Bringing together non-believers
— By Bill Flavell
There are many millions of believe ALWAYS rs, most of them from very religious countries, who have never, ever encountered an atheist. I suspect they find the idea of atheism puzzling and bizarre, possibly even wicked.
When they come to my profile they are easily identified–they typically ask similar questions. So, to save time, I will answer all those standard questions right here. If you have friends like this, please SHARE this so they can have their questions answered.
1. What are atheists?
Atheists are people who do not believe in any gods. Most atheists do not believe in any supernatural beings, such as angels, devils, demons or witches, either. In fact, most atheists do not believe there is a supernatural realm.
2. If atheists do not believe in God what do they believe in?
You do not HAVE to believe in anything to be an atheist but, like me, most believe they exist, the universe exists, life exists, natural laws exist and many other things too. I believe we can understand the universe by studying it and the scientific method is easily the best method so far available for doing that.
I, personally also believe, by understanding humans, we can discover what is moral and what is not. I believe in freedom of speech and conscience and the rights enshrined in the UN Charter of Human Rights.
3. How can you be an atheist if you cannot prove God does not exist?
Most atheists, like me, do not say God does not exist. Rather we say the gods we hear about are not believable because those who do believe in them cannot show that they are real–people just believe on faith.
In this respect, believers are similar to atheists because believers reject as fiction thousands of gods they were not brought up to believe in.
I am open to reason though. If you can show your god exists, I will believe it. It’s just that I want to believe only things that are true.
4. But if you don’t believe God exists, you must believe he does NOT exist.
Not so. If I tell you I was born on a weekday but refuse to reveal my date of birth, you should not believe me. But that does NOT mean you must believe I was born on a weekend. The exact same logic works for the existence of a god.
5. If God doesn’t exist how did you come about?
I think we all know how I came about! But, if you mean how did humans come about, I don’t know exactly. Nor do I need to know in order to be an atheist. Just because I don’t yet know how humans came to be, does not mean the god written about by the ancient Hebrews must have made us. After all, we might have been made by another god, a team of gods or by a natural process with no gods involved.
Remember, the Norsemen did not understand where thunder came from so they explained it by saying it was their God Thor striking his anvil. When you say you don’t know where humans came from therefore they must have been created by the Hebrew god, you are making the exact same mistake.
I don’t know exactly how humans came about but we do have a lot of evidence. This evidence is not yet enough to explain in precise detail how we came about but it IS enough to show that the story of human creation in the Bible cannot be true.
6. Humans are amazingly complex. They cannot have come about by chance. They must have had an intelligent designer.
When you say humans cannot have come about by chance, you are telling us how you feel, not what you know. Scientists who have studied nature in great detail conclude it is probable that human beings did arise from natural processes.
But, let’s be hyper-sceptical and say we don’t believe in these natural processes. That’s fine, but you still can’t say we will NEVER discover some natural processes that resulted in humans. What will we know in 100 or 1,000 years from now? I can’t say and nor can you. We have to remain open-minded, so it is much too soon to conclude humans were the result of supernatural intervention.
I don’t want to be wrong, do you?
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