But, but... 'Belief'? I thought atheists don't believe at all. But to deny the existence of a deity figure(s) according to you requires belief. But atheists deny that it's a belief...
This is not facetious, this is mind boggling to me.
To me, to an outsider here, who isn't sure about any of this, when I listen to Atheists claiming that they are sure that there is no God, and have all sorts reasons as to why, sounds very much like a belief system. And to say that Atheism don't have 'baggage' that other 'religions' have is bull pucky. Walk up to an Atheist and ask them politely about why they agree with it and really listen to what they say, rather than how, and you will see that it is as full as personal life experiences and choices and beliefs as any properly worshipped religion.
Atheism is as much a religion as Christianity to me. Which, in my eyes, as long as it's respectful, is worthy of my ear and respect. Whether or not I personally agree with it.
I'm addressing this first because it struck me dumb for a minute there.
Let's look at belief:
something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.
confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof: a statement unworthy of belief.
confidence; faith; trust: a child's belief in his parents.
a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith: the Christian belief.
Only one of those has spiritual or religious overtones. The rest are all completely secular, you do not have to equate belief with religion/spirituality. Anymore than you do with the word 'faith.' I believe that people are good, I believe that my loved ones will be there for me, I believe that I will do whatever I can for them as well. This has nothing to do with any spiritual overtones, none. I detest that so many, including some of my fellow atheists, feel the need to avoid this word for that reason.
Yes, life experiences bring someone to atheism, just as it brings someone to a political or behavioral standpoint. Yet the logic remains true, there is no conclusive, concrete (or anything resembling it) evidence of a higher power. This, again, is the one and only real statement of atheism, that there is no proof of a higher power. Only the most cocksure and in my opinion, arrogant and incorrect atheists will stand right up and say, "there is definitely no god." Most fall into agnostic-atheism, that there is no proof.
Personally, I don't get atheism. To not believe in anything... to solidly believe that when we die, we just blink out into nothingness, well just thinking about that possibility depresses the hell out of me. If that's true, it means that life is meaningless and nothing we do matters.
I can't believe that.
Many people slip into that when the idea comes to them, we're raised in a world where almost everyone around us believe our consciousness goes on. It's a common human need to believe that we're important, important enough that not even death can stop us. We have to be important enough to go on afterwards right?
For the record, meaningless? Of course it's meaningless, inherently. Yet, we have minds don't we? The ability to discern and decide, to reason and to choose. So why not choose to give your life meaning? Why does there have to be some higher power to give your life meaning? My life has meaning because I have given it meaning, I strive to give it meaning everyday of my life and will not stop with that. Atheism is not the end of meaning, it is not pointless existence swirling around in a void of cold nothingness until all sinks into decay. (That's pure Nihilism)
You make your own life, you make this one life your paradise, or your perdition and you shape the world around you by your actions. You shape your own life, and those around you. I don't know about you, but I don't need
an afterlife or a god to make my life meaningful, to feel love and a need to be a good person. I choose to be a good person, and I have all the love I could need and then some, from those around me, they are all I need. Not some sky deity, not a holy book, nothing will ever, ever
compare to the people in my life, the people whom I love, cherish and hold above all else.