There are Atheists in foxholes Atheists in hurricanes There are Atheists in all the roles Denied by your refrains Atheists are your fellow citizens People who love and laugh and cry Atheists are your relatives and friends Don't insult them with a lie Atheists in many foxholes served And some have had to die Give Atheists the thanks deserved Don't dismiss them with a lie Atheists are all around you They work, they help, they care And no matter what you think is true Atheists are everywhere And no matter what you think is true They do not want your prayer
When did atheists become so evangelical? I mean, if you don't believe something to be true, wouldn't you just ignore it? That's certainly what I do. Whether it's leprechauns or a congressional debt reduction plan - if I'm convinced it's fiction, I simply put it out of my mind. Not the atheists. They are obsessed with faith and religious practice. Their identities and their works are one big reaction to that which they hate. No longer content to simply dismiss God and those who follow in Him, the New Atheists have created a cult of unbelief.
The nature of atheism merits clarification on two further points which involve less common ideas about theism. The first involves the idea of 'God' which is metaphorical - for example, a theist who believes in 'God' as a principle of conscience or morality. This 'God' exists in a person's mind and it is not something which atheists will dispute. Atheists agree that gods exist as ideas in people's minds; the disagreement lies over whether any gods actually exist independently of human beliefs. Those are the gods which atheists disbelieve in or deny. The second type of theism involves gods that exist as physical objects: stones, trees, rivers, or even the universe itself. Believers treat these objects are their gods, but do atheists reject their existence? Of course not - but how do they then remain atheists? The point of disagreement here is whether the label 'god' communicates any information beyond the more common label of 'stone, ' 'tree, ' or 'universe.' If not, then as far as atheists are concerned, those objects don't merit the extra label 'god' and they remain atheists.
Many of the innovations in science and philosophy have come from unbelievers, some of whom died for their 'unbeliefs.' Without unbelief, we might well be living in the Dark Ages or at least in the intellectual equivalent of that time. In past centuries many theists savagely attacked atheists on the ground that someone without a belief in God must be a moral 'monster, ' who would permit any action. This argument is rarely heard today, as the number of people who are openly atheists has become so large that its falsity is self-evident. Atheists do have a moral code to guide them. It is usually based upon the Golden Rule, plus a variety of utilitarian reasons, although there are a number of other possible systems. Rather than being immoral, most atheists are extremely moral. There are a large number of people who can and do manage to lead decent upright lives with no use for a belief in God as a guide. Atheists do not care whether others believe as they do. They do ask, however, for the right to believe as they wish...
Both my parents were atheists, and my grandmother was an atheist in rural Kentucky, and so they were trying to make sure that my brother and I would be atheists, too, and it worked, which doesn't mean that they didn't teach us a lot of wonder of science and of nature and the world and all of that.
Andrew Sean Greer
There are, as we know, powerful and illustrious atheists. At bottom, led back to the truth by their very force, they are not absolutely sure that they are atheists; it is with them only a question of definition, and in any case, if they do not believe in God, being great minds, they prove God.
Up to now, most atheists have simply criticized religion in various ways, but the point is to dispel it. In A Manual For Creating Atheists, Peter Boghossian fills that gap, telling the reader how to become a 'street epistemologist' with the skills to attack religion at its weakest point: its reliance on faith rather than evidence. This book is essential for nonbelievers who want to do more than just carp about religion, but want to weaken its odious grasp on the world. (Review of Dr. Peter Boghossian's book, 'A Manual For Creating Atheists')
Jerry A. Coyne
I am like all other atheists only in that I do not believe there are any gods. Beyond that, I may differ dramatically in my values and beliefs from any other atheist. On both sides of the political spectrum, one can find the neo-conservative Objectivists and the ultra-liberal Communists, both of whom hate each other. These two factions take up nearly opposite sets of values, yet both are comprised of unabashed atheists.
In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it 'Christmas' and went to church; the Jews called it 'Hanukkah' and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say 'Merry Christmas!' or 'Happy Hanukkah!' or (to the atheists) 'Look out for the wall!
The Romans called the Christians atheists. Why? Well, the Christians had a god of sorts, but it wasn't a real god. They didn't believe in the divinity of apotheosized emperors or Olympian gods. They had a peculiar, different kind of god. So it was very easy to call people who believed in a different kind of god atheists. And that general sense that an atheist is anybody who doesn't believe exactly as I do prevails in our own time.
Some say Christianity is just a crutch. But let's turn the question on its edge for a moment. Is atheism an emotional crutch, wishful thinking? The ax cuts both ways. Perhaps atheists are rejecting God because they've had a bad relationship with their father. Instead of inventing God, have atheists invented non-God? Have they invented atheism to escape some of the frightening implications of God's existence? Think about it.
Dr. Peter Boghossian's A Manual for Creating Atheists is a precise, passionate, compassionate and brilliantly reasoned work that will illuminate any and all minds capable of openness and curiosity. This is not a bedtime story to help you fall asleep, but a wakeup call that has the best chance of bringing your rational mind back to life. (Review of Dr. Peter Boghossian's book, 'A Manual for Creating Atheists')
Well I'm not kissing the mundane, " said Jace. "I'd rather stay down here and rot." "Forever?" said Simon. "Forever is an awfully long time." Jace raised his eyebrows, "I knew it, " he said, "you want to kiss me, don't you?" Simon threw his hands up in exasperation. "Of course not but if-" "I guess it's true what they say, " observed Jace. "There are no straight men in the trenches." "That's atheists jackass, " said Simon furiously. "There are no atheists in the trenches.
There's almost always a church youth group at the soup kitchen. I have yet to see an atheists' youth group. Yeah, I know, religious people don't have a monopoly on doing good. I'm sure that there are many agnostics and atheists out there slinging mashed potatoes at other soup kitchens. I know the world is full of selfless secular gropus like Doctors without Borders. But I've got to say: It's a lot easier to do good if you put your faith in a book that requires you to do good.
We are all tricked. We think that religion tells us what to believe; but it doesn't, it is telling us what not to believe. Atheism is not the absence of religion; atheism is the most undiluted form of religion: it tells us not to believe in anything at all. Atheists hate the religious and the religious hate atheists, but this is only a deception! We are all deceived! There is only one boat and we are all in it! All at the same time!
C. JoyBell C.
It was my first clue that atheists are my brothers and sisters of a different faith. Like me, they go as far as the legs of reason will carry them - and then they leap. I'll be honest about it. It is not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics. Doubt is useful for awhile. We must all pass through the garden of Gethsemane. If Christ played with doubt, so must we. If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" then surely we are also permitted doubt. But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.
Isabelle rolled her eyes. "Oh, for the Angel's sake. Look, if there's no other way of getting out of this, I'll kiss Simon. I've done it before, it wasn't that bad." "Thanks, " said Simon. "That's very flattering." "Well, I'm not kissing the mundane, " said Jace. "I'd rather stay down here and rot." "Forever?" said Simon. "Forever's an awfully long time." Jace raised his eyebrows. "I knew it, " he said. "You want to kiss me, don't you?" Simon threw up his hands in exasperation. "Of course not. But if-" "I guess it's true what they say, " observed Jace. "There are no straight men in the trenches." "That's atheists, jackass, " said Simon furiously. "There are no atheists in the trenches.
The new atheists show a disturbing lack of understanding of or concern about the complexity and ambiguity of modern experience, and their polemic entirely fails to mention the concern for justice and compassion that, despite their undeniable failings, has been espoused by all three of the monotheisms. Religious fundamentalists also develop an exagerrated view of their enemy as the epitome of evil. This tendency makes critique of the new atheists too easy. They never discuss the work of such theologians as Bultmann or Tillich, who offer a very different view of religion and are closer to mainstream tradition than any fundamentalist. Unlike Feurerbach, Marx and Freud, the new atheists are not theologically literate. As one of their critics has remarked, in any military strategy it is essential to confront the enemy at its strongest point; failure to do so means that their polemic remains shallow and lacks intellectual depth. It is also morally and intellectually conservative. Unlike Feurerback, Marx, Ingersoll or Mill, these new Atheists show little concern about the poverty, injustice and humiliation that has inspired many of the atrocities they deplore; they show no yearning for a better world. Nor, like Nietzsche , Sartre or Camus, do they compel their readers to face up to the pointlessness and futility that ensue when people lack the resources to create a sense of meaning. They do not appear to consider the effect of such nihilism on people who do not have privileged lives and absorbing work.
The word 'holiday' comes from 'holy day' and holy means 'exalted and worthy of complete devotion.' By that definition, all days are holy. Life is holy. Atheists have joy every day of the year, every holy day. We have the wonder and glory of life. We have joy in the world before the lord is come. We're not going for the promise of life after death; we're celebrating life before death... For atheists, everything in the world is enough and every day is holy. Every day is an atheist holiday. It's a day that we're alive.
Theistic claims that supernatural agency exists in the universe derive from ancient traditions of belief. The word 'atheist' is a theist's term for a person who does not share such beliefs. Theists think that atheists have a belief or set of beliefs, just as theists do but in the opposite sense, about theism-related questions. This is a mistake; atheists certainly have beliefs about many things, but they are not 'theistic-subject-matter-related beliefs' in any but a single negative sense. For atheism is the absence of 'theistic-subject-matter-related belief. Although it is true that 'absence of belief in supernatural agency' is functionally equivalent to 'belief in the absence of supernatural agency', theists concentrate on the latter formulation in order to make atheism a positive as opposed to privative thesis with regard to theistic-subject-matter-related matters. This is what makes theists think they are in a kind of belief football match, with opposing sets of beliefs vying for our allegiance. What is happening is that the theists are rushing about the park kicking the ball, but the atheists are not playing. They are not even on the field; they are in the stands, arguing that this particular game should not be taking place at all.