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January 18, 2013
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Atheist Stamp by Kezzi-Rose Atheist Stamp by Kezzi-Rose

Atheism: the absence of belief in deities.

Respectfulness: Recognising that freedom of speech & thought isn't a reason to dictate what others should/shouldn't believe.

      It's with a sort of irony that I make this stamp, because to me 'atheist' isn't a necessary title - no more so than referring to yourself as a 'non-architect' if your profession is not architecture, for example. The name is only really there to distinguish us in religious society, and I'd hope that atheists generally try to be as respectful as possible to those of religion who are non-offensive with their ideas (and vice versa, of course). I feel atheism can be quite misunderstood sometimes, having witnessed and come up against a lot of stigma about it, so I created this to explain some things - and I don't mind if there is discussion in the comments!

      There are often negative connotations surrounding atheism, and I readily agree that some can be offensive when asserting their thoughts about religious ideas they find improbable or disagree with. As with all strong viewpoints it can be the rudest who are the loudest, and perfectly well-meaning religions are also often misrepresented by aggressively outspoken individuals. This is not representative of the whole communities: in a lot of cases it's down to the kind of person they are, rather than what they do or don't believe.
      The most common form of atheism is agnostic atheism, whereby a person does not believe in god(s) but acknowledges they cannot be entirely disproved due to the supernatural nature of their assertion. Without meaning to sound rude at all, it is just as difficult to prove there isn't a giant, invisible, polkadot space octopus floating around that controls our dreams; if the universe is infinite, which some think, literally anything is theoretically possible. I personally don't condone or take part in asking believers for 'proof of God', because I know their faith is enough for them and they don't need to justify it any other way for the sake of others!
You can also be an agnostic theist; which is to believe in god(s), but also acknowledge they can't truly be proven to exist.
Gnostic theists/atheists, on the other hand, assert that they know there is/isn't a god.
There is another term that many non-religious people use: apatheism, which is the state of not caring whether or not deities exist because the answer doesn't affect their life as they live it anyway.
      I'd say I'm an apatheistic agnostic atheist, personally! c:

Some points about atheism:
  • Atheism is no more an ideology or religion itself than 'not skiing' is a hobby. It isn't a set of beliefs, there is no doctrine to follow, we don't have 'atheist prophets' (in fact a lot of us think people like Richard Dawkins, who just constantly and pompously insult religion, are prats) and it doesn't define a way of life or thinking. This is also why 'atheist' is not a capitalised proper noun, and we're not even really intending to be a 'group'; the only similarity by definition is our lack of belief in god(s).

  • Atheism ≠ 'anti-religion'; even if some atheists are against religion, it is not what defines us.

  • You don't have to be atheist to be a keen scientist or agree with scientific theories, and doing so doesn't make you atheist. Many people happily accept scientific ideas into a religious world-view, and many scientists are religious. Science and atheism just tend to go hand-in-hand because it provides the alternative explanations which sit better with a critical way of thinking: and there is no such thing as 'Religion vs. Science' anyway. The scientific method is only trying to find out what we can about the physical universe, it doesn't actively seek to destroy religious ideas.

  • Atheism (or at least agnosticism) is the most common standpoint among my generation in the UK, so I probably feel more free to speak about it than somebody living in a more religious society. Always bear in mind how different social norms can be!

Some common misconceptions answered:
  • "Atheists lack morality." We may not follow any doctrine, but as humans we are all generally bestowed with basic common sense and a moral compass. I don't think anybody needs a book or regular sermons to tell them that unkindness, theft and killing are wrong - this seems obvious, but it's incredible how many times I've been called 'immoral' on the basis of my atheism by people who know nothing else about me.

  • "Atheists are just scared of God." We can't be scared of something we don't believe in. This is the same as accusing a Christian of being afraid of the Norse god Thor, on the basis that they don't have faith he exists.

  • "Atheists aren't living for anything." Faith isn't all there is to life: separate factors govern our well-being, motivation and happiness. I certainly feel no gap in my life, there is nowhere for religion to fit within my world view - and I'm no worse-off for that.

  • "Atheists need to be saved/prayed for." This is an opinion some devoted religious people may hold very strongly, and I can see how it's well-meaning - but as it's not at all what we believe, it can feel like you're being condescending or trying to dictate how we should live and think. Please refrain from trying to force an atheist round to your personal views if they make it clear they don't want you to - but if you really wish to pray for them because it puts your mind at ease, do feel free to do so privately. Telling an atheist "I'll pray for you" can come across as passive aggressive or patronising, even if not intended!

      Everybody thinks in a completely individual way, holds their own opinions, and is fulfilled by different things. Our actions as people and the way we treat others define us far better than our beliefs, so judging someone purely on their faith or lack thereof is something I'll never condone. I fully understand and accept that some people feel happiest when they feed a faith in their lives: and I wish more people, both atheist and religious, could come to terms with the fact that religious beliefs are deeply personal so should neither be attacked nor imposed upon others.

      To sum up, I doubt atheists would feel like they needed a voice at all if it weren't for the fact religious extremists sometimes stand in the way of progress and cause discrimination in "the name of God", or if we didn't come up against the above kinds of stigma. In the broadest sense, all secular-thinking atheists really care about is improved knowledge, free-thinking and fairness in the world; you can be religious and want exactly the same, of course!

Thanks if you read all of this, and please feel free to ask questions!
Click here for a more comprehensive explanation of atheism

Nebula image

Add it to your page! Just copy the Thumb Code (found under 'Details' down the right-hand side) and paste it into your Journal, ID Description, Custom Module, etc. You don't have to be subscribed. Thanks to everyone who shares it! :la:

:whisper: Psst.. remember to check out the rest of my stamp collection; there's guaranteed to be more you like!
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Summer-Starfire 10 hours ago  New member Hobbyist
I'm using this stamp. ^.^ I just wanted to congratulate you on successfully writing your description in such a manner that the comments section has been kept away from the screaming box of banshees it normally is, regarding religion. I am an agnostic atheist (after all, I trust logic and science a little too much for my own good, I suppose), and I fully agree with each and every word of the description. Congratulations, also, on advocating positive messages on your stamps rather than blatantly criticizing another point of view-- you have just inspired me to do the same. <3
GoshiDoll 6 days ago  Hobbyist Filmographer
Yep. That's me.
AnaisseSteighart Apr 14, 2014  New member Hobbyist Writer
I loved the description and the stamp is awesome. But after seeing the word atheist I kinda expected to see that comments are disabled cuz you know....
Kezzi-Rose Apr 14, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks, I'm happy you liked it!
I know what you mean - a lot of similar works have disabled comments. But I'm very happy to address whatever people have to say about it - I mean, the description's very reasonable and basically says it all, but if people want clarification or dispute it I have no problem responding. c: And the vast, vast majority of comments have been super-positive anyway!
AnaisseSteighart Apr 14, 2014  New member Hobbyist Writer
Np btw I never knew most of British people are atheists and that thor was from norse mythology I just learned it in the description.
Kezzi-Rose Apr 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It's great that you learned some new things from it :la:
So, after reading your description I now know I'm an agnostic theist. ^^
Kezzi-Rose Apr 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Cool! :dummy:
Super-Sonic-101 Mar 23, 2014   General Artist
Can I please say, that I love this stamp~

I'm not Atheist, I'm Christian. But, I believe in respecting another individual's beliefs ^^ this stamp made me smile a lot. While I know there are other Christians out there who can be rude, offensive, and even pressuring by shoving their beliefs down your throat- I do not think it is right. It is not Christianlike at all, and sadly, there's many out there, and it is shameful. I am one who's pretty laid back about my friend's beliefs, and see no problem in how a person sees things so long as it's not harming someone.

However, I am naturally scared of those who disbelieve my ways because of all the hate I have gotten growing up simply because I am Christian. I more so fear them because I do not want to be hated for such a petty reason, sadly it's happened a lot. Being bullied because of your beliefs hurts a lot, especially when you have done or said nothing wrong to the person bullying you. ^.^;

Seeing this stamp lets me know there are other caring and respectful individuals out there, who can make peace with others who are different in there ways of seeing things. Makes me so happy~! Thank you c':
silvermoon442 Mar 17, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love this post! I am Lutheran, but have many athiest and other-religion friends. I wish people could be respectful about it... :/ My specific church of Lutheranism is pretty laid back, and focuses on the whole love your neighbor thing. It's great. If only all Christians were like that... and I hate how some (not my friends) athiests have this sense that they're better since they don't believe in "a petty god". Never make anyone feel bad for what they believe in, ever.
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