Following are some questions frequently asked of atheists:
Are you mad at god(s)?
No. I do not believe in magical beings, and therefore I cannot be angry, happy, sad or turned on by them.
If there is no god(s) then how did we get here?
I don’t know. I’m not arrogant or dishonest enough to pretend to know something humans do not now, and may never, understand. People who say they know a magic individual contacted/inseminated/spoke through someone who may or may not have existed thousands of years ago should not be taken seriously — you’re welcome to believe in poorly written fairy tales, but it is immoral for you to attempt to legislate them.
If there is no god(s) then from where does morality originate?
Morality is a naturally-occurring trait to most animals, including man. While cultural norms differ from region to region, the basic desire to protect one’s family, to work hard, to protect the weak and punish wrongdoers remains constant. The single biggest factor that hampers human morality is religion. Due to the persuasive power and prevalence of occultist groups, from Christians and Muslims, to Hindus and Jews, it can be difficult if not impossible for church members to engage in their natural morality when the toxic imitation morality of religiosity is imposed upon them. See chapter 2 of my book “The Moral Superiority of Atheism” for a complete explanation on the origins and machinations of morality.
PRIOR TO INTENSE STUDY AND CONTEMPLATION, THIS IS WHAT I USED TO BELIEVE ABOUT MORALITY: Morality is a human construct like time. However, unlike the generally accepted concept of time, morality changes from culture to culture. What is acceptable in some American cities is intolerable in other American cities. What is legal in the USA is punishable by death in some countries. In America you will receive a fine and possibly jail time for stealing. In Iran, you may have your hand chopped off. In America, women are allowed to dress as they like. In Saudi Arabia, a woman can be arrested for leaving the house without covering her body. In America humans do not consume human flesh. Some African tribes still engage in cannibalism. Morality is a mixture of the desire for self-preservation, developed social norms, superstition, prevailing occultism and numerous other factors. If you were hoping to hear there is such a thing as ultimate or definitive right and wrong, good and evil, you are out of luck. The truth is, no such thing exists. We humans tend to have a generally agreed upon idea of what is acceptable and what is not, but it varies. Further, if the Christian or Muslim god(s) did exist, they would be the most immoral creatures ever to blacken the face of the earth. Never in the history of humankind has an entity been so murderous, capricious, vein, rapacious, short-sighted or downright stupid as these deity.
If you don’t believe in heaven or hell, then where do we go when we die?
I don’t know. If I had to guess I would believe we cease to be cognizant of anything shortly after death, though I read of a scientific study which says brain activity can continue in a refrigerated corpse for days or weeks after death http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=98447 (which is pretty friggin’ creepy if you ask me). Once again, I refuse to pretend to know something as unknowable as this.
Why do you hate religious people?
Neither I, nor any of the self-respecting folks I know who choose not to believe in magical beings, hate people for their decision to believe in magic, gods, spirits, ferries, gnomes, goblins, witchs & witchcraft, djins, sprites, leprechauns, angels, demons, devils or karma, luck or divinity.
If you don’t believe in god(s) then why waste your time writing about it?
If it were merely a matter of my neighbor believing in magical beings, I would have little to no cause for complaining, let alone writing, about religion. However, I live in a country on a world seemingly overpopulated with people who believe they have the right (divine right, at that) to dictate how their fellow humans live. Not only do most of my neighbors believe in magical beings, but too many of them believe they have a right and duty to enslave my actions and expressions through the legislation of religious dogma. This isn’t a matter of two people disagreeing philosophically. This is a matter of many little tyrants working together to rob their fellow man of liberty and justice, all the while deluding themselves into self-justification by purporting to be on missions from their god(s).
If you don’t have a god to tell you what to do, then how can you have any values?
Asking me why or how I can value something simply because I do not choose to believe there is a magic beast threatening to roast me for eternity doesn’t really resonate with me — I don’t get it. I can tell you what I “believe” and what I think is right and wrong. I am a vegeterian for health reasons, but the truth is it takes 6 times the amount of grain to create one pound of beef as it would to feed six people — it’s incredibly wasteful. Now, do I care if others eat animals? No. It’s not my job to decide what people do with their respective bodies. I believe in non-vi0lence except in situations of self-defense or defense of another who is defenseless. I believe we need a strong, intelligent military to protect our nation from threats, but I feel playing world policeman is morally and financially irresponsible. I believe abortion, except for cases where the mother’s life is in danger, should be illegal. I have never understood how people cannot understand that abortion is murder — or perhaps this is more of that cognitive dissonance that we humans are so famous for. I believe child molestors should be executed and casual drug users should not be imprisoned. I believe people should have the right to live and be left alone by the government and their neighbors as long as they do not directly harm anyone else with their actions.
Isn’t atheism just another religion?
I have been asked this question by several people in my nearly 40 years as a human animal, and I always respond in the same way: If you believe atheism — a lack of belief in magic — is a religion, then you need a new dictionary and I am happy to purchase it for you. “Atheism” or “A-theism” simply means a lack or state of no theism. Atheism is not a thing. It is the lack of a thing. So, it cannot be a religion. Atheism has no rules. Atheism has no regulations. Atheism has no prescriptions. Atheism has no tenets, no priests, no gods, no devils. Atheism is merely a name religious leaders invented to explain to their followers the concept of not making the conscious choice to engage in magic worship and idolatry.
According to www.dictionary.com, re·li·gion /rɪˈlɪdʒən/ Show Spelled[ri-lij-uhn] is a noun which means: 1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. 2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion. 3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions. 4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion. 5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.