"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"
-- Douglas Adams
"Because morality is a social necessity, the moment faith in god is banished, man's gaze turns from god to man and he becomes socially conscious. Religious belief prevented the growth of a sense of realism. But atheism at once makes man realistic and alive to the needs of morality. -- Gora
"I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious ideas of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God...So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake... Religion is all bunk."
What is Atheism?
It used to be that atheism was defined as not believing in a god. Today, atheism is far more involved and meaningful.
An atheist is someone who:
Accepts the reality that the universe is without purpose or a creator.
Does not acknowledge the existence of a heaven or a hell.
Does not believe in any supernatural deity.
Does not acknowledge the existence of a human soul.
Understands that this life, here and now, is the only life we will ever have, and is committed to make this life as good as possible for oneself and for all fellow human beings.
Lives life through ethical and moral principles derived from accepted and normative societal behavior.
Eschews all religions and any source of superstition, dogma and misinformation.
Accepts and encourages free inquiry, a rational scientific worldview and demands evidence for all claims, rather than blind acceptance of ancient tribal traditions and superstitions.
Understands that it is religion and the gods they espouse that are responsible for much of the pain and suffering in society today.
Acknowledges that we have a responsibility to all fellow human beings to confront the evil that religion and its followers would inflict upon us and work toward reducing it to a level where it can no longer harm us.
On Church and State Separation
Atheists affirm that there must be a solid wall of separation between church and state in the spirit of the United States founding fathers. This is essential for the preservation all persons' rights – both of the religious and the non-religious.
The New Atheism
The above definition is my definition. There are, no doubt, many atheists who define atheism in its narrowest construct – no belief in a god. Everything else is some type of a humanistic world view. Secular Humanism does, in fact, encompass most of the above propositions. Nevertheless, this is how I define atheism. This is also the foundation for The so-called New Atheism. The fundamental difference between the “old” atheism and the “new” atheism is that new atheists are not content to just not believe in a god and lead an ethical life. We have to be vocal and make ourselves known. In reality, though, there really is no New Atheism. The atheism I am describing is the same atheism that has been around for thousands of years. We atheists are not on the warpath. There is no such thing as "fundamentalist atheism" like many theists are claiming. What is happening is that we atheists are just getting fed up with being discriminated against. The Christian Right, in particular, is making life more difficult for anyone with an opposing world view.
We must actually go on the offensive and expose religion for the evil force that it is. Our very existence is being threatened by the forces of religion in all aspects of our lives. So today’s atheist must take an active role to confront and destroy dogma and superstition wherever it may be. We must question and confront theists at their most basic levels. Their gods must be exposed for the frauds that they are. Their belief systems must be questioned and replaced with logic and compassion for all people. They (the theists) must be shown that life has no supernatural masters. Human beings are capable of thinking for themselves and must do so for humanity's sake. We must not waste precious time and resources plotting and planning for a future life for which there is no evidence of existence.
Those that would embrace an afterlife are the first ones who would act irresponsibly in this life and commit terrible crimes and horrible atrocities – all in the name of their non-existent deity. Let’s destroy the deity and get on with living an ethical life. Let’s embrace the wonders of the real universe. We don’t need or want the fairies in the garden; we are content to appreciate the flowers themselves.
See the links section for others who have excellent sites that address confronting religion and making arguments against gods.
Here is a great general resource: