You have heard the questions. When a theist learns you are atheist they invariably show surprise and start asking questions. “Surely you must believe in something?” they ask with worry. “Do you believe in Satan?” some will ask with a sense of terror.
As a child, I was taught there is a god, there is a Santa Claus, there is an Easter Bunny, and there is a Tooth Fairy. At five years old, I was sent to catechism. My family was not religious but my mother wanted Catholic children. There I learned about Jesus. I read in my study book of mostly cartoon drawings that Jesus was a good boy, he would bring in firewood for his parents.
Being atheist is to not accept a god as real. Theists argue that god is real. Many discussions about the theist god get lost in arguments about the argument or lost in the segues of multiple fallacies. It is important to focus on the core argument for a god when discussing the god. What follows is a discussion of the basic argument for the theist god.
This question that theists ask atheists arose from internet blog sparring in response to a June 22, 2015, article by Steve Greene called, How to validate atheism in one easy step. He says, “So this is how you validate atheism in one easy step: Ask the god-believer to produce actual, credible, real world evidence of this god. He will never do it.
An atheist is someone who does not believe in a god. There is no religion or dogma associated with being atheist. Atheism is to not follow a god-based belief system; atheism is not its own belief system. People who believe in a god or who follow a god-based belief system, religion, or dogma are deists; those who believe that a god revealed itself to people are theists.
I read an advice column with the title, “An atheist faces her family’s prayer circle.” The woman asking for advice wanted to know what she and her husband should do when visiting her family and when her family asks everyone to join in a prayer circle and pray together. To the followers of religious mysticism, superstition, and magic, prayer is an incantation to ask their supernatural deity to bestow some form of good fortune on the people praying and to recognize the praying people as elevated from those who do not pray to the supernatural deity.