Atheism 101

What is Atheism? Who is the Atheist? Is Atheism a belief system no different than religion or is it something those who have a belief system just cannot grasp?

We live in a modern world where freedom of choice is one of the most important rights any person can have. Our societies are versatile and each person has the right to live with whatever world view he pleases. As a result, we encounter countless of beliefs, cultures, societies, and agendas.

One of the most debated issues today, however, is the question of God. Is there a God? If so, What kind of a God it is? Are there many Gods? Are there realities beyond the reality we can comprehend and sense? Are there supernatural beings that live with us and affect our lives or universe?

Many people try to provide answers to those questions and all religions have one or more ideas regarding those questions. Each religion presents its own belief system while trying to provide a sufficient evidence to prove it is authentic.

Between all those beliefs and religions, there is one exceptional group of people who are tagged as Atheists.

I am an Atheist! I know it sounds weird to some people that one declares it, but you will be surprised how weird many people accept the fact that you don’t think God is something real.

I Wasn’t always an Atheist, I Didn’t learn to be one. I was raised in a very spiritual family and a lot of my family members actually practiced all kind of “6th sense” methods like “Tarot cards”, “Ouija boards”, communicating with spirits and such.

I Was always fascinated with this and I’ve learned (And still learning) as much as I could about every spiritual concept I could find information on. 
It was only recently (a few years back) that my belief in such things slowly decade until it reached the point that I cannot even believe that I used to believe.

I lead a happy life, I have two wonderful kids, a house and most of my days I wake up smiling and happy. There are of course less fortunate days as we all have, but I cannot point to a specific event that I can say “it changed my belief”.

I still today read a lot about spirituality, I Love an interesting philosophy book and I enjoy many religious holidays and occasions.

I’ve never “enforced” my kids with not believing or believing in a God. I always try and let them come to their own conclusions. (I will be lying, though, if I won’t admit that whenever my bigger child (9yo) states to me: “Dad, I cannot believe that there is a God..” (for whatever reason), I don’t fill with joy while secretly winking to my self.

I Always try and encourage my kids to go and explore for themselves. When their grandfather died, for example, we talked a lot about the concept of the afterlife. They decided, without any suggestion from my end, that the best solution for their grandpa, will be to become a blue butterfly (As when we told them about his death, a blue butterfly flew really close to them).
The fact they found comfort in this, is a sufficient reason for me to let them and enjoy that notion. They do, however, understand that the blue butterfly is not REALLY their grandfather, which also I might add, makes me even more comfortable with that. Today, every time we see a blue butterfly we all greet him with a “Hi Grampa” and we laugh and enjoy the small moments of memories.

The same idea was happily adopted when my sweet dog “Milky” died. Even though this time there was no butterfly around when we told them the news, they immediately decided that she is now represented by white butterflies (as they matched the color of her fur).

Moving along from my personal stories, I would like to explain a bit more about what Atheism is. Many times I encounter people that find the concept of Atheism as a Dogma or something that is “just not possible”.

There are different concepts of Atheism, yet the common ground to all of them is the lack of belief in spiritual deities or for that matter, any supernatural existence.

Many times, people think that Atheism is a belief that there is no God… This is a misconception and a lot of times becomes the main issue while debating the question of Atheism and Theism (The belief in a God/s or a Supernatural Deity).

There are, however, some Atheists who might claim that there is no God (They are nicked “Hard Atheists”) but they obliviously cannot support this claim with nothing but assumptions as they are lacking any undeniable evidence. It is impossible to disprove an existence of something that in the first place we cannot sense or define. It is a rare thing to find an Atheist who claims there is a 100 percent certainty that there is no God or supernatural “realm”

So what is Atheism? It will be easier to say what Atheism is not…

Atheism is NOT a belief. Atheism is the lack of one! The Atheist believe there is a God no more than he believes that the Greek gods are real. For the atheist, God is in the same arena as Santa, Fairies, Unicorns and such other mystical fairy tales.

The Atheist is NOT lacking emotions. The atheist doesn’t think we are merely a meat sack with no meaning in life.

The Atheist is NOT someone who fears God or Hates God. As one doesn’t believe that God is Anything but a fiction of the mind, there is no real hatred to it.. there are on the other hand a lot of Atheist who don’t like religion and thinks religion is a bad practice to humans (I’m one of them).

The Atheist is NOT a “Darwinist”. The fact we agree with the Darwin theory of Evolution, doesn’t mean we think it is a beneficial way of living for our species. An atheist does not expect people to kill one another because this is how nature works.

The Atheist is NOT an evil or a bad person. The fact we don’t believe there is a God doesn’t make us inhuman!

Atheism is NOT a world view! this is probably one of the biggest misconceptions there are regarding Atheism. To be an atheist has got nothing to do with a worldview, It is like saying that not believing there are flying invisible monsters is a world view. Most of the Atheists, however, lead either a secular or skeptical worldview, which in turn leads them to the disbelief in all that is supernatural.

Atheism is NOT a cult, a religion of sort or an organization that has an agenda as the only truth. There are no books on how one should practice atheism, no doctrines that will teach you how you should be an atheist. It is not something you need to acquire and learn, rather something you need to come to using nothing but yourself and your understanding of our universe.

In a way, ANY person in our world is an Atheist towards one thing or more…
You probably don’t believe that Santa is a real entity that actually climbs down chimneys and delivers gifts to those who well behaved during the year. The fact one is an atheist, BTW, doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy those same fairy tales a Theist enjoys. I enjoy religious holidays like any other with the exception that I’m not celebrating them to honor and praise the one and only true God (I’m considered Jewish by default no matter what my beliefs or lack of them is). I celebrate the holidays as time with my family and friends and I enjoy a religious holiday just the same as I enjoy the none religious ones.

There are not many ways one becomes an Atheist. It can be either you were born to an atheistic family and raised as such, It might be that religion is something that you grew out of (Like most of the things we don’t really believe today), It might be that you discovered that a God is not really a necessity as many times claimed by religions, It might be that you had a specific event in your life that caused you to not believe and at times it is just something you present you are not, but deep inside you know that you are.

The theistic arguments are intriguing. There are amazing ideas and concepts that might at first seem so reasonable (even in a way that one cannot accept the fact that things can work in any other way), yet all those arguments are merely ideas and speculations. none of the arguments for theism you will hear from a Theist person are based on things we can validate, measure, sense or sometimes ever really know.

In this series of articles, I will try and present the most common and most appealing arguments usually raised by theists and spiritualists while debating atheists, and I will try and explain why those arguments, even though seeming logical, are in fact not remotely connected to our reality and existence as we know it.

Until next article, God bless you ;)