Don't tell me you never had this question asked to you, subsequently to your, usually politely, explaining to whoever asks about your religion, that you're an atheist and do not believe in any god; you're an atheist and do not believe that a god exists; or whatever combination of words you choose.

That's pretty much how it goes.

Even people who know that atheists do not believe in a god will sometimes still assume they share a common set of beliefs or principles, and have common political tendencies.

"So, what do atheists believe?", is their question.

If you ask me, I've had a wide variety of comebacks, depending on my mood at the moment, most of them facetious, but most likely, after explaining that atheists (as a group) do not have a common set of beliefs, I say that *I* believe in love, in humanity and our good faith... just to keep it simple... because, quite frankly, we don't "believe" in science - we find it verifiable. We don't "believe" in the universe and its wonders, we have seen them through amazing telescopes. I guess you get my point.

So what do you, fellow atheist, believe in, or what do you think is the best answer to this question?


Side note: This discussion is focused rather on the best comeback to the question in it, which in this specific context, is always asked as "opposed to your non-belief in god, what do atheists believe?"

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I agree. It is outstanding astounding, not in a good way, when another atheist asks me my astrological sign.

It is frustrating, to say the least.

Do Not Disturb - that's a good sign

I was talking about books to a beautiful girl dancer on the ship one day. She asks what kind of stuff I read. I said Particle Physics, string theory, anything neuro/brain/perception related, history, science and astronomy.

At this she perks up and says "Oh me too, I just love astronomy...What sign are you?" 




I said Slippery When Wet?

Hey now. I'm an Atheist and I don't believe in any of that horoscope mumbo jumbo (it's just as much of a superstition as any concept of God.) but it's basically like asking what month you were born in. It's more or less putting a symbol on your month of birth. It doesn't need to be superstitious or anything along those lines. I even have a tattoo of Sagittarius... not because I believe in horoscopes, but because I love cosmology and am proud to be born in December. Nothing more... nothing less.

astrology is fun you don't have to believe it

Question - "What's your astrological sign?"

My answer - "I was born in mid-November.  You work it out; I won't be bothered."

I believe you mean "astounding."  :D

Yes! Thank you. 

I agree. I'm also a bit disappointed with the many atheists in here who believes in crazy conspiracy theories. It's just nuts!

I think what you said is key Monica, what each atheist believes is up to them. What they find meaningful in their life. I believe in the likely hood of tomorrow. I think the word "believe", like any word out there, can be twisted to suite a need or want. I don't need people who believe to think that I believe anything.

I have learned to avoid the word "believe/belief" in most contexts, because it somehow does imply there is some sort of faith involved. But, of course, Robert, people can twist pretty much any word to serve their agenda.

I too avoid using the words "believe/belief" also because of the links with faith. I use the words "understand" or "maintain" most of the time, after some training I should add. Also, when I hear a television interviewer ask a religous person if they believe in evolution it does anoy me. I shout out "ask them if they accept evolution as a scientific fact".

I don't avoid using conjugations of "to believe" because it has a different meaning than "to know".  There are a lot of things we can rightly claim to believe that we cannot claim to know.  But, I do find myself thinking deeply -- I suspect a lot more deeply than the other participants -- in a conversation where "belief/believe" is being bandied about.


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