is why a great deal of my above articles revolve around an atheist's logic and personal experiences. I'm always open to a debate about god's existence, but what's more important to me is mutual understanding. A believer doesn't have to be convinced by my arguments, I just want them to know that I have them and I'm not a bad person. Atheism is still pretty taboo and I look forward to a day when someone can associate with it without being thought of as immoral or untrustworthy. Thanks for the comment!


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 15 months ago from Michigan, USA

This is an excellent idea and inspiration, MT -- one hub collecting, organizing and summarizing all your hubs on a given topic! If I ever manage to complete the multitude of hubs I have in the works on theology, I'm now inclined to do the same!

On a minor note, when you summarize your hub "Why You Should Watch Cosmos," you don't specify which series you're referring to -- the first, with Carl Sagan or the more recent version, with Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Obviously, if one visits the hub, they'll discover it's the latter, but unless you're referring to both in your summary, it may be helpful to be more specific here (and it may encourage those who haven't yet seen the newer series).

Well done!


no body profile image

no body 15 months ago from Rochester, New York

I know you aren't a bad person M.T. If you were a "bad" person in the sense that you have no value in my (or in any Christian's) eyes, I would not acknowledge you or most folks at all. You have great value in my eyes. Everyone does.

Because in my view, anyone that is not born-again is in the same position before God. Do you know how many very very precious souls that leaves me burdened about? people that my heart aches for?

I know you don't wish me to feel sorry or burdened for you, or anyone for that matter. But I worked very hard to see people in this light, to love them, no matter what. I strive to be the sort of person that people can sense is not a threat to them, and at the same time to stand for something.

I also sense that you and most atheists wish Christians to know that they did not come to the conclusion that there is no God lightly, that most of you have thought this through carefully. I DO realize that. I too was a careful thinker about "spiritual things." But then I saw something more real than all my careful thought processes and time spent reading and studying and comparing and thinking what I thought was logical informed scientific thoughts about things way bigger than I am. Bob.


M. T. Dremer profile image

M. T. Dremer 15 months ago from United States Author

Paladin_ - Great point about Cosmos, I totally glossed over that. I'll update the description a little. Thanks for the comment!

no body - There are a multitude of ways that believers react to non-believers, and feeling sorry for them, or praying for them, is certainly one of the most non-threatening. I believe my mother-in-law includes me in her nightly prayers, and she knows I'm an atheist. But I don't find it offensive. And it's these kinds of things that shows me theists and atheists can peacefully co-exist.


quicksand profile image

quicksand 14 months ago

Jeez! (Only an exclamation ... I should have said 'By Jupiter' instead, but I deliberately didn't!)

Well, unlike many of the other articles written by atheists, this one does not have a subliminal call to action like 'pick up your battle axe now!' In other words, I feel pretty safe here! :) So I shall talk!

What I wanted to say was, atheism, if it is not, should be a journey that should not be terminated by a conclusion. That's all! Have a nice day!

(Now I am running away, just to play safe!)


M. T. Dremer profile image

M. T. Dremer 14 months ago from United States Author

quicksand - I'm glad you felt safe enough to comment. I certainly try to present my atheism in a non-threatening light. And I completely agree that a conclusion should never be a definitive end to a given subject. We're constantly forming new conclusions about things every day. They are dynamic because we are always learning. It's part of the reason I'm drawn to the ever-expanding discoveries of science. ;-) Thank you for the comment!

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