How Does Atheism Affect Your Religion?

Is This a God That is Smiling at You?

Smiley Face Universe
Smiley Face Universe | Source

Is Atheism Affecting Your Religion?

Atheist - literally means "without God". It does not mean an atheist is automatically 'against religion'. Most atheists have no quarrel with religious people. We have both freedom of religion and freedom from religion in the USA.

One thing I have never understood is why religious people feel that atheism is affecting them in any way. It doesn't and it can't. No atheist can force you to give up your religion. Nor would an atheist want to do so. It is your right to believe in any religious belief that you want to believe in.

If you want to believe that waving a chicken around your head will absolve you of your perceived sins (Jewish ritual), then please just don't be cruel to the chicken! If you want to donate 10% of your income to an already wealthy institution that doesn't seem to do much for the poor and hungry, then, sure - it's your money.

Atheists do not understand your beliefs and you don't understand theirs. And that's OK. It's just a simple matter of agreeing to disagree.

The God Delusion

Richard Dawkins author of The God Delusion
Richard Dawkins author of The God Delusion | Source

The All Powerful, All Knowing God

I keep running in to people who want to either preach to me or to defend their faith to me. I really don't care one way or the other. I am not a believer in an All-knowing and All-powerful God-like being. You may believe what you will. Allow me to have my own beliefs and we'll get along just fine.

I gave up a long time ago trying to convince some people that it really IS ok to pray in school. For some reason they think that "god hating atheists" have kicked God out of schools. This is absolutely NOT true. I mean, really? A mere human can kick a God out of a building just by asking, by legal means, that you NOT force my child to pray with you?

The law never said that you can't pray in school, it says that you can't MAKE everyone pray in school because not everyone prays to the same God or prays in the same way. It's called Freedom of religion or Freedom from religion, however you want to put it.

Schools still allow "moments of silence" for you to pray to whoever or whatever you want to. You can close your eyes and pray silently right from your little desk if you want to, as long as you don't ask everyone to pray with you. You may also choose not to pray at all.

And it seems to me that the All-Powerful, All-Knowing God doesn't need you to defend or apologize for him. He's a big guy, he can defend himself. So, I will thank you not to preach to me.

Which Came First? God or the Big Bang?

Many people are convinced that a God or Gods created mankind. Every culture ever known to exist has some form of religion or Gods or the completely consolidated One God. Even the cave men had Gods. Perhaps even lesser animals look up at the stars and wonder where they came from.

But did you ever stop to wonder where these 'Gods' came from? People tell me that God or Gods just "always existed" or, they "exist outside of time and space". Don't you think that's weird? Where do they even live?

Most people believe in God because they think that 'something' cannot come from 'nothing'. We had to be 'created', and God is who created us.

But aren't you also asking me to believe that 'something' (God) came from 'nothing'? Where did this God come from? Where does he live now? How could God have created 'something' (the universe) from 'nothing'?

'Something' had to be here in either case. Either a God 'something' or a universe 'something' had to have always been here. You can't create 'something' from 'nothing'. By definition, 'nothing' doesn't exist. So obviously, 'something' had to have always been here.

Some people will say that the 'something' is God. Some people will say that the 'something' is matter + energy + space = the universe.

But go back in time as far as you like, go farther back in time, go farther still. There will always be 'something' to see.

Think about this information - 'something' did not just 'appear'. It was always here. Whether you call it "God" or whether you call it the universe (cosmos), doesn't matter.

If there was ever a point in time that was 'nothing', then 'nothing' would ever exist, ever! Because you can't create 'something' from 'nothing'.

Every culture can point to a creation story or myth. Actually, they are all myths because no one can go back in time and pinpoint the second that life (as we know it) began.

Similarly, no one can go back in time and pinpoint the second that the Gods or the one God came into being. It's all just conjecture.

Freedom From Religion.org

Ron Reagan Freedom From Religion
Ron Reagan Freedom From Religion | Source

Being an Atheist or Agnostic is Peaceful

There is no effort involved! I don't have to worry all the time about what people think about me anymore. I don't have to answer to judgmental religious dogma. I am not constantly concerned about my thoughts being "impure" or "sinful".

I have the ability to see that Carl Sagan and Neil DeGrasse Tyson are right. We are all stardust! We came from stardust and when we "die", we go right back to being the stuff that stars are made of. We are the universe.

Our stardust has always been part and parcel of the entire universe (cosmos). Like a grain of sand on a beach, each piece of stardust has always existed, exists now and will always exist. Nothing was "created".

No one or nothing can create matter. (What would it be created from? - other matter?)

No one or nothing can destroy matter. (Where would it go?)

Not even a "God" can create itself.

I have no idea why so many people are so concerned with "how we got here". Instead, why don't you ask yourself, "What shall I do with my life?".

Please Allow Atheists and Agnostics to Ignore Your Beliefs - Just Ignore Our Beliefs Right Back!

What I wouldn't give to be able to just ignore religious people! I could go about my life seeking happiness in my own way. Buying the food I want to eat. Paying for my mortgage without having to answer the door to cult members who are forced to preach. Send my kids to school without having them bullied by "Jesus freaks".

I could spend my dollars without "in god we trust" being repeated over and over until everyone thinks it's mandatory. Having people believe we can't have a government of the people, for the people and by the people that isn't steeped in superstitious crap would be lovely.

I could help the needy even though Christian food banks don't want "atheists" working with them. I could donate to charities that actually went on missions to feed and dress the poor instead of handing out old books. Give them shoes instead of bibles. I would send money to help people affected by natural disasters instead of a case full of bibles.

I could avoid useless prayers that literally are someone's idea of "magic words" said up to the sky. Instead, everyone could give doctors, nurses and med techs the courtesy of a thank you. Science might even be free enough to develop more and better cures.

Churches, synagogues and mosques could pay their fair share of taxes instead of whining about how their religious "freedoms" are being put upon.

Oh, I would just love to live in a world where I could ignore religion.

Basically, what it boils down to is that your religion is affecting my humanism! Atheists and agnostics don't want your "faith" based religions. We want actual good deeds and respect for our planet.

As for our beliefs, we'll ignore yours, if you will ignore ours.

Freedom From Religion TV Ad - Only 31 seconds long! Watch it!

How Does Atheism Affect Your Religion?

Does my being and atheist really affect you personally?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe
See results without voting

© 2015 Austinstar

More by this Author


Comments - No copy/paste quotes are allowed ever! 41 comments

Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 17 months ago from United States

Some valid points here.

For me God is the universal energy that actually initiated the big bang theory and that helped make the universe. Although man has given different names to this energy and people worship by a name!

Voted up and interesting!


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 17 months ago from Minnesota

Thanks for sharing your views. I like how you said, 'let's agree to disagree'. I don't have problems with what people believe or don't believe. Live and let live.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 17 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I learned long ago that the world's most dedicated preachers are atheists..


Kylyssa profile image

Kylyssa 17 months ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

This is a very well-stated piece. Of course, your atheism has no effect on my religion as I have none. Your willingness to speak about atheism does, however, spread tolerance for non-believers.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 17 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Thank you, Kylyssa! I often think that the ravings of lunatic fundamentalists were the deciding factor in my becoming an atheist in the first place and the tolerance of those like Ron Reagan, George Carlin, and Richard Dawkins just sealed the deal.


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 16 months ago from Home Sweet Home

What is bigbang? I thought that is a korea pop group. So i know that ath.... is a free thinker


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Big bang = Big noise! And we just assume that it made a noise as no one was around to hear it. Yes, free thinking rules.


CatherineGiordano profile image

CatherineGiordano 16 months ago from Orlando Florida

Brilliant job here. You explain everything so well. I'm an atheist and I have never tried to convert anyone to my way of thinking. I know it is impossible. They couldn't convert me, so I probably couldn't convert them either.

By the way, Stephen Hawking has said something CAN come from nothing. I can't tell you how because you have to be an astrophysicist to understand it.

I write about atheism sometimes just to explain this point of view to people who don't understand it. I don't want to convert them and I don't want to argue with them.

Voted up ++ and H+.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Hawking is referring to the Higgs Boson particles and Quantum physics which sounds spooky, but it really isn't. Einstien just used the "spooky" word to describe quantum entanglements and properties of gravity that still are not understood.

Is gravity a particle or a wave? Or is it something we don't have a word for yet?

Quantum entanglements are pieces of atoms that act like they are connected even over vast distances.

And Zero Point Energy (matter) apparently seems to pop in and out of real space seemingly out of nowhere. We will find out where this matter comes from eventually.

It's not rocket science! Oh wait... I guess it is! :-)


CatherineGiordano profile image

CatherineGiordano 16 months ago from Orlando Florida

Thanks Austinstar for the explanation, but it still just makes my head spin.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 16 months ago from sunny Florida

Interesting Hub.

Each of us has our own take on this topic ...

I believe in God but and there is always a 'but'....I do believe that God manifests Himself in more than one way to others. I do attend a church but do not believe that a church building or any one group of those who practice a certain set of beliefs has a corner on all wisdom and knowledge..I believe that comes from our relationship with our Higher Power.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts...the only time I have a problem with someone who believes differently from me is when they do not want to hear my 'take' on the topic....not agreeing is not the point...not being willing to listen now that is another story.

And as I always close this way, Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

pstraubie48 - Thank you for your well said comment. I don't mind hearing from believers that are confident and well balanced.

Many people disagree with me, and that's not a problem, it's like you say, when they are not willing to listen, that's a problem.


KMSplumeau profile image

KMSplumeau 16 months ago

Absolutely fantastic post. Thank you. This really hit home for me. I feel as though people who are atheist or maybe just don't have a defined belief system often experience a sense of hostility or an almost defensive attitude from society and from individuals, as if the absence of a belief system somehow could negate or undermine their own. You worded the argument perfectly and I am definitely sharing this with my theist and atheist friends alike, to maybe give some perspective to both sides. Thank you again, this was very enjoyable. Voted up and sharing.


adagio4639 profile image

adagio4639 16 months ago from Brattleboro Vermont

So...according to the poll, at least 33% believe that at least "maybe" your atheism affects them personally. I find that stunning. How on earth can what you don't believe have any personal affect on other people's lives? I'm fully aware of how peoples beliefs can affect me personally, when they attempt to legislate those beliefs into law, but the nominal christian or theist has no interest in doing that. They seem quite content to let people alone to believe whatever they choose as long as they aren't forced to comply with those beliefs or non-beliefs. The Freedom of Religion is actually the freedom of ones own conscience to think whatever they will. How that intimidates others is beyond me. I don't get it at all. There is no rational explanation for it, so it appears that irrationality is in play here.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

I don't get it either adagio. Another hubber actually wrote a rebuttal hub with the title, "How your atheisism affects my life". The hub deteriorated into a rant on how "Christianity" is under attack and same sex marriage stuff, oh, and the abortion thing. Here's a quote from that hub, "Unbelievers are pulling this world farther into darkness by trying to eliminate our creator and deny that He even exists."

Seriously? An atheist can "eliminate" their creator???

KMS - Thank you for your comment and compliments on the hub. Glad to be of help.


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 16 months ago from Home Sweet Home

I asked a 70 year old lady what is Atheism. She said that someone who doesn't believe that God exist. Even buddhist doesn't believe in God existence. Is it true?


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Peach - Buddhism - is a religion to about 300 million people around the world. The word comes from 'budhi', 'to awaken'. It has its origins about 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gotama, known as the Buddha, was himself awakened (enlightened) at the age of 35.

I think Buddists believe in a collective? consciousness that encompasses the entire universe. Their "awakening" means that they see the truth of mankind. As I am not Buddist, I really don't know for sure, but they do not appear to worship a deity of any kind. Yet, they are not considered to be true atheists either.

Your 70 y.o. lady does indeed know what an atheist is. We simply have no testable evidence that a god or gods exists.


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 15 months ago from Big Island of Hawaii

Peachpurple -


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 15 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Say Yes - what happened to the rest of your comment?


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 15 months ago from Big Island of Hawaii

PeachPurple - the Big Bang Theory refers to a giant explosion that created the Universe, which has been expanding since. Some believe the Universe will someday be destroyed by collapsing in on itself.

Some religions, like Confucianism, are atheist; that means they don't believe in a cosmic deity. Buddhism leaves the matter open to interpretation; some believe in a deity, some don't.


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 15 months ago from Big Island of Hawaii

Austinstar - I'm writing in a park, using a tablet. I wasn't sure I had access to the internet.


FatBoyThin profile image

FatBoyThin 15 months ago from Kinneff, Scotland

I’m an atheist and I don’t believe in God. And while I don’t mind if other people want to believe in something that clearly doesn’t exist, I do object to folks who say ‘I believe in my God and my God says anyone who doesn’t believe what I do deserves to die’. That’s the problem with religion – it gives people the idea that it’s okay to do bad things and talk absolute crap as long as it’s what their God preaches. Interesting Hub, voted up.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 15 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Exactly so, f bt- why does saying we don't believe In santa/god make them so radical? All they have to do is just move on.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 15 months ago from Arkansas

To answer your title question"How does atheism affect your religion?"

It doesn't. I wrote a hub about being brought up in an atheist/Christian home. I don't care about other people's beliefs until they get in my face. I'm not an atheist in that I believe in a universal spirituality, but I can't count the number of times I've been told that I'm going to hell. My only concern about religion, or the lack of, is being taken over by a rabid bunch of religious fanatics and killed as an infidel. That might affect me! Good hub, Austinstar.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 15 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Fanatics, fundamentalists and "rabid" crowds certainly will affect us, no matter what the ideology! LOL.

Richard Dawkins gets death threats and hate mail on a regular basis. I don't understand why atheists and agnostics are so hated. We are not the ones trying to convert people!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 15 months ago from Arkansas

True. I'm older than you and can remember when this flap started. I think Madelyn Murray O'Hare gave all atheists a bad name. Just like this one bad kid who killed nine African Americans is bringing down a flag. Has anybody thought about banning Gold's Gym T shirts and other symbols because he was wearing one? People are crazy. (My dad was an atheist, albeit a very quiet one.)


jackclee lm profile image

jackclee lm 15 months ago from Yorktown NY

Austinstar - your atheism does not affect me personally and yet you do realize that not all atheists think like you. Some are activists that want to remove religion from all aspects of life. I believe in the live and let live philosophy and I also believe that you cannot make someone a believer or not. It is a personal experience. Some get the calling and some don't. Some gets it late in life. I had a friend that was a smart scientist and atheist all his life. On his death bed, he admits that he could be wrong. Anyway, all you need to do is search on groups such as the ACLU and you will see lots of example where they are trying to attack religion and in specific the Christian religion. If they were truly honest, they would persue all religion with equal zeal. The secular progressives are the most active. They realize long ago that the only way they can get what they want is to tear down tradition and the church. Some of them admit it right out. Just like all groups are not totally in sync., all christians don't believe or act the same. That applies to atheists as well. That is why it is dangerous to make general statements and assumptions about a group based on a label.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 15 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Jacklee, anti-theists and atheists are two very different things. Most atheists do not take an Interest in what theists say or do or think. Anti-theists, on the other hand actively ridicule religion.

It's easy to confuse the two terms.

All I ask these days is that theists stay out of the business of trying to make secular laws that affect people. If they can do that, I have no issue with theism.


jackclee lm profile image

jackclee lm 15 months ago from Yorktown NY

I'll take your word for it that most atheists are live and let live kind of people, but you have it backwards when it come to making laws... From where I stand (you might want to just try putting on an objective hat for this), it is not the people of faith that are trying to make laws or change laws or change long established traditions... If you examine every recent contentions, it is the secular progressives that are trying to push the window and antagonizing Christians. The Hobby Lobby case is just one example but I can cite many more...


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 15 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Sorry, I see it as fighting for human equality. Old laws faavor conservative, fundamentalist thinking and today's society is much better off with progressive views of liberty and justice for ALL. Religion doesn't belong in a secular government of the people and for the people. Not everyone is religious or "Christian". The supreme court just ruled on the constitutionality of marriage, not on the religious opinion of marriage. The constitution gives all of us the right to pursue life, liberty and justice.

Just because you believe in a god doesn't make it true. We are all equal under the law - believers and non-believers.


jackclee lm profile image

jackclee lm 15 months ago from Yorktown NY

Has progressive policies lead to a better human condition and with dignity? We must be living in different realities. How has black inner cities benefit from welfare and entitlements? Failed Public schools? Has abortion on demand help our society? Are kids better off stoned on pot? Has raising the minimum wage to $15 help teenage employment? Has rent control in large cities created more afordable housing? Has increase spending by government help our national debt? Has inceases in goverment regulations help create new businesses or drove them overseas? How about our atempt to fight global warming with solar and wind subsidies? Have they made a dent one way or another? The list goes on... But they mean well...


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 15 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Yes, I think all of the above has been helpful. Progress is slow, but it is inescapable.

Yes, it does appear that we are living in vastly different realities. Please do not leave comments that are off topic of this hub. I will delete them.


Kylyssa profile image

Kylyssa 15 months ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

I'd like to point out that none of those programs or policies are atheist in nature. Moderate and liberal Christians have supported humane, responsible, life-saving programs all along.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 15 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Hi Kylyssa - Another hubber just pointed out something interesting. Does the marriage equality ruling affect polygamous marriages? After all, polygamy is a "biblical" thing.

How many ways can one interpret the bible? I think we should stick with the country's laws that we live in.


AllenEv 13 months ago

Great post and agree with most of it. If I were to quibble I would ask that you consider as a possibility that something CAN pop into existence from empty space. In QM virtual particle pairs, say an electron and a positron, can pop into existence from empty space for a short period of time. In fact this happens so frequently that empty space has a net energy called the zero-point energy, but the zpe is definitely not nothing.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 13 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

I am familiar with ZPE and spontaneous appearances of quantum matter. Quantum entanglement is a pretty cool deal too. We have so much to learn. The only issue I have with religion is that when they say we can't understand something, they just fall back and say "god did it". Well what exactly did god do? And how? And why?


LoisRyan13903 profile image

LoisRyan13903 12 months ago from Upstate NY originally from Long Island

Excellent hub. The only issue I have with some non-believers is where he might say something like God is a myth, fairy tale and asserts that he is not real. Like you said, an Atheist is someone who does not believe. I am fine with that.


ValKaras profile image

ValKaras 9 months ago from Canada

I think that our limited linear way of forming concepts doesn't allow us to grasp any other realities outside time and space. For example, I can ask a question that no believer will be able to answer, because none of us is wired in our heads to answer such questions. My question: If God created the universe, he must have "started" it at one point in time. My question: What was God doing all that time back to the "beginning of the time - BEFORE he started creating the universe? Just idling? Creating is what defines him as god.

They say "God created man in his own image". To me the opposite seems to be true. Namely, unable to fulfill that "divine resemblance" by acting more "godly" - man created God in his own image, giving him some of human qualities. Let's forgive painting God as a bearded man - but apparently, God can also get "angry", he can "punish", he "forgives", he "sees", etc.

Well, in my mind, if there is God, then we are being intellectually arrogant by imagining that we are capable of grasping that unfathomable intelligence or any aspect of it. Quantum physicists may be on a right path to make some sense out of the divine enigma, but I don't think we are so much of "avatars" to ever actually "bring havens to our world".


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 9 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Good questions. We are born, we live, we die. We may never have the answers as to 'why'. But we will assert our natural curiosity to try and figure it out.


Alexis Cogwell profile image

Alexis Cogwell 6 months ago from Indiana/Chicagoland

I'm agnostic, and have found this question circling my head as well at times. Great hub, looks like there will be much discussion here. Have a great day!


El Shaddai 2016 profile image

El Shaddai 2016 5 months ago

I don't have any problem with Atheists. If I invite somebody to come and eat with me and they refuse, then there will be more food for me to enjoy. LOL! Kidding.

Very interesting Hub and very well written. We should be grateful to have the freedom to express ourselves without consequence.

EL

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Austinstar profile image

    Austinstar1,080 Followers
    193 Articles

    Lela earned a B.A. degree in Journalism from Sam Houston University in Huntsville, TX. She has been writing for the online world for years.



    Click to Rate This Article
    working