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An Atheist View

Updated on October 7, 2016
Kylyssa profile image

Kylyssa is an American atheist with high-functioning autism trying to navigate a mostly religious world with no well-beaten path to follow

On Being an Atheist in America

According to a study performed by the University of Minnesota no other race, religion, ethnic group or affiliation is more hated by the American people than atheists. Their findings confirmed what many American nonbelievers already suspected, that atheists are the most distrusted minority in America.

In American politics, calling someone an atheist, or even calling someone a person who associates with atheists is such a slur that it is considered slander. In fact, many Americans Would Rather Vote For A Philandering, Pot-Smoking President Than An Atheist.

In this day and age people in America are still afraid to be identified as nonreligious. They have good reasons to be afraid.In some areas atheists and their families still suffer job discrimination, harassment, and other social difficulties. Six state's constitutions actually still forbid an atheist to hold public office or testify in court.

Some people have a puzzling hatred of those who don't share their particular belief in God and they feel it is fine to express that hatred, no matter who is hurt. I don't think there are all that many of them but they sure are mighty loud and active. I believe their hatred comes from a misunderstanding of who and what atheists actually are.

I think if all people (who don't already) came see that people who don't think God is real are thinking, feeling human beings, they wouldn't feel so free to make bigoted remarks about them or act in ways harmful to them without regard to their rights.

This page is meant to bring understanding about atheists and perhaps, through understanding, acceptance of them by those of faith. Please join me in exploring my views as a non-believing person living in America.

original image created by Iva Villi and generously shared on freeimages.com

Interesting Reading for Non-Believers

The Atheist's Way: Living Well Without Gods
The Atheist's Way: Living Well Without Gods

This is not the atheist's Bible but it does explain how people can live well without believing in the supernatural.

 
photo of a beautiful sunset by Kylyssa Shay
photo of a beautiful sunset by Kylyssa Shay

I Don't Believe in Life After Death - I Believe in Life Before Death

For a Limited Time Only - Life!



I am an atheist. I don't believe in God or an afterlife. I may not believe in life after death but I wholeheartedly believe in life before death.

Life is truly amazing. Making it a good life is all the reward I need. It's a shame so many people think that this life is just some kind of dress rehearsal or test for what comes next. But I do understand why people want to believe in life after death.

I understand how the yearning for justice can make people desire an afterlife. So many people live good lives, full of kindness and compassion, full of giving and love but they suffer, often worse than those who lead lives of cruelty. So many people lead cruel lives, preying on others and reap rich rewards in this life, never seeing worldly punishment for their evils.

It seems like it would be fair that those who do good and avoid harming others would ultimately be rewarded. It seems like it would be fair that those who do harm and prey on others would ultimately be punished.

Sadly, life just isn't fair. Good people suffer and bad people get ahead in the world. A lot of that is our fault.

Much of this problem comes about because our society as a whole believes that justice will be meted out by a higher power so we spend far too little time righting wrongs and making life good for good people. We also spend far too little time intervening in the lives of people to save them from taking cruel roads and turning to evil means.

Poverty, suffering, and ignorance create a breeding ground for more of the same. Most people turn to good when treated with kindness and when their needs, physical and emotional are met. We can apply kindness and compassion to the problem of evil and achieve goodness and a modicum of justice in this life.

We can't make all life good. Chance is capricious. Bad things happen. All we can do is make the best of what we have, especially when we believe that it is all that we have.

I can understand how living in conditions that seem to hold no real world chance of hope could make a person desire something more. But there is hope in this world, and there is help in this world we just need to turn to each other to find it.

The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever
The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

The Portable Atheist gives a marvelous overview of the evolution of atheism and provides interesting insight through a very diverse collection of quotes and ideas.

 
image of the Crab Nebula by NASA and ESA
image of the Crab Nebula by NASA and ESA

If You Can't Explain the Origin of Life and the Universe Then Why Don't You Just Believe in God?

Science Doesn't Explain Everything So The Answer to All Questions Must Be God, Right?

A question thrown out often in debate between Christians and atheists is "If you can't explain the origin of the universe and the origin of life then why don't you just believe in God?" It is often followed up with, "Doesn't it make more sense to believe in God because all those questions are answered in the Bible. All science has is theories but the Bible has the Truth."

I have answered this question so frequently that I decided to write an article about why the lack of complete and perfect explanations of the origin of life and the universe do not make it seem logical for me to just believe in God instead of seeking answers.

I accept the fact that I don't know the answers to the questions of how exactly the universe came about and how exactly, life came to be. There are many good, scientific theories supported by tangible evidence. It seems likely that eventually, scientists will come closer to answering such big questions as the origin of life and the universe with a great degree of accuracy and certainty.

Demanding an absolute answer right now is much like asking a child to explain exactly how a rocket flies to the moon with complete technical details. The child does not know the answer but it doesn't mean he never will or never can. Nor does it mean that if the child said, "God makes the rocket go to the moon" he'd be correct. As a race, we are still children; your question is just a little too far beyond us as yet. So my answer is that I accept that I am not all-knowing.

Only through reason will we find the beautiful truth. Imagination is great but it doesn't compare to reality.

The wonder and power of reality is so great I am a little saddened by those who think they already have the explanations for everything in a tidy package called God. Life isn't tidy and easily understood. It's messy and strange and mysterious. One tiny shred at a time we're figuring it out; tiny bits of reality are stacking up.

I don't think you need to know what caused the universe to exist to say "I don't believe the universe was created by magic." Historically, everything people have claimed to be caused by magic has turned out to have a logical explanation. People used to think that maggots just came out of raw meat and turned into flies by magic. Later we learned that flies laid eggs in the meat which hatched into maggots that turned into flies; no magic involved, just flies laying eggs. People once believed that illness came from demons inhabiting the body or as punishment from God for their sins. We learned that illnesses are caused by germs, exposure to harmful elements, parasites, genetic problems and various other things unrelated to demons or gods. People used to think that lightning and thunder had something to do with Gods throwing temper tantrums; they blamed them on magic. We now know that there are rational explanations (involving no angry Gods) that explain thunder and lightning.

We have yet to reach the pinnacle of knowledge and I doubt there even is such a thing. We don't know everything, we probably won't ever know everything but we are learning. Just because we don't have all the answers it doesn't mean we have to accept an illogical answer like "it's magic" or "God did it." Just because there is a question there is not always a ready answer and even if there is an answer it may never be found in our lifetimes. It's OK to admit ignorance, especially when every human that ever lived shares that ignorance.

Most folks require something more than, "I can't answer all the questions in the universe" to convince them God is real. Of course we can't answer all the questions in the universe, we're only human.

Atheist Teen Ostracized by Community, Threatened with Death and Violence, and Kicked Out by Christian Parents

What did Damon Fowler do to deserve all of this? The young nontheist objected to an unconstitutional prayer at his public school's graduation ceremony.

A Young Atheist Girl's Experiences With Discrimination

Nicole Smalkowski was kicked off the local school's girl's basketball team after refusing to pray with teammates. That is only the beginning of the abuse and discrimination she and her family experienced in one small town in Oklahoma once she and they were outed as non-religious.

cast of Rodin's Thinker, Cleveland Museum of Art, photo by Daderot
cast of Rodin's Thinker, Cleveland Museum of Art, photo by Daderot

Does The Life of an Atheist Have Meaning?

Does Life Have Meaning Without God and an Afterlife?

I believe that life has meaning even if it doesn't last forever and did not come a gift or burden from a God or Goddess. I believe we decide what meaning our lives have and that it's rather odd to think that something must last forever and have a specific maker to have any value or meaning. Everything in our personal experiences has a beginning and an end but there is so much of value, so many wonderful things to experience and to do that it seems petty to consider absolutely everything meaningless if it doesn't come from God.

I wrote rather more about the issue in the editorial linked below.

Read more about what gives an atheist's life meaning.

photo by Jhon Casso, freeimages.com
photo by Jhon Casso, freeimages.com

Aren't Humans Born Believing in God? An Atheist's Response

Some Believe that Everyone Believes in God, Even People Who Don't Think He Is Real


Is belief in God automatic? Or is it something you achieve once you've discovered it and examined and decided that you want it?

There seems to be a disturbing yet strangely common belief. It seems some people believe that everyone is born believing in God, in particular, the Christian God.

At first I thought I was mistaken until someone asked this bizarre question yet again - "When did you stop believing in God and become an atheist?"

Huh? Did he mean to imply I was born believing in God and at some point decided to stop? I never recall believing in God. I mean it's a nice story but I've never thought of it as reality.

Human beings are born believing in the almighty milky teat and the glory of body heat, beyond that everything else it taught to us or learned in the course of our lives. Surely, we have some inborn instincts and desires such as hunger, thirst, and the need for comfort. As far as religious beliefs go I think it's tabula rasa - blank slate. Until someone writes God on it the slate doesn't have a religion printed on it. There's no stamp on a baby's bottom proclaiming "product of Heaven" or "made by God tm". There's no pre-programmed belief in God that falls out of the womb with each baby.

Maybe people believe this because they were fed Jesus with their baby cereal and strained peas? Perhaps they were indoctrinated so young they have no memory of first exposure? They can't really be blamed for thinking they were born with the belief if it was instilled in them before the age of reason and before the dawn of memory.

It seems to me that a belief held simply because your parents told you it was so does not represent an exercise of free will. It is not a choice if you've never known anything else.

I don't think I heard, or more accurately, paid attention to the word "God" until I was four and required an clarification of something I'd read in a book. After listening to my Mom's explanation, I recall asking her, "They don't really think that, right? It's just make-believe like story books, isn't it?" She diplomatically told me that some people thought God was real and some people didn't. She was allowing me to develop my own beliefs without imprinting hers on my psyche before I was capable of such a judgment.

Why do people feel the need to mix up God in babies' formula instead of waiting to teach them about it when they are old enough to remember? More importantly why not wait until children are mentally developed enough to examine a belief?

There's no pre-programmed belief in God that falls out of the womb with each baby.

Illinois Representative Monique Davis Yells About Atheists - "It's dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists!"

On 2 April 2008, Illinois Representative Monique Davis lit into atheists because a donation of a million dollars of public funding to be used in the renovation of a Baptist church was being questioned as an appropriate use of tax dollars.

Fill in the word "Jew" or "Muslim" or any other religious designation for her words on atheism and ask yourself if she would have kept her job.

Is It OK to Make Discriminatory Remarks Toward Atheists?

Because atheism is not a religion it is OK for politicians in office to make bigoted remarks against atheists in the execution of their duties.

See results
image created by vsbooklady for the Out Campaign
image created by vsbooklady for the Out Campaign

Some State's Constitutions Forbid Atheists to Hold Public Office

This may sound like an outdated law that no one enforces anymore because it is unconstitutional but it is still relevant. Atheists applying for government offices or accepted into public office can go through years of legal battles just to be able to fulfill the duty they were either elected or appointed to.

One such case in 2009 involved a North Carolina man, Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell. Area conservatives threatened to sue the city because they swore in an atheist as a councilman.

A similar action taken against atheist notary Herb Silverman of South Carolina took eight years of legal battles to finally be settled.

Should Atheists Be Allowed to Hold Public Office or Testify in Court?

Do you think atheists should be allowed to hold public office or to testify in court?

See results

Pope Francis Claims The Blood of Christ Has Redeemed Everyone, Including Atheists, Vatican Backpedals

In May of 2013, Pope Francis made a speech in which he claimed that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ redeemed all of humanity, even the atheists. He went on to imply that if a person does good works, he (the Pope) will meet up with him in Heaven.

Shortly thereafter, Thomas Rosica, a spokesman for the Vatican released a statement backpedaling on the Pope's earlier words.

Vatican: Whatever Pope Francis meant, atheists still burn in hell.

image created by the Out Campaign
image created by the Out Campaign

Doesn't it Take a Lot of Faith to Be an Atheist?

An Atheist View on Atheism

People often say, "It takes a lot of faith to be an atheist." This is usually followed with a statement like, "After all, you can't be 100% certain there is no God."

As an atheist, I can say that it has never taken me any faith at all to be one. Saying that being an atheist requires faith requires one to accept the idea that everyone thinks God is real, when in fact many people (called atheists) do not. It is the very definition of atheism. Atheists are people who don't think God is real.

The average person doesn't think the Chupacabra is real. How much faith does that take? It's an unlikely creature which can't be seen, heard, smelled, tasted or touched by those who look for it. It hasn't been caught on film. All information about it comes from legend; all reports of its doings come from speculation and lack of real explanations. The things people attribute to its actions can generally be traced to natural phenomena. The modern-day accounts of it come second hand from people who deeply wish or fear that it exists.

Does that indicate something that you need to have faith to not believe in?

That is how I, as an atheist, see God. To me, it's not 100% impossible that some kind of superior being or universe creator exists, it's just extremely unlikely. In my opinion, it is even less likely that God exists than that the Chupacabra does. After all, we've actually seen an amazing variety of life forms, speculating that another might exist isn't going quite out as far out on a limb as speculating that a being, the likes of which we've never seen anything even remotely similar, may exist.

So, no, I'm not one hundred percent certain that God doesn't exist or one hundred percent certain that the Chupacabra doesn't exist but I'm not going to take that lack of certainty to mean that either God or the Chupacabra must exist.

To me, both concepts are just colorful stories from ancient cultures which persist today; thousands of years after the original storytellers have turned to dust. Simply because these myths have lasted so long and because so many believe in them it does not indicate that they are realities. It only means that humans are similar to each other in thought as well as in form. Myths and legends are fascinating insights into the human mind, to those things we have in common. They don't represent literal reality but the nearly boundless creativity and sense of wonder shared by members of the human race.

So while I recognize that the concept of God is part of our rich cultural heritage, I don't think that God is something real, and that takes no faith at all.

Things You Might Not Have Known About Atheists

There are a lot of strange misconceptions out there about what atheists are and what they believe and don't believe. Facts are almost always a good antidote to myths and confusion.

Statue entitled Darwin's Ape, photo by Okedem
Statue entitled Darwin's Ape, photo by Okedem

Without Heavenly Decree, Threat of Hell or Promise of Heaven - Where Might Morality Come From?

An Atheist View of Where Morality Comes From

I believe that morality in its most basic sense, empathy, is not just a social construct but a product of evolution as well. In extended families or tribal clusters as our ancestors must have lived co-operation would have been paramount to survival. Feeling a desire for your tribal members' survival and well-being was a survival trait in and of itself.

Millions of years ago our ancestors started walking upright at first moving a bit more slowly than other primates until the Achilles tendon came into the picture. Imagine you are a slow-moving, four foot tall person with very little defensive equipment in the way of sharp teeth, strong jaws or razor sharp claws. You aren't even strong enough to kneecap a lion even if you were large enough to pick up a big enough club. Your children are born quite helpless, unable to cling to their mothers' upright backs. While standing tall allows you to see predators from great distances away you really aren't as great at climbing trees as your distant ancestors may have been. You could probably yank loose a prickly branch from a thorn bush and wave it in a big cat's face but she or her family could easily circle behind you and your mama's contribution to the gene pool would end up as a light meal.

So how did something this frail and dare I say paw lickin' good survive or even evolve in the first place? Team work. The little fellows learned to look out for each other both from a budding advancement in empathy and blatant self-interest. A lone pre-human ( even a sturdy and healthy male massing perhaps as much as a young German shepherd dog ) would not do so well on the African plains amidst large predators. Every man for himself just doesn't work when every man is three feet tall and delicious.

Those little mothers also had to be very delicate with their large-headed, weak infants. Big brains made early hominids feeble, floppy fetuses even after birth. Those proto-human women had to coddle and cuddle their immature infants or they would have lost them soon after giving birth.

Everybody knows dead babies don't pass on their genes. Even early hominids likely had a long childhood requiring extra protection and help acquiring food long after most animals would have been self-sufficient. Thus empathy and even love were survival traits. As we evolved, so did our society. Survival, enlightened self interest, and love of family - even distant family - these are the roots of morality, conscience and civilization. They are part of our evolutionary makeup both from a social and biological sense (as empathy appears to be inborn). I believe evolutionary psychology explains the origin of morality quite well.

Love really is all you need.

Every man for himself just doesn't work when every man is three feet tall and delicious.

Call for a National Atheist Registry

Some conservative Christians hate nonbelievers so much that they are calling for a National Atheist Registry to register every atheist in America the same way convicted pedophiles are registered. One blogger calling for such a registry list asks why atheists would object to such a registry but limits comments to members of his blog.

Well, clearly, nonreligious people don't want to be treated like criminals but there's more to it than that. The United States claims to have freedom of religion and such a registry would be an infringement on that liberty. Also, such a list of non-theists would make us prey for deranged individuals, exactly as the national sex offender registry makes convicted sex offenders prey for vigilantes. Although most bloggers supporting the idea claim it's only to be used to find people to evangelize to or businesses to boycott or atheists to discriminate against in the workplace there's no guarantee that such a list would stay out of the hands of sociopaths, schizophrenics, or others with mental illness and a hatred of people who don't believe in God.

Elizabeth Dole Called Opponent an Atheist, Kay Hagan Responded

Elizabeth Dole ran a smear ad in the Senate election by accusing her opponent, Kay Hagan of being an atheist. Kay Hagan came out with a response to the ad, not condemning Dole for discriminatory behavior towards atheists but denying the allegation that Hagan is a non-believer. She is also suing the Dole campaign for defamation of character.

This situation sends the clear message - it's OK to be horrified about someone being an atheist, in fact, it's a slur to suggest that a person is one. Not only that, it sends the message that no non-religious person could ever be fit to hold office.

photo by Bhutti
photo by Bhutti

My religious or spiritual background

I Was Given The Gift of Freedom to Choose


My parents raised me free to choose my own beliefs. I was allowed to investigate whatever religious options I chose. My non-religious parents (mom was an agnostic theist and dad an atheist) assisted me in getting to Bible school and in finding religion and philosophy texts to read. They also set up opportunities for me to speak with pastors and ministers when I wanted to know more about what religious people actually believed, in one case after I was freaked out by reading the Bible. The pastor explained that most Christians don't follow the Bible literally so there is no danger of them stoning their children to death for being disrespectful, burning their children as offerings, or sacrificing them in exchange for victories in war.

However, repeated religion based attacks both physical and emotional by peers, teachers, and other adults in my community gave me a cynical view of religion early on. The irony is that if they had displayed basic human decency I might have come to my conclusion that religious people can be decent people a whole lot sooner. Something about getting beaten up, emotionally abused, harassed, and discriminated against is a big turn off for most people, no matter what lofty purpose or faith inspires that behavior.

As an adult I am aware that religion can inspire great works of good as well as the everyday abuse and bigotry it fosters. I am also aware that the majority of religious people are kind and decent, just as the majority of all humans are.

drawing by Hans Weiditz
drawing by Hans Weiditz

Do People Become Atheists so They Can Act Immorally?

Atheism in No Way Precludes Moral Behavior

Many Christians and other theists will insist that atheists are immoral people who have decided to become nonbelievers so they can behave immorally without guilt. I don't believe this to be true but I have a few ideas as to why some Christians and other theists believe it to be so.

First, there seems to be some confusion about what atheists are. Atheists don't believe in God but more than that, they don't think that God is real. So being a nonbeliever really isn't a choice, once you don't think something is real you can't really believe in it.

Until or unless something occurs to change your mind such as evidence or a personal epiphany you simply can't believe in things you do not think are real.

You may think that an atheist can just decide to believe in God because it wouldn't hurt anything if they just believe in God and it turns out that belief is wrong. Belief just doesn't work that way. Some atheists want to believe in God at some point in their lives. God is such a lovely concept, what with the afterlife and unconditional love, so who wouldn't want to believe in God? The problem with that is that for most atheists, belief is not about what they want but about what they think is true and not true. Most nonbelievers are people who only believe what they think is true and real.

Since atheism really isn't about what an atheist wants but what he or she believes is true it's not really likely that a person who thinks God is real could just decide to be one. If a person thought God were real, they would still worry about the consequences of disobeying God. A believer cannot decide to stop believing in God unless they first stop thinking of God as real or suspect that God is not real.

Some Christians and other theists will argue that atheists don't need to behave with compassion or ethics because they have no fear of burning in Hell forever. I really don't think that religious people behave morally and compassionately because they believe in God. I think they behave morally and compassionately because they have emotions like empathy and they have the power to reason. Atheists also have emotions like empathy to guide them to do what is kind and the power to reason to guide them away from that which is harmful.

Both atheists and theists are products of a society which has thousands of rules, spoken and unspoken, which they are trained to obey from the time they are children. These rules embody a structure created through thousands of years of trial and error. If morality were immutable and all who followed God were moral, society would not have changed so drastically and become so much more humane over the centuries. For instance, slavery and witch hunts might still be widely accepted if religious people didn't also change with the times.

Christians and other theists may consider atheists immoral because some of them may indulge in activities not prohibited by law but proscribed by their interpretation of their own religion. Even by this measure, atheists are no less moral than theists. Religions and religious beliefs are so incredibly varied that the range of behavior atheists indulge in which some Christians and other theists consider amoral are considered perfectly harmless or moral by other theists' and other interpretations of religious beliefs. These religious beliefs vary so greatly that even in the Christian religion alone there are intense disagreements between denominations as to what is moral, what is a sin.

Atheists can't help but seem immoral to some people. There are so many religious rules that any given person, religious or not, is breaking one or more at any given moment. Rules such as believing in a certain God or tithing a certain amount of one's income to a particular church are automatically going to be 'broken' by atheists and other people not of that particular religion. Just try to remember, that right now, you are immoral by someone's standards.

For me, belief isn't about what I want to be real but about what I think is real. Believers think God is real; atheists don't. Maybe atheists are just people unable to trick themselves into believing in things they don't think are real?

image created by the Out Campaign
image created by the Out Campaign

Atheists Don't Believe in God

They Aren't Denying God, They Don't Think God Is Real

I've heard it far too many times, I think, the assertion that to be an atheist a person must first think God is real and then hate, or deny God.

By the logic that a person must first believe in something to think it isn't real every fundamentalist Christian believed evolution occurred before they denied it. That's not very likely; the fundamentalist Christian never believed evolution happened in the first place. People walk around every day not believing in things they've never believed in. I'd say it's far rarer to find someone who once believed in unicorns than to find someone who has never believed in unicorns.

Perhaps this misunderstanding comes in because some religious people think they were born believing in God. Rather, I think they were taught that God was real before the age of memory and reason and simply don't recall their instruction in the matter. Most people can't recall being taught to use the toilet, but it's a well known fact that no one is born with that skill. I've never thought God was real.

Another possibility is that believers in God can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want to believe as they do. The idea of a loving God is sweet. The idea that a person will never truly die and will someday be reunited with every soul of everyone he's ever held dear is incredibly desirable. The idea of never being alone, always having someone who loves you is enchanting. As you can see, I don't hate the idea at all. Who wouldn't want that? I know I would. But the problem is this - wanting something, no matter how much, doesn't make it real. Nor is wanting something enough to make everyone believe in something or to think that it is true.

Believers may say that belief in God comes from faith but I don't think so. I think that belief in God comes from thinking that God is real. Otherwise, if believers didn't think God were real, why would they have faith in something they thought was make-believe?

photo by Skander, Wikimedia Commons
photo by Skander, Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes God Is Just A Literary Device for an Atheist

Fiction Writers Don't Believe Everything They Write

On several sites I am well known as an atheist writer though I write stories and articles about a wide variety of topics. I write how-to articles about fish care, floral design, cooking, and sex. I write editorials and memoirs. I also write fiction, poetry, and erotica.

You'll see where this becomes relevant soon, I promise.

I have been repeatedly messaged and occasionally emailed by readers for (what seems to me) a very odd reason.

In my fiction, poetry, and erotica I sometimes use the words God, Jesus, demon, devil, Jihad, soul, spirit, ghost or other words which refer to supernatural concepts either as literary devices or in dialog. I have been told by a number of readers that the use of such words means that I can't possibly be an atheist, that it means I must believe in God. I even got one such email regarding an erotic story in which a character moans, "Oh, God, yes, (bleep) it!" After I stopped laughing uncontrollably, I paused to ponder what thought processes are behind such reasoning.

To me, the use of words relating to belief and supernatural concepts is just part of fiction writing and their use falls under the umbrella of poetic license. These words evoke strong and complicated emotions in readers. It would be a waste to not play with them in creative writing sometimes. I find the idea that the use of such words in fiction implies belief to be strange. One does not need to believe in something to include references to it in fiction, otherwise fantasy novels would be nearly non-existent.

Our culture is saturated with supernatural words and references, to cut them out completely would affect the natural flow or feeling of normal conversational English. Also, 90 some odd percent of Americans believe in God - spiritual references are bound to come up in dialog unless, for some reason, I decided to only write stories about atheists, specifically atheists who are not spiritual.

I've written faux Native American myths and fantasy stories with mythological beasts as characters. Obviously, I don't believe in mythological beasts or aboriginal magic and no one has suggested that I do. However, I'm not sure why that would lead people to believe that I believe in God.

Any thoughts on why people would come to the conclusion that anyone who includes words pertaining to the supernatural in their writing must believe in God?

Ape Skeletons, image uploaded by Tim Vickers
Ape Skeletons, image uploaded by Tim Vickers

Evolution is Not a Philosophy, Not a Belief System, nor a Moral Code: Evolution is Just a Natural Process

Though Many Will Call Evolution the Religion of Atheists It's Not

Evolution is just a process by which change occurs in nature. The process of evolution was deduced by interpretation of evidence that holds up to empirical scrutiny. Evolution is like many other natural processes which are deduced by interpretation of evidence. A couple of other processes we have deduced from evidence found in the natural world are erosion and eutrophication.

Read more about What Evolution Isn't.

image created by vsbooklady for the Out Campaign
image created by vsbooklady for the Out Campaign

That Atheist (Censored)

Thanks for Giving My Blog a Name!

A few years back I got a message from a reader who was upset by one of my atheist articles. In it he said, "Are you that atheist (censored) from TIBU*?"

At first, I was a little upset. But then, I decided that at least it meant my writing had been memorable. That was when I decided to name my atheist blog That Atheist (Censored).

*A now defunct writing website on which I had previously posted atheist relevant articles.

If you disagree with me, think I'm stupid, or think I'm evil or misguided, please feel free to say so. However, this web page is rated G and your comment will be deleted if you use swear words.

I also respectfully request that commenters refrain from evangelizing or proselytizing. The purpose of this page is not evangelistic - it is merely an attempt to explain what an atheist actually is to spread tolerance. It was created with the hope that people might read it and learn to see atheists as normal human beings with the same right to freedom of religion as anyone else.

So please, if you are trying to convert people to your religion, this is not the place. I respect your right to have your religion, please respect my right to not share your beliefs. Any comments attempting to convert people or argue them out of their beliefs or lack thereof will be deleted along with all their replies. This is the place to say what you think about atheists, not a place to convert them in.

Quoting more than a line or two from the Bible or content found on other webpages will also result in an unpublished comment because it is duplicate content and may cause this web page to be unpublished by its host. Feel free to direct us to the Bible passage you wish to quote or to the website you wish to quote instead.

What Do You Think? Do Atheists Deserve the Same Treatment as Religious People? - Please, no evangelism, just thoughts and opinions. Family friendly comments onl

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    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Without reading all the answers, my own observations of atheists reveals their passion for constantly and gleefully trying to prove believers wrong. In my own experiences, no one proselytizes like an atheist, which I suspect is the main reason they irritate so many people.

      There are two atheists in a forum I belong to, and both constantly post threads attacking religions...except for Islam. For some reason, Islam is taboo for attack.

      Every Christmas, atheists post billboards attacking Christians, God, and Christmas, so I not at all surprised that some folks don't like them at all.

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      claborde05 3 years ago

      well i would say that being an atheist on first perspective would be hard for some people because of the facts to be Atheist when you start you will see what harshness it took to get there and with most religions it's a experience to remember when looked at in history points. So i say always keep reading Books and reading material and when said be materialistic on government or small business purchase for the exchange of money for object. NO sail for the lack of reading books. i wish i could not see the change in the creatively of the mind when against something.

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      Lynn Klobuchar 3 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      There is simply never a reason to treat people differently because of what they believe. Religious intolerance, including intolerance toward atheists, has never made any sense to me. Let every person believe what they will. I am certain that regardless of another's convictions it can never be kind, caring or remotely appropriate to be dismissive, cruel or hostile to another person because of what they believe. Or do not believe.Save censure for actions that are unkind and hurtful.I have quite enough to do in this world. Spending energy trying to convert others to my ways of thinking or believing is not constructive.Regardless of why I believe the following, I try to live my life treating others as I would to be treated.Period.

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      Kylyssa Shay 3 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @jen09 writes: I'm sorry atheists harassed and threatened you with assault. Did the teachers/professors do it, too? I live in Michigan and the opposite still seems true. Although none of my friends with children is atheist, their kids still get harassed for not being the right type of Christian and they have to deal with being bullied for being Lutherans, Catholics, and a Methodist. They get called Pagans and atheists and the youngest gets in fights over it. I got "outed" as a child of non-Christians in grade school and, while my parents insisted I was not an atheist because I was too young to decide if I thought Gods were real, I spent the rest of my schooling experience teased, harassed, and sometimes physically assaulted by schoolmates and adult staff. I don't get the point of bullying people about religion. I write about it but I don't consider writing to be bullying. It's passive and people have to decide to find it and then read it. I also write as a push-back. If atheists stop getting threats of death and rape for just writing about atheism as I have then I'll stop writing about it. Squidoo had to take down the account of a lensmaster for creating a hate lens directed specifically at me for being, in his words, a "militant atheist" about three years ago and I still get threats from people. So I think it's not time to stop yet.Believe it or not, since I started saving abusive comments to my articles and abusive emails and private messages, I've gotten over a thousand instances of them. I say 'instances' because most Christians who send me abusive messages don't just send one and it would ridiculously inflate the number if I counted each message. One individual claiming to be a pastor, sent me around forty. (I also did not count any from Dennis Markuze or his alias David Mabus because he systematically sent them to literally thousands of others and has only physically stalked famous atheists. Police already know about him and took him for a psych evaluation.) I further separate them by type into folders with the death threats and other such threats most visible. After my first cyber-stalker who took it into real life and started vandalizing my property (and my neighbor's) I was advised to keep them in case something happens to me. Most of them are just abusive rather than threatening and they say things like they can't wait until I die and go to Hell or that I deserved much worse than getting raped when I was homeless, often set in between Bible quotes and almost always full of profanity. That's why so many of my lenses have a warning about profanity on the guestbook. Four different times someone found other places I have the same byline and contacted some of my clients to tell them I'm an atheist. Luckily, I've only lost one client over it and the others just contacted me to tell me I had a stalker. One sent the state police to my apartment to make sure I was OK because I wasn't answering my phone when he called me. The client who sent me a nasty email and dumped me never paid on time anyway.

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      jen09 writes 3 years ago

      Thanks for an interesting article. I was raised in a (kind of) Christian home but was given the opportunity to study things out and I chose to be a very conservative Christian. That being said, I often get angry at those (yes even in my church) who speak so rudely toward others who believe differently. Do I think you are wrong for not believing in God? Yes. Does that mean I hate you or have a right to be mean to you? No! People have different opinions and different beliefs on everything. Maybe I think blue is the best color ever and you think pink is... is it really worth belittling or fighting over? No. Every human being must make a choice and if I am right (which I believe I am) we will all face the consequence of that choice after death. While I do not wish anyone to go to Hell, I absolutely will not fight and argue with them over their belief.

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      jen09 writes 3 years ago

      I would like to add something to my last comment... While I did say it is wrong for Christians to treat atheists badly, the reverse is also true. Atheism (and Agnosticsm) is quite popular especially among teenagers in my city. Therefore, as a Christian in a public high school and university I have been taunted, bullied, and even physically threatened by multiple atheists who have asked, "Are you a Christian?" to which I answered, "Yes." and attempted to drop the subject. Bullying over difference of opinion is wrong regardless of whether you are the majority or the minority.

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      Colin323 3 years ago

      I find it hard to believe, but not totally reject, the concept of God as an external deity. God, as a universal shorthand or symbol for 'good': doing good in this world is the way I choose to interpret this issue. Nobody knows if there is an external deity:God. How can they? Belief is a matter of faith - and hope.

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      Amend1Friend 3 years ago

      I am a Christian believer and also an attorney that has spent a significant amount of time researching and writing in the area of religious freedom and church-state relations.While I respectfully disagree with some of your characterizations, I am also well aware of the inexcusable behavior of many professing Christians.It is not ever acceptable or appropriate to resort to physical violence or truly abusive language over a difference of opinion of any nature. Conversely, in a free society, it is not acceptable for individuals to play "victim" simply because another person strenuously disagrees with that individual's personal beliefs. We all have to be grown up enough to "agree to disagree" on many issues including religion. For the record, there have been plenty of violations on both fronts by all parties involved throughout history, so my comments are not targeted at any particular party to this discussion.With respect to the Kentucky statute, you should note that AlterNet has revised the headline of their article to more accurately report the story. The only individuals who need worry about a misdemeanor offense are certain employees of the state office in question that might refuse to post the required plaque. I find the statute puzzling and objectionable based on Establishment Clause jurisprudence since 1947, but it does not threaten to jail or fine any atheist on the basis of their atheism.One final note...Atheists are in a curious spot with respect to religious freedom. Since atheism by its very nature is not a "religion" per se, it is not afforded any special protection in the law. On the other hand, the Establishment Clause prevents the government from favoring religion just as it prevents it from persecuting religion. Therefore, atheists are (to a degree) protected by the prohibition to favor religion. Also, Free Speech protections fully protect an atheist's freedom to express beliefs, and Title VII and other employment laws protect atheists from discrimination in employment "on the basis of religion." In the employment law context, the "basis" that protects them would consist of an allegation that an employer refused to hire them or terminated them because the employer favored religion over non-religion.I appreciate your willingness to facilitate this public discussion. The freedom to openly discuss, debate and even disagree is one of the freedoms that make the United States a great nation.

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      Delia 3 years ago

      Powerful & Interesting read. You said,*"For me, belief isn't about what I want to be real but about what I 'think' is real. Believers think God is real; atheists don't. (Actually it should be Believers don't "think" God is real, they know and Believe in their hearts)**there are intense disagreements between denominations as to what is moral, what is a sin.(anytime you have humans in a denomination make rules and regulations "in a church" and not adhere to scripture it's man made...our moral rules and laws come from scripture, like the Ten Commandments)**Some people have a puzzling hatred of those who don't share their belief in God and they feel it is fine to express that hatred, no matter who is hurt. I believe their hatred comes from a misunderstanding of who and what atheists actually are. (I'm glad you said, SOME...not all Christians should be lumped together, neither should any believer be lumped...if a Christian HATES someone outside of their belief they are not a true Christians...you might hate the deed, such as murder, discrimination etc...on both sides if one misunderstands or does not allow and respect a person to make their own 'choices in Beliefs' is wrong)(Religions are Denominations that are organized collections of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence....And this is the very reason I don't belong to any organized denominations, I am a Christian, a follower of Christ...This is my choice!)(We are born with an innate feeling of someone or something more powerful then us in the universe...you can see this in many cultures...I chose it to be God!If neither of us can prove or disapprove the existence of God or after life, why can't we just believe what we choose to believe...nothing should ever be forced on us, it should be a desire of completing your way of living.)----------I respect your choice of being an Atheist...and I'm not Evangelizing, I'm just giving you my opinion of what I have read.

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      stormy1990 3 years ago

      First of all, I am a christian. Secondly, I must say that atheists should not be discriminated by a so-called "christian." Anybody who believes in the Christian God and persecutes people for not believing in God is not in my book a true sincere christian. Why do I say this? Well, the Bible says...Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32and...Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:38-48In fact, I'd say that the man who persecutes the atheist for not believing is worst off than the atheist! I personally am shocked and ashamed when I hear of "christians" persecuting atheists and agnostics. It sends the wrong message to unbelievers. I'd like to show them this Bible verse:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.from Matthew chapter 7

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      amal-jose-37 3 years ago

      GREAT lens

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      BDYelm 4 years ago

      @DeepBeepWastedY: As an atheist and a skeptic, please don't watch that horrible conspiracy theorist propaganda. :-(

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      DeepBeepWastedY 4 years ago

      @mommysue lm: If you are a Christian, I want you to watch a video by The Zeitgeist Movement explaining where Christianity came from. Zeitgeist: History of Religion on YouTube

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      DeepBeepWastedY 4 years ago

      Isn't it rather ironic? That the very people who believe in "kindness" and "love", are the people have so much hatred for a perfectly respectable group of people. So now you want to discriminate atheists. Another example of how religion is a disease causing parasite.

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      SBPI Inc 4 years ago

      I believe that, as a Human Being, you have the free choice to believe whatever you believe, While some may believe that you do not they are breaking their own "laws of God" by judging another Human being. We all are one in that we share in Living and we have the freedom to construct our reality in accordance with our beliefs. There is no right or wrong other that the judgements which may be made on the basis of a personal or group constructed reality. Love is the complete answer for all and that kind of Love can only be given or received unconditionally. Love of self, life itself, others and if a believer God. For those who choose God will always come first and for those who choose otherwise I make no judgements but trust in them to do what is Loving for all. Simply, treat each other as though they were you. Jonathan

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      mommysue lm 4 years ago

      I am a Christian, but I believe God calls Christians to love everyone. If I truly love God then that demonstration will be to love others. I have to question people who say they love God and then treat their fellow man in a way that is harmful or disrespectful. Though I do not share your faith of Atheism, I do agree we are all created equal, and therefore, entitled to live in peace.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Well, I respect you on this belief. It was such a great explanation about being an atheist. Discrimination based on religion is simply a disobedience in the law. No man deserves to be discriminated according to his/her religion especially in the workplace. There is a so-called religious discrimination in employment law here in Los Angeles, just so you know.

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      Bellezza-Decor 4 years ago from Canada

      It's pretty clear to me that beliefs have been co-opted by the Church and State in order to control people for their nefarious benefits and not for the benefit of the people. Do I think there is a Creator, or Darwin's theory of evolution and survival of the fittest, or alien manipulation of the species into what we are today, or that what we are in a biological computer animation leveling up or down to the next realm? I don't know. I do think that there is something divine and evil in each of us and we choose what role we play and what path we take. Those that sit on the fence essentially are cowards or simply comatose. What I do believe in is the pursuit of Truth and this is what will set us free from this matrix of evil and the pursuit of Truth will lead to a new Renaissance only if enough can awaken from their mind control and hypnosis. Alas, many trust tptb and many are unaware that they are sleepwalking in a highly controlled slave matrix.In the final analysis, I do believe there is something beyond this realm and there is a much bigger picture, but then, this might just be my delusion.

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      fennirose 4 years ago

      Do good with or without god/religion. That's the main point.

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      Ruthi 4 years ago

      It is a given that all people deserve the same treatment. It is, unfortunately, also a given that in the ways of the world it will probably never happen. Thank you for a frank, yet friendly, portrayal of your beliefs. If more would have the same attitude there might, at least, be more of us getting along - without labels.

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      Meganhere 4 years ago

      Excellent lens! As a lifelong non-believer (my choice, nothing to do with how I was raised), I totally agree with all of the above.

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      JoleneBelmain 4 years ago

      I think that it is absolutely disgusting that people are shunned for their non belief in a God. Why must there always be so much hatred and fighting over religion and non religion? It just doesn't make any sense to me. Look at a person, and what do you see? It shouldn't be their beliefs, or how they choose to view the world. It should based on them and their personality and human nature. Whether they are a caring person and loving person, funny or bright, fun or lighthearted. I totally agree with Otto's comment below me, there is so much war surrounded around religion (and politics). There will always be so many different views on religion. Just because we don't agree with all of the beliefs out there, doesn't mean we need to fight over them.

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      Otto Phillips 4 years ago

      Absolutely fantastic Lens! If you look at all the wars and all the fighting in the Middle East what is the main root cause of it all? Religion.

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      Kylyssa Shay 4 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @wjlambert lm: You can use the same word you'd use to describe a person who doesn't believe in Zeus or you can call him or her a person. I think the only reason there is a word for people who don't think Gods are real is because most people are required to believe in a God to be accepted by society. If there weren't this sort of unspoken requirement and if religions didn't tend to have members who want to make religious rules into laws, there probably wouldn't even be a word for atheists.

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      Yoursanity 4 years ago

      This page is interesting, especially about the girl in school. Here in Australia there is virtually no discrimination in either direction - I choose not to believe in god but I also live in a Christian college to attend Uni and my best friend is a salvation arm soldier in the Melbourne staff band and I've never had a problem. I often have lengthy discussions with my friend though about it all and it is truly amazing that people think that you need god in order to be a good person. I find it hard to believe that people don't realize internally without god not to kill someone or steal - like really you need to have these things written down to realize its a bad thing?Where you said that your not born branded by god is so true for me too, I have often said that to have faith in a religion you must first have faith in the person telling the story and the person who told them and so on. Given the nature of humanity I'm not sure I have faith in humanity itself let alone a story produced by it. Sometimes I wonder If religion was just created by people who were unhappy with the nature of humanity and simply invented an excuse - a justification of sorts to explain how we as a species can possess such cruelty and greed and make it seem less offensive to ones own sense of being.Its always interesting to read on the subject, thank you for the lens.

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      wjlambert lm 4 years ago

      I am often unaware of the belief systems of my friends be they Atheist, Agnostic, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or something else because I do not ask. But as the term draws to my thought, the perspective of contradiction. Per the definition of "Atheism" via Merriam-Webster: the belief that God does "not" exist, would it not be reasonable to expect some level of controversy? Is there a name for an Atheist that does not include "not God" or "sans God"? What is the non-negative word or phrase that a person who does not acknowledge "God" or any god, can be identified by?

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      Kylyssa Shay 4 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @camoguard: It's also not like words showing up in a single drop of scrabble tiles, either. The analogy would be better if billions and billions of Scrabble tiles were dropped billions and billions of times for a few billion years and a few landed to form words.

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      camoguard 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Extending on Peter's reply which I agree with, the Scrabble analogy has been used to describe evolution. However, the analogy I remember is different than the one you described. If you saw a gene that mapped to "HI PETER", then you'd probably find a gene that mapped to "HX PETER" or one that mapped to "HI PSTER" or something like that. That would help you identify which letters needed to be locked in first for survival advantages. The system of evolution would never intentionally spell a target phrase. Similarly, People aren't optimal via evolution. We aren't a well formed genetic sentence. We have lots of weaknesses and health problems.

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      PeterStip 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Dear Peggy, the comparison between throwing Scrabble letters which form a sentence and how life came into being is sadly enough a completely wrong comparison. It make you believe that life just happened. Like a magic trick.EVOLUTION is a step by step process. Things become more complicated during time. Atoms come together and form molecules. molecules come together and form complicated molecules. Complicated molecules formed self replicating molecules. And these self replicating molecules started to copy themselves. And so evolution started, where the humans are a product of.Richard Dawkins wrote a wonderful book about it in 1976, called "The Selfish Gene" It describes wonderfully how evolution works.And, yes an amoeba is pretty neat indeed ;-)

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      Kylyssa Shay 4 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @anonymous: I fail to see how this comment relates to whether or not atheists (people who don't think Gods or Goddesses are real) deserve the same treatment as religious people. While the comment is unrelated to the topic of the guestbook (and indicates the page above was probably not read by the comment's author) I've opted to leave it to illustrate that many people are incapable of not evangelizing at great length, usually with a lot of uppercase letters, when they see the word atheist even if they are asked not to.On a further note, women's magazines are generally not a good source of either philosophical or scientific deep thoughts.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @PeterStip: i remember reading something once in a Ladies magazine, can't remember which, but it was about people who claim to Not believe in God, that God Created the Earth and everything in it. It went on to use the word INTELLIGENT DESIGNER. People will say---Or i have heard some say that things JUST HAPPENED, Like a Chemical Reaction. it then used the comparison, saying these people who Don't believe in Intelligent Design---If you, or whoever had a Game Room, with a Game Table, and you had a Scrabble Board with The Letter Tiles all over the table, supposedly they fell in a Randon, seemingly random order. You come to the Game Table, you see letters forming words, maybe saying 'HI PETER HOW ARE YOU, HOW IS YOUR WIFE LOIS AND THE KIDS---Whatever their names are---Are you going to say, "Oh, this JUST HAAPENED, JUST FELL BY CHANCE INTO THOSE ,MESSAGES----??? You are probably going to KNOW someone was there and did it, in other words you are going to know there ewas an INTELLIGENT DESIGNER that did it. Why not say, Oh this just happened? i don't know if this makes sense, but compare it to a person who does NOT believe in an intelligent Designer, God who created everything. If you say that the Worls JUST HAPPENED why can't you say those Scrabble Letter Tiles JUST HAPPENED? Make sense? It did to me, I found it real interesting. If we JUST HAPPENED, we would be like AMEBAS, But even an AMEBA is pretty neat.

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      Kylyssa Shay 4 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @anonymous: I take it you didn't read any of the page above or click any of the links? Like many, you seem unaware that you are a member of the powerful majority, assuming you live in the United States. Catholics and moderate Christians are not atheists although many evangelical Christians label them as such. I assume that's why some conservative American Christians think Christians are a minority, because they refuse to acknowledge Christians of different denominations.Gays fighting for equal marriage rights or people protesting the tendency of conservative Christian parents to discard their lgbt children are not mocking your faith. There is mocking and derision directed at people who discriminate against gays, women, people of other races and religions, and people less fortunate. The ability to discriminate against people based on your religious beliefs is not a right and it isn't persecution when those people object to it.When was the last time you got a death threat or a threat of violence or had graffiti sprayed onto your car for being Christian? I got my last death threat from a Christian about three weeks ago. Not long before that, a Christian sent me an email describing what he hopes will happen to me after I die, claiming I'll get raped to death and experience it forever. How often do you get that kind of email?When someone vandalized my car a few years back the gouges in my car didn't read "Die Christian C%$&" they read "Die Atheist C%$$&."I've been literally spat on, threatened, harassed, stalked, had my property vandalized, and I've been physically assaulted after getting outed as an atheist. When was the last time you had to wipe a glob of spittle off your face when someone found out you were a Christian?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      You have to be kidding. There is no anathema directed toward atheists. There is mocking and derision toward people of faith, especially Christians.

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      Bartukas 4 years ago

      interesting lens thanks

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      PeterStip 4 years ago

      Religion is nothing more then superstition to me. It is lack of knowledge. A 1000 years ago God was the reason for why many things happened, sickness, earthquakes, floods etc. Now we know what is is the cause of an earthquake, a volcano eruption. But people who do not know, still use God as an answer.Nowadays we do not need a God anymore to explain to us how the world works. People who still believe in a God are often not very well educated, or they do not think deeply about there believes.They believe in there Gods, because there parents did so too. But why should I believe the same thing as my parents ? We would never have progress if we still believed the same things as our parents. Columbus would never have discovered the new world because we would still believe the earth to be flat.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Kylyssa: That's current enough for me. As far as I'm concerned: There's no excuse for hatred and it's even worst to use hate as a justification for cruelty.

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      Kylyssa Shay 4 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @anonymous: The study mentioned is from 2006 and was performed through the University of Minnesota.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Atheists are the most hated, despised, and distrusted minority in America? Seriously? That has got to be the most best kept secret ever! I did not know that! Was this a recent study?

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      camoguard 4 years ago

      @SouthernSailor: We have to have confrontation because atheists are already prohibited from office and disenfranchised by patriotic slogans already. Nonbelievers can't simply be tolerant until we are recognized and tolerated ourselves. It would be nice to get to a place where we could be a little less vigilant.

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      SouthernSailor 4 years ago

      This is absolutely one of the most thought provoking lenses I have ever read.....I think that the real problem is the extremists on both sides of the issue who provoke confrontation. We should be a nation of tolerance and respect for all ideas...not one in which we draw distinct battle lines in the sand and dare anyone to cross them. The battle over religion and the absence of a belief in an organized form of it is perhaps the greatest stumbling block we face as nation. For all of our greatness in other areas, we are sadly lacking in this one.

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      camoguard 4 years ago

      @Pat Goltz: Yeah, I don't like answering to absentee rulers. I would think that would be a real popular sentiment with post British rule colonials. But to me, I think atheism stems just as often from the misinformation that Christians bring. The Bible is inconsistent. The denominations pick and choose which articles are still held faithfully. This is demonstrable. That's not a really good situation for recruiting intellectuals. We like facts. And when someone uses faith, I use the phrase "I don't know." But it's not an on the fence kind of lack of knowledge. I've been operating as if there's no need for a god for a long time and loving it.

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      camoguard 4 years ago

      @BeyondRoses: That's cool as long as we don't get evangelized as well. The fact is we do get evangelized and God is already in the pledge. So we've got to fight to get to neutral secular sorts of places which it sounds like you'd before. Saying the Lord's Prayer would be a big deal if you weren't in a Catholic school even today, so we're getting to where we should be on some aspects. Basically, if we only discuss country and family, I'm good too.

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      BeyondRoses 4 years ago

      As long as atheists don't attempt to change people that have faith, I feel, let them believe or non-believe as they wish. I'm past the point in life, to bother any different. I came up within a foundation that was God, Country and Family. It was a good time, and I like to believe I have the same foundation now. When I was in school, we still said the Lord's Prayer, and pledge to the American Flag. There may have been a couple of kids that didn't say the prayer, and I guess I never knew why, but no one was *forced* to say prayer, even back then.

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      BrandonCase 4 years ago

      Wow.So.. guess I'm never going to Kentucky.I had no idea there were state laws discriminating against atheists.Truly horrifying, thanks for the heads up :).

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      Jean DAndrea 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Am totally stunned that Atheists are unable to hold office, or can be so discriminated against in your country. That doesn't happen here in Australia; Our Prime Minister has openly stated that she is an Atheist. Excellent lens, which I would have blessed but you've already reached your limit!

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      JayRockins 4 years ago

      As a mainly Christian oriented nation, I really wish more of the US population were better informed of Christianity's history and inception. The more I learn about The Council of Nicaea, Constantine the Great, and some of the political reasoning behind the formation of the Bible, the sadder I get for those who follow so blindly :(

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      Peter Badham 4 years ago from England

      Wow I never knew Atheists were discriminated against in the States. Never heard of this happening in England or Spain. A great and interesting page.

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      Kylyssa Shay 4 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @jennysue19: Thank you. The Squidoo team is currently hard at work trying to fix the thin content problem and they have been removing such lenses literally by the thousands over the past few days. I'm excited by what those measures will mean for writers of articles, editorials, stories, and reviews on Squidoo.

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      jennysue19 4 years ago

      Hy Kylyssa, something odd going on here. According to the lens, I have previously Squidliked and also taken all the polls which I am sure I haven't. Just wanted to say, good lens. I was looking at other lenses in this topic as I have just published one myself, and interested to see what else is here. Some very good stuff like yours, but a whole lot of advert-filled thin-content stuff. Hopefully Squidoo will start to kick this out. what do I think about atheists? People have a right not to believe just as they do to believe whatever they wish, but it seems that the US constitution doesn't defend those rights any more!

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      Jogalog 4 years ago

      I am absolutely amazed by some of the things in this lens as things are so different in the UK. I think it's shocking that atheists cannot hold a public office in some states and that a voter would rank religion above the political beliefs and policies that a candidate might have.

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      rosiembanks 4 years ago

      Hi! I hope you don't think I'm just shamelessly plugging or anything, but I'm a fellow atheist and I was inspired by your lens to make one about my own beliefs, and responding to some of the shocking examples of discrimination against atheists you've mentioned here. I really hope that's OK with you! My lens is here: https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/why-i-don . Your lens is such a great exploration of what it means to be an atheist and it's fascinating to see the discussion it has provoked.

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      Loretta Livingstone 4 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      Everyone is entitled to their own belief. I am a Christian, and I feel that Christians have no right to show hatred to non Christians - if they do behave like this they need to examine their beliefs more carefully. You are perfectly entitled to believe what you believe - as am I. That is the point of religion, that we are free to choose. For a Christian to kill someone who doesn't believe in God kind of defeats the object of their faith.

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      camoguard 4 years ago

      @RetroMom: That's probably the best way I've seen that thought phrased. I agree.

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      RetroMom 4 years ago

      we all have our own beliefs. the important thing is let it lead you to the doorstep of self improvement.

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      Kylyssa Shay 4 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @Pat Goltz: I would have to agree with you as most atheists believe thought and self-awareness comes from the brain which isn't yet developed enough when legal abortions occur for that to be the case while conservative believers generally think the mind is separate from the brain and that self-awareness occurs at conception. Since I think intelligence is a function of a brain developed to a certain extent, I think that until the unborn can think and feel it isn't murder to abort. I can understand that you think it's murder if something is done even a second after conception because you likely think the mind is some kind of energy thing separate from the body as my mother did. Many Christians also think the mind is a function of the brain rather a function of a soul that exists from the moment of conception so many belief systems allow for people to believe the brain is where thinking happens. My belief that thinking happens in the brain was strongly reinforced after suffering a brain injury and going through rehab with people much more severely brain damaged than I. They weren't faking, their thought processes really came from their brains and they were limited by the brain damage they suffered.What are your thoughts on abortions for the life of the mother? My mother was extremely pro-life yet she had an abortion (which turned into a complete hysterectomy because she refused until she was in agony and my father was on his knees crying) to save her life when a tubal pregnancy ruptured her fallopian tube. My mother was willing to die but my also very pro-life father begged her not to as he couldn't stand to be widowed with three children and still grieving the loss of my eldest brother. Was she right? Was my father an awful selfish person for choosing my mother's life over something that had no developed brain and was going to die with my mother anyway?Personally, I think abortions should be as a last resort or when birth will be life-destroying such as when a raped nine-year-old gets pregnant and will be savagely traumatized by childbirth as well as permanently physically damaged. I think that adoption is a much better option but I also don't think I have the right to command another woman to keep a baby before its brain is developed enough to have emotions or thoughts or even to process pain or other sensations.

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      Error in my message. If an atheist believes that abortion should be legal, I have a hard time NOT believing his atheism contributed to that belief.

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      Thank you for letting us inside your mind. Some specific comments: You said, "What did Damon Fowler do to deserve all of this? The young atheist objected to an unconstitutional prayer at his public school's graduation ceremony." Actually, this is incorrect. The First Amendment protects the right of a person to pray at a public school graduation ceremony. That said, the person who doesn't believe in God is not obligated to do anything more than to be respectful as one would for any point of view he doesn't agree with.I think some people are atheists because they don't want to answer to God and His rules. Obviously, this doesn't apply to everyone. You have stated clearly it doesn't apply to you. I accept that. I have at least one close friend who is an atheist, whom I greatly respect. Would I vote for an atheist for President? I have a hard time imagining the atheist would agree more with my views than a Christian, so I'm not sure the premises you set up would be helpful. I think if a person doesn't think God exists, it might be a bit better to speak of being an agnostic. The word "atheist" implies to me a certainty that God doesn't exist.I think one reason a lot of people condemn atheists is because of the tens of millions of people killed by atheist tyrants. It does seem that atheists are perhaps more likely to reject some moral values I hold very dear. One of your links goes to a blog where the person justifies legal abortion because she is an atheist. My very close respected friend rejects abortion. If it's the only life you have, robbing the unborn baby becomes even more egregious. To see some good secular arguments (suitable for an atheist perspective) opposing abortion, see the web site of Libertarians for Life. If an atheist thinks legal abortion is acceptable, I have a hard time thinking that his atheism contributed to this belief, even though I know plenty of people who believe in God who think legal abortion is acceptable as well. In the final analysis, my personal reasons are that BOTH the mother and baby deserve legal protection from abortionists. I work primarily with mothers.I find the theory of evolution would require far more faith to accept than my Christian faith. The evidence doesn't support it. I do think that evolution leads a lot of people into atheism, though. I don't think children are necessarily born with a belief in God. Some probably are not. One of my children was clinically dead at birth, but when he came back, it became obvious he had seen Jesus. He described Him. I think the children of Christian parents may receive grace from God to believe. Children who are baptized receive the Holy Spirit. But obviously, an unbaptized child doesn't necessarily have any supernatural help to believe. In a recent study, young children were asked if they believe in God. The vast majority did. But as you say, that's not everyone.This lens is well written. Again, I thank you for sharing.

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      Kylyssa Shay 4 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @binwaayeel: Yep, atheists don't believe Gods and Goddesses are real. Disbelief is somewhat different from denial. One could probably assume you disbelieve in Zeus. If thinking your God isn't real is horrible, is it also horrible to think other peoples' Gods and Goddesses aren't real? Then again, maybe you think Zeus is real and you deny Him? Are you a Zeus denier? If that sounds odd, it's almost exactly how claiming atheists deny God sounds to an atheist. You don't believe in thousands of Gods and Goddesses, I don't believe in just one more. I think all supernatural beings are make-believe, you think at least one isn't. Atheists believe one fewer story than you do.Now imagine those Zeus worshipers had a whole lot of money behind them and a whole lot of people behind them who think people like you and I should just convert to their religion or move out of the country just as many conservative Evangelical Christians in America seem to feel about atheists, moderate Christians, Catholics, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus... well, how they seem to feel about everyone but conservative Evangelical Christians of their own denomination. So these Zeus worshipers get a lot of money and power and they don't believe in the same human rights you believe in. Would you just leave or convert to Zeus worship or would you work within the laws of your country to prevent those Zeus worshipers from requiring you to follow their religious laws?As to why atheists talk about belief, if you read the page above this comment section, you might get some idea of it. It has at least a bit to do with some of those Zeus worshipers, wait, no some of those Yahweh worshipers fighting to make religious laws that everyone must obey. Some of those religious laws don't fit well with being ethical, respectful, or kind. Most of those religious laws violate human rights. Before you bring up the old saw about the laws against murder and theft coming from the Bible, you may note that the laws against those things predate the Bible by a long shot. They were probably lifted from the Code or Ur-Nammu which was made by an ancient legislator to serve as a uniform code of law in ancient Sumeria.If people in your country decided to make laws that followed what Zeus commanded them to do, wouldn't you feel a little funny about it? What if those laws affected you or people you care about?

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      binwaayeel 4 years ago

      @Kylyssa: according to http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/atheist, atheist is a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

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      Kylyssa Shay 4 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @binwaayeel: Since most atheists do neither I don't even understand how this relates to the articles.To deny something you have to think it is real. Atheists don't think God is real, just like you don't think other peoples' Gods and Goddesses are real and just like you don't think Yetis are real. Are you a Yeti-denier or do you just not think Yetis are real? Do you think Zeus is real yet you are denying Him? Me neither. You could deny God because you think God is real; I don't think God is real so I'm not deny anything, I'm just not accepting what you believe as real. Think about it. You don't accept what anyone else thinks is real so what is so evil about not believing absolutely everything everyone around you believes? I believe you think God is real. Isn't that enough to get along?If thinking it is our duty to help other human beings in need is worshiping humans then I think you have a very odd idea of your own faith. Most mainstream Christians, Jews, and Muslims see nothing wrong with respecting their fellow human beings and helping them out, at least in my experience. There are entire religious orders dedicated to helping their fellow humans! If you are going to feel negatively about atheists because we don't hate humanity then you may want to think about your fellow believers who don't hate humanity, either.

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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      As an ordained minister, you have the right to believe any way you want to. I respect your decisions. Who are we as mortals to really know what is the right or wrong belief system. I have my beliefs and you have yours. It's all opinion. Great lens.

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      binwaayeel 4 years ago

      i am confused about which is worse to deny god, or to worship fellow human.

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      Kylyssa Shay 4 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @ShariBerry: While I do not agree with your belief that America was founded on Christian principles rather than on principles of freedom and tolerance, I respect your right to hold that belief.Since the people who have abused me for being an atheist did not abuse me for being a Christian, gay, or Jew, I have no true voice to speak to those issues with. It's probably a lot like how when celebrities develop an illness they suddenly sink funds and attention to research on that particular illness. Writers tend to need a focus and they tend to feel the most passionately about things that affect them personally. Readers also tend to require a focus of some kind or they won't be attracted to the page to read it.I've also written about discrimination against lgbtq kids because I've taken in more than a few lgbtq kids discarded by their religious parents. No one can write something about everything.

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      Kylyssa Shay 4 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @Dressage Husband: I find it hard to believe you read the entire lens because your comment suggests you have no clue as to why it was written. Atheists experience discrimination. Plenty of people, religious or not would prefer that not to happen. Familiarity with other people tends to breed tolerance and to greatly reduce discrimination. Familiarizing people with atheism is an attempt to reduce discrimination.I would not come to your pages on your religion and tell you you must not believe what you say because you talk about it. And if you asked me not to evangelize in the heading of the guestbook, I'm sure I wouldn't. If talking about your belief means you don't believe what you say, you may note you sought someone out who disagrees with your stated belief so you could talk about yours as if telling someone else about your belief will confirm it. I don't care if you agree with what I don't believe or not; all I care about is if you can leave people alone who don't share your beliefs.

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      thegreenninja 4 years ago

      Great lens! Thanks for writing this!

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      Sharon Berry 4 years ago from Michigan

      I am a Christian. As a Christian I am taught to love all people, as Jesus loves us, no matter what their religion, color or sexual orientation. I respect your right to be an atheist but also ask that you respect my right to be a Christian. Don't take my prayer away, just walk away. America was founded on Christian principles and our Founding Fathers believed that our freedom comes from God. However, as Americans, we are free to pursue our own happiness. You have cited many horrible incidents against atheists but we could also cite many horrible incidents against Christians, gays and Jews. Intoleration of any people or belief should not be tolerated. Thank you for sharing your beliefs.

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      Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      Having read your lens in detail I find it hard to believe that you really hold the beliefs proclaimed. This lens reads to me as if you are uncertain and need affirmation. That is exactly the problem with religion in general. We do not know so why be so positive? Scientifically evolution may exist, but we still need an initial creation to start the process.The big bang theory may be correct, bur where did the energy to start it come from. It would have required an infinite energy source. Neither side has the answers, none of us were there at the time. It is misplaced dogma that creates the issues.The problem is humanity and our experience, we think of everything having a beginning and an end. What if there is no beginning or end? It would not be possible to destroy the whole universe (It is infinite). It may therefore be quite possible that it has existed forever. We do not know, however its make up is so mathematically perfect in design that it seems again statistically unlikely that it is an accident. There is about as much chance of that as getting your clothes out of the dryer and finding them all neatly pressed and folded.That said it seems to me more likely that there is a creative energy (Infinite power source) religions call this God, However neither I nor anybody else can define it with any certainty. I just wish we would all come together to analyse the information dispationately to arrive at the truth.Fighting over who is right and wrong is against Gods rules and should be illogical to the true atheist and agnostic. Just my view, we would all be better off cooperating.

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      Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      Having read your lens in detail I am finding it difficult to believe you

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      Liz Mackay 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I'm from Britain and it would seem that we have a much more tolerant attitude to all types of people. It sounds as if atheists have it tough in the States

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      SmokeybonesJr 4 years ago

      Excellent Lens, I'm ignostic. A big part of my job is teaching our troop deploying oversea about Islam, biy you should here so of those discussions LOL. Anyway, nice lens and thank you. Smokeybones...

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      camoguard 4 years ago

      @MAbdulsater: The problem atheists I know have is they've already come to their conclusions. Also, I am one.

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      camoguard 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I agree with Kylyssa. Natural Selection and the Common Ancestor Theory have withstood years of challenges. What we want out of evolution and its presence as a force of nature are two separate things.

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      MissKeenReviewer 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Yes, you are right. Mankind is not perfect and attitude is not goverened by evolution.

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      Kylyssa Shay 4 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @anonymous: That would be Intelligent Design you are talking about. Christians who believe in Intelligent Design believe that God (Yahweh) used small, elegant changes over millions of years to reach a goal of making things better with humanity being the pinnacle of Intelligent Design. I don't believe in Intelligent Design.Evolution doesn't have a mind or a goal, it just happens, like erosion or eutrophication. Things that survive produce offspring and, over time, many generations later their descendants are different from those ancestors. That's all it is. Are you the exact same person with the same appearance, thoughts, and feelings as your great great great great great grandfather or are you a different person? Will your five hundred times great grandson be exactly like you in every aspect?There's no guiding force changing things toward some goal of perfection in evolution. I don't know why so many conservative Christians think that people who think evolution happens believe evolution has a goal. You can be a Christian and not think science is evil. Science is just people investigating the universe. I also don't know why conservatives always bring up evolution in connection with atheism. Most Christians in developed countries other than the US think evolution happened and happens. Their beliefs don't include a God so weak and small His creation cannot be examined without breaking their faith.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Kylyssa: Can I just point that evolution is "non-sense"If we are actually evoluting how comes the world is getting worst???

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      Kylyssa Shay 4 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @MissKeenReviewer: Every Catholic I know personally believes evolution happened/happens and a good number of them learned about it in Catholic schools. My father is in his late seventies and he learned about evolution in Catholic school. I wish all religious bodies would take the same practical, real-world view of the sciences. It hasn't hurt the Catholic church to do it. Thank you for your comment.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Very interesting, I liked it, I am not against any atheist, I think everyone has a right to decide what they believe, wether they are right or wrong it is not up to us humans to judge anyone, an atheist might not believe in God but still have a good heart, so i say who am I to judge, only God knows this person and I truly hope for any atheist that has a good heart, to be in the "good books" of God, wether one believes it or not.

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      MissKeenReviewer 4 years ago

      I am a Catholic and I respect different views and see nothing wrong with it as long as other people respect different religions also. AND I 100% believe in EVOLUTION like most modern priests and nuns. It is now being thuogh in Catholic schools here but sad to say old folks are very hesitant to the realization of this belief. Nice lens thans for sharing.

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      bobgunn 4 years ago

      Awesome lens. I've struggled with religion for many years. I believe there is someone, or something that HAD to create us, and I call it God. But, I don't believe anything in the bible. In fact, I think it's a big fairy tale.

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      Darcie French 4 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      God loves atheists too .. perhaps they prefer to view that love as coming from without vs within. I can't really say, because while I am not religious and agree that much harm has been done in the name of religion, I know that God is.

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      winter aconite 4 years ago

      Great article!

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      techstorm2 4 years ago

      HiIm from the UK and have been an atheist since in my teens, im now 49 and have not changed my view, it has only strengthened.I find it amazing that Americans can be so fundamentalist when it comes to religion, also when it comes to guns but that's another story.There are so many religions in the world, all claiming to have the one truth, how can they all have the one truth?There are 100 million galaxies, each having 100 million stars in each, this will probably increase as our telescopes get bigger, the more we look, the more we see, even if a tiny proportion of these stars have earthlike worlds around them its nonsensical to assume we're the only life in the universe, what does that say about religion and our place in it if there are many other worlds with life.My view of religion is its indoctrination, if you bring children up and teach them fairy tales then a proportion will go on into adulthood and continue to believe the fairy tales, others will see it for what's is, Atheists see the world for what it is.IMHO

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      TonfaGuy 4 years ago

      There should be an eleventh commandment - keep thine religion to thine self.Believing in one of the many gods that tout for your soul is up to the individual completely and if you believe in one of them and their version of what is right and wrong, then so be it.Just don't label me or discriminate against me because I choose to find the already disagreeing versions of the many religions simply non plausible, probably made up and blown out of proportion by the 'writers' of their day. Very good and interesting article.

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      Wakerra LM 4 years ago

      Religion placed aside, I would say any discrimination against any person, religion, faith, or race is just wrong. People are people, it shouldn't matter what they choose to believe, behave, or act that gives us an excuse to look down or treat them poorly. While we may disagree, its not worth fighting/arguing over. Being a huge debater myself, I've only recently come to find how pointless, and destructive negative comments/influence/argumentative behavior is, not to mention the fact that it doesn't ever solve the problem.If a person doesn't want to believe in God, so be it. We can't change a person's mind or choices, but we can influence them either for better or worse. the point of the matter is, we control ourselves, and best should be watching our own actions, rather than worrying about the actions of others

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @DesignSpace: I'm from the UK too and dated an American. He was distressed and said there was something he needed to express. The way he was acting I thought it was something terrible. He eventually blurted out that he didn't believe there was a god. He couldn't even say the word atheist. We were in America at the time and I said, "Is that it? It's no big deal. I'm an atheist too". He looked horrified and said shhh!!!, looking round to make sure no one had heard me. He said, "you can't say that here. Even if you are, you can't say it." I felt really sorry for him.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @MAbdulsater: Why would you want an atheist to read your arguments for the existence of something you believe in? What do you thin will happen? Will atheists read it and think 'I never considered that, I must join this religion forthwith!'? I don't understand why it's so important to you. It makes no difference to me what you believe in, so why is it so important to you that atheists share your beliefs? I don't understand what you are trying to achieve. You have five reasons/arguments why you believe it. Good on you. It's not proof. If you told me you were going to be beamed up to your mother planet and had five arguments to why that was true, what difference would it make to me? I'm not an atheist because I know nothing about religion and all you have to do is enlighten me. I have studied it in depth and rejected it. So what do you think your 5 arguments will achieve?

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      MAbdulsater 4 years ago

      Whilst i do not agree with everything you said, i certainly do respect your thoughts and views and i hold great respect for you because of that. It is a shame that atheists, being an obvious minority, have to suffer under the hostility and discrimination of a vast majority of believers in America, for if they were true believers i don't think they would be doing what they're doing because that would only be hypocritical. I agree and disagree with many things you have written and i would like to take the opportunity here to invite you to read my latest lens on the 5 arguments for the existence of God. Thank you and bless you!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @maryseena: Your right. Whether they are right or wrong they are intitled.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @DesignSpace: Hi my name is Nelly from the USA and i am grateful you don't not have to experience such wrong doing. I am a christian myself and i believe that many people are killed because of what they believe in. I believe that doing wrong to someone because of what they believe in is wrong. If you ever want to get to know me(i am a 16 year-old girl) i would love to get to know you. Thank you for being honest to yourself. Whether what you believe in is right or wrong, being yourself is a good thing. :) Thank You

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I'm with some of the other comments here, no-one should be pigeon holed somewhere the don't wanna be!

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      DesignSpace 4 years ago

      This is a great lens on a really important issue. Being an atheist from the UK, I really can't imagine what it must be like over there.

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      maryseena 4 years ago

      Everyone has a right to one's own beliefs.

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      BrendanSanlatte 4 years ago

      When I went to a private Christian high school, the teachers said we had an edge over the public schools because they didn't have a prayer. :)

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      Joy Lynskey 4 years ago from Moneta, Va

      Great lens!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Kylyssa: Kylyssa - As I read my reply to TheWharfMaster, I realized that I didn't comment on this lens. I enjoyed reading your thoughts. I do not condemn anyone whose opinions are different than mine. We all have to learn to live together even though our lifestyles and beliefs may be miles apart. No one side should have to "prove" anything to the other. Live your life the best you know how and maybe someday there will be answers.When you write about people condemning atheists, I think it works both ways as I have read many articles where people were not allowed to pray or even speak of God. There are tons of stories out there pertaining to infringing on the rights of people because of their belief systems. There was a little boy sent home from school because he put "Jesus loves you" on his Valentine's Day cards. Do we not have freedom of speech or is it just allowed on one side? You have written from your heart here but rest assured that believers do to!

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      Kylyssa Shay 4 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @TheWharfMaster: I disagree that most people believe in God just because everyone else does. I think they believe in God because they think God is real.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @TheWharfMaster: I take great exception to a couple of your theories. First, people do not just believe in the existence of God because "everyone else does". Second, being a believer in God does not mean that a person is not down to earth or is uneducated. The generalization that people who believe in God are giving up their personal power is bogus. Look around you in these times - it takes a person with strong convictions and character to believe that God is real. Maybe the energy that created the universe is God - you call it energy, another calls it God. One of the definitions of faith is - a firm belief in something for which there is no proof, complete trust. There are many things that people believe in on this earth that have never been proven; yet they believe. I would rather have faith in God than in the universe or mankind. In these times, the latter seems hellbent on destruction.

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      whats4dinner 4 years ago

      this is one intriguing lens! i believe that people who are atheist primarily believes in the science of logic. they don't need scientific explanation, all they need is a simple explanation. sine religion is pretty much faith-based, that's when the tend to face the other direction.

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      TheWharfMaster 4 years ago

      I agree completely, most people nowadays believe in god just because everyone else does. What god is, is a symbolic figure upon which people give all their personal power away in exchange for artificial security, but they call it faith. One thing to have faith in? The universe. Anyone who wouldn't entertain the idea that maybe, everything in this natural world is so complex and intricate, that theres a great possibility of an intelligence being behind it. What I see is that everyones really worshipping and following the same thing, just tagging a different word to it and saying its different. What is god? Well hes ever eternal, can't be created or destroyed and is within each one of us. That's what a Christian will tell you, now ask someone whos a little more down to earth and educated, what is eternal, makes up everything and can't be created or destroyed? Energy is what they'll tell you. Energy is what we have in common with everything else, energy is the universe and the universe is something to have faith in. Nuff said.