Sunday, October 18, 2015

Atheism is not a worldview!

worldview : the way someone thinks about the world

In a recent discussion with a theist I was told that atheism is a negative worldview. My immediate thoughts went to the actual meaning of atheism or the word atheist. What does it mean when someone states that they are an atheist?

 atheist (n.) Look up atheist at Dictionary.com1570s, from French athéiste (16c.), from Greek atheos "without god, denying the gods; abandoned of the gods; godless, ungodly," from a- "without" + theos "a god" (see theo-).

atheista person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

As you can see from the above definition taken from the Online Etomology Dictionary adding an "a" to the word theist simply states the opposite of what a thiest claims to believe; that God or gods exists. I myself as an atheist do not consider my atheism a worldview for the simple fact that one has nothing to do with the other. I see the word atheist as nothing more than a label that generally states what I don't believe in. Atheist like the word theist is nothing more than a general descriptive label and nothing more. Not all theists or atheists hold the same beliefs or worldviews as can be easily proven by randomly asking theists or atheists specific questions and comparing their answers to their fellow believers or nonbelievers. 

Stating that one is a theist does not automatically make that person a Christian, Muslim, or Jew but rather generally states that they believe in supernatural entities such as gods, demons, demigods etc. What they as individuals believe on other matters beyond their theism has nothing to do with the label although it may be influenced by the ideology itself. 

As an atheist I hold a more naturalistic view of the world and tht is the result of my rejection of the beliefs in the supernatural and the many beings others claim exists in that invisible unknown realm of existence. In my view there are only two alternatives: either you believe that gods exists and are behind everything in nature or you believe that gods do not exists and have nothing to do with nature. I choose to believe the latter position. I personally have no need for a belief in the Christian God or any gods for that matter. I don't need God to be happy since I am convinced that we can be happy on our own by seeking it and making up our minds to find it. 

I find happiness in this life now by living in wonder of our universe and the greatest feeling of all which is that which is felt upon discovery and learning new things about the world and universe we inhabit. I find life itself awe inspiring and much more interesting than religion and gods which I classify as ancient beliefs based on myths and superstitions of the past. 

My life without god beliefs may be influenced by my atheism but atheism itself is not my worldview. I don't see the divine in nature. I find nature to be amazing in and of itself and nothing fascinates me more than looking up at the night sky on a clear night with the knowledge that I am staring out millions and maybe billions of years into the past! The idea that the elements found on earth and that compose our bodies is found in stars (that we are star stuff) is simply mind blowing. It sure beats the hell out of believing that some invisible man in the sky made a man out of mud and blew the breath of life into him. Just writing that screams myth to me! 

In conclusion: Just remember that atheism is not a worldview. It is a label and nothing more that refers to your lack in belief in gods and or supernatural realms and beings. That's it! Nothing more and nothing less. It may influence your other beliefs but it does not define them or who you are as a person.