Rather than take issue with Simon Paynton on April's post I thought I'd raise this issue separately! Simon states that he believes in Life After Death and sees no contradiction between that belief and an Atheist World View! Personally I have great difficulty with believing in Life After Death as to me it smacks of superstition and the supernatural which is exactly what Atheism is not about! Does anyone have any views on this subject that they would like to share?
There are supernaturalistic worldviews that can be rightly termed atheistic worldviews: (certain forms of) Buddhism and (probably) Raelism come to mind. So it seems that what you want to refer to is Naturalism, an atheistic worldview that is defined by a metaphysical position that nature is all there is, there is no supernatural.
Then, since atheism is itself just disbelief in gods, as long as someone doesn't believe in gods, they're an atheist. If a person doesn't believe in gods but believes in the existence of an afterlife they're still an atheist. The belief in an afterlife isn't necessarily opposed to an atheistic worldview and it may not even be opposed to Naturalism if the afterlife that's claimed to exist is purely naturalistic.
The problem, then, isn't that the belief in an afterlife is in contradiction with an atheistic worldview or even Naturalism specifically, it's that there's absolutely no evidence for the existence of an afterlife, and indeed no evidence even for a mechanism by which there could be an afterlife. For as Sam Harris has said, "What we are being asked to consider is that if you damage one part of the brain and the mind and something about the mind and subjectivity is lost, and you damage another part of the brain and something else is lost, and yet if you damage the whole thing at death, we can rise off the brain with all our faculties intact, recognizing grandma, and speaking English."
Thanks Nelson, a valuable contribution as always! So 'we' are Atheists because we don't believe in god or gods and the reason we don't believe in gods is because there is absolutely no evidence for the existence of god or gods, logically we should not believe in an afterlife either for exactly the same reasons! "You can't have your cake and eat it too" springs to mind!
Now that I quite agree with. The same lack of evidence that brings people to reject the god hypothesis should bring people to reject the hypothesis that there's an afterlife. Certainly.
I'm curious. If I may ask, what forms of Buddhist wolrdviews that are supernaturalistic and can be atheistic were you thinking of? I may be oversimplifying but I had always thought that there were two kinds of Buddhism. The actual teaching of the man Buddha that involved nothing supernatural and the religion created by people who misinterpreted his teachings and made him a "God".
If one assumes that "life after death" is the continuation of some form of energy, as the physical body dis-corporates, then; since the earth is moving at an excess of 7 miles per second where does this leave said after-life? Zooming out through interstellar space?