Atheism: 1580s, from French athéisme (16c.), from Greek atheos "without god" (see atheist). A slightly earlier form is represented by atheonism (1530s) which is perhaps from Italian atheo "atheist." Ancient Greek atheotes meant "ungodliness."
Theists seem to be more ignorant about what the word atheist means and particularly what atheists believe then they are of their own beliefs. So I thought it was high time that I set the record straight! I have heard a bunch of stupid and even rather entertaining opinions about what atheists stand for or what atheists believe.Oftentimes Christians in particular try to turn the tables on atheists by trying to shift the burden of proof on us when it is they that are making the absolute claim that God exists. They improperly try to force atheists into a corner by demanding that we prove that God does not exist. In philosophy that is known as what is called "proving a negative" but when it comes to gods or God it cannot be done conclusively.
It amuses me how theists claim to know God through the scriptures or what they believe they have learned through the interpretation of the scriptures. But the truth of the matter is that theists themselves don't even know what it is they believe. The fact that the bible is open to human interpretation eliminates it as the word of God in my book. As the 35,000 plus Christian sects in America are a testimony to; the bible can basically be made to say whatever it is you want it to say.
Some of the common things these sects argue about are the following:
1. At what age should someone be baptized?
2. Do babies need to be baptized?
3. Should baptism be full immersion under water or just a sprinkling of water on the forehead?
4. Is venerating saints prohibited in the bible?
5. Is purgatory real?
6. Is the trinity real is God three entities in one or simply just one god?
7. Do miracles still happen today as in faith healing?
8. Do the gifts of the Spirit still manifest themselves today?
9. Are believers going to heaven or are they going to live in a New Jerusalem here on earth?
10. Is praying to Mary a form of idolatry?
The list goes on and on without end. Thus we have so many Christian sects worldwide all in some cases incorporating Christianity into their cultural beliefs.Various forms of Christianity can be found all over the world. If you were to compare their doctrines and tenets to one another you would think you are not studying the same religion.
If theism means a belief in god; then atheism simply means without a belief in god. One thing that is common of all atheists is that we enjoy our freedom of speech, our rights to think and hold beliefs freely about a myriad of subjects. We take pride in being called freethinkers where our minds are not shackled by set doctrines or dogmas. I have personally corresponded with atheists who do not believe nor accept the theory of evolution in its entirety. Others accept evolution as a well known and established scientific fact.
Calling myself an atheist does not extend into other fields of thought. When I say I am an atheist I am specifically speaking about my position about where I stand when it comes to the issue of the existence of gods or the biblical God and other supernatural entities. Not all atheists are pro-choice when it comes to abortion, nor do we all agree on political issues, we do argue about science much, and we definitely don't worship science. We demand proof that can be verified and repeatable using the scientific method.
When I personally say that there is no God or gods I say so because the alternative seems irrational to me. My journey in fundamentalist Christianity and my subsequent escape from it has been a long and conflicting process which spanned about six years of self-doubt and the illogical fear of the consequences I would suffer for turning my back on God. But I did a thorough investigation and found explanations for all of my so called supernatural experiences while a believer and evangelist.
You can never generalize when speaking about atheists because of the simple fact that we don't all agree on many things. We take pride in being able to make up our own minds as to what we believe or reject. We take pride in being able to reasonably analyze whatever situation life throws at us and coming to rational conclusions on how to handle those situations or the information we learn from them.
To say that atheist are immoral, full of hate, god deniers, etc. just demonstrates the ignorance of those making these claims as to what an atheist is and what it represents. I've been accused of confirmation bias, or even ignoring the so called evidence for the existence of God. But the truth is that theists simply don't have any evidence for the existence of their god. The day a theist can provide objective evidence for the existence of God he/she will win the Nobel peace prize and will go down in history as the man/woman who brought down God from the heavens.
I firmly believe that that will never happen, but I am open to it if it does. My dilemma with God is that if his so called message is so important then why doesn't he just make himself known to everyone in a manner that would simply be outright undeniable. For instance when the apostle Thomas did not believe in the resurrection he appeared to him and dined with him and the other disciples. Why couldn't he do something similar today to all that asks? He is omnipresent so appearing to billions at once shouldn't be a problem.
Oh and one last thing: stop threatening us with eternal suffering in hell! Let me lay it out for you. As an atheist we reject everything your bible says about supernatural beings and imaginary places. We don't believe in God, Satan, demons, angels, cherubim, seraphim, prophecy, heaven, hell, purgatory, paradise, Jesus as God incarnate or any other cockamamie ideas your beliefs represent. Telling an atheist that he will know God is real when he finds himself burning in hell is like telling a grown up that if they don't behave that the boogie man is going to come out of the closet and eat them! It's nothing more than an idle threat with no substance.
That last paragraph should clear up a couple of things. Just because we don't believe in gods or God does not mean that we worship Satan, eat babies, or have sold our soul to the devil. Just reading this as I write it gives me a chuckle at the thought that some idiots that share this planet with us actually believe these things.