An Atheist is someone who does not believe a god exists.
Atheism is an opinion. It is not a claim insisting gods are impossible.
One should not assume other things about Atheists.
Non-belief in UFOs does not necessarily make one smarter, meaner, nastier, sadder, happier or more likely to enjoy broccoli….or anything else. The same is true of Atheists.
Most Atheists are Agnostics admitting they do not ‘know’ if a god exists.
Most Atheists were once believers in a God. There are many reasons why a believer could lose confidence in the claim that a god exists. When the doubts persist past a certain point, believers may discover (often reluctantly) they have lost the ability to believe – they have become Atheists.
More Americans say they do not believe in God (7%)
than admit they are Atheists (2.4%).*
(*Pew Research, 2012 report)
The Most Common Positions
Regarding the Question of God
“I believe in God, I know which God is true and I know what it wants of me.
It is not merely an opinion, it is a conviction.”
“I do not believe gods are real.”
“I do not know if gods are real.”
“No gods are possible”
“Regardless of whether gods exist, the needs of people come first and foremost. Gods are not relevant.”
“Claims about gods are unhealthy for individuals and society and should not be forced
on anyone – religion should be abandoned.”
Atheism is a response to the claim “God exists.”
The Atheist says, “I don’t believe god exists.”
Sometimes Atheists will say “there is no god”
But this is rarely the absolutist claim it appears to be.
It is usually an opinion based on a lack of evidence for any gods.
Here is an example to help understand this:
Let’s make up a word for people who “do not believe in Leprechauns.”
“I don’t believe in Leprechauns.
Leprechauns may exist somewhere in the universe, I don’t exclude the possibility. But until such evidence exists, I do not believe Leprechauns are real – in that sense I say, ‘there probably are no leprechauns.”
Similarly an Atheist might say:
“I don’t believe in Gods.
Gods may exist somewhere in the universe, I don’t exclude the possibility of gods. But until such evidence
exists, I do not believe Gods are real – in that sense I say, ‘there probably are no gods.”
“But, Atheist, you don’t understand!
God is a metaphor.”
Perhaps we Atheists can believe in a god as an important metaphor?
Sure. Metaphors are concepts. But concepts would not to be ‘worshipped’, right?
Some other metaphors are: ‘Lame Duck’, ‘In a Nutshell, and ‘Melting Pot’.
These metaphors are helpful when we talk about complex ideas – they are ways to simplify.
But you wouldn’t worship ‘Lame Duck’ and you would not expect ‘Melting Pot’ to answer your prayers. There is no evidence literary metaphors exist outside of one’s mind
and all metaphors are clearly man-made.
The claims made about God are “all-knowing” and “all-powerful.”
Hard to understand how a metaphor like Lame Duck can assert any power on its own. Same with the concept of a god.
As far as I can determine, God isn’t something which exists outside of anyone’s mind. God doesn’t appear to listen to (or answer) prayers, or grant Grace, or send Holy Spirits or anything like that. The metaphor would need a pair of ears to literally hear prayers and there is no evidence of this.
And that’s my opinion of metaphors. In a nutshell.