Atheist (n) - one who believes that there is no deity
It is a simple definition. Webster uses 8 simple words to define this controversial term. Atheist. :shivers:
The very word causes most Americans to gasp and turn their noses up in disgust. We are the most hated group in America, and in my opinion, one of the least understood. To be an atheist simply means you do not believe in a god. We have no dogma, no scripture or sacred text, just a simple belief in no higher power. Being an atheist does not mean you believe in evolution. It does not mean you are a liberal, or a democrat. It does not mean you worship the devil. It does not mean you are anti-American or anti-military. It does not mean you are sad, depressed and devoid of all happiness and beauty. It does not mean you hate religion or religious people. It does not mean you are a scientist or accept scientific evidence of creation.
It simply means you do not believe in a deity.
Yes, many atheists believe in the Big Bang theory, evolution, and all of that. Some don't. Either way, these beliefs are irrelevant. When a person says they are an atheist, don't assume anything... except the 8 simple words listed at the top of this post. And don't gasp, it's rude. :)
Did you know that you are actually a non-believer as well!? I would like you to do something for me. Take a look at the list below. These are some of the world's major religions along with their important figures, concepts, and books. As you read the list, think to yourself "I don't believe in this because_________________" or "I do believe in this because __________________". Ready? GO!
1. Christianity - Jesus of Nazareth, God, The Bible
2. Islam - Mohammad, Allah, The 5 Pillars
3. Hinduism - The Four Vedic Books, Brahman, Reincarnation, Karma
4. Buddhism - The 4 Noble Truths / The Noble Eight-Fold Path, Nirvana, Buddha
5. Sikhism - Nanak, The Adi Granth
6. Judaism - Yahweh, The Torah
7. Baha'ism - Baha Ullah
8. Confucianism - Confucius, Analects, Cultivation of Virtue
9. Jainism - The 24 Tirthankaras, Mahavira / Jina
10. Shintoism - Kami, Kojiki / Nihon Shoki
See!? You are probably a non-believer for 9 of the above religions. I am a non-believer for all 10. What words did you use to discount your belief in Nanak? In Mahavira? I use those same words of disbelief for Jesus, Mohammad, and God.
Why are you a Christian? Is it because you were born in the USA and raised to love Jesus. If you were born in India and raised in the Indian culture, would you still be a Christian? Or would you feel just as strongly about Hinduism as you do about Jesus? By a twist of coincidence, you were born in the USA and raised in a predominantly Christian nation - that does not mean you are correct.
Educate yourself. Think. Ask questions. Remember that you are an atheist when it comes to every OTHER world religion, I just take it one step further.