Sunny Skeptic – Atheists Ask Atheists Part 2
by Crystal Dervetski
In the course of writing publicly about atheism, I have come across some questions, and many times opposition, regarding belonging to a formal organization for freethinkers. As with most questions, they are repeated multiple times by a variety of people, and oddly enough, many times they come not from religious persons but from fellow atheists. I plan on sharing a few great statements and questions I have received over the last year, and my answers to them. .
“Do you believe in ghosts/UFOs/Big Foot/Etc.?”
Well, I personally do not. I am skeptical about almost everything. I think that not believing in a god means that you probably couldn’t believe in an afterlife, and hence it would be difficult to believe in ghosts, at least in any traditional sense or definition.
You will find atheists who do believe in these things. What I tell people who are new to the group is that the only thing you will find that we all have in common is that we are atheists, meaning only that we do not believe in a god or gods. Other than that, every other topic or idea is pretty much fair game, and any similarities you do encounter are just icing on the cake.
“So you think that nothing happens after you die?”
Correct. Most atheists do not believe that anything supernatural happens after a person dies. Many natural processes occur after death; these processes have been proven time and again by science and observation. Much is made of the idea of the laws of thermodynamics, and the idea that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, so the energy from our bodies and minds must live on after we die. It does live on in natural processes, such as decomposition, but most atheists usually do not believe that it lives on spiritually. Again, you may find atheists who believe that something supernatural occurs after you die, so it really depends on the person.
“Doesn’t it scare you that nothing happens after you die?”
You will find that most atheists experience a real sense of well-being concerning the idea that there is not an afterlife. The possibility that an afterlife does not exist doesn’t mean a free-for-all, or “do-anything-you-want kind of existence. Rather, it involves the realization that this is the only life we have to live, and we must make the most of it while we are here and alive. Many atheists find it odd and strange that people who believe in an afterlife can at times be more frightened of the idea of death than those who aren’t waiting for anything.
“What is a Minnesota Atheists Meet Up like for a new person?”
Meet Ups can be intimidating, whether you are new or not. Meeting new people is almost always the same: some people are nervous, some are excited, and no one knows what to expect. The great thing about a Minnesota Atheists Meet Up is that you already know that you have something in common with the other people around you, so that’s a wonderful starting point for conversation.
From what I’ve seen from Meet Ups, you get out of it what you put into it. If you are willing to meet new people, they will be willing to meet you. Help to keep the conversation rolling, and just relax and have fun! The people that I have met at Meet Ups so far have been very kind and welcoming at all of the events.
Find Minnesota Atheists Meet Ups for the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and Mankato area here:
Comments? Questions? Email Crystal D. at firstname.lastname@example.org