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There is much controversy regarding the concept of atheism, considering that religious people are traditionally inclined to believe that it provides individuals with nothing to hope for and that it detaches them from the ethical sector of society. The fact that religions are organized makes it possible for followers to live in a constant state of planning, as they focus on acting in accordance with the legislations put across by their religion. People have even gone as far as to claim that life can be more difficult for individuals who do not believe in a divine force. Although it is difficult to determine whether atheism is better than theism, it is only safe to say that people should not discriminate on account of religious preferences.
One of the main reasons for which religious people are unsupportive when concerning atheism is the fact that they have a limited understanding of the concept. The modern society puts great emphasis on freedom and on peoples' right to choose. As a consequence, individuals express more or less interest in following particular religious ideas. Atheism is not new, considering that it exists ever since the early ages and has progressed alongside of religion. "For example, philosophers of the ancient world such as Epicurus and Lucretius were nonbelievers, 2 and leading thinkers of the Enlightenment such as Baron d'Holbach and Diderot were professed atheists" (Martin, 1990, p. 3). There are numerous atheists in the world today and they are present in virtually every country. It is believed that approximately 21% of all the people in the world are nonbelievers (Martin, 1990, p. 3). Even with this, considering that surveys are normally performed in controlled environments, it is very probable that the number of atheists is actually larger. Also, the fact that most surveys demand that the answerer responds by saying yes or no means that only tough atheists put across their convictions while hesitant atheists are inclined to refrain from expressing their true beliefs. Being a part of a religious community makes it difficult for an individual to be able to declare his or her atheism, as he or she is pressured by the others in sharing beliefs.
The masses often express interest in wanting to know how it feels like to be an atheist. However, this is one of the biggest mistakes that they can possibly do as they try to understand atheism. Religion does not necessarily have to govern one's life and the respective person's thinking. An atheist and a religious individual can have similar goals in life and can behave the same, the only difference being the fact that the former does not want to follow a particular religious cult. Atheists are generally perceived as being 'weird' or as being insensitive, considering that people associate them with soulless beings that are only focused on performing the most basic things.
One of the most frustrating matters regarding atheism is the fact that atheists are not only discriminated by the masses, as they are also seen with prejudiced eyes by circles that are more intellectual. "Not only is atheism a false view, it is said, but atheists are immoral, atheistic morality is impossible, and life is absurd or meaningless or worthless if atheism is true"(Martin 4).
In order to have an objective understanding of both theism and atheism, a person needs to refrain from considering beliefs promoted by either. He or she needs to leave from the premise that people are equal and that every individual is entitled to choose whether or not he or she wants to be religious. When looking at matters from an impartial viewpoint a person is likely to observe that individuals are vulnerable to employing discriminatory attitudes. It is difficult to live in the modern society without expressing any interest in following a certain religion, given that one is subjected to intense pressure throughout his or her life and feels that he or she actually needs to abandon atheist principles in order to be able to successfully integrate society.
Theists are typically determined to demonstrate that a divine force does, in fact, exist and they can come up with a great deal of information to support their beliefs. One of the concepts most often associated with theism is the belief that it is impossible for the world to have appeared without the intervention of a more powerful force that humanity has trouble understanding. Evolution is generally disregarded in religious circles, considering that it stands directly against the argument of design. It is difficult for religious individuals to accept a theory that refutes most ideas put across by religion through the years.
Theism is all around and atheists are probable to consider that they should convert to a particular religion whenever they feel that they are vulnerable. The loss of a close person makes it difficult for someone to see life similar to how he or she perceived it before. He or she is likely to try to find meaning in everything that happens and when he or she comes across concepts that he or she cannot explain, he or she is probable to feel that religion is the only domain that can provide an explanation. "We typically feel the need for comfort and support when we and our loved ones are victims of these evils which are commonly, and for the theists accurately, called 'acts of God'" (McCloskey 1968, 67).
The fact that theists believe in God makes it difficult for them to understand things or to even try to understand them. Science is normally considered to be the opposite of religion because it focuses on explaining events and on making things as clear as possible. In contrast, religious people can easily be influenced in expressing little to no interest in trying to understand a particular concept simply because they believe that the respective concept is God's work and that it cannot be understood. If all people were to employ such an attitude as they interacted with the world, society would have experienced far lesser progress and people would generally be reluctant to try to understand how things work. From the perspective of religious people, matters that seem unexplainable should not necessarily be analyzed with the purpose of coming up with an explanation. When 'God' is the answer to everything, it seems less important to adopt an exploratory attitude. Darwin's evolutionary theory would not have emerged if the scientist were to refrain from trying to see things from a different point-of-view. If he were to believe that it is useless to try and explain how humanity started because the Bible already claims that it all started from Adam and Eve, the present-day society would have had a less complex understanding of the world. The ability to doubt is one of the principal benefits that religion destroys, considering that religious people believe that it essential for them to act in accordance with laws set by ancient scriptures and that it would be wrong for them to try and search for an alternative perspective regarding life and the world (Hecht, 2003, p. 50).
Atheists make full use of the ability to doubt, considering that they doubt a series of concepts and are generally reluctant to accept something as being true as long as the person who promotes the respective concept does not have proof to support his or her claims. Atheists think rationally and believing in nothing is the only rational solution in a situation where theists cannot produce solid arguments to support their thinking. For atheists, theists cannot prove their method of thinking, as they can simply put across their convictions and hope that someone expresses no interest in trying to verify them (McCloskey 1968, 67
In spite of the fact that they are not religious, most…[continue]
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