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Atheism Myths and Misconceptions

Index of Myths

Exploring: Atheism > Atheism Myths

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There are numerous misconceptions about what atheism entails and who atheists are - not at all unsurprising, since even the basic definition of atheism is so misunderstood at times. Because we find people making these mistakes and assumptions in the forum, in the chat room and even in private email, it is important to address them and explain where they err.

Many of the myths and misconceptions addressed here will follow a similar pattern, exposing fallacious reasoning, faulty premises, or both. These arguments need to be identified as the fallacies they really are because that is the only way genuine arguments and dialogues can be made possible.

Note: because of some overlap in the nature of the different categories of myths below, you will find some of the myths appearing more than once.

Atheism & Christianity
This section of myths focuses upon the relationship between atheists & atheism and Christians & Christianity. Because atheists who debate the merits of theism tend to be debating Christianity and tend to focus upon the specific claims of Christianity, quite a few misunderstandings about atheists' attitudes towards Christianity can develop. Hopefully, a few of them will be dispelled here.

• Atheists are really anti-Christian
• You just want to attack God
• Atheists are bigoted against Christians

Atheism & Meaning
One of the most common complaints about atheism is that it must result in meaninglessness - specifically, in the meaninglessness of life. According to believers, there cannot be any meaning or purpose in life unless it is provided by God and/or religion. Atheists, lacking belief in any gods and generally lacking any religion, must therefore necessarily lack meaning in their lives.

• Atheism, Depression, & Meaning
• Atheists & Deathbed Conversions
• Atheism & Worship

Atheist Attitudes
Very often, believers object to atheism based upon the attitudes they ascribe to atheists. Believers commonly regard atheists to have a generally negative attitude about life, about the universe, about religion, and even about themselves. These attitudes, in turn, are believed to be the source for atheism itself - people who have bad feelings in life aren't likely to be open to the positive message that religion is thought to offer.

• You refuse to accept that you sin.
• You are so proud that you would never admit that you are wrong!
• What are you atheists so angry about?

Myths about Atheism and Religion

Atheism is just another religion.

Atheism is due to bad childhood experiences with false religions.

Everyone worships something, so atheists must have some god.

Atheists worship Satan.

Myths about Atheism & God

You choose to disbelieve in God.

Atheists hate God/Christians and that is why they claim not to believe.

You simply refuse accept authority or Divine rule

You actually know that God exists, but you are in denial for some reason.

You have just never tried to find God.

Myths about the Nature of Atheism

All atheists believe in "X."

You are an atheist so that you can do whatever you want.

How many people in Communist Russia and China have been killed because of atheism?

The only logical basis for atheism is to know everything - in other words, to be God!

You cannot prove that God doesn't exist; therefore, atheism is based on faith

Urban Legends about atheism

Dropped Chalk: did a university professor lose a bet with God?

There are no atheists in foxholes

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