No one asks this question enough.
The reason no one asks this a lot is that most people have preconceived ideas about what an Atheist is and is not. Where these preconceived ideas come from varies, but they tend to evolve from theistic influences or other sources.
Atheism usually defined incorrectly as a belief system. Atheism is not a disbelief in gods; it is a lack of belief in gods. Older dictionaries define Atheism as “a belief that there is no God.” Many dictionaries also define Atheism as “wickedness,” “sinful,” and other nasty adjectives. Clearly, Christian influence taints dictionaries. People cannot trust these dictionaries to define Atheism. The fact that dictionaries define Atheism as “there is no God” betrays the Christian influence. If it were a general religious influence, it would read, “There are no gods.”
Why should Atheists allow theists to define who Atheists are? Do other minorities allow the majority to define their character, views, and opinions? No, they do not. So why does everyone expect Atheists to lie down and accept the definition placed upon them by the world’s religious groups? Atheists will define themselves.
Atheism is not a belief system nor is it a religion. Atheism may be a part of individual’s religious beliefs, but the Atheism, of and by itself, is not a belief or religion. (NOTE: Religious belief does not require a god. One out of three religions is Atheistic in nature in that it does not have a god or deity in its belief system.)
The only common thread that ties all Atheists together is a lack of belief in gods and supernatural beings. Some of the best debates I have ever had have been with fellow Atheists. This is because Atheists do not have a common belief system so Atheists often disagree on many issues and ideas.Atheists come in a variety of shapes, colors, beliefs, convictions, and backgrounds. We are as unique as our fingerprints.
As you go through the rest of the Q & A, you will get a lot more clarification on the question, “What’s an Atheist?”
Keep in mind that the answers to the Q & A are my personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of all Atheists.