Thursday, 23 February 2012

'Atheism' - A Brief Introduction

Atheism for dummies
As most my posts are inspired by observations on Facebook and the wider internet, I shall continue the trend:

There seems to be a lot of confusion between different religions/'belief groups' when understanding what each other actually believes. This includes atheists. I see far too many people arguing over beliefs when they don’t even realise that their 'opposition' has a completely differ
ent definition of the issue!

The negative side of this can be seen coming from both 'believer' AND 'non-believer' camps.
A couple of random examples;
  • “Atheists refuse to acknowledge that god exists to escape moral accountability”
  •  “Religious people are stupid because they can’t use logic”
Both statements are pretty weak and I fail to see how either is beneficial in
any way.

On the side of Atheism and for the benefit of ‘believers’ / the religious etc:
  • No (or extremely few) atheists believe that there can absolutely be no god.
  • The self-identifying term ‘atheist’ can include; deists, agnostics etc.
  • Atheists live as though there is no god as they see no logical reason for there to be one, they especially see no logical reason to consider any of the known religions/supernatural beliefs as correct.
  • Individuals have very different reasons and paths to how they came to identify themselves as atheists.
  • Technically the more accurate term for atheists could be “agnostic”, however this term seems to be adopted by those who do not care about the issue or have done little research on it.
  • “De facto atheist” is perhaps the most accurate way to describe the 'common' atheist. It means they do not believe there is a god but accept that there is a possibility one could exist.
- Similar ideas can go for ‘Christians’ or ‘Muslims’. One Christian can have very different beliefs and/or reasons to believe from another ‘Christian’. However, they often seem to deny that there is any possibility that there might not be a god, which differs from the atheistic point of view.

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