Atheism

People in society today who have atheistic views on religion are seen as rebelling against the “norms” of society and are known as deviant. Society determines what is deviant by the ideas they hold of what should be normal. Atheism is seen as deviant.  It doesn’t mean that they believe in evil, although that is how it is sometimes viewed from people who have a specific religion or faith.  Atheism is not a new idea, nor are religions.  Religions have been around just as long as atheism.  People have come up with the theory of God/gods to explain the things they cannot.  God/gods have always existed to explain the unknown.  There are no other reasons for them.

Atheism is the philosophy that there are no God/gods.  When asked for proof, that is where atheism falls apart.  One cannot prove a universal contradiction.  Atheism means “without theism”  or “without god.”  It is the absence of theism.  No belief in any deity.  Atheism is the total freedom of religion.  They are not pagans, or Satanists, nor communists, and most are certainly not un-patriotic.  They do not hate God/gods, or Jesus.  They don’t believe in the existence or divinity.  They are not amoral.  They consider Satan to be a mythical entity or a figment of the imagination.

There are two broad categories of atheism:  positive and negative.  Positive atheists are more commonly known as strong or weak atheists and believe that no God/gods exist.  Negative atheists are known as weak or soft and don’t believe that God/gods exist.

Agnostics (without knowledge) consider the presumption of God/gods to be unanswerable.  That term is accepted more in society.  Agnostic and negative atheism are referred as the same.  But this is not true; simply, agnostics are in a reasonable position when atheism is more dogmatic.  Agnosticism is more respectable.  Not from the belief in God/gods, but about knowledge; it describes the position of a person who couldn’t claim to know the truth about God/gods existence or not.  We, as the race of men with a free will, have the power to reject the idea of God/gods and oppose wisdom.  Even if atheism is forced by its own logic to insinuate the suicide of the spirit, it certainly exists.

Two other categories of atheism are implicit and explicit.  Implicit atheism is never knowing or hearing of theistic points of view.  Explicit atheism is hearing of various theistic points of view and rejecting them as absurd.  This is more common, while implicit atheism is rarer.  Implicit atheism is kind of like agnosticism.  Most who want to further learn about atheism are of the explicit type.

A theist always refers to an atheist as an evil doer and as destroyers of morality and hell-bound.  Atheists have been attacked, refused basic human rights, and even murdered for not blindly accepting an unsupported claim.  Atheists are good, bad, and in-between.  Just like all other people.  Atheism doesn’t address any specific moral enactment.  The only common idea that unites all atheists far and wide is their lack of belief in God/gods.  Each and every atheist has their own opinions for what they think is true and false.

Atheists may feel fixedly about atheism for a number or reasons:

  1. They believe in it enough to make it true.
  2. It intrigues them.
  3. They want to protect the rights of fellow atheists.
  4. They look for good answers to questions they might have.
  5. They might have been approached repeatedly by religionists.
  6. They want to stop theists from putting their practices and beliefs into law.
  7. They want to share with others the benefits of it.

An atheist says “show me.”  They want proof of God/gods.  It doesn’t mean that they don’t believe in a higher power, it just means that they want to be shown that there really is something out there.  But until then, they don’t believe.  They believe that whatever beings must have a cause.  Most things are possible to begin without a cause of course.  Scientific theory believes that the universe was uncaused.

Some famous atheists are Marlon Brando (actor), George Carlin (comedian), Billy Joel (musician), Michael Crichton (author), Paul Edwards (philosopher), Ron Reagan Jr. (talk host), and Teller (magician).

There are always certain factors that changes someone’s point of view.  These are some that convert theists to atheists:

  1. Personal experience.
  2. Personal opinion.
  3. Scientific research.
  4. Historical documentation.
  5. The works of others.
  6. Legal references.

Leading issues of atheism are dividing the theists from the atheists.  Then determining the agnostics and the atheists and whether you’re a positive or negative atheist.

Jean Paul Sartre is a famous philosopher and existentialist.  He considers God a mere project of the human psyche.  He thinks it to be somewhat surprising that humans can choose God as a master and an object of worship that they concocted themselves.  Sartre calls human reality the “for-itself.”  It is defined as absolute liberty and lucidity and therefore the opposite of in-itself.  He means that man is certainly free, but the freedom man has is neither a victory nor a gift from heaven; it is a damnation.  Humans are condemned to be free exactly as a rock is condemned to be a rock.  The liberty is the slavery and that’s why man’s conscience is unhappy.

“There is no God above us, is the fond thought of reckless hearts,” (Psalms 52.1).  This famous quote is of great importance, which is commented by preachers and theologians.  It is recognized that there are atheists, and that atheism is an undeniable fact of life.  In the case of atheism, a complete knowledge of the subject must include the knowledge beyond the physical universe.  Without full knowledge of every physical dimension and metaphysical dimension, one cannot know with absolute certainty that a higher power such as God does exist.

The fact that there’s no hard evidence for atheism is true.  Even if it could be scientifically proven that certain beliefs about God/gods were untrue, it could still not disprove the existence of higher power; only that a common belief about God/gods were wrong.  But there is no evidence that atheism is true or false because it addresses a knowledgeable fact that must prove its case by offering evidence. The “evidence” for atheism exists only in philosophy and ideology.

Certain beliefs of a variety of religious beliefs about God/gods may be proven false at one time, but it can only alter what is believed about God/gods.  It can’t determine whether he exists or not.  By contrast, there is evidence that theism is true.  While there isn’t any evidence that fairies exist, for example, without complete knowledge of the universe, one can’t be 100% certain that fairies don’t exist; as they may be somewhere without our knowledge.

Belief in God/gods isn’t innate to the human being; no one is born knowing of the existence of any higher power, it is taught to them.  Some would say man is born with no innate knowledge, but communication is innate along with reproduction.  Fear, wonder, and curiosity come along with it.  Though a belief in God/gods isn’t.  It had to have been introduced or “thought up.”

Atheism cannot leave the idea of God/gods behind.  Either is realized God/gods in nature or in history, or it declares him impossible to find in this world and contradictory in himself.  The two main sources of atheism are the one in reflection on our knowing, the other in meditation on existence.  Both commence from the fundamental lack of evidence of God/gods.

_______________________________________________________

Works Cited

Atheism Awareness. 1999. <http://atheismawareness.home.att.net/&gt;

Atheism Defined. 2002. <http://www.atheism-1.com/&gt;

Atheism Web, The. 1995. <http://infedels.org/news/atheism/&gt;

“Atheism:  What it is, and What it’s Not” n. page.  Online.  5 May 2003.

<http://high-concepts.com/keep_the_reason/atheism1.htm&gt;

Big Bang Cosmology and Atheism.  1993.        <http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/smith_18_2.html&gt;

Borne, Etienne.  Atheism.  New York:  Hawthorn Books, 1961.

Lepp, Ignace.  Atheism in Our Time.  New York:  The Macmillan Company, 1963.

O’Dwyer, Sean.  1995.  <http://www.dcd.net/NBP/&gt;

Prinicpia Cybernetica Web.  Aug. 1993.

Wasteland of Wonders.  1997.  <http://www.abarnett.demon.co.uk/atheism/&gt;

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7 thoughts on “Atheism

  1. I don’t think atheists are seen as deviant at all, particularly in Europe where I am from. Many people are atheists and it’s not a problem. In fact in places such as the UK atheists are nearly the majority. Belief is still very high in places like France and Ireland but atheists are not viewed as abnormal in anyway.

  2. Interesting post. I’m glad that you pretty much stated facts based on research with very few biases one direction or the other.

    I’m not sure if the definition of theism is entirely sound. At issue between theists and non-theists is the idea of metaphysics. The two principles in debate within metaphysics are these:

    1) There is a God that is transcendent (not of the world)
    2) There is a God that is immanent (active in the world)

    This helps us differentiate the worldviews. Deism holds to the idea that God is transcendent but not immanent; pantheism is based on the belief that God is immanent but not transcendent. Theism (purported by Christianity, Islam and Judaism) is a belief in both; atheism is a belief in neither.

    Which makes me wonder where agnosticism falls into this. I suppose you could say that agnosticism is a lack of any knowledge about or consideration for metaphysics. This implies not only not knowing but also not caring, since any study into metaphysics would lead to a natural conclusion about where one stands.

    Regardless, this is an extremely helpful tool in mapping out who, how and why atheists are what they are. Thanks for posting!

  3. @sabepashubbo Thanks for reading! I was younger when I posted this and I was interested in what atheism was because I was raised with Catholic views (though I don’t follow them now), which is why I wrote this paper.

    Now that I’m a little older (and hopefully wiser) I don’t follow any religion because I haven’t found one that I’ve connected with spiritually (even though I’ve been heavily influenced by Buddhism). I guess I am now an agnostic because I know about several religions, but I choose to follow none.

    @gislebertus Growing up in the Catholic faith, if one is to encounter an atheist, the general consensus is that they are “deviant”…or so that’s how I was taught to perceive the world. It’s nice to know that many others don’t “follow a flock” around because their families “force” them to. I like when people make their own decisions about religion.

  4. Thank you for the insight! This was absolutely necessary. I myself am a weak atheist, or agnostic atheist, and hate when people don’t understand the difference between the two. I wrote an entry outlining my transition from a life of faith to a life of reason, and would love for you (and anybody else reading this) to check it out and leave a comment or two. Faithfully reasonable: http://davidmasten.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/faithfully-reasonable/

    Thank you all for your time.

  5. I am amused by your comment that “Atheism is the philosophy that there are no God/gods. When asked for proof, that is where atheism falls apart.”

    When asked for proof that God/gods exist..that is where religion falls apart.

    How is one supposed to prove something which does not exist? About the same as trying to disprove something which does not exist.

    The common thread here is “does not exist”. I appreciate that belief is powerful. At one time it was believed without doubt that the earth was the centre of the universe, that it was flat, and that things didn’t change. Hmmm.

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