I did not know what atheism was until I was in my mid 20’s. Like many people when I did find out about the concept I greeted it with disgust. But this reaction came from my ignorance combined with a concerted effort to make the term a pejorative. Therefore it is important to answer some frequently asked questions theists have about atheism.
What is a atheism or an atheist?
Atheism means NOT having a belief in a god. An atheist is someone who does NOT believe in a god. A person who believes in 1 god is called a “theist”. A person who believes in more than 1 god is called a “polytheist”. For example, a Christian who does not believe in the Norse god “Thor” is an atheist in respect to Thor.
What is agnosticism or an agnostic?
Agnosticism is about KNOWING whether or not a god exist. Thus an agnostic person is one who claims not to KNOW if a god exists or not. A gnostic person is one who claims to KNOW that a god exists. For example, Muslim may claim that s/he knows for a fact that “Allah” exists. Such a person can be classified as a “gnostic theist”.
What is a henotheism?
A henotheist is a person who believes in the god of their tribe or ethnic group but does not DISBELIEVE in the existence of other gods. This is what the ancient Hebrew people of the Bible were.
Do you hate god?
No. We do not believe in any god. Therefore we cannot hate a god.
Do atheists worship Satan?
No. We do not believe in or worship Satan.
Aren’t you afraid of going to hell?
No. We do not believe in hell. Most believers do not worry about being punished by the other gods humans worship.
Were you a believer?
Most of us in the group who are atheist were once believers.
Are believers stupid?
No. People believe in their god/s for many reasons. Most people believe because they were raised in the religion of their parents. Some believers are smart or educated others are not.
Do you believe in evolution?
Yes. Evolution is a fact. It is not something you “believe” as in having “faith” in it. Evolution, like other scientific theories such as gravity, is something you either understand and accept or don’t.
What happens after we die?
After we die our bodies decompose. There is no reason to think anything else happens to us.
How did we get here?
If you are talking about humans then we came from Africa. Humans, like all other lifeforms, evolved from earlier ancestors. Modern humans dispersed out from Africa and went all over the world.
Is the Bible “The Word of God”?
No. The Bible is a collection of stories, poems, historical accounts, songs, and legends that was written a long time ago but unknown authors. Believers call it “The Word of God” because they think its origins are divine. Muslims claim that the Qur’an is “The Word of God” as well.
Is atheism a belief system or religion?
No. Many believers think that atheism is just another religion. This seems to be a tactic to lump non-believers into a state of worship like them. Also, the term “religion” is often used in a condescending way denoting a connotation of a pejorative. Most likely this comes from the believer’s insecurity and need to think that they are in a “relationship” with their gods and not part of a cult or a religion.
How do you feel about “Voodoo”?
The proper name is of the religion is “Vodou”. We treat all religions the same. It is no more real, good, bad, or beneficial as the other religious traditions. However, some of us feel a type of gratitude towards Vodou because of the role it played in motivating our ancestors to free themselves from the Christians who kidnapped us and put us in slavery.