This question doesn't make a lot of sense. Athiesm implies an intentional lack of belief. The choice of science over religion.
Now if you're asking where an agnostic (someone who isn't sure) should start, they should start by reading books about world religions. Find one that interests them and research it more.
This is coming from someone who spent a lot of time researching religion and decided that agnosticism was the place I wanted to remain at for the time being.
Agnostics and atheists share the lack of beliefs in gods. The Agnostic starts from the fact that the evidence neither supports the existence of god/gods nor proves that god/gods do not exist (how do you prove a negative?). Lacking the evidence, the Agnostic refuses to believe in a god, leaving the issue open. In any case, the Agnostics act the same as Atheists, that is, as there is no god to inform their actions.
The Atheist, says the same thing that the Agnostic, but take the factual approach that there is no god, that is, there is no open issue. Otherwise, there is no difference in how Atheists and Agnostics act in the Universe.
No religion can provide positive evidence of its truthfulness, therefore all it is based in the capacity of the individual for being hoodwinked by a deceiving preacher.
The notorious utterance of the Biblical adept stating that "by their works you will know them" is consistently applied to evidence of wrongdoing by the "others", either believers of another religion or non-believers as a class. When a wrongdoing by a follower of the promoted religion might be supported by the proper evidence, the immediate claim is to distance from the believer as "a lost soul" implying that the believer's action doesn't disprove the religion, in the process destroying the logic of the original "by their works you will know them".
The Atheist doesn't start from a religion, rather the Atheist is the one who had arrived to Atheism. All the roads take you to NO GOD.
What kind of Atheist will an individual be, cannot be defined by the single non-belief in god/gods, nor the past of that individual. The quality of the human character exhibited by the Atheist will provide the answer. It all will depend in how are we committed to the "golden rule" regarding the Universe and our fellow travelers.
Actually there is a difference in the social acceptance of Agnostics as opposed to Atheists, advising many an Atheist to tone it down and profess Agnosticism from the lips out.
Keith it sounds like you are interested in studying religion. As an ex-atheist, I can say that even atheists should be allowed to study—logically. That is a part of what we claim. We are disbelieving based on a logical understanding of the world and science. Science promotes study, taking the information, and coming to a logical conclusion.
So, study. Enjoy. Ignore the ideas that an atheist can not look into these things. It would be wrong from an atheist not to look into the things they disbelieve.
Start with Judaism. Out of the monotheistic faiths is it among (arguably is) the oldest. You can try Zoroastrianism, but it really isn’t a monotheistic faith. If you are interested in polytheistic there is always finding a shade of hinduism—but, trust me that gets pretty complex for a new person to study.
I hope this is helpful.
This is a very creative question. At first, I thought Buddhism. The "founder", Siddhartha, sought enlightenment on his own, and suggested the same for others. In a way, he left God, or Gods out of the equation. But now, people worship him and have added others to the list. It is hard to find the pure form today.
The same can be said for Christianity. In today's world form looms over function. Jesus contradicted the rigors of religion with relationship, compassion, and common sense.
Here's the deal, if God is real. He can speak for himself. That gets lost in the shuffle, since so many people believe that God wants them to do all the talking. The less said the better in a case like this. Where should the rational unbeliever start?
Seek and you will find.
Atheists are welcome in the Unitarian Universalist church. There is no creed in a UU church (no dogma you have to believe in to be a member.) There are 7 principles congregations agree to affirm and promote: the inherent worth and dignity of every person, for example. Christians, Jews, atheists, pagans, Wiccans, Buddhists, humanists -- all are worthy; all are welcome. It's a place where many who have been harmed by "organized religion" recover their sense of spirituality. You might start there and move on as you develop your sense of what is holy, or you might stay! I did.
I was raised as an atheist. My father was a genius (albeit slightly crazy) who believed that there was no need for religion if we could control ourselves to be better. My mother just didn't have the ambition to follow a religion. So, now that you know my story I should tell you what I have learned in searching for a religion.
I started off trying to be a Christian. It is the most common so I felt it was a good idea. I read the bible (actually several versions) and I didn't really feel like it was right for me. Don't get me wrong, I believe it is a good religion - just not for me
The same thing happened with Judaism - and then I started to learn about the different forms of paganism. It gave me a better feeling, but something was still off.
Then I found Buddhism. It has fulfilled the need I felt.
The moral of this story is that no one can really answer your question because no one can really know what your convictions are. You need to research and find the one that fills you heart with joy. I believe Mother Theresa said it best - it is not between you and them anyway - in the end it is between you and the creator - so find the one that makes you feel at home
I think Buddhism is a good religion for a person who is an atheist to start with studying. Since Buddhism is more impersonal, than some of the other traditions, I think it would work better for an atheist. The concept of the soul being eternal, having a relationship with the universe in an abstract form, and just being a good person in the philosophy. Also in Buddhism, no one is giong to absolve you of your sins, you have to be responsible and careful of your actions, you karma is earned.
Prasanna Seshadri says
Atheists are those who do not believe in the existence of a supreme being beyond their existence. Josh Billings says that "The trouble with most folks is not so much their ignorance, but of knowing many things which ain't so". Atheists are pretty much convinced that if there is no manifestation detectable by their senses (Perceptions) or mind and intellect, then certainly there are no realms existing beyond the confines of their thinking. This is the fallacy in their thinking. Theists believe that the basis or cause or source of their lives is a supreme being or Reality existing even beyond the limits of their thinking faculty of intellect. Atheists will find Buddhism easy as it professes good virtues of life without emphasising on the belief of the supreme being. Atheists are convinced by logic and reason that is perceptible to them and do not even doubt the existence of reality beyond it.
Other religions which believe in the existence of a supreme being, extend their thinking and accept a possibility of subtler realms which are the source of our lives or enlivening principles, and that these cannot be captured by the intellect since they are subtler in nature. Every human being is at some stage of spiritual evolution between 0 and 100. The belief system of everybody varies according to their spiritual evolution and their priorities in life. Materialistic and sensual people, how much ever pious and religious they may be, are far from being spiritual in the real sense of the term.
Moreover, the basic nature of every human being is unique to every single individual that it is impossible to suggest one single common religion for all the atheists. It is one's priority, wisdom of life and the effectiveness of the religion that determines and atheists choice of religion. The subtler and true religions are not popular among common people.
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