Welcome to Where We Ask You to Question Before You Believe

What Is Atheism?

what-is-atheism-hmmAtheism is simply the position of lacking a belief in god or gods. Beyond that, Atheism can be divided into two types: gnostic or “strong” atheist and agnostic or “weak” atheist. A gnostic or “strong” atheist is a person that not only rejects belief in a god or gods, but goes further, claiming that they have knowledge that no god(s) exist. An agnostic or “weak” atheist is a person that rejects belief in god or gods, but suspends judgement as to whether there is knowledge of the existence of god or gods. Most atheists fall into the latter category.

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What is The Difference Between Atheism and Agnosticism?

what-is-the-difference-between-atheism-and-agnosticismFirst off, it is important to realize that these terms are not mutually exclusive. Atheism is based on belief and means to be without a belief in god or gods. Agnosticism is based on knowledge and means to be without knowledge of a god or gods. The “a” in both terms means to be without. Many people, like us here at Philosophical Atheism are agnostic atheists. We do not have knowledge of a god or gods, so our belief is that they do not exist due to lack of evidence.

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Why Do Atheists Hate God?

why-do-atheists-hate-godIt’s hard to hate something we either don’t believe or don’t think exists, so it’s rather a moot point. However, what many atheists have is a hatred for the character of god of a particular religious tradition. For example, I thoroughly dislike the God of Christianity, because he is capricious, cruel, vindictive, and petty. He slaughters people without merit and doesn’t even take the time to show humans how they can improve for him. I hate what that God embodies. I hate how that type of God makes people morally and intellectually bankrupt.

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Isn’t Atheism Just Another Religion?

isnt-atheism-just-another-religionThis question often recalls a great quote that is attributed to magician Penn Jillette: “Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.” This gets it exactly right. Atheism is not a religion in the traditional sense. There are no dogmas, no rituals, and no tithing. Atheism is just an answer to a specific theological question. There are secular worldviews like humanism that do have tenants and values, but again, they are not religions in the traditional sense. To redefine atheism or secular humanism as religions broadens the definition of religion so radically so as to completely negate its meaning.

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Without God, Where Does Morality Come From?

without-god-where-does-morality-come-fromThis is a complicated question leveled at atheists/secularists. The monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) often argue their supremacy on the issue of ethics, but this is way off the mark. Most religious traditions ground their moral teachings within Divine Command Theory, which essentially argues that whatever God deems moral should be moral. There’s no evaluation of the circumstances or competing interests. Whatever the divine dictator in the sky asks, you must do. That isn’t morality; it’s obedience.

 

By contrast, a secular, humanistic ethical framework is based off of two main concepts: the moral instinct and the moral framework. The moral instinct is evolutionary, based on built-in naturalistic impulses such as empathy, reciprocity, and self-interest. The moral framework builds off of the moral instinct; this is where ethics, or the philosophy of morality, comes into play. Our social systems, whether they be government or private obligations, seek to instill fairness, justice, and well-being. In essence, the morality of secular humanism, or atheism, is based on achieving well-being and reducing harm. Sometimes, ethical situations will be complicated and there won’t be an excellent option, but at least it will be based on a realistic ethic and not on the whims of a deity.

 

To learn more, check out a debate between Philosophical Atheism’s own Justin Clark (thedailyclark) and Pastor Chad Damitz. It can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJ5XFlAEXFc

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Why Do Atheists Worship Science?

why-do-atheists-worship-scienceAtheists don’t worship science. Worship generally connotes that there is an unending, complete devotion to a theological concept or being. By contrast, science is a “permanent revolution,” a body of knowledge consisting of tentative conclusions or models based on the best available evidence. When new or better evidence comes forward, our conclusions change. Acceptance of science’s conclusions are not predicated on an emotional or personal need; it rests purely on acknowledging the logic and consistency of the argument based on evidence. That’s the beauty of science and skepticism broadly. Science deserves our respect, our humility in front of the unknown, and reverence for the progress it has facilitated for humankind. No worship needed.

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