What It Means To Be An Atheist
I think that there is prejudice against other religions and atheism being
propagated by the Church. I know someone who stopped speaking to a friend of
mine after finding out that I was not a Christian. I suppose that some people
take the word "yoked" very seriously (2 Corinthians 6:14). So let me try to
explain my point of view:
My morals are much like those of your average Christian on some things, and
different on others. I realize that moral behavior is not set in stone, and I
don't have a book to guide me. (e.g. Killing is justified in some cases.) So
where did I get my morals? From the predominantly Christian culture in which I
was raised. I believe that people are always responsible for their actions,
and that they should not feel guilty for something that Adam and Eve or their
fathers did. When I do something wrong, I do my best to make up for that
mistake, and try hard not to do it again.
- I am not evil. I don't worship the devil. (I thought that was what an
atheist was when I was a kid.)
- I too hold moral absolutes: indiscriminate killing is wrong, cheating on
your wife is wrong, spiteful acts are wrong, etc.
- I am a happy person. I don't feel a listless need for some sort of
fulfillment. (Some say this is why I haven't found God yet.)
- I am sensitive to other people's feelings, and enjoy helping others.
- I am not consumed by self-fulfillment.
- I love my family, and get along well with them.
- I don't swear all the time, chase every girl I see, or get drunk.
So what is the meaning of life for an atheist? Well, there isn't one, per se.
Life is what you make of it. A good summary of the
way I feel on the subject has been written by Adrian Barnett.
On a related subject, I don't think that Christians today don't follow the
letter of the Bible on issues of morality. They don't own slaves, for example,
and divorce is almost fully accepted. See my page on
morality for more.
Yes, I study the Bible in order to determine its truth. Some people
think that if you merely study Christianity, you will become a Christian.
People who say this are already Christians, so every evidence of the faith
or doctrine seems utterly obvious and reasonable. Unfortunately, atheists are
not predisposed to believe anything. A few examples of such issues are:
This dichotomy causes a lack of communication between Christians and atheists,
since atheists can not explain to Christians their point of view, since nothing
could cause them to doubt their faith. Christians wonder why atheists could
be so idiotic to ignore the truth before their eyes, and atheists wonder why
Christians continue to hold an uncertain position on faith alone.
- Omniscience (knowing everything) vs. Omnipotence (being able to do
anything): If God can see the future, then there is nothing he or I can do
to change it. If God knows whether or not I'm going to Hell, there is nothing
I can do about it. This conflict is the result of the Bible's prophesies and
the idea that man has free will.
- Creationism vs. Evolution: Christians are taught an inaccurate and
ludicrous version of evolution. With the exception of a few people such as
those of the Creation Research Society, no reputable scientist believes
Biblical creation over evolution. Creationism is not science, but rather
pseudo-science attacking science. Christians are unwilling to believe that
they are intelligent animals, and fear that evolution will undermine their
- Atheists should keep their minds open about Christianity, read the book
of John and pray to Jesus, read Mere Christianity, etc. Many atheists
have done these things, and often are quite knowledgeable about the Bible.
This sets a very unfair standard, however, since the same things can not be
said to Christians. Christians expect atheists to consider their opinion, but
refuse to reciprocate. (This is workable, however, since atheists are not
very concerned about what other people believe.)
- Prayer does not heal people, or we would see churches running the
hospitals instead of doctors.
- The flood occurred, and Noah and his family took care of millions of
animals. There are many questions surrounding this story that simply can't
- The earth is young. Geologists can show that there are rocks millions of
years old, implying that the earth is that old unless God is trying to
If I ever do become a believer in a god, I doubt that it will be the one that
Christians follow today. The reason for this is that I have trouble believing
the Trinity has Biblical support, that God can see the future, that the Genesis
account is true, the idea of original sin, that the Bible is divinely inspired,
and more. But, for all I know, God started this universe and then stepped out
of the picture.
Back to Thoughts on Christianity and God.