Atheists' Day was created after a fictional story that started running online in 2003. The story is about one atheist who claimed there were so many religious holidays like Christmas, Basant, Diwali, Eid al-Adha. Easter, Yom Kippur, Hanukkah. Ramadan and more, but atheists do not have their own holiday. So through the American Civil Liberties Union he sued the U.S. government. The nice atheist made his claims in court and the judge listened and replied that there is already a holiday for atheists, and it is April 1 - Fool's Day. The judge said it was the holiday date because of a Bible verse, Psalms Chapter 14 verse 1, which reads: "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" This is to be critical of atheists, but many atheists have decided to adopt the holiday as their own.
What is atheism? Atheists believe that there are no deities, while those who are theists believe that there is some kind of deity. The addition of the letter "A" to the name means "without". There is no fixed ideology in atheism - atheists may be humanists, rationalists, universalists, postmodernists, secularists, etc.
Compared to atheists, there are people who know that they do not know whether God exists or not, and therefore refuse to believe in his existence or non-existence and are called agnostic.
Greek and Roman philosophers and writers such as Epicurus, Democritus and Lucretius had an influence on what would become atheism. The term only appeared in the sixteenth century, a time when free thought and skepticism began to take root. Some who lived in the Enlightenment were the first to identify themselves as atheists. The supremacy of human reason was an aspect of the French Revolution, and at that time atheism was first used in politics. Science also began to challenge the belief in religion during the second half of the nineteenth century.
There are many reasons and explanations for why people are atheists:
There are those who see religion as a bad thing. In their view, people who believe in a higher power do not think rationally and do not trust themselves. Many believe that religion divides people and causes bad things like war. They see the anti-democratic structure of most religions as incompatible with human rights, and oppose the way many religious groups treat women and LGBT people. They may also believe that religion hinders scientific research.
Many atheists feel that they can live by moral codes without the help of God. They often live by the same moral code as the religious ones, but come to it without God, believing it to be superfluous.
They may believe that science can better explain existence than God can. Atheists see evolution as an explanation of life forms and the earth, making God superfluous.
They may believe that belief in religion is based on emotions, and it causes people to be able to deal with fears they have, or vice versa, belief causes fear of punishment for a person who does not believe or commit sins.
They see a lack of empirical evidence that supports any religion or that God exists. They see the arguments for the existence of God as unconvincing.
They follow the "problem of evil," which asks how evil can exist when there is a loving, knowing, and powerful God.
They follow the "argument for inconsistent revelations," which says that with so many conflicting belief systems in existence it is unlikely that God exists.
They see an inconsistency between the existence of God and a world in which so many do not believe in its existence. This is called an "unbelief claim".
They are born in or live in a non-religious society. Communist China is one example of such a place. Others may be born into a religion but lose their faith over time.
It is difficult to estimate how many atheists there are in the world. A survey conducted in 2015 claimed that about 11% of the world’s population are atheists, and a 2012 survey claimed that the number stands at 13%. Both surveys were by WIN / Gallup International. A 2004 BBC poll put the figure at 8%. Europe and Asia have the largest number of atheists. In 2015, 61% of Chinese citizens identified as atheists.
How to celebrate Atheist Day?
There is in fact no definite way to celebrate atheist day, although many use the event to show their unbelief, and / or to initiate a theological discussion. Because atheism is still a controversial topic in some places, it is an opportunity to raise awareness of the issue. Religious debates have a bad reputation for their tendency to get out of hand and turn into loud quarrels quite easily, but it's time we changed that.
Religion is a fascinating subject, full of history and ancient wisdom, so if you are an atheist, you can take some time today to have an in-depth conversation with a religious friend or family member to find out exactly what they believe in and why. What they have to say is guaranteed to provide you with a lot of food for thought.
For people who decide to leave religion behind, there are often many reasons for making the decision. There is no need for either party to try to convince the other, as this will probably not work. Still, the discussion between a believer and a non-believer has the potential to be profound and informative that will motivate all participants to raise ideas and thoughts that may not have existed before, and expanding the worldview has never hurt anyone!
|Atheism symbol (source)