In every theological discussion I hear or become a part of I seem to find myself inexorably mired in the same swampy mess. This usually consists of myself or others, in the atheistic minority, slagging slowly through the same tired misconceptions and arguments in an attempt to communicate rationally. I can not tell you how disheartening it all becomes. Why, it happens with such regularity I can catch a whiff of it coming from a mile off, usually before I have finished reading the second posting of yet another Christian apologist professing to appreciate the chance to openly discuss their differences in perspective. Let me attempt to sum this up, at least from my point of view.
Atheism is not a religion!
1) I attend no weekly service.
2) I practice no dogmatic rituals.
3) I do not presume to foist my personal opinions off on every person I meet regardless of what they think or feel.
4) I do not take offense when my beliefs are challenged.
5) I do not live in fear of hell-fire or damnation.
6) I do not presume to know everything nor be an authority on any subject.
7) I am perfectly capable of maintaining a high-moral standard without a God.
8) I was not coerced into not believing in God.
9) I did not suffered any dire circumstances that turned me against God, as I do not see any evidence that there even is one.
10) I do not worship Satan, a Christian based mythological being of which there is also no evidence.
11) I have faith without religion or God.
12) I experience love, awe, and wonder…all without God.
13) I do not care if you do believe in God.
14) I do not hate Christians or any other believers that aren’t committing atrocities against others in the name of their God.
15) I do care if you try to rule over me using your God as an excuse.
16) I do find some value in the Bible.
17) I do not believe creationism or intelligent design are, in any way, scientific.
18) I don’t feel a need to fill gaps in my understanding or knowledge with an excuse like, “God did it!”
19) I do believe we have a choice.
20) I am happy.
21) My children are happy.
22) I do support a secular government.
23) I do care about what the future holds for everyone.
24) I am not in need of your prayers nor your intervention.
25) My life is full of purpose and meaning.
26) Lastly, not knowing what will happen after I die does not upset me, I will cross that bridge when I get to it.
I most certainly can not claim to be speaking for all the atheists on the planet, but I can hope that will clear things up for a few people.