So you believe in nothing?

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(Changed 1st use of Christians to Theists, as the objection is equally open to any non-atheist.)
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[[Theist]]s often respond to assertions of [[atheism]] with the question, "'''So you believe in nothing?'''" Such a question not only patently mischaracterizes the nature of atheism, but it betrays one of the inherent problems in Christian [[doctrine]]: the potential for development of a type of "Christian [[nihilism]]," in which adherents see all meaning and value as only derived from [[God]].
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#REDIRECT [[Atheists believe in nothing]]
 
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In a similar way that accusations that [[atheism is immoral]], as it lacks guidelines dictated from a "higher power," this question essentially implies that humans are incapable of independent and complex thought, a concept heavily debunked in numerous examples worldwide. Begin by considering the fact that many [[Buddhist]]s, despite having complex systems of [[dogma]] and [[spiritual]] beliefs, are atheists by definition, in that they reject the concept of any sort of god. While some schools of Buddhism differ from this interpretation, there are significant numbers of people practicing what otherwise fits the definition of a religion, while asserting that their beliefs and dogma come not from a divine authority.
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How, then, is a "true" atheist any different? Countless schools of philosophy serve as a basis for development of secular belief. Consider (secular) [[existentialism]], which revolves around the concept of self-discovery and finding meaning and value in a way relevant to one's own life and worldview. Many philosophers and self-described existentialists have written works detailing quite complex systems of [[epistemology]] (in a sense, "What can we know?"), [[morality]], and more, without ever involving God.
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Whether atheists describe themselves as existentialist or not, the framework of existentialism shows how, outside of the bounds of any defined religion, one may find belief, meaning, and value in a purely secular way.
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{{Common objections}}
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[[Category:Arguments]]
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[[Category:Arguments for the existence of God]]
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[[Category:Arguments for belief]]
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Latest revision as of 14:54, 27 October 2011

  1. REDIRECT Atheists believe in nothing
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