Someone asked me what values “atheism” had, what philosophies it had. That’s an interesting question but the answer is rather simple.
I am an atheist; simply a person who is convinced that there is no god. What makes me so sure that there is no god? Well, I certainly have no method to prove the non-existence of a god, and I do allow for the possibly that a god may exist, but I’ve not found any credible evidence for the existence of a god, and the world looks exactly how it should if there was no god. I therefore conclude that the existence of a god is unlikely. This just happens to align quite closely with Richard Dawkins’s own position of “6” along the spectrum of theistic probability.
To elaborate, I claim the non-existence of a god with the same confidence that I claim that there are no fairies living at the bottom of the garden and that there are no invisible dragons living in my garage. An atheistic viewpoint should be the default position, and other viewpoints taken when evidence allows.
There is no need to add any other philosophies or viewpoints to the word “atheism”; atheism does not dictate or imply a way of life. Recent attempts to redefine and expand what atheism means, well-meaning though they are, cause confusion and create division. Whilst it is a good idea for atheist communities to exchange thoughts, re-branding atheism into a set of philosophies is not the way forward and I distance myself from such re-branding exercises.
For myself, I recognise the special time that I am alive, and I intend to make the most of what little time I have. I empathise with those who suffer and I do what I can to alleviate suffering. I seek joy in myself and in others. But these traits are not unique to any single philosophy; the religious experience these as well. But I am also rather interested in explaining to others why belief in the existence of a god is not rational, and why religions with their unjust teachings should be abandoned; such debates can be rather interesting but mostly unsatisfactory as not many people are able to abandon a framework that has been indoctrinated into them since childhood. But again, none of this is required to be an atheist.
So, the answer is rather simple. Atheism is simply the position that there is no god. That’s all.
Article by Kulvinder Singh Matharu – 2013