Religion in Society

Top 10 Misconceptions About Atheists

| by John W Loftus
Let me correct some of the most egregious misconceptions believers have about us, in reverse order:

10) We don’t eat or molest babies. Nor do we agree with what allegedly atheist dictators did in the past century. Over-all we are good people. All you need to do is personally know one of us to see this. I have no doubt but that you probably already know an atheist. It’s just that you don’t give that person the freedom to tell you in this Christian dominated culture. I wish more atheists would “come out of the closet” because of this.

9) We do not worship the devil. We do not think he exists.

8) We do not fear threats of hell. So why make them? Christians don’t fear any threats of hell coming from Muslims. So why threaten us? The fact that you do shows us you’d rather see us burn in hell. That’s some Christian compassion in action!

7) We don’t claim to know more than God. We don’t think he exists. We do think that if God existed he could have done a much better job with this world though.

6) We don’t claim to be better than God. We don’t think he exists. We do think that if God existed he doesn’t appear to be good.

5) We don’t hate God nor are we angry with he/she/it. Again, we don’t think he exists. We can be angry with what believers do in the name of God though.

4) We do not agree with each other about a host of other ideas. But we all agree that a god probably doesn’t exist.

3) We don’t claim to know with certainty that a god of some kind doesn’t exist. Not even Richard Dawkins or Victor Stenger thinks it’s impossible that a god of some kind exists (I heard them both say as much in debates). We do think the God hypothesis is unnecessary and irrelevant to life though.

2) We don’t have faith nor a religion. We base our conclusions on the available evidence. We do not take a leap of faith beyond those probabilities. And since to have a religion one must believe in supernatural beings and forces, we cannot be labeled as religious in any meaningful sense.

1) We are not a minority. In one sense, depending on how you categorize people, we are all minorities in some group or another. But we are the second largest denomination in America. Depending on how we define an atheist (if we include agnostics who are atheists with regard to supernatural beings and forces) we may even be upwards to 24% of the population. So says this poll. Worldwide we represent third place among the world religions, even though we're not religious.