Questions about Atheism and Atheists
What do atheists believe - do they believe in anything at all? Are atheists just rebels? Are they going through a phase? There are lots of questions about atheism and atheists regarding the beliefs which go along with atheism. Many would would never occur if people understood atheism better; nevertheless, because they come up so often they deserve to be answered.
Tell me, how can someone/you believe in NOTHING?
This particular question is based upon a misunderstanding of what atheism is. Many theists seem to think that atheists don't believe in anything at all - evidently, we have no goals, no ideals, and no beliefs whatsoever.
Belief vs. Disbelief
People's misunderstanding about the nature of atheism can sometimes be traced to a misunderstanding about the nature of disbelief. Is disbelief in an idea the same as believing that the idea isn't true?
Aren't you just rebelling against your family, your church, and/or society?
There is a common perception that atheists are people who are simply looking for some way to rebel. Perhaps they are rebelling against a religious family; perhaps they are rebelling against a church which has made too many demands upon them; perhaps they are rebelling against a society which they regard as overly restrictive.
Is atheism just a phase you are going through?
This sort of question is asked much more often of young atheists than of adults, perhaps because young people do go through a number of "phases" during which they explore various ideas, philosophies, and positions.
Do People Choose to be Atheists?
Many theists argue that people "choose" to be atheists and, hence, will be held accountable for such a (sinful) choice. But is atheism chosen? Are any beliefs chosen at all?
Why do you think you are right?
Yes, it is true that smarter people than I have accepted theism and religion - but so what? Smarter people than you have rejected your brand of theism and your brand of religion in favor of some other sort of theism and religion. Smarter people than you have rejected theism and religion entirely, leading an entirely atheistic and irreligious life. So what?
What if you are wrong and God exists?
Aren't you afraid of hell? Don't you worry about what might happen to you when you die?