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?"
Wonderfully put, Meghan McWilliams!
I believe that the only way gods can exist is as social and mental constructs. In that sense, I consider myself a Pagan. For gods to exist in the external world, there would of necessity be evidence for such powerful beings. That evidence does not exist in any of the places we'd expect to find it, so I consider gods to be unlikely in the extreme. So extreme that I feel comfortable in declaring it a false proposition. In that sense, I am an atheist.
The only thing "definate" about atheism is the shared lack of beleif, after that it is entirely individualistic. I find most miss the mark here when trying to define atheism, (There really shouldn't even be an 'ism') unlike religeon with a set dogma to adhear to, atheism only states lack of beleif, nothing more.
I guess I would ask "how is an ATHEIST supposed to be?"
I am in complete agreement with you, Epicuresfan88.
The only reason atheism is an "ism" is because of the word "theism."
As to "how is an atheist supposed to be?", maybe we need to teach the believers how to reword their question, and hope they comply? I wouldn't hold my breath on that, though.
Hmm, I'd have to say I believe in truth. Only the things that are definitely real, those that are confirmed and observed. I believe in the brilliance and the corruption of humanity. I believe in intelligence and stupidity, believe in love and hate. Extremes and everything in between.
Not to say I don't entertain strange ideas in my head, I always like to let my mind wander. But, as to what I believe in, the things I stand for? Only those that I can tell are real, and are really worthwhile; for me, and for humanity.
I definitely love how everyone here has different things they view as important, yet I see very few arguments. Granted I'm new here so maybe I just haven't found them, but still, it's nice to see so many different views coexisting peacefully; and the only thing we all have in common is lack of belief in a deity. I believe in that too I suppose, that with religion out of the picture, people get on a little easier.
I believe that Evolution is not a matter of believing whether or not it is true. It is a matter of understanding it or not understanding it. If you are taught it properly or make the effort to learn it yourself then you will understand it and know it to be true. It is why Humans are here today. Many theists say they don’t belief (in) it because of a few lines written 2500 years ago. However these theistic misconceptions hold sway because I believe theists do not understand Evolution. If they did they would believe it too.
I belief I am learning to keep my replies from rambling on too much.
If I had to generalize, I'd say that atheists tend to be politically liberal, skeptical, materialists. However, there's certainly people of all stripes who call themselves atheists. The only requirement is a lack of belief in God(s).
The fact is, you'll find articles of faith at the root of ALL propositions -- even in math. They're called assumptions. The problem with faith in God is that it's not necessary for any reason and has never been known to explain a single thing in the natural universe. It's entirely superfluous.
The second-most-significant thing atheists have in common is a lack of belief in the supernatural: leprechauns, miracles, gods, angels, devils, etc. God also falls in this category.
And finally, you can bet with reasonable confidence that nearly all atheists believe in rational integrity: even if they don't personally practice it. I see rational integrity as the most workable way to know truth (which is an elusive concept in itself). In this regard, atheists share much in common with scientists.
To believe in something is to accept it as being existent. Dictionary
One can say that they believe in Evolution if they find it to be true. Its just that the word belief has so commonly been used for blind beliefs, rationalists refrain from using it. But I will still dare to say that I believe in all the facts that can be verified over and over again.
Atheists are not a global union of people with a common set of beliefs. Everyone has their own beliefs and atheism respects that. Atheism is a individual's protest against those beliefs that disregard evidence and intrude in our day to day lives. An global union of Atheists if ever formed would be wise not to have a common set of theories that have to be believed in, as it would just lead to intellectual barricade.South Park After all, Science keeps trying to disprove the current theories wrong.
We never prove a theory right; we merely fail to prove it wrong.
- Karl Popper
Abstract things like love and morals can be believed in as they are verifiable. You can easily find animals that are more monogamous that us. Facts
You will also find that humans kill more of their kind than animals do, mostly for things other than mating or food. Does all of this mean that animals believe in love more than us? We can identify the hormones responsible for making as feel love and other emotions. So we know that there is a reason for all these. Even if we choose not to believe in them, they can be verified to be existent. There are evolutionary advantages for the existence of morals among us. Wikipedia
We do not see animals worshipping Allah 5 times a day, but we do find them caring, mating, bonding and sometimes even masturbating. Youtube
Anyone who can verify the existence of any supernatural power can easily become a millionaire in this world. James Randi Challenge No miracle is ever performed twice for verification. No holy book has ever contributed anything that we did not already know. No one has proved the existence of God which is why they ask you to have faith !!
Atheists do not believe in faith but in evidence and hence deny the possibility of a Celestial Daddy.
Haha - all praise Beer! I don't believe in beer, Morgan Johnston, I know it exists, and enjoy it very much when I have some with my friends.
All praise Beer!! Yes!
I get where you are coming from with the 'know it exists' thing. but I personally try to avoid that argument. Too often I hear theists say "I don't believe in god. I know he exists!", as if such a statement somehow gives their belief more credibility.
Everything we 'know' may or may not in fact be true, and is really a belief. Perhaps based on evidence, sound principles and personal observation, but still a belief. For contradictory evidence may yet present itself, there can be exceptions to principles, and we are imperfect beings, whose observational powers are questionable, as are our memories.
Especially after a few beers ... Cheers! :-)
this is a beautiful reply to your question: