Are Atheists Satanists?

This statement is one of the most ridiculous things anyone could say to an atheist and amazingly it is one of the most common statements made to atheists.

The ridiculousness of the statement is easy to identify. Atheists lack belief in gods and supernatural beings. Satan is a supernatural being. Therefore, atheists lack belief in Satan.

In order to be a Satanist one must believe in Satan. Atheists do not believe in Satan or his alter ego. Satanists believe in Satan and his alter ego. Christians believe in Jesus/Yahweh and their alter ego, Satan. Out of Atheists, Christians, and Satanists, only two believe in Satan: Christians and Satanists. If Christians believe in Satan, does that not make them Satanists? NOTE: Satanism, in its true roots is not the worship of Satan, but the worship of “self” or “ego”. Many people when they think of Satanists have images of “Hollywood Satanism” embedded in their minds. I am using the belief in Satan because Christians actually think of him in this manner.

The usual response I get from this comparison is one of disgust when the Christian realizes they are being associated with their interpretation of Satanists (even though it is clearly facetious and sarcastic). This is actually rather humorous considering the Christian was not worried about associating atheist with Satanism. Do not throw insults if you do not want that insult thrown back at you.

It amazes me that people actually think that Atheists worship Satan. We don’t believe in him, either!

Churches have done a wonderful job of informing believers that atheists are in league with Satan. This actually comes from a statement made by Jesus in the Bible to the effect of “if you are not with me then you are against me.”

“Anyone that is not for God is against him” is usually the way it is phrased. I hear that line a lot. As an Atheist, I am neither for nor against God, because he does not exist. While it often becomes necessary to “attack” the god or gods in order to support arguments that does not mean I am against gods. I only use the irrationality, errors, contradictions, and inconsistencies of the gods to help shine light on the bigger picture of irrational belief in the gods themselves.

Another fallacy of the Satanism argument is that Satan was not the alter ego of God until apologetics needed to take the explanation of evil away from God.

Before monotheism, there were many gods and there was usually a god to explain the evil and bad happenings of this world: gods of the underworld, gods of darkness or gods of the demons. When monotheism evolved then all happenings, good and bad, fell upon the single god. The single god was responsible for good and evil, birth and death, hate and love, and every other pro and con you can think of.

Where does the Old Testament mention Satan? In addition, what is his role when mentioned?

The first mention of Satan in the Bible is in I Chronicles 21:1, which says, “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.”

Satan convinces David to conduct a census of those “who drew the sword.” Joab, the one assigned by David to get the numbers, miscounted by two people (he purposely left out Levi and Benjamin). Because of this and the act of conducting the census, God gave David the choice of three punishments; three years of famine, three months of being defeated by his enemies or three days of “the sword of the Lord”, which was “the plague of the land, with the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.”

David chose the punishment of three days and God killed 70,000 Israelites through plague and destroyed Jerusalem.

Maybe it is just me, but who did the most evil and immoral thing in this story? Satan is guilty of convincing David that he needed to know how strong his army was. God killed 70,000 people and destroyed a major city.

How did God make David personally pay for the heinous sin of counting his armed forces? God made David build an alter in a building owned by a man named Ornan, who was a Jebusite. Luckily for David, Ornan the Jebusite let David have the building at no cost and he even gave David the oxen and other stuff for the sacrifice upon the alter.

How is Satan the bad person in this story? I do not see it. The supposedly good God that Christians and Jews believe in performs the only evil deeds performed in this story.

The suffering inflicted upon Job by Bible-Satan at the Bible-God’s behest is a prime example of biblical immorality and the cruel nature of religion and its gods.

The next mention of Satan is in the book of Job. Satan arrives at a gathering of “the sons of the Lord” and God asks him if he has considered Job, who God seems to think is the cream of the crop of believers and those that conduct the required sacrifices at the right time and place. Satan says that if God punishes Job that Job will bad-mouth God. Therefore, God gives Satan permission to mess with Job.

The first thing Satan does is have raiders steal his five hundred oxen and five hundred donkeys and slay the servants tending over them – leaving only one servant alive that could tell Job what happened.

Then Satan burned Job’s seven thousand sheep (the messenger said it was the “fire of God from Heaven”) and killed all the servants except the one that could tell Job what happened. Then Satan sent more raiders to kill Job’s three thousand camels and all the servants tending them except one allowed to tell Job what happened. Then Satan sends a great wind to destroy the house of Job’s children and the house killed them as it collapsed.

Job stood his godly ground and said a prayer to God at hearing this news – he wept none or was angry none – the only thing he did was shave his head and rip off his robe and prayed naked.

However, God was not satisfied. The next time the “sons of the Lord” convene God gives Satan permission to mess with Job directly – to harm his physical body but not kill him. Therefore, Satan gives Job boils over his entire body.

Okay, so again, where is the evil coming from in this story? Satan is doing the dirty work, but he is doing it at the behest of God and with his full permission. Satan is not God’s arch-rival in Job – Satan is God’s helper; the Godfather’s hit man out on a contractual hit.

Another mention of Satan comes in Psalm 109:6, but in many translations the word is “an accuser” and not Satan. The majority of the Bible dictionaries and scholar notes list this as “an adversary” – not as Satan.

The next mention of Satan is in Zechariah 3:1-2, which is where the Lord actually rebukes Satan and says that Jerusalem rebukes Satan.

There is no mention of “Devil” in the Old Testament (KJV). The only mention of “Lucifer” is in Isaiah 14:13 (KJV), which is where Lucifer is the name of the Day Star – not the name of Satan or the Devil.

Christians attribute Satan with the Original Sin and the downfall of humans from the Garden of Eden and the Tree of Knowledge. Yet nowhere in Genesis does it say that Satan was the serpent. The Garden of Eden story, specifically where the doctrine of Original Sin comes from, never mentions Satan.

The bottom line is that the church could not blame their “loving” God for acts of terrorism (both natural and fabricated). They had to have a scapegoat to blame all the evil. Satan was transformed by the early Christian church from God’s right-hand-man into the alter ego of God with the same power and abilities. Satan became a god and Christianity became a polytheistic religion. Of course, you will never get a Christian to admit that Satan is a deity.

Where were we? Oh yeah, I am not a Satanist.

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Do Atheists Avoid Religious Events?

I certainly cannot speak for all Atheists on this matter. I have met Atheists from one side of the spectrum to the other.

I think it is safe to expand this beyond funerals and weddings to include all religiously orientated events that also serve as social functions. This includes christenings, baptisms, weddings, funerals, church musicals, religious memorial services, potluck dinners, and other events where friends and family members are involved in a church function.

My personal rule is that I will participate in these events if someone invites me, with exceptions. When I do participate, I do it with the utmost respect. I also attend these functions without compromising my personal convictions. An action-movie buff does not compromise his love of action movies if he attends a “chick flick.”

I guess the question about whether or not Atheists celebrate Christmas equally addresses this issue. Why should religion monopolize all the good parties and holidays? After all, what is a wedding but a huge party that has an opening prayer?

I think Atheists that absolutely refuse to attend any of these types of events are missing out in important parts of the lives of their friends and family members. These Atheists are letting their friends and family know that they are not important. Regardless of the reasons, an Atheist decides to sit the function out, the family and friends see it as a form of rejection.

I can certainly understand refusing to attend events where proselytizing is the ultimate goal. I would not attend a Bible study group or tent revival if a friend or family member asked me. The proper response in those cases is not condemnation or insults. The best approach is to tell the person, “I appreciate the offer, but I’ll have to decline. I would feel too uncomfortable there. I hope you have a good time, though!”

That lets them know that you are not rejecting them personally. That is important to people, Atheist or not.

Weddings:

I won’t skip the wedding of a family member or friend just because it is religious.

When I attend religious weddings, I do it for the love of the person getting married. If the wedding is overly religious then I just deal with it. If it is a Catholic wedding I will not do the “sit-stand-kneel” portion of any prayer or sermon, but I will sit quietly and respectfully. I do not pray when they pray: I sit quietly and respectfully. I do not sing hymns when they sing hymns: I remain quiet and respectful and if they stand, I will remain seated quietly. I am not there for the religious show: I am there to support my friend or family member. I am there to show them that my personal beliefs and convictions do not interfere with my love and respect for them.

Besides, weddings are fun. Once the religious part of the wedding is over the fun begins. The mood itself is romantic and emotional. Everyone is happy and full of joy. It is a happy time for everyone: religious or not. We cannot forget the post-wedding traditions, either. There is a lot to say for fun and entertainment at a wedding reception. You can dance, talk, eat, and enjoy the friendship of people. You can meet new people and perhaps even start a romance of your own.

The atmosphere at a wedding is usually not overly religious, anyway. The preacher giving the sermon is just a mouth that is making noise and after a while, everyone tones the preacher out. I know that at my wedding (it was religious because of my wife’s parents) I did not hear a word the preacher said. I was so oblivious to what he was saying that he had to ask me twice to “repeat after me.” How many people actually listen to what the preacher is saying? The couple is usually lost in each other’s eyes (as my wife and I were) and the attendees are watching the couple more than they are listening to any sermon.

The atmosphere is festive and joyful. The atmosphere is romantic. The atmosphere can even be sexy, especially at the reception.

Then there is the beauty of weddings. Religiosities aside, many wedding ceremonies are beautiful. Flowers, drapes, decorations, silk gowns, tuxedos, and other elaborate decorations make for a pleasant sight for the eyes.

The ceremony itself can be beautiful, as the couple says their vows and kisses, or as they walk off after the preacher or JOP introduces them as husband and wife. Weddings come in such a variety that each one is unique and offers something new for the senses.

Many weddings make use of stunning and vibrant colors. The wedding ceremony of Hindus can be incredible. Your senses feel overwhelmed with vibrant color, incense, food, laughter, and joy. If you have never watched a Hindu wedding, I highly recommend it.

Pagan weddings can be wonderful, as well. What better setting is there for a wedding than somewhere in nature’s grandeur? Even non-Pagan weddings performed outside can be especially joyful. Who does not dream about having a wedding like the one in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves? Flower petals are falling from the trees onto the wedding party, items from nature accessorize everyone, the wind is blowing softly, and the birds are providing the music? It is a fairy-tale wedding that many people dream about; even Atheists. A wedding does not have to be religious to be beautiful or meaningful.

Baptisms:

Adults making the baptismal choice is one thing, but baptizing children is immoral and unethical.

I have not attended any baptisms because no one has invited me to one. Of course, I attended my baptism, but that was for show and to complete a facade in order to gain the favor of my soon-to-be father-in-law, but that is another story

If an adult friend or family member asked me to attend his or her baptism, I would go. He or she is asking me because it is an important event in their life. I would go because it is important to them. I would go to show them that my personal convictions and my Atheism do not affect our friendship; what is important to them is also important to me.

Attending a baptism for an adult friend or family member is not a compromise of an Atheist’s convictions. Will you convert to Christianity by attending a baptismal ceremony? You are not there to be converted or to get baptized; you’re there to support your friend or family member at this important part of their life: even if you think it is absolutely ridiculous.

Of course, if your friend asks you to be baptized then that is another issue.

If the baptism is for a child, I will not attend. I think baptizing a child into a religion is wrong. How can you baptize someone that has no knowledge of the religion or has not had the chance to arrive at his or her own conclusion? How can a baby accept Christ as his personal savior? How can a 12-year-old that has no experience or enough knowledge about religions accept Jesus and all the baggage that comes with him?

As I often point out to Christians that are considering baptizing their children: all the people that John the Baptist dipped into the River Jordan were adults.

Funerals:

What ever happened to the real funeral party? One would think that with the religious view that the deceased goes on to a better place that a funeral would be a more festive and celebratory event. Why are they not?

Death is depressing enough without religion making it more depressing.

They are not festive because even with the consoling psychological crutch of an after-life, it is still human to grieve and be saddened. It is still human to want the person to come back and to need closure.

People need a funeral to say goodbye. Religion is just a byproduct of that. If anything, attending a funeral service will remind you of one more of the many reasons that you left religion in the first place.

You do not have to be a religionist to offer your condolences, sympathies or to offer a shoulder for someone to cry on and lay their head. Even Robert Ingersoll, the Great Infidel, attended funerals.

Yes, funerals can be depressing. It can be depressing to see all these people grieving over the loss of someone. It can be depressing to see all these people seeking solace in an afterlife to make him or her feel better. It can be depressing to listen to remembrances and eulogies. It can be depressing to see everyone dressed in black.

The last funeral I attended I wore khaki pants and a blue and white stripped shirt with tennis shoes. I will attend a funeral, but I am not going to wear all black. What is the point? I do not see black as the color of grieving. I was surprised when I got there to see that many people were not wearing black. Even a few of the close family members were dressed more casually and not wearing black. It is good to see that ridiculous tradition going away.

Remember that you do not have to stay for the entire affair. Go and offer your condolences and let the friends and family know that you care. Let them know that you are there for them if they need you. They need physical support from friends and family, not from some imaginary man in the sky. You are the tangible support that they will actually need. Let them know they can count on you if they need your help.

Conclusion:

Go out, have fun, and support your friends and family. Your show of support is more important than your brief period of feeling uncomfortable during a prayer or religious speech. Just keep in mind that after the “service” there will be opportunities for great conversation, fun, and even parties.

There are limitations, of course. I would be reluctant to attend a religious social event at a radical church like the Assembly of God. I can handle a small sermon before a social event and a couple of prayers, but the waving of hands and the “happy Jesus dance” are a little too much for me. Any religious event with talking in tongues, handling of snakes, drinking of arsenic, or burning of books is not a religious event I would attend.

Of course, I would not attend any religious social event put on by a cult or deviant church. In other words, you would not find me at any service where people like Rev. Phelps, Pat Robertson, or Jerry Falwell attended.

Ultimately, you have to weigh your commitment to your friends and family with the degree in which you would be uncomfortable. You also have to consider your personal moral convictions and scruples.

Would you attend the church musical that your neighbor’s daughter is in if invited? What church is holding the performance? Is the musical at the end of a regular service? Can you arrive after the service just to see the musical?

Would you attend the ordination ceremony a friend that just graduated from seminary? What are the pros and cons? How deep is your friendship, love, or respect? Does the ceremony violate any ethical standards that you have? Is your friend getting his ordination to preach for the Army of God?

Only you can ultimately decide. If you leave here with two bits of information let them be these; 1) you know yourself best and you know your own limitations, and 2) don’t discount every religious service just because you are an Atheist – some of them can be a lot of fun and very entertaining. Besides, they will often help you remember why you are an Atheist in the first place.

Do Atheists Refuse to Believe In God?

I usually get this statement near the end of a discussion when the theist is running out of options. It is usually followed by “But everybody worships something! What do atheists worship?”

It is at this point that the theist is attempting to rationalize his or her beliefs by saying they are doing nothing more than what everyone else does. Everyone else is doing it, so why can I not?

Is that really such a good policy to live by? I know it is a last minute ditch to justify their beliefs, but come on people! We teach kids, “Just because little Johnny jumps off a bridge does that mean you should, too?” So why do theists, as adults, completely disregard their own teachings to their children?

There are no gods that atheists “refuse” to believe in. Many Atheists searched for a god and only found that a belief in gods was irrational and that defined gods did not logically exist.

I personally searched for a god and found that the belief in a god was irrational. It is not a refusal to believe in something real. It is a conclusion of lack a belief based on the evidence and research conducted.

One of the things that I constantly do is ensure that my conclusions are correct as new evidence, data, and knowledge become available. As new data comes in, I have to compare that new data to my current conclusions. Should my conclusion need modification because of the new evidence or data then I will do it.

What this means is that it will not take a miracle to make me a theist – it will just take solid evidence and the proper data for me to modify my current conclusion about theistic belief.

If there were any evidence that a god existed, then I would believe in that god. Of course, if evidence were available then it would not be an issue of belief – but of acceptance and conclusion.

The very word belief is indicative of the fact that belief is required in the first place. We can believe in many things – but knowing is much better.

Have Atheists Read the Bible?

I have read the Bible many times and most of the atheists that I know have read it, too.

The first time I read the Bible I was looking for answers and probably looking for a god. Ironically, the tool I used to find God that led me away. The Bible is full of contradictions, errors and inconsistencies.

Based on scientific evidence there was no way the Bible could be right. The acts of the Biblical God and the way the Biblical God behaved made me realize that Christianity (and Judaism indirectly) was not a good religion.

I checked out the Koran only to discover that Mohamed had stolen the idea for Islam from the Christianity, so Allah is just another version of the Christian and Jewish God. That is why we refer to their god as the JCI God (Judeo-Christian-Islamic) god.

I checked out Buddhism and realized that while it did not have a god (some Buddhists have elevated Buddha to godhood, but that is a sect of Buddhism) it was still too spiritual and “mystical”.

I checked out Hinduism only to find out that you had to believe in more than one god (at least more than one incarnation of a god). I was having a hard enough time believing in one, how in the hell was I going to manage more than one?

Been there…. done that…

The Bible is full of great stories, but that is all they are. Anyone who takes the account of the flood literally, while viewing and understanding the evidence against a global flood in the world around them, either is not completely in touch with reality or refuses to let go of their psychological need for faith. It is a blatant form of intellectual dishonesty.

There is absolutely no proof whatsoever that the global flood, as depicted in the Bible, ever happened. Tons of evidence says the global flood never happened. People believe in the Noachian flood on faith. They forsake the truth in order to keep the peace with their imaginary friend they call God. Whatever floats your boat (pun intended).

Bottom line is that most theists would be surprised to find out how many atheists there are because of the sacred texts of religions. It is the very thing that the theist worships that turned people away from that theistic belief. The rational and logical mind reading the irrational babble of delusional writers walks away thinking, “They want me to believe THAT?”

It is funny how theists think that atheists have never read the Bible, the Koran, or any other sacred text. We have read them and it was in reading them that our atheism was often founded or at least solidified.

There is a difference between reading the Bible and understanding the Bible. The majority of Christians do not understand the Bible nor do they know the history of the Bible and how it came to be. Most atheists that I know understand the Bible a lot better than Christians and can actually see what is in the Bible.

I have read the Bible (many times), the Koran, Torah, Bhagavad-Gita, Kabala, and many others.

The theist seems to think that if I read the Bible that I would not be an Atheist; as if the only reason I am an Atheist is that I have not heard the “Good News.” Theists seem to think that during my 30-plus years in America and overseas that I never heard about this Jesus fellow.

Can Atheists Prove God Does Not Exist?

That really depends on the god you are talking about.

When you start defining gods in human terms, which the vanity of humanity dictates will happen, then you begin to set up criterion that will make that god easy to dissect and prove that such a defined god does not exist. Intellectually, philosophically and theologically; one can easily prove a defined god does not exist. Start talking about undefined gods then I, like many others, have to claim agnosticism.

The reason one claims agnosticism when discussing proof of non-defined gods is because one cannot prove a negative. You cannot prove that something does not exist – only that it does. We will get into burden of proof in a bit. To be technically accurate, when proving a defined god does not exist, all you are doing is showing that the defined god cannot exist under those definitions; leaving a non-defined god in its stead.

What one has to look at is the likelihood of existence and not the absolute position of does or does not (in this respect agnosticism is the more appropriate position to take). How likely is it that said god exists? How likely is it that said god does not exist?

We can talk about possible gods and possibilities all day and get nowhere. We can talk hypothetical and “what if” until we are blue in the face. Until we start dealing in probability, facts, and raw data, we are accomplishing nothing. This is why the theist will never prove their gods exist – they cannot produce probability, facts, or raw data.

Man-made gods are easy to show as contradictory and therefore non-existent.

How does one prove a negative? How do you prove that Polka-dot unicorns do not exist? How do you prove that Leprechauns do not exist? Since you cannot prove a negative, it leaves you in the position of showing that the positive lacks merit, or the positive must prove that it exists. This is the burden of the theist – they have the positive so they are forced to find the proof; the burden of proof is on the theist.

Exceptional claims require exceptional proof. Theists make the exceptional claim that there is a god. That claim requires exceptional proof. Therefore, the burden of proof is on the theist and not the atheist.

Let us try an analogy to discuss the burden of proof:

Bert is a property owner and Ernie is a tenant. Ernie leaves the apartment complex without paying the rent and Bert takes Ernie to court to collect monies due. Whose responsibility is it to prove to the court that Ernie actually lived in the apartment and owes Bert money? Who is responsible for providing proof of Ernie’s residency in that apartment? Bert, as the property owner, is required to prove that Ernie lived there, and therefore, owes Bert money for rent past due. Ernie has no burden in proving that he did not reside as a tenant – he is not making the positive claim.

Let us look at another analogy to help understand what an exceptional claim is.

If I tell you that I have a poodle at home, do you have any reason to doubt me? Not really, because poodles are a common occurrence and many people have them as pets. This is a non-exceptional claim. Another example of a non-exceptional claim would be for me to say, “My grass is green and the sun will rise tomorrow morning.” There is nothing exceptional about that statement.

Would you believe in the levitating and psychic poodle?

If I told you that I had a levitating psychic poodle at home, what would you think? Would you have any reason to doubt me? You bet you would! I would have made the exceptional claim and I would have to prove that I had such a poodle at home. If you told me that I did not have such a poodle at home, and I demanded you prove that my poodle does not exist, would that make much sense? Of course, it would not. The burden of proof is on me, the one making the exceptional claim that I have a psychic and levitating poodle at home. It is not your task to prove me wrong.

Even in the court of law, prosecutors have the job of proving that the accused was there (existed) in the first place. The burden on the prosecutors is not to prove that the accused was not there (does not exist). The defense does not have to prove his client was not there either. The defense only has to state that the prosecution has not provided proof of such.

What are the methodologies in disproving gods or un-defining the defined gods?

The Christian God is a defined god. The definition of the Christian comes from his abilities, his activities, his past actions, and even his physical traits in the Bible. By breaking apart those definitions philosophically, logically, scientifically and rationally – we provide evidence against those definitions – and therefore against said defined god.

The events of September 11 2001 help to underscore this. It is said that God is omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (all present) and omnibenevolent (all loving). If that is the case, as defined by the followers of that God, then that God is easy to pick apart simply using the example of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.

If God is all-knowing (omniscient) then he knew the attack was going to happen and he knew who was going to die and who was going to survive.

If God is all present (omnipresent) then he was there in the airplanes, in the World Trade Center, in the Pentagon, in Pennsylvania and on the ground.

If God is all-powerful (omnipotent) then he had the power to stop the attack from occurring or he could have saved everyone from death during the initial attacks or the falling debris.

If God is all-loving (omnibenevolent) then he must not perpetuate evil and must go out of his way to stop evil and he must do everything in his power to stop people from dying from anything other than a natural death (old age).

Because the attacks happened then we can safely say that God, based on the four criteria given by Christians, does not exist or at a minimum is not acceptable on the definitions attributed to it. The criteria for that god contradict each other.

How can he be omnibenevolent at the same time that he is omnipotent to stop the death of his loved ones? Does he not love everyone or was he impotent to stop it?

How can he be omniscient and omnipotent if he failed to stop the attack? Did he not know about it or was he impotent to stop it? Was he simply not there because he is not omnipresent?

Just think of all the things that would not have happened… all the innocent lives not lost…

Alternatively, perhaps the one true God is actually Allah. After all, Allah answered the prayers of the terrorists when they successfully flew their airplanes into their intended targets. I say this tongue-in-cheek, of course, but the Islamic faith has a better apologetic (I say better very loosely) stance because the prayers to Allah by the terrorists were answered; they completed their mission. The prayers of the Christians to Jesus went unanswered – unheard.

I cannot prove a god does not exist. I can only point to the inconsistencies of defined gods and reduce their likelihood of existence. In the end, this is rather moot, because the theist, the one claiming such a god exists, has the burden of proof in their court.

In the millennia since the evolution of religiosity, not a single theistic camp has proven that their god or gods exist. That says a lot about likelihood.