Common misconceptions about atheism and atheists.
The war of words between believers and atheists on here have been quite fervent. No one can get along no matter how hard any of the parties try. For the most part I see the main problem being that there are certain misconceptions about what atheism is about, and what type of people atheists are. The ideas that believers have about atheists are mostly wrong, or should I say uninformed.
So without further ado, I present to you the biggest misconceptions that theists have about atheists/atheism.
1. Atheism is a religion in itself
In all honest truth, that would be like saying the "off" button on your TV is just another channel. Its not a religion, and we don't have a church or meetings. Well maybe sometimes we will get together for coffee and tea, but we do that with other people as well. Even religious people!
2. Atheists believe in nothing.
Not true. We believe in many things, even a lot of things religious people believe in as well. We believe in using your talents, freedom of speech, living a good life, caring for children and the infirm, we believe in love, basically everything about life that even believers believe in. The only thing we don't believe in is God, and in turn that religion/the Bible is not needed to live a good life. We believe these kind of things are part of human nature, is part and parcel of what a decent human being is anyway even without the influence of a God or religion.
3. Atheists are Satanists.
Duh... We are against religion to start, and Satanism is considered a religion in itself, so we are against Satanism as well. Even though Satanism is in direct opposition to almost all other religions, it is still a dogma of control that does not give it's followers the freedom to choose. And really, some of the laws about Satanism is just wrong and improper. It also cites violence as a means of getting things done. We don't support that.
4. Atheists eat babies
Yes we do! And we like 'em medium rare after marinating them in Jimmy's braai sauce for at least 2 days! Come on... get real.
5. Atheists have no morals
If that were true, then ALL atheists would be murderers, rapists, burglars and generally be criminals. But they are not. Many doctors are atheists, and they save lives! Go figure! This misconception stems from the belief that if you don't have God to guide you, then you have no rules to live by. But in fact atheists are pro life, and just like religious people we also believe that rape and murder and theft etc is wrong.
6. Atheists hate God
No we don't, we don't hate anything. God has no influence on our lives for the most part, so there is nothing to hate really. We also do not hate religious people. Yes I admit some atheists are quite militant (and sometimes rude), but most atheists likes all humans. Except the stupid. A very broad term but we are talking about ignorant stupid. We hate blatant ignorance, the kind where people refuse to even give another opinion a chance or when critical thinking is denounced. Yet, we do fully understand the connotation of why believers would think we hate God. We don't. It's as simple as that. We do however hate ignorance.
7. 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.
8. Atheists are rude and arrogant.
Yes some are, and some are not. Yet there are arrogant Christians as well, and some that are not. It's a pointless and silly conclusion to make, whichever way it goes. The misconception comes from the fact that no matter how or what an atheist says to a believer, it is ALWAYS going to sound like we are slapping you in the face, as if we are ridiculing you. We are not. For instance, imagine you as a Christian has to explain to a 50 year old man who believes that the tooth fairy is real, that the tooth fairy is actually not real. Of course you are going to sound like you are making fun of him! I mean, you are telling this guy that for the last 50 years he has been believing in an invisible person!
9. Atheists have sexual orgies on a regular basis.
If only!!! Wow that would have been a bonus! And if you don't notice the sarcasm and obvious joke in that then whatever I have written here will have passed you by. No we don't. There is no atheist swinger movement or secret group. Studies have shown actually that most people who are swingers and promiscuous are from religious backgrounds. Damn I might have been missing out here!
10. Atheists are very unhappy people.
On the contrary. Since deciding to become an atheist, almost 90% of all my problems have gone away, and in turn I care much more for people, animals and the wellbeing of others etc. I have also become much more informed about different cultures, sexual orientations and the difference between races. I stopped being a semi-racist and chauvinist, and understand the differences in all spheres of life better. That made me a very happy person. I also became more in tune with the world, friends started liking me even more and I made even more friends (not all of them atheists) and generally became a better person and a more decent human being. Weird hey?
These are just some of the misconceptions about atheism and atheists. It all stems from that one thing atheists hate: ignorance. Or more correctly, the refusal to open and broaden your mind. It is so well said in the beginning of Genesis, when God tells Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. The blatant lie being told here is that you, the religious believers, are better off not knowing anything, and are destined to follow like sheep.
I do expect some of the religious trolls to denounce what I just said.
For more information, do yourselves a favor and read the link. Or if you are content to stay ignorant, then don't.