Atheism is the disbelief in the existence of deities and the supernatural. Society hs a misconception that atheism is a ‘satanic’ or immoral system of belief, or lack thereof. This negative stigma, or stereotype, has developed over thousands of years for many reasons; the primary of which arises from the Church’s influence on our culture, both modern and historic. Literally, atheism, or a-theism, means non-theism, or more simply, the absence of belief in deities, although many equate it with anti-theism(opposition to theism), or anti-religion(opposition to religion), despite most atheists not holding such views.
It is possible that the negative connotations about atheism come from the fact it, at least with respect to modern religions, lacks a dependence on faith. Atheists need not have faith in something they disbelieve. One thing, often overlooked in our predominately Judeo-Christian society, is that the vast majority of individuals disbelieve in the existence of every god worshipped through history except the god of the Bible. Atheists just expand that belief to include this common, modern deity.
Most people in our society are brought up with the belief that there is a God and that the Bible, the Torah, or the Koran is the testament of His creation and interaction with the world. These ‘Holy’ books include passages about the creation of existence and the happenings from the ‘beginnings of time.’ They describe a brutal, malevolent God in older gospels and a tolerant, loving God in the newer ones, but they are all based on the same supernatural premise. The church and similar entities have used many tactics to convert and captivate believers and reaffirm their faith. It has become uncharacteristic of the people in our society to sway from the religion of their families. We are brought up believing what we see and what we are told, and rarely question what we do.
Atheism is a positive, rational alternative to religious dogma and superstition, but a person must question their faith, their core assumptions and beliefs about the world, to learn the beauty and validity in this change in perspective. Many people are not willing to question their belief systems and their faith. It seems almost disregarded that any concept of creation, any truth behind existence, written, preached, or otherwise, that is not based on science, is fiction. Made up. To truly accept and understand atheism is to look, uncolored by our preconceptions based on upbringing, religious teachings, and scripture, at the truth of reality, uncovered by science.
Contrary to religion, and intelligent design, modern cosmology presents a view of creation almost incomprehensible to our minds. Time and space sprang into existence during the big bang, or as explained by the more recent inflationary theory. As it spread out and cooled, heavier elements formed creating stars and planets. Over time organic molecules began to develop and proteins and then life emerged. Natural selection defined the process of evolution, weaker organisms dying off, stronger, more adaptive organisms flourishing. Complex life developed through a frenzy of interactions, adaptations, and competition where only the strongest survive. Mammals, greater apes, and then modern humans evolved; creatures became intelligent. As described by quantum mechanics, matter exists simultaneously as both a particle and a wave. Our particle nature is represented in our body, and our wave-like nature is represented by our consciousness, or our souls. The belief of the atheist is that nowhere in here is a need for the supernatural or a god.
From the atheist perspective, it is not a lack of or disbelief in anything which is intriguing. It is the beauty of an autonomous universe which has sprung into existence to include the complexity that we see around us. As life became more complex, and began thinking, creating, inventing, recording, and questioning our surroundings, developing governments and societies, we found ourselves wanting more, looking to the supernatural for explanations, and creating false premises upon which religion and faith has become grounds for wars, persecution, and genocide. Now that we have uncovered enough truth to see beyond these fabrications, atheists have chosen to recognize that gods are not necessary for our existence or purpose, and believe the world is no less beautiful.