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Atheism: Believe it or Not!

Updated on September 22, 2012

An atheist is a person who does not believe gods exist. Simply stated they find no evidence to believe in one. There are many reasons given by atheists for this. One stated firmly God was more than welcome to have an honest conversation with him, but until then he had no reason to trust in him.

Most atheists don’t believe a heaven or hell exists either. To them, even if they did exist, it makes no sense. A common reason given is if God was a good and caring being, wouldn’t he would judge them for their value as human beings, not for their belief in him.

However, these aren’t unenlightened thoughts made by uneducated people. Albert Einstein summed up Buddhism with these quotes. “If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism.” He further speculated “Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: It transcends a personal God; avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and spiritual; and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity. “

There is a misunderstanding by most theists to classify all atheists under one umbrella. There are different kinds of atheists. Here are four most commonly classified groups:

  • Iconoclasts

Adolf Hitler and Stalin could be considered Iconoclasts. They see certain religions detrimental to society and therefore go about shattering their icons, symbols and houses of worship. Sometimes they tend to establish a different kind of ideology in their place.

  • Pragmatists

Pragmatists rationalize most things in life can be explained without involving God or his divine intervention. They see no need for God to be in charge. Their stance is usually “Show me the proof.”

  • Deists

Deists are complete nonbelievers of a religious God and contend there are better scientific answers to explain supposed supernatural events.

  • Absolute Atheists

They are nonbelievers of any kind of God including a supernatural force. They too are of a scientific bent and tend to inherit traits of Deism.

Others disagree with these views. To find out what most atheists believe a list of questions were given to a small sampling. Here are some of the questions asked and answers:

Famous Atheists

  • How can you ignore all the good God does?

“I find it offensive an invisible God gets credit for everything good and evil is blamed on humanity. There is much evil in the world not the fault of human beings…ignorance, disease and droughts for instance. I find most good things are the product of human love, effort or genius, such as friendship and vaccines.”

“Not all people are evil. All possess some potential for good. Yet, if there was a God, couldn’t he do so much more in the world that isn’t being done? Couldn’t innocent children be warned when danger was eminent? Surely a loving God would do these things and more, just as any compassionate human being would if they were able.”

“When a doctor saves a life, we are thankful for their ability. I find it insulting when God is thanked for something he could have done himself but didn't. If a loving god really existed, we wouldn’t need doctors in the first place.”

If there is no god, then where do you think the universe came from?
“No one really knows. I don’t know if the universe even had a beginning, much less what may have created it. Inventing a God who did still leaves the question of where He came from.”

  • What do you think happens when you die?

“I believe my brain is what gives me existence. I depend on it to think and survive. When my brain dies, I cease to exist, I don’t want to die, but I don’t fear it…there is no reason to fear the end of fear itself.”

  • What about all the people who believe in God, are they all wrong?

“There are many religions the world. Buddhist’s believe in Buddha. There are also many who remember a past life, or walk with the spirits of their ancestors. There are so many different experiences, how can any one of them be considered truer than another? Buddhists are mostly in Asia, Hindus mostly in India, Muslims mostly in the Middle East, and Christians mostly in the West. That Americans are mostly Christian is more likely the result of Christianity being taught there, and not the result of that religion actually being true or superior to any other.”

  • Haven't Christian values done much good in the world?

“Honesty and compassion are good values anywhere. They aren’t unique to Christianity.”

  • So what do you believe in?

“I believe in the potential of humanity, the power of reason, the comfort of love and the value of truth. I believe faith can be misleading and reason and doubt are necessary safeguards against our capacity for error. Human beings must have freedom of choice to live their lives in mutual peace and goodwill, having respect for different opinions, beliefs and lifestyles.” It’s better to preach the gospel of "be good to your fellow man,” than "believe in our religion or be damned." There are lots of questions concerning atheists regarding their beliefs. Many theists seem to think atheists don't believe in anything at all. Here is another question:

  • How can someone believe in nothing?

There is a common misconception atheists are people simply looking for a way to rebel. Perhaps they are rebelling against constraints in a religious family, church or even an entire society they find overly restrictive. And it’s entirely possible a young atheist might simply be going through a series of life phases and most do exploring various ideas and philosophies.

On the other side of the aisle atheists are wondering:

  • If there’s only one true religion, how is it possible to ascertain Christianity is the true one?

There is only one way. The claims of all must be impartially examined.

Many believe Christians, as a whole, don't deem it necessary to study other religions or beliefs. A common misunderstanding is Christians don't study the Koran, but are perfectly satisfied to condemn it as the work of an impostor? Or Presbyterians think it’s not worth the time to examine India’s religious systems, but know without a doubt the Brahmins are wrong? And Methodists aren’t particularly interested in learning about Buddha and Baptists won’t waste time studying about Confucius. Christians take it for granted theirs is the only true religion. Of course, that's not the case. Many are interested in knowing these things.

“Good men have had bad creeds, and bad men have had good ones. Some of the noblest of the human race have fought and died for the wrong. The brain of man has been the trusting-place of contradictions. Passion often masters reason and the state of man, like to a little kingdom, suffers then the nature of an insurrection." Taken from Why I am an Agnostic ~Robert Green Ingersoll~ circa 1890


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    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 5 years ago from Earth

      Perhaps you forget that when trying to convince people that the entire universe spawned from a proton-sized area and that matter came from nothing via this miraculous version of "the origin of the cosmos," that it's involving more pseudoscience and philosophical bull-shit than you give credit for. Yeah, go write a thesis on this subject and be the first one to settle it once and for all, for the rest of humanity. Just don't get mad when they change your little theories... Yes, you are correct, it doesn't take me 10 minutes to analyze the contents of a bologna sandwich, unlike some folks. Oh, you obviously missed my question about randomness, as we all have a dictionary and you dodged the real query at hand.

    • ChristopherJRex profile image

      ChristopherJRex 5 years ago from Fort Wayne, IN

      Angry-like? What was angry about it? I simply stated facts and offered clarification on topics you did not appear to understand. Science commonly instigates emotional arguments with those that are Religious, I’ll give you that. However, among scientists and Atheists, Science invokes intelligent discussions that often lead to fresh ideas/understandings and aid overall scientific progress. You may want to try attending a scientific conference sometime in order to witness this process first-hand. Hell, I’ll even send you an invite to the next national conference I give a talk at!

      As far as “random” is concerned, I will allow my friend, the dictionary, to elaborate (with particular emphasis on definitions #1 and #2 for this discussion):

      Yes, you are right: true Science does work much slower than pseudoscience or philosophical bullshit. This is due to at least two factors: 1. True Science is based on solid scientific evidence (taking time to acquire results and accumulate a wealth of knowledge); 2. True Science undergoes peer-review, in which your contributions are evaluated by other true scientists in your field in order to assess the validity of your results/conclusions. So, I might take a little more time to say something, but that’s because what I say contains a lot more statistical power/validity than something that took you 2 minutes to write down off the top of your head (which is, coincidentally, not the best place to look for scientific evidence).

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 5 years ago from Earth

      Chris, your angry-like response here, proves why your science religion causes so many arguments.

      Perhaps, while you are taking forever to answer my prior questions (from 10+ days ago), you need to explain what 'random' truly is... LOL!

      Obviously, your "true" science works much slower than mine; thanks!

    • ChristopherJRex profile image

      ChristopherJRex 5 years ago from Fort Wayne, IN

      Once more, InsaneMundane, you disappoint me with your lack of understanding what I've already clearly stated and explained. Your continued ignorance and hatred of Science is unsettling, to say the least. Please do us all a favor and take a Statistics course where you can learn the relevance/importance of taking “random chance” into account. As any other “true” scientist, I would gladly welcome a new/revised scientific theory that better agrees with our observations/results and allows us to make more accurate predictions. This is in direct opposition to religious dogma, which is frequently inflexible and closed-minded to new ideas. Of course, if you think you can come up with better scientific theories, then please, by all means, get your work peer-reviewed and published. Oh, and btw, I’m still formulating a proper response to your most recent comment on one of my hubs, so I will not address those points here.

      JY3502, if you had actually read through my hub, you would have been able to readily comprehend what I meant.

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 5 years ago from Earth

      @Chris: I'm sorry, but I find your religion of nothingness and "random chance" to be quite hilarious... Especially when you use terms like today's "leading scientific theory" all while insisting that matter can magically appear from nothing. Dang, at least come up with a better version of the Big Bang Theory, as that thingy you are currently using has an obvious expiration date...

    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      The word was Gods, plural.

    • thinkinsidethebox profile image

      Robert Hockema 5 years ago from Homer, Alaska

      Hold on now-Atheism isnt the disbelief of God. Atheism is the disbelief of any higher power,or spirituality. There are no "set morals" followed by Atheism,at all. You create your own morals as a person.

    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina


    • ChristopherJRex profile image

      ChristopherJRex 5 years ago from Fort Wayne, IN

      "By random chance" actually means that it has no cause and could have come into fruition on its own using known scientific understandings. Therefore, nothing "caused" it. Especially when you consider that time (being a macroscopic concept: above the quantum level) did not exist before the Big Bang, meaning that there was no "time" for a creator to "cause" anything.

    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Thanks Chris. I didn't include it as we are still left with the what caused it question.

    • ChristopherJRex profile image

      ChristopherJRex 5 years ago from Fort Wayne, IN

      Overall, a nice article that brings up some good points. The only thing that I care to elaborate on is where the universe came from. The leading scientific theory is the Big Bang Theory, which explains how the universe can come into existence from "nothing" on its own by random chance (due to quantum fluctuations and inflation of the universe). The details are explained in this hub of mine:

    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Maybe we will just have to make another category just for you.

    • Davesworld profile image

      Davesworld 5 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

      I think you mischaracterize Deism. Within the hour I will be singing in a choir at the local United Methodist Church. However: While I am absolutely convinced beyond any margin of doubt that there is a god in the Universe, I remain unconvinced that the Bible describes that god accurately. So where does that leave me:?

      I think it leaves me as a Deist: one who believes in the existence of God but does not believe totally in human religions which attempt to describe and explain God. Not an atheist and not agnostic, but also not a Christian, Muslem, Jew, Buddhist or Hindu either.

    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      I am absolutely not an atheist. The objective of this piece is to show both sides of the argument. My opinion doesn't enter into it. "On the other side of the aisle atheists are wondering:"

    • kekesolis profile image

      kekesolis 5 years ago from California

      Interesting article, although I do have to say that speaking of a number of Christians I know personally that have not only studied the bible. They have infact studied various religions including Buddism, and do in fact have knowledge of the Koran as well as The Watch Tower (Jehovah's Witness) and The Book of Mormon. I take it you're an Atheist?


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