The Ultimate Atheism F.A.Q.

by Luke Muehlhauser on August 18, 2009 in General Atheism,Resources

atheism-faq

(Under Construction. Last updated April 20, 2010.)

This is a resource for believers who want to understand atheism more clearly. Many believers know about atheism only from other believers, so they get a very skewed picture. You wouldn’t want atheists to only know about Christianity from other atheists, would you?

It’s also a resource for non-believers. Everything on this site is published under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license, meaning you can share it and modify it any way you like, as long as you (1) link back to my site, and (2) don’t charge money for derivative works.1

This is especially useful on internet forums. These questions come up every hour on forums around the world. Instead of drafting a new answer every time, you can just copy & paste the response and useful links provided here, or simply link to this page.

There are other atheism FAQs. My favorites are No Ghosts, An Introduction to Atheism, and Austin Cline’s Atheism FAQ. This one seeks to be as useful as possible by being both comprehensive and succinct.

The questions are ordered by category as they are added so that the number associated with each question does not change. This is done so that I and others can write, for example “See questions 6.04 and 6.05 over here,” and link to this page.

Please ask additional questions, and I may add them here. I want to make this page as thorough as possible.

To link to a specific question, link to this page’s URL, add a # symbol, then add the question number. For example, link to:
http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=3148#3.02

Also see my ethics FAQ.

Atheism F.A.Q. Contents:

General

{1.01} What is atheism?

{1.02} What is agnosticism?

{1.03} Why are you an atheist, not an agnostic? Isn't it arrogant to say you know there isn't a God?

{1.04} What is freethought?

{1.05} What is skepticism?

{1.06} What is deism?

{1.07} What are naturalism, non-naturalism, and supernaturalism?

{1.08} What about the great atheist massacres of the 20th century? Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot...

{1.09} Are atheists anti-religious?

{1.10} How are atheists different from other people?

{1.11} If you talk about God, you must know he exists!

{1.12} What will you say to God if you meet him when you die?

{1.13} What is scientism?

{1.14} Why do atheists care what religious people believe?

Myths about Atheists

{2.01} Atheists are just pretending. Everybody knows there is a God.

{2.02} You must hate God, right?

{2.03} Atheists just want to be free to do whatever they want.

{2.04} Don't you want to believe in God?

{2.05} There are no atheists in foxholes.

{2.06} Atheists are Satanists.

{2.07} Atheists are immoral!

{2.08} Atheism is rebellion against God.

{2.09} Atheists are anti-social.

{2.10} Atheists are ugly!

{2.11} Are you saying that scientific thinking leads to naturalism?

{2.12} Are you saying that atheists are more rational or scientific than believers are?

{2.13} Are most atheists like the New Atheists: Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris?

Theistic Arguments

{3.01} What about the ontological argument?

{3.02} What about the argument from design?

{3.03} What about the fine-tuning argument?

{3.04} What about the kalam cosmological argument?

{3.05} What about the cosmological argument from contingency?

{3.06} What about Pascal's Wager?

{3.07} What about the moral argument?

{3.08} What about the argument from miracles?

{3.09} What about the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus?

{3.10} What about all the people who have directly experienced God?

{3.11} What about the argument from consciousness?

{3.12} What about arguments from puzzling phenomena?

{3.13} What about arguments from authority?

{3.14} Believers may often commit the 'God of the Gaps' fallacy. But don't atheists commit the 'Naturalism of the Gaps' fallacy?

{3.15} I often hear atheists ask 'Well then who made God?' Is this a good retort?

Atheistic Arguments

{4.01} What about the argument from evil?

Evolution

{5.01} Do all atheists accept evolution?

{5.02} What does evolution have to do with atheism?

{5.03} How do we know the theory of evolution is correct?

{5.04} Evolution is just a theory.

Ethics

{6.01} How can you have ethics without God?

{6.02} Aren't atheists immoral?

{6.03} What is humanism?

Politics

{7.01} Atheism leads to communism, right?

{7.02} Without a state religion, atheism becomes the new state religion.

{7.03} So what is the atheist political view?

Life as an Atheist

{8.01} Without God, what is your purpose in life?

{8.02} Without God, what is the meaning of life?

{8.03} Without an afterlife to look forward to, don't you fear death?

{8.04} Isn't it depressing to believe love and awe and fun are really nothing but tiny particles bouncing around?

{8.05} What does it feel like to be an atheist?

  1. Note: for coding reasons, I must use curly brackets {} instead of straight brackets [] on this page. []

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Aron August 19, 2009 at 12:34 am

I think 1.07 is a bit misleading (though there’s no strictly logical implication) – I wouldn’t say that philosophers of mind such as Jaegwon Kim or David Chalmers and others who reject physicalism believe in something magical or supernatural. Property dualism and other anti-physicalist stances are perfectly compatible with naturalism.

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lukeprog August 19, 2009 at 5:58 am

Aron:

Thanks! I fixed that.

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Reginald Selkirk August 19, 2009 at 6:05 am

{5.01} Do all atheists except evolution?

I presume you meant “accept”

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Reginald Selkirk August 19, 2009 at 6:10 am

{2.05} There are no atheists in foxholes.

There are no true Christians in hospitals. J.C. and his followers supposedly heal with magic, not surgery and drugs. Going to a hospital displays a lack of faith in Biblical healing methods.
 
 
 

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Reginald Selkirk August 19, 2009 at 6:16 am

{1.08} What about the great atheist massacres of the 20th century? Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot…
Bertrand Russell, who visited the Soviet Union, considered Soviet communism to be a religion.

In our day, a new dogmatic religion, namely, communism, has arisen. To this, as to other systems of dogma, the agnostic is opposed. The persecuting character of present day communism is exactly like the persecuting character of Christianity in earlier centuries.
link

and:

I think all the great religions of the world – Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Communism – both untrue and harmful.
link

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Brett Bavar August 19, 2009 at 8:05 am

{7.01} Atheism leads to communism, right?
No, just as theism doesn’t necessarily lead to Christianity or Buddhism or Sikhism.

I don’t think this is a proper analogy, since communism is a political concept, but Christianity, Buddhism, and Sikhism are religious concepts, not political concepts.
I think the appropriate response to this question would be something more like: “No, just as theism doesn’t necessarily lead to democracy or political conservatism.”

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Jeff H August 19, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Reginald, I’d tend to identify communism as a political/economic ideology rather than a religion. Ideologies, philosophies, and religions obviously have a lot in common, and there is some overlap, but I think it is a little misleading to call communism a religion. There aren’t really any communist churches or shared rituals. I think it makes more sense to say it’s an ideology, which is more of a catch-all term that encompasses established, structured sets of beliefs of all kinds. But maybe that’s a minor point.

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IntelligentDasein August 19, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Lukeprog: It may be worth noting on the “atheisms leads to communism” that capitalism arised out of atheist philosophy, such as David Hume. Many of the biggest advocates of capitalism, like John Stewart Mill, were irreligious.

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lukeprog August 19, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Thanks, IntelligentDasein.

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IntelligentDasein August 19, 2009 at 7:55 pm

lukeprog: Thanks, IntelligentDasein.

No problem. For some reason, in the USA we equate capitalism with Christianity, BUT Jesus detested materialism. William Jennings Bryan used Jesus’s message to advocate populism in our country, which was very socialist BECAUSE they thought Jesus wanted us to give our money up and help the poor. As this was integrated into the Democratic party, it was later unnaturally wed with secularism. Socialism is more or less a headless Christianity. Classical liberalism as a whole is incredibly irreligious.

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g August 21, 2009 at 3:21 pm

I don’t think anything else can claim to be the “Ultimate Atheism FAQ” while http://www.400monkeys.com/God/ remains on the web.

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Matt K August 25, 2009 at 4:59 am

I’d be interested to read a section on how atheism relates to aesthetics. How do atheists account for and define beauty, in art or in the natural world? How does beauty relate to truth, in the atheist vision? etc.

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lukeprog August 25, 2009 at 7:03 am

Matt,

Cool, I’ll add that to the FAQ. There are also some sections on that upcoming in my review of Carrier’s Sense and Goodness Without God.

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Reginald Selkirk August 28, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Matt K: I’d be interested to read a section on how atheism relates to aesthetics. How do atheists account for and define beauty, in art or in the natural world? How does beauty relate to truth, in the atheist vision? etc.

I don’t see any special connection between atheism and beauty. I suppose most atheists would respond that our sense of beauty has been molded by our evolutionary history.
In my view, truth is covered under metaphysics and epistemology, not aesthetics.

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Jesse September 21, 2009 at 3:14 pm

I think this is a very interesting blog. I’m not an Atheist, I used to be, but not any more. And while I think you make very good points and actually do understand science, I think you may be justifying Atheism as a rebellion against the Christian belief. See, I think the problem is that most of the people have been conditioned that God and Christianity is very much inseparable. The Christian religion would represent God. Is that so? I mean, there are tons of other religions, and they have their deity. I believe in God, I wouldn’t say I believe in the same God that Christians believe, but I think there is more to this reality than just what we are currently living.

Like everyone who grew up in the Catholic/Christian religion and tried to believe, the only thing we found was disappointment. Why? Because we were fooled by the Church. Does that mean that there is not God though? Just because our conception of God of the Christians and Catholics didn’t turn out to be true it doesn’t mean that there is a God that we don’t know. And very likely it is that we don’t know what God is, or what it’s true nature. But as more scientific research is done, the more and more I start to see to an intelligence behind all nature. After all, we are all ONE, one type of substance, energy. Just because we look like we are separate it doesn’t mean that we are. We are just a big pool of energy, with denser energy creating form, or what we see as objects.

Seriously, I’ve been an Atheist before, and I know why. But when I realized that the world doesn’t revolve around Christianity, and that if there was never any Christianity, there would still be something there that we may call God. God is only tainted by the stigma that Christianity gives it. I think, in my opinion, that’s what God is.

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John December 27, 2009 at 6:50 pm

I really don’t like your answer for question 2.03 and think you should revise it. The first paragraph is great, but it goes downhill from there.

Many atheists do have a strong knowledge of religion(s) and have rejected them not for emotional/relational reasons, but rather rejected them due to a very systematic examination of the evidence. I was raised Catholic and had a very nice upbringing in that religion but soon realized that I didn’t believe in the stories of Christianity because of a lack of evidence to support them. I then searched deeper and it strengthened my lack of belief. I think this is a common path to atheism for most non-believers.

Lastly, I think it’s a little dismissive and rude to end with this: “It just so happens that atheists are correct about God’s non-existence.”

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Gabriel January 20, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Add the threes!!!

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Andyroo February 10, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Here’s a good response to ‘Evolution is just a theory’:
Christianity is just a belief.

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Anton Tsvilikhovskiy February 24, 2010 at 11:05 pm

In 1.01 you define narrow theism and broad theism – unfortunately a term for these two things already exists. monotheism refers to belief of one god (hence the prefix mono) While polytheism refers to the belief of more than one god (hence poly). Just thought you might like to know.

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Anton Tsvilikhovskiy February 24, 2010 at 11:22 pm

Sorry for double posting, but I’ve got some other things I want to comment on.

2.03 : It’s been stated before, but ending it with “It just so happens that atheists are correct about God’s non-existence.” is surprisingly hostile (Whether it was a joke or not) . It’s one thing to say “I think I’m right”, and another to say “I am right”. Although I am myself an atheist, I still view theism as an argument, not a complete fallacy. If atheists has complete proof of, as you put it, “God’s non-existence”. There would really be no argument.

2.0.5 : Awesome.

7.03 : Shouldn’t be difficult to come up with this one. There is no atheist political view, for the same reason that there’s no atheist “favourite sandwich”. This is because the only real trait that binds atheists is the fact that we do not believe in a god.

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NewDave March 21, 2010 at 7:36 pm

8.03 and 8.04 look very similar…

also: {7.03} So what is the atheist political view?

Usually* that politics and religion should stay as far away from each other as possible; or, at most, laws prohibiting enforcement or requirement of religious practices of any kind.

*-I say “usually” to mean “most common”, because just as there’s no “Christian favorite color”, or “Christian Favorite Bible Verse”, there is no universal atheist position, but I think most would agree on this view.

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Judd April 7, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Andyroo, another good answer to the “Evolution is just a theory” argument is to point out the difference between a theory and a hypothesis. Since a theory is a hypothesis backed up by EVIDENCE, there really is no such thing as “just” a theory. In fact, the theory of evolution is now backed up by so much evidence that we might begin calling it the law of evolution. Though it would be an inaccurate use of the term, at least I wouldn’t have to keep repeating myself so much. :P

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Godheval April 20, 2010 at 1:32 am

Greetings Luke,

Lately I’ve been recommending a lot of atheists read your site, if only for its many appeals to reason, rather than the invective rhetoric of “New Atheism”.

But there is one thing in your FAQ here that I find troubling. In your definition of “agnosticism”, you draw a contrast between it and “gnosticism”, wherein you define the latter as “certainty”.

My complaint is mostly a semantic one, as “Gnosticism” also (and perhaps more often?) is used as an umbrella term to describe a variety of different philosophical/religious movements – none of which, I don’t think, claim certainty. If anything, I think Gnostic interpretations of religious texts are the most liberal and open to debate around the details.

In terms of strict etymology, maybe “gnosticism” does refer to certainty, and maybe it is not the best term to use in describing those other diverse traditions (and I’ve read it argued that the term isn’t appropriate in several places) – but perhaps you could include some sort of distinction there? Some sort of disclaimer so that “gnosticism” (the movements) are not misrepresented by this “certainty” you assign to certain other theists?

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lukeprog April 20, 2010 at 4:41 am

Godheval,

Sure, I can add that clarification.

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OccamsAfterShave April 28, 2010 at 4:48 am

Well done, Luke.
Except I was surprised to find under (positive) arguments for atheism, only one: the PoE. How about the failure of petitionary prayer in doubleblind studies, the multiplicity of religions/inconsistency of revelation, existence of nonbelief, paradox of omnipotence, god’s incompatible properties, etc.?

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lukeprog April 28, 2010 at 6:04 am

Yeah, this is badly under construction.

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Renee May 26, 2010 at 7:23 am

Luke, I am a fairly new “recovering catholic,” meaning it has only been the last few years that I have allowed myself to follow my instincts rather than what society (my little world of family, friends, colleagues and neighbors) expects. That is to say I no longer go through the motions of pretending to believe things that made no sense and did not ring true to me as a child. Since I decided that I was born right the first time, I have been on a quest for further discourse to try to understand what I do believe and how christians view this. I also thought initially that lack of religion equated lack of spirituality, which is definitively not true. I am enjoying the open disussion and practical, well-thought information on this website immensely. Though I too, at times, want to tell christian solicitors at my door to not return or I’ll cast a spell on them (just for shock factor), I would avoid the use of hostility in your explanations, as well as claims of what we athiests “know” (there are no great deitites) and stick to what we “believe.” It comes across less hostile.

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lukeprog May 26, 2010 at 9:26 am

Thanks for sharing, Renee.

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angelie June 13, 2010 at 2:36 am

Thanks for this! A very helpful site.

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MauricXe July 18, 2010 at 9:33 am

I think you should finish 1.03 next. That should shore up a great deal of confusion between agnosticism and atheism.

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derrick July 19, 2010 at 1:32 pm

some of your arguments are b.s. I am religious, I believe in evolution, I do not believe the earth is only 6000 years old let alone the universe, if you read the bible as a book where does it say the universe is only 5-6000 years old? it said on this day, how are we to know what a day is to god? 1 day to us is equal to some lifeforms entire life. I married a wiccan but I am a christian (not one of the everyone else is wrong kind either more of a what if everyone is right kind, for all we know our interpretation of god could be the same guy that everyone else worships or shows himself/itself as a universal power just as cosmic energies to prove science? I believe in scientific facts and theories, theories which have about as much proof for some as fairies or god.) I believe we all have a right to believe/not believe anything we all want, I know parts of the bible are horseshit its more about the story of how other people viewed those times, but part of mine is what is the point of this life? why have we a parasite to our own world staved off extinction when we have cause so many other creature that pain? everyone has faith in one form or another whether it being in one thing or another. not all christians are bad bible thumpers who are so closed minded that they cant see science, or because we see science that means we lack our faith

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Ken Tibbetts August 15, 2010 at 3:14 pm

I just wanted to comment on a situation which occurred in the region of Languedoc, France in about the year 1208 and continued for a couple of generations. The Crusade (that’s what he called it)of Pope Innocent III was against the Catherists – loosely Catholic. They, in their time, might have been considered ‘Protestants’by the Church because they were in defiance of the Pope and his minions. It’s been estimated that the Innocent’s armies killed between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people – Jews and staunch Catholics among them.

I figure that the last Crusade the Church was involved in was such a fiasco, the Muslims decimating the Popes troops so badly, that he figured he had to get even with somebody and the Catherists were relatively easy ‘pickings’. I’m also of the opinion that he used the situation preparatory to the ‘Inquisition’.

In discussions with some of my Catholic friends, I find that none of them are as knowledgable as I in ‘Church’ history. They all wonder why I, an atheist, would be interested in knowing about theology, per se, and Catholicism in particular. They don’t seem too happy when I tell them: “know thine enemy.”

By the way it really took well over 100 years to really wipe out the Catherists to comlpete oblivion.

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Aisher August 21, 2010 at 5:41 pm

I have heard a lot of people say that they left “Christianity” because of the lack of evidence. I have been study the Church of Jesus Christ and the latter Day Saints. This I can understand would be a case for NO EVIDENCE. However, there have been awesome amounts of evidence found for such arguments. I Believe, atheist Christian, Hindu, whatever that if you are going to make a blog telling the world why you are atheist or Christian there should be more substantial reasons than, “My experience was…” or “I was raised this way.

I know Christians do the same thing. Everyone wants to think they are right by examining the best sob stories or fallacy filled debates.

I am a Christian, (Defined not as you have experienced, but as one who strives to follow the teaching of Christ not so I may gain eternal bliss or happiness. I follow him because I love Him for what he has done for me. That death was something that Gandhi, Muhammad, Joseph Smith, or any Niche ever did for me.)

Though that paragraph was not necessary I just thought some of you needed to know that ever since Constantine “got saved” every one s been calling themselves Christians. And that is not fair to the message of Christ or the Bible. As a matter of fact people have shamed it by claiming it.

The reason I came here is because I was curious to see you evidence, and wanting a deeper knowledge of how atheists thought. You are all very smart. However it is not for that reason I hesitate to debate with you my faith. It is that your arguments stem from a lack of evidence. I know church isn’t always such a grand experience. It wasn’t for me either. As a matter of fact I didn’t want to go to church because the hypocrisy that went on in my own home!

Show me some evidence boys. Show me why. Your right, I don’t’ want to learn about atheism from other Christians because how can they know something they have never seen? If this is all atheism is, and believe me I have heard and awful lot of debates where the atheists’ ad populum and loaded language bring the house down. I have not received answers from your topmost authorities or “gods” if you will.

I am expecting to be bashed by this, because that is all I have ever seen atheists do. Please I beg you, prove me wrong.

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Renee August 23, 2010 at 8:29 am

Aisher-
I welcome your questions and interest. Personally, it’s refreshing that someone is willing to find out about the “others” and who isn’t simply trying to learn about my life experience, beliefs, or interests thru others who do not share my spiritual or religious life experience. I also appreciate your candor; respectful cards are on the table approach. We really can all “just get along” if everyone respects each other. We don’t have to share the same beliefs to share life. And I’m not going to try to “prove you wrong.” It’s really not about proving each other wrong. To me, it’s more about finding out what works for you. And, believe me, many who may be considered athiest (native Americans, for example) have incredible and wonderful spiritual lives. It’s also about co-existing. Allowing the other to be who they are, and believe what works for their lives. Allowing is an art. But I believe that if we perfect this art, we will be much happier. The burden of “proving” is gone, and I am simply free to choose to enjoy the entire world full of goodness. I can choose to hear what the Dalai Lama has to say today. I can choose to honor the earth as many earth-based practices do. I can choose to live by the concept that nothing is truly good or bad, it just is (Hindu in nature). I can respect shamanic healers and shamanism, enjoying all they have to offer the earth and humanity. I don’t have to believe in the deities these others believe in to benefit from their belief systems. I don’t have to believe that I was born bad (from sin) and inherently have to make up for the shortcomings of someone I never knew. That’s like saying all white people from all eras are responsible for slavery in this country, and I personally have to make up for the actions of other american people who I never knew, even though I would never choose to do what they did, and don’t believe in slavery. I do believe, however, that if you make a mistake that hurts someone or something, you must make it right. This is a universal concept, not exclusive to christianity, though we may differ on how we make up for our mistakes.
So, no, I don’t think I’ll be the one trying to prove you wrong today. People can argue all day. There is scientific proof that events in the bible, and other historical documents actually occurred. And we can prove that individuals physically lived. Beyond that, life becomes less tangible, and to try to prove that which is intangible and force it on another is lunacy. It is far better, in my opinion, to seek all that can contribute to your life, take what lessons you can from it, and foster your own beliefs, thus living the best life you can possibly live, and allowing the next person to do the same. As is evidence by your post, which feels sincerely interested, we can just all get along and respect each other, and even learn something from each other that might benefit our lives, without having to prove anything. For example, when I left christianity, but I could not reconcile what that meant regarding Christ, who, logically, existed. I have since learned that many other cultures and religions also believe in his existence, and even his life purpose. They just differ on other aspects regarding his life and the idea of god. In addition, Christ is considered by some other belief systems to be an ascended master. This may not be suitable for christian belief systems, but it really is truly an honorable thing. And, by just learning everything I possibly can about all this huge wonderful world has to offer, I get to choose what feels right, and this benefits my life.

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Ken Tibbetts August 23, 2010 at 10:44 am

Having recently attended a “Church Funeral Service” at a Lutheran Church, I can state categorically that it was certainly boring. Affirming and reaffirming their adoration for a multiple Supreme Being (almost an oxymoron), telling of the deceased’s ‘soul’ residing with her savior for eternity. Wow! I really wonder if anyone has a true concept of the notion of eternity. The pastor – or whatever his title was – assured all attending the service would, one day, be reunited with our good friend Elanore.

The concept of reacquaintance in a place called heaven boggles my mind. Chaos would reign supreme: Husbands looking for wives, sons and daughters looking for their mothers and fathers grandmothers looking for their grandchildren, aunts looking for their favorite nephews. Once again: Wow!

I was struck by the thought whilst attending the service that absolutely none of the proceeding was actually for the deceased – none. It was ‘all’ strictly for the benefit of those in attendance of that service. Hymns, probably carefully chosen were sung off key, often not in unison were in evidence. In all, as mentioned earlier, kind of boring.

A few years back, an old and dear friend died and we were asked by the Unitarian ‘pastor’, before the service, to write a few sentences about John which were to be read and shared with those attending the service. Many of us took advantage of the opportunity to remember him in our own fashion and share something with the others in attendance. They failed to do that at the Lutheran service and I felt slightly cheated because I didn’t get a chance at any input. I know the finality that is evident when death occurs; those of a religious bent can not know what we nullifidians know. The Protestant minister made no allowances for those with other religions – or none; he gave the eulogy as though everyone was a non-papal Christian.

The graveside service was extremely short, lasting no more than 10 minutes – including the ‘laying of flowers’ on the casket. I’m sure that those who loved her and she counted on while she was alive were extremely happy because as everyone knows, funerals are for the living and not the dead.

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Mike` August 30, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Luke,

I have a slight semantics issue with your definition of Gnosticism (capital G). The main idea that tied Gnostics together was their belief that there was special knowledge hidden in the Bible that only they knew. Discovering this hidden knowledge was the only true path to heaven, and those that did not understand would not get to meet the imperfect god that you described. Sorry for the nit-picking.

I love your site, and love the fact that you don’t talk down to people that have different views than you. I personally am an agnostic (impossible to know until we die) with a slight deist bent, and find it refreshing to read this type of information without being told that I am an idiot. Too many sites adhere to “Militant Atheism,” while you just put your ideas out there and allow people to take away what they will. Thank you very much for that.

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lukeprog August 30, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Mike,

You’re right. Thanks for the correction.

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random ntrygg September 4, 2010 at 7:29 am

{8.01} Without God, what is your purpose in life?

why does life have to have a purpose?
any particular person’s life has only the purpose and meaning that they determine – it’s just a question of whether they are honest enough to admit that they are the driving force – or if they are dishonest and inventing a god that will assign the purpose and meaning that they would have done so themselves

{8.02} Without God, what is the meaning of life?

life just is.

it might not be satisfying but claim that there’s a grand unknowable plan is not an improvement

like a purpose, your life’s meaning is down to you to decide

{8.03} Without an afterlife to look forward to, don’t you fear death?

there’s no getting around death, so what’s the point of fearing it?

frankly, being stuck forever in eternity sounds far more horrifying than ceasing to exist

{8.04} Isn’t it depressing to believe love and awe and fun are really nothing but tiny particles bouncing around?

they aren’t tiny particles bouncing around, they are chemical and electrical bursts in your brain, and no, getting to feel those things are not depressing

but maybe knowing that depression and despair are the same, they can be made easier to cope with

{8.05} What does it feel like to be an atheist?

whole

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Sochacky September 30, 2010 at 2:12 am

{1.14} Why do atheists care what religious people believe?

Hmm, because atheists are a minority, and in democracies or religious authocracies if religious beliefs have an influence on politics, atheists are thus victimised.
If you are a catholic in a muslim country you don’t like being told to do things that are against your religion. If you’re an atheist in a catholic country (like myself) you wouldn’t like being required by the state to go to mass every sunday or you lose your bonuses.

Another good reason is that we atheists know that most religions have it written down in their holy book that you should propagate your belief, spread the word, convert the heathen, etc., sometimes forcefully (luckily most of you guys know better by now) and so we can expect you lot to try to put bulls**t into our children’s brains as early as possible, and we want to know what this bulls**t is so we can somehow neutralise it, because they are OUR children, not yours.

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Allen April 19, 2011 at 5:26 am

Luke, when are you going to complete this F.A.Q? All the questions after 2.12 are unanswered. Or did you do an F.A.Q on some other page?

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Luke Muehlhauser April 19, 2011 at 10:10 am

Allen,

This FAQ probably won’t be completed now that I’ve mostly moved on to other topics besides atheism.

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Allen April 19, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Oh. Ok.
Anyways, keep up the good work!

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