Rollinstone, you say dogma, I say reality, in the end it'll all shake out...
BorgLord, it sounds like you're preaching.....dogma I might add.
Kyle, I can't definitely speak for Mr Smith's view of an atheist, but for most born agains, "the atheist"--note the objectification--is the ultimate boogie man. He believes in nothing supernatural so he is more resistant than others to infection with the evangelical god virus, because he has no active god virus infection to piggy back off of. Those who already believe in superstitions are easier to turn to your superstition than one who has seen the light of reality. Also because he rejects the idea of any god, he must be the most evil and depraved of all humans because he is so far from god that he's not even getting any overflow influence from some permutation of god.
Jared, its only a dogma if I try to force or coerce you to believe under some penalty for failure to do so. Christian dogma threatens you with hell if you refuse to believe it and in some venues both past and present, actual force is deployed against if you refuse to believe it. You can believe or not believe in gods as far as I'm concerned. I am certain gods do not exist. I would like for everyone to see this light of reality. But I'm not going to force anyone to accept my perception of reality.
BorgLord, is this "I know there is/are NO god(s)" not a dogma?
dogma: "An authoritative principle, belief, or statement of ideas or opinion, especially one considered to be absolutely true."http://www.thefreedictionary.com/dogma
I don't know if science (empirical) is supposed to answer the question on the existence of God. To me, that is like wanting to find out if something tastes good by pressing it to my forehead instead of taking a bite. I typically use different tools to measure different things.
There are two kinds of atheists: formal and informal. The informal atheist may never elucidate a statement of disbelief in a god, but they live as though gods do not exist--you can call them practical atheists. Formal atheists make one of two affirmations: 1) I don't believe in god(s); 2) or I know there is/are NO god(s). The latter is a hard Atheist. I fall into the later category. I know based on the best empirical data available to me that there are no gods. Religion--and belief in gods--are at best an evolutionary adaptation that has gone awry; at worst it is a delusion that permits the worst of human nature to run amok and say, "That god told me so."
Ah, Mr Smith edges ever closer to the true identity of his column. All he need do now is get rid of the "Philosophy" in the title and change it to "Dogma" and the truth will be fully revealed!
I be willing to bet that there are of quite a few God-fearing Christians out there. And Christians never fill guilty? Huh. I guess those confession booths don't have anything to do with feeling guilty about something.
I thought "Do as thou wilt" was the mantra of Satanism? Then again Deacon Smith likely believes atheists are Satans minions!
One thing about atheism - the atheist will never murder in the name of the Lord....
"The atheist's mantra is, "Do as thou wilt".
Atheists don't have a mantra or a shared moral system. Atheism merely means a lack of belief in gods. You must ask yourself why the highest crime rates are in those states with the highest religiosity and why atheists are heavily under-represented in the prison system.