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What You Always Wanted To Know About Atheism And Never Dared

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This is about definition. This is not a negative thread. It is a positive contribution. I hope. Because that is how it is intended and I hope how it is taken and accepted.

 

In the last weeks I have had several interactions with people here and none of them actually knew what atheism is and what it is not. In this world there are humans who are atheists, so for those who are interested I will try to explain what atheists are in my understanding and what I, as an atheist, think and believe. I do not speak for other atheists or any group and it could well be that there are atheists who have different views on a particular aspect. But in general, I think I am voicing what is considered to be the consensus.

 

I am aware of the fact that this is a touchy topic and I wish to express again that I do NOT intend to insult, lecture or belittle anyone, but provide factual information. I hope I will manage this in a non-objectionable, non-confrontational and polite fashion.

 

 

Atheism is a reaction to theism. Theism is the belief that there is evidence for the existence of a god. So the "A" in front of this word "theism" means it is the opposite, the lack of belief that there is evidence for the existence of a god. That's all.

Atheism does not judge spiritual beliefs or rituals.

Atheism has nothing to do with science. While most scientists are atheists, very few atheists indeed are scientists.

Atheism is not a worldview, but a lack of belief in one single claim.

Atheists have nothing in common other than a lack of belief. Atheists are not a group and don’t agree on cars, colours, clothes or anything.

Atheists have never seen the need to organise and voice their concerns until religions became more vocal and made increasing demands around 15 years ago. This applies to Jehovah's Witnesses the same way as it does to Catholics and Muslims. If religions would suddenly disappear, so would atheists. Automatically. The same way if a god were to appear and manifest itself, atheism would immediately disappear. This does not automatically mean that all atheists would worship this god, but the lack of belief in the existence of a god would necessarily fall away.

Atheists being called militant are not militant in the sense that they kill others but in that they write a book about their experiences or make a speech about their opinion.

Atheists organising themselves means there are meetings where people are told that it is ok to believe what is the individual's rational and emotional preference.

Again: atheism has nothing to do with science in general or evolution in particular. There are theists working as evolutionary biologists and atheists who think that evolution is just another scientific fallacy.

Atheists do not act in the name of atheism. A person such as Pol Pot, the Cambodian Maoist revolutionary, is often considered atheistic but did not commit his crimes in the name of atheism. He was a Buddhist when he was young. Stalin was affiliated with the Russian Orthodox Church as well as the Methodists and Hitler was a Catholic. So the usage of emotionally negatively charged names in history is actually quite weak. Personally, I consider the tallying up of who did what to whom in the past a futile exercise and prefer considering the positive actions of humans here and today.

Being an atheist is not an automatic insult to people believing the opposite.

Atheists do not worship people like Dawkins, Hitchens, Krauss, Hawking, Tyson or Myers. They are well known and respected people, not more. I do not always and automatically agree with them.

Atheism can't be considered a religion because there is no dogma and no consent on anything. Just because I don't play golf does not make me an "agolfer" in a group of "agolfists" who meet every weekend to hold hands, bow down and sing songs about the "agolfist" deity.

 

Epistemologically, i.e. through the eyes of acquiring knowledge, atheism is an expression of belief / lack of belief - and gnosticism / agnosticism are all about knowledge. So one can be an atheist due to their personal lack of belief and an agnostic too, as one can't possibly know for sure whether a god exists. So that makes me an agnostic atheist, a person who does not see the evidence for the existence of a god, but who can't know for sure that one can't or doesn't exist.

 

But more than atheist I am a sceptic and realist, someone who needs to know that what I believe has substance and that there is a reason to believe this. From a logical point of view I can't reject or hate a god as I don't see any evidence for the existence of a god, so I can't reject or hate what does not exist. What I do believe, however, is that atoms exist, even though I have never seen one. I also have what are called reasonable beliefs, such as that the sun will rise tomorrow morning. Both, deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning have their place if they are used with the appropriate amount of scepticism and caution.

 

And I also believe that science is a tool, which can analyse and accurately describe our physical world by providing empirical evidence. I am not science-centric in that I believe anything and everything which is labelled as science. Science is just a tool, a method of working out which claim is more likely than another, so I believe that if a scientific instrument tells me that my car battery has a potential difference of 7 Volts between the minus and plus poles this is true and I need to either charge or replace the battery. However, if I read an ad which claims I can burn fat and lose weight by chewing "scientifically designed" pills, I highly doubt that - and go and check.

 

And finally, because there have been a few personal attacks:

I grew up/went to school in an Islamic country in a Christian household. One brother is today a member in a Christian sect in Asia. I questioned my belief when I was 12 and stopped believing in the existence of a god when I was 13.

I have a solid scientific education with BSc's in 2 fields and an MSc, without being an actively researching or up-to-date scientist, but have been working in the commercial field for some time.

I am an informed critic of religious books when I started studying these books a few years ago due to my religious brother making claims I could not understand or conceive of being correct.

 

If anyone wishes to know more or something more specific, fire away - but please remember: I am NOT an evolutionary biologist and thus not qualified or in the least interested in discussions about evolution or creation, which seems to inadvertently happen :)

I am trying to be courteous, polite and respectful. Can we keep it this way, please?

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Is there any authentic evidence that proves to the non-existent of God. If not is atheism a blind faith?

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Islam is a DEEN(A way of life) so is atheism. Would you like to have a debate with me on athiesm? Secondly ofcourse it is stupid to even consider that we can "scientifically" proove god, science is just observation and experiment, and none has ever observed or experimented on God. But I can try to proove other things and conclude that he is the creator.

 

I just wanna say if you say yes, you probably might beat me I'm only 15, and most of the information I have is from the web, I can learn something and you can learn something.

Edited by WeAreComming

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Is there any authentic evidence that proves to the non-existent of God. If not is atheism a blind faith?

 

Erm, did you read what I wrote or are you just making a joke?

 

An atheist reacts to claims of a theist. That's all.

Can you prove the non-existence of something? Can you conclusively prove I do not have an invisible elephant on my shoulder? No, of course not.

So, NO, atheism can't be associated with faith. Faith is for people who don't have or need evidence.

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Islam is a DEEN(A way of life) so is atheism. Would you like to have a debate with me on athiesm? Secondly ofcourse it is stupid to even consider that we can "scientifically" proove god, science is just observation and experiment, and none has ever observed or experimented on God. But I can try to proove other things and conclude that he is the creator.

 

I just wanna say if you say yes, you probably might beat me I'm only 15, and most of the information I have is from the web, I can learn something and you can learn something.

 

Why don't you try to read what I wrote there?

And if you don't understand something, why don't you ask? It is quite easy.

 

Why did I spend a lot of time explaining what atheism is and what it isn't? Why do you just ignore everything, make a silly claim - without any evidence - and expect that someone takes you serious?

 

You can't debate atheism. It's like debating clouds. Clouds are a reaction to the meteorological environment. Atheism is a reaction to claims that believers make. What is there to debate?

Some stupid people ask nonsensical questions like what my purpose is or why I am here or what happens when I die and so on. These are really silly and have nothing to do with atheism as such - as I have explained above. If you will not ask the normal questions stupid people ask in connection with atheism we can talk, sure.

 

Sorry, but no, you can't prove something that will conclude there is a god. People have tried different approaches for 2000 years and have failed, but maybe you know something others don't???

 

No, it is not about "beating" or "winning" but rather about understanding.

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You have made a claim, that this universe does not needed a creator, produce your truth if you are truthful, that's all I'm asking and you say you have no proof... This is completly different from an invisible elephant. I'm not talking about perpous of life or you, I'm talking about the things, that we can see, the universe the life, where did it all come from? What does atheism say about this?

Edited by WeAreComming

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You have made a claim, that this universe does not needed a creator, produce your truth if you are truthful, that's all I'm asking and you say you have no proof...

 

Who made that claim? Where? How?

 

This is completly different from an invisible elephant. I'm not talking about perpous of life or you, I'm talking about the things, that we can see, the universe the life, where did it all come from? What does atheism say about this?

 

Why? What is different? I did not say you did. I said this is what stupid people ask who have not given it any thought.

 

Ok, than how do you explain this universe, or how life came on this planet?

 

This is a stupid question. Sorry, but I have explained it and you still ask a nonsensical question. What does atheism have to do with any explanation of how anything appeared somewhere?

 

How do I personally explain what? What does it mean: "explain this universe"? What happened at the Big Bang or rather shortly afterwards is explained by cosmogonists.

How life originated is explained in abiogenesis.

Are either of them conclusive? No. So my personal answer to why the Universe appeared or why life started, I don't know.

Do I know what happened at t=0 at the Big Bang? No, I don't know. Neither do you.

Do I know how the first cell formed, the proto-cell, no? I don't know. Neither do you.

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