I think atheism means not enough compelling evidence to support the existence of god/s. Nothing more or less. War, famine, disease, crime, hate and suicide, may very well exist with or without atheism. The difference, at least to me, is that all these listed events occur under theism and perhaps motivated by theism. "My god is bigger than your god," My faith is greater than yours," "I am entitled to ... whatever because my god gave ... to me," "My god answers prayers."
All these claims can be made by an individual with or without god involved. It is the thinking that makes the difference. Religion is the belief in a human-made god that gives permission to do all these things.
"I am bigger than you," My claim is greater than yours," "I am entitled to ... whatever because I earned it," "My life is more valuable than yours." Some people don't even need a nationalist flag to declare their supremacy. "I am entitled!"
That just ticks me off. We've never brought about any of these. That's religions job and they do it very well.
Oh, really? No atheism equates to no war, famine, disease, et cetera? Someone tell that to the residents of the West Bank, of Northern Ireland (up until very recently), and every islamic state where Sunni and Shi'ite are at each others' throats on a daily basis.
Whoever promotes this bullshit has never met an atheist, has no idea who atheists are or what they (WE!) are about. Oh ... and anyone who wants to "erase" me ... doesn't want to try. Trust me on this one.
Napoleon, Oh my goodness, do you really believe that? or are you being sarcastic or attempting satire? "Godless atheists threaten Christian civilization?"
It isn't the "godless" part of human thinking, it is the ego that produces threats to all civilization. In places where there are gods and those with no god figures, there is killing and destruction. It is in the hearts and minds of dominating people who want to rule, exploit, manipulate and control.
People who have a god and those who have no god and want power over others and more resources are the ones who kill and destroy, steal and commit fraud.
For those of us who proclaim we have no god, and who have a sense of enlightened self-interest, and morals and ethics have no interest in domination. Control is not a goal and exploitation is not a means to that end.
Equating atheism with a destructive force has too narrow a vision; just as those who equate all religion with destructive force. Atheism and religion do not quell the ego of the imperious person.
What religion does is give power away to a superhuman being in order to do those dastardly things that egomaniacs do. King Leopold of Belgian, a devout Christian, cut off the hands of workers' wives and children if they didn't meet their quota of rubber. He felt justified doing so because of how he interpreted his rights and responsibilities as a religious sovereign.
What atheism does is take away the dependency crutch of thinking some superhuman power designed , guides, and cares about an individual. That is just pure nonsense and no such dependency is justified.
A person with no superhuman power realizes morals and ethics come from being born a social animal. If one is to be happy and healthy, and participate with other living forms and maintain and perpetuate life on Earth, he/she has to have limits. We can't exploit and dominate the Earth any more than we can fly. It is the mind that makes flight possible, not praying or belief or faith or control.
Frankly, your comment disgusts me.
Um Joan.. I think its very clear Napoleon doesn't think Atheist are the destroyer pictured. It would be hard to be a member of this site and think so.
Although the caption taken into isolation sounds pretty appealing to me.. I'd love to destroy Christian civilization.. and Muslim.. and Buddhist.. and any other theist civilisation.
Thanks! The quote is from Joan, above. The picture is a combination of the Earth from space, and the ten astronauts and cosmonauts (a record for being in one spacecraft) in the Spacelab Science Module in 1995.
I tweaked the picture to use a bolder font, so it's more readable even at small sizes. (Hit the link, then "View Full Size" to get the bigger version.)
I think it's funny.
I plan to go buy some lumber etc. today on my bicycle. My hope is to get back and forth without having an allergic reaction.
The though of me as instead a 50' tall giant stalking among buildings and plucking out the helpless squirming masses (and dogs), is rather gratifying :)
That "Godless Atheists" poster is one of a series of 41 created by Austin Cline, repurposing government propaganda posters to illustrate a whole range of scary Christian Right beliefs. (The original rampaging killer in the WWII poster was "Accidents".)
Thumbnails and discussion at the link.