The dictionary defines “Atheism” as “the doctrine or belief that there is no God” and “disbelief in the existence of Supreme Being or beings.” Being an atheist is quite literally that. A complete lack of belief in God, he quite simply does not exist, but then neither does Thor, or Odin, Zeus, Aphrodite, Osiris…An atheist does not believe in the modern-day deities or the previous ancient deities.
The lack of evidence
Atheists reject the idea of there being a God or Gods, due to a lack of evidence. A person can reach this stage in a number of ways. A person of faith could look to his or her religious text and find that there are many conflicting statements in the teachings, or find that the answers are given simply don’t satisfy anymore.
The works of science may start to appeal and seem to be far more logical or fitting to what one is hoping to get out of their life in this world. A moral struggle could arise with the situations in the world around them.
Why is it that God seems to help so many celebrities achieve things, but let those millions of people in Africa starve? The lack of belief in a deity always comes down to a lack of evidence for such a being. While arguments such as “just look at the world around you!” and “read your bible” are often given to those struggling with belief, it must be noted that the bible or other religious text is failing to supply the answers most atheists wish to have. The sudden appearance of the world does not suffice, and it is to science, where ideas are thoroughly tested, researched and tested some more that atheists will usually lean.
A common misconception about an atheist
A common misconception about an atheist is that they have been stolen by “the devil”, and that “Satan has taken them”, this is quite simply not the case. An atheist is simply displaying a lack of belief in a religion and all other religions. Atheists don’t even believe in Satan.
Just because atheists do not believe the same things as a believer might, it does not mean they are treading a dangerous path. Atheists are usually quite happy and content to ask questions about the world around them, and quite often mean people no harm. After all, it is very important to remember that moral teachings of religion are universal, to atheists and believers alike.
Just because an atheist did not discover the teachings of “do not kill” or “do not steal” from the bible or another religious source, does not mean they haven’t learned of them. If the non-believer used to have faith, it also does not mean they have abandoned them altogether. Many atheists do find the idea of killing another person as abhorrent as a believer would. It is important to remember that bad and good people do not come from religion or lack of religion as Hitler was a Christian, and Stalin was an Atheist, both committed some of the worst crimes to mankind in history.
Understanding that atheists are just like every other person, is an important step towards stopping prejudice from both the believing and non-believing sides.