Atheism Myths and Misconceptions
Index of Myths
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.
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.
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.
Myths about Atheism and Religion
Myths about Atheism & God
Myths about the Nature of Atheism
Urban Legends about atheism