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Thread: Misconceptions/MisDefinitions of Atheism/Atheist

  1. #1

    Post Misconceptions/MisDefinitions of Atheism/Atheist

    So recently I have noticed several threads where religion has been debated hotly (as im sure most of us have noticed :P). One thing I have noticed that is a minor irritation and repetitive occurrence in these threads are as it says in the title.

    People due to what ever reasons, whether media misinformation or ignorance or lack of experience etc. Have several times have misunderstood the position of what atheism is and what being an atheist means.

    Because of this I thought should start a discussion to help people understand it better.

    1.Atheists are making a claim

    This is the biggest so I thought i may as well start here. Its a false statement.A disbelief is not a claim due to not being a belief its a non-acceptance of any gods and supernatural claims due to lack of empirical objective evidence and due to the lack of evidence they find it improbable. Which is the key here, finding something improbable isn't a claim, finding something impossible is. Which some atheists do claim but that's a personal claim not an atheistic one.

    Also its silly to suggest they are making a claim or even ask them to provide evidence of their disbelief due to the fact you cannot disprove a negative. For a better explanation of Negative claims see Russell's teapot
    Russell's teapot - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Which Tiny provided in another thread and is very well known philosophical argument.

    2. Atheists/Atheism hate religion

    In short being an Atheist doesn't make you hate religion, I admit some atheists do I personally find large organised religion distasteful while not necessarily hating the people involved.
    Thinking all atheists hate religion is kinda like assuming anyone who is disbelieving in Santa or the Easter bunny hates them. They might but its a personal choice one that isn't based on whether or not you are an atheist.

    3. You need faith to be an atheist

    Really short on this one =) as its a sub-point i missed on the first one.
    As a christian or Hindu or Shintoist, Timelord, w/e you don't need faith to for example not believe in unicorns. As we can clearly show its very improbable that they exist due to lack of evidence but of course we can disprove whats not there =).

    4. All Atheists are the same or Atheism is a uniting factor

    I find this one quite odd its one i have personally experience a few times, when a person has made the claim that atheism is just another religion or we are all the same or we all act the same etc etc.

    Nothing could be further from the truth the only similar factor that atheists have at all is their disbelief. Maybe many are more inclined towards logic and rationality but not all, because of this and they way different people can interpret data though their own logic filters. When they do form a community if at all its often full of debates and different ideas and very wonderful fractious environments. Due to the fact atheists can come from background or life experience due to it not being a belief system just a lack of one.

    Thats all i can think of for now would appreciate if anyone can point out anything they think I have missed. Sry about the grammar errors.

    and on a side note we where all atheists once as children before we where taught anything.

    Also interesting Map i found on Wikipedia while researching
    File:Atheists Agnostics Zuckerman en.svg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Last edited by JuliusSeizure; 17-Aug-2012 at 19:40. Reason: adding map

  2. #2


    I see it as a continuing cycle, because in many occasions, atheists will do the same to religious people, for example "all christians are crazy", just like a christian can say "all atheists are stubbon". As an atheist who's brother is a HARDCORE Atheist (meaning he is the kind of person who PUSHES and PUSHES and actually does try to make a claim while I'm the one who just doesnt believe in anything because of lack of evidence), he is part of the small or large (im not sure) percentage of atheists who are insufferable, and these kinds of atheists, unfortunately, are the ones that people run into on the internet almost all the time because they are the only ones who have the time (and no life) to stay on the computer and argue a baseless point to an ignorant person, while others will just agree to disaree, but it would be naive of me to say that there arent christians who are HARDCORE as well.

    In my personal opinion, I believe that the BELIEF of an entity is ok, but the following of a religion is crazy because 100% of the time, you arent following "gods" word, you are following Man's rules.

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by 1ObsoleteBaby View Post
    he is part of the small or large (im not sure) percentage of atheists who are insufferable

    Im sure its the same as the normal percentage of people that are insufferable twats :\ but to answer it better

    Yes some hardline atheists make full claims they are a very small minority and its there personal decision to do that but its not what defines atheism as a whole

  4. #4


    I was debating participating in this thread or not, but since it seems to be new, I suppose its safe to cross the street now.

    I'll put it simply. Those who make the most noise in a group, define it. There are two billion Christians out there, who says a few people in the Vatican or the Westboro Baptist Church speak for them all? There are millions of atheists out there. Who says a few people on the internet speak for them all? The problem is nice people are quiet, terrible and ignorant people are loud.

    I myself had a friend who was atheist. Hardcore at that. He claimed no gods existed whatsoever and wouldn't even entertain the idea that it had yet to be proven or disproven. He would go on his rants about religion, churches, and all that jazz, but I didn't hate him or see him any less because when we were done with our religious debates and arguments, we would talk about something else. The morale of the story? Shake a man's hand first. Don't judge him from afar based on the few things you know about him.

    Misconceptions will always exists because people are not willing to talk on a personally basis. It is much more easier for the human mind to rationalize an entire group of people based on past experiences or limited information.

  5. #5


    I think at it's core, the best way to explain atheist is this: I have not been given enough evidance to belive in a god. It's funny how someone can say that you need to take God on faith, and yet don't put that thinking into any other part of thier life. Faith is not evidance. I know that personally, I'm all ears for someone to try and prove God is out there, but I have yet to find a compelling argument.

    I don't think that religious people are bad or stupid. I don't want to take something from them that gives them comfort. I just don't like seeing people being mislead, and I think that the best course of action for people on both sides is to calmly and rationally explain your side. Be respectful, and remember that the person your talking to has thier viewpoint for a reason. No atheist is going to be converted just because you tell them they're going to hell and are immoral. An no person of faith is going to be swayed by calling them stupid or naive. Thats my two cents anyways.

  6. #6


    Many people think that atheist are saying with absolute certain "THERE IS NO GOD! I KNOW THAT".. But it's not this. What Atheist is saying "I don't belive in god". Most atheist are agnostic too.. They atheist-agnostic.

    "If atheist is a belief, be hairless is a hair color. "

    - - - Updated - - -

    I consider my self an Atheist-Agnostic. I don't believe there is a god, but I don't claim to KNOW there is no god. I can not claim with absolute certain about the existence or no existence of God, but the same goes to fairies. For example, how I could possible know that fairies don't exist? Just because there are no evidences that they existed, don't prove that they don't exist.

    So I consider the chances of exist god like 0,1%

  7. #7


    WIKI "Agnosticism can be defined in various ways, and is sometimes used to indicate doubt or a skeptical approach to questions. In some senses, agnosticism is a stance about the difference between belief and knowledge, rather than about any specific claim or belief. In the popular sense, an agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of a deity or deities, whereas a theist and an atheist believe and disbelieve, respectively."
    I think the two are oft misinterpented. My take on it is the Athiests are more arguementive and likley to try to sway others to their point of view like the major religions while the Agnostics quietly wait for proof one way or the other.

  8. #8


    Basically there a difference between know something, and believe in something... "I believe that there are live in others planets.. But I don't KNOW if they really exist"

    So this way:
    Atheist, and Theism reefers to what you DON'T BELIEVE, or to what you BELIVE.
    Agnostic, and Gnosticism, reefers to what you DON'T KNOW, or to what you KNOW

    Then we have:
    Atheist-Agnostic: Those who don't believe that there is a god, but don't claim to KNOW that there is no god.
    Atheist-Gnostic: Those who don't believe that there is a god, and claim to KNOW that there is no god
    Theist-Agnostic: Those who believe that there is a god, but don't claim to KNOW that there is a god.
    Theist-Gnostic: Those who belive that there is a god, and claim to KNOW that there is a god
    Last edited by drwho; 18-Aug-2012 at 04:25.

  9. #9


    To me, Atheism is simply a lack of any God ideas or religious systems lacking belief in deities/have little concern for deities. Like Deism and Panentheism, I also think it is its own philosophy concerning certain manners and also an adjective to describe systems of thought. Laveyan Satanists are Atheists, and there exist certain Pagan Atheists.

    Nothing I really disagree presented here.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThatAndyGuy
    Due to the fact atheists can come from background or life experience due to it not being a belief system just a lack of one.
    I suppose I'll add Atheism in itself is a philosophical system, but can be incorporated into belief systems.

  10. #10


    Well, I have to take objection that there are no Unicorns, which is clearly stated in the OP. I'd quote it, but it would appear in triplicate, thus emulating the Holy Trinity. The Book of Unicorn says there are unicorns, therefore there must be unicorns. Also in The Book of Unicorn, it clearly states that there are serious repercussions if one refuses to believe in unicorns, such as coming back as a baby and having to use diapers, truly a fate worse than hell.

    The problem with the God/Christian whatever threads is that they are either too vague, pose no real question and almost always degenerate to early church definitions of God, and worse yet, Renaissance paintings of an angry, overweight God. Let's face it, with what God knows through looking at all of us, wouldn't He have made sure he didn't become some big fat, aging slob? Doesn't it make more sense that God is a 12 year old boy who enjoys skipping stones across a pond?

    Atheists may simply not buy into this man made, man/church defined image of God. I'm a Methodist minister of music and I don't believe in this image of God, probably because I'm an adult. (Okay, I'm being sarcastic and cynical here and I apologize) but the church has not moved on, pontificating from the vantage point of 2000 years ago, when men were complete idiots. No wonder so few young people believe either in the church or the God which the church has not only defined, but shoved down the throats of its gullible believers.

    As you know, I am a believer in a greater creator, a something that is bigger than us, that runs through the universe and all things, encompasses all things, is a part of us and is us. I take comfort in the fact that I can understand none of this, that being and substance as far as we know it, has always existed, mass and energy. I can look inward and realize that I am so much more than the sum of my chemical parts. I may have evolved over millions of years, my working body, but there is the other undefinable part of me, the part that can say "I am, therefore I exist". Because all things continue as mass and energy, I have faith that I will continue in some form, and that the great energy that course through everything will take care of me. That for me, is God, not Charleston Heston.

    Back to the original post, yes, I believe that we of faith need to respect those who do not believe in God, whatever form that may take, or the Christian Biblically defined God, and if need be, its many counterparts. The big mistake the Christian church makes is trying to force it's doctrine on others, insisting that It is the only way, punishable by everlasting hell and damnation. How, for one moment, could they possibly entertain the idea that that approach would lead anyone to their way of thinking. Why not just electrocute and torture people until they believe. Oh wait! The church did try that. It was called The Inquisition. No wonder so many left!

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