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  • May 1st 2018
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10 Atheism Misconceptions

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    1. No morals/ethics*

    *Morality=The individual's personal code, Ethics=Society's code of moral behavior

     

    Morality doesn't come from dogma, but (mostly) from empathy, which is a higher brain function present in humans and many different animal species. And it is affected by the culture/community you are born into, so in other words, morals/ethics are not objective, but subjective, and change over time. Add in some philosophy, social justice, freedom of expression, and zero-tolerance for the intolerant, and you have a well-rounded belief system minus the dogma, i.e. Secular Humanism.

     

    It should be noted that I'm not claiming all people are inherently good, but that for most, the benefits of recirpcity and reputation, smart people (no matter their moral compass) will consider the ethical trade-offs of their decision-making.

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    10. How does my life have meaning/purpose?

    Relationships mostly, and everything involved with that. I don't believe I have more than one life, and after this I will (hopefully) have no more consciousness. This doesn't scare me, and it only incentivizes me to make the most of my day, whether it's exercising and eating right, spending time with friends and family, finding new hobbies, becoming more educated about whatever topic strikes my curiosity, or just taking a nap. I create meaning day-by-day, contentment is MY responsibility, and I'm not driven by some arbitrary set of morals/ethics. Well, besides criminal laws and social contracts. But then again, how moral is most of that shit?

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    4. Rebel with a cause

    There is no underlying belief in God-I'm not rebelling against God. I also don't hate God, nor worship the Devil. How can I hate or worship something I don't even believe exists?

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    7. Quoting scripture is not a magic trick

    Reciting scripture and quotes from a religious text will not instantaneously (and forcibly) change someone's mind about their beliefs-no matter what denomination you belong to. Also consider this point: on one hand it is insulting to their intelligence and morals to assume they must be “saved,” and by YOU, especially. But also, you will somehow cast a spell over someone using the words of some religious text, stripping away the autonomy of strangers, and forcing them to convert to your ideology. Is that what your actual goal is? To manipulate the minds of others to conform to your beliefs? Is that what you feel has been done to you?

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    8. Hell doesn't scare me

    And not because in my mind it is pure fiction, but also that, fear of punishment doesn’t make people comply with you, or express true adoration. This isn’t the trait of a compassionate, omnipotent being, this is the behavior of a power-drunk authoritarian, or at the very least, an abusive spouse or parent.

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    3. Many non-believers USED to be believers...

    ...especially of an Abrahamic faith-Christianity, Catholicism, Islam (at least those from the US). However, in China and various countries in the UK with high rates of secularism, children are simply not indoctrinated to theistic religion, and can be seen as "naturally born atheists," or just normal. But for those who abandoned faith, it is often due to the life experiences, knowledge and education, general intellectual curiosity, and tolerance for dissenting opinions, that alters their worldview.

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    5. Atheism isn't a product of tragedy

    Life experiences (positive and negative), education, intellectual curiosity, cultural exposure, etc. have led to this conclusion, just as most believers would explain their faith comes from their own. The worst experience of being an atheist is when “coming-out” to self-proclaimed believers who fear you as the "other," and ostracize you or pass judgement without getting to know you as an individual. Another term for this is Xenophobia.

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    9. Anti-theism is NOT Atheism

    Anti-theism is against religion altogether, but Atheism’s greatest concern with fundamentalism and the behaviors that follow such hardline beliefs. There is no one belief system that is right for everyone, but using any religious or non-religious system to justify your prejudices, make hasty generalizations about groups of people, and “other” them, is purely immoral.

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