Is it possible for Atheists (and people of similar beliefs) to believe in demons

@ulalume (713)
United States
January 14, 2009 9:42pm CST
Over the past few weeks I have been wondering, mostly for personal reasons, if it would be possible for a self-acclaimed Atheist to believe in demons (or any other spiritual realm inhabitor, or more so than that: a spirit realm at all). How about people of other, more similar belief systems? Satanists and Wiccans are coming to mind. To what extent is the "spirit" realm able to be believed without crossing the border into a religious context. Are demons a "religious" problem, or are they something earthly? How about ghosts altogether? To add, for those unaware, demons (and some similar being types) are said to be beings (with intention of harm) that have existed without the need for human-kind (IE: they are not deceased humans, but something else). I would love to hear your feelings, no matter what your belief; but definitly would like to hear from Atheists (and similar, obviously) because they are the ones with more understanding of their belief (I would assume).
15 responses
@owlwings (44024)
• Cambridge, England
15 Jan 09
Atheism implies that one does not believe in a God or, indeed, in anything 'spiritual' beyond what we can physically touch or experience. Someone who calls them self 'atheist' yet acknowledges the potential existence of 'spirituality' is not, in my view, an atheist but an 'agnostic'. If you admit the existence of 'spirituality' - that is that there is something beyond the merely physical - then you have to allow for the possibility of a 'God' or Supreme Being or Goodness of some kind. That you do not KNOW that such exists but can allow for the possibility is probably a good definition of 'agnosticism'. There are very few people indeed who are genuinely 'Satanists'. It's a term used very loosely mostly by Christians to define people who are opposed to Christianity. It is also a term that is taken up by people who think themselves opposed to many Christian (and other) philosophies. They are not always people to take seriously. Wiccans believe in a bipartite 'God' who has male and female aspects and who is worshipped in both of those aspects. They usually acknowledge that there are evil forces (which may personify as demons and, in some cults, may be communicated with but with due respect) but they worship and adhere to the good. It all boils down to the basic precept that there cannot be 'evil' without 'good' and vice versa. If there were no 'good' or 'evil', we should not have a comparison and therefore would simply not know about either in those terms. We would simply do as we do.
1 person likes this
@owlwings (44024)
• Cambridge, England
16 Jan 09
I didn't mean to suggest that all Christians, by any means, are unaware of the differences. In fact, I would say that the greater majority are very aware (and accepting) of other religions. Unfortunately, it always seems to be the extremists who make the most noise and seem to be the least discriminating.
1 person likes this
@1corner (744)
• Canada
15 Jan 09
Just to correct your regard of Christians not being able to distinguish Satanists from those who oppose Christianity. We are indeed aware of Satanists as being separate and distinct from other anti-Christians/Christianity/Christ.
@1corner (744)
• Canada
17 Jan 09
Hello again. Well, thanks for clarifying. Your comment above didn't include a qualifier, hence I took it to be all-inclusive. I still have a question about your thoughts, if you don't mind my asking. Regarding the term "extremists," who are actually considered/do you consider to be such in the Christian faith? Is it a particular denomination? Or a mix of individuals across denominational lines? Lastly, I don't think awareness and acceptance go together necessarily. Like, I'm aware of Satanists being around; however, accepting their view for me is out of the question. I believe everyone has a right to have his/her own religious convictions, but my conscience prevents me from ever accepting this doctrine in particular.
@Lexus656 (672)
• United States
16 Jan 09
To me I don't think there is a such thing as an Atheist. To be an athiest you have to not believe in anything. In that statement there's the contradiction, You do BELIVE that there isn't anything. So athiests still do believe in something so to me it just sounds like a very big contradiction.
@Lexus656 (672)
• United States
16 Jan 09
One of my best budddies is an athiest and it seems that over time I am starting to break him down just a little. I have been told by him and his friends that they don't believe in things and god and creation but to be honest when you dig down in them far enough there is something pertaining to god or creation. There's really no such thing as an athiest.
@ulalume (713)
• United States
18 Jan 09
Fundamentally someone like an Atheist or more specifically a Satanist (whom is by definition, first and foremost, an atheist) may believe in some form of "god." I believe in "god" but that god I believe in is inadvertantly...me! I control my actions and do as I wish. That is a fundamental belief I hold. I think you also need to consider the wills of your friends. If you "break them down" then their mental will to hold their beliefs is lacking in some ways. I think it is safe to say that all people (if not, most people) want to believe in a loving God who created the earth and who sent his song to die and save all of the world from eternal damnation. It is an ideal scenario, really. Is there anything discouraging about a religion like Christianity? If believing in God simply means he will love you (and likely everyone at the church too!)? If believing in God means eternal life in heaven which is supposed to be amazing beyond comprehendable words? The problem for me is, however, idealism does not always equal reality. Sure, I may be wrong and may just spend my eternal life in damnation's fire. So be it, as long as I do not have to trade human reason for life. Afterall, there is a problem for me, in some ways, living in pure happiness as heaven is supposed to be; because I would not be free. Not be free to suffer and cry and ignite happiness within my soul when that suffering ends. This is why I enjoy my physical life. It is imperfect, yet within the imperfections in the corners of my life I can find some glimmers of perfection. And that is all I need, glimmers. If I had only perfection that what would I strive for? There is no freedom when one is perfect. Freedom is the ability to strive for perfection without ever reaching it, simply because freedom allows for positive and negative choices (among other things).
@ulalume (713)
• United States
16 Jan 09
Well, atheists DO believe in some things, just not nearly in the same way as a religious person. I dont think an atheist would deny "believing in things." Sure, not so much in the spirit realm or afterlife; however believing in existance as it is right now in a physical form is believing in something. I guess fundamentally atheists believe they are a second in time and no more, which is a perfectly understandable belief.
@gjabaigar (2200)
• Philippines
15 Jan 09
hi ulalume.... ^_^ Yes sure is ulalume, we as humans beings we have all emotions.... Each of us can control each own level of emotions especially whether in good or evil beliefs.... Sometimes it makes confusing to what is real good or real evil.... Then the real good can be the real evil, and the real evil can be the real good.... That's why humans are searching the truth for real good and real evil.... I am a catholic and believing in christian teachings.... Christian teachings is all about spirituality enlightenment and the spirit of the truth wisdom of God.... Even in ancient times, humans still on tribes or when humans are still living on caves and great plains, and when the great religions of so called today modern time are still not existing.... Humans are already having the beliefs that there are demons or evil spirits, and also good or god spirits....
@gjabaigar (2200)
• Philippines
15 Jan 09
oh ulalume..... my follow-up comment for you somewhere down... lol oh boi... i messed up... sorry
@GADHISUNU (2162)
• India
15 Jan 09
There are Devil Worshippers as the heretics in many religions, pagan and mainstream. There were and may be, there are, some in Hinduism too. Now, Ulalume, do they count as Atheists? If so, they will be more comfortable with Demons, Hobgoblins and the like and they would certainly be not believing in God, for then the Devil would be unhappy, so that makes for a class of Atheists (though they do not qualify for Rationalists)
@owlwings (44024)
• Cambridge, England
15 Jan 09
It's really only the believers in established religions who class 'infidels' as 'Devil Worshippers'. There are very few people indeed who actually worship 'Evil'. There are some who think they do but they tend to be misguided, shallow and youthful people who think that it is clever to 'kick against the pr1cks' ... as St Paul put it. Every religion has its opponents. Some are legitimately criticising the structure and belief system of the established religion others are simply rejecting it (and making a display of 'worshipping' what it holds to be bad) because it is 'established'. Many religions acknowledge or believe in the existence of 'the Devil', 'Satan', demons, devils, djinns, dragons. Very often, when it is analysed, these 'beings' can be shown to be 'old' gods that a previous religion revered but which are denounced by the newer religion. When it comes down to it, most religions are saying only that, if you worship the old gods, then you are wrong and therefore evil. In fact, that is not true. If a 'new' religion does really have a better view of the 'Truth', then it still does not have the right to say that those with a less perfect view are 'wrong' or 'devil worshippers'. ALL views of the Truth are relative - no one religion has a perfect understanding.
@paoxav (1382)
• Philippines
16 Jan 09
Nope it's impossible. If they did then they won't be called Atheist. Atheists doesn't only mean disbelieving of god (of any religion) but also the evils and other contrary of it as well like ghosts, bigfoots and the likes. They just believed that everything in creation was explained by Science..
@Lexus656 (672)
• United States
16 Jan 09
from what I understand they don't believe in the creation process as in like big bang theory or whatever. I have friends that are athiest and there are definitely some pretty heated conversations
• Indonesia
15 Jan 09
An Atheist believes in nothing
@irdsm1 (288)
• United States
15 Jan 09
Not so. As an atheist I believe in many things. I believe in matter, I believe in energy. I believe in evolution, I believe in freedom, I believe in the physical, I believe in the psychological. What I don't believe in is god/s or other supernatural beings. I very much believe in things though. Dan
@maxsee212 (799)
• United States
15 Jan 09
i would say that is possible just like so many things in life is possible if you put your mind to it.
@gjabaigar (2200)
• Philippines
16 Jan 09
This is what I know about Atheist. That they believed anything but not everything. They believed of what they have sensed or felt by their flesh or by their physical senses around them are their absolute truth. And their life existence in this realm or in this boundary of physical world is dependent on what they believed. And I do also believe what the Atheist believing also because that is also the truth. I, as a Catholic with Christian faith and with the high awareness of spirituality is believing that everyone truth is the truth. In every great name of religions we known, these are all within everyone of us and these are what of us. We are Atheist. We are Islam. We are Hindu. We are Jewish. We are Satanist. We are Christian. Whether we don't believe or do believe of what the truth are. life has no purpose or no meaning if not believing in anything. Even may not believing in everything but at least have something to believe so life has purpose and meaning.
@Latrivia (2878)
• United States
15 Jan 09
It depends on the atheists. A religious atheist might, but I sincerely doubt a non-religious atheist would. Demons and spirits are all flights of fancy - they were invented by imaginative people to explain away illnesses, strange phenomena, and other bad actions.
@goldeneagle (6745)
• United States
15 Jan 09
It would seem to me that in order to believe in one thing, you would have to believe in the other. I have been a Christian my entire life, so I am not really educated at all in atheist beliefs, but it would only seem logical to me that if you didn't believe in God, there would be no need to believe in Satan or demons...
@ulalume (713)
• United States
15 Jan 09
Well, I dont think it is necessary to believe in Satan to believe in demons; which is the primary reason I bother asking these questions. I dont think anyone can, scientifically, prove where demons are coming from or what their purpose is (if anyone could prove their existance at all...) Religions and beliefs in general just allow people to speculate.
@Fortunata (1135)
• United States
15 Jan 09
Atheists don't believe in anything, or so that's what I've read.
@seeiloveu (100)
• India
15 Jan 09
I am not an atheist; I am a believer in the Almighty God. So, anything that is running against this belief is not tolerated by me. Demons/Satan/Ghosts will haunt and disturb people who believe in them and follow their false aims that surely leads to a follower's sufferings' in the next life.
@murderistic (2278)
• United States
15 Jan 09
Wiccans believe in god. Actually they believe in a god and a goddess.
• South Korea
8 Feb 09
IT is possible that they believe in demons because they have the strong faith not to be believe in GOD.
@daylstone (126)
• Philippines
15 Jan 09
No real atheists do not believe in the supernatural...