Is Atheism Wrong?

March 26, 2007 12:02am CST
There are a few assumptions behind this question that must be clarified. (1) Atheism comes in 2 distinct forms which must be treated separately and (2) "Wrong" is in the eye of the beholder. (1) Broad atheism is basically agnostic atheism. This paradigm finds it so improbable and unknowable that a god exists, that spending any time or effort attempting theism no longer holds value. They believe there is no god, but realize their position is unprovable and they could be wrong. Explicit atheism holds an irrational assertion that the non-existence of god is a fact. Facts require proof, and there is no proof for or against this position. The explicit atheist has as much faith as the explicit theist. (2) What is wrong? This gets into the whole definition of morality. My position is that morality is a relative entity, fully explained here: http://www.helium.com/tm/215138 For the explicit theists out there, an absolute standard of morality is believed to be present, and it lies within their religious doctrine and dogma. Full Article: http://www.helium.com/tm/186303 How do you feel about atheism? Draven the Respectful Atheist http://dravenwriter.blogspot.com
8 people like this
26 responses
@Anakata2007 (1787)
• Canada
26 Mar 07
I don't think atheism is wrong even if I don't agree that there is no God. I think I WAS an agnostic atheist as you desribe because I just didn't know. Anyways, nothing is wrong, unless someone tries to push their views on other people, then it becomes wrong. I totally agree that we all should "live and let live". Atheists sshould leave Christians and the like alone, and Christians and other religion followers should leave atheists alone.
3 people like this
26 Mar 07
Ah, it sounds to me like you may have been more of an agnostic theist, according to my definition of the terms. You certainly seem to be the type of theist who I can respect, even if we disagree. Draven the Respectful Atheist http://dravenwriter.blogspot.com
3 people like this
• Canada
26 Mar 07
thanks, and thanks for adding me as a friend.
2 people like this
• Malaysia
26 Mar 07
I agree with Anakata, the wrong is push their views on other people. And that is what my religion (Islam) taught actually. Cannot force others to follow us, and that what was said in the Quran. We just can tell (da'wah), but we cannot force others to follow us, Islam is a very tolerance religion, only many of its followers that don;t follow this point :-( "To you be your way and to me mine" QS 109:6 Peace and justice for all :-)
2 people like this
• United States
26 Mar 07
I think I am an agnostic atheist. I never thought of myself as what type of atheist I am. I didn't even know there are 2 types. I just thought atheist don't believe in the existence of GOD, so I am atheist, a young atheist. I might change my mind one day. But I am still in conflict with myself with these religious stuff. And the more I learn about science the more I don't believe in GOD anymore. And I don't think that Atheism is wrong. Atheist has their belief and so does the other religious groups. I believe in free will. People can believe in whatever they want. I don't care. As long as they don't force me to be like them, everything is fine. Have u watch Stargate SG1? It's a sci-fi show. After watch all those sci-fi show, I am becoming more and more of a believer in free will and that god doesn't really exist.
3 people like this
@tommy408 (361)
• Malaysia
26 Mar 07
I am an atheist. Some of my friends would argue that and say I am infact just an agnostic. I wouldn't mind that label either, since if you ask me the prove of the non-existence of God, I would have non. How do one prove the non-existence of a being that does not exist. Impossible, is it not? Agnostic is just fine. I also agree with you that morality is reletive. It differs from one part of the world to the other, from one race to the other, from one culture to the other and from one religon to other. I'll give you one example. Since I am from the east part of the world, I always hear about how morally degraded are the western societies, How their women are all cheap and many of the children are born out of wedlock. But what distubs me the most is, the western women who bear children out of wedlock do take care and nuture their offsprings (most of them atleast), but here, in my place they just throw the child away, in dumpsters, in toilet bowl and anywhere else. So which is wrong which is right, morally and ethically? For my own self, I always act as not to hurt any other being. And any act that does not hurt other being (in whatever way) is morally ok with me. That being said, I am totally oppose to religon based moral standard as most of them are full of bigotary. Who was it that said "....Good people will always do good, bad people will always act bad. But for the good people to do bad things, it takes religon...", Mark Twain is it? How true!! By the way, you are a fine read!
26 Mar 07
It sounds to me as if you are an agnostic atheist. The two terms are wholly separate from each other, and there are many agnostic theists out there as well. I broke down how I define all these terms in this article: http://www.helium.com/tm/196152 Take a read, and please let me know if it makes sense to you, and which camp you place yourself in. Draven the Respectful Atheist http://dravenwriter.blogspot.com
2 people like this
26 Mar 07
Thank you for the kind comment on my posts too! I hope my discussions and comments are quality and provide value to people. Draven the Respectful Atheist http://dravenwriter.blogspot.com
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@tommy408 (361)
• Malaysia
26 Mar 07
While I am not fond of labelig myself, (I think it limits my capacity extremely), I would not mind you calling me an agnostic atheist or whatever. However, quoting you, agnostic atheist does acknowledge that the non-existence of a superpower is just a belief not a fact. I would like to disagree. Although, there is no way to prove the non-existence of god, saying that there probably is God is equivilant to assuming that something is there until it is proven not, which does not make sense to me. So, until God's existence is proven, I will take "God does not exist" as a FACT. That being said, I would never want to deny the right of others to "believe" that God does exist. I would try to argue with them though, when and if they try to present it as FACT rather than FAITH. That's what lacks in me. Belief. Is it not what atheism is, the lack of belief (or faith)?
2 people like this
@xParanoiax (6999)
• United States
26 Mar 07
Heh..well I personally love athiests. They tend to be plain more educated than alot of other folks whose existance I am aware of. Because they're always seeking truth (well usually), and because of how sometimes they need to defend their points of view from the religious or the religious fanatics..I admire them. In any case, I end up agreeing with them more than many other people of certain belief systems. Since I believe that any set of beliefs whether they include a deity or not should be backed up by logic, I usually end up seeing eye to eye with them more..and discussions with them tend to be very lovely. With anything though, extremes sometimes can be unhealthy..and I dislike many kinds of extremes with many kinds of people..so it all depends on the individual. I respect those who earn it, and likewise won't treat them any differently than I do with anyone else ^_^ there's enough to learn from everyone, no one has to agree, but getting along is nice. Logic over the irrational will have my support any day. I don't believe atheim's are wrong, or that people who are, are going to hell. People are allowed opinions, and if a deity DOES exist, then I'd rather think atheists'll get to go to a good place in the afterlife regardless if they believe in said deity or not -- if they were good folks anyway, every bunch has their bad apples. That said, not all people belonging to religions have doctrines or dogma..though many do. Even religious scientists know nothing's absolute..so you know, truth's abjective and we'll all have to wait and see..maybe we're ALL right lol. Or maybe none of us are. I'm content to live and let live and unless they do or say something truly immoral I'll never give them any grief. Um, sorry for going on a little lol.
2 people like this
26 Mar 07
You speak in the third person as if you belong to none of the groups you describe. I invite you to take a look at the following article, which contains my definitions of agnosticism, atheism, and theism: http://www.helium.com/tm/196152 I would be interested to know which camp you find yourself in. Draven the Respectful Atheist http://dravenwriter.blogspot.com
3 people like this
• United States
26 Mar 07
Heh, oops. Sorry, talking neutrally is habit by now ^.^ I try not to take sides or offend anyone in conversation usually so I end up speaking like that..though according to your article I fall under the theistic agnostic category. I'm Pagan to specific =) Heh, I wish the my neutral speaking worked in this current few discussions I'm in with a christian fanatic currently..but I don't reckon she has any interest in what I have to say.
3 people like this
26 Mar 07
Yes, a pagan belief system could be a good example of agnostic theism. The key that defines agnosticism is whether or not you believe 100% that your belief is fact. If you believe in a pagan god, "The Great Spirit", etc. and also feel that it is not right for others to feel differently and they are certainly wrong, you could be an explicit theist, or explicit pagan, etc. Draven the Respectful Atheist http://dravenwriter.blogspot.com
4 people like this
@multisubj (451)
• India
26 Mar 07
1. Atheism is not against "ethics or ethical behavior". 2. Whether to say that there is a God or not, there should be a mutually acceptable definition. Atheism and Science do not deny the existence of superhuman/supernatural. The dispute is only about self-evolution of human, or creation by Mr/Ms G. 3. Even if there is a God, can heshe be approached through prayers? Definitely not. Reason: If heshe responds to our prayers and treats us with favor, thenhe she will be guilty of partiality and favouritism. If he administers justice as per some reasonable laws, heshe should and will do good even to an atheist. Then the question of prayer will not arise. Only ethical behavior remains.
@MAX1966 (1030)
• Netherlands
26 Mar 07
no atheism is not wrong. i think everybody has the right to believe in something,or not. i have my own "religion". and i think that is ok too most important too me is how the person itself is i mean,if somebody needs help,what would you do? i think you get the picture..
@judyt00 (3504)
• Canada
26 Mar 07
Atheism is less wrong that any form of theism, since atheists do not commit acts of violence in the name of their god. They also don't condemn others to hell or treat others like lepers simply because they don't hold the same beliefs. Atheists realize that most people choose to believe in a higher being that atheists don't need to fulfill their lives. Atheists simply don't need some sky monster to take the blame or credit for their accomplishments.
26 Mar 07
Interesting points. I am curious, where would you rate yourself on a scale of tolerance towards theists? Let's use 1 to 10 with 1 being least tolerant and 10 being most tolerant. Personally, I believe I'm a 9 or 10 on theism itself, although I hold different beliefs. When it comes to explicit theists who impose themselves and like to tell you that you are going to hell unless you are born again, etc. I'm more like a 1 or 2. Draven the Respectful Atheist http://dravenwriter.blogspot.com
2 people like this
@judyt00 (3504)
• Canada
26 Mar 07
My grandchildren are all in Catholic school, and I see nothing at all wrong with that. A little religious teaching never hurts anyone, even atheists. Most theists are quiet about their religion and I am quite tolerant at about a 9. However, there are those few who need to be horsewhipped for their bigotry and intolerance towards others.I'd rate those at a 1
1 person likes this
• Philippines
26 Mar 07
Not all people in a religion strap bombs to themselves in the name of their God nor do they condemn other people. I believe that every person is capable of doing evil and religion shouldn't be used to justify those acts...
@DeaXyza (577)
• United States
27 Mar 07
I can safely say I am a believer of Broad Theism. I absolutely believe in God but if asked for proof I can not show any. But there are certain things in this life that no one can explain which I explain away as God's grace or blessings! and there are also times when I need some kind of consoling, a hope which no one can give me at that particular time, which I find when I am in God's company. I also feel I should not have to explain my faith in any one or multiple Gods; it is not about GOd being there but it is about the choices I made about believing in someone, something higher than me who often blesses me with things ( material & emotional )that I normally would not even dream of! I also know for sure that Atheism is not wrong being a atheist is the choice of the person who practices atheism. Being an Atheist is as right as being a Theist, it is just a system of belief, as long as you do not persuade me to be an Atheist or I do not persudae to be a Theist we are just secure in our faiths. It is only when we step out of our boundaries to fight,abuse each other's faith things become wrong, it also shows that the person has lesser knowledge about other person's belief or the person is so arrogant about his/her belief that they think their belief is supreme or ultimate. Which is wrong for both an Atheist and For a Theist too. Having said that it does not matter one believes in what as long as they can respect others, feel empathy, practice things like Love, forgiveness, being true etc etc. If one practices the positive side of life, it makes for a true human being. Peace
1 person likes this
27 Mar 07
Well said DeaXyza. I agree, although I have a question. In your response you seem to refer to a willful choice in believing or not believing. Is it really that way for you? For me, my beliefs are the culmination of my life experiences, although they only became solidified and clear when I chose to investigate them. Draven the Respectful Atheist http://dravenwriter.blogspot.com
1 person likes this
@DeaXyza (577)
• United States
27 Mar 07
not wilful when I was younger my parents did try to make me believe in God. But at that time I totally freaked out and lets say did not sleep with my pillow in that direction, I refused to be coerced into anything it is only as I grew up started noticing things and my own beliefs took shape only much later in life ( when I was a year shy of graduating from College). It is then I started to read some of the religious scriptures ( not all of them, my religion is too old, too vast for any common man to read and understand in one lifetime) I also started saying prayers and believed in those prayers, when I was younger I used to pray everyday sometime twice a day but never understood them but just accepted them blindly 'cos I was trying to please my parents, now I pray whenever I feel like conversing with God, I talk freely with God and they are not always about wants and wishes, I thank God for all he has bestowed me with and many a time they are just conversations leading to nowhere. But I can not call myself a total pious person 'cos when diplomacy calls I do say a few white lies and I also am not the type that prays everyday religiously, but I have faith in my prayers and even if they are not answered I do not feel frustrated or angry, I feel God most probably is helping someone else who is in much more need than me! My beliefs are mine only I have experienced God in small things which I could never explain away ever, they were miracles if you ask me and that made me really think about God and miracles and also finally made me believe in God. But these are my own experiences and I do not expect anyone to believe me but some people feel that some of my experiences were just coincidences, but for me they are miracles and they shall forever be till the other person can prove otherwise ( not just come up with coincidental theories ). My choices in my adult life are rerely wilful they are of my own free will.
@DeaXyza (577)
• United States
27 Mar 07
oh by the way I like your Catchphrase " Draven the respectful Atheist".
• United States
27 Mar 07
Yes, Atheism is wrong. Why, because it cannot answer the basic questions of life: Where did I come from? What is my purpose for being here? Where am I going when I die? I would guess the answer would have to be either: I don't know, I don't care. This has to be a most miserable existence; as "nothing from nothing leaves nothing." The only sure thing a atheist has is the fact that he/she had no God here therefore none will be around in the next life. Thier best bet is to really live it up here, and have everything their heart desires. How are you doing? Got life, choose Christ and really live, countdown21.com
1 person likes this
27 Mar 07
So it appears you are an explicit theist, in the sense that you present your views as the absolute truth with little tolerance for others? The questions you posed are not answered by your religion in any way more complete or sufficient than the answers I have for them. You too answer these questions for yourself as I do, except you them yourself through religious experience and worship. I am an atheist, and I do not lead a miserable existence, or "live it up" (in which you seem to have suggested atheism leads to immorality inherently). Religion is not prerequisite to finding purpose in life or living morally. Some people find it helpful. I've found both purpose and a moral lifestyle fully explained, believed, and developed through my own investigations. My purpose and morality do not require god, only myself and my brothers and sisters in life. I act morally because it is who I have become, not because of any threat of punishment or promise of reward in an afterlife. Draven the Respectful Atheist http://dravenwriter.blogspot.com
1 person likes this
• India
27 Mar 07
To act morally without expecting whatsoever in return is the highest form of morality.
1 person likes this
@magikrose (5424)
• United States
26 Mar 07
Personally everyone has a right to believe in what ever they want. If someone dosnt believe in a god or a higher powerthen that is there choice, who am I to try to change that, considering nothing I say will matter. I am a wiccan there I believe in a Goddess. Christians believe in God and Jesus, if I were to tell them that there is also a Goddess they would think I am crazy. Can I proove it? NO Can the Christians proove there is a God? NO. They only believe what is written in a book. The think that since it is written down in black and white then it must be tru. My main poin here is this. We all have the freedom and the right to believe in what we feel is right for us and that is all that matters.
1 person likes this
@BunGirl (2639)
• United States
26 Mar 07
Actually, most of us Christians believe not because it's written down, but because we have in some way or another experienced the influence and the presence of God in our lives. Please don't assume that you understand why we believe what we believe when you clearly don't even understand the basics of what we believe. I would never assume that I know why a Wiccan believes what they do.
1 person likes this
• Australia
26 Mar 07
Yes, Bungirl, I would agree with you. I have known, loved and served my loving heavenly Father for 48 of my 70 years and have the REALITY of an EXPERIENCE with Him. I do not believe "what is written in a book" because it is written there, but because my experience has proven so much of it to be true, and NONE of it to be wrong. When it comes to any issue, I would rather base my actions on the Book which has proven to be most reliable for 48 years. I believe it to be the Word of God because, even with deep study, I have never found any contradiction or anything false. On the contrary I have found so much in history, archaeology, science, and most importantly experience to prove its truth.
@plumwish07 (4060)
• Indonesia
27 Mar 07
atheist in my opinion is kind of unproperly things in this world. why i saying this, coz we are human and in this world where is creature will created by SOMEONE. we cant suddenly said that we are exist without any creation of SOMEONE. and i believe so, in deepest heart of atheism, they realizing this matter but they had difficult to understand it. or they already search by their own logic but cant find it yet so that they being atheism. this matter cant be find by using our logic coz it wont have any answer. why not using our heart and sense than using our logic? why not notice any nature occurence?
27 Mar 07
I respectfully disagree with your positions on atheism, plumwish07. The assumption that we had to be created by someone, and I take it you mean an intelligent being, is faulty in my opinion. I don't mind you assuming this for yourself, but let me share my beliefs. To me, a happy accident is much more likely to have caused the genesis of life than any deity we conceive of. The chances of it happening at least a few times in the universe are actually fairly good from what I know of science. I am a little insulted by your assertion that atheists secretly accept theism as truth but do not understand it. I can only speak for myself, but I have completely dispelled theism as something for me to pursue and believe through countless hours and effort. When I was young, I went from church to church in search of something that made sense to me, and never found it. I have immersed myself in 6 various sects of Christianity, read the Bible and even the Book of Mormon. What I found in all these places was something too outlandish for me to believe personally, and so much human influence, segregation, and selective interpretations of scripture as to yield the whole lot suspect. I met many great people and some not so great people, but I was searching for meaning and found it. The meaning I found was within myself. The process I have been through in my life has solidified an internal locus of control by which I am responsible for all things within my power, and the range of what I can impact is greatly increased. It increases each day due to my ability to take utter responsibility for myself. I also found meaning in my friends and family. Altruism brings me great meaning, and does not require religion. In fact, I believe true altruism occurs more naturally outside of religious institutions. I give of myself because it feels good to help other people, period. I do good because it feels great and it is completely illogical to act immorally. I have no theory X manager as God looming above me in the heavens with the stick and carrot, damnation or salvation. I need no such external inspiration. Immoral behavior almost always leads to personal pain. I lead a moral life helpful to myself and others of my own volition. I hope this helps shed a little light. Draven the Respectful Atheist http://dravenwriter.blogspot.com
1 person likes this
@koikoikoi (1247)
• United States
27 Mar 07
Well I don't know if it's wrong. Just, you're not believing in the person that made life possible. That gave life to you or your mother.
1 person likes this
27 Mar 07
In other words, not believing what you believe in? Draven the Respectful Atheist http://dravenwriter.blogspot.com
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Mar 07
while everyone can and usually does have views that i do not agree with, no ones views/beliefs are wrong, per say. what a person believes is personal to him or her, and the time when it becomes wrong is when they decide to try and force those views on other people. for example, a christian could be like "i believe in god, and my faith has done a lot for my life. if you are ever interested in coming to a service or sitting down and talking about what its all about, you should let me know." In that case, i would feel as if my beliefs and views were being respected whilst the person was still portraying their message of faith. what really irks me is when someone, a christian for example, says something along the lines of "god is the savior and only hope for grace in this life and after. you need god in your life or you will live in eternal damnnation in hell." beliefs can't be wrong, athiesm of either sort included, but the way people go about expressing those beliefs CAN be wrong. i happen to be more of an agnostic athiest. i strongly believe that there is no god, but there is no way to prove my belief either way, and it would be nieve of me to completely discount any other possibility. i don't think religion of any sort is required to be a good human being, which is esentially what all religion is trying to teach anyway, so no, i do not think it is wrong to be an athiest.
1 person likes this
27 Mar 07
Excellent response, hello_cancer. Very insightful, and it appears you an I think on this subject in much the same manner. Draven the Respectful Atheist http://dravenwriter.blogspot.com
1 person likes this
@edujccz (929)
• Philippines
27 Mar 07
Atheism was never said to be wrong , since life is a choice. Thats the meaning of freewill, you choose to be it and we chose to be this. It is only that, men pretend to be better than the other, he thinks wiser than the other, but never admit that it is only a matter of how we interpret things. For me, I am happy that I have a God, but on us belief alone is not enough but work should go together with it, maybe we dont need to see facts and many will interpret us as ignorant fanatics what ever you name it, that is my choise and i will never assert that im am correct, wronged it may be and so be it.
27 Mar 07
Live and let live. I like your tolerance edujccz. Draven the Respectful Atheist http://dravenwriter.blogspot.com
1 person likes this
@Robyn28 (385)
• Canada
26 Mar 07
hi dravenwriter I think it shouldn't matter what your into to each is own is the way I see it. If someone believes in another religion or nothing at all that's their choice.
@Rozie37 (15503)
• Turkmenistan
27 Mar 07
You are right, going to hell, is a choice you make.
1 person likes this
@Rozie37 (15503)
• Turkmenistan
27 Mar 07
I personally believe atheism is right, as long as you want to go to hell.
1 person likes this
@PunkyMcPunk (1477)
• Canada
27 Mar 07
How can anyone say Atheism is wrong? If someone were to say that then you might as well condemn catholism, christianity, muslim, etc.... We all have our own thoughts on everything. Who is anyone to say a thought, a belief, is wrong? Just like you can't tell someone that their opinon is wrong because it isn't it is an opninion.
1 person likes this
@Mshell (62)
• United States
27 Mar 07
I think that "wrong" is in the eye of the beholder. What is wrong for me, might just work for you. With that said, atheism is wrong for me. My wishes would be that everyone would believe in a religion, but that will never be the case. I would never think less of anyone because of their religion or lack thereof. Atheism would not be beneficial in my life and it is hard for me to comprehend how it works for others.
1 person likes this
• Australia
26 Mar 07
Firstly, thank you for presenting a well thought out and respectful discussion. Let me state at the outset that I am a Christian: a Christian whose experience with my loving heavenly Father through the Lord Jesus Christ has first priority in my life. While I believe there is such a thing as absolute truth, and that absolute truth is ONLY in Christ, who said "I AM the Truth", I must also agree that in today's society, "truth" and "wrong" depend on interpretation. For instance, in some societies children are taught from infancy that stealing is the right thing to do; some are taught that "payback" is right, and therefore it is OK to kill someone with a cause. Many people would defend their honesty but cheat on their tax return or steal from their employer, seeing no wrong in their actions. Many people can murder an unborn child and see no wrong in that. Many convicted rapists and murderers excuse their actions, because they saw no wrong in what they did. Whether or not something is "wrong" in a person's view depends on many things, but overall I would have to agree with you that wrong is in the eye of the beholder. I am not agreeing, however, that that makes it right. How do I feel about atheism? I know there will always be atheists, agnostics, pagans and people who worship many and varied gods. They have their right to believe what they will. They have their right to live by their beliefs (as long as they abide by the law of the country where they live) and to die by their beliefs. I think they are wrong, but they have their right and I respect their right. In fact I have friends who are agnostics and pagans and "nothings" as they term themselves. The fact that in my opinion their belief is "wrong" and in their opinion my belief is "wrong" doesn't prevent us from having courteous and friendly debates about our faith. How do I feel about atheists? I believe they are wrong, but I respect their rights and I expect them to respect my rights.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Mar 07
My husband is an atheist and I am not, but I am not "religious" either. My husband, who is a physician, leans toward the scientific side of everything and always demands proof. I think religion is based off of superstitions and stories created to explain the unknown when the science and technology wasn't available to provide explanations. If someone wants to have faith in a certain idea it is his/her freedom to do so. I just feel ashamed of humans who blindly follow certain beliefs because they feel they "should" because their parents, friends, neighbors, or other peers have these beliefs. As far as how I feel about Atheism...I feel that it is a choice a person makes based on that person's own experiences and perception of the world around him. I think you should follow your own path as long as your beliefs don't interfere with how other people live. Religion is always getting intertwined with politics and that really angers me. I don't care if you are Catholic, Mormon, etc as long as you don't govern based on how "you" feel people should live.
1 person likes this