What do these two words have in common?
The "A" pre-fix. That "A" signifies a NO, or absence. NO morality. NO theism.
But do not make the mistake of thinking they are synonymous.
Although it is definitely fun and entertaining for atheists to ridicule and undermine religion, I`m not sure it endears us to very many of the unconverted-- the non-atheists.
Rather than attack or critique religion, I want this article to be a defense and promotion of atheism, and atheists. Too many atheists, in their well intentioned advocacy of atheism, spend too much time and effort disparaging and mocking religion. I propose we should give more attention to encouraging and celebrating atheism. Maybe we ought to shift our focus from what is bad about religion to what is good about atheism?
Let us aim to be more positive than negative. As atheists like to say, you can`t prove a negative.
Seems to me, we are only contributing to and perpetuating patterns of adversity. A kid who is bullied and then becomes a bully... has learned the wrong lesson.
If atheists do not want to be maligned by the religious caste, then why do we atheists do that to them?
When the negroes and women and homosexuals demanded equal rights, did they champion and win their cause by demeaning the opposition? Or did they achieve this victory by campaigning for equality?
Of course, we must be wary of religious proponents who claim there is no morality without religion-- because they are not inclined to be or do good of their own volition.
By this, I mean that they-- in their own admission-- are only good because their God commanded them, or so their God will reward instead of punish them.
And yet, atheists-- who willingly and deliberately choose to do and be good (who want to be good) because it is good and right-- are demonized and vilified in mainstream perceptions.
Atheists can be as decent and caring as the religious, but since they don`t believe in God, their goodness doesn`t count?
Just because they do not believe in God? Which god, by the way? Whose God?
Morality is not morality if it is compulsory, based on reward and punishment motivation.
But I digress.
Like virgins and hermaphrodites, there are many more atheists than is commonly realized.
And as homosexuals have long been, a great many of atheists remain "in the closet", to avoid mainstream persecution. Many people who claim to be religious are actually atheists in hiding, or in ignorance. They only claim religious status in self defense from being harassed, condemned and ostracized. Or they assume they are religious because they are good people, or believed the religious propaganda against atheism, or don`t realize that atheism is a valid option.
Godless does not mean what so many religious people seem to think it does, or what they want you to think it means.
Godless is not soulless, it is not heartless, it is not loveless.
Not believing in gods does not make atheists bad people, does not make them unfit for civil society, does not make them deserving of scorn and blackballing... just because they believe in one less god than religious folks.
Religious beliefs are at best absurd and at worst dangerous, and the amount of free play that are given in the public domain is a menace. -- A.C. Grayling