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? 

Is an Atheist just a person who doesn't believe in a supreme being or is there more to it?

The word 'a-theist' shouldn't exist. There is no word for disbelief in bigfoot, leprechauns, astrology, phrenology, and Ponzi schemes. I'm an a-theist, but I'm also an a-bigfootist, a-leprechaunist, a-astrologist, a-phrenologist, a-ponzi-ist and an a-hogwash-of-any-kind-ist.

An atheist is someone who rejects theist claims that god or gods exist. That's it. If someone tells you he is an atheist, you know nothing about what he believes. You know one thing he does not believe.

How does one become Atheist?

A theist says God exists. You don't believe him. It may happen gradually or all at once. The details vary too. But that's it. 

What is it like be in a world that is dominated by religion?

If you really want to know what it's like: every time you encounter the words God or faith, substitute the word Gnome. I mean it sincerely. 

  • Your kids recite a Pledge in school, "...one nation, under Gnomes, indivisible...".  
  • The President, a staunch believer in Gnomes, starts an Office of Gnome-based Initiatives
  • Every dollar you handle is emblazoned with the words "In Gnomes we trust". 
  • You sneeze. Someone says, "Gnomes bless you." 
  • You go to City Hall. There's a huge Gnome shrine on the lawn.
  • You turn on the TV. A favorite NFL player credits a touchdown to the power of Gnomes.
  • The Supreme Court rules that references to Gnomes are ceremonial and have nothing to do with belief in Gnomes. 
  • Terrorists attack American cities and kill thousands because the Gnomes are on their side.
  • Gnome-believers take over Afghanistan and behead Gnome-apostates with dull swords.
  • The list goes on and on.

Eventually you say it: Enough! You declare your disbelief in Gnomes. You ask the Gnome-believers to leave you alone.

Now you've done it. The Gnome-believers are enraged. "How dare you!" they scream. They bombard you with threats and insults. The Gnomes will torture you forever! This country was founded on Gnomes! How dare you infringe on my right to believe in Gnomes! A few kinder ones suggest that you keep quiet: just don't say the 'under Gnomes' part of the Pledge! See? All better!

That's a tiny taste of what it's like. God and faith are everywhere, and they poison everything.

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

Add to the list:

  • A war breaks out in the Mid-East. Gnomes wear purple hats, says one side. Gnomes wear yellow hats, says the other.
  • A car bomb explodes in Northern Ireland. Down with Gnomes, say the perpetrators, and long live the Leprechauns!

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...

I had no idea gnomes had an anthem. 

I still hate the Eagles. I'm a Dudeist, after all.

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.


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