This is where you'll find articles primarily about atheism. But unlike my other atheist page, this one is aimed more at believers and moderates who just want to understand where we're coming from. My goal isn't to convert anyone (puh-leeeease!) but I hope to promote a little understanding of our real views, and even our criticisms of religion. If you're willing to read and give peace a chance, then I'll try my best to be a little more sensitive than I would be in the other atheist page.
I won't promise to hold off on all criticisms of religion or other things that most atheists regard as superstitious. No understanding could come from that. But I will try to write articles that moderates will understand so they can at least see where many atheists are really coming from. Many of them think they know, but...you know.
Last update for this page was on Sunday, 13-Jan-2013 07:52:46 EST
Advice For Believers And Atheists:
Email, Message Boards, and Other Online Forums Aren't The Best Ways To Communicate When Talking Religion On The Web
This one seems to confuse a lot of people and has gotten me in trouble plenty of times. But the fact remains that typed messages - whether by email, newsgroups, message board forums, or in any other form - just aren't as accurate in conveying emotions and intentions as real face to face conversations. That means you're going to have to give people the benefit of the doubt if you want to communicate this way for very long. Especially if the topics are of a sensitive nature, such as "secularism versus religion." You might think that this is just common sense, but most of us seem to forget when we're actually in these situations. I've even had people insist that I was making up this whole online miscommunication problem to get out of taking responsibility for the things I wrote in whatever forum we used to frequent!
By far the best message board I've ever visited is on my links page, and its members actually include a mix of die-hard atheists and fundamentalist believers who generally get along. (gasp!) Too bad most forums aren't like JWD.
So what is the biggest thing to keep in mind when communicating online?
More at the link...
One Reason Why Atheists Don't Believe: Where Is God When There's So Much Evil In The World?
Or "One Reason Why Many Atheist's Question The Morality of Worship"10/04/07
The thing is - if God exists and God is good - then what's with all the suffering? Why were we made so fragile and left to run around in a universe that is so dangerous? One might be tempted to say that God really does exist, but conclude that he is evil. Yet there is also good in the world. An evil God could surely have made it far worse place than it is. The Christian concept of Hell seems like one good example of a world that inflicts greater suffering. So maybe God exists, but he's just really, really incompetent. Or maybe he just didn't try too hard. Yet that's not the sort of God most theists believe in. Or maybe God really is evil, but he puts good things in the world so we don't get too used to all the bad stuff? After all, too much suffering and you start to feel sort of numb to it after a while. Or maybe the atheists (like myself) are right. Maybe everything came to exist through purely natural processes and there is no motive to any of it. That's where a lot atheists stand on this issue. How could there be a good, intelligent creator-god who's also willing to leave us in this situation?
More at the link...
One Reason Why Atheists Don't Believe:
There Are No Objective Reasons That Are Compelling Enough
There are a number of arguments that religious believers use when they try to prove their beliefs to atheists like myself. If these reasons work for the believer, then so be it. But - from an atheists' viewpoint, at least - most of them seem to require that certain assumptions be made before the argument becomes compelling. Or, if no assumptions must be made, then we must already feel a strong need to believe in their god. Sure, the believer's reasoning might be just the nudge we needed ... if we actually felt this need to believe. But a lot of atheists just don't see the need for any gods. In the end, atheists tend to favor evidence that is both objective (lacking emotional bias or assumptions) and compelling (there are no other explanations that are just as good or better). From where we stand, no believer has ever thought of a reason to believe that meets this standard. Nor have they offered us a good enough reason to change our standard (so don't ask).
Let's look at some of the most common arguments and briefly talk about the problems that many atheists have with them.
More at the link...
Believers Ask... Why Do Many Atheists Say That Atheism Isn't A Religion?9/20/07
A lot of believers seem to assume that atheism is just another belief system like any religion. But atheists as a group don't adhere to any system of beliefs. We don't, for instance, have a Bible or a "higher power" like God to call our own. If you put a large group of atheists into a room, you'd find that they have a wide variety of beliefs about life, morality, and everything else. There is no code or collection of beliefs that define atheists as a group. We share only one thing in common: the fact that we don't believe in any gods. Anyone who assigns qualities to atheists beyond that standard is assuming too much. The word "atheist" describes a person who doesn't believe in any gods and that's it. Anything more than that and you're really describing a limited group of atheists who don't represent atheists as a whole.
More at the link...
Questions Worth Pondering About The Nature And Morality Of Gods... Is The Sovereignty Of God Moral When He Allows So Much Suffering?
Or "If God Is Good, Why Did He Create A World Where His Creations Can Suffer?"8/23/07
The issue of human suffering is a big one for many atheists. We don't believe in God, but the fact that many believers think of God as the source of all morality is pretty stunning. (If you've read the Bible cover to cover, that is) Yeah, I know that the Bible keeps telling us that God is good. But that's just the opinion of the Bible's authors. I honestly suspect that many believers have either given God a get-out-of-jail free card on this one or they've simply given up on resolving the question. Why do I think this? Because their answers are, for me at least, completely unsatisfactory. If there is a sovereign god and that god is good, then why does it allow its creations to suffer? All the answers I have ever heard really sound like cop outs to me.
Consider the following scenario:More at the link...
I've seen where a lot of religious believers reject atheism (and atheists) because a secular viewpoint doesn't offer them any sort of higher meaning or sense of purpose to their lives. This sort of complaint is actually one of the reasons why many atheists see religion as a sort of crutch or a comforting delusion. To me and a lot of other atheists, these believers seem to be saying that life is meaningless without God and that the idea really bothers them. They even seem to be saying that they crave a sense of meaning or importance so strongly that they don't care if their views are wrong. In other words - from many an atheist's viewpoint at least - they are saying that they need to see the world this way and that's what they are going to do no matter what! I wonder what they would think if they knew how ironic this sort of thinking really is or how atheists are sometimes just as saddened by their worldview as they are by our own.More at the link...
Believers Ask... How And Why Do Atheists Become Atheists?
Or Why Your Assumptions About Us Are Probably Wrong8/10/07
So how and why do atheists become nonbelievers in the first place? Answer: there are lots of different hows and whys for atheism, just as there are with the beliefs of religious believers. Atheists are human, after all, so there's obviously an infinite variety of "causes" for atheism. A lot of believers seem to have trouble buying that, but - believe it or not - it remains true. Let's consider some really basic examples so you can see what I mean.Read the rest at the link...
It's true that a lot of atheists see religion and a belief in the supernatural as a delusion of sorts. Some of us even think that all believers are just plain crazy for believing or that religion is a crutch for people who are too weak to face life as it really is. But there's one thing you should remember about atheists: our views and beliefs vary. Not all atheists see believers this way. Still, it's important to understand why atheists might think that religious believers are delusional or simply using their belief system as a crutch.
MYTH: Atheists Claim They Don't Believe So They Can Be Evil With Impunity
The "Atheists Are Just A Bunch Of Amoral Hedonists!" Theory Of Atheism8/3/07
This is probably one of the weirdest myths about atheists of all. It is certainly one of the most offensive (thanks for that). Yet I'm sure there are some who will read this and just throw up their hands, shouting: "Well of course that's it, you atheist pervert! What else could it be?" If you are one of those people, now would be a good time to hang your head shamefully while feeling bad about yourself, because--from where I sit--this theory doesn't make much sense.See the rest at the link...