I believe that many people get confused about the term "Atheist." Is an Atheist just a person who doesn't believe in a supreme being or is there more to it? How does one become Atheist? What is it like be in a world that is dominated by religion? Please give me your feedback on this topic. Help me gain insight on the Atheist community so to speak. 

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If you want to read about this, George Smith adequately addresses this in Atheism - the Case Against God, imo. Or, you can look on Wikipedia under atheism, agnosticism, and ignosticism.

An atheist is just a person who has no belief in gods. There are some atheists who would like atheism to mean more, so you might encounter people who say atheism is more.

The way to become an atheist is as unique as each atheist. Some common reasons that atheists state are: skepticism, actually reading the bible, and realizing that there is no scientific evidence for the existence of a god.

What is it like to be in a world that is dominated by religion? The answer to that is going to depend on the personality of the atheist, the beliefs of the atheist, and the location of the atheist. For me personally being an open atheist has not presented me with problems regarding friends, family or employment. I live in Oregon where such things are generally tolerated by the population and even more so by the law.

Well Becca, I agree with lot u have to say and u are lucky in which where u live and work. I don't feel that lucky. I can't even express my self around work or family. Work i feel it could be a way in which to single me out for layoff or firing.Here -there is about a church on every other block. The family-hushes me if I try to say anything about being atheist or the sins of the christian religion. So, it is very hard to talk or relate to anyone here. People really don't have an open mind in this country as far as the percent of population in my view towards atheism. We are i think as much or equal to gay people. We just need to change. ...........................the one thing i wanted to add was - the way in which one has been brought to think a different way-or go to atheism.. in my case it was 9-11. the question was why do they hate us so much. Which seemed to have nothing to do with religion and everything to do with capitalism. If religion really played the part it should. There wouldn't be any wars. We would be doing what Jesus really intended. Turn the other cheek and help them understand and forgive. For me it was GB#43 - sending people to war with no objection from our so called christian nation and with his renewal of born again faith. God is used to tell ourselves that it is okay now to kill millions in the name of freeing those people and we are on Gods side. ect. The further I dug into this the more I found this country to be a lie-not only of the christian religion but being free and a true free society. thx

1. By definition atheism is an absence of belief in any god or deity.  The term definitely has some stigma attached to it, and undeservedly so.  Several other ideologies seem to go hand in hand with atheism, but I think that has more to do with the mindset and thinking processes that most atheists share.

2. How you become an atheist is entirely dependent on each individual.  Some seem to be born naturally skeptic, and others go through a slow and sometimes painful realization.  Poke around the site and you're bound to see stories of how people go to where they are today.

3. I am in the good old bible belt of the USA, and being an atheist here is pretty much committing social suicide.  I still stomp around debating people and wearing my beliefs as proudly as anyone, but it is much different than other places in the country.  There is a complete lack of trust shown towards atheists and it has slowly eaten away at me down here.  For supposedly being a religion who's members don't pass judgement the christians around here sure are vicious about it. 

   That's interesting. Its amazing that in a place where religion says all people should be loved and treat one another as you would have them treat you, you could feel so out of place because of your beliefs. That is religious oppression at its core. When religion comes up in conversation what are some of the general reactions you receive? 

Unfortunately the infallible pope is the only human who can reliably talk directly with the Gnomes. He has a red Gnome Phone.

And there is a Gnome anthem, too.  I think it was an Eagles hit.  I vaguely remember the chorus goes "Gnome Man's got it made, til He's far beyond the pain, and we who must remain, go on living just the same"

Oh, sure, the song's called My Man but we Gnome worshippers know......

Gnome, gnome on the range, where the deer and the antelope play...

To become an Atheist, you need only look at the evidence provided by science and then compare it to what is in the bible - preferably the New King James Version rather than the traditional King James Version. The grammar in the King James Version is archaic, difficult to follow, and easily misconstrued. Don't read it with symbolism, metaphor, or allegory in mind - that's how the religious make sense of it. Symbolism, metaphor, and allegory are unreliable means of communicating ideas since interpretations change with the times and are subject to bias. You can make sense of just about anything if you look at it only with symbolism, metaphor, and/or allegory in mind.

What's it like to live in a world that is dominated by religion? It just plain sucks. I've never felt so bogged down by the stupidity of those around me. That may sound conceited, but when around 50% of the country's people qualify as Creationists (a.k.a. hypocrites who ignore a myriad of scientific evidence) and with around 80% (plus or minus 10%) of the country believing in a god, I can't help but feel like I'm surrounded by intellectual zombies that are trying to infect me.

As to what an atheist really is... that's a tricky question, since atheism is the opposite of a belief system. In the words of Sam Harris, atheism is "devoid of content. It's like being a non-astrologer."

What atheism allows is what makes it so crucial. It makes room for Free Thought and a general rejection of any dogma. It basically opens up your mind in full to the wonders of the universe. In computer terms, it "frees up" RAM by terminating useless processes and programs. If a theory - or even a thought-to-be-fact - is found to be false, the atheist must discard it. This is something that religious people almost never do, which is why they still exist.

The standard answer to this question, for some of the more wimpy among us, is that “atheist” only means “lack of faith” and does not carry the more confrontational meaning of implying an overt assertion of some sort.  In essence, it is really a variant of the term, “agnostic,” and implies some level of respect for the beliefs of religionists, of which I have none.  

That’s why I avoid the ambiguity implied in that label.  I don’t just “lack faith;” I totally reject even the possibility of the existence of all things supernatural.  So, rather than leave any doubt as to my strong belief that there is NO SUCH THING as God or gods of any kind, I prefer to call myself an “antitheist.”  Or, if you prefer - a “filthy atheist!”

I am really getting tired of hearing this same question posed so often in so many ways.  Who cares what the word “atheist” means?  The bottom line: call me an atheist, an antitheist, a free thinker, a secular humanist, a rationalist, a communist - whatever.  It all boils down to the fact that I think the whole idea of there being such things as ghosts, goblins, souls, spirits, angels, devils, leprechauns, zombies, vampires, Santa Clauses, sasquatches, flying saucers, and such is utter insanity.  And gods?  That’s the most preposterous concept of all.

Using myself as an example, there's one simple reason why an anti-theist won't confront a theist: they just don't like confrontation. I have nothing but contempt for religion at this point, with both contempt and pity for its propagators, yet I wear a mask of false tolerance around theists. Unfortunately, I see them as a lost cause, and there's no point in wasting time and energy on something that's lost. I feel like I'd have a better chance of finding gold in my backyard, though I doubt it's truly that hopeless for them.

The way I explain it to theists is: The way you feel toward all gods besides your own is the same way I feel about all gods including your own.

There might be a better phrasing, but it is what it is 


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