Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Atheism for dummies!

I've been thinking about the day when a book like this would be written. In a cynical sort of way I have been hoping that it would be sooner than later. As an atheist I have been feeling frustrated at times at having to explain my position over and over again when challenged by theists. Now I could just refer them to the book!

It baffles me to no end how theists often misrepresent the atheist position when it is so obvious and so clearly stated. Just looking up the definition of the word atheist gives them the fundamental description of what we all agree upon; that we don't believe in the existence of the Abrahamic God or any gods for that matter.

a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings. (
a person who does not believe in God or gods (World English Dictionary).

It can't get any simpler than that! Somehow theists have managed to take this simple definition and turn it into one big muddled mess. It seems that with theists everything must be defined as having some air of mystery or ambiguity like their many doctrines and beliefs.

I find it kind of amusing when theists try to back me into a corner by asking me some of the most silliest questions I could ever have imagined would need to be asked at all. In their quest to make their beliefs seem intelligible they thrive on trying to make the rest of us look dumb. But in all reality all that they have managed to achieve is to make themselves seem utterly incapable of logical thinking and reasoning.

Theists often struggle with seeking some purpose in life, but they look for that purpose in all the wrong places. My suggestion is that they take their eyes off of heaven and seek purpose here on earth. We live in a world that is all too real and can be fulfilling and quite satisfying. I for instance enjoy my life to the fullest. I love my wife and kids and enjoy making them happy and expressing to them often how I feel about them. This life has enough things for one to occupy themselves with than to be wasting it worrying about gods, heavens, and hells. This life we are living is in the here and now, and the so called next life is not guaranteed for anyone. In fact the existence of this next life cannot be proven to exist outside of the minds of those who choose to believe in it without evidence.

Theists struggle with issues of morality, not realizing that man is capable enough to create his or her own moral codes without the need for a god. Morality is a cultural and societal phenomenon and nothing more. Evil as defined by theists as being anyone who lives contrary to their beliefs or worship Satan by doing bad things such as homicide, rape, or hurting others in a myriad of other ways is wrong headed and confusing. There are good and bad people everywhere and bad things happen all the time. This is a part of the randomness of life and is something that we have no control over.

The problem of evil is not a problem for me. I see it as a consequence of existence. People do evil things for many reasons such as mental illness, having been victims of a horrendous childhood, etc. You don't need a devil or demon to do evil things all you need is a desire and the weakness to submit to your bad inclinations to cause harm.

Theists seem dissatisfied with this life in the way they carry themselves and the way that they walk and talk. They dream about that imaginary place where there will no longer be pain and sorrow and that they will be able to enjoy an eternal state of joy and bliss. Somehow reality seems utterly unreasonable to them. Some claim they are happy here in Christ but still are not satisfied with this life and like their fellow believers look to the world of myth and imagination in hopes of a future life beyond the grave.

Atheist are not concerned with the afterlife; at least this one isn't. I don't care for eternal life whether it be forever blissful etc. This life alone is full of wonder and many amazing mysteries to keep me occupied for as long as I breathe. In this life I meet new challenges on a daily basis and exercise my mind to the fullest. I don't concern myself with imaginary beings and pleasing them since I view that as a vestige of primitive thinking. I don't see apparent design in the world as being "created" I see the effects of natural selection in action. Amongst all of that apparent order there is plenty of chaos which indicates to me that some aspects of nature continue to evolve.

Atheists don't speculate about myths and superstitions we are too busy enjoying the challenges of unraveling the many mysteries that reality has before us. The origins of the universe and life itself are two of the biggest and most difficult mysteries to unravel, but we don't need to insert a god into it. All that does is create more problems because it then forces us to try to explain the origins of God who believers and the bible itself says is ineffable (unable to be expressed in words). The ironic thing is that Christians are always trying to define their god while at the same time stating that it can't be done.

Hopefully this book can put some of the many questions theists have about atheists to rest in a language and level that they could all understand without having to rack their superstitious minds too much.  


  1. Note: This is a comment posted earlier by my friend LadyAtheist.

    My biggest frustration is that people with Ph.D.s in arcane fields have been speaking for us. The only "normal" spokespeople who get air time are American Atheist bigwigs, but they haven't written any books. Dawkins' God Delusion is very readable but he seems unapproachable in his public persona. You really don't need to be in mensa or get a Ph.D. to understand why religion is nonsense, but it seems like it sometimes. And then consider how intellectually easy it is to be a theist - it gets doled out to you in bite-sized gulps in church, with the difficult bits left out, and it doesn't change over time except perhaps to get easier to understand. It's difficult to accept mortality, especially the mortality of loved ones, but just because something is easier or more comforting doesn't make it true.

  2. I stopped believing in High School but it was really college and taking courses in Logic, Philosophy(my minor), Psychology(my major and BS degree) and readings on critical thinking that made me more sure Christianity was bullshit though I was 30 before I realized I was an absolute Atheist.

  3. David, you have state the definition of atheist pretty clearly, but atheists have a huge part in muddling this.

    I can't even count the number of times I have been told atheism is a "lack of belief" and thus "not a belief" and so on.

    To me, that is simply dodging the issue.