There are no atheists. June 4, 2007Posted by Joe in agnosticism, atheism, belief, freethought, god, logic, religion, theism.
When someone tells me they are a Christian, I always believe them. No matter how odd I may find it to walk around thinking there is an omnipotent guy in the sky watching my every move (as if there was much worth watching) and actually caring what I do and say, I still believe when someone says they are a Christian that they really are. Who would know what they believe better than they?
Sometimes when I have told others that I am an atheist though, they have responded very oddly. They told me I wasn’t. They gave me some version of “there are no atheists.” They asserted that no one could truly walk around without believing there was a guy somewhere (whether the guy had to care or not they never specified.) This was always a conversation ender to me. How can I have a reasonable discussion with someone who won’t even believe that I myself know what I believe?
They didn’t believe I was lying. Just pulling their leg to get a good argument out of them and then laughingly spring on them that “I was just fooling” and “how could they be so silly to think that I didn’t believe in god?” N, no, they believed that I believed I was an atheist, but that “deep in my heart” I really new there was a god. Because everybody does, because god made sure of it. To them, an atheist is someone who is lying to themselves, who is denying that there is a god and pushing down feelings that tell them otherwise.
These are rare birds, thankfully. I think most believers would be honest enough to grant that there is room for legitimate doubt. Most people aren’t so arrogant as to believe not only that they are right, but that they are so right that everyone around agrees with them even if they claim not to. Some of us live in a bizarre world of our own creation.