I don’t happen to think there’s a god out there. That’s it.
Being an atheist does not mean that I can, nor, that I’m required to, provide an explanation for the origin of the universe.
Being an atheist does not mean that I am sure that Yahweh, or Allah, or Krishna, or any other gods, don’t exist.
After many years of contemplation, I’m pretty confident that gods are man made inventions, but do I know for sure that NO gods exist? of course not. I could be wrong.
The beauty of almost all god concepts, and all spiritual or new age concepts for that matter, is that they are virtually unfalsifiable. I can’t prove that Yahweh was a Jewish invention, or that Krishna was a Indian invention, or that Allah was an Arabic invention, I also can’t prove that fairies don’t flit about my garden . I can’t prove that angels don’t hoover about my shoulders. And I can’t prove that demons don’t possess people.
But here’s the catch, just as all those things are unfalsifiable, they are unverifiable, also. We can assert that gods and spirits and demons are real, but we can’t demonstrate them to be real.
I know what it’s like to believe in a god because I did for most of my life. I used to really think that my version of the Christian triune was very, very real. I now no longer think the trinity is real. Now I suspect that our world came about through some natural means that we can’t even comprehend yet. Perhaps humans will die off before we ever solve this mystery. I have no idea how the world began or if that’s even a concept that makes sense considering what we know about Cosmology at this point.
I just don’t happen to think that an anthropomorphic being created a massive universe, seemingly to house human beings on a tiny planet, circling an unremarkable star, one of many billions of stars in its galaxy…and one of many billions of galaxies in its universe.
I’m an atheist. I don’t happen to believe in a god-type character. But I’d go further than that. I currently happen to think that we humans have invented all of the thousands of gods and spirits that we worshiped throughout history, and I happen to think that we’ve invented all of the thousands of devils and demons that we’ve feared.
Not all atheists go so far. Some atheists wish they could believe. Some pretend they do believe. Some don’t know what to believe. Some are afraid not to believe because of the fears they carry from their religious upbringing. The only thing that actually makes you an atheist is the lack of a belief in a god.
I really hate labels anyway, so these discussions bother me. I prefer expressing my meaning as clearly as possible, rather than relying on labels that can too easily be debated or misconstrued.
Take ghosts. I don’t happen to think that ghosts are real. I never have. Even when I believed in a god. I couldn’t prove that ghosts were not real. I couldn’t provide explanations for the thousands of reported ghost encounters that people have reported. I just never bought any of it, even as a kid. I’ve come to a place where I assume that all of those stories are either fraudulent, or people have been mistaken, or people have been deluded. But I don’t know that ghosts don’t exist. I just don’t happen to think that they do. I’m an a-ghostist, I suppose, if one wanted to bother labeling such a thing.
My position on gods is exactly the same. I just don’t happen to think there are any gods. You may have a god that you’re convinced is real. You may have a ghost experience that you’re convinced is real. In either case, if you want me to believe that the god, or the ghost is real, it’s up to you to convince me.
And to actually convince me is beyond my conscious control. If you tell me that your god appeared to you in line at the bank, I’m probably not going to be very convinced. If you tell me you believe in your god because you just feel it’s presence in your soul, I’m probably not going to be very convinced. If you convince your god to appear in front of both of us and it explains quantum mechanics to me in a way that I can understand it, I’ll either be very keen on examining that, or seek to have a psych analysis done on myself, or both. I can’t tell you what would convince me that a particular god is real, I couldn’t possibly know unless it happened. But a god would know how to convince me if it wanted to.
Until then. I don’t happen to think any gods are real. I’m an atheist.