It’s Not Easy Being Atheist

Question from Sam:
I consider my being a atheist and believing nature is our creator there is no spiritual force creation to this galaxy. I feel that when I converted to atheism during late 2010 everyone doesn’t respect me at all because my religon is not the same as everyone else’s. I have so many connections with atheists who understand me well. But why I gotta be hated and I could care less if I am but why are they targeting my belief?

Answer by SmartLX:
There are a few major reasons why certain believers dislike atheists as a group, and deride atheism as a position.

Firstly and most obviously, it is indeed not the same as their religion, so the very existence of atheists implies that there are those who think their beliefs are misguided. Simply being an atheist can be seen as attacking religion, even if you never say another word against it. (Presuppositionalists and some others get around this by presupposing that self-proclaimed atheists are secretly believers, and there’s no such thing as a true atheist.)

Secondly, many believers are very confident (from being constantly reassured) that scripture and religious apologists have made a very strong case for the existence of a god. Atheists, they reason, are either willingly ignorant of theology or don’t understand the arguments, which speaks poorly for the intelligence of all atheists.

Thirdly, people who believe in the major gods also believe that those gods are the source of many other things: love, logic, conscience, purpose in life and so on. Based on this premise, atheists lack these things, and if they really thought about it all atheists should be miserable, nihilistic and amoral. Some even think that although we don’t believe in God, we do think there’s a Devil, and we worship him.

Now, as an atheist, you know all of this is wrong. You know that you really don’t believe in a god, that the arguments in favour of one are not so overwhelming, that love and purpose can come from other places and that if there’s no God then there’s no Satan either. If everyone saw you the way you see yourself, you wouldn’t get the same disrespect from believers, but the fact is that some of them see you very differently. A major reason why I run this site is to correct just these types of misconceptions about atheists, if only so we get the respect we deserve merely as functioning human beings. If you can help someone better understand what an atheist really is and isn’t, even in a small way, it will advance the cause.

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