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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 can be negativity surrounding atheism, and I totally agree that some can be offensive with 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. 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. 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: but I personally don't condone 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 to 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 a religion itself than 'not skiing' is a hobby. It isn't a set of beliefs, there is no doctrine, we don't have 'atheist prophets' (in fact a lot of us think people like Richard Dawkins, who just patronisingly insult religion, are prats) and it doesn't define a way of life or thinking. This is why 'atheist' is more of an adjective than a noun (to me anyway) - atheism isn't an organised group of people like religions are.

  • Atheism ≠ 'anti-religion': even if some atheists are against religion, that's 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 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. I'm living for myself, my friendships, and all the wonderful things that can be experienced on Earth!

  • "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 want to pray for them because it puts your mind at ease, 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/violence in the name of their god(s), or if we didn't come up against the above kinds of stigma. In the broadest sense, all secular-thinking atheists like me 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!

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:whisper: Psst.. remember to check out the rest of my stamp collection; there's guaranteed to be more you like!
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:iconflamebrandt:
FlameBrandt Featured By Owner 6 days ago  New member Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for this stamp. <3
I may be a Christian myself, but I know atheists that are constantly bashed because of their beliefs/disbeliefs. It's a shame that some people in my religion don't accept the idea that even if people are different faith-wise, that we should still love everyone. Anyways, before I start rambling, thank you once more for this stamp!
Reply
:iconkezzi-rose:
Kezzi-Rose Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm happy you like it ♥ And thanks for your words too, I'm glad there are people who think like you! c:
Reply
:iconteazella:
teazella Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
Oh wow I really love this stamp. I was raised as a christian and it was very hard for me to accept that I didn't want to worship a god. But reading this description made me feel a whole lot better! I thank you for making this stamp!
Reply
:iconkezzi-rose:
Kezzi-Rose Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm really happy you like it, thanks! It's a pleasure to have made it and I'm glad the description helped c:
Reply
:icona-rolls-royce:
A-Rolls-Royce Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  New member
I may hate Atheism very much (Pantheism FTW) but we can agree on one thing, Young Earth Creationists are extremely stupid.
Reply
:iconkezzi-rose:
Kezzi-Rose Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I wouldn't agree that they're 'stupid', they just choose to be very unreasonable in the face of evidence. And that's coming from an Earth Scientist!
Less of the 'this viewpoint's better than this viewpoint' please - my description promotes the idea there is no right or best way to be when it comes to personal beliefs about the existence of higher powers.
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:icona-rolls-royce:
A-Rolls-Royce Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  New member
Ok then.
Reply
:iconladybitterblue:
LadyBitterblue Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
oh dear, you're just amazing. And I'm not just saying that because you don't believe in the same God I don't believe in, but because you seem to be a wonderful person. You're respectful towards others, and I think that's what really counts!
Religion (or having no religion) doesn't define people. I've had Christians tell me I'm not a real human being because I'm not baptized, and I have Christian friends who just love everyone equally. Though I'm an (agnostic apatheistic) atheist, I tolerate everyone's beliefs - as long as they tolerate me.
Reply
:iconkezzi-rose:
Kezzi-Rose Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Apologies for the late reply! Thank you for this message, I appreciate it :love: You seem just the same! I'm sorry about those people who've told you you're not a 'real human being' without baptism, you know that that's not what defines one though c: Me too - I wish everybody could just accept everyone else for the way they are, when nobody else is harmed or affected by it!
Reply
:iconladybitterblue:
LadyBitterblue Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
No need to apologize, I get that you're busy :) I'm very glad someone thinks the same as me about this!
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