Depends on the atheist- we have nothing in common except lack of belief on gods.
This is an open forum, and atheism a valid position on religion and spirituality. In addition, many atheists like myself have studied religion extensively and thus know a good deal about it. Indeed, recent research shows we are more knowledgeable than any other group. We are also affected by religion every day through the actions of its followers. This is particularly true in America where the religious so often push their beliefs onto others and attempt to get it inserted into our laws, schools, and government. And since this is an open forum, one should expect that not only will claims he makes be challenged, but that not everyone present will agree with those claims.
Maybe have them asking the questions not answering? For instance tell them something to really make them wonder. A man who believed heavily in Evolution and despised people who believed in God said he was going out to prove evolution was correct. He had been challenged by a man presenting creation and the discrepancies of evolution. The evolutionist sought and ended up turning to God because he was asking so many questions to find truth. The bible says "seek and ye shall find" give this atheist something to seek about
Well, if you mean on Ask.com, the fact that it's a public discussion forum is probably a leading factor. We all want to share our opinions, and everyone has the right to do so, be they Christian or atheist, Hindu or Buddhist, Jew or any other of the myriad belief or unbelief systems.
Because if you want a one sided answer, then you should go to a christian website. This an open forum and is treated as such. I think every point of view should be able to be heard and judged accordingly.
I am an atheist. I answer questions about religion because I have read and studied the written works of the religions. I have read the books because, whether or not I agree with them or believe in them, those works have had a profound impact upon human history and it's important to understand the hows and the whys. You don't have to believe in god to answer questions about god, any more than you have to believe in wookies or The Force to answer questions about Star Wars.
The sad truth is we atheists, on average, tend to know more about people's holy books then the followers that believe in them. Many of us were believers at one point and then began asking questions, so many in fact it often leads us to other belief systems and we research them. When it's all said and done we realize the complete absurdity of the faiths and become atheist, but we are left with extensive knowledge of the subject. Just because we don't give the interpretations that believers would wish, or agree with, doesn't mean we are ignorant to the issues. This knowledge and the interest in keeping extraordinary claims in check often bring us to faith based questions, some do so to combat the belief itself, others to assure its influence on more impressionable minds is limited, and still more to act as a counter balance to the extremism that faiths often foster.
11 months ago
Last edited at 9:42PM on 1/13/2013
Welcome to Ask, runumbered.
As Skeptikitten says, it depends on the atheist. For me it also depends on the question.
If, for instance, it's a genuine request for information or interpretation I answer the question as I would any other, supplying that information.
If it's a cheap shot at promoting religion (as most of the Ask religious questions are I'll either challenge it or turn it into a joke. Why? Because proselytisers mustn't be left unchallenged lest some innocent thinks that there is no alternative philosophy.
I had nine months away from Ask and in that time I didn't once discuss religion. In real life people don't try to shove their religion down your throat -- but put a born-again within reach of a keyboard and a web site and they just can't help themselves.
Because God is just a personification of human cultural ideals and concepts with, human, third person omniscient perspective; that gives people the feeling of a benevolent presence looking out for us ready to enforce social ideals. I think the mythological beliefs in the various gods and supernatural states of heaven and hell and especially the belief that people are born evil are of the most pernicious categories of beliefs that keeps humanity in a state of oppression and prevents the freethinking that could lead to greater achievements.
I'm not an atheist but I feel drawn to answer this question about atheists. Atheists are individuals and what draws one to answer a particular question may be different that what draws another to answer the same question. One may have an axe to grind. Another may just feel he knows the answer and wants to give an honest answer to an honest question. Still another may feel that the questioner has an axe to grind and wants to confront them on it. There could be other reasons as well.
I have thought about this often. I believe, that no matter how educated anyone is, or how much they fight His reality, deep down inside, they aren't fully sure. The question always reamains open. Otherwise, it would have been solved long ago.
Well though I've questioned wether or not God is real or not plenty of times, I've never been a self proclaimed atheist so I can only offer a perspective. I think it must have something to do with the implications of the possibility of God being real. There is perhaps nothing more at stake existentially then wether or not God is or isn't. Even though there are numerous expressed "versions" of God(s) ultimately does little to alleviate the angst of the question of God. Probably for some they feel their search for complete autonomy is infringed upon by the possibility of God...I imagine this is more bothersome then say "pushy" Christians since they can more or less remove themselves from such believers yet they can't really eliminate the question within themselves except to try their best to combat it in whatever manner that soothes their minds. I respect any honest atheist in and of themselves since I believe that God knows an loves them....I love them as well.
There is a problem with this question. Atheists cannot answer questions about God. Since they do not believe in Him, they would not attempt to communicate with Him, thus they have no personal experience with Him and cannot begin to even pretend to know Him. Atheists can answer questions about religious aspects that they have actually studied, such as the Bible and other religious writings, the viewable practices of various churches, and so forth. Therefore, atheists can answer questions about RELIGION, but not about GOD. :D
When a question deals with belief in God, it inevitably turns to making claims about those who do not believe in God. As an atheist it often happens that believers will make rather wild and presumptuous claims about atheists which not only are not true, but the claimant would have no way of knowing what is in the heart of anyone they have not met. Many atheists come into to those discussions in order to set the record straight that not only are we not the spawn of the devil, but that we are actually as moral and ethical as anyone else. That is one reason you find us here. Caluvox's answer covered pretty much everything else I would otherwise have included.
Exactly what all of my atheist friends have already said. I also answer questions that piqu? my interest on many topics. I don't feel that my lack of belief in your version of " god" should result in limiting my scope of answers.
WOW, no offense to anyone, but skeptickitten's answer says it best, "we are more knowledgable than anyone." With such audacity and arrogance how can one stop them self from answering. Of course to make it official we get told, "studies show," this claim to be true. How can we learn from each other with that mind set. There have been, and are, many great minds who have accepted an afterlife, in some form or another; let alone their acceptance of God. It honestly reminds me of the emperor and his cloak. How sad. May God help us all. God bless.
What drew the abolitionists to argue about slavery? We need to help people become educated in actual fact and science and we are angered at proselytization and the spread of ignorance brought about by religion. We are usually better versed in religion than those who are obnoxious about it.