“But you HAVE to believe in something!” is a comment I often hear from my religious friends. It seems they are happy for me not to follow their religion or to even believe in a different god, just as long as I believe in something. This is something that all religious people struggle with - understanding and comprehending that atheists don’t believe.
To the religious not believing is unfathomable which is why the use statements like “believing in evolution” or “believing in the big bang” or the best yet “believing in science”. Atheists do not believe (in the religious sense) in evolution or the big bang or science. Some atheists accept them as viable and understandable explanations of how the universe and ultimately life came about. Atheism and evolution etc. are not synonymous, in fact many atheists have different ideas to explain life (alien intervention for one example) and the only thing all atheists have in common is their lack of a belief in any god/s.
Central to all religions is its saviour type figure (Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha etc) and they try to impose the same on atheism, hence the references to worshiping of Dawkins, Hawking, Darwin or Hitchens. What religious people fail to grasp is that whilst these people are generally respected in their field, they are not the be all and end all of atheism. Proving Jesus or Mohammed wrong will ultimately result in the end of the respective religion, proving Dawkins wrong just means that Dawkins was wrong and has no effect, whatsoever, on an atheists thinking.
To save yourself future ridicule remember this simple definition:
“atheist - someone who denies the existence of god”
That people, is all an atheist is.