This article was written to address the concerns/assertions of those who think I am, in some way, broken! I am an atheist and, quite frankly I am damned proud of being one! As an atheist, one who has debated fundamentalists and theists of varying beliefs for many, many years, I have had many people tell me I am wrong, broken, immoral or in some way flawed. Indeed, the funniest thing I was ever called was "the antichrist" ... at that point I truly thought I had reached my pinnacle.
In my online life I have met many other Internet denizens &, like "real people", they vary ... they can be smart or dumb, knowledgeable or ignorant, eloquent or inarticulate, nice or nasty. What has struck me most though is that the internet exaggerates behaviour, something I suspect happens because we often ide behind handles, names that hide our true identity and sometimes portray an image of us we'd rather others saw.
Much of my debating has been with theists of various stripes and many, seemingly most, of them view me as somehow broken because I not only don't believe in their god I don't believe in any gods at all. You wouldn't believe the name-calling that has happen (and I'm no saint either) just because I couldn't accept the superiority or otherwise correctness of a given believer's view so the following is my attempt to set the record straight about what it is to be an atheist.
- An atheist is simply the reverse of a theist i.e. atheists don't believe in your god (or indeed any other).
- You (the theist) may well be full of fire, desperate or determined to convert us (the heathens) or think we want to ask you questions about why they believe whatever the chosen mythology might be but we aren't and, quite frankly, most of us have seen it all before.
- An atheist doesn't hate "God" (yours or any other) ... we can't hate what we don't believe in.
- An atheist isn't rebelling against "God" (yours or any other) ... as above, we can't rebel against what we do not believe exists.
- An atheist isn't a devil-worshipper, a follower of "Satan" or whatever gods or demons you happen to believe in the existence of which, despite humorous comments to the contrary, we regard as every bit as unlikely as that of your "God".
- An atheist doesn't want to go to "Heaven" or gain some other eternal reward ... not only is your "Heaven" apparently as fictitious as your various gods and demons but the idea of an eternity in the company of some of the believers we've "met" would be something other than heaven for an atheist.
- An atheist isn't afraid of going to "Hell" indeed some of us (ahem) have an unfortunate tendency to laugh at those who tell us we're going to some hell dimension or other ... not only is YOUR "Hell" apparently as fictitious as YOUR "Heaven" but a casual glance across "the lists" of those we're often told are going to "Hell" makes such a place quite attractive.
- Atheists are not in league with or under the control of evil spirits (or any other evil agency) ... as above, we can't be in league with what we don't believe in.
- Atheist don't typically disbelieve because they were abused and, in most cases, the only bad thing that ever happened to any of us (WRT deity) is that we were conditioned to believe the same kind of myth you're advancing as truth.
- Atheists are not immoral as evidenced by the fact that many atheists live very moral lives, often more moral than those lived by some theists, including some significantly "upstanding" ones.
- Atheists don't need you to tell them that your god loves them or that you'll pray for them ... it's like us as saying, "We hope your head gets better".
- Atheists do not accept that your Bible/Koran/Torah is proof that your god exists because, even if some of the historicity is verifiable, the essential claims they make cannot be reliably validated.
- Atheists do not accept that the Answers in Genesis website (nor any of a staggeringly high number of similar ones) has proven the theory of evolution to be false.
- Atheists typically tend to view those who claim that evolution is "only a theory" as showing little more than a lack of understanding of what a scientific theory actually is.