I am always intrigued at the attention given to philosophical beliefs, and the dogmatic confidence many have in those beliefs Many religious beliefs are examined, criticised, & psychoanalyzed in this forum but not much is given to atheism The title may put some off, but since the 'folly of religion' is a constant topic here on the forum, i thought it only fair to consider the folly of atheism. Why & how does someone become an atheist? Many atheists grew up in a religious home. What made them change from the societal norm of believing in a Greater Power, to total disbelief? I suppose i need to define my terms, & lay the foundation for my observations. There are 3 basic worldviews, regarding the universe. 1. The universe exists & originated from only natural processes. This i have defined as 'Naturalism'. 2. The universe exists & originated by supernatural processes, from an unseen, powerful Entity. 'Supernaturalism' 3. Nothing is real, the universe does not exist, & knowledge is unknowable. 'Absurdism' 4. I don't know. 'Agnosticism' I added a 4th, but don't really consider it a 'worldview' in its own right, because it is merely admitting ignorance. But there is an element of dogmatism in that view, too. Many not only claim 'agnosticism', but they claim that view is absolute. It is similar to #3 in that it claims that knowledge about these things are unknowable. So for that reason, i usually combine 3 & 4, as being the same basic worldview. It is reflected in Greek skepticism, "Nothing can be known, not even this". Carneades (c. 214 - 129 B.C.) So, the 3 main worldviews can be summarized like this: Skepticism Relativism Empiricism Skepticism has its roots in the Greek philosophers who basically claimed that knowledge is unknowable. Life is an illusion, has no meaning, & is absurd. There are, of course, blends of this belief system in the others, but there is a logical disconnect. But for the skeptic, & even the relativist, logic really has no purpose, as Absolute Truth is a meaningless concept. Relativism is the basic worldview of the progressive left. It is based in naturalism, which concludes there are no rules for human behavior, other than what man decides. Morality is relative. Law is relative. Even Truth, as a concept, is relative. Empiricism is the worldview that sprang from the age of Reason, the Enlightenment, & scientific methodology. It presumes that knowledge can be known, & that humanity was tasked with discovering 'what God hath wrought'. It is rooted in Natural Law, & the belief in a Creative Force in the universe.. a supernatural explanation. I would also like to point out that all of these worldviews are mere beliefs. There is no empirical evidence to compel a conclusion of one over the others. More on that, later. As a culture, we have been morphing from empiricism to relativism, so there is some overlap. Some scientific methodology is still esteemed, or at least given lip service to, but the trend is toward dogmatism. Science is mandated, & is no longer up for discussion or debate. Inquiry is discouraged, & trust in the elite is expected. Most students now are not rooted in the empirical sciences, or critical thinking, but are grilled in dogma, & told what to believe. No leeway is given for alternate views, or criticism of the elite's mandates. Conformity is the norm, & any outliers are attacked with religious intolerance. This morphing process has given birth to hybrid worldviews, that combine factors from all of them, but there is usually a core belief in one, as the central part of the worldview. Ok, i've gone the long way around in examining how an atheist comes to be, but the root ideals are part of that. Nobody exists in a vacuum, but are the product of many factors, in their worldview. Here are the driving factors for becoming atheistic in one's belief system: Redefine Science. Among atheists, especially the militant ones, the common theme is, 'Theists are religious, atheists follow science'. This is fundamentally flawed on many levels. 1. Science is indifferent to worldviews, & only provides facts or evidence for a belief system. 2. There are NO scientific facts or evidence that compels an atheistic worldview. Naturalism is a belief, & is not a proven concept, scientifically. It is not even a good theory of origins, but is filled with assumptions, flaws, & logical fallacies. 3. The scientific method is one of discovery, & is not dependent on one's religious beliefs. 4. Atheism is every much a belief system.. a 'religion'.. as any theistic based one. 5. This is merely an argument by definition, or using circular reasoning. It is merely a definitional dodge, not a logical conclusion. 6. It is false by observation, as many brilliant scientists have been theists, & have made astounding discoveries. There is no conflict in using the scientific method & personal beliefs. 7. Many atheists are not scientists, nor have the tools for critical thinking & inquiry, and do not know the scientific basis for their beliefs. Theirs is a religious belief, based on trust for an indoctrinating elite. There are more factors in molding one's worldview, but this is enough for now. I welcome any discussion or rebuttal to these points.