Beware: Subject may cause anxiety or anger. Please treat with care.
Atheism. Obviously, it is not another form of religion, devoted to the adoration of the goddess Athe, but what, exactly, is atheism?
Literally, atheism is a belief without a god.
Surely that sounds simple enough, but what implications does that have? Certainly there are as many different subtleties as there are people who call themselves atheists, so allow me to explain my own.
Atheism is a belief in a world where there is no god, there was never a god, and there never will be a god. That world is our world; the existence as we know it.
Since the dawn of mankind, there have been numerous religions with numerous gods -- some religions claim there is one god, others claim many. This, however, does not mean that all those people were right.
Gods were, more often than not, conjured up by active imaginations for all the then unexplainable phenomena people encountered. Thunder and lightning were the work of a god; the miracle of birth was due to a goddess; if one performed some ritual to this god or another, one would do better at hunting or fighting.
It was not untill much later that the concept of one god, and an all-powerful god at that, became common. A creator, who for that merit alone should be worshiped.
What a load of crap.
Pardon my French, but whoever said that god wanted to be worshiped? Imagine the pets you might own, to every day thank you for everything they received from you -- a pleasant home, good food, and love (I'm assuming this, obviously). For one, it would be silly and a bit unnerving. Also, it would be a waste of time, since without the idolizing, you would probably care just as much for them.
And, more importantly, creation takes place before worship. If one does not worship zealously enough, the creation cannot be unmade.
That is assuming there is a god of some sort. I already stated that I do not think there is.
Gods are often convenient ways to explain events or actions that cannot be easily comprehended. The human mind is simply unable to comprehend all of nature -- and by nature, I also mean physics, chemistry, natural disasters, and astonomy. Obviously we are making good progress in trying to understand the natural laws of the world, but it is doubtful we'll ever know everything -- as most religious people would agree.
However, unlike the assumption of religions that "therefore" there is a god, I say that there is none. Nature works according to its own rules, even if we will never know them all. It merely means that the things we cannot explain (yet) appear to be godlike. But they are not. They are merely unexplained.
Does this mean morality, by many to be believed to be based in religion, can be tossed out of the window? No, far from it -- but that is the subject of another time.
Remember -- there is no god. Now stop worrying and live your life, dammit.