As a young theist I ran onto lots of people saying they were atheist. Mostly they annoyed me or made me angry. None of them could really back up what they believed.
Some would claim they could not believe in god because god would not allow people to suffer. Others might claim a real god would not allow their grandfather to die. I came to believe that many were using the “atheist excuse” simply to avoid religious subjects because this was unpleasant to them. Possibly something left over from childhood that they did not want to believe in.
We break it down as “a” and theos” from older languages. It means without god. If I have arrived at a point in my life to be atheist, I am a person with an absence of belief in deities. It simply means I do not believe in god for lack of evidence. Belief in god involves belief in the supernatural which means “something” beyond the natural. Belief in the paranormal means there is “something” beyond the normal. There is no evidence for belief in either of these last two ideas. If you have no empirical evidence then it does not exist. You are somewhere in the wind here to say otherwise.
So, you are an atheist and you believe in spirits. You have an atheist friend who believes in life after death. What have you been smoking? Other atheists believe in ancient aliens, sasquatch, vampires, séances, and advice from the beyond. Where is the evidence? There simply is no evidence other than ways of fooling people changing as years go by. If you believe in any of this bullshit then you might as well believe in god! There is no evidence on any of it.
Trust me here please. The dead do not bite or scratch you. They cannot move and after a time have nothing to hold their bodies together. They cannot speak to you because they have no voice box. How would they communicate with you? If they do so it’s only because you have become one of the gullible.
Back now to where I started. Are you a true atheist? Leave comments here.
When my brother died as a boy of thirteen, the existential crises that I underwent were just overwhelming. Since I had already been moving my way to an atheist position my entire adolescence and early adulthood, I found that the only significant way for me to reconcile his death was to take a completely non-thesitic position about the causes and effects of this world and this position can be summarized in just two words: Shit Happens. Coming to grips with this simple idea has probably saved my life.
No God Required.
Of course there is a desire to see your young son. I am sorry for your loss and can't imagine how I would cope if it had happened to me. My hope for you, and other parents who lose young children, is having memories to treasure, milestones to commemorate, and valuing life and loved ones in healthy ways in the here and now.
Hi Tara - totally agree with you.
I like your comparison re "true atheist" vs "true Christian" - is one supposed to pass a test before becoming an atheist?
Maybe the test of reason. Some people appear to be non-believers of deity but they are secretly guided by pixies and faries.
Funny I should run across this, I just finished this up yesterday:
I am an A-Theist
Being an atheist is only a sub-set of a larger system of thought. In reality it would be more descriptive to say that I am an A-super-naturalist. I am also an:
A-Abominable Snowman (Yeti)ist
A-Extrasensory Perception (ESP)ist
A-Magicist (only in the paranormal sense, not
Illusion done by performers)
*= Things that exist that I do not think should.
So, you see, being an A-Theist is only a tiny, partial bit of my whole system of non-belief. This includes all Greek, Egyptian, Roman, and all other pre- and post- Abrahamic concepts of god(s).
RIGHT ON, JOHN. THAT MAKES YOU A TRUE ATHEIST! This is exactly what I was looking for in my blog post "Are You A True Atheist." Apparently too many thought they would be stepping on toes to reply. Simply put a true atheist does not believe in the supernatural or the paranormal. There is either no evidence or the situations experienced can be explained.
I very much like your post John, and I'm saving it. I'm all those A's, to a more or less extent.
It certainly doesn't appear that this ME character is a TRUE atheist Mike. I think he or she is defending theism is a surreptitious way.
I agree, Tony.
When I saw the title of your post, I cringed. "Are you a true atheist?" Are we at the point where, like our theistic antagonists, we are now having a litmus or purity test? I arrived at my atheism through many years of critical thinking and reading. I didn't just wake up one day and decided to be one. I also put a lot of trust in science to provide answers to existence. But, I also try to keep an open mind. Science, as yet, doesn't have all the answers to everything, and people go through stages. Even Richard Dawkins keeps an open mind and doesn't write his atheism in stone. If somebody wants to believe, or THINKS there may be an afterlife of some sort but doesn't believe in what we consider "God," it doesn't bother me. So I disagree with your statement, "If you believe in any of this bullshit then you might as well believe in god!"