I'd like to ask a few general questions about Atheism

115 posts / 0 new
Last post
Greensnake's picture
I'd like to ask a few general

I'd like to ask a few general questions about Atheism
So I have a few questions about Atheism for a project I'm doing. Can anybody answer any/all of these??? Thanks!!

1. What exactly do you mean by "I am an Atheist"?

I reject all claims of gods, goddesses and supernatural beings of similar ilk.

2. What is Atheism by definition?

Depends of who does the defining. For myself, see #1.

3. Can you simplify the definition of Atheism so anyone would understand?

Which definition? For myself, see #1

4. What compelled you to become an Atheist? (feel free to skip this if its too personal.)

Intellectual growth brought on by science and mathematics. Then, one day, I started reading the Bible which is the best recruiter for atheists in the Christian world! Years of further examination of claims for God's existence and a perfect Bible demonstrated the complete bankruptcy of traditional Christian apologetics.

5. Do you know about the Biblical God?

Having read the Bible once, and piecemeal 2 or 3 times again, I am well aware of the evolving nature of God in the Bible.

6. What do you know of the Biblical God?

The biblical god is an evolved concept that, for Christian purposes, goes back to a Hebrew counterpart to the storm god Baal. God physically rode among the clouds and had a human form, not unlike the ancient Gods of the Greeks. He even showed Moses his back parts. God had his establishment just above the highest part of the sky (the zenith) which was a solid, transparent? dome that held up a heavenly ocean. (During creation week, God--Yahweh--divided the pre-existing primeval waters to make a place for the future, flat earth.)

The main theme in the Old Testament is God's deal with the Israelites. (Before their collision with the Assyrians, the northern kingdom--Israel--was where the real power lie. Judah was mostly a backwater.) He would look out for them and be their god, but they had to be faithful. They had to perform God's rituals and follow his commandments. Worshiping the other gods, part of Old Testament reality, was a big no no! A large part of the Old Testament depicts the unfaithfulness of the Israelites. (Translation: When things went wrong, the issue of unfaithfulness was raised.) God's plan did not include an afterlife in heaven for the faithful. With one or two exceptions, the dead went to sheol, a kind of shadowy underworld.

In the New Testament the authors rewrote the whole script! (It was a very different world after the Romans destroyed the temple and the Jews were scattered.) God now had a salvation plan that involved sacrificing his son. At least that's the version of the god story that survived purging. Either good works, faith, some combination thereof, or nothing at all (pre-selection) allowed one to escape being sent to a fiery hell, either for an eternity or a quick burn job depending on which verses you read in the Bible. (The poor presentation of the requirements to get to heaven in the Bible is enough reason all by itself for rejecting divine authorship.)

God now has a heaven awaiting the faithful. Some of the Gospel writers do not envision God and Jesus as being the same, so that part of God's identity is iffy.

7. Can you explain evolution to me?

Biological evolution is the descent of life with modifications. Darwin's version, based on natural selection (of which sexual selection can be thought of as a special subset) was the historical breakthrough. The modern synthesis, incorporating genetics and some lesser contributions from mechanisms such as genetic drift, founder's effect, etc., constitute the modern version of evolution, to which we would now add punctuated equilibrium. Punctuated equilibrium is a refinement of Darwin's vision, his gradualism being partly replaced by the idea that evolution was more like army life--long periods of boring nothing punctuated by rapid developments.

The requirements for natural selection are four:

1) Organisms produce more offspring than can possibly survive long enough to reproduce. If you have ever seen the number of seedlings around some plants in spring, after good rains, or if you remember how may rats would overrun the world after a few years if totally unchecked, then you get the picture.

2) Chance favors those organisms that are better adapted to a given environment. An environment is defined not only by weather patterns and resources but also by the other organisms in it. The steamy, South American jungle, the cool rain forest of NW Washington state, the Mojave Desert, the tundra of northern Russia, reef communities, and the Pacific seashore are examples of environments.

3) To a large extent, the characteristics of the offspring are inherited from their parents. Offspring exhibit variability. Each are a little different.

4) In generation after generation inherited traits that give offspring a better chance at surviving and reproducing in an environment tend to be passed on.

8. Can you LOGICALLY explain evolution to me?

In each generation, where surviving organisms already have favorable adaptations, the competition gets tougher. With a constant input of mutations to keep the gene pool enriched, organisms tend to become better and better adapted to a given environment. New ways to exploit a given environment, and the fact that environments change over time, lead to innovations in organisms that are, in turn, adapted in various ways to exploit the opportunities in an environment. Over time these pathways create the various branches of the "evolutionary tree."

9. Tell me about the missing link in human evolution.

The concept of "the missing link" is naïve. What we have are the fossils of a number of creatures that fall in various degrees between the apes and modern man. DNA studies show that the last in this line, Neanderthal Man, actually interbred with modern humans on more than one occasion! (For fossil details surf the Internet or you can read Dr. Donald Prothero's excellent book on fossils: "Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters.")

10. How did life start?

The ultimate goal of abiogenesis is to answer that question. The field is new and the challenges of recovering what happened 4 billion years ago are great. Various ideas have been proposed, but no definitive answer is yet available.

11. How do we have DNA?

There is evidence that at the earliest stages of evolution DNA evolved from an earlier arrangement for passing on information, possibly an RNA world. This question is a subset of #10.

12. If what you believe is true, that there is no Biblical God or god of any kind, then why do Atheists protest against religion so much?

History shows that religion is the source of an enormous amount of persecution. Even in the United States, a country whose constitution is totally secular, there has been (and is) a huge amount of discrimination against atheists. (Elsewhere it is far worse.) Some of us in are simply fired for just speaking up or not taking part in the bosses prayer meetings. The discussion is all but shut down in the mainstream media, whether it be the local newspaper, radio, or television. The sensibility of god belief is simply assumed. Freedom of speech has, in effect, been curtailed on a practical level. Those are good reasons for protesting the influence of religion, and pointing out its weaknesses is just fair play.

Some of us purists just don't like seeing a crappy argument served up pretentiously on a golden platter, a crappy argument treated as fact in our newspapers and our government. Given the social discrimination that comes with most religion, we are therefore motivated to speak up.

13. What proof do you have that there is no Biblical God?

If the Bible is deemed to be the work of God, then we have enough proof right there! The work has "manmade" stamped all over it. It never rises above Iron Age speculation and was written by a large number of people who did not always agree with one another. Aside from scientific absurdities, it features failed prophecies, bogus history (in places), extremely poor organization considering the general confusion had by readers seeking the means to salvation, and an ocean of contradictions. That anyone could not see this is testimony to the power of the mind to deny anything that brings central beliefs into question.

If you are not talking about a god who wrote the Bible, directly or indirectly, then let me point to the fact that God's super powers were supplied by the ink of theological speculation. Should established principles, proven by many researchers under the most extreme conditions, with the most sensitive instruments known to man, proven again and again, be tossed aside in favor of rank, religious speculation? I find that absurd. See my thread "Science Gives God The Bump!" (08/07/2016 18:47). God's powers (established by speculation and Iron Age authors) stands in contradiction to what we know best about our universe.

A popular but naïve rebuttal holds that God is above nature and is thus excused. Such an argument begs the question in that it uses part of the conclusion (God's super powers) to help get around the contradiction with nature so as to establish the conclusion. If we reason correctly, beginning with what we know best, there does not seem to be any path leading to any god, let along Christianity's god.

If you are talking about absolute proof, then you should stick to mathematics and other purely logical systems such as chess, go, or checkers. In the real world there is always an element of uncertainty, however small. Using it as an excuse for something is as bad as using it as an excuse against something. (Consider the idea of rejecting the god hypothesis because he might not exist!) Therefore, I object to the form of your question. "Proof" is not the best word to use unless certainty is understood to be ruled out.

In approaching this question, we must keep in mind that the burden of proof is squarely upon the shoulders of the theist. An atheist need only reply that he finds the claim to be seriously lacking in evidence, that its arguments are error filled. No beef, no belief! We would use the same idea to reject the Easter Bunny. We are hardly required to conduct a worldwide search for an Easter Bunny! Now, if an atheist claims that he has a compelling argument that rules God out, then he or she has the burden of proof with respect to that claim. (Failing to make the case, of course, doesn't prove that God exists. )

My own position is that the arguments and evidence for God's existence are rather pathetic and full of holes that admit better explanations. Above and beyond that, the idea of God contradicts what we know best about our universe, the principles of nature. It has wishful thinking and a desire for eternal meaning written all over it even though the idea of gods and goddesses did not actually arise for those reasons.

Big Black's picture
1. What exactly do you mean

1. What exactly do you mean by "I am an Atheist"?
Having atheist in capital letters denotes a formal group. Atheists exist only because of theism. I'll expand on this point latter. To answer your question: based on my knowledge I believe that there's no higher supernatural being that governs everything.

2. What is atheism by definition?
Merriam-Webster's definition of "atheism"
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheism
I would go with the second definition as the first is listed as archaic.

3. If you want the most simplified definition then go with the Greek translation. A-without, theos-god

4. I was discussing religion when a person asked if I was an atheist. I said yes, but it was the first time I'd described myself as such.

5. I've read the Bible twice completely. And I keep a Bible app on my phone.

6. One of the most morally bankrupt characters in all of literature.

7. I could but I'm not an evolutionary biologist and I don't want to give incorrect or poorly worded information.

8. I could explain the principles on manned flight which I think is an incredibly complex science which humans have perfected in under a century

9. As I said I'm not going to engage in an explanation of a field of study in which I'm not an authority.

10. Ask a biologist.

11. Ask a biologist

12. Most countries are dominated by religious populations. Those populations elect like minded public officials with a limited view of the world outside. I would feel better about my general surroundings if adults who believe in imaginary friends didn't vote people that also believe fairy tales into public offices.

13. The biblical can be either all Just or all Merciful but not both because mercy is the suspension of justice. And if a person can rape and murder then pray to God for forgiveness then that person may never be caught so justice may never be served.

MCD's picture
1. What exactly do you mean

1. What exactly do you mean by "I am an Atheist"? I don't believe any of the god claims I have heard
2. What is Atheism by definition? My definition is a lack of belief in god claims
3. Can you simplify the definition of Atheism so anyone would understand? Yes, I just did
4. What compelled you to become an Atheist? (feel free to skip this if its too personal.) Nothing compelled me.
5. Do you know about the Biblical God? Of course
6. What do you know of the Biblical God? I know the christian dogma.
7. Can you explain evolution to me? Yes
8. Can you LOGICALLY explain evolution to me? Yes
9. Tell me about the missing link in human evolution. Who said there was a missing link?
10. How did life start? Mommy and daddy loved each other and they had sex
11. How do we have DNA? We have DNA
12. If what you believe is true, that there is no Biblical God or god of any kind, then why do Atheists protest against religion so much? It is a compound question. As your questions individually
13. What proof do you have that there is no Biblical God? What proof do you have that unicorns don't exist, or that the creator of the universe is not the Great Pink Fairy?

Craig's picture
1. What exactly do you mean

1. What exactly do you mean by "I am an Atheist"?
A. I don't believe in a god or gods. I call myself an agnostic atheist because I cannot be certain of my belief.

2. What is Atheism by definition?
A. If theism is a belief in a god / gods, then a-theism is a *lack* of belief in a god / gods.

3. Can you simplify the definition of Atheism so anyone would understand?
A. I think my answer to 2 is simple enough for kids to understand.

4. What compelled you to become an Atheist? (feel free to skip this if its too personal.)
A. I don't think I had any choice, really. Btw, I was raised Seventh Day Adventist and, even though I had progressively discarded much of the theological dogma, I still believed very strongly in the God of the bible, Yahweh. Some years ago, I was studying a broad range of topics and, through all my research, I came to realise that religions are always evolving. Modern Christianity, in all its thousands of variants, is remarkably different to Christianity in the Middle Ages which, in turn, is so very different to Early Christianity. Islam is derivative of Christianity and Judaism. Judaism grew out of a polytheistic Canaanite religions which, in turn, were derivative of Ancient Near East belief systems.

My research also covered many other fields of study including archaeology, theology, paleoclimatology, linguistics, neuroscience, etc. etc. All of my reading came from academic sources. Whenever I read an article in mainstream media, I would log into my university library and search for the relevant academic literature. It was really difficult reading the scientific papers, but I developed an admiration for the rigorous work that scientists do.

When I say that I had no choice but to accept an atheist perspective, I really mean it. I think that my atheism emerged gradually over a period of a few months and, at some point, It dawned on me that I could no longer justify a belief in a divine creator. Since that moment of clarity, the world has made so much more sense to me. Prior to my atheism, there was always this aspect of my life that seemed mysterious and weird. When I saw religion as a human construct, everything made so much sense. It was an illuminating experience.

5. Do you know about the Biblical God?
A. Oh yes. I'd warrant that I know Yahweh, El, and the Elohim better than most Christians.

6. What do you know of the Biblical God?
A. Where to begin?! I think it is important to understand that the early Israelites understood Yahweh to be their *own* god. He was always one among many. Yahweh was their tribal god, much like the various Ba’als (i.e., Ba’al Hadad, Ba’al Melqart, Ba’al Saphon, Ba’al Hammon, etc.), Chemosh and a host of other tribal gods. The supreme deity of the Canaanites was El and there were goddesses too (i.e., Asherah). These gods were collectively referred to as the Elohim (plural of El). The Old Testament has since combined El and Yahweh into the one deity and, bizarrely, uses Elohim as a singular noun. The god, Yahweh is very anthropomorphic and shares many of the attributes of the Ba’al gods. The god El is much more like a distant being, a father to the pantheon of gods. The god of the New Testament is quite different again; much more loving and forgiving.

The names of the gods were used in Hebrew names. For example: 1 Chronicles 8:33 where King Saul’s son is named Eshba’al, meaning “man of Ba’al”; 1 Chronicles 12:5 where one of David’s rescuers is named Bealiah, meaning “Yahweh is Ba’al”. Scholars have noted that these theophoric names provide a window to the earliest emergence of the Yahweh cult in Canaan.

The bible itself provides some very clear indications that the early Israelites practiced polytheism or else, if they were very devout followers of Yahweh, they were practising monolatry. To support this, read Hosea, look at Ahab and Jezebel (another name associated with Ba’al worship). There are many parts of the bible that explicitly refer to distinctly different deities. Take, for example, Deuteronomy 32:8-9 where we see the supreme deity, El, dividing up the human tribes and giving Israel to Yahweh: “When Elyon apportioned the nations, at his dividing up of the sons of humankind, he fixed the boundaries of the peoples, according to the number of the children of Israel. For Yahweh’s portion was his people, Jacob the share of his inheritance.”

7. Can you explain evolution to me?
Wow! This is a huge topic. Incidentally, I became an atheist before I even studied evolution. My childhood indoctrination into creationism was so strong that I didn’t even question it until *after* I realised I no longer believed in God. But, I have since studied evolution in some depth. I’ve read many academic papers on the topic as well as a few books. In my view, it is the *only* explanation of living things that makes any sense.

I will draw a distinction between two ways of understanding evolution. Firstly, there is the *fact* of evolution and, secondly, there is the explanation of evolution that makes sense of the facts.

The fact of evolution is so simple that I never acknowledged it when I myself was a creationist. Here it goes. Every living thing reproduces. The resulting organism is always different to its parent/s. Even when the reproductive process is asexual, the clone is never *exactly* the same as its parent (i.e., copying errors to the DNA). The simple fact that a species changes, ever so slightly, every time a member of that species reproduces lays the groundwork for evolution. Another fact of evolution is that fossils change in their morphology with respect to time. This can be demonstrated in two ways: 1) when looking at rocks from the Triassic period we never find primate fossils, when looking at rocks from the Cambrian period we never find bunnies etc.; and 2) when looking at rocks from a particular geological epoch / age we see that the morphology (i.e., skeletal structure) of species changes (e.g., the skull sizes of hominids from the Pleistocene epoch gradually increased threefold between the beginning of the Pleistocene and the end of the Pleistocene).

These facts of evolution can be summed up in one short phrase: Evolution is descent with modification. Now that we have established that descent with modification is a fact, we can move to the more difficult task of explaining *how* it happens.

The current best explanation for evolution is natural selection. I like to think of natural selection this way. The parent provides and nature decides. Within a given species, there is a great deal of variation, such as, height, strength, agility, etc. If there is any competition for resources in the environment, and / or if the environment contains predators, then some members of that species will have an advantage over others. If that advantage improves their chances of successfully reproducing, then there is a greater likelihood that the next generation will have those advantageous genes. Over a period of time, these changes accumulate. The advantageous genes are more likely to survive successive generations than the less advantageous genes. And, voila, we have evolution. Of course, this is a simplified explanation of how species evolve with time, but it is the starting point.

8. Can you LOGICALLY explain evolution to me?
A. Okay then. Children are different to their parents (descent with modification). The genetic diversity in a population, combined with environmental pressures, means that some individuals are more likely than others to live long enough to reproduce (natural selection). Over many generations, the genetic changes accumulate (evolution).

9. Tell me about the missing link in human evolution.
A. I’m not aware of any missing link. I used to think there were missing links when I was a creationist, but I now realise that this is because creationists are exposed to misleading nonsense from so called creation scientists. We have the fossils of Ardipithecus, Australopithecus, Homo Habilis, Homo Erectus, Homo Heidelbergensis, Homo Neandertalis, and Homo Sapiens

10. How did life start?
A. I have no idea, but I’m fairly certain the answer isn’t magic.

11. How do we have DNA?
A. Again, I don’t know. But it seems reasonable that the precursor to DNA was RNA.

12. If what you believe is true, that there is no Biblical God or god of any kind, then why do Atheists protest against religion so much?
A. I think it is perfectly justifiable to be angry when you discover that you have been lied to by the church. When I did my own research on evolution and then re-read a lot of the creationist propaganda I was appalled at the seemingly deliberate deception that the so-called creationists got away with. I have identified far too many bald-faced lies in the creationist literature and it makes me really mad that they are doing this and, even worse, that they are indoctrinating young minds with their bullshit.

Also, I get angry when Christians try (and, often, succeed) to impose their outdated morality on our secular society (e.g., religious instruction in state schools, abortion laws, discrimination against LGBTIQ folk). I’m mad that so many Christians are utterly convinced that “this world is not their home, they’re just a passin through” and they happily trash the planet. I want our species to last a very long time and I’m afraid that the god-belief is blinding folk to some very real problems facing our planet.

13. What proof do you have that there is no Biblical God?
A. There is no proof, but there is a distinct lack of evidence. What proof do you have that the Flying Spaghetti Monster isn’t real?

methermeneus's picture
Let's start by pointing out

EDIT: First of all, I apologize for calling Alice "poster" a whole bunch of times; I copied the questions into a Google doc on my phone and actually had to find this site again to answer properly. I honestly couldn't remember the username. You may have guessed that I also didn't read anything else Alice posted by the time I'd finished writing all this, so I also apologize for the sometimes condescending and insulting language I used; honest inquiry is always to be encouraged, regardless of whether the seeker agrees with me or not, both before and after I give my answers. (However, I may want to shift my insults over to Alice's teacher, who should know better. Not necessarily how much these questions have been circulated or how condescending the questions about religion sound, but certainly the "can you explain LOGICALLY" followups.) I also need to apologize for the many typos I probably have left here by typing the whole thing on my phone, but I just got back from work, and I'm too tired to fix them right now. And, finally, I need to apologize for not editing the insulting and condescending bits of my post, but I actually have what I believe to be good reasons to leave that unchanged:

1) I'm tired, and this is the Internet, where being lazy is easier than it perhaps ought to be.
2) If you plan to speak with atheists about your religion, you're likely to get far worse at times, so this may help toughen you up for the real world. Most atheists will be fairly polite in direct conversation, but the Internet, and especially YouTube, are places you should preach only if you're willing to be insulted and cursed at. Repeatedly. Don't worry, it runs both ways, which is why I try not to post anything about atheism on YouTube. If I don't seem tame to you, note that I only cursed once, and that was actually at whoever originally wrote these questions, rather than to you or even to your teacher.
3) I own my mistakes. It was a mistake to assume that you, Alice, were just another apologist looking to control the conversation by asking leading questions, after which you could pounce with a prepared response to the most likely answers to those questions. It was a mistake not to read further down the thread and discover that you are actually a student trying to learn about people who are different than you, which is a laudable goal. So, if you want to know how acerbic and insulting I can be when I stupidly attribute to malice that which is more properly explained by curiosity, read on. Everyone can be a jackass, and I won't hide that I've been one.

My original response follows:

Let's start by pointing out that this list of questions has been circulating the internet for a while now. (In fact, I think there may be a video of Hemant Mehta answering them somewhere.) So, asking these questions as if you just came up with them because you're curious is somewhat disingenuous. I'll also probably be using the word “disingenuous” a lot in answering them, because several off the questions are best described that way, either because of their wording or because of their relation to other questions. Got it? Okay, let's go.

1. What exactly do you mean by "I am an Atheist"?
I mean that I do not believe that any gods exist.
2. What is Atheism by definition?
Atheism is a lack of belief in a god. It can be specific (I do not believe in Allah, therefore I am an atheist as regards the God of Islam) or general (I am an atheist because I do not believe in any gods).
3. Can you simplify the definition of Atheism so anyone would understand?
Welcome to the first of the truly disingenuous questions. This assumes that atheism is such an indefensible position that one must use twisty, dishonest arguments and misdefinitions to justify it. Honest inquiry does not automatically assume that a mere definition will be incomprehensible and merely asks for clarification if it turns out to be so. That said, my definition is short enough to take only four lines on my phone display even though I include both a general and a specific case, so I doubt I can get much simpler. Unfortunately, I can't definitively answer, “yes,” here, since even the simplest definition can be misinterpreted by apologists to mean (or maybe be code for?) “God-hating” or “devil-worshipping.”
4. What compelled you to become an Atheist? (feel free to skip this if its too personal.)
I wasn't compelled to become an atheist so much as I realized that I wasn't compelled by any arguments in favor of theism. A more comprehensive answer wouldn't be too personal, but it would probably be too long.
5. Do you know about the Biblical God?
Now for an oxymoron: This question is disingenuous, but not intentionally so. A bit of trivia for anyone who thinks this is an honest question: Every country in which the majority language is English has a population whose religious beliefs are majority Christian. Any adult who is targeted by this question knows about the biblical God, even one raised in an atheist household. Perhaps a more important question is, “Why did you think they might not?” I suspect that it is related to the reason that evangelical Christians approach others, even others they know to be of another sect of Christianity, not with the benefits of their sect, but with the benefits of knowing Jesus at all.
6. What do you know of the Biblical God?
I know that if you can bring yourself to read the Bible objectively, he's an immoral, misogynist, genocidal monster. I've read the Bible cover to cover, in multiple translations. I've also read the New Testament in the original Greek, the Aramaic portions of the Old Testament in the original Aramaic, and bits of the Hebrew as well. I know that He also contradicts himself an awful lot for a supposedly infallible being.
7. Can you explain evolution to me?
Children are different from their parents. Over many generations, those differences add up. If the world is old enough (which a lot of independent observations show it to be, starting with Lord Kelvin’s in the 19th century), those differences can add up enough along different paths to make different species with a common ancestor.
8. Can you LOGICALLY explain evolution
to me?
The fact that you (here, “you” means the author of these questions, rather than whoever posted them this time) feel the need to ask this question after the previous one tells me that you have no intention of reading these answers with any honest intent to understand. If you do not find my previous answer “logical,” that is probably because you find one or more of the axioms assumed in my answer to be in conflict with your worldview, in spite of the fact that it is all just very basic and verifiable fact. This dishonesty may be intentional on your part (in which case, fuck you), or out may be a mental block caused by your beliefs (in which case, I wish you luck). For the poster, I sincerely hope that you just didn't read these questions thoroughly enough to realize just how insulting this one is.
9. Tell me about the missing link in human evolution.
The missing link is an unscientific concept conceived by early critics of evolutionary theory to point out the fact that no one had yet found a living or fossil link between apes and humans. Leaving aside the fact that many links have been found since then in the form of fossils (and, yes, those fossils are greater in both number and completeness than Answers in Genesis would have you believe), science does not actually require physical representations of intermediates to demonstrate a link. An evolutionary link between humans and apes was realized morphologically before Darwin (or even Lamarck), and we now have DNA evidence as well. Oh, and we also have lots of little corroborating details, like the fact that human lice and chimpanzee lice are related.
10. How did life start?
No one really knows. (You have a book that says it knows. That book also contradicts itself, including in the part where it says how life starts, so I’m disinclined to believe it.) Some people have a few ideas, and it was probably a combination of two or three of them, but we may never know for certain. On the other hand, there are a few things we can say for certain, among them that life began over two billion years ago, and that magic and/or literal miracles were probably not involved. If you want more detail, look up “abiogenesis.” If the source claims that “abiogenesis” and “spontaneous generation” are synonyms, try a different source, since they certainly are not. If the source mentions “primordial soup,” take it with a grain of salt, since it’s probably either biased or so basic as to be almost useless.
11. How do we have DNA?
Does it matter? No, seriously, this question is probably here to reference the “information” stored in DNA, which, according to some people (note that all of them are apologists for one religion or another), cannot exist without a creative mind behind it. I’m sorry if it seems like I’m strawmanning you, but that isn’t my intention, and I’ll get to a more direct answer once I finish answering what I think is behind this question. DNA is not actually information except in the strictest definition from information theory, which defines information basically as any sequence of symbols. Note that that definition does not require that those symbols convey meaning. DNA doesn’t convey meaning in and of itself; it is simply a chemical pattern from which certain other chemicals can automatically produce amino acids.
That said, if you asked this question because you truly believe it’s relevant for some other reason, here’s a direct answer: We have DNA because our parents had DNA, and the proteins produced by chemical interaction with our parents’ DNA simultaneously produced us and our DNA. If you’re asking why living things in general have DNA, no one is entirely sure, but the most likely reason is that the earliest ancestors of living things (things which we would probably not call “alive” today, and which were vastly simpler than any currently extant bacteria) consisted of little more than some fragments of RNA inside a simple membrane. Those bundles of RNA competed with each other for resources (not consciously, but they were basically machines for gathering resources and reproducing, and resources were, as they always are, limited), and some of them underwent a (very well-understood and reproduceable) chemical process that changed some of their RNA to DNA. DNA is less stable outside of a membrane, which is why scientists think RNA came first, but once protected DNA is actually more stable, which gave those proto-cells an advantage, which allowed them eventually to become the dominant type of proto-cells, which allowed them to reproduce for long enough to evolve into actual cells, from which all life today is descended.
12. If what you believe is true, that there is no Biblical God or god of any kind, then why do Atheists protest against religion so much?
Notice that you’re using two words there: God and religion. Atheists don’t protest gods. There’s no point; gods don’t exist. We protest religion, the man-made institutions which are often sources of hatred, misinformation, and backward thinking. Yes, great art and literature has come from religion. However, every advancement of science and most advancements in peaceful understanding have come in spite of religion. Evil can exist without religion, yes, but religion is what makes good people believe in evil things. For more information (and you’ll probably hate me for this), watch some presentations by Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens.
13. What proof do you have that there is no Biblical God?
I have the Bible. Read it. Understand it. Understand that a document which contradicts itself is, by definition, a document which cannot be entirely true. If there is a topic about which there is one objective truth, then two contradictory statements about that topic cannot both be true. Therefore, of every pair of statements in the Bible which contradict each other, at least one is false. (It is possible for both to be false, of course.) It only takes one false statement for the entire work to not be objectively true. From there, it falls upon a reader to take each claim as potentially false, which makes the truth of the Bible a matter of fact rather than of faith, and as fact it turns out that the Bible falls rather short, ie: a great many of those potentially false statements are, in fact, false. A god described by a book of lies is not one worth believing.

methermeneus's picture
Wait, this thread is two

Wait, this thread is two years old? Crap. I don't usually look at dates on forums; I just assume I'm probably not seeing anything that old. Sorry for the necromancy; I just reacted when Facebook stuck this on my wall.

Dr. Dick's picture
8. vis-à-vis 7.

8. vis-à-vis 7.

When querying a thinker with a grasp of science, the explanation and the LOGICAL explanation are always the same thing. What a time saver!

Somerset John's picture
1. What exactly do you mean

1. What exactly do you mean by "I am an Atheist"?
I do not have any belief in any deity

2. What is Atheism by definition?
Literally, A - Theism, a lack of belief in a god or gods.

3. Can you simplify the definition of Atheism so anyone would understand?
I think anyone with an I.Q. higher than an American republican will get the idea from (1) and (2).

4. What compelled you to become an Atheist? (feel free to skip this if its too personal.)
Nothing. It is not a compulsion. I was not brought up in a believing family, and the few people who did try
to convince me never had any convincing arguments.

5. Do you know about the Biblical God?
I know of many gods, including YHWH

6. What do you know of the Biblical God?
Originally he ws a very minor war god with a wife. Very similar to many other gods littering the middle east at the
time
7. Can you explain evolution to me?
External factors cause things to change over time. That's the short answer. The long answer would take rather
more time than either has at the moment and would require you to get a comprehensive education.

8. Can you LOGICALLY explain evolution to me?
External factors cause things to change over time. If you can accept this, at least as a possibility, there is a
chance I could, at least to some extent. If you can't accept this then I would be wasting my time.

9. Tell me about the missing link in human evolution.
There isn't one. This is a misconception.

10. How did life start?
I don't know. No one knows. There are a number of conjectures and hypotheses concerning the appearance of life
but to the best of my knowledge none are more compelling than any other.

11. How do we have DNA?
You will have to ask a bio-genetecist or similar expert.

12. If what you believe is true, that there is no Biblical God or god of any kind, then why do Atheists protest against religion so much?
Because some theists are determined to force their beliefs on me, by threat of law, violence or death. (Notice I
speak only of my motive, other atheists may have other motives.

13. What proof do you have that there is no Biblical God?
None. I don't need to provide proof. Theists are making the extra-ordinary claim, it is incumbent on them to
provide proof of their claim.

xenoview's picture
Necromancy at work.

Necromancy at work.

pork222's picture
1. What exactly do you mean

1. What exactly do you mean by "I am an Atheist"?
I lack the belief in a creator.

2. What is Atheism by definition?
The lack of belief in a creator and potentially deities. Most atheists would say that if they were given proper evidence which demonstrates the existence of a creator, that they would believe that a god exists.

3. Can you simplify the definition of Atheism so anyone would understand?
I think my definition was easy to understand. Simply, why should anyone believe something without proper evidence?

4. What compelled you to become an Atheist? (feel free to skip this if its too personal.)
It didn't just happen overnight. I was raised in a VERY Roman Catholic community. I totally believed religion until I visited a scientific museum in secondary school. I saw how evolution worked, and potential theories of how the universe began. Then, I remember thinking in my head right there and then, "what about Adam and Eve?". Right at that moment I realized that there is no way Adam and Eve was a true story, and therefore, if I don't believe the beginning of the Bible, why should I believe it at all? I'm sorry, but talking creatures and people living in whales are quite silly. After this, I was questioning my beliefs. I was afraid to become an atheist. I had come across Near Death Experiences. I believed them at first, and this brought me back to being an agnostic. However, after much research, it is logical to conclude that they are a product of the brain. I don't see any other evidence which demonstrates religion being correct, so therefore I don't believe it.

5. Do you know about the Biblical God?
yes

6. What do you know of the Biblical God?
He apparently created the earth in 6 days, had a son whom he sent to earth to forgive sinners and essentially act as a positive role model. Some say that Jesus is the human form of God. If that is true, then God sacrificed himself to himself for a weekend (not even as it was Friday afternoon to Sunday morning), and then he came back to earth.

7. Can you explain evolution to me?
One word: Bacteria

8. Can you LOGICALLY explain evolution to me?
You get sick. Your doctor prescribes antibiotics. He/she tells you to take the antibiotics for 2 weeks (seems long). Why for so long? because he/she knows that although the antibiotics will kill most of the bacteria (let's say 95%) within the first week, there will be some bacteria that are strong enough to withstand the antibiotics. If you stop after one week, these remaining 5% will continue to multiply other "strong" bacteria, and then they will all be able to withstand the same antibiotics in the future. Now you need an even stronger dosage to get rid of your sickness.

9. Tell me about the missing link in human evolution.
What missing link? That has been debunked. How about this, tell your religion teacher to debunk what I just said about bacteria. Call me when this happens.

10. How did life start?
I don't know. However, just because we don't know doesn't mean a god did it.

11. How do we have DNA?
refer to biology. Although this is complex for the average Joe to answer, there are billions of articles and videos which explain it. Ask your religion teacher why the female has the clitoris, and why human DNA and Ape DNA are over 95% related. If we were so special, we would be way different.

12. If what you believe is true, that there is no Biblical God or god of any kind, then why do Atheists protest against religion so much?
Religion causes many problems including war, and statistics show that religious societies have shorter lifespans, lower income, higher crime rates than atheist societies. Many of us believe it is unethical to indoctrinate innocent and ignorant children who believe everything that they are told. Let them "learn" about religion when they are 25 and see if they still believe it.

13. What proof do you have that there is no Biblical God?
What proof do you have that pixies don't exist? What proof do you have that there is no invisible monkey in your closet?
Even more specific: what evidence do you have that Krishna does not exist? What about Allah? The funny thing is Christians have no problem dismissing other gods/goddesses. They shrug them off like it's nothing and then they seem surprised when the biblical god is not believed or accepted. I keep asking God to show himself to me, and he doesn't. If that actually happened, it would be a start to me believing.

Kwertie_'s picture
1. What exactly do you mean

1. What exactly do you mean by "I am an Atheist"?
I don't believe in any God.

2. What is Atheism by definition?
The lack of believe in a God.

3. Can you simplify the definition of Atheism so anyone would understand?
See 1.

4. What compelled you to become an Atheist? (feel free to skip this if its too personal.)
There's a story here, it's a long one, but I'll try to keep it real short. It all started when I was in Grade 4 (Dutch system, so probably grade 2 in American system and year 2 in British system), my parents told my Saint Nicholas (our Santa Claus) wasn't real. This set me on a course of critical thinking and I found that my questions about religion would be treated much the same as my questions about Saint Nicholas. This led me to believing that there probably wasn't a God. Flashforward 8 years, I'm 16 and in high school. My grandmother dies. The most loving, down to earth and all round good person I have ever met and probably will meet. She died of cancer after battling the disease for about 6.5 years. God, as specified in the Bible, is all powerful and all good. Letting the one good person in my life die in the most horrible matter let me to believe that the God many people beleive inwasn't all good. If he wasn't all good, what esle wasn't true about the Bible. Flashforward another ten years and my questions have grown bigger and I have a lot more of these questions now, still no answers. As long as those questions aren't answered (i.e. why do babies have AIDS?) and/or there is no proof discovered that there might be a God, I'm choosing very consciously to not believe in something that hasn't been proven.

5. Do you know about the Biblical God?
See 4.

6. What do you know of the Biblical God?
See 4 (I know more, but let's keep it simple).

7. Can you explain evolution to me?
Yes.

8. Can you LOGICALLY explain evolution to me?
I'd like to start with the fact that evolution and atheism aren't the same thing. It just happens to be most atheists believe the Theory of Evolution to be real. More information on what a scientific theory is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory
Since I don't know what you define as logically explaining something, I'll give it a go. Please note that I'm not an expert so my explanation might not be 100% correct. Long story short: "Evolution is the process by which populations and species change over time and the principles of evolution explain why life on Earth is so diverse and why organisms are the way they are."

9. Tell me about the missing link in human evolution.
I can't, there isn't one. https://futurism.com/there-is-no-missing-link-in-evolution/

10. How did life start?
I don't know (and I'm not afraid to admit that).

11. How do we have DNA?
See 10.

12. If what you believe is true, that there is no Biblical God or god of any kind, then why do Atheists protest against religion so much?
I don't protest against religion that much, anymore. It started off as a teenager rebelling in my case, it's now to a point at which I really like to challenge people's ideas. Religion, in anyway, isn't anything more than an idea. Challenging ideas, improving them is what keeps the human race moving forwards (i.e. different races are equal, different sexualities and/or genders are equal). People need to be educated, challenging ideas (even strongly held ideas like religion) should be norm.

13. What proof do you have that there is no Biblical God?
The same proof you have that it does exist. Since I'm a firm believer in the proof first, believe second principle, and as of this writing no evidence of the existence of a (Biblical) God exists, my conclusion is there isn't a God.

Feel free to ask more questions, I hope I can answer at least some of them.

GayAtheist2017's picture
1. When I say, "I am an

1. When I say, "I am an atheist." I mean that I lack a belief in a god, because I have not been convinced one exists.

2. A person who lacks the belief in a god or gods, because there is no eremitical evidence.

3. Yes, I just did.

4. I went to an extremely religious school for 12 years. I was told my whole life that everyone around me who was "saved" felt god or Jesus in there heart. I heard so many stories, I'm sure we all have heard. They said that god made them feel free, made them lack guilt, made them happy, made them feel connected to something more than themselves. I was then told, every time, that I was supposed to feel this way eventually. As the years went by, everyone my age started to say the same things, that they felt "saved." I tried for around six years to pray, day end and day out. I read my bible. I tried very very hard to feel anything at all that was outside myself. I spent my entire childhood feeling guilty and alone, because I felt absolutely nothing. I didn't feel better, free, or connected. I felt different and out-of-the-loop. There is no time in my life that I was ever more depressed. Then one day, I told myself that what I was doing was unhealthy. I decided to start questioning my beliefs in a way that was scientific and logical instead of just praying harder and more. As soon as I stopped trying to make my beliefs right, because I wanted them to be right, I became an atheist. There was not one thing I found in Christianity that made any logical sense; everything fell apart as soon as I stopped wanting the belief to be right. I just looked at it for what it was. I did the same logical reasoning with other religions and the same thing happened with all of it. Then, I finally became free and happy.

5. Yes, I know about the biblical god more than most religious Christians I have met. 12 years of bible class are under my belt.

6. It would take me a book to repeat everything I was brainwashed to believe. In short, the Christian god is wrathful in the old testament. He commits many genocides in the name of his chosen people, the Jews. In the new testament, he sends down himself who is also his son, Jesus. Jesus is then killed after many years of preaching by the Romans. He is the blood-sacrifice needed by god to save the rest of humanity up until this day. After opening my mind to science and logic, all of this seems so silly now.

7. Speciation is the extremely gradual change of species over time. Evolution is the result of biological life adapting to their environment through natural selection over long periods of time. The changing of the environment is what spurs evolution to take place. Speciation is the result of evolution over millions of years.

8. I just did.

9. There is no one "missing link." Every time humanity finds another fossil of human evolution, religious people tend to say that a new gap was just created in between the old fossils just found and the new one just found. No matter how many fossils are found of human evolution, extremely religious people will never be satisfied.

10. Well, it is debated among physicists whether life ever really "started." Many people believe that time is something that came into being with the other dimensions of the universe, so there never really was a "beginning." There has not been one good answer for this, because there is not enough empirical or scientific evidence to say at the current time. Not knowing something does not mean that the explanation is worse; this means that science is being intellectually honest. It is much worse to make up a bad answer and accepting it, just because there isn't another answer available.

11. We have DNA, because it evolved over time to form. It helps our survival, so over million of years, it developed and became more complex over time. We see more primitive forms of DNA in simpler forms of life today. Some organisms just have DNA floating around inside of their system. We have a complex cells with many organelles that all have functions that developed over time.

12. Religion oppresses people everywhere. I have PTSD from going to my religious school. I vomited and passed out when I visited my old school, because I was triggered by seeing the school and remembering all of the pain the school caused me. Religion stole my childhood from me. It has wasted all the time I had as a child. I have been hurt by religion, and I didn't have it too bad. I lived in a nice home with money and a nice family more or less. So, I know that their are people in much harder places and going through the same thing I went through. I want to take as much power away from religion as possible. It hurts people. Not to mention all the political influence that religion has in America, where I live. In the middle east, religion is the source of oppression for women. In Africa, the pope has spurred an AIDS epidemic that is still felt in the continent today. Religion is what people hide behind to make terrible decisions and commit horrible atrocities against human rights.

13. I lack a belief in a god. I am not saying there is positively no god. I think that a god doesn't exist in a way a person think that fairies or santa clause doesn't exist. People do not need to prove that fairies don't exist, because there is no proof they do exist. The burden of proof is placed on the person asserting a claim. I am not saying that god doesn't exist for sure; I am saying that he is as real to me as fairies.

darw1nf1sh's picture
1. What exactly do you mean

1. What exactly do you mean by "I am an Atheist"? I am an agnostic atheist. I do not believe the claim that there is a god, but I do not claim to know for sure that there is no god.
2. What is Atheism by definition? The rejection of the claim that there is a god.
3. Can you simplify the definition of Atheism so anyone would understand? See above.
4. What compelled you to become an Atheist? (feel free to skip this if its too personal.) The lack of evidence for the existence of a god, or for any claim of any religion.
5. Do you know about the Biblical God? I know that some people believe one exists. I have read the bible.
6. What do you know of the Biblical God? The same as everyone else, which is to say nothing. While I have no claim that god does not exist, I will claim that no human on earth has any idea what their god is like, or what it wants.
7. Can you explain evolution to me? Descent with modification. If a creature has a genetic anomaly that gives it an advantage and allows it to procreate, then it will pass that anomaly down to its offspring, giving them the same advantage.
8. Can you LOGICALLY explain evolution to me? See above.
9. Tell me about the missing link in human evolution. There are no missing links. Every living thing is a transitional species. Every fossil is a transitional fossil.
10. How did life start? No one knows. Not knowing, does not imply that god did it.
11. How do we have DNA? No one knows. Not knowing, does not imply that god did it.
12. If what you believe is true, that there is no Biblical God or god of any kind, then why do Atheists protest against religion so much? I not believe that there is no god. I do not believe the claim that there is one. I do not protest the belief in a god. I do not care what people believe. What I DO care about, is what people do as a result of that belief. If you advocate for laws, or public policies purely based on your religious faith, then I object to that.
13. What proof do you have that there is no Biblical God? None, and I have never claimed there was no god. Conversely, there is no proof that there is a god. Hence my being an atheist.

xenoview's picture
Necromancy at work!

Necromancy at work!

Missingno's picture
1. What exactly do you mean

1. What exactly do you mean by "I am an Atheist"?
I don't believe in deities.

2. What is Atheism by definition?
The absence of belief in a deity whatsoever. The opposite of "theism".

3. Can you simplify the definition of Atheism so anyone would understand?
"A person who doesn't believe in any god."

4. What compelled you to become an Atheist? (feel free to skip this if its too personal.)
Evidence, or to be more precise, the absence of evidence. There is simply no reason to believe in a god, so why should I? For thousands of years religious people tried to prove their god, they still try to do so, but they never did it. There's no reason to believe in any god. Btw, don't say "compelled", this term sounds derogatory. atheists are not "compelled" to disbelieve, it's like saying you are "compelled" not to believe in unicorns or you are "compelled" to believe 1 plus 1 equals 2.

5. Do you know about the Biblical God?
Yes, I know about him. It doesn't matter though since that God has never been proven and so it is actually unimportant if I "know" about him. Religious people don't "know" about all other asserted deities as well, still they don't believe in him because there's no reason to do so.

6. What do you know of the Biblical God?
I read the Bible, so I'd say I know a lot more about him than 90 per cent of Christians.

7. Can you explain evolution to me?
I could. Can you understand evolution? I just ask because most Christians don't understand it. I know that because whenever I see a Christian trying to "debunk" evolution they criticize a concept of evolution that doesn't even exist.

8. Can you LOGICALLY explain evolution to me?
Evolution IS logical. But you have to have a certain ability to understand logic to actually understand evolution in the first place. If you think evolution is illogical, there are two possibilities: First, the one who explained it didn't explain it well. Second, you don't understand logic. Out of experience I'd say that in 90 % the second one occurs.

9. Tell me about the missing link in human evolution.
If you actually google the catchphrase "missing links" you'd see that no such missing links exist anymore.

10. How did life start?
That's a funny thing to ask when evolution is the topic. Well, not funny—more like silly or stupid. Evolution doesn't say a thing about how life starts. Evolution doesn't say anything about deities as well. It's just stupid that religious people keep talking about evolution (without even understanding it) when evolution hasn't anything to do with God in the first place. Even if you would debunk evolution, that doesn't make your God exist, it just proves evolution wrong. It doesn't actually matter if evolution exists. You Christians shouldn't waste your time trying to disprove evolution if you want to prove God, you Christians should actually try to prove God if you want to prove God. Got it? And to answer your question: There are hypothesis, none of which are confirmed, and scientists still don't know how life starts, however they also don't say that they know how it starts, so there's nothing to complain about. Christians however don't have ANY proof that God made life, so THIS statement is just silly and proving nothing.

11. How do we have DNA?
Evolution.

12. If what you believe is true, that there is no Biblical God or god of any kind, then why do Atheists protest against religion so much?
Because religion is dangerous, which is well proven by history. So many people suffered because of religious discrimination, racism and hatred, because people thought their god told them to kill nonbelievers. The Bible is full of manslaughtering and rape, the Quran is as well, so there are plenty of reasons to protest against religion. It's like criticizing national socialism. You are most probably not a nazi if you criticize nazism because of it's danger to society and humankind. And if religious people don't criticize their religions the non-religious have to do it.

13. What proof do you have that there is no Biblical God?
What proof do you have that there is a Biblical God? What you can believe without evidence you also can disbelieve without evidence.

Bruce Crocker's picture
1. What exactly do you mean

1. What exactly do you mean by "I am an Atheist"?
I do not believe that any supernatural entity has control of the universe.

2. What is Atheism by definition?
No belief in supernatural entities.

3. Can you simplify the definition of Atheism so anyone would understand?
I believe in one less god than I think you do. We have quite a bit in common because of this - think of all the gods we BOTH don't believe in.

4. What compelled you to become an Atheist? (feel free to skip this if its too personal.)
I was born one just like everybody else. I was NOT indoctrinated into any religion and was free as a consenting adult to choose a religion - I chose none of the above.

5. Do you know about the Biblical God?
I've read the Bible multiple times - which God in the Bible are you talking about?

6. What do you know of the Biblical God?
It appears that you are assuming that your version of the Biblical God exists - I'd need to hear about your version before I can comment.

7. Can you explain evolution to me?
Sure! How much time do you have?

8. Can you LOGICALLY explain evolution to me?
Sure! How much time do you have?

9. Tell me about the missing link in human evolution.
'Missing link" is not an actual biological term - explain more about what you want to know.

10. How did life start?
Science hasn't figured that out yet, but once life was here, it evolved.

11. How do we have DNA?
All life on Earth has DNA.

12. If what you believe is true, that there is no Biblical God or god of any kind, then why do Atheists protest against religion so much?
We tend to protest about being forced to conform to someone else's religion. How would you feel if you were forced to practice Islam or some form of Buddhism. Imagine being forced to wear a burka or to eat NO meat [although you could be a Jehovah's Witness and you already don't eat meat].
.
13. What proof do you have that there is no Biblical God?
That's on you. If you make a claim, YOU need to offer supporting evidence. Could you disprove the following statement: The universe was created 1 second ago AS IS and all sentient creatures were created with memories of a past. That statement is actually based on a CHRISTIAN argument called the OMPHALOS argument - the idea that the world was created with a past just as Adam and Eve were created with belly buttons.

If this was an actual inquiry on your part, I hope you actually use the information provided and write an accurate report for your teacher.

Mike L's picture
Okay, here goes:

Okay, here goes:

1-3 (I'm combining these because there all closely related.):
Atheism from a - prefix for lack of, and theism - a system of belief. Atheism is simply a lack of belief. An atheist is simply someone who doesn't have a belief. This can be anything from a skeptic agnostic that doubts but isn't sure, all the way to an anti theist that is against religion in principle. I as an atheist view the abrahamic god ( God of the Torah, Bible and Koran) the same way most adults view Santa Claus. I am aware of the idea, history, and mythology. I know there are people that think it's all true (kids in Santa's case). But I can't see why someone take it as the absolute truth.
4. I came to my position after a lot of thought, debate, and consternation. I was raised in a devoutly Catholic family, but dug too much, asked too many questions. Never got good answers until I realized that my starting point didn't make sense.
5-6 (combining again, because they're related): I know quite a bit. I attended a religious school, I read the Bible, went to church, I was an altar boy and a lector (guy who reads passages during mass). I read the works of theologians like Aquinas. I know more about the Christian God than a good many Christians.
7-8(again, same questions): How long did you have? Books upon books have been written on the intricacies of evolution. It's a fascinating, complex, and subtle concept. The principle is deceptively simple though. It's based on a few simple concepts:
A. In every group, there are variations. If you look at your family and friends you see this. People are different heights, different weights, have different length arms and legs, different color hair. Some are smarter, stronger, faster, etc.
B. Certain traits are beneficial in certain environments. Being faster helps if you have to chase your dinner, etc. People or animals with beneficial traits are more likely to be successful and have move offspring.
C. Traits are inherited. Creatures with beneficial traits are likely to pass on beneficial traits to their larger number of offspring. This means as time goes on, more offspring with beneficial traits are in the population. Eventually the trait becomes ubiquitous, and is associated with the whole population.

Eventually, these factors working on separate groups in different environments will eventually make the groups so different that they are no longer considered the same species.

There's a lot more that can be said about this. I'm happy to answer questions.

9. This betrays a lack of understanding of the nature of evolution. There is no such thing as a singular "missing link" instead there's an unbroken chain of ancestors, all similar, but subtlety different from one another. There is never a single generation that is completely different and unrelated to the previous or the next.
10. That's an interesting question, and not one with a definite answer. There are many strong possibilities. This technically doesn't fall under evolution. It has its own category, abiogenesis. It's likely it started as a kind of run away chemical reaction, a type of self replicating configuration of molecules. The exact details are hard to know, but the concept could be similar to the above description of evolution. Things that made copies that looked like them, ended up with more things that could make copies.

11. We have DNA because its a stable way of storing patterns for making proteins. It's thought that earlier organisms may have use exclusively RNA, which can store patterns, but can itself make proteins. This would have been easier to develop, and may had been an important first step. But eventually DNA became move prevalent, most likely because it was more stable.

12. Atheists usually get worried because they religious want to make decisions based on their belief that affect our lives. Imagine if decisions about how you lived were being dictated based on deference to Santa. What if you were being told you couldn't have certain medicines because Santa wouldn't allow them? What if you were told you couldn't be with the person you loved because it made Rudolf cry? What if you were assumed to be a bad person because you didn't believe Santa came every Christmas? It would be absurd and offensive. That's the world atheists live in. We're told we have to respect the beliefs and choices of the religious, but it's not reciprocated. People want laws made to force their beliefs on everyone. That is what makes atheists mad. When that's not happening, we're quiet, so you don't think about us.
13. This is a logical fallacy. You're trying to shift the burden of proof and make someone prove a negative. What proof do you have they Baal, the god of Carthage isn't real? Can you prove he never existed? Can you prove the non existence of the Indian god Vishnu? No, you can't absolutely prove the don't, but it's not your job to. Their believers have made a claim of their existence, they should give evidence. So it is with your god. If you think there is a being of this description, it is your responsibility to show the proof of this being. I have seen nothing that qualifies as proof, so I remain unconvinced.

Dan JR's picture
I will do my best to cut out

I will do my best to cut out any online snark that may creep into my responses. You have to understand, many of these questions are seen as rudimentary to atheists (and to educated people / people with internet). People are also skeptical of answering such base questions because similar questions are used as part of a debate to bog down the discussion to preset questions instead of debating the merits of said questions. But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are asking for genuine reasons (aka homework) and it is a personal duty to give clear and concise answers (I make no promises on spelling, punctuation, and grammar).

1 - 2. What exactly do you mean by "I am an Atheist"? / What is Atheism by definition?
The simple retort is to say "one who uses the label of 'Atheist'" but that does not adequately explain what the word means or how that meaning is different than other self labels. You can look up how the Greek use of the letter "A" before a word essentially implies "not/opposite/opposing" (That is at least what I have gathered from about a life long cumulative hour of studying Greek (I spend more time on Latin) . This is an important point because, unlike many other labels, "Atheist" does not describe something but the lack of something. I know, this seems odd for a label because it is not the norm in labels although it is frequent in the English language. We have many words that are nothing more that a prefix (dis, in, im, mis, pre) added on to a positive or negative word. So we, as speakers, are use to such words but we still do not use them often in self labels. It is not often that we would say that we do not play golf by saying we are "agolfers" or (being bald) I do not refer to my hair color as "bald". We do not do that because we have other words to refer to it but, more importantly, those other things (golf, hair, job, etc) are not as ingrained and part of a person's life, self-identification, and perception of the world like religion is and has been throughout history (in most parts of the word). Declaring yourself as not part of a theistic (religious belief) has been perceived as a giant division from others. Just think of all the time, energy, thoughts, beliefs, word choice, reactions, culture, etc. that believers take part in that those that do not believe do not take part in. Instead of saying that "I don't do this, I don't take part in that" I can use a simple word that summarizes what that stance entails. "Atheist" is a label that summarizes that division in a succinct way, although this word has been associated with other labels such as "devil worshiper", "despot", "communist".

This gets to question number two which is what the label actually means. This is also not clear cut; many people will either give one of the above mislabels or cite the current dictionary definition, "Someone who doe snot believe or worships god(s)", without understanding a little of the history of what the word means. This definition makes Atheism stand as just a shadow of theism. Some would sophomorically argue that there wouldn't be atheists without theists; this is a semantic argument that fallaciously believes that words are the things they represent (which is untrue). If there would be no theists then the label of atheist would not exist but the idea that "people don't believe in a god(s)" would still exist and it would become the norm. Here is an example; there are many animals that "breath" water even though "breath" is tied to the idea of in taking air. Hypothetically, if every creature "breathed" water would that mean breathing would not exist? No but maybe the word "breath" (the label describing the action) would be different. The same is true of "Atheism"; the word is a semantic reflection but the idea exists on its own.

Now, lets go back to giving a working definition of "Atheism". We have to look at the word "god" first as it had a different meaning back in ancient Greek. It did not just mean a supernatural entity that people worshiped but the idea of supernatural things existing or having influence the world; mythology as a whole. The norm at this time was to rely on these mythological explanations of the world. However, philosophers sought to explain the world through the processes of nature and they did not rely on mystical accounts (not that their explanations were the most scientifically sound but it was progress). This reliance on something outside of mythology, something that tries to make use of the natural world and logical processes, is the start of the philosophical stance of "Atheism" but this idea became more aligned with the term Naturalism and the term "Atheism" became more aligned with "not believing in god". Atheism came into its own right as this stance of not believing which had more real world consequences than that of Naturalism (although the two are entwined). Eventually, the world essentially fell to the wayside and became synonymous with apostates (mostly due to the major western religions). The word came back into use as "not believing" as a counter point to the power and influence of the dominate religions. To me, Naturalism and Atheism are one in the same; you cannot have Naturalism without the basic concept that supernatural actors do not exist. So, to me, Atheism is "The philosophical stance that it is assumed that there is no supernatural actors and that only natural processes (laws and forces) operate the world". I say this as it encapsulates the entirety of what Atheism is; much more than simply a "Lack of a belief". So when I say, "I am an Atheist" I am saying that I live by a fundamental stance that we live and function in an empirical word in which only empirical things exist (and therefore influence the world).

3. Can you simplify the definition of Atheism so anyone would understand?
To reiterate: "The philosophical stance that it is assumed that there is no supernatural actors and that only natural processes (laws and forces) operate the world".

4. What compelled you to become an Atheist?
"Compelled" seems like a poor word choice. I say this because it seems to imply that it was "forced upon" instead of chosen. Granted, its just a phrase but I have to point this out because of where the question comes form. I was "compelled" to seek the capital "T" truth, objective truth (as opposed to little "t" truth, subjective/personal truth). I was in a southern baptist home (in the north) and part of that was accepting the bible and god as being capital T true. My want to fully understand this Truth was through the bible (it was always pointed to as begin the bearer of Objective truth). Well, I started to read the bible and found out that there are paradoxes within the bible itself. i inquired with my parents and pastors and their answers were, lets say, lacking. I mean, if a kid of 10 can see that things don't add up within the bible its not that far of a stretch to think that it could not have been written by an all-knowing entirety. There was some back and forth about not taking certain passages literally but, while that was used to explain away the errors (but didn't explain most of the issues) those supposed "allegorical" passages were treated as facts from the pulpit. My main issue at this time was that the bible, the supposed word of god, was not logically consistent and did not align with the empirical world. I can' tau it down to what exactly was the turning point where I would meet the definition of atheist (I did not learn of that word until to after I had already accepted that stance on all but name) but I distinctly recall a time that my church attempted to challenge the science that conflicts with the bible. Honestly, it was laughable; they misquoted studies, they cited christian science "studies" (like carbon dating a newly made aluminum can), and used, what I learned later to be, logical fallacy after logical fallacy. I don't know if it was the way it was presented or my growing understanding of science but I looked up and each point they made and found out they were either misconstruing the truth or straight up lied. Combining all of this (and a growing study of religions as a whole) I realized that there was not Truth in theistic beliefs that could not also be true for any claim made (i.e. little "t" truth). With that realization I turned to a more thorough study of philosophy (where I learned all these nifty labels for ideas)

5 - 6. Do you know about the Biblical God? / What do you know of the Biblical God?
i believe i made it clear that I have a working understanding of the idea of the biblical god and how that idea varies wildly form faith to faith, and between denominations. Not only that but how that idea of a biblical god has changed over the ensuing centuries (like the creation and inclusion of a triad that was not originally part of the faith, the idea of an all loving god, the creation of hell, the shift from faith and good works to faith alone, etc). I would give a more in depth answer but, as stated, it really depends on the faith and denomination and the focus, like how included the old testament is (full integration, the "Jews for Jesus" sect, or more cherry picked). I feel this is getting long enough without me boring you with a recount of the faiths.

7 - 8. Can you explain evolution to me? / Can you LOGICALLY explain evolution to me?
I can explain evolution to you but where to start depends on what you know and what functioning level you are at (am I talking to a college graduate or a Middle Schooler?). Before I begin I do (again) have to point out the wording of question 8 as it presupposes that the answer to question 7 would not be logical when in fact it is. All right, lets dig in but not where most people start; lets start with viruses. You see, the issue some Christians (and it is some, not all) have with evolution is the idea that we (along with the other great apes) evolved from a common ancestor. The issues that some Christians have with this is it conflicts with the creation story in the bible and (more importantly) the idea of original sin. So I am not going to start there as it it the most contested part of evolution and will instead start with viruses and bacteria. Viruses and bacteria both replicate very fast and there are millions of them within a single creature. These two traits (large amount and rapid generations) give rise to genetic changes. this is not a point that is up for debate; there are different genes in each generation. Those changes that either do not impede creation of the next generation or assist in sustaining the bacteria/virus get passed on. This would not really matter unless there are outside forces impacting which genes help or hinder creation of the next generation. In bacteria and viruses, it is usually the immune system that acts on them. Those that stave off the attack live long enough to spread their genes on. Again, this is not a debatable issue; this is empirically shown and the reasons that things like the flu comes around every year and that being sick last year doesn't protect you. This is also why we are starting to get antibiotic resistant bacteria (a very real threat to humanity). You might be thinking, "Yeah, there is changes in their genes but that is just micro evolution, that doesn't explain macro evolution (changes in the physical characteristic of larger creatures." I would say that, yes, in fact it does show macro evolution as any physical changes would necessitate a genetic change, but instead I will just give you a real world example. There is a chain of islands that has crickets on it and, one day, a new predator was introduced into the ecosystem. This predator found the crickets by sound. Being noisy little creatures you would think that the crickets were all killed in short order but that's not what happened. With the louder crickets more likely to be eaten that gave the slightly quieter ones a chance to live and pass on their genes to the next generation. This next generation in turn had more quieter member which in turn passed that gene on. This continued and, within a decade-ish (I can't recall exactly) many of the male crickets have gone completely silent; they lack the parts to make sound. That is one example of empirical (studied first hand) macro evolution an in a very short time. There is also the nylon eating bacteria (i'll let you check that up as this is getting long enough). With just the above in mind (not even thinking about all the other evidence) it is not a stretch to think that it would apply to the rest of the animal kingdom. Now take into account all the archaeological evidence and genetic evidence of similar ancestry (the same thing we use with humans to identify parents/kids) it is a very clear cut case that the mechanisms described in the theory of evolution hold true in explaining the empirical world.

9. Tell me about the missing link in human evolution.
Again, this is a question that is worded with a presupposition built in (one that, I assume, was based on the idea that the discussion of evolution in the above questions would focus on the great apes and humans). But to the question at hand; Which "missing link are you referring to? There is/are Aegyptopithecus, Proconsul, Pierolapithecus, Ardipithecus, Australopithecus (africanus, afarensis), Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo rhodesiensis, Neanderthal, cro-magnon, Homo floresiensis, Homo ergaster, Paranthropus boisei, Paranthropus aethiopicus, and a few others I could not recall/find. We have quiet the record of pre-human creatures and (going back to the above) we have extremely similar DNA to the other living great apes.

10. How did life start?
That is a good question that science is still working to understand. This is a point in which some people will him and haw and try to defend the lack of scientific knowledge in an attempt to defend science at all costs but that's not science. Science will say "I don't know..." when presented with a question it doesn't have an answer to but, science will immediately follow that with "..but lets find out". There is a lot of interesting research into how life got started and (interestingly) there are recent studies that have been working with yeast and other simple organisms to try and generate "replicating molecules". i do want to warn you, jumping on this lack of knowledge and saying "god did it" is a fallacious argument and one that has been used often in history (and makes religion look foolish when it is shown to be explainable by natural causes). Keep in mind, there has never been a scientific explanation that has later been overturned by "god did it". I would encourage you to look up what hypothesis are out there and the reasons behind them.

11. How do we have DNA?
Again, it seems to have a presupposition built into it. I am unsure what this question is asking? Are you asking how did DNA come to be (see question 10) or how it became complex? I feel that this is tied to the above question and (due to a lack of clarity of what is being asked) I cannot give a good answer.

12. If what you believe is true, that there is no Biblical God or god of any kind, then why do Atheists protest against religion so much?
So many presuppositions. First, people that do not believe in god(s) do not, the world over, protest against religion. China, Japan, and some Northern European countries have high rates of "Atheists" and they don't spend their time "protesting" against religion. Second the idea that atheist "protest" religions is a loaded word in itself. I would ask you what do you mean by "protesting" and what specifically you are referring to. I have an inkling but I am not sure exactly what is being inferred. I will say, in a general sense, that I fight and argue against any decision or conclusions (especially when it is an attempt to enforce said conclusion into law) that is reached by faulty reasoning or application of dogmatic principles.

13. What proof do you have that there is no Biblical God?
And one more presupposition to end the questions. First, you cannot presuppose that a things exists and then ask for proof that it doesn't exist (but I am sure that this has been covered by other posts, I hope). So with that out of the way, lets talk about the proofs that there is not a biblical god. Its a great question because, just by adding the word "biblical" you have closed off any deistic arguments for "a god". First, there is the bible itself; as mentioned, there are countless errors, inaccuracies, and paradoxes for the supposed word of god. You also have the issues of translations, reworking of the books, omissions ,changes in the Torah, etc. that lead to the bible as you know it (based on the NKJ). Second, you have the historical evidence for the idea of the biblical god. That's right, there are records of the proto-Jewish belief that came before the old testament god (the proto-god was part of a pantheon, like Zeus) and some of the issues in the old testament are resolved by this "pantheon". Third, you have the paradoxical nature in the traits that your idea of a god has. This issue is succinctly summed up by the euthyphro dilemma and many, many other works by great thinkers throughout the ages. Lastly, you have the issue that the only "proof" of a biblical god is one's personal faith. I mention this because in any debate I have ever had the last line of defense is "its my faith / i just believe". That, right there, is the greatest proof that there is no biblical god; a supposed all-knowing and all-powerful entity would know exactly what kind of evidence would be required of it to show its existence as being more capital "T" truth than any other creature whose proof of existence is faith (such as the 3,500 hundred other gods, all the other supernatural creatures that are believed to exist, and the endless host of ideas that are exist solely in the mind of the believer).

Sorry if I rambled; this took me longer that I had thought and I am lacking sleep. I hope this answers your questions but, more importantly, I hope this generates more questions.

Danny Craft's picture
wow

wow

Alice's picture
1. What exactly do you mean

1. What exactly do you mean by "I am an Atheist"?
I don't believe there is any God. I believe in the power of nature disagreeing with any opinion that says there's some kind of a superpower called God.
2. What is Atheism by definition?
Atheism is believing you were not created by any kind of God. it's simply believing that the nature is where you came from by the theory of evolution.
3. Can you simplify the definition of Atheism so anyone would understand?
It's simply not believing there is a God who created the earth and the people, or controls the life events we have, or having to be punished after death for what you've done during life. It's believing that death is our end which allows us to get the best of our lives.
4. What compelled you to become an Atheist? (feel free to skip this if its too personal.)
I was a Christian back in time but my mind started to grow up and feel something wrong and not logical in religion so i looked and searched about other religions and found that none of them makes sense to me, that's what encouraged me to become an atheist who totally believes in evolution of people.
5. Do you know about the Biblical God?
Yes, and i think i know more than many Christians or religious people.
6. What do you know of the Biblical God?
A person doesn't need to know anything about the Biblical God except for that he claims to have created the earth in a very short time, created plants, animals and people and claims he knows everything that's going on earth the whole time and controlling it (when he wants to). Besides that he's gonna "burn" the bad people in hell and let the good ones live in heaven for eternity.
7. Can you explain evolution to me?
It's a theory that says creatures evolve the whole time to become better and adapt with the environment around them.
8. Can you LOGICALLY explain evolution to me?
Creatures from the beginning were primal before they started to evolve and become different.
9. Tell me about the missing link in human evolution.
We didn't find (yet) the way the first gene was on earth but we believe in the future we're gonna be able to.
10. How did life start?
It started with one DNA/gene that evolved to a single-cell creature and evolved to other kinds of creatures until it led us to humans.
11. How do we have DNA?
You can simply read about it, it's a whole science which can't be explained in just a few words.
12. If what you believe is true, that there is no Biblical God or god of any kind, then why do Atheists protest against religion so much?
We don't hate religion or religious people for what they believe. But having to live in a religious environment, not being able to express our opinions to the world, being hated by Christians etc.. that's exactly what made us stop respecting religion because it does not respect us in any way and nobody does. Sometimes we have to pretend we believe in God because we can't simply get a job, or talk to people or anything that you have. And when we admit our atheism (which is something i personally tried) people start to tell us to shut up and keep our opinion to ourselves. Well, isn't expressing opinions one of a human's rights? and if we have to hide ours, why don't you do it either? why are we forced to commit religion when it comes to marriage? why do they let us pray at schools etc? if you want us to keep our atheism out of your lives then keep your religion out of ours!
13. What proof do you have that there is no Biblical God?
We (atheists) ain't gotta have a proof. All of us were human beings who were born knowing nothing about how they were found, knowing nothing but nature.. then religion came to tell us there is someone who created us and controls us. Who has to have a proof then?! The Atheist or the religious? if you give me a LOGICAL reason why there is a God then you win! but i, i just gotta explain the theory of evolution and nothing else.

xenoview's picture
necromancy at work.

necromancy at work.

Jonathan Sprayberry's picture
Woo! Answering in 2017!

Woo! Answering in 2017!

My Answer to Questions About Atheism:

So I have a few questions about Atheism for a project I'm doing. Can anybody answer any/all of these??? Thanks!!

1. What exactly do you mean by "I am an Atheist"?

Hi! I am Jonathan Sprayberry, and I am quite the irreligious heathen. That is a great question to begin with, very direct and to the point.

When I say "I am an atheist." what I am conveying with that statement is that I have not found sufficient evidence to merit or compel placing my belief in the existence of deity.

2. What is Atheism by definition?

Another great question! This one is good for more than one reason; on the one hand, this simplifies the discussion by bringing everyone to the same speaking terms, but on the other hand I am afraid that the dictionary definitions sometimes miss out or come up short

Webster ably defines "atheism" as: "a person who does not believe in the existence of a god or any gods :  one who subscribes to or advocates atheism."

Oxford, however, states "Disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods." - more clearly clarifying it as a "mass noun", meaning it has unnumbered definitions from which to draw, and this is true as atheists come in many types.

3. Can you simplify the definition of Atheism so anyone would understand?

Sure!

Atheism in a nutshell is the absence of a belief in deity. Don't ascribe to a deity? Then you're an atheist!

4. What compelled you to become an Atheist? (feel free to skip this if its too personal.)

I don't mind answering this at all.

For me, the first question that rocked my faith was finding out that there was a dichotomy between faith and reason. Such a thing has never occurred to my then-16 year-old brain.

I rejected faith as a way of coming to knowledge almost instantly when I read about how faith is not equivalent to knowledge, nor is it a reliable means of coming to knowledge.

From that point of rejecting the use of faith as a prefix to belief, it was only a matter of time until I realized that I was an atheist at 25.

Due to my isolated and cloistered situation, I had actually not even heard the word "atheist" until I found the Dogma Debate podcast. By the time I finished the first episode, I knew that I was an atheist, because nothing else made sense, and the absence of gods in the universe did make sense to me.

5. Do you know about the Biblical God?

Yes, I am intimately familiar with Abraham's god Yahweh.

6. What do you know of the Biblical God?

It is described in multiple ways, but a summary is that it is an magical anthropomorphic immortal creator-deity.

7. Can you explain evolution to me?

Sure!

Evolution is summarized as "descent through inherent modification". Meaning that every time a DNA-based living thing reproduces, during and part of that process is not only the passing on of genetic material, but also the changing of that material.

These changes are entirely incidental, with no guiding process whatsoever except the increased chance of passing along specific material based on ancestry; meaning that the more a trait is successfully passed on, the more dominant it becomes in a gene pool.

Over time, certain traits make cousin groups distinct from one another as they change from their basal forms, grow apart geographically, and inevitably differ genetically until they can no longer produce viable offspring. That is called "speciation".

8. Can you LOGICALLY explain evolution to me?

I certainly can.

The Logic of Evolution is as follows:

-DNA lifeform
-Must reproduce to survive.
-During reproduction, unguided changes occur
-Genetic changes accumulate over time
-Different genetic changes in different lineages of same basal groups results in speciation.

9. Tell me about the missing link in human evolution.

Fantastic question!

In short, the "missing link" is no longer missing. It just isn't; and it has been filled in since before Charles Darwin even died, in the form of the discovery of the Lucy skeleton. Genus "Australopithecus afarensis".

Scientists have successfully filled in enough of the gaps between modern man, our contemporary ape cousins, and our ancestral basal divergence point that we no longer need anymore information in order to rationally come to that satisfied conclusion.

10. How did life start?

Wonderful!

The beginning of life is a relevant discussion to, but is not necessarily the same subject as evolution. Put simply, evolution is not a definition designed to explain the origin of life in the same way that a hammer is not the appropriate tool for a screw.

Biogenesis is still not fully understood, we aren't quite there yet, but we are very, very close.

11. How do we have DNA?

The simplest answer is that we have DNA because we ARE DNA. Without DNA we would not exist!

How DNA formed is still a matter that has not been concluded by science, but again, we are close.

12. If what you believe is true, that there is no Biblical God or god of any kind, then why do Atheists protest against religion so much?

Because religious people run religious groups and institutions that seek to control the world in accordance with the doctrine of their faith, and in so doing, they violate the freedom from religion.

13. What proof do you have that there is no Biblical God?"

I am afraid that marlin of an answer is far too long for this post, but suffice it to say that critical examination of the positive claims OF Yahweh do not pass evidentiary scrutiny in the ways one would expect to see if the existence of deity were true, and as Christopher Hitchens said:

"Positive claims require positive evidence, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and what can be asserted without evidence can do be dismissed without evidence."

Thank you for submitting your questions to Atheist Republic, your sincere inquiry is greatly appreciated!

Tighe Christian's picture
I just wanna do this, too,

I just wanna do this, too, but I guarantee it will look like everyone else's:

1. What exactly do you mean by "I am an Atheist"? - "I don't believe any god(s) exist.

2. What is Atheism by definition? - lack of belief in any god(s)

3. Can you simplify the definition of Atheism so anyone would understand? - Yeah, so if you said to me "do you believe in any of the gods that people think exist," I'd say "no."

4. What compelled you to become an Atheist? (feel free to skip this if its too personal.) Probably exactly the same thing that 'compelled' you to stop believing in Santa Claus. When you grow up and use your brain, you realize it's a ridiculous fairy tale.

5. Do you know about the Biblical God? Raised Catholic, 12 years of Catholic school and church on Sundays. Yeah, I'd say so.

6. What do you know of the Biblical God? He's a literary character who's half all-powerful deity, half constant screw-up, 100% vengeful and jealous and vindictive. He made the world, but screwed up and had to start over, and though he just *poof* made the world, to tear it down, he made an 800 year old man build a boat with no tools and round up a few MILLION animals so he could flood the planet with 40 days of rain. Then, in "take 2" of the world, people screwed it all up again, so then he turned himself into a man, went to earth, and got "killed" so he could then be "not killed" and then forgive everyone for screwing up. And he hates those gay people he made.

7. Can you explain evolution to me? Well, yeah, sorta, but I thought we were on religious topics?

8. Can you LOGICALLY explain evolution to me? That depends, do you mean "logically" like most non-critical thinkers mean it, as in "please don't use big words or make me do too much thinking, I want a really dumbed-down version"? or do you mean, "logically" as in "adhering to a rigorous set of rules that ensure consistency of knowledge and perspective"?

9. Tell me about the missing link in human evolution. Ok, well, I hope you have lots of time to....oh, no, wait, never mind: "there isn't one." How's that?

10. How did life start? I don't know, science doesn't really know, but many experts that have dedicated their lives to the idea may be getting close. Do you know?

11. How do we have DNA? The same way we have skin

12. If what you believe is true, that there is no Biblical God or god of any kind, then why do Atheists protest against religion so much? Because its adherents advocate harmful ideas and try to pass them off as 'well, God says so,' frequently restricting human rights, if not outright inflicting physical harm and/or death.

13. What proof do you have that there is no Biblical God? - Burden of proof logical fallacy. Yeah, I was pretty sure which definition you meant in #8. Have you disproven Russell's Teapot? Santa Claus? Zeus? Thor? C'mon, be honest, this isn't your "teacher," it's your pastor/minister/youth leader, whatever you want to call them.

Let me try to explain a bit of logic and critical thinking in a way you MAY understand. Pretend we have a courtroom trial, there is a murder case to be solved. The question is: "Is the defendant guilty?" Now, we have a mantra of "innocent until proven guilty," right? Why is that? Because we know that, generally, people do not commit murder and, specifically, for any one murder, virtually everybody on planet earth did NOT do it. To say we wouldn't start at "not guilty" is to say that we start at "everyone is guilty," which is ludicrous. We HAVE to start at "he didn't do it" for each one of those people, and we put them on trial and show EVIDENCE, and that evidence has to be CONVINCING and REAL. We don't bring people into court, show the jury a napkin that says "Fred says Bob did it" and call it a day.

So, if you are a juror on that trial, you MUST start at "I do not believe he is guilty," and then you wait to see if the evidence convinces you. If the evidence does NOT convince you, you will vote "not guilty." You don't vote "innocent," you may not be 100% sure he didn't do it, but without convincing evidence that he DID do it, you vote "not guilty." Now, imagine someone said to you, "well, if you say he's not guilty, then you must know who did it!" That's ridiculous. Just because you don't believe that one particular guy did it, does NOT mean you can solve the case. Or, another version, what if someone says, "but if vote that he's guilty, then that means the case is solved! If he's not guilty, then we still don't know!" Yeah, ok....so? Would you convict someone you didn't think was guilty just so you could say "but it's solved now"? Is it really "solved"?

This is what you're doing with this dishonest tactics. The atheist is a juror, and you've presented "I think this God is real." We've heard the evidence, listened to all your stories. Our answer: "nah.....I just don't buy it, sorry, I don't believe he exists." END of atheism.

Your science questions are the things that you desperately want to call "solved" with your god. Sorry, doesn't work that way. You're saying "but 'God' means all these things are solved!" Yeah, that's great to say, I guess...doesn't mean the evidence for your god is any better. The evidence that the defendant committed the murder isn't made stronger by the fact that his conviction will close the case.

Your problem is, you don't like saying or hearing "I don't know." Wherever it comes up, you say "god did it" and feel better. This is called the god of the gaps and it's been around for a long time, your excuse is nothing new. It's also not correct, and that's the bottom line. You're wrong.

Geno's picture
1. I do not believe in God.

1. I do not believe in God.

2. The lack of a belief in a god.

3. How much simpler can you get than the actual definition?

4. I was in 4th grade at the time and went to a Catholic school. Instead of doing my bible study like I was suppose to, I read through the bible and noticed several things that didn't seem right to me, such as contradicting sentences and things that are either frowned upon or illegal in our current society. From that point on, I renounced my religion and became an atheist.

5. See #4.

6. I know that he's pretty much a bad tempered serial killer that millions of people worship.

7. Over time, the genes of a species mutate. Sometimes it benefits the species, sometimes it hinders it, and sometimes it does absolutely nothing.

8. See #7

9. Google exists. Use it if you want to know that badly.

10. No idea.

11. I'm not a biologist. I don't know.

12. Because religion has a habit of imposing on those who don't agree with it.

13. The burden of proof lies with those making the claim. I'm just saying that I lack belief.

xenoview's picture
More Necromancy at work!

More Necromancy at work!

SecularSonOfABiscuitEater's picture
Corny joke of the day:

Corny joke of the day:

What do you call someone who gets paid to bring the dead back to life?

Necromancy at work!

Voltarian's picture
1 Part of my self-identity

1 Part of my self-identity includes an absence of a belief in God or gods
2 Atheism means 'not theism'
3 An absence of belief in the existence of God or gods
4 After a lifetime of searching I came to the indelible conclusion that metaphysics is a branch of epistemology that has no existential basis. It exists purely as the figment of anecdote
5 Yes
6 Christian upbringing
7 Yes
8 Yes
9 There is none. It is a figment of the creationist mindset
10 Nobody knows
11 DNA is the common factor in all life forms
12 Atheists focus no more on religion than theists focus on atheism
13 No more proof than theists have proof that there is a God or gods

I hope this helps your project and that it leaves you open to the probability that you might be wrong

van Uber's picture
1. What exactly do you mean

1. What exactly do you mean by "I am an Atheist"?
I don't believe in god(s)

2. What is Atheism by definition?
Merriam-Webster define it as: "a person who does not believe in the existence of a god or any gods : one who subscribes to or advocates atheism"

3. Can you simplify the definition of Atheism so anyone would understand?
Atheist is the opposite of a Theist. The first don't believe in god(s), the second do.

4. What compelled you to become an Atheist? (feel free to skip this if its too personal.)
I grew up. Seriously, that's what happened. Just as I lost faith in Santa, I lost faith in god. About the same time too.

5. Do you know about the Biblical God?
Yes.

6. What do you know of the Biblical God?
Quite a lot actually. God is quite vindictive and jealous in the early works. Becomes more compassionate later on.

7. Can you explain evolution to me?
Random mutation in combination with natural selection. The first part is random, the second part is not. Natural selection will produce the most adapt organism to its surroundings.

8. Can you LOGICALLY explain evolution to me?
It's a question of time. Every offspring is in some way different from its parent. There never is a perfect copy. The individuals with changes that gives the most benefit to reproduce (ie mature, attract partner, produce offspring), will have the best chance of passing their traits on to the next generation. Add a couple of million years and couple of hundred thousands of generations and you will see quite a big change from the first example to the last.

9. Tell me about the missing link in human evolution.
What missing link? When the theory was launched some 150 years ago, there were quite a few gaps and questions of human origin. Today we have a plethora of links, of newly discovered species classified as our ancestors. Thing is, for every new discovery we basically find two new missing links, because there will be a before and an after each find. Eventually, you might as well ask me about the missing link between me and my kids.

10. How did life start?
Don't know. But I think the hypotheses of Abiogenesis has a lot of merit.

11. How do we have DNA?
That's also a bit of an unknown. There are some hypotheses regarding the origins of DNA too. But I'm no expert in that particular field.

12. If what you believe is true, that there is no Biblical God or god of any kind, then why do Atheists protest against religion so much?
Do they? I guess that really depends on where you live. When Atheists protests it is almost exclusively because they feel their rights are being violated. Religious freedom includes the right from religion, to not have to abide by someone else's belif-system. So for example when people try to push legislation founded in a particular faith or when one faith is promoted or funded by the state, Atheists protests. And rightly so.

13. What proof do you have that there is no Biblical God?
None. But since there have not been any proof presented for the existence of a Biblical God i stay as an Agnostic Atheist. I simply take the same stance for every extraordinary claim, wether its Thor, Shiva, Allah, Yahweh or the Tooth Fairy.

Awrex's picture
1. What exactly do you mean

1. What exactly do you mean by "I am an Atheist"?

Means I don't believe there are ANY gods.

2. What is Atheism by definition?

Lack of belief in god or gods

3. Can you simplify the definition of Atheism so anyone would understand?

One who doesn't believe in a god or gods

4. What compelled you to become an Atheist? (feel free to skip this if its too personal.)

After spending many years looking for god, came to realize there just is no evidence.

5. Do you know about the Biblical God?

Aka the Christian god, spent over a decade looking for. So yes I would say I do.

6. What do you know of the Biblical God?

What's in the Bible.. petty, vengeful, contradictory, weak, etc.

7. Can you explain evolution to me?

Evolution is the natural process where beneficial mutations over time result in different species.

8. Can you LOGICALLY explain evolution to me?

See above..

9. Tell me about the missing link in human evolution.

Not sure about a missing link.. we have fossil records that show each hominid species to be unique but related.

10. How did life start?

Abiogenesis... No definite answer.

11. How do we have DNA?

Via base inorganic compounds.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK6360/

12. If what you believe is true, that there is no Biblical God or god of any kind, then why do Atheists protest against religion so much?

Because of the oppressive nature of religion, it's untruth, and detriment to society as a whole.

13. What proof do you have that there is no Biblical God?

The burden of proof lies with the one claiming there is a god/gods. Why does there have to be?

jimengel's picture
1. What exactly do you mean

1. What exactly do you mean by "I am an Atheist"?
(Greek) a (against, or without) theos (god). PERSONALLY... I mean a PRACTICAL atheist, though philosophically I must stop short at agnosticism.
2. What is Atheism by definition?
(See above) Without/against (the idea of) god.
3. Can you simplify the definition of Atheism so anyone would understand?
It would depend on the presuppositions - and how strongly they are held - of the individual. The epistemological basis of knowledge makes this a potential barrier.
4. What compelled you to become an Atheist? (feel free to skip this if its too personal.)
Reason/logic.
5. Do you know about the Biblical God?
Studied bible, biblical literature and history of religions. Taught Theology (general, comparitive, biblical, historical, systematic, etc.)
6. What do you know of the Biblical God?
(see above)
7. Can you explain evolution to me?
Yes (in general, non-scientific terms)
8. Can you LOGICALLY explain evolution to me?
Same as above
9. Tell me about the missing link in human evolution.
Transitional (missing) fossil evidence; not really relevant today.
10. How did life start?
Good question... multiple theories.
11. How do we have DNA?
Probably strongly correlated to the answer to above.
12. If what you believe is true, that there is no Biblical God or god of any kind, then why do Atheists protest against religion so much?
Lack of confodence, angst, confusion, ignorance, anger, etc.
13. What proof do you have that there is no Biblical God?
0

Pages

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.