We've all heard this before: "atheists dont believe in anything," and of course that is not true. Unfortunately, I hear this all too often. Since beliefs are an individual thing (especially among the secular community), I pose the question to you: What do you believe in?
I'd love to hear as many thoughts as possible. Hopefully this discussion will generate a diverse enough pool that it would be worthwhile to link this as a response to statements like the one above.
For me, I have been internally debating the idea of belief itself.
I am coming to see beliefs as being a gateway to faith. Personally, I say that I accept what facts present, as they are uncovered.
I think if you accept the scientific fact of what makes the sky blue, you don't have to rely on simply believing that it happens so. It's a proven fact.
A friend of mine recently came at me with that very statement that she didn't think I was actually an atheist because there were things I believed in and atheists don't believe in anything. She argued with me that she, as a person of faith, knew better what the definition of atheism was than I, someone who has been an out and open atheist for the past 12 years, and that I just didn't know what I was talking about.
I have heard this same cliche again and again. In fact, this is often the first concept a theist expresses in reaction to me describing myself as an atheist. I quickly let them know that, quite on the contrary to what they may feel, I believe in many things:
1. I believe that community and humanity are "the answer", and peoples (your people, my people, those people, American people, Muslim people, etc) are "the problem".
2. I believe that freedom can only be correctly and PERMANENTLY attained through equality. Not the other way around.
3. I believe that education is the process that will bring about peace, progress, and prosperity, and the more widespread and advanced the education, the more widespread and advanced the level of peace, progress, and prosperity.
4. I believe that science is how we develop knowledge and learn to analyze that knowledge, and knowledge and its analysis is education. Ergo, science is vital to education. Science is, therefore, the seed of peace, progress, and prosperity.
5. I believe that belief in the supernatural is ridiculous. Religion is often the cause of so much pain, destruction, and division. We've also derived things such as "the golden rule", art, literature, music, etc from various faiths. This tells me that human invention is a poweful thing. It can inspire others or inflame others. Religion is merely the fuel. But it's not the only fuel. One can be inspired (or inflamed) by many other sources than religion. Our cultures have simply made religion more readily available. Which is sad as not one of them is based in truth.
That's part of what I believe.
I wish I'd said that --
I believe life-long learning with an open mind is key.
I believe managing one's perception is becoming as important as being competent. This is due in part to technical specialization.
I believe unconditional love only occurs between a mother and a baby; because of evolution. Other than that, love is necessarily reciprocal.
I believe that I should not automatically believe everything I think.
I believe I learn much by participating on this anti-theist forum. I respect you all for your courage, conviction, optimism, humor, kindness and intellect.
It's too bad that someone that projects the image of a strong believer is somehow is thought of as being automatically intelligent and knowledgeable by many people. The leaders of the faithful stare up to the sky and somehow just know all that needs knowing. Robes seem to help. I think atheists need to start wearing robes. I believe in robes.
Now that one I can buy into with great delight - for me, a long starry midnight blue one, with a hood - yes definitely a hood.
Yes there is a kind of smug superiority when someone believes they have a divine connection - it's such a pity there's not going to be a life after death in which we can point out there is no life after death... before we all vanish.
Is trust a form of belief? I trust, bucketloads
And silly hats...