Who we are:
We are a community, social networking, & news site focused on bringing free thinkers together & breaking the misconceptions about atheism.
Think Atheist is a social networking site focused on current events and building a global Atheist community. Our goal is to create a space where people from all over the world can connect and share their Atheist experiences and/or their conversion stories. We hope this site enriches your life and empowers you to feel a little better about the world around you.
First of all, this is a site for everyone! No one is excluded no matter what their background is or what beliefs they hold. We invite you to join in all discussions on every topic or issue addressed here on Think Atheist. We extend respect to all guests and members, and expect the same courtesy in return.
Atheism is on the rise all over the world, but some of us are having trouble finding our voice above the white noise of religion. Even more of us feel ostracized by the “believing” majority. If you fall into those categories, Think Atheist is your safe place to come out and learn how to have a dialog with friends, family, and strangers about your belief that the world was not created but is in its current state because of complicated and beautifully unguided processes. This is a place you can add to your own knowledge about the universe and share with others what you’ve discovered in your own studies and research.
We hope this site enriches your life and empowers you to feel a little better about the world around you.
So how does it work?
Think Atheist is a news and social networking Web site (like Facebook or MySpace), except with an Atheist twist. We are a fun, active community that provides a place for you to share and network with other freethinking individuals. Here are a few things you can do on this site:
- Create! Put together your own profile and share anything and everything about your beliefs, aspirations, goals, and ideas; most importantly, tell us about the ways in which you are active in your own convictions.
- Interact! Meet new people and encourage all your friends to join!
- Blog! If you read a great article, hear a good interview or see an interesting documentary, this is the place for you to share it.
- Discuss! Comment on other members’ blogs, check out the forums or create a discussion thread, or join in our built-in chat room.
- Join a Group! You can all share your ideas with people who have similar interests. If you already have a group, this is an opportunity for you to network on the Web and spread the word!
- Find Events! If you want to join others in taking action, or you've heard about an event or are planning on organizing your own, you can search for those events or post yours on the calendar.
- Upload Photos & Videos! You can post photos and videos about anything you feel relates to Atheism (directly or indirectly), or you can even just add your fav YouTube video!
- View News & Opinions! We pull together the latest Atheism and political news from around the Web, including some from the world's leading community organizations!
- Get Active! Discover how to become an active Atheist and start making a real difference in your community and in the world!
Questions About Think Atheist
Can my organization have a profile?
Yes! We believe religion affects us all and that we can only find solutions to problems posed by religion by working together. We encourage organizations to join us in order to help continue to build a safe, fun, and thoughtful community which is united by atheism. Our mission statement is a call for global change around misconceptions about atheism.
What is the purpose of Think Atheist?
Think Atheist was created to help people "come out" about being atheist. Our vision is to encourage everyone who is atheist to get involved with changing stereotypes and misconceptions regarding his or her decision to abstain from religion or a belief in deities of any kind. Bigotry against atheism is still very rampant in our communities, our schools, and even amongst family members. Think Atheist aims to give our members the proper tools to fight anti-atheist hate and discrimination.
What are the rules?
- Guidelines for T/A Discussions.
- Be courteous and respectful.
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- If you notice a problem, then Report an Issue.
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Misconceptions about atheism
By Sam Harris
- Atheists believe that life is meaningless.
On the contrary, religious people often worry that life is meaningless and imagine that it can only be redeemed by the promise of eternal happiness beyond the grave. Atheists tend to be quite sure that life is precious. Life is imbued with meaning by being really and fully lived. Our relationships with those we love are meaningful now; they need not last forever to be made so. Atheists tend to find this fear of meaninglessness … well … meaningless.
- Atheism is responsible for the greatest crimes in human history.
People of faith often claim that the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were the inevitable product of unbelief. The problem with fascism and communism, however, is not that they are too critical of religion; the problem is that they are too much like religions. Such regimes are dogmatic to the core and generally give rise to personality cults that are indistinguishable from cults of religious hero worship. Auschwitz, the gulag and the killing fields were not examples of what happens when human beings reject religious dogma; they are examples of political, racial and nationalistic dogma run amok. There is no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too reasonable.
Jews, Christians and Muslims claim that their scriptures are so prescient of humanity’s needs that they could only have been written under the direction of an omniscient deity. An atheist is simply a person who has considered this claim, read the books and found the claim to be ridiculous. One doesn’t have to take anything on faith, or be otherwise dogmatic, to reject unjustified religious beliefs. As the historian Stephen Henry Roberts (1901-71) once said: “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”
- Atheists think everything in the universe arose by chance.
No one knows why the universe came into being. In fact, it is not entirely clear that we can coherently speak about the “beginning” or “creation” of the universe at all, as these ideas invoke the concept of time, and here we are talking about the origin of space-time itself. The notion that atheists believe that everything was created by chance is also regularly thrown up as a criticism of Darwinian evolution. As Richard Dawkins explains in his marvelous book, “The God Delusion,” this represents an utter misunderstanding of evolutionary theory. Although we don’t know precisely how the Earth’s early chemistry begat biology, we know that the diversity and complexity we see in the living world is not a product of mere chance. Evolution is a combination of chance mutation and natural selection. Darwin arrived at the phrase “natural selection” by analogy to the “artificial selection” performed by breeders of livestock. In both cases, selection exerts a highly non-random effect on the development of any species.
- Atheism has no connection to science.
Although it is possible to be a scientist and still believe in God — as some scientists seem to manage it — there is no question that an engagement with scientific thinking tends to erode, rather than support, religious faith. Taking the U.S. population as an example: Most polls show that about 90% of the general public believes in a personal God; yet 93% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences do not. This suggests that there are few modes of thinking less congenial to religious faith than science is.
When scientists don’t know something — like why the universe came into being or how the first self-replicating molecules formed — they admit it. Pretending to know things one doesn’t know is a profound liability in science. And yet it is the life-blood of faith-based religion. One of the monumental ironies of religious discourse can be found in the frequency with which people of faith praise themselves for their humility, while claiming to know facts about cosmology, chemistry and biology that no scientist knows. When considering questions about the nature of the cosmos and our place within it, atheists tend to draw their opinions from science. This isn’t arrogance; it is intellectual honesty.
- Atheists are closed to spiritual experience.
There is nothing that prevents an atheist from experiencing love, ecstasy, rapture and awe; atheists can value these experiences and seek them regularly. What atheists don’t tend to do is make unjustified (and unjustifiable) claims about the nature of reality on the basis of such experiences. There is no question that some Christians have transformed their lives for the better by reading the Bible and praying to Jesus. What does this prove? It proves that certain disciplines of attention and codes of conduct can have a profound effect upon the human mind. Do the positive experiences of Christians suggest that Jesus is the sole savior of humanity? Not even remotely — because Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and even atheists regularly have similar experiences. There is, in fact, not a Christian on this Earth who can be certain that Jesus even wore a beard, much less that he was born of a virgin or rose from the dead. These are just not the sort of claims that spiritual experience can authenticate.
- Atheists believe that there is nothing beyond human life and human understanding.
Atheists are free to admit the limits of human understanding in a way that religious people are not. It is obvious that we do not fully understand the universe; but it is even more obvious that neither the Bible nor the Koran reflects our best understanding of it. We do not know whether there is complex life elsewhere in the cosmos, but there might be. If there is, such beings could have developed an understanding of nature’s laws that vastly exceeds our own. Atheists can freely entertain such possibilities. They also can admit that if brilliant extraterrestrials exist, the contents of the Bible and the Koran will be even less impressive to them than they are to human atheists. From the atheist point of view, the world’s religions utterly trivialize the real beauty and immensity of the universe. One doesn’t have to accept anything on insufficient evidence to make such an observation.
- Atheists ignore the fact that religion is extremely beneficial to society.
Those who emphasize the good effects of religion never seem to realize that such effects fail to demonstrate the truth of any religious doctrine. This is why we have terms such as “wishful thinking” and “self-deception.” There is a profound distinction between a consoling delusion and the truth. In any case, the good effects of religion can surely be disputed. In most cases, it seems that religion gives people bad reasons to behave well, when good reasons are actually available. Ask yourself, which is more moral, helping the poor out of concern for their suffering, or doing so because you think the creator of the universe wants you to do it, will reward you for doing it or will punish you for not doing it?
- Atheism provides no basis for morality.
If a person doesn’t already understand that cruelty is wrong, he won’t discover this by reading the Bible or the Koran — as these books are bursting with celebrations of cruelty, both human and divine. We do not get our morality from religion. We decide what is good in our good books by recourse to moral intuitions that are (at some level) hard-wired in us and that have been refined by thousands of years of thinking about the causes and possibilities of human happiness. We have made considerable moral progress over the years, and we didn’t make this progress by reading the Bible or the Koran more closely. Both books condone the practice of slavery — and yet every civilized human being now recognizes that slavery is an abomination. Whatever is good in scripture — like the golden rule — can be valued for its ethical wisdom without our believing that it was handed down to us by the creator of the universe.