What Does it Mean to be an Atheist?
In a recent hub, Aguasilver made the claim that he was a converted Christian that once was an atheist. After reading his hub, which you can read here, I have come to the conclusion that Aguasilver either, a) does not know what the meaning of being an atheist is, or b) is a complete liar and has made a false claim. I will let you decide which, but I will give my inference on this subject.
I find it quite annoying that there are people that think that being an atheist simply means ignoring god. For the reader's and Aguasilver's benefit, I will include here the definition of the words atheism and atheist from several different sources.
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Atheism: 1. archaic: ungodliness, wickedness 2. a: a disbelief in the existence of deity b: the doctrine that there is no deity.
Atheist: one who believes that there is no deity.
Atheist: 1.) A person who lacks belief in a god or gods. People who use this definition categorize atheists as either negative (or implicit or weak) atheists or positive (or explicit or strong) atheists. Negative atheists, while they don't believe in a god, do not positively assert that no gods exist. Positive atheists, however, do. 2.) A person who believes that no god or gods exist.
Atheism: 1) the doctrine or belief that there is no god 2) disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.
Hmmm... nowhere does it say a tendency to ignore god or questions about god, like Aguasilver claims. Interesting.
Does Atheism Imply Living a Less Than Moral Life?
Certainly not--but that is exactly what Aguasilver has suggested in his hub, "Answer to atheistchick." Nowhere in his hub does he describe not believing in a god or gods, or questioning their existence. He merely relates the story of his childhood into adulthood, and how for most of his life he "ignored" god. How is this atheism?
I find it quite insulting that a person who does not even know the meaning of atheism can write a hub and suggest that there is some correlation between a lack of belief in a god and "exploring life," "stealing," "fumbling with girls," and "smoking hash." There very well may be atheists who have done or currently do all of those things, but that does not an atheist make one.
Later, Aguasilver goes on to say, "God had no place in my life...When folk spoke of religion I just nodded and ignored them, the question of hell never bothered me as I did not believe it existed." Not believing in hell does not necessarily imply not believing in a god. Auguasilver has yet to state that.
But it gets better. He then goes on to relate how he was almost killed, how he was unfaithful to his partner, how he was not happy even though he had managed to make a million dollars. I still can't find anywhere in his hub where he explains how he questioned the existence of god. When did he, like every real atheist, read the bible from cover to cover and find it hard to swallow? When did he go through sleepless nights with that question, "Does god exist?" I have yet to read any of that, yet this man claims he was an atheist?
It sounds like to me that an "atheist," to Aguasilver, is simply someone who lives or has lived a less than moral life. Well, thank you for that wonderful insult, Mr. Aguasilver. What a fine Christian you are, indeed. You are wrong. Plain and simple, you have made a huge mistake--I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.
Finally, Aguasilver leaves the reader with this sentiment: "A wise person never precludes that there may be more truth to find."
Really? Because it seems to me that you've been a Christian your entire life, albeit a lazy one by Christian's own standards. You have never outright questioned the existence of god, you clearly stated yourself that you just ignored him. And as for god being your final answer, you settled. You never dared to ask any questions. At best, sir, you may have been an agnostic, but a poor one at that. An atheist, you were not, and I think you owe atheists everywhere an apology.
More on God, Atheism, and the Eternal Quest for Truth
- The Bible is not a Historical Text, it is a Hagiography
Christians are always claiming that the bible is some sort of historically accurate text. It is not historically accurate, in fact it is far from it.
- The (Im)Moral Christian
Modern Christianity is a modern invention. Although Christians tend to cling to an ancient book, quite possibly the most immoral book ever conceived,they don't practice what it dictates, but they do defend it. This is a paradox.
- The Bible: A Solid Foundation for Atheistic Belief
The bible is far from a moral guide. If anything, it is a guide on how not to live your life.
- The Arrogance of Christianity
If Christians took that same certainty that all other religions are wrong, and turned it onto themselves, there might be a more honest discussion about religion.
- Why God as an Answer Makes You Definitively Wrong: More on the Arrogance of Christianity
To continue with the discussion of why Christians are arrogant, let us talk about the need to always have an answer, and if no answer exists, let's say, "God did it."