The question is, 'Do Atheists Really Exist?' It's true that many people say that they don’t believe in God but that's not the same thing.
Over 20% of the population call themselves atheists, but are they?
There are a lot of people in the world who love nothing more than to tell anyone who will listen that they hate, even the idea of, God but that is not the same thing as a being an atheist. The surprising truth is that there is no such thing as an atheist - they are an urban myth. Let me explain why!
Everyone believes that their stories are unique but the truth is, like a shoal of fish or like starlings flying together as the sun goes down, those collective stories form a predictable pattern.
For most of my life, I thought of myself as something of a professional atheist so I can tell you, with confidence, those millions of reasons why people think of themselves as atheists can be distilled down to only four categories:
If you look at that list, you will see an underlying pattern:
• People don’t need a god to tell them what’s right from wrong because they believe they know best.
• They feel confident that if they had made the world there would be no such thing as suffering.
• They live with the total confidence that, if they were god, nobody would ever describe them as a monster because they are truly good people.
• They refuse to believe in God simply because they have not been presented with evidence of God’s existence that would satisfy them.
Read the full article. [thejesusofhistory.com]
so I can tell you, with confidence, those millions of reasons why people think of themselves as atheists can be distilled down to only four categories:
They don’t need God to tell them right from wrong
Human suffering disproves the existence of God
God, as he is described in religious texts, is a monster
God doesn’t exist
Hate to shake your confidence but those four categories are insufficient and redudent.
The first three fall under the moral arguement, famously argued by Epicurius millenia ago. It doesn't speak if gods are real or not, if they exist or not, merely that gods as commonly framed are not worth following due to their moral failings.
The last one falls under the ontological argument. This one asserts that god doesn't exist and thus anything said about them is suspect or can be ignored.
However, you fail to note that there are apatheists... people that are atheistic becuause they don't care one way or another about gods.... ignostics, people that are atheistic because they reject that gods can be adequetly defined for proper discussion... agnostic atheists, an epistemologica argument that says we don't know anything about god and hence there is no reason to believe in god or their cousing the gnostic atheist who claims they know god doesn't exist and hence don't believe in them.
Hence, I would suggest your revisit your conclusions based on that categorization given that that categorization is redundant and non-exhaustive.
Over 20% of the population call themselves atheists, but are they?
I will say that your skepticism of atheists is well founded. After all, we know for a fact that theist all too often do not follow their own ideology... that Christians use the bible justify doing one thing and then use the bible again to justify doing the exact opposite... that Muslims claim that they are a religion of peace while many of it's members do the exact opposite. Hence, it stands to reason that Atheists would also not follow their philosophy. We see this in evidence by discounting a god for which there is no evidence and yet be fully convinced that Aliens exist, despite no evidence, or that crystal power, reiki, or homeopathy works, despite not evidence they work (or worse yet, despite evidence they DON"T work).
I would say that many atheists are likely more agnostic than they would realize. I don't necessarily believe in a supreme being, but I also cannot prove that one exists. If one did, I doubt that a human would have the capacity to understand what it was or what it represented. Refer yourself to The Allegory of the Cave. Science has been trying to prove that God doesn't exist for some time. In the end, if we get that far, it wouldn't surprise me if turned out to be the opposite.
I was an atheist---the real kind.
All I can say is that when you move from that to a simple belief in something more, you know it.
Kind of like stumbling into the love of your life. You don't expect it, you aren't looking, but if you're just a little bit with it, everything changes.
The more interesting question is:
Does Christians exist?
Nowhere else would you find so many people who do not practice what they preach.
Some choice examples:
Finland is listed as having more than 50% Christians, however less than 10% attend church more than twice a year (that is due to a marriage or funeral they have to attend there).
NZ is supposed to have 40% Christians, however less than 5% goes to church more than twice a year. People don’t even bother going to church for weddings or funerals anymore.
In the US you claim to have 60+% Christians, what fraction of these Christians goes to church, read a bible or pray more than 10 times a year?
There are very few real Christians left...
God exists it just isn't what you think it is.
I gave up religion at a very early age but I know a lot of people smarter than me who are religious. What you believe has a lot to do with personality. If you are like me and you try to figure out everything you are either going to be an atheist or go insane. I have been unable to find any evidence that the religious God exists.
Scott Adams has been driving me nuts with his apparent belief we live in a simulation, not allegoricly but literally. He has an amazing amount of faith and a constant stream of "evidence" for his belief. What amuses me is it is not unlike a belief in God, something, or if you are a student of language, some sentient being had to create a simulation.
Nothing is a concept alien to the human mind, it took A Hindu to come up with the concept of zero as we understand it in Western culture. Another related concept that even scientists have trouble with is random. They are two very powerful tools that justify not believing in God for practical reasons. Other than that I really don't care what people believe. If asked I usually say I believe in God though I apparently don't.
Does that make me a hypocrite? I guess so but very few people go on to ask for a description of the God I believe in and I can just walk away from a boring conversation.
The God I believe in is a social construct just as real as any God anyone can imagine. Like all abstractions the idea of God is a useful thinking tool. It is infinity that balances zero and random. We can no more know reality than if God exists, all we have is our tools and the finite structures we can build with them.
Well apparently I don't exist. Yet there is still more proof of my existence than god's.
I don't believe in a god, never have. In fact I believe the only reason we even give the idea the time of day is due to the sheer number of people that claim to believe & the power such groups have.
"They refuse to believe in God simply because they have not been presented with evidence of God’s existence that would satisfy them."
I mean that's just reasonable. I don't believe in this unknowable thing, this thing with many names, many faces, yet zero proof. If I did see proof of it's existence I'd believe in it as much as I "believe" in the wind or gravity.
As for the moral arguments. It boils down to this.
I do not believe such an entity exists.
However if it did exist it would be unworthy of worship & praise.
So either way belief & religion is pointless to me.
Finally with believing myself better.
Not at all. A system with reproduction requires death.
A system with food requires death. Suffering is nature's way.
Without it we would be stagnant, never changing, never improving.
No force that governs it all could do so without allowing suffering. It's just a fact of life.
Religion is what comes from intelligent life that cannot explain the world around them.
It sticks around because it's a powerful tool for control & an easy way to think you are living a good life & being a good person without thinking about it too much.
People come to it to find purpose; people stick with it because it's all they know, how they where raised.
Atheists often appear smug because from the perspective of a non-believer we're basically dealing with adults, grown often intelligent & respectable adults who base their lives on the fairy tales they where told as children & often expect others to do the same.
Do Atheists really exist? Yes. End of story.
Atheists do not "hate God" - why would they hate something they do not believe in? Hate what people do in the name of their god, sure, but not the god itself.
Your post is a bit click-baity, as you have a controversial opening to get people to read your website. The crux of your argument is: "the god that they believe in is their 'self'...everyone worships in the Cult of the Self."
There is a difference between cult of personality and an actual belief in an all-knowing, all-powerful deity.
#1. Yeah...people don't need a god to tell them what to do because they know best. They can look at reality and determine for themselves how best to behave. God is merely an authority figure, at best, or at worst a collection of ideas created by far more ignorant and barbaric humans of the past who were unfamiliar with our modern environment With God merely being an authority figure, we have no way of knowing whether its knowledge is wise or not, so we inevitably would be wisest to come to our own conclusions about what is most ethically sound, whether God exists or not. God is totally useless in terms of telling people what is most ethically sound.
#2. Yeah...if nearly anyone alive created the world and had the powers of God there would be basically no such thing as suffering. There'd probably be a little suffering, but there'd be no massive suffering. No bubonic plague, although we'd get the occasional paper cut or broken bone to keep things from getting monotonous, perhaps. That's because the average human would be able to relate to the suffering of others, and with ultimate power there'd be nothing preventing them from halting most of that suffering...and given that God is supposedly omniscient, even the most insensitive of us could presumably understand the pain of their fellow beings and sympathize with that pain.
#3. Yeah, God, as described in the Abrahamic texts, I think, is a monster. In other texts, god will be described as more or less of a monster, or perhaps not a monster at all in a few. Here we have a being who engages in the types of petty vengeance and abusive, controlingness that would make the most abusive humans alive blush. The Youtube channel Darkmatter2525 does a great job of describing this in detail. It's a funny channel too. I'll recommend it to everyone. When we judge Hitler, and apply the same standards to God, Hitler comes out ahead, despite Hitler having less control over his environment and being less knowledgeable (seemingly) than God. That said, God could merely be a product of his environment too. Maybe God's genetics and nature damned God to become the monster He appears to be in the Abrahamic texts just like Hitler's genetics and environment damned him become the monster he was...in the sense that free will doesn't exactly exist. We're all merely products of our environment, like clockwork...but while that would make God an inappropriate outlet for our vengeance and hatred, that still would render God as a being who the wise know is a poor source for one's ethical code.
#4. Yeah...atheists refuse to believe in God simply because they have not been presented with the evidence that would satisfy them. Believing in something without having evidence that satisfies you is called lying to oneself. You can engage in a very similar practice by looking at a red pen and attempting to repeat "This pen is blue" until it turns blue before your eyes, and you've convinced yourself it's blue.
The rest of the article attempts to use verbal gymnastics to convince people that people view Richard Dawkins and various humans as saints and Gods. That is simply false. There is nothing about having respect for a human that turns that human into a saint or a God in one's eyes. There is nothing about listening to one's own insights that makes oneself one's own God.
Atheists have been pretty clear, historically, about what they don't believe in. They don't believe a sole intelligent, sentient being rules the universe. Attempts to describe their worldview as anything else are just feeble, failing word-salad arguments.
Atheists exist. Anyone saying otherwise is just engaging in pointless semantic bickering.
I think someone bein an atheist simply means, at minimum, a lack of belief in any and all deities.
However most people I've encountered who claim to be atheists tend to actually be anti-theists. Although it might be simply that they're the most vocal and the actual atheists just go unnoticed.
Hello. If someone says that they don't believe that gods exist, doesn't that mean that they presume that gods exist? You can't deny the existence of anything if it doesn't exist in the first place... Does that make any sense?
But then, if one doesn't even recognise gods' existence, they carry on with their lives that are truly godless, and there is nothing wrong with that. In that case, I don't know if they are classified as atheists as such. I'm just thinking aloud here. Lol!